Tag Archives: Music History

The Greatest Blues Man That Ever Graced The Earth Has Now Left It. ~ Mr. BB King.

Your Soul will live on in Heaven forever, your music with us.

 

Mr. BB King

 

I am literally broken-hearted right now, my blues hero has passed.

Where do you even start, the words, expression, gratitude, song, the life long joy this man brought to the world of music and the genre of the Blues. All I know is this is going to be one long blog.

He played it straight out of his soul, his heart guiding his hands and he made that guitar absolutely bleed. There will never ever be another like him.

My God this hurts.

Blues Boy Tune

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Timeless As The Legend Who Sang It. Mr. Percy Sledge 1940-2015.

Percy Sledge

 

“When A Man Loves A Women”

This song has gone down in history as one of the most classic love soul ballads of all time. Something they just do not create anymore.

He left us yesterday April 14th but only in body for his voice and this song will reign Forever.

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Sunday Soul Sacrifice ~ WOODSTOCK FOREVER.

Woodstock 1969

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Romance” ~ Gerald Wilson Orchestra

Unmistakably Gerald. Gerald_Wilson

Creating music now for 75 years. Sept. 4 he will be 96 years young. Having had the privilege to have seen him at work multiple times at the Detroit Jazz Festival and with the audience helped to celebrate his 92nd in 2010, I pray I get another chance to see him again.

A beautiful soul who has shared his absolute talent and gift of outstanding masterpieces of jazz.

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Wednesday When It Was Music ~ “The Other Hours” ~ Harry Connick, Jr.

Harry Connick Jr.

 

There is no other singer I know of that absolutely captures Frank Sinatra’s fabulous phrasing other than the very talented Harry Connick, Jr..

This man is a blessing that has thankfully continued the tradition of fine tuned vocalization.

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Ambiance” ~ Marian McPartland

This great lady of jazz who just left us on Aug. 30th at the age of 95. Host of Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz on NPR from 1978 until 2011. She played everything from Classical to Jazz, Cool jazz, Bebop, Mainstream jazz, Swing, Post bop and Standards.

Marian was undeniably virtuosic hitting those ivory keys with such elegance, her credits musically a mile long whether playing her own compositions or others.

Her “A Delicate Balance” theme of a show she hosted for 14 years on WBAI prior to NPR was so befitting for how she performed, who she interviewed and played with or what she put on a turntable. Whether known or the obscure she never left the very best of music untouched.

Marian shared and gave us a taste of it all.

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Eydie Gormé 1928-2013 … What a Voice.

Eydie Gormé

 

Very sad to have heard this grand talent died yesterday. Eydie Gormé and husband Steve Lawrence defined what it is to have Class.

Both blessed with fabulous pipes but Eydie performed like a stick of dynamite. Her vocal chords absolutely exploded along with the rest of the cream of the crop of her era. She could belt out songs so powerful she left the host of any show she was on in awe.

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Motown Monday ~ “Live” Full House” ~ The J. Geils Band

The J. Geils Band

The Motor City & this Boston band just seemed to adopt each other, they thought we were home and we thought they were ours.

Their first live album recorded at The Cinderella Ballroom in 72′, The J. Geils Band officially became a Detroit Band, period!

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Richie Havens, Another Brother From Woodstock Has Passed.

Richie Havens at Woodstock

Alvin Lee standing behind God in Heaven waiting his turn to embrace and welcome him. Jam on Brothers… Jam on.

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Thursday “Storming and Raining” ~ Sam Baker

A befitting song for our weather here in Detroit, where it’s been raining for 3 days with 2-3 inches more on the way and more in the forecast through the next 7 days. Cold rain warmed up with a cup of Hot Blues.

 

Sam Baker

This artist seemed to have fallen through the cracks of the music business for whatever sad reason because he had one powerful voice.

Born in Jackson, MS on June 14, 1941 he started his career in the late 50s and shared the stage with the likes of Jimmy Reed and Clyde McPhatter. He put out his first 45 in 1960 on a local label, Copa. This tenor who also exploded into bursts of a fabulous falsetto as you can hear recorded a lot of singles for a few more labels but even though he had the talent just never could land a major one.

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Motown Monday ~ “Just Like You Did Me” ~ Yvonne Vernee

Yvonne Vernee

CORREC-TONE Sonbert & Yvonne Vernee.

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Friday Funk ~ The Funk Brothers Receive Star on Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

Yesterday March 21, 2013 Detroit’s own got their due by Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Our treasures, musicians, sound, style, epitome of the definition of Instrumentation.

US-ENTERTAINMENT-FUNK BROTHERS-STAR

US-ENTERTAINMENT-FUNK BROTHERS-STAR

Surviving members Eddy Willis & Jack Ashford attending this honor. Joe Messina who has been said to be sick viewed the ceremony via a live stream from his Detroit suburban home. To me this should have been done long ago and about time!

Because what you heard on every single one of the Motown Hits you was the music behind the vocals and they were simply called The Funk Brothers. But what a sound they created. No one on this earth could ever duplicate them if they tried.

The were not only Detroit’s legends they were the worlds. They were musics magicians. Extraordinary talents each and every single one of them. And if I repeat myself more than one time on this blog so be it. It cannot be said enough times

This blog will honestly reiterate one I did honoring them on Jan. 2, 2012. Only I switched up what video auto-played. You will be hearing almost 4 hours of ex-tended Motown that features the artists and the music. (sadly already removed by YT)

13 Names….13 of the most outstanding individuals who ever created the most recognizable sound around this whole world totally together.

The Motown Sound and Epitome of Class.

Earl Van Dyke
Robert White
Joe Hunter
Johnny Griffith
Eddie Willis
Joe Messina
William “Benny” Benjamin
Richard “Pistol” Allen
Uriel Jones
The Best Bassist In The World “James Jamerson”
Bob Babbitt
Jack Ashford
Eddie “Bongo” Brown

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Alvin Lee of Ten Years After Goes Home To Heaven.

Alvin Lee_Ten Years After_Woodstock

What has come across the news wire within the last hours has more than saddened me. The death of 68-year-old guitarist Alvin Lee.

I may be going on 56 but in my mind I’m still that Woodstock Generation teenager. And the performance that this man gave at that concert of all concerts will forever be etched in my mind.

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Motown Monday Sadly Mourning Bobby Rogers of The Miracles.

Bobby Rogers _Motown

One of the founding members of the Miracles Bobby Rogers died Sunday from complications after a long battle with diabetes. It took the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame long enough to induct The Miracles, April of 2012 where Bobby was too sick to attend. He co-wrote not only some of the Miracles songs but other Motown groups and artists as well.

He was Claudette Rogers Robinson cousin and at one time married to Marvelettes singer Wanda Young.

He was a part of one the earliest successful groups of Motown who got the first million dollar record with Shop Around and will be sorely missed. Any part of this cities music legacy who passes leaves us with an emptiness, yet their music will continue to bring us joy making us feel that they will always live on.

Bobby Rogers was that joy. God Speed to his family, friends and the millions of fans that spanned over many generations.

 

Bobby Rogers & Mary Wilson

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Sunday Sinatra ~ The Main Event 1974

Sinatra _The Main Event 1974

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Sunday Sleep In ~ “Peace Piece” ~ Bill Evans

Released in 1958 off of Evan’s second album, “Everybody Digs Bill Evans”….. And everybody did.

The album did have the rest of his Trio, Philly Joe Jones – drums, Sam Jones – bass. But this song was a sit down first time completely unrehearsed improvisation. A melodic treasure.

This man played with everybody. But sadly had the demons and traits shared by so many other talented musicians. One tragedy after another yet their musical ability transcended excellence. Completely unexplanatory and leaving us surreal.

 

Bill Evans

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Through Thursday ~ “I Talk To The Wind” ~ King Crimson

King Crimson 1969

It makes more sense.

What an incredibly gifted band. We had many poets in the 1960s that spoke their souls. They didn’t have to lure us, we went in willing.

This first album was epic.

 

In The Court of the Crimson King 69'

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Tuesday Time Machine ~ “I Love You” ~ People

This San Jose California band had one very strange ride from start to finish. This 1968 cover of The Zombies song blasted the european charts to #1 while literally being held down by US radio industry rivalries who hated their manager Mikel Hunter.

Two radio station companies owned by Bill Gavin and Bill Drake were paid off to tell many radio stations and programmers that the song wasn’t going to be a hit and not to play it, but Hunter was a Jock. Black-balling him failed as the song made it into the mainstream by him and others anyway. “I Love You” went to #14 on Billboard Hot 100 & #13 on Cash Box Top 100,. It would have hit #1 here as well if not for all these lunatics.

In reality the band sadly became One Hit Wonders also because of their own label, Capital who refused to release 95% of their own songs they wrote themselves. Citing songs were about drugs and anti-vietnam. Capital was just to moderate for the Rock and Roll times of the late 60s.

Then the story gets even more bizarre as members of the band became involved with the Scientology Cult. Everyone that is others than the bands two singers Gene Mason & Larry Norman. Subsequently Norman quit the band as the song shot through the charts. “People” appeared on American Bandstand & The Tonight Show without him.

The group put out three albums that Capital finally released but never struck another chord like their 68′ hit.

They had one glory, sort of sad because they had one hell of a sound.

Their version exploded and fit in with the psychedelic sound coming out of California. A short nevertheless sweet ride for a while.

 

People 1968

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Friday At The Fillmore ~ “Pana” ~ Malo

Richard Bean was responsible for this great ensemble of players first hit, “Suavecito” which came with the 1972 release of their first self entitled band name album.

Malo featured a lot of talents, one of them Carlo Santana’s brother Jorge and a tremendous horn section. And of course with a lot of talents came a lot of clashes thus after it’s release many departed to play with others groups.

But not before this Fillmore West June 29, 1971 concert. It can be found on Welcome To The Fillmore (East / West) Volume 3 (1994).

Their very first album put them #14 on the US top 200 & #10 on US R&B. Their next three albums through 1974 with various players were also in the US top 200.

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Wednesday When It Was Music ~ “Angel Eyes” ~ Frank Sinatra

Old Blue Eyes

This performance was recorded in Dallas, October 24, 1987. It was released off the 1995 Sinatra 80th album.

In reality I fell in love with it in 1976 watching The Main Event and prefer that version with the Woody Herman Orchestra. But the sound quality of the versions I found from that TV special on YT were horrific.

No one I know could sing a song in an arena of thousands but make it sound as if it was in a shrunken down saloon as he described in that concert.

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Sunday Scattin’ and nobody does it better than “Lady Ella”!

They called this “Scat Medley”, I call it pure GENIUS!

Ella Fitzgerald was one of a kind. Her singing was the epitome of phrasing, range and entertainment excellence. But her Scatting was a Work Of Art that nobody could touch.

If this performance doesn’t put a smile on your face, you just plain don’t know what enjoyment is. She has been one missed artist but in reality we’ll always have The Queen Of Jazz.

 

Ella Fitzgerald Live at Montreux 1969

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Sunday “An American Prayer-“Not” (Full Track) ~ The Doors

There are young people among us that don’t realize that this entire song was done after Jim Morrison died.

The music written and adapted around 3 hours of Morrison’s poetry readings from March of 1969 & Dec. 8, 1970. Though Morrison himself approached Lalo Schifrin to write some experimental classical music to be applied to these poetry readings with little orchestration.

What Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore did is what they wanted to do with another artist’s work but the artist having died had no say in the matter. Some praise the song as a masterpiece but whose masterpiece is it?

It certainly wasn’t Jim Morrison’s. He wanted a completely different outcome to what he wrote. I encourage every single person who reads this blog to read the interview that took place with Paul Rothchild on July 3, 1981 with Bam Magazine. It is beyond blatantly honest

All of the site is copyrighted for a reason. So it can’t be used as excerpts telling another lie.

So here is the link.

http://archives.waiting-forthe-sun.net/Pages/Interviews/OtherInterviews/rothchild_bam.html

Jim Morrison was robbed from the grave. His work stolen.

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Wednesday ~ “Wake Me Up In The Morning” ~ Big Brother Ernie Joseph

This band is not associated with the wider known Big Brother Holding Company.

This band consisted of brothers Ernie, Colt & Ruben Orosco all going by different stage names with drummer Steve “D” Dunwoodle. Ernie was the oldest and was a part of prior bands: The Giant Crab & Ernie and the Emperors with different members before joining his brothers in 69′.

On this particular song I get a feel of a bit of “Traffic”. Nice laid back sound.

All the brothers were also multi instrumentalists.

Frankly their vocals and playing among other psychedelic era bands of that time were great and should have been wider known. They definitely held their own and seemed to play and open for some of the best acts of the day but always remained a California cult. Yet still touring today as the Brian Faith Band.

All together they produced 4 albums from 1968-70.

Anyway “Wake Me Up In The Morning” caught my attention with more than a worthy listen and a lot more recognition proving there were a lot of hidden gems.

Lyrics sadly and eerily still fit.

“In this world confusion lies within the hearts and minds..
The headline say’s no peace today with other games to play…”

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Friday Freak Flag Flying ~ “I Don’t Mind” ~ MC5

MC5 1965

Some Early Vintage MC5 aka Motor City Five
Recorded in 1965
Written by James Brown & Pete Shelley.

This recording amazingly sounds to me a little like The Beatles. Not many songs that James Brown & The Fabulous Flames did could ever be out done, but in reality I like the MC5 cover better. Or maybe because I’m also vintage Detroit. LOL

And the song of course was recorded here in Detroit pre-Electra days and with Pat Burrows on bass and Bob Gaspar on drums were also pre-Michael Davis and Dennis Thompson.

So yes there was music from the group prior to their initial release of 69′ Kick out The Jams. Although most unreleased until 1999 when a CD called 66 Breakout brought out to life the ones recorded during 1965-66 time period.

To me this showcased even more of their talent before they really got radical and loud. And before Robert Derminer turned into Tyner.

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Thursday Throwdown ~ The Beatles….1966 Tokyo, Japan

beatles_G_20101117044029

God I needed this…..
and they saved the best song for last.

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Sunday Synopsis ~ Dave Brubeck

Anybody can read Wiki, Time Magazine or one of a thousand articles on Dave Brubeck and give you more than outline of one fabulous career. Me, all I can do is tell you what his music personally meant to me. I did a blog the evening of his passing and I thought how incomplete. A few pictures and video’s and how I immensely enjoyed hearing him one final time in my life in 2007 at the Detroit Jazz Fest.

I loved music all my life, all genres. Blues my passion. But what I always sought for was the different sound that stood out from all the rest. Music done in different ways to capture an even more inner story of a song and that was Dave Brubeck. That’s what all his different time signatures in essence was really all about.

How to enhance and combine music to draw people into something they thought they were not or ever would be into. Jazz was around prior to Dave’s 59′ Time Out album, but a 5/4 never heard before musical time measure hadn’t and that is why Paul Desmond’s “Take Five” took them all in and the album in-which it came off became Jazz’s first million seller.

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Iconic Jazz Legend Dave Brubeck Final Gig “Heaven”.

dave-brubeck-detroit-jazz-festival-2007

And it’s for all of eternity.

It is with great sadness learning Dave died today. I had the absolute pleasure of seeing him in 2007 at the Detroit International Jazz Festival. I had always hoped to see him there in the future again but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

Seeing and hearing him in 07′ was like being in heaven for his playing never faltered one single note. He was telling the audience stories of incidents and concerts of the past, all with hilarious results. Dave had us laughing then when he started playing we witnessed a master of his art. By time he got to the last number “Take Five” we stood and ate up every single note and treasured every single moment we watched and heard from him.

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Saturday Slice of Pie ~ “For Your Love” ~ Humble Pie

Steve Marriott, Greg Ridley, Peter Frampton and Jerry Shirley.

This unplugged session took place two years (1969) before the best Live concert of all time “Performance Rockin’ The Fillmore (1971) was ever done. It showed how masterful Steve Marriott really was without the amps and how all the members just mixed together perfectly. From Small Faces to Pie and beyond. The man was raw, pure soul to the core.

The Yardbirds made the song famous but Humble Pie’s style made it a classic.

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Wednesday When It Was Music ~ “Canto Triste” ~ Sérgio Mendes and Brasil ’66

I could have selected so many songs from this group with obvious titles that people instantaneously associated with Sérgio Mendes and Brasil ’66. Notably “Mas Que Nada” from their first album and their very successful 68′ version of “The Look Of Love” (Janis Hansen – vocals) off the third. But it would be this beautifully arranged and orchestrated conducted piece by Dave Grusin.

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Saturday “Cold Rain” ~ Blues Company (Germany)

This band has been the best long running blues bands that ever came out of not only Germany but Europe. Starting in 1976 and co-founded by Todor Todorovic they’ve backed U.S. bluesmen Billy Boy Arnold, James Booker, Eddie (Cleanhead) Vinson and others for European dates. They released their first album in 1977.

Since 99′ they added some horns as in BC Horns. Though the first video states Blues Company & BC Horns. Only the members of Blues Company are actually playing. Cold Rain is just one of their own compositions. Research this band there’s a ton more.

As I’ve said a thousand times, Blues is a feeling that comes from within the soul and played out through the heart. We know where it started. I’m just glad it’s still being kept alive. And you can hear, see & feel Todorovic’s showmanship and passion.

Nobody plays the blues for 36 years without loving it.

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