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Category Archives: Music, From Way Back When to Now

Great finds around the WWW – with videos where possible

Eargasm! International Jazz Day at the White House

Got to work on my political connections and see if I can get an invite to one of these before President Obama leaves! Music at the White House under Obama has gone to entirely new heights. Catch ReRe’s rendition of “Purple Rain” about 3/4 through. The 2016 All-Star Global Concert features a cast of internationally renowned jazz artists including pianists Joey Alexander, John Beasley (Music Director), Kris Bowers, Chick Corea, Robert Glasper, Herbie Hancock, Danilo Pérez and Chucho Valdés; trumpeters Terence Blanchard, Till Brönner, Hugh Masekela and James Morrison; vocalists Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jamie Cullum, Kurt Elling, Aretha Franklin, Al Jarreau, Diana Krall, Dianne Reeves and Sting; saxophonists Eli Degibri, David Sánchez, Wayne Shorter, Sadao Watanabe and Bobby Watson; bassists Christian McBride, Marcus Miller, Esperanza Spalding and Ben Williams; guitarists Buddy Guy, Lionel Loueke, Pat Metheny and Lee Ritenour; drummers Brian Blade, Terri Lyne Carrington and Kendrick Scott; percussionist Zakir Hussain; trombonist Trombone Shorty; and the Rebirth Brass Band.

It just don’t get any better than this!

 
 

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Billy Paul – 1936-2016

Philly R&B Crooner Billy Paul, whose hit single “Me and Mrs Jones” was a huge hit has passed.

Billy Paul, soul singer best known for Me and Mrs Jones, dies

Billy Paul, the soul singer best known for the number one hit and Philadelphia soul classic, Me and Mrs Jones, has died aged 80.

Paul, whose career spanned for more than 60 years, died at his home in Blackwood, New Jersey, his co-manager, Beverly Gay, told Associated Press. Paul, 80, had been diagnosed recently with pancreatic cancer, Gay said.

Known for his beard and large glasses, Paul was one of many singers who found success with the writing and producing team of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, whose Philadelphia International Records also released music by the O’Jays, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, and Lou Rawls.

Martha Reeves, the Motown singer, was among those who paid tribute on social media.

Me and Mrs Jones, which reached number one in the US at the end of 1972 and number 12 in the UK, was an extramarital confession and a characteristic Gamble and Huff production, setting Paul’s thick tenor against a lush and sensuous arrangement. Many fans best remember the moment when Paul’s otherwise subtle vocals jump as they reach the title words, stretching out “Me” and “And” into multiple syllables and repeating “Mrs Jones, Mrs Jones, Mrs Jones.” (Paul himself was married to the same woman for decades).

Paul’s voice made him “one of the great artists to come out of Philly and to be celebrated worldwide”, Gamble and Huff said in a statement late Sunday.

“Our proudest moment with Billy was the recording of the salacious smash Me and Mrs Jones. In our view, it is one of the greatest love songs ever recorded,” they said.

My favorite cover of Paul’s hit song was by the Dramatics in the Old Style of group R&B…

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Pirate Radio is Back

In the 60’s and 70’s there were a number of Pirate Radio Stations in the US – especially in New York City, where the maze of buildings, and low power transmissions typically limited the area in which the station could be heard to a few blocks. In those days, many of the Stations were either black, of broadcasting alternatives to the “Top 40” repetitive format broadcast by the licensed stations. Driving though New York you could pick up a marvelous tapestry of music you could never hear on commercial radio, as well as local talk shows dealing with issues in a specific community.

Starting with WHUR (Howard University Radio) in Washington DC, there was a 5 year trend to broaden the spectrum of music on the airwaves by licensed stations. HUR rocked the industry initially with a format that mixed every genre of black music in a commercial free format. The station was forced by economic needs to cave to commercial advertising in 1976, ending the fabulous experiment, and significantly narrowing the station’s playlist and style.

A Pirate Radio Station can be pretty small, and set up on a low budget.

With the elimination of local ownership rules by Republicans under Raygun, there was a massive consolidation of ownership of stations across the country, enabling behemoth’s like Clear Channel to own the majority of the airwaves, the rise of right wing talk, and the homogenization of playlists across the country. The consolidation killed local music, as well as the regional flavor of music across the country. Those appreciating music from the pre 80’s era will remember Atlantic Records and Southern Soul, Motown with it’s distinctive sound, and Philly Soul among others. Driving from region to region often presented an entirely different group of artists and sound palate. A combination of radio ownership consolidation, which was driven principally for political reasons, and the MTV-ization of America destroyed this creative landscape. And in the age of Hip-Hop – there are still some regional distinctions – to the exclusion of anything else.

Today’s Pirate Stations are driven principally by Immigrants, who are largely locked out of the broadcast community by a combination of cost, and audience size. Digital Broadcast Radio, once seen as a panacea for broadcasting is largely dead due to poor broadcast capabilities resulting in an inability to lock on to a station (poor coverage, much like the Digital TV failure), and the need for specialized equipment. Broadcast over the Internet has become hugely popular, but for poor communities, begs the issue of being able to afford an Internet Connection in the first place.

In Internet age, pirate radio arises as surprising challenge

In the age of podcasts and streaming services, you might think pirate radio is low on the list of concerns of federal lawmakers and broadcasters. You’d be wrong.

They’re increasingly worried about its presence in some cities as unlicensed broadcasters commandeer frequencies to play anything from Trinidadian dance music to Haitian call-in shows. And they complain the Federal Communications Commission can’t keep up with the pirates, who can block listeners from favorite programs or emergency alerts for missing children and severe weather.

Helped along by cheaper technology, the rogue stations can cover several blocks or several square miles. Most broadcast to immigrant communities that pirate radio defenders say are underserved by licensed stations.

“The DJs sound like you and they talk about things that you’re interested in,” said Jay Blessed, an online DJ who has listened to various unlicensed stations since she moved from Trinidad to Brooklyn more than a decade ago.

“You call them up and say, ‘I want to hear this song,’ and they play it for you,” Blessed said. “It’s interactive. It’s engaging. It’s communal.”

Last year, nearly three dozen congressional members from the New York region urged the FCC to do more about what they called the “unprecedented growth of pirate radio operations.” So did the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, which said pirates undermine licensed minority stations while ignoring consumer protection laws that guard against indecency and false advertising.

The New York State Broadcasters Association estimates that 100 pirates operate in the New York City area alone, carrying programs in languages from Hebrew to Gaelic to Spanish. Many also broadcast in and around Miami and Boston; FCC enforcement data shows agents have gone after at least one pirate in nearly every state in the past decade.

The FCC has been discussing possible solutions, such as penalizing pirate radio advertisers, and last month urged landlords and government officials to look out for rogue broadcasters.

The alleged pirates include Jean Yves Tullias, a barber living in Irvington, about 15 miles from New York. The FCC claims he appropriated an unused frequency to broadcast his show, which includes church services, gospel music and a call-in program for fellow Haitians.

Tullias denies any wrongdoing. Cutting hair recently at his barbershop, he said a friend broadcast his Internet radio show without telling him he used a pirated frequency.

Tullias, 44, started his show because the local Haitian community “had no communication, nobody to help them,” he said.

“When you get that radio station, that prayer line, you feel comfortable,” he said of older listeners who speak little English and feel isolated. “You feel happy.”

Broadcasters are increasingly concerned because the FCC has gone after fewer pirates in recent years. The commission issued more than 100 warnings and fines against alleged pirates last year, compared with more than 400 in 2010.

That number fell despite a “significant increase” in the number of pirate stations, tallied by David Donovan, president of the New York State Broadcasters Association.

Donovan said the signals interfere with the Emergency Alert System, which relies on a phone-tree-like chain of stations listening to one another. Listeners also can’t hear the alerts, he said.

In his response to lawmakers’ concerns, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler cited a stagnant budget and its smallest staff in 30 years. Fines and seizures are not enough, he added, because pirates often refuse to pay and quickly replace transmitters and inexpensive antennas.

For about $750, pirates can buy equipment to broadcast at a range of at least 1 or 2 miles, experts say….More Here

 

 

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‘black people are all one-dimensional’ rappers

Seems this guy has been inside a deep dark closet for a bit too long…

‘Not racist’ L.A. Guns singer misses Prince because ‘black people are all one-dimensional’ rappers

Phil Lewis, the lead singer for L.A. Guns, paid tribute to Prince over the weekend by insulting the African-American artists as “one-dimensional” rappers.

“I don’t wanna bum you out, you know who just died,” Lewis told a crowd at Fish Head Cantina in Arbutus, Maryland, according to Metal Insider. “I remember when we were working on Cocked & Loaded, we were on tour, and they said there was a venue that we could play in Minnesota.”

“And I didn’t know too much about it at the time. But after I saw the [Purple Rain] movie, and I got it; I was with the program.”

“We were all into that Prince, right?! Purple Rain,” Lewis continued. “It was so cool, because, you know, you had all your heavy shit, and then you had the pop shit, and there was Prince doing his own f*cking thing.”

The L.A. Guns singer argued that the “problem is, right now — and I’m not gonna be a racist about it — but black people are all one-dimensional.”

“We need more Princes, man,” he opined. “We need less f*cking rappers and more people like Prince. There, I said it.”

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Marian Anderson – On the $5 Bill

Marian Anderson was born in 1897. She was a classically trained singer in the operatic style. She was the first black singer in 1955 yo join the NY Metropolitan Opera.

A Biography –

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Prince RIP

An incredible one here with Larry Graham

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Prince Dead – Prince Rogers Nelson 1958-2016

A shock. At 57 years of age, Prince Rogers Nelson was found dead at his home.

Prince, the legendary musician who brought us countless hits, such as “Purple Rain” and “When Doves Cry,” has died. He was 57.

The singer’s publicist confirmed the tragic news to The Huffington Post on Thursday.

“It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57,” the rep said in a statement. “There are no further details as to the cause of death at this time.”

TMZ was the first to report the news.

Earlier this week, the performer was treated for the flu aft er his plane made an emergency landing.

A representative for Prince told TMZ that the singer was feeling under the weather during his shows last week and began to feel worse on the plane. After the emergency landing, he was treated at a hospital and released three hours later.

Born Prince Rogers Nelson (after the Prince Roger Trio) on June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the multi-talented performer has been called “one of the most naturally gifted artists of all time,” by Rolling Stone.

Prince was first signed to a record deal with Warner Brother Records when he was just a teenager. In 1978, he released his debut album, “For You,” followed by “Dirty Mind” in 1980 and “Controversy in ‘81.

But it was his 1982 album, “1999,” that really thrust Prince into the spotlight. The album, which went platinum, featured the Top 10 singles “Little Red Corvette,” “Delirious,” and of course, “1999.”

In 1984, Prince starred in “Purple Rain,” a film for which he created the soundtrack and original score. The artist won an Academy Award for Best original Song Score and the film took home the award for Best Original Musical. “Purple Rain,” the album, which featured the songs “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy” (as well as the title track), spent 24 weeks on the top of the chart and sold over 13 million copies.

The artist would go on to act in a number of other films, including “Under the Cherry Moon” (1986) and “Graffiti Bridge” (1990), and appear in a 2014 episode of “New Girl.”

By 1989, with the release of his 11th album, “Batman,” Prince had become one of the most successful pop artists in America. He gained success at a time when stars like Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson were dominating the industry, yet thanks to his ability to constantly transform, he managed to carve out a unique spot for himself.

Prince went so far as to change his name to the unpronounceable symbol O(+> in 1993, which Rolling Stone dubbed one of “the boldest career moves in rock history.” The artist used the moniker until 2000. Fans and media alike were confused by the symbol, and often referred to the singer as “the artist formerly known as Prince.” The icon famously referenced his symbolic name with his guitar during his epic Super Bowl Performance years later in 2007. The performance is hands down one of the most memorable in Super Bowl history.

After a few years of staying out of the spotlight, Prince performed at the Grammys with Beyonce in February 2004. The two played a medley of hits, including his “Purple Rain” and “Let’s Go Crazy,” along with Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love.” The following month, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Prince also released the Grammy Award-winning album “Musicology” in 2004, with the accompanying Musicology Live 2004ever tour, which grossed a whopping $87.4 million.

 

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