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Category Archives: Music, From Way Back When to Now

Great finds around the WWW – with videos where possible

Chuck Berry Early Rock and Roll Great

Rock and Roll legend Chuck Berry passed yesterday at the age of 90. His music shaped Rock and Roll for decades.

“There’s only one true king of rock ‘n’ roll,” said Stevie Wonder. “His name is Chuck Berry.”

The Chicago bluesman, who has died aged 90, basically invented rock.

Sure, there were other contributors: Bill Haley’s northern band rock ‘n’roll; Pat Boone and his New Orleans dance blues; and Berry’s label mate at Chess Records, Bo Diddley.

But no-one else shaped the instrumental voice and lyrical attitude of rock like Chuck. His recordings were lean, modern and thrilling. In the words of pop critic Bob Stanley, “they sounded like the tail fins on Cadillacs”.

He was the first to admit he drew inspiration from days of old. “There is really nothing new under the sun,” he said in the mid-1980s tribute film Hail, Hail Rock ‘n’ Roll – citing the likes of T-Bone Walker and Charlie Christian as his forebears.

Even the famous “Chuck Berry guitar riff“, which opened hits like Maybellene and Johnny B. Goode, was lifted – by his own admission – from a Louis Jordan record.

What he did with those influences, though, was something else. He gave country the bite of the blues, writing defiant odes to cars and girls at a time when rock lyrics were all Tutti Frutti and A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop.

As Brian Wilson said, he wrote “all of the great songs and came up with all the rock and roll beats”.

“He laid down the law,” added Eric Clapton.

 

The biggest knock on Chuck Berry is he typically performed with pickup bands. As such, the quality of his live performances varied wildly – often not to the good. In this video, he does his classic “Nadine”, backed up by Kieth Richards of the Rolling Stones.

 

Lastly, and interview with Johnny Carson in 1987…

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2017 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Music – Booker T. (Formerly of the MGs, and his Hammond 17

I remember as a kid when Hammond Organs were the staple of a number of local bands. There was nothing at the time that generated to deep base notes. Two of the most famous Hammond playing musicians were Booker T. Jones and Jimmy Smith. When the band got hot, and the Hammond started heating up, was about as good as it got back in the day. The Hammond pre-dated transistor technology, and used Vacuum Tubes, mechanical coils, and an oil trough which made a sound far more complex than today’s digital synthesizers.

Takes me back…

 

And not to leave him out, Jimmy Smith in 1964 –

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2017 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Al Jarreau…

One of the truly greats passed yesterday… Had seen him in concert at least half a dozen times through the years. His voice had a range and versatility beyond anyone else in the Jazz and Fusion arena.

My personal favorite song by Al Jarreau –

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2017 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Lapse of Judgement…Jennifer Holliday

Hmmmmm… What Time Capsule you been in, Jennifer? Seems to me there are a few other folks you need to apologize to.

Jennifer Holliday Backs Out of Trump Inauguration

Singer Jennifer Holliday has pulled out of performing at Donald Trump’s inauguration and apologized to LGBT fans over what she called a “lapse of judgment” made clear to her by a Daily Beast article. The Grammy award-winning singer released an open letter on Saturday apologizing for being “uneducated on the issues that affect every American at this crucial time in history and for causing such dismay and heartbreak to my fans.” “In light of the information pointed out to me via the Daily Beast article on yesterday, my only choice must now be to stand with the LGBT Community and to state unequivocally that I will not perform for the welcome concert or for any of the inauguration festivities!” she wrote.

 

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Well Wishes for Tower of Power’s Garibaldi and Van Wageningen

Two members of the Tower of Power band were hit by a train this morning, and are hospitalized. Prayers and well wishes for a recovery.

Two members of famed R&B group Tower of Power hit by train

Two members of Tower of Power, a group that has been an R&B institution for nearly 50 years, were hit by a train as they walked across tracks before a performance in their hometown of Oakland, but both survived, their publicist said.

Calling it an “unfortunate accident,” publicist Jeremy Westby said in a statement that drummer David Garibaldi and bass player Marc van Wageningen are “responsive and being treated at a local hospital.”

Garibaldi has been with the group since 1970. Van Wageningen is substituting as bass player.

“We are monitoring their situation directly with the hospital,” band manager Tom Consolo said. “We will update everyone tomorrow but for tonight we ask that you send your prayers.”

Without identifying them, the Oakland Fire Department said that two pedestrians were hit by a passenger train at Jack London Square about 7:30 p.m. Thursday and taken to a hospital.

The accident was near Yoshi’s, a jazz and R&B club where the group had been scheduled to play two shows Thursday night. Both were canceled.

Yoshi’s General Manager Hal Campos told CBS San Francisco Bay Area he called 911 and stayed with the two injured men until help came. They were both unconscious and appeared to have broken bones, Campos said.

“We don’t know if they didn’t hear the train. We don’t know how this tragedy happened but we’re very, very sad about this. The band is emotionally destroyed … all of us worked with them for days now and many years, it’s really sad,” Campos said.

It wasn’t clear why the men were on the tracks, but pedestrians often need to cross them in the area with trains running across and in between streets, including right outside Yoshi’s.

Tower of Power, a band of about a dozen members, most of them horns, has been beloved members of the R&B and pop communities since forming in Oakland in 1968. The group and its rotating cast of musicians have recorded behind many far more famous names including Elton John, Otis Redding, Aerosmith and Santana.

They were also a national TV fixture in the 1980s with frequent appearances on “Late Night With David Letterman.”

Tributes and well wishes were quickly emerging on Twitter, including one from pop star and drummer Sheila E., who tweeted “Pleez pray for my frenz.”

From back in the day….

And live in 2012 –

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2017 in Music, From Way Back When to Now, News

 

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KKK Members Renounce Membership After Meeting Black Musician

The amazing story of Darryl Davis, a well known black musician who reached out to KKK Members – and through taking and developing relationships has caused a number of KKK Members to renounce the KKK, and their racist beliefs. Proving you can deprogram bigots from the constant stream of racism from Fox News and Brietbart by showing them the truth.

 

Darryl Davis, a renowned black American blues musician, took the initiative to reach out to members of the Ku Klux Klan, the US white supremacist organisation, which has led to more than 200 leaving the group.

Klan members leave the KKK after befriending black musician

He has travelled across the country, sometimes with ex-KKK members, to give lectures aimed at curbing racism.

Davis has written a book on the KKK called Klandestine Relationships. And an award-winning documentary about his unique efforts to combat racial hatred – Accidental Courtesy – is set to be aired across the United States in February.

Hate acts have been on the rise in the US since president-elect Donald Trump, who made many statements against minority groups during the election campaign, saw a drastic rise in popularity last year.

Davis talked to Al Jazeera about his journey in confronting the KKK, and what Trump’s election means for the country.

Al Jazeera: What inspired you to reach out to the KKK? Davis: My parents worked in the US foreign service so I was an American embassy brat. I spent a lot of my youth in the 1960s living overseas and when I attended schools abroad my classmates were from around the world.

At that time there was not that kind of diversity at home in the US. When I would come back to the US I would be in all black schools or black-and-white newly integrated schools.

When I was overseas I felt like I was living 12 to 15 years ahead of my time, and when I came back home I did not understand why people had a problem with skin tone.It was the norm for me, but not my country.

One time I was attacked because of the colour of my skin. And that made me ask: How can you hate me when you don’t even know me? No one had been able to answer it.

So who better to ask that question than those who hate others that do not look like them? I reached out to Klan members all over the country. Right here in the state of Maryland where I live, I would put out these questions, but was never set out to change anybody and never under the impression they could be.

I wanted to know why they made a judgement on my ability to learn and work … and why they assumed we all sold drugs, raped white women, or were on wellfare.

Over a course of time, a number of them began shedding their racist ideologies and left the Klan.

I have changed a number of hearts and minds by having these conversations. They started to see me as a human being, as someone who wants the same as them.

If you sit with your worst enemy for five minutes, you will find out you have something in common and if for 10 minutes, you will discover more similarities.

If you build on those commonalties, the things you do not have in common matter less and friendship can be formed. Even if you disagree – and this has to do with all matters, whether its about abortion or whatever – when two enemies are talking they are not fighting.

They may be yelling and fighting to make a point. But without talking the ground may be fertile for violence.

The problem is that in the US media, people talk about each other or at each other but not with each other. People refuse to do that. Many will hide behind social media, but they will not sit and meet with the person.

 Al Jazeera: How many KKK members left the group because of your efforts? Davis: I know that I have directly been the impetus for up to 40 Klan members leaving and indirectly for about 200 others.

I continue to get emails from those who I don’t even know after they hear me speak or read my book.

The leader of the KKK’s Maryland branch and I became friends. After he and his top members quit, their group fell apart here.

There is no more organised racist organisation in Maryland.

Al Jazeera: What type of conversations would you have with them and what did you learn from that? Davis: I would find out why the joined the Klan, what their goals were, and what their educational background was.

And what you find out is this that the common thread is hatred and ignorance. In terms of education and jobs, they are all over the board.

They come from all walks of life: college dropouts, lawyers, and doctors. We even had presidents who were KKK members.

Al Jazeera: What do you think about Donald Trump’s impact on racism in the country?Davis: I think Donald Trump is the best thing that happened to the country. He is not the best choice for the presidency.

But as a residual effect of the election all these racist people are coming out and making themselves known.

America is hypocritical because we deny racism exists. Now they can no longer deny it. Now we are seeing “KKK” spray painted on peoples cars. Talks on racism have been taboo, but now more conversations about it are starting.

You can not solve any problem unless you see it and then you can talk about it. This country did not want to address racism. Well, now they are seeing it and are obligated to address it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIrmHV_xqKE

 

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Letting You Mouth End Your Career – Kim Burrell

The rather cruel thing here is Gospel singer Kim Burrell was speaking to a congregation of folks who probably believe just as she does.Her is her rant about the KGBT community –

Now, Kim makes her living by singing Gospel music. A living which depends on people who can advance her career, and are willing to buy or sell her music. A lot of those folks are gay. Her tirade here was two days before she was scheduled to appear on the Ellen Degeneres Show, Ellen being one of the most prominent Lesbian performers and activists in the country.

So, Kim your hypocrisy is the excuse of religion in wanting LGBT people to all die, but its OK to try and make some money off that group of people and advance your career…before they do.

What I would call a “Career Limiting” performance. Obviously you missed the assembly station …Where God passed our brain cells.

And to be brutally honest – Kim didn’t do too well at the “Singing” station either.

Gospel singer canceled by Ellen after she was caught in homophobic rant now loses radio show

Kim Burrell’s career took another hit Wednesday after it was announced the gospel singer who was recorded in the midst of a homophobic rant is losing her radio program.

Texas Southern University canceled Burrell’s program, “Bridging the Gap,” which debuted on KTSU in June 2016.

“The Kim Burrell show is no longer airing as part of KTSU Radio programming,” Texas Southern University said in a statement.

A video of Burrell surfaced on New Years Eve featuring the singer—who’s performed with the likes of Pharrell and Frank Ocean—railing against “the perverted homosexual spirit” at the Love & Liberty Fellowship Church in Houston.

“That perverted homosexual spirit, and the spirit of delusion and confusion, it has deceived many men and women,” she said. “You as a man, you open your mouth and take a man’s penis in your face, you are perverted. You are a woman and will shake your face in another woman’s breast, you are perverted.”

Burrell was supposed to appear on Ellen Degeneres’s show Thursday, but the comedian—who was recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in part, for her courage to come out in public almost 20 years ago—told fans the singer would not be attending. She was slated to perform “I See A Victory” with Pharrell.

Instead, Pharrell sat down with Degeneres solo and issues a powerful rebuke of Burrell’s remarks:

“There’s no space, there’s no room for any kind of prejudice in 2017 and moving on … We all have to get used to everyone’s differences and understand that this is a big, gigantic, beautiful, colorful world, and it only works with inclusion and empathy. It only works that way.

Whenever you hear some sort of hate speech and you feel like it doesn’t pertain to you because you may not have anything to do with that, all you got to do is put the word black in that sentence, or put gay in that sentence, or put transgender in that sentence, or put white in that sentence, and all of the sudden it starts to make sense to you.”

“I’m telling you, the world is a beautiful place but it does not work without empathy and inclusion. God is love. This Universe is love and that’s the only way it will function. And I get it that sometimes some of the divisive stuff works. We learned that lesson last year that divisiveness works. But you have to choose what side you’re on. I’m choosing empathy; I’m choosing inclusion; I’m choosing love for everybody just trying to lift everyone. Even when I disagree with someone, I’m wishing them the best and hoping for the best because we can’t win the other way.”

 

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