Posts Tagged ‘Ska’

In Memoriam: 2016

Monday, December 26th, 2016

Merle Haggard, 1937-2016

Listen to a selection of these artists on Spotify

January
Tony Lane, art director (Rolling Stone) and album cover designer
Brad Fuller, composer and music director (Atari)
Paul Bley, jazz pianist
Jason Mackenroth, rock drummer (Mother Superior, Rollins Band)
Long John Hunter, blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter
Georgette Twain Seiff, hall-of-fame banjo player
Robert Stigwood, manager and film producer
Nicholas Caldwell, R&B vocalist (The Whispers) and songwriter (“Lady”)
Elizabeth Swados, writer, composer and theater director (“Runaways”)
Alfredo “Chocolate” Armenteros, jazz and salsa trumpeter
Pat Harrington Jr., actor and comedy recording artist (Some Like it Hip!)
Kitty Kallen, vocalist (“It’s Been a Long, Long Time”)
Troy Shondell, pop vocalist (“This Time (We’re Really Breaking Up)”)
Otis Clay, soul vocalist (“Trying to Live My Life Without You”)
Red Simpson, country vocalist and songwriter
Brett Smiley, glam rock vocalist (“Va Va Va Voom”)
Ed Stewart, radio broadcaster and television presenter (Top of the Pops)
David Bowie, vocalist and songwriter
Joe Moscheo, gospel vocalist (The Imperials) and industry executive
Giorgio Gomelsky, club owner, manager, producer and label owner
Hoyt Scoggins, country and rockabilly vocalist and songwriter
René Angélil, impresario and manager (Celine Dion)
Noreen Corcoran, actress (Bachelor Father) and vocalist (“Love Kitten”)
Pete Huttlinger, guitar virtuoso
Gary Loizzo, pop vocalist and guitarist (The American Breed)
Clarence “Blowfly” Reid, musician, songwriter and producer
Mic Gillette, brass player (Tower of Power)
Dale Griffin, rock drummer (Mott the Hoople)
Ramblin’ Lou Schriver, radio broadcaster, musician and concert promoter
Glenn Frey, vocalist, songwriter and guitarist (The Eagles)
Andrew Johnson, album cover artist (The The)
Jimmy Bain, rock bassist (Dio, Rainbow)
Joe Esposito, road manager (Elvis Presley) and Memphis Mafia member
Colin “Black” Vearncombe, vocalist and songwriter (“Wonderful Life”)
William E. Martin, songwriter (Monkees), screenwriter and voice actor
Signe Toly Anderson, vocalist (Jefferson Airplane)
Paul Kantner, vocalist, songwriter and guitarist (Jefferson Airplane)
Billy Faier, banjo player

February
Maurice White, vocalist, songwriter and producer (Earth, Wind & Fire)
Leslie Bassett, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer
Bobby Caldwell, keyboardist (Terry Knight and the Pack)
Joe Dowell, pop vocalist (“Wooden Heart”)
Jimmy Haskell, arranger, composer, producer and bandleader
Ray Colcord, film and television composer, producer and musician
Dan Hicks, vocalist and songwriter
Sam Spence, composer (NFL Films)
Obrey Wilson, soul vocalist (“Hey There Mountain”)
Rick Wright, country guitarist (Connie Smith)
Roy Harris, British folk vocalist
Kim Williams, country songwriter (“Three Wooden Crosses”)
L.C. Ulmer, blues musician
Denise “Vanity” Matthews, vocalist (Vanity 6), actress and evangelist
Joyce Paul, country vocalist (“Phone Call to Mama”)
Ray West, Emmy and Oscar-winning sound engineer (Star Wars)
Paul Gordon, keyboardist and composer
Brendan Healy, actor and musician (Goldie, Lindesfarne)
Vi Subversa, vocalist and guitarist (Poison Girls)
Charlie Tuna, radio broadcaster (KHJ, KROQ, KIIS, KBIG)
Buck Rambo, gospel vocalist
Sonny James, country vocalist and songwriter
Lennie Baker, vocalist and saxophonist (Danny & The Juniors, Sha Na Na)
John Chilton, jazz trumpeter and music historian
Craig Windham, radio broadcaster (NPR)

March
Gayle McCormick, vocalist (Smith ”Baby It’s You”)
Martha Wright, vocalist and actress (South Pacific, The Sound of Music)
Gavin Christopher, R&B vocalist and songwriter
Joey Feek, country vocalist (Joey + Rory)
Chip Hooper, agent (Phish, Dave Matthews Band)
Ireng Maulana, jazz guitarist
Joe Cabot, jazz trumpeter
Bruce Geduldig, synthesist and filmmaker (Tuxedomoon)
Timothy Makaya, jazz guitarist
Ross Hannaford, rock guitarist (Daddy Cool)
Ron Jacobs, radio broadcaster (Boss Radio KHJ, American Top 40)
Sir George Martin, producer
Jon English, musician and actor
Ray Griff, country vocalist
John Morthland, music journalist
Naná Vasconcelos, Latin jazz percussionist
Ernestine Anderson, jazz vocalist
Keith Emerson, progressive rock keyboardist
Gogi Grant, pop vocalist
Ben Bagdikian, educator, journalist and media critic
Ben Edmonds, music journalist
Louis Meyers, promoter (co-founder of SXSW) and manager
Tommy Brown, R&B vocalist (The Griffin Brothers)
Lee Andrews, doo-wop vocalist and father of Questlove
Frank Sinatra Jr., vocalist and actor, son of Frank Sinatra
Steve Young, country vocalist and songwriter (“Seven Bridges Road”)
David Egan, songwriter and pianist
Ned Miller, country vocalist and songwriter
Terry James Johnson, drummer (Bar-Kays) and clinical psychologist
Phife Dawg, rapper (A Tribe Called Quest)
James Jamerson Jr., R&B bassist (Chanson)
Jimmy Riley, reggae musician (The Sensations and the Uniques)
David Baker, symphonic jazz composer, musician and educator
Wally Crouter, Canadian radio legend (CFRB)
Patty Duke, actress and vocalist
Andy Newman, pianist (Thunderclap Newman)
Larry Payton, drummer (Brass Construction)

April
Gato Barbieri, jazz saxophonist
Don Francks, jazz musician and actor
Bill Henderson, jazz vocalist and actor
Carlo Mastrangelo, doo-wop and progressive rock vocalist
Dorothy Schwartz, pop vocalist (The Chordettes)
Leon Haywood, soul and funk vocalist
Dennis Davis, rock drummer (David Bowie)
Merle Haggard, country vocalist, guitarist and songwriter
Jimmie Van Zant, southern rock musician, cousin of Ronnie Van Zant
Earl Solomon Burroughs, musician and songwriter (“Great Balls of Fire”)
Jim Ridley, editor, critic and journalist (Nashville Scene)
Tony Conrad, experimental musician
Doug Banks, radio broadcaster (KDAY, KFI, KDIA)
Emile Ford, pop musician and sound engineer
David Gest, producer and former husband of Liza Minnelli
Gib Guilbeau, country-rock musician (Nashville West)
Filthy McNasty, nightclub owner
Mariano Mores, Argentine tango composer, pianist and conductor
Phil Sayer, British voice artist (“Mind the Gap”)
Vandy Anderson, radio broadcaster (KULF, KGBC)
Elliot Spitzer, radio executive (WLIR-FM)
Lord Tanamo, ska and mento musician
Richard Lyons, culture jammer (Negativland)
Pete Zorn, multi-instrumentalist (Richard Thompson Band)
Victoria Wood, actress, vocalist and songwriter
Lonnie Mack, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter (“Wham”)
Prince, vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist
Billy Paul, R&B vocalist (“Me & Mrs. Jones”)
Remo Belli, jazz drummer and inventor of the synthetic drumhead
Harrison Calloway, musician and bandleader (Muscle Shoals Horns)

May
Candye Kane, blues and swing vocalist and songwriter
John Stabb, punk rock vocalist (Government Issue)
Peter Behrens, drummer (Trio)
Tony Gable, percussionist and graphic designer
Julius La Rosa, pop vocalist
Buster Cooper, jazz trombonist
Bill Backer, jingle writer (“I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”)
Tony Barrow, press officer (The Beatles)
Johnny Sea, country vocalist (“Day For Decision”)
Emilio Navaira, tejano and country vocalist, guitarist and songwriter
Guy Clark, singer and songwriter
John Berry, punk rock guitarist (Beastie Boys)
James King, bluegrass musician
Nick Menza, rock drummer (Megadeth)
Marshall Jones, bassist (Ohio Players)
Floyd Robinson, country vocalist and songwriter (“Makin’ Love”)
Rick Vanaugh, country drummer (The Time Jumpers)

June
Alan Wise, promoter and manager (Factory Records)
Muhammed Ali, boxer and spoken word artist (“I Am the Greatest”)
Mac Cocker, radio broadcaster (Australia’s Double J)
Mark Parenteau, radio broadcaster (WBCN)
Dave Swarbrick, violinist, vocalist and songwriter (Fairport Convention)
Bobby Curtola, Canadian teen idol (“Hand in Hand With You”)
Dan Sorkin, radio broadcaster (WCFL, KFRC, KSFO)
Brian Rading, rock bassist (Five Man Electrical Band)
Christina Grimmie, vocalist and songwriter (The Voice)
Chips Moman, songwriter and producer
Henry McCullough, rock guitarist (Grease Band, Spooky Tooth, Wings)
Charles Thompson, jazz pianist and organist
Attrell Cordes, hip-hop, soul and R&B artist (P.M. Dawn)
Tenor Fly, rapper and ragga vocliast
Bill Ham, manager, producer and songwriter (ZZ Top)
”Dandy” Dan Daniel, radio broadcaster (WMCA, WYNY, WCBS)
Wayne Jackson, R&B trumpeter (Mar-Keys, Memphis Horns)
Freddy Powers, country songwriter and producer
Leo Brennan, Irish musical patriarch
Harry Rabinowitz, conductor (Chariots of Fire) and composer (I, Claudius)
Dr. Ralph Stanley, mountain music banjoist, vocalist and songwriter
Bernie Worrell, keyboardist and composer (Parliament-Funkadelic)
Mack Rice, songwriter (“Mustang Sally” “Respect Yourself”)
Scotty Moore, rock ‘n’ roll guitarist
Rob Wasserman, bassist
Don Friedman, jazz pianist

July
Teddy Rooney, actor, musician and son of Mickey Rooney
Bob Goldstone, music industry executive (Thirty Tigers)
William Hawkins, poet and songwriter
Danny Smythe, rock drummer (The Box Tops)
Vaughn Harper, radio broadcaster (WBLS “The Quiet Storm”)
Carole Switala, vocalist and puppeteer (Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood)
Steve Young, musician (Colourbox, MARRS) and songwriter
Johnny Craviotto, rock drummer and drum maker
Charles Davis, jazz saxophonist
Bonnie Brown, country vocalist (The Browns)
Alan Vega, vocalist, songwriter (Suicide) and visual artist
Claude Williamson, jazz pianist
Gary S. Paxton, vocalist, songwriter and producer
Fred Tomlinson, vocalist and songwriter (“The Lumberjack Song”)
John Pidgeon, rock music writer and BBC radio executive
Lewie Steinberg, R&B bassist (Booker T. & the M.G.’s)
George Reznik, jazz pianist
Marni Nixon, playback vocalist (West Side Story, My Fair Lady) and actress
Roye Albrighton, vocalist and guitarist (Nektar)
Allan Barnes, jazz saxophonist (The Blackbyrds)
Sandy Pearlman, writer, producer and manager (Blue Oyster Cult)
Lucille Dumont, vocalist, songwriter and television star
Nigel Gray, record producer (The Police, Siouxsie and the Banshees)
Penny Lang, folk musician

August
Ricci Martin, musician, entertainer and son of Dean Martin
Patrice Munsel, coloratura soprano
Richard Fagan, songwriter (“Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)”)
Pete Fountain, jazz clarinetist
B.E. Taylor, pop vocalist and songwriter (“Vitamin L”)
Ruby Winters, soul vocalist (“Make Love to Me” “I Don’t Want to Cry”)
Padraig Duggan, folk musician (Clannad, The Duggans)
Glenn Yarbrough, vocalist and songwriter
David Enthoven, manager and record label executive
Ruby Wilson, blues vocalist
Connie Crothers, jazz pianist
Bobby Hutcherson, jazz vibraphonist
Preston Hubbard, bassist (Roomful of Blues, Fabulous Thunderbirds)
Lou Pearlman, producer and manager (Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC)
Irving Fields, pianist, composer and bandleader (Bagles and Bongos)
Matt Roberts, rock guitarist (3 Doors Down)
Tom Searle, guitarist (The Architects)
Louis Stewart, jazz guitarist
Headley Bennett, reggae saxophonist
Derek Smith, jazz pianist
Gilli Smythe, vocalist (Gong)
Toots Thielemans, harmonica player, guitarist and whistler
Rudy Van Gelder, recording engineer (Bluenote)
Monty Lee Wilkes, sound engineer (The Replacements, Nirvana)
Hubert Dwane “Hoot” Hester, country and bluegrass fiddler

September
Fred Hellerman, folk singer, songwriter and guitarist (The Weavers)
Kacey Jones, singer, songwriter and humorist
Jerry Heller, agent, promoter and manager (N.W.A.)
Bud Isaacs, steel guitarist
Lewis Merenstein, producer (Van Morrison, Gladys Knight, John Cale)
Clifford Curry, R&B vocalist (“She Shot a Hole in My Soul”)
Prince Buster, ska singer-songwriter and producer (“One Step Beyond”)
”Crazy” Eddie Antar, electronics retailer
Chris Stone, studio owner (The Record Plant)
Leonard Haze, rock drummer (Y&T)
Don Buchla, pioneering synthesizer designer
Jerry Corbetta, vocalist, keyboardist and songwriter (Sugarloaf)
Trisco Pearson, R&B vocalist (Force M.D.’s)
Charmian Carr, actress and vocalist (The Sound of Music)
Micki Marlo, vocalist (“What You’ve Done To Me” “Little By Little”)
John D. Loudermilk, songwriter and vocalist (“Tobacco Road”)
Richard D. Trentlage, jingle writer (Oscar Mayer, McDonald’s)
Rob Meurer, vocalist and songwriter (Christopher Cross)
Stanley “Buckwheat Zydeco” Dural Jr, zydeco accordionist
Kashif, R&B vocalist, instrumentalist, producer and songwriter
Jean Shepard, country vocalist and songwriter
Joe Clay, rockabilly vocalist and guitarist
Royal Torrence, soul vocalist (Little Royal and the Swingmasters)
Nora Dean, reggae and gospel vocalist (“Barbwire”)
Oscar Brand, folk vocalist and songwriter, radio host (WNYC)
Michael Casswell, session guitarist (Brian May)

October
Joan Marie Johnson, pop vocalist (The Dixie Cups)
Caroline Crawley, vocalist (Shelleyan Orphan, This Mortal Coil)
Rod Temperton, keyboardist and songwriter (“Thriller” “Off the Wall”)
Peter Allen, radio broadcaster (Metropolitan Opera)
Don Ciccone, pop vocalist (The Critters) and songwriter
Leo Beranek, acoustic engineer and co-founder of BB&N
Robert Bateman, songwriter (“Please Mr. Postman”), vocalist (Satintones)
Sonny Sanders, songwriter, arranger and vocalist (Satintones)
Robert Edwards, R&B vocalist (The Intruders)
Ted V. Mikels, filmmaker and record label owner
Phil Chess, producer and record company executive
Chris Porter, americana vocalist, songwriter and guitarist
Mitchell Vandenburg, americana bassist and songwriter
Dave Cash, radio broadcaster (Radio London, BBC Radio 1)
Herb “The Cool Gent” Kent, radio broadcaster (WVON, WJJD and V103)
Pete Burns, vocalist and songwriter (Dead or Alive)
Bobby Vee, pop vocalist
Hazel Shermet, actress and singer (New Zoo Revue’s Henrietta Hippo)
John Zacherle, TV host, recording artist and radio broadcaster
Ron Grant, film and television composer (Knot’s Landing)
Tammy Grimes, actress and vocalist (The Unsinkable Molly Brown)
Curly Putman, country songwriter (“Green, Green Grass of Home”)

November
Bap Kennedy, vocalist and songwriter
Bob Cranshaw, jazz bassist
Kay Starr, pop and jazz vocalist
Jean-Jacques Perrey, electronic music producer
Laurent Pardo, bassist (Elliott Murphy’s Normandy All-Stars)
Sir Jimmy Young, radio host (BBC Radio 1 and 2) and vocalist
Al Caiola, guitarist, composer and arranger
Leonard Cohen, vocalist, songwriter, poet and novelist
Raynoma Gordy Singleton, songwriter and second wife of Barry Gordy Jr.
Billy Miller, magazine publisher (Kicks) and record label owner (Norton)
Leon Russell, vocalist, pianist and songwriter
Holly Dunn, country vocalist and songwriter
David Mancuso, disc jockey and private party host (The Loft)
Mose Allison, jazz pianist, vocalist and songwriter
Cliff Barrows, musical director (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)
Milt Okun, producer, arranger, conductor and publisher
Don Waller, music journalist and vocalist
Mentor Williams, songwriter (“Drift Away”), producer and engineer
Sharon Jones, soul vocalist (The Dap Kings)
Al Batten, bluegrass banjo player and band leader
Hod O’Brien, jazz pianist
Craig Gill, rock drummer (Inspiral Carpets)
Al Broadax, television and film producer (The Beatles, Yellow Submarine)
Florence Henderson, actress and vocalist
Pauline Oliveros, composer, educator and accordionist
Tony Martell, record industry executive (CBS Records) and philanthropist
Ray Columbus, vocalist, songwriter, manager and television host
Carlton Kitto, jazz guitarist

December
Mickey Fitz, punk rock vocalist (The Business)
Mark Gray, country vocalist and songwriter (“Take Me Down”)
Herbert Hardesty, saxophonist (Fats Domino, Dave Bartholomew)
Wayne Duncan, bassist and vocalist (Daddy Cool)
Mohamed Tahar Fergani, Algerian vocalist, violinist and composer
Greg Lake, vocalist, bassist and songwriter (King Crimson, EL&P)
Palani Vaughan, Hawaiian vocalist and songwriter
George Mantalis, pop vocalist (The Four Coins)
Valerie Gell, rock ‘n’ roll vocalist and guitarist (The Liverbirds)
Bob Krasnow, record executive and co-founder of the R’n’R Hall of Fame
Joe Ligon, gospel vocalist (Mighty Clouds of Joy)
Barrelhouse Chuck, blues vocalist, songwriter and pianist
Jim Lowe, songwriter (“The Green Door”) and radio broadcaster
Ahuva Ozeri, Israeli singer-songwriter
Betsy Pecanins, blues singer and songwriter
Päivi Paunu, vocalist and Eurovision contestant (“Muistathan”)
Bunny Walters, Maori pop vocalist (“Brandy” “Take the Money and Run”)
Fran Jeffries, vocalist, dancer and actress (The Pink Panther)
John Chelew, producer and concert promoter (McCabe’s Guitar Shop)
Bob Coburn, radio broadcaster (“Rockline,” KLOS)
Léo Marjane, French vocalist (“Seule ce soir”)
Gustavo Quintero, Columbian singer-songwriter
Gordie Tapp, radio broadcaster and television performer (Hee Haw)
Andrew Dorff, country songwriter (“My Eyes” “Somebody’s Heartbreak”)
Dick Latessa, actor and Tony winner (Hairspray)
Sam Leach, concert promoter (The Beatles)
Betty Loo Taylor, jazz pianist
Frank Murray, manager (The Pogues) and tour manager
Mick Zane, rock guitarist (Malice)
Rick Parfitt, vocalist, songwriter and guitarist (Status Quo)
George Michael, pop vocalist and songwriter
George S. Irving, musical theater and voice actor
Alphonse Mouzan, jazz drummer
Pierre Barouh, lyricist (A Man and a Woman), composer and actor
Debbie Reynolds, actress and vocalist
Billie Joe Burnette, country vocalist and songwriter (“Teddy Bear”)
Rich Conaty, radio broadcaster (WFUV’s The Big Broadcast)
Allan Williams, booking agent and manager (The Beatles)
Johnny Canton, radio broadcaster (WDGY, WCCO)
David Meltzer, poet and jazz guitarist

Various Artists: First Class Rock Steady

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

Various_FirstClassRockSteadtyExtraordinary collection of Jamaican rocksteady 1966-68

The difference between ska, rocksteady and reggae may be lost on casual listeners, but even without an academic understanding of Jamaican music’s evolution, rocksteady’s slower tempos, heavy backbeat and harmony vocals will get listeners on their feet. In celebration of rocksteady’s fiftieth anniversary, this forty track set pulls together some of the short-lived, foundational genre’s most important tracks, including Roy Shirley’s prototype “Hold Them,” Hopeton Lewis’ genre-defining opener, “Take it Easy,” material from internationally renowned exponents Desmond Dekker and Johnny Nash, and deep, collectible tracks from Jamaica’s greatest musicians.

Rocksteady slowed the tempo and simplified the instrumentation of ska, dropping the horns in most cases, shifting emphasis to the rhythm section, leaning more heavily on the backbeat, and freeing the bass to play melody. Technology also had an impact, as the introduction of two-track recorders allowed backing tracks to be reused, as did the Melodians with “Last Train to Expo ‘67” and “Last Train to Ecstacy,” and Stranger Cole for “Seeing is Knowing” and “Darling Jeboza Macoo.” Rocksteady also freely borrowed melodies, such as Miriam Makeba’s “Pata Pata” for “Pata Pata Rocksteady” and Paul Desmond’s “Take Five” for both “The Russians Are Coming” and “The Great Musical Battle.”

Though only active from 1966-68, rocksteady produced a large number of excellent singles, and set down roots that grew as reggae took over. This set was originally issued on vinyl as a super deluxe singles box for Record Store Day, and has now been expanded and reissued in digital form for International Reggae Day. The CDs come in an artfully decorated digipak with an 18-page booklet featuring liner notes by reggae historian Harry Wise, and deftly integrated quotes from rocksteady giants Bunny “Striker” Lee, Lynn Taitt and Hopeton Lewis. All tracks are mono except “Take It Easy,” “Sounds and Pressure,” and “Hold Me Tight,” which are surprisingly good quality stereo. A great set for newbies and crate diggers alike! [©2016 Hyperbolium]

In Memoriam: 2015

Saturday, December 26th, 2015

Ben E. King, 1938-2015

Listen to a selection of artists on Mixcloud or Spotify

January
Little Jimmy Dickens, country vocalist and guitarist
Andrae Crouch, pastor and gospel vocalist
Curtis Lee, vocalist (“Pretty Little Angel Eyes”)
Ray McFall, nightclub owner (The Cavern Club)
Popsy Dixon, vocalist and drummer (The Holmes Brothers)
Tim Drummond, bassist (Bob Dylan, Neil Young, CSN&Y)
Bill Thompson, manager (Jefferson Airplane)
Trevor Leonard Ward-Davies (aka “Dozy”), bassist (Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Titch)
Ervin Drake, songwriter (“It Was a Very Good Year”)
Kim Fowley, producer, manager, songwriter and vocalist
Ian Allen, culture jammer (Negativland)
Dallas Taylor, rock drummer (CSN&Y)
Ward Swingle, vocalist (The Swingle Singers)
Edgar Froese, keyboardist (Tangerine Dream)
Rose Marie McCoy, songwriter (“I Beg of You” “Trying to Get to You”)
Joe Franklin, radio and television host
Neil Levang, guitarist (The Lawrence Welk Show)
Stephen R. Johnson, music video director (“Sledgehammer”)
Danny McCulloch, rock bassist (The Animals)
Rod McKuen, poet, songwriter and vocalist
Don Covay, vocalist and songwriter (“Chain of Fools”)

February
Joe B. Mauldin, rock ‘n’ roll bassist (The Crickets)
Thom Wilson, engineer and producer (Offspring, Dead Kennedys)
Sam Andrew, rock guitarist (Big Brother and the Holding Company)
Mosie Lister, gospel vocalist and songwriter (The Statesmen Quartet)
Gary Owens, disc jockey (KEWB, KFWB, KMPC) and television announcer
Steve Strange, new wave vocalist (Visage)
Leslie Gore, pop vocalist and songwriter
Clark Terry, jazz trumpeter and flugelhornist
Bobby Emmons, keyboardist and songwriter (“Luckenbach, Texas”)
Tod Dockstader, electronic music composer
Leonard Nimoy, actor, poet and vocalist

March
Orrin Keepnews, record executive and producer
Brian Carman, surf guitarist (Chantays) and songwriter (“Pipeline”)
Albert Maysles, documentarian (“Gimme Shelter”)
Lew Soloff, trumpeter and flugelhornist (Blood, Sweat & Tears)
Jerry Brightman, pedal steel guitarist (Buckaroos)
Eugene Patton, stagehand (“Gene Gene the Dancing Machine”)
Wayne Kemp, vocalist, guitarist and songwriter (“One Piece at a Time”)
Jimmy Greenspoon, rock keyboardist (Three Dog Night)
Daevid Allen, guitarist and vocalist (Soft Machine, Gong)
Bob Parlocha, jazz radio broadcaster (KJAZ)
Don Robertson, songwriter (“Please Help Me I’m Falling” “Ringo”)
Andy Fraser, rock bassist and songwriter (Free)
Samuel Charters, music historian
Michael Brown, songwriter and keyboardist (The Left Banke)
A.J. Pero, rock drummer (Twister Sister)
Miriam Bienstock, record company executive and theatrical producer
Al Bunetta, manager (Steve Goodman, John Prine)
John Renbourn, guitarist and songwriter (Pentangle)
Preston Ritter, rock drummer (The Electric Prunes)

April
Cynthia Lennon, author, first wife of John Lennon and mother of Julian
Dave Ball, rock guitarist (Procol Harum, Bedlam)
Doug Sax, audio mastering engineer (Doors, Rolling Stones, Who)
Robert Lewis “Bob” Burns Jr., drummer (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
Ray Charles, vocalist, songwriter and arranger (The Ray Charles Singers)
Milton DeLugg, musician, arranger, conductor and composer
Stan Freberg, comedian, parodist, broadcaster, advertising executive
Keith McCormack, vocalist, guitarist and songwriter (“Sugar Shack”)
Bill Arhos, television broadcaster and founder of Austin City Limits
Percy Sledge, vocalist
Billy Ray Hearn, record company executive (Myrrh)
Wally Lester, doo-wop vocalist (The Skyliners)
Sid Tepper, songwriter (“Red Roses for a Blue Lady” “G.I. Blues”)
Suzanne Crowe, actress and percussionist (The Partridge Family)
Jack Ely, rock ‘n’ roll guitarist and vocalist (The Kingsmen)
Steven Goldmann, music video director (Faith Hill’s “This Kiss”)
Ben E. King, vocalist and songwriter

May
Guy Carawan, folk musician and musicologist
Errol Brown, vocalist and songwriter (Hot Chocolate)
Rutger Gunnarsson, bassist (ABBA)
Johnny Gimble, western swing and country fiddler
Stan Cornyn, music industry executive (Warner Brothers, Reprise)
B.B. King, blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter
Bruce Lundvall, record company executive (Blue Note, Angel, Manhattan)
Twinkle (Lynn Annette Ripley), pop vocalist and songwrite
Louis Johnson, bassist (The Brothers Johnson)
Johnny Keating, songwriter and arranger
Jim Bailey, vocalist, actor and impressionist (Judy Garland, Peggy Lee)
Julie Harris, costume designer (A Hard Day’s Night, Help)

June
Jean Ritchie, folk vocalist, songwriter and dulcimer player
Dennis Ferrante, recording engineer (John Lennon, Harry Nilsson)
Ronnie Gilbert, folk vocalist and songwriter (The Weavers)
Paul Bacon, album cover designer (Thelonious Monk, Chet Baker)
Randy Howard, country vocalist and songwriter
James Last, composer and bandleader
Johnny Keating, composer and arranger (“Theme for Z Cars”)
Jim Ed Brown, country vocalist and songwriter (The Browns)
Ornette Coleman, jazz saxophonist and visionary
Monica Lewis, jazz and commercial vocalist (Chiquita Banana)
Stephen Blauner, agent, manager and producer
Phil Austin, actor, comedian, writer, musician and radio broadcaster (The Firesign Theater)
Harold Battiste, saxophonist, arranger and composer
Wendell Holmes, guitarist and songwriter (The Holmes Brothers)
James Horner, film score composer, conductor and arranger (Titanic)
Chris Squire, bassist and songwriter (Yes)
Bruce Rowland, drummer (Grease Band, Fairport Convention)

July
Red Lane, country vocalist and songwriter
Roy C. Bennett, songwriter (“Red Roses for a Blue Lady” “G.I. Blues”)
Jerry Weintraub, film producer, manager, promoter and vocalist
Ernie Maresca, vocalist, songwriter (“Runaround Sue”) and record company executive
Michael Masser, songwriter (“Touch Me in the Morning”)
Tom Skinner, red dirt vocalist and songwriter
David Somerville, vocalist (The Diamonds)
Doug Layton, radio personality and Beatles boycotter
Buddy Buie, songwriter (“Spooky” “So Into You”) and producer
Van Alexander, composer, arranger and bandleader
Wayne Carson, songwriter (“The Letter” “Always on My Mind”)
Dieter Moebius, electronic music pioneer (Kluster, Brian Eno)
Theodore Bikel, actor, vocalist, activist and composer
Don Joyce, writer, producer, actor and radio broadcaster (Negativland, Over the Edge)
Vic Firth, percussionist and percussion stick maker
Buddy Emmons, pedal steel guitarist
Lynn Anderson, country vocalist

August
Cilla Black, vocalist, actress and media personality
Ken Barnes, author and producer
Billy Sherrill, producer, songwriter and arranger
Don Kent, blues historian and record label owner
Gary Keys, documentarian and concert producer
Bob Johnston, producer (Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel) and songwriter
Danny Sembello, producer and songwriter (“Neutron Dance”)
Joy Beverley, vocalist (Beverley Sisters)

September
Owen “Boomer” Castleman, vocalist and guitarist (Lewis & Clarke Expedition), inventor (Palm Pedal)
Rico Rodriguez, ska and reggae trombonist (Specials)
Hal Willis, country vocalist (“The Lumberjack”)
Frederick “Dennis” Greene, vocalist (Sha Na Na)
Augusta Lee Collins, blues drummer, vocalist and guitarist
Smokey WIlson, blues guitarist
Gary Richrath, rock guitarist and songwriter (REO Speedwagon)
Peggy “Lady Bo” Jones, rock ‘n’ roll guitarist
Ben Cauley, trumpeter (Bar-Kays)
Wilton Felder, saxophonist and bassist (Jazz Crusaders)
Frankie Ford, vocalist (“Sea Cruise”)
Phil Woods, jazz saxophonist (“Just the Way You Are”)

October
Big Tom Parker, disc jockey (KFRC, KYUU, K101, KOIN, KMGI, KXL)
Dave Pike, jazz vibraphonist
Smokey Johnson, drummer (Fats Domino) and songwriter
Billy Joe Royal, pop vocalist (“Down in the Boondocks” “Cherry Hill Park”)
Gail Zappa, widow of Frank Zappa and trustee of the Zappa Family Estate
Larry Rosen, producer and label founder (GRP)
Steve Mackay, saxophonist (The Stooges)
Hal Hackady, lyricist and and screenwriter (“Let’s Go Mets!”)
Steve Gebhardt, filmmaker (“Ladies and Gentlemen, the Rolling Stones”)
John Jennings, musician and producer (Mary Chapin Carpenter)
Cory Wells, rock vocalist (Three Dog Night)
Arnold Klein, dermatologist (Michael Jackson)
Leon Bibb, folk and theater vocalist
Nat Peck, jazz trombonist
David Rodriguez, vocalist, songwriter and father of Carrie Rodriguez
Herbie Goins, R&B vocalist

November
Tommy Overstreet, country vocalist
Chuck Pyle, country vocalist, guitarist and songwriter
Eddie Hoh, session drummer (Donovan, Monkees, Mamas & Papas)
Charlie Dick, widower of Patsy Cline and record promoter
Andy White, drummer (The Beatles’ “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You”)
Martin Beard, rock bassist (Sopwith Camel)
Allen Toussaint, musician, songwriter and producer
Phil Taylor, drummer (Motörhead)
P.F. Sloan, vocalist, songwriter and producer
Al Aarons, jazz trumpeter (Count Basie Orchestra)
Ramona Jones, fiddler (Hee Haw)
Mack McCormick, musicologist and folklorist
Norman Pickering, engineer and inventor (Pickering phonographic stylus)
Arthur Brooks, vocalist (The Impressions)
Cynthia Robinson, trumpeter (Sly and the Family Stone)
Ronnie Bright, doo-wop vocalist (Valentines, Coasters, “Mr. Bassman”)
Wayne Bickerton, songwriter, producer, label executive and bassist
Buddy Moreno, big band vocalist, bandleader and radio host

December
Alex Cooley, promoter (Atlanta International Pop Festival, Mar Y Sol)
Scott Weiland, vocalist and songwriter (Stone Temple Pilots)
John Garner, drummer and vocalist (Sir Lord Baltimore)
Marque Lynch, vocalist (Lion King, American Idol, Mickey Mouse Club)
Franz “Franzl” Lang, German yodel king, accordionist and guitarist
Bonnie Lou, country vocalist and television performer
Gary Marker, bassist and engineer (Rising Sons, Captain Beefheart)
Rusty Jones, jazz drummer
Luigi Creatore, songwriter and producer (“The Lion Sleeps Tonight”)
Adam Roth, guitarist (Jim Carroll, Del Fuegos)
Snuff Garrett, producer (Gary Lewis & The Playboys)
William Guest, R&B vocalist (Gladys Knight & The Pips)
Takeharu Kunimoto, shamisen player and bluegrass musician
Stevie Wright, pop vocalist (The Easybeats)
John Bradbury, drummer (The Specials)
Lemmy Kilmister, rock vocalist, bassist and songwriter (Motörhead)
Joe Houston, R&B saxophonist
Natalie Cole, vocalist and daughter of Nat “King” Cole

The Waitresses: Just Desserts – The Complete Waitresses

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Waitresses_JustDessertsYour order for a Waitresses catalog reissue has finally arrived

For those only acquainted with the Waitresses through media play, their career likely consists of “I Know What Boys Like,” “Christmas Wrapping” and “Square Pegs.” The first was their lone U.S. chart success, bubbling up to #62, gaining video airplay on MTV and becoming the band’s icon. The second charted in the UK, and its inclusion on the compilation A Christmas Record gained it additional turntable action in the states. The third was the title theme for a short-lived television show that’s now become an ’80s nostalgia favorite, Their debut album, Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful?, almost cracked the Top 40, a follow-up EP, I Could Rule the World if I Could Only Get the Parts, and LP, Bruisology, bubbled under the Top 100. Commercially, that was just about it, a small catalog over a few years, which makes the band’s longevity in listener’s memories all the more impressive.

The Waitresses grew out of an Akron, Ohio music scene that was spotlighted in 1978 by Stiff Records release of Devo’s “Be Stiff” and the multi-artist Akron Compilation. The latter featured three tracks by the Waitresses (“The Comb,” “Slide” and “Clones,” not included here) alongside several acts (Rachel Sweet, Tin Huey and Jane Aire) that would also get label deals. Songwriter Chris Butler was the engine behind both Tin Huey and the Waitresses, but vocalist Patty Donahue’s deadpan delivery gave the latter their signature sound. The Waitresses appeared on several more compilations (Bowling Balls from Hell, A Christmas Record and Bowling Balls from Hell II) and released “I Know What Boys Like” as an unsuccessful single in 1980 before stepping up to their 1982 debut LP. The LP showed Butler’s knack for writing in a 20-something female’s voice and Donahue’s convincing enactments to be a potent combination.

Butler wrote songs of women coming into their own; women gaining confidence, independence, introspection, wisdom, control and self-improvement, rather than girls wallowing in broken hearts, dependence or defeat. The group followed their first album with an EP that gathered together “Christmas Wrapping,” “Square Pegs” and its B-side “The Smartest Person I Know,” and added “Bread and Butter” and “I Could Rule the World if I Could Only Get the Parts.” The latter was a tight, ska-influenced live version of a song Butler had previously recorded with Tin Huey in a more Zappa-influenced style. Disc one closes with the funky, experimental instrumental “Hangover,” which had been released as the B-side of the 1983 UK reissue of “Christmas Wrapping.”

The set’s second disc opens with the group’s second and final album, continuing the self-empowered themes of their earlier releases, but with a darker, less naively buoyant tone. The group’s punchy mix of rock, ska, funk and jazz continued to read a line between almost-commercial pop and no-wave experimentalism. What becomes really clear is that the Waitresses were a lot deeper, musically and lyrically, than their novel hits suggested. Donahue left the band the following year and was briefly replaced by Holly Beth Vincent (late of Holly and the Italians), and though the former quickly returned, the band was essentially over by the end of 1984. Disc two adds remixed versions of “Bread and Butter” that were originally released as a DJ 12″. The two-disc set gathers together the band’s key releases, omitting only their pre-LP single, contributions to a few compilations, and a live set available separately from the King Biscuit Flower Hour. For those who’ve made do with original vinyl that’s long since shown its age, this is the replacement you’ve been waiting for. [©2013 Hyperbolium]

Chris Butler’s Blog

Suburban Legends: Dreams Aren’t Real But These Songs Are

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

SuburbanLegends_DreamsAren'tRealBrassy, upbeat and joyous ska covers of classic Disney songs

Suburban Legends is a third-wave ska band (the first wave having been those from Jamaica, the second-wave being the British 2 Tone movement of the late-70s) that formed in Southern California in the late ’90s. Their new EP of classic Disney songs connects with both their earlier covers of “Under the Sea” and “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” and their tenure at the Disneyland resort. It was during the hundreds of concerts performed at Disneyland that the band experimented with dozens of cover songs, adding familiar, crowd-drawing titles to their set, while still maintaining their integrity as an original band. The six titles covered here are drawn from Cinderella (“A Dream is a Wish”), The Little Mermaid (“Kiss the Girl”), Pocahontas (“Colors of the Wind”), Toy Story (“You’ve Got a Friend in Me”), Beauty and the Beast and Duck Tails. The brassy arrangements are bright and fun, bridging the upbeat joy of ska with the craft of Disney’s songwriters. This EP will make a great stocking stuffer for Disney-loving kids or ska/pop-loving parents who can’t take one more spin of the original soundtracks. If you’ve ever stood in a long line for the Nemo submarine ride, and finding your toe tapping realize that the band on the Tomorrowland stage is really tearing it up, connecting with kids, parents and anyone else within earshot, you’ll know the sort of happiness that Suburban Legends brings to this EP. [©2013 Hyperbolium]

Suburban Legends’ Home Page

OST: Hot Tub Time Machine

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

14 musical icons of the 1980s and a surprise!

The premise of Hot Tub Time Machine, four friends transported back to 1986, provides an opportunity to trot out some of the decade’s popular classics for this soundtrack album. One realization gained from the variety here is that the stultifying affect of MTV at decade’s end wasn’t nearly as overpowering at decade’s start, from which many of these tracks are selected. The tunes include boundary pushing rap, Australian pop, revivalist ska, synthpop, hair metal, post-punk, and alternative rock that dates to a time when there was rock to which one could be an actual alternative. It will remind you that once-upon-a-time MTV was a channel for artists rather than a brand to be worn. One of the film’s actors, Craig Robinson, performs a credible cover of Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” and transports the Black Eyed Peas’ “Let’s Get it Started” back to the ‘80s where it fits surprisingly well. Caution: these songs are addictive and may lead you to search out the bigger fixes of Hip-O’s I Want My 80’s Box! and Rhino’s even more extensive Like Omigod! The ‘80s Pop Culture Box (Totally). After all, everybody must Wang Chung tonight. [©2010 hyperbolium dot com]

On Tour: The English Beat

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

In celebration of their 30th anniversary, original lead vocalist Dave Wakeling and the latest edition of  The English Beat will be touring the USA and Canada from January through May:

Jan. 27 COCOA BEACH, FL Chili Pepper Supper Club
Jan. 28  FT. LAUDERDALE, FL The Culture Room
Jan. 30   BALTIMORE, MD Rams Head Live!
Jan. 31  RICHMOND, VA Toad’s Place Richmond
Feb. 2  ALEXANDRIA, VA The Birchmere
Feb. 3   PHILADELPHIA, PA The World Café Live
Feb. 5   FARMINGDALE, NY The Crazy Donkey
Feb. 6   NEW YORK, NY The Fillmore at Irving Plaza
Feb. 7   ASBURY PARK, NJ The Stone Pony
Feb. 8   LONDONDERRY, NH Tupelo Music Hall
Feb. 11-12  BOSTON, MA Paradise
Feb. 13   PROVIDENCE, RI Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
Feb. 14  PITTSBURGH, PA Rex Theatre
Feb. 27-28 SOLANA BEACH (SAN DIEGO), CA Belly Up
March 6   AGOURA HILLS, CA Canyon Club
March 13  REDONDO BEACH, CA Brixton
March 14  SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA The Coach House
March 21  LAS VEGAS, NV Tropicana Resort & Casino
March 27  FAIRFAX, CA 19 Broadway
April 3  VICTORIA, BC Sugar Nightclub
April 4  VANCOUVER, BC The Plaza Club
April 5  WHISTLER, BC Garibaldi Lift Company
April 7  EDMONTON, AB Jet Nightclub
April 8  CALGARY, AB The Gateway Bar, SAIT campus
April 12  MILWAUKEE, WI Turner Hall
April 16  WATERLOO, ONT Starlight Room
April 17  TORONTO, ONT Lee’s Palace
April 18  LONDON, ONT Call the Office
May 8  TEMECULA, CA Wiens Family Cellars
May 9  SANTA ANA, CA Galaxy Theatre
May 16  EAST HAMPTON, NY Stephen Talkhouse
May 17-18 ANNAPOLIS, MD Rams Head On Stage
May 20-21 SELLERSVILLE, PA Sellersville Theater 1894
May 23-24 LONDONDERRY, NH Tupelo Music Hall

Dave Wakeling’s The English Beat MySpace Page
Ranking Roger’s The Beat Home Page