Posts Tagged ‘Rhythm and Blues’

Happy Birthday, Marvin Gaye

April 2, 2014

Singer Marvin Gaye was born on April 2, 1939. In his set at the the 1964 T.A.M.I Show (above) he performed four of his early hits: “Stubborn Kind of Fellow,” “Pride and Joy,” “Can I Get a Witness,”and “Hitch Hike.” The dancers are goofy but the band, Jack Nitzsche‘s Wrecking Crew, includes Hal Blaine, Tommy Tedesco, Leon Russell,  Glen Campbell, and Plas Johnson.

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River Deep, Matterhorn High

November 14, 2013

River Deep, Matterhorn High

Rhythm & Blues great Tina Turner has renounced relinquished her U.S. citizenship. Earlier this year she successfully petitioned for Swiss citizenship. Born in Nutbush, Tennessee 73 years ago as Anna Mae Bullock, she has lived in Kuesnacht, on Lake Zurich, since 1995 with German music producer Erwin Bach, whom she recently married.

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Doc Pomus

June 6, 2013

There’s a film about the amazing life of legendary songwriter Doc Pomus (Jerome Felder). It’s being screened in St. Louis and Toronto next week.

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Hound Dog History

May 22, 2013

(“You Ain’t  Nothin’ But a) Hound Dog” first became a hit 6o years ago.

“The song was born in the famed Brill Building of New York, written by two Jewish teenagers named Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber. They had intended it, Leiber later recalled, for a female blues singer, and though they had several candidates in mind, it was Willie Mae Thornton who first took it into the studio on August 13, 1952. Big Mama, as she was known, growled that the songwriters were ‘a couple of kids,’ but the great bandleader Johnny Otis put her through her paces with several takes even as she tinkered with the lyrics, threw in a few suggestive howls, and changed the accent to make ‘Hound Dog’ wholly her own.”

– “‘Hound Dog’: An Old Dog That Keeps on Running,” Gregory McNamee, Britannica blog

Related:

“Mama’s Voice: The lasting influence of Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton,” Maureen Mahon, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

“Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller,” Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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River Deep, Matterhorn High

January 27, 2013

River Deep, Matterhorn High

Rhythm & Blues great Tina Turner has successfully petitioned local authorities for Swiss citizenship. Born in Nutbush, Tennessee 73 years ago as Anna Mae Bullock, she has lived in Kuesnacht, on Lake Zurich, since 1995. If Swiss federal and state authorities approve the application as expected, Frau Turner will surrender her U.S. Passport.

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The !!!! Beat

September 21, 2012

Tonight at DC’s Hill Center, another episode of The !!!! Beat, the strange 1966 R&B TV series  unearthed by WPFW’s Larry Applebaum:

Sept. 21: Volume Four includes performances by Freddie King, Martin, Maurice & The Radiants, The Beat Boys, The Poppies, Lee Watson & The Panthers, Johnnie Jones, Freddie King, Louis Jordan & The Tympany Five, Gatemouth Brown, Clarence “Frogman” Henry, Gwen Davis, Robert Parker, Jimmy Church, Lattimore Brown, Joe Simon, Mamie Galore and Jamo Thomas.

Not all episodes are as as wild as the jam (above) by Etta James, Sir Lattimore Brown, Esther Phillips, Roscoe Shelton, & Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, and David “Fathead” Newman, but even the lip-synced performances are wonderful, and host Bill “Hoss” Allen is so incredibly awful he’s almost good.

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Etta James (1938 – 2012)

January 20, 2012

“Etta James, one of the great voices of the 20th century who fused R&B with gospel and blues, and scored landmark hits with “At Last,” “Tell Mama” and “All I Could Do Was Cry,” died today from complications related to leukemia. She was 73. James had been battling health problems for many years.”

– “Etta James Dead at 73,” Andy Greene, Rolling Stone

“Etta James dies at 73; acclaimed blues and R&B singer,” Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times

 

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Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2011

June 27, 2011

Smithsonian Folk Festival 2011

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is back on the National Mall in Washington DC  Thursday June 30th to July 4th and July 7th to July 11th. This year’s free Festival features Rhythm & Blues, the culture of Colombia, and the Peace Corps.

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