Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Percy Sledge, 1940 – 2015

April 20, 2015

When singer Percy Sledge died last week, everyone agreed he would be remembered for 2 minutes and 55 seconds of transcendent music, his 1966 recording of “When a Man Loves a Woman.” Ian Crouch has an appreciation:

“Percy Sledge, Pop Miracle,” Ian Crouch, The New Yorker

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Spanish Is a Lovin’ Tongue

April 18, 2015

Video: “She Never Spoke Spanish to Me,” written by Butch Hancock, performed by Joe Ely with Lloyd Maines on pedal steel and the Muscle Shoal Horns.

“Met her in old Mexico
She was laughing sad and young
In a smokey room no one could see
Her favorite poets all agreed
Spanish is a loving tongue
But she never spoke Spanish to me”

Data analysis adds:

“Spanish was the most positively biased language followed by Portuguese and English. China landed at the end of the list, having used the fewest positive words of the 10 most spoken languages. Each language contains a complex history in which certain words became more important according to custom, practicality, and culture.”

— “Spanish is the Language of Love. English, of Poetry.” Orion Jones, Big Think

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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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Geriatric Brits to Invade North America

April 2, 2015

Geriatric Brits to Invade North America

The British pensioners known as the Rolling Stones will visit sports arenas in the United States and Canada this summer. The elderly musicians are reissuing their classic 20th century gramophone recording, Arthritic Sticky Fingers. It’s the one with the cover by Andy Warhol (see the model here).

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Library of Congress Names Righteous Tracks

March 26, 2015

Library of Congress Names Righteous Tracks
The Library of Congress has just added another 25 sound recordings “recognized for their cultural, artistic and/or historical significance to American society” to the National Recording Registry. Among them is the 1964 45-RPM single “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” by The Righteous Brothers, the ‘blue-eyed soul” duo of Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley. 

In 1964 producer Phil Spector asked the songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil for material for the vocal duo he’d just signed to his Phillies Records label. Mann wrote a melody with the feel of a recent Four Tops hit, “Baby I Need Your Loving,” and his wife Cynthia Weil penned lyrics about attempting to rekindle lost love. It was arranged by a young Gene Page, and the lush charts launched his remarkable career.

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Lesley Gore, 1946 — 2015

February 17, 2015

Leslie Gore, 1946 -- 2015
Singer Lesley Gore died on Monday at the age of 68. Her first big hit, produced by Quincy Jones, arranged by Claus Ogerman, and written by Wally Gold, John Gluck Jr., and Herb Weiner of Aaron Schroeder Music, was 1963’s “It’s my Party.”

Here’s a clip of Ms. Gore lip-syncing it on Hollywood A Go Go in 1965:

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The Dark End of the Street

February 13, 2015

“The Dark End of the Street,” written by Dan Penn and Chips Moman, performed live by Richard and Linda Thompson at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, on April 25, 1975. Two voices and a guitar.

The song was first recorded in 1966 by James Carr:

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B.B. King

February 9, 2015

B.B. King

B.B. King, interviewed by Joe Smith on on September 5, 1986, animated by Patrick Smith of Blend Films for Blank on Blank (PBS Digital):

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Don Covay, 1936 — 2015

February 6, 2015

Don Covay, 1936 -- 2015

Singer and songwriter Don Covay (Donald James Randolph) died last week at the age of 78. The best-known of his many compositions is “Chain of Fools,” a hit for Aretha Franklin.

Don Covay sang with his family’s Gospel quartet and The Rainbows in Washington DC before moving to New York and fronting Don Covay and the Goodtimers and recording as a solo artist. His song “Mercy Mercy” was later recorded by his British admirers the Rolling Stones.

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Marlene Dietrich, Musician

February 4, 2015

Marlene Dietrich und ihrem Singenden Säge.

h/t: , Boing boing

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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.

You Don’t Know Nothin’ About Love

January 10, 2015

“You Don’t Know Nothin’ About Love,” written by Jerry Ragovoy, arranged and conducted by Garry Sherman, performed by Carl Hall in this 1967 recording. Previous to his Soul Music and stage career, Mr. Hall sang with the Rasberry Singers, and Anthony Heilbut called him “the finest male soprano in Gospel.”

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