Archive for the ‘music’ Category

La chanteuse Patachou est morte

May 12, 2015

Henriette Ragon, the French vocalist known as Patachou, died on April 30th at the age of 96. She was a noted singer in the post-war Chanson tradition. Her stage name derived from the name of the Montmartre cafe where she first sang after WWII, Chez Patachou, then owned by her first husband. “Patachou” is a contraction of pâte à choux, cream puff dough.

Above: Mme. Ragon sings Georges Brassens‘ “Brave Margot,” accompanied by Léo Clarens and his Orchestra.

More:

“Patachou, French Singer With a Habit of Snipping Neckties, Dies at 96,” Margalit Fox, New York Times

“La chanteuse Patachou est morte,” Le Figaro

Patachou biographie, RFI Musique

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Baltimore

May 11, 2015

“Nobody got in nobody’s way
So I guess you could say
It was a good day
At least a little better than the day in Baltimore”

— Prince

More:

“Prince Is Dropping a Song, Guitar Solo for Baltimore,” Asawin Suebsaeng, Daily Beast

“Prince takes the stage for ‘Rally 4 Peace’ show in Baltimore,” Lacey Johnson, Reuters
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The Well-Tempered Boomwhacker

May 7, 2015

“Prélude n°1 aux tubes musicaux (boomwhackers),” extrait du spectacle “Liaison Carbone,” une création de Denis Paumier (compagnie Les Objets Volants).

Yes, Bach’s Prelude and Fugue No.1 in C major, BWV 846 from Das Wohltemperirte Clavier (1722)

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Ben E. King, 1938 — 2015

May 1, 2015

Ben E. King, 1938 -- 2015

Soulful vocalist Ben E. King (Ben Nelson) died Thursday at age 76. He sang with the Five Crowns and the Drifters before recording the solo hit records “Spanish Harlem” (1960) and “Stand By Me” (1961).

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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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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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