Posts Tagged ‘musicians’

Nadia Boulanger taught … everyone.

May 3, 2022

Nadia Boulanger taught Burt Bacharach, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Donald Byrd, Aaron Copland, Philip Glass, Quincy Jones, Michel Legrand, Gian Carlo Menotti, Astor Piazzolla, Robert Shafer, Virgil Thomson, and many more. A musical biography by Oscar Osicki.

More:

“The greatest music teacher who ever lived,” Clemency Burton-Hill, BBC Culture

“She Was Music’s Greatest Teacher. And Much More.” William Robin, New York Times

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The Ex-Black Eyed Pea

April 19, 2022

In 1990’s Los Angeles, singer and songwriter Kim Hill was in an underground hip-hop crew called The Black Eyed Peas. Until she wasn’t. A New York Times “Almost Famous” video by Ben Proudfoot.

Kim Hall website

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Fred Parris, 1936 — 2022

January 21, 2022

Fred Parris

Fred Parris, songwriter and lead singer of The Five Satins, died last week at the age of 85. He wrote “In the Still of the Night“in 1956, and recorded it in the basement of New Haven’s St. Bernadette Church school. Singers Al Denby, Ed Martin, Jim Freeman and Nat Mosley backed up Mr. Parrish with “shoo-doo-shooby-doo.” Doug Murray played bass, Curlee Glover was on piano, and Bobby Mapp on drums. There’s also a sax solo by Vinny Mazzetta, a St. Bernadette altarboy. The song title was originally rendered as “In the Still of the Nite” to differentiate it from a song by Cole Porter.

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Mike Nesmith, 1946 — 2021

December 15, 2021

Singer-songwriter, film producer, and music video pioneer Michael Nesmith died last week at age 78. He became know as a member of TV’s pseudo-band The Monkees in the Sixties, but enjoyed a long music career afterwards as a solo artist and with his First National Band. Fun fact: his mom invented Liquid Paper correction fluid, a ubiquitous 20th century office product.

More:

“Michael Nesmith, deadpan singer-songwriter with the Monkees, dies at 78,” Harrison Smith, Washington Post

“Michael Nesmith, Monkees Singer-Songwriter, Dead at 78,” Andy Greene, Rolling Stone

“Michael Nesmith invented country rock. Or maybe something even better.” Geoff Edgers, Washington Post

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Music: “Different Drum,” written and recorded by Mike Nesmith, 1972. Steel guitar: Orville Rhodes.

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Annie Ross, 1930 — 2020

July 29, 2020

Jazz singer Annie Ross died last week at the age of 89. In 1952, as a member of vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, she set words to saxophonist Wardell Gray’s composition “Twisted” and performed it in a classic recording. The National Endowment for the Arts named her an NEA Jazz Master in 2010.

More:

“Annie Ross, mainstay of ‘the greatest jazz vocal group that ever was,’ dies at 89,” Matt Schudel, Washington Post

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Dick Dale, 1937 – 2019

March 20, 2019

Surf Guitar king Dick Dale died last Saturday at the age of 81. A cancer survivor, he continued to tour until his death in order to pay his medical bills.

More:

“Dick Dale, ‘King of the Surf Guitar,’ dead at 81,” Vanessa Franko, Orange County Register

“Dick Dale, godfather of surf guitar, dies aged 81,” Laura Snapes, The Guardian

“Dick Dale: ‘King of Surf Rock’ guitarist dies aged 81,” Mark Savage, BBC

“Dick Dale, the Inventor of Surf Rock, Was a Lebanese-American Kid from Boston,” Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker

 

Video: “Miserlou,” by Dick Dale & His Del-Tones, an adaptation of an Eastern Mediterranean tune (hear the original 1927 recording here).

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Neil Young’s Paganism

July 12, 2018

Neil Young, interviewed by Esquire‘s Cal Fussman. Illustrated by Joe McKendry, animated by Jennifer Yoo, and directed by Patrick Smith for Blank on Blank. Audio Producer: Amy Drozdowska.

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Antoine ‘Fats’ Domino Jr., 1928 – 2017

October 25, 2017

Antoine “Fats” Domino Jr., the singer, pianist and songwriter who was New Orleans’ ambassador to Rock n’ Roll, died on Tuesday at the age of 89. He brought a boogie-woogie, R&B sensibility to the world of teen tunes.

More:

“Fats Domino, boogie-woogie pianist who helped launch rock-and-roll, dies at 89,” Terence McArdle, Washington Post

“Fats Domino, piano-playing prodigy and rock and roll legend, dies at 89” John Pope, Times-Picayune

“Fats Domino, Architect Of Rock And Roll, Dead At 89,” Gwen Thompkins, NPR

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Tom Petty, 1950 — 2017

October 4, 2017

“Free Fallin,'” written by Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, 1989. Video directed by Julien Temple.

More:

“Tom Petty, a Mainstay of Rock With the Heartbreakers, Dies at 66,” Jon Pareles, New York Times

“An Appreciation of Tom Petty: Rock’s Superstar Everyman,” Chris Willman, Variety

“Free Falling with Tom Petty,” Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker

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Leon Russell, 1942 – 2016

November 17, 2016

Leon Russell, 1942 – 2016

Musician and songwriter Leon Russell died last Sunday. He was 74.

More:

“Leon Russell, Hit Maker and Musicians’ Musician, Dies at 74,” Jon Pareles, New York Times

“Leon Russell, Renowned Songwriter and Musician, Dead at 74,” Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone

“Leon Russell, musician and hit songwriter, dies at 74,” Terence McArdle Washington Post

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