Posts Tagged ‘singers’

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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Cher on Kitsch

April 2, 2017

In 1999, Benjamin Svetkey interviewed Cher at her Malibu house.

Animated by Patrick Smith for Blank on Blank (PBS Digital). Colorist: Jennifer Yoo. Audio Producer: Amy Drozdowska.

Cher official website

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Joe Ligon, 1936 – 2016

February 6, 2017

Joe Ligon, lead singer of the three-time Grammy-winning gospel group Mighty Clouds of Joy, died on December 11th at the age of 80.

Mighty Clouds of Joy website

More:

“Joe Ligon, Gospel Singer With the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Dies at 80,” William Grimes, New York Times

“‘He Was Just That Anointed’: Remembering Gospel Star Joe Ligon,” Andrew Limbong, NPR

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Ralph Stanley, 1927 – 2016

June 26, 2016

“Stairway to Heaven” (no, not that one), written by Bill J. Grant and Ralph Stanley, recorded by Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys.

More:

“Ralph Stanley, Whose Mountain Music Gave Rise to Bluegrass, Dies at 89,” Bill Friskics-Warren, New York Times

“Bluegrass great Ralph Stanley was one of our last links to an old America,” Geoffrey Himes, Washington Post

“Ralph Stanley’s Inimitable Voice,” David Cantwell, The New Yorker

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Fado: Portuguese Soul

July 12, 2015

“Loucura [Madness],” lyrics by Júlio de Sousa (1906 –1966), music by Joaquim Frederico de Brito (1894 – 1977), performed by Ana Moura at Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon on October 7, 2007.

Fado (“fate”) is a Portuguese song style developed in the taverns and cafés of nineteenth century Lisbon and Coimbra. It’s still very much alive there, and with aficionados around the world. The instrument you may not recognize is a Coimbra-style guitarra Portuguesa, a local 12-string guitar.

More:

“Ana Moura And The Future Of Fado,” Don Was, NPR Music

“Sorrow in Seductive Adornment,” Jon Pareles, New York Times

“Fado, urban popular song of Portugal,” UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

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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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Joe Cocker, 1944 — 2014

December 22, 2014

Joe Cocker, 1944 – 2014

Singer Joe Cocker (John Robert Cocker OBE) died today at age 70. Know for soulful, distinctive interpretations of  Rock, Soul, and R&B classics, his career spanned 50 years.

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Sabah, 1927 — 2014

December 1, 2014

Sabah, 1927 -- 2014
Lebanese singer and film star Sabah (صباح) (née Jeanette Feghali) died Wednesday at the age of 87. She appeared in more than  90 movies and recorded over 3,000 songs during her long career, inspiring audiences throughout the Arabic-speaking world and composers such as Lebanon’s Rahbani Brothers and Egyptians Baligh Hamdi and Mohamed Abdel Wahab. She specialized in the expressive mawwal popular song genre, and was able to sustain a single note for up to 50 seconds. Her stage name means “Morning” but she was also known as al-Shahroura, “Song Bird,” and al-Ustura, “The Legend.”

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Johnny Cash

May 8, 2014

Johnny Cash, interviewed by Barney Hoskyns, October 1996.  Animation by Patrick Smith of Blend Films for Blank on Blank (PBS Digital).

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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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