Dance Macabre

Dance Macabre

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

50's & 60's Figures Pass On

Edgar Frosse ~ Keyboardist and founder of German electronic pioneers Tangerine Dream. Originally playing with a Psychedelic Rock band The Ones who recorded a single in 1967, Frosse formed Tangerine Dream and recorded their first album in 1969. Over more than a dozen albums Tangerine Dream's sound utilized the new technology of Moog synthesizers to make long insturmentals which paved the way for later electronic groups such as Kraftwerk and early Industrial groups like Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire and later New Age electronic noodlers like Jean Micheal Jarre and Yani. Unlike most other electronic groups who mostly kept to the studio Tangerine Dream toured heavily throughout the 1970's and 80's recording many live albums. They also moved into soundtrack work with influencial music for "Thief" and "Sorcerer". By the 1990's most other such groups evolved into dance music but Tangerine Dream instead drifted into dull New Age albums and some ill-advised attempts at crossover appeal by adding the occasional vocalist. By then after several lineup changes Frosse was the only original member left although his son did join the group.

TANGERINE DREAM ~ LIVE 1975;


TANGERINE DREAM;


Sam Andrew ~ 73 ~ Guitarist with Janis Joplin's Big Brother & The Holding Company (Another Piece Of My Heart", "Summertime","Ball & Chain"

JANIS JOPLIN ~ "ANOTHER PIECE OF MY HEART";


JANIS JOPLIN ~ "BALL AND CHAIN";


Neil LeVang ~ 83 ~ American session guitarist who played Neal Hefti (Batman Theme). Later played w/ Frank Zappa, New Riders Of The Purple Sage, Glen Campbell, Frank Zappa, Bobby Darin, Bobbi Gentry, David Clayton Thomas, Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, Neil Diamond and Noel Boggs. Also played for Lawrence Welk Show.

NEAL HEFTI ~ "BATMAN THEME";


Brian Carman ~ 69 ~ Guitarist with 1960's Surf band The Chantays with classic hit "Pipeline".

THE CHANTAYS ~ "PIPELINE";


THE CHANTAYS ~ "RUNAWAY";


THE CHANTAYS ~ "THE WAYWARD NILE":




Jørgen Ingmann, 89, Danish musician with 1960's instrumental hits "Apache", "Tequila" (with the Champs) also played backup on Eurovision contest;

GRETHE & JORGEN INGMANN ~ "DANSEVISE";

Trevor Ward-Davies ~ 70 ~ Bassist with British Rock group with the unwieldy name of Davey Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich who scored some hits in Britain in the mid 60's.

DAVEY DEE, DOZY, BEAKY, MICK & TICH ~ "HOLD TIGHT";


DAVEY DEE, DOZY, BEAKY, MICK, & TICH ~ "LAST NIGHT IN SOHO";


Maurizio Arcieri ~ 72 ~ Italian singer with 1960's Rock & Pop groups The New Dada and Kisma.

THE NEW DADA ~ "NON DIRNE PIU";


Joe Mauldin ~ ~ Bassist with Buddy Holly's Crickets on his classic hits "That'll Be The Day", "Peggy Sue", "Rave On", "Heartbeat".

BUDDY HOLLY & THE CRICKETS ~ "PEGGY SUE"


BUDDY HOLLY & THE CRICKETS ~ "THAT'LL BE THE DAY";


Andy Fraser ~ 62 ~ British 1960's bass guitarist w/ John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and Free

FREE ~ "ALL RIGHT NOW";


Lesley Gore ~ ~ 1960's Pop singer with melodramic classic hits "It's My Party" (later covered in a hit version in the 1980's version by Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin) and "You Don't Own Me" (covered by Joan Jett).

Micheal Brown ~ 65 ~ Keyboardist for 1960's Baroque Pop band The Left Banke ("Don't Walk Away Rene"), later in Montage, The Stories, The Beckies.

THE LEFT BANKE ~ "DON'T WALK AWAY RENE";


LESLEY GORE ~ "IT'S MY PARTY";


LESLEY GORE ~ "YOU DON'T OWN ME";


Don Covay ~ 76 ~ American 1960's R&B singer and songwriter. Scored hits under various pseudonyms including "Bip Bop Bip", and "Pony Time". Later wrote songs done by Wilson Picket, Solomon Picket, Gladys Knight, Gene Vincent, Wanda Jackson, Connie Francis, Steppenwolf, Bobby Womack, Small Faces, the classic "Chain Of Fools" recorded by Aretha Franklin and "Have Mercy" covered by The Rollin Stones.
DON COVAY & RON WOOD ~ "SOMEBODY";


THE ROLLING STONES ~ "HAVE MERCY";


ARETHA FRANKLIN ~ "CHAIN OF FOOLS";


Andre Crouch ~ 72 ~ Multiple Grammy Award winning American Gospel singer from the 1960's on.


Little Jimmy Dickens ~ 94 ~ Honky Tonk country singer from the early 1950's onward. A courful figure known for his diminutive stature, exhuberant energy and flashy Nudie Suits. Dickens specialized in upbeat songs such as "Hey Ma; Hide The Daughter" and "I Got A Hole In My Pocket" in the early 50's. In the 60's he somewhat addapted to the slicker sounds with some ballads but he was always known best for his irreverant songs. He scored a crossover hit with the goofy "May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose". One of the longest standing members of the Grand Ole Opry, he was still performing regularly as of a couple of years ago.

Little Jimmy Dickens ~ "May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose";


LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS ~ "ASLEEP AT THE FOOT OF THE BED";


George Probert ~ 87 ~ American traditional Jazz clarinet and sax player with Kid Ory and later music editor.

KID ORY ~


Clark Terry ~ 94 ~ Influential American BeBop Jazz trumpet player from the 1940's on. Played with Charlie Barnet, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones, Oscar Peterson, Big Joe Turner, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Benny Carter, Teddy Wilson and T-Bone Walker

CLARK TERRY ~ "STARDUST";


Orrin Keepnews ~ 91 ~ American jazz record producer, executive and writer w/RCA, Fantasy, Riverside, Milestone and Landmark Records from the 1950's on. Produced Thelonius Monk, Bill Evans, Cannonball, Nat Adderley, Wes Montgomery, Johnny Griffin, McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Lee Konitz, Sonny Rollins, Kronos Quartet.

THELONIUS MONK ~ "ROUND MIDNIGHT";


Paul Jeffrey ~ 81 ~ American Jazz Sax player w/Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Lionel Hampton and B.B. King.

Aldo Ciccolini ~ 89 ~ Italian-born French classical pianist who scored some surprise crossover success in Hippie/Psyche circles with his recordings of Erik Satie pieces and to a lesser extent Claude Debusey.

ALDO CICCOLINI ~ "GYMNOPEDIE NUMBER 1";


Monday, 2 February 2015

RIP to Kim Fowley

Kim Fowley ~ Best known as the hustler who discovered/birthed Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Cherie Curie and The Runaways and as portrayed in the Runaways film by Micheal Shannon as a cross between Col. Tom Parker, Donald Trump, Malcom MacLaren and a carnival barker dressed as David Bowie, Kim Fowley actually had a long history in rock & roll.
THE HOLLYWOOD ARGYLES ~ "ALLEY OOP";


Born in the Philippines if you can believe it, in 1942, Fowley was a grandson of Rudolph Friml, a Czech born composer of Broadway operettas and son of actor Douglas Fowley. When rock broke out in the mid-fifties the teenage Fowley was quick to jump on the bandwagon starting with a Doo Wop group called The Jayhawks who scored a hit with a cover of "Stranded In The Jungle", originally done by the black group The Cadets in 1956. It was typical of the time to have quicky covers of current hit songs, but the Jayhawks were able to do a credibly rowdy version unlike the lame, whiter shade of pale versions done by Pat Boone or the Crewcuts, although their version was still not as good as the Cadets original. The New York Dolls would later do their own cover version. Like most Doo Wop groups The Jayhawks were a one hit wonder who soon broke up but the stubbornly persistent Fowley moved on with a group called The Sleepwalkers. That band included such later stars as Skip Battin (later of the Byrds), Gary Paxton, drummer Sandy Nelson and reportedly Phil Spector but did not last long enough to record. When the Sleepwalkers took a permanent nap Fowley moved into songwriting and production with Battin & Paxton along with stints as a radio DJ. Battin & Paxton formed a group called Skip and Flip for whome Fowley produced a few minor hits, including one called "Cherry Pie", starting a theme Fowley would later return to. While doing a DJ gig in Boise, Idaho of all places Fowley stumbled on to a largely instrumental group from the North West called Paul Revere & The Raiders for whom he produced a number of early singles including a local hit "Like Long Hair" and covers of songs like "Road Runner", "Moondawg" and "Tall Cool One" in 1961. Paul Revere would later rework the band with producer Terry Melcher; toughening up the sound, adding singer Mark Lindsey and dressing the band up in over-the-top revolutionary war costumes. The new Paul Revere & The Raiders would go on to score a number of hits becoming one of the major American bands of the mid-sixties. Fowley no doubt noticed and took a few notes.

THE JAYHAWKS ~ "STRANDED IN THE JUNGLE";


PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS ~ "LOUIE LOUIE";


Meanwhile Fowley returned to his Doo Wop roots producing The Paradons who scored hits with "Diamonds And Pearls" and his second hit called "Cherry". The Paradons were an authentic Doo Wop group but his next project was another Doo Wop novelty song in "Alley Oop". Done with Skip Battin and Surfaris producer Bobby Rey as The Hollywood Argyles and named after a cartoon caveman, "Alley Oop" became a surprise hit. Fowley tried his hand at instrumental rock by working with B. Bumble & The Stingers, getting a composer credit for a 1962 hit "Nut Rocker" which was based on "The Nutcracker Suite" and was similar to some early Paul Revere demos. Another Doo Wop novelty followed with "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow" by the Rivingtons and a follow up "The Bird Is The Wurd" (both 1962) which were both sizable hits. Only to have an obscure garage band called The Trashmen turn the tables by mashing both songs together and amping them up to warp speed in a new song "Surfin Bird" which would become one of the all-time classics of sixties surf & garage. Once again one assumes Fowley took more notes.

THE RIVINGTONS ~ "PAPA OOM MOW MOW";


THE TRASHMEN


When the Beatles broke the ever opportunistic Fowley raced to Britain where he worked with emerging stars like PJ Proby, Cat Stevens, Soft Machine and Slade, he scored no hits though and returned to California after the Summer Of Love broke. Back in L.A. he briefly joined Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention, produced albums for Gene Vincent and Johnny Winter, co-wrote some songs with Skip Battin for the Byrds and another song for the "Easy Rider" soundtrack. He also worked with Doug Sahm, Warren Zevon and a young Jonathan Richman, with generally mixed results. Fowley's attempts at solo success were equally mixed. A psychedelic single "The Trip" was a minor hit but the new generation of underground artists considered Fowley an old-style industry opportunist trying to cash in on their scene, which of course he was. The critics especially despised him giving his solo albums scathing reviews.

KIM FOWLEY ~ "The Trip"


By the 1975's the psych/garage underground was a spent force and Fowley was floundering, with abortive projects with aspiring stadium balladeers REO Speedwagon being a highlight, when he got the idea to cash in on glam and the budding proto-punk scene by creating an all-girl glam rock band. He recruited teenagers Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Cherie Currie, Sandy West Kari Krome and Micki Steele into a band which he called The Runaways. Krome and Steele would later be dumped for not looking glamorous enough; Krome was short and wore glasses and braces while Steele was tall and a couple years older than the others, she would be replaced by Jackie Fox. The final product would encapsulate all that Fowley had learned in the past twenty years. The Runaways would have the straight ahead amped up sound of Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Trashmen, New York Dolls and Slade, the over-the-top look of The Raiders, New York Dolls, Gene Vincent and Slade, the rambunctious teenage-ness of The Hollywood Argyles, Jayhawks and Trashmen, the swagger of Gene Vincent and PJ Proby and the calculated outrage of Frank Zappa and Fowley's own solo work.

The Runaways would score a moderate hit with "Cherry Bomb", Fowley's best cherry based song yet, co-written with Joan Jett and Kari Krome and named for singer Cherie Currie. But they got most of their press attention due to their image as sexy jailbait rocker girls with guitars, an image that Fowley exploited with a feverish glee. By all accounts Fowley's utterly shameless hucksterism and control freak manipulation of the starstruck teenage girls is well documented in "The Runaways" bio-pic as is his manic personality. It is not hard to see why earlier and more savvy artists like Frank Zappa, Warren Zevon, Jonathan Richman, Slade and REO Speedwagon quickly tired of his pushy behavior. The Runaways were young and hungry however and stuck with him longer than they probably should have as he stage-managed the girls into a life of rock and roll decadence even as he alienated the influencial journalists and the emerging punk scene that Joan Jett at least wanted to be a part of. An old school hustler like Fowley could never have been accepted by the punk scene however even if he had taken it seriously which he did not, instead trying to position the Runaways as stadium rockers like Aerosmith or Alice Cooper. The mostly male audience of such bands would never have taken an all-girl band seriously however and the Runaways were often greeted by thrown bottles when opening for the likes of Rush (who famously heckled the band). The only audience who would have given the Runaways an fair shake would have been the punks, but many found Fowley's trashy marketing off-putting. The Runaways albums had some some excellent songs but they sounded a little too seventies glam for the emerging punk era.

THE RUNAWAYS ~ "CHERRY BOB";


Fowley encouraged rockstar behavior among the band including rampant drug use and jealous infighting, believing it would make them easier to control. Instead it led to drug induced breakdowns from Cherie Currie and Jackie Fox who left the band. The Runaways struggled on until Joan Jett finally quit in 1979. As we all know Jett would go on to a hugely successful and even more influential solo career in the 1980's. Lita Ford would go on to a less successful but still respectable solo career of her own. Cherie Currie's solo career petered out after two solo albums and a couple of movie roles, due mostly to her heavy drug use. She would later get her life in order, write her memoirs and tour occasionally with a solo band. Jackie Fox quit music altogether to go to law school and become a lawyer. Micki Steele would join The Bangles. The other Runaways drifted into obscurity with drummer Sandy West dying of cancer some years back. The Runaways are now universally seen as role-models for every guitar slinging girl band since and all their albums are still in print.

THE RUNAWAYS LIVE IN JAPAN;


As for Fowley the end of the Runaways seemed to hit him harder than it did the still teenage girls in the band. Certainly none of his abortive projects since amounted to anything and he was mostly reduced to hanging around the scene with radio DJ Rodney Bigenhiemer like the ghost of Christmas Punk Past and repackaging compilations of Runaways demos and out-takes. An attempt to form a second version of the Runaways in the 1990's with zero original members was an embarrassing flop. The success of "The Runaways" film with it's scenery-chewing performance by Micheal Shannon revived interest in Fowley as well as the band and he was able to reunite with some of the former Runaways encouraged by Cherie Currie, now clean of drugs and ready to forgive old wounds. There were reports that Currie, Ford and Fowley (but not Joan Jett) were working together on a project when Currie announced he had became sick with terminal cancer last year.

THE RUNAWAYS ~ "WASTED";

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Some Classic Canadian Punk Bands



Rob Brent ~ Guitarist with London, Ontario (later Toronto) punk band The Demics. The Demics recorded the classic song "New York City" on their fist ep "Talk's Cheap" in 1979 which became a surprise hit in Canada. They later rerecorded it on a subsequent album in 1980 getting an American release and becoming a mid-size hit there as well. By that time Brent had left and been replaced by Steve Koch as the Demics moved from London to Toronto. Following the usual turmoil the band soon broke up without any more releases. The DEmics may have been a one-hit-wonder but it was quite a hit; "New York City" is one of the most beloved songs of the Canadian early punk era and was chosen as the greatest Canadian single of all time by Chart Magazine in 1996 as first "Talk's Cheap" and later a full album were released.

THE DEMICS ~ "TALK'S CHEAP" (full ep);


THE DEMICS ~ "NEW YORK CITY";


Brian Goble ~ Bassist with The Skulls, one of Vancouver's first punk bands. After they broke up singer Joey Shithead went on to form DOA while Goble became singer and singer with The Subhumans. He would later rejoin DOA in the 1990's ~ 57;
THE SUBHUMANS "FUCK YOU";


THE SUBHUMANS ~ "TWO BIT WHORE";


DOA ~ "WORLD WAR 3";


JEFF DEPEW ~ Drummer for London Ontario punk band 63 Monroe. A band of the early eighties who scored a minor hit with a goofy run through of the Herman's Hermits song "Henry VIII". That wasn't really an accurate taste of the band's sound which was a much heavier and louder New York Dolls type of Glam-Trash Punk. 63 Monroe put out a few albums locally throughout the 80's but never left London. Various members also had a side band named Osterberg, which as you might assume started out as a Stooges cover band before later turning to originals. I actually booked them a few times in the 2000's and they were a rock solid live band. 63 Monroe also did a session at CIUT a few years back. A version of 63 Monroe, including Depew, was playing as late as a couple of weeks ago when they did a benefit for a Christmas Toy Drive in London.

63 MONROE ~ "HENRY VIII";


63 MONROE ~ "GIVE 'EM UP";


Glen Kimberley ~ 50 ~ Drummer for Toronto rockabilly bands The Millwinders, The Tin Eddies, The Swingin' Blackjack

THE MILLWINDERS ~ "HIGH HEELED HOT ROD";


THE MILLWINDERS ~ "EACH DAY";


THE MILLWINDERS ~ "TOO LATE";


THE TIN EDDIES ~ "BLUE MOON OF KENTUCKY";


Thursday, 4 December 2014

Some more 1950's & 60's Figures Pass On



Ian McLagan, 69, English keyboardist with 1960's ultimate Mods; The Small Faces and later The Faces, later played with Chuck Berry, Jackson Browne, Joe Cocker, Bob Dylan, Melissa Etheridge, Bonnie Raitt, Paul Westerberg, Izzy Stradlin, Frank Black, Nikki Sudden, John Mayer, Bruce Springsteen, Mick Taylor Lucinda Williams and Billy Bragg ~ 69

THE SMALL FACES ~ "SHA-LA-LA-LA-LEE";


THE SMALL FACES ~ "HERE COME THE NICE";


THE SMALL FACES w/ PP ARNOLD ~ "TIN SOLDIER";


THE FACES ~ "MAYBE I'M AMAZED";


Alvin Stardust/Shane Fenton ~ British 1970's Glam Rocker best known for his over-the-top Gene Vincent look and hit's like "My Coo Ca Choo", the UK Singles Chart-topper "Jealous Mind", and "I Feel Like Buddy Holly". Previously known in the 1960's as Shane Fenton and The Fentones having hits with "I'm A Moody Guy" and "It's All Over Now" after the original Shane Fenton unexpectedly died. Stardust/Fenton's real name was Bernard Jewry ~ 72

SHANE FENTON & THE FENTONES w/ BILLY FURY ~ "MAGIC";


ALVIN STARDUST ~ "MY COO CA CHOO";


Dave Appell ~ Pianist and arranger for Cameo/Parkways records in the 1950's & 60's for Charlie Gracie, Dee Dee Sharp, The Orlons, Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, The Dovells and John Zacherle as well as his one band The Applejacks, previously worked with swing bands including Jimmy Lunceford, Earl Fatha Hines, Benny Carter, later with Tony Orlando ~ 92

JIMMY LUNCEFORD ~


CHARLIE GRACIE ~ "BUTTERFLY";


CHARLIE GRACIE ~ "COOL BABY";


Rosetta Hightower ~ Singer with 1960's R&B vocal group The Orlons ("The Wah Watutsi") and backup group for Dee Dee Sharp ("Mashed Potato Time" and "Gravy (for My Mashed Potatoes") ~ 70

THE ORLONS ~ "WAH WATUTSI";


THE ORLONS ~ "SOUTH STREET";


DEE DEE SHARP ~ "MASHED POTATO TIME";


Jimmy Ruffin ~ R&B singer with Motown Records biggest hit was "What Becomes Of The broken Hearted" in 1967. Brother of Temptations singer David Ruffin and was briefly in The Temptations as well ~

JIMMY RUFFIN ~ "WHAT BECOMES OF THE BROKEN HEARTED";


Thursday, 2 October 2014

Some 1960's & 70's Rockers

Paul Revere; Leader and keyboard player for Paul Revere and The Raiders, the first of the great Garage/Frat Rock bands to come out of the Pacific Northeast which would later include The Kingsmen, Sonics, Wailers and Frantics. Originally formed in Idaho as an instrumental band called The Downbeats by Revere (full name Paul Revere Dick) they changed their name and sound when Revere added singer Mark Lindsey. They would also adopt a flashy stage persona including dressing up in revolutionary war garb (forty years before the Tea Party, and less angry) and Revere's organ souped up to resemble the front of a Hot Rod Edsel. They would have hits with versions of "Louie Louie" (later also done by The Kingsmen and The Sonics), "Stepping Stone" (later covered by The Monkees, Sex Pistols and Minor Threat), "Just Like Me" and "Kicks", possibly the greatest anti-drug song ever.

PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS ~ "KICKS";
PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS ~ "LOUIE LOUIE";


PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS ~ "UPS AND DOWNS";


PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS ~ "THE GREAT AIRPLANE STRIKE";


Jack Bruce ~ Scottish Bassist, Singer and Harpist with 1960's classic power trio Cream ("Sunshine Of Your Love", "White Room", "I Feel Free", "Tales Of Brave Ulysses", "Crossroads", "Badge", "Strange Brew", although Cream is remembered as Eric Clapton's showcase most of the vocals and much of the songwriting was actually done by Bruce. He had previously played with The Graham Bond Organization, Alexis Korner, John Mayall and Manfred Mann. He would later play with Leslie West and Corky Laing from Mountain, John McLaughlin, Frank Zappa, Mick Taylor, Carla Bley, Cozy Powell, Gary Moore, Robin Tower, Ringo Starr, Peter Frampton, Rory Gallagher, The Golden Palominos, Bernie Worrell, Vernon Reid ~ 71

CREAM ~ "STRANGE BREW";


CREAM ~ "CROSSROADS"


CREAM ~ "SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE";


Bob Montgomery ~ Songwriter w Buddy Holly's first band, Bob & Buddy; wrote "Heartbeat" (later covered by The Knack), "Love's Made A Fool Of You" (covered by Bibby Fuller and Matchbox) and "Back In Baby's Arms" (done by Patsy Cline and Emmylou Harris) and "Misty Blue" by Eddy Arnold ~ 77

BUDDY HOLLY & THE CRICKETS ~ "HEARTBEAT";


THE BOBBY FULLER 4 ~ "LOVE'S MADE A FOOL OF YOU";


THE KNACK ~ "HEARTBEAT";


MATCHBOX ~ "LOVE'S MADE A FOOL OF YOU";


John Holt ~ Jamaican singer for Ska band The Paragons and songwriter "The Tide Is High" (later covered by Blondie) ~ 67

THE PARAGONS ~ "TIDE IS HIGH";


BLONDIE ~ "TIDE IS HIGH";


Clive Jones ~ Sax and Flute player with 1960's British Psyche/Metal Band Black Widow ~ 67

BLACK WIDOW ~ "COME TO THE SABBAT";


Jake Hooker ~ Israeli-born American pop musician (Arrows), co-writer ("I Love Rock 'n' Roll") and producer ~ 61

THE ARROWS ~ "I LOVE ROCK & ROLL";


JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS ~ "I LOVE ROCK & ROLL";


RAPHAEL RAVENSCROFT ~ British sax player, best known for playing on Gerry Rafferty's 1978 hit "Baker Street" and Pink Floyd's "The Final Cut" also Abba, Marvin Gaye, America, Maxine Nightingale,Daft Punk, Kim Carnes, Mike Oldfield, Chris Rea, Robert Plant, Brand X, Hazel O'Connor, and Bonnie Tyler. ~ 60

GERRY RAFFERTY ~ "BAKER STREET";


Acker Bilk ~ British 1950's & 60's Trad Jazz clarinet player ("Stranger On The Shore") ~ 85

ACKER BILK ~ "STRANGER ON THE SHORE";


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Some Jazz Figures Pass On

Gerald Wilson ~ American jazz trumpetist, band leader and arranger from the 1940's on. Played with Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles, Julie London, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Carter, Lionel Hampton, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Nancy Wilson, Clark Terry, Richard Grove Holmes, Joe Pass, Roy Ayers, Wynton Marsalis ~ 96

GERALD WILSON ~ "MILESTONES";


Joe Sample ~ American jazz pianist/composer with Fusion bands The Modern Jazz Sextet and The Crusaders, also played with Miles Davis, George Benson, Jimmy Witherspoon, B. B. King, Eric Clapton, Steely Dan, The Supremes, Joni Mitchell, Marvin Gaye, Tina Turner, B. B. King, Joe Cocker, Minnie Riperton and Anita Baker., and songwriter ("One Day I'll Fly Away", "Street Life") ~ 75

THE CRUSADERS ON DON KIRSHNER'S ROCK CONCERT;


Kenny Wheeler ~ Canadian Jazz trumpet player and band leader from the 1960's on w/ Anthony Braxton, Keith Jarrett, Derek Bailey, Bill Frisell, Lee Konitz, John Dankworth ~ 84 KENNY WHEELER GROUP ~ "EVERYBODY'S SONG BUT MY OWN";


Milton Cardona ~ Puerto Rican Jazz conga jazz player ~ 69

Jackie Cain ~ Vocalist with 1950's Jazz/Pop vocal duo Jackie and Roy ~ 86

JACKIE AND ROY ~ "THE WORD"

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Cosimo Matassa and Bob Crewe

This past week two important songwriters, producers and record label owners of the 1950's and sixties died.

FATS DOMINO ~ "AIN'T THAT A SHAME";


Comsimo Matassa was a New Orleans record producer who started his own J&M Studios in the back of his family's food market in 1945 while he was only eighteen, moving to a larger Cosimo Studios a decade later. His timing was impeccable as he became a force in the New Orleans R&B sound producing classic hit records by Little Richard, Fats Domino, Smiley Lewis, Lee Dorsey, Dr John and Jimmy Clanton. Cosimo's records were noted for their focus on boogie-woogie rythms, barrelhouse piano and a horn section dubbed The New Orleans sound. Unlike other producers of the era such as Sam Phillips of Sun Records, Ahmet Ertegan and Jerry Wexler of Atlantic, Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton of Stax, George Goldner of Red Bird or the Chess Brothers, Matassa stuck with production and running his studio rather than starting his own label. The hits dried up in the sixties and Matassa retired from the music business in the 1980's to run his family's Matassa Market. British rocker Dave Edmunds would have a bigger hit version of Smiley Lewis's classic "I Hear You Knockin" in 1970. Matassa would be inducted into both the Rock & Roll and Blues Halls Of Fame and be awarded a lifetime achievement Grammy Award. He was 88.

LITTLE RICHARD ~ "LONG TALL SALLY";


DAVE EDMUNDS ~ "I HEAR YOU KNOCKIN";


If Cosimo Matassa was similar to other second generation immigrant record producers of the early rock era such as Ahmet Ertegan and Jerry Wexler, Sid Nathan and The Chess Brothers, Bob Crewe was an all-American hustler. The New Jersey born Crewe was blond, blue-eyed, and boyish, looking more like a teen idol than a record mogul and that's what he originally tried to be. Actually he originally started out as an artist and studied at the Parson School of Design in New York but he got the music bug and served in World War Two as a big band singer in the USO while still twenty. After the war he attempted a solo singing career with notable lack of success, eventually he decided to try his hand at songwriting and production teaming up with pianist Frank Slay. The always cocky Crewe managed to sweet talk Benny Goodman's bother into giving them the front money to start a record label on the basis of a four song demo and scored an immediate R&B hit with "Silhouettes" by a black Doo-Wop group called the Rays in 1957 which was quickly covered by the white Toronto group The Diamonds becoming and even bigger crossover hit. This success got Crewe and Slay a gig with Swan Records where they scored hits with Freddy Cannon. Crewe and Slay continued to work as hired guns for other labels with hits with Ben E King, Dee Dee Sharp and Lesley Gore.

THE FOUR SEASONS ~ "WALK LIKE A MAN";


Crewe really made his fortune when he once again started another label, Topix Records, to recorded a young and unsigned act, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons with whom he scored a series of massive hits in the early sixties including "Big Girls Don't Cry" "Sherry" and "Walk Like A Man". Crewe got to see Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons get a second life through the hit Broadway musical and movie "Jersey Boys".

THE FOUR SEASONS ~ "BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY";


In 1965 Crewe started up yet another label with DynoVoice Records. This time it would not be one shot label built to quickly promote a single artist or song but rather a real business with a real roster of stars. Girl Group The Toys were Crewe's answer to Phil Spector and his lush "Wall Of Sound", they scored hits with the elaborate "Lover's Concerto" and "Can't Get Enough Of You Baby" which was later covered by garage rockers ? & The Mysterions.

THE TOYS ~ "LOVERS CONCERTO";


Aside I could resist adding; I once did an interview with ? wherein he insisted that he had actually wrote that song in spite of the undeniable fact that the Toys version was clearly recorded first. Then again ? also claimed he was regularly contacted by UFO's so whatever.

? & THE MYSTERIANS ~ "CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF YOU BABY";


Besides the Toys there were other lush Phil Specter wall-of-sound records from lesser known artists including Karyn Mann who's single "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" (which Crewe co-wrote) was not especially memorable until transplanted Anglo-American group The Walker Brother scored a massive hit with their even more lush version. Crewe even managed to finally score a moderate hit under his own name with a rather cheesy lounge instrumental called "Music To Watch Girls By" followed up with the theme from the Jane Fonda sci-fi movie "Barbarella".

THE WALKER BROTHERS ~ "THE SUN AIN'T GONNA SHINE ANYMORE";


From the more straight ahead rock & roll side there was Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels who scored a series of classic soul-garage rockers like "Jenny Take A Ride" (which Crewe co-wrote), "Sock It to Me" (ditto), "Devil With A Blue Dress" and "Little Latin Lupe Lou". Another Detroit garage band was The Rationals with a blistering cover of The Kinks "I Need You".

MITCH RYDER & THE DETROIT WHEELS ~ "CC RIDER/JENNY TAKE A RIDE";


Crewe wound down DynoVoice in 1968 as it became tougher for indie record to compete with the majors. After taking some time off he was back in the 1970's with disco hits by Disco Tex and his Sexolettes and LaBelle's "Lady Marmalade" (which he again co-wrote) and Frankie Valli. A near fatal car crash sent him into semi-retirement later in the decade. Crewe would return to his first love as an artist and sculpture and had his work praised by Andy Warhol. Crew died at age of 83

MITCH RYDER & THE DETROIT WHEELS ~ "SOCK IT TO ME";


THE RATIONALS ~ "LEAVING HERE" & "RESPECT";