Dance Macabre

Dance Macabre

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";


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";


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";


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

BLACK WIDOW ~ "COME TO THE SABBAT";


BLACK WIDOW ~ "WAY TO POWER";


BLACK WIDOW ~ "IN ANCIENT DAYS";


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";


Rob Brent ~ Guitarist with classic Canadian punk band The Demics ("New York City")

THE DEMICS ~ "NEW YORK CITY";


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";


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";


Monday, 22 September 2014

Two CIUT Host/DJ's; Nik Beat and Reiner Schwartz

Two DJ's from CIUT died this past month. Reiner Schwartz was a fixture in the FM dial in Toronto from the time FM went on the air in the late sixties with CHUM FM. That's when CHUM FM was known for it's free-format mix of album long psychedelic tracks, free jazz, fusion and blues. Reiner later made his way to CFNY and became the last program director before they became "The Edge" and started sucking. He was coaxed out of retirement last year to come to CIUT where he hosted an open format show on Sunday afternoons. He was already in poor health and died of various complications. He was almost a parody of a classic FM DJ but in a good way; laidback, friendly, unpretentious and endlessly curious about music.

Nik Beat (real name Mike Beary) was a well known figure on the poetry and spoken word scene in Toronto, hosting "Howl" Tuesday nights on CIUT for twenty years. He championed local writers. poets, zinesters, spoken word artists and musicians who he had on his show over the years. He died suddenly of a stroke the night after doing his show and going to an after party with the Black Keys. He was 58.

I frankly barely knew him yet he when I got my show on CIUT in 2009 he was one of the first to send congrats. He will be missed on the scene. The show "Howl" will continue to air on CIUT Tuesdays with co-host Nancy Burris. Expect a tribute this week.

NIK BEAT AND LINDA MERCER LIVE ON CIUT 2009;

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Two Notable Celtic Folk Musicians

Jean Redpath was a Scottish folk singer who learned hundreds of traditional Scottish folk songs while studying Medieval Studies at The University of Edinburgh before moving to America in 1961 where she joined the folk scene and played with the likes of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Ramblin Jack Elliott, and Pete Seeger. She was quickly signed to Elektra Records and began recording albums in 1962. With her scholarly Redpath also became artist-in-residence at Wesleyan University in Connecticut in 1972 until 1976 when she began a mammoth project to record the entire works of Robbie Burns set to music working with composer Serge Hovey. The project was proposed to run for twenty two volumes but was scrapped after seven volumes and 323 songs when Hovey died in 1989. Redpath continued to tour, record and lecture at Universities and was awarded an MBE for her work. She died of cancer at 77.

JEAN REDPATH ON PETE SEEGER'S 1960's TV SHOW;


JEAN REDPATH ~ "SONNY'S DREAM";


Buddy MacMaster was a master of Celtic fiddle music in Nova Scotia. He was actually born in Timmons, Ontario from a Gaelic speaking family who moved to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in 1928 when he was four. He learned tradtional Scottish fiddle playing and was a semi-professional musician by the time he was twelve although he got a full time job working on the railways until he retired in 1988. He played regularly on the CBC and was widely respected as a master fiddler and was even invited to Scotland to teach. He was also the father of well known fiddler Natalie MacMaster, together they opned for the White Stripes when they played in Nova Scotia in 2007. He died at 89.

BUDDY & NATALIE MACMASTER;


Monday, 14 July 2014

Three Bassists; Tommy Ramone, Charlie Haden and Billy Rath

Although they wouldn't appear to have much in common Tommy Ramone and Charlie Haden, who both died last week, both played in two highly influential underground bands who would inspire entire genres.

THE RAMONES ~ "JUDY IS A PUNK" 1974;


At this point The Ramones need no introduction; whether or not they actually invented punk (they didn't) they were certainly instrumental in popularizing it to a generation on both sides of the Atlantic. The previous punk bands of the American scene were either artsy (Television, Patti Smith, Suicide, Richard Hell, Pere Ubu, Velvet Underground) or Glam-Trash (Stooges, New York Dolls) or retro (Robert Gordon, Flaming Groovies, Mink DeVille), or Power Pop (Blondie), but the Ramones were so decidedly working class that were able connect with kids in a way none of the others did.

THE RAMONES LIVE 1977;


The Ramones would be cited as a seminal influence on bands outside the New York scene to places like London (where the Sex Pistols, Motorhead, Vibrators, Damned and Clash would be fans), to Canada (Teenage Head, Diodes, Demics, Viletones, DOA) to Australia, Japan, Latin America and The Philippines. In spite of the fact that they never had any chart action and little airplay. Tommy played drums and co-produced their first three albums from 1974 to 78; "The Ramones", "Leave Home", and "Rocket to Russia", as well as the live album "It's Alive". Exhausted by the heavy tour schedule he quit the band in 1978 to be replaced by Marky Ramone. Tommy would remain to produce their fourth album "Road To Ruin". He would later return to co-produce their eighth album "Too Tough To Die".

THE RAMONES ~ "GLAD TO SEE YOU GO";


Besides the Ramones he also produced records in the 1980s he produced the Replacements album "Tim", as well as Redd Kross's "Neurotica". In 2006 he formed bluegrass duo Uncle Monk with former Simplistics singer Claudia Tienan who recorded one album. I had them on my radio show once in 2007 playing live and got him to sign my mandolin. He died of cancer aged 65.

THE RAMONES ~ "PIN HEAD" 1977;


As Tommy Ramone ended his career with old time country music jazz bassist Charlie Haden started there. Haden sang with his family as The Haden Family on their radio show starting when he was two years old, later taking up the bass. He discovered jazz as a teenager moving to Los Angeles eventually playing with Art Pepper and Paul Bley before ultimately joining sax player Ornette Coleman for the recording of the 1959 album "The Shape Of Jazz To Come" and the followup 1960 album "Free Jazz". These albums kicked and gave a name to the free jazz genre that had been forming around players like John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy for a few years. Free Jazz became a powerful force in underground jazz through the 1960's leading to players like Albert Ayler and Pharaoh Sanders and being particularly influential in Europe.



Haden would quit and rejoin Colman's quartet through the sixties as well as he battled drug addiction later joining Keith Jarrett's Trio and then forming another group with Don Cherry. Haden would form The Liberation Music Orchestra with Carla Bley (ex-wife of Paul) in the 1970's. The Liberation Music Orch was combined more structured with classical influences along with strong political themes based around the Spanish Civil War. Haden was once arrested in Portugal for introducing a song by dedicating it to Che Guevara. From the 1980's on Haden formed other bands and recorded albums that included string sections and folk music. He died of complications of polio he had as a child aged 76.



Billy Rath; Bassist for Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers



Speaking of bassists; Tim Williams ~ Bassist for L/A. Hardcore/Thrash band Suicidal Tendencies (although not an original member) ~ 30

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES ~ "INSTITUTIONALIZED";


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Some 1960's Rockers Pass On

Gerry Goffin ~ 1960's songwriter worked with (and later married and divorced) Carole King. Starting in 1959 they became one of the prolific songwriting teams working out of the Brill Building in New York City writing hit songs like;

LITTLE EVA ~ "THE LOCOMOTION";


THE VISCOUNTS ~ "WHO PUT THE BOMP";


THE ANIMALS ~ "DON'T BRING ME DOWN";


GRAND FUNK RAILROAD ~ "THE LOCOMOTION";


"Take Good Care of My Baby" (a hit for Bobby Vee), "Halfway to Paradise" (Tony Orlando, Billy Fury), "The Loco-Motion" (Little Eva, and later Grand Funk Railroad), "Go Away Little Girl" (Steve Lawrence, and later Donny Osmond), "It Might as Well Rain Until September" (Carole King), "One Fine Day" (The Chiffons and later Carole King), "Up on the Roof" (The Drifters), "I'm into Something Good" (Herman's Hermits), "Don't Bring Me Down" (The Animals), "Oh No Not My Baby" (Maxine Brown, and later The Action, Rod Stewart, Aretha Franklin and The Partridge Family), "Goin' Back" (Dusty Springfield, The Byrds), "Wasn't Born To Follow" (also The Byrds, later covered by The Sadies), "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (Aretha Franklin), and "Pleasant Valley Sunday", "Star Collector", "Porpoise Song" (all by The Monkees, the last covered by The Grapes Of Wrath and The Church) along with a bunch of other songs by The Monkees and Drifters.

THE MONKEES ~ "PLEASANT VALLEY SUNDAY";


THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY ~ "OH NO NOT MY BABY";


He also worked with other songwriters in the 1960's on songs like "Who Put The Bomp" (by Curtis Lee & The Viscounts and later Showaddywaddy and The Boppers)

After splitting from King, Goffin released a solo album in 1973, It Ain't Exactly Entertainment, but it was not successful, and he began working with other composers, including Russ Titelman, Barry Goldberg, and then Michael Masser.[7] He and Masser won an Academy Award nomination in 1976 for the theme to the film Mahogany, sung by Diana Ross; and also wrote "Saving All My Love for You", a worldwide hit for Whitney Houston, "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love", and "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You". Goffin and Masser also received a Golden Globe nomination for "So Sad the Song" from the 1976 Gladys Knight film Pipe Dreams. He recorded another solo album in 1994 which included two collaborations with Bob Dylan. He later was an early booster for Kelly Clarkson. He died at 75

THE MONKEES ~ "STAR COLLECTOR";


THE MONKEES ~ "PORPOISE SONG";


Bobby Womack started out as a gospel singer in a group with his brothers as The Womack Brothers on Sam Cooke's SAR records in the mid 1960's. After recording a few singles ("Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray") they made the same journey Cooke himself made in moving to secular R&B under the name The Valentinos who would record the single "It's All Over Now" which was a moderate hit until it was covered by The Rolling Stones who had a major hit with it. Womack was at first angry at having his hit record undermined until Sam Cooke told him; "You'll feel differently once the royalty checks come in. This will be good for us." That turned out to be right as Womack would have to admit. He would later have solo hits with "Lookin' For a Love", "That's The Way I Feel About Cha", "Woman's Gotta Have It", "Harry Hippie", "Across 110th Street" and his 1980s hit "If You Think You're Lonely Now". Ironically he would also do covers of hits like Dylan's "All Along The Watch Tower" and John Phillips' "California Dreaming".

THE VALENTINOS ~ "IT'S ALL OVER NOW";


THE ROLLING STONES ~ "IT'S ALL OVER NOW";


BOBBY WOMACK ~ "CALIFORNIA DREAMING";


Answering the question "Can a white boy play the blues", Johnny Winter was the whitest bluesman ever. Well, along with his brother Edgar, since they were both albinos. Beginning as teens in various garage bands in Texas as early as 1959 Johnny would later go solo and become a highly respected guitarist plying with Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Willie Dixon, Big Walter Horton, Janis Joplin, Rick Derringer and eventually producing an album for Muddy Waters. He also battled drug addiction over the years which he eventually beat. Winter continued to play up to his death at 70.

JOHNNY WINTER, MUDDY WATERS, JOHN LEE HOOKER & FOGHAT ~ "I JUST WANNA MAKE LOVE TO YOU";


JOHNNY WINTER ~ "JUMPING JACK FLASH";


Idris Muhammad ~ American jazz drummer w/Fats Domino, Pharaoh Sanders, Ahmad Jamal, Grover Washington jr, Hank Crawford, Johnny Griffon, Gene Ammons ~ 74

Manny Roth ~ Owner of 1960's New York nightclub Cafe Wha?, a folk & comedy club where Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen, The Velvet Underground, Paul Butterfield, Peter, Paul & Mary, Woody Allen, Lenny Bruce, Joan Rivers, Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor started. Also the uncle of Van Halen singer David Lee Roth ~ 95

THE VELVET UNDERGROUND & NICO ~ "SYMPHONY OF SOUND";


THE VELVET UNDERGROUND & THE EXPLODING PLASTIC INEVITABLE;


PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND ~ "BORN UNDER A BAD SIGN";
George Hamilton IV, not to be confused with the actor, was a country and folk singer of the 1960's who scored a number of hits the biggest of which was "Abaline". Later in the decade he adopted folk music and recorded popular albums of Canadian music including hit versions of Gordon Lightfoot songs, even though he was actually not Canadian.

GEORGE HAMILTON IV ~ "ABILINE" & "FORT WORTH DALLAS OF HOUSTON";