Dance Macabre

Dance Macabre

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";

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Herb Jeffries; Pioneering Black Western Star Dies At 100

Herb Jeffries had a unique (not to mention very long) career in two completely different genres; Big Band Jazz singer with Duke Ellington, Earl Fatha Hines, Sidney Bechet and Erskine Tate from the early 1930's Jeffries took an odd career shift in 1937. Taking note of the success of Gene Autry, Jeffries teamed up with black film-maker Spencer Williams to make a series of western musicals with a all black casts. These played well in the black theatre circuit are considered the first successful black westerns. Jeffries is remembered as a pioneer of black films (Mario Van Peebles included a clip of him at the end of his modern western "Posse") but he is rarely mentioned in most film histories probably due to most of his films being seen as trivial B Movies, although he did get a star on the walk of fame. After getting some renewed interest he came out of retirement in 1995 at the age of 85 to record an album of country/western songs. He died in May 2014 at the age of 100.

HERB JEFFRIES w/ DUKE ELLINGTON ~ "FLAMINGO";


HERB JEFFRIES & THE FOUR TUNES ~ "I'M A HAPPY COWBOY";


HERB JEFFRIES & THE FOUR TUNES ~ "GOT THE PAYDAY BLUES";

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Some Canadian Punk & New Wave Figures Pass

Nash The Slash; All good punks know that prog-rock sucked, and was in fact one of the reasons why punk happened. However in Toronto at least there was one exception, Nash The Slash and FM. They were an artsy prog-rock band with influences from the reasonably cool side of prog (like King Crimson) who were considered acceptable by most punks. This was partly due to Nash's "Mummy wearing a tuxedo" persona (although he did not start out that way) but also due to FM's reasonably non-pretentious air and their willingness to be part of the scene at all. Unlike the British Progs who ran screaming from punk. Nash (whose real name was Jeff Plewman)was even supposed to play the legendary "Last Pogo" concert which was recorded and filmed, he is even listed on the concert listings. Unfortunately he injured his hand and could not play. It helped that FM was formed in 1976, concurrent with punk, and like the punks had to struggle to find places to play at all in Toronto's (and Canada's) live and radio scene at the time which was focused on tired cover bands. FM recorded one album, "Black Noise" and scored an appearance on TVO (an Ontario version of PBS best known for children's programing like "The Polka-Dot Door" and revivals of classic B&W movies) before breaking up and sending Nash off to an eccentric solo career in which he would play literally every instrument, even on stage. He recorded several solo albums with moderate success in Canada and Britain where he was cited as an influence by Gary Numan and John Foxx's Ultravox. These alternated with FM reunions and shows in which he played soundtracks to silent horror films like "Nosferatu". Off stage he was a nice polite balding middle aged guy with glasses. One of the first shows I went to was actually an FM show at the Copa Klub, which is now long gone.

FM ~ "PHASORS ON STUN" (ON TVO 1976);


FM ~ "BLACK NOISE"


Another not-quite-punk-but-still-kinda-punk band of the late 1970's Toronto scene was The Dishes. One of the first bands on the Toronto scene, the Dishes were definitely of the early Roxy Music art school genre (also openly gay) that many these days don't consider punk at all but at the time they were an important part of the scene, for a lot of the same reasons as FM; lack of places to play, lack of record company support, lack of radio airplay, media hostility and willingness to support other such bands. They recorded an album, played a lot of gigs, managed to appear on TVO and then broke up and missed playing the iconic Last Pogo. After they broke up drummer Steven Davey formed another band called the Everglades in which he sang. They actually did play the Last Pogo and appear on the long out of print album, but not the movie. Then they broke up too and he went on to be a music writer for the Toronto Star. Later he moved on to Food Critic for Now Magazine he died suddenly this past week.

THE DISHES ~ "TWILIGHT ZONE";


THE DISHES ~ "MONOPOLIES ARE MADE AT NIGHT";


Richard Carstens ~ Singer/Guitarist with 1980's & 90's Indie Bands Madhouse, Wammee and Granny as well as solo ~ 54

THE WAMMEE ~ "WALKIN SIDE WAYS";


MADHOUSE ~ "MISERY";


Doug Queen ~ Accordionist with Country Rock Band Jughead, best known for "The Hockey Song" ~ 49
JUGHEAD ~ "THE HOCKEY SONG";


Dave Gregg ~ Guitarist with Canadian Punk band D.O.A. ~ 54

DOA ~ "WORLD WAR 3";


DOA ~ "THE PRISONER";


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The People Who Died (so far) 2014 Edition



Victor Agnello ~ Drummer with American Thrash Metal band Lääz Rockit ~ 50

Johnny Allen ~ Soul music composer/arranger with Issac Hayes ("Shaft") ~ 96

Johnny Ray Allen ~ American roots rock bassist The Subdudes ~ 56

Lester Armistead ~ American bluegrass musician ~ 71

Angèle Arsenault ~ Acadian Singer/Songwriter ~ 74

Gil Askey ~ American/Australian R&B Pianist/Composer/Arranger with Motown, got Oscar Nomination for Diana Ross' Billie Holliday biopic "Lady Sings The Blues" ~ 89

Mike Atta ~ Guitarist w/1970's & 80's California Hardcore band Middle Class ~

Fanny Beecher ~ Rockabilly guitarist with Bill Haley's Comets ~ 91

Malik Bendjelloul ~ Swedish Academy Award-winning documentary film director (Searching for Sugar Man) ~ 36

Dave Brockie ~ Singer with Shock/Gore Metal Band Gwar ~ 50

Gary Burger ~ Singer with 1960's American/German Garage Band The Monks ~ 70

Andre Bush ~ American jazz guitarist (Nnenna Freelon) ~ 45

Roy Campbell Jr. ~ Free Jazz trumpet player, solo and played with Don Cherry,Yo La Tengo, William Parker, Peter Brotzmann, Matthew Shipp ~ 61

Richard Carstens ~ Toronto Singer/guitarist with indie bands Madhouse, The Wammee, Granny & solo ~ 54

Bob Casale ~ Guitarist for American New Wave icons Devo ~ 61

Roy Cicala ~ American record producer and engineer, worked Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Aerosmith, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith, David Bowie ~ 74

Lee Black Childers ~ New York Photographer of 1960's Andy Warhol and 1970's Punk Rock scenes ~ 68

Jessica Cleaves ~ American 1970's R&B singer w/The Friends of Distinction, Earth, Wind & Fire ~ 65

Little Joe Cook ~ Singer w/1950's Doo Wop Group Little Joe & The Thrillers ("Do The Slop" & "Peanuts" also sang with The Evening Stars and The Sherries ~ 91

Jerry Corbitt ~ Guitarist with 1960's Folk Rock band The Youngbloods ("Come Together")

Glenn Cornick ~ Guitarist w/UK 1970's Prog-Rock band Jethro Tull ~ 67

Pierre Cullaz ~ French modern jazz guitarist and cellist ~ 78

Jason Curley ~ Bassist w/ Australian stoner rock band Tumbleweed ~ 42

Steven Davey ~ Drummer w/1970's Toronto Art Punks The Dishes, later singer with The Everglades, still later music writer with the Toronto Star and food critic with Now Magazine ~ 64

Rod de'Ath ~ Welsh drummer with 1960's blues rock band Killing Floor and Rory Gallagher ~ 64

Penny DeHaven ~ 1970's Country Singer & Hee Haw cast member ~ 65

George Donaldson ~ Scottish singer/Guitarist & Flutist with Celtic Thunder ~ 46

Allan Douglass ~ UK record producer for Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton ~ 80

Arthur Doyle ~ American Jazz sax player and flutist ~ 69

Kenny Drew jr ~ American jazz pianist ~ 56

Mundo Earwood ~ American 1970's & 80's country music singer-songwriter ~ 61

DJ Eazy Rock ~ 1990's Hip Hop & Dance DJ w/Rob Base ("It Takes Two") ~ 46

Val Eddy ~ American jazz musician, singer and band leader ~ 88

Joe Evans ~ American Jazz Saxman, played with Jay McShann, Charlie Parker, Don Redman, Louis Armstrong, Mary Lou Williams, Coleman Hawkins, Fats Navarro, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Ben Thigpen, Cab Calloway, Billie Holiday, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Lionel Hampton and Ivory Joe Hunter ~ 97

Phil Everly ~ American singer and musician with The Everly Brothers w/hits, "Cathy's Clown", "When Will I Be Loved", "Wake Up Little Suzi" ~ 74

Christian Falk ~ Singer and bassist w/Swedish alt-band Imperiet ~ 52

Glen Feick AKA Anus Bird ~ Singer with 1990's Toronto Hardcore band Dirty Bird

Lionel Ferbos ~ New Orleans Jazz Trumpet player from the 1930's on. Played with Mamie Smith and appeared in the 1978 movie "Pretty Baby" ~ 103

King Fleming ~ Jazz/R&B pianist and band leader from the 1940's, 50's & 60's. Played with Wynonie Harris on Apollo, Johnny Alston and His Orchestra, Oliver "King" Perry's Pied Pipers ~ 91

Med Flory ~ American 1970's Jazz saxophonist with Supersax ~ 87

Buren Fowler ~ American rock and roll guitarist (Drivin' N Cryin', R.E.M.) ~ 54

Joe Frazier ~ Singer with 1960's folk trio The Chad Mitchell Trio ~ 77

Dennis Frederiksen ~ American rock singer (Angel, Le Roux, Toto) ~ 62

Ed Gagliardi ~ Bass guitarist with Foreigner "I Wanna Know What Love Is", "Juke Box Hero", "Urgent" ~ 62

PJ Galligan ~ Guitarist for 1980's Hardcore Punk band The Angry Samoans

Anna Gordy Gaye ~ Soul songwriter and record company exec with Motown and later her own Anna Records. Sister of Barry Gordy and wife of Marvin Gaye ~ 92

Eric Gentry ~ Singer with American Alt-Rock Band A Feast For Kings ~ 21

Shane Gibson ~ Guitarist with American Nu Metal Band Korn ~ 35

HR Giger ~ Swiss artist, designed the sets and monsters for the "Alien" movies as well as for a Dead Kennedys lp which was the subject of court action ~ 74

Tommy Gill ~ American jazz pianist ~ 49

Paul Goddard ~ Bassist w/1970's Southern Rock Band The Atlanta Rhythm Section) ~ 68

Gerry Goffin ~ 1960's Brill Building songwriter worked with Carole King, wrote; "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), "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 Rod Stewart), "Goin' Back" (Dusty Springfield, The Byrds), "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (Aretha Franklin), and "Pleasant Valley Sunday" (The Monkees), "Who Put The Bomp" (Curtis Lee), "Saving All My Love For You" (Whitney Houston) ~ 75

Johnnie Gray ~ British jazz musician ~ 94

Bobby Gregg ~ American session drummer (Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel) ~ 78

Dave Gregg ~ Guitarist with Canadian Punk band D.O.A. ~ 54

James Grey ~ Keyboardist with Blue Rodeo and Vital Sines

Charlie Haden ~ Free Jazz bassist with Ornette Coleman, Keith Jarrett and his own Liberation Music Orchestra with singer Carla Bley ~ 76

Georges Hamel ~ Quebec country singer ~ 66

Al Harewood ~ Jazz drummer with Dexter Gordon, Stanley Turrentine & Ike Quebec ~ 90

Wayne Henderson ~ American Soul Jazz trombonist with The Jazz Crusaders ~ 74

Alice Herz-Sommer ~ Czech-British pianist, world's oldest Holocaust survivor, subject of Oscar winning documentary "The Lady in Number 6" ~ 110

Fred Ho ~ American Jazz Sax player, composer, music critic and political activist ~ 56

Teenie Hodges ~ American R&B guitarist (Hi Rhythm Section) and songwriter ("Take Me to the River", "Love and Happiness") ~ 68

Kelly Holland ~ Singer with 1990's Southern Rock band Cry For Love ~ 52

Josh Hunter ~ Musician with Calgary Indie-Pop band Zachariah And The Prophets ~ 21

Jadiel ~ Puerto Rican reggaeton singer ~ 28

Lois Johnson ~ American 1970's country music singer ~ 72

Ronny Jordan ~ British modern jazz guitarist ~ 51

Dennis Kamakahi ~ Grammy Award winning Hawaiian Guitarist ~ 61

Dalire Kaneohe ~ American hula dancer, first Miss Aloha Hula winner ~ 64

Casey Kasam ~ American radio DJ and TV host of "American Top Thirty", also the voice of Scooby Doo's Shaggy ~ 82

Jim Keays ~ Australian Singer/Harpist for Psyche band The Masters Apprentices ~ 67

Patrik Karlsson ~ Swedish bassist with Swedish 1960's & 70's Rock/Pop Band Sven-Ingvars ~ 53

Frankie Knuckles ~ 1990's DJ & Producer, worked with Pet Shop Boys, Lisa Stansfield, Luther Vandross, Chaka Kahn, Whitney Houston, Toni Braxton, Diana Ross, Micheal Jackson, Janet Jackson ~ 59

Maria Kolokouri ~ Greek rock singer w/Astarte ~ 37

Gert Krawinkel ~ Guitarist with 1980's German New Wave group Trio ("Da Da Da") ~ 61

Hank LoConti ~ Rock and roll music venue owner of The Agora in Cleavland ~ 85

Joe Lala ~ Drummer with Manassas, Bee Gees, Whitney Houston, CSNY, Blues Image ~ 66

David Lamb ~ Singer/guitarist with American Folk/Rock Band Brown Bird ~ 35

Willie Lara ~ Trinidadian parang musician ~ 84

Freddie "Fingers" Lee ~ British 1960's rock guitarist, played on recordings with Gene Vincent, Screaming Lord Sutch and Marty Wilde ~ 76

Selim Lemouchi ~ Guitarist and songwriter for Dutch Metal Band (The Devil's Blood ~ 34

Buddy MacMaster ~ Canadian Celtic fiddler from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, father of Natalie MacMaster ~ 89

Lee McBee ~ American Blues singer & harmonica player from the 1970's & 80's w/Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Rogers, Doug Sahm, Johnny Winter and Mike Morgan & The Crawl ~ 63

Jason McCash ~ Bassist with American Doom Metal Band Gates Of Slumber ~ 38

Paddy McGuigan ~ Irish singer/songwriter with The Barleycom ~ 74

Colin McQuillan ~ Vocalist w/Belfast Street-Punk/Oi band Runnin' Riot ~

Johnny Mann ~ American Pop Songwriter ("Up Up And Away"), also Alvin & The Chipmunks ~ 85

Jan Manschott ~ Drummer with Dutch hard rock band Normaal ~ 66

Bongani Masuku ~ South African singer with Johnny Clegg & Jaluka ~ 50

Bill Merritt ~ Bassist with 1970's rock folk-rock and country-rock bands Mood Jga Jga, Fabulous George and the Zodiacs, Be Bop Beluga, Rocky Rolletti and Prairie Dog, later co-founder of The Winnipeg Folk Festival ~ 66

Jonny Morelli ~ Italian metal drummer ~ 30

Ralph Morman ~ American vocalist w/The Joe Perry Project, BUX, Savoy Brown ~ 65

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

Charles Nabess ~ Canadian Métis rock guitarist and fiddler ~ 67

Nash The Slash ~ Canadian Prog-Rock Violinist/Mondolinist solo and with FM, known for his persona of bandages and tuxedo ~ 67

Jimmy C. Newman ~ American country & cajun singer from the 1950's & 60's ("A Fallen Star" & "Alligator Man") ~ 86

Rick Parashar ~ American record producer (Pearl Jam, Temple of the Dog, Alice in Chains, Blind Melon, Unwritten Law, Nickleback, Bon Jovi, # Doors Down, Melissa Etheridge) ~ 50

Armando Peraza ~ Cuban-born American Latin jazz percussionist w/Santana, Stan Kenton, George Shearing ~ 89

Sean Potts ~ Tin Whistle player with Irish Folk band The Chieftains ~ 83

Duffy Power ~ British 1960's R&B singer with Graham Bond and The Paramounts ~ 72

Ralph Pruitt ~ American 1960's & 70's R&B singer w/The Fantastic Four on Motown ~ 74

Gene Pyrz ~ Canadian actor and rockabilly singer ~ 56

Doug Queen ~ Accordionist with Toronto Country/Rock band Jughead ~ 49

Teddy Rakel ~ American jazz pianist ~ 88

Tommy Ramone ~ Real name Tommy Erdelyi, Drummer and later producer for iconic New York punk band The Ramones ("Rock & Roll Highschool", "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker", "Rockaway Beach", etc). Later formed a bluegrass duo called Uncle Monk ~ 65

Billy Rath ~ American bassist w/ Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers ~ 66

Zachariah Rathwell ~ Singer/Guitarist w/Calgary indie-pop band Zachariah & The Prophets ~ 23

Jean Redpath ~ Scottish-American folk singer from the 1960's on. Recorded seven volumes of Robbie Burns poems set to music. ~ 77

Frank Reed ~ Singer with 1970's Soul Group The Chi-Lights ~ 59

Jair Rodrigues ~ Brazilian musician and singer ~ 75

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, 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

Bunny Rugs ~ Singer w/ Jamaican Reggae band Third World ~ 65

Masahide Sakuma ~ Keyboard player, bassist & guitarist with Japanese new wave band The Plastics and record producer ~ 61

Dave Sampson ~ English 1960's one-hit-wonder ("Sweet Dreams") ~ 73

Frankie Sardo ~ 1960's Pop singer ~ 77

Paulo Schrober ~ Guitarist for Brazilian Metal Band Almah ~ 40

Little Jimmy Scott ~ American Jazz singer from the 1950's & 60's; solo and w/Lionel Hampton and Charlie Parker did hit version of "Sweet Embraceable You" ~ 88

Pete Seeger ~ Iconic American Folk Singer and Folklorist, played with The New Lost City Ramblers, The Weavers and Woody Guthrie, later recorded literally dozens of solo albums. Wrote songs such as "Where Have All The Flowers Gone", "If I Had A Hammer" and "Turn Turn Turn" (later covered by The Byrds). Popularized songs like "We Shall Overcome" and "The Lion Speaks Tonight". Was also a leading civil rights activist from the 1940's on, was blacklisted by HUAC in the 1950's for over a decade. ~ 94

Kevin Sharp ~ American New Country singer ~ 43

James Alan Shelton ~ American bluegrass guitarist w/Ralph Stanley ~ 53

George Shuffler; Guitarist with Country/Bluegrass duos Stanley Bros, Bailey Bros ~ 88

Horace Silver ~ Horace Silver American jazz pianist (Song for My Father, Blowin' the Blues Away) ~ 85

Prince Philip Smart ~ Jamaican producer w/Lee Scratch Perry & King Tubby ~ 54

Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith ~ Western Swing/Honk-Tonk guitarist/banjoist from the 1940's, 50's & 60's. Did the original versions of "Guitar Boogie" & "Dueling Banjos" ~ 94

Bud Spangler ~ Detroiy jazz drummer with Stan Kenton, Stan Getz, later record producer and radio host ~ 75

MC Sparks ~ UK Garage artist ~

John Spinks ~ Singer and songwriter w/ UK 1980's Pop Band The Outfield ~ 60

Kathy Stobart ~ British jazz saxophonist and bandleader from the 1940's - 1970's ~ 89

Marlow Tackett ~ American country music singer ~ 69

Marty Thau ~ New York music producer, promoter and founder of Red Star Records. Manager of The New York Dolls, producer of Suicide, Fleshtones, Brian Setzer ~ 75

Tabby Thomas ~ Louisiana swamp blues singer ~ 84

Trebor Jay Tichenor ~ American Ragtime and Dixieland pianist & composer ~ 74

Samong Traisattha ~ Singer with Thai Death Metal band Surrender Divinity ~ 36

Jay Traynor ~ Original singer with 1960's rock vocal groups Jay and the Americans and the Mystics. Later became a manager and promoter ~ 70

Jerry Vale ~ 1950's Pop singer ~ 83

Cees Veerman ~ Singer/guitarist with Dutch 1960's Psyche-Pop band The Cats and The Mystic Four ~ 70

Dick Wagner ~ Guitarist for Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Kiss Billy Joel, Peter Gabriel, Air Supply, BurtonCummings, Hall & Oates, Tim Curry and The Frost, wrote "Only Women Bleed" and "Welcome To My Nightmare" for Alice Cooper ~ 71

Gene Walker ~ American jazz and rock saxophonist ~ 76

Raffa Dean White ~ Drummer w/Toronto Blues/Reggae/Rock band Big Sugar ~ 55

Craig Whittaker ~ American jazz saxophonist ~ 55

Joe Wilder ~ American Jazz Trumpeter w/Jimmie Lunceford, Count Basie, Lucky Millinder, Noble Sissle, Dizzy Gillespie, Hank Jones, Gil Evans, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Johnny Mathis, Les Hite, Harry Belafonte, Tony Bennett and the Cosby Show and Malcolm X soundtracks ~ 92

Tim Williams ~ Bassist for L/A. Hardcore/Thrash band Suicidal Tendencies ~ 30

Tim Wilson ~ American Country Singer/Comic ~ 54

Jesse Winchester ~ Country/Folk singer/songwriter ~ 69

Johnny Winter ~ Texas blues/rock guitarist, brother of Edgar ~ 70

Bobby Womack ~ 1960's & 70's R&B/Gospel singer/songwriter. Originally with The Womack Brothers as a gospel group and then R&B group The Valentinos, recorded on Sam Cooke's SAR Records. Did the original version of "It's All Over Now" later covered in a hit version by the Rolling Stones. Later went solo and had 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". ~ 70

Adrian Worrell ~ Co-Host of CIUT's "Vibe Collective" radio show

Herb Wong ~ American jazz producer for Palo Alto Records ~ 88

Akihiro Yokoyama ~ Bassist with Japanese Metal Band United ~ 49

Joe Young ~ Guitarist w/ North Carolina Punk band Antiseen ~ 54

Monday, 3 March 2014

Pete Seeger ~ RIP

When Pete Seeger died recently at age 94 it obviously came as no surprise, he was 94 after all. The tributes were lengthy and well deserved, Pete Seeger was one of the truly towering figures of 20th century music.

On purely musical terms he was not especially note-worthy. His rather weedy voice and rudimentary guitar and banjo playing were not what made him important, it was his tireless work as a folklorist, civil rights leader and activist.

Born in Manhattan in 1919 of a middle-class family, his parents Charles and Constance were respected composers, musicologists and educators. Charles was also a pacifist who lost his job at University of California Berkley for his opposition to World War One, Pete's uncle Alan Seeger, a noted poet, died in that war. During the Roosevelt administration Charles got a job as an ethno-musicologist (a new discipline he helped pioneer) with the WPA as would John and Alan Lomax. Charles and Constance would divorce in 1932 and Charles would marry Ruth Crawford, a respected composer, and they would have four children, all of whom would become folk singers in their own lights.

THE WEAVERS


In spite of this background young Pete did not immediately take to music as a career, although he did learn how to play guitar, banjo, ukulele, and harmonica, he instead trained as a journalist and painter. By 1938 however he had dropped out of college as he was spending too much time on political activities. He had become a supporter of left-wing causes; civil-rights, anti-war, pro-union, anti-facist, anti-racist and a supporter of the loyalists in the Spanish Civil War. He had also become a friend to left-wing folk singers like Woody Guthrie, Cisco Huston, Josh White, Harry McClintock and Leadbelly. Throughout the 1930's and 40's Seeger would play many rallies and benefits for various causes and in 1936 he joined the Communist Party. He would leave the party in the aftermath of World War Two (during which he enlisted in the Navy and spent the war entertaining the troops) differing over the party's slavish devotion to Stalin. In spite of this falling out, during the 1950's McCarthy Red Scare Seeger would steadfastly refuse to denounce his old comrades when called up to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1955. His refusal to answer HUAC's questions earned him ten one year jail sentences for contempt of congress. After a long court battle this sentence was overturned on appeal in 1962, during this time his movements were greatly restricted and his passport was revoked. Worse he found himself largely banned from the radio and TV and had many shows cancelled.

PETE SEEGER W/ SONNY TERRY & BROWNIE McGEE ~ "ROCK ISLAND LINE";


By this time he had become a well known musical figure. He formed the Almanac Singers in 1941 with Lee Hays and Millard Lampell and a revolving cast that would include the likes of Woody Guthrie, Cisco Houston and Josh White. By 1950 the Almanacs had evolved into The Weavers including Seeger, Hays, Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman. The Weavers would become the first successful folk group scoring several major hits with songs like "Goodnight Irene" (a cover of a Leadbelly song), "So Long It's Been Good To Know You" (by Guthrie), "Sixteen Tons" (by Merle Travis), "On Top Of Old Smokey", "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine", "Turn, Turn, Turn" (later covered by The Byrds), "Kumbaya" and "Wimoweh (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)", a cover of a South African song by Solomon Linda later redone as a doo-wop song by The Tokens. Their "Live At Carnegie Hall" album was one of the biggest sellers of the 1950's. However the bans and blacklists as a result of HUAC effectively made it impossible to continue and Seeger left the group. The Weavers would struggle on for some time with various replacements but their place on the charts would be taken by the non-controversial Kingston Trio.

PETE SEEGER'S "RAINBOW QUEST" TV SHOW ~ GUESTS ROSCOE HOLCOMB & JEAN RICHIE:


In the late 1950's and early sixties the blacklisted Seeger made ends meet as a music teacher and writing a column for for "Sing Out!" magazine. But his lifeline came when Folkways Records signed him to a contract by which would record as many as five albums a year. Even with no radio airplay he would play the college and coffee house circuit as the early 60's folk revival led to a revival. Seeger would play a prominent role in the 60's folk scene and would champion such younger singers as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Peter, Paul & Mary and Ramblin Jack Elliot as well as lesser known figures like The Hillmen (featuring future Byrd Chris Hillmen) and The Town Criers with future Jefferson Airplane founder Marty Balin. Equally important were older singers now being rediscovered such as Mississippi John Hurt, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee, Skip James, Merle Travis, Roscoe Holcombe, Reverend Gary Davis, Cousin Emmy, Doc Watson and The Stanley Brothers.

PETE SEEGER'S "RAINBOW QUEST" TV SHOW WITH JOHNNY & JUNE CARTER CASH:


To promote folk music he started a new magazine, "Broadside" and hosted a syndicated TV show called "Rainbow Quest" which had most of the above singers as guests as well as younger singers like Johnny and June Cash, Donovan, Buffy St Marie, Tom Paxton and Judy Collins. Many of these shows are now available on DVD. He had earlier made a short documentary with Alan Lomax in 1947 which included Woody Guthrie, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee and Texas Gladden.

HEAR YOUR BANJO PLAY ~ 1947;


Pete Seeger never gave up his commitment to civil rights and the anti-war movement. He would continue to play rallies and protest marches, sometimes getting arrested well into his 80's. He would popularize the old black hymn "We Shall Overcome" as a civil rights anthem. In 1967 he was famously banned from TV for playing the anti-war song "Waist Deep In Big Muddy" on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Comedy Hour". After wide protest the network allowed him back on the show a year later. By the 1980's he would add the environment, anti-apartheid and farm-relief to his causes and he in fact played a Farm Aid benefit just a few months before his death joined onstage by Neil Young and Willie Nelson. Earlier in the year he had played at Occupy Wall street rallies. By that time he had recorded at least fifty albums both solo and with The Weavers.

PETE SEEGER'S "RAINBOW" QUEST TV SHOW WITH DONOVON AND RAVI SHANKAR: