Moonwalking is often attributed to Michael Jackson, but as summarized in this low resolution clip from Soccer AM, it was performed under various names in decades before MJ's live television performance in 1983. Let's backslide through the years, from Cab Calloway's 1932 version that he called "The Buzz" to Jeffrey Daniel performing the backslide as a member of Shalamar in 1982 on Top of the Pops in the UK. [more inside]
"Abused people go one or two ways: They either self-destruct or make a difference, you feel me? I’m gonna make a difference."
'In 2002, five years before journalist Chauncey Bailey was murdered by members of Your Black Muslim Bakery, (Previously) a woman identified only as Jane Doe No. 1 stepped forward to report decades of sexual abuse, welfare fraud and violence by the bakery's leader, Yusuf Bey Sr. She was prepared to hand over to Oakland police DNA from her three children -- evidence that Bey had impregnated her, the first time when she was 12. This was a risky move, but the woman had powerful motivation: her daughter, then 18, had alerted her that Bey was trying to abuse her -- his own child. Now, Jane Doe No. 1 has decided she no longer wants to be nameless. Her name is Kowana Banks and she is the first of Bey's victims to speak publicly.' Video interview. Transcript. (Via) This post recounts experiences of rape and sexual abuse. Topics may be disturbing to some readers. [more inside]
Within that small and very specific sub-genre of musical Americana identifiable as the train imitation, there is one amazing performance, from 1926, that set the standard: Pan-American Blues. The man who recorded it did a fine and fanciful job of evoking the sounds of a fox chase as well, and his rhythmically compelling solo rendition of John Henry stands as testament to the potential for musical greatness achievable by one man and a humble harmonica. He was an African-American who was a founding member of the Grand Ole Opry, a musical institution that we rarely (as in, never) today associate with black people, and his touching and tragic story, documented here, is one that will be of interest to those concerned with the racial, economic and socio-cultural history of American popular music. He stands at one of its more unexpected intersections: his name is DeFord Bailey. [more inside]
Forty years ago, Swinging London was yet to swing. Everything was in black and white and, in class-bound Britain, fashion photographers were trades-men – polite, smart, seen but not heard. A new breed of snappers changed all that – Terry O’Neill, Brian Duffy, David Bailey and Terence Donovan. Bailey and Donovan started their careers in the West End studio of the doyen of fashion photographers – John French. [more inside]
Kid Bailey was a Mississippi Delta bluesman blessed with the kind of slightly gravel-tinged voice that emanates authority. His recording career was a very short one, however, consisting of precisely one day, and yielding precisely two songs. Very little is known about Bailey himself, and the identity of the 2nd accompanying guitarist on his only known recording remains a mystery, though there has been some some speculation. I've been doing a little speculating myself, regarding some of Bailey's lyrics, and any of you blues linguists who might want to help fill in the blanks, please see the [more inside]. [more inside]
Derek Bailey has died. Here's an interview with him from 2001, and another about playing in Japan. Bailey was considered by many to be the father of free improvisation, beginning with his band Joseph Holbrooke, with Tony Oxley and Gavin Bryars, and, in addition to his voluminous discography, is the author of a book on the nature of improvisation.
Bailey + Rankin Down Under - Exhibition now showing in London. Beautiful? Shocking? Most striking is the contrast created between related subject matter by two of the world's top photographers. NSFW (unless you work in either a gynaecologists or a top model agency).