Rock & Roll Heaven: What dead rock stars would look like if they were alive today.
To start with the beginning: Jack Sheppard was a notorious English robber who inspired John Gay to write The Beggar's Opera (1728). Two centuries later, the German composer Kurt Weill and dramatist Bertolt Brecht adapted it into a musical as a socialist critique of capitalism and the modern world: Die Dreigroschenoper. It was about to open when the lead actor demanded a song to introduce his character. It was this song that would open the play and at its premiere, it was Kurt Gerron who would be the first to sing the Moriat of Macky Messer as the street singer setting the scene. [more inside]
Ahmet Ertegun was profiled by George W. S. Trow in The New Yorker in a classic piece back in 1978. Ertegun was the son of the Turkish ambassador to the US and he remained behind in D.C. studying medieval philosophy at Georgetown. Instead of devoting himself to his studies he founded Atlantic Records with his friend Herb Abramson. Trow charted how Ertegun moved from tramping through muddy, Louisiana fields in search of hot new sounds to the whirl of Studio 54. Below the cut are links to the songs mentioned in the article, as best as I could find, in the order in which they appear. [more inside]