The Music Scene is a television series aired by ABC as part of its Fall 1969 lineup. The show featured performances from the top musicians of the week as compiled by “Billboard Magazine” and had a number of hosts, including David Steinberg and Lily Tomlin. Many huge names of the era, including The Beatles, James Brown, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Three Dog Night, Tom Jones on the initial program and Janis Joplin, Bobby Sherman, The Miracles, Sly & the Family Stone, Isaac Hayes, Stevie Wonder, Bo Diddley and Mama Cass Elliot, (who co-hosted as well as performed) among many others, appearing on subsequent shows. [more inside]
Richard Pryor moved to New York City in 1963, where he performed regularly in clubs alongside performers such as Bob Dylan and Woody Allen. He even opened for singer and pianist Nina Simone, who talked of his early nervousness, when she put her "arms around him there in the dark and rocked him like a baby until he calmed down." You can see something of that young man in this clip of Pryor singing a bit of jazzy blues in 1966. The performance is also available on YouTube with slightly better quality, but faded in from different scene. [more inside]
One year ago today, a tornado devastated Joplin, Missouri. Photographer Robert X. Fogarty's "Dear World" project commemorates the survivors of that day with two galleries of portraits. Each survivor has a short message written on his or her skin: "I survived Joplin's EF-5." "Together these work miracles." "Survived."
On April 12th, prior to the Alabama outbreak and about 6 weeks before a tornado tore through the middle of mostly basement-less Joplin, MO, Colleen Bogener wrote a short editorial on the need for public storm shelters in Joplin. There was a short bit of discussion in response.
The "Crash at Crush" was the intentional head-on crash of two Katy locomotives on Sept. 15, 1896. The results were not quite what Agent Crush had planned. Scott Joplin wrote The Great Crush Collision March [more pictures] to commemorate the event and it was also an inspiration for 'Head-On' Joe Connelly. [more inside]
The Historic American Sheet Music archive at the Duke University Library has over 3000 pieces published in the United States available online, from the 1850s up to 1920. Composers represented include well-known names such as Scott Joplin, Irving Berlin, and John Philip Sousa. All the music is now in the public domain, and may be printed and performed freely. [Note: Language or stereotypes may occasionally be NSFW.]
Chet Helms has been dead for a few days. He was not mentioned here and I somehow missed all this. He was a player in the music biz in his day and kinda looks like me if I stopped trimming my beard for a week or two. RIP.