All you Americans know what day it is today, right? Of course you do! It's Hendrix's birthday! Duh. And I'd like to suggest you celebrate by listening to this excellent compilation of various soul and R&B singles that featured Jimi's guitar artistry before the man became the most celebrated guitarist in American music history. JIMI HENDRIX : THE SOUL SESSIONS
A remarkably diverse group of legendary musicians have graced the stage of Tulsa's Cain's Ballroom over the years: Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, the Sex Pistols (one of seven stops on their one and only 1978 U.S. tour…the hole in the drywall left by Sid Vicious’ fist is still backstage), the Ramones, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Blondie, The Talking Heads, U2, Ani DiFranco, Elvis Costello, Snoop Dogg, Morrissey, Beck, Wilco, to name a few. A documentary featuring Costello and several other artists who’ve played there is in the works, with proceeds supporting music education in Oklahoma and the upcoming Cain’s Ballroom Museum. Cain’s was recently named one of the top 10 live music venues in the U.S. From 1935 to 1942, Cain’s was home to Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, who popularized western swing music with weekly dances and a national radio show.
Merry Christmas! Merry Merry Christmas! In 1988, the Writers Guild of America had a strike, the longest in its history, lasting 155 days. The strike had some fallout -- both Moonlighting and Kate and Allie lost audience members due to long hiatuses during the strike, which may have led to their cancellation. And while it generally did not affect children's television, one show, in particular, was hard-hit by the strike: Pee Wee's Playhouse, which had a season of only two episodes, plus a Christmas special. [more inside]
It's no secret that throughout their long career, the Rolling Stones have covered lots of tunes by black singers and bands from the worlds of soul, blues, R&B, reggae and early rock'n'roll, and have, of course, been heavily influenced by these various genres in their own performance and songwriting. Perhaps a bit lesser known is that several of the most iconic and legendary figures in black music have covered Stones songs as well. Here's Brown Sugar by Little Richard, Satisfaction by Aretha Frankilin and Otis Redding, Under My Thumb by Tina Turner, Start Me Up by Toots and the Maytals and, rather unexpectedly, Let's Spend the Night Together by blues great Muddy Waters
The best CD I've purchased so far this year is the latest from the Blind Boys of Alabama. this record features superb vocalizing, great bluesy guitar, and a Sones(!) and Tom Waits(!!) cover. In an age where "gospel music" has sunk into the quagmire of "Contemporary Christian", its easy to forget that old-school gospel both black and white were huge influences on rock and roll. Little Richard, for one, took his trademark "Whoo!" from Marion Williams and countless rockers from Aretha to Elvis learned to sing in church. Now, can I get an Amen?!