Later this year will mark the 45th anniversary of Bill Cosby's first self-titled sitcom, The Bill Cosby Show. Ten years ago, the original jam sessions were released, which are notable for the "various collection of notables who steal the show with contributions at various points." Pianist Les McCann, sax man Ernie Watts, and guitarist Arthur Adams get things going on "Groovy Gravy," Tom Scott shows some legit chops on "Toe Jam," while Jimmy Smith offers sampling of his Hammond B3 on the interlude "Jimmy Cookin' On Top." If seeing Quincy Jones and Bill Cosby get top billing confused you, the album credits reference their roles, which are not front-and-center, except for some vocal improv by Cosby on "Hikky-Burr." You can hear more tracks on Grooveshark, and if you're into more of that modern dance remixery, you might (also) enjoy The New Mixes, Vol. 1, which can also be sampled on Grooveshark.
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]
Let's just kick back and have a hella lotta fun with some good old fashioned New Orleans R&B and proto-rock from Huey 'Piano' Smith, what'cha say? His Don't You Just Know It can't help but put a smile on your face, and he'll give you that Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu so strong you'll hardly notice your High Blood Pressure, or that your baby is Psycho!
Listening Guide to West End Blues by Louis Armstrong - Listening Guide to Backwater Blues by Bessie Smith - Listening Guide to Salt Peanuts by Dizzy Gillespie and His All Stars
Here's some raw, homespun, electric guitar gospel from a 1950s Checker label release by the Reverend Utah Smith: Two Wings. [more inside]
Meaghan Smith took an unusual route to the music business. She can't read music, for one thing. She went to school to study animation for another. Yet, along the way, she took her hobby of playing the guitar to work with her, giving impromptu performances of her songs in the stairwell of the animation building for her friends. One thing lead to another, and she just won the Pop Album of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards in Canada for her recording called "The Cricket's Orchestra." Her sound is a mixture of the music of the 20s 30s and 40s with the pop songs of today. Her videos often feature animation. A good place to start is "A Little Love" and also "I Know." Her song "Here Comes Your Man" was featured in the film 500 Days of Summer. She is also a pretty good artist!
If you're in the mood for some of that juicy, satisfying, blues-inflected and soulful-as-hell organ jazz served up Jimmy Smith-style, check out these 1964 BBC TV appearances from Smith and his trio: The Sermon, Wagon Wheels, Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf, Uptempo Blues and Theme from Mondo Cane. [more inside]
Though Bessie Smith is regarded as the queen of the early blues singers, Martha Copeland was singing the blues and its variants (and doing a fine job of it) back in the 20s as well. Head over to Internet Archive to hear Martha sing her versions of two of the tunes that made Bessie so famous: I Ain't Got Nobody and St. Louis Blues, the latter with backing vocal chorus from the Hall Johnson Choir. Check out her Dying Crap Shooter's Blues and Sorrow Valley Blues. And there's plenty of Martha Copeland goodness for your ears (RealPlayer) here and here. [more inside]
"In January 2005, Mark E. Smith and The Fall (described as 'one of the most enigmatic, idiosyncratic and chaotic garage bands of the last 30 years') were the subject of a BBC 4 TV documentary, The Fall: The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E. Smith." parts 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9