Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Obit watch: February 14, 2018.

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

A little late on this, but here’s your obit for Vic Damone.

After winning on the radio show “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts” in 1947, he recorded some 2,500 songs over 54 years. He had his own radio and television programs, made movies, survived rock ′n’ roll and its noisy offspring and became a mainstay of the Las Vegas Strip, and nightclubs where audiences were so close he could almost reach out and touch them with his voice.
Along the way, he made millions, entertained presidents and royalty, refused a part in “The Godfather,” married five times, had four children and underwent analysis. He also survived a brush with the mob, four divorces, a custody fight over his only son and the suicides of two former wives. And he was still working as the millennium turned, with a voice that critics said had not lost its mellow subtleties.

Marty Allen is dead at the age of 95. He was most famous as half of the comedy team Allen and Rossi, who were big in the post Martin/Lewis era. (Steve Rossi apparently died in 2014: I don’t seem to have noted his passing here.)

Victor Milan, SF and fantasy author. I read Cybernetic Samurai not long after it came out, and kind of liked it.

Can’t afford it…

Friday, February 9th, 2018

but I want it anyway.

Mostly so I have a place to ride my pony. No, that’s not a euphemism. Actually, the whole reason I posted this is so I could embed a song I used to sing on my way out of Four Letter Computer Corporation on Friday afternoon. (Have I mentioned this previously?)

I love that line, “Kemosabi, kiss my ass, I’ve bought a boat, I’m going out to sea.”

(Hattip on Boaty McBoatface to Morlock Publishing.)

Obit watch: February 8, 2018.

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

I haven’t found a good mainstream source for this yet, but John Perry Barlow, former lyricist for the Grateful Dead and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, passed away yesterday.

EFF. Mike Godwin’s Twitter feed has a lot of good tributes.

Edited to add 2/9: NYT obit.

Jarndyce v Jarndyce.

Monday, February 5th, 2018

Charles Dickens, call your office, please:

It seems fair to say, 11 years after James Brown’s death, that his estate planning has failed in its major mission: to distribute his wealth efficiently.
Not a penny has gone to any of the beneficiaries of his will, who include underprivileged children in Georgia and South Carolina, to whom Mr. Brown sought to donate millions, perhaps tens of millions, of dollars.

(Subject line hattip.)

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 25th, 2017

I’m having a hard time finding versions of this song on YouTube that I like. I might have to resort to something different next year.

But this year, you’re getting a twofer.

I like this video enough to post it. My quibble is that this is entirely instrumental, and I feel like this song needs vocals.

So I’ll throw this one in as a bone to all my prog-rock friends out there:

Quote of the day.

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

One might look at the master collaborators — from Kern and Berlin to Rodgers and Hart and Loesser and Jule Styne and Jerome Robbins — and come to the conclusion that the history of the Broadway musical is the history of short Jewish men yelling at each other.

—Jack Viertel, The Secret Life of the American Musical: How Broadway Shows Are Built.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

This isn’t my Christmas post, but I heard this over the weekend, or at least I think I did: I was out and about and didn’t get a chance to ask the person behind the counter who was playing, but I’m pretty sure it was this.

Even if it isn’t, this is still the rocking-est version of “Little Drummer Boy” I’ve ever heard.

I’ll throw this in as a little bonus: it isn’t Christmas related, but it is related to a book I’m in the process of reading. Plus, feel that authentic 78 RPM hiss.

(TMQ Watch is coming. It might be tomorrow before I get it up, but if I can get it done today, I will. Odd how busy the Christmas season is.)

Obit watch: December 1, 2017.

Friday, December 1st, 2017

Jim Nabors.

Firings and obits: November 22, 2017.

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

Seems like the story of my life, firings and obits. Anyway:

Ken Norton Jr. out as the defensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders.

I don’t think this is the dumbest thing I’ve read on ESPN, but I do think it is in the top 10.

…if you are a college football player, try to avoid punching one of your assistant coaches in the head twice.
Because that behavior doesn’t just get you benched: it gets you thrown off the team and expelled from the university.

And now, it gets you charged with aggravated assault.

Bob Stitt out as Montana’s head coach.

Obits, mostly for the record: David Cassidy. Della Reese.

Obit watch: November 20, 2017.

Monday, November 20th, 2017

Man, it was a weekend, wasn’t it? Sorry I didn’t get to some of this yesterday, but I spent a large part of the day foraging for food in Westlake (Why is it so hard to find a restaurant that’s open on Sunday in that part of town?) and then on an expedition to Pflugerville to visit the new Aldi grocery store. (The natives are wary, but I think we started to win them over.)

Anyway: Malcolm Young, AC/DC co-founder. I feel a musical interlude coming on, but I think I’ll do a jump first.

Mel Tillis, who sang both types of music: country and western.

He even went so far as to make the nickname Stutterin’ Boy, conferred upon him by the singer Webb Pierce, the title of his autobiography (written with Walter Wager and published in 1984), and to have it painted on the side of his tour bus. He also named his personal airplane Stutter One and referred to his female backup singers as the Stutterettes.

Dr. John C. Raines is dead at the age of 84. This name is probably not familiar to you, but the story is interesting.

Dr. Raines, along with seven others, broke into a FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania on the night of March 8, 1971 (during the Frazier-Ali fight) and stole a large number of FBI internal documents. They later released those documents to the press and to members of Congress.

The burglary, and subsequent lawsuits by NBC and others, prompted a groundbreaking investigation in 1975 by the so-called Church committee, a special Senate panel led by Senator Frank Church of Idaho. The committee revealed details of the F.B.I.’s secret Cointelpro, or counterintelligence, operation, which included illegal sabotage of dissident groups deemed to be subversive.

The NYT obit gives a pretty good summary of the whole affair. But, if you’re interested, I recommend The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI by Betty Medsger: it gives a detailed account of the planning, the execution, the aftermath, and what happened to the principals (as of 2013-2014).

Last, and definitely least, Charles Manson is burning in Hell. NYT. LAT. Lawrence.

I’ve felt for a while now that we would be much better as a culture if we all agreed to ignore Manson, beyond providing him with basic human needs (food, shelter, medical care). No publicity, no interviews, no cover versions of his “music”: we should have just let him rot silently.

They’re creepy and they’re kooky, they’re all together spooky, the Manson family.

Mr. Manson was a semiliterate habitual criminal and failed musician before he came to irrevocable attention in the late 1960s as the wild-eyed leader of the Manson family, a murderous band of young drifters in California. Convicted of nine murders in all, Mr. Manson was known in particular for the seven brutal killings collectively called the Tate-LaBianca murders, committed by his followers on two consecutive August nights in 1969.

I do like that paragraph: “semiliterate habitual criminal and failed musician”, indeed. This one, too:

Manson was a pathetic, cowardly con man & should be remembered for that alone.

Time for a palate cleanser. After the jump, musical interludes.

(more…)

Obit watch take 2.

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

Fats Domino.

At a news conference in Las Vegas in 1969, after resuming his performing career, Elvis Presley interrupted a reporter who had called him “the king.” He pointed to Mr. Domino, who was in the room, and said, “There’s the real king of rock ’n’ roll.”

Promoted.

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

By way of great and good friend of the blog Joe D, in the comments: a record store owner in Michigan decided to pull a prank on his customers and make them think he only had one album in stock.

And what album was that?

You’ll have to click through to find out, though I will give a hint: it was one that is thematically appropriate for this blog.

One of the most interesting aspects of the display is that Taylor went out of his way to make sure customers understood that the copies are not for sale. Taylor says that he has about 75 copies of the album, and sheepishly admitted that he is “stockpiling the Herb.”