Ian McCann takes a look at one of the greatest and most culturally influential rap songs by genre pioneers Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. A hit urban anthem, it almost wasn’t recorded… Credits: Castle Communications, Warner Bros, Wagram Music, The Island Def Jam Music Group, Atlantic Records
Gail Renard, who was given the hand written lyrics to ‘Give Peace A Chance’ by
John Lennon in 1969, announced plans to sell the lyric sheet at a Christie’s auction. At the time, Lennon told Renard to hang on to the piece of paper, saying “It will be worth something someday.” The piece of music history was expected to fetch around $400,000, but when it was actually sold in July of this year, it went for $790,000 (£400,000).
Long-time Count Basie trumpet star, Buck Clayton (1911-81) also arranged, composed and led a famous series of recorded jam sessions. Geoffrey Smith surveys the many-sided career of a great jazz all-rounder.
Gabriela Montero, the exhilarating Venezuelan pianist, is playing in Miami. She is renowned for her live improvisations, a form of classical music that is rarely heard in concert halls today. Her spontaneous compositions on stage are inspired by musical motifs, sung or hummed to her by a member of the audience, often drawn from the classical repertoire, but also from the local folk traditions of any given audience.
This week in The Wall Street Journal, I interviewed Cal Ripken Jr. for my “House Call” column on growing up the son of a baseball player and how his disciplined childhood helped him become a Baltimore Orioles star and Hall of Famer (go here). Known as the “Iron Man” for setting the record for the most consecutive games played (2,632), Cal knew he wanted to be a ball player from the time he was a ball boy on his father’s minor league team.
Also in the WSJ this weekend, I interviewed blues guitarist and singer Robert Cray on the soul-gospel music of O.V. Wright, who is largely unknown today (go here).
Fred Astaire digs Donovan. Rock guitarist and former member of the Bongos Richard Barone sent along a link to Fred Astaire dancing to Donovan’s Mellow Yellow in 1967…
Sonny Rollins Bridge. In case you missed it, Amanda Petrusich in the New Yorker magazine wrote in April about a push to rename the Williamsburg Bridge for tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins. Sonny, of course, spent nearly two years outdoors on the bridge practicing before resuming his performing and recording career in 1961 (go here). Here’s Sonny, guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Ben Cranshaw and drummer Ben Riley in 1962 playing Sonny’s composition The Bridge…
Harold McNair. Following my interview with arranger John Cameron on flutist Harold McNair, Weso send me the following note:
“Harold McNair is one my favorite musicians. The energy and inventiveness he had, particularly on flute, have stood the test of time. In my opinion, his two finest flute solos are on Here, There and Everywhere, from The Fence…
“…and on O Barqhuino, from Affectionate Fink…
“McNair was a regular visitor to Liverpool in the 1960s. Some of my older friends remember seeing him play here and all said he was a very nice guy. I believe he was a close friend of Joe Harriott. They went to the same school in Jamaica—the Alpha Boys School.
“Why McNair is not more widely known and respected is indeed a shame. Along with many other Caribbean musicians arriving in the U.K. in the post-war years, he made a significant contribution to the British music scene.”
Duke Ellington radio. WKCR-FM will present its annual “Duke Ellington Birthday Broadcast” on Saturday, April 29. The Dukes music will be played around the clock starting Friday night at 11:59 p.m. (EST) and then all day and night on Saturday. You can listen on your computer and smartphone from anywhere in the world by going here.
Junior Mance. The Kickstarter campaign to raise sufficient funds to finish Sunset and the Mockingbird, a documentary on the pianist’s life, is nearing its target. Please help push them over the top by going here.
Leslie Pintchik. If you’re in New York on Thursday May 11, head over to Kitano Jazz on Park Ave. South to hear this remarkable jazz pianist. Leslie will be performing with her trio—bassist Scott Hardy and drummer Michael Sarin. Reservations are strongly suggested. Sets are at 8 and 10 p.m. The phone number for reservations is (212) 885-7119. I plan on catching the 8 p.m. set. See you there!
What the heck. Why was Chuck Berry special? Here’s the entire Belgian TV show that featured the rock ‘n’ roll singer-guitarist-composer in 1965…
Oddball album cover of the week.
Last week I featured Dinner in Mexico, an album with an ill-advised green-tinted cover. This week we fly to Caracas (above), where you’ll dine in a restaurant where your date will give you her undivided attention. Courtesy of Chuck Brown.
And as it turns out, all of your dates on these album covers will be checking out the action or wondering when the food is coming…
Here’s how Dinner in Caracas sounds…
Steven Tyler broke his knee at a concert in Anchorage, Alaska delaying
‘Nine Lives’ tour and necessitating camera angle adjustments for the filming of the video for ‘I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.’
Welcome this week to the Blog, hoping you had a good week. Lots of things happening at mandersmedia towers and here’s the detail.
This week saw the arrival of the Reel to Reel tape machine that has been talked about for the last few weeks, it’s a Sharp RD708V, it enables mandersmedia to offer a Play Grading service on Reel to Reel (open reel) tapes which will soon be sold (watch this space).
You will find new websites appearing as the mandersmedia brand expands starting over the next few weeks with this Blog which has a new website address coming up which will be mandersmedia.blog, you can now also find the store right now at mandersmedia.com. Watch this space for further announcements…
So what’s happening with the Blog then? You will see the share buttons have been simplified and also a recent upgrade to a blog related package will mean more non-rss Blog content, it’s always interesting to hear what you’d like to see on here so please feed back by either sending a message or leaving a comment.
So, on to some regular Blog entries starting with the Country Count, so how are we looking? 54 Countries, we seem to be at a steady position at the moment, as always, if you like what you see in this blog, please share using the various buttons.
And finally, as always a reminder to take a look at the Price Reductions this week which have already been posted, a good handful of reductions for you all…
That’s all for this time, don’t forget, you can fax at +44(0)1225681008, love to hear from you! Have a great week… mandersmedia 🙂