The undisputed Queen of Chicago Blues is gone. No one is likely to ever take her throne.
Philly vocal groups didn’t come any more polished to a glistening sheen than the Tymes.
You won’t find a more eclectic new Christmas reissue CD than this 18-song collection of super-obscurities from deep in the vaults of Philly’s Cameo/Parkway Records.
Wow, what a disappointing Chicago Blues Festival this past weekend in Grant Park.
For every Elvis, Jerry Lee, or Johnny Cash who parlayed their days at Sun Records into fame and fortune, there were 10 more rockabillies that released a handful of seminal boppers apiece on the Memphis-based label and faded from national view. Or in Jack Earls’ case, one transcendent single that provided Bear Family with the title of Earls’ two-CD career overview, Slow Down—The Sun Years, Plus.
One-hit wonder. That’s the conventional thinking about J.P. Richardson, cut down in the same tragic February 3, 1959 plane crash that snuffed Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens. If you believe the standard rock history books, the Big Bopper’s entire legacy revolves around his ’58 smash “Chantilly Lace.” Bear Family’s Hellooo Baby! You Know What I Like! should eradicate that faulty perception for good.
Bear Family’s recent compilation of rockabilly Don Woody’s catalog isn’t the usual jam-packed set the label is known for. 11 tracks in all, two written by Woody and sung by someone else. But the disc is well worth searching out; Don’s two sessions, one for Decca in December of 1956 for Decca and the other circa 1960 for tiny Arco Records of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, were both rocking affairs.
Bishop Joe Simon called me the other day to let me know about his new downloadable single “I’ve Done Wrong Forgive Me,” and it’s something special—the closest he’s sounded to his classic soul style since he left the secular world behind many moons ago to exclusively sing gospel. You can order it direct from [...]
Truth be told, Weldon A. McDougal III wasn’t all that thrilled at the beginning of our friendship that Krause Publications had teamed the two of us up to create the book Motown: The Golden Years. He had a cache of hundreds of priceless candid photos that he’d taken while working as a Motown promo man and occasional house photographer during the ‘60s and early ‘70s, and smooth talker that he was, he’d sold Krause on the idea of publishing the best of them in book form. But Weldon hadn’t counted on splitting the action with a collaborator who was assigned to write the accompanying text.
Everything about Solomon Burke was bigger than life. Way bigger. Burke’s profoundly regal bearing, underscored by his insistence on performing while seated on a red throne with a crown adorning his head, came to him entirely naturally.
Truth be told, I was skeptical when I heard the Ponderosa Stomp was moving to the fall from its traditional spring slot, nestled between the two weekends of Jazz Fest. This annual two-day New Orleans festival, celebrating the surviving giants of soul, blues, rockabilly, country, swamp-pop, Cajun, ‘50s rock and roll, Crescent City R&B, and garage rock, is my favorite live music event of the year, so any substantial changes to the operation are regarded with definite concern. As it turned out, the 2010 edition of the Stomp, held September 24-25 at the Crescent City’s House of Blues, turned out just fine.