By DAN AQUILANTE, DTMP editor
Friday, June 29, 2012
Legendary rock promoter Sid Bernstein with Paul
He delivered the Beatles and now a CD
one of the elite movers and shakers of contemporary music like promoter, agent and manager extraordinaire Sid Bernstein, there’s
no rocking chair even when you’re 93 years old. Instead, you just rock.
guy who staged the first concert ever in Madison Square Garden, who introduced America to the Beatles and then invented stadium
rock when he book the Fab Four into Shea at Flushing Meadow is now jamming on his own with his debut album featuring pop standards titled “Sid
Bernstein Presents. . .”
CD opens with a rendition of John Lennon’s anthem for a better world “Imagine” where his world weary edge
propels the classic rock ballad.
gives “La Vie en Rose” a similar treatment. Buoyed on the lovely accordion work of Jim Henning, Bernstein’s
roughhewn baritone is sturdy in his version of “La Vie” -- French chanteuse Edith
Piaf’s signature tune. One reason that track may resonate so strongly for Bernstein was he was stationed in France when
it was originally released in World War II.
Other notable tracks include “I Left my Heart in San Francisco,” “It's All in
the Game” and a duet on “Crying” with his producer/vocalist
Deirdre Broderick. “Sid Bernstein
Presents. . . “ is available on iTunes and through sidbernstein.com where you can sample a few key
tracks from the record. To paraphrase Sid’s pal Paul McCartney, we’ll still love him when he’s 94.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
RedFoo and SkyBlu of electro pop band LMFAO
talk about the tour landing at Nassau Coliseum tonight and the Prudential Center Friday at Dan The Man Press'
Monday, June 25, 2012
Diarrhia Planet on home turf performing in Nashville.
Best bad band names
With the best bad name in music already taken by Sammy Hagar for his
outfit Chicken Foot pop music can only attempt to top the tequila swilling, hard rockin’, Van Halen hatin’ Hagar.
Here are a few
of the summer’s hottest contenders for the moniker that makes us moan loudest.
Diarrhea Planet, yup, they thought it was a good idea at the
time. Diarrhea Planet is a Nashville band just releasing their debut record “Loose Jewels.” While the band is
still a fledgling project they have flushed out a few A-list endorsements including what we think are kind words from Spin.com who says "Its bouncy guitars are underpinned by some
thunderous bass -- think the Romantics, taken on a desert rock acid trip with Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme."
Diarrhea Planet is on tour through July 28 (playing NYC’s The Cake Shop 7/15).
death-metal rock veterans Dying Fetus have been around since the early ’90s, but their name never ceases to make us
cringe. While keeping a low profile in a womb with a view Dying Fetus is alive and well having just released a full length
CD titled “Reign Supreme” last week. There’s a small window of opportunity to hear them live before their
summer European tour when they play El Paso’s House of Rock and the Scout Bar in Houston tomorrow and Wednesday respectively.
Really great bad band names not only evoke
bile, but serve as a personal brag. Topping the list in this doubly edged category is Chicago based Scum of the Earth whose
album, “The Devil Made Me Do It,” is set to drop August 28. Don’t underestimate Scum. Their first single
from the CD -- “The Devil Made Me Do It III,” was released last month and has already gotten attention having
been played during the recent New Jersey Devils Stanley Cup playoff games.
The tag that’s simultaneously disturbing
yet clever is a “punk’’ One Direction cover band that’s operating by the name One Erection. While
the band’s handout flyer was snagged in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, when trying to locate the group on Facebook DTMP was unsuccessful
instead coming up with another band also named One Erection from the UK (Liverpool of all places) who lays
claim to the name and boasts a plan to take over pop in a 2010 posting. Is there really room for two One Erections?
bad name mentions go to Pennsylvania’s Terrible Things; doom metal band Witchsorrow who are just releasing their record
“God Curses Us”; SoCal pop act The Dirty Heads” ; and Philly’s metalologists Rumpelstiltskin
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Bids on Beatle bass
Ed Sullivan holding Paul's Hofner bass during a 1964 rehersal for the Ed Sullivan Show. (Below) McCartney
playing his famed Hofner.
Paul McCartney who also just celebrated his 70th birthday on Monday,
is definitely more comfortable giving gifts than getting them.
rock icon , Beatles bassist and forever “the cute one,” Sir Paul has been a long-time supporter
of the Nordoff Robbins charity, largest private provider of music therapy in the UK. To that end McCartney donated a signed,
Hofner bass violin guitar to be auctioned to raise money for the organization.
McCartney says "I’m delighted to have signed and donated this left-handed Hofner
bass in order to raise funds for Nordoff Robbins. They work they do with music therapy transforms the lives of vulnerable
children and adults across the UK, and I hope the sale of this guitar raises lots of money! Rock on!"
To play this
instrument you have to be a southpaw, like Paul, but even if it’s place in a glass case it remains the ultimate piece
of Beatles memorabilia since from his tenure in the Fab Four to today the Hofner bass is McCartney's signature instrument.
The bass along with other rock related items are on the block June 29 at the Hilton, Park Lane, in London. Bids can be made
by phone or in person. For more details go to http://www.nordoff-robbins.org.uk/
Monday, June 18, 2012
Fiona Apple has a stinky octopus on her head and a stinky album on her hands. See CD of the Week for
a full review of Apple's "The Idler Wheel. . ."
Friday, June 15, 2012
Solar Punch to play Washington Square Park on the Summer Solstice. funkfied blues belter Valerie Ghent (below).
Tune In, Turn On, Unplug
You’ve heard about how musicians unplug to get an intimate
sound? Next Thursday, the longest day of the year, a group of New York musicians don’t just unplug,
but bolt off the grid for the Solar-Powered
Songwriter’s Beat concert in Manhattan’s Washington Square Park.
The free, four-hour concert
is presented on the Summer Solstice by Songwriters Beat, a
New York-based composer’s organization. The performers signed up so far include Marla
Mase with the Tomas Doncker Band, funk ’n’ blues pianist/vocalist Valerie Ghent;
eco-rock band, Solar Punch; Fred Gillen’s Hope Machine (Americana, rock, roots); guitarist
Ann Klein; twanger Deborah Berg; and The
Lucy Foley Band, a Celtic pop act.
James Conklin, from the Solar Punch band says “We're always happy when we can use solar
energy to amplify music.” Simplifying the technology behind solar powered music Conklin says “The
energy system is a working model of a typical off-grid, battery-based solar electric system. We scoop up sunshine with solar
panels and we plug in and play.”
The event is set to run from noon to 4 p.m. in Washington Square Park,
east of main circle, across from Garibaldi Statue. For more details go to songwritersbeat.com.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Billy Corgan (center) with the latest edition of the Smashing Pumpkins.
Pumpkins' Billy Corgan finds high ground with "Oceania"
he’s right or wrong, Smashing Pumpkins’ frontman Billy Corgan never thinks small. The Pumpkins’ 1995 epic “Mellon Collie and the
Infinite Sadness,” remains an alt-rock masterpiece that launched the band with a series of hit singles.
musically restless, Corgan expanded his sonic pallet with a symphonic accents in the Pumpkins’ ``Siamese Dreams.’’
While some of Corgan’s more recent projects have been less than successful the man, 45, and a new edition
of the Smashing Pumpkins have found their musical fire with their new record “Oceania” releasing Tuesday. “Oceania” currently streaming
for free at iTunes.com/SmashingPumpkins) is the band’s 7th studio record and according to Corgan it is “an album within an album.”
of it as a suite within the more ambitious and troubled 44-song work-in-progress called “Teargarden By Kaleidoscope.”
Speaking about his artistic frustration from his Chicago home Corgan told Dan The Man Press “I wasn’t getting
the kind of results I was looking for.’’
The reason, he says, was he’d lost passion for music
adding “I knew I had to reinvest myself in my musical life or I needed to get out.’’
Corgan’s artistry was the accidental death of his pal Mark Tulin, the legendary bassist for the seminal psychedelic
rock band Electric Prunes who’d been writing with Corgan.
``Losing Mark [in a scuba accident] made me look
at my life and I was shaken. His death woke me up. I have a commitment level to music that hasn’t been there for a long
“I’ve had my success in rock and failures” Corgan
says ``what Mark’s passing did was show me you don’t fade away, you have to go out swinging.” Corgan doesn’t
fear artistic mortality, with a laugh he says ``I’ve lived and died in rock ’n’ roll a few times, and unfortunately,
over the last 10 years I’ve been more dead than alive.”
That self-admitted decade of doom has included
the failed alt rock offshoot act Zwan, and a solo record called “Zeitgeist.” ’ The new edition of the Pumpkins,
also help recharge Corgan. “This is the band I’ve always wanted” he says. “They’re confident
and we like and respect each.”
Very big kudos from a rock star who’s often been accused of being ultra-bossy
and dismissive of the musical contributions by his bandmates. “I’m finally in a situation where
the band is there for me so I don’t have to do their job for them” Corgan says. “When I was a kid I
was scared of failing so I was willing to cover for my band because I thought it was either that or going back to work in
the record store. I didn’t care what people thought.”
Recalling the original Smashing Pumpkins Corgan
asked “Do you think it was fun being inside on a summer day because I was recording James Iha’s guitar parts,
parts he hadn’t even written, parts I had to write for him that people would credit to him? It wasn’t.”
Corgan says this new Pumpkins project is definitely a group effort and how he loathes how “the critics who
write about Smashing Pumpkins as if I’m on stage with three mannequins, it’s so disrespectful of these human beings
who are committed to the band.”
The words camaraderie and Corgan don’t quite dovetail. Corgan says
“I understood when people used to say `the Smashing Pumpkins is really just Billy Corgan,’ but that isn’t
the case anymore. The musicians that created “Oceania” are a band, there’s no way I did this all by myself.”
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Frank Zappa in concert; (below) cover art for his 1966 classic "Freak Out"
Frank Zappa/Mothers of Invention catalog resurected, remastered & released
The Zappa Family Trust which oversees the estate of the late Frank Zappa
has regained the late composer’s entire music catalog. Taking advantage of the renewed interest in
Zappa and his music in preparation for the 20th anniversary of his death next year, the
trust has partnered with Universal Music to release all 60 solo and Mother of Invention albums in physical
and digital editions beginning next month. Through the end of the calendar year 12 albums per month (which were originally
recorded for Zappa’s independent label Barking Pumpkin Records, will be re-mastered
and re-issued. “The ink is not yet dry on The Zappa Family
Trust's worldwide deal with Universal Music Enterprises,” says Gail Zappa, Frank’s
widow and director of the trust. She added “They made us the offer we couldn't
refuse--for all the right reasons. It is a win-win for all of us, but mostly for Frank Zappa. Long may his baton wave. We
are so ready to go.” The initial 12 Frank Zappa releases included in the Zappa/Universal deal are:
1. Freak Out! (1966)
2. Absolutely Free (1967)
4. We're Only In It For The Money (1968)
With Ruben & The Jets (1968)
6. Uncle Meat (1969)
7. Hot Rats
8. Burnt Weeny Sandwich (1970)
9. Weasels Ripped My Flesh
10. Chunga's Revenge (1970)
11. Fillmore East, June 1971
12. Just Another Band From L.A. (1972)
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals (above) turn in a compelling Four Star record with "The Lion
The Beast The Beat" which released today. Full review at CDs of the Week.
Friday, June 8, 2012
Symphonic Zelda coming to The Theater. Below, girls wearing Shadow
Folk outfits and composer Koji Kondo
Zelda sharpens her
sword at MSG
While “The Legend of Zelda” may not have the hair-raising adrenalin rush
as “Halo” or “Grand Theft Auto,” it is one of the
most popular games available and has earned a musical adaptation that will bow at Madison Square Garden’s Theater this fall.
The game that has sold more than 62
million copies since its introduction in 1986 and is charting new franchise waters. This translation into
a live musical extravaganza is titled “Symphony Of The Goddesses” and is set to play the Theater at Madison
Square Garden November 28.
The Zelda-themed concert features
a traditional four -movement classical symphony, that will showcase the work of Nintendo composer and sound director Koji Kondo.The event will attempt to bring 25 years of
video game history to life with the music synced to a wide-screen video presentation.
While there will be
plenty of onstage entertainment expect the fans to participate wearing some of the traditional garb of
the Shadow Folk – the pointy ear-ed race in Zelda.
her sword beyond the realm of the video game is nothing new to the Zelda crew. In addition to the fifteen
games the franchise has spawned a book series, comic book, Saturday morning cartoon, merchandise and even a breakfast cereal.
Tickets for this unusual production go
on sale tomorrow (Saturday, June 9) at 10a.m. at Ticketmaster
outlets, as well as MSG, Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theatre Box Office and online at http://www.theateratmsg.com. Seats range from $60 to $110.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
John Mellencamp performing; author John Steinbeck (below).
John Mellencamp to receive The Steinbeck Award
For the last
40 years John Mellencamp has express the plight of the little guy in his songs and next month he’ll be honored for that
effort when he’s presented the coveted John Steinbeck Award.
The ceremony, set for July 30, at the California Theatre in San Jose, CA, features
an in depth interview of Mellencamp by Robert Santelli, Grammy Museum director, followed
by a full concert performance.
The Center for Steinbeck
Studies at San Jose State University present awards annually to artists and activists whose work exemplifies the themes and values found in Steinbeck’s writings such as a concern for the natural environment, willingness
to fight for the common man, and the bravery to be critical of contrasts between the have’s
Speaking of Mellencamp,
the author’s surviving son Thomas Steinbeck, who’s been tapped to present the award said "My father always
carried a deep and profound respect for songwriters and musicians. He felt they were the voice of the people and had the unique
opportunity to reach their souls. Like Woody Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen, and a handful of others, John Mellencamp has done
just that. He has spent his life serving as a voice for the people.”
Mellencamp commented, "John Steinbeck's remarkable ability to give voice to the common
man and to people on society's margins, to describe their plight and aspirations, continues to inspire me more than a century
after his birth."
of the John Steinbeck Award include: Bruce Springsteen, Arthur Miller, John Sayles, Jackson Browne, Garrison Keillor, and
Tickets for this event, "A Conversation
and Special Performance," will go on sale tomorrow (Friday, June 8, at 10 a.m.) via ticketmaster.com.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Shotgun Willie tees off for charity
There’s three things to know about Willie Nelson besides that he’s
one of our greatest musical National treasures: Willie jokes, Willie tokes and he is a golf fanatic.
All of those attributes come together June 30th when the Redheaded
Stranger hosts the first
annual Willie Nelson Celebrity Golf Tournament the Pedernales Country
Club just outside Austin, TX.
The event, that will benefit local Texas charities from the Pedernales
Fire Department to the RunTex Foundation , is a day-long party that will include golf, food and music.
The tournament kicks off with a round of speed golf teeing off at
10 a.m. followed by a series of 9-hole scramble rounds for individual six-man teams. Lunch and dinner will be provided by
the Texas Roadhouse with musical entertainment by Sonny Throckmorton and if the golfers are lucky, Willie will also perform.
A silent auction of Willie Nelson Memorabilia is planned and
the event will be capped off with an after dark competition called "Night Lite Golf" where
participants vie for prizes by hitting glow-in-the-dark balls at targets and for distance.
Entry to the event is $250 per golfer for
9-hole scrambles; $200 a pair for speed golfers; and $100 donation for non-golfers. To register go
to willienelsongolftournament.com or call 512.472.3254. For
additional information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the ProShop at 512.264.1489.
Willie’s best golf joke
a last minute confession a groom
at the alter says to his bride, "Honey, I've got to tell you something, I'm addicted
to golf and every chance I get, I'll be at the course."
"Since we're being honest," she replied
"You should know that I'm a hooker."
Relieved the groom says, "Baby, that's okay, you’ll
just have to learn to keep your head down and your left arm straight."
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
New records from The Hives, Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys and Neil Young with Crazy Horse all reviewed at CDs
of the Week
Friday, June 1, 2012
Dolly Parton and Prince among those honored by Library of Congress
The voices of former slaves, the sounds of Native American
culture, the creative wordplay of Sugarhill Gang’s "Rapper’s Delight," Donna Summer’s electric
1977 hit, and the only surviving recording of a stage icon are among the sound recordings selected for induction into the
National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.
Marking the 10th anniversary of the registry, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said "America’s sound heritage is an important part of the nation’s
history and culture and this year’s selections reflect the diversity and creativity of the American experience."
He added "These songs, words and natural sounds must be preserved for future generations."
The 25 selections
named to the registry feature an array of spoken-word and musical recordings—representing nearly every musical category—spanning
the years 1888-1984. They cover a great breadth of sounds and music, ranging from the first commercial recording and the authoritative
voice of journalist Edward R. Murrow to the innovative music of Hawaiian Sol Hoopii and the novelty of the all-women’s
jazz band International Sweethearts of Rhythm.
Among this year’s selections are Dolly Parton’s autobiographical song, "Coat
of Many Colors"; Prince and the Revolution’s "Purple Rain," the soundtrack from Prince’s 1984 movie debut; Leonard Bernstein’s
debut performance with the New York Philharmonic; the 1912 "Come Down Ma Evenin’ Star," the only surviving
recording of Lillian Russell who is considered one of the greatest stars of the American musical stage; the Grateful Dead’s
1977 Barton Hall concert; an album from "A Charlie Brown Christmas"; and the pioneering hip-hop album "Rapper’s
Other additions to the registry feature notable performances by Ruth Etting, Bo Diddley,
the Dixie Hummingbirds, Love, Parliament, Booker T. & the M.G.’s and the Gregg Smith Singers. To qualify for inclusion the recordings must be "culturally,
historically, or aesthetically significant" and are at least 10 years old. The selections for the 2011 registry bring
the total number of recordings to 250. Nominations are gathered through online submissions from the public. The Library is
currently accepting nominations for the next registry at www.loc.gov/nrpb/.
Here’s the complete list of this year’s inductees in chronological
1. Edison Talking Doll cylinder (1888)
if any, sound recordings can lay claim to as many "firsts" as the small, mangled artifact of a failed business venture
discovered in 1967 in the desk of an assistant to Thomas Edison. This cylinder recording, only five-eighths of an inch wide, represents
the foundation of many aspects of recording history. It was created in 1888 by a short-lived Edison company established to
make talking dolls for children, and is the only surviving example from the experimental stage of the Edison doll production
when the cylinders were made of tin. As such, this recording of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," as sung by an anonymous
Edison employee, is the earliest-known commercial sound recording in existence. It is also the first children’s recording
and, quite possibly, the first recording to be made by someone who was paid to perform for a sound recording. Due to its poor
condition, the recording was considered unplayable until 2011 when its surface was scanned in three dimensions using digital
"Come Down Ma Evenin’ Star," Lillian Russell (1912)
"Come Down Ma Evenin’ Star" is the
only surviving recording of Lillian Russell, one of the greatest stars the American musical stage has ever known. She was
a versatile performer at home in operetta, burlesque and vaudeville whose personal life often generated as much publicity as her performances. Born in 1861, she was a star before movies and recordings,
which in their early days could not do justice to her famous beauty, voice, style and stage presence. "Come Down"
was her signature song. She introduced it in the 1902 burlesque review "Twirly-Whirly," parodying the nouveau-riche
society figure she had become, but investing it with a poignancy that reflected its troubled history. Russell’s former
music director John Stromberg wrote the song. Hours after finishing it, he committed suicide because of the pain of chronic,
untreatable rheumatism. Russell recorded the song in 1912, but it was not released until years later. In 1943, rare record
dealer Jack L. Caidin found a lone test pressing of "Come Down Ma Evenin’ Star," inscribed by Russell herself,
and released it on his own specialty label, providing us with a brief echo of the Lillian Russell phenomenon and a fleeting
glimpse into 19th-century American theater.
3. "Ten Cents a Dance," Ruth Etting (1930)
Singer Ruth Etting was one of the first great singers of the electrical era of recording, the period after the mid-1920s when
the microphone replaced the acoustic recording horn. As with the best of the male crooners of the period, Etting's vocal delivery
was artfully understated and personal. In the words of popular music writers Phil Hardy and Dave Laing, Etting, "[b]y
turns peppy, fragile, and gallant … evinced the contradictory spirits of America in the Depression: sometimes beaten
down, sometimes bearing up, whenever possible blithe." All these characteristics are evident in her recording of Rodgers
and Hart's "Ten Cents a Dance," recorded only two weeks after Etting introduced the song on stage in the musical
4. "Voices from the Days of Slavery,"(1932-1941 interviews)
In 2002, the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress created the online
presentation "Voices from the Days of Slavery," gathering together 24 interviews with former African-American slaves conducted mostly
between 1932 and 1941 and across nine Southern states as part of various field recording projects. During this period, thousands
of slave narratives were also collected on paper by WPA workers, but these are the only known audio recordings of former slaves.
As historian C. Vann Woodward said of the WPA narratives, these recordings "represent the voices of the normally voiceless,"
but with all the nuances of expression that written transcriptions cannot reproduce. They recall aspects of slave life and
culture, including family relations, work routines, songs, dances and tales, as well as the harsh realities of slavery, including
punishments and auctions. They recount experiences of the Civil War, Emancipation and Reconstruction. One interviewee worked
for Confederate President Jefferson Davis, as did his father and grandfather. These are fragments of history and reflect the
technical and social limitations of the recording sessions. The voices of these ex-slaves, however, provide invaluable insight
into their lives, communities and the world of slavery they left behind.
5. "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart," Patsy Montana (1935)
Singer Patsy Montana's signature song, "I Want to Be
a Cowboy’s Sweetheart," was written in 1934 when she was feeling lonely and missing her boyfriend. Montana recorded the song a year later when Art Satherly of ARC
Records needed one more song for a recording session with the Prairie Ramblers. Her song's lively, quick polka tempo and yodeling
refrain, and Montana's exuberant delivery, resulted in it being requested at every performance. The song became one of the
first hits by a female country-and-western singer. A popular performer on the WLS radio program "National Barn Dance,"
Montana was the soloist with the Prairie Ramblers, a group that successfully melded jazz and string-band music. Montana's
film appearance in the Gene Autry film "Colorado Sunset" in 1939 introduced her to a wider audience, and her independent,
high-spirited personality and singing style quickly secured her popularity as a singing cowgirl. Montana was named to the
Country Music Hall of Fame in 1996.
6. "Fascinating Rhythm," Sol Hoopii and his Novelty Five (1938)
In the 1890s, Hawaiian musicians began playing open-tuned guitars flat in their
laps, fretting the strings with steel to produce distinctive sliding tones. The style soon reached the U.S. mainland, and
when young Sol Hoopii arrived in California in 1924, the Hawaiian steel guitar was a mature and demanding instrument with
national popularity. Hoopii emerged as its greatest exponent, applying it to traditional hulas, ragtime, jazz and pop. He
and his peers influenced blues and country slide guitarists, and Dobros and pedal steel guitars are descended from the Hawaiian
model. Hoopii switched to electric guitar in the 1930s and displays his formidable technique on this Gershwin standard, deftly
mixing tonal variations, a chord solo and bass runs into an adventurous and swinging improvisation.
7. "Artistry in Rhythm," Stan Kenton and
his Orchestra (1943)
Stan Kenton led a jazz orchestra, not a dance band, is obvious from the first notes of "Artistry in Rhythm." This
was no smooth, melodic song intended for swaying couples in the big-band ballrooms, but a complex jazz concert piece. Though
he composed the song in 1941, Kenton was unable to record it until 1943 because of the recording ban imposed by the American
Federation of Musicians over royalty payments. The music stood out then and its freshness remains obvious to listeners today.
Arranged as well as composed by Kenton, "Artistry in Rhythm" exhibits traits that are typical of his work—an
aggressive sound, innovative for the layering of one section of the orchestra playing over another, then another layer over
both. As one reviewer observed, Kenton’s music "was always controversial, but never sleepy."
8. Debut performance with the New York Philharmonic, Leonard
Bernstein (Nov. 14, 1943)
Nov. 14, 1943, 25-year-old Leonard Bernstein, then the little-known assistant conductor of the Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York, made his conducting debut with the ensemble as a last-minute substitute in unenviable circumstances.
Guest conductor Bruno Walter was sick, regular conductor Artur Rodziński was hundreds of miles away, and the concert
was to be broadcast live across the country by CBS Radio. Bernstein met briefly with Walter, but had no time to rehearse.
Concertgoers and radio listeners were moved deeply as Bernstein led the orchestra through the program. After the second piece,
he was brought back to the podium four times and excitement continued to grow. In Boston, Bernstein’s mentor Serge Koussevitzky
dictated a telegram: "Listening now. Wonderful." Bernstein’s triumph made the front page of the next day’s
New York Times and was reported across the country.
9. International Sweethearts of Rhythm: Hottest Women’s Band of the 1940s (1944-1946)
The International Sweethearts of Rhythm was an interracial
all women jazz band formed in the late 1930s at the Piney Woods Country Life School, a boarding school for African-American
children in Mississippi. The band made very few commercial recordings, but toured extensively in the 1940s, performing in
Europe as well as at predominantly African-American theaters. The band also was showcased in several motion pictures. Professional
musicians who joined the band include vocalist Anna Mae Winburn, Viola Burnside on tenor saxophone and Ernestine "Tiny"
Davis on trumpet. The International Sweethearts of Rhythm album, released in 1984 by Rosetta Records—a record label
dedicated exclusively to reissuing performances by female jazz and blues artists—includes commercially recorded tracks
by the band and excerpts from an appearance on the Armed Forces Radio Service program "Jubilee."
10. "The Indians for Indians Hour" (March 25,
Originated by Don Whistler
(a.k.a. Chief Kesh-Ke-Kosh), radio show "The Indians for Indians Hour" aired on the University of Oklahoma’s
WNAD in Norman, Okla., from 1941 until 1985. It was a weekly venue for Native American music and cultural exchange featuring
guests and music from 18 tribes reached by the station’s signal, including Apaches, Arapahos, Caddos, Cheyennes, Choctaws,
Comanches, Kaws, Kiowas, Osages, Otos, Pawnees, Poncas, Seminoles, Shawnees and Wichitas. Whistler allowed only Indian music
and had no non-Indian guests unless they worked for Indian Services. This program, one of 320 known to survive, includes news
of a recent powwow and songs praising Indian war veterans sung by a group of Kiowa war mothers. Though the program was sometimes
criticized for primarily highlighting music and entertainment instead of issues, it nevertheless served as an important tool
for generational sharing and the popularization and preservation of Native American culture. In 1946, the show reached an
estimated weekly audience of over 75,000, nearly all of Native American origin. Whistler hosted the show until his death in
1951. Later hosts included Boyce Timmons, Elton Yellowfish, David Timmons and Sammy "Tonekei" White.
11. "Hula Medley," Gabby Pahinui (1947)
Gabby Pahinui was a master of slack-key guitar, a style originating
in Hawaii. In slack key, one or more of a guitar’s strings are loosened or "slacked" from the standard EADGBE
format to create a different tuning, usually a chord that allows it to be played without using the fretboard. Often the thumb
plays rhythm on the lower strings, while the fingers play the melody on the higher strings. Pahinui made some of the first
modern recordings in this genre, including the lovely instrumental "Hula Medley" in 1947.
12. "I Can Hear It Now," Fred Friendly &
Edward R. Murrow (1948)
Can Hear It Now" was an unlikely hit—a collection of speech excerpts and news reports from 1933 to 1945 featuring a wide array of speakers from Will Rogers to Adolph Hitler.
Columbia Records gambled on radio producer Fred Friendly’s idea when a musicians’ strike limited the recording
of new music. Friendly, later president of CBS News, spent months locating and copying 100 hours of broadcast disc recordings,
using newly introduced magnetic recording tape to create compelling montages. CBS Radio’s Edward R. Murrow added star
power as narrator and co-writer. "I Can Hear It Now" found Americans eager to relive their own history, and sold
briskly on 78-rpm discs and in Columbia’s new LP format. The ease of editing and recording on magnetic tape allowed
the creation of portions of the album that are now controversial, such as the fabrication of a break-in announcement of the
Pearl Harbor attack, and the re-recording of a newscast to replace a damaged original. However, the recording was widely imitated
and Friendly and Murrow produced two sequels, along with radio and television spin-offs.
13. "Let’s Go Out to the Programs," The
Dixie Hummingbirds (1953)
At the time of its release, "Let’s Go Out to the Programs" was considered to be a novelty, but it now stands
as a celebration of a golden age of African-American gospel music. In the ’50s, high-energy quartets and quintets like
the Dixie Hummingbirds played multi-artist shows known as "programs," where several top gospel acts pushed each
other to the limit. Led by the legendary Ira Tucker, the Hummingbirds recreate such a program in less than three minutes with
striking although good-natured imitations of four gospel groups: the Soul Stirrers (with their young lead singer, Sam Cooke),
the Blind Boys of Mississippi, the Pilgrim Travelers and the Bells of Joy. The Dixie Hummingbirds continue to perform today,
led by Ira Tucker Jr. Younger singers carry on the legacy of the Soul Stirrers while original members of the Bells of Joy
still sing in their home of Austin, Texas.
14. "Also Sprach Zarathustra,"
Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1954, 1958)
Richard Strauss’ "Also Sprach Zarathustra"
was recorded several times during the 78 rpm era, but had to wait for magnetic tape, superior microphones and advances in
disc mastering for its extremely wide dynamics to be fully captured as recorded sound. The dawn of high-fidelity recording
happily coincided with the beginning of the Fritz Reiner era at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, when the ensemble was hailed
by Igor Stravinsky as "the most precise and flexible orchestra in the world." One of Reiner’s first recordings
with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, "Zarathustra," was taped simultaneously in mono and stereo by two RCA Victor
teams although only the mono version was initially issued. The album’s 1958 release in RCA’s Living Stereo line
a few years later showed just how great the recording and performance were, with the perspective and balance Reiner drew from
the orchestra fully revealed.
15. "Bo Diddley" and "I’m a Man," Bo Diddley (1955)
Born Elias Otha Bates in Mississippi
in 1928, Bo Diddley acquired his stage name after moving to Chicago as a child. He played guitar locally with a small group, drawing
inspiration from the polyrhythmic song and music emanating from storefront churches, a pulsing blend that he distilled into
the song "Bo Diddley," the A-side of his first single. Drummer Clifton James played the defining beat, and Bo’s
guitar and Jerome Greene’s maracas added further rhythmic layers beneath the chanted couplets. Having introduced himself,
he threw down the gauntlet on the B-side, "I’m a Man," a throbbing slow blues that, as simple as it seems,
took nearly 30 takes to get down just right. It was also a major hit and inspired Muddy Waters’ answer song, "Manish
16. "Green Onions," Booker T. & the M.G.’s (1962)
Booker T. & the M.G.’s were a rarity when they were formed in the early
1960s—a racially integrated rhythm-and-blues group. Formed as a house band for Stax Records, Booker T. & the M.G.’s
were playing around in the studio in early 1962 when they came up with two catchy instrumentals. "Green Onions"
was originally intended as the B-side to "Behave Yourself," but was quickly reissued as the A-side, then later as
the title cut to their first LP. Anchored by the rhythm section of drummer Al Jackson Jr. and bassist Lewie Steinberg, "Green
Onions" is propelled by Booker T. Jones’ driving organ and Steve Cropper’s stinging guitar.
17. "Forever Changes," Love (1967)
Love was an integrated
psychedelic band from Los Angeles that played an aggressively original mix of rock, folk and blues, but the band was falling
apart as its members prepared for their third album, "Forever Changes." Leader Arthur Lee was alarmed and pessimistic
about the state of the world and was convinced his own demise was imminent, although he lived until 2006. His new songs were
filled with unexpected shifts and rife with foreboding, though his message was ultimately about resolution and self-reliance
in the face of uncertainty and impermanence. Two compositions by second guitarist Bryan MacLean somewhat augmented Lee’s
musings, but were no less striking and unusual. Rock was growing more electric in 1967, but "Forever Changes" is
essentially acoustic, with a restrained and supple rhythm section supporting the ambitious horn and string charts of pop arranger
David Angel, making Johnny Echols’ searing guitar solos all the more memorable. The fusion of psychedelic, mainstream
and classical styles, now seen as a landmark, found few takers at the time. Love soon disintegrated, but "Forever Changes"
continues to loom large.
18. "The Continental Harmony: Music of William Billings," Gregg Smith Singers (1969)
Composer William Billings published six collections of his
choral music between 1770 and 1794. His "New England Psalm Singer" (1770) was the first tune book devoted entirely
to the compositions of a single American composer. Billings was largely self-taught, yet his a cappella choral writing, featuring
the melody in the tenor, created an indigenous sacred music that expanded the musical language of America. While Billings
was well-known in his lifetime—his song "Chester" was nearly as popular as "Yankee Doodle" during
the American Revolution—his work was largely forgotten for more than a century. Despite his having composed over 340
works, little of Billings’ music was included in mainstream American sacred choral music collections after 1820. His
musical style and some of his pieces, however, were kept alive within America’s Southern shape-note singing tradition.
Following World War II, a generation of scholars and performers rediscovered his fresh and vigorous music. This recording
by the Gregg Smith Singers, a 16-member choral ensemble dedicated to the performance of American music, helped re-introduce Billings’ music to the world.
19. "A Charlie Brown Christmas," Vince Guaraldi
A Charlie Brown Christmas" introduced jazz to millions of listeners. The television soundtrack album
includes expanded themes from the animated "Peanuts" special of the same name as well as jazz versions of both traditional
and popular Christmas music, performed primarily by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. The original music is credited to pianist Guaraldi
and television producer Lee Mendelson. Best remembered is the "Linus and Lucy" theme, originally composed by Guaraldi
for an earlier "Peanuts" project, which remains beloved by fans of the popular television specials, those devoted
to the daily newspaper comic strip and music lovers alike.
20. "Coat of Many Colors," Dolly Parton (1971)
Dolly Parton's autobiographical song, "Coat of Many Colors,"
affectionately recounts an impoverished childhood in the hills of Tennessee that was made rich by the love of her family.
The song was instrumental in establishing Parton’s credibility as a songwriter. Her voice uplifts the song with emotion
and tender remembrances of her close-knit musical family. Parton has called "Coat of Many Colors" the favorite of
her compositions because of the attitude and philosophy it reflects. Parton's prolific songwriting career has embraced many
different musical styles, including pop, jazz and bluegrass, as well as country. Dolly Parton was voted the Country Music
Association's Female Vocalist of the year for 1975 and 1976, and the its Entertainer of the Year in 1978. She also was inducted
into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999.
21. "Mothership Connection," Parliament (1975)
"Ain’t nothin’ but a party, y’all" intones George
Clinton on the title track of this lively and rhythmic funk album. While this undeniably is a party record, it is also rooted
in the deepest currents of African-American musical culture and history. For example, the words "Swing down, sweet chariot/Stop,
and let me ride" are an unmistakable reference to the influential spiritual recorded by the Fisk Jubilee Singers. "Mothership
Connection" was released in late 1975 shortly after the arrival to Parliament of saxophonist Maceo Parker and trombonist
and arranger extraordinaire Fred Wesley. Like Parker and Wesley, bass player Bootsy Collins, dubbed by one critic a "bass
deity," had played with pioneer of funk James Brown. Add to such assembled talent the classically trained Bernie Worrell,
whose synthesizer conjures galaxies of cosmic sound but whose piano, as heard on the track "P-Funk," evokes the
ethereal chords of jazz pianist McCoy Tyner. DJ, conductor, arranger and wild lyricist George Clinton oversees the whole,
providing an amazing range of space characters (Lollipop Man, Star Child) outlandish vocabulary ("supergroovalistic," "prosifunkstication")
and all-around funkiness. The album has had an enormous influence on jazz, rock and dance music.
22. Barton Hall concert by the Grateful Dead (May 8, 1977)
The Grateful Dead was known for its
eclectic style that drew on many genres of popular and vernacular music, an improvisational foundation, and a commitment to
touring and "live" performances. The Grateful Dead was one of the few musical groups to not only allow, but encourage
fans to record its concerts, offering tickets to a special "tapers" section at their shows. The organized trading
of Grateful Dead tapes goes back at least to 1971 with the formation of the First Free Underground Grateful Dead Tape Exchange.
Fans of the Grateful Dead will never completely agree about which one of their over 2,300 concerts was the best, but there
is some consensus about the tape of their Barton Hall performance at Cornell University on May 8, 1977. The soundboard recording
of this show has achieved almost mythic status among "Deadhead" tape traders because of its excellent sound quality
and early accessibility, as well as its musical performances.
23. "I Feel Love," Donna Summer (1977)
Brian Eno famously declared after hearing Donna Summer’s single "I
Feel Love" that the track would "change the sound of club music for the next 15 years." Summer wrote the song in collaboration with
producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Belotte, who felt that the song was supposed to represent the music of the future and should
be entirely electronic. Consequently, they hired Robbie Wedel who brought four cases of Moog synthesizers to the session.
Those produced nearly all the sounds on the record, including synthesized bass drums and cymbals. Particularly notable was
the bass line that Belotte has described as "a giant’s hammer on a wall." When the thunderous sound was combined
with Summer’s breathy and ethereal vocal, the cut—as Eno predicted--took the clubs by storm. Partly through the
involvement of Patrick Cowley, who made a 15-minute remix along with an 8-minute one, the song won particular popularity in
gay dance clubs and soon achieved the status of an anthem in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
24. "Rapper's Delight,"
Sugarhill Gang (1979)
The Sugarhill Gang’s infectious dance number from late 1979 might be said to have launched an entire
genre. Although spoken word had been a component of recorded American popular music for decades, this trio’s rhythmic
rhyming inspired many future MCs and rap artists. The album version of "Rapper’s Delight" is an epic 14 1/2
minute salvo of irreverent stories and creative wordplay. The song dates from hip-hop's infancy. As such, it does not address
subject matter that has given rap music both positive and negative notoriety, but the song's inventive rhymes, complex counter-rhythms
and brash boastfulness presage the tenets of hip hop. "Rapper’s Delight" also reflects an early instance of
music sampling, drawing its bass line and other features from Chic’s 1979 hit "Good Times." As a result of
an out-of-court settlement for copyright infringement, songwriting credits for "Rapper's Delight" include that song’s
composers, Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards, as well as Sylvia Robinson and the Sugarhill Gang (Michael
Wright, Guy O’Brien, and Henry Jackson).
25. "Purple Rain," Prince and the Revolution (1984)
Prince was already a hit-maker and a critically acclaimed artist when his sixth
album, the soundtrack for his 1984 movie debut, launched him into superstardom. Earlier, he had played all the instruments
on his records to get the sounds he wanted, but now he led an integrated band of men and women who could realize the dense,
ambitious fusion that he sought, blending funk, synth-pop and soul with guitar-based rock and a lyrical sensibility that mixed
the psychedelic and the sensual. Prince experimented throughout the album, dropping the bass line from "When Doves Cry"
to fashion a one-of-a-kind sound, and mixing analog and electronic percussion frequently. Portions of "Purple Rain"
were recorded live at the First Avenue Club in Prince’s hometown of Minneapolis. The success of the album served notice
that the Twin Cities were a major center for pop music as numerous rock and R&B artists from the region emerged in its
wake. Like much of Prince’s other work, "Purple Rain" was provocative and controversial, and some of its most
explicit lyrics led directly to the founding of the Parents Music Resource Center.
plays library card
Björk is teaming up with The New York Public Library and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan to launch an educational
programming series based on "Biophilia," her interactive album that was released last year with a suit of accompanying
The programming reflects the innovative and interactive elements of the "Biophilia"
apps and seeks to teach kids about the connections between technology, art and natural phenomena.
at NYPL and select branches are aimed at middle school children and begin in July running through the fall. CMOM will offer
daily drop-in programming to school groups, summer camps and families with children ages 3-11, beginning July 6 and running
through December 30.
Dan The Man Press
60 West 17th Road
New York, NY, USA 11693
Phone - 718.945-9376