Tag Archives: biography

the one

“James Brown backup singer Marva Whitney discovered that the separation of church and funk was a distinction of tapping from the toe or heel, respectively. “Because tapping from the heel moves your ass” observes RJ Smith. The heel also required a frequent change of socks. One drummer recalls hearing the aquatic squoosh of the JB’s’ footsteps when the band walked offstage every night. A good foot was a sweaty foot. According to the author, Cold Sweatwas “the first hit song about perspiration. […] Nobody had ever thought to sing about an uncomfortable ferment of the body caused by the nearness of other-flesh.” A press release pinpoints how many freshly laundered shirts James Brown would burn through in a single year, while The Onedetermines the first time he cried “Give the drummer some” (May 1967, Cincinnati).” What are you doing, Dave? You’ve just convinced me to purchase RJ Smith’s The one: the life and music of James Brown(Gotham / Penguin 2012-03-15, ISBN 9781592406579)! “Back home, as the Nixon administration pushed its dubious Soul Initiative to rally African American support, Nixon backer James Brown received letters from black soldiers lamenting the absence of soul music on Armed Forces Radio. An owner of several stations himself (good for airplay), the Godfather rectified the situation by bringing the JB’s to Vietnam for a USO tour. “We didn’t do like Bob Hopehe’d say. “We went back there where the lizards wore guns.” While James Brown did the cape act to a backdrop of machine gun patter, Bob Young, future mayor of Augusta, Georgia, was flying a helicopter with the words Mother Popcornscrawled on his helmet. (In the James Brown popcornography, mother was an honorific for a large rear end.) According to Smith, the mere act of federal marshall James Palmer keeping drummer Clyde Stubblefield out of the draft and seated in the JB’s “counts as one of the great unsung patriotic acts of the era”.”
http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7828510/a-review-rj-smith-biography-james-brown
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/08/books/the-one-james-brown-biography-by-r-j-smith.html
http://articles.boston.com/2012-03-16/arts/31195677_1_james-brown-life-and-music-black-power
http://www.themillions.com/2012/04/becoming-james-brown-on-rj-smiths-the-one.html
http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9781592406579,00.html
http://soul-sides.com/2012/08/a-chat-with-rj-smith-author-of-the-one/
http://rockcriticsarchives.com/interviews/rjsmith/rjsmith.html
http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=42403
http://www.rjsmiththeone.com/

 

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sugar nile gang

Big Bank Hank, Master Gee & Wonder Mike aka the Sugar Hill Gang want their royalties (though some may be Chic’s, one might imagine) … Can’t wait to start reading (the paperback edition of) Nile Rodgers’ autobiography (or memoir) “Le freak (an upside down story of family, disco and destiny”, incidentally! And re: the gang’s nightmare contracts, see also Roger Paradiso’s documentary “I want my name back!” (2011).
http://www.factmag.com/2012/01/04/the-sugar-hill-gang-file-against-universal-for-over-40-years-of-unpaid-royalties/
http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/watch_trailer_for_i_want_my_name_back_exploring_identity_theft_of_members_f
http://www.dangerousminds.net/comments/nile_rodgers_le_freak_music_biography_of_the_year
http://www.gq.com/entertainment/books/201110/nile-rodgers-le-freak-book-excerpt
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapper%27s_Delight#Background
http://www.docnyc.net/film/i-want-my-name-back/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sugarhill_Gang
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nile_Rodgers
http://prince.org/msg/8/370093

rip jerry leiber

Leiber_stoller_hound_dogLavern_baker_oui_patron6941

Almost forgot to publish this after I’d announced that I’d post some more on Leiber & Stoller & Spark records, but now with the sad news of Mr Leiber‘s parting … here’s a reminder of some of Leiber & Stoller‘s brilliant producing & songwriting skills, and of that exquisite autobiography by Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller with David Ritz: Hound dog – the Leiber & Stoller autobiography(Simon & Schuster 2009-06, ISBN 9781416559382). At the publisher’s site, you can browse the book … may I suggest reading Randy Poe’s appendix, where he argues (convincingly) that L&S practically invented rock ‘n’ roll? (And keep an eye out for more on their magic partnership – it’s like Tex Avery making music – with the Coasters in a future post.)
http://www.leiberstoller.com/
http://spoonercentral.com/RS/Brill.html
http://uzine.posterous.com/tag/brillbuilding
http://www.spectropop.com/hleiberstoller.html
http://www.discogs.com/artist/Leiber+%26+Stoller
http://www.dustygroove.com/item.php?id=xktk2zpqhy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Leiber_and_Mike_Stoller
http://www.rockabilly.nl/references/messages/jerry_leiber.htm
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/14/books/review/Windolf-t.html
http://www.elvis.com.au/presley/interview_with_mike_stoller.shtml
http://www.audioholicmedia.com/music-history-101/leiber-and-stoller/
http://www.acerecords.co.uk/content.php?page_id=59&release=747
http://www.acerecords.co.uk/content.php?page_id=59&release=421
http://www.acerecords.co.uk/content.php?page_id=59&release=7333
http://www.acerecords.co.uk/content.php?page_id=59&release=7485
http://www.ccmusic.com/item.cfm?itemid=MWS101014
http://www.ccmusic.com/item.cfm?itemid=CCM20012
http://www.covermesongs.com/2011/08/a-tribute-to-prolific-pop-songwriter-jerry-leiber.html

barney bubbles’ alice


"A music video made using rare '60s footage from an Alice in Wonderland inspired film project collaboration by Michel Parry, Barney Bubbles and a bunch of their friends. Alice is played by Rosemary Chester. The footage was originally recorded with the intention of making a whole film inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. The film was never completed and the original footage was only recently saved and transferred to dvd by Michel Parry who showed it to his daughter Cassie (Bear). Shortly after, Harry of Bear Driver edited the original footage to fit the song and the film (that has never previously been released in any form) was given new life. Both Michel Parry and Barney Bubbles appear in this footage. The locations are still recognisable as Soho square and Crystal Palace Park, where the monsters are!"
http://www.barneybubbles.com/blog/archives/4880
http://davidwills.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/barney-bubbles-alice-in-wonderland-film/
For more on Bubbles (1942-1983), see the "Reasons to be cheerful – the life and work of Barney Bubbles" book by Paul Gorman (with contributions by Peter Saville, Malcolm Garrett & Billy Bragg, Adelita 2008-12-04, ISBN 9780955201738) …
http://www.barneybubbles.com/blog
http://www.adelita.co.uk/reasons/index.php
http://adelita.co.uk/reasons/newedition.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barney_Bubbles
http://www.ibiblio.org/mal/MO/philm/barney/
http://www.briangriffin.co.uk/other.php?pg_id=59
http://www.paulgormanis.com/?tag=barney-bubbles
http://davidwills.wordpress.com/tag/barney-bubbles/
http://www.chelseaspace.org/archive/bubbles-pr.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/mal/MO/philm/friends/barney.html
http://observatory.designobserver.com/entry.html?entry=7787
http://www.creativereview.co.uk/home/search?query=Barney+Bubbles
http://www.johncoulthart.com/feuilleton/2007/01/20/barney-bubbles-artist-and-designer/
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article5197856.ece

neil bogart’s lot

And loads more vids on / by Casablanca artists here … as for background stories, check “And party every day – the inside story of Casablanca Records” (Backbeat 2009, ISBN 9780879309824) by Larry Harris with Curt Gooch and Jeff Suhs … the most dirt-filled music book since Mötley Crüe’s “The Dirt” […] always entertaining and frequently jaw-dropping, from Harris’ description of acting as runner for an enormous amount of cocaine for […] and several female hotel guests […] to tales of calling his own positions on the Billboard charts” (dixit the AV Club’s Michaelangelo Matos). Or is it? Those expecting salacious stories à la Hit Men by Fredric Dannen will be disappointed (Harris challenges this version of events) dixit DJ History. Still, can’t wait to read the book myself!
+ bonus books ’bout the biz:

real rich


Bernard Rich drummin’ up a storm … And lest we forget: as a band leader, Mr. Buddy was not so different from other leaders … though there’s no bus tapes around by those bullies …
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddy_Rich#The_tapes
http://www.buddyrich.com/community/tributes.html
http://www.musketeers.org/thud/buddy/buddy.htm
http://www.cis.rit.edu/~ejipci/buddy_rich.htm
http://mog.com/FluxCapacitor/blog/130876
http://jazztimes.com/articles/20010-the-buddy-rich-tapes
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,828415,00.html
http://www.rebeats.com/books.html > T (by Mel Tormé!)

vivian stanshall umbrellas ahead of his eh …

Media_httpwwwgingerge_zjgvz

Finally that reissue! Amazingly, this particular Fb group was late to pick up on this news … and neither is this petition dead y… And so after long debate over at WB HQ, it’s Harkit that got the rights to the cd reissue … They did a nice job, complete with 12 page booklet featuring (short) liner notes by one Freek Kinkelaar and all lyrics, including those to the two – top – bonus tracks (from the same 1974-04 session). Sadly, though, dark (red) text on a black background isn’t easy to read. If you’d like to know which role Steve Winwood, Caspar Lawal, Neil Innes, Jim Capaldi, Madeleine Bell & Doris Troy played on this particular Vivian Stanshall record, check:
http://www.harkitrecords.com/stanshall.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men_Opening_Umbrellas_Ahead
http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/audiointerviews/profilepages/stanshallv1.shtml
http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/Titles/63754/ginger-geezer-lucian-randall-chris-welch-9781841156798
http://www.iconeditions.net/work.html
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dear-Boy-The-Resurrection-Of-Vivian-Stanshall/184518761479
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=29835994868
http://www.bodnotbod.org.uk/kettering/Kettering1.pdf
http://www.iankitching.me.uk/music/bonzos/viv.html
http://www.shuttleworths.co.uk/sirhenry/
http://web.mac.com/doo.dah.diaries/
http://www.rawlinsonend.org.uk/
http://www.vivarchive.org.uk/
http://www.gingergeezer.net/
+ Bonzo Dog bonus