Posts Tagged ‘Otis Redding’
“People still come up to me and ask me to sign their records. That’s right, records! Man, they don’t even make records no more!…”*
Actually, they do– and the British music retailer Rough Trade is betting big on them. Last week, Rough Trade opened a massive (15,000 square foot) store stocking some CDs and lots and lots of vinyl records.
It took 20 employees and various friends and family members 30 hours, over three days, to stock the shelves with 23,000 discs and CDs in time for the store’s opening party– a process documented by Stephen Mallon for the New York Times:
* The Rev. Al Green
As we fish out our turntables, we might take a memorial moment to dangle our pinkies from the pier, in memory of the great Otis Redding; he died in a plane crash near Madison, Wisconsin on this date in 1967, at the age of 26. Redding had left the studios of Stax/Volt Records in Memphis, planning to return to finish the song he’d been recording– he needed to replace the whistling track he’d used as a placeholder for lyrics he still needed to write. But first he had to appear on a TV show in Cleveland, and perform a concert in Madison… “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” was released in its “unfinished” form several weeks later. It became the first posthumous #1 hit and the biggest pop hit of Redding’s career.
From Flavorwire, “Vintage Photos of Rock Stars In Their Bathing Suits.”
(Special Seasonal Bonus: from Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton to Ernest Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald, “Take a Dip: Literary Greats In Their Bathing Suits.”)
As we reach for the Coppertone, we might might wish a soulful Happy Birthday to musician Isaac Hayes; he was born on this date in 1942. An early stalwart at legendary Stax Records (e.g., Hayes co-wrote and played on the Sam and Dave hits “Soul Man” and “Hold On, I’m Coming”), Hayes began to come into his own after the untimely demise of Stax’s headliner, Otis Redding. First with his album Hot Buttered Soul, then with the score– including most famously the theme– for Shaft, Hayes became a star, and a pillar of the more engaged Black music scene of the 70s. Hayes remained a pop culture force (e.g., as the voice of Chef on South Park) until his death in 2008. (Note: some sources give Hayes birth date as August 20; but county records in Covington, KY, his birthplace suggest that it was the 6th.)
Your correspondent is headed for his ancestral seat, and for the annual parole check-in and head-lice inspection that does double duty as a family reunion. Connectivity in that remote location being the challenged proposition that it is, these missives are likely to be in abeyance for the duration. Regular service should resume on or about August 16.
Meantime, lest readers be bored, a little something to ponder:
Depending who you ask, there’s a 20 to 50 percent chance that you’re living in a computer simulation. Not like The Matrix, exactly – the virtual people in that movie had real bodies, albeit suspended in weird, pod-like things and plugged into a supercomputer. Imagine instead a super-advanced version of The Sims, running on a machine with more processing power than all the minds on Earth. Intelligent design? Not necessarily. The Creator in this scenario could be a future fourth-grader working on a science project.
Oxford University philosopher Nick Bostrom argues that we may very well all be Sims. This possibility rests on three developments: (1) the aforementioned megacomputer. (2) The survival and evolution of the human race to a “posthuman” stage. (3) A decision by these posthumans to research their own evolutionary history, or simply amuse themselves, by creating us – virtual simulacra of their ancestors, with independent consciousnesses…
Read the full story– complete with a consideration of the more-immediate (and less-existentially-challenging) implications of “virtualization”– and watch the accompanying videos at Big Think… and channel your inner-Phillip K. Dick…
Y’all be good…
One can use the interactive chart above (which is based on income tax data, and is adjusted for inflation to 2008 dollars) to see how average incomes in the U.S. have grown as between any two years from 1917 to 2008, and how that change was divided as between the richest 10% of the population and the remaining 90%.
The Wall Street Journal reports today that
A newly resilient U.S. economy is poised to expand this year at its fastest pace since 2003, thanks in part to brisk spending by consumers and businesses.
In a new Wall Street Journal survey, many economists ratcheted up their growth forecasts because of recent reports suggesting a greater willingness to spend.
One wonders how… indeed, one wonders how long the dynamic that’s defined the last two decades is sustainable in what is fundamentally a consumer-driven economy.
[TotH to @cshirky for the lead to the tool]
As we ponder the different kinds of heart we might celebrate on Valentine’s Day, we might recall that it was on this date in 1967 that Aretha Franklin recorded “Respect” (with her sisters Carolyn and Erma singing backup). The tune had been written and recorded by Otis Redding two years earlier, and had done well on the R&B charts. But Atlantic Records exec and producer Jerry Wexler thought that the song was especially suited to showcase Aretha’s vocal gifts, and had the potential to be a cross-over hit. He was, of course, right on both counts.
As we get back in touch with the pagan roots of seasonal sacred celebrations, we might take a memorial moment to dangle our pinkies from the pier, in memory of the great Otis Redding; he died in a plane crash near Madison, Wisconsin on this date in 1967, at the age of 26. Redding had left the studios of Stax/Volt Records in Memphis, planning to return to finish the song he’d been recording– he needed to replace the whistling track he’d used as a placeholder for lyrics he still needed to write. But first he had to appear on a TV show in Cleveland, and perform a concert in Madison… “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” was released in its “unfinished” form several weeks later. It became the first posthumous #1 hit and the biggest pop hit of Redding’s career.
Special Holiday Bonus: From the extraordinary Stax/Volt Review, Live in Europe: “Try a Little Tenderness“