(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Chuck Berry

“The sound must seem an echo to the sense”*…

As devices once common fall out of use, we stop hearing the sounds that they made…

“Conserve the sound” is an online archive for disappearing sounds. The sounds of a rotary dial phone, a Walkman, an analog typewriter, a pay phone, a 56k modem, a nuclear power plant or even a mobile phone keyboard have partly disappeared or are just disappearing from everyday life. In addition, people have their say in text and video interviews and deepen their view into the world of disappearing sounds…”

The signature sounds of the items above and so many more: “Conserve the sound,” a project of CHUNDERKSEN.

Apposite: “Google Translate for the zoo? How humans might talk to animals,” a review of Karen Bakker‘s The Sounds of Life.

And. of course, 32 Sounds.

* Alexander Pope

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As we listen in, we might recall that it was on this date in 1986, in Cleveland, that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted it’s first class of members: Little Richard, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, Alan Freed, John Hammond, Buddy Holly, Robert Johnson, Jerry Lee Lewis, San Phillips, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Jimmie Rodgers, and Jimmy Yancey. The I. M. Pei designed museum opened on June 7, 1993.

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“A nice blend of prediction and surprise seem to be at the heart of the best art”*…

Walter, later Wendy, Carlos was a pioneer of electronic music, a collaborator with Robert Moog in developing the Moog Synthesizer that changed music forever (among other things, she convinced Moog to add a touch-sensitive device, allowing greater musical dynamics) and a performer/recording artist who popularized the instrument. In 1970, she did an explainer for the BBC…

We can break popular music into two periods: before the Moog and after the Moog. Upon its debut in 1964, that synthesizer made a big splash in the small but long-established electronic-music world by, among other innovative qualities, being smaller than an entire room. Over the next few years, inventor Bob Moog (whose previous line was in theremins) refined his eponymous brainchild to the point that it became accessible to composers not already on the cutting edge of music technology. But for Wendy Carlos, the cutting edge of music technology was where she’d spent most of her life; hence her ability to create the first bestselling all-Moog album, 1968’s Switched-On Bach

She even plays a bit of the second movement of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #4, Carlos’ rendition of which on Switched-On Bach‘s follow-up The Well-Tempered Synthesizer moved no less an authority than Glenn Gould to call it “the finest performance of any of the Brandenburgs — live, canned, or intuited — I’ve ever heard.”…

A titan of electronic music breaks it down: “Wendy Carlos Demonstrates the Moog Synthesizer on the BBC (1970),” from Colin Marshall (@colinmarshall) in @openculture.

* Wendy Carlos

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As we plug in, we might recall that it was on this date in 1956 that Chuck Berry recorded “Roll Over Beethoven” for Chess Records. It was released the following month and peaked at number 2 on the Billboard R&B chart and number 29 on the pop chart. “Roll Over Beethoven” is one of the most widely covered songs in popular music – “a staple of rock and roll bands”, according to Cub Koda of AllMusic– with famous versions by Jerry Lee Lewis, the Beatles, Carl Perkins, and Electric Light Orchestra. In 2003 it was was one of 50 recordings chosen by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.

“Time takes it all, whether you want it to or not”*…

 

From the moment Elvis Presley landed, we wanted every piece of him. This turned his old records into vinyl and shellac gold. While the value of discs by other popular mid-century artists such as Cliff Richard and Frank Sinatra dropped as time passed, Elvis’s didn’t. As an omnipresent figure, the prices of the King’s records rose to astronomical levels.

Unearthing an original “That’s All Right” record became a £4,000 lucky strike; a set of five original Sun singles at one time fetched £25,000. This made them a sort of pension for many collectors. They packed items away, hoping one day to exchange them for a caravan in the Dordogne. However, this has all begun to change…

As the King’s fans die of old age, and their collections hit the second-hand market, vintage Elvis records have never been cheaper: “Can’t help falling in price: why Elvis memorabilia is plummeting in value.”

* Stephen King

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As we feel our age, we might recall that it was on this date in 1957 that Chuck Berry recorded “Rock & Roll Music” at the Chess Studios in Chicago.  (Some websites report a recording date of either May 6 or May 21, but Steve Sullivan’s Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings affirms May 15 as the date of record.)

The tune reached number 6 on Billboard‘s R&B Singles chart and number 8 on its Hot 100.  But its impact continued to grow: it was covered by dozens of artists including Bill Haley & His Comets, the Beatles, the Beach Boys (who had a top ten hit with the song in 1976), Dickie Rock and the Miami Showband, REO Speedwagon, Mental As Anything, Humble Pie, Manic Street Preachers and Bryan Adams.  In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Berry’s version number 128 on its list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”; and the song is included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.

 

Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 15, 2017 at 1:01 am

“Slow but steady wins the race”*…

 

Slow TV comes to the U.S…

TV viewers in Duluth, Minnesota had the opportunity to witness a record-setting premiere last Staurday:  the world’s first thirteen-hour-long commercial– an ad for the the chain that Jon Stewart loves to hate, Arby’s.

The door of a smoker will open, the brisket will be placed inside, smoke will flow in, and for just short of 13 hours, the viewer will watch it smoke through a window. A small logo in the corner of the screen identifies Arby’s…

At 13 hours, the commercial will be longer than pre-game coverage of the Super Bowl (6½ hours), and not much shorter than Richard Wagner’s operatic “Ring” cycle (14½ hours)… Indeed, when the commercial passes the one-hour mark, it will have exceeded the Guinness World Record for longest TV commercial, currently held by Nivea…

The manager of My9, the Duluth station that aired the spot, reported that he got “a ‘ton’ of media calls about the stunt—that is, six or seven.”

Read more here.

* Aesop

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As we proclaim “Out damned spot! Out, I say!“, we might recall that it was on this date in 1957 that Chuck Berry opened “Berry Land” (AKA “Berry Park”), an amusement park and resort built on his estate outside of St. Louis.  The 30-acre complex had hotel rooms, a miniature golf course, a Ferris wheel, a nightclub, children’s barbecue pits, and a guitar-shaped swimming pool.  The attraction closed in 1961, when Berry was convicted of a Mann Act violation.

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 31, 2014 at 1:01 am

From wailin’ to Waylon…

15 July 1972, Billerica, MA — Don Stover was a bluegrass banjo picker from White Oak, West Virginia. In 1952 he joined the Lilly Brothers from nearby Beckley, and headed for Boston, where they played together for over eighteen years at the (in)famous Hillbilly Ranch.  Stover had great influence on a generation of important young banjo pickers, from Bill Keith (who introduced chromatic scales to bluegrass as a member of Bill Monroe’s band) to Bela Fleck (the bluegrass and jazz-fusion star)

Courtesy of the always fascinating Selvedge Yard, a selection of photos from the archive of photographer Henry Horenstein, “Portraits of Country Music 1972-1981“– a time before CMT and “New Country,”  a time when country was…  well, country.

15 July 1974, Berryville, Virginia — Bluegrass music fans at the Berryville Bluegrass Festival

15 July, 1975, Cambridge, MA. Waylon Jennings began as his career as a Cricket (Buddy Holly’s bass player) and ended it as an Outlaw (a member of the group that also included Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser, and Billy Joe Shaver). Along the way, he conspired with Johnny Cash in the addled 60s , then charted a series of hits that included the classic “Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.”

See the rest of Horenstein’s arresting photos at The Selvedge Yard.

As we pine for a PBR, we might recall that it was on this date in 1955 that, in another corner of the music world, Chuck Berry’s first hit record, “Maybellene” entered the R&B chart. Piano player Johnnie Johnson recalls that he and Berry rewrote the song at the suggestion of Leonard Chess: “It was an old fiddle tune called ‘Ida Red'[recorded in 1938 by Bob Wills]. I changed the music and re-arranged it, Chuck re-wrote the words, and the rest, as they say, was history.  Leonard Chess asked me to come up to record it live. At that time, someone else already had a song out by the same name, so we had to change our version. We noticed a mascara box in the corner, so we changed the name to ‘Maybellene.'”

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