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Posts Tagged ‘country

“It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter”*…

 

Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix lighting his guitar on fire at Monterey Pop Festival, in Monterey, California, in 1967

 

Few photographers have had a life and career as historic as Jim Marshall. His pictures not only capture some of the most influential artists of the 20th century but also established a new level of intimacy in the relationship between entertainers and the photojournalists documenting them.

Some of the most iconic pictures ever made of artists like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan, to name a few, were captured through Marshall’s camera lens. His ability to level these larger-than-life musicians as normal human beings, coupled with his uncanny knack to find himself at the right place at the right time, established him as one of the era’s most sought-after music photographers. Whether it was the legendary Miles Davis or simply the neighborhood children playing stickball in the street, Marshall was able to capture the moment with striking humanity.

Marshall died in 2010 at the age of 74, leaving his entire archive of millions of photographs and negatives to his personal assistant of many years, Amelia Davis. This year, a new documentary about his life and the accompanying book, Jim Marshall: Show Me the Picture, chronicle the photographer’s journey through some of the most influential cultural events of the 20th century…

cash

Johnny Cash “giving one to the warden” at San Quentin State Prison in San Quenton, California, in 1969

dead

The Grateful Dead’s last free concert on Haight Street, in San Francisco, before they moved to Marin County, 1968

 

An interview with Davis– and more of Marshall’s marvelous work– at “23 Of The Most Influential Pictures From Music History.”  Even more of Marshall’s work at Marshall’s official website.

Vaguely related: facing rising San Francisco rent, the world’s largest collection of punk records and Maximum Rocknroll, the anti-establishment music magazine that safeguards it, must find a new home: “Eight tons of punk.”

* Alfred Eisenstaedt

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As we bask in backstage access, we might recall that it was on this date in 1956 that Bill Haley tied Ruby Murray’s record (set in 1955) when he scored five songs in the UK Top 30: “See You Later, Alligator” (#19), “Razzle Dazzle” (#17), “Rock Around The Clock” (#13), “The Saints Rock ‘n’ Roll” (#11), and “Rockin’ Through The Rye” (#4).

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Written by LW

September 29, 2019 at 1:01 am

“Who I am on stage is very, very different to who I am in real life”*…

 

Beyoncé’s father (pictured above with his daughter at the 2004 Grammy Awards) can make you a star…

It is 10am, and the lights in Houston’s Hobby Center theater dim to black.

“Mathew Knowles was born on January 9, 1951,” a voice booms over the sound system. “Excelling at education and sports,” it continues, he went on to become the “No 1 salesman in the world at Xerox”.

The 75 people in the audience, who have spent up to $320 for a day-long “bootcamp” with Knowles – titled “The entertainment industry: how do I get in?”– might well be wondering what they have paid for.

A video begins to play. We see a series of images of Beyoncé and hear some of her most famous songs. Now we know why we are here. This is a seminar with Beyoncé’s dad. Her former manager.

This is the man who created Destiny’s Child. The man who, according to the voiceover, “took a risk that changed history”. The man who also managed his other daughter Solange. The man whose new book, The DNA of Achievers, is available for purchase in the lobby for $19.95 plus shipping and handling, a price which includes the opportunity to have your photo taken with him at the end of the day…

Partake of the secrets of success at “Can Beyoncé’s dad make me a star? Inside a one-day fame ‘bootcamp’.”

* Beyoncé Knowles

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As we reach inside ourselves to make contact with the passion that will propel us, we might recall that it was on this date in 1962 that the Country Music Festival in Nashville kicked off its annual celebration of the form, at which Patsy Cline was named “Queen of Country Music.”  Cline, a stalwart of the early 1960s Nashville sound known for such now-standards as “Crazy” and “I Fall to Pieces,” was one of the first Country artists to cross-over, and was one of the most influential, successful and acclaimed vocalists of the 20th century.  The following year (at the age of 30) she died in the crash of of manager’s private plane.

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Written by LW

November 4, 2015 at 1:01 am

“Country music has always sort of been country music”*…

The DeZurik Sisters, Mary Jane and Carolyn, began performing on St. Paul’s KSTP in 1935, when they entered and won a talent contest.  The next year they moved to Chicago to appear weekly on National Barn Dance, and later, also Purina’s Checkerboard Time, at WLS-AM.  The girls called their act The Cackle Sisters…

Read more about the singing siblings– and their place in the annals of yodeling– here and here.  And find an remarkable collection of acetate transfers of their work at the ever-extraordinary WFMU. * Miranda Lambert

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As we marvel at Minnesota throat-singing, we might send dramatic birthday greetings to Sir Tom Stoppard OM CBE FRSL; he was born on this date in 1937.  A journalist and drama critic, he turned to playwriting in 1960– and has since written such prominent works for the stage as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The Real Thing, Jumpers, Travesties, Arcadia, and The Coast of Utopia.  Sir Tom is also an accomplished screenwriter, whose many films include BrazilThe Russia House, and Shakespeare in Love. He’s won four Tony Awards and one Oscar.

How the hell do I know what I find incredible? Credibility is an expanding field… Sheer disbelief hardly registers on the face before the head is nodding with all the wisdom of instant hindsight.

– George, Jumpers, Act I

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Written by LW

July 3, 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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