April 29: Jazz Legend Duke Ellington Birthday

If it sounds good and feels good, then it IS good!
~Duke Ellington

Art is dangerous. It is one of the attractions: when it ceases to be dangerous you don’t want it.
~Duke Ellington

By the time of his passing, he was considered amongst the world’s greatest composers and musicians. The French government honored him with their highest award, the Legion of Honor, while the government of the United States bestowed upon him the highest civil honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
~allaboutjazz.com

Take The “A” Train (Reveille with Beverly from 1943):

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Happy 84th Birthday Willie Nelson

My doctor tells me I should start slowing it down – but there are more old drunks than there are old doctors so let’s all have another round.
~Willie Nelson

We create our own unhappiness. The purpose of suffering is to help us understand we are the ones who cause it.
~Willie Nelson

He [Willie Nelson] takes whatever thing he’s singing and makes it his. There’s not many people who can do that. Even something like an Elvis tune. You know, once Elvis done a tune, it’s pretty much done. But Willie is the only one in my recollection that has even taken something associated with Elvis and made it his. He just puts his sorta trip on it…
~Bob Dylan (28 April 1993)

Bob+Dylan Willie+Nelson

Willie Nelson Induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame (1993):

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April 24: David Bowie released Diamond Dogs in 1974

When this came out in 1974, it was roundly dismissed as Ziggy Stardust’s last strangled gasp. In hindsight, Diamond Dogs is marginally more worthwhile; its resigned nihilism inspired interesting gloom and doom from later goth and industrial acts such as Bauhaus and Nine Inch Nails.
~Mark Kemp (rollingstone.com in 2004)

All this hopelessness and annihilation would be suffocating if it weren’t for Bowie’s exuberance. He throws himself into Orwell’s draconian hell as if strutting around in Kansai Yamamoto’s Aladdin Sane-era bodysuit; it fits his skeletal contours. Determined to reaffirm his relevance in spite of his setbacks, the singer sparkled so brightly that he offset the darkness of his material. Just as Watergate was coming to a boil, singer-songwriters and prog-rockers were glutting the charts, and ’60s resistance was morphing into ’70s complacency, this sweet rebel (rebel) made revolution strangely sexy again. Glaring at you from Dogs’ cover with canine hindquarters and emaciated features like the circus sideshow Freaks he footnotes in the title cut, he served notice that rock’s outsiders remained more compelling than the softies who increasingly occupied its center, even as his ever-growing popularity chipped away at it. You can bet Patti Smith, the Ramones, and Television sat up and took notes.
-Barry Walters (pitchfork.com)

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April 23: The Rolling Stones released Sticky Fingers in 1971

The Rolling Stones - sticky-fingers

Sticky Fingers was never meant to be the title. It’s just what we called it while we were working on it. Usually though, the working titles stick.
~Keith Richards 1971

While many hold their next album, Exile On Main St., as their zenith, Sticky Fingers, balancing on the knife edge between the 60s and 70s, remains their most coherent statement.
~Chris Jones (bbc.co.uk)

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April 14: Happy Birthday Loretta Lynn

Loretta_Lynn

I didn’t know how babies were made until I was pregnant with my fourth child.
~Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn is one of the classic country singers. During the ’60s and ’70s, she ruled the charts, racking up over 70 hits as a solo artist and a duet partner. Lynn helped forge the way for strong, independent women in country music.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)

The country is making a big mistake not teaching kids to cook and raise a garden and build fires.
~Loretta Lynn

Tibute to Loretta Lynn, Hall of Famer’s Tribute

Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (live):

Wikipedia:

Birth name Loretta Webb
Also known as The Coal Miner’s Daughter
The First Lady of Country Music
The Decca Doll
The Queen of Country Music
Born April 14, 1932 (age 85)
Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, USA
Genres Country, honky-tonk, gospel
Occupations Singer-songwriter, author
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1960–present

Loretta Lynn (Born Loretta Webb April 14, 1932) is an American country-music singer-songwriter and author born in Butcher Hollow, near Paintsville, Kentucky, USA, to a coal-miner father. At the age of 15 she married, and soon she became pregnant. She moved to Washington state with her husband, Oliver Vanetta Lynn, Jr. (1926–1996), nicknamed “Doo”. Their marriage was tumultuous; he had affairs, and she was headstrong; their life together helped to inspire her music.

On their 6 year anniversary, at the age of 21, (1953), Lynn’s husband bought her a $17 Harmony guitar. She taught herself to play and when she was 24, on her wedding anniversary, he encouraged her to become a singer. She worked to improve her guitar playing, started singing at the Delta Grange Hall in Washington state with the Pen Brothers’ band, The Westerners, then eventually cut her first record (Honky Tonk Girl) in February 1960. She became a part of the country music scene in Nashville in the 1960s, and in 1967 charted her first of 16 number-one hits (out of 70 charted songs as a solo artist and a duet partner) that include “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)”, “You Ain’t Woman Enough”, “Fist City”, and “Coal Miner’s Daughter”.

loretta lynn3

One’s on the way (live):

She focused on blue collar women’s issues with themes about philandering husbands and persistent mistresses, and pushed boundaries in the conservative genre of country music by singing about birth control (“The Pill”), repeated childbirth (“One’s on the Way”), double standards for men and women (“Rated “X””), and being widowed by the draft during the Vietnam War (“Dear Uncle Sam”). Country music radio stations often refused to play her songs. Banning 9 of her song. But Loretta pushed on to become “The First Lady of Country Music”. Her best-selling 1976 autobiography book was made into an Academy Award-winning film, Coal Miner’s Daughter, starring Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones, in 1980. Her most recent album, Van Lear Rose, was released in 2004, produced by Jack White, and topped the country album charts. Loretta has received numerous awards in country and American music. For over 50 years Loretta has been performing and was honored in 2010 at the Country Music Awards for her stellar career. Loretta has been a member of The Grand Ole Opry for 50 years since joining on September 25, 1962.

loretta lynn4

Honors & Awards

  • Lynn has written over 160 songs and released 60 albums
  • She has had ten Number 1 albums and sixteen Number 1 singles on the country charts
  • Lynn has won dozens of awards from many different institutions, including four Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, eight Broadcast Music Incorporated awards, twelve Academy of Country Music, eight Country Music Association and twenty-six fan voted Music City News awards
  • She was the first woman in country music to receive a certified gold album for 1967’s “Don’t Come Home A’ Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)”.
  • In 1972, Lynn was the first woman named “Entertainer of the Year” by the Country Music Association, and is one of six women to have received CMA’s highest award
  • In 1980 she was the only woman to be named “Artist of the Decade” for the 1970s by the Academy of Country Music
  • Lynn was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Country Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1999
  • She was also the recipient of Kennedy Center Honors an award given by the President in 2003
  • Lynn is also ranked 65th on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll
  • She was the first female country artist to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1977
  • In 1995 she received the country music pioneer award
  • In 2001, “Coal Miner’s Daughter” was named among NPR’s “100 Most Significant Songs of the 20th Century”
  • In 2002, Lynn had the highest ranking (No. 3) for any living female CMT television’s special of the 40 Greatest Women of Country Music.
  • On November 4, 2004, Lynn, who has been a BMI affiliate for over 45 years, was honored as a BMI Icon at the BMI Country Awards.
  • In March 2007, Loretta Lynn was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music during her performance at the Grand Ole Opry.
  • In 2008, Loretta Lynn was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York City. To date Lynn had been inducted into more music Halls Of Fame than any other female recording artist
  • In 2010, Lynn received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for her 50 years in country music
  • On August 8, 2013, President Barack Obama announced that Loretta Lynn would be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Playlist of the day:

Other April 14:

  • Bob Dylan recorded “Jokerman” (& “Man of Peace”) in 1983.
  • Win Butler (born April 14, 1980) is the lead vocalist and songwriter of the Montreal-based indie rock band Arcade Fire. His wife Régine Chassagne and his brother William Butler are both members of the band.win_butler

-Egil & Hallgeir

April 13: Happy Birthday Al Green

I’m thankful for every moment.
~Al Green

The music is the message, the message is the music. So that’s my little ministry that the Big Man upstairs gave to me – a little ministry called love and happiness.
~Al Green

“Green plays the boyish Sam Cooke supplicant–or maybe a smooth Otis Redding, or an assertive Smokey Robinson–with the startling is-that-a-synthesizer? high note…”
~Robert Christgau (in 1970 – review of “Gets next to you” album)

Let’s Stay Together (Live 1972):

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