When I’m on stage, I’m trying to do one thing: bring people joy. Just like church does. People don’t go to church to find trouble, they go there to lose it.
The one thing that can solve most of our problems is dancing.
“Soul Brother Number One,” “the Godfather of Soul,” “the Hardest Working Man in Show Business,” “Mr. Dynamite” — those are mighty titles, but no one can question that James Brown earned them more than any other performer. Other singers were more popular, others were equally skilled, but few other African-American musicians were so influential over the course of popular music. And no other musician, pop or otherwise, put on a more exciting, exhilarating stage show: Brown’s performances were marvels of athletic stamina and split-second timing.
~Richie Unterberger (allmusic.com)
Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag – from TV program Shindig:
Being generous of spirit is a wonderful way to live.
– Pete Seeger
He’s a great man, Pete Seeger.
-Bob Dylan (Paul Zollo interview April, 1991)
Harry Belafonte and Arlo Guthrie induct Pete Seeger into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during the 1996 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony:
Pete Seeger & Bruce Springsteen – This Land is Your Land – Obama Inauguration (2009)
As Pete and I traveled to Washington for President Obama’s Inaugural Celebration, he told me the entire story of “We Shall Overcome.” How it moved from a labor movement song, and with Pete’s inspiration, had been adapted by the civil rights movement. That day as we sang “This Land Is Your Land,” I looked at Pete, the first black president of the United States was seated to his right, and I thought of the incredible journey that Pete had taken. My own growing up in the Sixties in towns scarred by race rioting made that moment nearly unbelievable, and Pete had 30 extra years of struggle and real activism on his belt. He was so happy that day. It was like, “Pete, you outlasted the bastards, man!” It was so nice. At rehearsals the day before, it was freezing, like 15 degrees, and Pete was there. He had his flannel shirt on. I said, man, you better wear something besides that flannel shirt! He says, yeah, I got my longjohns on under this thing.
If it sounds good and feels good, then it IS good!
Art is dangerous. It is one of the attractions: when it ceases to be dangerous you don’t want it.
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.
Take The “A” Train (Reveille with Beverly from 1943):
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.
We create our own unhappiness. The purpose of suffering is to help us understand we are the ones who cause it.
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)
Willie Nelson Induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame (1993):
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.
“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)