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Generally speaking, I like to note the 70th birthday of performers that I enjoy in this blog. Well, Debbie Harry, the lead singer of the group Blondie, no relation to Bumstead, turned 70 on July 1, and I totally missed it.
Blondie is an American rock band that Harry formed with guitarist Chris Stein. It took the band until its third album, Parallel Lines in 1978 Read the rest of this entry »
George Ivan ‘Van’ Morrison is one of those artists who’s been around practically as long as I’ve been listening to music.
The Northern Irish singer/songwriter has released over three dozen albums. I have his second solo album, Astral Weeks, and his 2012 album, Born to Sing: No Plan B, but only about a half dozen in between, so there are definite gaps in my Van awareness.
I dare say if I listened to the entirety of his oeuvre, I’d likely find 25 more songs, but these are the ones that struck a chord with me today. And while the top 7 are probably my favorites, the order is fairly arbitrary.
Jeff Sharlet interviews Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King.
No matter how sincerely we think we get it, we don’t really get it. “A personal epiphany about race and gender, to my fellow white males.” And Please Stop Being a Good White Person (TM).
Donald Trump Just Stopped Being Funny. “Win or lose, Trump’s campaign threatens to unleash the Great American Stupid.”
As I have alluded to in the past, there are lots of different popular music charts put out by Billboard magazine, and other music publications. For instance, some songs might be a hit on the the charts geared towards black music, but do far less well on the pop charts, or occasionally better.
The black charts were known as race records, rhythm and blues, soul, et al, since they were begun in 1942. It’s currently Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
Tyrone Davis (ne Tyrone Fettson, May 4, 1938 – February 9, 2005) was a successful soul singer for over four decades. He had THREE #1 soul singles, and 43 in the top 100, whereas he had 15 top 100 pop hits, none reaching #1.
His obituary in the Guardian reads: “Tyrone Davis, who has died aged 66, was an American soul singer whose voice, between low tenor and baritone, had a blues tinge. He commanded a large, loyal black following, but was denied a mass audience.”
BTW, this phenomenon is hardly specific to Davis. James Brown, e.g., had 17 soul #1s, and over 110 top 100 soul tunes. He had zero #1 pop tunes and about 95 top 100 pop hits.
Of Tyrone Davis’ soul #1s, Turning Point (1976) didn’t even chart on the pop charts. Can I Change My Mind went to #5.
Turn Back the Hands of Time, which was based on the relationship problems of co-writer Jack Daniels (no relation to the drink) got to #3 in 1970.
Listen to Turn Back the Hands of Time.
Emmett Till disappeared 60 years ago today; his mutilated body was found three days later. His mother allowed photos to be taken of his open casket, and the horrifying pictures helped galvanize the Civil Rights movement, including the “I Have a Dream” speech eight years, to the day, later.
But that’s not what I wanted to talk about. I want to know why it is Read the rest of this entry »