Posts Tagged ‘obit’

You had to be of a certain age to remember the concern music fans had when it was announced that David Ruffin was leaving the Temptations to pursue a solo career. David was THE star, Eddie Kendricks’ occasional solos notwithstanding.

Fortunately, there was Dennis Edwards waiting in the wings. I recently heard an interview in which he said he was being paid by Motown as a stand-by. When the Contours needed a member, Dennis was recruited in 1967. The next year, he was a member of The Temptations.

Coincidentally, Norman Whitfield became the producer of the Tempts, and co-writer of their songs with Barrett Strong. The group was more like five lead singers, but still, Dennis stood out.

The box set of the Temptations is Emperors of Soul. As Dustbury knows, the first song of the renewed group, and the initial track on Disc 3, was Cloud Nine.

It ends with Papa Was a Rolling Stone. Dennis related in an interview that the long instrumental intro made him so angry that he barked out that first line, just the way Whitfield wanted.

I loved that stretch of music. I have all the albums, and I even picked up the CD Psychedelic Soul, covering that period and a little beyond, often with extended tracks, some from the albums, others previously unreleased.

Still, one of the two best concerts I ever saw was the Temptations reunion tour in 1982 at the Colonie Colosseum near Albany. Seven guys in the beginning., then the first five (Ruffin, Kendricks, Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin and Richard Street, subbing for the late Paul Williams), the middle five (Edwards for Ruffin), the then current five (Glenn Leonard for Kendricks), and finally back to the seven.

Dennis Edwards was the only “replacement” Temptation to get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, unless you count David Ruffin replacing Elbridge Bryant before they hit big.

Dennis died just shy of his 75th birthday.

As someone who shared his birthday wrote, “He left us way more than just alone.”

Listen to

I Can’t Get Next To You, their 2nd #1 pop single in the US (after My Girl) – Dennis in the middle

Don’t Let The Joneses Get You Down

Ball of Confusion (Dennis is 2nd solo, after Eddie)

LEAVE IT IN 2017 and Some looks at the year just gone

A Radical New Scheme to Prevent Catastrophic Sea-Level Rise

Americans Don’t Really Understand Gun Violence

How America is Transforming Islam

The scammers gaming India’s overcrowded job market

Proud To Be A Patriotic American Liberal

Senate Judiciary Committee Interview of GLENN SIMPSON, AUGUST 22, 2017, released by Diane Feinstein

Latrine politics

Conspiracy sites claim he was ‘FEARED DEAD’, targeted by ‘DEEP STATE’ in minor Tower fire

A tax on a free press

New mom Serena Williams had to talk her hospital staff through saving her life

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among UK men but this is a faulty conclusion

Google Thinks I’m Dead (I know otherwise)

What’s wrong with the Internet, whether it’s new, and the power (and value) of our attention

Empörungsgesellschaft – Crazy bloggers, twitterers, facebooklings, and so forth, are able to impinge upon the public consciousness in new and historically unprecedented ways?

Takeout creates a lot of trash; it doesn’t have to

Cory Doctorow’s recent novel Walkaway imagines a world where scarcity is unnecessary and generosity is a feasible way of life

This expanding house is ready in 10 minutes

Growable shoes

Chuck Miller: A few words on my son’s wedding day

A Writer’s Guide to Permissions and Fair Use

We Have A New Prime Number, And It’s 23 Million Digits Long

Darlanne in the 1971 Panorama yearbook, Binghamton, (NY) Central High School


Darlanne Fluegel, Actress in ‘To Live and Die in L.A.’ and ‘Running Scared,’ Dies at 64 – I knew her a little when we were briefly in Binghamton Central High School together

Jerry Van Dyke, RIP

Ray Thomas, Moody Blues Flautist and Founding Member, Dead at 76

Keith Jackson, the folksy voice of college football has died at 89

Actress Greta Thyssen, Blonde Bombshell of the 1950s and ’60s, Dies at 90in action; see 185 Pies And Guys, esp from 13:00 in

How to pronounce Gyllenhaal

Musicals Into Movies

Op-Docs Contenders for the 2018 Academy Awards

Which Film Critics Are The Most Contrarian?

Must there be a Marvel Comics?

Babies weren’t cute until…

First new word of 2018 for me: mooted: raised (a question or topic) for discussion; suggested (an idea or possibility) – I’ve known moot, as in “the question is moot,” but not this

Now I Know: The Panhandler Who Returned a Treasure and When Breaking a Record Really Blows

What’s a Wendy’s doing there? The story of Washington’s weirdest traffic circle

MUSIC

The 2017 Coverville Countdown Part 1 and Part 2

Coverville 1200: This Day in Covers: January 3, 1978

Shelter from the Storm · Rodney Crowell / Emmylou Harris (HT to Jaquandor)

Echo Beach (2010) – Martha and the Muffins

Something’s Coming – Voctave

Your Song – Elle Goulding

Bagpipes/Dubstep/Star Wars

Someone to Lay Down Beside Me – Karla Bonoff

Ken – Barbie sings!

50 Best Folk Music Artists of All Time

The Beach Boys Are Better Than the Beatles

“Before Elvis, Jerry Lee and Chuck Berry, there was Fats.” That’s what Greg Harris, Rock Hall President and CEO, said of Fats Domino, born Antoine Domino Jr. “His sweet voice, rolling boogie-woogie piano, and delightful charisma made him a top-selling artist, a worldwide rock star and an inaugural member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.”

I think the Pitchfork headline is true: “A Rock’n’Roll Pioneer Too Often Overlooked.” He didn’t run hot, like Little Richard or the artists Harris mentioned. Fats was cool, in control.

Fats Domino may not have been the most flamboyant rock and roller of the Fifties, but he was certainly the figure most rooted in the worlds of blues, rhythm & blues and the various strains of jazz that gave rise to rock and roll.”

Commercially, he outsold all of his contemporaries except Elvis. The Guardian noted that he “shaped the course of popular music over and over again.” In fact, “You could argue for the rest of your life about what constitutes the first rock’n’roll record… But Fats Domino’s 1949 single The Fat Man has a stronger claim than most.

The first time I ever heard Lady Madonna, I was not 100% sure it was by the Beatles. Indeed, Paul McCartney made it clear that he was trying to do Fats Domino. And Fats covered the song, which I have on some compilation album of black artists performing tracks by the Beatles. “Ain’t That a Shame was the first song John Lennon learned to play.”

Some declared Fats Domino dead during Katrina. He lived to laugh about it. “His grand piano was destroyed. Many of his two dozen gold records were carried away by floodwaters, NOLA.com reported. But he was okay.”

Listen to Fats Domino (piano, vocals; born February 26, 1928, died October 25, 2017):

Blueberry Hill on Austin City Limits

Ain’t That a Shame

I’m Walkin’

Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey

In the spring of 1995, a friend of mine working with a band fronted by Pete Droge, who was opening for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. They came to Albany to play at the Knickerbocker Arena.

After their set, my exhausted friend left, and so did I, hearing only the first couple songs of the Petty concert. But I figured I’d see him and the Heartbreakers again someday, which proved to be incorrect.

Petty was very popular at FantaCo in the 1980s. My boss Tom had this weird affection of changing the lyrics of the songs from Girl to Squirrel. American Squirrel, Here Comes My Squirrel. It was weird but sort of funny.

I talways thought that the Traveling Wilburys Vol 2 was the collective albums that the artists put out between Vol. 1 and Vol. 3. This would, of course, include Tom Petty’s first “solo” album Full Moon Fever, which featured Free Fallin’ and I Won’t Back Down.

The latter song seemed to be Petty’s mantra, such as fighting with his record company over its failed attempt to raise the price of one of his album. I remember an urgent version at that TV concert after 9/11.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers backed Johnny Cash on his second American Recordings album, Unchained (1996). It won a country album Grammy, but I foolishly thought it would be a big crossover hit. It only got up to #170, and lasted a mere two weeks. Tells you what I know.

Someone was mourning the death of Tom Petty on Facebook, and some jerk said that if you didn’t mourn the folks killed and wounded in Las Vegas, to which someone asked, “Can’t you do both?” Be sad about mass murder AND the loss of someone who had provided part of the soundtrack of their lives for the past four decades?

I’m going to wait awhile, maybe October 20, 2020, which would have been his 70th birthday, before I decide my favorite Tom Petty songs. But these are a few that came to mind in the past few days:

Refugee – Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

Even the Losers – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around – Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty

Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty

End Of The Line – The Traveling Wilburys

It’s Good To Be King – Tom Petty

You Don’t Know How It Feels – Tom Petty

You Wreck Me – Tom Petty

Walls (Circus) – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (from “America” A Tribute to Heroes”)

Plus Coverville 1188: Tom Petty Tribute

And here are just some of the stories I read:

Obit

Tom Petty Was Perhaps Rock’s Greatest Writer of First Lines

Tom Petty Was Rock ’n’ Roll’s Ambassador to the World Even if he would have been the last one to admit it

Remembering Tom Petty’s Quirky Roles in The Postman and King of the Hill

Why the Loss of Tom Petty Feels So Deeply Personal

Tom Petty’s final interview: There was supposed to have been so much more

When Hugh Hefner died recently, I didn’t think I’d have much to say about his passing. But the appreciation articles, followed by the excoriation of same, I’m finding really fascinating.

On one side, The New York Times:

Hefner advocated for “‘The Playboy Philosophy,’ in which he addressed topics like the First Amendment and sexual mores. He advocated gay rights.” Arthur tells a fascinating story about how The Playboy Foundation provided help AND, tellingly, how that assistance was received.

“He pushed for women’s access to birth control and abortion. He discussed censorship as well as what constituted ‘obscene’ in the United States, and he promoted the free exchange of thoughts and ideas.

“He integrated his staff and membership; he hired men and women of all races, and often provided black comedians and musicians their first chances to perform in front of white audiences.” This included the late Dick Gregory.

“Mr. Hefner also set up the Playboy Foundation, which supported First Amendment rights, often contributing to defendants in free-speech cases. The foundation went on to support other works, including research on post-traumatic stress disorder, commissions on Agent Orange and programs and organizations for veterans.”

On the other hand, there are pieces such as this one which says that those “media outlets across the country released touching memoirs, obituaries, and photographs of the mogul who made a fortune parading nude women in public like pieces of meat dangled in front of wild animals.” Or this one, which referred to Hefner as an “abusive creep.”

From here: “Hefner feels that his media empire has been a liberating force for women, that what some feminists might consider sexual exploitation, he considers a chance to strut their stuff and fly in the face of Puritanical bondage.”

I admit that, in the latter ’70s and early ’80s, I picked up an issue or two, not for the centerfold, but generally for who was being interviewed. I think I got the one with Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter from 1976, in which he admitted having had “lust in his heart.” I’m positive I got the January 1981 issue – it’s probably still in the attic somewhere – for it contained the interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono that hit the newsstands around the time that John was killed.

Yet I always felt mildly guilty purchasing it. Even though I wasn’t going to church at the time, maybe I was part of the supposedly chaste America that Hefner was trying to break down.

Back in 2012, many of those Playboy interviews were online for free. And about four dozen are still available on Amazon Prime gratis, or for 99 cents on regular Amazon, including Marlon Brando, Bob Dylan, Stephen King, Ayn Rand, Miles Davis, Martin Luther King Jr, Bette Davis, Hunter S. Thompson, Stanley Kubrick and Fidel Castro.

Playboy published science fiction by Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Harlan Ellison, and Ursula K. LeGuin, and many other provocative pieces. The magazine paid better than average for articles and cartoons.

I thought even early on that the “Mansion-bunnies-RatPack mentality” of Playboy was weird and contrived and more than a little uncomfortable. Here are some clips from the music show Playboy After Dark. Hef was not as cool as he thought he was, as he introduces The Three Dog Night and The Grand Funk Railroad.

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