Friday, April 1, 2011




Celebrating the birthday of the great r&b singer, Jackie Wilson (June 9, 1934 – 1984) - known as Mr. Excitement….

Photo: George Shuba, Cleveland, 1967

Reet Petite (The Sweetest Girl In Town)Jackie Wilson


June 9 is a good day for Danish cultural life:

Carl Nielsen (June 9, 1865 – 1931), generally accepted as the greatest Danish composer in the late National Romantic - early Modernist mode…

Carl Nielsen is especially admired for his six symphonies and his concertos for violin, flute and clarinet.

Carl Nielsen, woodwind quintet, opus 43, 2nd movement


“Cole Porter (June 9, 1891 – 1964) was an American composer and songwriter from Peru, Indiana. His works include the musical comedies Kiss Me, Kate, and Anything Goes, as well as songs like “Night and Day”, “I Get a Kick out of You”, “Well, Did You Evah!” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”. He was noted for his sophisticated bawdy lyrics, clever rhymes, and complex forms. He was one of the greatest contributors to the Great American Songbook. Cole Porter is one of the few Tin Pan Alley composers to have written both lyrics and music for his songs.” (Wiki)
Ella Fitzgerald: Miss Otis Regrets (Cole Porter, 1934) - from Sings the Cole Porter Songbook


João Gilberto (b. June 10, 1931 - 80 today!) is a Grammy Award-winning Brazilian singer and guitarist. He is credited with having created the bossa nova beat and is known as the “Father of Bossa Nova.” His seminal recordings, including many songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes, established the new musical genre in the late 1950s…

João Gilberto - Samba Do Avião - São Paulo - 1994


Judy Garland (June 10, 1922 – 1969) was one of the brightest stars of the screen and the musical stage…

Judy Garland Slideshow (Somewhere over the rainbow)


Howlin’ Wolf (b. Chester Arthur Burnett) (June 10, 1910 – 1976) was an influential American blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player…

Howlin’ Wolf: Spoonful


Richard Strauss: Morgen! - Anne Schwanewilms, Soprano


Roy Harper, English folk and rock singer/songwriter and guitarist, was born June 12, 1941 - 70 today!!

Roy Harper & Robert Plant…

Roy Harper - Folkjokeopus Medley


Chick Corea (b. June 12, 1941) is a multiple Grammy Award winning American jazz pianist, keyboardist, drummer, and composer - also 70 today!
Chick Corea & Bela Fleck - Song to Pharaoh King

Chick Corea & Hiromi Uehara - Spain


Superstar Chinese classical pianist Lang Lang - known for his Bling Bling - is 29 today!

Lang Lang recording Beethoven Concertos 1 & 4


David Thomas, weird warbler of Pere Ubu fame is 58 today….

Pere Ubu: Final Solution, 1976


Harry Edward Nilsson III (June 15, 1941 — 1994, alcoholism) was a Swedish-American songwriter, singer, pianist, and guitarist who achieved the height of his fame during the 1960s and 1970s. For most of his recordings, he did not use his first name, and was credited only as Nilsson…

Harry Nilsson: One - from Aerial Pandemonium Ballet


Waylon Jennings (June 15, 1937 – 2002, complications from diabetes) was an influential American country music singer and musician. A self-taught guitar player, he rose to prominence as a bass player for Buddy Holly following the break-up of The Crickets.

In the sixties Jennings has a fairly clean-cut image as a Nashville songwriter and performer, although he insisted on recording with his own touring band and play his own edgy guitar in the studio (not standard practice in Nashville at the time), but more and more he became known as a bad boy with an Outlaw mentality and image. This solidified when he teamed up with Willie Nelson on a number of outlaw-themed songs and records. Still later Jennings recorded as the Highwaymen with Nelson, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson…

Photo: Henry Horenstein

Waylon Jennings: A Long Way From Home


Edvard Grieg (June 15, 1843 – 1907) was the chief Norwegian composer of the National Romantic period. He is best known for his Piano Concerto in A minor, for his incidental music to Henrik Ibsen’s play Peer Gynt (which includes Morning Mood and In the Hall of the Mountain King), and for his collection of piano miniatures Lyric Pieces. (Wiki)

Edvard Grieg, Piano Concerto in A Minor, Movement 3


Erroll Garner (June 15, 1921 – January 2, 1977) was an American jazz pianist and composer known for his swing playing and ballads. His best-known composition, the ballad Misty became a jazz standard with singers, and was featured prominently in Clint Eastwoods film from 1971, Play Misty for Me

Photo: William P. Gottlieb, 1946-8 (LoC)

Erroll Garner - Autumn Leaves


Celebrating the birthday of Igor Stravinsky (June 17, 1882 – 1971), great Russian-American composer, conductor, pianist…

Photo: Edward Weston, 1935 - Gelatin silver print

Stravinsky’s compositional career was notable for its stylistic diversity. He first achieved international fame with three ballets commissioned by the impresario Sergei Diaghilev and performed by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes (Russian Ballets): L’Oiseau de feu (“The Firebird”) (1910), Petrushka (1911/1947), and Le Sacre du printemps (“The Rite of Spring”) (1913). The Rite, whose premiere provoked a riot, transformed the way in which subsequent composers thought about rhythmic structure, and was largely responsible for Stravinsky’s enduring reputation as a musical revolutionary, pushing the boundaries of musical design.

After this first Russian phase Stravinsky turned to neoclassicism in the 1920s. The works from this period tended to make use of traditional musical forms (concerto grosso, fugue, symphony), frequently concealed a vein of intense emotion beneath a surface appearance of detachment or austerity, and often paid tribute to the music of earlier masters, for example J. S. Bach and Tchaikovsky. (Wiki)

Stravinsky : Symphony of Psalms (1er mvt)


Charles-François Gounod (June 17, 1818 – 1893) was a French composer, best known for his Bach mash-up Ave Maria, as well as his operas Faust and Roméo et Juliette.

Photo: Unknown, 1859 - Bibliothèque Nationale de France

Charles Gounod "Faust" Air des bijoux (Juwelenarie)


Pop-avantgardist slide guitarplayer Philip Charles Lithman, better known as Snakefinger, was born June 17, 1949 (d. 1987, sudden heart attack)…

Photo: Snakefinger ‘with’ The Residents


Talented young buck, Ray LaMontagne - b. June 18, 1973…

I like songs from all of his four albums - esp. his knack w. a torch song/ballad…

Ray LaMontagne - Roses and Cigarettes


Sir Paul, 69 today!

Photo: Harry Goodwin, 1965 - resin print from original negative (NPG, London)

Beatles- Here, There and everywhere

Clarence ‘Big Man’ Clemons, powerhouse sax player w. Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band - died last night, aged 69, from complications following a stroke…

Baby, we were born to run…

Bruce Springsteen - Jungleland (Main Point 1975-02-05)


Sublime English singer/songwriter and guitar genius Nick Drake would have been 63 today, if depression had not robbed him of his life at 26…

Iconic photo of Nick by Keith Morris, 1969

Nick Drake: Five Leaves Left, 1969 - cover photo, Keith Morris

That concludes another year’s Nick Drake birthday celebration. Next week I present a paper analyzing some of his lyrics at an international conference on Psychology and the Arts, and in September my friend, poet Gorm H. Rasmussen’s visionary biography of Nick will appear in English translation (by yours truly)…

Photo: Young Nick Drake ready for adventure…

Nick Drake: Five Leaves Left, back cover - photo, Keith Morris

Nick Drake - Place to be


Nick Drake - Day is Done


Jacques (b. Jacob) Offenbach (June 20, 1819 – 1880) was a German-born French composer and cellist of the Romantic era and one of the originators of the operetta form. Of German-Jewish ancestry, he was one of the most influential composers of popular music in Europe in the 19th century…

Photo: Nadar

Offenbach - Barcarolle , from 'The Tales of Hoffmann'


One of the most briliant (and weird) composers and arranger/producers in rock and pop music, Brian Wilson, the founder of The Beach Boys, turns 69 today!

Photo: Hedi Slimane, 2011

Beach Boys: God Only Knows - from Pet Sounds, 1966


Chet Atkins (June 20, 1924 – 2001) was an American guitarist and record producer, largely responsible for the Nashville Sound in country music from the late 1950s onward… He retired from producing in the mid-1970s.

As a guitar picker Atkins was considerably cooler and late in his career he returned to his pickin’ roots on records with Mark Knopfler and Jerry Reed…

Chet Atkins "Ochi Chornya" (Dark Eyes)


Eric Dolphy (June 20, 1928 – 1964) was an American jazz alto saxophonist, flautist, and bass clarinetist. Dolphy was one of several groundbreaking jazz alto players to rise to prominence in the 1960s. He was also the first important bass clarinet soloist in jazz, and among the earliest significant flute soloists…

Eric Dolphy - Hat and Beard


Ray Davies, front figure of The Kinks, turns 67. He was the main songwriter for the group and also did lead vocals on most of their material…
The Kinks - A Well Respected Man - 1965


Kris Kristofferson (b. June 22, 1936 - 75 today!) is an American writer, singer-songwriter, actor, and musician.

He is best known for hits such as “Me and Bobby McGee”, “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down”, and “Help Me Make It Through the Night”.

Kris Kristofferson: Me And Bobby McGee, 1970


Robert Hunter, Grateful Dead lyricist: 70 today!

The Grateful Dead: Scarlet Begonias - from Grateful Dead from the Mars Hotel, 1974

Once in a while you get shown the light
in the strangest of places if you look at it right.


Hope Sandoval (b. June 24, 1966) is an American singer-songwriter who was lead singer for Mazzy Star, a band that evolved out of a previous collaboration between Sandoval and David Roback, Opal

Later she formed Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions with Colm Ó Cíosóig of My Bloody Valentine…

Hope Sandoval & The Warm Inventions - Charlotte


Eddie Floyd is a soul/R&B singer and songwriter, best known for his work on the Stax record label in the 1960s and 1970s and the song Knock on Wood. Floyd turns 76 today!

Photo: Christoph Van Lent

Eddie Floyd - I've Never Found A Girl (Original Stereo)


Gilberto Gil (b. June 26, 1942) is a Brazilian singer, guitarist, and songwriter, known for both his musical innovation and his political commitment. From 2003 to 2008, he served as Brazil’s Minister of Culture…

He was a key figure in the Música Popular Brasileira and Tropicalismo movements of the 1960s, alongside artists such as longtime collaborator Caetano Veloso…

Gilberto Gil - Bat Macumba 1969


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