Critic Joe Viglione reviews movies, books, DVDs, CDs, and has all sorts of opinions on a variety of things. The monthly Top 40 is a sort-of directory...
commentaries and essays expand the thought process on RockJournalistJoeVig.blogspot.com ...so the reviews on the Top 40 aren't final, they are just the starting point to more discussion. You can always contact Joe directly at visual_radio [@] yahoo.com
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Trek Wars: The Search For Luke
The Force Awakens
Review by Joe Viglione
Star Wars fans
will be relieved that The Force Awakens is better than 1999’s The Phantom
Menace, 2002’s Attack of the Clones and
2005’s Revenge of the Sith, but falls somewhere in-between those stories and
1983’s Return of the Jedi, 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back and, of course, 1977’s
2015 seems a lot longer than the decade from Sith vengeance to this
reawakening, especially when 16 years came between Return of the Jedi
and The Phantom Menace.
Opening with extreme violence, The Force Awakens teases with dashes of
the 1977 original epic spliced into the script along with new characters
making their debut in the Star Wars universe. A new face like Oscar
Isaac as Poe Dameron makes the grade as does Billie Lourd - daughter of
Carrie Fisher (herself the daughter of pop singer Eddie Fisher and his
first wife, Debbie Reynolds) and Fisher's ex-boyfriend, talent agent
Bryan Lourd (who left Princess Leia Fisher for another man! Such
scandal!!! that would spice up this Force Awakens, but I digress...) and
perhaps the very best new edition, Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata - a fun
character that we hope returns in the next films.
So how does Abrams bring it all full circle thirty eight years after Star Wars first hit our collective consciousness?
How about Jesus from 1965's The Greatest Story Ever Told who morphed
into 007's major enemy Blofeld from Sean Connery's own Never Say Never
Again(1983) ( as well as Dr. Paul Novotny in 1984's underrated
Dreamscape,) the brilliant Max Von Sydow bringing that Alec Guinness
style wisdom and class to the film's opening. A great move that
J.J.Abrams failed to sustain throughout this chapter. What the
director gives the people is what they want, the familiar exciting
lightsabers and death rays.
Have some imagery from 1989's Star Trek misfire The Final Frontier,
lots and lots from 1984's great The Search For Spock, the crash landing
from 1994's Star Trek: Generations and so much more from Search For
Spock - from the beautiful red hues of planet Vulcan to Mark Hamill's
wardrobe that makes this - truly - more The Search for Luke than "the
force awakens." If you had any thought that J.J. Reboot, immersed in
Gene Rodenberry and George Lucas, was going to go brand spanking new on
us, those ideas will be cast aside as the film progresses from action
scene to action scene, keeping the action ahead of the story so that it
doesn't get trapped into any "Clone of the Phantom Sith."
With the immense hype and propaganda leading up to this event, even
this long-time critic - my first reviews printed in 1969 - has jumped on
this new Star Wars bandwagon (it would be foolish not to,) the build up
so intense that, well, it makes for a mighty bar to reach. If you're
looking for the Star Wars Holy Grail, well... though there are many
excellent moments and tremendous sets, it's simply not here. What is
here is a reuniting of old friends and beloved characters, coming back
to your life in a precise exercise in making an entertaining two hour
and fifteen minute return to the Star Wars realm.
Andy Serkis gets to play so many cool characters - from Caesar in Rise
of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes as well as
long-time Marvel Comics villain Klaw in Avengers: Age of Ultron and also the voice of Gollum in 2001's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
Here he plays a terrific evilmaniac with the worst name since Jar Jar
Binks - Supreme Leader Snoke. Now had Jar Jar been voiced by Zsa Zsa
Gabor ...creating Jah Jah Binks - all would be right with the world, but
I digress again. Here Snokes/Serkis has the luxury of some of the best
science fiction sets in Sci-fi history. Abrams does embrace the
wonderment of having a large, vast expanse (one of the highlights of the
Tom Cruise flick Oblivion) and the breathtaking immensity of these
wombs of the dark side are a huge plus for this film, bringing it more
towards the first three, where it belongs, than the travesty that
followed with that trio of Star Wars prequels from 1999-2005.
importance to hundreds of millions – if not more than a billion people on this planet – of Star
Wars fans, this long overdue “Chapter 7” - as stated - plays it safe, it is both a reboot of
past achievements and a prologue to the new adventures. Hollywood
being Hollywood, and the dollar
being more important than new creative moments and intriguing advanced
innovation, the pace of the awakening of The Force thrusts 1999’s The Phantom Menace back into the dark
ages, as if it never existed.Thankfully.
Dangling so many goodies in front of the massive audience, this
reboot is merely a prologue to what is yet to come. Disney must be on
notice. With 42 year old Rian Johnson taking the director's chair from
the reboot master, JJ Abrams, 2017's Episode VIII has the opportunity to
be the place where the force truly awakens. This Chapter VII is
merely the placeholder putting everything back into its "new order."
#1+ IS A plus IN ADDITION TO OUR REGULAR #1 ON THE TOP 40
______________________________________________________________ December 2015 our Frank Sinatra issue of the Joe Vig Top 40
#1 Frank Sinatra - All Our Nothing At All
Eric Clapton - Slowhand at 70, Live at the Royal Albert Hall is the guitarmaster's Joe Cocker Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour for his seventieth birthday. It's an endless party with Clapton backed by a stellar cast that make this experience a fun and lively captured moment that is highly listenable. Lo and behold - before I read the liner notes - on keyboards is Chris Stainton from those wonderful old and aforementioned Mad Dogs & Englishmen - so my opinion of this epic Eric release is more than just a bit on-target. It is the reincarnation of that
Covering Cocker's big rendition of the Billy Preston co-write "You Are So Beautiful" (though not co-written by Cocker) on track 6 and closing out the CD with "High Time We Went,"
1) Somebody’s Knockin’ On My Door
2) Key To The Highway
3) Tell The Truth
5) Hoochie Coochie Man
6) You Are So Beautiful
7) Can’t Find My Way Home
8) I Shot The Sheriff 9) Driftin’ Blues
10) Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
11) Tears In Heaven
13) Let It Rain
14) Wonderful Tonight
17) High Time We Went http://www.bluesmagazine.nl/eric-clapton-slowhand-at-70-live-at-the-royal-albert-hall/
Eric Clapton – electric and acoustic guitar / lead vocals
Chris Stainton – keyboards
Paul Carrack – keyboards / Hammond organ / background vocals
Nathan East – bass guitar / background vocals
Steve Gadd – drums
Michelle John – background vocals
Sharon White – background vocals
Paul Gambaccini – interviews
01. Everyday I Have The Blues
02. Iko Iko
04. Theme For An Imaginary Western
05. Never Tell Your Mother She's Out Of Tune
06. First Time I Met The Blues
07. Neighbour Neighbour
08. This Anger's Liar
09. Born Under A Bad Sign
10. We're Going Wrong
11. White Room
12. Sunshine Of Your Love
Jack Bruce (b, voc, keys)
Tony Remy (g)
Frank Tontoh (dr)
Paddy Milner (keys)
Nicholas Cohen (b)
Paul Newton (tp)
Paul Fisher (tb)
Martin Dale (N)
Jack Bruce & His Big Blues Band: Live at Estival Jazz Lugano
Piazza Della Riforma, Lugano, Switzerland, June 30th 2011
Laurence Juber recorded "Sunny" for his Fingerboard Road CD. He appears on Joe Vig's Pop Explosion on http://bostonfreeradio.com at 2 PM Eastern time December 9, 2015.
Fingerboard Road is an exciting excursion inside songs, some that
were ingrained into the population when Top 40 radio ruled. Steely Dan's
"Peg" has the guitar speaking the vocal melody on this all-instrumental
disc. Ray Charles 1960 classic, Georgia On My Mind https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Thls_tMuFkc gets the soulful longing transferred from Ray's immaculate voice to the
guitar string in a soothing and beautiful way. Bobby Hebb may have
traveled to "Atlanta G.A." on one of his first 45 RPMs (on FM Records,)
and Juber travels to Hebb's "Sunny," two minutes and thirty-seven
seconds of the guitarist virtuoso lovingly going over Bobby's familiar
melody, a new perspective on a song covered by thousands. The elegant
ascending lines take the tune's sound into slightly new territories,
always veering back to the source. Harry Nillson's hit "Without You,"
written by Tom Evans and Pete Ham of Badfinger, also is placed into an
inner-meditative state, Perhaps it was subconscious, but Juber, forever
linked with Paul McCartney and Wings which sometimes overshadows his
massive catalog of work, touches upon songs in Fingerboard Road that
have definite Beatles' links. Larry Banks and Milton Bennett wrote the
terrific "Go Now" for Larry's wife Bessie Banks. Picked up by Denny
Laine and the Moody Blues it became a staple of Wings shows when Laine
was part of that group, which he was with Laurence Juber. Bobby Hebb -
of course - performed "Sunny" on the final Beatles tour in August of
1966, the only tour that featured two of the biggest songs in pop
history, "Yesterday" and "Sunny" performed live by the artists who wrote
them. Badfinger being Beatles protégés, Harry Nilsson notoriously a
major part of John Lennon's lost weekend. So there's a taste for the
collectors who seek out the many Beatles covers and related songs by
Laurence Juber (go to YouTube for a vast array of performances of
wonderful takes on Lennon/McCartney songs and the Hendrix tune, "Little
Wing.") Pete Townshend's "Won't Get Fooled Again" gets a treatment
sans synthesizer, it's all guitar here, along with compelling new
material - ‘Love At First Sight,’ a live bonus track, plus "Without
Annette" and the title track, "Fingerboard Road." Juber cover's
"Angela (Theme from Taxi,) From the blue-eyed soul of Dusty
Springfield's chestnut "I Only Want To Be With You," to Otis Redding's
"Dock of the Bay" and even the Carpenters "I Won't Last a Day Without
You," Juber covers all the bases, soul, pop, Beatles' related on an
album that you can play anytime, anywhere with the magic sustaining.
Classic rock radio would be wise to embrace these new instrumentals to
break up the monotony of 200 song playlists. In a perfect world...
#22 December 18, 2015 Martin Barre
December 18: The Spire Center for The Performing Arts, Plymouth, MA
PLYMOUTH – Martin Barre, legendary
guitarist for Jethro Tull for 43 years, is celebrating the music of
Jethro Tull with a concert at the Spire Center for Performing Arts in
Plymouth, Mass., on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, at 8 p.m. The concert will
feature Jethro Tull classics and songs not played for many years.
Tickets can be purchased HERE.
1.Gasoline 3:46 2)Keep It Together 3:09 3)The Waste 2:27 4)With No Machine 3:04 5)The Ice Queen of Space 5:32 6)Kings 4:04 7)Balling the Jack 3:05 8)Newport Beach 3:29 9)Twister 4:06 10)Just Don't Think 3:19
The television show - The Avengers - on January 17, 1968 - Season 6, Episode 6 aired a 51 minute show titled The Positive Negative Man. Forty-seven years later the band Positive Negative Man unleashes the ten song disc, Broken. Drummer Ian Wilson (a.k.a. "Mr. Zoom") pounds away with wild abandon on this ambitious project which features very dark tones (just in time for Star Wars: The Force Awakens,) and opens with the eerie "Gasoline," the point where arson meets the heat of global warming. "Keep It Together" is a marching pop song, The Clash meets the Dave Clark Five for three minutes and nine seconds. "The Waste" hits you with short guitar bursts while "With No Machine" dips into German grunge with a Buzzcocks edge. There's a five minute and forty second video of Ice Queens of Space live from the Beachcomber (5:23 on the CD's studio track) where guitarist/vocalist Mike Feeney conjures up memories of the film Queen of OUter Space where "cruel queen" Yllana played by Laurie Mitchell, is destined to be forever overshadowed by Zsa Zsa Gabor's beauteous character Talleah. Track 6, "Kings," brings more Buzzcock-styled sounds into the mix. Balling the jack is a US slang term meaning to go fast or make haste, on track 7 it is now also the title of a three minute and five second song by Positive Negative Man. As with opening track, "Gasoline," this also has that menacing Johnny Rotten vocal style and lyrical bent. While singer Scott Damgaard is Leaving Hyannis...on his new cd, this contemporaneous release gives a folksy/percussive "Newport Beach" excursion which, though having everything else stylistically different from former Wayoutz Damgaard's pure pop, "Newport Beach" would actually fit quite nicely on Leaving Hyannis...
If the classic film "Twister" ever had a sequel, this same-titled 4:06 timed track, #9, would fit perfectly. Jethro Tull gone total punk. Boston band Unnatural Axe also took at least one movie title and rode it to underground fame, they'd be a compatible match with Positive/Negative Man from what can be heard on the musical explorations made on this CD. "Just Don't Think" ends the ten song buffet with a Real Kids feel, Boston rock and roll that makes its rounds on the circuit.
Bio on ReverbNation
Positive Negative Man (+- Man) is Pete Tomilloso, bass and vocals; Mike Feeney, guitar and vocals; Mr. Zoom, drums.
Positive Negative Man mixes a number of influences to form a music that is a bit different.
The melodic tones come from Pete Tomilloso. Pete was from Seattle. Pete's formally played with the Cheats and Monsters of the Deep. Moved to Boston.
The art damaged guitar work of Mike Feeney comes from a number of responsible parties. Mike was a solo soundscape artist under the guise of Ancient Pistol. A guitar disciple of Roger Miller, Mike is a long time under the influence of UK/Boston post punk, metal beat and Neue Deutsche Härte.
It is all about the music. It has to have that bounce.
______________________________________________________________________ #28)The Peasants Big Sunny Day
"The Aliens are Trying To Save Us From Ourselves" kicks off this dozen tracks from veteran Boston area rockers, the Peasants. Mixing religion with science fiction straight out of John Carpenter's They Live, the guitar line from the original song "Black Sabbath" by the band Black Sabbath inserted nicely into the drama. Followed by the folksy "Don't Make Me Wait" - which has Australia's Audioscam same fun uptempo fell in their "Hello" with yet another change in tempo, the longest track on the CD, "Ray's Trilogy," goes completely folk with its intro, five and a half minutes that morph into a Ray Davies' "Hollywood Blvd (Celluloid Heroes)" ...these angry bastards/who live inside us. Three wonderfully constructed songs a prelude as "Boston Girl" brings the rock and roll back ...the Peasants give you the Real Kids style of rock mixed with their stories tucked inside each episode. Like a TV show you come back to week after week. Sounds like the words are "Boston Girl ...all the ways you make me go..." with "You Make Me Feel Dirty" following it up, perhaps a subconscious sequel sentiment? "Dirty" is a blistering rocker with a smattering of quick riffs all compacted into 59 seconds and abruptly jumping into the next adventure. That excursion very well could be from early Alice Cooper, specifically the Pretties For You/Easy Action days on Zappa's Straight Records is what track #6, "Waddlin." Along with the approach it also reminds me of early Cooper vocal phrasings, all three minutes and fifty eight seconds of it, screaming guitar the order of the day.At 2:07 "I'm Trapped" would have fit nicely on Harvey Wharfield's old Boston Music Showcase on WCGY, a show that crammed terrific Boston rock into four hours, a two minute tune always good if top of the hour was approaching. Another one-title song, "Mind," is where David Byrne was taking us on Talking Heads Fear of Music lp. Neil Young guitars, John Lennon catharsis, Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" in a Blue Cheer echo chamber. The second longest song, at 5:18, is "Merry Christmas, You're Fired." Now this would be a great theme for Donald Trump's campaign, not just because Trump is famous for "you're fired," but also for outsourcing while criticizing Ford Motor Company for doing the same. "We sold your jobs to China" kind of sums it up. "She walks into the room" Alice Cooper sings on "Be My Lover," and that melody works its way into this downer Christmas ditty. "Southern Comfort" is a song Janis Joplin would've embraced, and it's a great ballad that stands on its own. "Gunslingers and Bullfighters" rocks out with superb Ventures' guitars - perfect for a sequel to the film Good, the Bad and the Ugly - a superb instrumental which is my favorite track next to the opener, "Aliens." A folksy "Vincent Van Gogh" works more towards Suzanne Vega's classic "Marlene on the Wall" than Don McLean's "Vincent (Starry, Starry Night.) Another two minute song with the same smarts that "Don't Make Me Wait" displayed earlier. A truly telling bit of artistry by the Peasants, they say it tongue-in-cheek and with a smile while being as percipient as they are potent. iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/big-sunny-day!/id979336053 _________________________________________________ MARLENE ON THE WALL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHZV7NOqEY4
_______________________________________ 29)Prefab Messiah's KEEP YOUR STUPID DREAMS ALIVE
With a live version of "Crossroads" going Top 30 for Cream, Songs for a Tailor was released in 1969, showing many more sides of Jack Bruce. George Harrison (again using his L'Angelo Misterioso
moniker) appears on the first track, "Never Tell Your Mother She's Out
of Tune," though his guitar is not as prominent as the performance on
"Badge." The song is bass heavy with Colosseum members Dick Heckstall-Smith and Jon Hiseman providing a different flavor to what Bruce
fans had become accustomed to. Hiseman drums on eight of the ten
compositions, including "Theme From an Imaginary Western," the second
track, and Jack Bruce's greatest hit that never charted. With "just" Chris Spedding on guitar and Jon Hiseman on drums, Bruce paints a
#33 A QUESTION OF TIME JACK BRUCE
A Question of Time is an album to appreciate, as Jack Bruce nicely wraps his diverse styles up in rock & roll packaging. Willie Dixon's "Blues You Can't Lose" is extraordinary noise, the late Nicky Hopkins bringing his unmistakable piano to a mix of Albert Collins' leads, Jimmy Ripp's slide and rhythms, Bruce's bass, harmonica, and voice, and the strong drumming of Dougie Bowne. In its slow dirge statement, "Blues You Can't Lose" is as powerful as the blistering Bruce tune that opens the set, "Life on Earth." "Make Love" is a great change of pace; the first of eight Pete Brown/Jack Bruce collaborations, it utilizes innovative percussion, subtle keyboards, and -- surprise of surprises -- effects on Bruce's voice. Ginger Baker toured with Bruce at this point in time, and though Bowne is admirable on the epic pop/rock of "No Surrender," it is Baker's contributions to "Hey Now Princess" (with Ripp doing his best Clapton) and his definite drums on "Obsession" (with guitars by Allan Holdsworth and Vivian Campbell) that bring this disc to the Cream level.
wonderfully tortured Jack Bruce vocal on the song "Without a Word"
opens up How's Tricks, the second LP for RSO records by the journeyman
bassist/vocalist. Produced by Bill Halverson, who engineered Cream as
well as solo Eric Clapton recordings, the material further fuses the all
out jazz of Things We Like with the pop found on "Songs for a Taylor."
"Johnny B'77" has the quartet driving the melody onto the fringes of
rock, while "Time" bares elements Bruce brought to Disraeli Gears,
defining his third of the Cream saga. As former bandmate Leslie West had
his Leslie West Band out and about in the mid-70s, this quartet is
listed as the Jack Bruce Band. It is yet another about-face for Bruce,
singing nine more sets of lyrics by Peter Brown, with guitarist Hughie
Burns and keyboardist Tony Hymas getting their chance to participate in
the songwriting; it's basically well-performed pop with jazz overtones
that has the voice of Jack Bruce adding the blues http://www.allmusic.com/album/hows-tricks-mw0000200438
______________________________________________________________________ SINATRA SHOW with Ella Fitzgerald
In the 1950s and '60s television shows came and went like web pages
would half-a-century later, on the air one day, difficult to find the
next, with no VCRs to retain the experience. Taped on a rainy day in
Palm Springs on December 10th, 1959, two days before the singer's 44th
birthday, this valuable document is brimming with Nelson Riddle's
impeccable orchestration and superb performances by all involved. The
magic marker on poster board promotion for the Timex watch company has a
certain charm and all the advertising segments from the original
program remain intact. Peter Lawford and Frank Sinatra's Martin & Lewis-style banter falls a little flat, but the segue between the Hi-Lo's rendition of "Lazy Afternoon" into Hermione Gingold's duet with Peter Lawford is old-style entertainment that works exceptionally well, especially the use of the shadows on this black and white broadcast. Ella Fitzgerald's "There's a Lull in My Life" subtly emerges from Gingold and Lawford's exit, and adds a total touch of class that erases the memory of the earlier comedy routines. Ella's exquisite
Read more at http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/store/artist/album/0,,2970391,00.html#YSzO5TqybiijI6ee.99
Joe Viglione over at AllMusic interpreted best why that Los Angeles studio recording, performed on January 27, 1964, was special:
“Riddle certainly had more than a grasp of what Frank
Sinatra needed in accompaniment and the voice glides over the subdued
but stunningly beautiful orchestration effortlessly. Covered by so many
from Fred Astaire to Art Blakely and Dave Brubeck, there’s more than
just the cache of being in the Frank Sinatra repertoire for a song, it’s
the everyman charm he brings a title, vocalizing with an ease that
makes common folk think they can copy him when they dare not approach
the skills of a Nina Simone or an Ella Fitzgerald. But that’s where
Sinatra surprises because his unique style is more difficult than it
sounds to those singing along, and the instrumentation is always worth a
million bucks. A Linda Ronstadt’s work with Nelson Riddle is a good
singer re-creating memories. Frank Sinatra sets a different standard,
the bassline creating a foundation for him to start the song off
nonchalantly while building a full bodied vocal workout. It’s not the
passion of Cole Porter’s”Night And Day”, it’s more a recognition of the
sublime and tender acknowledgment of the object of one’s affection.
Nelson Riddle accurately sets the tone and that’s all Sinatra needs to
make his point with this Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields composition.”
This rendition of the song written by Sinatra's
friends Phil Silvers and Jimmy Van Heusen, "Nancy (With The Laughing
Face)", was recorded April 29, 1963 in Los Angeles, almost four
years before Frank would track "Somethin' Stupid" his final #1 hit - a
duet with the subject matter, his then twenty-six year old daughter.
Arranged by Nelson Riddle, the three minutes and thirty eight seconds
have an ultra smooth reading by the singer with the horns and strings
staying in a quiet space behind his vocal. Earl Wilson's unauthorized
biography, Sinatra references that "Little Nancy Sandra Sinatra -
""Nancy with the laughing face"" was born in Jersey City, June 8, 1940."
Wilson also mentions how songwriter Phil Silvers helped Frank and
Nancy Sr. reconcile before their inevitable break-up. One line in the
lyric notes that "when she speaks you would think it was singing",
prophetically acknowledging the style that would garner Frank's daughter
ten hits between 1966 and 1968. Audrey Hepburn and Liz Taylor are
relegated to "trailer" status under Nancy, as are the angels, and
Riddle's arrangement is heavenly, ebbing and flowing as Sinatra dangles the words when he chooses and
wherever he wants. The voice has a mind of its own, as if the
background music was a film for him to walk through. It's both subtle
and powerful, the music swelling during the break for a quick moment in
the sun, then backing away for the singer's after hours stroll. http://www.allmusic.com/song/nancy-with-the-laughing-face-mt0039751886
Make no mistake, this is a festive
album. Heck, some kids go to the circus with their folks, Nancy Sinatra
got to play at the record company. Her vocal style is on par with
Claudine Longet and Jo Jo Laine, not the kind of singing to give Whitney
Houston or Jackie DeShannon sleepless nights, but charming nonetheless.
Where this Sinatra really shines is when she and producer Lee Hazlewood
do the Sonny Cher routine on the previous hit, "Jackson," and the real
gem here, "Some Velvet Morning." When Nancy Sinatra has Hazlewood as
her foil, she is outstanding. Though "Some Velvet Morning" was number
nine out of her Top Ten hits as far as chart action goes, it is her
strongest performance here, and proves she had more of a voice than
maybe she even realized. She walks through Jimmy Webb's "Up, Up and
Away," but it works, as does, surprisingly enough, the cover of Ray
Charles' "What I'd Say," which closes the vinyl version of this project.
Do the math: two hit singles, a duet with Dean Martin, an appearance by
the Chairman of the Board (the legend, not the band), and superb
production by Lee Hazlewood all make for a highly entertaining disc.
Yes, she was lucky to have those doors open for her, but while other
showbiz kids fell by the wayside, Movin' With Nancy delivered the goods.
You can't help but like her. ~ Joe Viglione, Rovi
joe Viglione's bio of Bobby Hebb on Billboard online
Bobby Hebb made his stage debut on his third birthday, July 26, 1941,
when tap dancer Harold "Hal" Hebb introduced his little brother to show
business at the Bijou Theater. This was an appearance on The Jerry
Jackson Revue of 1942, even though it was 1941, "that was how Jerry, a
big man in vaudeville in the '30s, '40s, and '50s, did things" noted the
singer. Hal was nine years of age at the time and the young brothers
worked quite a few nightclubs before Bobby Hebb entered first grade.
Nashville establishments like the Hollywood Palm, Eva Thompson Jones
Dance Studio, the Paradise Club, and the basement bar in Prentice Alley
as well as the aforementioned Bijou Theater found Bobby and Hal dancing
and singing tunes like "Lady B. Good," "Let's Do the Boogie Woogie,"
"Lay That Pistol Down Babe," and other titles that were popular at that
time. Hebb's father, William Hebb, played trombone and guitar, his
mother, Ovalla Hebb, played piano and guitar, while his grandfather was a
chef/cook on the Dixie Flyer, an express train on the L&N --
Louisville & Nashville railroad. Brother Hal would eventually join
Excello recording artists the Marigolds, documented in Jay Warner's
biography of singer Johnny Bragg, the book Just Walkin' in the Rain;
while Bobby, with so much musical influence and inspiration, would go on
to pen hundreds upon hundreds of tunes, among them, BMI's number 25 http://www.billboard.com/artist/294686/bobby-hebb/biography
Star Trek THE CAGE
John Hoyt, the original Dr. in Star Trek pre-McCoy, was in the Perry Mason series for 5 episodes
"Tenafly Girl" goes "total funk" in her 1976 release "Sometimes". This
song is the opening cut from Lesley Gore's album "Love Me By Name", and
features The Brothers Johnson on vocals. This A&M album was a
reunion for Lesley with her original producer and musical mentor Quincy
Jones (although this song is light years away in concept and execution
from "It's My Party" - Lesley and Quincy's first big hit
collaboration!). You may notice on the label that the music is
published by "Lil Bits And The Witch" - the song written by Lesley and
Ellen Weston. "Lil Bits" is Quincy's pet nickname for Lesley!
Lesley Gore and Quincy Jones
reunite 11 years after their last of ten hit records with a who's who
of industry names and faces, many included in the group photo on the
inner sleeve. The music is all grade-A, but given the collective star
power here, this could (and should) have been a monster comeback album.
Including the Brothers Johnson
on "Sometimes" was smart, but the disco beat doesn't have the charm of
"I'll Be Good to You" or "Strawberry Letter 23," the Brothers' own hits.
Imagine if Gore
had covered one of those two songs here, or perhaps did a '70s version
of "It's My Party," "Judy's Turn to Cry," or, better still, updated with
a sequel to the sequel. The title track, "Love Me By Name," like "Other
Lady" on side two, is good, slick adult contemporary pop, but the songs
remain decent album tracks with none of the appeal that Linda Ronstadt, Helen Reddy, and Rita Coolidge were having success with -- solid pop songs that helped establish Gore's
legacy years before the new divas came to town. "Immortality," with its
strong hook and Motown foundation, doesn't have the authority "You
Don't Own Me" displayed. "Paranoia" is fun, but the album just doesn't
resonate with the Gore
that fans know and love. On some tracks she sounds like Lulu backed up
by the Captain & Tennille -- certainly not a bad Read more here: http://www.allmusic.com/album/love-me-by-name-mw0000845472 _____________________________ The Assassination of Sonny Bono by Bob Fletcher
In the early '90s, producer Rob Fraboni was the man behind Domino Records, a label distributed by Relativity Entertainment Distribution. Domino released Zoom, the self-produced album by Ten Years After guitarist Alvin Lee, along with two discs produced by Fraboni, one by blues artist John Mooneyand the other being this excellent effort by Rusty Kershaw. For fans of Neil Young's Harvest, this is even more laid-back, but it shows Young's roots, and he actually shows up on six of the 13 tracks. "I Like to Live on the Bayou" has Ben Keith on dobro and pedal steel, and Young playing a melancholy harmonica. This material was recorded and mixed in New Orleans, and it can't be beat for authenticity.Now & Then is a record from another time and place, and if you aren't accustomed to the sound, it really needs to be played a couple of times to detox you from what you may be used to listening to; the 12 Kershaw originals and one arrangement of a traditional tune, "Stop Kicking My Dog Around," have an amazing effect when given a proper ear. Fraboni's production is perfect, allowing the music to get absorbed by the analog recording tape. Art Neville's piano on "Musician's Woman" and "I Don't Like the Feeling" is a nice addition to the Subdudes, the band recording with Kershaw on this disc (Steve Armadee on tambourine, Johnny Ray Allen on bass, Tommy Malone providing acoustic guitar, andJohn Magnie on keyboards). "This Is Rock & Roll" is not rock & roll -- it's some blend of folk and Cajun music -- but it works, and the instrumentation weaves a nice tapestry here, a little more uptempo than most of the record. "I Don't Like the Feeling" brings things right back down; Kershaw's vocals are almost unintelligible, and the performance feels like B.J. Thomas' 45 rpm version of "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" played at 33 rpm. There is amazing precision in these grooves; Kershaw is able to slow things down with more intensity than Vanilla Fudge in its heyday. Fans of modern rock might find this musical morass monotonous, but that would be a pity. "Married Man," with contributions from Young and Keith, is like some sort of Cajun funk. It's music with a well-deserved cult following, and is a treat for connoisseurs of the genre.