Tag Archives: Atlantic Records

October 27: Bob Dylan released Infidels in 1983

Infidels

….I wanted to call my next album, whenever I made it, Surviving In A Ruthless World. I wanted to call it that. Before we even went into the studio, “The next album I do I’m gonna call Surviving in a Ruthless World”. But something was holding me back from it, because for some reason… somebody pointed out to me that the last bunch of albums that I made all started with the letter S. And I’d say, “Is that right?” There must be a story or something. I didn’t want to do another one beginning with S just f for superstitious reasons. I didn’t want to get bogged down in the letter S whatever the letter S stands for. And this Infidels came out, just came into my head one day, I guess. This was after we had that album done that it just came in my head that this is the right title for this album. I mean, I don’t know any more about it than anybody else really. I did it. I did the album, and I call it that, but what it means is for other people to interpret, you know, if it means something to them. Infidels is a word that’s in the dictionary and whoever it applies to… to everybody on the album, every character. Maybe it’s all about infidels.
~Bob Dylan (to Kurt Loder in March 1984)

Bob Dylan – Jokerman (official video):
screenshot_jokerman

Continue reading October 27: Bob Dylan released Infidels in 1983

July 31: The late Ahmet Ertegun founder and president of Atlantic Records was born in 1923

ahmet ertegunn

“Few people have had a bigger impact on the record industry than Ahmet, and no one loved American music more than he did.”
– David Geffen

Ahmet Ertegün ( July 31, 1923 – December 14, 2006) was a Turkish American musician and businessman, best known as the founder (with Herb Abramson) and president of Atlantic Records, and for discovering or championing artists like Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Genesis, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Dusty Springfield, Yes, and more.

“When I was about 8 or 9 years old, in 1932, Nesuhi (his brother) took me to hear Cab Calloway and later Duke Ellington at the Palladium in London. I had never really seen black people except I had seen pictures of great artists like Josephine Baker—whom I spent a few days with before she died. And I had never heard anything as glorious as those beautiful musicians, wearing great white tails playing these incredibly gleaming horns with drums and rhythm sections unlike you ever heard on records. In those days, they recorded the drums and the bass very, very softly so it wouldn’t break the grooves of the 78 rpm records. So I became a jazz fan quite early and never went off the path thereafter.”

– Ahmet Ertegun

ahmet atlantic

He also wrote classic blues and pop songs and served as Chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and museum. Ertegun has been described as “one of the most significant figures in the modern recording industry.”

When not pursuing the aristocracy of British rock’n’roll – for instance making the fabled Dusty In Memphis album with Dusty Springfield – Atlantic became an influential player in homegrown American rock, picking up LA-based Buffalo Springfield, which then starred Stephen Stills and Neil Young. The Allman Brothers, Foreigner, Stevie Nicks, Roberta Flack, Jewel, Sean Paul and Matchbox 20 all joined Atlantic. The company remained a magnet for talent, because of its track record and Ertegun’s in-house production team of Jerry Wexler, Arif Mardin and Tom Dowd. Atlantic also enjoyed a reputation for not systematically fleecing its artists in notorious Tin Pan Alley fashion.
(The Guardian)

The story of Atlantic Records is the story of Ahmet Ertegun. Here is a good documentary telling his story:

Continue reading July 31: The late Ahmet Ertegun founder and president of Atlantic Records was born in 1923

Feb 18: Ray Charles recorded “What’d I Say” in 1959

Ray_Charles_-_What'd_I_Say

I’m not one to interpret my own songs, but if you can’t figure out ‘What I Say’, then something’s wrong. Either that, or you’re not accustomed to the sweet sounds of love.
—Ray Charles

The feel comes from gospel but the resulting witty, elegant essay on rhythm and sex and why they’re inseparable is purely pagan.
~Dave Marsh (The Heart of Rock & Soul)

 

Continue reading Feb 18: Ray Charles recorded “What’d I Say” in 1959

Today: The Legendary Ray Charles passed away in 2004, 10 years ago

Ray Charles

Sinatra, and Bing Crosby before him, had been masters of words. Ray Charles is a master of sounds. His records disclose an extraordinary assortment of slurs, glides, turns, shrieks, wails, breaks, shouts, screams and hollers, all wonderfully controlled, disciplined by inspired musicianship, and harnessed to ingenious subtleties of harmony, dynamics and rhythm… It is either the singing of a man whose vocabulary is inadequate to express what is in his heart and mind or of one whose feelings are too intense for satisfactory verbal or conventionally melodic articulation. He can’t tell it to you. He can’t even sing it to you. He has to cry out to you, or shout to you, in tones eloquent of despair — or exaltation. The voice alone, with little assistance from the text or the notated music, conveys the message.
~Henry Pleasants

What’d I Say:

Check out:

Continue reading Today: The Legendary Ray Charles passed away in 2004, 10 years ago

Today: Jim Dickinson passed away 4 years ago

jim dickinson

“(Jim Dickinson is)…. that magical musical maestro from Memphis….   he was the kind of guy you could call to play piano, fix a tractor, or make red cole slaw from scratch.”
-Bob Dylan

“There are cool cats and there are cool Memphis cats but no one, not Elvis, not Jerry Lee, not even the Wolf came close to epitomizing Memphis and cool like Jim Dickinson did. He was the Top Cat Daddy, an inspiration, a mentor and my friend.

If you knew his music and understood his role as one of the links between black and white culture and between blues and rock and roll, you know what I’m talking about. If he is unfamiliar to you, now’s as good time as any to get to know him, even though he’s checked out of the motel.”
-Joe Nick Patoski

John Brown (from his great 1972 album “Dixie Fried” – words by Bob Dylan):

From Wikipedia:

James Luther “Jim” Dickinson (November 15, 1941 – August 15, 2009) was an American record producer, pianist, and singer who fronted, among others, the Memphis based band, Mudboy & The Neutrons.

Some highlights:

  • In the late 1960s, Dickinson joined with fellow Memphis musicians Charlie Freeman, Michael Utley, Tommy McClure and Sammy Creason; this group became known as the “Dixie Flyers” and provided backup for musicians recording for Atlantic Records. Perhaps their best-known work was for Aretha Franklin’s 1970 Spirit in the Dark.
  • In December 1969, Dickinson played piano on The Rolling Stones’ track “Wild Horses” at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama
  •  In 1972 Dickinson released his first solo album, “Dixie Fried”, which featured songs by Bob Dylan, Furry Lewis, and the title song by Carl Perkins.
  • In 1974 he produced Big Star’s Third
  • Co-produced with Alex Chilton on the 1979 Chilton album Like Flies on Sherbert.
  • He has produced Willy DeVille, Green on Red, Mojo Nixon, Neon Wheels, Jason & The Nashville Scorchers, The Replacements,Tav Falco’s Panther Burns, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and The Dick Nixons, among many others
  • in 1977 an aural documentary of Memphis’ Beale Street, Beale Street Saturday Night, which featured performances by Sid Selvidge, Furry Lewis and Dickinson’s band Mud Boy and the Neutrons.
  • He has also worked with Ry Cooder, and played on Dylan’s album Time Out of Mind.
    He played keyboards, Wurlitzer electric piano, pump organ on “Love Sick”, “Dirt Road Blues”, “Million Miles”, “Tryin’ to Get to Heaven”, “Til I Fell in Love with You”, “Not Dark Yet”, “Can’t Wait”, and “Highlands”
  • In 1998, he produced Mudhoney’s, Tomorrow Hit Today.

jim dickinson

Introducing himself – from www.artistshousemusic.org:

jim dickinson

Down in Mississippi:

Check out this great blog:

Spotify playlist of the day: 

More August-15:

Continue reading Today: Jim Dickinson passed away 4 years ago