Tag Archives: Elvis Presley

Today: Dan Penn is 71

At the dark end of the street
That’s where we always meet
Hiding in shadows where we don’t belong
Livin in darkness to hide a wrong
You and me
At the dark end of the street
You and me

Dan Penn was an important player in the development of the “Southern Soul scene” in Memphis in the early 60’s.

Here he performs one of the greatest soul songs ever, which he wrote together with Chips Moman in 1966:

Dark End of The Street:

I also need to include the best version of this fantastic song – James Carr:

From Wikipedia:

Dan Penn (born Wallace Daniel Pennington, 16 November 1941) is an American singer, musician, songwriter, and record producer who co-wrote many soul hits of the 1960s including “Dark End Of The Street” and “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” with Chips Moman as well as “Out Of Left Field” and “Cry Like a Baby” with Spooner Oldham. Penn also produced many hits including “The Letter” by The Box Tops. Though considered to be one of the great white soul singers of his generation, Penn has released relatively few records featuring his own vocals and musicianship preferring the relative anonymity of songwriting and producing.

I’m Your Puppet (Penn/Spooner Oldham):

Steve Kurutz (allmusic.com):
Songwriter/producer Dan Penn has been a quiet force behind Southern soul music for over thirty years. Always moving just out of view of the limelight, Penn has produced and written hits for the Box Tops, Solomon Burke, Aretha Franklin and Ronnie Milsap, among others.
Originally from Vernon, Alabama, Penn began his career as a performer, leading several white R&B bands around the Muscle Shoals area. Achieving early success by selling a hit song to Conway Twitty (“Is a Bluebird Blue?”), the songwriter eventually moved to Memphis, joining producer Chips Moman at his American Studios. Together the two, along with Penn’s writing partner, organist Spooner Oldham, wrote and/or produced several hits for the Box Tops, such as “The Letter” and “Cry Like a Baby,” throughout the late ’60s.
…read more over @ allmusic.com

Album of the day:

Do Right Man (1994):


From allmusic.com (Chris Nickson):
If James Brown is Soul Brother Number One, you can make a very credible case for Dan Penn being number two. The Alabama native has had a hand in writing a fair number of classic soul songs, and here he commits his versions of them to tape for the first time, recording, of course, in Muscle Shoals, with their fabulous house band, and a horn section including former Memphis Horn member Wayne Jackson. It’s a tall order Penn sets himself, offering himself up for comparison with greats like James Carr, Aretha Franklin, and James and Bobby Purify, who have sung his songs — and that’s just the start of the list. However, he comes out very well, beginning with a quiet take on”The Dark End of the Street,” coming across like a note to a secret lover, rather than a cry of pain.
…read more – allmusic.com 

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Today: The late Fela Kuti was born in 1938 – 74 years ago

Music is the weapon of the future
~Fela Anikulapo Kuti

Imagine Che Guevara and Bob Marley rolled into one person and you get a sense of Nigerian musician and activist Fela Kuti.
— Herald Sun, February 2011

From Wikipedia:

Birth name Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti
Also known as Fela Anikulapo Kuti
Fela Ransome-Kuti
Born 15 October 1938
Abeokuta, Nigeria
Died 2 August 1997 (aged 58)
Genres Afrobeat, Highlife
Occupations Singer-songwriter,instrumentalist, activist
Instruments Saxophone, vocals, keyboards,trumpet, guitar, drums
Years active 1958–1997
Labels Barclay/PolyGram,MCA/Universal, Celluloid, EMI Nigeria, JVC, Wrasse,Shanachie, Knitting Factory
Associated acts Africa ’70, Egypt ’80, Koola LobitosNigeria ’70Hugh MasekelaGinger BakerTony AllenFemi KutiSeun KutiRoy AyersLester Bowie
Website www.felaproject.net

Fela Anikulapo Kuti (15 October 1938 – 2 August 1997), or simply Fela was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, pioneer of Afrobeat music, human rights activist, and political maverick.

Music Style

The musical style performed by Fela Kuti is called Afrobeat, which is a complex fusion of Jazz, Funk, Ghanaian/Nigerian High-life, psychedelic rock, and traditional West African chants and rhythms. Afrobeat also borrows heavily from the native “tinker pan” African-style percussion that Kuti acquired while studying in Ghana with Hugh Masekela, under the uncanny Hedzoleh Soundz. The importance of the input of Tony Allen (Fela’s drummer of twenty years) in the creation of Afrobeat cannot be overstated. Fela once famously stated that “without Tony Allen, there would be no Afrobeat”.

Afrobeat is characterized by a fairly large band with many instruments, vocals, and a musical structure featuring jazzy, funky horn sections. The “endless groove” is used, in which a base rhythm of drums, shekere, muted West African-style guitar, and melodic bass guitar riffs are repeated throughout the song. Commonly, interlocking melodic riffs and rhythms are introduced one by one, building the groove bit-by-bit and layer-by-layer to an astonishing melodic and polyrhythmic complexity. The horn section then becomes prominent, introducing other riffs and main melodic themes.

 John Dougan (allmusic):

It’s almost impossible to overstate the impact and importance of Fela Anikulapo (Ransome) Kuti (or just Fela as he’s more commonly known) to the global musical village: producer, arranger, musician, political radical, outlaw. He was all that, as well as showman par excellence, inventor of Afro-beat, an unredeemable sexist, and a moody megalomaniac. His death on August 3, 1997 of complications from AIDS deeply affected musicians and fans internationally, as a musical and sociopolitical voice on a par with Bob Marley was silenced. A press release from the United Democratic Front of Nigeria on the occasion of Fela‘s death noted: “Those who knew you well were insistent that you could never compromise with the evil you had fought all your life. Even though made weak by time and fate, you remained strong in will and never abandoned your goal of a free, democratic, socialist Africa.” This is as succinct a summation of Fela‘s political agenda as one is likely to find. ..read more @ allmusic.com

Teacher Don’t teach Me No Nonsense:

Water No Get Enemy (1975)

Album of the day – Gentleman (1973)

Sam Samuelson – allmusic:

Gentleman is both an Africa 70 and Afro-beat masterpiece. High marks go to the scathing commentary that Fela Anikulapo Kuti lets loose but also to the instrumentation and the overall arrangements, as they prove to be some of the most interesting and innovative of Fela‘s ’70s material. When the great tenor saxophone player Igo Chico left the Africa 70 organization in 1973, Fela Kuti declared he would be the replacement. So in addition to bandleader, soothsayer, and organ player, Fela picked up the horn and learned to play it quite quickly — even developing a certain personal voice with it. To show off that fact, “Gentleman” gets rolling with a loose improvisatory solo saxophone performance that Tony Alleneventually pats along with before the entire band drops in with classic Afro-beat magnificence.
…read more @ allmusic.com 

 

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Today: The late Hank Williams was born in 1923 – 89 years ago

It can be explained in just one word: sincerity. When a hillbilly sings a crazy song, he feels crazy. When he sings, ‘I Laid My Mother Away,’ he sees her a-laying right there in the coffin. He sings more sincere than most entertainers because the hillbilly was raised rougher than most entertainers. You got to know a lot about hard work. You got to have smelt a lot of mule manure before you can sing like a hillbilly. The people that have been raised something like the way the hillbilly has…. knows what he sings about and appreciates it
~Hank Williams (on the success of Country Music)

Nobody had a talent for making suffering enjoyable like Hank Williams
~Kris Kristofferson

From Wikipedia:

Birth name Hiram King Williams
Also known as The Lovesick Blues Boy
Lovesick
Luke the Drifter
Hank Williams, Sr.
The Hillbilly Shakespeare
Born September 17, 1923
Mount Olive, Butler County, Alabama
Died January 1, 1953 (aged 29)
Oak Hill, West Virginia
Genres Country, Western, gospel,blues, honky-tonk, folk
Occupations Songwriter
Musician
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1937–1952
Labels Sterling, MGM
Associated acts Drifting Cowboys
Audrey Williams
Website www.hankwilliams.com

Hank Williams (September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953), born Hiram King Williams, was an American singer-songwriter and musician regarded as one of the most important country music artists of all time. Williams recorded 35 singles (five released posthumously) that would place in the Top 10 of the Billboard Country & Western Best Sellers chart, including 11 that ranked number one.

From allmusic – Stephen Thomas Erlewine:

Hank Williams is the father of contemporary country music. He was a superstar by the age of 25; he was dead at the age of 29. In those four short years, he established the rules for all the country performers who followed him and, in the process, much of popular music. Hank wrote a body of songs that became popular classics, and his direct, emotional lyrics and vocals became the standard for most popular performers. He lived a life as troubled and reckless as that depicted in his songs. ….  read more @ allmusic.com

Legacy:

  • Alabama governor Gordon Persons officially proclaimed September 21 “Hank Williams Day”
  • In 1961, Williams was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame
  • he was inducted in the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1985
  • In 1987, he was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame under the category Early Influence
  • He was ranked second in CMT’s 40 Greatest Men of Country Music in 2003, behind only Johnny Cash
  • His son, Hank Jr., was ranked on the same list
  • In 2004 Rolling Stone ranked him number 74 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time
  • In 2011 Williams’s 1949 MGM number one hit, “Lovesick Blues,” was inducted into the Recording Academy Grammy Hall Of Fame.
  • In 1999, Williams was inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame. 
  • On April 12, 2010, the Pulitzer Prize Board awarded Williams a posthumous special citation that paid tribute to his “craftsmanship as a songwriter who expressed universal feelings with poignant simplicity and played a pivotal role in transforming country music into a major musical and cultural force in American life.” 
  • Keeping his legacy, Williams’s son, Hank Williams, Jr., daughter Jett Williams, grandson Hank Williams III, and granddaughters Hilary Williams and Holly Williams are also country musicians.

Cold Cold Heart:

Hey Good Lookin’:

Album of the day – 40 Greatest Hits (1979):

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Today: Elvis Presley released “Suspicious Minds” in 1969 – 43 years ago

OLD post … You’re being redirected to a newer version……

This is my fav Elvis song (although not this version) together with “Mystery Train”.

From Wikipedia:

B-side You’ll Think Of Me
Released August 26, 1969
Format 45 rpm record
Recorded January 23, 1969
Genre Soul, pop
Length 4:22 (3:28)
Label RCA
Writer(s) Mark James
Producer Chips Moman and Felton Jarvis

Suspicious Minds” is a song written by American songwriter Mark James. After James’ recording failed commercially, the song was handed to Elvis Presley by producer Chips Moman, becoming a number one song in 1969, and one of the most notable hits of Presley’s career. “Suspicious Minds” was widely regarded as the single that returned Presley’s career success, following ’68 Comeback Special. It was his seventeenth and last number-one single in the United States. Rolling Stone later ranked it #91 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Background

Elvis Presley’s recordings in American Sound Studio were a direct consequence to ’68 Comeback Special, that interested Chips Moman in produce recordings to the new style of Presley, making his comeback to the Memphis musical scene, by recording rock,gospel, country, rhythm & blues and soul. George Klein, local Memphis dj & close friend of Elvis’ suggested he record at the studio.

American Sound Studio session

“Suspicious Minds” was a product of January 23, 1969 session, that took place between 4 am and 7 am. It took eight takes to produce the final song that was later overdubbed by Presley the same night. Also in the same were recorded “I’ll Hold You In My Heart (Till I Can Hold You In My Arms)”, “Without Love (There Is Nothing)”, and “I’ll Be There”. on August 7, was again overdubbed to stereo and mono in Las Vegas, where the final master was produced. The song is noted for its change of Rhythm, in the Bridge section, from 4/4 to a slower 6/8 and back again to the faster 4/4 rhythm. The first verse repeats over and over again, until it completely fades out, it features a bass guitar, organ, strings, trumpets, trombones, and drums. Session producer Felton Jarvis made the unusual decision to add a premature fade-out to the song starting at 3:36, mirroring the way Presley used to perform it in his live Las Vegas stage act. The fadeout lasts for about 15 seconds before fading back in, conveying a message of relationship in the song. Future Grateful Dead vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux sang backing vocals on the track.

Best version:

Released version:

Elvis Presley Suspicious Minds Live That’s The Way It Is 1970

Live 1973 – Aloha Hawaii:

Album of the day – Suspicious Minds: The Memphis 1969 Anthology (1999):

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Today: Elvis Presley passed away in 1977 – 35 years ago

is music and his personality, fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of American popular culture. His following was immense, and he was a symbol to people the world over of the vitality, rebelliousness, and good humor of his country.

President Jimmy Carter
August 17, 1977

From Wikipedia:

Birth name Elvis Aaron Presley
Born January 8, 1935
Tupelo, Mississippi, U.S.
Died August 16, 1977 (aged 42)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Genres Rock and roll, pop, rockabilly, country, blues, gospel, R&B
Occupations Musician, actor
Instruments Vocals, guitar, piano
Years active 1953–77
Labels Sun, RCA Victor
Associated acts The Blue Moon BoysThe JordanairesThe Imperials
Website elvis.com

Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is commonly known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the “King of Rock and Roll” or simply “the King“.

From Allmusic (Richie Unterberger):

Elvis Presley may be the single most important figure in American 20th century popular music. Not necessarily the best, and certainly not the most consistent. But no one could argue with the fact that he was the musician most responsible for popularizing rock & roll on an international level. Viewed in cold sales figures, his impact was phenomenal. Dozens upon dozens of international smashes from the mid-’50s to the mid-’70s, as well as the steady sales of his catalog and reissues since his death in 1977, may make him the single highest-selling performer in history.
More important from a music lover’s perspective, however, are his remarkable artistic achievements.Presley was not the very first white man to sing rhythm & blues; Bill Haley predated him in that regard, and there may have been others as well. Elvis was certainly the first, however, to assertively fuse country and blues music into the style known as rockabilly. While rockabilly arrangements were the foundations of his first (and possibly best) recordings, Presley could not have become a mainstream superstar without a much more varied palette that also incorporated pop, gospel, and even some bits of bluegrass and operatic schmaltz here and there. His ’50s recordings established the basic language of rock & roll; his explosive and sexual stage presence set standards for the music’s visual image; his vocals were incredibly powerful and versatile.

Read more @ allmusic.com

Suspicious Mind:

Mystery Train:

If I Can Dream:

Album of the day:

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Continue reading Today: Elvis Presley passed away in 1977 – 35 years ago