Curtis Lee Mayfield (June 3, 1942 – December 26, 1999) is best known for his anthemic music with The Impressions during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and for composing the soundtrack to the blaxploitation film Super Fly, Mayfield is highly regarded as a pioneer of funk and of politically conscious African-American music. He was also a multi-instrumentalist who played the guitar, bass, piano, saxophone, and drums.
Curtis Mayfield’s songwriting and his distinct guitar playing have influenced a lot of artists.
Bob Dylan played Mayfield’s People Get Ready , and it is obvious he liked Curtis Mayfield’s work . The Impressions’s Keep On Pushing, the album, is on the Bringing It All Back Home cover.
“Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” is a soul single by Stevie Wonder, recorded for Motown’s Tamla label. Released June 3, 1970, the song spent six weeks at number one on the U.S. R&B chart and peaked at number three on the U.S. Pop chart. In the same year, the song was also released on the album Signed, Sealed & Delivered.
The song was a series of firsts for the 20-year-old Wonder: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” was the first single Wonder produced on his own, and was also the first to feature his female backup singing group composed of Lynda Tucker Laurence (who went on to become a member of The Supremes),Syreeta Wright (who also co-wrote the song), and Venetta Fields.
During a 2008 appearance on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, he credited the song title and chorus “signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours” to his mother Lula, who exclaimed the words after listening to her son experiment with the melody. This song also marked Wonder’s first Grammy nomination.
Memphis Minnie (June 3, 1897 – August 6, 1973)
American blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. She was the only female blues artist considered a match to male contemporaries as both a singer and an instrumentalist.
She recorded around 200 songs, some of the best known being “Bumble Bee”, “Nothing in Rambling”, and “Me and My Chauffeur Blues“. Her performances and songwriting made her well known in a genre dominated mostly by men. She died on August 6, 1973, in Memphis, Tennessee.
|Ian Hunter Patterson, (born 3 June 1939)English singer-songwriter who is best known as the lead singer of the English rock band Mott the Hoople from its inception in 1969 to its dissolution in 1974, and at the time of its 2009 reunion. Hunter was a musician and songwriter before joining Mott The Hoople, and continued in this vein after he left the band.Mott The Hoople achieved a certain level of commercial success, and attracted a small but devoted fan base. As a solo artist, Hunter charted with lesser-known but more wide-ranging works outside of the rock mainstream. His best-known solo records are “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” and “Cleveland Rocks”|
|William Norris “Billy” Powell (June 3, 1952 – January 28, 2009) American musician. He was the longtime keyboardist of Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, from 1970 until his death in 2009.
Billy remained a member of the Skynyrd crew (as a roadie) for two years (which included, amongst the grittier shows, highlights such as Skynyrd landing a support slot for Leslie West’s “Mountain”) In his second year with them, 1972, Skynyrd played one particular gig, a show at the Bolles school prom. After his usual routine working with Kevin Elson, Billy had time to rest for a short while. In the corner he spotted a piano, so Billy went over and sat down with it. Just fooling around, Billy launches into his piano based version of Freebird for the boys in the band to listen to. Ronnie, astonished at his roadie’s hitherto secret ability said ‘You mean to tell me, you’ve been playing the piano like that and you’ve been workin’ for us for a year….’. Billy replied, “Well, you know, I’ve been classically trained most of my life.’ He was then told Skynyrd were looking for a keyboard man, and Billy was in!
|Koko Taylor, sometimes spelled KoKo Taylor (September 28, 1928 – June 3, 2009)American Chicago blues singer, popularly known as the “Queen of the Blues.” She was known primarily for her rough, powerful vocals and traditional blues stylings.|
Spotify Playlist – June 03:
| To me, there’s nothing freer than a bird, you know, just flying wherever he wants to go. And, I don’t know, that’s what this country is all about, being free. I think everyone wants to be a free bird.
~Ronnie Van Zant
“I remember playing shows [with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers in the ‘80s] and looking out
[thinking] I didn’t have that many fans coming to see me,” he says. “They were coming to see
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.”
~Bob Dylan (to Robert Hilburn, December 1997)
“Well I won’t back down
No I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down”
~Tom Petty (I won’t back down)
I Won’t Back Down:
|Birth name||Thomas Earl Petty|
|Also known as||Charlie T. Wilbury, Jr
|Born||October 20, 1950 (age 63)|
|Origin||Gainesville, Florida, U.S.|
|Genres||Rock and roll, roots rock, heartland rock, southern rock, blues rock, psychedelic rock, country|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion,harmonica|
|Labels||Shelter, Backstreet, MCA, Warner Bros.,American, Reprise|
|Associated acts||Epics, Mudcrutch, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Traveling Wilburys, Stevie Nicks,Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Grateful Dead, Roy Orbison, Bonnie Raitt, Dwight Twilley|
Thomas Earl “Tom” Petty (born October 20, 1950) is an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is the frontman of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and was a founding member of the late 1980s supergroup Traveling Wilburys and Mudcrutch. He has also performed under the pseudonyms of Charlie T. Wilbury, Jr. and Muddy Wilbury.
He has recorded a number of hit singles with the Heartbreakers and as a solo artist, many of which remain heavily played on adult contemporary and classic rock radio. His music, and notably his hits, have become popular among younger generations as he continues to host sold-out shows. Throughout his career, Petty and his collaborators have sold 60 million albums. In 2002, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
From allmusic.com – Stephen Thomas Erlewine:
Upon the release of their first album in the late ’70s, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers were shoehorned into the punk/new wave movement by some observers who picked up on the tough, vibrant energy of the group’s blend of Byrds riffs and Stonesy swagger. In a way, the categorization made sense. Compared to the heavy metal and art rock that dominated mid-’70s guitar rock, the Heartbreakers’ bracing return to roots was nearly as unexpected as the crashing chords of the Clash. As time progressed, it became clear that the band didn’t break from tradition like their punk contemporaries. Instead, they celebrated it, culling the best parts of the British Invasion, American garage rock, and Dylanesque singer/songwriters to create a distinctively American hybrid that recalled the past without being indebted to it.
The Heartbreakers were a tight, muscular, and versatile backing band that provided the proper support for Petty’s songs, which cataloged a series of middle-class losers and dreamers. While his slurred, nasal voice may have recalled Dylan and Roger McGuinn, Petty’s songwriting was lean and direct, recalling the simple, unadorned style of Neil Young. Throughout his career, Petty & the Heartbreakers never departed from their signature rootsy sound …
..read more over @ allmusic.com
Refugee (Live at @ Farm Aid 1985):
Great version of Dylan’s “License To Kill“:
Awards and accolades
- In 1994, You Got Lucky, a Tom Petty tribute album featuring such bands as Everclear and Silkworm was released.
- In April 1996, Petty received the UCLA’s George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement.
- The next month, Petty won the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ Golden Note Award.
- In 1999 Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for their contribution to the recording industry.
- In 2002, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- On December 6, 2005, Petty received the Billboard Century Award for his lifetime achievements.
- The same year, Conversations with Tom Petty, an oral history/biography composed of interviews conducted in 2004 and 2005 with Petty by music journalistPaul Zollo was published (ISBN 1-84449-815-8).
- On September 21, 2006, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers received the keys to the city of Gainesville, Florida, where he and his bandmates either lived or grew up.
- From July 2006 until 2007 the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio featured an exhibit of Tom Petty items. Much of the content was donated by Petty himself during a visit to his home by some of the Hall’s curatorial staff.
- Peter Bogdanovich’s documentary film on Petty’s career entitled Runnin’ Down A Dream (film) premiered at the New York Film Festival on October 14, 2007.
Album of the day – “Damn The Torpedos” (1979)
From allmusic (Stephen Thomas Erlewine):
Not long after You’re Gonna Get It, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ label, Shelter, was sold to MCA Records. Petty struggled to free himself from the major label, eventually sending himself into bankruptcy. He settled with MCA and set to work on his third album, digging out some old Mudcrutch numbers and quickly writing new songs. Amazingly, through all the frustration and anguish, Petty & the Heartbreakers delivered their breakthrough and arguably their masterpiece with Damn the Torpedoes. Musically, it follows through on the promise of their first two albums, offering a tough, streamlined fusion of the Stones and Byrds that, thanks to Jimmy Iovine’s clean production, sounded utterly modern yet timeless. It helped that the Heartbreakers had turned into a tighter, muscular outfit, reminiscent of, well, the Stones in their prime — all of the parts combine into a powerful, distinctive sound capable of all sorts of subtle variations. Their musical suppleness helps bring out the soul in Petty’s impressive set of songs. He had written a few classics before — “American Girl,” “Listen to Her Heart” — but here his songwriting truly blossoms. Most of the songs have a deep melancholy undercurrent — the tough “Here Comes My Girl” and “Even the Losers” have tender hearts; the infectious “Don’t Do Me Like That” masks a painful relationship; “Refugee” is a scornful, blistering rocker; “Louisiana Rain” is a tear-jerking ballad. Yet there are purpose and passion behind the performances that makes Damn the Torpedoes an invigorating listen all the same. Few mainstream rock albums of the late ’70s and early ’80s were quite as strong as this, and it still stands as one of the great records of the album rock era. …read more over @ allmusic
Other October 20:
(Pronounced ‘lĕh-‘nérd ‘skin-‘nérd) is the debut album from Lynyrd Skynyrd, released in 1973. The album features several of the band’s most well-known songs, including “Gimme Three Steps”, “Simple Man”, “Tuesday’s Gone” and “Free Bird”, the latter of which launched the band to national stardom.
Bassist Leon Wilkeson left the band during the album’s early recording sessions only playing on two tracks. Strawberry Alarm Clock guitarist Ed King was asked to fill in for Wilkeson on bass during the remaining sessions, as Wilkeson already wrote many of the bass parts. This left Skynyrd with only six official members at the time of the album’s release. Not long after, King remained with the band, and was made a member, so that they could replicate the triple-guitar lead during live performances. Wilkeson returned to the band when it was time to take the photo for the album cover and embark on the tour for the album. It was certified gold on December 18, 1974, platinum and 2x platinum on July 21 1987 by the RIAA.
From the git-go, these shaggy folks from deepest Jacksonville, Florida played hard, lived harder and shot from the hip, all three guitars blazing in music that blew past the Mason-Dixon line to become America’s next top boogie-rock. Discovered and produced by from essential mid-Sixties Dylan sideman Al Kooper, Skynyrd offered taut rockers including “Poison Whiskey” and the perpetual lighter (well, now iPhone) waving anthem “Freebird.” Perhaps the ultimate Southern rock band and this record aged shockingly well; just ask the Drive-By Truckers.
Here’s Lynyrd Skynyrd in their prime, a full set from BBC’s Old Grey Whistle Test:
“Skynyrd was nothing but rockers, and they were Southern rockers to the bone. This didn’t just mean that they were rednecks, but that they brought it all together — the blues, country, garage rock, Southern poetry” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic)
Let’s include another great set. Here’s Lynyrd Skynyrd at 1976 Knebworth Fair Festival, England:
And the Album from Spotify:
What a great album, what a great band!
Sources: Allmusic, Wikipedia, Rolling Stone Magazine
Can a song be so perfect, so successful, that it eclipses its creator? It can if it’s Bobbie Gentry’s Grammy-winning 1967 chart-topper Ode to Billie Joe, one of the most elegantly powerful pieces of storytelling ever to travel the airwaves.
~Dorian Lynskey (The Guardian)
Ode to Billie Joe:
|Birth name||Roberta Lee Streeter|
|Born||July 27, 1944 (age 69)|
|Origin||Chickasaw County, Mississippi, United States|
|Genres||Country, pop, soul|
|Associated acts||Glen Campbell|
Roberta Lee Streeter (born July 27, 1944), professionally known as Bobbie Gentry, is an American former singer-songwriter notable as one of the first female country artists to compose and produce her own material. Her songs typically drew on her Mississippi roots to compose vignettes of the Southern United States.
Gentry shot to international fame with her intriguing Southern Gothic narrative “Ode to Billie Joe” in 1967. The track was fourth in the Billboard year-end chart of 1967 and earned her Grammy awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1968. Gentry charted eleven singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and four singles on the United Kingdom Top 40. Her album Fancy brought her a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. After her first albums, she had a successful run of variety shows on the Las Vegas Strip. She lost interest in performing in the late 1970s and has since lived privately in Los Angeles.
|Bobbie Gentry remains one of the most interesting and underappreciated artists to emerge out of Nashville during the late ’60s. Best-known for her crossover smash “Ode to Billie Joe,” she was one of the first female country artists to write and produce much of her own material, forging an idiosyncratic, pop-inspired sound that, in tandem with her glamorous, bombshell image, anticipated the rise of latter-day superstars like Shania Twain and Faith Hill. ~Jason Alkeny (Allmusic)|
Check out these fine articles:
- Hidden treasures: Bobbie Gentry – The Delta Sweete (The Guardian)
- The mystery of Bobbie Gentry (croydonmunicipal.blogspot.no)
Album of the day:
The Delta Sweete (1968)
The Delta Sweete is her second record and her masterpiece: a multi-faceted quasi-concept album about Gentry’s Mississippi delta roots.
~Dorian Lynskey (The Guardian)