Tag Archives: birthday

Today: The late Curtis Mayfield was born in 1942 – 71 years ago

Curtis Mayfield is one of those artists that sounded cool no matter what he sang, he was a master songwriter and a tremendous guitar player.

Freddie’s Dead (live, early 70s?):

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.

Paul Weller interviewing his hero, the late Curtis Mayfield, most likely before Mayfield’s gig at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz club in the Soho area of London on 31st July 1988:

Curtis Mayfield is a winner of both the Grammy Legend Award (in 1994) and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (in 1995), and was a double inductee into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted as a member of The Impressions into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, and again in 1999 as a solo artist. He is also a two-time Grammy Hall of Fame inductee.

Curtis Mayfield in concert Montreux 1987 (full concert):

Curtis Mayfield died in 1999 at age 57, nine years after he was left paralyzed from the neck down by a tragic accident during a concert in Brooklyn.

Awards and legacy

Mayfield has left a remarkable legacy for his introduction of social consciousness into R&B and for pioneering the funk style. Many of his recordings with the Impressions became anthems of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, and his most famous album, Super Fly, is regarded as an all-time great that influenced many and truly invented a new style of modern black music.

  • Mayfield’s solo Super Fly is ranked #69 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
  • The Impressions’ album/CD The Anthology 1961–1977 is ranked at #179 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of all time.
  • Along with his group The Impressions, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.
  • In 1999, he was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist making him one of the few artists to become double inductees.
  • Posthumously, in 2000, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
  • He was a winner of the prestigious Grammy Legend Award in 1994.
  • He received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995.
  • The Impressions’ 1965 hit song, “People Get Ready”, composed by Mayfield, has been chosen as one of the Top 10 Best Songs Of All Time by a panel of 20 top industry songwriters and producers, including Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Hal David, and others, as reported to Britain’s Mojo music magazine.
  • The Impressions hits, People Get Ready and For Your Precious Love are both ranked on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, as #24 and #327 respectively.

People Get Ready / Move on up:

Album of the day: Spotify haven’t got many of Mayfield’s albums, so we chose a good compilation, Beautiful Brother – The Essential:

Other June-03

Continue reading Today: The late Curtis Mayfield was born in 1942 – 71 years ago

Today: Bob Dylan is 72 years old – top 25 Bob Dylan songs by Hallgeir

Dylan 72

Happy birthday, Bob Dylan!

Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly reluctant figurehead of social unrest. A number of Dylan’s early songs, such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin'”, became anthems for the US civil rights and anti-war movements. Leaving his first base in the culture of folk music behind, Dylan’s six-minute single “Like a Rolling Stone” radically altered the parameters of popular music in 1965. His recordings employing electric instruments attracted denunciation and criticism from others in the folk movement.

bob-dylan 72

Dylan’s lyrics have incorporated a variety of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences. They defied existing pop music conventions and appealed hugely to the then burgeoning counterculture. Initially inspired by the performance style of Little Richard, and the songwriting of Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, and Hank Williams, Dylan has both amplified and personalized musical genres. His recording career, spanning fifty years, has explored many of the traditions in American song—from folk, blues, and country to gospel, rock and roll, and rockabilly to English, Scottish, and Irish folk music, embracing even jazz and swing. Dylan performs with guitar, keyboards, and harmonica. Backed by a changing line-up of musicians, he has toured steadily since the late 1980s on what has been dubbed the Never Ending Tour. His accomplishments as a recording artist and performer have been central to his career, but his greatest contribution is generally considered to be his songwriting. (wikipedia)

dylan double

Since it is his birthday and all, I have forced myself to pick 25 songs to celebrate Bob Dylan. It was extremely hard to leave so many good songs out of the list…

These are my top 25 Bob Dylan songs:

1. Blind Willie McTell
2. Like a Rolling Stone
3. Tangled Up In Blue
4. Ballad Of A Thin Man
5. Every Grain Of Sand
6. Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
7. It’s All Right Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
8. Visions Of Johanna
9. Brownsville Girl
10. The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
11. It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue
12. I Shall Be Released
13. Simple Twist Of Fate
14. Knocking On Heaven’s Door
15. Just Like A Woman
16. Masters Of War
17. Mississippi
18. Idiot Wind
19. Isis
20. Cross The Green Mountain
21. High Water (for Charley Patton) (the live 2003 version on bootleg s. vol. 8)
22. Highway 51 Blues
23. Oh, Sister (Hard Rain version)
24. Shelter From The Storm (Hard Rain version)
25. You’re A Big Girl Now

bob silhouette

Check out Egil’s list of his favorite Bob Dylan songs (an ongoing top 200 list)

– Hallgeir

Bob Dylan cover versions @ Johannasvisions
Bob Dylan albums @ Johannasvisions
Bob Dylan videos @ Johannasvisions
Bob Dylan concerts @ Johannasvisions
Bob Dylan recording sessions @ Johannasvisions

Other 24 May:
Continue reading Today: Bob Dylan is 72 years old – top 25 Bob Dylan songs by Hallgeir

Happy birthday David Byrne – Talking Heads Live in Rome 1980

david byrne

David Byrne was born May 14, 1952, he is a Scottish-born musician permanently residing in the United States, and was a founding member and principal songwriter of the American New Wave band Talking Heads, which was active between 1975 and 1991. Since then, Byrne has released his own solo recordings and worked with various media including film, photography, opera, and non-fiction. He has received Grammy, Oscar, and Golden Globe awards and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (wikipedia)

Few bands can boast a performance so image-defining as the one the Talking Heads did in Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense.  That film was released in 1984. We will celebrate David Byrne’s birthday with another concert, Live in Rome. This concert film captures the Talking Heads in 1980, a less established band, a band on the rise. David Byrne and the rest of the band express the same kind of strange energy displayed in Stop Making Sense, but here they do it in a  more direct and “punkish” way.

Live in Rome 1980:

1. Psycho Killer 2. Stay Hungry 3. Cities 4. I Zimbra 5. Drugs 6. Take Me to the River 7. Crosseyed and Painless 8. Life During Wartime 9. House in Motion 10. Born Under Punches 11.The Great Curve

Live in Rome features the group’s full Afro-Funk  lineup. Additionally,  guitar virtuous Adrian Belew is on stage and he is fantastic!  It’s a great show and we’re hoping for a blu-ray release.

It was an exciting time to be in the band. david, chris, tina, and jerry decided to keep the 10-piece funk machine rolling for a whole world tour including japan and europe. it was a wacky cast of characters to live with and we had loads of fun.

…the timing of our performance was fortuitous; just as the sun was setting. I joined the original four heads to play psycho killer, then the full band was brought onstage. we launched right into the new material. no one in the audience even knew the remain in light record as yet but it didn’t matter. the band was smoking!

– Adrian Belew

Enjoy David Byrne and Talking Heads at their very peak!

– Hallgeir

Today: Merle Haggard was born in 1937, 76 years ago

merle haggard 1

“By the time you get close to the answers, it’s nearly all over.”
– Merle Haggard

The first time we met is a favorite memory of mine.
They say time changes all it pertains to
But your memory is stronger than time.
I guess everything does change except what you choose to recall.

Merle Ronald Haggard
 (born April 6, 1937) is an American country music song writer, singer, guitarist, fiddler, and instrumentalist. Along with Buck Owens, Haggard and his band The Strangers helped create the Bakersfield sound, which is characterized by the unique twang of Fender Telecaster and the unique mix with the traditional country steel guitar sound, new vocal harmony styles in which the words are minimal, and a rough edge not heard on the more polished Nashville Sound recordings of the same era.

My Favorite Memory:

By the 1970s, Haggard was aligned with the growing outlaw country movement, and has continued to release successful albums through the 1990s and into the 2000s.

Haggard’s guitar playing and voice gives his country a hard-edged, blues-like style in many cuts.

Merle Haggard is one of country music’s most versatile artists. His compositions ranges wide:  ballads , autobiographical reflections, political commentaries and funny drinking songs. Easy dance songs and more serious stuff.

But first of all it’s the voice, man! That voice!

Merle Haggard 2

Todays album is the great , Big City. It’s Merle Haggard’s masterpiece and one of my all-time favorite country records:


 Big City, both the cut and the album, revisits the seemingly eternal themes in Haggard’s best work — the plight of the honest, decent working man amid the squalor, complication, and contradiction of urban life. Besides the title cut, there are bona fide Haggard classics here — and some that aren’t but should be.

Other 6 April:
Continue reading Today: Merle Haggard was born in 1937, 76 years ago

Norah Jones sings Bob Dylan, Happy Birthday Norah

Norah Jones 1

Happy birthday Norah Jones!


 Norah Jones is the daughter of Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar and Sue Jones. She is also Anoushka Shankar’s half-sister.

In 2002, she launched her solo music career with the release of the commercially successful and critically acclaimed album Come Away with Me, a fusion of jazz, pop, and country music, which was certified diamond album, selling over 26 million copies. The record earned Jones five Grammy Awards, including theAlbum of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best New Artist. Her subsequent studio albums, Feels Like Home, released in 2004, Not Too Late, released in 2007, the same year she made her film debut in My Blueberry Nights, and her 2009 release The Fall all gained Platinum status, selling over a million copies and were generally well received by critics. Jones’ fifth studio album, Little Broken Hearts, was released on April 27, 2012.

Jones has won nine Grammy Awards and was 60th on Billboard magazine’s artists of the 2000–2009 decade chart. Throughout her career, Jones has won numerous awards and has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide. Billboard named her the top jazz artist of the 2000–2009 decade.

We really like Norah Jones, we especially like it when she does Country music and of course when she sing the songs of our hero Bob Dylan. We have trawled the web to find some of her great cover versions.

Lets start with a duet, here she sings I Shall Be Released with the man himself, Bob Dylan:

Forever Young at a celebration of Steve Jobs
Live Apple Event, October 19, 2011:

“I know he really liked Bob Dylan”

I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight done very well by the birthday woman, Norah Jones:

Norah Jones covers Just Like a Woman at Dylanfest. May 28, 2010 at the Bowery Ballroom:

Every Grain Of Sand at Dylanfest 2011:

Heart of Mine (Spotify):

– Hallgeir