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Music History Monday: May 4

Posted by Jeff Harris, May 4, 2015 07:25am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

On this day in music history: May 4, 1956 - "Be-Bop-A-Lula" by Gene Vincent And His Blue Caps is recorded. Written by Tex Davis and Gene Vincent, it is the debut release and biggest hit for the rock & roll band fronted by Vincent (born Vincent Eugene Craddock). The song is co-written by Vincent and his manager, radio DJ "Sheriff Tex" Davis, who will help the singer secure a record contract. Hollywood-based Capitol Records, in search of "the next Elvis Presley," will eagerly sign Vincent. His band The Blue Caps consists of Willie Williams (rhythm guitar), Jack Neal (upright bass), Dickie Harrell (drums), and Cliff Gallup (lead guitar). The band will record the track at famed country music producer Owen Bradley's Quonset Hut studio in Nashville, TN. Released a month later, "Be-Bop-A-Lula" will peak at #7 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart on July 28, 1956, #8 on the R&B chart, and #5 on the C&W chart, selling over two million copies. The band will also perform the song in classic rockfilm The Girl Can't Help It, released later in the year. The seminal recording will become one of the definitive examples of rockabilly music, and will go on to influence many musicians over the years including The Beatles, The Animals, and rockabilly revivalists Stray Cats. "Be-Bop-A-Lula" is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999.
 

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R.I.P. Ben E. King

Posted by Billy Gil, May 1, 2015 12:45pm | Post a Comment

ben e. king obituaryBen E. King, legendary soul singer behind such hits as “Stand By Me,” has died at the age of 76.

The Telegraph reports he died of natural causes on Thursday. King hadn’t be publicly reported to be battling illness and was playing shows as recently as last year.

King was born Benjamin Earl Nelson in 1938 in North Carolina and grew up in Harlem. He originally sang for The Drifters, scoring numerous Top 10 hits such as “This Magic Moment” but left that band in 1960 over a contract dispute, changed his name to the more marketable Ben E. King and went on to have more than 20 hits chart on the Billboard Top 100 as a solo artist, including “Spanish Harlem,” co-written by Phil Spector, and “Stand By Me,” which King co-composed and was been named one of the RIAA’s top 25 songs of the century.

King is survived by his wife, Betty, three children and six grandchildren. Below is a selection of King’s hits:

Weekly Roundup: Chelsea Wolfe, De Lux, Cayucas, Crocodiles, Talk in Tongues, Foxygen

Posted by Billy Gil, May 1, 2015 11:59am | Post a Comment

Chelsea Wolfe – “Iron Moon”

chelsea wolfe amoebaChelsea Wolfe has talked of the influence of black metal on her music, but until now, that was more in spirit than in sound. “Iron Moon,” the first single from her new album, Abyss (due Aug. 7 on Sargent House), lives up to its metallic name with crushing chourses of heavy detuned guitar, while the song’s verses are sparely orchestrated and ethereal. As to those extreme dynamics, Wolfe told Rolling Stone the record is supposed to evoke “the feeling of when you're dreaming, and you briefly wake up, but then fall back asleep into the same dream, diving quickly into your own subconscious.” You can see live Amoeba videos with Wolfe here and read an interview I did with her here.

 

De Lux – “Someday Now”

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Hip-Hop Rap-Up: Hip Hop In The Park, Souls of Mischief in NYC, Top 5, E-Lit's New Releases, Amoeba Converse Exhibit + more

Posted by Billyjam, May 1, 2015 09:05am | Post a Comment

This weekend marks the nineteenth year of Hip Hop In The Park - Berkeley's annual free, all ages, all elements inclusive, hip-hop event in Peoples Park, located behind Amoeba Berkeley. Since 1997, the Students For Hop Hop @ Cal have been presenting this always fun afternoon celebration of hip-hop culture. This year's headliner is Fashawn who has been winning over a whole wave of fans since connecting with Nas and the Queensbridge rapper's new label,  Mass Appeal, on which he released the critically acclaimed The Ecology two months ago. Just in the past week, the Fresno rapper unleashed the album's second single and accompanying video, "Higher."

The Souls of Mischief along with their childhood friend and director of the engaging documentary on the Hiero crew, 'Til Infinity, Shomari Smith are all in New York City right now for the screening of the film tonight at the Helen Mills Theater on West 26th Street as part of the New York City International Film Festival (NYCIFF 2015). So far, the veteran Oakland hip-hop crew have included doing an interview with Birthplace magazine, and stopping by an old friend's radio show. 

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Bay Area's Foothill College Radio Station KFJC Kicks off Its Annual Month of Mayhem

Posted by Billyjam, May 1, 2015 01:30am | Post a Comment


Nestled in the Los Altos Hills of the South Bay is one of the best radio stations not just in the Bay Area but anywhere. KFJC has been serving a rich and diverse musical presentation at 89.7FM for the better part of six decades, including many legendary live sessions from the Foothill College campus radio station's in-studio live performance space, the Pit.

The Foothill College campus radio station has been broadcasting since 1959. For over half its lifespan, KFJC has been dedicating their airwaves each May to the month of Mayhem. It's an entertainment-packed month (referred to as Mayhem, never May, throughout the 31 days) of special programming every day such as today's (May 1st) kickoff specials: The Mini Detest-A-Thon: A Survey of the Musical Obsession of Loathing Part 2, and A Brief Introduction to John Tejada, Part 1. Next Monday (Mayhem 4) brings May the Fourth Be With You: A Star Wars Mayhem Special, Mayhem 5's early morning International Psychedelia (Part 1) special, Bright Spots featuring Light In The Attic Records on Mayhem 10th, and Ms. Tiza and Cadillac Margarita's Pants Off Dance Off on Mayhem 16th.

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