Amoeblog

Prolific Poet/Songwriter Rod McKeun Leaves Behind Large Body Of Work

Posted by Billyjam, January 30, 2015 07:34am | Post a Comment

In honor of Oakland, CA born American poet/spoken word artist/songwriter Rod McKuen, who died yesterday at age 81 following weeks of been treated for pneumonia, I go digging at Amoeba Music for a sampling of the world's best selling poet's body of work.  Ever prolific, especially from the late sixties up until the beginning of the 80's when he took an extended sabbatical, McKuen was once a ubiquitous and seemingly unstoppable part of American popular culture.

As such the distinctively throaty sounding artist released an incredible number of albums (over 200 LPs of which many are still available at Amoeba - mostly in original vinyl format), wrote hundreds upon hundreds of poems, published dozens of books that would sell over sixty million copies (hence why he was the best selling poet ever), and a slew of songs that would be covered/interpreted by such high profile stars as Dolly Parton (they even collaborated in a music and poetry duo on the song "Feelings"), and Frank Sinatra ("Night," "If You Go Away" which was written with the Belgian composer Jacques Brel). In fact Ole Blue Eyes, who was a major fan of his work, even commissioned McKuen to pen content for A Man Alone: The Words and Music of Rod McKuen.

Continue reading...

Music History Monday: January 19

Posted by Jeff Harris, January 19, 2015 08:48am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: January 19, 1946 - Country music icon Dolly Parton (born Dolly Rebecca Parton in Sevierville, TN). Happy 69th Birthday, Dolly!!
 


Born on this day: January 19, 1949 - Singer and songwriter Robert Palmer (born Robert Allen Palmer in Batley, Yorkshire, UK). Happy Birthday to this brilliant blue-eyed soul/rock vocalist on what would have been his 66th birthday.




On this day in music history: January 19, 1959 - "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" by The Platters hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks. Written by Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach, it is the third and final chart topping single for the pioneering R&B/Pop vocal group fronted by lead singer Tony Williams.The song is originally written in 1933 for the musical Roberta, and is also sung by actress Irene Dunne in the film adaptation of the musical in 1935. The Platters will record their version in Paris in October of 1958. At first, Kern's widow will seek to file an injunction to block the record from being distributed, fearing that the group has turned her late husband's song into a "rock & roll record." One of Kern's colleagues, legendary songwriter Oscar Hammerstein II will intervene, not only convincing Mrs. Kern to drop her suit, but also publicly thanking The Platters and their producer Buck Ram for reviving the song and introducing it to a new generation of fans. Entering the Hot 100 at # 86 November 17, 1958, it will climb to the top of the chart nine weeks later. "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" will be The Platters last major hit, after a public scandal a few months after the song's run on the charts results in the four male members of the group being arrested in Cincinnati, OH on drug and prostitution charges. Though the charges are dropped, the incident will do irreparable damage to their reputation resulting in radio stations dropping their past records from playlists and refusing to play subsequent releases. "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 

Continue reading...

Merry Christmas, Christmas Realness!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, December 25, 2014 12:25pm | Post a Comment
bobbie gentry snow red bandana sequin dress country christmas realness bing crosby special
Merry Christmas everyone! There's nothing like waking up on Christmas morning and getting all dolled up for the ultimate day of zenith-level holiday season revels! Here are a few of my favorite Christmas looks from some of my all time favorite famous people, like Bobbie Gentry, above, serving country Christmas realness in a gorgeous sequin bandana dress. This snowy shot of Miss Bobbie from late 1968 promotes an NBC variety show she appeared in, her dress sparkling ever so magically as she sang alongside one of television's most beloved holiday ambassadors, Bing Crosby, and, of all people, Tiny Tim. Here's a clip:




Another ensemble from a Christmas special that makes my spirits bright is the oversize sweater Joan Rivers wore for Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special (also starring Grace Jones, k.d. lang and Cher!!!) Though our one and only Joan exited life's temporal stage this year, her spirit continues to entertain all of us Earthbound couch potatoes. Check out those shoulder pads! It's like she's smuggling stollen in there!
joan rivers christmas sweater pee-wee's playhouse special realness holiday

Dolly Parton, Black Keys, Metallica, Lily Allen, Yoko Ono, Yo La Tengo at the Glastonbury Festival

Posted by Billyjam, July 1, 2014 10:03am | Post a Comment

Dolly Parton "Benny Hill Show Theme"

 
 
England's annual outdoor Glastonbury Festival ended on Sunday and was reportedly a lot of fun this year. Thanks to YouTube and BBC TV, we here in the US who couldn't make it to Somerset (140 miles south east of London) can enjoy via video replay. Above and below is a video sampling of some of the 2014 highlights including Metallica, The Black Keys, Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band featuring Yo La Tengo, Lily Allen, and the crowd favorite Dolly Parton who closed the festival playing to an estimated 100,000 delighted fans in the Pyramid Arena area of the fest. Parton's set included such hits as "9 To 5," "Blue Smoke," a slightly updated version of "Jolene," plus - when she broke out a small saxophone -  an extremely well-received version (two versions actually - one backwards) of "Yakety Sax" - aka The Benny Hill Show theme song.

Civil War Music Comes Alive at The Grammy Museum

Posted by Billy Gil, October 23, 2013 05:33pm | Post a Comment

civil war musicOn Nov. 7 American Express will present The Drop: Divided & United — Music of The Civil War at 7:30pm., featuring performances by Chris Hillman, John Doe and Lee Ann Womack, as well a panel discussion with the performers. Amoeba is proud to sponsor the event. Tickets are $15; you can pick them up here.

divided & united the songs of the civil war cdThe show kicks off the album Divided & United: The Songs of the Civil War, which features songs from the Civil War era, as picked by Randall Poster, a music supervisor who has worked with the likes of Wes Anderson, Martin Scorcese and Todd Haynes. The album, out Nov. 5 on ATO Records, is available for preorder now and includes 32 tracks on two discs, with appearances by the aforementioned artists plus Loretta Lynn, Steve Earle, Old Crow Medicine Show, Dolly Parton and many more.

Continue reading...
<<  1  2  3  4  >>  NEXT