Amoeblog

Top Ten NYC Subway Songs

Posted by Billyjam, September 3, 2014 10:51pm | Post a Comment
New York State of Mind Amoeblog #96:

As this 100 part weekly series winds to a close over the coming weeks I figured I'd do some music best-of lists in these final five installments including this week's Top Ten Best NYC Subway Songs. While a tough list to compile, due to the sheer number of songs out there that reference the most frequently used mode of transportation here in New York City, it was still a fun one to draw up.

For this top ten, rather than just do say 70's rock or 90's hip-hop or any one specific genre, I tried to cover several genres and eras, and even still just scratched the surface. The selections are mostly subway themed songs - although some are overall NYC themed but with subway references in them like the ones by Fear and VU which placed in the last two positions for that very reason. Some others that almost made the list include "F Train" by Babe the Blue Ox, Unsane's “D Train,” "The L Train Is A Swell Train And I Don't Want To Hear You Indies Complain" by Out Hud, "Subway: The Last 'I Love New York' Song" (from the musical Mayor), and another musical one - "Subways Are for Sleeping" from the musical of the same name. In comments below please feel free to add any songs you think should have made the list.



1) Duke Ellington Orchestra “Take the ‘A’ Train” (1941) "You must take the 'A' train / To go to Sugar
Hill, way up in Harlem.
" Even if they don't realize it, everyone knows this song - a jazz standard and signature tune for Duke Ellington and his orchestra with lyrics. Literally a classic and one that pops
into my head every time I take the A train, and I rate it number one on my list for its historic relevance. Honorable mention to another jazz classic: "GG Train" by Charles Mingus about the line now known
simply as the "G" line - as the "L" line used to be the "LL" line.

Music History Monday: April 29

Posted by Jeff Harris, April 29, 2013 10:55am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: April 29, 1899 - Composer, bandleader and pianist Duke Ellington (born Edward Kennedy Ellington in Washington DC). Happy Birthday to this jazz giant, born 114 years ago today. We ♥ you madly, Duke!!


Born on this day: April 29, 1922 - Jazz guitarist/harmonica virtuoso and whistler extraordinaire Toots Thielemans (born Jean-Baptiste Frederic Isidor, Baron Thielemans in Brussels, Belgium). Happy 91st Birthday, Toots!!
 


Born on this day: April 29, 1945 - Motown vocal legend Tammi Terrell (born Thomasina Winifred Montgomery in Philadelphia, PA). Happy Birthday to this "Sweetheart of Motown" on what would have been her 68th Birthday.
 


On this day in music history: April 29, 1968Ridin' High, the fifth studio album by Martha Reeves & The Vandellas is released. Produced by Richard Morris, it is recorded at Motown Studio A in Detroit from mid-1967 to early 1968. The album will be the group's first since the departure of producers William "Mickey" Stevenson and Holland-Dozier-Holland from Motown. Staff producer Richard Morris will fill the void, collaborating with songwriter/producer Sylvia Moy (Stevie Wonder). The pair will write the groups' last two top 40 pop hits "Honey Chile" (#5 R&B, #11 Pop) and "Love Bug Leave My Heart Alone" (#14 R&B, #25 Pop), with the album spinning off a third single "(We've Got) Honey Love" (#27 R&B, #57 Pop). The album will also mark the debut of Lois Reeves (Martha's younger sister), replacing longtime member Betty Kelly (1963-1968) from the group.  Ridin' High will peak at #167 on the Billboard Top 200.
 

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #15: The New Year In New York, NYC: From Gritty to Disneyfied, Concerts, Take The A Train + more

Posted by Billyjam, January 2, 2013 11:52am | Post a Comment

By early afternoon on Tuesday (January 1st), the estimated 50 tons of garbage left behind by the crammed crowds of approximately one million partiers, who had descended upon Times Square the night before to ring in the new year, had been cleaned up and by this morning when I passed through the "crossroads of the world" you could not tell that such a large scale, multi-faceted event had taken place there at all. Instead, on this first day of business of the new year for most, New Yorkers were rushing in every direction returning to work or maybe to the gym to live up to their New Year's resolution, many clutching newspapers with front page stories on 2013 predictions. At least two NYC papers reported on changes New Yorkers and New York can expect in 2013. These include a better prepared NYC for another Sandy, and a return of the NY Marathon. Also coming in March is the dreaded but inevitable public transit fare increases when flat train/bus fares will increase from $2.25 to $2.50 and monthly unlimited passes increase from $104 to $112, which still not bad compared to the BART or most other US public transit systems. Another much talked about change to take place this year is in mid-March when the new law banning "big gulp" soda drinks from being sold in NYC goes into effect. This has been both controversial and fodder for late night talk shows since the law was pushed in 2012 by the health conscious mayor Michael M. Bloomberg.

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Happy birthday Bronze Buckeroo - Herb Jeffries turns 98 today.

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 24, 2011 02:18pm | Post a Comment
HAPPY 98th

Herb Jeffries

Today is the 98th birthday of actor/singer Herb Jeffries. Although not widely recognized today (especially among non-black audiences, during his heyday in the 1930s and '40s he was an enormously popular singer and the first black actor to star in Westerns. I'd probably know nothing of him except for my tenure in the Black Cinema section at Amoeba, where elderly gentleman regularly treated me to their reminiscences about a black singing cowboy they'd idolized as kids. 

Detroit 1913

 

Herber Jeffries was born September 24, 1913 in Detroit, Michigan to Afro-Sicilian pianist Umberto Balentino and his Irish-American wife, Mildred. He never knew his father and was raised by his single mother, who ran a boarding house. Although light-skinned and almost surely able to "pass," he identified as black and associated himself with Detroit's Howard Buntz Orchestra, which brought him a measure of local fame.

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(Wherein which you may get cancer.)

Posted by Job O Brother, April 11, 2010 03:33pm | Post a Comment
get well soon

Recently, one of my boyfriend’s favorite celebrities died from one of his least favorites diseases.

Dixie Carter passed away April 10, of complications from endometrial cancer.








Cancer has been an unwelcome houseguest in our lives for a while now. The boyfriend’s from the Lone Star State, where getting cancer seems to be as common as sequenced sweaters and tuxedos matched with leather boots. The stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas, but so it seems are a few malignancies.

No amount of my assurances will convince the boyfriend he won’t necessarily get cancer; it’s neither a birthright, nor a curse – but he’s already decided which hospital will treat him and where to find the best wig for the occasion. It’s the “wedding day” daydream equivalent for the hypochondria set.

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