Pan-American Blues -- Black Country

Posted by Eric Brightwell, February 27, 2013 06:32pm | Post a Comment

If one listens to a “hillbilly” record like, say, Jimmie Rodgers’s “Blue Yodel” back-to-back with a “race” record like Lead Belly’s “Cow Cow Yiki” it should become immediately clear to the listener that often the distinction between these two genres has for many years been (and continues to be) more of an industry marketing rather than musicological one. After decades of segregation, one needn’t watch the CMT Music Awards to know that Country music has for a long time been almost totally dominated by white performers. However, there have always been black country musicians and more continue to emerge. Whether or not they're embraced by the Nashville industry or public is another question.


To Americans for whom there are only two coasts (the East and West), the South is with tiresome regularity portrayed and imagined to be a homogeneous region populated entirely by menacing, toothless, racist rednecks (whereas the North is totally free of racists, naturally). If these regionalist haters ever bothered to explore the South they’d likely be surprised by the physical and cultural variety of the Appalachians, the Delta, the Deep South, the Old South, the Ozarks, the Piedmont, the Upper South, the cities and countryside and so on. It would probably surprise many of them to learn that almost every single county in the country with a majority black population is located in the South since they imagine everyone there to be a white Republican.

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The Art Of The LP Cover- Playing Cards

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, July 22, 2012 02:10pm | Post a Comment

Favorite Sesame Street Collaborations

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 28, 2009 01:12am | Post a Comment
Johnny Cash W/ Oscar The Grouch- "Nasty Dan"

Celia Cruz- "Songo Song"

Stevie Wonder w/ Grover

Ray Charles w/ Bert & Ernie - "I Got A Song"

Los Lobos w/ Elmo - "Elmo & The Lavender Moon"

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music

Posted by Miss Ess, October 20, 2007 04:56pm | Post a Comment
Last night I watched some of the Johnny Cash Show DVDs, which just came out and from what I saw are completely fantastic! My favorite performance is by Mr. Ray Charles. He adds some soul to "Ring of Fire" and it's fantastic. Check it out here:

Isn't that amazing? I just wish people were still making TV talk shows as daring and intelligent as Johnny Cash's. At least we have the DVDs now to remind us how things were. Hopefully sometime very soon when I have watched the whole offering, I will have a more thorough review of The Johnny Cash Show!  I couldn't resist putting Ray up now though.

Ron Miller

Posted by Whitmore, July 28, 2007 08:50pm | Post a Comment

This week legendary Motown songwriter Ron Miller died at age 74.

The Associated Press obituary:

Songwriter Ron Miller, whose tunes included pop classics "Touch Me in the Morning" and "For Once in My Life," has died. Miller died Monday of cardiac arrest at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center after a long battle with emphysema and cancer, he was 74.

Miller got his professional start in the music business in the 1960s, when Motown founder Berry Gordy saw him perform at a piano bar and invited him to Detroit as one of the label's first songwriters and record producers. His songs have been recorded by many leading artists, including Judy Garland, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Ray Charles. "For Once in My Life," written with Orlando Murden, is one of the most recorded songs in history, with more than 270 versions, according to All Music Guide. A rendition by Tony Bennett and Stevie Wonder won a Grammy award this year. In 2005, Charles' and Gladys Knight's version of Miller's "Heaven Help Us All" picked up the best gospel performance Grammy.

Born in Chicago, Miller was a die-hard Cubs fan, who wrote his first sad song as a child about his beloved but hapless team, his daughter said. Before meeting Gordy at the piano bar, Miller made ends meet by selling washing machines and taking odd jobs. He served in the Marines, as well, and was stationed all over the world. Throughout the 1970s, Miller wrote the book and lyrics to many musicals, including "Daddy Goodness" and "Cherry," based on William Inge's "Bus Stop." Barbra Streisand recorded "I've Never Been A Woman Before," from the musical, for her "The Way We Were" album.

"My father will be reborn every time someone sings one of his songs," Lisa Dawn Miller said. "When they feel joy or sadness or any emotion, that will be my dad and his words." Miller is survived by his wife, Aurora Miller, and six children. Here is a list of some of his songs:

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