Amoeblog

Remembering Etta James (1938 - 2012)

Posted by Billyjam, January 21, 2012 08:18am | Post a Comment
Wow. What a sad week it has been for blues, R&B, and funk fans with the passing of Jimmy Castor, Johnny Otis, and then yesterday morning (Jan. 20th) more sad news arrived with word that Etta James had died in Riverside, California following complications from leukemia, which she had been undergoing treatment for for some years. She was 73 years of age but was just about to celebrate her 74th birthday next week. 

Born in LA and raised in the Fillmore District of San Francisco, Etta James (who won four Grammys in her lifetime) was loved by music fans worldwide and was inducted into both the Blues Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her music could be filed under blues, R&B, rock and roll, and even jazz sometimes (her album Mystery Lady: Songs of Billie Holiday won her a jazz Grammy). Even though James is best known for her soothing soulful rendition of "At Last," I personally always thought of the singer, who I saw in concert many times and was always blown away by her performances, as a gritty soulful blues singer since she always brought so much raw emotion and passion to her music. As anyone who has ever seen James in concert will attest, she brought sexy (or "raunchy" as some said) to her stage act in which she always gave it her all.

       

James was discovered by Johnny Otis, who in a tragic twist of coincidence passed just 3 days earlier this week, back when she was just a teen and recorded her first record when she was only 15. That record was “Roll With Me Henry,” which -- because of its sexual innuendo -- had its title changed to “The Wallflower" and as such became a 1954 hit on Billboard's Rhythm-and-Blues chart. A year later, a more whitewashed, toned-down version of the song retitled "Dance with me Henry" by white singer Georgia Gibbs became a mainstream number one Billboard pop charts hit. Understandably, that bummed out the black singer who had created the song.

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Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Nominating Committee Member James Bernard Happy With The Beastie Boys' Induction

Posted by Billyjam, December 12, 2011 12:56pm | Post a Comment

The Beastie Boys "Sabotage"(1994)

Besides the group members themselves one person who was very happy about last Wednesday's announcement that the Beastie Boys were among the new inductees into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame was long time hip-hop ambassador James Bernard. Bernard, a former editor at The Source magazine, is one of the members of the nominating committee for the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame and, as such, responsible for nominating the Beastie Boys to the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame for the 2012 list. Bernard told the Amoeblog that he was "really pleased" about the Beasties getting in but added that many of the other acts he has nominated have not been as fortunate in the final leg of the process. "We tried to get LL [Cool J] in last year and it didn't really work. We got Eric B & Rakim nominated this time," he said. "And Rakim was so happy but that [nominating] might be as far as we get."

Bernard added that he was also happy that the rap/funk fused rock band The Red Hot Chili Peppers also got into the upcoming Rock And Roll Hall of Fame awards but that he would like to see more hip-hop acts added and will continue to work on that happening in future years. In a prepared press statement last week about their Rock And Roll Hall of Fame induction the Beasties collectively wrote that, "While we are very proud of the music we make, we have to acknowledge the inspiration from our families, friends and musicians like The Slits, Bad Brains, X-Ray Spex, The Treacherous Three and too many others to possibly name. And most of all, we give thanks to New York City and the world of musical influence it provided for us."

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New Nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Posted by Whitmore, September 23, 2009 03:51pm | Post a Comment

Twelve nominees
were announced this morning for induction onto the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame located in Cleveland, Ohio. Among this year's possible entrants are first time nominees KISS, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Genesis, the Hollies, LL Cool J and Jimmy Cliff; they join returning candidates ABBA, the Chantels, Darlene Love, Laura Nyro, the Stooges and Donna Summer.

Five of the 12
nominees will be chosen for induction from ballots cast by more than 500 music industry voters. An announcement of the inductees is expected sometime in January. The annual event will take place March 15, 2010 at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City and a huge celebration is expected for this, the Hall's 25th Annual Induction Ceremony.
 
Coming this Oct. 29-30 at New York's Madison Square Garden, the Hall of Fame is celebrating its 25th anniversary with an astounding concert and lineup, which includes Bruce Springsteen, Simon & Garfunkel, Stevie Wonder, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Friends, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Metallica and U2. More artists are expected to be named for this two night shindig. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is also releasing a nine-DVD boxed set, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live, and the publication of a book, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: The First 25 Years.

2009 nominations for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Posted by Whitmore, September 26, 2008 03:40pm | Post a Comment



The 2009 nominations for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum were announced this week. Nine artists were chosen, though only five will be inducted in next year’s ceremonies.

 

The nominees are:

Jeff Beck
Chic
Wanda Jackson
Little Anthony and the Imperials
Metallica
Run-D.M.C.
the Stooges
War
Bobby Womack

Ballots will be sent to more than 500 voters, most of whom are music industry executives and Hall of Fame members. The new inductees for the 24th Annual Induction Ceremony will be announced in January 2009. The ceremony will be held on April 4 at historic Public Hall in Cleveland, Ohio, the museum’s home, instead of at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York where 21 of the previous 23 events have taken place. To be eligible for nomination into the Rock Hall, an artist must have released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination.

Also, for the first time ever, tickets to the ceremony will be made available to the public.

I’ve never quite figured out what the criteria is for being elected to the Rock Hall of Fame. Personally, I still can’t believe that the Zombies or T-Rex or Tom Waits or MC5 or the Beastie Boys or Quincy Jones aren’t in the hall. What the hell, I might as well add Dr. John, Tim Buckley, Robert Wyatt/Soft Machine, Tim Hardin, Brigitte Fontaine, John Fahey, Pentangle, Jimmy Ricks and the Ravens, Tommy James, Television, Nico, Gabor Szabo, Richard and Mimi Farina, einstuerzende neubauten, Young Marble Giants, Pearls Before Swine, Pere Ubu, Link Wray, James Blood Ulmer, Throbbing Gristle, Sandy Bull, Derek Bailey, Tiny Grimes, Can, Nina Simone, Exuma, Lenny Breau, Sonny Sharrock…

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Earl Palmer 1924 - 2008

Posted by Whitmore, September 23, 2008 03:55pm | Post a Comment


The feel of rock and roll would have been a hell of a lot different without the input of New Orleans musicians, and at the top of that class was drummer Earl Palmer. He provided the distinctive backbeat for the seminal sound of rock starting with the likes of Fats Domino and Little Richard and Eddie Cochran. Earl Palmer died last Friday in his home in Banning after a long illness. He was 83.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, Palmer played on thousands of rock, jazz and pop music sessions, as well as on countless movie, television and commercial scores. In the late fifties and early sixties he played on such rock classic singles as Fats Domino’s “I’m Walkin” and “Walking to New Orleans,” Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti" and "Long Tall Sally," Ritchie Valens' “Donna” and "La Bamba," Sam Cooke's "You Send Me," Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” and "I Hear You Knockin"' by Smiley Lewis. Legendary producer Phil Spector used him to build his Wall of Sound on such songs as “You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'” by the Righteous Brothers and Ike and Tina Turner's “River Deep, Mountain High.” Palmer’s work was rarely off the charts for two decades.

Palmer left New Orleans for Los Angeles in 1957 to work for Aladdin Records. His career as a session drummer included work with a who’s who of 20th century musical icons: Frank Sinatra, Rick Nelson, Ray Charles, Bobby Day, Don and Dewey, Jan and Dean, Larry Williams, Gene McDaniels, Bobby Darin, Dick Dale, Tim Hardin, Tom Waits, Tim Buckley, Roy Brown, Neil Diamond, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Duane Eddy, Sceamin' Jay Hawkins, Barbara Streisand, Taj Mahal, David Axelrod, the Beachboys, Elvis Costello, Everly Brothers, the Mama and the Papas, the Monkees, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Young, Johnny Otis, Thurston Harris, The Byrds, Marvin Gaye and Lloyd Price, just to name a very few. Not to mention the fact he recorded with practically every great New Orleans musician who ever tracked a song to vinyl, like Professor Longhair, Huey Piano Smith, Doctor John, James Booker, Dave Batholomew and Lee Allen.

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