Amoeblog

Music History Monday: December 30

Posted by Jeff Harris, December 30, 2013 09:30am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: December 30, 1928 - Rhythm & Blues legend Bo Diddley (born Ellas Otha Bates in McComb, MS). Happy Birthday to Bo on what would have been his 85th Birthday.
 


Born on this day: December 30, 1939 - R&B vocalist Kim Weston (born Agatha Natalie Weston in Detroit, MI). Happy 74th Birthday to this Motown legend!


Born on this day: December 30, 1942 - Songwriter, musician, producer, music video pioneer, and former Monkee Michael Nesmith (born Robert Michael Nesmith in Houston, TX). Happy 71st Birthday, Nez!
 

Born on this day: December 30, 1945 - Former Monkees vocalist Davy Jones (born David Thomas Jones in Manchester, UK). Happy Birthday to this pop music icon on what would have been his 68th Birthday. We miss you, Davy!
 

Continue reading...

(In which we consider the mystical & tragic Judee Sill.)

Posted by Job O Brother, July 29, 2008 12:25pm | Post a Comment
robber

Last night I was mugged at gunpoint. The perpetrator not only made off with the $560.00 in cash that I was carrying (which I had intended to deposit today) but he knocked me down to the ground and kicked me hard enough that he left a nasty bruise in my ribs before he made his getaway on a magic, chocolate-colored Pegasus.

None of which is true, but it is a rather exciting way to begin this week’s blog entry, isn’t it? Except that, by lying to you, I have now risked alienating you emotionally, because you will now think twice about trusting what I tell you, even if it’s about how much I like that top you’re wearing and how to sets off the flecks of color in your shimmering eyes.

Speaking of violence and the romantic visage of your enduring beauty, I know some of you haven’t yet heeded my advice and investigated one of my most favorite balladeers of all time: Judee Sill.
 
Judee Sill
Judee Sill conducts herself well.

Judee’s story is one of tragic darkness, from which sprung gorgeous and sage songwriting. She was the Billie Holiday of the “Laurel Canyon sound.”

Influenced more by Johann Sebastian Bach than her 1970’s rock ‘n’ blow contemporaries, methodical composition such as fugue-structure, and over-dubbing of her own voice into chorale-style, inform her heart-wrenched post-hymns.

Her father and brother both died when she was a child, and her mother re-married to Kenneth Muse, an animator for one of my least favorite cartoons of all time, Tom & Jerry. (I mean really, the way that mouse antagonizes that poor cat, who very naturally fights back – both by his nature as a felis catus and in defense of Jerry’s cruelty – only to be downtrodden every time. What kind of message does that send to children? BE A BULLY. That’s what it tells ‘em. And then poor, sensitive, fat kids like me get the brunt of it. And all I ever wanted was to love and be loved. Is that so wrong?!)

[Insert sound of Job sobbing here]
Judee Sill

Judee left her dysfunctional home (I imagine her stepfather probably lured her head into a mouse-hole and bopped her face with a mallet) and hit the road for a life of free-wheeling druggery and armed robbery. She developed an addiction to that precocious li’l drug we call heroin. In order to pay for the habit, she prostituted herself (which almost certainly prepared her for a life as a professional musician).