Jimmie Lunceford Was The Real Thing

Early jazz era bandleader Jimmie Lunceford was mentioned in an earlier piece about the Cotton Club but I thought we should dig a little deeper into his story. After all, he was one of the best, even if his star has dimmed a little in the many years since his heyday. Born on a Mississippi … Continue reading Jimmie Lunceford Was The Real Thing

Squeaky Wheel Says: I Still Haven’t Figured Out Bitcoins!

So it's all over the news that there's a new cryptocurrency being introduced. Something called "Libra". Apparently we're not confused enough already by Bitcoins, so they decided to up the ante by giving us a new puzzle to decipher. It seems to be a perfect opportunity to return to the special feature known as the … Continue reading Squeaky Wheel Says: I Still Haven’t Figured Out Bitcoins!

Julius La Rosa – The Rest Of The Story

If you were around at the time, you might remember when radio/TV host Arthur Godfrey fired popular crooner Julius La Rosa from his show. It caused a uproar at the time, and ended up being a pretty significant turning point for both entertainers' careers. But there's more to the story. Julius La Rosa was yet … Continue reading Julius La Rosa – The Rest Of The Story

The Ballad Of Thunder Road

I've never made a secret of the fact that some of my family originally came from the Kentucky hills. I can't say that I know a lot of specifics about them, but in that area in those days it's a good bet that there was a bootlegger or two among them. After all, it's been … Continue reading The Ballad Of Thunder Road

Titles That Tickle

This might sound like another example of our Saluting Silly Songs feature, but it's not. All we're interested in today are strange song titles that tickle our fancy. If you haven't had yours tickled lately, these might do the trick. This post started when I was chuckling to myself about a memory of my son … Continue reading Titles That Tickle

Pat Upton’s Brush With Fate

It always fascinates me to run across odd musical stories, and Pat Upton, the star of the pop group, Spiral Starecase (no, that name isn't mispelled), has a good one. Upton was Alabama-born, and first made his mark in music in the mid-sixties when he joined the Fydallions, a Sacramento-based band formed by a bunch … Continue reading Pat Upton’s Brush With Fate

A Strange Taste Of Mozart

Like most music lovers, I'm a fan of Wolfie - Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theuphilus Mozart, as he was baptized - so my ears always prick up when I hear something about him. (Do ears actually do that?) But it took me a while to warm to a strangely hypnotic song that became a world-wide hit … Continue reading A Strange Taste Of Mozart

Country Catalyst: A Sailor’s Dream

It's been a while since we had a Country Catalyst, the special feature that spotlights a country song that might open the eyes (and ears) of mainstream music fans. Today's example is a piece that could be classified as soft pop or folk music, but it certainly began life as a country song -- even … Continue reading Country Catalyst: A Sailor’s Dream

Music Appreciation 3.0

I've written before about the way my musical tastes have changed and broadened through the years (Music Appreciation 2.0). And I've sometimes talked about how my personal music collection has evolved from platters to tapes to CDs, and then to digital MP3 files on my computer. But now I've pretty much moved on to the … Continue reading Music Appreciation 3.0

The Lost Memorial Day Picnic

All holidays are evocative of the past - it sort of goes with the territory - but each has it's own set of memories, and memories are what Memorial Day is all about, beginning with it's very name. Of course it was originally called Decoration Day, but that's kind of beside the point. It was … Continue reading The Lost Memorial Day Picnic