Ruby And The Romantics – The Pride Of Akron

You wouldn't normally think of Akron, Ohio, an average Midwestern city, as the birthplace of a R&B group with a number-one hit in the 1960's, but that's exactly what happened when Ruby and the Romantics hit the top. Their 1963 recording of "Our Day Will Come" was a huge success, topping the charts in the … Continue reading Ruby And The Romantics – The Pride Of Akron

Beware The Super-Blue-Blood Moon

If you're fascinated by prophecies, then you probably already know that a very significant event is approaching and it's something that hasn't happened for more than 150 years. The occurrence -- which is called a Lunar Tetrad by scientists -- is due to show up January 31st, when the second full moon of the month … Continue reading Beware The Super-Blue-Blood Moon

The Harlem Hamfats Would Be Riding High

The FCC has been in the news lately because of the repeal of net neutrality, but in California it might turn out that a lot more attention is being paid to the BCC, the Bureau of Cannabis Control. Nope, you're not dreaming, folks; bureaucracy has caught up to marijuana, which becomes legal for personal use … Continue reading The Harlem Hamfats Would Be Riding High

The Amazing Valaida Snow

She was proficient on countless instruments but usually played the trumpet, and with such skill that Louis Armstrong declared her second only to himself (which led to her being called 'Little Louis'). She was also a talented dancer and a marvelous singer, with perfect pitch and the ability to handle everything from jazz to soulful … Continue reading The Amazing Valaida Snow

Marion Harris – Queen of the Blues

One of the earliest recording stars, a lady who was sometimes billed as the Queen of the Blues, was churning out hit records as early as 1917. Many of those who bought her records assumed she was black even though her style was a little more mainstream than singers like Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey. … Continue reading Marion Harris – Queen of the Blues

The Many Talents Of Memphis Minnie

There have been countless female blues singers through the years, but you'd be hard-pressed to find one who could match the abilities of the legendary Memphis Minnie, who first rose to fame in the 1930s. In addition to writing most of her own songs, she was as good a vocalist as any of her contemporaries … Continue reading The Many Talents Of Memphis Minnie

Cribbage Is Not Just For Geezers

I haven't written lately about my Kindle Fire tablet, but I'm still happily using it and also continuing to try new apps, as I wrote about a while back. I recently picked up a new one that not only caught my interest but also triggered my sense of nostalgia. (More later about that.) It's a … Continue reading Cribbage Is Not Just For Geezers

Julia Lee – Queen Of The Dirty Blues

For several decades beginning in the 1930s there was a type of music known as the 'dirty blues', and it was very popular but you wouldn't hear it on the radio. You could find it in live performances or on jukeboxes in certain kinds of places, and you could also buy records -- but you … Continue reading Julia Lee – Queen Of The Dirty Blues

Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson Named For His Misadventure

It's been twenty years since director Spike Lee's Malcolm X appeared in theaters and went on to win a number of awards for both Lee and the star of the film, Denzel Washington. One scene that I still remember well was when Malcolm (Washington) decided to undergo a lye hair-straightening treatment at the hands of … Continue reading Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson Named For His Misadventure

Ducking Mardi Gras

Well, I guess this year's Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans is pretty much in the rear view mirror now. And that means that once again I've managed to avoid going anywhere near the place while the festival was in full swing. I've written more than once about my fondness for the people, the music, … Continue reading Ducking Mardi Gras