The Odyssey Of Mickey Baker

In an earlier post about the Bonnie Sisters, I mentioned that they'd been helped along by Mickey Baker, a talented guitarist who would later be part of the R&B duo Mickey & Sylvia. But even though he and his performing partner struck gold in 1957 with "Love Is Strange," Mickey Baker might have been a … Continue reading The Odyssey Of Mickey Baker

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

Buddy And Ella Johnson – The Rest Of The Story

A while back, one of our Anatomy of a Song posts featured the Lenny Welch classic, "Since I Fell For You." It also mentioned that the song had been written by Buddy Johnson, and was first performed by his band with a vocal by his sister Ella. I thought we should dig a little deeper … Continue reading Buddy And Ella Johnson – The Rest Of The Story

Anatomy Of A Song – A Lovers’ Lane Favorite

It hasn't been too long since our last Anatomy Of A Song post, but that one was kind of a special edition because it commemorated the recently deceased George Jones. This time around, we're taking a look at a classic romantic ballad, one that began life in the years following World War II but became … Continue reading Anatomy Of A Song – A Lovers’ Lane Favorite

Anatomy Of A Song – “At Last”

You would be hard-pressed to find a greater connection between a song and a performer than the one shared by the late Etta James and her classic "At Last." The song earned her a special Grammy Hall Of Fame award, and the feisty singer fiercely fought for her right to perform it even as her … Continue reading Anatomy Of A Song – “At Last”

Jewel Akens Remembered For His Signature Song

I was sorry to read about the passing of R&B singer Jewel Akens, who succumbed to complications from back surgery a few days ago in Inglewood, California. Although he's most remembered for his big 1965 hit "The Birds And The Bees," he had a long career that included both performing and producing, and it lasted … Continue reading Jewel Akens Remembered For His Signature Song

The Sapphires – Then And Now

I recently went to an actual movie in a theater -- something I seldom do -- and during the seemingly endless previews of coming attractions I saw one that caught my attention. It was for a film called The Sapphires, and it was about an R&B quartet from the 1960s that featured indigenous Australians -- … Continue reading The Sapphires – Then And Now

Robert Parker – Barefoot Singin’ Saxophonist

Being born and raised in New Orleans has always pretty much guaranteed that someone would be exposed to good music while growing up. In a lot of cases, that in turn led to a musical career like the one enjoyed by Robert Parker, who began as an instrumentalist but later added singing to his act, … Continue reading Robert Parker – Barefoot Singin’ Saxophonist

Origins Of Rock And Roll – The Treniers

It's often difficult to pin down key moments in the early days of rock and roll, but one event that seems a likely candidate occurred in 1954 when a jive band led by a set of identical twins appeared on TV's Colgate Comedy Hour, hosted by Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Most experts feel that … Continue reading Origins Of Rock And Roll – The Treniers

Something Resembling A New Year’s Resolution

I'm not sure if this really qualifies as a New Year's resolution, but I thought I would use the occasion to make a little promise to anyone who regularly stops by the ol' GMC. I was checking some of the links in the left column and realized that a couple lead to blogs and/or websites … Continue reading Something Resembling A New Year’s Resolution