10 Tribute Songs: David Bowie (Re-blogged)

Eyrie Of An Aries

David Bowie (b. David Robert Jones): 8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016

Today marks the birth anniversary of the late, great David Bowie, who was taken far too soon on 10 January 2016. He was one of few celebrities that I respected, admired, and hoped to meet in person, just once. His music was epic, and I never tired of hearing his songs being played – whether they were new songs or familiar, favourite tunes.

In a little tribute to him, I decided to post 10 excellent Bowie songs that I always enjoy whenever they come on the radio. The station “Deep Tracks,” on Sirius XM, is also going to do a “head-trip” special dedicated to him. I’m looking forward to hearing some songs that I may not have heard before, as that station is known for playing some of the more obscure hits that never got over-played on…

View original post 8 more words

Notable Quotes: Vincent van Gogh

Writers, artists, and other creative, deep thinkers tend to say meaningful things which touch us in some way. Author, singer, actress, and poet Maya Angelou, as well as the poet Rumi, were two individuals who left behind some fantastic quotes that resonate with me. Noted artist Vincent van Gogh was another, and I was inspired to post these three van Gogh quotes after seeing a re-airing of one of my favourite Doctor Who episodes.

These quotes, along with many others, can be found on the GoodReads.com site in case you were interested in having a look.

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”
― Vincent van Gogh

“I try more and more to be myself, caring relatively little whether people approve or disapprove.”
― Vincent van Gogh

“Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high. Then life seems almost enchanted after all.”
― Vincent van Gogh

R.I.P., Chris Cornell…

Chris Cornell (B. Christopher John Boyle): 20 July 1964 – 17 May 2017

I’m a bit floored at the moment. I just heard about the death of Chris Cornell, frontman of the bands Audioslave and Soundgarden. Soundgarden is one of the top three bands synonymous with the genre of grunge music, and Chris Cornell was instrumental in helping launch grunge from the local Seattle stage to nationwide and international status. Nirvana and Pearl Jam are the other two which were the main powerhouses of the time; Alice In Chains, Mother Love Bone, and the Screaming Trees are others who were well-known in that scene and the circles at the time.

I was fortunate enough to see a good number of those bands in person as they were up-and-coming; they performed regularly at places like the Vogue, the Moore Theatre, and the Crocodile Café in Seattle, among other local hot spots. Chris’s voice was just as distinctive as that of Kurt Cobain or Eddie Vedder, and it had the power to move you through the emotional highs and lows of a song effortlessly.

There’s really not much else that I can say with words, so here’s my little musical tribute to one of the best musicians of my lifetime. Rest easy, Chris…you left us too soon. You still had so much to offer.

Happy 100th, Ella! American Musical Legend Ella Fitzgerald Born on this Day in 1917

Happy 100th to The First Lady of Song! Ella Fitzgerald was a versatile, talented, genius of vocal improvisation and style who inspired many. True greatness shone from her very soul!
😎

GOOD BLACK NEWS

Early Hardship Couldn't Muffle Ella Fitzgerald's Joy Legendary singer Ella Fitzgerald (photo via npr.org)

article by Tom Vitale vianpr.org

Ella Fitzgerald, who would have turned 100 today, was one of the most beloved and versatile singers of the 20th century. In a career that spanned six decades, Fitzgerald recorded hundreds of songs, including definitive versions of many standards. Along the way, she influenced generations of singers.

But the first thing that strikes you about Fitzgerald is that voice.

Cécile McLorin Salvant, who won a Grammy last year for Best Jazz Vocal Album, says a combination of qualities made Fitzgerald’s voice unique. “When you hear the tone of her voice — which has kind of a brightness, kind of a breathiness, but it also has this really great depth, and kind of a laser-like, really clear quality to it — it hits you,” she says.

Salvant, 27, says she learned to sing jazz standards by…

View original post 481 more words

Ah, Chuck…

Charles Edward Anderson “Chuck” Berry: 18 October 1926 – 18 March 2017

Damn…I was doing some gaming and listening to the 70s station on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, and heard of the passing of one of the REAL kings of Rock & Roll, the notable, legendary, musical genius known as Chuck Berry. He passed away today at the age of 90; it isn’t lost on me that he was born on the 18th of October, and left this world on the 18th of March.

He was due to release an album later this year, according to his official website. What a man! What a musician! What a legend! Sheer genius, and that is never a term I toss about lightly. Some people overuse words such as “passion,” “genius,” or “eclectic,” but they really don’t know the true meaning of those words. Not trying to insult those folks; I just feel that they grabbed onto a “clickbait” word in order to drive traffic to their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WordPress sites.

My son just sent me a text about Chuck’s death. That’s one way I know that I have imparted some true knowledge and genuine love of music to at least one Millennial! Most people in his age group say, “Chuck Berry? Should I know who that is?” – but they will mention Justin Beiber, Lady GooGooGaGa, or Nikki Minaj in the same breath, as if those scumwads were worthy of the status of Chuck Berry, David Bowie, B.B. King, Prince, or Jimi Hendrix.

If you know the “Duck-Walk,” then you know Chuck Berry. He made that move famous, just as Michael Jackson was the master of the “Moon-walk.” Chuck’s music was often played on the radio, and “My Ding-A-Ling” was the first one that I recall hearing. He had so many epic, timeless, awesome songs! I don’t think that I can say anything that would truly give due credit to this truly talented man, so I give you my favourite seven hits of his for your enjoyment.

Jon Batiste – What A Wonderful World – Live at the 50th Montreux Jazz Festival

Jon Batiste is a true genius of a musician. In light of the passing of one of the REAL kings of Rock & Roll, I felt that this post was worthy of re-blogging. Jon Batiste carries the torch passed on to him by the legends.

😎

Jazz You Too

View original post

Saturday Songs for “the Quiet Beatle”

George Harrison: 25 February 1943 – 29 November 2001

I wanted to play some Saturday songs in honour of George Harrison, known as “the Quiet Beatle” of “Fab Four” fame. Today marks what would have been his 74th birthday, were it not for his untimely death in 2001 at the age of 58 due to complications from throat and lung cancer. He also survived an attempt on his life in 1999, when a madman broke into his house and proceeded to stab him multiple times. From Wikipedia:

On 30 December 1999, Harrison and his wife were attacked at their home, Friar Park. Michael Abram, a 36-year-old fan, broke in and attacked Harrison with a kitchen knife, puncturing a lung and causing head injuries before Olivia Harrison incapacitated the assailant by striking him repeatedly with a fireplace poker and a lamp.[166][168] Following the attack, Harrison was hospitalised with more than 40 stab wounds. He released a statement soon afterwards regarding his assailant: “[he] wasn’t a burglar, and he certainly wasn’t auditioning for the Traveling Wilburys.”

While I quite like the music that John, Paul, and Ringo put out after the Beatles went their separate ways, I always felt that George was the heart and soul of that group. His spirituality and gentle nature were qualities that I appreciated in him, and felt an affinity with. Here’s my little musical tribute to this legendary genius…enjoy.

Notable Black Women: Edmonia Lewis

Mary Edmonia Lewis: 4 July 1844 – 17 September 1907

The “Google Doodle” caught my eye today! Since it’s the first day of February, which is Black History Month, I figured a post about the woman in the spotlight is a perfect way to start it. It isn’t lost on me that February is the shortest month of the year, but my heritage demands that I celebrate Black History on a daily basis!

Mary Edmonia Lewis was the first woman of African American and Native American descent to achieve international renown as a sculptor in the fine arts world. She incorporated themes of Black people and indigenous peoples of the Americas into the style of sculpture known as Neo-classical. From Wikipedia:

Edmonia Lewis’s birth date has been listed as July 4, 1844. She was born in Greenbush, New York, which is now the city of Rensselaer. Her father was an Afro-Haitian, while her mother was of Mississauga Ojibwe and African-American descent. Lewis’s mother was known as an excellent weaver and craftswoman, while her father was a gentleman’s servant. Her family background inspired Lewis in her later work.

By the time Lewis reached the age of nine, both of her parents had died. Her father died in 1847. Her two maternal aunts adopted her and her older half-brother Samuel. Samuel was born in 1835 to Lewis’s father and his first wife in Haiti. The family came to the United States when Samuel was a young child. Samuel became a barber at age 12 when his father died.

The children remained with their aunts near Niagara Falls for about four years. Lewis and her aunts sold Ojibwe baskets and other souvenirs, such as moccasins and blouses, to tourists visiting Niagara Falls, Toronto, and Buffalo. During this time, Lewis went by her Native American name, Wildfire, while her brother was called Sunshine. In 1852, Samuel left for San Francisco, California, leaving Lewis in the care of a Captain S. R. Mills, although Samuel continually provided money for her board and education.

In 1856, Lewis enrolled at New York Central College, McGrawville, a Baptist abolitionist school. During her summer term there in 1858, Lewis took classes in the Primary Department in order to prepare for courses she would take in collegiate programs. In a later interview, Lewis said that she left the school after three years, having been “declared to be wild.

At the age of 15, she attended Oberlin College, which was one of the first institutions of higher-learning to admit women, as well as people of colour and / or differing ethnicities. She studied art there from 1859 – 1863. From 1859 – 1860, she also enrolled in the school’s Young Ladies’ Preparatory Department.

An incident at the school created issues for Edmonia, shortly after the start of the Civil War:

During winter of 1862, several months after the start of the Civil War, Edmonia Lewis was attending Oberlin when an incident occurred between her and two classmates, Maria Miles and Christina Ennes. The three women, all boarding in Keep’s home, planned to go sleigh riding with some young men later that day. Before the sleighing, Lewis served her friends a drink of spiced wine. Shortly after, Miles and Ennes fell severely ill. Doctors examined them and concluded that the two women had some sort of poison in their system, apparently cantharides, a reputed aphrodisiac. For a time it was not certain that they would survive. Days later, it became apparent that the two women would recover from the incident, and, because of their recovery, the authorities initially took no action.

News of the controversial incident rapidly spread throughout the town of Oberlin, whose populace did not generally hold the same progressive views of the college, and through Ohio. While she was walking home alone one night, she was dragged into an open field by unknown assailants and badly beaten. After the attack, local authorities arrested Lewis, charging her with poisoning her friends. John Mercer Langston, an Oberlin College alumnus, and the only practicing African-American lawyer in Oberlin, represented Lewis during her trial. Although most witnesses spoke against her and she did not testify, the jury acquitted her of the charges.

The remainder of Lewis’ time at Oberlin was marked with isolation and prejudice. Also, about a year after the trial, Lewis was accused of stealing artists’ materials from the college. She was acquitted due to lack of evidence, but not fully cleared. She was forbidden from registering for her last term by the principal of the Young Ladies’ Course, Marianne Dascomb, which prevented Lewis from graduating.”

Al-Jazeera states the reason for today’s honour:

Mary Edmonia Lewis was a trailblazer who shattered racial barriers as the first professional African American sculptor in the mid-1800s, becoming famous for her 1,408kg marble sculpture, The Death of Cleopatra. In honouring Lewis on Wednesday, Google paid tribute to her artistic legacy and her effort to forge a path “for women and artists of colour”.

“Today, we celebrate her and what she stands for – self-expression through art, even in the face of [adversity],” the Google citation reads. February 1 is also observed in the US as National Freedom Day. On this day in 1865, President Abraham Lincoln submitted the 13th amendment – which called for abolition of slavery – to the state legislatures.”

This lady was a genius, a creative master who should be held in the highest esteem. She is one of many who should be an inspiration to girls and young women everywhere. The strife and roadblocks that she faced were of a scale that few understand. She is truly a notable, historic figure!

Whimsical Pictures of Glowing Flowers

Truly magical and captivating…beautiful!
😎

ALK3R

Craig Burrows is an ingenious photographer. He imagined to let the plants and flowers fluorescence. He uses a unknown photography technique called UVIVF (ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence)

View original post 46 more words

Ah, Sharon…

Sharon Lafaye Jones: 4 May 1956 – 18 November 2016

I had a couple of posts ready to publish, including a blogging award nomination…but then, I saw this headline. So, in lieu of what I was planning on posting, here’s my little tribute to the late, great Sharon Jones, lead singer of the soul and funk band which had her name at the head of its title: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. She battled pancreatic cancer for a number of years, finally succumbing to the disease today at the age of 60. From the New York Times:

Sharon Jones, the soul singer and powerful voice of the band the Dap-Kings, died on Friday of pancreatic cancer that had been in remission but returned last year. She was 60.

Ms. Jones’s death was confirmed by Judy Miller Silverman, her publicist. She said Ms. Jones was surrounded by members of the Dap-Kings and other loved ones when she died.

She continued performing throughout the summer, even while undergoing chemotherapy that she said caused neuropathy in her feet and legs and restricted her movements onstage. But Ms. Jones remained undeterred.

“Getting out on that stage, that’s my therapy,” Ms. Jones said in a New York Times interview published in July. “You have to look at life the way it is. No one knows how long I have. But I have the strength now, and I want to continue.”

The summer tour promoted “I’m Still Here,” a single with the Dap-Kings that detailed Ms. Jones’s birth in a brutally segregated South, a childhood in the burned-out Bronx, and a career hampered by record executives who considered her “too short, too fat, too black and too old.”

Ms. Jones was that rare music star who found fame in middle age, when she was in her 40s.

In addition to working as a correction officer at Rikers Island and an armed guard for Wells Fargo, Ms. Jones, who had grown up singing gospel in church choirs, initially dabbled in professional music as a session singer and the vocalist in a wedding band, Good N Plenty.

After meeting Gabriel Roth, the producer and songwriter also known as Bosco Mann, Ms. Jones made the leap from backup singer to main attraction. Desco Records released her debut 7-inch vinyl single, “Damn It’s Hot,” in 1996. She was 40.

With the encouragement and songwriting of Mr. Roth, who co-founded the Brooklyn soul and funk revival label Daptone Records and serves as the bandleader of the Dap-Kings, Ms. Jones’s full-length debut, “Dap Dippin’ with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings,” came out in 2002. She would go on to release four more studio albums and two compilations on the small label, a point of pride for the fiercely independent Ms. Jones.

“A major label’s going to do what?” she said to Billboard last year. “I sing one or two songs, they give me a few million dollars, which they’re going to want back, and then the next thing you know, the next record don’t sell, and then they’re kicking me to the curb. With us, this is our label, this is our project.”

Sharon Lafaye Jones was born on May 4, 1956, in Augusta, Ga., though her family lived just across the border in North Augusta, S.C. In “Miss Sharon Jones!” the singer recalled that her mother had needed a cesarean section, but because of segregation in the Jim Crow south, she was not allowed in the hospital’s main unit and was instead relegated to a storage room.

After her parents separated, Ms. Jones, the youngest of six children, moved with her mother to New York and was raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. “But New York in 1960, no peace to be found,” she sang on “I’m Still Here.” “Segregation, drugs and violence was all around.”

She went on to attend Brooklyn College and acted in “Sister Salvation,” an Off-Broadway play, before turning her focus to music.

With her late start, Ms. Jones recorded and performed at an unrelenting pace, and in the last year and a half of her life she made two albums, opened two national tours for Hall & Oates, was featured in a television commercial for Lincoln (performing the Allman Brothers’ “Midnight Rider”) and starred in “Miss Sharon Jones!,” a documentary about her life.

The film traced her life from the diagnosis of Stage 2 pancreatic cancer in 2013 through her triumphant return to the stage in 2015. Ms. Jones is survived by four siblings, seven nieces and three nephews.

I saw her on The Colbert Report when she was promoting her album titled “I Learned the Hard Way,” and immediately bought it on CD. I absolutely loved her old-school style of recording and the sound evoked on her album, and the energy that she poured into her songs and on-stage performance were infectious. She idolized James Brown, and was called the female version of him due to her “roaring voice, frenetic energy, and gregarious personality.” She used music as a form of therapy for her cancer diagnosis, which was eventually classified as Stage 4 and metastasized to her lungs, liver, and lymph nodes – the pancreas is one of the lymphatic organs, from what I recall of med school and related biology and physiology courses.

Rest easy now, Sharon…you shall be missed. You join the pantheon of the greats – you deserve to be in their company, as you certainly earned it. Jimi, David, Prince, and many others await your presence…and give James a big-ass hug!

I’ll close with the three songs that I enjoyed the most, from the first album of hers that I bought. I’m definitely going to purchase the others before the month is over.

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: