Life is too short for boring music

Posts Tagged ‘Songwriter’

MEL LONDON

Mel London is perhaps best known as a record producer and record label owner, but he was also a talented songwriter whose work was often in the R&B charts when he was still in his early 20s. His Chief Records became one of the most progressive independent labels in Chicago in the 50s, during the…

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‘DOC’ CLAYTON

Doc Clayton was a great Blues singer and song-writer who made a big contribution to Chicago Blues in the 30s and 40s. Like many characters in Blues History, his origins are shrouded in mystery and he came to a bad end, but while he was around his clever songs, full of double-entendre, his strong voice…

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PETE SEEGER

Pete Seeger was part of a politicised, multi-cultural music community in New York after WWII, that played a important rĂ´le in the popular fight against injustice, not just in America, but all over the world. His live and recorded performances, his songwriting and his political activism made him famous and his collaborations with other musicians,…

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WC HANDY

WC Handy was the ‘Father of the Blues’, at least that’s what it said in his autobiography. It is probably more true to say he was a talented composer who became a great collector and populariser of the Blues, who was also largely responsible for bringing this local folk music from the Mississippi Delta to…

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BILLIE HOLIDAY

Billie Holiday was one of the world’s foremost Jazz singers, with that flexible but fragile voice that spoke to the heart of a woman’s pain and vulnerability. She had a magnificent command of jazz phrasing but her vocal presentation was underscored with fundamental elements of Blues music, specifically ‘thirds’ descending into ‘seconds’ to give those…

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ALLEN TOUSSAINT

The Godfather of funky New Orleans R&B, Allen Toussaint’s talents as a singer, pianist, songwriter, producer and arranger shaped the sound of The Crescent City for decades. As a solo artist Allen had a worldwide best-selling record with Southern Nights in 1975, but arguably his most important work was the vision he employed in the…

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SLIM HARPO

Slim Harpo wrote some classic Blues songs that made him Excello Records’ best selling artist and his easy-rolling Swamp Blues was an inspiration for many British bands that brought the Blues to American youth in the 60s. Pounding out his insistent Southern rhythms on guitar and blowing harp in a neck-rack, Slim’s music crossed a…

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DAVE BARTHOLOMEW

If Rock’n’Roll is a mixture of jump-blues and R&B, then New Orleans’ own Dave Bartholomew has a claim to being the man who put them together. As songwriter, producer, arranger and trumpet player, Dave’s work gave this music the energy that got the youth of America and the whole world up on their feet and…

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IVORY JOE HUNTER

Ivory Joe Hunter (his full given name) was playing piano and developing his velvet voice around Beaumont Texas when he was recorded as a teenager for the Library of Congress in 1933. When he moved to Oakland CA. in 1942, he set up his own Ivory Records and his ‘Blues at Sunrise’ was a national…

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ARTHUR’ BIG BOY’ CRUDUP

Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup was a powerful and dynamic singer who wrote, ‘That’s Alright Mama’, the song which demolished the racist idea that music had a colour. His reward was small and late arriving, but Arthur’s singing and songwriting talents deserve to be much more than a footnote to the Story of the Blues. Born…

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