In 1981, at fifteen, I got my first job at a Philly record store called “The Listening Booth.” I flirted with the kinda slimy guy with the coke pinky who worked in the stereo department so he would play the in-store music that I liked. Of course that included Teddy and Rick and Marvin and Prince and my all time heroine, Teena Marie, the one person who made me feel that it was okay to be who I was and respect what I loved. I was asked to leave after I asked stereo guy to play Vaughn Mason’s Jammin’ My Big Guitar in the store. It was Christmas season and it didn’t go over too well with management.
There is nothing more interesting than hearing artists talk about the process of creating or discussing personal influences and inspirations. Every great artist is also a great fan. Here Aretha Franklin shares some of her favorite songs, courtesy of Rolling Stone.
…when NARAS held its 58th Annual Grammy Awards on February 16, 2016, there was an expectation among family, fans, and the industry that the organization would pay tribute to the nine-time Grammy winner in a manner befitting her unique multi-generational, multi-genre status.
Toward the end of the number, she partially executes an ambivalent, stiff dip, as if to say, “Hey everybody, I’m not even going to attempt to sing without the track, but I have a different trick, I will now bend backwards thirty degrees with assistance.”
It began with an idea: for many years, I had wanted to create a song inspired by The Carpenters’ Merry Christmas, Darling—one of the all-time great holiday classics that was written by Richard Carpenter and Frank Pooler and recorded in 1970
In today’s digital era, where songs have become “tracks,” we have access to most everything but we all program our playlists in isolation.
Here we have a clip of show business legend Leslie Uggams struggling through Rogers & Hammerstein’s “June is Bustin’ Out All Over,” a video that was being traded by gay collectors and folks in the Broadway community (redundant?) years before anyone thought up YouTube.