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While My Guitar Gently Weeps — George Harrison’s song began life as a folksy ballad
April 21 2019 | FT.com | by Dan Einav.

The track became one of The Beatles’ finest moments — thanks to Eric Clapton’s uncredited guitar playing..........For most, the song is unmistakably Harrison’s personal triumph; “Only a guitar player could write that,” Mick Jagger noted. Luckily, Harrison remembered that was what he was when he wrote the song: “While My Sitar Gently Weeps” probably wouldn’t have been quite such a hit.
1968  beatles  guitarists  music  philosophy  songs  songwriters 
april 2019 by jerryking
Turn! Turn! Turn! — The Byrds’ 1965 hit used lyrics that dated back more than 2,000 years — FT.com
Nick Keppler OCTOBER 30, 2018

The Byrds’ “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)” has been used in films and TV shows to evoke collective memories of the 1960s — starting in 1970, when Homer, one of the first coming-of-age films about a Vietnam war soldier, featured the song on its soundtrack. Since then, the unmistakable chord progression and chorus have ceaselessly popped up in 1960s period pieces: More American Graffiti, Heart Like a Wheel, Forrest Gump, TV’s The Wonder Years (in three episodes) and Ken Burns’s documentary series The Vietnam War.

The song reached number one in the US in December 1965. That year, American ground troops arrived in Vietnam, men on campuses burned their draft cards, black civil rights activists withstood fire hoses and police dogs, and President Lyndon Johnson promoted his “great society” reforms. A chorus of shaggy-haired young men pressed the nation to “turn, turn, turn” and accept that change is inevitable, history is a cycle, strife is temporary, and to everything there is a season.

The song also carries the sonic imprints of the era: Byrds frontman Roger McGuinn once called the chord structure “Beatley” and said they borrowed the drum beat from Phil Spector. But the song itself was concocted by the leader of American folk music’s old guard using lyrics that dated back more than 2,000 years.

Pete Seeger composed “Turn! Turn! Turn!” in 1959 in response to a letter from his publisher. “Pete,” it read, “can’t you write another song like ‘Goodnight, Irene'? I can’t sell or promote these protest songs.” ("Goodnight, Irene” was actually written/adapted by Lead Belly, but Seeger had popularised it with The Weavers.) The response from the rabble-rousing troubadour was predictably defiant. “You better find another songwriter,” Seeger wrote. “This is the only kind of song I know how to write.”

He turned to his pocket notebook, where he jotted down pieces of text for recycling. He found parts of the Bible he had copied, “verses by a bearded fellow with sandals, a tough-minded fellow called Ecclesiastes”, Seeger recalled.

Specifically, it was Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, from one of the “wisdom books” of the Old Testament, collections of truths and sayings. The words attributed “a season” to a series of opposing actions: “A time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap; a time to kill, a time to heal,” etc. Seeger took the text almost verbatim. He added the “turn, turn, turn” to build a chorus and tacked on his own hopeful concluding line for cold war audiences: “A time of peace; I swear it’s not too late.”
'60s  Beatles  biblical  folk  hits  music  opposing_actions  pairs  protest_movements  scriptures  songs  songwriters  sonic  soundtracks 
november 2018 by jerryking
Music’s ‘Moneyball’ moment: why data is the new talent scout | Financial Times
JULY 5, 2018 | FT | Michael Hann.

The music industry loves to self-mythologise. It especially loves to mythologise about taking young scrappers from the streets and turning them into stars. It celebrates the men and women — but usually the men — with “golden ears” almost as much as the people making the music....A&R, or “artists and repertoire”, are the people who look for new talent, convince that talent to sign to the record label and then nurture it: advising on songs, on producers, on how to go about the job of being a pop star. It’s the R&D arm of the music industry......What the music business doesn’t like to shout about is how inefficient its R&D process is. The annual global spend on A&R is $2.8bn....and all that buys is the probability of failure: “Some labels estimate the ratio of commercial success to failure as 1 in 4; others consider the chances to be much lower — less than 1 in 10,” observes its 2017 report. Or as Mixmag magazine’s columnist The Secret DJ put it: “Major labels call themselves a business but are insanely unprofitable, utterly uncertain, totally rudderless and completely ignorant.”......The rise of digital music brought with it a huge amount of data which, industry executives realized, could be turned to their advantage. ....“All our business units must now leverage data and analytics in innovative ways to dig deeper than ever for new talent. The modern day talent-spotter must have both an artistic ear and analytical eyes.”

Earlier this year, in the same week as Warner announced its acquisition of Sodatone, a company that has developed a tool for talent-spotting via data, another data company, Instrumental, secured $4.2m of funding. The industry appeared to have reached a tipping point — what the website Music Ally called “A&R’s data moment”. Which is why, wherever the music industry’s great and good gather, the word “moneyball” has become increasingly prevalent.
........YouTube, Spotify, Instagram were born and changed the way talent begins its journey. All the barriers came down. Suddenly you’ve got tens of thousands of pieces of music content being uploaded.......Home computing’s democratization of recording removed the barriers to making high-quality music. No longer did you need access to a studio and an experienced producer, plus the money to pay for them. But the music industry had no way to keep abreast of these new creators. “....The way A&R people have discovered talent has barely changed since the music industry began, and it’s fundamentally the same for indie labels, who put artistry above sales, as it is for major labels who have to answer to shareholders. It’s always been about information.....“We find them by listening to new music constantly, by people giving us tips, by going out and seeing things that sound interesting,”.....“The most useful people to talk to are concert promoters and booking agents. They are least inclined to bullshit; they’ll tell you how many people an act is drawing,”...like labels, publishers also have an A&R function, signing up songwriters, many of whom will also be in bands)....“Journalists and radio producers are [also] very useful people to give you information. If you know you’ve got particular DJs or particular writers who are going to pick up something, that’s really good.”
.......Instrumental’s selling point is a dashboard called Talent AI, which scrapes data from Spotify playlists with more than 10,000 followers.....“We took a view that to build momentum on Spotify, you need to be on playlists,”....“If no one knows who you are, no one’s going to suddenly start streaming a track you’ve just put up. It happens when you start getting included on playlists.”......To make it workable, the Talent AI dashboard enables users to apply a series of filters to either tracks or artists: to sort by nationality, by genre, by number of playlists they appear on, by the number of playlist subscribers, by their industry standing — are they signed to a major? To an independent label? Are they unsigned?
.......What A&R people are looking for, though, is not totals, it’s evidence of momentum. No one wants to sign the artist who has reached maximum popularity. They want the artist on the way up....“It’s the direction. Is it going in the right direction?”....when it comes to assessing what an artist can offer, the data isn’t even always about the numbers. “The one I look at the most is Instagram, because that’s the easiest way for an artist to express themselves in a way other than the music — how they look, what they’re into,” she says. “That gives a real snapshot into [them] and whether they really have formulated a world for themselves or not.”......not everyone is delighted with the drive to data. “[the advent of] Spotify...became the driving force for signings...“A&Rs were using their eyes rather than their ears — watching numbers change rather than listening to music, and then jumping on acts....they saw something happening and got it out quickly without having to invest in the traditional A&R process.”... online heat tends to be generated by transient teenage audiences who are likely to move on rather than stick around for a decade: online presence is a big thing in electronic dance music, or some branches of urban music, in which an artist might only be good for a single song. In short, data does not measure quality; it does not tell you whether an artist has 20 good songs that can be turned into their first two albums; it does not tell you whether they can command a crowd in live performance..........The music industry, of course, has always had an issue with short-termism/short-sightedness: [tension] between the people who sign the cheques and those who go to bat for the artists is built into the way it works..........The problem is that without career artists, the music industry just becomes even more of a lottery. It is being made harder, not just by short-termism, but by the fact that music has become less culturally central. “It’s so much harder to connect with an audience or grow an audience, because there’s so much noise,”
.......Today the A&R...agree that the new data has its uses, but insist it still takes second place to the evidence of their own eyes and ears.......As for Withey, he is not about to tell the old-school scouts their days are done....Instrumental can tell A&R people which artists are hot, but not which are good. Also, there will be amazing acts who simply don’t get the traction on the internet to register on the Talent AI dashboard.....All of which will come as a relief to the people running those A&R departments. .....when asked if data will become the single most important factor in scouting talent: “I hope not. Otherwise we may as well have robots.” For now, at least, the golden ears are safe.
A&R  algorithms  analytics  data  dashboards  tips  discoveries  filters  hits  Instagram  inefficiencies  momentum  music  music_industry  music_labels  music_publishing  Moneyball  myths  playlists  self-mythologize  songwriters  Spotify  SXSW  success_rates  talent  talent_spotting  tipping_points  tracking  YouTube  talent_scouting  high-quality  the_single_most_important 
july 2018 by jerryking
Why Hotel California marked a watershed for rock
Peter Aspden

APRIL 3, 2017

It started, as things did in the heyday of rock music’s golden era, with a few strums of a guitar on a beach sofa in Malibu. Don Felder, guitarist of The Eagles, improvised a chord progression that he recorded on to a cassette, and handed to the rest of the band.
Don Henley started to write a lyric, set in a West Coast hostelry, and addressing the issue of America’s slow implosion into decadence. “Hotel California” was born.

The song was the title track of an album of the same name, released in December 1976, which represented The Eagles’ finest hour. They started as a wannabe country rock band with great hair and sumptuous harmonies. After Hotel California, they lost their touch. The release of “Hotel California” as a single marked a watershed for the band, but also for the course of popular music.
music  California  '70s  songwriters  country_rock  the_Eagles  rock-'n'-roll  songs  golden_age  turning_points 
january 2018 by jerryking
Tom Petty, an Unfussy Rock Star Who Kept His Tenacity Under Cover - The New York Times
By JON CARAMANICAOCT. 3, 2017
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tributes  music  obituaries  songwriters 
october 2017 by jerryking
Legendary rocker Tom Petty dies at 66
October 3, 2107 | The Globe and Mail | BRAD WHEELER.

Mr. Petty and the Heartbreakers – as capable a backing band as ever assembled – made music destined for open-road listening. As with fellow classic-rock troubadours Mr. Springsteen and John Mellencamp, he wrote about outcasts and broken dreams, albeit with a mellower, stoned aesthetic.

American Girl, the Heartbreakers' dark second single, led like a novel: "Well, she was an American girl, raised on promises."

In the prosperous Fifties and the summers-of-love Sixties, the promises of America were bankable and often fulfilled. The 1970s, on the other hand, was a time of gas shortages, Watergate and rude awakenings. Mr. Petty's early material (sometimes co-written with band members) reflected the dim, grim era, yet offered glimmers and prospects.......Beyond 13 studio albums with the Heartbreakers and three solo albums, Mr. Petty released a pair of albums with the good-natured supergroup the Traveling Wilburys. Along with Bob Dylan, George Harrison and the Electric Light Orchestra's Jeff Lynne, the Wilburys perhaps introduced younger listeners to the group's fifth member, Roy Orbison (who only lived long enough to appear on Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1).

Mr. Petty's best solo work is likely found on 1989's Full Moon Fever, a record that found the songwriter working with well-acquainted collaborators from the Heartbreakers and the Wilburys, while lyrically touching upon familiar themes of regret (Free Fallin' ), defiance (I Won't Back Down) and open-road existentialism.
obituaries  music  musicians  guitarists  Brad_Wheeler  rock-'n'-roll  classic-rock  singers  songwriters 
october 2017 by jerryking
Foo Fighters Stand Up for the Power of Rock (Again) on ‘Concrete and Gold’
SEPT. 13, 2017 | The New York Times| By JON PARELES.

A turbocharged Foo Fighters blast through “Concrete and Gold,” the ninth studio album by a rock band that has been working since 1994 and can still headline arenas. The album is a tenacious attempt to retain the classic-rock virtues that Foo Fighters cherish while using all the flexibility of a digital era.....In the 1990s, grunge and its radio-friendly “alternative rock” descendants were at the center of both rock and pop. But more recently, the old rock paradigm — a fixed band making albums together, year after year — has been destabilized and pushed aside by the free-floating collaborations of dance music, hip-hop and pop, while the electric guitar was dethroned, to be treated more like an accessory than a cornerstone. What once was a vanguard, and then a mainstream, is now a subset of classic rock. Yet Foo Fighters have been proud to be classicists, keepers of the flame.......On “Concrete and Gold” Foo Fighters reflect the entire timeline of the classic-rock format; there are clear homages to the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, glam, thrash and grunge. But the band has a new producer, Greg Kurstin, who has collaborated with Adele, Pink and Beck. And with him, Foo Fighters now shuffle genres, even within songs, more suddenly and whimsically — more digitally — than ever. Previous albums have presented studio-enhanced versions of the band onstage, while on “Concrete and Gold,” Foo Fighters can switch configurations in an instant, from brute-force riffing to platoons of multitracked vocals.
Foo_Fighters  music_reviews  music  Pink_Floyd  rock-'n'-roll  songwriters  singers  classic-rock 
september 2017 by jerryking
The music industry dances to the beat of TV revenue - The Globe and Mail
September 4, 2017 | Globe and Mail | by JOSH O’KANE.

Toronto's Barenaked Ladies first blew up in the 1990s, when CDs were king. But music sales have since collapsed and streaming services such as Spotify have replaced some, but not nearly all, of that revenue. Bands such as Mr. Robertson's have made up for lost sales in large part by touring. As the fall TV season begins – including The Big Bang Theory's season premiere later this month – getting music on a TV show, film or commercial is becoming an increasingly enticing revenue stream for musicians and the businesses that back them.

As streaming-video platforms keep adding new, original shows and films on top of traditional broadcast channels, the opportunities to license music increase as well. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the recorded music industry's global lobby group, reports that in 2016 Canada brought in $7.8-million (U.S.) in "synchronization" revenue for artists and labels from using music in TV, film, ads and video games.

While that represents less than 1 per cent of total revenue, it's a 32-per-cent increase over the previous year, signalling growing attention for recordings' revenue stream. Meanwhile, SOCAN – which collects royalties for songwriters and music publishers in Canada – says more than a third of all of its royalty revenue comes from TV sources.
films  licensing  music  musicians  music_industry  music_publishing  royalties  streaming  songwriters  television 
september 2017 by jerryking
Gregg Allman, Influential Force Behind the Allman Brothers Band, Dies at 69
MAY 27, 2017 | The New York Times | By BILL FRISKICS-WARREN.

The band’s lead singer and keyboardist, Mr. Allman was one of the principal architects of a taut, improvisatory fusion of blues, jazz, country and rock that — streamlined by inheritors like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band — became the Southern rock of the 1970s.

The group, which originally featured Mr. Allman’s older brother, Duane, on lead and slide guitar, was also a precursor to a generation of popular jam bands, like Widespread Panic and Phish, whose music features labyrinthine instrumental exchanges.

......Gregg Allman’s vocals, by turns squalling and brooding, took their cue from the anguished emoting of down-home blues singers like Elmore James, as well as from more sophisticated ones like Bobby Bland. Foremost among Mr. Allman’s influences as a vocalist, though, was the Mississippi-born blues and soul singer and guitarist known as Little Milton.

“‘Little Milton’ Campbell had the strongest set of pipes I ever heard on a human being,” Mr. Allman wrote in his autobiography, “My Cross to Bear,” written with Alan Light (2012). “That man inspired me all my life to get my voice crisper, get my diaphragm harder, use less air and just spit it out. He taught me to be absolutely sure of every note you hit, and to hit it solid.”

The band’s main songwriter early on, Mr. Allman contributed expansive, emotionally fraught compositions like “Dreams” and “Whipping Post” to the Allman Brothers repertoire. Both songs became staples of their epic live shows; a cathartic 22-minute version of “Whipping Post” was a highlight of their acclaimed 1971 live album, “At Fillmore East.”

More concise originals like “Midnight Rider” and “Melissa,” as well as Mr. Allman’s renditions of blues classics like “Statesboro Blues” and “Done Somebody Wrong,” revealed his singular affinity with the black Southern musical vernacular.
music  singers  Southern_rock  obituaries  country_rock  songwriters 
may 2017 by jerryking
Life of a song: Hallelujah
12 November/13 November, 2016 | Financial Times | by David Cheal
music  obituaries  gospel  Montreal  singers  songwriters 
november 2016 by jerryking
Rod Temperton, Who Wrote ‘Thriller’ for Michael Jackson and ‘Boogie Nights,’ Dies - The New York Times
By WILLIAM GRIMESOCT. 5, 2016
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obituaries  songwriters  '70s  '80s 
october 2016 by jerryking
Gord Downie’s Canada: Barstool bard has a lasting legacy of enigmatic erudition - The Globe and Mail
BRAD WHEELER
The Globe and Mail Last updated: Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Although it’s one of the most successful rock bands in Canadian history, the Tragically Hip’s true-north appeal has never been matched outside the country; the lack of American validation, however, is seen by fans as a point of pride – a Canadian success story on its own terms.
Brad_Wheeler  music  cancers  Canadiana  Canadian  Gord_Downie  songwriters  singers  legacies  patriotism  authenticity  Tragically_Hip  poets  rock-'n'-roll 
may 2016 by jerryking
The Life of a Song: War
February 13/14, 2016 | Financial Times | David Honigmann
Bob_Marley  reggae  '70s  music  singers  songwriters 
february 2016 by jerryking
Maurice White, Founder of Earth, Wind & Fire, Dies at 74 - The New York Times
By PETER KEEPNEWS FEB. 4, 2016

Earth, Wind & Fire — whose many hits included “Shining Star,” “September,” “That’s the Way of the World” and a cover of the Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life” — had a sound that was rooted in rhythm and blues but crossed musical boundaries, attracting an audience that was as diverse racially as the music was stylistically.

The horn arrangements were punchy, the bass lines funky and the rhythms infectious, but there was also room for adventurous improvisation, mellow vocal harmonies and pure pop melodicism.

“Although we were basically jazz musicians, we played soul, funk, gospel, blues, jazz, rock and dance music … which somehow ended up becoming pop,”....Earth, Wind & Fire, which was larger than the average rock or funk band, became renowned not just for its music but also for its elaborate stage shows, marked by pyrotechnics, choreography, lighting effects and sometimes even magic tricks.
obituaries  singers  songwriters  African-Americans  '70s  music  funk 
february 2016 by jerryking
Glenn Frey, Eagles Founding Member, Dies at 67 - The New York Times
By BRUCE WEBERJAN. 18, 2016

The band’s hit songs included yearning, battle-of-the-sexes musings like “Lyin’ Eyes” and “Heartache Tonight,” and the cool-cat lifestyle statements “Take It Easy” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” all of which featured Mr. Frey’s light, casual, relaxed lead vocals, as well as the No. 1 hit “Hotel California,” the band’s signature song from its 1977 album of the same name.

Its imagistic, vaguely mystical lyrics — the song was written by Mr. Frey, Mr. Henley and Don Felder — hint at a drug-fueled state of being, perhaps promising rapture, perhaps not, and have supplied fuel for countless interpretations:
singers  music  obituaries  California  '70s  songwriters  country_rock  the_Eagles  rock-'n'-roll 
january 2016 by jerryking
Glenn Frey, Founder of The Eagles, Dies at 67 - Speakeasy - WSJ
January 18, 2016 | WSJ | By JOHN JURGENSEN.

Glenn Frey, a founder of the Eagles who helped create some of rock’s biggest hits with fellow songwriter Don Henley, including “Hotel California” and “Lyin’ Eyes,” died Monday in New York at age 67....Frey, who would help define the California sound of the 1970s with the Eagles’ tight vocal harmonies and country-inflected rock, had his roots in the Midwest.
obituaries  singers  songwriters  '70s  music  the_Eagles  country_rock  rock-'n'-roll 
january 2016 by jerryking
Bill Withers: Still Himself, but He’ll Allow the Attention - The New York Times
SEPT. 18, 2015 | NYT | By BEN SISARIO.

In a recording career that lasted only 14 years, starting with the album “Just As I Am” in 1971, Mr. Withers developed a style that drew on gritty blues, R&B and the confessional singer-songwriter style of the era, in ways that could be muscular or vulnerable. He turned out danceable hits like “Use Me”; the drippy AM gold of “Just the Two of Us,” which he released with the saxophonist Grover Washington Jr.; and the stark poetic detail of “Grandma’s Hands.”
music  singers  songwriters  '70s  African-Americans  R&B 
september 2015 by jerryking
The Life of a Song: PEG
Becker has to be steered in the direction of Aja. "I certainly don't think it's any more commercial than any of our other albums," he says. "I haven't heard it on the radio yet…but I read how well we're doing." He chuckles. "I guess we're achieving the success we so richly deserve. On the whole, I think this is a very rewarding thing."

I wonder how it feels, at least for tonight, to be bigger than the Rolling Stones. Walter Becker immediately balks at the comparison.



Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/the-second-coming-of-steely-dan-19771229#ixzz3gRLRuZnT
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook
Steely_Dan  music  songwriters  '70s 
july 2015 by jerryking
Ben E. King, singer of ‘Stand By Me,’ dies at age 76 - The Globe and Mail
WILLIAM GRIMES — The New York Times News Service
Published Friday, May. 01 2015,

King left the Drifters in 1960 and embarked on a successful solo career. “Spanish Harlem,” written by Leiber with Phil Spector, reached the Top 10 that year. “Stand by Me,” which King helped write, reached the Top 10 in 1961 and again in 1986, when it was used in the soundtrack of the Rob Reiner film of the same name.

“Because he recorded the work of so many great songwriters, his own songwriting is often overlooked,” Emerson said. “But he co-wrote ‘There Goes My Baby,’ and ‘Stand by Me’ originated with him.” He was also the principal writer of “Dance With Me.”

Rolling Stone ranked “Stand by Me” 122nd on its list of the 500 greatest songs. In 1999 BMI, the music licensing organization, announced that it was the fourth-most-recorded song of the 20th century, having been played more than seven million times on radio and television.
singers  obituaries  African-Americans  '60s  '50s  music  music_labels  soundtracks  songwriters 
may 2015 by jerryking
Percy Sledge and the Southern Soul Revolution | The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
April 16: 9 a.m.
Posted by Charles L Hughes

Sledge’s spare, aching ballad – the still-iconic “When A Man Loves A Woman” – not only set a musical template for deep soul, but also reflected the unique musical alchemy that made Muscle Shoals and southern soul into an international symbol of cultural change. ....By the end of the 1960s, southern-soul was one of the most prominent styles of popular music and a symbol for racial breakthrough in the era of Civil Rights and Black Power. -
'60s  black_liberation_movement  black_nationalism  Percy_Sledge  tributes  obituaries  soul  Muscle_Shoals  singers  music  songwriters  southern_soul  discrimination  Black_Power 
april 2015 by jerryking
Ben Yagoda and Gary Rosen: Tuning Music Royalties to the Times
April 5, 2015 | WSJ | By BEN YAGODA And GARY A. ROSEN

Performers can go on tour and sell merch. Songwriters in the age of Spotify and Pandora are out of luck.

For some time, performers a notch below Beyoncé and Taylor Swift have complained about the change in music delivery from CDs to downloads to streaming, today’s dominant system, as the progression has chipped away at their already-modest royalties. These gripes are legitimate, but even worse off is the non-performing songwriter, who can’t go on the road and sell signed CDs and merch, and who takes home significantly lower royalties........The entire U.S. system of music royalties is confusing, contradictory and inequitable, a monument to more than 100 years of haggling among creators, purveyors and users. To call it Byzantine maligns that great empire.

For one, a musical composition (“the publishing” in music-industry parlance) and its recording (“the master”) receive separate copyrights, with separate licensing systems. There are dramatically different rate-setting mechanisms: Broadcast radio pays royalties for the composition, but nothing for the recording. Digital media—Pandora and satellite radio, for instance—pay for both, but nobody pays for recordings made before 1972, which are not protected under federal copyright law. (They may soon carry a royalty in certain states, thanks to lawsuits filed by former members of the Turtles.) Hardly any music licenses are negotiated in the free market.
copyright  digital_media  music  music_industry  musical_performances  Pandora  royalties  Spotify  songwriters  streaming 
april 2015 by jerryking
Stevie Wonder’s ‘Love’s in Need of Love Today’
When Stevie Wonder released “Songs in the Key of Life,” in 1976, some at Motown were uneasy. Two years had passed since his last album with the label, “Fulfillingness’…
gospel  music  singers  '70s  Stevie_Wonder  pop  soul  Motown  songwriters 
march 2015 by jerryking
If the artists starve, we’ll all go hungry - The Globe and Mail
ELIZABETH RENZETTI
The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jan. 19 2015

After 20 years in the music business, she says she’s seeing songwriters “leaving in droves. If you can’t make a living, if you can’t afford go to the dentist, you’re going to leave.” This is a lament you’ll hear from artists everywhere these days: We can’t afford to do this any more. The well has dried up. Freelance rates are what they were when the first Trudeau was in power. Rents rose, and royalties fell. Novelists are becoming real-estate agents; musicians open coffee shops.

The evidence of this culture shock is in front of our eyes, in the shuttered book shops and video stores and music clubs, yet it’s remarkably unremarked upon. Artists don’t actually to like to complain publicly about their lot in life, knowing the inevitable backlash from those who still believe that creating is not “a real job.... American journalist Scott Timberg argues in his new book, Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class.
artists  Elizabeth_Renzetti  Pandora  streaming  creative_types  songwriters  musicians  free  creative_class  entertainment  piracy  copyright  entertainment_industry  downloads  blockbusters  creative_economy  books  art 
january 2015 by jerryking
The Death of Soul’s King: remembering Sam Cooke 50 years after his death - WSJ
By MARC MYERS
Dec. 9, 2014

What has survived are Cooke’s hits, including “You Send Me,” “Cupid” and “Another Saturday Night.” All remain relevant and continue to be covered by contemporary artists. Overlooked, however, are two of Cooke’s other big achievements: In the late 1950s and early ’60s, the singer-songwriter pioneered romantic soul and created a formula for success that helped Motown and other black-owned labels cross over to the pop charts with original music.

In the late 1950s, Cooke was the first black singer-songwriter to figure out how to parlay male vulnerability into sweet pleas that resonated with integrated teen audiences.
soul  killings  anniversaries  '60s  '50s  singers  music_labels  songwriters  African-Americans  Sam_Cooke  music  Motown  black-owned 
december 2014 by jerryking
Lou Reed, Rock ’n’ Roll Pioneer, Dies at 71 - NYTimes.com
By BEN RATLIFF
Published: October 27, 2013

Lou Reed, the singer, songwriter and guitarist whose work with the Velvet Underground in the 1960s had an impact on generations of rock musicians, and who remained a powerful if polarizing force for the rest of his life, died on Sunday at his home in Southampton, N.Y., on Long Island. He was 71.

....Not too long after his first recordings, made at 16 with a doo-wop band in Freeport, N.Y., Mr. Reed started singing outside of the song’s melody, as if he were giving a speech with a fluctuating monotone in his Brooklyn-Queens drawl. That sound, eventually heard with the Velvet Underground on songs like “Heroin,” “Sweet Jane” and in his post-Velvets songs “Walk on the Wild Side,” “Street Hassle” and others, eventually spread outward to become one of the most familiar frequencies in rock. He played lead guitar the same way, hitting against the wall of his limitations.
musicians  obituaries  rock-'n'-roll  singers  songwriters  guitarists  '60s 
october 2013 by jerryking
Troggs lead singer Reg Presley dies of lung cancer at 71 - The Globe and Mail
Feb. 05 2013 | The Associated Press | GREGORY KATZ.

They faded in the 1970s but their songs were revived in the 1990s when REM and Wet Wet Wet released covers of the Troggs’ Love Is All Around.
obituaries  singers  rock-'n'-roll  songwriters 
february 2013 by jerryking
Songwriter Hal David dies at 91
By Bob Thomas, Christopher Weber, The Associated Press September 2, 2012
obituaries  songwriters 
september 2012 by jerryking

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