News & Updates

Honeyboy Edwards / June 28, 1915 - Aug 29, 2011

Honeyboy Edwards / June 28, 1915 - Aug 29, 2011

David "Honeyboy" Edwards lived to be nearly a hundred years old! The Delta bluesman was playing concerts right up until the day he died and I was fortunate enough to catch him with Corey Harris in Massachusetts many moons ago. Not only had he been a living, breathing representative of live old school Delta blues well into the new millennium, but he was doubly important to blues scholars as a man who could fill in some details on long-gone figures, such as his close friend Robert Johnson, whom he toured with and was present the night Johnson was poisoned. He...

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R.D. Burman / June 27, 1939 - Jan 4, 1994

R.D. Burman / June 27, 1939 - Jan 4, 1994

Shout-out to the Bollywood film composer extraordinaire Rahul Dev Burman, born today in 1939. As someone who didn't grow up with Bollywood movies, my big ears found some of the wacky, funky, psychedelic soundtracks that seemed to annoy my Hindi friends. Often times the craziest tunes to my ears would be from R.D. Burman. His wife was the great singer Asha Bhosle, who often worked with him. He has been a popular presence in Hindi film music since the mid-'60s and continues to be popular long after his passing. Often a trendsetter in the industry, his soundtracks included Indian folk...

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Doc Pomus / June 27, 1925 - March 14, 1991

Doc Pomus / June 27, 1925 - March 14, 1991

Jerry Felder, a Brooklyn-raised Jewish kid who suffered from polio, became a champion songwriter for the likes of Elvis Presley (who recorded a couple dozen of his tunes), Ray Charles, The Drifters, Phil Spector, Dr John, BB King, Bobby Darin and many, many more. He was originally a sax player, but in the early '40s he took the made-up name of "Doc Pomus" and started singing the blues in clubs. Fairly successful with this, he cut a bunch of records with Milt Jackson, King Curtis, Mickey Baker and others. By '57 he was a full-time songwriter in the Brill Building....

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Arthur Doyle / June 26, 1944 - Jan 25, 2014

Arthur Doyle / June 26, 1944 - Jan 25, 2014

Happy birthday to the unsung free jazz reedsman Arthur Doyle, he of the Alabama feeling. From Birmingham, his early touring and session work came with Motown groups, including Gladys Knight & the Pips, as well as some local Southern R&B groups before he went to NYC in the late '60s. He brought his R&B, gospel and bop chops to the city's free jazz scene and fit in his style very well with the high energy blowing music. He declined a full-time gig with Sun Ra's band to hook up with Noah Howard (the Black Ark band). The early '70s saw...

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Big Bill Broonzy / June 26, 1893 - Aug 15, 1958

Big Bill Broonzy / June 26, 1893 - Aug 15, 1958

Bill Broonzy had a long and distinguished career, from spirituals to jazz to country blues to urban and back to folksy. One of 17 children born to a Southern family (precise date and location, unsure), he grew up in Arkansas. His first instrument was a cigar-box fiddle and he sang spirituals. He was a preacher, farmer, soldier and husband for awhile before he went north to Chicago around 1920. In Chicago he started playing guitar and gigging, signed to Paramount and released his first sides in 1927. He did some recording in NYC and toured with Memphis Minnie as her...

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