News & Updates — Los Angeles

David Axelrod / April 17, 1931 - Feb 5, 2017

David Axelrod / April 17, 1931 - Feb 5, 2017

Best known as a producer of sample-ready '60s records of unique vision, David Axelrod held many chairs in his career, from drummer to composer, A&R man and especially as a recording engineer, arranger and producer. In the late '60s and '70s he created several personal statements with his drum-heavy engineering, polished arrangements, creative use of strings, funky beats and eco-oriented themes. A longtime favorite of hip-hop samplers, his music was a groovy fusion of jazz, rock and soul. His sound and style is unmistakable to the ears. The son of a union activist, he grew up in Los Angeles and...

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TWISTED: Nature Boy Special!

TWISTED: Nature Boy Special!

The original hippy, the mystical eden ahbez wrote a tune called "Nature Boy" and by chance was able to hand it to Nat King Cole who turned it into a mega-hit in 1948. He looked like a hippy long before it was a thing and lived outdoors in Los Angeles. He lived under the "L" of the Hollywood sign and held a job as a piano player in a raw foods store. He was a vegetarian, straight edge and an anti-vaxer and wore a white robe. This lifestyle inspired "Nature Boy", and after the hit by Cole, ahbez became an...

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eden ahbez / April 15, 1908 - March 4, 1995

eden ahbez / April 15, 1908 - March 4, 1995

The original hippy, the mystical eden ahbez wrote a tune called "Nature Boy" and by chance was able to hand it to Nat King Cole who turned it into a mega-hit in 1948. He looked like a hippy long before it was a thing and lived outdoors in Los Angeles. He lived under the "L" of the Hollywood sign and held a job as a piano player in a raw foods store. He was a vegetarian, straight edge and an anti-vaxer and wore a white robe. This lifestyle inspired "Nature Boy", and after the hit by Cole, ahbez became an...

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Richard Berry / April 11, 1935 - Jan 23, 1997

Richard Berry / April 11, 1935 - Jan 23, 1997

Richard Berry was the composer and original 1957 performer of the iconic song "Louie Louie", a ballad which was actually based on "El Loco Cha Cha" by Cuban composer René Touzet that would eventually become a rocking standard after a mega-hit by the Kingsmen in '63. It could make a claim as THE most recorded rock song. Unfortunately, Berry had traded the song's publishing rights for $750 two years after his record came out, thus losing the rewards to come. He came up in Los Angeles, singing doo-wop. He sang in a version of The Penguins, plus you can hear...

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Horace Tapscott / April 6, 1934 - Feb 27, 1999

Horace Tapscott / April 6, 1934 - Feb 27, 1999

Though never a household name, pianist, big-band leader, composer and community activist Horace Tapscott was a major figure on the Los Angeles jazz scene. As a teenager he, Don Cherry & Billy Higgins played together and took in the legendarily thriving Central Ave bop scene of the late '40s. Initially a trombonist, he got a call to work with Lionel Hampton before moving to piano (the Thelonious Monk and Herbie Nichols influence is evident). In '61 he formed the Pan-Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, a progressive big band that included poets, dancers and a good amount of activist spirit. In '63 he...

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