News & Updates — Video
Buddy Holly / Sept 7, 1936 - Feb 3, 1959
It's hard to believe that this guy never lived to see 23. One of my favorite of the early rockers, had he lived he was eyeing collaborations with Ray Charles and Mahalia Jackson. Happy birthday to Buddy Holly!
Miguelito Valdés / Sept 6, 1912 - Nov 9, 1978
The original Mr Babalú Miguelito Valdés, the Havana-born icon was a boxing champion in his twenties before turning to music professionally. Playing around Cuba in son & charanga bands in the '20s & '30s, he played trés, guitar, bass and percussion (also a composer) but it was as a singer & interpreter of Afro-Cuban songs that helped him find fame. In '37 he joined Orquesta Casino, who were hooked up with RCA-Victor Records, and cut some sides with them, achieving fame enough to do a big tour of Latin America in '39. He joined Orquesta Riverside in '40 before moving...
Roscoe Holcomb / Sept 5, 1912 - Feb 1, 1981
Kentucky singer and banjo/guitar player Roscoe Holcomb recorded some deeply felt, almost disturbing, "moaning" folk music. Bluegrass, old-timey, blues and spiritual songs and a variety of traditional Appalachian folk songs passed down through the generations. Some of his vocalizing comes straight from the church, and some of the songs seem to be improvised. He lived a grueling life of pain, a farmer and coal miner, a tough motherfucker who broke his back several times, they say. He could also handle the fiddle and harmonica. He was recorded in 1958 and subsequently toured to some success during the folk revival, but pain and...
John Cage / Sept 5, 1912 - Aug 12, 1992
John Cage was one of the first early experimentalists I discovered. As a teenager I had already made my way through punk & industrial and had discovered Japanese noise and 60's black free-jazz. Coming across folks like Cage, Xenakis, Stockhausen and Harry Partch pushed me into brand new ways of appreciating music and sound. Cage's chance operations strategy appealed to my improv side, accompanying my "zen side". His prepared piano stuff appealed to the noise freak in me and his overall unique way of approaching the world was inspirational to me and my friends. The icing on the cake came...
Freddie Mercury / Sept 5, 1946 - Nov 24, 1991
Happy birthday to our biggest Parsi rock star, Farrokh Bulsara aka Freddie Mercury. One of the great front-men of rock, Queen was always a favorite of mine for their heavy layers of sound, unique theatricality they humored the masses with and awesome songs and albums.