The choreography that you saw in the Tempts and Supremes videos was, of course, no accident. Hitsville wasn’t there just to record songs. According to The Story of Motown, Berry Gordy set up a rigorous training program for his fledgling stars. “One floor was for choreography, … Continue reading Motown (final) – Can I Get a Witness?
“Into the ’60s, I was still not of a frame of mind that we were not only making music, we were making history. But I did recognize the impact because acts were going all over the world at that time. I recognized the bridges that … Continue reading Motown – Part 2 – Hitsville USA
NOTE: Given that I’ve been hearing from people outside the US that certain YouTube songs won’t play, from this post forward I’m going to both embed a YouTube version of a given song as well as provide a Spotify link. Not sure how well that … Continue reading Motown – Part 1 – The Boxer
“There is a view that jazz is evil because it comes from evil people, but actually the greatest priests on 52nd Street and on the streets of New York City were the musicians. They were doing the greatest healing work. They knew how to punch … Continue reading The Band (Part 4) – The Last Waltz
L-r (Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel) Robbie Robertson: “I had, with Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan, played guitar through your brain. I had played raging, screaming solos. When I started playing guitar it was with a vengeance. It was with … Continue reading The Band (Part 3) – The Woodstock Years
Levon and the Hawks, circa 1964. Sax player Jerry “Ish” Penfound on left. Yes, they wore suits in those days. Together with bass player Rick Danko, Levon Helm formed one of the finest rhythm sections to ever put a groove to a beat, and a … Continue reading The Band (Part 2) – Enter Bob Dylan, Strummer
In the late ’60’s, bands like Cream, Vanilla Fudge, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience were trailblazing the way towards long bluesy jams. Howlin’ Wolf’s version of Willie Dixon’s “Spoonful,” is less than three minutes long. On Wheels of Fire, Cream managed to stretch it out to almost … Continue reading The Band – (Part 1) – 1,000 Miles from Toronto to Turkey Scratch