Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Nina Simone: Ain't Got No - I've Got Life

Nina Simone peforms an amazing version of 'Ain't Got No - I Got Life' live.

Of all the major singers of the late 20th century, Nina Simone was one of the hardest to classify. She recorded extensively in the soul, jazz, and pop idioms, often over the course of the same album; she was also comfortable with blues, gospel, and Broadway. It's perhaps most accurate to label her as a "soul" singer in terms of emotion, rather than form. Like, say, Aretha Franklin, or Dusty Springfield, Simone was an eclectic who brought soulful qualities to whatever material she interpreted. These qualities were among her strongest virtues; paradoxically, they also may have kept her from attaining a truly mass audience. The same could be said of her stage persona; admired for her forthright honesty and individualism, she was also known for feisty feuding with audiences and promoters alike.

If Simone had a chip on her shoulder, it probably arose from the formidable obstacles she had to overcome to establish herself as a popular singer. Raised in a family of eight children, she originally harbored hopes of becoming a classical pianist, studying at New York's prestigious Juilliard School of Music -- a rare position for an African-American woman in the 1950s. Needing to support herself while she studied, she generated income by working as an accompanist and giving piano lessons. Auditioning for a job as a pianist in an Atlantic City nightclub, she was told she had the spot if she would sing as well as play. Almost by accident, she began to carve a reputation as a singer of secular material, though her skills at the piano would serve her well throughout her career.

In the late '50s, Simone began recording for the small Bethlehem label (a subsidiary of the vastly important early R&B/rock & roll King label). In 1959, her version of George Gershwin's "I Loves You Porgy" gave her a Top 20 hit -- which would, amazingly, prove to be the only Top 40 entry of her career. Nina wouldn't need hit singles for survival, however, establishing herself not with the rock & roll/R&B crowd, but with the adult/nightclub/album market. In the early '60s, she recorded no less than nine albums for the Candix label, about half of them live. These unveiled her as a performer of nearly unsurpassed eclecticism, encompassing everything from Ellingtonian jazz and Israeli folk songs to spirituals and movie themes.

Simone's best recorded work was issued on Philips during the mid-'60s. Here, as on Candix, she was arguably over-exposed, issuing seven albums within a three-year period. These records can be breathtakingly erratic, moving from warm ballad interpretations of Jacques Brel and Billie Holiday and instrumental piano workouts to brassy pop and angry political statements in a heartbeat. There's a great deal of fine music to be found on these, however. Simone's moody-yet-elegant vocals were like no one else's, presenting a fiercely independent soul who harbored enormous (if somewhat hard-bitten) tenderness.

Like many African-American entertainers of the mid-'60s, Simone was deeply affected by the Civil Rights Movement and burgeoning Black Pride. Some (though by no means most) of her best material from this time addressed these concerns in a fashion more forthright than almost any other singer. "Old Jim Crow" and, more particularly, the classic "Mississippi Goddam" were especially notable self-penned efforts in this vein, making one wish that Nina had written more of her own material instead of turning to outside sources for most of her repertoire.

Not that this repertoire wasn't well-chosen. Several of her covers from the mid-'60s, indeed, were classics: her revision of Weill-Brecht's "Pirate Jenny" to reflect the bitter elements of African-American experience, for instance, or her mournful interpretation of Brel's "Ne Me Quitte Pas." Other highlights were her versions of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," covered by the Animals for a rock hit; "I Put a Spell on You," which influenced the vocal line on the Beatles' "Michelle"; and the buzzing, jazzy "See Line Woman."

Simone was not as well-served by her tenure with RCA in the late '60s and early '70s, another prolific period which saw the release of nine albums. These explored a less eclectic range, with a considerably heavier pop-soul base to both the material and arrangements. One bona fide classic did come out of this period: "Young, Gifted & Black," written by Simone and Weldon Irvine, Jr., would be successfully covered by both Aretha Franklin and Donny Hathaway. She did have a couple of Top Five British hits in the late '60s with "Ain't Got No" (from the musical Hair) and a cover of the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody," neither of which rank among her career highlights.

Simone fell on turbulent times in the 1970s, divorcing her husband/manager Andy Stroud, encountering serious financial problems, and becoming something of a nomad, settling at various points in Switzerland, Liberia, Barbados, France, and Britain. After leaving RCA, she recorded rarely, although she did make the critically well-received Baltimore in 1978 for the small CTI label. She had an unpredictable resurgence in 1987, when an early track, "My Baby Just Cares for Me," became a big British hit after being used in a Chanel perfume television commercial. In 1993, her record A Single Woman marked her return to an American major label, and her profile was also boosted when several of her songs were featured in the film Point of No Return. She published her biography, I Put a Spell on You, in 1991, but grew increasingly frail throughout the late '90s and had to be helped on to the stage during a 2001 Carnegie Hall performance. Nina Simone died on April 21, 2003 at her home in Carry-le-Rouet, France, where she had been spending much of her retirement.

John Lennon: Imagine, Live

Performing on the Mike Douglas Show, 1972. RT 3:19.

John Lennon: Watching The Wheels

Watching The Wheels, made with home movies. 1981 single by John Lennon, released posthumously after his assassination the year before. It was the third and final single released from Lennon and Yoko Ono's Double Fantasy album.

john lennon-mind games
Song from John Lennon's fourth post-Beatles solo album. Video from home movies of John in Central Park.

John Lennon - Give Peace a Chance

John Lennon - Stand By Me

come together (john lennon)

John Lennon in A Hard Day's Night

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Eurythmics Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)

Mandolin Rain by Bruce Hornsby

Biography by William Ruhlmann

Hornsby was born in Williamsburg, VA, and grew up in that combination college town and tourist center, later attending the University of Miami and the Berklee School of Music. He then spent years playing in bars and sending demo tapes to record companies. In 1980, he and his brother (and songwriting partner) John Hornsby moved to Los Angeles, where they spent three years writing for 20th Century Fox. There Bruce Hornsby met Huey Lewis, who would eventually produce him and record his material. Hornsby finally signed his band, the Range, to RCA in 1985. Their debut album, The Way It Is, was released in August 1986. It eventually produced three Top 20 hits, the biggest of which was the socially conscious "The Way It Is," which featured Hornsby's characteristically melodic right-hand piano runs. The album stayed in the charts almost a year and a half and sold two million copies. Hornsby & the Range won the Best New Artist Grammy Award for 1986. Hornsby's second album, Scenes from the Southside, was not as successful as his debut, though it sold a million copies and produced the Top Ten single "The Valley Road." Hornsby also began to make his mark as a songwriter for others: Huey Lewis had a hit with his "Jacob's Ladder," as did Don Henley with "The End of the Innocence." Hornsby's third album, A Night on the Town (1990), found him trying to break out of his signature sound into other areas. It was less successful than its predecessors but, along with the pianist's extensive session work, it signaled his determination to tackle new musical challenges. Hornsby worked extensively as a producer and sideman in the early '90s, notably doing temporary duty in the Grateful Dead after their keyboardist, Brent Mydland, died in July 1990, and producing a comeback album for Leon Russell, an idol of Hornsby's. He also became the father of twin sons. He finally turned in his fourth album, Harbor Lights, for release in 1993. This solo album, which did not feature his backup band, the Range, went gold, and Hornsby toured the U.S. and Canada through the end of the year. He followed it with a similar effort, Hot House, in July 1995, returning three years later with the double album Spirit Trail. Here Come the Noise Makers was issued in fall 2000. Since that time, Hornsby has released a handful of albums including Big Swing Face in 2002, Halcyon Days in 2004, and the jazz-oriented Camp Meeting in 2007.

Walking In Memphis by Mark Cohn

One Sunday morning in the early '70s, a youngster in Cleveland caught an earful of Van Morrison's Astral Weeks and his life was never to be the same. That kid was Marc Cohn and soon after that morning, he bought everything Morrison had released to date, along with works by Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne. Not long after an older brother taught him a Ray Charles tune on the piano, he joined a cover band, Doanbrook Hotel. He sang with them from junior high school until he left home for Oberlin College. All the while, Cohn learned to play guitar and was dabbling with the craft of songwriting since the cover band played everything but the kind of songs he loved so dearly. At Oberlin, Cohn taught himself to play the piano and a lasting bond formed. Soon enough, he transferred to U.C.L.A. and hit the Los Angeles coffeehouse and steakhouse circuit. Cohn made yet another move -- this time to New York to be with his fiancée and he then formed the Supreme Court, a 14-piece band complete with horn section. Putting the unusual spins on popular tunes, the band gained a following which included Carly Simon, who recommended they play Caroline Kennedy's wedding. That gig seemed like a good stopping point, as Cohn left the band to once again focus on his own songs. He sent a piano/vocal demo to Atlantic Records and landed himself a deal and from there he co-produced his debut with Ben Wisch with some assistance from John Leventhal. What emerged was a beautifully tasteful and intelligent album that included the hit "Walking in Memphis" and won Cohn a Grammy Award for Best New Artist. The Rainy Season followed in 1993 and was a thematic complement to Cohn's debut. Folks like David Crosby and Graham Nash stepped up to the mic to lend their vocal support to this soulful new talent. Cohn was quiet for several years until 1998 with the release of Burning the Daze. Once again, the guests lined up to appear with Cohn. From Patty Griffin and Rosanne Cash to Chris Botti and Martin Sexton, Cohn is certainly not short on musical friends.

What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

I Could Not Ask for More by Sara Evans

Biography & Career
Early life & the rise to fame
Sara Lynn Evans was born in Boonville, Missouri in 1971, and is of English and Irish descent. She was raised on a farm, and was the eldest girl of seven children. Music was a part of her life at an early age; by five she was singing every weekend in her family's band. At age eight, she was struck by an automobile in front of the family home, and both her legs suffered multiple fractures. Recuperating for months in a wheelchair, she continued singing to help pay her medical bills. When she was 16, she began performing at a nightclub near Columbia, Missouri, a gig that lasted two years.

Evans moved to Nashville in 1991 to aspiring to become a country music artist, where she met Craig Schelske. She then left Nashville with Schelske 1992, where they moved to Oregon. After the couple married in 1993, Evans returned to Nashville in 1995, where Evans began recording demos . Nashville songwriter Harlan Howard was impressed by Evans' demo of his song "Tiger by the Tail". Howard decided to help Evans' music career, which eventually led to a signed contract with the RCA Nashville.

In 1997, Evans released her first album under RCA, Three Chords and the Truth. Critics praised the album for returning to traditional country and included it in many of their year's "top 10" lists. The album included a cover version of older Country song, Patsy Cline's "Imagine That", which originally reached No. 21 for Cline on the country charts in 1962. However, the album did not catch on with country radio at the time, and none of the three singles made the top 40. It would be another year before Evans gained full popularity. In 1998 Evans released her second album, No Place That Far. Critics slammed her on choosing a more pop-country sound.
Breakthrough: The Born to Fly and Restless albums
In 2000, Evans worked on a third album to be released later that year. Born to Fly was released to stores on October 10, 2000, and later became another major-selling album. She insisted on hiring Seattle-based rock drummer Matt Chamberlain (The Wallflowers, Edie Brickell), who brought a slightly different sound to her music.
The album became Evans' first album to receive a Platinum rating by the RIAA, and spawned four country hits, including the title track ("Born to Fly") which was the first single released from the album, reaching the No. 1 spot on the country charts, Evans' first No. 1 as a solo artist. Hits continued from the album all the way into 2002. The second single, "I Could Not Ask for More", was released in 2001, the Country version of Edwin McCain's big Pop-Rock hit from the year before. Evans' version reached No. 2 on the Country charts and was a No. 35 Pop hit, ironically an even bigger Pop hit then McCain's version on Billboard's Hot 100 (McCain's version reached No. 37). In 2002, the songs continued to be released from the album, "Saints and Angels" and "I Keep Looking" were the last two singles released from the album. "I Keep Looking" reached No. 5 and "Saints and Angels" reached No. 16 respectively. In 2004, the Born to Fly album was officially certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA.

In 2001, Evans was the most-nominated artist at the Country Music Association awards with seven nominations overall, and she won her first CMA award when "Born to Fly" won the award for Video of the Year, her first major award from Country music.

In 2003, Evans recorded a long-awaited fourth album, which was titled Restless. The album was released August 19, 2003 to stores. The first single released from the album in 2003, "Back Seat of a Greyhound Bus" was a Top 20 Country hit, reaching No. 16 on the Hot Country Songs list that year, but it did not hit the Billboard Hot 100, peaking outside it on the Bubbling Hot 100. Despite the album's first single not reaching the Top 10, the album still sold farely well, debuting at No. 3 on the "Top Country Albums" list and the No. 20 on the "Billboard 200" list, and sold over 40,000 copies within its first week. However it was the album's next single, "Perfect" that broke Country's Top 10, eventually peaking in the top 5 at No. 2, barely missing country's top spot. The third and last single from the album, "Suds in the Bucket", released in late 2004, was the album's most successful single, reaching the No. 1 spot and was also a Top 40 Pop hit, reaching No. 33. "Suds in the Bucket" was Evans' first ever Gold-certified single by the RIAA.

In 2004, Evans was the most-played female singer on country music radio. Evans also performed at the 2004 Republican National Convention. Restless also received a nomination by the Academy of Country Music in the Spring of 2005.

The Success of the Real Fine Place album & career today
After 2003's Restless album, Evans re-emerged with a fifth studio album titled Real Fine Place released October 4, 2005. The album's lead single, "A Real Fine Place to Start", was the album's first single, reaching No. 1 on the country charts in 2005, as well as reaching the Top 40 at No. 38. The single marked the first time Evans charted on Billboard's "Pop 100" and "Hot Digital Songs" chart, reaching No. 67 and No. 62 respectively. "A Real Fine Place" was another Gold-certified single by the RIAA. The album, sold 130,000 copies within its first week, becoming Evans' first album to reach the No. 1 spot on the "Top Country Albums" chart, while also becoming her most successful album on the "Billboard 200" to date, reaching No. 3. The album sold three times more copies than her previous album had done. On December 6, 2005, Evans released the compilation album, Feels Like Home through Cracker Barrel stores. The album contains remixes of some of her most popular songs, including a live version of "Born to Fly" and an acoustic version of "No Place That Far". In 2005's the album's follow-up single "Cheatin'" was a top 10 Country hit, peaking at No. 9 there. The third single released from the album "Coalmine" was the least successful single, just about breaking Billboard's Country Top 40 chart in early 2006.

In 2006, R&R announced Evans as there "Female Vocalist of the Year" in its 2006 Readers' Poll. In spring 2006, Evans released Always There through Hallmark stores for Mothers' Day. The album has six of her favorite already-released songs, including a live version of "Suds in the Bucket" and an acoustic version of "Born to Fly." Two new songs are on the disc: "You Ought to Know by Now" and "Brooklyn & Austin."In 2006, the last significant single from the Real Fine Place album was released titled, "You'll Always Be My Baby", which was a Top 15 country hit, peaking at No. 13 on the country charts, but missing Billboard's Hot 100, reaching its peak position on the Bubbling Hot 100 at No. 105. An album cut released from the album in 2006, "Missing Missouri" reached No. 52 on the Country charts that year. Since its release, Real Fine Place is currently Evans' biggest-selling album. On May 23, 2006, Evans competed and performed at the 2006 ACM awards show in Las Vegas, where she won her first ACM for the "Top Female Vocalist". Evans also became a spokesperson for National Eating Disorders Association, and has spoken out widely on this subject, as she has been personally affected by it. She also hosted a charity event, Fashion for Every Body, which featured a fashion show, silent auction and performance by Evans.
In September 2006, Evans began competing with other celebrities on the third season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars with (professional) partner Tony Dovolani. Evans launched a new fan web site to provide behind-the-scenes material from her participation on the program. Evans was the first country music singer to ever participate in the show. However, then had to leave the show in October, originally citing personal reasons. However, it was later discovered Evans left due to a divorce.

On October 9, 2007, Evans released her first Greatest Hits collection. The compilation features four new songs, one of which has already been released to radio, the first single released from the album is titled "As If." The song is currently active on the country and pop music charts. She released the gift book "You'll Always Be My Baby" (based on her song). It was written by Evans, Tony Martin and Tom Shapiro. It was announced on Monday, October 15, 2007, that Evans will host with LeAnn Rimes the 41st annual CMA Awards show, on 7th of November, 2007.
Since her divorce, Evans has been the subject of numerous controversies. On October 12, 2006, Evans left Dancing with the Stars, citing personal reasons. On October 13, it was revealed that Evans had filed for divorce from her husband of 13 years, Craig Schelske.Evans' ex-nanny, Alison Clinton Lee, has sued her for $3 million, claiming that Evans has smeared her name by including it in her divorce papers, as one of the many women with whom Evans claims he had affairs. Divorce documents filed in Williamson County, Tennessee by Evans' estranged husband, Craig Schelske, accuse the singer of having close to a dozen affairs. The list includes singer/songwriter Richard Marx, country star Kenny Chesney, Dancing with the Stars partner Tony Dovolani, and the members of the rock band 3 Doors Down. Marx's former manager and Chesney's publicist have refused to comment on this issue. Kirt Webster, a spokesperson for 3 Doors Down, stated that the accusations are untrue, but that the band members "are saddened by what she's going through" On September 28, 2007, Evans and Schelske divorced. Evans will pay him a minimum of $500,000 in alimony over a ten-year period. Evans was awarded custody of her three children with visitation rights to Schelske.
Personal life
Evans married Craig Schelske, an aspiring politician, in 1993, and divorced in September 2007.Evans and Schelske have three children: Avery Jack Lyons (born August 21, 1999), Olivia Margaret (born January 22, 2003 and Audrey Elizabeth (born [[6 October]] [[2004]]). Evans and her children currently reside in [[Franklin, Tennessee]].

Armik Mi Amor

Armik is an Iranian guitarist of the style of Nuevo Flamenco. He is among Billboard Magazine's Top Ten New Age Artists of 2005

Armik strums the heartstrings like some mythic master of romance. His guitar serves as a soulful, emotive voice, demonstrating a technique that is both wild and refined. His music is passionate, sensual, exotic and definitely romantic. Flamenco virtuoso Armik is a passport to an intoxicating musical world. His compositions are sultry Caribbean and Latin rhythms meshed with provocative Old World melodies.

Fusing traditional Spanish melodies with jazzy improvisation and progressive rhythms. Armik has concocted a passionate new sound recognized by so many as his own unique style described as "Latin-gypsy-jazz".

His five successful albums on Baja/TSR Records, "Rain Dancer", "Gypsy Flame", "Rubia", "Malaga", and "Isla del Sol" have clearly set new standards for "New- Flamenco" music. All five albums have been on the Billboard charts in the New Age and World music categories as best selling albums.

Building on his legacy of excellence & invention Armik has produced and arranged all of his albums. "Every song is played in one take " the guitarist says proudly". A lot of times musicians will punch-in and overdub the parts, but I am totally against that. You lose the emotion and feeling when you work that way , and emotion is very important to me and my music".

Born in Iran of Armenian descent, Armik is a true citizen of the world. At the age of seven he became so enamored with classical guitar that he pawned his watch for one. He hid the instrument in the basement of his house, when he practiced unbeknownst to his family.

By the time his mother made the discovery, Armik was exhibiting a prodigious talent for music and the family began paying for his lessons. Determined to complete his formal training in record time, the guitarist completed the "Rudolf Solphege" instructional regimen in two years. At the age of 12 he was a professional recording musician. He started as a Jazz professional and continued in that format for approximately 10 years.

Armik traveled frequently to Spain to play and study with various classical and flamenco musicians. Armik became an ardent student of Spanish folk music. "When I first touched a flamenco guitar and heard the sound, I realized I could talk through my instrument."

Armik moved to Los Angeles in 1981, where he currently resides. It was while performing with other artists that fans began to ask him when he was finally going to record his own album. He fulfilled those requests with the 1994 release of "Rain Dancer" which caught the music world unawares with its ripened, romantic sound. The album rocketed to the Top 10 Billboard’s New Age Albums chart, and received airplay in such major markets as San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Orlando and San Diego.

In 1995 Armik created Gypsy Flame, a logical progression from his1994 debut recording, Rain Dancer. Public response was effusive. Gypsy Flame reached GOLD status in Australia within a few months of it’s release. The 12 original compositions range from fiery salsas to jazz-inflected rumbas and luxuriant Spanish ballads. The guitarist takes his unique artistry to lofty new levels on Gypsy Flame. The rhythms featured here come from the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and South America, while the melodies echo the romantic ballads of Spain. Armik provides the finishing touch himself, performing his solos with jazzy improvisational fervor.

In 1996 his third album Rubia was released. The guitarist punctuates his well-tempered harmonic lines with fiery bursts of improvisation. This album finds Armik creating beautiful musical storms, and negotiating each squall and swell like a true virtuoso. With its sumptuous jazz, Latin and European overtones Rubia possesses the continental feel of a world classic. In fact, the album is titled after an instrument created expressly for Armik by the revered Spanish luthier Pedro Maldonado. Armik was so inspired by Maldonado’s handiwork that he composed two tracks in honor of the instrument and its maker, Rubia and Maldonado.

Malaga is Armik’s fourth album released in 1997. Like its creator, Malaga is ambitious, romantic and fervently experimental. Armik has since been credited with introducing Spanish folk music to a new generation of fans. Malaga is sure to win over converts. With its burnished melodies and flawless arrangements, the album is a symbol of excellence in a world overrun by musical mediocrity. His musicianship is evident from every track which pulls the heartstrings with echoes of flamenco, Brazilian Samba & Mediterranean influences. Every track highlights Armik’s lightning fast fingers on his custom made flamenco guitars. Malaga is music with passion.

Isla del Sol literally "Island of the sun" is Armik’s fifth and latest album released in May of 1999. This vibrant recording combines fiery flamenco guitar & tropical Caribbean rhythms with beautiful and passionate melodies. It is hot, exciting, romantic and very exotic. Unlike anything else you’ve ever heard before. Although the song writing and preparation for Isla del Sol took months, Armik recorded each song in just one take. Prior to any recording, Armik spends numerous hours selecting the best sound format which is the result of the brilliant and clear sound that is heard on all of his albums. The artist says proudly "this is an album that is a combination of my lifetime education and experiences in recording and song writing".

Isla del Sol will take you to far away places that can only be imagined in your dreams. "This album is a reflection of my life. Music is my life" the guitarist proudly says. As you love his other four albums, you will fall in love with Isla del Sol even more.

The guitarist takes his rightful place as one of the world’s finest and best selling master flamenco guitarists. His five successful albums show case the worldly sound of Armik. He has a special and unique style and touch that is distinguished from all others.

****To hear Armik’s music is to love it. It is an addiction, an inspiration, a necessity.****

Red Roses by Armik

A Time for us

Nadia's theme (Young and the Restless) by Richard Clayderman & Henry Mancini

Richard Clayderman has done what virtually no other French act has ever done..... established a truly international career as a best selling recording artist and concert performer.

Born Philippe Pagès on December 28th, 1953, he encountered the piano early in his life. His father, a piano teacher, laid the foundation for his son's later success and began teaching him how to play at a very young age. It is said that, at the age of six, Richard Clayderman could read music more adeptly than his native French.

Early success

When he was twelve years old he was accepted at the Conservatoire of Music where, at sixteen, he won first prize. He was predicted a promising career as a classical pianist. However, shortly after this, and much to everyone's surprise, he cast aside his classical training and turned to contemporary music.

"I wanted to do something different", Clayderman says, "So, with some friends, I created a rock group ; it was a tough time..... a hard tine..... and the little money we could make was devoted to buying equipment. In fact, I used to feed myself so badly - mainly on sandwiches - that I had to have an operation for an ulcer when I was only seventeen".


At that time his father was becoming seriously ill and was unable to support his son financially. So, in order to earn a living, Clayderman found work as an accompanist and session musician.

"I enjoyed it", he says, "and it paid well at the same time. That is how I drew away from classical music, although it gave me a strong basis for what I do now".

His talent did not go unnoticed and he soon became much in demand as an accompanist to such major French stars as Michel Sardou, Thierry LeLuron and Johnny Halliday. But, when asked about his ambitions at that time, he says, "! really did not want to be a star, I was happy to be an accompanist and to play in groups".


Nevertheless, his life changed dramatically in 1976 when he received a telephone call from Olivier Toussaint, a well-known French record producer, who, with his partner, Paul de Senneville, was looking for a pianist to record a gentle piano ballad. Paul had composed this ballad as a tribute to his new born daughter “Adeline”. The 23 year old Philippe Pagès was auditioned along with 20 other hopefuls and, to his amazement, he got the job.

"We liked him immediately", says Paul de Senneville, "His very special and soft touch on the keyboards combined with his reserved personality and good looks very much impressed Olivier Toussaint and I. We made our decision very quickly".

Ballade pour Adeline

Philippe Pagès' name was changed to Richard Clayderman (he adopted his great-grandmother's last name to avoid mispronunciation of his real name outside France), and the single took off, selling an astonishing 22 million copies in 38 countries. It was called "Ballade pour Adeline".

"When I signed him", says Olivier Toussaint, "I told him that if we sell 10,000 singles it will be marvellous, because it was disco at that time and we could not bet on such a ballad being a winner..... We could not imagine that it would be so big".

Prolific artist

It was the start of what has become an outstanding success story, and since that time, Richard Clayderman's distinctive piano style has earned him superstar status all over the world. Today he has recorded over 1,000 melodies and, in the words of a German journalist, "he has arguably done more to popularise the piano around the world than anyone since Beethoven". Richard Clayderman has created a "New Romantic" style through a repertoire which combines his 'trademark' originals with classics and pop standards. He has clocked up massive worldwide record sales in excess of 70 million, at the last count, and an incredible 267 Gold and 70 Platinum discs to his credit.

However, "The Prince of Romance" (as he was dubbed by Nancy Reagan) is not simply a recording artist. In fact, despite his natural shyness and reserve, he is completely in his element on stage ; a Richard Clayderman concert is a real 'Spectacular'.


"I love performing live on stage", he says, "because I have direct contact with my audience. In concert, with my 10 musicians or a symphony orchestra, I like to mix different tempos, rhythms and styles to evoke all kinds of emotion".

Clayderman's international success has resulted in a punishing itinerary which, in the past, has seen him play as many as 200 concerts in just 250 days spent outside France. In spite of this, he remains very much a family man.


"My family is extremely important to me", he often says, "my mother, my wife Christine, my daughter, Maud, and my son, Peter....they are what keep me going - my reason for living, apart from my music, of course".

The biggest price Richard Clayderman feels he has to pay for his international stardom is the time he spends away from his family - a sacrifice he acknowledges they all suffer but accept as part of his duty to his millions of fans.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Chim Chim Cheree - Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins: I Love To Laugh

Mary Poppins - Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Mary Poppins: A Spoonful Of Sugar

Miles Davis and John Coltrane: So What

Miles Davis and John Coltrane play one of the best renditions of "So What" ever captured on film-

Live in 1958. This clip is available on two different DVDs. "Miles Davis: The Cool Jazz Sound" and also- "Jazz Masters: Vintage Collection"

Chuck Berry, Ray Vaughan & Thorogood

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Judy Garland and Mel Tormé sing "The Trolley Song."

From the 1964 Judy Garland Show on CBS, the lady herself and Mel Tormé sing "The Trolley Song." Tormé was a recurring guest star on the show, as well as being the guy in charge of putting together songs and special musical material every week. Shortly after this was taped, he and Judy had a falling-out and he was fired...not a huge loss for Mel because the show was already teetering on the verge of cancellation and Ms. Garland would be fired a few weeks later.

Several years later, after Garland was dead, Mr. Tormé wrote a book about his experiences on the series. It was called The Other Side of the Rainbow, With Judy Garland on the Dawn Patrol and while it professed love and admiration for Judy, it sure didn't make her out to be a very nice or stable person. I've met about a half dozen people who worked on the show and I've always asked them how accurate it was. Unanimous reply: Not very. They all say Tormé made himself look good at the expense of others and the truth, though they've split evenly on whether Garland was fairly depicted.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Joni Mitchell-Both Sides Now

Rows and floes of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons evrywhere
Ive looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on evryone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
Ive looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
Its cloud illusions I recall
I really dont know clouds at all

Moons and junes and ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As evry fairy tale comes real
Ive looked at love that way

But now its just another show
You leave em laughing when you go
And if you care, dont let them know
Dont give yourself away

Ive looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow
Its loves illusions I recall
I really dont know love at all

Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say I love you right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
Ive looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say Ive changed
Well somethings lost, but somethings gained
In living evry day

Ive looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
Its lifes illusions I recall
I really dont know life at all
Ive looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
Its lifes illusions I recall
I really dont know life at all

Joni Mitchell-chelsea Morning

Woke up, it was a chelsea morning, and the first thing that I heard
Was a song outside my window, and the traffic wrote the words
It came a-reeling up like christmas bells, and rapping up like pipes and drums

Oh, wont you stay
Well put on the day
And well wear it till the night comes

Woke up, it was a chelsea morning, and the first thing that I saw
Was the sun through yellow curtains, and a rainbow on the wall
Blue, red, green and gold to welcome you, crimson crystal beads to beckon

Oh, wont you stay
Well put on the day
Theres a sun show every second

Now the curtain opens on a portrait of today
And the streets are paved with passersby
And pigeons fly
And papers lie
Waiting to blow away

Woke up, it was a chelsea morning, and the first thing that I knew
There was milk and toast and honey and a bowl of oranges, too
And the sun poured in like butterscotch and stuck to all my senses
Oh, wont you stay
Well put on the day
And well talk in present tenses

When the curtain closes and the rainbow runs away
I will bring you incense owls by night
By candlelight
By jewel-light
If only you will stay
Pretty baby, wont you
Wake up, its a chelsea morning

Friday, November 2, 2007

Leona Lewis

This lady is an awesome singer!

Ray Charles-Fats Domino- and Jerry Lee Lewis

Ray Charles-Fats Domino- and Jerry Lee Lewis all playing piano together on stage.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Links to my other sites

Monday, October 22, 2007

Eva Cassidy Somewhere Over the Rainbow

The heart-tugging story of Eva Cassidy reads almost like the plot of a Movie of the Week tearjerker. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, the painfully shy Cassidy earned a local reputation as a masterful interpreter of standards from virtually any genre, blessed with technical agility and a searching passion that cut straight to the emotional core of her material. Despite the evocative instrument that was Cassidy's voice, record companies shied away from her, unsure of how to market her eclectic repertoire; for her part, Cassidy adamantly refused to allow herself to be pigeonholed, prizing the music above any potential fame. In 1996, just when she had begun to record more frequently on a small, local basis, Cassidy was diagnosed with cancer, which had already spread throughout her body and rapidly claimed her life. But her story didn't end there; her music was posthumously championed by a BBC disc jockey, and amazingly, the anthology Songbird became a number one million-selling smash in England.

Cassidy was born February 2, 1963, in Oxon Hill, MD, and grew up (from age nine on) in Bowie, MD. She loved music from an early age, particularly folk and jazz (as a girl, her favorite singer was Buffy Sainte-Marie), and learned guitar from her father Hugh. At one point, Hugh put together a family folk act featuring himself on bass, Eva on guitar and vocals, and her brother Danny on fiddle; Eva and Danny also played country music at a local amusement park, but Eva's sensitivity eventually made performances too difficult on her. Something of a loner during her teens, Cassidy sang with a pop/rock band called Stonehenge while in high school. After graduating, she studied art for a short time, but soon grew dissatisfied with what she was being taught, and dropped out to work at a plant nursery. She sang occasional backing vocals for friends' rock bands around Bowie and Annapolis, but was never comfortable trying to overpower the amplification. In 1986, longtime friend Dave Lourim persuaded Cassidy to lay down some vocals at a recording session for his soft pop/rock group Method Actor. (The results were eventually reissued in 2002.) At the studio, Cassidy met D.C.-area producer Chris Biondo, who was immediately struck by her voice and agreed to help her put together a demo tape she hoped would get her more backup-singing work.

Cassidy became a regular presence at Biondo's studio, where he recorded a wide variety of music; incongruously enough, Cassidy performed backing vocals on D.C. go-go funksters E.U.'s Livin' Large album (singing all of her own harmony parts to give the illusion of a choir) and, later, on gangsta rapper E-40's "I Wanna Thank You." At Biondo's urging, Cassidy formed a backing band to play local clubs, where her singing began to win a following in spite of her discomfort. In 1991, Biondo played Cassidy's demos for Chuck Brown, the originator of D.C.'s swinging go-go funk sound (which never really broke out to a national audience). Brown had been wanting to record an album of jazz and blues standards, and found his ideal duet partner in the sophisticated yet soulful Cassidy. Their collaborative album, The Other Side, was released in late 1992, and in 1993, the two began performing around the D.C. area together; helped by Brown's outgoing showmanship, Cassidy finally began to lose some of the insecurity and intense fear that usually kept her away from live performance. Several record labels showed interest in signing Cassidy, but her recorded submissions always covered too much ground -- folk, jazz, blues, gospel, R&B, pop/rock -- for the marketing departments' taste (or limited imaginations), and the labels always wound up passing.

In September 1993, Cassidy had a malignant mole removed from below her neck, and neglected her subsequent checkup appointments. Shortly thereafter, she broke up with Biondo, who'd been her boyfriend for several years; however, they did continue their professional relationship. In early 1994, the Blue Note label showed some interest in teaming Cassidy with a jazz-pop outfit from Philadelphia called Pieces of a Dream; they recorded the single "Goodbye Manhattan" together, and Cassidy toured with them that summer, but didn't really care for their style. She returned to D.C. and began playing more gigs on her own, though she still made the occasional appearance with Brown; at the end of the year, she won a local music award for traditional jazz vocals.

Cassidy remained unable to secure a record deal, and Biondo and her frustrated manager decided to put out an album themselves. In January 1996, Cassidy played two gigs at the D.C. club Blues Alley; despite her dissatisfaction with the quality of her performance, the album Live at Blues Alley was compiled from the recordings and released that year to much acclaim in the D.C. area. Sadly, it would be the only solo album to appear during Cassidy's lifetime. She moved to Annapolis and took a job painting murals at elementary schools; during the summer, she began experiencing problems with her hip, which she assumed was related to her frequent use of stepladders at work. However, X-rays revealed that her hip was broken, and further tests showed that the melanoma from several years before had spread to her lungs and bones. Cassidy started chemotherapy, but it was simply too late. A benefit show in her honor was staged in September, and Cassidy found the strength to give her last performance there, singing "What a Wonderful World." She died on November 2, 1996. Cassidy virtually swept that year's Washington Area Music Awards, and the album she'd been working on with Biondo prior to her death, Eva by Heart, was released by Liason in 1997.

D.C.-based Celtic folk singer Grace Griffith finally found some interest in releasing Cassidy's music at the label she recorded for, Blix Street. 1998's Songbird was a compilation culled from Cassidy's three previous releases, and when BBC Radio 2 disc jockey Terry Wogan started playing the version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," Songbird started to sell in the U.K. The British TV show Top of the Pops aired a home-video clip of Cassidy performing the song, quite intensely, at the Blues Alley, and were deluged with requests for further broadcasts. Thanks to all the exposure, Songbird steadily grew into a major hit, climbing all the way to the top of the British album charts and selling over a million copies. In 2000, Blix Street followed Songbird with Time After Time, a set of 12 previously unreleased tracks (eight studio, four live) that proved an important addition to Cassidy's slim recorded legacy. The same year saw the appearance of No Boundaries, an unrepresentative set of adult contemporary pop released by the Renata label over strenuous objections from Cassidy's family. Profiles of Cassidy began to appear in American media, including pieces on NPR's Morning Edition and ABC's Nightline. In the summer of 2002, Blix Street compiled Imagine, another set of live recordings and studio demos.

Breakable by Ingrid Michaelson

Ingrid Michaelson

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Ingrid Michaelson

Background information
Origin Staten Island, New York, U.S.
Genre(s) Indie pop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instrument(s) singing, guitar, piano
Years active 2002–present
Label(s) unsigned
Website Official site

Ingrid Michaelson is a New York-based singer/songwriter.

Her music has been featured on numerous television shows. Most notably, Michaelson's songs have been selected as soundtracks for emotional scenes on Grey's Anatomy[1] and One Tree Hill.[2]



[edit] Bio

Michaelson was born to artistic parents -- composer Carl Michaelson and sculptor Elizabeth Egbert, who is the Executive Director & President of Staten Island Museum. She took up piano at age 5. She had trained until age 7 at Manhattan's Third Street Music School and continued for many more years at the Jewish Community Center of S.I.'s Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute. There she met vocal coach Elizabeth McCullough, who worked with her through high school.[3] She is a graduate of Staten Island Technical High School and Binghamton University, where she received a degree in theatre.[4]

[edit] The Way I Am

[edit] Discography

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ The Making of Musicians on MySpace. NPR Talk of the Nation (21 May 2007). Retrieved on 25 May 2007.
  2. ^ One Tree Hill Featured Music. CW (n.d.). Retrieved on 25 May 2007.
  3. ^ Baby, Remember Her Name. [Staten Island Advance AWE]. (24 May 2007). Retrieved on 15 August 2007.
  4. ^ Baby, Remember Her Name. [Staten Island Advance AWE]. (24 May 2007). Retrieved on 14 August 2007.

[edit] External links

[edit] Articles

[edit] Audio interviews