August 2013

Today In Music History--25 Years Ago, Casey Kasem DOESN'T Say Goodbye!

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Submitted by Rob Durkee  Courtesy of www.cashboxmagazine.com

Twenty five years ago Tuesday (and Wednesday...August 6-7, 1998), thousands of "American Top 40" fans tuned in to hear Casey Kasem do what was believed to be his very last AT40 show. Shadoe Stevens would replace him at the mike the following week. Fans particularly wanted to hear how Casey would end the show, fully expecting him to say goodbye.

Only he didn't.  After promoting his TV show, Casey said, "Til then, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars."

No farewell from Casey...but that was because it really WASN'T "farewell" for him. He would be back. The ABC network would actually PAY Casey to NOT count 'em down for the rest of 1988 and the first two weekends of 1989. But that's when Casey's contract with ABC expired...and on the weekend of January 21, 1989, Casey sounded like he'd never been away when he debuted with "Casey's Top 40" on the Westwood One radio network. He was just starting a then-unheard-of radio contract for a disc jockey....five years, $15 million.

Casey stayed with Westwood One for about nine years and one month. Then, around February, 1998, he abruptly left Westwood One in a contract dispute. Essentially, Casey was able to leave Westwood One because his shows (Casey's Top 40, Casey's Countdown, Casey's Hot 20) didn't generate $6 million in profit. On the weekend of March 28, 1988, the man who pioneered the art of counting 'em down for AT40 was reunited WITH "American Top 40" on the AM-FM Network.

Grammy Winner George Duke Dead at 67

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Submitted by Cashbox

Grammy-winning jazz keyboardist and producer George Duke whose sound was part acoustic and  jazz, funk, R&B and soul  has died. He was 67 years old.

A representative for Duke said he died Monday August 5th in Los Angeles, California. Duke was being treated for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

George Duke's son, Rashid, in a statement thanked his father's fans saying "The outpouring of love and support that we have received from my father's friends, fans and the entire music community has been overwhelming.Thank you all for your concern, prayers and support."

Duke was born in San Rafael, California.  He appeared on a number of Frank Zappa albums and played in the Don Ellis Orchestra, Cannonball Adderley's band and with jazz musician Stanley Clarke. Duke also played keyboard on Michael Jackson's multiplatinum 1979 album, "Off the Wall."

When he was 4 years old, Duke began taking piano lessons after seeing Duke Ellington perform. "I don't remember it too well ... but my mother told me I went crazy," Duke said on his website. "I ran around saying, 'Get me a piano, get me a piano!"'

Duke credits going to church for a lot of his musical style.He said it helped him add a funk style to his sound. He was a member of high-school jazz groups and was  influenced by Miles Davis. He earned degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and San Francisco State University.

Broadsway Old Friends featuring Heather Bambrick, Julie Michels and Diane Leah

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

Just reading the liner notes and song titles makes you want to sing and do a little soft shoe and tap. Then you put on the CD by the ‘Broadsway’ girls and they have got your attention from the first medley of ‘Together’, that introduces you to them by singing their hearts out to ‘Together Wherever We Go/Side By Side/Glory of Love’, a great combination of songs that my parents sang at house parties when I was a kid.

‘Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy’ is actually performed slow and sultry and is reminiscent of Judy Garland and Gospel all rolled into one. ‘Cloudburst/Oleo’ has a great, happy arrangement, right down to the ‘shave and a haircut – two bits’ running throughout, and has hints of Manhattan Transfer style vocals.

The Moon Medley offers ‘By the Light of the Silvery Moon/Blue Moon/Moonglow/Moon River’, ending with an interesting choice of Van Morrison’s ‘Moondance’, which actually fits in with the other classic Broadway/Pop tunes. ‘I Know Him So Well’,’What You Don’t About Women’ really show off the incredible voices of Heather Bambrick and Julie Michels and their wonderful and unique harmonies.

JJ Cale Call Me the Breeze

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Submitted by Don Graham

JJ Cale, singer-songwriter and producer, called by many the architect of the Tulsa Sound, has passed away. He succumbed to a heart attack  on  Friday July 26th, 2013 at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, California.  He was 74.

Cale isn’t, and never was , a household name, although I guess that depends on the household. But some his songs remain in heavy rotation on the radio nearly 40 years later. Most folks have no idea that  Cale is their author. That was a role he had no problem with.

"No, it doesn't bother me," Cale said  in an interview posted on his website. "What's really nice is when you get a cheque in the mail."And for decades the cheques rolled in. The  artists who covered his music or credit  him as a direct influence reads like a who's who of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — Clapton, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, Mark Knopfler, The Allman Brothers, Carlos Santana, Captain Beefheart and Bryan Ferry among many others.

It was Eric Clapton who perhaps forged the closest relationship with Cale. They were like brothers, musically and personally. Clapton also recorded Cale songs ‘Travelin' Light’ and ‘I'll Make Love To You Anytime’ and included the Cale composition ‘Angel’ on his most recent album, Old Sock. Other songs like ‘Layla’ didn't involve Cale directly, but clearly owe him a debt. The two also collaborated together on The Road to Escondido, which won the Grammy Award for best contemporary blues album in 2008.

Uncut: Infinite Repeats

Uncut - Infinite Repeats

Independent

This muchly anticipated ‘comeback’ album is everything fans had hoped for and more. Seven years in the making and the first since stepping away from Paper Bag Records, these hardcore guitar heroes haven’t lost a step in this collection, which blazes from start to finish.

Still wearing their influences on their sleeves, so you’ll hear Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Swervedriver and like that, delivered with powerful love and no reverence. The T.Dot four-piece kick out an awesome noise; bigass boom-bastic drums, soaring, reverb-laden guitar lines, chest-thumping bass and roaring vocals combine with a take-no-prisoners ‘tude to make listening to this album all in one go a strenuous experience.

Infinite Repeats sounds sharp and clear-headed  thanks to producer/drummer Jon Drew (Fucked Up, Tokyo Police Club) who knows this stuff inside out on account of he’s the cause of much of it. Commanding from start to finsih , it sounds very much like the band’s picking up exactly where they left off. That they pull it off without sounding dated is a testament to their fierce commitment and clear vision. On such as ‘All Hands’ and ‘Thieves Watch’, that vison appears more inclusive of current heavy music tropes. That their approach works is demonstrated by the fact that material fits snugly with the bulk of the album’s Uncut-branded songs  like ‘Older By The Line’, ‘Washed Out’ and ‘Stay Gold’.

Post-punk, neo hardcore hasn’t sounded this bracing and urgent in some time.

Lenny Stoute