Phil Spector, creator of the “wall of sound” recording style in the 1960s and producer of dozens of influential records including”You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” by the Righteous Brothers, died January 16, 2021 while serving a prison sentence for murder. He was 81.Continue reading ““Art is a game” – Phil Spector (1939 – 2021)”
“Before you cross the street
Take my hand
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”
—John Lennon lyric from “Beautiful Boy” on his last album Double Fantasy, with Yoko Ono. Lennon was born this day, October 9, in 1940.
The pandemic gave me time to watch and listen to four recent music documentaries released around the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. These films each explore the creative explosion that occurred in the mid-1960s when traditional acoustic folk music collided with the electric guitars of the British invasion to create an influential and enduring new genre, “folk rock.” The soundtracks will trigger vivid sonic memories for anyone who came of age musically in that era, and will appeal to casual listeners who have absorbed the songs from radio play over the ensuing years.
The movies are Echo in the Canyon, directed by Andrew Slater; David Crosby: Remember My Name, directed by A.J. Eaton; Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band, directed by Daniel Roher, and Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice, directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman.Continue reading “Fifty years after Woodstock, four music documentaries revisit the ‘jingle-jangle’ dawning of folk rock”
John Prine passed away April 7, 2020 in Nashville at age 73, a victim of the coronavirus. During his 50-year career he wrote hundreds of witty, poignantly observed songs about everyday American life, which he performed in a singular, raspy voice.
“If God’s got a favorite songwriter, I think it’s John Prine,” said Kris Kristofferson, who helped introduce him to a wider audience in 1970.
The lyric above is from “Angel From Montgomery”, a song made famous by Bonnie Raitt. The verse continues, “…this old house would have burnt down, a long time ago.“
Watch & listen: “In Spite of Ourselves” – John Prine is joined by Iris DeMent (from “Live from Sessions at W 54th Street”)
Listen: John Prine’s Life in 10 Songs from NPR’s All Songs Considered podcast
John Prine obituary in The New York Times