Category Archives: General

Musicians Who Died In 2017

Of the many celebrities who died in 2017 over 100 were musicians. Here are the five I will miss most. Full obituaries available by clicking the hyperlinks.

Chuck Berry (18 Mar 2017):

Chuck Berry, singer-songwriter and guitarist who was one of the architects of rock ‘n’ roll, died Saturday, March 18, 2017. He was 90.

Berry is known for his distinctive Berry bop and walk on his guitar solos. His signature song was ‘Johnny B. Goode’ (although he’s also known for several other hit singles in his lifetime). His influence and contribution to rock & roll was obvious. He was one of the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when it opened in 1986.

Gregg Allman (27 May 2017)

Founding member of The Allman Brothers Band, singer and keyboardist Gregg Allman passed away on Saturday, May 27th, at his home in Savannah, Georgia. He was 69. The New York Times and his publicist, Ken Weinstein, confirmed the cause of death was from complications of liver cancer.

Gregg Allman picked up the guitar before his older brother Duane. However,  Duane soon surpassed his abilities. That when Gregg turned to the keyboards and microphone to put his stamp on what was to become one of the most important American bands in rock music history: The Allman Brothers Band. Gregg’s contributions also included penning some of the group’s most notable songs, including “Whipping Post” and “Midnight Rider,”

Glen Campbell (08 Aug 2017)

Glen Campbell, the country singer, guitarist, songwriter, television host, and actor died Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, following a battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was 81.

His career spanned decades, merged popular genres, and earned him record sales, industry awards, and a string of hits. He charted 80 hit songs in a music career that spanned 60 years. In the ’60s, he was riding a solo career that ran strong for 20 years. Hits included  “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Gentle on My Mind,” “Galveston,” and “Rhinestone Cowboy.”

Walter Becker  (03 Sep 2017)

Co-founder of Steely Dan, guitarist, bassist, songwriter Walter Becker died September 3rd, 2017.

Becker was born and raised in New York City, meeting his eventual co-conspirator and band mate Donal Fagen at Bard College. The songwriting duo kicked around New York for a while before moving to California and forming Steely Dan.

Shortly afterward, the group released Can’t Buy A Thrill. The album was a success on the strength of now-classic tracks like “Reelin’ In The Years,” “Dirty Work,” and “Do It Again.” They launched a string of hit albums, culminating in Aja in 1977, the biggest-selling album in the group’s catalog. Featuring “Peg,” “Josie,” and “Deacon Blues,”

Tom Petty (02 Oct 2017)

Tom Petty, American rock star beloved by millions for his authentic heartland rock and roll, died Monday, Oct. 2, at the age of 66.

The news of his death seemed untimely. Just weeks before (late September 2017), he and the Heartbreakers’ were playing three sold out nights at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. This was the last stop on the extensive North American tour celebrating the 40th anniversary of their self-titled debut.

Tom Petty and his band, the Heartbreakers, produced a long string of hits that melded California rock with his Southern heritage. With songs like “Refugee,” “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and “Free Fallin,’”. Petty sold millions of albums. He performed at the 2008 Super Bowl and entered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Scroll down

Beethoven’s Christmas Contribution

 

399px-Beethoven

“Ode To Joy” is the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth and last Symphony. The German composer was increasingly aware of his declining health and spent seven years working on this symphony, starting the work in 1818 and finishing early in 1824. The symphony is one of the best known works of the Western classical repertoire and is considered one of Beethoven’s masterpieces.

At the time it was a novel idea to use a chorus and solo voices in a symphony, which is why it’s also called the “Choral” symphony. Beethoven, in fact, had serious misgivings about portraying the music’s message with actual words. Even after the premiere, he apparently came very close to replacing all the vocal lines with instrumental ones.

The words, which are sung by four vocal soloists and a chorus, emanate a strong belief in mankind. They were taken from a poem written by German writer Friedrich Schiller in 1785 and revised in 1803, with additions made by Beethoven.

Beethoven was completely deaf when he embarked on this masterpiece, and it’s a tragedy that he never heard a single note of it, except inside his head. At the end of the symphony’s first performance, the German composer, who had been directing the piece and was consequently facing the orchestra, had to be turned around by the contralto Caroline Unger so that he could see the audience’s ecstatic reaction. Beethoven had been unaware of the tumultuous roars of applause behind him.

via Ode To Joy by Ludwig Van Beethoven Songfacts.

I think Joy is a pretty good word to describe the people in this video.

Baroque Christmas Music

Johann_Sebastian_BachWhile Handel’s “Messiah” rightly holds its place as this country’s classical musical soundtrack for the holiday season (quibble if you will about its Easter message;  there’s nothing wrong
with talking about Easter at Christmas – just ask Bach!), it’s J.S. Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” that rings through concert halls throughout Europe at this time of the year.

The Christmas Oratorio, is an oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach intended for performance in church during the Christmas season. It was written for the Christmas season of 1734.

The oratorio is in six parts, each part being intended for performance on one of the major feast days of the Christmas period. The first part (for Christmas Day) describes the birth of Jesus, the second (for December 26) the annunciation to the shepherds, the third (for December 27) the adoration of the shepherds, the fourth (for New Year’s Day) the circumcision and naming of Jesus, the fifth (for the first Sunday after New Year) the journey of the Magi, and the sixth (for Epiphany) the adoration of the Magi.