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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Dylan’

RIP, Tom Petty (October 2, 2017) American Rock Great

Posted by themusicsover on October 2, 2017

Tom Petty
October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017

Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF

Tom Petty, the iconic American singer, guitarist, songwriter and producer passed away peacefully following a massive heart attack he had suffered earlier in the day.  He was 66.  Born in Gainesville, Florida, Petty, like many kids his age, had their first rock and roll moment after witnessing Elvis Presley. But unlike other future rock stars, it wasn’t The King’s appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show that changed his life forever – it was a more personal encounter.  Turns out Petty’s uncle was working on the Presley film, Follow That Dream that was filming nearby, and he invited the 10-year-old down to the shoot. Petty was able to watch Presley up close and in person doing what he did best, albeit in an entirely different arena. He soon traded his slingshot to a buddy for some Elvis 45s, and he was on his way.  Petty’s first band of note – that would reform for kicks in 2007 – was Mudcrutch, which he put together in 1970. Six years later, they morphed into Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. During the next several years, they released a series of hit singles and albums that appealed equally to the fans of the current “heartland rock” movement led by Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen, and the punk and new wave movements which were grabbing hold on the east and west coasts, as well as in the UK.  Over the next four decades, Petty, both with the Heartbreakers and solo, sold upwards of 80 million albums, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time.  Throughout his career, Petty collaborated with many of the biggest names in music, perhaps most famously, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and George Harrison as the Traveling Wilburys.  This “supergroup” recorded two well-received albums together, 1988’s Vol. 1 and 1990’s Vol. 3.  Others of note with whom Petty had memorable collaborations with were Stevie Nicks, Johnny Cash, Dwight Twilley, and Del Shannon, whose career he revived in 1982 with the album, Drop Down and Get Me.  In 2002, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while November, 2015 saw the much-lauded release of the best-seller, Petty: The Biography, by Warren Zanes.  Around that time he partnered with SiriusXM on Tom Petty Radio, a channel devoted entirely to his music and the music he loved. By all accounts, he was very hands-on with it, making sure the content would be loved by his fans. On Monday, September 25th, 2017, the band played their last of three spirited shows at the Hollywood Bowl in their adopted hometown of Los Angeles, to cap off the hugely successful 40th Anniversary Tour – their longest in 15 years. One week later, Top Petty was gone.

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RIP, Harry Dean Stanton (September 15, 2017) Character Actor & Singer-Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on September 15, 2017

Harry Dean Stanton
July 14, 1926 – September 15, 2017

Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF

Harry Dean Stanton, the beloved character actor and singer/musician passed away from natural causes at the age of 91. To many, he was that down-on-his-luck bad guy whose face they’d seen in many of his 250+ films but whose name they could never remember.  Stanton was also a singer who haunted LA clubs for decades, playing in front of adoring fans of both his music and his films.  Born in Irvine, Kentucky, Stanton served in the US Navy during WWII. Upon his return to the states, he eventually settled in Los Angeles where he took up acting. Throughout his career, he earned critical praise for his work in art house and mainstream movies alike.  His long resume includes, Paris, Texas, Two-Lane Blacktop, Repo Man, Christine, and  The Green Mile.  His TV credits are equally impressive, having appeared on Gunsmoke, Two And A Half Men, Big Love and more.  As for his career/hobby as a musician, Stanton sang and played the guitar and harmonica in his own band, the Harry Dean Stanton Band (or as it had previously been called, Harry Dean Stanton Stanton & the Repo Men), mostly playing covers LA’s seedier clubs throughout the ’80s and ’90s. But, he could also be found on stage alongside the likes of Bob Dylan, Chaka Khan, Bing Crosby, and Bono.  In 2014 Omnivore Records released his debut album – at the age of 88 – Partly Fiction.  A soundtrack to the documentary, Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction, it collected his intimate and sometimes heart-breaking covers of American folk classics.

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Died On This Date (November 13, 2016) Leon Russell / Legendary Musician, Songwriter & Producer

Posted by themusicsover on November 13, 2016

Leon Russell (Born Claude Russell Bridges)
April 2, 1942 – November 13, 2016

Photo by Carl Lender

Photo by Carl Lender

Leon Russell was a celebrated musician, singer, songwriter and producer whose early work as a session player alone was enough to rightfully find him a home in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Add to that his credits as a songwriter, and you have one of the most respected artists we have ever known.  Born in Oklahoma, Russell began playing the piano at just four years old.  By high school, he and schoolmate David Gates, of future Bread fame, had a band together. Over the next couple of years Russell needed a fake ID to play the clubs of Tulsa. And then, at just 16 years old, he headed to Los Angeles to take a crack at becoming a session musician. Russell quickly built a solid reputation and became one of the first people called into the studio or on stage to lend his talents.  The list of artists or their producers that mad that call is staggering – it includes the Byrds, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, B.B. King, the Rolling Stones, Barbra Streisand, and the Beach Boys.  And as part of the famed Wrecking Crew of L.A. studio musicians, the list goes on. Russel’s first hit as a songwriter came by way of Joe Cocker‘s 1969 recording of his “Delta Lady.”  As the ’70s dawned, Russell began making his own albums while producing others.  And thanks in part to the success of “Delta Lady,” he became a go-to songwriter for hopeful pop and rock stars.  In 1970, he released his self-titled debut. The album spawned one of his most famous songs, “A Song For You” which has been covered by a diverse list of artists that includes Ray Charles, Zakk Wylde, Andy Williams, Herbie Hancock with Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Willie Nelson, and Amy Winehouse. Russell spent the rest of the ’70s on a seemingly endless recording and touring cycle. He eventually slowed down, but became no less productive and influential.  The next three decades found him working with the likes of New Grass Revival and Bruce Hornsby while releasing several more of his own albums which leaned more bluegrass and country than much of his ’70s output. In 2010, Elton John (who called Russell his biggest influence as a pianist, singer and songwriter) and Bernie Taupin partnered with Russell on The Union, which resulted in a return-to-the-charts for both. The outstanding album, produced by T-Bone Burnett, and credited equally to both John and Taupin, entered the Billboard charts at No. 3, Russell’s highest charting album since 1972 and John’s highest since 1976.  Rolling Stone called it one of the best 30 albums of 2010.  The new-found exposure for Russell found him touring heavily up through the first half of 2016 when a heart attack sidelined him. Not discouraged, plans were being made to hit the road again in 2017.  Unfortunately, while still recovering from the heart attack, Leon Russell died quietly in his sleep on November 14, 2016.  He was 74.

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Died On This Date (November 7, 2016) Leonard Cohen / Canadian Singer-Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on November 7, 2016

Leonard Cohen
September 21, 1934 – November 7, 2016

Photo by Takahiro Kyono

Photo by Takahiro Kyono

Leonard Cohen was a revered Canadian poet, author, and most famously, singer-songwriter.  Over a career that spanned almost 50 years, Cohen provided the dimly-lit smoky-bar soundtrack for people who needed hope, lost faith, felt despair, or longed for love. Initially planning a career as an author and poet, Cohen wanted to reach more people, so he switched gears and found himself singing and performing in New York City at the relatively late age of 33.  He quickly became an unlikely pop star – rugged baritone voice, simple chord structures, and a private, guarded life within a profession that celebrated extroversion. His career might have seemed over when upon the release of his most famous song, 1984’s “Hallelujah,” his label head reportedly told him, “Look, Leonard; we know you’re great, but we don’t know if you’re any good,” before dropping him.  But his songs eventually caught on, and younger generations of singer-songwriters borrowed them to include in their own canons.  “Hallelujah” alone was recorded by over 200 artists, including Bob Dylan, Justin Timberlake, k.d. lang,  John Cale, and most famously, Jeff Buckley.  In all, Cohen’s tunes have been covered by more than 2000. That list includes such greats as Johnny  Cash, Nick Cave, Willie Nelson, R.E.M., and Tori Amos. In 2008, at the age of 74, and facing financial ruin, Cohen embarked on an ambitious (and triumphant!) world tour that would last about three years before his health started to get the better of him. After getting well, he hit the road again doing a seemingly endless series of impassioned shows that ran north of three hours a piece.  That lasted through December of 2013, when he fell ill again.  But Cohen refused to be bound by his health and set out to record what would be the final two albums of his lifetime, 2014’s Popular Problems, and this year’s You Want it Darker, recorded in his home with him in a wheelchair and singing many of the sessions in physical pain.  That album was released just two weeks before his death, and served as a profound self-eulogy in much the same way as David Bowie‘s Lazarus.  It has been reported, thankfully, that excluding his last album, his late-life career revival earned him around $10 million. Leonard Cohen was 82 when he passed away on November 7, 2016.

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Click to find at amazon.com

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Died On This Date (June 6, 2015) Ronnie Gilbert / Folk Music Great; The Weavers

Posted by themusicsover on June 6, 2015

Ronnie Gilbert
September 7, 1926 – June 6, 2015

ronnie-gilbertSimply put, Ronnie Gilbert was folk music royalty.  Along with Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, and Fred Hellerman, Gilbert formed the Weavers in 1948.  Based in the folk mecca of New York’s Greenwich Village, the band was arguably the most influential folk group the scene had ever produced.  Artists and activists like Joan Baez, Bob DylanMimi & Richard Farina, and Peter, Paul & Mary were all products of the folk revival they kicked off by putting a contemporary spin on folk music.  The band gained popularity, mostly by word of mouth, while their songs resonated with so-called progressive causes like civil rights and workers’ rights.  Their recordings of “If I Had a Hammer,” “This Land is Your Land,” and “Goodnight Irene” – among many others – became folk music standards.  During the 1950s, the Weavers became a victim of the “Red Scare,” causing them to become blacklisted from radio stations, television and beyond.  Due to a lack of bookings and recording opportunities that followed, the band broke up.  But in 1955, they reunited for a much-heralded performance at Carnegie Hall, which lead to renewed interest in their music.  The group continued on, though with Erik Darling replacing Seeger, over the next decade before calling it quits again.  Gilbert went on to enjoy a career in theater as well as as a solo recording artist.  In 1980, the surviving Weavers reunited once again to a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall.  Ronnie Gilbert was 88 when she passed away on June 6, 2015

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Click to find at amazon.com


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