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04.22-The-Mighty-Sparrow1Today, when people think of calypso music, they think of jumping up and party, dancing, good food, and lots of eye candy! However, calypso music is also about world issues and politics (very much in the same way that reggae is. The Caribbean music has always been about raising awareness! The Mighty Sparrow (Slinger Francisco) was no exception when it came to political awareness. In 1958 Sparrow was the only person to have a triple win in the same year during the “Carnival Road March.” The first song was called “P.A.Y.E” which talked about the importance of paying taxes in Tobago and Trinidad.  The second song was “Russian Satellite,” which talked about cruelty to animals. The last song was called “Theresa,” which in essence was a song about a gold-digging woman. This was the first time in Sparrow’s career that he sang both English and Spanish. Actually it was still mostly in English, I guess because bilingual music wasn’t really performed, people was crazy in love with the song.

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As I’ve always said, I am really not a fan of rap music. I can’t recall any rap record I’ve listened to where I liked the entire album. However, every once in awhile I come a cross one or two songs that I liked, provided that it was “bubble gum” in nature. Although for this particular album it has an advisory on it, the beats are very bubble gum. This was the era when every rapper in the world was trying to mimic Run-D.M.C. In fact, LL sounded so much like Run-D.M.C., if I didn’t know better I would have said his album was them. To be honest, I love LL more as an actor than a rapper; but I managed to find two classic gems from him on this album. They are called “Bad,” and “I need Love.” I think what attracted me to “Bad” was the beat really. Even if you didn’t understand what LL was rapping about, you couldn’t help but to move your feet to the “Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse” tune. “I Need Love” was a tune that made just about every girl melt from the start of the first note. This is probably the only real song I liked from LL (that I can remember). I think it was because it sounded more of a serenade than a rap “song” (if you want to call rap that).

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Anita Baker at Austin Music Hall on February 12, 2010

The 80’s songstress had a warrant out for her arrest, because of failure to appear in court. Back in 2011-12, a contractor sued Anita for 15,000+ for work work that was done to her home, and she never paid. Anita claimed that she was never served the subpena, and had no knowledge of the charges. The Judge granted a dismissal for the warrant. I also read  somewhere that someone else took her to court for an expensive painting she got at an auction; she never paid them either.

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I’m sure I’ve written before, of how much I love The Mamas & The Papas. In my opinion, they had the most beautiful and unique voices of their time. I can’t remember any other sound like theirs. The only group that could somewhat come close is “The Fifth Dimensions.” The Mamas and The Papas group formed just at the beginning of the folk music era; and during the huge success of The Beatles to my understanding. I really loved how they harmonized; all four of their voices were so different and yet they blended beautifully. I found it interesting how Mama Cass had such a powerful and dominant voice, yet it never over powered the other three.You know, even though they’ve been put in the “folk” category, I never viewed their music as folk. To me, their music was more like very, very soft rock kind of; the kind of “easy listening rock” of their time. This group was so talented, it saddens me when I think about how drugs spoiled their career. They broke up around 1968. The Mamas and The Papas “Gold” album is a collection of their greatest hits. My favorites are, “Monday, Monday,” “Do You Wanna Dance,” “Go Where You Wanna Go,” “California Dreamin,” “”Dedicated To The One I love,” “My Girl,” “Creeque Alley.”

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checkernewsI found a big piece of news in the “Pittsburgh Courier” of 1966,  on the singer Chubby Checker. During the dance craze of the early 60’s, Chubby Checker hit the jackpot, for his sensational hit “The Twist (1960),” it was so popular, that the following year he re-recorded “let’s Twist again (1961).” He also made a song called “pony time (1961),” which the melody still sounded like the twist a lot. I know he’s made many other records, but as far as I’m concerned, he’s a one hit wonder.

So, I have never heard of this before. But then again, I wasn’t even born yet when this happened. Mr. Checker (born Ernest Evans), who was then 24 years of age at the time, was charged with three counts of “contributing to the delinquency of a minor,” shortly after a performance in some night club. He was released on $500 bail. This happened after a mother’s daughter claimed that she stayed in chubby’s hotel one night. The mother then filed a formal complaint against checker. Chubby acknowledged the mother’s daughter, but denied any sexual relations with her.

At the same time, his wife was also taking him to court for desertion, because according to this article, he left the home since Jan 12 (the article was published in feburary), and she was asking for support for her and their 4 children at the time. Not only that, the wife was looking for full ownership of their home.

Hmmmm.. It seemed to me that either Chubby was a victim of fame, or he was “twistin again,” in every other female’s bed too. I just thought this was interesting, cause when I was growing up, I never heard this at all about him. I guess by the time I became of age, he was irrelevant. © 2014

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I know I am late with this news, but better late than never. DJ house music legend Frankie Knuckles died at 59 years old this past week. He was a well known 80’s DJ, who has remixed some of the hottest music, as well as DJ’d at some of the most hottest clubs, including the Warehouse. Some of his biggest mixes include “The Whistle Song (1991),” “Hot Stuff (Donna Summer remix),” “Work Out,” and “Move Your Body.” It was said that he was responsible for creating the foundation for trance and electronic music. Knuckles suffered a long time with uncontrolled diabetes, which resulted in the loss of his foot around 2008. On Monday March 31st 2014,  Mr. Knuckles died from the complications of his diabetes.

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I was thinking about how we’ve come a long way in terms of radio. Everything about radio has dramatically changed since it’s inception. Since about the early 1910-1920’s ’till now, we have started from one radio broadcast, to literally millions around the world today.  OTR (Old Time Radio) back then consisted of mostly news, and “made for radio” variety shows & television shows that were specifically redesigned for radio; this was important, because they had to account for sounds and gestures that could not be seen via radio.

In my opinion, this probably was one of the best time in our history, because before television, radio allowed us to use our imagination. Talented actors and actresses were now getting work to “act” on radio. It also brought families closer together, the entire family would all come together at a specific time to listen to their favorite radio show. Radio was that one important element used as an excuse to create good quality with their family (unfortunately this doesn’t really happen anymore, it’s as though quality time, teaching your kids morals and respect is now a legend).

radio2Today, we have all kinds of content available on mainstream radio, from celebrity interviews, stations dedicated to specific genres of music, College radio, and stations solely dedicated to sports. We then emerged out of the “dark age” of traditional radio to Satellite radio. Satellite radio blew my mind, because first off, I never could understand the concept of “paying for radio” when I could easily get it for free somewhere else. However, as advertisements grew and became more and more prevalent amongst all radio stations, suddenly the thought of paying for the privilege of not having to be bombarded with heavy unwanted ads every 10-15 minutes was very attractive to me. Many years back, I was with a friend in his car, and I was playing around with his Sirius Radio device. I’m not going to lie, I absolutely loved the fact that companies such as XM and Sirius Radio had great commercial free stations with great selections of music, however, it also gave me a headache, because it appeared that there was too much of a selection. I found myself flipping through channels even more, just to hear what the other stations were playing.

pioneerNow, we are in the age of “Internet Radio” (not to be confused with music on demand). As a person that comes form the older generation, I find it very interesting how “skips” are a big concern in terms of Internet radio. Because traditionally speaking, “real radio” didn’t allow you to skip or choose songs, we had to just listen to what was offered. Today, if a radio Internet provider states “unlimited skips”, that could be a huge motivating factor as to whether someone signs up with them or not.

The other interesting thing is, even when you look at traditional radio from the past I’d say 20 years, they’ve been using computerized playlists just like Internet radio. However, the one true benefit that Internet radio can provide that traditional local radio doesn’t, is international access to many other stations around the world. Another great benefit with Internet radio is that, it truly allows us to not only discover new music, but you can view the full name of the artist and album cover, and or easily purchase the song from your computer or phone. As a music lover, I can definitely say that both computer and Internet technology has changed the way we view and receive our entertainment for the better.

© 2013 Yogi / VintageNewscast.com

 

 

 

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Almost a week ago, I was listening to an old album I have of Aretha Franklin called “Aretha Franklin – Live at Filmore West.” I have to confess that this was not one of my favorite albums from her. I’ve heard much better albums. Then again, it’s rare that I enjoy live albums; I’d rather see a performance on video rather than hear it (that’s just me). Well, despite the fact that I was not feeling most of the songs in this album, one song stood out. The first song (don’t remember if it was side A or B) was Dr. Feel Good. I love hearing her sing it on this album, not because it was “good,” but because it was hilarious!! In fact it was so hilarious, it is the only real reason I ever listen to this album. When you hear her sing “Dr. Feel Good” on this album, you can tell right away that she was obviously TOASTED!! When you first hear her sing it, I guarantee that at some point in the song you’ll be thinking at least one of these things…. Did she just faint? Or, Is she bugging out on cocaine? Or, is she being abducted by aliens? Or, is she screaming because she thumped her toe???? Your thoughts will go all over the place with this song.

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