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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Peter Duchin born 28 July 1937

 
Peter Oelrichs Duchin (born 28 July 1937) is an American pianist and band leader. 
 
Duchin was born in New York City, the son of pianist and band leader Eddy Duchin. His mother was Marjorie Oelrichs, a Newport, Rhode Island and New York City socialite who died unexpectedly when he was just five days old. He grew up under the care and surrogate parenting of Marie and Averell Harriman, close friends of his parents 

Duchin was educated at Eaglebrook School and The Hotchkiss School prep schools in New England. He spent time in Paris, France and studied at the Sorbonne before returning home and graduating from Yale University. 

Duchin formed his first dance band in New York City, New York, USA, in 1962. Rather than attempt to update the classic big band sound, Duchin stayed close to the music’s traditions, beginning with a residency at the St. Regis Hotel in New York.  

He quickly became a celebrated accompaniment to high society parties and gatherings, establishing a position within the capital’s upper social strata, which mirrored the achievements of his father. After three years at the St. Regis further engagements followed at the Fontainebleu Hotel in Miami and the Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles.  

In 1964, he married Cheray Zauderer, a divorced Manhattan socialite with whom he eventually had three children.

Duchin's music was much heard on MOR radio in the late 1960s and early 70s from albums and singles released on the Decca, Bell and Capitol labels. His single "Star Dust" reached #143 in the Cashbox survey, 1964. 

Such was his popularity that Duchin was then able to form several orchestras bearing his name, each of which was available for bookings throughout the country. These combos became regulars at White House functions and balls, including the inauguration of President Johnson in January 1965. A contract with the Universal Pictures Studio allowed him to take his band into the world of film. However, this deal collapsed before many of the contracted films were completed. Duchin concentrated instead on live performance, and continues to do so at financially lucrative venues throughout America. 
 
 
                 Here's "Dream Of Olwin" from above 1961 album.
 

 
There are certain people for whom a party doesn’t rate if the Peter Duchin Orchestra isn’t playing. Over the years Mr. Duchin, as both pianist and bandleader, has provided the musical entertainment at an estimated 6,000 celebrations. The list itself could function as a potted history of late-era American society, as it includes everything from Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball in 1966 to a joint bar and bat mitzvah reception for Ivan Boesky’s children on the Queen Elizabeth 2 to the wedding of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver.

Having divorced, in 1985 Peter Duchin married Brooke Hayward, (see photo) with whom he'd been cohabiting since 1981. The couple maintained a loft in New York City and a house in Washington in Litchfield County, Connecticut. In 1996 he published his memoir, Ghost of a Chance. In 2008, Brooke Hayward and Peter Duchin announced their separation and eventually divorced. 

Duchin married Virginia Coleman over the 2012 Memorial Day weekend at the home of Kathy and Bill Rayner in East Hampton.  

Mr. Duchin cut his engagement schedule by half when he turned 70, so that he now plays around 60 gigs a year, but he’s still a visible presence on the fall and holiday benefit circuits. 

 
                 (Info edited mainly from Wikipedia & AMG)


Monday, 27 July 2015

Edith Butler born 27 July 1942

 

Edith Butler (born Marie Nicole Butler on July 27, 1942 in Paquetville, New Brunswick) is an Acadian singer-songwriter and folklorist. 
 
New Brunswick native Butler became a country music fan at an early age while listening to the radio growing up. After leaving home to attend Notre-Dame-de-l'Acadie her brother gave her a guitar and she began playing for boarders in her convent. It was there that she also educated herself about her Acadian heritage and began writing music based on Acadian lore.
 
To make ends meet while pursuing her musical vocation she would teach at various New Brunswick schools. In 1964 she made her television debut on CBC-TV's 'Singalong Jubilee' performing in both official languages. She also had a leading role in the National Film Board production of Les Acadiens de la dispersion (1964). Following two years of teaching, she went to Laval University to pursue a Master of Arts degree.  

Her first album, 'Chansons D'acadie', came out in 1969 and led to her featured performance at the Canadian Pavilion at Expo 70 in Osaka, Japan. She toured Ireland in 1971 and Europe in 1973 after which she continued her educational studies before delving into her music career full-time with 1973's 'Avant D'etre Depaysee' LP.   

In 1975, following her album 'L'acadie S'marie', she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. Thoughout the '80's she continued releasing albums and upgraded her folk stylings to include contemporary sounds including dance material.  She guest starred in the CBC series The Jubilee Years in the fall of 1992. Since then she has appeared at major cultural venues in Canada, the USA, and Europe, including the Olympia in Paris. In November 2008 she launched a farewell tour of the Francophonie. Since then she has appeared at major cultural venues in Canada, the USA, and Europe, including the Olympia in Paris.  
 
 
 
                  Here's "Je 'm'appelle Edith" from above album 
 

 
Butler was one of four Canadian musicians pictured on the second Canada Post stamp series of Canadian Recording Artists in July 2, 2009. Also that year, she received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.   

During 2007 Edith was diagnosed with breast cancer. After surgery and many years of treatment, she released the album The Return in the fall 2013. In 2015 Edith released her  biography "EdithButler, daughter of Paquetville" by Lise Aubut, in which she tells stories of her daily life.   


Edith can play 24 different instruments, and her repertoire ranges from Acadian songs to rock & roll. She has recorded over 27 albums. Her best-known songs include “Avant d'être dépaysée,” “Marie Caissie,” “L’Acadie s’marie,” “Je vous aime, ma vie recommence,” “L’hymne à l’espoir,” and “Un million de fois je t’aime.” In 2007 her song “Paquetville” was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.          

 (Info mainly Canadian Pop Encyclopedia)
 

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Darlene Love born 26 July 1941


Darlene Love (née Wright; born July 26, 1941) is an American popular music singer. 

Love began her singing with her local church choir in Hawthorne Ca. While still in high school (1959) she was invited to join a little-known girl group called The Blossoms, who in 1962 began working with producer Phil Spector. With her powerful voice she was soon a highly sought-after vocalist, and managed to work with many of the legends of 1950s and 1960s rock and soul, including Sam Cooke, Dionne Warwick, The Beach Boys, Elvis Presley, and Sonny and Cher.  

Darlene and the Blossoms sang back-up vocals on Shelley Fabares's hit, "Johnny Angel" as well as John Phillips' solo album John, Wolfking of L.A. recorded in 1969. They also appeared on Johnny Rivers' hits including "Poor Side Of Town" and Motown covers "Baby I Need Your Loving" and "The Tracks of My Tears."

(The Blossoms recorded singles, usually with little success, on Capitol 1957-58 [pre-Darlene Love], Challenge 1961-62, OKeh 1963, Reprise 1966-67, Ode 1967, MGM 1968, Bell 1969-70, and Lion 1972.)   

With The Blossoms she also sang backing vocals on many of the biggest hits of the 1960s, including Spector's own "Da Doo Ron Ron" (allegedly recorded with her lead, which was later erased by Spector and re-recorded using Crystals' lead Dolores "LaLa" Brooks). Though credited by Spector as singles recorded by The Crystals, "He's A Rebel" and "He's Sure The Boy I Love" actually featured Love singing lead, backed by The Blossoms.
 



"Today I Met The Boy I'm Gonna Marry" was released as a single by Spector, and featured Love's name as the artist. She was also part of a trio called Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, who recorded a song in 1962, with their rendition of "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" from the Walt Disney film, Song of the South, which got into the top ten in 1963. The Blossoms landed a weekly part on Shindig!, one of the top music shows of the era. They were part of the highly acclaimed Elvis Presley's '68 Comeback Special, which aired on NBC.  
 
Into the 1970s Love continued to work as a back-up singer, before taking a break in order to raise a family. In 1973, she recorded vocals as a cheerleader along with Michelle Phillips, for the Cheech & Chong single "Basketball Jones", which peaked at No.15 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.  

Love returned to music in the early 1980s and to an appreciative audience she thought may have long since forgotten her. In addition to singing the songs that made her famous, she has re-explored her gospel roots on several recordings. In the mid-1980s she portrayed herself in the Tony Award-nominated jukebox musical Leader of the Pack, which featured the iconic rock and roll songs written by Ellie Greenwich, many of them for the young Love.   

In the late 1980s and 1990s, Love also began an acting career, playing Danny Glover's wife in

the four Lethal Weapon movies, and appeared on Broadway in Grease and in the short-lived musical adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie. Love starred as Motormouth Maybelle in Broadway's Hairspray until April, 2008.   

She continues to do a Christmas show every year in New York City, which is always capped by "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)." She originally recorded the song in 1963 for the album A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector. Love has also performed the song every year since 1986 on the last episode of the Late Show with David Letterman before Christmas. The song is always performed with Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra, with the band being augmented by additional strings and other instruments, as well as a choir. Letterman has stated that the annual performance is his favorite part of Christmas. Due to the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike, Love was unable to perform on the Letterman show in 2007; instead a repeat of her 2006 performance was shown. 

On March 14, 2011, Love was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her most recent performances were  during the Summer 2015 Concert Series in Essex County, New Jersey.

(info edited from Wikipedia) 

I'll be turning 74 on Sunday and I'm owning it & having a ball!
 Love you all! Xoxoxo (Darlene’s latest Facebook entry)
 

Friday, 17 July 2015

Siesta for a while


                                                      Back when available.........

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Cowboy Copas born 15 July 1913

 
Lloyd Estel Copas (July 15, 1913 – March 5, 1963), better known by his stage name Cowboy Copas, was an American country singer. 

Copas was born in 1913 in Adams County, Ohio. Dropping out of school at age 14, Lloyd Copas began his music career as a fiddle player in several bands near his Ohio home. He later made the acquaintance of a Native American musician named Natchez, with the two entering fiddling contests in the Ohio River Valley area, competing for cash prizes. He began appearing on radio in the 1930s. Many of his early radio appearances were non-paying gigs, solely designed to promote his name and music. 
 
Copas could be heard on Cincinnati radio stations WLW and WKRC. In 1940, he accepted a job offer to appear as a regular on WNOX in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he performed with the Gold Star Rangers. In 1943, he became a vocalist for Pee Wee King and His Golden West Cowboys, replacing the great Eddy Arnold. While in King's employ, Copas got his first taste of WSM's Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, a venue he would play often.

In the ensuing years Copas and company traveled the country, performing at barn dance shows, rodeos, circuses and county fairs. Two of his biggest gigs came at Soldier's Field in Chicago and the Los Angeles Coliseum. 
 
 
 


Cowboy Copas was signed by Cincinnati-based King Records in 1945. His debut single, "Filipino Baby" (King 505), was a big success, rising to the number four position on the country music charts in August 1945. He went on to record a slew of singles for King from 1945 to 1956. His biggest hits included "Breeze" (1946), "Signed, Sealed and Delivered" (1947), "Tennessee Moon" (1948), "Candy Kisses" (1949) and "'Tis Sweet to Be Remembered" (1951). He also cut several singles with daughter Kathy in 1951-52. 

From 1957-58 Cowboy Copas recorded for Dot Records. The output was minimal, with only three singles released. 

Unable to score a hit, Cowboy Copas -- decked out in his big white Stetson and other cowboy regalia -- hit the trail, performing at volunteer firemen's picnics, honky tonks and small-town bars. In 1959, Don Pierce of Starday signed Copas to a recording contract. His third single for Pierce, the foot-stomping "Alabam" (Starday 501), hit number one in 1960. 

A benefit concert for the family of deceased country disc jockey Jack Call had brought Copas and other performers to Kansas City, Kansas. On March 5, 1963, Copas, Patsy Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins and son-in-law pilot-musician Randy Hughes boarded a single-engine Piper Comanche for the return flight to Nashville. They never made it. The plane crashed 90 miles west of Nashville, killing all on board. 

Cowboy Copas was survived by his wife Edna, daughter Kathy and sons Gary and Mike. The crash was especially devastating for Kathy Copas Hughes, who had lost both her husband Randy and her father. 

One month after his death, Cowboy Copas' last single, "Goodbye Kisses," hit the Top 15 on the country music charts. (info edited from various sources)


Monday, 13 July 2015

Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams born 13 July 1915


Paul “Hucklebuck” Williams (13 July, 1915, Lewisburg, Tennessee - 14, September 2002. New York City) was an American blues and rhythm and blues saxophonist and composer and precursor of Rock ’n’ Roll. In his Honkers and Shouters, Arnold Shaw credits Williams as one of the first to employ the honking tenor sax solo that became the hallmark of rhythm and blues and rock and roll in the 50s and early 60s.
Paul Williams was born on July 13, 1915 in Lewisburg, Tennessee. His parents were Will E. Jones and Flora Williams.  His family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky when he was two and to Detroit, Michigan when he was 13. Williams learned to play the saxophone after his mother gave him one as a Christmas gift when he was 15.  He honed his craft through private lessons, playing in his high school ensembles and eventually performing in gigs at Detroit clubs.
 



In 1948, at the age of 33, Williams recorded “The Hucklebuck,” an instrumental considered by many music historians to be an important precursor to rock ‘n’ roll. At a time when record companies promoted "race" records only among African Americans, Williams' song became a major crossover hit among both black and white audiences. "The Hucklebuck” stayed at the top of the charts for 32 weeks, and from that point on he was known as Paul “Hucklebuck” Williams.
"The Hucklebuck", a twelve-bar blues that also spawned a dance craze. He used the billing of Paul Williams and his Hucklebuckers thereafter. Charlie Parker had four years earlier used the same riff for his "Now's the Time".
When Paul Williams toured with the Hucklebuck in those days, the crowds got rowdy. With honking histrionics on stage and suggestive dancing offstage, the shows were sweaty riotous affairs that got shut down on more than one occasion, as the sexual energy got just too overheated. Once the band hired a midget to dance up on the bar while they Hucklebucked.
Teddy Reig claims to have taught Paul Williams a little "choreography" to spruce up the show; kicking as he played, bending and dipping, getting down on the floor while blowing that saxophone. The honking, sometimes just one note over and over, turned the horn into a rhythm instrument.
 By the early 1950s Paul “Hucklebuck” Williams and his Orchestra were regularly featured at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. They were the backup band for artists such as Big Joe Turner, Dinah Washington, Amos Milburn and Ruth Brown. They were also featured in the Apollo Theatre’s film Rhythm and Blues Revue (1955).
On March 21, 1952 Paul “Hucklebuck” Williams and his Orchestra became a part of rock ‘n’ roll history when they performed at The Moondog Coronation Ball at the Cleveland Arena, promoted by disc jockey Alan Freed. This is often considered to be the music industry’s first rock concert. Because of rampant gate crashing and overcrowding, fire marshals stopped the Coronation Ball shortly after it began. The Orchestra was the only act that performed that night.
Williams later worked in the Atlantic Records house band and was musical director for Lloyd Price and James Brown until 1964. After opening a talent agency in New York in 1968, he rarely performed again.
By the 1980s Williams’ contributions to the rise of a new musical genre were increasingly recognized by music historians and fans. In 1986 he participated as a guest speaker, panellist and performer at a Smithsonian Institution symposium entitled “Rhythm and Blues: 1945-1955,” held at the National Museum of American History.
In 1992 Williams received three important honours. He was invited back to Cleveland where he participated in the 40th Anniversary Celebration of Alan Freed’s Moondog Coronation Ball and was honoured with a resolution of welcome from the Cleveland City Council. The Rhythm and Blues Foundation honoured Mr. Williams with their Pioneer Award in recognition of his artistry and lifelong contributions to rhythm and blues music. Also in December of the same year, The Paul Hucklebuck Williams story was featured in a Life magazine special issue on 40 years of rock ‘n’ roll. 
He died of cardiac arrest on September 14th 2002 at Englewood Hospital in Englewood, New Jersey. He was 87.   (info various mainly Wikipedia, BlackPast.org & hoyhoy.com)

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Pixie Williams born 12 July 1928


Pixie Williams (married name Costello, 12 July 1928 – 2 August 2013) was a New Zealand singer best known for the song "Blue Smoke", recorded in 1949. She was a shooting star of New Zealand music – a clear, bright magical voice, a brief luminous career, a brilliant flash of light that lives on as a memory for some - both distant and familiar.
Pikiteora Maude Emily Gertrude Edith Williams was born 12 July 1928, in Mohaka near Gisborne in the Hawkes Bay.  Taken from her mother when only a few months old to be raised by her grandparents. Her happy childhood years were spent with them and her love of music was born – singing around the piano most evenings and on the Marae from age three. 
By 1941 both grandparents had died and Pixie’s happy childhood years ended. She was 12 years old – and now under the care of her Uncle who made her work very hard on his farm.. By age 14 relatives stepped in.  Concerned at the way Pixie was being worked, they told her natural mother who came by one day and picked her up. By age 15 Williams moved to Napier where she got a job cleaning at the hospital, followed by six month stint housekeeping at the Masonic Hotel.
At age 17, Williams moved to Wellington where at the YWCA Hostel on Oriental Parade, her extraordinary voice came to the attention of songwriter and musician Ruru Karaitiana. At that time her talent was known only to the girls she shared lodgings with. Fellow resident and room-mate Joan Chittleburgh (whom Karaitiana later married) suggested Williams, who was always singing in the shower and at hostel piano sessions.  Blue Smoke was written by Karaitiana whilst he was on board a troop ship during World War II and was one of the songs in Williams’ repertoire.
The song launched Williams' career.  It was a magical collaboration between artists that nearly didn't happen. Williams twice turned down Karaitiana when he asked her to record his song.  After one final plea, two months after first asking, she agreed - on the proviso that the recording didn't interfere with her Saturday hockey games.
 

If Pixie Williams had done nothing else, she would still be in the history books for what happened on October 3, 1948 when she turned up at a makeshift recording studio in Wellington, New Zealand, still wearing her hockey uniform. On that day she sang with the Ruru Karaitiana Quintette on Ruru's Blue Smoke, the first song to be written, recorded and pressed on a local record label (TANZA) in New Zealand. She was 17. 
 


It was number one on the New Zealand charts for six weeks and sold around 50,000 copies (and was covered by the likes of Dean Martin) and it would have seemed Williams -- then living in a hostel and working in a battery factory -- would have a wonderful career. It was, however, brief.


Pixie Williams (far right) with, from left, musicians Doug Brewer, Bill Hoffmeister, Jim Carter, Keith Willet and Russ Laurence. The women from the audience are unknown. Wellington, late 1940s.
Williams was to go on to sing on several more recordings during 1949 and 1950: "Bellbird Serenade" (backed by Jimmy Carter's Hawaiians), "Maori Rhythm" (backed by Alan Shand's Orchestra), and "Saddle Hill", as part of Ruru Karaitiana's Quavertones. The Quavertones were credited with "Let's Talk it Over" and "Windy City".
In the summer of 1951, Williams headed south to Dunedin, where she met Irishman Paddy Costello. It was love at first sight. Her promising singing career soon took second fiddle to raising their four children. Pixie could not read music but taught herself to play guitar, ukulele, the banjo and piano accordion and, at 73, decided to teach herself the organ - for something to do.

It wasn’t until 2011 that the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand recognised Williams with a triple platinum award for "Blue Smoke" and single platinum award for the song "Let's Talk it Over". The same year, a digitally re-mastered compilation of Williams' songs, For the Record: The Pixie Williams Collection, was released. (Below is a photo of Pixie with her daughter Amelia Costello).

 Williams died at a rest home and hospital in Upper Hutt on 2 August 2013. She had been suffering from dementia, diabetes and Parkinson's disease.
"No matter where you are, music will always have some meaning. When you have music in your heart, it stays with you. It kept me sane in the hard times. Forget the pills - when you've got music in your life you'll be OK."  Pixie Costello (nee Williams ), January 2010.  (Info various sources but mainly edited from Blue Smoke records & Wikipedia)