D.J. Fontana etched his place in rock and roll history playing drums for Elvis Presley. He was more than just lucky to be in the right place at the right time.
Jay Geils (2005)
Jay Geils made his mark playing blues and his fortune playing rock and roll. But his first love was jazz. Jay—who died on April 11, 2017 at age 71—made that clear when I interviewed him at his split-level home in Groton ten days before a date at Tempo, a Waltham restaurant, to celebrate the […]
Dan Penn (1995)
Dan Penn is far from famous, but most everyone – at least most everyone of a certain age – knows his work. Penn produced the Box Tops’ immortal “The Letter” and co-wrote a clutch of stone soul classics (“Dark End of the Street,” “Do Right Woman,” “I’m Your Puppet,” “Cry Like A Baby,” “Sweet […]
Chubby Checker (2003)
Chubby Checker believes he deserves more than just a plaque in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He wants what he insists is his just due: a 30-foot tall statue on the plaza in front of the Hall of Fame building in Cleveland.
David Bowie (1995)
When liver cancer killed David Bowie on January 10, 2016, he had made sure the world would be thinking about his art as well as his death.
Lloyd Price (1998)
Lloyd Price is angry. His anger comes through on almost every page of a new memoir as idiosyncratic as its title: “sumdumhonkey.”
John Trudell (1992)
“…an Indian is someone you rob, someone you steal from.” If you’re into “Serial,” “The Jinx” or “Making of A Murderer,” check out “Incident at Oglala,” a 1992 documentary about Leonard Peltier, a Native American activist imprisoned for two murders there is reason to believe he did not commit. You will also meet John Trudell, […]
Al Kooper (1995)
“I was pretty much robbed all my life….” The big bucks versions of “The Cutting Edge 1965-1966,” the latest entry in the Bob Dylan bootleg series (note: not actual bootlegs), includes a 20-track disc of a single song, “Like A Rolling Stone.” It brings to life one of the most famous recording sessions in history […]
B.B. King (1980)
“A guy comes out of the gumbo, he likes to walk on concrete awhile.” October 14, 1980 Lippman House, Harvard University, Cambridge When B.B. King came to Harvard University, it was a special day. Not only for the fortunate few who got to witness an intimate performance in a small wooden house […]
Ben E. King (1987)
“I’ve come to accept that ‘Stand By Me’ is my secret key to survival…” In early 1987 Ben E. King – who died April 30 at 76 – was enjoying an entirely unexpected return to the upper reaches of the pop charts. The original recording of his 1961 song “Stand By Me” had become a […]