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 […]
Wilson Pickett (1999)
“We didn’t go in there bullcrapping around. We meant business.” – Wilson Pickett Pop quiz: Name the top three greats of sixties soul. If you answer James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding, you won’t get much of an argument from anyone. But who comes next on 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, […]
Allen Toussaint (1996)
“If I was to say my joy, piano is first.” I loved Allen Toussaint before I knew who Allen Toussaint was.
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 […]