fela kuti, pan african music Music 

Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti nominated for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

(CNN)—Afrobeat pioneer, Fela Kuti has been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for 2021. The legendary Nigerian musician made this year’s list of nominees more than two decades after his passing. Fela was nominated alongside 15 other artists including rappers Jay-Z and LL Cool J. R&B stars Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan and Dionne Warwick. Greg Harris, President and CEO of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame unveiled the list of nominees Wednesday. Also shortlisted were rock stars Rage Against the Machine and Foo Fighters, as…

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Willie Dixon /guitartricks.com Music 

Willy Dixon, Bard of the Blues

  By Dag Walker You gotta listen to this– Willie Dixon– the Bard of the Blues. You gotta listen. Willie Dixon and the Chicago Blues. He’s ready for you, and I hope you’re ready for him. Ready as anybody can be! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6LN9LtKwMY   If you don’t love this music, contact your lawyer and have me removed from your will.  (NO! I was kidding.) Willie Dixon. The coolest, hottest Chicago bluesman on earth.  Willie Dixon is one of those famous people most people have never heard of. My father heard of…

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rosetta tarp, grammy.com Music 

Sister Rosetta Tharpe: Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down

By Dag Walker The singing, guitar playing gold-toothed Gospel Ranger, Claude Ely, born in 1922, lay in be a’dying as a 12 year old, tuberculosis slowly dragging him to the grave in Puckett’s Creek, Va., in the  Appalachian Mountains. He wasn’t having it. “Ain’t no grave gonna hold my body down.” An uncle gave the boy a guitar to consolation, with which he composed his best known song, one that became a Pentacostal favourite of the folks of the Appalachian Mountains and beyond. The boy recovered, and took up preaching…

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Some folks today are trying to burn down the world to make it a better place. Good luck with that. It’s been done before. There is a little known factoid that in 1934, when the Ink Spots ruled, that Poland began its failed attempt to colonise Liberia. 7. Things change.  Music 

The Ink Spots: “I don’t want to set the world on fire, I just want to start a flame in your heart.”

  By Dag Walker   As things are today back home in American there are a large number of folks who really do want to set the world on fire. As of this writing, they have been doing a fair good job of it for three months, and no end in sight, burning, looting, and murder most every night in major cities across the nation. Me? I don’t want to set the world on fire, I just want to be with my girl.  Humility, a quality I highly regard in…

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I fondly recall beloved Miss Donner von Blitzen, my third grade school teacher. I’m not saying she was mean and ugly, but when she went down to the swamp all the toads croaked. Aside from that true fact, which I am not making it up, Miss Donner von Blitzen had a particular bad habit of beating us kids when we used the perfectly good English word “ain’t.” I have the scars to prove it. My feeling to this day? “Ain’t nobody’s business if I do.” Music 

Big, Bad Bessie Smith, A Great Blues Singer

    By Dag Walker   I fondly recall beloved Miss Donner von Blitzen, my third-grade school teacher. I’m not saying she was mean and ugly, but when she went down to the swamp all the toads croaked. Aside from that true fact, which I am not making it up, Miss Donner von Blitzen had a particularly bad habit of beating us kids when we used the perfectly good English word “ain’t.” I have the scars to prove it. My feeling to this day? “Ain’t nobody’s business if I do.”…

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Jockk Brand vs. the Man at the Top of the Stairs  and Other Men Hiding in the Shadows in the Garden Evening. Icy Cafe, Street of the Monkeys, Phom Phen.  Music 

“Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”

    Dag W. Walker   The world famous and much loved Earl Ronald founded the red sandstone Norman-style cathedral of St Magnus back in 1137 in memory of his uncle Jarl Magnus who was assassinated in the island of Egilsay in 1115.1. That was back in what my grandparents called “The Old Country.” The cathedral is still there, beyond the northern shores of Scotland, in the middle of the island it shares with Skara Brae, a Stone Age settlement of five or six families. Maes Howe is nearby, and…

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Hawkins was born in Oakland, California, in 1943. He too is now dead. In 1967, he and Betty Watson co-founded the Northern California State Youth Choir of the Church of God in Christ with 46 singers ages 17 to 25. In a time of eight-track recorders, they used a two track recorder in the church and eventually made 500 copies of their albumn, featuring Dorothy Combs Morrison as female lead. They recorded the album Let Us Go into the House of the Lord, 1968, at the Ephesian Church of God in Christ in Berkeley, California   Music 

200 years later—in 1968, Edwin Hawkins and Oh Happy Day!

  By Dag Walker   Most afternoons back in my old hometown the old guys would sit in cane rocking chairs out front of Virgil’s barbershop down on Main Street, smoking old pipes, dozing off in the summer sun, straw hats covering their wrinkled, bald heads; and when their heads jerked up as they awakened briefly, they would talk slow and soft about the olden days of their youth. They were old, indeed, but none of them recalling the old days ever talked about the year 1755. They missed something…

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Yes, my father claimed to have played the clarinet with Artie Shaw, but, sitting in the 1957 Chevy as he wheeled us to the drive-in burger joint when at long last the family had abandoned the barren wastes of the high islands of the North Sea for the easier lands of the mountains in America, he frowned as I would turn on the car radio to listen to the turns of the day, The Platters, The Four Tops, The Shirelles. Always bitter, that man, he who had lived in the era of grand music. At least he had a nice car. Me? Well, I had the music.  Music 

King of Swing: Count Basie

  By Dag Walker   Long ago, back when my father was a ten-year-old, his father announced one evening that he was going to town to buy an automobile the next morning. My father was so excited he could hardly sleep that night. He woke before dawn and walked with my grandfather to the top of the hill while my grandfather strode to town to buy his first car. My father sat on the hilltop awaiting his return. My father sat and watched and waited; and every hour or so…

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Back in the year 1772 a bad guy, a wretched man, sat down and did something good for once. He’d been an English slave-trader until he was 30, such a wretched man that even his companions in an evil business hated him. He was so bad that his ship-mates one day sold him to the notorious slaver Amos Clowe at Sherbro Island. Slaver John Newton became a slave himself in 1748. Not that it made him a better man. He was freed and continued to be as evil as before. That changed by 1772.  Music 

Gospel: Mercy, Forgiveness, and ‘Amazing Grace’

  By Dag Walker   Sometimes, a sinner becomes a saint. For ordinary folks like me, it hardly matters, I still want to strangle bad guys. Forgiveness is too hard. So, it’s better to step aside and allow that vengeance is for the Lord. Let the Lord deal with sinners and saints. He might know more about such things than I do. Back in the year 1772 a bad guy, a wretched man, sat down and did something good for once. He’d been an English slave-trader until he was 30,…

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As a traveler for the past 50 years, every country I have been to is a foreign country. As an old guy, one who lives in the past, even my home country is a foreign country. I travel back to my childhood home fairly often, my mind returning to the joys of childhood, much of it musical. In that foreign country of the past, I am no longer a stranger adrift in a world I don’t understand. I am home again. I am not alone and bewildered by the mysteries of the world spinning out of control. I am happy. “Baby, it’s you.”  Music 

The Shirelles: Baby, It’s You! 

By Dag W. Walker “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” So wrote Leslie Poles Hartley in The Go-between, in 1953.  As a traveler for the past 50 years, every country I have been to is a foreign country. As an old guy, one who lives in the past, even my home country is a foreign country. I travel back to my childhood home fairly often, my mind returning to the joys of childhood, much of it musical. In that foreign country of the past, I…

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