Eels sind überzeugt: Weihnachten geht vor die Hunde. Clarence Carter singt vom Weihnachtsmann, der die kleinen Mädchen in den frühen Morgenstunden glücklich macht, während die Knaben draussen spielen.
Otis Reddings Version des Weihnachtsklassiker “White Christmas” ist unübertroffen: Zerrissen, verzweifelt und sehnsüchtig träumt er von einem weissen Fest. Poly Styrene zerschmettert, von einem Reggae- Rhythmus unterlegt, die weihnachtliche Idylle. Ella Fitzgerald hingegen lädt zur unbeschwerten Schlittenfahrt. Und Neil Diamond zitiert sein eigenes Repertoire.
Die Spotify-Liste ist eine eigenwillige, aber nicht zufällige Mischung aus Soullegenden, Rockgiganten, Jazz, Elvis und Indiebands.
Fröhliche Weihnachten. Oder wie die Ramones sagen würden: Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight).
This Spotify playlist presents some of the essential songs performed or written by black artists that were covered by the Rolling Stones.
The original songs are presented back to back with the Stone’s covers.
Needless to say that the Stones learned a lot from these songs and built a 50 year career on them.
If you want to dig deeper into songs covered by the Stones, I recommend Gerard Slinkert’s project Undercover. He presents 83 original songs and compares them with the Stone’s version. You can listen to both the originals and the covers.
I stumbled upon a great article by Jas Obrecht about the history of guitar in the music studios of Los Angeles. In 1980 Obrecht had the unique opportunity to interview guitar legends such as George M. Smith, Al Hendrickson, Bob Bain, Mitch Holder, Tim May and Tommy Tedesco.
1. Classic Jazz Guitar
This site is probably the best classic jazz guitar archive on the web. It concentrates on jazz guitar players from the 1930’s through the 1950’s. Every listed guitarist is covered at least with a short but thorough biography. Some biographies are supplemented with links, discography, listening samples and picture galleries. A good starting point for every lover of classic jazz guitar.
2. Jazz Guitar Primer: An Introduction to Jazz Guitar Music
This extensive blog article takes you on time travel. It starts in the early 20th century with George Van Eps and continues with Charlie Christian, Johnny Smith, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Pat Martino, John McLaughlin and Pat Metheny. Each guitarist is presented with a short biography, essential listening and publications. A good chance to follow the development of jazz guitar over the decades.
3. Soft Flight – The Charlie Christian Web Site
Before you visit this Charlie Christian site be warned! You may spend several hours on it. It covers literally all aspects of Charlie Christian’s short life and career in detail. The discography even mentions over how many bars Charlie Christian played his solos. Speaking of solos: the site includes several transcriptions of Charlie Christian’s solos. Besides that you’ll find a chronology of his life, a detailed calendar covering the years from 1939 – 1941, a great photo gallery and much more.
4. Howard Roberts Site
The Howard Roberts Site is very comprehensive and a must for every one who loves the music of Howard Roberts. It tracks down all aspects of Roberts’ playing. The discography not only includes his recordings as leader and sideman but also his work for television and movies. There are also some pop credits from the time when he was working as a studio guitarist.
5. The 100 Best Jazz Guitarists
When it comes to music I don’t believe in rankings. Music is not sports. That’s why I only reluctantly mention the list of the 100 Greatest Jazz Guitarists. But it has a feature that makes it noteworthy. For 50 guitarists there’s a listening sample. This gives you a good and varied audio impression of different jazz guitar players.
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Elvis Presley, the “King of Rock & Roll” actually was a country music star. Contradictory, isn’t it? No, it isn’t, claims music author Colin Escott in his article about Elvis published on the Country Music Hall Of Fame website. And he makes some good points.
Ann-Margret (Photo: unknown)
Billy Strange (Photo: The "Official" Billy Strange Fan Group on Facebook)
Recently I discovered a great fuzz guitar example on Westex’ blog Diggin’ It!!! performed by studio guitarist legend Billy Strange. He played a catchy fuzz guitar intro on Ann-Margret’s country-pop ballad I Just Don’t Understand from 1961 and added some more fuzz later in the song on the chorus and in the solo part.
Billy Strange is notorious for his fuzz guitar. In 1962 he played a driving fuzz guitar solo on the Phil Spector production “Zip-A-Dee-Doo Dah” by Bobb B. Sox and the Blue Jeans. To get the fuzz sound he used a very simple but effective method that he explains in Tales Of Broken Guitar Amps.
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The rockabilly discography Rockin’ Country Style (RCS) is a hard labor of love. In 1979 Terry Gordon started working on it and it has been growing ever since.
Terry Gordon’s rockabilly discography concentrates on the years 1951 – 1964 and includes music that blends country, rhythm and blues and rock ‘n’ roll. The meticulous discography include dates, label and numbers, label shots and sometimes music samples. It also links the original songs to compilations.
The database is very user friendly because you can access it through artists, labels, song titles, and chronological or geographical listing.
So, if you love rockabilly, check this site out. But be careful, it can be addictive.