Rene Hall: Influential But Forgotten Guitarist And Arranger Of Rock ‘n’Roll And Rhythm And Blues

Rene Hall is one of the most important founders of rock’n’roll and rhythm and blues.

If you don’t know his name, don’t worry. Unfortunately his name is only known to a few insiders. Although it’s him who’s  playing that raunchy guitar on Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” and who wrote the arrangement for Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come”.

TheHoundDog published a wonderful article with Rene Hall that gives some insight into his great achievements. Be sure to read it and learn more about a very important musician.

Bob Wills Audio Interview

Bob Wills

Bob Wills

On the Bob Wills Webpage you can buy a previously unreleased interview with Western Swing legend Bob Wills, recorded in Fresno, California, circa 1949. According to http://www.bobwills.com the 36 minute file (available as download or on CD) is the earliest known conversational recording of Bob Wills.

Listen to a sample: Outtake Bob Wills Interview

Singer, Dancer And Actress Eartha Kitt Dies

Eartha Kitt 1927-2008

Eartha Kitt 1927-2008. Photo by Gordon Parks, 1952. LIFE Google Archive.

“Generally the whole entertainment business now is bland,” Eartha Kitt said in a 1996 Associated Press interview. “It depends so much on gadgetry and flash now. You don’t have to have talent to be in the business today.”

Eartha Kitt had talent. A lot of talent. And she worked hard until the day she died. Read more about Eartha Kitt and her unique career in the obituary from TheStar.com.

Rick Rubins Modell zur Rettung der Musikindustrie

Musikproduzent Rick Rubin hat unter anderem zusammengearbeitet mit Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, Metallica, Beastie Boys und Red Hot Chili Peppers. Seit kurzem ist er auch noch Co-Leiter des Musiklabels Columbia (gehört zu Sony BMG). In einem Bericht von Spiegel Online erklärt er sein Modell zur Rettung der Musikindustrie:

Musik im Abo, was, genauer gesagt, bedeutet, dass man künftig eine monatliche Gebühr von vielleicht 15 Euro zahlt und dafür uneingeschränkten Zugriff auf jedwede Musik erhält. “Die Zukunft sieht so aus”, sagt Rubin, erhebt sich und greift nach einem kleinen, schmucklosen Apparat, der wie eine TV-Fernbedienung aussieht. Ein Prototyp, mit dem man das Repertoire aller großen Online-Musikanbieter abrufen kann. “Was wollen Sie hören?”, fragt er. “Talking Heads? ,Remain in Light’?” Vergnügt wie ein großes Kind gibt er die Anfrage in seine Fernbedienung ein, und kurz darauf erklingen die Talking Heads aus Rubins Edellautsprechern. “Wer braucht da noch Tonträger?”, fragt er.

Originals vs Cover Versions

It’s an endless discussion for music lovers: the question of original songs vs. cover versions. Check out this original vs. cover versions medley on YouTube. Side by side you can compare original and cover versions. It’s very interesting to hear what happened to songs by The Bee Gees, Madonna, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Abba or Whitney Houston.

If you want to vote for or against a cover versions go to Old School Music Lover, a blog where you regularly can vote for your
favorite orginal or cover. Decide for yourself if you prefer the original performance of “Walk Away Renee” by The Left Banke or the Motown cover version by The Four Tops.