Black Songs Covered By The Rolling Stones

Black Artists Covered by Rolling Stones

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.

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.

Please Don’t Sing With The Dead

Natalie Cole did it again – on her latest album “Still Unforgettable” she sings a duet with her late father Nat King Cole. Thanks to refined audio techniques it is possible to combine a voice from old tapes with newly recorded voices and instruments. She has used this little gimmick before on her 1991 album “Unforgettable”. I just hope there won’t be any more of these eerie duets.

I don’t think it’s eerie because the singer Nat King Cole is dead. I listen to the voices of dead singer all the time. It’s eerie because the dead singer can’t control what’s happening to his work and it’s eerie that people don’t show any respect. It’s alright to re-issue material of dead artists, but there’s no point in cobbling together “new” songs. Unfortunately Natalie Cole is not the only one who loves to unearth the dead.

A similar thing happened to the late Buddy Holly. His record company managed to release several albums after his death. They took demonstration recordings and overdubbed them with additional instruments and backing vocals.

Even the Beatles couldn’t resist to jump on the “let’s-tinker-with-the-voice-of-the-dead-train”. In 1995 Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr took the song “Free As A Bird” that John Lennon had recorded at home in poor sound quality on a cassette. It’s just him singing and playing piano and it’s probably one of the weakest songs that John Lennon ever wrote.

Beatles, Free As A Bird That his singing is uninspired doesn’t make the song better. It’s not John Lennon’s fault, he was killed in 1980 and couldn’t prevent damage. The surviving Beatles added instruments to the home-recording and audio engineers managed to bring everything together. In the case of the Beatles greed is probably not the motive for committing this musical crime. Maybe it’s just bad taste.

Also soul singer Sam Cooke was not spared. Someone had the idea to violate his songs “Ain’t That Good News” and “Somebody Ease My Troublin’ Mind” on the Les Paul album “American Made World Played”. This album that claims to be a Les Paul album would be bad enough even without the overdubbed Sam Cooke songs, because there’s hardly any playing by guitarist legend Les Paul on it. I wonder how the producers managed to talk Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck into adding their guitars to the two Sam Cooke songs. And I wonder even more what Sam Cooke has to do with Les Paul.

Here’s my appeal to musicians, relatives of musicians and music producers: please don’t sing with the dead.

Der grosse amerikanische Schlagzeuger Earl Palmer ist gestorben

Sein Vermächtnis ist immens: mit seinem Schlagzeug-Spiel formte er die amerikanische Pop-Musik von den späten vierziger Jahren bis in die achtziger Jahre. Earl Palmer, geboren am 25. Oktober 1924 in New Orleans, starb am 19. September zuhause in Banning (Kalifornien). Ungefähr vor einem Jahr wurde er an der Lunge operiert und hat sich davon nicht mehr erholt.

Tief im Herzen war Earl Palmer ein Jazz-Schlagzeuger, aber sein geschmackssicheres und unglaublich vielseitiges Schlagzeug-Spiel war in jedem Musikstil zu Hause: Rhythm ‘n’ Blues, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Blues, Rock, Soul, Filmmusik, Musik für Zeichentrickfilme oder Easy Listening. Er ist auf Dutzenden von historischen Songs und Filmmusiken zu hören.

Zu seinem Schlagzeug tanzten in den fünfziger Jahren Teenager auf der ganzen Welt. Er spielte auf wegweisenden Rock ‘n’ Roll Songs wie I’m Walkin (Fats Domino) , Tutti Frutti, The Girl Can’t Help It, Long Tall Sally (Little Richard) , La Bamba ( Ritchie Valens) oder Summertime Blues (Eddie Cochran). Er spielte für Soul-Star Sam Cooke (Cupid, Twistin’ The Night Away), für Frank Sinatra, Dinah Washington, Ray Charles, Herb Alpert, Glen Campbell, Mel Tormé, Lou Rawls, die Beach Boys, die Monkees, Tim Buckley, Tom Waits, die Byrds, die Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Randy Newman, Barbara Streisand und viele mehr.

Und dann sind da noch die Filmmusiken: Er arbeitete mit grossartigen Komponisten wie Quincy Jones, Elmer Bernstein, John Barry, Neal Hefti und Maurice Jarre. Er sorgte für den Rhythmus in Filmen wie Das Urteil von Nürnberg, Die Lady und der Tramp, In der Hitze der Nacht und Bullitt. Und er ist auch in vielen klassischen Fernsehserien auf der Tonspur zu hören, unter anderem in 77 Sunset Strip, Peyton Place, Die Partridge Familie und M*A*S*H.

Als Kind war Earl Palmer Stepptänzer, später fing er an Schlagzeug zu spielen. Bald spielte er mit vielen Bands in New Orleans. Nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg studierte er mit einem Armee-Stipendium an der Grunewald’s School of Music in New Orleans Musiktheorie, Notenlesen und Arrangieren. Als er 1957 nach Los Angeles zog, brachte er nicht nur charakteristische New Orleans-Rhythmen mit, sondern auch fundierte musikalische Kenntnisse. Diese halfen ihm dabei, zum meistgefragtesten Studio-Schlagzeuger von Los Angeles zu werden.

Drummerworld bietet interessante Informationen zu seinem Schlagzeug-Stil und Video-Beispiele. Es gibt auch eine sehr gute Biografie mit dem Titel Backbeat: Earl Palmer’s Story, die 1999 erschien.

Great American Drummer Earl Palmer Has Died

His legacy is immense: he shaped American popular music with his drumming from the late nineteen-forties until the nineteen-eighties. Earl Palmer, born October 25, 1924, in New Orleans died on September 19th at his home in Banning California. He had to undergo a lung surgery about a year ago and was suffering since then.

Earl Palmer was a jazz drummer at heart, but his tasteful and incredibly diverse drumming felt at home in every style of music: rhythm ‘n’ blues, rock ‘n’ roll, blues, rock, soul, funk, film scores, cartoon music, or easy listening. He can be heard on dozens of historic songs and film soundtracks.

In then nineteen-fifties his drums made teenagers dance all over the world. He played on defining rock ‘n’ roll songs like I’m Walkin (Fats Domino) , Tutti Frutti, The Girl Can’t Help It, Long Tall Sally (Little Richard) , La Bamba ( Ritchie Valens) or Summertime Blues (Eddie Cochran). He recorded for soul star Sam Cooke (Cupid, Twistin’ The Night Away), for Frank Sinatra, Dinah Washington, Ray Charles, Herb Alpert, Glen Campbell, Mel Tormé, Lou Rawls, The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Tim Buckley, Tom Waits, The Byrds, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Randy Newman, Barbara Streisand and many others.

And then there are the film soundtracks: He worked with great composers like Quincy Jones, Elmer Bernstein, John Barry, Neal Hefti and Maurice Jarre. He supplied the rhythm to movies like Judgment At Nuremberg, Baby The Rain Must Fall, In The Heat Of The Night, Bullitt and he played on many television scores: 77 Sunset Strip, Peyton Place, The Partridge Family, M.A.S.H. and many others.

Earl Palmer was a tap dancer when he was a child and later picked up the drums. Soon he played with many local bands in New Orleans. After World War II he used the GI schooling for entering the Grunewald’s School of Music in New Orleans. He studied music theory, sight reading and arranging. So when he moved to Los Angeles in 1957, he not only brought with him the New Orleans “swamp beat”, but also a strong theoretical background that served him well in becoming the number one studio drummer of the Los Angeles music studios.

Drummerworld presents interesting information about his drumming including video samples. There’s also a very good biography called Backbeat: Earl Palmer’s Story that came out in 1999.