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The Midwestern Musical Adventures of Missouri’s Own Ozark Mountain Daredevils

Originally published Goldmine magazine, November, 24, 2006

In the beginning, it was just about free beer and pizza. A loose affiliation of pickers and friends would gather to share songs at the pizza joint where one of them worked. Eighteen months later, they were all on a jet flying to London to record their first album, with producer Glyn Johns, who’d already worked with The Who, The Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin. [Read more →]

November 2, 2008   5 Comments

Those Were The Days, But Mary Hopkin Lives in the Present

Originally published in Goldmine Magazine, November, 2007

It was a voice of purity and clarity, strength and vulnerability, humanity and otherworldliness that somehow, amazingly, found its way onto the stage of popular music in 1968. It was fortunate that the simple beauty of Mary Hopkin’s voice was heard at all among the angry, raucous, and impassioned sounds of the time. It was a voice that rang like a bell, simple and subtle, without gratuitous vocal acrobatics. And just as mysteriously as this haunting voice had arrived, it disappeared from the musical landscape. [Read more →]

November 2, 2008   6 Comments

Tim Brooks’ Lost Sounds: Discovering the Roots of Black America’s Music

Originally published Discoveries magazine, August, 2005

In 1958, photographer Art Kane gathered together fifty seven major American jazz musicians for a group photograph in New York. Kane’s photo would be called “A Great Day In Harlem” and would appear in an Esquire magazine article about jazz, which had come a long way by that time, musically and culturally. There were few color boundaries in jazz culture, as the photo shows, and this was nearly a decade before American blacks and whites would finally dismantle so many other societal rules of racial separation. [Read more →]

November 2, 2008   No Comments

What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding?: Remembering John Denver

Originally published in Discoveries magazine, December, 1997

In 1974 and 1975, the only shirts I wore were those pseudo-western white button up ones with a yoke on the shoulders and a pattern that matched the cuffs. They were quite in vogue for the time, and there was only one reason for it: John Denver wore them on his album covers and the frequent TV appearances he made. He was everywhere. Both kids and adults liked him for his wholesome attitude, appearance, and those beautiful songs. [Read more →]

November 2, 2008   2 Comments

Photographs, Memories and Music: Keeping the Memories of Jim Croce Alive

Originally published Discoveries magazine, April, 2005

When I think of the late Jim Croce, who died all too young at 30 in 1973, I think not only of his heartfelt songs with beautiful expressions of love and human character, but also of a nice dinner featuring a Wild Salmon Tournado entree with herb-crusted eggplant medallion, grilled asparagus and seasonal vegetables served with a tarragon beurre blanc. Okay, not really, but that does sound good, doesn’t it? [Read more →]

November 2, 2008   1 Comment