WBEZ | Duke Ellington http://www.wbez.org/tags/duke-ellington Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: Celebrating the music of Duke Ellington http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-05-01/morning-shift-celebrating-music-duke-ellington-110116 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Flickr ky_olsen.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>On his 115th birthday we celebrate the life and music of Duke Ellington. We also sit down with one of the most famous nuns in the world, Sister Helen Prejean, who has dedicated much of her life to fighting the death penalty.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-celebrating-the-music-of-duke-elling/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-celebrating-the-music-of-duke-elling.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-celebrating-the-music-of-duke-elling" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Celebrating the music of Duke Ellington" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 07:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-05-01/morning-shift-celebrating-music-duke-ellington-110116 Chicago says goodbye to ‘queen of jazz’ Geraldine de Haas http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-07/chicago-says-goodbye-%E2%80%98queen-jazz%E2%80%99-geraldine-de-haas-108113 <p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-6cbf8540-f7b7-6457-6d75-65ffea13a338"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/geraldine%20de%20haas.jpg" style="float: right; height: 366px; width: 300px;" title="Geraldine de Haas as a jazz vocalist (photo courtesy Darian de Haas)" />If you&rsquo;ve ever been to the <a href="http://southshorejazzlives.com/">South Shore Jazz Festival </a>on Chicago&rsquo;s lakefront, you probably met or at least caught a glimpse of Geraldine de Haas.</p><p dir="ltr">De Haas, a slim, petite woman with bright eyes, would wander the crowd behind the South Shore Cultural Center to say hello and delight in the scene.</p><p>&ldquo;That was the beauty of what happened at South Shore,&rdquo; said de Haas. &ldquo;Some children grew up with the festival. And when I see them now, they say &lsquo;You know, I remember my mother used to take me there when I was a little baby!&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">But this week, Geraldine bid her final farewell to the city she&rsquo;s called home for 45 years. De Haas has retired, and she and her husband moved to New Jersey to be closer to their children.</p><p dir="ltr">Still, her presence will remain strong here. Geraldine de Haas not only started her own festival, she helped build the Chicago Jazz Festival, and to save the South Shore Cultural Center from being razed and turned into a field house.</p><p dir="ltr">De Haas started her fest back in 1981. But her passion for jazz began much earlier, when she was growing up in New Jersey with eight brothers and sisters.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I used to sit there and watch them enjoy themselves dancing to the music of Ellington and Count Basie, and Sarah Vaughan and Carmen McRae,&rdquo; said de Haas. &ldquo;Everyone had their own way of expressing themselves.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">De Haas eventually got to meet some of those stars when she and two siblings formed a trio: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVrB0TqRkEU">Andy Bey and the Bey Sisters.</a> In the &lsquo;50s and &lsquo;60s they toured Europe and had a regular gig at the Blue Note in Paris.</p><p dir="ltr">They played with jazz greats and made a movie with Roger Vadim. Marlon Brando even &nbsp;tried to pick Geraldine up.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;At the end of the show, he came up to me and helped me get into my coat,&rdquo; said de Haas. &ldquo;He said &lsquo;What are you going to do tonight young lady?&rsquo; I said &lsquo;I&rsquo;m going home!&rsquo; (laughs). My son teases me. He said, &lsquo;Ma, Marlon could have been my father.&rsquo; I said, &lsquo;Right, that&rsquo;s what I was afraid of!&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Instead de Haas married jazz musician <a href="http://www.allmusic.com/artist/eddie-dehaas-mn0001190709">Eddie de Haas</a> and moved to Chicago in 1968. Eddie kept playing bass, but Geraldine eventually stopped performing to raise their children and pursue a degree.</p><p dir="ltr">But her jazz connections soon came in handy.</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/geraldine%20de%20haas%20performing%281%29.jpg" style="float: left; height: 402px; width: 300px;" title="Geraldine de Haas performs as a vocalist with the trio Andy Bey and the Bey Sisters. (Courtesy of Darian de Haas)" />It was 1974, and Duke Ellington had just died. The Chicago jazz community wanted to pay tribute. A group of musicians was planning a concert on the South Side. Then de Haas showed up at the meetings.</p><p dir="ltr">De Haas recalled &ldquo;I said, but you have to remember Duke Ellington should be in the main park where people from all persuasions would come to it.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">De Haas won the musicians over. But then she had to convince the Chicago Park District. They were worried about crowd control, and pointed to <a href="http://blast-from-thepast.com/blog/?tag=sly-and-family-stone-riot">a riot at a Sly and the Family Stone concert in 1970.</a></p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I said Duke Ellington music would never create that kind of situation,&rdquo; said de Haas. &ldquo;People would come out here and enjoy his music because they loved his music!&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">With some help from then-Cook County Commissioner John Stroger, de Haas got her way. The Ellington concert was held in Grant Park. And she earned a reputation.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;They used to call me the pit bull,&rdquo; said de Haas. &ldquo;But that&rsquo;s alright (laughs). I grab ahold of something and don&rsquo;t let go until it happens.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">De Haas said her tenacity comes from a desire to unite the community.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;When I first moved here I thought the city was so divided in terms of black people on one side and white people on the other, and it seemed like the two couldn&rsquo;t get together.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">De Haas thinks the jazz scene now is less divided: Blacks and whites play in each other&rsquo;s clubs and communities.</p><p dir="ltr">But de Haas has struggled to keep jazz going. Though she brought big stars like Count Basie and Dianne Reeves to the South Shore Jazz Festival, it never made much money. Last year it was almost canceled.</p><p dir="ltr">Then this year, it was.</p><p dir="ltr">The new organizers &ndash; and the Park District &ndash; say they&rsquo;re working to bring it back next year. They&rsquo;ve even renamed the fest after de Haas and her husband as a parting gift.</p><p dir="ltr">De Haas said the best gift would be keeping her festival alive. She sees her legacy as an effort to expose young people to the music, and to their history.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;The history of the music really deals with the life of black people in this country,&rdquo; said de Haas. &ldquo;And that is what drives me. You know, that&rsquo;s why this festival must continue. It must continue.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Alison Cuddy is WBEZ&rsquo;s Arts and Culture reporter and co-host of <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wbezs-changing-channels/id669715774?mt=2">Changing Channels,</a> a podcast about the future of television. Follow her on<a href="https://twitter.com/wbezacuddy"> Twitter</a>,<a href="https://www.facebook.com/cuddyalison?ref=tn_tnmn"> Facebook</a> and<a href="http://instagram.com/cuddyreport"> Instagram</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 19 Jul 2013 11:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2013-07/chicago-says-goodbye-%E2%80%98queen-jazz%E2%80%99-geraldine-de-haas-108113 Duke Ellington’s right-hand man: Billy Strayhorn http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-10/duke-ellington%E2%80%99s-right-hand-man-billy-strayhorn-103379 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP120606037386.jpg" style="height: 449px; width: 620px; " title="Jazz composer and arranger Billy Strayhorn. (AP/Farrar Straus and Giroux)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F64762888&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;color=ffe12b" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong>Richard Steele:</strong></p><p>Billy Strayhorn entered this life in Dayton, Ohio in 1915. Early on, his family moved to Pittsburgh. As a kid, he became very interested in music and by the time he was in high school, not only was he an exceptional pianist with a classical music pedigree, but he&rsquo;d become quite a composer.</p><p>Strayhorn cut his musical teeth with a band of other young musicians who did some local gigs around Pittsburgh. When he was playing with those musicians, Strayhorn was writing music, playing piano at cocktail parties and holding down a delivery job at a local drugstore.</p><p>Everything changed in 1938. That was the year a friend introduced him to Duke Ellington while the orchestra was performing in Pittsburgh. Duke had been told that he should meet this young gifted Pittsburgh songwriter with enormous potential. The meeting and impromptu audition took place in Duke&rsquo;s dressing room while he was getting his hair groomed. Before he heard Strayhorn play, he was only mildly interested in hearing him. He was startled when Strayhorn demonstrated his ability by playing an Ellington standard exactly like Ellington would and then played it a second time as a re-arrangement. Ellington &ldquo;was sold&rdquo; and told Strayhorn he would hire him in some un-named capacity.</p><p>Ellington gave his soon to be young protégé &nbsp;his home address in New York and invited him to come to Harlem. One of the most often-told stories about their enigmatic relationship is how &quot;Take The A Train&quot; became the signature song for Duke. It seems Ellington had written down some instructions for Strayhorn about how to get to Harlem on the subway. He said he wrote it just to impress Ellington with his song writing ability by using just the hint of a theme. Strayhorn says when he wrote it, he thought of it as a quick exercise in fast composing, but had no idea that it would become an Ellington trademark.</p><p>Strayhorn joined Ellington&rsquo;s organization in 1938 and stayed with him almost continuously until his death in 1967. Strayhorn and Ellington had a symbiotic music relationship. They complimented each other more completely than just about any other music association of its time. They had completely different personalities. Duke was an elegant, larger-than-life music figure, who loved the night life, the ladies and the adoration of a large audience, and Billy was gay, a bit introverted and valued his privacy. Together they produced some of most enduring music ever performed or recorded by a jazz orchestra.]</p><p>Here are my picks for the best Billy Strayhorn-penned tunes:</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/3709611206_91938dfc2b_z.jpg" style="float: left; height: 450px; width: 300px; " title="Randy Weston performing in 2009. (Flickr/Bruno Bollaert)" /><strong>Johnny Hartman</strong> was a jazz vocalist who grew up on Chicago&rsquo;s South Side. His began to broaden his musical knowledge and explore the possibilities of his sonorous baritone voice while he was a student at DuSable High School. Hartman benefitted from the teachings of the legendary Captain Walter Dyett much in the same way that future music stars like Dinah Washington and Gene Ammons did. Many music critics speculate that Hartman would have become more well-known if he had not come along at the same time as Billy Eckstine, who also had a great baritone voice. Even though he was well respected in music circles, Johnny Hartman&rsquo;s career never really caught fire. There was one exception in 1963, when he recorded an album of beautiful ballads, with John Coltrane on tenor sax. The Billy Strayhorn composition <strong>&ldquo;Lush Life&rdquo; </strong>is one of its most beautiful pieces. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p><strong>Duke Ellington</strong>&rsquo;s music is a good example of jazz as a true American art form, although he was never convinced his music should have a label. He wanted his music to be viewed outside of any rigid categories. When he met Billy Strayhorn in 1938, the Duke Ellington Orchestra was one of the most popular bands in the country, but he always kept an ear open for new talent. That meeting was the beginning of one of the most intensely successful music collaborations in music history. Strayhorn wrote, co-wrote and arranged many of Ellington&rsquo;s most successful compositions.</p><p>When Strayhorn died in 1967 at the age of 51, Duke Ellington had to live through one of the saddest times in his life. That same year Ellington pulled the band together for a tribute album, <em>And His Mother Called Him Bill.</em> Strayhorn had written or co-written all of the compositions. When the recording session was officially over and the musicians were packing up, Duke sat at the piano and played Strayhorn&rsquo;s <strong>&ldquo;Lotus Blossom.&rdquo; </strong>The studio engineer had left the tape recorder running. When they discovered Duke&rsquo;s private moment on tape, they included it on the album. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p>I had the good fortune to meet jazz pianist Randy Weston almost two years ago. We talked a lot about our common roots in Brooklyn. He was in Chicago to perform at the DuSable Museum, as part of a concert tour to celebrate his 85th birthday and the publication of a new book he had written. He&rsquo;s known throughout the jazz community for his composing skills as well as his piano virtuosity. Weston has lived in several different African countries, and much of his music reflects that influence. He met Billy Strayhorn through his own association with the Duke Ellington family. Weston admired Strayhorn&rsquo;s work so much that he wrote a composition to honor his friend called <strong>&ldquo;Blues for Billy Strayhorn.&rdquo;</strong> Strayhorn died a few years later and Weston played it at the memorial service. He said it was one of the most difficult things he&rsquo;s ever had to do.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe frameborder="0" height="250" src="https://rd.io/i/QX9-5DNJdq0" width="500"></iframe></p><p><strong>Tony Sarabia:</strong></p><p><strong>&quot;Johnny Come Lately&quot;&nbsp;</strong>was originally recorded in 1942 when the <strong>Ellington orchestra </strong>could have been considered a super band. Although trumpeter Cootie Williams was gone, tenor sax great Ben Webster was added, giving a whole new flavor to the band. Bassist Jimmy Blanton was also laying down some pretty wicked rhythms and you still had the older &lsquo;stars&rsquo; like alto sax player Johnny Hodges and plunger mute specialist trombonist Tricky Sam Nanton. The 1942 recording was more or less a Nanton showcase, but in this 1959 version, the leader <strong>Johnny Hodges</strong> takes a turn at the solos, the result being his famously rich &lsquo;buttery&rsquo; sound. The main chorus has an eerie quality and while this version comes at a slightly slower tempo than the original it still swings.</p><p>Before <strong>Ben Webster</strong> joined the Ellington Orchestra in 1940, Duke really didn&rsquo;t have a musician who took tenor solos; Barney Bigard specialized in clarinet but would occasionally pick up the tenor. When Webster came on board, Ellington finally had someone he could write tenor pieces for and Webster certainly added some soul and grit to the band. But he also had the ability to produce the most romantic music via his ballad style; which he admittedly owed a great deal of debt to Johnny Hodges.</p><p>It seems Billy Strayhorn also recognized what the band gained with the addition of Webster and in <strong>&quot;Chelsea Bridge,&quot;</strong>&nbsp;Strayhorn calls Webster&rsquo;s ballad playing to the fore. Chlesea Bridge was first performed by Webster and the band in 1942. This song is as a later Webster solo album suggests: <em>Music for Loving</em>. Dim the lights, light the fire, pour the wine and play this song; all is perfect.</p><p>This recording is from a 1954 appearance at the New Port Jazz Festival.</p></p> Thu, 25 Oct 2012 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-10/duke-ellington%E2%80%99s-right-hand-man-billy-strayhorn-103379 Kimberly Gordon croons her way through some Duke Ellington http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-03-23/kimberly-gordon-croons-her-way-through-some-duke-ellington-97498 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-21/4319436824_cb46d0dfb4_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-21/4319436824_cb46d0dfb4_z.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 300px; height: 200px; " title="(Flickr/Eric Allix Rogers)">As an Artist-in-Residence at storied jazz club the Green Mill, Kimberly Gordon -- not be confused with Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth -- knocks it out of the park on a weekly basis with her stunning vocals. She has what<span style="font-style: italic;"> </span><em>Paper Machete</em> host Christopher Piatt calls "one&nbsp;of the best voices in the city of Chicago."</p><p>"I've spent many a late Sunday night sitting at the end of the bar at the Green Mill, looking up at her forlornly. And it is a vantage point in Chicago that I personally recommend," Piatt says. Listen to Gordon slay with Duke Ellington's "I'm Beginning To See The Light" (with a short segway into "I Love Being Here With You"). She follows it up with a slower jam, "Sophisticated Lady."</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1333159077-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/kimberly gordon.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a>&nbsp;<em>is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It's always at 3 p.m., it's always on Saturday, and it's always free. Get all your</em>&nbsp;The Paper Machete Radio Magazine&nbsp;<em>needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.org/thepapermachete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 23 Mar 2012 13:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-03-23/kimberly-gordon-croons-her-way-through-some-duke-ellington-97498 Music Thursdays with Richard Steele (and Jason Marck): Wind http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-22/music-thursdays-richard-steele-and-jason-marck-wind-97513 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-22/wind_flickr_follow these instructions.jpg" alt="" /><p><div class="inset"><div class="insetContent"><p><span style="font-size:10px;">Listen to Jason Marck and Richard Steele discuss their picks</span></p><p><span class="filefield_audio_insert_player" href="/sites/default/files/120322 848 seg c.mp3" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-128278" player="null">120322 848 seg c.mp3</span></p></div></div><p>Though Tony Sarabia is out today, Music Thursdays lives on; Richard Steele is joined by <em>Afternoon Shift </em>director Jason Marck. He's the one who's responsible for picking all those great -- and diverse -- songs you hear in the afternoon, so we knew we'd get good picks out of him. This was practically guaranteed when he and Richard learned that the topic was wind, a subject near and dear to most Chicagoans' hearts.</p><p><strong>Jason Marck:</strong></p><p>The topic today is wind, and this is generally the windiest time of year in the windiest of cities. For this challenge, I simply had to go to three great cuts from three of my favorite artists.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ICio-2AUo64" width="480"></iframe></p><p>With music written by one of the all-time greats, Harold Arlen ("Over The Rainbow," "Come Rain or Come Shine," "It’s Only A Paper Moon," "That Old Black Magic" and hundreds of others) and lyrics by Ted Koehler ("Get Happy," "I’ve Got The World On A String," "Stormy Weather," "Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams") Sarah Vaughn's "Ill Wind" is a no-brainer.&nbsp;</p><p><em>You’re only misleadin’ the sunshine I’m needin’&nbsp;<br> Ain’t that a shame&nbsp;<br> It’s so hard to keep up with troubles that creep up&nbsp;<br> From out of nowhere, when love’s to blame</em></p><p>The song’s been done to great effect by a number of artists; Sinatra did it on the brilliant <em>In The Wee Small Hours </em>(1955), Dinah and Ella did it, and trumpeter Lee Morgan did a great version on his album <em>Cornbread</em> in 1967. But there’s something about the song that, for me, makes it a perfect match for “Sassy,” aka Sarah Vaughn. This is actually a remix version from an import called Blue Note Sidetracks Volume 6. The song was remixed by Alex Collier of the band Hooverphonic.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/XQLJX9dIrJs" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Originally recorded in 1972, Van Morrison's "Laughing At The Wind" inexplicably stayed on a shelf until Van The Man released the double CD <em>The Philosopher’s Stone </em>in 1998. That album contains 30 tracks from 1969-1988 that were either alternate takes, or, like this one, never released. Simple tune, simple lyric about a guy trying to pick up a girl in a little café. Classic Van Morrison soul sound with alto sax throughout, and a blistering little guitar solo in the middle.</p><p><em>It’s hazy, it’s lazy, waitin’ for springtime&nbsp;</em></p><p><em>Come along Roll along, all you got to do is&nbsp;</em></p><p><em>Listen to the song, listen to the melody I’d do it for you, would you do it for me.</em></p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/tNFYyS1k0wc" width="480"></iframe></p><p>The Grateful Dead's "Black Throated Win" was written by Bob Wier, with lyrics by his long-time collaborator John Perry Barlow. The song originally appeared on Wier’s solo album <em>Ace</em> (which every member of the Dead played on) and was in the band’s repertoire from 1972-1974. For whatever reason, they dropped the tune for 16 years, finally picking it up again in the spring of 1990 and playing it sporadically until Jerry’s death in 1995. Wier is known for his quirky/less straight-forward melodies and chord changes, and this fits that mold. But it’s a beautiful tune when done right. And like much of the Dead’s lyrics, they have a timeless, universal human quality to them that can be interpreted and re-interpreted by an individual as one’s life and circumstances shift and change.</p><p>This particular version comes from their performance on April 8th, 1972 at Empire Pool, a smaller venue inside the larger Wembley stadium complex in London.&nbsp;</p><p><em>What's to be found, racing around,&nbsp;<br> You carry your pain wherever you go.&nbsp;<br> Full of the blues and trying to lose&nbsp;<br> You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know.</em></p><p><em>So I give you my eyes, and all of their lies&nbsp;<br> Please help them to learn as well as to see&nbsp;<br> Capture a glance and make it a dance&nbsp;<br> Of looking at you looking at me.</em></p><div><strong>Richard Steele:&nbsp;</strong></div><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/GpuMXRlLiQI" width="480"></iframe><span style="font-size: 11pt; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); line-height: normal; ">&nbsp; &nbsp;</span></p><div><p>My first pick is by a man known (in his native New Orleans) as “The Fat Man.” In fact, Fats Domino’s first hit record in 1949 was called “The Fat Man": It sold over a million copies. Throughout his career, he sold millions of records – think “(I Found My Thrill on) Blueberry Hill.”</p><p>Fats was living in New Orleans in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit. He lost everything, including “The National Medal of Arts” he got from President Clinton in 1998. Fortunately, President Bush replaced it. When he recorded this song in 1961, he had no idea what a big part the “wind” would play in his life later on. Fats Domino sings and plays piano on his recording “Let The Four Winds Blow.”</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/uSPLSo3U46Q" width="480"></iframe></p><p>You can probably tell I’m really into nostalgia…the “way back when” stuff!</p><p>“The Wayward Wind” was originally written as a country song. When Gogi Grant recorded it in 1956, she was one of four musicians who recorded it during the same year -- but hers was the winner. It went to No. 1 on the Billboard Chart. The record was so big that Billboard voted her to be “The Most Popular Female Vocalist” at that time. Her record company re-released it in 1961…but the second time was “not the charm.” It only reached a low number on the charts.</p><p>Gogi Grant was a made-up name. Her real first name was Myrtle…but Dave Kapp, the head of A&amp;R at RCA Records gave her the name Gogi (the same as his favorite restaurant, Gogi’s La Rue). She worked well into her 80s.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/zT_7zWSjxys" width="480"></iframe></p><p>“Blowin’ in the Wind” is one of Bob Dylan’s best-known compositions; he claimed it took him about 10 minutes to write it. It’s generally described as a protest song; it’s been used by many different protest “movements” and recorded by a lot of different artists. The version by Peter, Paul and Mary sold the most records. Sam Cooke did a classic take on his live Sam Cooke at the Copa album. Included in the song’s legendary history, there was a plagiarism claim in 1973. It turned out to be false.</p><p>The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. But even as successful as the song was, the last person you’d expect to record it would be Duke Ellington. Well here it is, from a 1965 recording, ”Blowin’ In the Wind.”</p></div></p> Thu, 22 Mar 2012 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-22/music-thursdays-richard-steele-and-jason-marck-wind-97513