Happy Birthday Burt Bacharach.

Burt Bacharach is one of the must influential composers of popular music, of the 20th century.

Born in Kansas City, Missouri on 12th May 1928, Burt Bacharach grew up in Forest Hills, an upper middle suburb of New York City. Although Bacharach began taking piano lessons at the age of eight, his musical breakthrough came at fifteen years old when he began sneaking into Manhattan’s jazz clubs to see both Dizzy Gillespie and the Count Basie Band perform.

His music is characterized by unusual chord progressions, influenced by his background in jazz harmony, and uncommon selections of instruments for small orchestras. Most of Bacharach’s and David’s hits were written specifically for and performed by Dionne Warwick, but earlier associations (from 1957 to 1963) saw the composing duo work with Marty Robbins, Perry Como, Gene McDaniels, and Jerry Butler. Following the initial success of these collaborations, Bacharach went on to write hits for Gene Pitney, Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield, Jackie DeShannon, Bobbie Gentry, Tom Jones, Herb Alpert, B. J. Thomas, the Carpenters, among numerous other artists. He arranged, conducted, and produced much of his recorded output.

A six-time Grammy Award winner and three-time Academy Award winner, Bacharach’s songs have been recorded by more than 1,000 different artists. As of 2014, he had written 73 US and 52 UK Top 40 hits.

Today he is celebrating his 94th birthday.

This is just one of his many songs he co wrote with Carole Bayer Sager

sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burt_Bacharach

The 45th anniversary of the attack on Ray Charles.

On this day 45 years ago, 28 February 1977. Soul legend Ray Charles was attacked on stage.

Ray Charles was performing at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles for a benefit concert for the community program Project Heavy when an audience member leapt onto the stage with a rope and attempted to strangle him.

Ray Charles fought the aggressor off until security aided him. Curiously, no complaint was ever filed and the authorities were not alerted. The attacker was a member of Project Heavy. The group decided they would handle the situation privately and his identity was not announced.

At that celebrity benefit concert , hundreds of people witnessed an attack on Ray Charles, the blind singer, by a man who jumped onstage and began choking him with a microphone cord. “Ray Charles will see and the Lord will come tonight,” the attacker yelled before security guards could wrest him away from Mr. Charles

Reports later speculated that the attacker was simply a fan overcome with emotions. However, witnesses claimed the man yelled out “Ray Charles will see and the Lord will come tonight,” while trying to strangle the music legend. Luckily, Charles did make it out scratch free and continued to perform later in the evening.

sources

https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1977/03/02/76427418.html?pageNumber=50

This Day in Music History: Ray Charles is Attacked on Stage

August 16 not a good day in Music history.

According to legend, as a young man living on a plantation in rural Mississippi, Robert Johnson had a tremendous desire to become a great blues musician. One of the legends often told says that Johnson was instructed to take his guitar to a crossroad near Dockery Plantation at midnight. (There are claims for at least a dozen other sites as the location of the crossroads.)There he was met by the Devil, who took the guitar and tuned it. The Devil played a few songs and then returned the guitar to Johnson, giving him mastery of the instrument. This story of a deal with the Devil at the crossroads mirrors the legend of Faust. In exchange for his soul, Johnson was able to create the blues for which he became famous.

The story was initially told of an older bluesman, Tommy Johnson (no relation), but he died in 1956, aged 60. It was more hauntingly apposite for Robert Johnson, who died in 1938, aged only 27, after a troubled life and an itinerant career. His only recordings, made a year before his death, still have a spooky quality even 80 years on.

His death was as mysterious as his life. He died on August 16, 1938, at the age of 27, near Greenwood, Mississippi, of unknown causes. His death was not reported publicly; he merely disappeared from the historical record and it was not until almost 30 years later, when Gayle Dean Wardlow, a Mississippi-based musicologist researching Johnson’s life, found his death certificate, which listed only the date and location, with no official cause of death. No formal autopsy was done; instead, a pro forma examination was done to file the death certificate, and no immediate cause of death was determined. It is likely he had congenital syphilis and it was suspected later by medical professionals that may have been a contributing factor in his death. However, 30 years of local legend and oral tradition had, like the rest of his life story, built a legend which has filled in gaps in the scant historical record.

Elvis Aaron Presley, aka Elvis, aka the “King of Rock and Roll”, he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. His energized interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences across color lines during a transformative era in race relations, led him to both great success and initial controversy.

Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 8,1935.

On the evening of Tuesday, August 16, 1977, Presley was scheduled to fly out of Memphis to begin another tour. That afternoon, Ginger Alden discovered him in an unresponsive state on a bathroom floor. According to her eyewitness account, “Elvis looked as if his entire body had completely frozen in a seated position while using the toilet and then had fallen forward, in that fixed position, directly in front of it. … It was clear that, from the time whatever hit him to the moment he had landed on the floor, Elvis hadn’t moved.”[295] Attempts to revive him failed, and his death was officially pronounced at 3:30 p.m. at the Baptist Memorial Hospital.

I remember that day as if it was Yesterday. I was 9 at the time. I came home from school and my mother asked me “Guess who died today?” I asked who, she replied Elvis. Trying to be the tough guy I said “What is it to me?” . But when I went to my room, I cried for the rest of the day.

Joseph Ronald Drew, or Ronnie Drew was an Irish singer, folk musician and actor who achieved international fame during a fifty-year career recording with The Dubliners. He is most recognised for his lead vocals on the single “Seven Drunken Nights” and “The Irish Rover” both charting in the UK top 10 and then performed on TOTP. He was recognisable for his long beard and pale blue eyes and his voice.

On 25 October 2007, Drew—now bald and beardless—appeared on Ryan Confidential on RTÉ 1 to give an interview about his role in The Dubliners, his life since leaving the band and being diagnosed with throat cancer. Later in 2007, he appeared on The Late Late Show, where he spoke some more about the death of his wife and his ongoing treatment for cancer.

Drew died in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin on 16 August 2008, following his long illness. He was buried three days later in Redford Cemetery in Greystones.

Aretha Franklin was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Referred to as the “Queen of Soul”, she is regarded as the most influential female vocalist of the 1960s. Franklin began her career as a child, singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where her father C. L. Franklin was a minister.

On August 13, 2018, Franklin was reported to be gravely ill at her home in Riverfront Towers, Detroit.[She was under hospice care and surrounded by friends and family. Stevie Wonder, Jesse Jackson and former husband Glynn Turman visited her on her deathbed. Aretha Franklin died at her home on August 16, 2018, aged 76, without a will.The cause of death was a malignant pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (pNET),which is distinct from the most common form of pancreatic cancer.[Numerous celebrities in the entertainment industry and politicians paid tribute to Franklin, including former U.S. President Barack Obama who said she “helped define the American experience”.[ Civil rights activist and minister Al Sharpton called her a “civil rights and humanitarian icon”.

If I Should Die Tonight

If Elvis is the King of Rock N Roll, and Robert Johnson is the King of the Blues, then Marvin Gaye must be the King of Soul.

The title “If I should die Tonight” is from a track of Marvin Gaye’s 13th studio album “Let’s Get It On” which was released on August 28, 1973. I thought it would be an appropriate title because today marks the 37th anniversary of his death.

When I heard the news on the radio on April 1, 1984 that Marvin Gaye had died and had been killed by his father , I thought it was an April Fools’ day joke. However it quickly emerged that this was not the case.

Marvin Gaye was shot by his Father Marvin Gaye Sr, a Christian preacher. Marvin was shot three times following an altercation with his father after he had intervened in an argument between his parents. The wounds were fatal and he was pronounced dead on arrival at the California Hospital Medical Center.

Despite being successful Marvin struggled badly with the substance abuse and also episodes of depression which had plagued him for most of his life. After his last tour, he moved into his parents’ house. There he and his father regularly had fights and quarrels. Marvin had a bitter relationship with his father, which had been the case since childhood . On April 1, 1984, Marvin Gaye Sr. shot and killed his son after a physical altercation; the father claimed he acted in self-defense but would later be convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

In the days prior to his killing , Marvin’s parents had arguments mainly over a misplaced insurance policy letter.[16] The day before his death, the arguments spread to Gaye’s bedroom. Angered by his father confronting his mother, Gaye commanded Marvin Sr. to leave her alone. Marvin Sr did leave without any further arguments or altercation.

However at 12.30 PM on April 1, the arguments between Marvin Sr and his wife had flared up again. Marvin Jr shouted downstairs, telling his father if he had something to say, he should do it in person.

Eight minutes later Marvin Sr went up with a .38 pistol, aimed it at his son and shot him 3 times. The 1st shot had already been fatal.

Marvin Gaye was killed a day before his 45th birthday, actually less then 12 hours before his birthday.

His death had all the hallmarks of a Greek tragedy. VH1 listed Gaye’s death as the eighth most shocking moment in music history. Marvin Gaye was not just a great singer, he had a very distinctive voice which was immediately recognizable , only few singers possess that talent.

There have been many tribute songs about Marvin Gaye. I will only posting 2 of them.

Finishing up with the Great man himself

If I should die tonight
Though it seems far before my time
I won’t die blue
‘Cause I’ve known you

sources

https://www.biography.com/musician/marvin-gaye

https://www.smoothradio.com/artists/marvin-gaye/marvin-gaye-death-father-explained/