For better or for worse, the last few years have seen the music business move back into being a very singles driven medium. With the dominance of streaming services making physical musical media a shadow of what it used to be, more and more artists are seeing that the big money is in singles that … Continue reading 10 Essential Albums From the Singles Era
Essential Albums: Nat King Cole’s After Midnight
It was 1956, and Nat King Cole was ready to go back to his roots. Since the Nat King Cole Trio truly broke out in 1946 with their version of The Brown Dots song “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons,” Cole had gradually been doing less and less piano playing, instead focusing on his singing. … Continue reading Essential Albums: Nat King Cole’s After Midnight
Album Review: Louis Armstrong – Live in Europe
Imagine being dead for almost 50 years, but having left behind such an incredible legacy of material that new releases are still worthy of discussion compared to the best albums of the year. This is the case with Live in Europe, a "new" live album by the legendary Louis Armstrong.
Song Spotlight: “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons”
In 1944, the situation was getting tense for The Ink Spots. Lead vocalist and first tenor Bill Kenny was becoming more and more in control of the band, and second tenor Deek Watson was becoming a problem. The Ink Spots liked to portray themselves with a classy and professional vibe, but Watson was anything but. … Continue reading Song Spotlight: “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons”
White Savior Narratives Lose Sight of the Struggle
A prevailing theme in the historical narratives for any struggle for people of color is that some white savior came along and saved the day. People like Abraham Lincoln are emphasized, along with other white allies against oppression like abolitionist John Brown, or earlier forefathers who are seen as revolutionary simply for not being as bigoted as their peers. Meanwhile, nameless people of color by the millions were enduring the hardships, and our attention always seems to turn to the white heroes.
Nat King Cole at 100
This year makes 100 years since the birth of the legendary Nat King Cole. Although he has been gone for even longer than he was here, his influence is felt in every corner of the music world. Cole was a world class pianist in his own right, but found greater fame as a vocalist. Many standards were first sung by Nat King Cole; even more were better sung by him.