Get Rhythm

In Mad Men Season Five, Episode Three (directed by Jon Hamm), the year was 1966, and Don Draper and Harry Crane were looking to add something youthful to Sterling Cooper's new account: Heinz Baked Beans, following the suggestion of a Heinz executive.  To that end, they went backstage at a Rolling Stones concert hoping to meet the group's manager and convince the Stones to make a TV commercial for Sterling Cooper's new client, Heinz Baked Beans. The boys didn't get far, but Don told some female fans they met that the group "did a commercial in England."  Did they?

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Chips Moman: The Legacy Of An American Producer

Wednesday, 27 July 2016 08:45 AM Written by

 

CHIPS

Producer-songwriter Chips Moman's recent passing at 79 ended a remarkable life. Born in Georgia, his professional career began in the 50's when he was part of Sun rockabilly Warren Smith's band. He toured for a while with the Burnette Brothers, worked in Hollywood and finally settled in Memphis, where he did his first production work for what became the legendary Stax label. He began to fill dual roles: record producer and songwriter (the nickname a tribute to his poker playing talent).

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Chilly Billy Cardille: A Video Retrospective

Friday, 22 July 2016 03:26 PM Written by

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Darrell Sapp/Post-Gazette

The best way to pay homage to a Pittsburgh institution like the late Bill Cardille is watching him in action.

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My review of guitar virtuoso Barney Kessel's recently unearthed live 1954 performance at a Phoenix jazz club, available on vinyl and CD.

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 My podcast review of the upcoming (July 29) Quiero Creedence, a Latino salute to Creedence Clearwater Revival featuring American and Latin American bands playing their favorite CCR numbers.

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Pittsburgh Jazz Legends 20: Billy May

Tuesday, 12 July 2016 09:55 AM Written by

 

sinatrabilly

"Recording with Billy May is like having a bucket of cold water thrown in your face."

--Frank Sinatra.

Billy May's career took him from playing and arranging in Pittsburgh bands to the mainstream after World War II. His virtuosity, vision and buoyant good humor created a vision that enhanced the recordings of Sinatra and other singers. He also left a legacy of first-rate, swinging instrumental albums.

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 Music critic-historian Rich Kienzle reviews a coming vinyl reissue of folk-blues singer/social activist Josh White's 1955 LP Josh At Midnight,  one of Elektra Records' earliest successful LPs.

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Joe Negri At 90: A Granddaughter's Video Tribute

Friday, 01 July 2016 06:38 AM Written by

 

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Joe at Lawrence Music in 2014  Pam Panchak/Post-Gazette

Joe Negri turned 90 last month (actual date: June 10). Two weeks ago, he returned to the Omni William Penn to an appreciative audience including many in the local jazz scene, some involved with the former WDUQ and myself. Marketing Director Bob Page brought out a birthday cake with one candle for each decade.

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