Get Rhythm

60 years ago this month, Hank Williams Sr., daddy of Hank Jr.. grandfather of Hank III, died in the back seat of a Cadillac sometime between New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Enroute to a show in Ohio, too much booze, too many pills and in general, too much hard living finally caught up.  His driver pulled over in Oak Hill, West Virginia and realized it was over. He'd been in decline, sacked from the Grand Ole Opry the previous summer after pulling one too many no-shows, and returned to the radio show where he first gained notice: Shreveport's KWKH Louisiana Hayride, already rivaling the Opry as a "farm club" for new talent including Faron Young, Webb Pierce, Floyd Cramer and Jim Reeves (and in 1954, Elvis Presley). 

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Pizzarelli In Concert: Tales of Bucky

Tuesday, 22 January 2013 07:30 AM Written by

Funny what you learn at a John Pizzarelli concert. Yes, he's great with self-deprecating one-liners and patter, but he also has stories about himself but also about his dad, Bucky Pizzarelli, who at 87 is still toting his Benedetto 7-string guitar around the country playing jazz gigs.    My review of the Friday concert is here, but I want to add a bit that I wrote down and had no room to use.

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Jimmy O'Neill, the onetime disc jockey who hosted ABC's rock show "Shindig!" for its entire run, from 1964 to 1966, and got his professional start at Pittsburgh's WCAE in 1958, died in Los Angeles last Friday of cardiac and diabetes problems. He was 73.  

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George Benson's Nat King Cole Tribute Album (Repost)

Thursday, 10 January 2013 02:40 PM Written by

Pittsburgh native George Benson has been doing an onstage tribute to Nat "King" Cole onstage for some time now, accompanied onstage by a full orchestra. He's taking the concept into the recording studio with a 42-piece orchestra to record a full-on Cole Tribute album for Concord Records. His website includes an offer for fan participation.

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My Worst Country Albums of 2012

Tuesday, 08 January 2013 06:52 AM Written by

Yesterday, you got my favorites. These are, for my money, the worst of the year, a blend of established acts and newcomers.  In most cases, the producers are to blame, since they carry the clout in Nashville. In other cases, the artists themselves are partly responsible.  Country record sales were up in 2012, and no doubt real talents like Taylor Swift, Eric Church, Kenny Chesney, Kellie Pickler and so on were responsible for that rise. But some of it was also attributable to acts like those you see here.   Remember, I'm talking about the merits (or lack thereof) of the music.  How much (or little) it sells is irrelevant in my book.

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