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Willie Nelson's Ray Price Tribute Arrives Next Month

Wednesday, 03 August 2016 10:14 AM Written by


Willie - Ray Tribute cover

September 16, Willie Nelson's For The Good Times: A Tribute to Ray Price will be released by Nelson's label, Legacy Recordings, Price, the "Cherokee Cowboy" who died of pancreatic cancer in 2013, was one of fellow Texan Willie's closest friends. The album's producer, Fred Foster, former head of Monument Records, produced Willie in the 1960's and produced Price's final album before his death. (Disclosure: I've annotated reissue albums of both Price and Nelson for Legacy).

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Country music critic Rich Kienzle reviews Jake Owen's just-released CD "American Love."

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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



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

chilly billy

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



"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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