Get Rhythm

KDKA Legend Art Pallan Sings--And Very Well!

Monday, 21 December 2015 06:36 AM Written by

Art Pallan (1923-2007) was a giant of Pittsburgh radio, one of the mainstays of KDKA 1020 when it was still based in Gateway Center. As "your pal, Pallan," he was part of a group of KDKA hosts, along with Rege Cordic, Bob Tracey, Clark Race, Terry McGovern, Ed & Wendy King, Jack Bogut and Trish Beatty, considered part of KD's Golden Era before the format switched to talk in the early 1990's.

This PG obituary has more on Pallan's life and career.

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This week, we look at an audio-only release of Man In Black: Johnny Cash Live In Denmark: 1971, a concert collection done for Danish TV during a European tour.  It features his entire touring show at the time: The Tennessee Three, June Carter Cash, the Carter Family Carl Perkins and the Statler Brothers.  Released by Legacy Recordings, it's available on CD, LP and digital download.

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NO SPOILERS: "Palindrome," Episode 10 of Fargo and the Season Finale, again mixes up the music, with period songs spanning 1968 to 1973, and a shout-out to the original 1996 movie.

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If you got a kick out of hearing William Shatner and the late Leonard Nimoy's attempts to sing when they recorded in the 60's, be advised they weren't alone.  NCIS co-star David McCallum (Dr. Mallard), was, if you weren't aware, a true, bonafide teen idol 50 years ago when he portrayed the original Illya Kurayakin in the original Man From U.N.C.L.E. TV series that ran four seasons (1964-1968) on NBC with non-singing  Robert Vaughn as Napoleon Solo. 

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 Sinatra's 100th Birthday has brought various new releases and celebrations.  This is my review of the newly-issued 4 CD set A Voice On Air: 1935-1955, a collection of rare performances taken from 20 years of his radio broadcasts.

This video offers insights into the technical end of producing this material, taken from programs preserved on discs well over half a century old.

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Another Pittsburgh Grammy nominee alongside Wiz and the PSO: pianist Geri Allen, Pitt's Director of Jazz Studies.  She was co-producer (with Steve Rosenthal) of the recently-released 3-CD set The Complete Concert By The Sea, the best known album by pianist and Pittsburgh jazz giant Erroll Garner (1921-1977).  Allen also contributed an essay to the accompanying booklet.  This newly-released collection was nominated for a Grammy for Best Historical Album.

Recorded in 1955 on portable recording gear at a California show, the concert was edited from its full length at the time so a vinyl LP--the only medium for albums at that time--could handle it. That album included eight tunes plus an opening announcement. Exciting, lively and inventive, it became Garner's best-known album and one of the most popular jazz albums of all time.

But the complete concert was never released until this collection, which comes with added interviews done with Garner and his musicians recorded after the 1955 show. Pitt is the repository for Garner's archives, as we revealed in this June Blog entry.

Below is my "Believe Your Ears" Podcast review of the collection.

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 NO SPOILERS: "The Castle," Episode 9 of Fargo, has got to be seen to be believed.  And then, probably, viewed again.  As for the music, don't think 1979, the setting for this season. Go back a few more years.

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Muddy Waters: An Appreciation

Monday, 07 December 2015 08:25 AM Written by


Muddy Waters' headstone claimes he was born in 1915, but subsequent research points to 1913 as his actual birth year. So his centennial year has passed. Despite that, here's a look at high points in his storied career. I'm not going to run through an entire biography here. Robert Gordon's will do quite nicely.

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