Get Rhythm

The late Desi Arnaz (1917-1986) would have been 100 this year.  Everyone knows him as I Love Lucy's Ricky Ricardo--but in real life, he made some remarkable music that played  a role in the rise of Latino culture in America.  And the songs, whether he sang them in a real club or Lucy's fictional Tropicana (later Club Babalu), were often damned good.


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Duquesne Holds Its Guitar & Bass Workship August 5

Thursday, 20 July 2017 04:00 AM Written by



Duquesne University's City Music Center will hold its Guitar & Bass Workshop on Saturday, August 5 from 9 AM to 5 PM at the Mary Pappert School of Music. 

The participating faculty Bill Purse, Mark Koch, Tom Kikta, Ken Karsh, Brian Stahurski, Jeff Mangone, and Ben Meyer.

The courses involve basic guitar, classical, jazz, studio work, electronics and much more. This is a complete schedule and course list.

Joe Negri, who helped established Duquesne's Guitar Department nearly 45 years ago, will conduct the Master Class from 11:30 to 12:30


Registration is $ 60. The deadline is Friday.


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 My review of two CDs/DVDs/LPs of live 1988 Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakam segments from Austin City Limits, when Yoakam was at his peak and Owens was resuming his career after years of semi-retirement.



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Credit: Lake Fong, Post-Gazette 

The late jazz drummer-promoter-bandleader Spider Rondinelli, who died Monday at 82, was a low-keyed musician with a dazzling talent. His very well-done obituary is here.

This is a 2007 profile by the PG's Nate Guidry that delves into his life even deeper.  The PG photo above shows Spider with saxophonist Kenny Blake, performing in Jefferson Hills.

Having written scores of musicians' obits myself, the one thing no obit will get across: the man and the music, in settings from the 50's to two years ago.

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The First Country Rap Hit Turns 70: PG Music Podcast

Saturday, 08 July 2017 04:11 AM Written by

 My look back at the 70th Anniversary of country music's first true Rap hit--also Capitol Records' first million-seller, a product not of Nashville, but California

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Hank and Audrey Williams: One Sang. One Tried.

Thursday, 06 July 2017 04:06 PM Written by


"It's bad enough to have a wife who wants to sing.

But it's worse to have a wife who wants to sing and CAN'T."

Hank Williams, Sr.'s take on wife Audrey's singing.

So many illusions surround the relationship of Hank and Audrey Williams, whose marriage lasted from 1944 to 1952. There are those who romanticize the Hank-Audrey vocals, either unable or unwilling to acknowledge that only one of them sang on key and in meter, and it wasn't her. During Hank's lifetime and peak years of fame, many around Hank considered her a millstone for insisting on singing with him.  This doesn't count the other problems between them that ultimately led to the couple's divorce. There were times he shrugged and allowed her to do it. At other times he would bar her from singing. Shamefully, he sometimes roughed her up to keep her away from the mike.

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Two Singers Named Jimmie Rodgers

Monday, 03 July 2017 06:51 AM Written by


 It doesn't happen often, but on rare occasions two performers have precisely the same names, spelled identically. It makes confusion inevitable. If both are living, one might alter their stage name. But what happens if they both lived in (almost) different eras?

Consider the case of two singers named Jimmie Rodgers, where the only connection is the first died the year the second was born.

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My review of Chuck, the late Chuck Berry's farewell album, released earlier this month.

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