Willie Nelson's  "Me and the Boys," an album of classic country (seven of the 12 songs by Hank Williams) recorded with his sons, singers Lukas and Micah Nelson.  The originalmaterial were recorded at Willie's Austin studio in 2011 by Willie and Lukas,  with added vocals added by Lukas and Micah.

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Host Rich Kienzle takes a  special look at the five-CD soundtrack to the American roots music documentary American Epic.  He examines seven songs from the collection that have had longevity, and shows the difference between the modern, better known versions.

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Monday, 26 September 2016 09:24

Louisiana Class: Buckwheat Zydeco's Legacy

 

buckwheat z

 

Dave Martin/AP

Stanley Dural, Jr.. aka "Buckwheat Zydeco," died Saturday of lung cancer at age 68. Like so many Louisiana musicians before him, from Louis Armstrong and Guitar Slim to Dr. John and the Neville Brothers helped burn that region's music into the world's DNA. Over three decades, and began in his days as a Funk keyboard player, the Grammy-winner, a native of Lafayette, Louisiana took the hybrid Creole style of Zydeco (blending Cajun, R&B, blues and country) from regional and national popularity to the world beyond.

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Tuesday, 16 August 2016 07:56

The Story Of A Song: 'Jambalaya'

Everyone knows this song...

"Jambalaya" Hank's 1952 original.   A # 1 country single for 16 weeks.

Hank's version actually reached into the Pop Top 20, but Mitch Miller, head of the pop music division at Columbia Records, gave the song to one of their top female vocalists Jo Stafford. 

"Jambalaya" Jo Stafford,  a 1952 # 1 pop hit.

But where did it come from?  Read on...

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2016 brought forth its share of biopics. Four.  released in a bit over a month, examined revered American musicians, one (Hank Williams) a country music icon, three others (Miles Davis, Chet Baker and Nina Simone) legends from the world of jazz. There were high hopes for all of these so far as acclaim and popularity. So far, the results haven't been successful at the box office.

Here's a rundown, plus what we know about their box office success. Note: these are not reviews by me. I've seen only the the Hank.

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 My review of the soundtrack album to the Hank Williams biopic I Saw The Light, starring Tom Hiddleston as Hank Williams Sr.

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The forthcoming Hank Williams biopic I Saw The Light with Tom Hiddleston in the starring role, doing his own vocals, deals with the last decade of Hank's life. One interesting aspect of Hank's career is, there's one tune that both he and Louis Armstrong recorded a year apart. Obviously, since Hank died in 1953, it wasn't "What A Wonderful World." 

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Buddy Greco is one of my favorite jazz singers, in part because his musicality (he's a gifted jazz pianist) gives him a dimension few of the Rat Pack style singers could match. The Philly native was the pianist in Benny Goodman's short-lived 1949 bebop orchestra. He made incredible records for a variety of labels and became a Vegas mainstay before relocating to England. He turns 90 this year.

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The official trailer for the Hank Williams biopic I Saw The Light was recently released.

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The first sample of the upcoming Hank Williams biopic I Saw The Light, starring Tom Hiddleston as Hank Williams, Elizabeth Olsen as his wife Audrey and Bradley Whitford as Hank's mentor-record producer-song publisher Fred Rose, was released when the film was screened at the Toronto Intenational Film Festival.

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