Rich Kienzle

Rich Kienzle

Let the music speak for itself...

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This week on "Believe Your Ears," I review the new album by Dion DiMucci: "New York Is My Home," produced by Conan O'Brien bandleader and guitarist Jimmy Vivino.

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New trailers have just been released for Miles Ahead, the partly crowdfunded Miles Davis biopic starring Don Cheadle, who played a major role in getting the film off the ground, working with the Davis Estate and his family. Cheadle co-wrote the film with Stephen Baigleman and directed the film as well.

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Rock music and the generation revered by the Baby Boomers suffered some heavy losses in the past few weeks, beginning with David Bowie, followed by the Eagles' Glenn Frey and original Jefferson Airplane co-founder Paul Kantner.  And there's one more sad addendum to that list, also from the Airplane.

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Wes Montgomery, with the Eddie Higgins Trio in Indianapolis, 1959, at the dawn of his fame as a jazz guitar innovator and virtuoso.

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Wayne Van Dine: Before Pittsburgh

Tuesday, 26 January 2016 08:08

 

I only met the late Wayne Van Dine once, at a 2007 CD signing party for Slim Bryant, who at the time was 98 years old. The CD was made up of late 1940's transcription recordings Slim and his Wildcats, then the biggest local country act based in Pittsburgh made for a radio service who sent them to subscribing stations around the country.  This is the PG's news obituary from Monday.

Wayne knew that material well. As a teenager in his native Kittanning, he worked at a local radio station when Slim and the Wildcats were still active on radio, and it helped foster a lifelong love of country music and the guitar. He and Slim later became close friends, and remained so until Slim's death in 2010 at age 101. He commented on Slim in the PG's news obituary at the time.

There are no musical video samples of him or him jamming with Slim, unfortunately. But thanks to WTOV-TV in Steubenville, where Wayne worked as a newsman, weatherman and sportscaster and before he came to Channel 11, before he joined Channel 2.

From his Steubenville days, there's this memorable blooper commercial WTOV posted of Wayne doing his best to do a commercial for a local window company.  The man who later became Pittsburgh's voice for consumers and the little guy, showed his professionalism and eminent good humor dealing with a rather uncooperative sample of the company's work.

Broadcasters of his like we won't see again. Thanks, Wayne.

 

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I review British Blues and Jazz great Georgie Fame's farewell album "Swan Songs," recorded with a group of A-list UK jazzmen.

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Glenn Frey's Musical Beginnings: 1967-1971

Tuesday, 19 January 2016 08:36

 The death of two Baby Boomer rock icons in less than a week, first David Bowie and now the Eagles' Glenn Frey, the band's founder, is a sad convergence that given the increasing age of the Boomers, is certain to happen more often in the future.

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Otis Clay In The Beginning: 1964-1972

Thursday, 14 January 2016 08:30

 Otis Clay's sudden death at age 73 ended the career of one of the surviving elder statesmen of the 60's R&B scene. His reputation here, of course, was already high, even more so because of his more recent work with lifelong fan Billy Price. Scott Mervis summed that up nicely in his Saturday story.

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On March 4th at 9 PM, PBS will present Loretta Lynn--Still A Mountain Girl, a new American Masters documentary on the life and career of Lynn, the Country Music Hall of Famer who became a pioneer singer and songwriter.

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