Saturday, October 01, 2011

Catching up

Time to catch up with a few music related things that have been happening. Firsly, there are some deaths to report.

Sylvia Robinson, one half of fifties duo Mickey and Sylvia who made it big with Love Is Strange and who was the godmother of hip hop, has died aged 75. After splitting with Mickey (Baker) she formed All Platinum Records, which had hits with the Moments and Shirley and Company, and had a solo hit with Pillow Talk in 1973. But probably her biggest claim to fame was as co-founder with her husband Joe of Sugar Hill Records, which brought Grand Master Flash and Furious Five - and rap music in general - into the public consciousness.

Another recent death is that of bluesman Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith, aged 75. He made his name backing Muddy Waters in the early sixties but had his greatest success as a member of the Legendary Blues Band, along with Pinetop Perkins, which recorded a number of albums in the eighties and nineties, and later as a solo performer.. His last album was Joined At The Hip, with Pinetop, which won a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album in 2011.

The Vinyl Word also lifts a glass to Jumpin' Jack Neal, original bass player with Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps, who can be heard on Be Bop A Lulu.

* A word too about the BBC biopic on the early battles of Shirley Bassey which was broadcast the other night. I have always found Shirley too middle of the road for my tastes, but the rags to riches story of a mixed race girl from Splott who made it big was inspiring, and her portrayal by Ruth Negga (pictured) was excellent.

* Finally, I accidentally omitted a photograph of soul man C P Love in my recent blogs on my US music trip. C P Love's second number was Secondline Home, not Train as I thought.


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