Category Archives: Music et al

Baron Wolman

Baron Wolman

Baron Wolman

Being in the right place at the right time is luck. Being talented and in the right place at the right time is fate. 

Baron Wolman is the very talented photographer whose pictures help us know American life far better than had he not taken them.

Rolling Stone magazine

Baron Wolman

After getting a taste of photography while in the Army, Wolman lived in (the right place) San Francisco. Wolman was no Boomer (he was born on June 25, 1937), but Jann Wenner was when the two met in April 1967. The 21-year-old Wenner wanted Wolman to be the photographer for a rock music magazine Wenner had in mind. Wolman said he'd work for free if he could keep ownership of his pictures. A wise quid pro quo.

Rolling Stone magazine would not have been the same without Wolman's pictures.
Baron Wolman

Baron was Rolling Stone's photographer from 1967 to 1970, a  short time, but perhaps no better stretch to be a part of the scene Rolling Stone wanted to cover. He says that he "shot his best stuff in '68 and '69...those were the halcyon days."
Baron WolmanHis photos graced cover after cover of the magazine revealing the famous, the emerging, and behind the scene.

Woodstock Music and Art Fair

Baron Wolman

He photographed, not surprisingly, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair and those photos are perhaps the best of any taken there. While shooting Santana that hot Saturday afternoon, Bill Graham took Wolman's camera to shoot a picture of Baron. No selfies then.

His street-sign photo in the wooded Bindy Bazaar, the festivals "merch" area, now graces the entrance to Bethel Woods Center for the Arts--albeit slightly photo-shopped.
Baron Wolman
Baron onstage at Woodstock with Carlos Santana, Photo by Bill Graham

True fashion starts on the street

Baron Wolman

After Rolling Stone, Baron Wolman changed direction slightly and started to concentrate on fashion with his Rags magazine. As many knew, fashion trends often begin outside of actual fashion studios when someone decides that "others may think this combination odd, but it looks good" and a year later models are walking the runways with it.

Embedded photographer

Baron Wolman

He followed the Oakland Raiders in 1974 and produced Oakland Raiders: The Good Guys (1975)
Baron Wolman

Learning to fly

Wolman learned to fly and took pictures of California from his plane ( California From the Air: The Golden Coast (1981)) or pictures of Israel (The Holy Land: Israel From the Air (1987))

Santa Fe today

Wolman now lives in Sante Fe, New Mexico and continues to photograph and be a beacon of light both toward the future and from the past. He regularly posts on his musings and observations on his Facebook page.

He is also on Instagram.
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Charles Hardin Buddy Holly

Charles Hardin Buddy Holly

When we boomers fell in love with the Beatles and helped pour more gasoline on the Beatlemania conflagration, we congratulated ourselves on finding such new wonderful music.

Ah, youth! forever dear, forever kind. 

And forever naive.

The Beatles, of course, like most of the world's young people who loved rock and roll, fell in love with American rock music: the descendant and combination of the blues, country, and gospel music. I imagine that John, Paul, George, and Ringo were a bit dumbfounded to hear our discovery of their "new" music. They knew that they were doing their best to come up with something new, yes, but thoroughly based on the American music they so loved.

Like that of Charles Hardin Buddy Holly.

Charles Hardin Buddy Holly

Charles Hardin Buddy Holly

Charles Hardin Holley was born on September 7, 1936  in Lubbock, Texas and played several instruments as a child, but it was the guitar that he settled on. 

And he dropped the e from his last name.

He and his band, the Western and Bop Band, performed throughout the southwest. Nashville's Decca Records signed Holly: Buddy Holly and the Two Tunes, later Buddy Holly and the Three Tones. 


Decca released a few singles before dropping the band. Holly and his band mates returned to Lubbock. During this time Holly developed his singer-songwriter skills and the band became a local favorite to open for touring musicians. The most important gig was opening for Elvis. That experience shifted Holly to rock and roll.

Norman Petty

Charles Hardin Buddy Holly

On February 25, 1957 Buddy Holly and the Crickets were in Norman Petty's Clovis, NM studio. They recorded another version of: "That'll Be the Day."
 The song attracted national attention and a national tour. "Peggy Sue" was a #3 hit here and a hit in the UK where young musicians like John, Paul, George, and Ringo were just starting out. A 1958 tour in England gave Holly and even bigger presence there. Charles Hardin Buddy Holly It was while on the 1958 Winter Dance Party Tour that Holly decided to take the plane and not the bus. On February 3, 1959 that plane crashed just outside Mason City, Iowa killing all on board including the Big Bopper and Richie Valens.

Holly's influence continued beyond his death. The Quarrymen eventually changed their name to the Beatles in homage to Holly's Crickets. They also slowly developed their own singer-songwriter abilities, the hallmark of the most successful musicians whom the 1960s--and beyond--produced.

 

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Max Roach We insist! Freedom Now Suite

Max Roach We insist! Freedom Now Suite
Max Roach We insist! Freedom Now Suite

 

Max Roach had recorded We Insist! (subtitled Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite) on August 31 and September 6, 1969 at the Nola Penthouse Sound Studio in New York. Candid Records released the album. 

It contains a suite which composer and drummer Max Roach and lyricist Oscar Brown had begun to develop in 1959, with a view to its performance in 1963 on the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation. The album'cover references the sit-ins of the Civil Rights Movement. 

The Penguin Guide to Jazz awarded the album one of its rare crown accolades, in addition to featuring it as part of its Core Collection.

Max Roach We insist! Freedom Now Suite
The music consists of five selections concerning the Emancipation Proclamation and the growing African independence movements of the 1950s. 
Max Roach We insist! Freedom Now Suite

Side one

  1. “Driva Man” (Roach, Oscar Brown) – 5:17
  2. “Freedom Day” (Roach, Brown) – 6:08
  3. “Triptych: Prayer/Protest/Peace” (Roach) – 8:09

Side two

  1. “All Africa” (Roach, Brown) – 8:01
  2. “Tears for Johannesburg” (Roach) – 9:42
Only Roach and vocalist Abbey Lincoln perform on all five tracks, and one track features a guest appearance by saxophonist Coleman Hawkins.
  • Booker Little – trumpet on “Driva Man”, “Freedom Day”, “All Africa”, and “Tears for Johannesburg”
  • Julian Priester – trombone on “Driva Man”, “Freedom Day”, and “Tears for Johannesburg”
  • Walter Benton – tenor saxophone on “Driva Man”, “Freedom Day”, and “Tears for Johannesburg”
  • Coleman Hawkins – tenor saxophone on “Driva Man”
  • James Schenk – bass on “Driva Man”, “Freedom Day”, and “Tears for Johannesburg”
  • Michael Olatunji – congas, vocals on side two
  • Raymond Mantilla – percussion on side two
  • Tomas du Vall – percussion on side two

Accolades

From AllMusic's Michael G NastosThis is a pivotal work in the discography of Roach and African-American music in general, its importance growing in relevance and timely, postured, real emotional output. Every modern man, woman, and child could learn exponentially listening to this recording -- a hallmark for living life.

From a Jerry Jazz Musician site in 2014We Insist!  Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite — a seminal recording from the heat of the civil rights era that, according to Candid A&R director (and jazz writer/civil rights activist) Nat Hentoff, spoke “defiant truth to power” — is now-more-than-ever relevant, and required musical achievement, artistic vision and personal courage.  It was recorded and produced at a time of protest against bigotry and racial discrimination when bigotry and racial discrimination were not only not illegal, they were institutionalized. 
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