Drummer Bobby Colomby

Drummer Bobby Colomby

Happy birthday Bobby

Woodstock Music and Art Fair alum Bobby Colomby was born in New York City on December 20, 1944.

After Al Kooper and Steve Katz left the Blues Project in 1967, Colomby joined them to found the original Blood Sweat and Tears. In addition to Colomby,  Kooper, and Katz, there was Jim Fielder, who had played with the Mothers of Invention and Buffalo Springfield. The band recruited horn players from New York jazz and studio bands.

Drummer Bobby Colomby
The original Blood, Sweat and Tears

Drummer Bobby Colomby

Previously, Bobby Colomby had drummed behind folksingers Odetta and Eric Andersen. When Kooper left for a solo  career, many felt that the band was over, but Colomby and Katz continued with the others (NYT BST)

After dozens of personnel changes in the group Colomby became (in the end) the de facto owner of the Blood Sweat & Tears name. He maintains ownership of the “Blood, Sweat & Tears” band name and, although he no longer plays with the band, he still manages and oversees a tribute band that performs under that name. (BST  Home site)

What else has…

Bobby Colomby done?
Drummer Bobby Colomby
Bobby Colomby

Colomby produced Jaco Pastorius’ first solo album (NYT article on the movie “Jaco”); The Jacksons’ Destiny (NYT article on Jackson including Colomby quotes); Chris Botti’s albums December, When I Fall in Love, and To Love Again and Italia; and Paula Cole’s album Courage.

For a few years in the late 1980s Bobby Colomby was a reporter for the television programs Entertainment Tonight and “The CBS Morning Program.”

In 2000, Colomby and Richard Marx created short-lived Signal 21 Records.

In a December 2016,  BroadwayWorld.com article stated that Colomby is always looking to keep Blood Sweat & Tears more than a band playing its old hits. “I no longer want to target just one generation. That would be a mistake. With this updated version, I want this band to gain recognition with a wider audience. I want people of all ages to experience what this music has to offer.” And none of the original member are in the current line up. Why? “I think of this band like baseball’s Yankees. When you’re at a Yankee game you’re not going to see Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle or Lou Gehrig. What you do come to expect is a team of top-notch players upholding a tradition of winning. That’s the Yankee legacy. It what people expect from BS&T as well… brilliant musicians, singers, songs and arrangements.”

Blood Sweat and Tears is not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Drummer Bobby Colomby, 

Remembering Alvin Lee

Remembering Alvin Lee

December 19, 1944 — March 6, 2013

Happy Birthday Alvin Lee

And if you say Alvin Lee or Ten Years After, most music fans will say, “I’m Goin’ Home” and think of his Woodstock Music and Art Fair performance.

Happy birthday Alvin Lee

It likely surprised Lee that he garnered so much fame from that song’s particular performance.  An albatross laying a golden egg. He was already a great guitarist when he began his trek along 1969’s festival trail. How many times did he play “I’m Going Home” before Woodstock that summer?  Likely dozens of times.

Busy Band

Here’s there North American tour list just for June and July:

  • July 4, Newport Jazz Festival
  • July 5, Action House, Island Park, NY
  • July 12, Laurel Pop Festival, Maryland
  • July 13, Singer Bowl, NYC
  • July 16, Schaefer Music Festival, Wollman Skating Rink  NYC
  • July 22 – 24, Fillmore West, San Francisco
  • July 25,   Seattle Pop Festival
  • July, 17, Balboa Stadium, San Diego
  • August 2, Tea Party, Boston
  • August 16, St Louis

The Pinnacle 

Their Woodstock performance was Sunday evening on August 17. Following that they went to:

  • Aug 20, The Catacombs, Houston
  • Aug 24, The Rose Palace, Pasadena, CA
  • Aug 26 > 28, Fillmore West, San Francisco
  • Sept 1,  Texas International Pop Festival
  • Sept 12 – 13, Fillmore East, NYC

The music never stopped

After the Fillmore East dates, they flew back to do a European tour and did 20 more concerts! By the way, they’d already had done 40 European and American before returning for the summer of 1969. (complete list)

And while they may not have played “I’m Goin’ Home” at every gig, surely many heard it again and long before the album cut or the movie scene appeared in 1970.

But its filming at Woodstock preserved it and sent it worldwide. His name was and will forever be associated with that song and that performance.

Remembering Alvin Lee

Some  facts about Lee:

  • he was originally influenced by his parent’s collection of jazz and blues records
  • began playing guitar age 13
  • by aged 15 his Jaybirds band formed the core of Ten Years After
  • moved to London and changed the band’s name to Ten Years After in 1966
  • the band’s performance at the Windsor Jazz & Blues Festival in 1967 led to their first recording contract.
  • October 1967. Release of Ten Years After, the band’s first album.
  • concert promoter Bill Graham who invited the band to tour America for the first time in the summer of 1968. Ten Years After would ultimately tour the USA 28 times in 7 years, more than any other U.K. band.
  • Ten Years After had great success, releasing ten albums together between 1967 and 1973.
  • after the breakup of Ten Years After, Lee continue to form bands and record music.
  • Lee’s overall musical output includes more than 20 albums.
  • neither Alvin Lee nor Ten Years After are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Alvin Lee website

Lee died on March 6, 2013. (NYT Obit)

Remembering Alvin Lee

Remembering Alvin Lee

Japanese Internment Korematsu v United States

Japanese Internment Korematsu v United States

Korematsu vs United States
Fred Korematsu in the 1940s

Executive Order No. 2537

On January 14, 1942,  President Roosevelt had issued order No. 2537, requiring Italian, German, and Japanese aliens to register with the Department of Justice. (NYT article) and on February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt issued  Order 9066, which cleared the way for the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps.

Three categories

The government created three categories of Japanese internees: Nisei (native U.S. citizens of Japanese immigrant parents), Issei (Japanese immigrants), and Kibei (native U.S. citizens educated largely in Japan).

Japanese Internment Korematsu v United States

By June, the government had relocated more than 110,000 Japanese Americans to camps scattered around the country. During the war the government convicted 10 Americans of spying for Japan, None were of Japanese ancestry.

Japanese Internment Korematsu v United States

Japanese American Fred Korematsu, 23, refused to go to the the incarceration camp. He was arrested and convicted of defying the government’s order. He appealed.

71 years ago today, December 18, 1944, the US Supreme court, in Korematsu vs United States, sided with the government ruling that the exclusion order was constitutional.


With today’s often bitter discussions about who is American and who we should allow in the United States, it might be interesting to look at the aftermath of Korematsu vs the United States.

32 years after Korematsu vs United States, on February 19, 1976, President Gerald Ford signed “An American Promise,” which formally rescinded 1942’s Executive Order 9066 but contained no apology.

Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians Act

36 years after Korematsu vs United States, on  July 31, 1980, President Carter signed the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians Act, which created a group to study Executive Order 9066. In 1983, the Commission  concluded that the exclusion, expulsion, and incarceration of Japanese-Americans were not justified by military necessity and the decisions to do so were based on race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.

39 years afterwards, on November 10, 1983, the San Francisco Federal District Court reversed Korematsu’s 1942 conviction and ruled that the internment was not justified.  (Court Overturns… (Korematsu)

44 years afterwards, on August 10, 1988 President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. It provided for a Presidential apology and appropriated $1.25 billion for reparations of $20,000 to most internees, evacuees, and others of Japanese ancestry who lost liberty or property,

46 years after Korematsu vs United States,  October 9, 1990, the  Japanese internment redress payment was issued at a Washington, D.C. ceremony to the Reverend Mamoru Eto, 107 years old. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh knelt as he made the presentation

Presidential Medal of Freedom

On January 15, 1998, President Clinton awarded Fred Korematsu the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Japanese Internment Korematsu v United States

55 years after Korematsu vs United States, on October 22, 1999,  groundbreaking on construction of a national memorial to both Japanese-American soldiers and those sent to internment camps takes place in Washington, D.C.Japanese Internment Korematsu v United States

On March 30, 2005, Fred Korematu died. (>>> NYT articleKorematsu vs United States

Tule Lake Segregation Center

Korematsu vs United States
Tulle Lake Center

62 years after Korematsu vs United States, on February 17, 2006, the government designated Tule Lake Segregation Center a National Historic Landmark.

Don Miyada

Korematsu vs United States
Don Miyada with high school diploma

70 years afterward, on June 19, 2014, Don Miyada, 89, joined Newport (CA) Harbor High School’s 2014 graduating class on stage and received a standing ovation. He became an inaugural member of the school’s hall of fame. Miyada had missed his 1942 graduation because he was locked in an internment camp.

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