Tag: Grammy Awards

Why the Hell Should I Like… post-‘Thriller’ Michael Jackson?

Why the Hell Should I Like… post-‘Thriller’ Michael Jackson?

Music
“Why the hell should I like… ?” is an experiment of sorts between Popblerd and The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. What we’re going to attempt to do is to pick 10 songs from our favorite artists — one for which the other has professed dislike or disinterest — and show them why they’re wrong. On June 25th, 2009, the world lost one of the greatest entertainers of all time -- Michael Jackson. Although recent history had not been kind to Michael, after his passing it seemed like a light switch went on in the collective mind of the American public and they began to view him with respect again. Because let's face it, despite his obvious issues, the man was a one-of-a-kind talent. A fantastic singer, a great dancer, a solid songwriter and producer, and, if you look over the current pop mu
Album cover of the week: Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely

Album cover of the week: Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely

Album Cover of the Week, Music
There's a lot to love about Frank Sinatra's classic 1958 LP, Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely. With its introspective, melancholy arrangements -- credit famed music director and frequent Sinatra collaborator Nelson Riddle -- and typically excellent vocals from Ol' Blue Eyes, the album packs a real emotional punch. That's probably no coincidence. Sinatra's divorce from actress Ava Gardner was finalized during the sessions, and Riddle had recently lost both his mother and daughter. So is it any wonder that the cover for this album looks like this? This rendering of Sinatra as a sad, Pagliacci-esque clown was painted by Nicholas Volpe. At the first-ever Grammy Awards (held May 4, 1959), he won the award for Best Album Cover. Related articles Suave font Riddle puts some s...
Sunday Jazz: Happy birthday to Sarah Vaughan

Sunday Jazz: Happy birthday to Sarah Vaughan

Music, Sunday Jazz
Today would have been the 87th birthday of legendary jazz vocalist Sarah Vaughan, born on this day in 1924 in Newark, New Jersey. Known alternately as Sailor, Sassy, and The Divine One, Vaughan got her start in music by playing piano and singing in her church choir. She dropped out of high school in her junior year to concentrate on her musical career, and in 1942/43 she won first prize during an Amateur Night performance at Harlem's legendary Apollo Theater. Sarah Vaughan's career remained active, if not always commercially successful, throughout most of her life. Even when she was not recording she was touring extensively. She won the Grammy for Best Female Jazz Vocal Performance in 1983. In 1989 she was diagnosed with lung cancer, and she died on April 3, 1990, a week after her 66th ...
Album Cover of the Week: Innervisions

Album Cover of the Week: Innervisions

Album Cover of the Week, Music
In a just world, last night's Grammy Awards telecast would have been dedicated largely to celebrating the 50th anniversary of Motown Records.  Instead, we got 'treated' to Stevie Wonder playing with the Jonas Brothers.  Ugh. So in an effort to remedy (in whatever small way I can) this musical travesty, I'm presenting not just one of Stevie's or Motown's greatest albums, but one of the greatest albums of any genre -- 1973's Innervisions. Innervisions was not released on the regular Motown label but rather on Tamla, the company Berry Gordy started in 1959 that morphed into Motown.  The album was a monster commercial and artistic triumph for Wonder, who picked up the first of his three Grammys for Album of the Year. As for the album art, the cover illustration is by Efram Wolff,
Album cover of the week: Underground

Album cover of the week: Underground

Album Cover of the Week
Thelonious Monk isn't the first name you think of when conjuring up images of the French Resistance movement during World War II (it isn't even the 100th name, in fact), yet it was precisely that motif that was used for his under-appreciated 1968 album, Underground.  And that motif turned out to be so good that it took the Grammy for Best Album Cover in 1969. Even more notable than this evocative image (featuring a tied-up Nazi, no less) is the fact that Underground was one of the first Monk albums in years to contain so much new material, and was also one of the last he recorded in the studio before largely disappearing from public view throughout the 1970s.
Interesting stuff I now know thanks to Wikipedia (Vol. 3)

Interesting stuff I now know thanks to Wikipedia (Vol. 3)

Listcruft
As with the first two entries, the premise of this is simple.  I just used the Random Article link on Wikipedia and saw if anything good came up.  (a lot of it is quite useless) The town of Britton, Michigan is named after storekeeper John Britton, who in 1888 paid $500 to rename the town of Balch after himself. There is a variant of Scrabble called Clabbers, whose rules are the same except for one: The letters used must form anagrams of acceptable words. The Grammy Award for Best Gospel Vocal Performance, Female was only given out from 1984 through 1990.  Amy Grant won it four times. The 1968 Cannes Film Festival ended early, without awarding any prizes, due to a French general strike in May. I can't believe I didn't know this, but Adolf Hitler had a sister, Paula Hitler.  She