Sunday, February 27, 2011

I was a veteran, before I was a teenager.

Michael Joseph Jackson (King of Pop) born August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana, a dancer, singer-songwriter, musician and philanthropist is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records.

It is estimated that more than one billion people watched Jackson's memorial service on television and the Internet.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Devil ain't got no music!

Mavis Staples born July 10, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois is an R & B and gospel singer, a civil rights activist and a member of The Staple Singers.

On February 13, 2011, Mavis Staples won her first Grammy award in the category for Best Americana Album for You Are Not Alone.

Friday, February 25, 2011

For me, music and life are all about style.

Miles Dewey Davis III born May 26, 1926 in Alton, Illinois, was a trumpeter, bandleader, composer and widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.

Winner of 9 Grammys, Miles Davis received an honorary Doctorate of Music from the New England Conservatory in 1986 in honor of his longstanding achievements.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The only thing better than singing is more singing.

Ella Jane Fitzgerald born April 25, 1917 in Newport News, Virginia, was actress, singer and The First Lady of Song.

Ella Fitzgerald’s life was the quintessential American success story. Through fifty-eight years of performing, 13 Grammys and more than forty million records sold, she elevated swing, bebop, and ballads to their highest potential.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I taught them everything they know, but not everything I know.

James Joseph Brown ( The Godfather of Soul) born May 3, 1933 in Barnwell, South Carolina, was a singer-songwriter and the hardest-working man in show business.

In 1992, Brown was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 34th annual Grammy Awards.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Just because you are different does not mean that you have to be rejected.

Eartha Mae Kitt born January 17, 1927 in North, South Carolina, was actress, singer, activist and cabaret star.

I’m a dirt person,” she told Ebony magazine in 1993. “I trust the dirt. I don’t trust diamonds and gold.”

Monday, February 21, 2011

Critics don't buy records. They get 'em free.

Nathaniel Adams Coles born March 17, 1919 in Montgomery, Alabama, was one of the most popular singers of the American song book and television host.

One of the most amazing facts in relation to the recording career of Nat King Cole is the fact that to this day there are still literally hundreds of unreleased tracks which have never appeared anywhere in the world.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Who ever walked behind anyone to freedom? If we can't go hand in hand, I don't want to go.

Hazel Scott (Darling of Café Society) born June 11, 1920 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago was a jazz and classical pianist, singer, actress and radio personality.

In 1978, she was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame. Hazel Scott continued to perform until her death in 1981.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

You know what, life is full of temptations.

William Smokey Robinson, born February 19, 1940, in Detroit, Michigan, is R&B and soul singer-songwriter, record producer, and former record executive.

His work contributed to the success of Motown Records and helped advance the popularity of soul music.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I`m the lady next door when I'm not on stage.

Aretha Louise Franklin (The Queen of Soul,) born March 25, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee, is a singer, songwriter and pianist. Although known for her soul recordings, Franklin is adept at jazz, blues, R&B and gospel music.

Franklin has won eighteen Grammy Awards in total during her nearly half-century long career and holds the record for most Best Female R&B Vocal Performance awards with eleven to her name.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.

Thelonious Sphere Monk, born October 10, 1917 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, was a jazz pianist and composer considered "one of the giants of American music".

In 1993, Monk was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2006, he was posthumously awarded a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's a long old road, but I know I'm gonna find the end.

Bessie Smith (the Empress of the Blues,) born April 15, 1895 in Chattanooga, Tennesee, was a powerful, strong-willed woman who made her mark in history through singing the blues in the 1920’s and 30’s.

In 1989, Bessie Smith received both a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an Early influence.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The wise musicians are those who play what they can master

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington born April 29, 1899 in Washington, D.C., was the most prolific composer of the twentieth century in terms of both number of compositions and variety of forms.

His gift of melody and his mastery of sonic textures, rhythms, and compositional forms translated his often subtle, often complex perceptions into a body of music unequaled in jazz history.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sometimes it's worse to win a fight than to lose.

Eleanora Fagan born April 7, 1915 born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is considered by many to be the greatest jazz vocalist of all time. Though her career was relatively short and often erratic, she left behind a body of work as great as any vocalist before or since.

During her lifetime Billie Holiday had fought racism and sexism, and in the face of great personal difficulties triumphed through a deep artistic spirit.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

You can play a shoestring if you're sincere.

John William Coltrane born September 23, 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina, was one of the most significant tenor saxophonists in jazz history.

John Coltrane's massive influence on jazz, both mainstream and avant-garde, began during his lifetime and continued to grow after his death. He is one of the most dominant influences on post-1960 jazz saxophonists and has inspired an entire generation of jazz musicians.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

You have to be taught to be second class; you're not born that way.

Lena Mary Calhoun Horne born June 30, 1917 in Brooklyn, NY, was a singer, actress, civil rights activist and dancer who broke new ground for black performers when she signed a long-term contract with a major Hollywood studio and who went on to achieve international fame as a singer

Lena Horne said, looking back over her life: “My identity is very clear to me now. I am a black woman. I’m free. I no longer have to be a ‘credit.’ I don’t have to be a symbol to anybody; I don’t have to be a first to anybody. I don’t have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I’d become. I’m me, and I’m like nobody else.”

Friday, February 11, 2011

War is not the answer, because only love can conquer hate.

Marvin Pentz Gay born April 2, 1939 in Washington, D.C. was a singer-songwriter and musician who's career spanned from the fifties doo-wop to eighties contemporary soul.

In 2008, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Marvin Gaye at number 6 on its list of The Greatest Singers of All Time.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I'm a real rebel with a cause.

Eunice Kathleen Waymon born February 21, 1933, in Tryon, North Carolina, was a singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist widely associated with jazz music.

Though dubbed the High Priestess of Soul, Nina Simone did not prefer this title. She found the title pigeonholed the music she performed.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

But life is tough and if you're creative, it's tougher.

Robert Waltrip "Bobby" Short, born September 15, 1924 in Danville, Illinois, was a sophisticated singer-pianist and played the most exclusive nightclubs from Los Angeles, New York to Paris.

Despite his smooth charm and dapper elegance, quintessential cabaret artist Bobby Short considered himself a saloon singer.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

There are notes between notes, you know.

Sarah Lois Vaughan (known as the Divine One,) born in Newark, New Jersey on March 27, 1924 was a Grammy award winning jazz singer.

Shortly after her death, Mel Torme summed up the feelings of all who had seen her, saying “She had the single best vocal instrument of any singer working in the popular field.”

Monday, February 7, 2011

I never was a child.

Ethel Waters, born on October 31, 1896 in Chester, Pennsylvania, was a blues, jazz and gospel vocalist and actress.

Waters was approved for a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004. However, the actual Star has not been funded, and as of December 2010, public fundraising efforts continue.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

You can't sing about love unless you know about it.

William Clarence “Billy” Eckstine born July 8, 1914 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was a singer of the American song book and bandleader of the swing era.

By the time he reached his peak popularity in 1950, he rivaled Frank Sinatra as the country's most popular vocalist. In fact he was dubbed “the sepia Sinatra,” although he was known most often as “Mr. B.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

And this bitter earth may not be so bitter after all

Dinah Washington (Ruth Lee Jones,) born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on August 29, 1924, was a Grammy winning blues, R&B and jazz singer. She was known as the "Queen of the Jukeboxes."

In 1993, She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the U.S. Post Office issued a Dinah Washington 29 cent commemorative postage stamp.

Friday, February 4, 2011

For fans of early New Orleans jazz

Joseph "King" Oliver, born in Abend, La, on May 11, 1885, mentor and teacher of Louis Armstrong, was a jazz cornet player and bandleader.

He was inducted as a charter member of the Gennett Records Walk of Fame in Richmond, Indiana in 2007.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I'm your private dancer

Anna Mae Bullock was born in Nutbush, Tennessee, on November 26, 1939. She is singer, actress, practicing Buddhist and The Queen of Rock 'n' Roll.

Tina Turner has won 8 Grammy Awards.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Superfly, you'll make your fortune by and by

Curtis Lee Mayfield (June 3, 1942 -- December 26, 1999) was an American soul, rhythm and blues, and funk singer, songwriter, and record producer best known as a pioneer of funk and of politically conscious African-American music.

He was also a multi-instrumentalist who played the guitar, bass, piano, saxophone, and drums.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I'm not sure

On February 1, 1976, Werner Heisenberg died in Munich. Mr. Heisenberg was one of the last century's foremost physicists, a reputation he earned primarily by having confused everybody so completely that most of us remain baffled to this very day.

The famous Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that the act of observation changes the state of the thing being observed. This principle is most vividly illustrated by the penis. Mr. Heisenberg studied with Nils Bohr and Albert Einstein before finally branching out into his own area of highly specialized confusion, eventually dubbed quantum physics. He was particularly confused by his efforts to identify the exact location of a given particle while simultaneously identifying another of its characteristics (such as height, weight, or telephone number).

It was confusing mainly because he couldn't do it. Not only that, but he was also able to discover that no one else could do it, either. Ever. No matter how hard they tried. This suggested a disturbing level of certainty about the Uncertainy Principle, making it paradoxical, which finally put an end to such premodern notions as fixedness, regularity, dependability, and reliability. Thanks to Mr. Heisenberg, the world is now a volatile aggregation of baffling incompatibilities.


Perhaps anticipating Heisenberg, or a little overeager for Valentine's Day, the Soviet government declared on February 1, 1918, that it was actually February 14, 1918 (The Russian adopt the Gregorian Calendar)

James Victor Scott, born in Cleveland on July 17, 1925, is jazz vocalist famous for his unnaturally high contralto voice which is due to Kallmann's syndrome, a very rare genetic condition that interferes with normal sexual maturation.

Fads come and go, but Jimmy is the definition of cool.