On Inspiration – A Story from the Guess Who

Here’s a nice little animation about the origin of the song “American Woman,” and it’s almost accidental creation by the Guess Who. And now, I’m guessing you want to hear the whole song, so here it is. Here’s the coolest version you’ll ever find: Lenny Kravitz on guitar and lead vocals, Prince on lead guitar…

Old School Jamz #1: The Chi-Lites

The Chi-Lites were an R&B vocal group out of Chicago, Illinois, that formed in 1959 by Eugene Record, Robert “Squirrel” Lester, Creadel “Red” Jones, Marshall Thompson, and Clarence Johnson. After Johnson left the group in 1964, they shortened their name from Marshall and the Chi-Lites to simply the Chi-Lites. Record was their new lead singer, as…

Days of Art: The Temporal Invincibility of Art

Some people may question why we’ve devoted so much of the space on this blog to the history of art. The answer is simple — the ultimate measure of art isn’t what some critic thinks or (especially) what a professor teaches or a publisher endorses. No, the measure is simpler than that and two-fold: One,…

Days of Art – Joey Alexander

CBS network did a piece on Joey Alexander, a 12-year-old jazz piano prodigy from Bali, Indonesia. If you are a fan of jazz, of music, or of kids, you should check it out. At the very least, take a listen to Joey’s rendition of “Giant Steps.” Still don’t think he’s legit? Well, he recorded his…

Days of Art #57: Ave Maria

Did you know: The song “Ave Maria” is sung to a melody penned by Franz Schubert. However, the words you’re used to hearing aren’t the original words to the song. It was originally “Ellens Dritter Gesang” (Ellen’s Third Song) and part of his Lady of the Lake collection. Just as Schubert had adapted Walter Scott’s…

Days of Art – #52: Dee-1

“I said, ‘Homey, that’s my mouth.’ He said, ‘Homey, that’s a pistol.’” A quick shout in your direction about Dee-1, a young rapper from New Orleans who burst onto the scene with the song “Jay, 50 & Weezy” wherein he called out Jay-Z, 50 Cent, and Lil Wayne for their lack of positive influence on…

Days of Art – #48: B.B. King

Riley “Blues Boy” King (1925 – 1915). Rest in peace. We know Heaven knows how to sing the Blues. B.B. King performs at Sing Sing Prison in the video above. He later said he thought this was one of his best performances. The entire performance is available on YouTube if you’re interested. Below, he performs…

Days of Art – #47: Stand By Me

Today, 1 May 2015, R&B great Ben E. King, born Benjamin Earl Nelson in North Carolina, died of natural causes in New Jersey. King initially found success as a member of the doo-wop group The Drifters, whose biggest hits were “Save the Last Dance for Me” and “There Goes My Baby,” which he co-wrote. The…