Kitty Wells, RIP

One of the pioneers of country music passed away yesterday. You don’t hear much about Kitty Wells, but before Patsy, Loretta, Dolly, or any of the other great voices of country music, she was the first solo woman artist to have a number 1 country hit. The song was “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk [Read More...]

Happy Fourth From Fred

If, like me, you think every holiday is made better by Fred Astaire dancing and/or Bing Crosby singing, then you really need to see Holiday Inn. Here’s Fred’s explosive offering for the 4th, and a happy birthday to the US of A. (It’s the “of” that tells people you’re extra patriotic.) UPDATE: Sorry, embedding disabled. [Read More...]

Saturday Song — “The Lord’s Prayer”

In honor of Brian Wilson turning 70 this week, here’s a very neat clip of the Beach Boys doing their a cappella version of the Our Father, along with some interesting commentary from Carl. I’m sending this one out to Steven Greydanus, who needs a crash course in the BBs stat. And let’s not forget their lovely cry [Read More...]

Saturday Song — “Never Alone”

I don’t listen to a lot of contemporary Christian music, but there are a few artists that manage to rise above the sonic sameness that seems to afflict the genre.  “Never Alone” from Barlow Girl is a nice bit of bombast about the need for faith in the face of God’s silence. There’s a kind [Read More...]

Doc Watson, RIP

As I mentioned on Saturday, the great guitarist and singer Doc Watson was in the hospital for colon surgery. He required a second procedure, and his condition was listed as critical over the weekend. Earlier today, he passed away. From the obituary: Doc Watson was born March 3, 1923 in what is now Deep Gap, [Read More...]

Remembering the Fallen

My family has been blessed. My father, uncles, cousins, and friends all returned home from their wars. Make no mistake: each of them left something on those battlefields of Europe and the Pacific and Korea and Vietnam and Iraq. My father only tells three or four stories about World War II, all of them fairly [Read More...]

Saturday Song: “What Would You Give in Exchange for Your Soul?”

The great folk singer and guitarist Doc Watson could use our prayers. He’s in a North Carolina hospital recovering from colon surgery. I saw Doc live once, and it was a terrific concert. (Del McCoury was also on the bill.) Doc is blind, so he has to be led on stage, but once there it’s just him [Read More...]

Today’s Google Doodle Is…

… a functional Moog synthesizer, in honor of Bob Moog’s 78th birthday. Moog died in 2005, but the analog synths he invented beginning in the 1950s introduced technology to music in a whole new way. Unlike the Mellotron, which used tape loops [CORRECTION: it used strips, not loops], the Moog generated sounds electronically. After a lifetime of [Read More...]