Funk


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Funk is a musical style advanced primarily by African-American artists like James Brown and Sly and the Family Stone in the late 1960s, and further developed in the 1970s by other notable performers such as Kool and the Gang, Parliament/Funkadelic and Stevie Wonder.

Funk’s definitive musical traits include dynamic syncopated rhythms driven by sixteenth-note divisions of the beat; crisp and active rhythm guitar playing; vocals which tend toward the spoken or shouted variety characteristic of earlier soul music; technically demanding, melodic bass lines; and horn sections employing jazz-based instruments for percussive effect. Funk’s influence may be readily observed in modern hip-hop in the form of direct sampling from funk riffs or through the employment of funk song structures.

Lyrically, funk embraces everything from the personally vulgar to the politically significant, serving from its early days as one of the most powerful and direct musical affirmations of cultural “blackness” in America.

Characteristics

The most prominent difference between funk and the soul music from which it most directly evolved is the complexity of funk rhythms. Designed explicitly to provoke the audience to dance, funk rhythms are usually presented in small, repeated ideas that through the repetition become quite danceable, despite their individual intricateness. To offset the active nature of its rhythms, many funk songs utilize simplified structures that are built around the primary riff or riffs of a song rather than the traditional, harmony-based model of song form.

Another defining element of funk is the use of the bass guitar as a source of both melodic and rhythmic interest. Traditionally, the bass had served to solidify the harmony in popular music and was overlooked as a musical contributor, but through the development of soul, the bass guitar became a stronger voice within a song. For example, the bass line alone is enough to identify some soul and funk songs, such as “My Girl,” “ABC,” and “Brick House.” Bootsy Collins (of Parliament/Funkadelic and James Brown’s band) and Larry Graham (of Sly and the Family Stone) are two of the most important bassists in funk music, with funk’s other bass innovation, “slap bass,” attributed to the work of Graham.

While the electric guitar may be the center of attention in rock and roll, it takes a back seat to the bass in a funk setting. It is used as an extra percussion instrument, with guitarists playing heavily rhythmic parts, occasionally even muting the strings to eliminate all definite pitch to highlight the effect, turning to the use of a “wah-wah” pedal for variation of the sound.

Though the horn section usually plays as a whole in funk, it is not uncommon for instrumental solos to become part of a song’s framework in the tradition begun in the early days of jazz and continued through the rhythm and blues of Louis Jordan and soul music of the 1960s. The preeminent funk soloist is undoubtedly saxophonist Maceo Parker, who has played with all the legendary acts in funk and continues to perform with funk-influenced bands today.

History

Origin of funk

“Funk” is a quintessential example of a word whose essence was redefined by a collective choice to seize control over lexical meaning. Traditionally, “funk” had been used to refer to body odor or the scent associated with sexual relations, and as “jazz” before it, was considered an inappropriate word for polite conversation. The implication of the word was well suited to accommodate the suggestive nature of funk’s lyrics and repetitious rhythmic contortions and eventually its use in the new context supplanted the earlier definitions in common perception. Musically, funk combines elements from the African-American musical tradition, most notably those drawn from soul, jazz and rhythm and blues.

James Brown and funk as a genre

James Brown is generally considered the first artist to present funk in a complete form, and would not have done so, through his own admission, without the influence of Little Richard. Brown observed that Little Richard had introduced funk in rock and roll with his band, The Upsetters, in the 1950s, and when Little Richard’s group disbanded, some of those musicians found themselves in the Famous Flames, Brown’s band. It proved to be a fruitful union, with Brown’s first number-one song coming not long afterward, and marking only the beginning of his foray into funk. Although Brown began to produce records that had traces of what we would recognize as funk, the genre was not stylistically solidified in his work until the mid-1960s.

A string of records released from 1965 (“Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag”) through 1968 (“Say It Loud, I’m Black and Proud) served to define the funk genre for the public and provided the groundwork for the explosion of funk which took place in the 1970s when other artists began to employ the sorts of riffs, rhythms and vocals that Brown and his band had struck upon. Notable early funk pioneers include Dyke and the Blazers, The Meters and The Isley Brothers. The Meters never garnered the amount of public attention that some other funk bands did, but many musicians consider them to be one of the finest and musically tightest bands of that era, and they cultivated a small and loyal fan base during the 1970s. The Isley Brothers, on the other hand, experienced a great deal of commercial success, most notably the hit, “It’s Your Thing.”

The 1970s and P-Funk

One could say that the successors to Brown’s funk legacy took the torch, and, in some cases, ran very far with it. The 1970s brought a slew of performers who were dedicated to exploring the musical idioms that Brown had concretized in his work. An iconic testament to the potential for absurdity, George Clinton and his bands (alternately Parliament and Funkadelic) explored the psychedelic fringes of funk, earning an ongoing stream of devoted fans through their entertaining live shows and unique funk voice. “P-Funk” serves as the abbreviation by which Clinton’s music is referred to, regardless of the source band.

Along with Parliament-Funkadelic, there were many other purveyors of funk in the 1970s, making it the genre’s most vibrant and culturally-relevant decade. Some of the most prominent groups were Earth, Wind & Fire, Tower of Power, Kool and the Gang, Bootsy’s Rubber Band, the Bar-Kays, The Meters, [[War (band)|War], and The Commodores. It should be noted that Bootsy’s Rubber Band was a project of George Clinton bassist, Bootsy Collins, who is known as much for his outrageous clothing as he is for his playing.

While Kool and the Gang achieved a great deal of commercial success, they did not expand on the existing notions of funk in any transparent fashion. The same cannot be said of Earth, Wind & Fire and Tower of Power, both of which created bodies of work characterized by more sophisticated song forms and a greater variation in the way the horn sections are used. This further musical showmanship helped to cultivate a wider audience for these groups, beyond the typical funk listener.

As Earth, Wind & Fire and Tower of Power introduced elements of jazz into funk, many of jazz’s most important performers were attempting to work funk into their own genre. Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock and Cannonball Adderley were interested in exploring the notion of “jazz-funk,” particularly as a parallel to some of Miles Davis’s work combining rock and roll with jazz in what would come to be called jazz fusion.

The influence of funk spread through its incorporation into the newly developed African style of Afrobeat in the musical work of Fela Kuti. Funk also provided much of early disco’s musical foundation, and both genres were associated with the African-American populace, using, in many cases, funk musicians to make the disco records.

The 1980s and stripped-down funk

The instrumentation that had been typical for funk bands through the 1970s fell out of favor in the 1980s as horn parts were played by synthesizers or the complexity of the parts was greatly reduced, eliminating one of the most consistent, enticing, and innovative elements for which funk had been known. The commercial aims of the time led to a fair amount of mechanization, which meant fewer musicians to pay, even if it required purchasing new equipment. Drum machines became typical fixtures, and the unique “slap bass” technique began to disappear from the new songs and new performances.

Rick James (“Super Freak” and “Give It To Me Baby”), Queen (“Another One Bites the Dust”) and Prince (“Kiss”) were the most important practitioners of the style in the 1980s. All three eschewed horn sections in favor of a typical rock band setup, limited to guitar, bass, keyboards and drums. While the music that they produced was in its own way very effective and successful, their work evinced a severe departure from the richness of the funk sound that one finds in the 1970s. As the 1980s bore on, funk was replaced on the musical radar by heavy metal and new wave music, which sought to find a musical setting that used the new synthesizers as the primary accompaniment.

Through Afrika Bambaataa, funk did make an attempt to use the new technologies to its own ends and as a result, the sub-genre Electro Funk (or simply, Electro) was born. The music in this sub-genre was created almost entirely by synthesizers and drum machines.

Recent developments

Though funk had vanished from the airwaves by the end of the 1980s, a new generation of rock bands began to incorporate elements of funk into their style of playing and they termed the combination “funk rock” or “funk metal” depending on the appellation of their non-funk style. Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Prince, Primus, Faith No More and Rage Against the Machine drew upon the wellspring of the funk vernacular and propagated the style in varied ways.

The influence of funk also extended to the United Kingdom, weighing in on the musical minds of acid jazz performers. While many musicians found themselves drawn to the funk of their musical forebears, funk proper has yet to regain the foothold it had during the 1970s.

Funk still pierces the musical consciousness, however, particularly via the lens of hip-hop, which regularly turns to funk for samples and inspiration, primarily because the two genres share the goal of getting people to dance, and also because the quality of the older recordings makes the newer products sound “vintage.” James Brown and P-Funk are both regular sources for current artists ranging from Jay-Z to Outkast and beyond.

Funk also plays a role in the world of the jam band, which peaked in the late 1990s but still continues to pop up from time to time. Medeski Martin & Wood, Robert Randolph and The Family Band and Galactic all employ now-traditional funk rhythms and place value on improvised solos as a throwback to the earlier days of funk, albeit they do so with different instrumentations than would likely have been found in the 1960s and 1970s.

Katherine Kennicott Davis


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Katherine Kennicott Davis (June 25, 1892 – April 20, 1980) was a composer, pianist, and author of the famous Christmas tune “The Little Drummer Boy”.

Life and career

Davis was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, on June 25, 1892, the daughter of Jessie Foote (Barton) and Maxwell Gaddis Davis. Her father was descended from John and Mariah Jane Boylan Murphey, one of the early pioneer settlers of Morgan County, Ohio and a foreman during the construction of the National Road — also known as the Cumberland National Road, as it pushed westward from Cumberland, Maryland through Ohio and on to Vandalia, Illinois. She composed her first piece of music, “Shadow March,” at the age of 15. She graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1910, and studied music at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. In 1914 she won the Billings Prize. After graduation she continued at Wellesley as an assistant in the Music Department, teaching music theory and piano. At the same time she studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Davis also studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. She taught music at the Concord Academy in Concord, Massachusetts, and at the Shady Hill School for Girls in Philadelphia.

She became a member of ASCAP in 1941. and was granted an honorary doctorate from Stetson University, in DeLand, Florida. Katherine K. Davis continued writing music until she became ill in the winter of 1979-1980. She died on April 20, 1980, at the age of 87, in Littleton, Massachusetts.[3] She left all of the royalties and proceeds from her compositions, which include operas, choruses, children’s operettas, cantatas, piano and organ pieces, and songs, to Wellesley College’s Music Department. These funds are used to support musical instrument instruction.

Music

Many of her over 600 compositions were written for the choirs at her school. She was actively involved in The Concord Series, multiple-volume set of music and books for educational purposes. Many of the musical volumes were compiled, arranged, and edited by Davis with Archibald T. Davison, and they were published by E.C. Schirmer in Boston.

She wrote “The Little Drummer Boy” (originally titled “The Carol of the Drum”), in 1941. It became famous when recorded by the Harry Simeone Chorale in 1958: the recording sailed to the top of the Billboard charts and Simeone insisted on a writer’s royalty for his arrangement of the song. Another famous hymn by Katherine Davis is the Thanksgiving hymn “Let All Things Now Living” which uses the melody of the traditional Welsh folk song The Ash Grove.

Lori and George Schappell


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Lori and George Schappell (born as Lori and Dori Schappell, September 18, 1961, in Reading, Pennsylvania) are conjoined twins. George has performed as a country singer. In 2007, George, who was at that time known as Reba Schappell, stated that although assigned female at birth, he identified as male and changed his name to George.

Careers

George Schappell has designed support equipment for people with physical handicaps, including a specialized wheelchair and a mobility aid for dogs.

As country singer Reba Schappell, George has performed widely in the United States and visited Germany and Japan and in 1997, won an L.A. Music Award for Best New Country Artist. George sang “Fear of Being Alone” over the credits of Stuck on You, a comedy film about a pair of fictitious conjoined twins.

Lori acts as George’s facilitator. She works in a laundry, arranging her workload around George’s singing commitments. Lori says that, as a fan of George’s, she pays to attend concerts, just like all the other fans, simply making herself quiet and “invisible” while George is performing.

As conjoined twins, Lori and George Schappell have appeared in a number of television documentaries and talk shows. They have also acted in an episode of the television series Nip/Tuck, in which they played conjoined twins Rose and Raven Rosenberg.

On June 21, 2007, Lori and George took part in the grand opening of “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not ! Odditorium” in Times Square in New York. This is the first time they were billed as Lori and George Schappell.

Personal Lives

Born as Lori and Dori Schappell, the siblings are craniopagus conjoined twins joined at the head, but having very different personalities and living – insofar as possible – individual lives. As a mark of individuality, and disliking the fact that their names rhymed, Dori chose to go by the name Reba. By 2007 he preferred to be known as George.

Lori and George spent the first 24 years of their lives living in an institution in Reading, Pennsylvania, in which the majority of patients were suffering from severe intellectual disabilities. Although neither is intellectually disabled, George’s physical condition required special care. A court decision was made that their parents would be unable to care for them properly and they were removed and institutionalized. In the 1960s there were few hospital institutions for people who had special needs that were particularly unusual. In order that they might be placed in the institution, they were diagnosed as suffering from intellectual disability. When they reached adulthood, George, with the help of Ginny Thornburgh, wife of former Governor of Pennsylvania Richard Thornburgh, fought to have this diagnosis overturned and Lori and George were able to go to college.

While Lori is able-bodied, George has spina bifida, which has caused growth retardation of his lower body and severe mobility impairment. They are therefore of very different heights with Lori being 5′ 1″ and George 4’4″. There was no wheelchair that suited George’s unique condition, because to move around, he must be raised to Lori’s height, to avoid undue strain upon his neck and back. The only thing on wheels that was the right height was a bar stool. Using this as the foundation, George designed the wheelchair that he currently uses.

They live in a two-bedroom apartment, each maintaining their own private space. George has several pets. Lori is a trophy-winning bowler. They respect each other’s privacy in terms of work time, recreation and relationships. Lori has had several boyfriends and was engaged to be married, but lost her partner in a motor accident.

In 2006, George was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Reading, Pennsylvania. Lori did not join the LDS Church, but has been supportive of George’s decision. In 2007, George decided to openly acknowledge that he was transgender, having self-identified as male from a young age.

Buffy Sainte-Marie


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Buffy Sainte-Marie, (born February 20, 1941) is a Canadian-American Cree singer-songwriter, musician, composer, visual artist, educator, pacifist, and social activist. Throughout her career in all of these areas, her work has focused on issues of Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Her singing and writing repertoire also includes subjects of love, war, religion, and mysticism.
She founded the Cradleboard Teaching Project, an educational curriculum devoted to better understanding Native Americans. She has won recognition and many awards and honours for both her music and her work in education and social activism.
Personal life
She was born Beverly Sainte-Marie in 1941 on the Piapot Cree First Nations Reserve in the Qu’Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan, Canada. She was orphaned and later adopted, growing up in Wakefield, Massachusetts with parents Albert and Winifred Sainte-Marie, who were related to her biological parents. She attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst, earning degrees (BA 1963 and PhD 1983) in teaching and Oriental philosophy. and graduating in the top ten of her class.
In 1964 on a return trip to the Piapot Cree reserve in Canada for a Powwow she was welcomed and (in a Cree Nation context) adopted by the youngest son of Chief Piapot, Imu Piapot and his wife, who added to Sainte-Marie’s cultural value of, and place in, native culture.
In 1968 she married surfing teacher Dewain Bugbee of Hawaii; they divorced in 1971. She married Sheldon Wolfchild from Minnesota in 1975; they have a son, Dakota “Cody” Starblanket Wolfchild. That union also ended and she married, thirdly, to Jack Nitzsche in the early 1980s, but her current partner is Chuck Wilson (since 1993). She currently lives on Kauai.
She became an active friend of the Bahá’í Faith by the mid-1970s when she is said to have appeared in the 1973 Third National Baha’i Youth Conference at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and has continued to appear at concerts, conferences and conventions of that religion since then. In 1992, she appeared in the musical event prelude to the Bahá’í World Congress, a double concert “Live Unity: The Sound of the World” in 1992 with video broadcast and documentary. In the video documentary of the event Sainte-Marie is seen on the Dini Petty Show explaining the Bahá’í teaching of Progressive revelation. She also appears in the 1985 video “Mona With The Children” by Douglas John Cameron.
Career
Sainte-Marie played piano and guitar, self-taught, in her childhood and teen years. In college some of her songs, “Ananias”, the Indian lament, “Now That the Buffalo’s Gone” and “Mayoo Sto Hoon” (in Hindi) were already in her repertoire.
1960s
By 1962, in her early twenties, Sainte-Marie was touring alone, developing her craft and performing in various concert halls, folk music festivals and Native Americans reservations across the United States, Canada and abroad. She spent a considerable amount of time in the coffeehouses of downtown Toronto’s old Yorkville district, and New York City’s Greenwich Village as part of the early to mid-1960s folk scene, often alongside other emerging Canadian contemporaries, such as Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, and Joni Mitchell (she also introduced Joni to Eliot Roberts, who became Joni’s manager).
She quickly earned a reputation as a gifted songwriter, and many of her earliest songs were covered, and often turned into chart-topping hits, by other artists including Chet Atkins, Janis Joplin and Taj Mahal. One of her most popular songs, “Until It’s Time for You to Go”, has been recorded by artists as diverse as Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Michael Nesmith, Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra, Roberta Flack, Françoise Hardy, Cher, Maureen McGovern, and Bobby Darin, while “Piney Wood Hills” was made into a country music hit by Bobby Bare. Her vocal style features a frequently recurring, insistent, unusually sustained vibrato, one more prominent than can be found in the music of any other well-known popular music performer.
In 1963, recovering from a throat infection Sainte-Marie became addicted to codeine and recovering from the experience became the basis of her song “Cod’ine”, later covered by Donovan, Janis Joplin, The Charlatans, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Man, the Litter, The Leaves, Jimmy Gilmer, Gram Parsons, Charles Brutus McClay, The Barracudas (spelt “Codeine”), The Golden Horde, and more recently by Courtney Love. Also in 1963 Sainte-Marie witnessed wounded soldiers returning from Vietnam at a time when the U.S. government was denying involvement – this inspired her protest song “Universal Soldier” which was released on her debut album, It’s My Way on Vanguard Records in 1964, and later became a hit for Donovan. She was subsequently named Billboard Magazine’s Best New Artist. Some of her songs such as “My Country ‘Tis of Thy People You’re Dying” (1964, included on her 1966 album) addressing the mistreatment of Native Americans created a lot of controversy at the time.
In 1967, Sainte-Marie released the album Fire and Fleet and Candlelight, which contained her interpretation of the traditional Yorkshire dialect song “Lyke Wake Dirge”. Sainte-Marie’s other well-known songs include “Mister Can’t You See”, (a Top 40 U.S. hit in 1972); “He’s an Indian Cowboy in the Rodeo”; and the theme song of the popular movie Soldier Blue. Perhaps her first appearance on TV was as herself on To Tell the Truth in January 1966. She also appeared on Pete Seeger’s Rainbow Quest with Pete Seeger in 1965 and several Canadian Television productions from the 1960s through to the 1990s, and other TV shows such as American Bandstand, Soul Train, The Johnny Cash Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson; and sang the opening song “The Circle Game” (written by Joni Mitchell) in Stuart Hagmann’s film The Strawberry Statement (1970).
In the late sixties, Sainte-Marie used a Buchla synthesizer to record the album Illuminations, which did not receive much notice. “People were more in love with the Pocahontas-with-a-guitar image,” she commented in a 1998 interview.
1970s
In late 1975, Sainte Marie received a phone call from Dulcy Singer, then Associate Producer of Sesame Street, to appear on the show. According to Sainte-Marie, Singer wanted her to count and recite the alphabet like everyone else, but instead, she wanted to teach the show’s young viewers that “Indians still exist”. Sainte-Marie had been invited earlier that year to appear on another children’s TV show which she would not name, but turned the invitation down since the program ran commercials for G.I. Joe war toys.
Sainte-Marie regularly appeared on Sesame Street over a five-year period from 1976 to 1981, along with her first son, Dakota Starblanket Wolfchild, whom she breast-fed in one episode. Sesame Street even aired a week of shows from her home in Hawaii in December 1977; where Sainte-Marie and her family were joined by Bob (Bob McGrath), Maria (Sonia Manzano), Mr. Hooper (Will Lee), Olivia (Alaina Reed Hall, who was Sainte-Marie’s closest friend from the Sesame Street cast), Big Bird and Oscar (both portrayed by Caroll Spinney).
In 1979 the film Spirit of the Wind, featuring Sainte-Marie’s original musical score including the song “Spirit of the Wind”, was one of three entries that year at Cannes, along with The China Syndrome and Norma Rae. The film is a docudrama of George Attla, the ‘winningest dog musher of all time,’ as the film presents him, with all parts played by Native Americans except one by Slim Pickens. The film was shown on cable TV in the early 1980s and was released in France in 2003. Sainte-Marie’s musical score has been described as ‘inspiring’, ‘haunting’, and ‘perfection’.
1980s
Sainte-Marie began using Apple Inc. Apple II and Macintosh computers as early as 1981 to record her music and later some of her visual art. The song “Up Where We Belong” (which Sainte-Marie co-wrote with Will Jennings and musician Jack Nitzsche) was performed by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes for the film An Officer and a Gentleman. It received the Academy Award for Best Song in 1982. The song was later covered by Cliff Richard and Anne Murray on Cliff’s album of duets, Two’s Company.
In the early 1980s one of her native songs was used as the theme song for the CBC’s native series Spirit Bay. She was cast for the TNT 1993 telefilm The Broken Chain. It was shot entirely in Virginia. In 1989 she wrote and performed the music for Where the Spirit Lives, a film about native children being abducted and forced into residential schools.
1990s
Sainte-Marie voiced the Cheyenne character, Kate Bighead, in the 1991 made-for-TV movie Son of the Morning Star, telling the Indian side of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, where Lt. Col. George Custer was killed.
In 1992, after a sixteen-year recording hiatus, Sainte-Marie released the album Coincidence and Likely Stories. Recorded in 1990 at home in Hawaii on her computer and transmitted via modem through the early Internet to producer Chris Birkett in London, England, the album included the politically charged songs “The Big Ones Get Away” and “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” (which mentions Leonard Peltier), both commenting on the ongoing plight of Native Americans (see also the book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.) Also in 1992, Sainte-Marie appeared in the television film The Broken Chain with Pierce Brosnan along with fellow First Nations Bahá’í Phil Lucas. Her next album followed up in 1996 with Up Where We Belong, an album on which she re-recorded a number of her greatest hits in more unplugged and acoustic versions, including a re-release of “Universal Soldier”. Sainte-Marie has exhibited her art at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Emily Carr Gallery in Vancouver and the American Indian Arts Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
In 1969 she started a philanthropic non-profit fund Nihewan Foundation for American Indian Education devoted to improving Native American students participation in learning. She founded the Cradleboard Teaching Project in October 1996 using funds from her Nihewan Foundation and with a two-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan. With projects across Mohawk, Cree, Ojibwe, Menominee, Coeur D’Alene, Navajo, Quinault, Hawaiian, and Apache communities in eleven states, partnered with a non-native class of the same grade level for Elementary, Middle, and High School grades in the disciplines of Geography, History, Social Studies, Music and Science and produced a multimedia curriculum CD, Science: Through Native American Eyes.
2000s
In 2000, Sainte-Marie gave the commencement address at Haskell Indian Nations University. In 2002 she sang at the Kennedy Space Center for Commander John Herrington, USN, a Chickasaw and the first Native American astronaut. In 2003 she became a spokesperson for the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network in Canada.
In 2002, a track written and performed by Sainte-Marie, entitled “Lazarus”, was sampled by Hip Hop producer Kanye West and performed by Cam’Ron and Jim Jones of The Diplomats. The track is called “Dead or Alive”. In June 2007, she made a rare U.S. appearance at the Clearwater Festival in Croton-on-Hudson, New York.
In 2008, a two-CD set titled Buffy/Changing Woman/Sweet America: The Mid-1970s Recordings was released, compiling the three studio albums that she recorded for ABC Records and MCA Records between 1974 and 1976 (after departing her long-time label Vanguard Records). This was the first re-release of this material. In September 2008, Sainte-Marie made a comeback onto the music scene in Canada with the release of her latest studio album Running For The Drum. It was produced by Chris Birkett (producer of her 1992 and 1996 best of albums). Sessions for this latest project commenced in 2006 in Sainte-Marie’s home studio in Hawaii and in part in France. They continued until spring 2007.
Censorship
Sainte-Marie claimed in a 2008 interview at the National Museum of the American Indian that she had been blacklisted and that she, along with Native Americans and other native people in the Red Power movements, were put out of business in the 1970s.
“I found out 10 years later, in the 1980s, that President Lyndon B. Johnson had been writing letters on White House stationery praising radio stations for suppressing my music”, Sainte-Marie said in a 1999 interview at Diné College given to Brenda Norrel, a staff writer with Indian Country Today … “In the 1970s, not only was the protest movement put out of business, but the Native American movement was attacked.” According to Norrel, this article was initially censored by Indian Country Today, and finally published only in part in 2006.
Awards and honors
In 1997, Sainte-Marie won a Gemini Award for her 1996 variety special, Up Where We Belong.
In 1983–4, the song “Up Where We Belong” (music by Jack Nitzsche and Buffy Sainte-Marie; lyrics by Will Jennings) from An Officer and a Gentleman won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a BAFTA Film Award for Best Original Song.
In 2010, she received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award.
Honorary degrees
In 1996 she received an honorary Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa degree from the University of Regina in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. She then gave the convocation address to the administration, education, and engineering graduates. As part of the address, Sainte-Marie sang a song about the Canadian Indian residential school system.
In 2007 she received an honorary Doctor of Letters from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. On 13 June 2008, she received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Carleton University, in Ottawa, Canada, an honorary Doctor of Music from The University of Western Ontario on June 10, 2009, in London, Ontario, and an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the Ontario College of Art & Design on June 4, 2010, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. On May 23, 2012 she received an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia.

 

Anne Murray


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Morna Anne Murray (born June 20, 1945), known professionally as Anne Murray, is a Canadian singer in pop, country, and adult contemporary music whose albums have sold over 54 million copies worldwide as of 2012.

Murray was the first Canadian female solo singer to reach No. 1 on the U.S. charts, and also the first to earn a Gold record for one of her signature songs, “Snowbird” (1970). She is often cited as the one who paved the way for other international Canadian success stories such as Alanis Morissette, Nelly Furtado, Céline Dion, Sarah McLachlan, and Shania Twain. She is also the first woman and the first Canadian to win “Album of the Year” at the 1984 Country Music Association Awards for her 1983 album A Little Good News.

Murray has received four Grammys, a record 24 Junos, three American Music Awards, three Country Music Association Awards, and three Canadian Country Music Association Awards. She has been inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, the Juno Hall of Fame, and The Songwriters Hall of Fame. She is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame Walkway of Stars in Nashville, and has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles and on Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto.

In 2011, Billboard ranked her 10th on their list of the 50 Biggest AC Artists Ever.

Early life

Morna Anne Murray was born in the coal-mining town of Springhill, Nova Scotia. Her father, James Carson Murray, was the town doctor. Her mother, Marion Margaret (née Burke) Murray, was a registered nurse who focused her life on raising her family and community charity work. Murray has five brothers. Murray’s father died in 1980 at the age of 72 from complications from leukemia. Her mother died April 10, 2006, at the age of 92 after suffering a series of strokes during heart surgery.

After expressing an early interest in music, she studied piano for six years. By 15 she was taking voice lessons. Every Saturday morning, she took a bus ride from Springhill to Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia, for singing lessons. One of her earliest performances was of the song “Ave Maria” at her high school graduation in 1962. Following high school, Murray attended Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax for one year. She later studied Physical Education at University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. After receiving her degree in 1966 she taught physical education at a high school in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, for one year.

Career

Early years

In 1965, Murray appeared on the University of New Brunswick student project record “The Groove” (500 pressed). She sang two songs on the record – “Unchained Melody” and “Little Bit of Soap”. On the label her name was misspelled “Anne Murry”. While there, she was encouraged to audition for the 1960s CBC musical variety television show Singalong Jubilee, but was not offered a singing position. Two years later she received a call from Singalong Jubilee co-host and associate producer, Bill Langstroth, and was asked to return for a second audition. Following that second audition, Murray was cast for the show.

After a summer of singing in local venues across the Maritimes, Murray began teaching physical education at a high school in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. After one year of teaching, she was offered a spot on the television show Let’s Go, and returned to Singalong Jubilee. As a regular member of the “Singalong Jubilee” cast, Murray appeared on the Singalong Jubilee Vol. III soundtrack and Our Family Album – The Singalong Jubilee Cast records released by Arc Records. The show’s musical director, Brian Ahern, advised Murray that she should move to Toronto and record a solo album. Her first album, What About Me, was produced by Ahern in Toronto and released in 1968 on the Arc label.

Success

Anne Murray’s debut album was on the Canadian Arc label, titled What About Me (Arc AS 782). The lead single, the title cut, was written by Scott McKenzie and was a sizable Canadian radio hit. The project was produced by Brian Ahern, and covered songs by Joni Mitchell, Ken Tobias, and John Denver. After a year-long stint on Arc, Murray switched to Capitol Records in 1969 to record her second album, This Way Is My Way, which was released in the fall of 1969. It featured the single that launched her career, “Snowbird”, which became a No. 1 hit in Canada. “Snowbird” became a surprise hit on the U.S. charts as well, reaching No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970. It was also the first of her eight No. 1 Adult Contemporary hits. “Snowbird” was the first Gold record ever given to a Canadian artist in the United States (RIAA certified Gold on November 16, 1970). As one of the most successful female artists at that time, she became in demand for several television appearances in Canada and the United States, eventually becoming a regular on the hit U.S. TV series The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.

After the success of “Snowbird”, she had a number of subsequent singles that charted both pop and country simultaneously. During the 1970s and 80s, her hits included Kenny Loggins’s “Danny’s Song” (1972) (peaked at No. 7 on the Hot 100) and “A Love Song” (1973); “He Thinks I Still Care” and her Top 10 cover of The Beatles’ “You Won’t See Me” (1974); her all-time biggest Hot 100 hit “You Needed Me” (1978) — though, the biggest hit of her career (and her personal favorite) peaked at No. 4 country and No. 3 AC; “I Just Fall in Love Again”, “Shadows in the Moonlight”, and “Broken Hearted Me” (1979); her revival of The Monkees’ 1967 No. 1 hit “Daydream Believer” and “Could I Have This Dance” from the Urban Cowboy motion picture soundtrack (1980); “Blessed Are the Believers” (1981); “Another Sleepless Night” (1982); “A Little Good News” (1983); 1984’s “Just Another Woman in Love” and “Nobody Loves Me Like You Do” (a duet with Dave Loggins of 1974’s “Please Come to Boston” fame and cousin of Kenny Loggins); and “Time, Don’t Run Out On Me” (1985).

She performed “O Canada” at the first American League baseball game played in Canada on April 7, 1977, when the Toronto Blue Jays played the Chicago White Sox at Exhibition Stadium. She reprised the Canadian national anthem prior to Game 3 of the 1992 World Series at the SkyDome. Following the last game at Maple Leaf Gardens, she concluded the arena’s closing ceremony by singing “The Maple Leaf Forever” at center ice wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey.

Murray was a celebrity corporate spokeswoman for The Bay, and she also did commercials and sang the company jingle (“You Can Count on the Commerce”) for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).

Murray’s last Hot 100 hit was “Now and Forever (You and Me)” from 1986; it also was her last No. 1 on both the American and Canadian country chart. Her last charting single in the U.S. was 1991’s “Everyday”, which appeared in Billboard’s Country Singles chart, and her last charting single in Canada was 2000’s “What a Wonderful World”.

1990s to present

In 1996, Murray signed on with a new manager, Bruce Allen, who also has managed careers for Bryan Adams, Michael Bublé, Martina McBride, and Jann Arden. She recorded her first live album in 1997 and in 1999, she released What a Wonderful World, a platinum inspirational album, which went to No. 1 Contemporary Christian, No. 4 Country and No. 38 pop. She released Country Croonin’ in 2002, the follow-up to her successful 1993 album, Croonin’. In 2004, she released I’ll Be Seeing You in Canada only, which features a collection of songs from the early 20th century through to the mid-1940s. The American version, titled All of Me, features a bonus disc containing many of her hit singles, followed in 2005. The album is dedicated to her friend Cynthia McReynolds who died of cancer.

On December 26, 2004, Murray joined other Canadian music stars in the Canada for Asia Telethon, a three-hour, tsunami relief concert broadcast on CBC Television (January 13, 2005) to support CARE Canada’s efforts. Bryan Adams and Murray closed the show with a duet, “What Would It Take”.

Anne Murray Duets: Friends & Legends was released in November 2007 in Canada and January 2008 in the U.S. The album comprised seventeen tracks that included many of Murray’s biggest hits over her four-decade career, re-recorded as duets with other established, rising, and – in one case – deceased female singers. These artists included Céline Dion, Shania Twain, k.d. lang, Nelly Furtado, Jann Arden, Québec’s Isabelle Boulay, Murray’s daughter Dawn Langstroth, Olivia Newton-John, Emmylou Harris, Martina McBride, Shelby Lynne, Amy Grant, Carole King, the Indigo Girls, Irish sextet Celtic Woman, Dusty Springfield, and Sarah Brightman. The duet with soprano Brightman was of her 1970 hit song, “Snowbird”.

Anne Murray Duets: Friends and Legends was recorded in four cities – Toronto, Nashville, New York and Los Angeles. According to Billboard magazine, the album reached No. 2 on the Canadian pop album charts and was certified Double Platinum in Canada after merely two months, representing sales of over 200,000 units. The album was the second-highest debuting CD on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart for the week ending February 2, 2008. It entered the chart at No. 42, making it her highest-charting U.S. CD release since 1999’s What a Wonderful World, which peaked at No. 38 on the Top 200 and was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Also for the week ending February 2, 2008, the CD debuted at No. 8 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and at No. 3 on its Top Internet Albums chart. Murray was nominated for the 2008 Juno Award for Album of the Year and Pop Album of the Year.

Murray’s album What a Wonderful World was re-released in July 2008 in North America as a 14-song package. A new Christmas album, titled Anne Murray’s Christmas Album with bonus DVD was released in October 2008. Sony BMG Music also released an Elvis Presley Christmas album, titled Elvis Presley Christmas Duets, on October 14, 2008 featuring a virtual duet of “Silver Bells” with Murray.

On October 10, 2007, Murray announced that she would embark on her final major tour. She toured in February and March 2008 in the U.S., followed by the “Coast-to-Coast – One Last Time” tour in April and May in Canada. Murray’s final public concert was held at the Sony Centre in Toronto on May 23, 2008.

On August 25, 2008 Murray appeared on the popular TV program Canadian Idol as a mentor. On February 12, 2010, Murray was one of the eight Canadians who carried the Olympic flag during the opening ceremonies of the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

Television

Murray has had five highly rated US specials on CBS (over 40 million viewers each) and several Canadian specials on CBC including Anne Murray in Nova Scotia, Intimate Evening with Anne Murray, Anne Murray RSVP, A Special Anne Murray Christmas, Legends & Friends, Greatest Hits II, What A Wonderful World, Ladies Night Show, Anne Murray in Walt Disney World and Anne Murray’s Classic Christmas. Her 2008 television special, Family Christmas, garnered a 43 per cent share on CBC with 4.2 million viewers.

She has appeared on Solid Gold, Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Dean Martin Summer Show, Singalong Jubilee, Dinah!, The Today Show, Dolly!, The Mike Douglas Show, Christmas in Washington, Boston Pops, The Helen Reddy Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, 20/20, CNN, Perry Como’s Christmas in New Mexico, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, Night of a 100 Stars, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, The Pat Sajak Show, Royal Canadian Air Farce and Good Morning America. Her 2005 CBC special Anne Murray: The Music of My Life broke ratings records for a Thursday night, with more than 7 million Canadian viewers tuned in.

Personal life

In 2009, Murray released her autobiography, All of Me, and embarked on a 15-city book signing tour, starting in Nashville on October 27, 2009 and ending in Ottawa on November 24, 2009. The tour also included a special In Conversation interview with Michael Posner at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto on October 30, 2009.

Marriage and children

Murray married music producer Bill Langstroth in 1975. They have two children – William (born 1976) and Dawn (born 1979), a singer/songwriter and artist who has recorded with her mother a number of times, including the duet “Let There Be Love” in 1999 for Murray’s What a Wonderful World album. Murray and Dawn were featured in a mother-daughter duet of “Nobody Loves Me Like You Do” on Murray’s hit 2008 U.S. CD (released in late 2007 in Canada), Anne Murray Duets: Friends & Legends. Murray and Langstroth separated in 1997 and divorced the following year. Langstroth died in May 2013.

In January 1998, Murray and her daughter Dawn performed at a benefit concert for Sheena’s Place, an eating disorder treatment center in Toronto. Murray and her daughter have spoken publicly about Dawn’s struggle with anorexia nervosa, which developed when Dawn was 10 years old. Dawn has since sought treatment and continues to pursue a career in music.

Philanthropy

Murray has always kept ties with her hometown, Springhill, Nova Scotia, located about an hour south of Moncton, New Brunswick, and two hours north of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Anne Murray Centre, located in Springhill, houses a collection of memorabilia from both her personal life and professional career in a series of displays. The Anne Murray Centre, which opened on July 28, 1989, is a registered Canadian charity. As a non-profit association, all the revenue generated from its operation is used to provide employment for local people and for its ongoing maintenance. The Anne Murray Centre aims to foster tourism in the area and promote awareness of the music of Nova Scotia and Canada.

Murray was involved in the construction of the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre in Springhill, Nova Scotia. She served as the honorary chair of the fundraising campaign to replace the town arena that collapsed after a peewee hockey game in 2002. Named for her parents, the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre sports an NHL-size ice sheet with seating for 800 people, a walking track, multi-purpose room, community room with seating for up to 300, and a gym. The Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre has become an integral part of the Springhill community since opening on September 15, 2004.

Murray has also been involved in a variety of charitable organizations. In addition to being the Honorary National Chairperson of the Canadian Save The Children Fund, she has served as a spokeswoman for many charities throughout her career – most recently Colon Cancer Canada. On May 20, 2009, Colon Cancer Canada launched the inaugural Anne Murray Charity Golf Classic. Over $150,000 was raised through the event.

Murray has been a public supporter of Canadian environmentalist and geneticist David Suzuki’s Nature Challenge.

Hobbies

A longtime golf enthusiast, Murray made history in October 2003 at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York, by becoming the first woman to score a hole-in-one on the 108-yard, par 3, 17th hole at the Kaluhyat Golf Club. On May 11, 2007, Golf For Women magazine named Murray the world’s best female celebrity golfer, noting her 11 handicap.

Discography

Since 1968, Murray has had 32 studio albums (15 of which have gone multi-platinum, platinum, or gold in the U.S.) and 15 compilation albums.

Awards and honours

Anne Murray is the winner of four Grammys (including one in the pop category), three American Music Awards, three CMA Awards, and a record 24 Juno Awards.

Murray was ranked No. 24 in Country Music Television’s 40 Greatest Women of Country Music in 2002.

Murray is a Companion of the Order of Canada, the second highest honor that can be awarded to a Canadian civilian. She was a recipient of the Order of Nova Scotia in its inaugural year.

In 2006, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame chose her and Leonard Cohen as recipients of the Legacy Award for their contributions to and support of the Canadian songwriting industry. Murray was recognized for her support of Canada’s songwriters, through her performances and her recordings.

On June 29, 2007, Canada Post issued the limited edition Anne Murray stamp. She was recognized along with three other Canadian recording artists: Paul Anka, Gordon Lightfoot, and Joni Mitchell.

In popular culture

On February 17, 2013, Family Guy devoted the “Chris Cross” episode to Murray. In the episode, Stewie and Brian become obsessed with Murray’s music. Murray also appears in animated form contributing her voice. She is also named prominently in the song Blame Canada from the movie South Park.

 

Sebastian Bach


Sebastian-Bach-sebastian-bach-16377874-500-527

Sebastian Philip Bierk (born April 3, 1968), known professionally as Sebastian Bach, is a Canadian heavy metal singer who achieved mainstream success as frontman of Skid Row from 1987 to 1996. Since his departure from Skid Row, he has had many television roles, acted in Broadway plays, and leads a successful solo career.
Career
Kid Wikkid (1983–1985)
The members of Kid Wikkid were stationed in Peterborough. Upon hearing of the band and unaware of their ages, 14 year old Bach auditioned for the group, and was successfully hired. Kid Wikkid moved back to Toronto, and Bach’s dad eventually allowed Bach to move in with his Aunt Leslie. The event was recorded twice in the Peterborough newspaper.
Skid Row (1987–1996)
Skid Row initially formed in the late eighties with lead singer Matt Fallon. They began playing at various New Jersey clubs. Fallon would soon leave the band in 1987, leaving Skid Row without a singer. Bach was spotted singing at rock photographer Mark Weiss’s wedding at the age of 18 and the members asked him to join in early 1987. He sent them a demo of him singing “Saved By Love.” They loved it and flew him to New Jersey where they began playing gigs. Sebastian also recorded demos with Bon Jovi & Sabo’s friend Jack Ponti. (The song “She’s on Top” later came out on Jack Ponti Presents Vol. 1)
In 1991, Bach was criticized for performing wearing a T-shirt reading “AIDS Kills Fags Dead.” Later he claimed he wore it without reading it first; it had been thrown to him by a fan. Although he made light of the incident in his original apology (stating that he would’ve been offended by someone mocking his grandmother’s then-recent death with a “Cancer Kills Grandmas Dead” shirt), Bach has since repeatedly apologized for and disavowed the statement, “That was really stupid and wrong for me to wear that for one half-hour in my life. What nobody brings up is in 2000, when I was in Jekyll & Hyde, and at an auction for Broadway Cares, I donated $12,000 of my own money to fight AIDS.”
In 1990, Bach performed with Guns N’ Roses and Metallica, on the same stage, at a party held by RIP Magazine, the improvised name for the band was: The Gak. In 1992, he sang the Canadian National Anthem at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in San Diego, California.
Bach was eventually fired when he booked a show where Skid Row would have opened for KISS in 1996. Other band members told Bach that Skid Row was too big to be an opening act and that they were not going to do the show. Bach then left a message on a bandmate’s answering machine telling him that you are never too big to open up for KISS, and subsequently left the band. Ironically enough, four years later, Skid Row was one of the opening acts for the 2000 Kiss Farewell Tour, without Bach.
Broadway and other projects (1996–2006)
In 1996, Bach formed a rock band called The Last Hard Men, with Frogs guitarist Jimmy Flemion, The Breeders lead guitarist Kelley Deal, and Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. The group recorded a full-length, self-titled album for Atlantic Records, who then opted not to release it. In 1998 it was released on Kelley Deal’s label, Nice Records, with no fanfare and a very limited pressing of 1000 CDs. This run may have been sold via mail order only. The album has since been re-released and can be purchased commercially.
In 1999 Bach released his debut solo album Bring ‘Em Bach Alive!, his first release after his departure from Skid Row. The album was mainly a live album composed of Skid Row songs of Bach’s era; however it also included five new original solo tracks (studio recordings).
In 2000, Bach began performing in Broadway productions. He made his Broadway debut with the title role in Jekyll & Hyde in April 2000. Although originally only contracted through early September, Bach received good reviews and was asked to extend until October 15. Replacing him was David Hasselhoff, whom Bach mentored slightly during rehearsals. He also appeared as Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Show in 2001. On November 28, 2001 Bach appeared at New York Steel, a benefit concert held in response to 9/11. He appeared early in the show, left to perform on Broadway, and returned at the end when all performers gathered for a final song.
In early 2002, he became the host of VH1’s Forever Wild. In October that same year, Bach was signed to perform in the national touring production of Jesus Christ Superstar, playing the title role alongside JCS veteran Carl Anderson (who reprised his familiar role from Broadway and film of Judas Iscariot). He has said if he ever did the show again, he would like to try the role of Judas next time. A DVD video of live performances called Forever Wild was released in June 2004. That same year, he reprised the title role(s) in another showing of Jekyll and Hyde.
Sometime in 2003, Bach tried out for Velvet Revolver before the band found Scott Weiland, but was turned down because, according to Slash, “We sounded like Skid Roses!” From 2003 to 2007, Bach had a recurring role on the WB television show Gilmore Girls as “Gil”, the lead guitarist in Lane Kim’s band, Hep Alien. Members of Bach Tight Five (a project initiated by Bach in 2004, but shortly dissolved thereafter) lived with Bach and his family as documented on VH1’s I Married …Sebastian Bach, one of the “I Married …” series. Stars also included Dee Snider, of the rock band Twisted Sister.
In 2005, Bach cooperated with Henning Pauly to be the singer on the Frameshift album called An Absence of Empathy, which was released in April 2005. He was recommended to Henning by Dream Theater’s James LaBrie whom Bach is very close friends with.
On May 12 and May 14, 2006 at the Guns N’ Roses’ warmup show at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City, Bach joined Axl Rose on stage for the song “My Michelle”….. He joined Rose and gang for a third time the following night (May 15) to sing “My Michelle” once again. He also joined them for their Pre-Download Festival show in the Apollo Hammersmith, London, singing My Michelle. Rose introduced Bach by saying that the two had rekindled their friendship in the previous week after 13 years of not speaking. On June 4, 9 & 11 he again joined Rose on stage at the 2006 Gods of Metal Festival (Milan), Download Festival in RDS Dublin and in Donington, respectively. He also appeared on several other tour dates during GN’R’s European tour. On September 23, 2006, he joined Axl on stage once again at KROQ-FM’s Inland Invasion festival in California for a rendition of “My Michelle”. On July 30, 2006, Bach filled in for an ailing Axl Rose for “Nightrain” and the encore “Paradise City”.
SuperGroup and Angel Down (2006–2010)
Bach starred with Ted Nugent, Evan Seinfeld, Jason Bonham and Scott Ian on the VH1 show Supergroup in May 2006. The musicians formed a band called Damnocracy for the reality show, during which they lived in a mansion in Las Vegas for twelve days and created music.
Bach announced a partnership record label with EMI to jointly create a label owned by Bach, including his album Angel Down, which was released on November 20, 2007. Bach also recorded backing vocals for the track “Sorry” on Guns N’ Roses’ long-delayed Chinese Democracy, which was released on November 23, 2008. He spent the summer of 2008 playing with Poison and Dokken. He also did a solo Australian tour in May & has been working on new songs with Jamey Jasta from HATEBREED, for the follow-up to his Angel Down CD.
Sebastian Bach was the winner of the second season of the CMT reality show, Gone Country.”
Kicking & Screaming and Sterling’s departure (2010–2012)
Bach toured as an opening act for GNR’s “Chinese Democracy Tour” 2009–2010, and performed “My Michelle” with Axl Rose in Quebec City on February 1, 2010. On January 5, 2011, he was featured on NBC’s Jimmy Fallon Show in a live performance and a subsequent video of “We Are The Ducks”, a power ballad written for University of Oregon Ducks, set to play in the BCS national championship game Monday, January 10, 2011.
In spring 2011, Bach was interviewed by British metal band Asking Alexandria in the March/April issue of Revolver. The band are fans of Skid Row and covered two of their songs the preceding year of the interview. Bach also filmed in their music video “Closure”.
Sebastian has also provided the voice of Prince Triton, King Neptune’s rebellious son, in SpongeBob SquarePants in the episode, SpongeBob and the Clash of Triton, which premiered in early July 2010. In June 15, 2011, Sebastian revealed the title of his solo album would be Kicking & Screaming. In July 8, 2011 track list, cover art and title of the first single were revealed. It was released September 27, 2011 for North America and worldwide and September 23, 2011 for Europe on Frontiers Records.
On August 13, 2012, Nick Sterling was fired by Bach after refusing to sign an agreement to appear on an undisclosed TV show. Nick also broke rules set by Bach with regards to drinking before shows. Bach also stated in a radio interview that Nick is not allowed in Canada due to an alcohol-related incident. “Nick got into some legal trouble, having to do with alcohol, down in Arizona. Where he lives.” He was replaced later by Jeff George.
Recent events (2013–present)
On April 30, 2013, Bach confirmed via Twitter that a new studio album was in the works. He went on to say that Bob Marlette would be returning as producer. Bach had collaboration work for the upcoming album with John 5, Duff McKagan, and Steve Stevens. On January 13, 2014 the solo album entitled Give ‘Em Hell was announced with prospective release date of April 22, 2014. Electronic music producers Dada Life have announced Sebastian Bach as the vocalist on the upcoming rerelease of their single Born to Rage.
Give ‘Em Hell (2014)
Give ‘Em Hell is the upcoming fifth solo studio album from Sebastian Bach, scheduled to be released on April 22, 2014, by Frontiers Records.
Personal life
Bach lived in Lincroft, New Jersey. In August 2011 his New Jersey home was damaged by Hurricane Irene and declared uninhabitable. Several Kiss and Skid Row artifacts, including Skid Row master tapes, were destroyed but his father’s art, comic books, and the KISS gargoyles from their 1979 tour were salvaged. Currently he lives in a home in Beverly Hills.

 

Marian Anderson


marian-anderson

Marian Anderson (February 27, 1897 – April 8, 1993) was an African-American contralto, best remembered for her performance on Easter Sunday, 1939, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C..

Overcoming the odds of poverty, racism and the loss of her father at a young age, she persevered to become one of the most beloved singers of her day.

Experiencing firsthand the scourge of racism in America and saddened by racial inequalities, she did not take the role as an active, aggressive opponent of racism. Rather, she chose to educate and enlighten her listeners through the example of her own life. She maintained her dignity and grace, allowing those qualities to fight the ignorance of which prejudice is born.

Anderson became a great advocate and role model for African-American musicians, never seeming to give up hope for the future of both her people and her country.

Childhood and Education

Marian Anderson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Throughout her life she gave her birth date as February 17, 1902, but her death certificate records her birth date as February 27, 1897 and there is photograph taken of her as an infant that is dated 1898. She was the oldest of three daughters born to John and Anna Anderson. Her father was a loader at the Reading Terminal Market, while her mother was a former teacher, having taught in Virginia. In 1912, her father suffered a head wound at work and died soon after. Marian and her two sisters, along with their mother moved in with her father’s parents. Her mother found work cleaning, laundering, and scrubbing floors.

At the age of six, Marian joined the junior choir at the Baptist Church in which her father was very active. Soon she was nicknamed “The Baby Contralto.” When Marian was eight years old her father had bought a piano from his brother, but they could not afford to pay for lessons. This however, did not deter Marian and she began teaching herself to play.

Marian joined the senior choir at her church when she was 13 years old. She soon began visiting other churches, through which she became well-known for her vocal abilities. She began accepting invitations to sing, sometimes performing at three different places in a single night. She eventually summoned the confidence to request five dollars per performance.

At the age of 15, Marian began voice lessons with Mary Saunders Patterson, a prominent black soprano. Shortly thereafter, the Philadelphia Choral Society held a benefit concert, providing $500 for her to study for two years with leading contralto Agnes Reifsnyder.

Marian attended William Penn High School until her music vocation arose. She transferred to South Philadelphia High School, focusing on music and singing frequently at assemblies, graduating at age 18. She applied for admission to a local music school, but was coldly rejected because of her color. Reflecting on that experience, Marian later stated:

“I don’t think I said a word. I just looked at this girl and was shocked that such words could come from one so young. If she had been old and sour-faced I might not have been startled. I cannot say why her youth shocked me as much as her words. On second thought, I could not conceive of a person surrounded as she was with the joy that is music without having some sense of its beauty and understanding rub off on her. I did not argue with her or ask to see her superior. It was as if a cold, horrifying hand had been laid on me. I turned and walked out.”

Her former high school principal enabled her to meet Guiseppe Boghetti, a much sought-after teacher. He was reportedly moved to tears during the audition, when Marian performed “Deep River.”

Career and Acclaim

Anderson began to tour regionally, focusing on black colleges and churches in the South. In 1919, at the age of 22, she sang at the National Baptist Convention. Gaining knowledge and confidence with each performance, on April 23, 1924, she dared her first recital at New York’s Town Hall. However, she was uncomfortable with foreign languages and critics found her voice lacking. This discouraging experience nearly caused her to end her vocal career.

However, her confidence was soon bolstered when, while studying under Boghetti, she was granted the opportunity to sing at the Lewisohn Stadium in New York by entering a contest sponsored by the New York Philharmonic Society. She entered the Lewisohn Stadium competition in 1925. She came in first among 300 rivals and sang in New York’s amphitheater with the accompaniment of the Philharmonic Orchestra. The success of this concert gained her the attention of Arthur Judson, an important impresario, who put her under contract.

In 1926, Marian toured the East Coast and Southern states, adding songs to her repertoire. She performed a solo recital at Carnegie Hall on December 30, 1928. A New York Times critic wrote: “A true mezzo-soprano, she encompassed both ranges with full power, expressive feeling, dynamic contrast, and utmost delicacy.” However, Ms. Anderson’s popularity was not catching on with mainstream America; she was still performing mainly for black audiences.

The National Association of Negro Musicians awarded Marian a scholarship to study in Britain. On September 16, 1930, she performed at London’s Wigmore Hall. She returned only briefly to the United States. A scholarship was granted to Marian from the Julius Rosenwald Fund, which allowed her to broaden her training to include England, France, Belgium, Holland, the former Soviet Union, and Scandinavia.

Anderson was intent on perfecting her language skills (as most operas were written in Italian and German) and learning the art of lieder singing. At a debut concert in Berlin, she attracted the attention of Rule Rasmussen and Helmer Enwall, managers who arranged a tour of Scandinavia. Enwall continued as her manager for other tours around Europe.

In 1935, Anderson’s performance at the Salzburg festival earned her worldwide recognition and a compliment from the Italian conductor, Arturo Toscanini, who told her, “a voice like yours is heard only once in a hundred years.”

The Finnish composer Jean Sibelius dedicated his Solitude to her. In 1935 impresario Sol Hurok took over as her manager and was with her for the remainder of her performing career.

Controversy and Victory

In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused to allow Anderson to sing to an integrated audience in Constitution Hall because of her race. The District of Columbia, then under the control of the Congress and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, also banned her for the same reason, from using the auditorium of a white public high school. As a result of the furor which followed, thousands of DAR members, including the President’s wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, resigned.

Ironically, neither Eleanor Roosevelt nor her husband, Franklin Roosevelt, had used their influence in a similar way when the school board turned down Anderson.

Finally, at the suggestion of Walter White, the executive secretary of the NAACP, Secretary of Interior Harold L. Ickes organized an open air concert for Anderson on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The concert, which commenced with a dignified and stirring rendition of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” attracted an integrated crowd of 75,000 and a much larger radio audience.

In 1943, Anderson sang at the invitation of the DAR to an integrated audience at Constitution Hall as part of a benefit for the American Red Cross. By contrast, the federal government continued to bar her from using the high school auditorium in the District of Columbia.

On January 7, 1955, Anderson broke the color barrier by becoming the first African-American to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera. On that occasion, she sang the part of Ulrica in Giuseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera. The occasion was bittersweet as Anderson, at age 58, was no longer in her prime vocally.

In 1958, Anderson was officially designated delegate to the United Nations, a formalization of her role as “goodwill ambassador” of the U.S. she played earlier, and in 1972 she was awarded the United Nations Peace Prize.

Later Life

After an extensive farewell tour, Marian Anderson retired from singing in 1965. However, she continued to appear publicly, narrating Copland’s “A Lincoln Portrait,” including a performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra at Saratoga in 1976, conducted by the composer.

Her achievements were recognized and honored with many prizes, including the Kennedy Center Honors in 1978 and a Grammy Award for ‘Lifetime Achievement’ in 1991. She received approximately fifty honorary doctoral degrees, beginning in 1938 with a Doctor of Music degree awarded by Howard University, and including degrees from Fordham University, Harvard University, Temple University, University of Bridgeport, and Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea.

In 1993, Anderson died of natural causes at the age of 95 in Portland, Oregon at the home of her nephew, the conductor James DePreist. She is interred at Eden Cemetery, a historic African-American cemetery located in Collingdale, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, near her hometown of Philadelphia.

Legacy

Racism in the United States played a large role in Miss Anderson’s life and career. During her tours she experienced racial prejudice on a daily basis, being denied access to lodging facilities and restaurants. Recognizing the unique position she held, she chose not to respond to injustices as an active, aggressive opponent of racism. She believed that the greatest role she could play would be as a model of integrity, enlightening her listeners through the example of her own life and actions. She became a great advocate and role model for African-American musicians. She believed that the life of her people would improve as the ideals of her country would slowly transform the system.

The 1939 documentary film, Marian Anderson: the Lincoln Memorial Concert was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

On January 27, 2005, a commemorative U.S. postage stamp honored Marian Anderson with her image on the 37¢ issue as part of the Black Heritage series. Anderson is also pictured on the $5,000 Series I United States Treasury Savings Bond.

Anderson is a recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award, the highest adult award given by the Boy Scouts of America.