Category Archives: Music History

LIVE AT THE ICE HOUSE: EPISODE 4 ~ “ROCK AND ROLE MODELS”

Judah 1

American roots-rock duo William Pilgrim & The All Grows Up return with a brand new episode of Live at the Ice House, the duo’s socially conscious ongoing music web series. In the latest installment, titled “Rock & Role Models,” Ishmael Herring, aka William Pilgrim, and his musical cohort PM Romero, take the show on the road to East West Studios in Hollywood, CA, where they are currently finishing a new record for Orange County-based label, Moonlight Graham Records that is scheduled for release in early 2014.


Exene Cervenka and Kevin Alexander Gray

Exene Cervenka and Kevin Alexander Gray

In this episode, William Pilgrim and PM Romero are joined by the legendary Blind Boys Of Alabama, and other friends from previous Live at the Ice House segments including Modern Poet and Renaissance Man David “Judah 1” Oliver from Episode 3, singer Lesedi Lo-Fi from Episode 2, and Exene Cervenka of the celebrated band X, who narrated the series’ debut episode that focused on teen homelessness. Social and political blogger/author Kevin Alexander Gray also stops by for a heated but good natured and insightful discussion with Pilgrim and Romero.

Blind Boys Of Alabama at East West Studios In Hollywood

PM Romero with the Blind Boys Of Alabama & friends at East West Studios In Hollywood

The Blind Boys of Alabama are notably featured on a track on William Pilgrim & The All Grows Up’s forthcoming sophomore release, titled Epic Endings. The five-time Grammy Award winning gospel group was in the process of cutting tracks at East West Studios and, drawn to the message of Live at the Ice House, asked to join in the roundtable discussions. The Blind Boys’ soulful style and spirituality prove an ideal complement to William Pilgrim’s haunting, bluesy vocals. X singer Exene Cervenka is also featured in a duet with William Pilgrim on the upcoming release and in this Live at the Ice House episode she speaks on the inspirations and meanings behind that song.

Ishmael Herring, aka William Pilgrim and Kevin Alexander Gray

Ishmael Herring, aka William Pilgrim and Kevin Alexander Gray

“Last episode we tried to demonstrate the power we all have with the words we choose and how we use them,” says William Pilgrim. “In this episode we move to focus more on music.  Music was an integral part of the 60′s fight for civil rights and it spoke out against our destruction of the people of Vietnam and to the tightening grip of American business over our government and public policy.  We believe music, performers and songwriters have a responsibility today to pick up where our 60′s predecessors left off.”

“Music is a tremendously powerful force for change and can inform and raise awareness but also impact people on a deeply emotional level, and this is where the seed for real social change must take root,” says PM Romero. “With no resonating voice within government or the media to challenge our misguided understandings of civics, economics and history, music and the artists that craft songs can become major influences to break through our corrupted common sense and reason.  Music can be the voice that unifies and organizes people around a common good.”

Live at the Ice House, “Rock & Role Models,”  is also available now on http://liveicehouse.com.

Live at the ICE HOUSE

Live at the ICE HOUSE

Additional information on William Pilgrim & The All Grows Up Is available at: https://www.facebook.com/williampilgrimmusic.

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Filed under American Culture, American Politics, Black Culture | United States, Movement & Message Music, Music History, Poetry, Political Ideology, R&B, Rock, Soul, Work of Comrades

Tupac Amaru Shakur | Clinton Correctional Facility Interview ~1995

Tupac~ The Lost Prison Tapes

Shakur [June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996] began serving his prison sentence at Clinton Correctional Facility on February 14, 1995.  He was released after serving eleven months of his one-and-a-half year to four-and-a-half year sentence. 

The Lost Prison Tapes presents a uncensored look into Shakur’s life, as he talks about his involvement with gang life to prisons in America to his relationship with his mother and American culture and politics. 

The Lost Prison Tapes’ were released on January 26, 2011.

“Capturing the intensity and passion of a fierce talent, “Tupac ~ Uncensored and Uncut: The Lost Prison Tapes” offers a glimpse inside the mind of the enigmatic artist whose music is, in his own words, “all about life.””

Shakur had sold over 75 million records worldwide as of 2010.  Rolling Stones magazine named him the 86th Greatest Artist of All Time.

Both of his parents- Afeni Shakur and his father, Billy Garland, along with several other family members, were members of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.

On September 7, 1996, Shakur was shot four times in Las Vegas, Nevada. He died 6 days later at the University Medical Center. 

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James Rosemond Admits to Tupac Shakur 1994 Shooting Involvement: Report ~ http://www.billboard.com/column/the-juice/james-rosemond-admits-to-tupac-shakur-1994-1007420552.story#/column/the-juice/james-rosemond-admits-to-tupac-shakur-1994-1007420552.story

I shot Tupac Shakur in 1994 robbery on orders of rap manager, claims convicted murderer Dexter Isaac ~ http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-06-15/gossip/29691900_1_tupac-shakur-james-jimmy-henchman-rosemond-czar-entertainment

Bio ~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tupac_Shakur

http://www.amazon.com/Tupac-Uncensored-Uncut-Prison-Tapes/dp/B004KPUL4G

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Filed under American Culture, Black Politics, FREE SPEECH, Hip Hop, Historic Black Politics & Figures, Historic Photos - People, Law Enforcement, Movement & Message Music, Music History, PASSINGS | HOME-GOING, Poetry, Political Ideology, Protest, racism, white supremacy

The Soul Will Find a Way | By Kevin Alexander Gray


The Life and Times of James Brown

 At the start of the 1960s, my father Paul moved my mom Geneva, three older brothers, younger sister and me from Boston to rural Spartanburg County in upstate South Carolina. He’d fled the South in the 1940s, enlisting in the Navy. Twenty years later, he returned to an inheritance of eleven shotgun houses and a juke joint at the foot of a hill in a tiny, segregated, one way in – one way out community called Freyline.

Gray’s Grocery was on the sign over the front door between the two round, red  Coca Cola logos, but everyone called the gathering spot “the store”. Gray’s Grocery was where all the maids, janitors, textile mill workers, field laborers, wannabe slicksters, young and old, sinners and saints met on weekends to dance, drink, gamble, talk, cuss, have an occasional scuffle, fist, gun or knife fight, and generally let it all hang out.  

[For more click Counterpunch logo]

Kevin Gray on James Brown – Part 1

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Filed under 1ST LOOK | KAG Book Promotion, 1ST LOOK | Waiting for Lightning to Strike, American Culture, American History, Black Culture | United States, Historic Black Politics & Figures, James Brown Recognition Project, Music History, R&B, Soul, South Carolina

Famous South Carolinians | Frederick “Freddie” William Green | By Kevin Alexander Gray

Green: “Rhythm guitar is like vanilla extract in cake.  You can’t taste it when it’s there, but you know when it’s left out.”

Master musician- Rhthym guitar

March 31, 1911-March 1, 1987

Frederick William Green, born in Charleston, SC, was the son of Oscar and Eloise Simmons Green.  He was exposed to music at an early age.  He learned the banjo before picking up the guitar around the age of 12.  Other than a few music lessons taken as a youngster, he taught himself to play guitar.

Green is most known for his 50-year career (except for a brief interruption) as rhythm guitarist with the William “Count” Basie Orchestra. 

Sam Walker, a friend of Green’s father, first taught young Green how to read music, and encouraged him to keep up his guitar playing.  Walker gave Green what was perhaps his first gig, playing with a local community group – the Jenkins Orphanage Band – with whom Walker was an organizer. The band was a place for poor children to get musical training.  It was also a marching band. The band often traveled into Green’s neighborhood, and he would follow them all around the city. Although not an orphan himself, he became a band member – playing in Charleston, as well as inside and outside the state. Coincidentally, an orphaned friend of his in the group was young William “Cat” Anderson who went on to become an established trumpeter, working with notable figures such as Duke Ellington.

Green credited the musical influences of his youth to the music that he heard coming from New York into Charleston.  But he added: “As far as music is concerned, Charleston has always been musical.” Continue reading

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Filed under Famous South Carolinians, Music History, South Carolina

Bob Marley | Get Up Stand Up! | Live In Dortmund, Germany | 1980

You can fool some people sometimes,
But you cannot fool all the people all the time.
So now we see the light,
We gonna stand up for our rights!

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Filed under Afro-Pop, Bob Marley & other Reggae Artist, Historic Black Politics & Figures, Movement & Message Music, Music History, Reggae, Soul

Famous South Carolinians | “Mr. Rhythm”~ Frederick “Freddie” William Green | By Kevin Alexander Gray

Charleston – ( March 31, 1911-March 1, 1987)

Rhythm guitar is like vanilla extract in cake.  You can’t taste it when it’s there,  but you know when it’s left out:” Freddie” Green, Master musician – Rhythm guitar

"Mr. Rhythm"

"Mr. Rhythm"

“Freddie” Green, born in Charleston, was the son of Oscar and Eloise Simmons Green.  He was exposed to music at an early age.  He learned the banjo before picking up the guitar around the age of 12.  Other than a few music lessons taken as a youngster, he taught himself to play guitar.

Sam Walker, a friend of Green’s father, first taught young Green how to read music, and encouraged him to keep up his guitar playing.  Walker gave Green what was perhaps his first gig, playing with a local community group – the Jenkins Orphanage Band – with whom Walker was an organizer. The band was a place for poor children to get musical training.  It was also a marching band. The band often traveled into Green’s neighborhood, and he would follow them all around the city. Although not an orphan himself, he became a band member – playing in Charleston, as well as inside and outside the state. Coincidentally, an orphaned friend of his in the group was young William “Cat” Anderson who went on to become an established trumpeter, working with notable figures such as Duke Ellington.

Green credited the musical influences of his youth to the music that he heard coming from New York into Charleston.  But he added: “As far as music is concerned, Charleston has always been musical.” Continue reading

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Filed under American Culture, Black Culture | United States, Famous South Carolinians, Historic Black Politics & Figures, Music History, South Carolina

Edwin Hampton | Legendary Band Director at St. Aug’s, dies at 81

“Ernest Withers taught me about the extraordinary high school bands in Memphis that led directly to Stax, Hi, and a bunch of other great music.
 
Well, New Orleans had its own schooling in this field. The great second lines, brass sections, and soloists didn’t just appear; they came up through a long rich tradition. One of the prime mentors in that tradition just died. Check the names of some of the folks who were taught by Edwin Hampton. Or maybe this one photograph says it all?” Daniel Wolff 
Legendary band director Edwin Hampton

Legendary band director Edwin Hampton

Legendary band director Edwin Hampton, “a beloved community pillar, mentor to thousands of musicians and founder of the iconic St. Augustine High School Marching 100, died Monday night at home in his sleep. He was 81.”

Edwin Hampton

Edwin Hampton

Mr. Hampton will forever be remembered for the look and sound of his Purple Knights, the purple-and-gold-clad band members who march each year in Carnival parades. But his contributions to his school and community extended far beyond parades and football halftime shows.”

 

St. Augustine Marching 100 at Rex 2007.

St. Augustine Marching 100 doing the OJays’ “The Backstabbers”

READ FULL STORY : http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2009/07/edwin_hampton_band_director_at.html

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Filed under American Culture, Black Culture | United States, Grassroots Historical Figures, Music History, NOLA, PASSINGS | HOME-GOING