December 12, 2012 |
Diners at the renovated Hard Rock Cafe in Center City can now get more of a taste of Philadelphia music history with their meals. In the new Philadelphia Room, patrons might sit beneath a shredded leather outfit worn by Philadelphia native Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, the late TLC singer-songwriter, or handwritten lyrics to "I Hate Myself for Loving You" by Joan Jett, who grew up in Wynnewood. Plaques describe each item and the artist's connection to the Philadelphia area. "Philadelphia is such a rock-and-roll town," Hard Rock historian Jeff Nolan said during a morning tour.
March 8, 2014 |
Anyone looking for a quick overview of jazz history could take a crash course simply by checking out a few performances in Philly this weekend. Around the city, modern jazz artists are paying homage to a groundbreaking festival and some of the music's most pioneering artists, glancing back while moving determinedly forward. Saturday night at the Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia saxophonist and bandleader Bobby Zankel kicks off his three-night "Still the New Thing" festival with a concert celebrating his mentor, Cecil Taylor.
April 10, 2016 |
The Independence Studio on 3 at the Walnut Street Theatre might be the smallest spot Patsy Cline (Jenny Lee Stern) has ever played. But what a difference a venue makes to the success of this rocking show! I first caught Always . . . Patsy Cline last winter at the Bristol Riverside Theatre, where the traditional and elevated stage distanced the audience from this intimate two-handed story and diminished the plausibility of the show's premise. Writer Ted Swindley based this jukebox musical on a true, chance encounter between Louise Seger (Denise Whelan)
October 26, 2010 |
Jane Swan had a remarkable eyewitness source for her 1989 book, The Lost Children: A Russian Odyssey. Her first husband was Alfred P. Swan, a Red Cross worker who helped guide 800 Russian children far from the revolutionary chaos of St. Petersburg, starting in 1918. Alfred Swan, her music history professor at Swarthmore College, was the prime source for her master's thesis and doctoral dissertation at the University of Pennsylvania. Decades later, the book was based on those papers.
October 24, 2010 |
Anthony Derf Nolde, 82, of North Wales, a former music professor at Rutgers University and pianist who for 20 years operated Nolde's Music Box in Flemington, N.J., and performed throughout the Northeast, died of heart failure Saturday, Sept. 25, at home. Mr. Nolde never regretted leaving academia after five years of teaching music history and composition, his family said. Though an educated man with a psychology degree and a master's in music, Mr. Nolde preferred a more bohemian lifestyle, traveling around the Eastern states, playing piano at small and large venues, sailing to the Caribbean on his own "to get away" for a few days, and smoking his signature corncob pipe.
February 1, 2015 |
Writer Ted Swindley built his 1988 musical Always . . . Patsy Cline on the flimsiest foundation I've seen in a jukebox musical. Given the genre, that's saying a lot. Given that this production has sold the most advance ticket sales of any show in Bristol Riverside Theatre's history, I'm not sure it matters to any fan of Cline's music. Swindley based his two-act show on a true story, but even to call it a story is charitable. "Anecdote," maybe, or "single scene in a Cline biopic," or "footnote in music history that would interest no one . . . " The evening starts with Louise Seger (Jo Twiss)
January 10, 2015 |
Motown the Musical packs its score with some of the greatest hitmakers in music history: the Jackson 5, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and the Pips, the Temptations, and the Commodores. As a story, though, it's missing only a cross for Motown records founder Berry Gordy to hang on. Gordy based the musical on his 1994 autobiography, To Be Loved: The Music, The Magic, The Memories of Motown . There's plenty of music and magic in the production now on tour at the Academy of Music; in addition to the bands or artists listed above, all the Motown records stars from the 1960s to 1980s get their 15 seconds of stage time in this 21/2-hour show (some, such as Teena Marie and Rick James, merely bookend a short-shrift collection of Motown's late-period hits)
December 14, 2012 |
Recording sessions have the mystique of making music history behind closed doors. No matter that the single most famous one in pop culture - the December day in 1956 when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins, now known as the Million Dollar Quartet, were all in the same Memphis studio - yielded nothing of great musical consequence. It was lions at play, singing gospel and blues that the public didn't want to hear from them. But who wouldn't have wanted to be a fly on that wall?
February 4, 1993 |
There aren't many opportunities to hear 14th-century Italian music and American vaudeville on the same program - much less in the same piece. Yet Hesperus, the Washington-based trio, offered just that Monday night at the Settlement Music School's fourth "Music Mondays" concert of the year. Salterello/The Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gave to Me is two pieces in one - doubtless not the way their composers intended them to be heard. But the hybrid of ancient European music with American folk music - basically Hesperus' shtick - works exceedingly well.
May 8, 2008 |
Constantine Johns, 90, formerly of West Chester, a violist, conductor, and retired professor of music at West Chester University, died April 28 at Bear Creek Nursing Home in Morrison, Colo. He had moved to Golden, Colo., three years ago. During his more than 30-year career at West Chester, Dr. Johns chaired the Music History and Literature Department for several years, served as the university's director of cultural affairs and was vice president of the faculty senate. He retired in the late 1980s.