May 3, 2013 |
IN THE MID-1950S, Bobby Palese and Joe Giglio graduated from Camden Catholic High School with one conviction: They weren't going to take 9-to-5 jobs. They wanted to be entertainers. Lots of kids start out with fanciful notions of what they want to do with their lives: cop, fireman, pilot, professional athlete. Most come to their senses when confronted with the realities of the world. Not Bobby and Joe. They went on to pursue and fulfill their dreams, eventually as two of the four members of the Echoes doo-wop group, which performed widely and cut some records that got airplay in the Philadelphia region.
May 1, 2013 |
When first heard, Alfred Schnittke's Choir Concerto seems like an unapproachable musical anomaly - a piece that crashed into the repertoire with undeniable greatness but with challenges so steep that performers might not know where to start. Yet the Philadelphia Singers took the piece out of its ivory tower Sunday and put it where it belongs: In your face. When he wrote the piece in the 1980s, Schnittke was known for uninhibited explosiveness in symphonic works and operas that symbolized the old Soviet Union breaking free of Brezhnevian torpor and propelling itself toward a long-delayed arrival in the musical vanguard.
April 26, 2013
Chrissy Amphlett, 53, the raunchy lead singer of the Australian rock band Divinyls whose hit "I Touch Myself" brought her international fame in the early 1990s, died at her home in New York on Sunday. "Christine Joy Amphlett succumbed to the effects of breast cancer and multiple sclerosis, diseases she vigorously fought with exceptional bravery and dignity," her husband, the musician Charley Drayton, said in a statement. "Chrissy's light burns so very brightly. Hers was a life of passion and creativity.
April 24, 2013 |
Richie Havens, 72, the New York City folk singer thrust by circumstance onto center stage as the opening act of Woodstock, the legendary 1969 music festival, died of a heart attack Monday at his home in Jersey City, N.J., according to Tim Drake, president of his booking agent, the Roots Agency of Westwood, N.J. Scheduled fifth on the program for opening day of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, Aug. 15, 1969, Mr. Havens and two members of his band were...
April 18, 2013
George Beverly Shea, 104, a gospel singer and songwriter who was a featured part of the Billy Graham crusades for more than 50 years, died Tuesday, April 16, in Asheville, N.C., after a brief illness, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association told the Associated Press. "Bev" Shea, who received a lifetime-achievement award at the 2011 Grammy Awards, became the soloist for the Billy Graham Evangelical Team in 1947. Tall and slim with a resonant baritone, Mr. Shea was known for his straightforward singing style.
April 12, 2013 |
IF YOU COULD make it at Spider Kelly's, you had already made it in the Philly jazz scene. After all, John Coltrane played there, as well as organist Jimmy Smith and numerous other local luminaries at a time ('50s and '60s) when Philadelphia was the place to be for the best in jazz. It was a tough crowd. A piano player kept a bottle of wine and a pistol under his piano. The denizens expected only the best in their kind of music, and they got it. The likes of Louis Jordan and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, playing at the nearby Earle Theatre, came by to scoop up talent for their bands.
March 29, 2013 |
Daniel Mungall Jr., 97, of Radnor, a lawyer whose singing, and the friendships he formed through music weaved a sustaining thread throughout his life, died Monday, March 18, at the Quadrangle in Haverford, where he had lived for the last few years. Well into his 90s, Mr. Mungall continued to sing with the Orpheus Club of Philadelphia, whose goal is "the attainment of the greatest possible excellence in the performance of part songs for male voice. " Mr. Mungall joined the club in 1942 and was president from 1974 to 1976.
March 28, 2013
Gordon Stoker, 88, a member of the Jordanaires vocal group that backed up Elvis Presley, died Wednesday at his home in Brentwood, Tenn., after a lengthy illness, his son, Alan, told the Associated Press. Mr. Stoker, who was born in Gleason, Tenn., got his start playing the piano on WSM radio and its signature show, The Grand Ole Opry . He joined the Jordanaires as a piano player, but then became a tenor vocalist. The quartet originated in Missouri and went to Nashville, where it backed Red Foley on a segment of the Opry called "the Prince Albert Show.
March 28, 2013 |
Frank O'Hara (1926-1966): New Yorker, gay man, poet. Billie Holiday (1915-1959): Philly-born New Yorker, black woman, singer. Both famous. Both, because of what they were, relegated to the margins. That irony - that two of America's great artists could speak so centrally yet be denied centrality - informs Azuka Theatre's world premiere of Everyone and I , a play by Philadelphia poet Elizabeth Scanlon. It runs Thursday through April 7 at Hamilton Garden at the Kimmel Center, as part of the 2013 Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts.
March 25, 2013
Alternative singer-songwriter Jason Molina, 39, died at his home in Indianapolis on Saturday of organ failure after a long battle with alcoholism. His record label, Indiana-based Secretly Canadian, said he stopped touring in 2009 "to deal with severe alcoholism. " On its website Monday, the label said Mr. Molina, a native of Lorain, Ohio, released more than 12 albums under the name Songs: Ohia and the band Magnolia Electric Co., which he started in 2003. The label said Mr. Molina was its cornerstone.