Category Archives: music

RIP Joe Cocker

When I returned from Calcutta yesterday, I was shocked to learn from my CNN news feed that Joe Cocker had died. He was only 70, but the BBC reports that he died from lung cancer, so I suspect he was a smoker. (This was the same malady that killed George Harrison—born a year earlier than Cocker—at […]

Something Christmassy

by Grania Here’s a little something from my favorite a capella group Pentatonix, a young group of talented singers from the States who not only arrange compositions in delightfully creative ways, but also do incredibly inventive things with very modern, nightclub-sounding tracks. Here’s the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies and Carol of the Bells […]

“I Want You Back”

Wake up!  Here’s a song that’s almost as good as coffee. Michael Jackson was already a performing genius back in 1969 when this song was released. Jackson was only 11, but look at the guy sing and dance! His talent was huge even then. Written by the group called “The Corporation”, comprising  Motown founder Berry Gordy as well […]

The two best soul songs ever

As promised, here is Professor CC’s choice of the two best soul songs ever. This was a hard one, as my list of favorites is long, and of course many will disagree with these choices (you may list your TWO favorirtes—no more—in the comments). Both of these were written, at least in part, by Smokey […]

The most soulful soul songs

Wikipedia has about as good a characterization of “soul music” as I could find: Soul music is a popular music genre that originated in the United States in the 1950s and early 1960s. It combined elements of African-American gospel music, rhythm and blues, and often jazz. Soul music became popular for dancing and listening in […]

RIP Jimmy Ruffin

Another Motown great left us. This time it was Jimmy Ruffin (born 1936), older brother of David Ruffin, lead singer of The Temptations. Although Jimmy never attained the fame of his brother, he had one indubitably immortal soul song, and that was this one, released in 1966: “What becomes of the broken hearted” was written by William Weatherspoon, Paul […]

Joni at the BBC

Here’s a bit of music to start the week. Here’s the finest folk rock singer/songwriter of our time (I will brook no dissent), performing at the height of her powers: at the BBC on September 30, 1970. She was 26. Joni plays piano, guitar, and dulcimer. Unlike many acoustic concerts, where it’s simply a display of […]

Teddy Bears’ Picnic

Somehow my favorite song as a child came up during a conversation yesterday, and so I listened to it again. It’s “Teddy Bears’ Picnic,” whose tune was written in 1907 (by John Bratton) with the immortal words added in 1932 by Jimmy Kennedy. There are many versions on YouTube, including one by Bing Crosby (!), […]

Goodbye, Allman Brothers

One of the best bands in rock history, and the greatest “southern rock” group ever, is playing its last gig tonight at the Beacon Theater in New York City. Although individual members of the band may continue to play (I find it hard to imagine that Greg Allman will ever hang it up, for what would […]

“Tapestry” comes to life

Over at Colossal, they’ve put up gifs from a music video of Roy Kafri’s song “Mayokero” (don’t ask me who he is).  The video contains a bunch of famous albums that they’ve animated, but the best one is Carole King’s “Tapestry” which—and I hope you know this—has a tabby cat.  You should also know that “Tapestry” […]


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