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If you’re looking for the songwriter and performer from the first half of the 20th century who had the most profound influence on the modern world of popular music, you can start with Robert Johnson and most likely end your search there. The longing, the pain, the notion that the world was always going to be one-up on you and singing about it was your only resort if not a consolation, all of those Johnson traits would survive intact into the rock and roll era, although his songs could cut even deeper than those of his musical descendants because of their unadulterated potency and unfiltered anguish.
Read more at American Songwriter.
May 8: It’s not easy to celebrate Robert Johnson’s birthday visually, since very few authenticated photographs of the blues legend are known to exist. So we turn to art: our image today, in honor of the 103rd anniversary of the birth of world’s most influential blues artist, is the cover of the 1970 Columbia LP release King Of The Delta Blues Singers Vol. 2. The cover is a suggestion of what Johnson’s 1936 recording sessions, made in a San Antonio hotel room, may have looked like.
Recording Academy® Announces 2014 GRAMMY Hall Of Fame® Inductees
27 Recordings Added to the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Residing at the GRAMMY Museum®
Collector’s Edition Book Will Celebrate GRAMMY Hall Of Fame 40th Anniversary
SANTA MONICA, Calif.–Continuing the tradition of preserving and celebrating great recordings, The Recording Academy® has announced the newest additions to its legendary GRAMMY Hall Of Fame®. This latest round of inducted recordings continues to highlight diversity and recording excellence, and acknowledges both singles and album recordings of all genres at least 25 years old that exhibit qualitative or historical significance. Recordings are reviewed annually by a special member committee comprised of eminent and knowledgeable professionals from all branches of the recording arts, with final approval by The Recording Academy’s National Board of Trustees. With 27 new titles, the list currently totals 960 and is on display at the GRAMMY Museum® at L.A. LIVE.
“Spanning the 1930s to the 1980s, this year’s GRAMMY Hall Of Fame entries represent a diverse collection of influential and historically significant recordings,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. “Memorable and inspiring, these recordings are proudly added to our growing catalog — knowing that they have become a part of our musical, social, and cultural history.”
Representing a great variety of tracks and albums, the 2014 GRAMMY Hall Of Fame inductees range from the Mary Poppins Original Cast Sound Track album to Sugarhill Gang’s early rap hit “Rapper’s Delight.” Also added to the highly regarded list are the Drifters’ “Under The Boardwalk,” B.B. King’s “3 O’Clock Blues,” Kris Kristofferson’s self-titled debut album, Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” the Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women,” and U2’s album The Joshua Tree. Other inductees include the original soundtrack from Woodstock and recordings by James Brown, Chicago, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Miles Davis, Run-D.M.C., B.J. Thomas, and Neil Young, among others.
Celebrating the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame’s 40th Anniversary, The Recording Academy has partnered with FX Marketing Group to publish a 150-plus-page collector’s edition book. GRAMMY Hall Of Fame 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition features in-depth insight into many of the recordings and artists represented in the Hall. Legendary artists provide exclusive firsthand accounts of the making of their GRAMMY Hall Of Fame-inducted recordings, including Mel Brooks, Herbie Hancock, Loretta Lynn, the Mamas And The Papas’ Michelle Phillips, Carlos Santana, James Taylor, the Who’s Pete Townshend, and Bill Withers, among others. The full-color book also highlights the legacy of the Beatles, the group with the most titles inducted into the Hall. The book is available online at the official GRAMMY store, and is sold in Barnes & Noble, Target and Walmart stores as well as on newsstands nationwide and at the GRAMMY Museum in downtown Los Angeles.
For more information about the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame or the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards® (to be broadcast live on Jan. 26, 2014, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network), please visit GRAMMY.com. For updates and breaking news, please visit The Recording Academy’s social networks on Twitter and Facebook.
For a full list of recordings inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, please go to: www.grammy.org/recording-academy/awards/hall-of-fame.
For information on the Hall Of Fame’s 40th Anniversary, please go to www.grammyhalloffame40.com.
Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit www.grammy.com. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @TheGRAMMYs on Twitter, like “The GRAMMYs” on Facebook, and join The GRAMMYs’ social communities on Foursquare, GetGlue, Google +, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and YouTube.
2014 GRAMMY Hall Of Fame Inductees
(Songwriters of singles in parentheses)
AFTER THE GOLD RUSH
ALL THINGS MUST PASS
THE CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Creedence Clearwater Revival
“GEORGIA (ON MY MIND)”
Hoagy Carmichael And His Orchestra
(Hoagy Carmichael, Stuart Gorrell)
“GET UP — I FEEL LIKE BEING LIKE A SEX MACHINE”
“HONKY TONK WOMEN”
The Rolling Stones
(Mick Jagger, Keith Richards)
THE JOSHUA TREE
(Allen, Brown, Dickerson, Goldstein, Jordan, Miller, Oskar & Scott)
United Artists (1975)
MARY POPPINS — ORIGINAL CAST SOUND TRACK
Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke & Various Artists
Buena Vista (1964)
“NOBODY KNOWS THE TROUBLE I’VE SEEN”
Louis Armstrong And The All Stars
(Spiritual Arranged by Henry “Harry” Thacker Burleigh)
“RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD”
(Burt Bacharach, Hal David)
(Bernard Edwards, Nile Rogers)
Sugar Hill (1979)
RELAXIN’ WITH THE MILES DAVIS QUINTET
“THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED”
Flying Dutchman (1970)
“STRANGE THINGS HAPPENING EVERY DAY”
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
“SWEET HOME CHICAGO”
“3 O’CLOCK BLUES”
(Lowell Fulson, B.B. King)
“UNDER THE BOARDWALK”
(Artie Resnick, Kenny Young)
“WALK THIS WAY”
(Joe Perry, Steven Tyler)
(Sam Cook, Herb Albert & Lou Adler)
WOODSTOCK — MUSIC FROM THE ORIGINAL SOUND TRACK AND MORE
Charlie Parker Septet
SOURCE The Recording Academy
Today marks the 75th anniversary of the passing of Robert Johnson. In honor of the world’s most influential blues artist, here is one of only three identified photographs of him. This image was later used to create an official Robert Johnson postage stamp, issued by the U.S. Postal Service in 1994.
Music fans around the world have marked Aug. 16 as a day of mourning. No doubt most think back to 1977 when Elvis Presley sang his last tune. But a few will have 1938 on their minds. That’s when a different American music pioneer died just outside Greenwood. Robert Leroy Johnson was a bluesman who had little commercial success during his lifetime, but his recordings still affect music that’s made today.
“We have his death certificate,” said Greg Johnson (no relation), curator of the Blues Archive at the University of Mississippi’s J.D. Williams Library. “It’s a certified copy. The original is on file in Leflore County.”
By itself, Robert Johnson’s certificate makes official the tragic death of a 27-year-old man. But as part of the Blues Archive, it helps document Mississippi’s native music that grew out of slave spirituals and work songs and became the foundation of rock ‘n’ roll.
“It’s the history and culture of the state of Mississippi and the surrounding states. We save history before it is lost. We preserve it and make it available,” said Jennifer Ford, head of Ole Miss’ Department of Archives and Special Collections. “Most important is to make it accessible, to make it available to our patrons.”
Those materials are available to anybody who wants to sample them.
Read more at the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.