Tag Archives: Rolling Stones

Recorders in 1960s pop

While the recorder is still best known as an early music instrument, its revival in the 20th century led to its adoption as a modern concert instrument by a number of composers, and even in jazz.

The recorder also figured, at least briefly, in the British pop music boom of the mid-1960s, when Klaus Voormann played it on Manfred Mann’s Semi-detached suburban Mr. James and Trouble and tea, and Brian Jones played it on The Rolling StonesRuby Tuesday (above and below); the latter featured “a very obbligato recorder part which weaves intricate counterpoints over the basic melody in a very effective and interesting way” according to Richard D.C. Noble, who reported on the phenomenon in “The recorder in pop: A progress report” (Recorder and music magazine II/5 [May 1967] pp. 135–36).

Leave a comment

Filed under Curiosities, Instruments, Popular music

Fred McDowell and “You gotta move”

fred-mcdowell

Although he was nicknamed “Mississippi”, Fred McDowell was born in Tennessee, and lived in Memphis for more than thirty years. He worked at various factories and farms, and played guitar at weekend dances.

McDowell’s “You gotta move” was covered by The Rolling Stones on their 1971 album Sticky fingers and appeared in their film Gimme shelter (1970) as well as on their Love you live album (1977). The jazz singer Cassandra Wilson also covered “You gotta move” in 2002. McDowell himself recorded three versions of the song: acoustic (1965), electric (1971), and with the Hunter’s Chapel Singers of Como, Mississippi (1966).

This according to “McDowell, Fred” by  Yves Laberge (Encyclopedia of the blues II [2006] pp. 670); this encyclopedia is one of many resources included in RILM music encyclopedias, an ever-expanding full-text compilation of reference works.

Today is McDowell’s 111th birthday! Below, his seminal 1965 recording.

BONUS: The Stones, around the time of Sticky fingers.

Leave a comment

Filed under Jazz and blues, Performers

“Exile on Main St.” redux

Richards et al. at Nellcote

Recorded during the blazing summer of 1971 at Nellcôte, Keith Richards’s seaside mansion in southern France, Exile on Main St. has been hailed as one of the Rolling Stones’ best albums, and one of the greatest rock records of all time. Yet its improbable creation was difficult, torturous, and at times nothing short of dangerous.

In self-imposed exile, the Stones—along with wives, girlfriends, and a crew of hangers-on unrivaled in the history of rock—spent their days smoking, snorting, and drinking whatever they could get their hands on. At night, the band descended like miners into the villa’s dank basement to lay down tracks.

All the while, a variety of celebrities including John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Gram Parsons stumbled through the villa’s never-ending party, as did the local drug dealers, known to one and all as les cowboys.  Nellcôte became the crucible in which creative strife, outsize egos, and all the usual byproducts of the Stones’ legendary hedonistic excess fused into something potent, volatile, and enduring.

This according to Exile on Main St.: A season in hell with the Rolling Stones by Robert Greenfield (Cambridge: Da capo. 2006). Above, Richards at Nellcôte with Parsons and Anita Pallenberg; Below, the complete album for your contemplation.

Related article: The Beatles’ white album

Enhanced by Zemanta

1 Comment

Filed under Popular music