Detroit singer Sixto Rodriguez's sweet voice and socially conscious lyrics made him a legend in apartheid-era South Africa. This photo appears on the cover of his second album, Coming from Reality (1971).
Credit Sony Pictures Classics
Rodriguez carries his guitar through Detroit, Mich., his hometown.
Charles Mingus, as remembered by Nat Hentoff. "Every once in a while, when I was at home, the phone would ring and I'd be jolted by music until he came on. 'What do you think of that?' he would ask. 'I just wrote it.'"
Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 3:36 pm
Though he's remembered for his intense interest in the lives of everyday folks, the Pulitzer Prize winning author and Chicago radio legend Studs Terkel was also a great lover of music, and especially jazz. His first book, Giants of Jazz, featured literary portraits of the likes of Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong.
It's been a tough decade for the music industry. Revenues have tumbled — from more than $14 billion in 1999 down to $7 billion last year. EMI, one of the big four record labels, was taken over by venture capitalists and then taken over again, after they defaulted, by Citigroup. Now, Universal Music Group wants to buy the recorded music division of EMI for $1.9 billion. But critics say if the two companies merge it will create a superlabel that will dominate the music industry.
Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 2:34 pm
Swedish singer-songwriter Kristian Matsson is the epitome of a modern-day troubadour. Known for his crooning voice and acoustic folk tunes, Matsson recently released his fourth full-length album under the name The Tallest Man on Earth, entitled There's No Leaving Now.
However simple his formula may seem, The Tallest Man on Earth is much more than just a man with a guitar. His intricate fingerpicking, thoughtful lyrics and big voice give his work great height — and help him live up to his stage name.
Joe Jackson is well known as the writer of the 1979 hit "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" and for his biggest single, "Steppin' Out." Jackson — who grew up in Portsmouth, England and attended the Royal Academy of Music — has also had five Grammy nominations over his illustrious four-decade career.
Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 10:31 am
Recorded in 2005, this show was Ann Magnuson's first appearance on Mountain Stage. The Charleston, W. Va. native received a B.F.A. in Theater and Cinema from Denison University and studied acting in London. Magnuson has been involved in several wildly eclectic and influential music projects, including the sardonic folk trio Bleaker Street Incident and the heavy metal group Vulcan Death Grip. She was also the lead singer and lyricist for the psycho-psychedelic band Bongwater.
Russian bass-baritone Yevgeny Nikitin was tossed from his upcoming engagement singing Wagner at the Bayreuth Festival. It was discovered that he has had an enormous swastika tattoo on the right side of his chest and a Nazi "life rune" on his arm.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:26 pm
For a few minutes the other night, I thought I'd be going to see One Direction this Sunday. A dad I know sent me a text proposing that we bring our third-graders to Key Arena for the exceptionally mop-topped British boy band's Seattle show. He thought we could nab some tickets.