Honky Tonk Angel

Another sad loss for music, that of Kitty Wells, unbelievably well into her nineties (only seven years younger than Woody Guthrie in fact). Part of the reason that surprises me is how relatively late she hit stardom, with “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” not recorded until 1952 when she was 33; before […]

Woody Guthrie at 100

Saturday would have been Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday (thanks to Carl for blogging about this already). Woody Guthrie is one of my favourite singers, and surely one of the greatest ever songwriters as well as a great American radical. As a wordsmith, he is up there with Bob Dylan (whose whole oeuvre is un-imaginable without […]

The man whose machine killed fascists: Woody Guthrie is 100

Roger Ballenger is a State Senator whose district includes Okemah, from where Woody Guthrie hailed. He told the Ventura County Star of Guthrie that his: popularity rose, as many do, after he passed away … He would be seen as an extreme left political thinker, I’m sure The Republican Steve Kouplin went as far as to say: A lot of […]

Doc Watson z”l

Doc Watson, one of the greatest guitar players ever, has died, at the fine age of 89. Doc Watson is one of the very few, perhaps the only, musician loved by both my grandmothers – my New York Jewish Browderite Communist one, who played the Appalachian dulcimer and followed the first American folk revival (which […]

Vidal Sasson’s desert island discs

My comrade Jim Denham points us to the excellent musical  choices of the late Vidal Sassoon, style icon and, more importantly, street-fighting ant-fascist. Read obituaries here. You can listen to his extraordinary life story and listening choices on Desert Island Discs here. The music follows, with my comments in italics. Dinah Washington— What a Difference […]