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R.I.P. Lena Horne
Lena_HorneMultiple Grammy winner, NAACP Image Award winner, and Kennedy Center Honors recipient Lena Horne passed away May 9 at age 92.

Whenever I think of the great classy jazz vocalists, Ms. Horne comes first to mind. I always found her sultry, sophisticated style particularly engaging. Along with other great vocalists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, Lena Horne forged a path through contemporary music and American culture that will long be remembered, and that we all should be grateful for.

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Pirate Treasure
Today's video has been a long time coming and deserves a much more thorough telling than I am prepared to give. I will sum up.

In the early 90s, some good friends of mine put together Renegade Clowns, an alternative rock band. Eddie, Buddy, and Eric are all great musicians, and it wasn't long before the band picked up quite a following. At the same time, I was just beginning to put together what would eventually become Off World Studio. Now a teaching studio, Off World Studio initially began as a recording studio.

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Tractor Music
Back in the day, it didn't take much for a bunch of us guys to settle in to an impromptu jam. There were plenty of acoustic instruments sitting around. When we ran out of those, pretty much anything could be used for additional accompaniment. Pop bottles, boxes, couch cushions - whatever we could coax a rhythm or melody out of became our instrument.

Memories of the old days came rushing back when I ran across today's addition. These guys would be page worthy without the tractor. Heck, if they weren't any good, they would still be page worthy. A group of Swedish chaps hanging out playing Sweet Georgia Brown is pretty cool. That they play it fantastically, guitar player Olle Hemmingson throwing in some awesome Chet Atkins chops, takes the worthiness to the top. The tractor section blows the top off the meter.

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Riddle and Phelps Revisted
I've been getting a lot of hits recently from people looking for Riddle and Phelps. My original article centered on my fascination with their Effen and Hambone routine. Since then, I've been scouring Hee Haw and other RFD TV reruns looking for more performances by these guys. There is a lot of the Effen and Hambone, but not much else that shows off their other talents.

Today's video is the best example I have found so far of Mr. Jimmie Riddle's harmonica playing and Mr. Jackie Phelps' guitar prowess. It's sometimes a little difficult to hear over the cacophony of the rest of the Cornfield County Concert Band, but if you pay attention, you can hear some blistering harmonica throughout, and periodic snatches of smooth jazz guitar lines.

I'm keeping my eyes and ears open for more from these brilliant (and ridiculous!) musicians. If you know of something I can post here, please let me know. In the meantime, I hope this clip will give the Riddle and Phelps fans a little something for now. And don't forget to watch the video in the big player on my Music Video page!
 
Doc Really Blows
Today's music history lesson is brought to you by the great Johnny Carson. Johnny's guest presents a collection of cool exotic old instruments. I tried to find the name of the gentleman describing the instruments, but I couldn't find anything. If anybody out there knows anything about him, please drop me a line so I can give him his due credit.

The best part of the video is when Doc Severinsen plays the Aida trumpet. I'm amazed at how well he plays the old thing. And as always, the band is right there with him. Very cool.

This video, along with bunches more, is available in the big player on my Music Video page. Enjoy!
 
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