All posts with more than 3000 Hits, prior to 2008

Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:48 am

Yes, Cyrogenic, there was some post that convincingly laid out a derogatory or embittered comment by Ray Charles, but I find it hard to get too worked up over it, given the context.

Both are legends for the ages now.

Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:43 am

"It Should've Been Me."
~Ray Charles

Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:37 pm

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,122385,00.html Ray Charles words are on the link.

I like how he says we own that music.

So the great Ludwig Van Beethoven stole an Irish Aire ("Save me from the grave and wise") for his astonishingly beautiful 7th Symphony.

Coincidently a newspaper reporter, Chris Lowry on radio here last night was pointing out how Ray Charles, Junior Parker and...wait for it .............Pavarotti sang far better than Elvis.

Then he made the mistake of playing, "Heartbreak Hotel", "Mystery Train, and "It's Now or Never".
The host of the 2FM radio show, Dave Fanning is a dyed in the wool Beatles fan who often dismisses Elvis after Sun!!!

dave@2fm.ie Anyone like to say hello to him :lol:

Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:23 pm

MauriceinIreland wrote:http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,122385,00.html Ray Charles words are on the link.

I like how he says we own that music.


It's impassioned, semi-antagonistic wording - but I don't sense any bile on Charles' part.

Good link.

Thu Feb 02, 2006 2:49 am

Fact: Ray Charles won't hire any back-up singers who won't screw him first, I find this disgusting.

I like those quotes, thanks for that link mate.

Thu Feb 02, 2006 3:09 am

Those comments (pertaining to Elvis Presley) by Ray Charles are also in his (auto)biographical works (ie: am already familiar with them) - just reproduced for his website.

I see nothing inflammatory or derogatory about them.

----------------------------------------------

IMO --------------------> this discussion is "Much Ado About Nothing."


N8
... just a fan ....

Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:36 am

Thanks Cryogenic and Vincent, I just find all the Black Music, Owning Music, Elvis stealing Black Music stuff very funny. We should ridicule it at every opportunity.

Didn't Ray Charles and many of those great black artists compose their music and songs on pianos invented by Europeans :lol:

And those Irish dancers on the plantations taught those Black guys a few steps too.

Sorry Lakeisha...just having a bit of fun

Thu Feb 02, 2006 5:20 pm

That link to the Ray Charles piece takes you to Fox news, and you know you can't trust anything on that conservative/right wing slanted Fox! :wink: :)

Thu Feb 02, 2006 5:30 pm

Pete Dube wrote:That link to the Ray Charles piece takes you to Fox news, and you know you can't trust anything on that conservative/right wing slanted Fox! :wink: :)


How true Pete, at last you are seing the light. Are you near Damascus or what? :lol:

Thu Feb 02, 2006 5:55 pm

MauriceinIreland wrote:
Pete Dube wrote:That link to the Ray Charles piece takes you to Fox news, and you know you can't trust anything on that conservative/right wing slanted Fox! :wink: :)


How true Pete, at last you are seing the light. Are you near Damascus or what? :lol:


Damascus? Heck no Maurice. I don't think the Arabs there would take to kindly to a pro-Israel, zionist sympathizer like me. :wink: :lol:

Thu Feb 02, 2006 6:05 pm

Image
Ray Charles in His Own Words
Thursday, June 10, 2004
On his official Web site, Ray Charles offered his reflections on jazz, soul and rock as well as composing music.

Jazz Appreciation

"I cannot understand how we as Americans, possessing such a rich heritage of music and the artists who play it, don't recognize all those talented people. It's a shame that so many of today's young people don't know the work of Art Tatum or Dizzy Gillespie or Charlie Parker or Clifford Brown, to name a few.

They are the creators; they are the artists who helped form the backbone of our country's popular music.... When you talk about, say, classical music, you're talking about a form that came from Europe and European composers and musicians from an earlier time. But, we basically created jazz in this country, we own that form of music. And it's sad that we all don't have more extensive knowledge of that fact....

In Europe, though, you find people who know all about our music. I'm talking about the average person. I've been to Europe and talked to people who have records of mine that I forgot I ever made! And I find that incredible.

The Origins of Rock

Basically, rock 'n' roll came into being when white artists and white bands started covering black music. That seems like a blunt way of putting it, and it may sound like I'm a racist, but I'm not; that's just the best way to explain it....

It started in the '50s, when you had popular singers like Pat Boone and Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins covering black music. They were doing songs first recorded by people like Little Richard and Chuck Berry. They just took rhythm-and-blues songs and did their own versions of them. And that sound became known as rock 'n' roll. I don't know exactly who came up with that name, but that's pretty much the way it went down....

When Elvis came along, he not only covered the music, but he was...well, he was moving his body on stage just like a black artist would. Now, in those days a black artist couldn't get away with doing that on stage for the teenagers of America, but Elvis got away with it. He was criticized at first, but he got away with it. He was just doing what he saw people doing down on Beale Street.

The Evolution of Soul

I don't think you could tag a certain year as the date that soul music appeared, because it didn't happen that way. It evolved over a period of time. Even today, you could ask five different people what it was and how it got started and get five different answers....

Originally, soul music had a strong element of the church, of spiritual music. It had a gospel music feeling, and then it incorporated the sound of blues music. That's soul's makeup: the fusion of gospel and blues, all mixed up together. It's the crossover of those forms of music that makes soul unique....

At first I got some criticism for playing soul music. Women sent me letters, accused me of being sacrilegious because they could pick out that gospel music was being incorporated into something that went beyond the sound they heard in church every week. They didn't realize at first how spiritual soul music could be....

And there were people who objected to soul being played on the radio because of the depth of feeling in the music. Some people thought it was too suggestive, and some thought it was just plain vulgar. But the feeling that comes through in the music --that's the essence of soul -- the word itself tells you that.

His Composing

Learning to read music in Braille and play by ear helped me develop a damn good memory. I can sit at my desk and write a whole arrangement in my head and never touch the piano. I bring in a sighted person and I dictate the notes, what kind of notes, where they're supposed to be, for what instrument, whether there's an F, whether it's a quarter note, whether it's an eighth note, a dotted quarter or whatever. I dictate the notes right here at my desk, and I never move because I play the piano, so I know what the chords are going to be.

I know what the structure is, I know how I want it to sound, and I can hear it in my head. But I have to remember what I had the reed section doing, what I had the trumpet section doing, and so on. If you're going to write an arrangement you've got to remember all those things....

I've never written or arranged anything I was unhappy with later. I know that sounds pretty boastful, but I've got to be truthful. Understand, now, that 99 percent of all arrangers play some piano. Piano is the basic thing to write music with. Since I am a pianist, I know which chords I want and what they are going to sound like, so it's up to me to make the decision on how I want the arrangement to sound. There's no reason for it to come out any different than the way it sounds in my head."

Source: http://www.raycharles.com


We've been over this time and again, Maurice, but I respectfully disagree again that we should entirely negate some of the intent of the comments of a guy like Ray Charles, who is just pointing out the degree to which the black influence on rock and pop culture has for so long been under-estimated, certainly in terms of honoring the black greats.

But ironically, Ray Charles failed to relize that Elvis, like himself, was in fact a fusion artist who did not merely borrow (or "steal") black music. Like himself, Elvis freely looked past genres and stylistic borderlines. To lump Elvis in with Pat Boone is revealing as to how simplistic and ill-informed is this "woe is me" school of understanding black music.

That said, too many fail to understand at least the motivation of a Ray Charles in making such comments as in the post above. It's all too true that too many Americans know the Beach Boys before they know Chuck Berry and are only now appreciating the rich jazz and blues tradition we once had in front of us. Judging from some dumb comments on a "TV Land" African-American history special, apparently some younger blacks are equally ill-informed, putting a Mos Def ahead of Sam Cooke.

I guess it's all what you personally remember and champion.

Thu Feb 02, 2006 8:00 pm

Sorry Greg, anyone claiming to own a form of music is just silly.

Even Irish music has been traced back centuries to Moroco and probably way back to the Greeks.

Music belongs to us all. Black artists have been known by us for many decades even if they did not get a fair shake in the media in general. But who does?

The Chinese and Japanes love Western Classical and popular music but there are some in China and Japan who would not like to see Chinese and Japanese classical and popular music go under because of it.

I suppose in time there will be a radio show on the net for every branch:-)

Far better we hear ALL music and choose for ourselves what we want to collect.

We have seen dozens if not hundreds of Indian movies with their dancers and music on TV. It's nice music but just not our cup of tea. We dont hear much of it on UK or Irish music stations. But they do have their own programmes.

It must have been frustrating for those great black artists like Ray Charles but we did and DO know about them now. We cannot push the clock back. Infact some DJs are going to the extreme and praising Black artist to the detriment of Elvis and company..it happened here just the other night!

That's how stupid it can get if we go down that road.

One time Wagner was aclaimed the greatest composer of all time till his anti-semitism ruined his reputation. His music was not played in Israel for decades.

But very intelligent artists like the great jewish Concert pianist, and Conductor Daniel Barenboim took over the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra!

His Beethoven Sonata Master classes on BBC TV were truly inspiring.

Don't get me going........ :lol:

Thu Feb 02, 2006 8:38 pm

Maurice -

Wagner - wasn't he the violin-playing child prodigy who went deaf and then wrote Swan Lake and West Side Story ?

Or was that Debussy ?

Thu Feb 02, 2006 8:57 pm

ColinB wrote:Maurice -

Wagner - wasn't he the violin-playing child prodigy who went deaf and then wrote Swan Lake and West Side Story ?

Or was that Debussy ?



Colin young man, now you mention Debussy his music is close to jazz and I'm not to keen on it. His "Claire De Looney", bores me to death.

Tchaikovsky as you well know composed "Swan Lake", which we saw recently performed by the Russian State Ballet Company here in Dublin.

Beethoven was the guy who went deaf but he continued to compose the greatest music in the world.

The child prodidgy was our daughter............ oops......... er that Mozart guy who composed the most beautiful slow movement to his 21st piano Concerto. Used in the movie "Elvira Madigan".

Wagner as you well know composed the "Ride of the Valkyries" used in a war movie "Apocalypse Now".

Now all that has put me in the mood for the fabulous "Revolutionary study" by Chopin.................................give it a spin.

Now you have wound me up you can wind up your gramaphone :lol:

Thu Feb 02, 2006 10:41 pm

Maurice -

I knew it !

You haven't a clue who wrote West Side Story !

Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:18 pm

Actually, Maurice, I tend to aspire and champion the same universality of music and culture as you do, so I respect that.

But I still think appropriation ("theft") of culture (real or imagined) is something to ponder or make amends for.

Still, like you and many others, I'm also growing tired of it, especially here in the US, where racial politics have run their course.

People are plain tired of it.

I suspect a more positive "have you heard this great but neglected artist?" might win more converts rather than "you jive turkeys ripped off this guy. Wasn't he great?"

It gets in the way of the enjoyment of the music, I admit.

But some people do not acknowledge anything happened and for some, that's still a problem. I am just delivering the message and don't necessarily personally get caught up in it.

For example, go to the great world of music fandom and try saying what Ray Charles said had no merit (and on Elvis, I agree he's way off) and you'll find many who will then assume the worst they already think about white fans of (white) rock'n'roll - and Elvis.

I'm saying a nod here and there isn't a bad thing.

Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:57 pm

ColinB wrote:Maurice -

I knew it !

You haven't a clue who wrote West Side Story !


Colin -
Was it Jerome Kern?

Fri Feb 03, 2006 12:03 am

ColinB wrote:Maurice -

I knew it !

You haven't a clue who wrote West Side Story !


Well I only saw the Trailer. But I do know Maria.......so there :lol:

Greg, In the last couple of decades many groups would not acknowledge Elvis's impact but they reeled of dozens of Black, often very obscure artists as their inspiration.

We all knew these guys by reputation :lol:
Image

Classical music is blanket coverage of music from a great many periods and nations colour does not and should not be of any consideration.

Coincidently "Horizon" on BBC 2 TV has just begun it's about New Orleans and the narrator is an old aquaintance, Bernard Hill :lol: Goodnight I've got to watch it.

Fri Feb 03, 2006 2:13 am

I will concede that folks have been making amends for awhile. Still, I don't think we are there yet in fully recognizing black music greats among the public at large.

But anyway, it's true that Elvis has become almost too obvious an influence for some to mention, to say nothing of the negative stereotypes that cloud one's ability to say: "hey, Elvis changed my life and I listened with new ears to all music after that," etc.

Future historians may be able to cut right to the chase and show just how much Elvis changed it all.

Sat Feb 04, 2006 12:09 pm

Greg, you chose to post some words from Ray's own website, so they were bound to present a more moderate comment than perhaps might have been said elsewhere. Certainly interesting, but not quite the whole story. In other interviews and comments, Ray came across a little more bitter than that, dismissing Elvis' entire body of work.

Just look at the Elvis.com site - it doesn't really give you the whole truth, does it?

Sat Feb 04, 2006 12:48 pm

I was just wondering if Ray had slated Elvis Presley after hearing what Elvis Costello had called him (Ray) and got his Elvis' (Elvii?) mixed up?

"Other" Interviews ............

Sat Feb 04, 2006 6:43 pm

DarrylMac wrote: ......... you chose to post some words from Ray's own website, so they were bound to present a more moderate comment than perhaps might have been said elsewhere. Certainly interesting, but not quite the whole story. In other interviews and comments, Ray came across a little more bitter than that, dismissing Elvis' entire body of work.


Excellent point.

References / sources / links ............................. would be most appreciated.


N8
... just a fan ....

Re: "Other" Interviews ............

Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:22 pm

The following is an excerpt from an interview by Jeff Levenson and Ray Charles featured in the January 1989 edition of Downbeat magazine. Somehow, I don't think Ray was the type of guy to let the truth get in the way of a good story....


JL: Ray, let's talk about singers. Aside from Nat [King] Cole, have other classic jazz singers influenced you?

RC: I remember Big Boy Crudup. I don't know if you are familiar with him, but I bet you Elvis Presley knew about him. You better believe he knew about him, because Elvis did some of his stuff-- [sings "That's Alright, Mama."] That's where he got that from. Elvis got a lot of stuff, my friend, from the old blues singers. People may not realize it because he never stopped to credit them. I'm not knocking the man and I'm not starting no racial sh*t or nothing like that. I'm just telling you where the stuff came from.

Elvis did "Hound Dog"--that was Big Mama's Thornton's. Elvis did "Jailhouse Rock"--that belonged to a friend of mine, Shifty Henry; he wrote that song. As a matter of fact, if you listen closely you'll hear [Elvis] sing about Shifty--there's a verse in there about him. Shifty Henry was a real person. He got 20 bucks for that song. Twenty friendly dollars. The reason I know this is that Shifty Henry was a very, very good friend of mine. When I first came to L.A. he was one of the few people who took me by the hand and tried to take care of me. The only problem was he was fooling around with drugs and he ended up selling his soul to the devil. You know what I mean?

Be that as it may, when I was young coming up the people I listened to were a lot of the people that I later discovered Elvis was listening to. I don't mean no harm, but I'm telling you the truth. On the other hand, these people were my inspiration too.


and....

http://www.popmatters.com/columns/criti ... 1217.shtml

Feelings about Elvis Presley among black audiences were perfectly captured a few years ago when Ray Charles responded to a Bob Costas query about Elvis with the quip, "What the hell was so special about Elvis . . . all Elvis did was shake his ass and black folks been shaking their ass for hundreds of years."

Sun Feb 05, 2006 1:20 am

Ray Charles from these quotes seemed to have a barely limited knowledge of Elvis and his remarks can be dismissed as ignorance. Elvis did stop to credit his blues influences. His "Hound Dog" owes next to nothing to Big Mama Thornton's recording. And it appears Shifty Henry was telling him a tale as Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote "Jailhouse Rock" specifically for the picture and have admitted they would have never written that song without a movie assignment.

This is a problem with an artist as a big as Elvis, there's so many rumors going around and the bare outlines of his story are so well known that people often just believe what they hear and state it as fact without learning whether or not what they are stating has a basis in reality. Even worse because Elvis' reputation for some reason is always embattled there are those (not Charles) who would purposefully make false statements and because so many are inclined to believe those false (Charles fits in here) they become fact.

Sun Feb 05, 2006 1:27 am

Pete Dube wrote:
ColinB wrote:Maurice -

I knew it !

You haven't a clue who wrote West Side Story !


Colin -
Was it Jerome Kern?


Nope !

Music by Leonard Bernstein

Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Maria, I just ******* a girl called Maria................