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Hawaiian falsetto singers and musicians. Of no direct relation to steel guitarist Sol Ho‘opi‘i, Solomon (b Maui, HI, 28 March 1935; d Maui, HI, 2 March 2006) and Richard (b Maui, HI, 15 March 1941) Ho‘opi‘i grew up in Kahakuloa on the remote northwest coast of Maui. From an early age they developed a virtuoso style of duet leo ki‘eki‘e (falsetto) marked by open, robust timbre, and a variety of vocal ornaments. Among these are traditional techniques from Hawaiian chant plus adapted practices such as yodeling, echoing, and percussive effects. Both brothers could sing all four voice parts and complex interplay was common, as on “Kupa Landing” and “I Ali‘i No ‘Oe.” The duo often modulated to higher keys as songs progressed, as in “Haleakala Hula.” Himeni (Hawaiian hymns) were another specialty. Discreet elements of early rock and roll also filtered into their sound, especially when performing at parties....

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Hole  

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Karen Raizor

Country-music comedy duo. The partnership began in 1932 in Knoxville, Tennessee, after Henry Doyle “Homer” Haynes Jr. (b 27 July 1920, Knoxville, TN; d 7 Aug 1971, Hammond, IN) and Kenneth Charles “Jethro” Burns (b 10 March 1920, Conasauga, TN; d 4 Feb 1989, Evanston, IL) were disqualified from a Knoxville station WNOX talent contest for sounding “too professional.” Subsequently hired as studio musicians, they formed the Stringdusters in 1936. They first appeared as Homer and Jethro, performing comedic versions of pop songs, in January 1939, and joined the Renfro Valley Barn Dance the next year. Following service in World War II the duo reunited at WLW (Cincinnati, Ohio) and recorded for King Records. Signing with RCA Victor in 1948, they had immediate success with a send-up of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” “How Much is That Hound Dog in the Window” (1953) became the first million-selling country comedy recording, and “The Battle of Kookamonga” earned a Grammy in ...

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Wendy F. Hsu

Rock band. Formed at Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey, the Hsu-nami is an erhu progressive rock band fronted by Taiwanese American erhu player and composer Jack Hsu. Hsu was classically trained in violin. His erhu training included intensive summer lessons in Nanjing, China. The rest of the group is composed of Tony Aichele (guitar), Brent Bergholm (guitar), Dana Goldberg (keyboard), John Manna (drums), and Derril Sellers (bass). The Hsu-nami integrates an amplified “erhu,” a two-string spike fiddle used in Chinese classical and folk music, into an instrumental progressive rock sound. Their music is marked by virtuosic erhu melodies and shredding solos, in place of vocals, intertwined with heavy guitar riffs, funky rhythms, and metal-driven rock drumming. Part of the new-fusion rock movement, the group recasts the sound of its 1960s and 1970s roots.

The band has played alongside international and major recording artists such as Chthonic, Yellowcard, Bowling for Soup, Nightmare of You, and The Parlor Mob. Their music was also featured during the ...

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Jay W. Junker

Hawaiian vocal and instrumental trio. Formed in 1969, Hui Ohana (family group) comprised Ledward Kaapana (b Kalapana, HI, 25 Aug 1948), Nedward “Nicky Boy” Kaapana (b Kalapana, HI, 25 Aug 1948), and Dennis Pavao (b Kalapana, HI, 11 July 1951; d Maui, HI, 18 Jan 2002). They were one of Hawaii’s leading bands in the 1970s, attracting fans of both traditional and popular music. Their popularity extended to other parts of Polynesia, especially Samoa and Tahiti. The trio’s soaring falsetto leads by Dennis Pavao, bright harmonies and prominent slack key guitar by Ledward Kaapana, embodied the spirit of the era, a time when artists were seeking to revive Hawaiian music and perpetuate it in a manner conducive to modern musical contexts.

All three grew up in Kalapana village on Hawai’i’s remote southeast coast. There was no electricity. While there was some radio, Kalapana was a hotbed of homemade music. Parties lasted for days and families were full of excellent musicians, especially the Kaapana clan with slack key master Fred Punahoa and vocalist Tina Kaapana, mother of Ledward and Nedward. Hui Ohana added discreet elements of country and rock to their music. However, most of their style and repertoire came from performing with older family members as typified by “Sweet Lei Mokihana,” “Ku‘u Ipo Onaona,” and “God Bless My Daddy.” They also performed a few newer compositions, such as “Hanalei Moon” and the enormously successful hit “Kona Moon.”...

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I.R.S  

Thane Tierney

Record company. It was originally established in the United States in 1979 by music entrepreneur Miles Copland as an outgrowth of his Faulty Products/Illegal Records company in the United Kingdom. After having negotiated a contract for the rock band the Police with A&M Records, Copland and A&M reached a distribution and production deal for the International Record Syndicate (a/k/a I.R.S.), for which he named 21-year-old Jay Boberg to oversee American operations. I.R.S. not only reissued Illegal releases originally distributed in the United Kingdom, but also became the umbrella group for a host of labels, including Industrial Records, Spy Records, Deptford Fun City Records, No Speak, the independent label Rough Trade, and others, as well as issuing records under the I.R.S. banner. Notable artists included the Buzzcocks, the Cramps, Oingo Boingo, Renaissance, Wall of Voodoo, the Go-Go’s, and R.E.M.

In 1985 I.R.S. switched its distribution to MCA Records for new releases, remaining there until ...

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Ian Brookes

Record label. The company was established by Lew Chudd in 1946 in Los Angeles, where it originally issued records aimed at the local Mexican American market. With the New Orleans bandleader and arranger Dave Bartholomew as the company’s A&R man, Chudd extended Imperial’s reach into the emergent rhythm and blues market. Their first major signing was the New Orleans pianist and singer Fats Domino. Between 1949 and 1962, Domino had a string of hit records with Imperial beginning with “The Fat Man” (1949) which was a hit on Billboard’s R&B chart. Domino also began to achieve increasing crossover success for the small, independent label. His biggest hit, “Blueberry Hill” (1956), reached no.1 on the R&B chart and no.2 on the Hot 100. Imperial was the first label to promote the New Orleans R&B scene and, with the success of Domino, several others signings followed: Roy Brown, Smiley Lewis, Tommy Ridgely, and The Spiders. In ...

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Gary W. Kennedy

Record company and label formed around 1989 in Freiburg, Germany, by Frank Kleinschmidt and Jürgen Schwab; it appears to have started recording operations in 1987, but its first issues began to appear only in early 1990. Featured artists include Chico Freeman, both as the leader of his own group, Brainstorm, and as a member of the group Roots (with Arthur Blythe, Sam Rivers, Nathan Davis, and Don Pullen, among others), as well as James “Blood” Ulmer, Buster Williams, and Urszula Dudziak. In the mid-1990s In + Out issued a 15-disc historical anthology (three boxed volumes of five CDs each) entitled ...

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Megan E. Hill

Folk rock duo. Its members Emily Saliers (b New Haven, CT, 22 June 1963) and Amy Ray (b Decatur, GA, 12 April 1964) met as children in Decatur, Georgia, and began performing together as high school students. They first performed under the name Indigo Girls in Atlanta while both women were students at Emory University in the mid-1980s. They released their first full-length album—self-produced—in 1987, and signed with Epic Records the following year. Their self-titled debut with Epic (1989) garnered favorable reviews and eventually went platinum. It won them a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album and a nomination for Best New Artist. They continued to release albums with Epic throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s. In 2006, they signed with Hollywood Records and released their tenth studio album, Despite Our Differences, to considerable critical acclaim. The duo has produced albums independently since ...

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David Sanjek

Vocal group. One of the most influential black vocal harmony groups, the Ink Spots recorded over 70 hit recordings over a career that lasted, through various permutations of personnel, for seven decades. The Ink Spots first assembled in 1932 in Indianapolis, Indiana, and initially performed under the names the Four Riff Brothers, the Percolating Puppies, and King, Jack, and Jester. They appeared at New York’s celebrated Apollo Theatre in 1934 and were reputedly influenced by Paul Whiteman to change their name so as not to collide with that of his vocal ensemble, the King’s Jesters. The group signed with RCA Victor in 1935, but did not achieve commercial success, and switched to Decca the following year. The inimitable Ink Spots sound used a format whereby a track opened with a guitar riff, followed by the tenor lead singer’s rendition of the song’s lyric, after which the bass would pronounce that same material in the form of an oral recitation and then conclude with a repetition of the lead vocalist’s performance. That format first took hold of the public consciousness in ...

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Barry Kernfeld

Record company and label. The company was founded in New York in 1976 by Irv (Irving) Kratka. A subsidiary of the MMO (Music Minus One) Music Group, Inc., it owned three labels, two of which were devoted to jazz. These were Classic Jazz (which should not be confused with the Swedish label Classic Jazz Masters) and Inner City. Although the company was concerned largely with reissuing material first made available by other companies in the USA, Japan (East Wind), and Europe (principally Enja), it also put out new recordings in early swing and bop styles on Classic Jazz and material ranging in style from bop to free jazz and jazz-rock. The company later became enmeshed in a legal dispute which ended its activities. Inner City should not be confused with a pop music label of the same name which was established in the late 1980s. (M. Segell: “Once More, Jazz is Big Business,” ...

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Justin A. Williams

Record label. Interscope was founded in 1990 in Los Angeles by producer Jimmy Iovine and Ted Field. Warner Music Group initially purchased 50% of the label and distributed material through Atlantic Records; albums by Gerardo, Primus, and Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch were among the first releases. Its first large scale success came from promoting “gangsta rap” in the early 1990s, largely through a partnership with Death Row Records, founded by former football player Marion “Suge” Knight and rapper/producer Dr. Dre (Andre Young). Dr. Dre’s debut album, The Chronic (1992), would be a huge success for the label, as would the Dr. Dre-produced Snoop Doggy Dogg debut Doggystyle (1993). In 1996, Universal Music Group purchased Interscope and in 1999, the label merged with Geffen and A&M records.

Interscope has worked with a number of rap subsidiary labels, including Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment (founded in 1996...

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Andrew Flory

Record company. Based in Detroit, Invictus was an independent record company that specialized in dance-based rhythm-and-blues and psychedelic soul. Invictus was founded by the songwriter-producer team of Edward Holland, Jr., Lamont Dozier, and Brian Holland, after the trio left Motown, where they had produced dozens of chart-topping hits during the 1960s. Holland, Dozier, and Holland, also founded the Hot Wax label and wrote, produced, and owned much of the music on both labels. New York-based Buddah Records distributed Hot Wax. Invictus releases were distributed by Capitol from 1969 to 1972 and Columbia from 1972 to 1978, at which point Invictus and Hot Wax reformed into H-D-H records. The most popular singles released on Invictus and Hot Wax were by Freda Payne (“Band of Gold,” 1970), Chairmen of the Board (“Give Me Just a Little More Time,” 1970), and Honey Cone (“Want Ads,” 1971). Invictus also released the first single and album recorded by the Detroit-based psychedelic soul group Parliament....

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Greil Marcus

revised by Mickey Valley

Rock-and-roll male vocal duo. The singer, songwriter, and producer Jan Berry (b Los Angeles, CA, 3 April 1941; d Brentwood, CA, 26 March 2004) had his first success with the singer Arnie Ginsberg in the hit song, “Jennie Lee” (1958) which was recorded in Berry’s garage. He then formed a permanent partnership with the singer Dean Torrence (b Los Angeles, CA, 10 March 1941), and until 1966, when Berry was disabled in an automobile accident, Jan and Dean represented rock and roll as mindless fun, following and exploiting every new pop trend; their songs were based on doo-wop harmony and celebrated aspects of southern Californian hedonism such as surfing (“Surf City,” 1963, no.1) and fast cars (“Drag City,” 1963, no.10). Although Berry’s vocal abilities were not up to par and Torrence was little better, each managed to make at least one classic rock recording—Berry on Jan and Dean’s brilliantly orchestrated melodrama “Dead Man’s Curve” (...

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Charles Garrett

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Charles Garrett

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Ronnie Pugh

revised by Joti Rockwell

Country and bluegrass music duo. It comprised the brothers James McReynolds (b Coeburn, VA, 13 Feb 1927; d Gallatin, TN, 31 Dec 2002) and Jesse McReynolds (b Coeburn, VA, 9 July 1929), grandsons of the fiddle player Charles McReynolds, who recorded with the Bull Mountain Moonshiners for Victor’s Bristol Sessions in 1927. Their professional career began in 1947 on the radio station WNVA in Norton, Virginia, where they were billed as the McReynolds Brothers and the Cumberland Mountain Boys. During the late 1940s and 1950s they broadcast for several radio stations in the South and Midwest, and in 1951 they made their first recordings for the Kentucky label in Cincinnati. A distinctive and consistently professional sound emerged: Jim played guitar and sang high tenor with effortless clarity, and Jesse sang baritone and played mandolin in a unique cross-picking style (also called McReynolds style) that resembles three-finger banjo figuration. In ...

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Randolph Love

Gospel vocal quartet. It was formed by the brothers Bill (tenor; 1948–51) and Monty (baritone; 1948–52) Matthews as the Melodizing Matthews in 1948 in Springfield, Missouri, but the group has subsequently seen a number of personnel changes. Longtime members include Gordon Stoker (first tenor, manager, from 1950), Hoyt Hawkins (second tenor, baritone, 1952–82), Neal Matthews Jr. (second tenor, 1953–2000), Ray Walker (bass, from 1958), and Duane West (baritone, 1982–99). The white gospel group’s recording career began in the early 1950s with Decca covering black gospel songs and spirituals; they later worked for RCA Victor and Capitol. Their reputation grew when they began to back such country singers as Red Foley (“Just a Closer Walk with Thee”) and made television appearances on The Eddy Arnold Show and NBC’s The Grand Ole Opry. The group reportedly met Elvis Presley in Memphis while touring with Eddy Arnold in ...

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Journey  

Michael Ethen

Rock group. Formed in San Francisco in 1973, the group initially comprised performers of the city’s psychedelic rock scene, including Neal Schon (b Oklahoma City, OK, 27 Feb 1954; lead guitar) and Gregg Rolie (b Seattle, WA, 17 June 1947; keyboards) of the band Santana and Ross Valory (b San Francisco, CA, 2 Feb 1949; bass) of Frumious Bandersnatch. Its first three albums with Columbia Records exhibit a progressive jazz-fusion influence and were coolly received. At Columbia’s instigation Journey espoused a more harmonious vocal style in combination with keyboards, energetic guitar riffs, and a distinct pop orientation. The hiring of the vocalist Steve Perry (b Hanford, CA, 22 Jan 1949) in 1977 capped this decisive turning point. Steve Smith quietly became the drummer in 1978.

The group achieved international notoriety between 1978 and 1980 with a string of memorable singles written before and after Perry joined (“Wheel in the Sky” and “Any Way You Want It”). Helping to define arena rock, the group toured assiduously across North America. The album ...