Rock band. It was formed in Chicago in 1988 by guitarist and vocalist Billy (William Patrick) Corgan (b Elk Grove Village, IL, 17 March 1967) and guitarist James (Yoshinobu) Iha (b Chicago, IL, 26 March 1968), joined soon afterwards by bassist D’Arcy (Elizabeth) Wretzky (b South Haven, MI, 1 May 1968) and drummer Jimmy (James Joseph) Chamberlin (b Joliet, IL, 10 June 1964). Corgan has always been the centerpiece of this band and came up with the name years before he had an actual band to play live under it. The band grew successful using a mix of quasi-grunge and more traditional rock which was immaculately produced and highlighted Corgan’s skewed lyrics meshed with Iha’s sometimes searing guitar work. The Butch Vig-produced debut Gish found favor on college radio while the follow-up Siamese Dream thrust them into the mainstream and sold enough to reach the ...
The Society for Asian Music (SAM) was formed in 1959–60 in close association with the Asia Society. Prominent among its organizers were Paul Sherbert (president of the Asia Society), Willard Rhodes, professor of music at Columbia University (chairman of the board of SAM), and Henry Cowell, composer (president of SAM). At the society’s first public meeting, on 27 March 1960, more than 100 members enrolled. The stated purposes of the society were to “encourage and cultivate a greater understanding and knowledge of Asian music in the United States by means of lectures, discussions, concerts and recordings, and to make available in the United States authoritative books, articles, films, musical scores and similar materials” (EthM, v/1, 1961, 71–2). The initial performance sponsored by the society was the United States debut of Ravi Shankar. Subsequent to that, volunteer SAM members and Asia Society staff produced a series of monthly performances and lectures on Asian performing arts of such prominent Asian artists and scholars as Ali Akbar Khan, Chatur Lal, Kishibe Shigeo, T. Viswanathan, and ...
Eldonna L. May
African American composers collective, established in 1968 and dissolved in 1973. Believing that black music was a catalyst for social change and community coalition building, an eclectic, politically active, visionary group of young composers came together in New York in 1968 to found the Society of Black Composers. Their agenda was tripartite: to develop their composition skills, to promote the work of black modern and classical composers, and to enrich the cultural life of black communities. In addition to supporting the work of African American composers, the collective sought to increase musical, political, and cultural awareness. It presented concerts, colloquia, and lectures to perform and discuss the music of its members. The society also broadened the scope of contemporary musical composition by incorporating elements of other cultural traditions.
The society’s members hailed from diverse musical backgrounds, ranging from jazz to classical to avant-garde, and included Talib Rasul Hakim (Stephen Chambers), William Fischer, Carman Moore, Dorothy Rudd Moore, John Price, Alvin Singleton, Roger Dickerson, Primous Fountain, James Furman, Adolphus Hailstork, Wendell Logan, and Olly Wilson. Support from the Ford, Fulbright, Guggenheim, and Whitney foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities enabled members to study and perform in Europe and Africa....
Performance cooperative founded in 1966. The group was formed by composers Robert Ashley, David Behrman, Alvin Lucier, and Gordon Mumma. Fluxus artist Benjamin Patterson is credited with conceiving the name Sonic Arts Group for a concert that he programmed at the Lincoln Center Library. Ashley later revised the name to indicate that the partnership was not intended as an improvisatory or collaborative ensemble; the members, who were largely geographically isolated from each other during their decade of activity, pooled their financial resources and equipment in order to realize performances of each member’s works. The members initially became acquainted at ONCE new music festivals in Ann Arbor, Michigan, during the period from 1957 to 1964, when Ashley and Mumma were based there and directed the Cooperative Studio for Electronic Music. The four composers quickly recognized that they shared a like-minded approach to music making that involved designing new instruments and electronic circuitry from ubiquitous objects and exploring the inherent musicality of acoustic spaces. The concerts were distinct in their inclusion of both electroacoustic vocal and instrumental works, many of which are regarded as pivotal to the trajectory of post-Cagean experimental music. Frequently programmed works, such as ...
Singing duo. Sonny Bono (Salvatore Bono) and Cher (Cherilyn Sarkisian) met in 1962. Bono was working for Phil Spector at the time, and Cher soon landed a job as one of Spector’s session vocalists. In 1964, the couple married and began releasing records under the name Caeser and Cleo; in ...
David F. Garcia
Son ensemble active in Cuba and the United States. Valentín Cané organized this son sextet in 1924 in Matanzas, Cuba. Originally called Tuna Liberal, the group moved in 1927 to Havana, where they performed regularly for dance academies, social clubs, radio, and film through the 1950s. They also began to record with Victor and the independent labels Panart and Ansonia. Guitarist Rogelio Martínez took over as leader in 1948, initiating the period of Matancera’s international popularity. Celia Cruz became the featured lead vocalist in 1950, and soon Matancera became one of the most recognized Cuban ensembles in Latin America—noted not only for its inimitable style but also for its work with such international star singers as Puerto Rico’s Daniel Santos, the Dominican Alberto Beltrán, Argentina’s Carlos Argentino, and many others. In 1960 the group defected from Cuba while on tour in Mexico. It moved to New York in 1962, continuing to perform and record under Martínez’s leadership through the 1990s. Its unique sound was characterized by simple and energetic arrangements highlighted by the two-trumpet format of Calixto Leicea and Pedro Knight. A formative influence on popular Cuban ...
Jay W. Junker
Hawaiian music group. Playing traditional songs and traditional-sounding originals on acoustic instruments, and leaving plenty of room for instrumental soloing, the Sons of Hawaii played a key role in the modern renaissance of Hawaiian music. They also helped revive interest in the music of the mid- to late 19th-century Hawaiian monarchy era.
Led by Eddie Kamae, the group developed a guiding concept from the jam sessions that have always been popular in Hawaiian communities. Group cohesion comes from establishing rapport rather than strict rehearsal. Hula rhythms and a delicate lap steel guitar are central to their arrangements. Many artists have passed through the ranks, but three incarnations have been most prominent. The first formed in 1959 with Kamae (ukulele/vocals), Gabby Pahinui (slack key guitar/vocals), David “Feet” Rogers (steel guitar), and Joe Marshall (acoustic bass/vocals). Their debut at the Sandbox nightclub in 1960 attracted huge crowds, and their first album in ...
Bill C. Malone
revised by Travis D. Stimeling
Cowboy singing group. The group formed in Los Angeles in 1933 as the Pioneer Trio, consisting of the guitarist and lead singer Leonard Slye (1911–98), the baritone, bass fiddler, and songwriter bob Nolan (Robert Clarence Nobles, 1908–80), and the guitarist and tenor Tim (Vernon Harold) Spencer (1908–74). The trio sang in the Texas Outlaws’ program on radio station KFWB in Los Angeles and subsequently had three shows of its own. The group was rechristened “The Sons of the Pioneers” in 1934 by a Los Angeles radio announcer, the same year fiddler and bass singer Hugh (Thomas Hubert) Farr (1903–80) made the group a quartet. He and his brother Karl (Marx) Farr (1909–61), a guitarist who joined the group in 1935, added a jazz flavor, bringing the sounds of the Quintette du Hot Club de France to the group.
In 1934 the Sons of the Pioneers made their first recordings, including Nolan’s compositions “Way out there,” “Moonlight on the Prairie,” “Ridin’ Home,” and “Tumbling Tumbleweeds” for Decca. Nolan came to be considered one of the greatest of “western” songwriters, evoking the landscapes of the American West in his lyrics and vocal harmonies. In large part because of Nolan’s compositions, the Sons of the Pioneers are known as the primary innovators in western harmony singing and were influential in promoting the romantic cowboy image in country music....
Aja Burrell Wood
National nonprofit organization founded in 1996 by University of Michigan graduates Aaron P(aul) Dworkin and Carrie Chester. Dworkin and Chester sought to increase cultural diversity in the field of classical music and simultaneously overcome cultural stereotypes. The mission of the organization is, first, to increase the participation of blacks and Latinos as students in music schools, as professional musicians, and as classical music audiences; and second, to administer youth development initiatives in underserved communities through music education and by providing high-quality musical instruments.
The Sphinx Competition, a cornerstone program, began in 1998 as an annual string competition for black and Latino classical string players, from junior high through college, who compete for prizes and scholarships. The organization has since expanded to include an additional 13 professional, educational, community outreach, and performance initiatives under their Artist Development, Sphinx Prep, Sphinx Performance Academy, Sphinx Legacy Project, and Sphinx Presents programs. Sphinx also currently maintains three ensembles comprised of critically acclaimed professionals: The Sphinx Symphony, Sphinx Virtuosi, and Catalyst Quartet. The organization also regularly commissions, programs, and archives works by black and Latino composers....
S. Timothy Maloney
Formed in Toronto in 1989 by the violinists Geoff Nuttall and Barry Shiffman, the violist Leslie Robertson, and the cellist Marina Hoover, the quartet subsequently featured the cellists Alberto Parrini (2002–03) and Christopher Costanza (from 2003); Scott St. John has alternated with Nuttall on first violin since replacing Shiffman in 2006.
The SLSQ gained international attention after taking second place in competitions in Melbourne and St. John’s, Newfoundland, in 1991, and winning the top prizes at the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions the following year. Coached by renowned quartets while serving residencies at the University of Hartford 1990–92 (Emerson), the Juilliard School 1992–94 (Juilliard), and Yale University 1994–96 (Tokyo), the SLSQ musicians have been visiting artists at the University of Toronto annually since 1997 and ensemble in residence at Stanford University since 1998.
Giving more than 120 concerts annually, the SLSQ regularly performs at major venues and festivals throughout North America and Europe, and has toured in Asia, South America, the Middle East, and Oceania. It has recorded four albums for EMI, including works by Haydn, Schumann, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, and Osvaldo Golijov; its disc of Schumann’s first and third quartets won a Canadian Juno and the German critics’ award, while Golijov’s ...
revised by Neil V. Rosenberg and Joti Rockwell
Bluegrass duo. Its members were the brothers Carter (Glen) Stanley (b nr McClure, VA, 27 Aug 1925; d Bristol, VA, 1 Dec 1966), lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter; and Ralph (Edmond) Stanley (b nr McClure, 25 Feb 1927), banjoist, tenor, and songwriter. Their sidemen, known collectively as the Clinch Mountain Boys, initially included mandolinist and high tenor Pee Wee [Darrell] Lambert and fiddler Bobby Sumner, who was soon replaced by Leslie Keith. In 1946 the group began playing in Bristol, Virginia, and had a regular spot on the radio show “Farm and Fun Time” on WCYB, where they performed with Flatt and Scruggs and became regionally popular. The first Stanley Brothers recordings were for Rich R Tone Records, which released their first hit, “The Little Glass of Wine/Little Maggie” in 1948. The same year they released a version of the song “Molly and Tenbrooks,” which they had learned from listening to Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys. The recording—which highlights Ralph Stanley’s shift from an older two-finger banjo style to the more virtuosic three-finger approach of Earl Scruggs—marked the emergence of bluegrass as a popular style of country music....
Charles K. Wolfe
revised by Stephen Shearon
American country music and southern gospel quartet. In an industry dominated by solo artists, they were the first quartet to become country music stars, paving the way for acts such as The Oak Ridge Boys and Alabama. The Statlers’ origins were in Staunton, Virginia, where from 1955 to 1959 they performed as the Four Star Quartet. In 1961 they re-formed as the Kingsmen. When they learned of the more-established quartet of that name, they dubbed themselves The Statler Brothers, after a brand of tissue paper. By 1961 their first famous lineup was in place: Harold Reid (b Augusta Co., VA, 21 Aug 1939), bass; his brother Don Reid (b Staunton, VA, 5 June 1945), lead; Phil Balsley (b nr Staunton, VA, 8 Aug 1939), baritone; and Lew DeWitt (b Roanoke, VA, 12 March 1938; d Waynesboro, VA, 15 Aug 1990), tenor. The roster changed only once, in ...
(b Brooklyn, NY, 1942). American record executive. Stein landed a job at Billboard magazine when he was only 13 and subsequently helped develop the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He learned the business of running a label while working at King Records in Cincinnati under Syd Nathan. In 1966...
[Ragsdale, Harold Ray ]
(b Clarkdale, GA, Jan 24, 1939). American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger, music publisher, television star, and entrepreneur. Harold Ragsdale began his musical career with a high school band that played R&B songs by the Coasters, Drifters, and other R&B groups. In 1955 the family moved to Atlanta, where publisher Bill Lowery signed him as a songwriter and secured his first recording contract with Capitol Records; Capitol’s Head of A&R, Ken Nelson changed Ragsdale’s name to Ray Stevens. After attending Georgia State University, where he studied music, Stevens had his first success with his recording of “Jeremiah Peabody’s Poly Unsaturated Quick Dissolving Fast Acting Pleasant Tasting Green and Purple Pills” (Mercury, 1961). In 1962 he moved to Nashville, supplementing his own recording career with work as a session musician, arranger, and background vocalist. He garnered a number-one pop hit and his first Grammy with his recording of “Everything is beautiful” (Barnaby, ...
John L. Clark
The term “stock arrangement” was used commonly to describe a wide variety of published orchestrations sold by publishing houses from the first years of the 20th century through the 1950s. While these arrangements were issued for many different ensembles of varying size and musical style (including theater orchestras, military bands, and small combinations such as saxophone quartets), the term today typically refers to those made for dance bands during the period.
In the 1910s the most common instrumentation for stock arrangements of commercial music was two trumpets, trombone, horns in F, clarinet, flute, oboe, bassoon, string quartet, piano, banjo/guitar, bass/tuba, and drums. With the explosion in popularity of saxophones and the first jazz recordings, this basic instrumentation grew to include alto, tenor, and C-melody saxophones by 1920. Typically, these orchestrations were homophonic featuring little counterpoint or variation, with instruments being organized by register rather than family.
By the early 1920s, dance bands had become the principal vehicle for popular music in America. Recordings by Art Hickman, Paul Whiteman, and Fletcher Henderson followed the trend towards larger groups subdivided into definite sections of brass and woodwinds. While orchestrations for theater orchestra were still produced using the larger instrumentation, the “Modern Dance Orchestra” had reduced it to two trumpets, trombone, three saxophones (two altos and a tenor, with each doubling on clarinets, other saxophones, and sometimes flute and oboe). Arrangers such as Arthur Lange, Elmer Schoebel, and Mel Stitzel became well known in the industry for the antiphonal treatment of the sections and incorporation of jazz elements. While many stocks were used by bands on recordings, some (such as those in the Melrose Syncopation Series) were adaptations of popular recordings by jazz musicians such as King Oliver and Jelly Roll Morton....
Rock band. It was formed in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1967. Original members included iggy Pop (James Newell Osterberg; b Muskegon, MI, 21 April 1947; vocals), Ron Asheton (b Washington, DC, 17 July 1948; d Ann Arbor, MI, 6 Jan 2009; guitar), Dave Alexander (b Whitmore Lake, MI, 3 June 1947; d Ann Arbor, MI, 10 Feb 1975; bass guitar), and Scott Asheton (b Washington, DC, 16 Aug 1949; drums).
Fueled by a variety of influences including garage rock, ragas, Pharoah Sanders, James Brown, the Velvet Underground, and, famously, drill presses at the Ford plant, the Stooges quickly gained a reputation for their unique sound and the confrontational stage presence of Iggy Pop. Their first album, The Stooges (1969), was produced by John Cale, whose experimental minimalist background complemented the group’s stripped-back, fuzz-laden dirge, spearheaded by Ron Asheton’s violent, blistering guitar-playing. Thematically, Stooges’ songs were outpourings of frustrated adolescent alienation and self-loathing, expressed with a lyrical economy reminiscent of haiku and beat poetry and delivered with manic intensity by Iggy Pop, alternately crooning, spitting, howling, and whispering. ...
Rock group. Its founding members were keyboardist and lead singer Dennis DeYoung (b Chicago, IL, 18 Feb 1947), twin brothers John (Anthony) Panozzo (b Chicago, IL, 20 Sept 1948; d 16 July 1996) and (Charles Salvatore) Chuck Panozzo (b Chicago, IL, 20 Sept 1948) on drums and bass, guitarist John Curulewski (b Chicago, IL, 3 Oct 1950; d Chicago, IL, 13 Feb 1988), and guitarist James (Vincent) Young (b Chicago, IL, 14 Nov 1949). Its idiom combines power ballads with anthems, progressive rock sophistication with rock guitar hero, shot through with theatricality.
Styx recorded its first four albums on a minor label, the second producing their signature ballad, “Lady.” An appealing repertoire combined with successful, exhaustive touring led to a contract with A&M in 1975. Tommy (Roland) Shaw (b Montgomery, AL, 11 Sept 1953) then replaced Curulewski, shouldering songwriting responsibilities while accentuating the group’s instrumental proficiency. They soared in the late 1970s, lifted by ...
Denise M. M. Dalphond
A music distribution, artist, and label management company independently owned and operated by Mike Banks in Detroit, Michigan. The history of Submerge began with the establishment of the techno group Underground Resistance (UR) in 1989 by Mike Banks, Robert Hood, and Jeff Mills. UR was founded upon a philosophy of sonic revolution—using music to resist and surmount social inequality and oppression. Submerge was later founded in 1992 by Mike Banks and Christa Weatherspoon. After a brief period of closure, Submerge reopened its doors in 2002 in a newly renovated four-story building at 3000 E. Grand Boulevard in Detroit. This building holds a record store known as Somewhere In Detroit; its ground level offers a regularly updated display of Detroit techno memorabilia, including significant vinyl releases, analog drum machines used by seminal Detroit techno musicians, print publications featuring local musicians, and other items that document the history of UR, Submerge, and Detroit techno. Also housed at Submerge is a record-cutting lathe that originally belonged to Ron Murphy of National Sound Corporation and was used for decades by Murphy to master a vast quantity of electronic music produced by Detroit musicians. Mike Banks and producer/DJ Todd Osborn have restored the lathe and it is now being used again to master Detroit vinyl releases....
Fay Yokomizo Akindes
Hawaiian rap group. Formed in 1993 in Hilo, Hawaii, it became the first group to record na mele paleoleo (Hawaiian rap). Its members, all of whom are Hawaiian, are King Don 1 Da Rappanui [Donald Ke’ala Kawa’auhau, Jr.] (b Hilo, HI, 9 April 1971), Dynomite Da Wattaman [Shane Keahi Veincent] (b Hilo, HI, 24 Oct 1973), and Da Reddeye Rebel [Caleb Richards] (b Honolulu, HI, 7 Sept 1980). The group recorded three CDs: Nation on the Rise (1996), Ku’e (Resistance) (1997), and Ea (Sovereignty) (2002), and is featured on several compilation CDs. Sudden Rush synthesizes rap and reggae in Hawaiian, English, and Pidgin English, cut ‘n’ mixed with mele ‘oli (chanting), traditional recorded music (Gabby Pahinui’s Hi’ilawe), excerpts from political speeches (Dr. Haunani-Kay Trask, University of Hawaii-Manoa), and guest performances by contemporary Hawaiian artists such as Willie K and Keali’i Reichel. Songs address Hawaiian sovereignty, land rights, US imperialism, language reclamation, and Hawaiian identity. Sudden Rush performs at ...