11-20 of 25 results  for:

  • Popular Music x
Clear all

Article

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.”...

Article

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 ...

Article

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” (...

Article

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 ...

Article

Laibach  

Gregor Tomc

Slovenian music group formed in 1980 in the mining town of Trbovlje in what was at the time multinational communist Yugoslavia. The band was strongly influenced by the persecution of punks by the police in the country. Their provocative political attitudes (their use of the German word, associated with the Nazi occupation of Ljubljana, as the name for their group; their use of quasi-military uniforms as part of their image; their use of totalitarian discourse in communication with the media; etc.) can be understood as a critique of the authoritarian regime. The dislike was mutual, as Laibach were banned from performing in Slovenia until they changed their name. Musically, Laibach started as an industrial group (influenced by groups like Throbbing Gristle). They became more eclectic with time. Influences were diverse – from electronic music groups like Kraftwerk, to new wave groups like Joy Division, with elements of avant garde classical music and disco. Laibach is a postmodern group, best known for recycling already existing musical works of other artists. They have made cover versions of songs by Opus, Europe, Queen, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Status Quo, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, Richard Wagner, among others. After more than three decades they still perform, though their line-up has changed often over the years....

Article

Joti Rockwell

American bluegrass duo. “Bea” or “B” Lilly (Mitchell Burt Lilly; b Clear Creek, WV, Dec 15, 1921; d Duxbury, MA, Sept 18, 2005) sang lead and played guitar, and Everett (Charles Everett; b Clear Creek, WV, 1 July 1924; d Clear Creek, WV, 8 May 2012) sang tenor and played mandolin. Together with banjoist Don Stover (b White Oak, WV, 6 March 1928; d Brandywine, MD, 11 Nov 1996), the Lilly Brothers played a principal role in disseminating bluegrass and old-time music in New England.

The Lilly Brothers were influenced by the traditional sacred and secular music of their childhood community as well as popular brother duets of the mid-1930s, including the Monroe Brothers, the Callahan Brothers, and the Blue Sky Boys. Honing their musically solid, assertive sound toward the end of the 1930s, they increased their exposure through radio appearances on WJLS in Beckley, West Virginia and WCHS in Charleston, West Virginia. After collaborations with Molly O’Day and Lynn Davis during the 1940s, the Lilly Brothers began appearing on the WWVA ...

Article

Jacqueline Avila

(María Mendoza and Juanita Mendoza)

American Tejano singers and sisters of the popular singer Lydia Mendoza. María Mendoza (b Monterrey, Mexico, 1922; d San Antonio, TX, 1990) and Juanita Mendoza (b Monterrey, Mexico, 1927) began their professional careers touring with the Mendoza family, led by their mother, Leonora, and featuring their sister, Lydia. María and Juanita formed the first female dueto in Texas after Lydia went into temporary retirement to look after her new family upon the outbreak of World War II. They were incredibly popular in the southwest where they toured and performed at various theaters and nightclubs, accompanied by their own guitars or sometimes a piano. Following in the popular repertoire performed by the Mendoza family, they sang many genres including canción rancheras and corridos. The dueto toured with the rest of the family as part of the larger variety act in theaters and carpas (tent shows). They recorded extensively for Discos Azteca in Los Angeles; Discos Ideal in Alice, TX; Columbia; and Falcon, and often recorded with accordion ...

Article

Deena Weinstein

British heavy metal band. The vocalist and bass guitarist Lemmy (Ian (Fraser) Kilmister; b Stoke-on-Trent, England, Dec 24, 1945; d Los Angeles, Dec 28, 2015) formed the group as a power trio in 1975, a time when both punk and heavy metal were coming into their own. Motörhead took the best musical qualities from both rising genres and was fast, loud, and heavy. The band expressed Lemmy’s clear-eyed realist and defiantly moralistic vision, his prominent bass guitar, his bawling growl of a voice, and his fascination with what he saw as “the abominations”—the two world wars. Motörhead’s peak of mass popularity came around 1980 with four albums: Overkill (Bronze, 1979), Bomber (Bronze, 1979), Ace of Spades (Bronze, 1980), and the live recording No Sleep ’til Hammersmith (Bronze, 1981) which charted at number one in the UK. The band’s lineup, with Mikkey Dee (Micael Kiriakos Delaoglou; ...

Article

Stephen Shearon

American gospel and country music quartet. After 30 years together as a southern gospel group, it became widely successful by the early 1970s with its most popular lineup: Duane David Allen, lead (b Taylortown, TX, 29 April 1943); Joseph Sloan Bonsall, tenor (b Philadelphia, PA, 18 May 1948); William Lee Golden, baritone (b Brewton, AL, 12 Jan 1939); and Richard Anthony Sterban, bass (b Camden, NJ, 24 April 1943). Formed in 1943 in Knoxville, Tennessee, as part of Wally Fowler’s Georgia Clodhoppers, the group took its name from the nearby town of Oak Ridge, first calling themselves The Oak Ridge Quartet. Under lead singer Fowler’s management, they joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1945. In 1948 they helped establish all-night gospel singings at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, a development important to the growth of the group’s popularity as well as that of southern gospel generally. In ...

Article

Jeffrey Holmes

Musical ensemble. Founded in 1967 by saxophonist and composer Paul Winter (b Altoona, PA, 31 Aug 1939), the ensemble is one of the earliest exponents of world music. Blending African, Asian, and South American elements with jazz, the self-described “contemporary consort” uses woodwinds, strings, and percussion and also draws on the recorded voices of humpback whales, wolves, and birds. Winter’s professional career began while he was a student at Northwestern University, after his jazz sextet won an international jazz festival and was signed to Columbia Records. He recorded several albums in Brazil in the mid-1960s and formed Living Music Records in 1980 as a platform for his symbiotic music and ecology-driven “Earth Music.” David Darling, Eugene Friesen, Ralph Towner, Paul Halley, Oscar Castro-Neves, Glen Velez, Paul McCandless, and Paul Sullivan are among the musicians to perform with (and compose for) the consort. “Icarus” (1972, written by Towner) is perhaps its best-known individual piece. The group has won multiple Grammy Awards and additional Grammy nominations in the New Age category. In performance settings ranging from cathedrals to the Grand Canyon to impromptu environmental stages, the sound of Winter’s soaring and lyrical soprano sax leads the consort through classical and folk-driven themes, both old and new. Cathedral organs, voices, strings, and world percussion produce an eclectic and inclusive musical palette....