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....
(b Canton, OH, Aug 18, 1905; d West Redding, CT, July 31, 1978). American composer, violinist, bandleader, recording engineer, and producer. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University, he performed as a light classical violinist in the United States and Europe. During the 1930s he studied conducting with Maurice Frigara in Paris. After a near-fatal car accident in 1940, he organized his own dance band, the Light Brigade, which recorded for RCA and Columbia. After he disbanded it at the turn of the decade, Light devoted himself to management, working for several record companies before becoming president of Waldorf Music Hall Records in 1954. He founded his own label, Grand Award, in 1956 and had success with Dixieland and honky-tonk piano albums. In 1959, he founded Command Records on which he released Persuasive Percussion, the first in a successful series of high-fidelity albums that used stereo technology to great advantage. Over the next two decades, he continued to produce hit albums drawing on the latest technological savvy and packaged with covers usually designed by Josef Albers. Musicians who appeared on Light’s albums include the Free Design, Doc Severinsen, Dick Hyman, Bobby Byrne, and Bobby Hackett. In ...
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 ...
(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 ...
(b LaGrange, GA, June 12, 1936; d LaGrange, June 13, 2016). American guitarist, songwriter, producer, and entrepreneur. At age 14 he arrived in Memphis and soon worked with Johnny and Dorsey Burnette. His song “This Time” became a hit for Troy Shondell (1961, Liberty). He then worked for Stax Records, overseeing their first three hits. Ousted in 1962, he founded American Studios and assembled a house band, the Memphis Boys. With Dan Penn, he wrote “Dark End of the Street” for James Carr (1966, Goldwax) and “Do Right Woman” for Aretha Franklin (1967, Atl.). He produced works by Elvis Presley, the Gentrys, Dionne Warwick, B.J. Thomas, and many others. In 1972 he moved to Atlanta and then Nashville, where he became prominent in the Outlaw movement, producing Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson and cowriting “Lukenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)” (1977, RCA) with Bobby Emmons. In ...
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; ...
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 ...
Olivia Carter Mather
[Alvis Edgar ]
(b Sherman, TX, Aug 12, 1929; d Bakersfield, CA, March 25, 2006). American country musician and businessman. He is widely considered the central figure of the Bakersfield sound, and his dominance of the country charts in the 1960s challenged Nashville’s hegemony and bolstered the West Coast country scene in Bakersfield and Los Angeles. During the 1950s he worked as a guitarist and session player for several Bakersfield artists before signing with Capitol Records in 1957. In 1963 he began a streak of 14 consecutive number-one country hits with “Act Naturally,” which was later covered by the Beatles. Other hits included “Together Again” (1964), “I’ve got a tiger by the tail” (1965), and a cover of “Johnny B. Goode” (1969).
Owens’s songs eschewed themes of hard living and rambling for a portrayal of the male subject as a lonely victim of romance. With his backing band, the Buckaroos, he developed a bright, driving sound which he described as a freight train feel: heavy bass and drums accompanying two Fender Telecaster electric guitars played by Owens and the guitarist Don Rich. The twangy Telecaster sound and high, close harmony of Owens and Rich characterized many of his recordings. The Buckaroos both toured and recorded with Owens, a contrast to country norms. Owens thus established an alternative to the popular “countrypolitan” sound produced in Nashville (he also never joined the “Grand Ole Opry”); in doing so he inspired such country-rock musicians as Gram Parsons and the Flying Burrito Brothers. He also marketed himself as a hard-country artist free of pop influence; in ...
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....
John A. Emerson
revised by Christopher E. Mehrens
[Pasmore, Harriet Horn ]
(b San Francisco, CA, May 12, 1892; d Sonoma, CA, Jan 25, 1986). American Contralto, teacher, and music therapist. After attending the University of California, Berkeley (BA, French, 1914), she taught piano and then voice at Pomona College in Claremont, California (1914–20). After study and concert performances in Europe (1920–25) she returned to the United States and performed and taught privately in New York (1925–35) and Hollywood, California (1936–40). During the 1930s Pazmor was noted for her performances of contemporary American art songs. Her programs regularly included works by Charles Ives, Henry Cowell, Carl Ruggles, John Cage, Ernst Bacon, Ruth Crawford, Roger Sessions, Lou Harrison, Aaron Copland, and William Grant Still. She gave recitals for organizations such as the League of Composers and the Pan American Association of Composers, and at academic institutions including the New School for Social Research, Columbia University, Princeton University, and Harvard University. She studied music therapy at Boston University (MM ...