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Huffduffed (19)

  1. BBC Radio 2 - John Lennon at 80 (Pt. 1)

    Part 1 of Sean Ono Lennon’s musical portrait of his dad – with Julian Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney

    A celebration of John Lennon on what would have been his 80th birthday.

    —Huffduffed by dpca

  2. BBC Soul Street - Baker Street

    Gerry Rafferty’s glorious and instantly recognisable hit, Baker Street is the subject of this week’s Soul Music.

    Rafferty died last year (on January 4th 2011) at the age of 63, leaving behind a widely respected musical legacy. The most popular of his tracks is, arguably, Baker Street:

    His daughter Martha Rafferty recalls hearing her father develop the melody in the attic of their Glasgow home; the sound of him picking-out the tune on his acoustic guitar would drift through the push-up attic-door, filling the rest of the house with what would become his biggest hit. She describes the inspiration for the lyrics: a book called ‘The Outsider’ by Colin Wilson which Rafferty was reading at the time. It’s about the sense of disconnection from the world that artists often feel. Martha regards Baker Street as the lyrical version of that book.

    Other contributors include:

    Musician and founder member of Stealer’s Wheel, Rab Noakes. He describes how the legal wrangling which followed the break-up of Stealer’s Wheel inspired the creation of Baker Street. "Winding your way down on Baker Street, light in your head and dead on your feet, well another crazy day, you’ll drink the night away and forget about everything". Although Rafferty was living in Scotland at the time, he had to endure long meetings at his lawyers, and Baker Street was where he’d meet friends and drink, and sing, and talk the night away. The lyrics explore the conflicting thoughts and pressures Rafferty faced: he wanted to continue with his music, but - as Martha says - he had a young family to support and there was pressure to get a ‘normal job’.

    Singer-songwriter Betsy Cook whose former husband, the late Hugh Murphy, produced Baker Street, plays through the melody on her keyboard and describes what makes the song work musically. She also recalls the emotional impact of hearing it played at Hugh Murphy’s funeral.

    For poet, Ian McMillan, Baker Street provided the sound track to his student years; and busker Gavin Randle plays it often on Brighton pier with a backdrop of murmurating starlings, a setting sun, and passers-by dancing arm in arm.

    Martha Rafferty’s interview at the start of the programme is illustrated by an acoustic version of the track played especially for Soul Music by the guitarist Hugh Burns. He played on the original recording, and explains how he achieved the stirring guitar solo at the end of the record.

    Also included in the programme is the original demo version of Baker Street, on which Gerry Rafferty plays the famous sax solo on guitar. It was released late last year on a Collector’s Edition of the City to City album.

    —Huffduffed by dpca

  3. In The Studio: Tears For Fears’ “Songs From The Big Chair”

    In Summer 1985, Tears For Fears displaced Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA,” Phil Collins’ “No Jacket Required,” and Dire Straits’ “Brothers in Arms” at the top of the US sales chart with only their second effort, “Songs from the Big Chair.” While the two individuals’ names, Roland Orzabal and my guest here Curt Smith who then and now comprise Tears for Fears, may indeed be the stuff of ’80s Trivia Night down at your local pub, the songs “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” “Head Over Heels,” and the #1 “Shout” on the ten million-plus seller give no indication of becoming comical any time soon, unless you count laughing all the way to the bank.

    —Huffduffed by dpca

  4. Toots Thielemans on NPR’s “Piano Jazz” (2005)

    This week, Piano Jazz remembers Jean-Baptiste "Toots" Thielemans (1922–2016), unrivaled master of the jazz harmonica. He was recognized the world over for his trademark style and tender sound, and he worked with greats such as Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald and Quincy Jones. With a list of recording credits that included the theme for Sesame Street alongside film scores and commercials, Thielemans was a legend. In this session from 2005, he exchanged stories with Marian McPartland and joined her to perform "Giant Steps" and "Georgia On My Mind."

    —Huffduffed by dpca

  5. Blossom Dearie on NPR’s “Piano Jazz” (1985)

    The aptly named singer and pianist Blossom Dearie had a unique, childlike voice that, along with truly swinging piano work, could deliver scathing wit wrapped in a sweet package.

    A consummate performer, Dearie eschewed jazz improvisation. And while her harmonies were inspired by Frank Sinatra, her pixie-like voice was counterbalanced by the muscular rhythms she pounded out in the manner of Count Basie and Oscar Peterson.

    Dearie avoided working in cabarets and nightclubs for much of her career; her delicate voice was no match for the smoky atmosphere of such venues. However, she was a fixture at the Roseland Ballroom in Manhattan, where she performed regularly starting in 1983.

    Dearie opened this session of Piano Jazz with a tune written specifically for her by Johnny Mercer: "My New Celebrity Is You." In her nudge-and-wink vocal performance, she drops names from Modigliani and Montovani to Dean Martin and Mia Farrow. Dearie invites host Marian McPartland to play along; afterwards, McPartland remarks, "That was kind of a shame that I played on that at all — the thing is so perfect without me pussyfooting along." To which the ever-charming Dearie replies, "I thought it was very tasty what you played."

    —Huffduffed by dpca

  6. In The Studio: The Doobie Brothers’ “Minute By Minute” 40th Anniversary

    In spite of containing the songs “Here to Love You,” “Minute by Minute,” “Open Your Eyes,” “Dependin’ on You,” “Don’t Stop to Watch the Wheels,” and the Grammy Song of the Year and Record of the Year “What a Fool Believes,” at least one top executive at their record company predicted that Minute by Minute “…would be the final nail in their coffin,” quotes Michael McDonald with a chuckle. Here In the Studio, get the record straight about 1978’s Grammy Album of the Year, the biggest seller in the long illustrious (but still Hall of Fame denied) career of one of America’s most beloved bands.

    —Huffduffed by dpca

  7. In The Studio: The Cars’ “Heartbeat City” 35th Anniversary with Ric Ocasek and Greg Hawkes

    With The Cars officially with a reserved parking spot inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this album’s 35th anniversary seemed an obvious time to test drive the 1984 blockbuster Heartbeat City, which rivals their legendary 1978 debut, The Cars, for musical automotive excellence. Now newly remastered and expanded (along with Shake It Up) with bonus tracks and tasty hard-to-find “B” sides, Heartbeat City crosses the finish line neck and neck with The Cars’ first one in sales popularity at nearly five million copies in the US alone.

    —Huffduffed by dpca

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