Summer Solstice Winter

For decade after decade, musician and composer Paul Winter has been making beautiful music, blending the sounds of the earth and nature with his signature soprano saxophone. In an extraordinary life filled with adventure and achievement, he has won seven Grammy awards, played for the Kennedys at the White House, and he has been artist in residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City for forty years–and that’s just scratching the surface. I was happy to interview Paul Winter for the Arts Express radio program.

Click on the triangle or MP3 link above to hear the interview with Paul Winter as broadcast on Arts Express on WBAI-FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.

Paul Winter Talks About Philippe Petit

Philippe Petit walking towards The Cathedral of St John the Divine in NYC Photo: Fred Conrad

I interviewed the great world musician Paul Winter last week, and the conversation took a side turn to Paul talking about his collaborations with his friend, the high wire artist, Phillipe Petit. They are both artists in residence at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in NYC. I had to cut this part from the edited interview, but I thought readers of this blog might enjoy hearing Paul Winter’s thoughts about Petit.

Buy A Gun For Your Son

Monday morning, Tom Paxton, one of the best of the political songwriters of the 60s and afterwards, sings a song for Pete Seeger in 1965 about buying war toys. Little did Tom or Pete realize that the problem of war toys would be fully solved in our time by banning toy guns for children and insisting that they use real ones.

Thanks to Mitchel Cohen for pointing out this video.

Thanks to YouTuber funkydudesupreme

Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, Pts 1 and 2

Josh Turner with his wife Kelly Oden travelled across the country this summer stopping at several points along the way to reconnect with old friends and make music. Here they are in Denver with Bob Barrick, Valley Lopez, Stu Garney, and Sam Dorrance covering the Flaming Lips and fighting off the evil-natured pink robots.

More at Josh Turner Guitar

Ain’t Misbehavin’: Joe Pass

I like Joe Pass because he always has such taste. You know that he could do whatever he wants to do on the guitar, but he holds himself back just a bit, restrains himself from showing off too much.

When I was a teenager I worked on a play as a stage manager with a very good professional older cast who I looked up to. I remember one actor, Gene, who came off stage into the wings where I was, after playing a very emotional scene. He was still crying from the scene, and I was impressed by the real tears. I congratulated him on how powerful the scene was. But he shook his head, and said to me, no, he didn’t get it right; he didn’t want to cry at that point in the play, it didn’t serve the playwright. I never forgot that.

Rhythm Tap with John Bubbles

John “Bubbles” Sublett, who taught Fred Astaire how to tap, and played Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess, was a master of rhythm tap. He appears in the clip above in the 1937 film, Varsity Show, with his long time partner Ford “Buck” Washington.

Thanks to YouTuber AndresDCE

The Company Way

One more lesson in obsequiousness from How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. The late Robert Morse rings every bit of humor from the song. The clever lyrics and music are by Frank Loesser.

Thanks to YouTuber Movieclips

Dust In The Wind

From Wikipedia: “Kerry Livgren [ of the band, Kansas] devised what would be the guitar line for “Dust in the Wind” as a finger exercise for learning fingerpicking. His wife, Vicci, heard what he was doing, remarked that the melody was nice, and encouraged him to write lyrics for it. Livgren was unsure whether his fellow band members would like it, since it was a departure from their signature style. After Kansas had rehearsed all the songs intended for the band’s recording sessions of June and July 1976, Livgren played “Dust in the Wind” for his bandmates, who after a moment’s “stunned silence” asked: “Kerry, where has this been? …That’s our next single.”

More at KANSAS

The Frim Fram Sauce

Monday morning have breakfast with Nat King Cole calling out his order:

I don't want French-fried potatoes
Red ripe tomatoes
I'm never satisfied
I want the frim fram sauce with the Ausen fay
With chafafa on the side

I don't want porkchops and bacon
That won't awaken
My appetite inside
I want the frim fram sauce with the Ausen fay
With chafafa on the side

A fella really got to eat
And a fella should eat right
Five will get you ten
I'm gonna feed myself right tonight

I don't want fish cakes and rye bread
You heard what I said
Waiter, please serve mine fried
I want the frim fram sauce with the Ausen fay
With chafafa on the side

A fella really got to eat
And a fella should eat right
Five will get you ten
I'm gonna feed myself right tonight

I don't want fish cakes and rye bread
You heard what I said
Waiter, please serve mine fried
I want the frim fram sauce with the Ausen fay
With chafafa on the side

Thanks to YouTuber TheNewFormat

Ballad Of An American: The Autobiography of Earl Robinson

Earl Robinson may not be so well known nowadays as he once was, but in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, a huge number of Americans knew his music. He was the composer of “The House I Live In,” “Joe Hill,” “Ballad for Americans,” and many others. Singers of his works included Paul Robeson, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Joan Baez, and Three Dog Night. His music crossed the boundaries of folk, Broadway musical, classical, and even rock. Throughout his life he was driven by a need to improve working people’s lives, and he was a longtime member of the Communist Party, which resulted in his being called before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. His autobiography, Ballad of an American, written in collaboration with author Eric Gordon, was released in 1998, and has been out of print. Now it is being re-released, and we are happy to bring you, through the permission of Eric Gordon, this extract from the book, where we enact, in Earl’s words, his tangle with the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.

Click on the triangle above to hear the reading as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio program on WBAI-FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the country.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Monday morning, Allison Young singing at least as well as anybody else is ever going to sing that E.Y. Harburg-Harold Arlen classic that was almost cut out of the movie.

More at Allison Young