Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew on the genres of blues and blues, from country music. Rock music drew on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, incorporated influences from jazz and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar as part of a rock group with electric bass and one or more singers. Rock is song-based music with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become diverse. Like pop music, lyrics stress romantic love but address a wide variety of other themes that are social or political. By the late 1960s "classic rock" period, a number of distinct rock music subgenres had emerged, including hybrids like blues rock, folk rock, country rock, southern rock, raga rock, jazz-rock, many of which contributed to the development of psychedelic rock, influenced by the countercultural psychedelic and hippie scene.
New genres that emerged included progressive rock. In the second half of the 1970s, punk rock reacted by producing stripped-down, energetic social and political critiques. Punk was an influence in the 1980s on new wave, post-punk and alternative rock. From the 1990s alternative rock began to dominate rock music and break into the mainstream in the form of grunge and indie rock. Further fusion subgenres have since emerged, including pop punk, electronic rock, rap rock, rap metal, as well as conscious attempts to revisit rock's history, including the garage rock/post-punk and techno-pop revivals at the beginning of the 2000s. Rock music has embodied and served as the vehicle for cultural and social movements, leading to major subcultures including mods and rockers in the UK and the hippie counterculture that spread out from San Francisco in the US in the 1960s. 1970s punk culture spawned the goth and emo subcultures. Inheriting the folk tradition of the protest song, rock music has been associated with political activism as well as changes in social attitudes to race and drug use, is seen as an expression of youth revolt against adult consumerism and conformity.
The sound of rock is traditionally centered on the amplified electric guitar, which emerged in its modern form in the 1950s with the popularity of rock and roll. It was influenced by the sounds of electric blues guitarists; the sound of an electric guitar in rock music is supported by an electric bass guitar, which pioneered in jazz music in the same era, percussion produced from a drum kit that combines drums and cymbals. This trio of instruments has been complemented by the inclusion of other instruments keyboards such as the piano, the Hammond organ, the synthesizer; the basic rock instrumentation was derived from the basic blues band instrumentation. A group of musicians performing rock music is termed as a rock group. Furthermore, it consists of between three and five members. Classically, a rock band takes the form of a quartet whose members cover one or more roles, including vocalist, lead guitarist, rhythm guitarist, bass guitarist and keyboard player or other instrumentalist. Rock music is traditionally built on a foundation of simple unsyncopated rhythms in a 4/4 meter, with a repetitive snare drum back beat on beats two and four.
Melodies originate from older musical modes such as the Dorian and Mixolydian, as well as major and minor modes. Harmonies range from the common triad to parallel perfect fourths and fifths and dissonant harmonic progressions. Since the late 1950s and from the mid 1960s onwards, rock music used the verse-chorus structure derived from blues and folk music, but there has been considerable variation from this model. Critics have stressed the eclecticism and stylistic diversity of rock; because of its complex history and its tendency to borrow from other musical and cultural forms, it has been argued that "it is impossible to bind rock music to a rigidly delineated musical definition." Unlike many earlier styles of popular music, rock lyrics have dealt with a wide range of themes, including romantic love, rebellion against "The Establishment", social concerns, life styles. These themes were inherited from a variety of sources such as the Tin Pan Alley pop tradition, folk music, rhythm and blues.
Music journalist Robert Christgau characterizes rock lyrics as a "cool medium" with simple diction and repeated refrains, asserts that rock's primary "function" "pertains to music, or, more noise." The predominance of white and middle class musicians in rock music has been noted, rock has been seen as an appropriation of black musical forms for a young and male audience. As a result, it has been seen to articulate the concerns of this group in both style and lyrics. Christgau, writing in 1972, said in spite of some exceptions, "rock and roll implies an identification of male sexuality and aggression". Since the term "rock" started being used in preference to "rock and roll" from the late-1960s, it has been contrasted with pop music, with which it has shared many characteristics, but from wh
Aretha Louise Franklin was an American singer, songwriter and civil rights activist. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father C. L. Franklin was minister. At the age of 18, she embarked on a secular career recording for Columbia Records. However, she achieved only modest success, she found acclaim and commercial success after signing with Atlantic Records in 1966. Hit songs such as "Respect", "Chain of Fools", "Think", " A Natural Woman", "I Never Loved a Man", "I Say a Little Prayer", propelled her past her musical peers. By the end of the 1960s, Aretha Franklin had come to be known as "The Queen of Soul", she continued to record acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, Lady Soul, Spirit in the Dark, Young and Black, Amazing Grace, Sparkle before experiencing problems with her record company. Franklin signed with Arista Records, she appeared in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers before releasing the successful albums Jump to It, Who's Zoomin' Who?, Aretha on the Arista label.
In 1998, Franklin returned to the top 40 with the Lauryn Hill-produced song "A Rose Is Still a Rose" issuing the album of the same name, which went gold. That same year, Franklin earned international acclaim for her performance of "Nessun dorma" at the Grammy Awards, filling in at the last minute for Luciano Pavarotti, who had canceled after the show had begun. In a noted performance, she paid tribute to 2015 honoree Carole King by singing " A Natural Woman" at the Kennedy Center Honors. Franklin recorded 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top-ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries, 20 number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in history. Franklin's other well-known hits include "Rock Steady", "Call Me", "Ain't No Way", "Don't Play That Song", "Spanish Harlem", "Day Dreaming", "Until You Come Back to Me", "Something He Can Feel", "Jump to It", "Freeway of Love", "Who's Zoomin' Who", "I Knew You Were Waiting", she won 18 Grammy Awards, including the first eight awards given for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, she is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide.
Throughout her career, Franklin received numerous honors. She was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1987, she became the first female performer to be inducted into the Roll Hall of Fame, she was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and to the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2010 Rolling Stone magazine ranked her number one on their list of the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" and number nine on their list of "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". Aretha Louise Franklin was born on March 25, 1942, to Barbara and Clarence LaVaughn "C. L." Franklin. She was delivered at her family's home located at 406 Lucy Avenue, Tennessee, her father was a Baptist minister and circuit preacher from Shelby, while her mother was an accomplished piano player and vocalist. Both Mr. and Mrs. Franklin had children from prior relationships in addition to the four children they had together; when Aretha was two, the family relocated to New York. By the time Aretha turned five, C. L. Franklin had permanently relocated the family to Detroit, where he took over the pastorship of the New Bethel Baptist Church.
The Franklins had a troubled marriage due to Mr. Franklin's infidelities, they separated in 1948. At that time, Barbara Franklin returned to Buffalo with Vaughn. After the separation, Aretha recalled seeing her mother in Buffalo during the summer, Barbara Franklin visited her children in Detroit. Aretha's mother died of a heart attack on March 1952, before Aretha's tenth birthday. Several women, including Aretha's grandmother and Mahalia Jackson, took turns helping with the children at the Franklin home. During this time, Aretha learned, she attended public school in Detroit, going through her freshman year at Northern High School, but dropping out during her sophomore year. Aretha's father's driven sermons resulted in his being known as the man with the "million-dollar voice", he earned thousands of dollars for sermons in various churches across the country. His celebrity status led to his home being visited by various celebrities. Among the visitors were gospel musicians Clara Ward, James Cleveland, early Caravans members Albertina Walker and Inez Andrews.
Martin Luther King Jr. Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke all became friends of C. L. Franklin, as well. Ward was romantically involved with Aretha's father from around 1949 to Ward's death in 1973, though Aretha "preferred to view them as friends". Ward served as a role model to the young Aretha. Just after her mother's death, Franklin began singing solos at New Bethel, debuting with the hymn "Jesus, Be a Fence Around Me"; when Franklin was 12, her father began managing her. He helped her sign her first recording deal with J. V. B. Records. Recording equipment was installed inside New Bethel Baptist Church and nine tracks were recorded. Franklin was featured on vocals and piano. In 1956, J. V. B. Released Franklin's first single, "Never Grow Old", backed with "You Grow Closer". "Precious Lord" backed with "Precious Lord (P
Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby was an American singer and actor. The first multimedia star, Crosby was a leader in record sales, radio ratings, motion picture grosses from 1931 to 1954, his early career coincided with recording innovations that allowed him to develop an intimate singing style that influenced many male singers who followed him, including Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Dick Haymes, Dean Martin. Yank magazine said that he was "the person who had done the most for the morale of overseas servicemen" during World War II. In 1948, American polls declared him the "most admired man alive", ahead of Jackie Robinson and Pope Pius XII. In 1948, Music Digest estimated that his recordings filled more than half of the 80,000 weekly hours allocated to recorded radio music. Crosby won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Father Chuck O'Malley in the 1944 motion picture Going My Way and was nominated for his reprise of the role in The Bells of St. Mary's opposite Ingrid Bergman the next year, becoming the first of six actors to be nominated twice for playing the same character.
In 1963, Crosby received the first Grammy Global Achievement Award. He is one of 33 people to have three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in the categories of motion pictures and audio recording, he was known for his collaborations with longtime friend Bob Hope, starring in the Road to... films from 1940 to 1962. Crosby influenced the development of the postwar recording industry. After seeing a demonstration of a German broadcast quality reel-to-reel tape recorder brought to America by John T. Mullin, he invested $50,000 in a California electronics company called Ampex to build copies, he convinced ABC to allow him to tape his shows. He became the first performer to pre-record his radio shows and master his commercial recordings onto magnetic tape. Through the medium of recording, he constructed his radio programs with the same directorial tools and craftsmanship used in motion picture production, a practice that became an industry standard. In addition to his work with early audio tape recording, he helped to finance the development of videotape, bought television stations, bred racehorses, co-owned the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team.
Crosby was born on May 3, 1903 in Tacoma, Washington, in a house his father built at 1112 North J Street. In 1906, his family moved to Spokane and in 1913, his father built a house at 508 E. Sharp Avenue; the house sits on the campus of Gonzaga University. It functions today as a museum housing over 200 artifacts from his life and career, including his Oscar, he was the fourth of seven children: brothers Laurence Earl, Everett Nathaniel, Edward John, George Robert. His parents were Harry Lowe Crosby, a bookkeeper, Catherine Helen "Kate", his mother was a second generation Irish-American. His father was of English descent. Through another line on his father's side, Crosby is descended from Mayflower passenger William Brewster. On November 8, 1937, after Lux Radio Theatre's adaptation of She Loves Me Not, Joan Blondell asked Crosby how he got his nickname: Crosby: "Well, I'll tell you, back in the knee-britches day, when I was a wee little tyke, a mere broth of a lad, as we say in Spokane, I used to totter around the streets, with a gun on each hip, my favorite after school pastime was a game known as "Cops and Robbers", I didn't care which side I was on, when a cop or robber came into view, I would haul out my trusty six-shooters, made of wood, loudly exclaim bing! bing!, as my luckless victim fell clutching his side, I would shout bing! bing!, I would let him have it again, as his friends came to his rescue, shooting as they came, I would shout bing! bing! bing! bing! bing! bing! bing! bing!"Blondell: "I'm surprised they didn't call you "Killer" Crosby!
Now tell me another story, Grandpa! Crosby: "No, so help me, it's the truth, ask Mister De Mille."De Mille: "I'll vouch for it, Bing."That story was pure whimsy for dramatic effect and the truth is that a neighbor - Valentine Hobart - named him "Bingo from Bingville" after a comic feature in the local paper called "The Bingville Bugle" which the young Harry liked. In time, Bingo got shortened to Bing. In 1917, Crosby took a summer job as property boy at Spokane's "Auditorium," where he witnessed some of the finest acts of the day, including Al Jolson, who held him spellbound with ad libbing and parodies of Hawaiian songs, he described Jolson's delivery as "electric."Crosby graduated from Gonzaga High School in 1920 and enrolled at Gonzaga University. He did not earn a degree; as a freshman, he played on the university's baseball team. The university granted him an honorary doctorate in 1937. Today, Gonzaga University houses a large collection of photographs and other material related to Crosby.
In 1923, Crosby was invited to join a new band composed of high school students a few years younger than himself. Al Rinker, Miles Rinker, James Heaton, Claire Pritchard and Robert Pritchard, along with drummer Crosby, formed the Musicaladers, who performed at dances both for high school students and club-goers; the group disbanded after two years. Crosby and Al Rinker obtained work at the Clemmer Theatre in Spokane. Crosby was a member of a vocal trio called'The Three Harmo
Popular music is music with wide appeal, distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be performed by people with little or no musical training, it stands in traditional or "folk" music. Art music was disseminated through the performances of written music, although since the beginning of the recording industry, it is disseminated through recordings. Traditional music forms such as early blues songs or hymns were passed along orally, or to smaller, local audiences; the original application of the term is to music of the 1880s Tin Pan Alley period in the United States. Although popular music sometimes is known as "pop music", the two terms are not interchangeable. Popular music is a generic term for a wide variety of genres of music that appeal to the tastes of a large segment of the population, whereas pop music refers to a specific musical genre within popular music. Popular music songs and pieces have singable melodies; the song structure of popular music involves repetition of sections, with the verse and chorus or refrain repeating throughout the song and the bridge providing a contrasting and transitional section within a piece.
In the 2000s, with songs and pieces available as digital sound files, it has become easier for music to spread from one country or region to another. Some popular music forms have become global, while others have a wide appeal within the culture of their origin. Through the mixture of musical genres, new popular music forms are created to reflect the ideals of a global culture; the examples of Africa and the Middle East show how Western pop music styles can blend with local musical traditions to create new hybrid styles. Scholars have classified music as "popular" based on various factors, including whether a song or piece becomes known to listeners from hearing the music. Sales of'recordings' or sheet music are one measure. Middleton and Manuel note that this definition has problems because multiple listens or plays of the same song or piece are not counted. Evaluating appeal based on size of audience or whether audience is of a certain social class is another way to define popular music, but this, has problems in that social categories of people cannot be applied to musical styles.
Manuel states that one criticism of popular music is that it is produced by large media conglomerates and passively consumed by the public, who buy or reject what music is being produced. He claims that the listeners in the scenario would not have been able to make the choice of their favorite music, which negates the previous conception of popular music. Moreover, "understandings of popular music have changed with time". Middleton argues that if research were to be done on the field of popular music, there would be a level of stability within societies to characterize historical periods, distribution of music, the patterns of influence and continuity within the popular styles of music. Anahid Kassabian separated popular music into four categories. A society's popular music reflects the ideals that are prevalent at the time it is performed or published. David Riesman states that the youth audiences of popular music fit into either a majority group or a subculture; the majority group listens to the commercially produced styles while the subcultures find a minority style to transmit their own values.
This allows youth to choose what music they identify with, which gives them power as consumers to control the market of popular music. Music critic Robert Christgau coined the term "semipopular music" in 1970, to describe records that seemed accessible for popular consumption but proved unsuccessful commercially. "I recognized that something else was going on—the distribution system appeared to be faltering, FM and all", he wrote in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies, citing that records like The Velvet Underground and The Gilded Palace of Sin possessed populist qualities yet failed to impact the record charts. "Just as semiclassical music is a systematic dilution of highbrow preferences, semipopular music is a cross-bred concentration of fashionable modes." In his mind, a liking "for the nasty and short intensifies a common semipopular tendency in which lyrical and conceptual sophistication are applauded while musical sophistication—jazz chops or classical design or avant-garde innovation—is left to the specialists."
Form in popular music is most sectional, the most common sections being verse, chorus or refrain, bridge. Other common forms include thirty-two-bar form, chorus form *, twelve-bar blues. Popular music songs are composed using different music for each stanza of the lyrics; the verse and chorus are considered the primary elements. Each verse has the same melody, but the lyrics change for most verses; the chorus has a melodic phrase and a key lyrical line, repeated. Pop songs may have an introduction and coda, but these elements are not essential to the identity of most songs
The Pied Pipers
The Pied Pipers is an American popular singing group formed in the late 1930s. They had several chart hits through the 1940s, both under their own name and in association with Tommy Dorsey and with Frank Sinatra, they consisted of eight members who had belonged to three separate groups: Jo Stafford from The Stafford Sisters, seven male singers: John Huddleston, Hal Hopper, Chuck Lowry, Bud Hervey, George Tait, Woody Newbury, Dick Whittinghill, who had belonged to two groups named The Four Esquires and The Three Rhythm Kings, all of whom were contributing to the 1938 movie Alexander's Ragtime Band. Multi-instrumentalist Spencer Clark was a member at one point. Paul Weston and Axel Stordahl, who were arrangers for Tommy Dorsey's big band, heard of the group through two of The King Sisters and Yvonne. Weston had a jam session at his home and a visiting advertising executive signed the octet for Dorsey's radio program, broadcast in New York City, they sang with Dorsey's orchestra for about six weeks before a British representative of the sponsor objected to some of the songs in their repertoire and fired them.
They went back to California, but in the time they had been in New York had recorded two records for RCA Victor Records. While in Los Angeles, the group was reduced to a quartet: Jo Stafford, her then-husband John Huddleston, Chuck Lowry from the original eight, Billy Wilson, they were getting little work and were on the threshold of disbanding when they received a call from Tommy Dorsey. Dorsey said he could not afford to hire eight Pipers but would be happy to have them join him if they could cut the number down to a quartet; as they had done that, with only one unemployment check remaining, they were happy to comply. In 1939, they moved to Chicago, with Clark Yocum, who had played guitar and sung for Dorsey, replacing Wilson. Although Paul Weston left Dorsey to become Dinah Shore's music director about that time, he was to figure in the fortunes of the group again. In 1940, Dorsey hired another vocalist, Frank Sinatra, who had sung in a quartet, The Hoboken Four, with Harry James' orchestra.
Sinatra and the Pipers teamed to record a major hit, in that year. The group had twelve more chart hits with ten of them with Sinatra. Jo Stafford herself had a solo hit, "Yes Indeed", in 1941. Around Thanksgiving 1942, Tommy Dorsey became angry at one of the Pipers for sending him in the wrong direction at a railroad station in Portland and fired him; the Pipers, out of "team loyalty," resigned en masse. At that moment, the #1 record on the charts was "There Are Such Things" sung by Frank Sinatra and the Pied Pipers, the last RCA record they did with Dorsey, they returned to Los Angeles and signed with Capitol Records, where Paul Weston was now working, he became the arranger and orchestra leader for most of the Pipers' recordings. Huddleston left to join the war effort, Hal Hopper rejoined the group to replace him; the group backed Johnny Mercer on a number of sides. And in 1944 Jo Stafford had a hit on her own, ahead of the Pipers, after a couple more hits, she left for good to pursue a solo career.
She was replaced in May by June Hutton, singing with the Stardusters. The Pipers had twelve charted hit singles on Capitol, including "Dream" and ending with "My Happiness" in 1948, they continued a relationship with Frank Sinatra, doing several tours with him starting in 1945 and becoming a regular on his radio program from 1945 to 1947. In 1944, The Pied Pipers were regulars on Johnny Mercer's Chesterfield Music Shop on NBC Monday through Friday nights. Beginning March 30, 1948, the group became a part of Club Fifteen on CBS, they sang on the program's Tuesday and Thursday episodes, alternating with The Andrews Sisters, who sang on Mondays and Fridays. In 1950, June Hutton left the group and was replaced by Sue Allen and by Virginia Marcy. Hutton married the other half of Dorsey's original arranging team. Just as Jo Stafford had her husband's orchestra accompany her on her solo hits, June Hutton's solo hits on Capitol in the 1950s featured Stordahl's orchestra as backing group. Louanne Hogan, the dubbed singing voice behind several movie stars, was a member of The Pied Pipers in 1951.
Lee Gotch, who had sung in the 1940's with the swing group Six Hits and a Miss, joined the Pied Pipers from 1954 to 1967, during which time he recorded an LP by Lee Gotch's Ivy Barflies. The Pied Pipers sang on a few tracks of Frank Sinatra's 1950's studio albums, backed up Sam Cooke on his #1 hit, "You Send Me", made a guest appearance on I Love Lucy; the current Pied Pipers are Don Lucas, Kevin Kennard, Chris Sanders and David Zack. The group performs with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. In both 1944 and 1945, The Pied Pipers won awards from Down Beat magazine as the best and most popular group of the year; the group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001. Pied Pipers Homepage Tribute to The Pied Pipers'The Pied Pipers' Vocal Group Hall of Fame Page
Lionel Leo Hampton was an American jazz vibraphonist, pianist and bandleader. Hampton worked with jazz musicians from Teddy Wilson, Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich to Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, Quincy Jones. In 1992, he was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1996. Lionel Hampton was born in 1908 in Louisville and was raised by his mother. Shortly after he was born, he and his mother moved to her hometown of Alabama, he spent his early childhood in Kenosha, before he and his family moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1916. As a youth, Hampton was a member of the Bud Billiken Club, an alternative to the Boy Scouts of America, off-limits because of racial segregation. During the 1920s, while still a teenager, Hampton took xylophone lessons from Jimmy Bertrand and began to play drums. Hampton was raised Roman Catholic, started out playing fife and drum at the Holy Rosary Academy near Chicago. Lionel Hampton began his career playing drums for the Chicago Defender Newsboys' Band while still a teenager in Chicago.
He moved to California in 1928, playing drums for the Dixieland Blues-Blowers. He made his recording debut with The Quality Serenaders led by Paul Howard left for Culver City and drummed for the Les Hite band at Sebastian's Cotton Club. One of his trademarks as a drummer was his ability to do stunts with multiple pairs of sticks such as twirling and juggling without missing a beat. During this period he began practicing on the vibraphone. In 1930 Louis Armstrong came to California and hired the Les Hite band, asking Hampton if he would play vibes on two songs. So began his career as a vibraphonist, popularizing the use of the instrument in the process. Invented ten years earlier, the vibraphone is a xylophone with metal bars, a sustain pedal, resonators equipped with electric-powered fans that add tremolo. While working with the Les Hite band, Hampton occasionally did some performing with Nat Shilkret and his orchestra. During the early 1930s, he studied music at the University of Southern California.
In 1934 he led his own orchestra, appeared in the Bing Crosby film Pennies From Heaven alongside Louis Armstrong. In November 1936, the Benny Goodman Orchestra came to Los Angeles to play the Palomar Ballroom; when John Hammond brought Goodman to see Hampton perform, Goodman invited him to join his trio, which soon became the Benny Goodman Quartet with Teddy Wilson and Gene Krupa completing the lineup. The Trio and Quartet were among the first racially integrated jazz groups to perform before audiences, were a leading small-group of the day. While Hampton worked for Goodman in New York, he recorded with several different small groups known as the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, as well as assorted small groups within the Goodman band. In 1940 Hampton left the Goodman organization under amicable circumstances to form his own big band. Hampton's orchestra developed a high-profile during early 1950s, his third recording with them in 1942 produced the version of "Flying Home", featuring a solo by Illinois Jacquet that anticipated rhythm & blues.
Although Hampton first recorded "Flying Home" under his own name with a small group in 1940 for Victor, the best known version is the big band version recorded for Decca on May 26, 1942, in a new arrangement by Hampton's pianist Milt Buckner. The 78pm disc became successful enough for Hampton to record "Flyin' Home #2" in 1944, this time a feature for Arnett Cobb; the song went on to become the theme song for all three men. Guitarist Billy Mackel first joined Hampton in 1944, would perform and record with him continuously through to the late 1970s. In 1947, Hamp performed "Stardust" at a "Just Jazz" concert for producer Gene Norman featuring Charlie Shavers and Slam Stewart. Norman's GNP Crescendo label issued the remaining tracks from the concert. From the mid-1940s until the early 1950s, Hampton led a lively rhythm & blues band whose Decca Records recordings included numerous young performers who had significant careers, they included bassist Charles Mingus, saxophonist Johnny Griffin, guitarist Wes Montgomery, vocalist Dinah Washington.
Other noteworthy band members were trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie, Cat Anderson, Kenny Dorham, Snooky Young. The Hampton orchestra that toured Europe in 1953 included Clifford Brown, Gigi Gryce, Anthony Ortega, Monk Montgomery, George Wallington, Art Farmer, Quincy Jones, singer Annie Ross. Hampton continued to record with small groups and jam sessions during the 1940s and 1950s, with Oscar Peterson, Buddy DeFranco, others. In 1955, while in California working on The Benny Goodman Story he recorded with Stan Getz and made two albums with Art Tatum for Norman Granz as well as with his own big band. Hampton performed with Louis Armstrong and Italian singer Lara Saint Paul at the 1968 Sanremo Music Festival in Italy; the performance created a sensation with Italian audiences. That same year, Hampton received a Papal Medal from Pope Paul VI. During the 1960s, Hampton's groups were in decline, he did not fare much better in the 1970s, though he recorded for his Who's Who in Jazz record label, which he founded in 1977/1978.
Beginning in February 1984, Hampton and his band played at the University of Idaho's annual jazz festival, renamed the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival the following year. In 1987 the UI's school of music was renamed for Hampto
John Herndon Mercer was an American lyricist and singer. He was a record label executive who co-founded Capitol Records with music industry businessman Buddy DeSylva and Glenn E. Wallichs, he is best known as a Tin Pan Alley lyricist, but he composed music. He was a popular singer who recorded his own songs as well as songs written by others. From the mid-1930s through the mid-1950s, many of the songs Mercer wrote and performed were among the most popular hits of the time, he wrote the lyrics including compositions for movies and Broadway shows. He received nineteen Academy Award nominations, won four Best Original Song Oscars. Mercer was born in Georgia, his father, George Anderson Mercer, was a prominent attorney and real-estate developer, his mother, Lillian Elizabeth, George Mercer's secretary and second wife, was the daughter of a Croatian immigrant father and a mother with Irish ancestry. Lillian's father was a merchant seaman who ran the Union blockade during the U. S. Civil War. Mercer was George's fourth son, first by Lillian.
His great-grandfather was Confederate General Hugh Weedon Mercer and he was a direct descendant of American Revolutionary War General Hugh Mercer, a Scottish soldier-physician who died at the Battle of Princeton. Mercer was a distant cousin of General George S. Patton; the construction of Mercer House in Savannah was started by General Hugh Weedon Mercer in 1860. Neither the General, nor Mercer himself lived there, his mother's father was born in Lastovo, Croatia in 1834 to mother Ivana Cucevic and father Marijo Dundovic. Mercer liked music as a small child and attributed his musical talent to his mother, who would sing sentimental ballads. Mercer's father sang old Scottish songs, his aunt told him he was humming music when he was six months old and she took him to see minstrel and vaudeville shows where he heard "coon songs" and ragtime. The family's summer home "Vernon View" was on the tidal waters and Mercer's long summers there among mossy trees, saltwater marshes, soft, starry nights inspired him years later.
Mercer's exposure to black music was unique among the white songwriters of his generation. As a child, Mercer had African-American playmates and servants, he listened to the fishermen and vendors about him, who spoke and sang in the dialect known as "Geechee", he was attracted to black church services. Mercer stated, "Songs always fascinated me more than anything." He had no formal musical training but was singing in a choir by six and at 11 or 12 he had memorized all of the songs he had heard and became curious about who wrote them. He once asked his brother who the best songwriter was, his brother said Irving Berlin, among the best of Tin Pan Alley. Despite Mercer's early exposure to music, his talent was in creating the words and singing, not in playing music, though early on he had hoped to become a composer. In addition to the lyrics that Mercer memorized, he wrote adventure stories, his attempts to play the trumpet and piano were not successful, he never could read musical scores with any facility, relying instead on his own notation system.
As a teenager in the Jazz Era, he was a product of his age. He hunted for records in the black section of Savannah and played such early black jazz greats as Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, his father owned the first car in town, Mercer's teenage social life was enhanced by his driving privilege, which sometimes verged on recklessness. The family would motor to the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina to escape the Savannah heat and there Mercer learned to dance and to flirt with Southern belles, his natural sense of rhythm helping him on both accounts. Mercer wrote a humorous song called "Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing in a Hurry". Mercer attended the exclusive Woodberry Forest School in Virginia until 1927. Although not a top student, he was active in literary and poetry societies and as a humor writer for the school's publications. In addition, his exposure to classic literature augmented his rich store of vocabulary and phraseology, he began to scribble ingenious, sometimes strained, rhymed phrases for use.
Mercer was the class clown and a prankster, member of the "hop" committee that booked musical entertainment on campus. Mercer was somewhat of an authority on jazz at an early age, his yearbook stated, "No orchestra or new production can be authoritatively termed'good' until Johnny's stamp of approval has been placed upon it. His ability to'get hot' under all conditions and at all times is uncanny." Mercer began to write songs, an early effort being "Sister Susie, Strut Your Stuff", learned the powerful effect songs had on girls. Given his family's proud history and association with Princeton, New Jersey, Princeton University, Mercer was destined for school there until his father's financial setbacks in the late 1920s changed those plans, he went to work in his father's recovering business, collecting rent and running errands, but soon grew bored with the routine and with Savannah, looked to escape. Mercer moved to New York in 1928, when he was 19; the music he loved and blues, was booming in Harlem and Broadway was bursting with musicals and revues from George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin.
Vaudeville, though beginning to fade, was still a strong musical presence. Mercer's first few jobs were as a bit actor. Hole