Columbia Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, the North American division of Japanese conglomerate Sony. It was founded in 1887, evolving from the American Graphophone Company, the successor to the Volta Graphophone Company. Columbia is the oldest surviving brand name in the recorded sound business, the second major company to produce records. From 1961 to 1990, Columbia recordings were released outside North America under the name CBS Records to avoid confusion with EMI's Columbia Graphophone Company. Columbia is one of Sony Music's four flagship record labels, alongside former longtime rival RCA Records, as well as Arista Records and Epic Records. Artists who have recorded for Columbia include Harry Styles, AC/DC, Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennett, Beyoncé, Dave Brubeck, The Byrds, Johnny Cash, Mariah Carey, The Chainsmokers, The Clash, Miles Davis, Rosemary Clooney, Neil Diamond, Celine Dion, Bob Dylan, Wind & Fire, Duke Ellington, 50 Cent, Erroll Garner, Benny Goodman, Adelaide Hall, Billy Joel, Janis Joplin, John Mayer, George Michael, Billy Murray, Pink Floyd, Lil Nas X, Frank Sinatra and Garfunkel, Bessie Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, Andy Williams, Pharrell Williams, Bill Withers, Paul Whiteman, Joe Zawinul The Columbia Phonograph Company was founded in 1887 by stenographer and New Jersey native Edward D. Easton and a group of investors.
It derived its name from the District of Columbia. At first it had a local monopoly on sales and service of Edison phonographs and phonograph cylinders in Washington, D. C. Maryland, Delaware; as was the custom of some of the regional phonograph companies, Columbia produced many commercial cylinder recordings of its own, its catalogue of musical records in 1891 was 10 pages. Columbia's ties to Edison and the North American Phonograph Company were severed in 1894 with the North American Phonograph Company's breakup. Thereafter it sold only phonographs of its own manufacture. In 1902, Columbia introduced a molded brown wax record, to use up old stock. Columbia introduced black wax records in 1903. According to one source, they continued to mold brown waxes until 1904 with the highest number being 32601, "Heinie", a duet by Arthur Collins and Byron G. Harlan; the molded brown waxes may have been sold to Sears for distribution. Columbia began selling disc records and phonographs in addition to the cylinder system in 1901, preceded only by their "Toy Graphophone" of 1899, which used small, vertically cut records.
For a decade, Columbia competed with both the Edison Phonograph Company cylinders and the Victor Talking Machine Company disc records as one of the top three names in American recorded sound. In order to add prestige to its early catalog of artists, Columbia contracted a number of New York Metropolitan Opera stars to make recordings; these stars included Marcella Sembrich, Lillian Nordica, Antonio Scotti and Edouard de Reszke, but the technical standard of their recordings was not considered to be as high as the results achieved with classical singers during the pre–World War I period by Victor, England's His Master's Voice or Italy's Fonotipia Records. After an abortive attempt in 1904 to manufacture discs with the recording grooves stamped into both sides of each disc—not just one—in 1908 Columbia commenced successful mass production of what they called their "Double-Faced" discs, the 10-inch variety selling for 65 cents apiece; the firm introduced the internal-horn "Grafonola" to compete with the popular "Victrola" sold by the rival Victor Talking Machine Company.
During this era, Columbia used the "Magic Notes" logo—a pair of sixteenth notes in a circle—both in the United States and overseas. Columbia stopped recording and manufacturing wax cylinder records in 1908, after arranging to issue celluloid cylinder records made by the Indestructible Record Company of Albany, New York, as "Columbia Indestructible Records". In July 1912, Columbia decided to concentrate on disc records and stopped manufacturing cylinder phonographs, although they continued selling Indestructible's cylinders under the Columbia name for a year or two more. Columbia was split into one to make records and one to make players. Columbia Phonograph was moved to Connecticut, Ed Easton went with it, it was renamed the Dictaphone Corporation. In late 1922, Columbia went into receivership; the company was bought by its English subsidiary, the Columbia Graphophone Company in 1925 and the label, record numbering system, recording process changed. On February 25, 1925, Columbia began recording with the electric recording process licensed from Western Electric.
"Viva-tonal" records set a benchmark in tone and clarity unequaled on commercial discs during the 78-rpm era. The first electrical recordings were made by Art Gillham, the "Whispering Pianist". In a secret agreement with Victor, electrical technology was kept secret to avoid hurting sales of acoustic records. In 1926, Columbia acquired Okeh Records and its growing stable of jazz and blues artists, including Louis Armstrong and Clarence Williams. Columbia had built a catalog of blues and jazz artists, including Bessie Smith in their 14000-D Race series. Columbia had a successful "Hillbilly" series. In 1928, Paul Whiteman, the nation's most popular orchestra leader, left Victor to record for Columbia. During the same year, Columbia executiv
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Walt Disney Animation Studios referred to as Disney Animation, headquartered at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, is an American animation studio that creates animated feature films, short films and television specials for The Walt Disney Company. Founded on October 16, 1923, it is a division of Walt Disney Studios; the studio has produced 57 feature films, from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Ralph Breaks the Internet. It was founded as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio in 1923 and incorporated as Walt Disney Productions in 1929; the studio was dedicated to producing short films until it expanded into feature production in 1934. In 1983, Walt Disney Productions named its live action film studio Walt Disney Pictures. During a corporate restructuring in 1986, Walt Disney Productions was renamed The Walt Disney Company and the animation division, renamed Walt Disney Feature Animation, became a subsidiary of its film division, The Walt Disney Studios. In 2007, Walt Disney Feature Animation took on its current name, Walt Disney Animation Studios after Pixar was acquired by Disney in the same year.
For much of its existence, the studio was recognized as the premier American animation studio. The studio pioneered the art of storyboarding, now a standard technique used in both animated and live-action filmmaking; the studio's catalog of animated features is among Disney's most notable assets, with the stars of its animated shorts – Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Pluto – becoming recognizable figures in popular culture and mascots for The Walt Disney Company as a whole. Walt Disney Animation Studios continues to produce films using both traditional animation and computer-generated imagery. Kansas City, natives Walt Disney and Roy O. Disney founded the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio in Los Angeles in 1923 and got their start producing a series of silent Alice Comedies short films featuring a live-action child actress in an animated world; the Alice Comedies were distributed by Margaret J. Winkler's Winkler Pictures, which also distributed a second Disney short subject series, the all-animated Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, through Universal Pictures starting in 1927.
Upon relocating to California, the Disney brothers started working in their uncle Robert Disney's garage at 4406 Kingswell Avenue in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles in October 1923 formally launched their studio in a small office on the rear side of a real estate agency's office at 4651 Kingswell Avenue. In February 1924, the studio moved next door to office space of its own at 4649 Kingswell Avenue. In 1925, Disney put down a deposit on a new location at 2719 Hyperion Avenue in the nearby Silver Lake neighborhood, which came to be known as the Hyperion Studio to distinguish it from the studio's other locations, in January 1926 the studio moved there and took on the name the Walt Disney Studio. Meanwhile, after the first year's worth of Oswalds, Walt Disney attempted to renew his contract with Winkler Pictures, but Charles Mintz, who had taken over Margaret Winkler's business after marrying her, wanted to force Disney to accept a lower advance payment for each Oswald short. Disney refused, as Universal owned the rights to Oswald rather than Disney, Mintz set up his own animation studio to produce Oswald cartoons.
Most of Disney's staff was hired away by Mintz to move over, once Disney's Oswald contract was done in mid-1928. Working in secret while the rest of the staff finished the remaining Oswalds on contract and his head animator Ub Iwerks led a small handful of loyal staffers in producing cartoons starring a new character named Mickey Mouse; the first two Mickey Mouse cartoons, Plane Crazy and The Galloping Gaucho, were previewed in limited engagements during the summer of 1928. For the third Mickey cartoon, Disney produced a soundtrack, collaborating with musician Carl Stalling and businessman Pat Powers, who provided Disney with his bootlegged "Cinephone" sound-on-film process. Subsequently, the third Mickey Mouse cartoon, Steamboat Willie, became Disney's first cartoon with synchronized sound and was a major success upon its November 1928 debut at the West 57th Theatre in New York City; the Mickey Mouse series of sound cartoons, distributed by Powers through Celebrity Productions became the most popular cartoon series in the United States.
A second Disney series of sound cartoons, the Silly Symphonies, debuted in 1929 with The Skeleton Dance. In 1930, disputes over finances between Disney and Powers led to Disney's studio, reincorporated on December 16, 1929, as Walt Disney Productions, signing a new distribution contract with Columbia Pictures. Powers in return signed away Ub Iwerks, who began producing cartoons at his own studio although he would return to Disney in 1940. Columbia distributed Disney's shorts for two years before the Disney studio entered a new distribution deal with United Artists in 1932; the same year, Disney signed a two-year exclusive deal with Technicolor to utilize its new 3-strip color film process, which allowed for fuller-color reproduction where previous color film processors could not. The result was the Silly Symphony Flowers and Trees, the first film commercially released in full Technicolor. Flowers and Trees was a major success, all Silly Symphonies were subsequently produced in Technicolor. By the early 1930s, Walt Disney had realized that the success of animated films depended upon telling gripping stories that would grab the audience and not let go, this realization led him to create a separate "story department" with storyboard artists dedicated to story development.
The tuba is the largest and lowest-pitched musical instrument in the brass family. As with all brass instruments, the sound is produced by lip vibration into a large mouthpiece, it first appeared in the mid-19th century, making it one of the newer instruments in the modern orchestra and concert band. The tuba replaced the ophicleide. Tuba is Latin for'trumpet'. In America, a person who plays the tuba is known as a tubist. In the United Kingdom, a person who plays the tuba in an orchestra is known as a tuba player. Prussian Patent No. 19 was granted to Wilhelm Friedrich Wieprecht and Johann Gottfried Moritz on September 12, 1835 for a "bass tuba" in F1. The original Wieprecht and Moritz instrument used five valves of the Berlinerpumpen type that were the forerunners of the modern piston valve; the first tenor tuba was invented in 1838 by son of Johann Gottfried Moritz. The addition of valves made it possible to play low in the harmonic series of the instrument and still have a complete selection of notes.
Prior to the invention of valves, brass instruments were limited to notes in the harmonic series, were thus played high with respect to their fundamental pitch. Harmonics starting three octaves above the fundamental pitch are about a whole step apart, making a useful variety of notes possible; the ophicleide used a bowl-shaped brass instrument mouthpiece but employed keys and tone holes similar to those of a modern saxophone. Another forerunner to the tuba was the serpent, a bass instrument, shaped in a wavy form to make the tone holes accessible to the player. Tone holes changed the pitch by providing an intentional leak in the bugle of the instrument. While this changed the pitch, it had a pronounced effect on the timbre. By using valves to adjust the length of the bugle the tuba produced a smoother tone that led to its popularity. Adolphe Sax, like Wieprecht, was interested in marketing systems of instruments from soprano to bass, developed a series of brass instruments known as saxhorns; the instruments developed by Sax were pitched in E♭ and B♭, while the Wieprecht "basstuba" and the subsequent Cerveny contrabass tuba were pitched in F and C.
Sax's instruments gained dominance in France, in Britain and America, as a result of the popularity and movements of instrument makers such as Gustave Auguste Besson and Henry Distin. An orchestra has a single tuba, though an additional tuba may be requested, it serves as the bass of the orchestral brass section and it can reinforce the bass voices of the strings and woodwinds. It provides the bass of brass choirs, it is the principal bass instrument in concert bands, brass bands and military bands, those ensembles have two to four tubas. It is a solo instrument. Tubas are used in marching bands and bugle corps and in many jazz bands. In British style brass bands, two E ♭ and two B ♭ tubas are referred to as basses. Well known and influential parts for the tuba include: Modest Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition - Bydło, Night On Bald Mountain Richard Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra, Eine Alpensinfonie, Till Eulenspiegel Shostakovich: All Symphonies, except for the Fourteenth symphony Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring, Petroushka Edgard Varèse: Déserts Richard Wagner: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Ride of the Valkyries, Faust Overture Sergei Prokofiev: Fifth Symphony George Gershwin: An American in Paris Silvestre Revueltas: Sensemayá, La noche de los mayas, Homenaje a Federico García Lorca Gustav Holst: The Planets Gustav Mahler: First Symphony, Second Symphony, Fifth Symphony, Sixth Symphony, Eighth Symphony Ottorino Respighi: Fountains of Rome, Pines of Rome Hector Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Hungarian March Paul Hindemith: Symphonic MetamorphosisConcertos have been written for the tuba by many notable composers, including Ralph Vaughan Williams, Edward Gregson, John Williams, Alexander Arutiunian, Eric Ewazen, James Barnes, Joseph Hallman, Martin Ellerby, Philip Sparke, Kalevi Aho, Josef Tal, Bruce Broughton and David Carlson.
Tubas are found in various pitches, most in F, E♭, C, or B♭. The main tube of a B♭ tuba is 18 feet long, while that of a C tuba is 16 feet, of an E♭ tuba 13 feet, of an F tuba 12 feet; the instrument has a conical bore, meaning the bore diameter increases as a function of the tubing length from the mouthpiece to the bell. The conical bore. A tuba with its tubing wrapped for placing the instrument on the player's lap is called a concert tuba or a tuba. Tubas with the bell pointing forward instead of upward are called recording tubas because of their popularity in the early days of recorded music, as their sound could more be directed at the recording microphone; when wrapped to surround the body for cavalry bands on horseback or marching, it is traditionally known as a hélicon. The modern sousaphone, named after American bandmaster John Philip Sousa, resembles a hélicon with the bell pointed up and curved to point forward; some ancestors of the tuba, such as the military bombardon, had unusual valve and bore arrangements compared to modern tubas.
During the Am
Soul music is a popular music genre that originated in the African American community in the United States in the 1950s and early 1960s. It combines elements of African-American gospel music and blues and jazz. Soul music became popular for dancing and listening in the United States, where record labels such as Motown and Stax were influential during the Civil Rights Movement. Soul became popular around the world, directly influencing rock music and the music of Africa. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is "music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of funky, secular testifying". Catchy rhythms, stressed by handclaps and extemporaneous body moves, are an important feature of soul music. Other characteristics are a call and response between the lead vocalist and the chorus and an tense vocal sound; the style occasionally uses improvisational additions and auxiliary sounds. Soul music reflected the African-American identity and it stressed the importance of an African-American culture.
The new-found African-American consciousness led to new styles of music, which boasted pride in being black. Soul music dominated the U. S. R&B chart in the 1960s, many recordings crossed over into the pop charts in the U. S. Britain and elsewhere. By 1968, the soul music genre had begun to splinter; some soul artists developed funk music, while other singers and groups developed slicker, more sophisticated, in some cases more politically conscious varieties. By the early 1970s, soul music had been influenced by psychedelic rock and other genres, leading to psychedelic soul; the United States saw the development of neo soul around 1994. There are several other subgenres and offshoots of soul music; the key subgenres of soul include a rhythmic music influenced by gospel. Soul music has its roots in traditional African-American gospel music and rhythm and blues and as the hybridization of their respective religious and secular styles – in both lyrical content and instrumentation – that began in the 1950s.
The term "soul" had been used among African-American musicians to emphasize the feeling of being an African-American in the United States. According to musicologist Barry Hansen,Though this hybrid produced a clutch of hits in the R&B market in the early 1950s, only the most adventurous white fans felt its impact at the time. According to AllMusic, "oul music was the result of the urbanization and commercialization of rhythm and blues in the'60s." The phrase "soul music" itself, referring to gospel-style music with secular lyrics, was first attested in 1961. The term "soul" in African-American parlance has connotations of African-American culture. Gospel groups in the 1940s and'50s used the term as part of their names; the jazz style that originated from gospel became known as soul jazz. As singers and arrangers began using techniques from both gospel and soul jazz in African-American popular music during the 1960s, soul music functioned as an umbrella term for the African-American popular music at the time.
Important innovators whose recordings in the 1950s contributed to the emergence of soul music included Clyde McPhatter, Hank Ballard, Etta James. Ray Charles is cited as popularizing the soul music genre with his series of hits, starting with 1954's "I Got a Woman". Singer Bobby Womack said, "Ray was the genius, he turned the world onto soul music." Charles was open in acknowledging the influence of Pilgrim Travelers vocalist Jesse Whitaker on his singing style. Little Richard, who inspired Otis Redding, James Brown both were influential. Brown was nicknamed the "Godfather of Soul Music", Richard proclaimed himself as the "King of Rockin' and Rollin', Rhythm and Blues Soulin'", because his music embodied elements of all three, since he inspired artists in all three genres. Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson are acknowledged as soul forefathers. Cooke became popular as the lead singer of the gospel group The Soul Stirrers, before controversially moving into secular music, his recording of "You Send Me" in 1957 launched a successful pop music career.
Furthermore, his 1962 recording of "Bring It On Home To Me" has been described as "perhaps the first record to define the soul experience". Jackie Wilson, a contemporary of both Cooke and James Brown achieved crossover success with his 1957 hit "Reet Petite", he was influential for his dramatic delivery and performances. Writer Peter Guralnick is among those to identify Solomon Burke as a key figure in the emergence of soul music, Atlantic Records as the key record label. Burke's early 1960s songs, including "Cry to Me", "Just Out of Reach" and "Down in the Valley" are considered classics of the genre. Guralnick wrote: "Soul started, in a sense, with the 1961 success of Solomon Burke's "Just Out Of Reach". Ray Charles, of course, had enjoyed enormous success, as had James Brown and Sam Cooke — in a pop vein. E
Whitney Elizabeth Houston was an American singer and actress. She was cited as the most awarded female artist of all time by Guinness World Records and remains one of the best-selling music artists of all time with 200 million records sold worldwide, she released seven studio albums and two soundtrack albums, all of which have been certified diamond, multi-platinum, platinum, or gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Houston's crossover appeal on the popular music charts—as well as her prominence on MTV, starting with her video for "How Will I Know"—influenced several African-American women artists who followed in her footsteps. Houston became a background vocalist while in high school. With the guidance of Arista Records chairman Clive Davis, she signed to the label at the age of 19, her first two studio albums, Whitney Houston and Whitney, both reached number one on the Billboard 200 in the United States and became two of the world's best-selling albums of all time. She became the only artist to have seven consecutive number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, from "Saving All My Love for You" in 1985 to "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" in 1988.
Houston made her screen acting debut in the romantic thriller film The Bodyguard. She recorded seven songs for the film's soundtrack, including "I Will Always Love You", which received the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and became the best-selling single by a woman in music history; the soundtrack album received the Grammy Award for Album of the Year and remains the world's best-selling soundtrack album of all time. Houston made other high-profile film appearances, including Waiting to Exhale and The Preacher's Wife; the theme song "Exhale" became her eleventh and final number-one single on the Hot 100 chart, while The Preacher Wife's soundtrack became the best-selling gospel album in history. Following the critical and commercial success of My Love Is Your Love, Houston signed a $100 million contract with Arista Records. However, her personal struggles began overshadowing her career, the album Just Whitney received mixed reviews, her drug use and tumultuous marriage to Bobby Brown were publicized in media.
After a six-year break from recording, Houston returned to the top of the Billboard 200 chart with her final studio album, I Look to You. On February 11, 2012, Houston was found dead in the Beverly Beverly Hills, California; the coroner's report showed that she had accidentally drowned in the bathtub, with heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors. News of her death coincided with the 2012 Grammy Awards which she was scheduled to perform and featured prominently in international media. Whitney Houston was born on August 9, 1963, in what was a middle-income neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey, she was the daughter of Army serviceman and entertainment executive John Russell Houston, Jr. and gospel singer Emily "Cissy" Houston. Her elder brother Michael is a singer, her elder half-brother is former basketball player Gary Garland, her parents were both African American. Through her mother, Houston was a first cousin of Dee Dee Warwick, her godmother was Darlene Love and her honorary aunt was Aretha Franklin, whom she met at age 8 or 9 when her mother took her to a recording studio.
Houston was raised a Baptist, but was exposed to the Pentecostal church. After the 1967 Newark riots, the family moved to a middle-class area in East Orange, New Jersey, when she was four, her parents' marriage ended in divorce. At the age of 11, Houston started performing as a soloist in the junior gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where she learned to play the piano, her first solo performance in the church was "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah". Houston attended a Catholic girls' high school in Caldwell, New Jersey. Houston graduated from Mount Saint Dominic in 1981. While Houston was still in school, her mother, continued to teach her how to sing. Houston spent some of her teenage years touring nightclubs where Cissy was performing, she would get on stage and perform with her. Houston was exposed to the music of Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Roberta Flack, most of whom would have an influence on her as a singer and performer. In 1977, at age 14, she became a backup singer on the Michael Zager Band's single "Life's a Party".
In 1978, at age 15, Houston sang background vocals for Lou Rawls. In the early 1980s, Houston started working as a fashion model after a photographer saw her at Carnegie Hall singing with her mother, she appeared in Seventeen and became one of the first women of color to grace the cover of the magazine. She was featured in layouts in the pages of Glamour, Young Miss, appeared in a Canada Dry soft drink TV commercial, her looks and girl-next-door charm made her one of the most sought after teen models of that time. While modeling, she continued her burgeoning recording career by working with producers Michael Beinhorn, Bill Laswell and Martin Bisi on an album they were spearheading called One Down, credited to the group Material. For that project, Houston contributed the ballad "Memories", a cover of a song by Hugh Hopper of Soft Machine. Robert Christgau of The Village Voice called her contribution "one of the most gorgeous ballads you've heard", she appeared as a lead vocalist on one track on a Paul Jabara album, entitled Paul Jabara and Friends, released by Columbia Records in 1983.
In 1983, Gerry Gri
Mary Vesta Williams was an American singer-songwriter, who performed across genres such as pop, adult contemporary and R&B. Credited as Vesta Williams, she was known as Vesta beginning in the 1990s, she was known for her four–octave vocal range. She once sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" for the Los Angeles Lakers game opener using all four of those octaves. Although Williams never had any albums certified gold nor any Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, she scored six Top 10 hits on the United States Billboard R&B chart from the mid–1980s to the early–1990s which included "Once Bitten, Twice Shy", "Sweet Sweet Love", "Special", her 1989 R&B hit and signature song, "Congratulations". Born in Coshocton, United States, Williams' father was a disc jockey, her family moved from Ohio to Los Angeles in the 1960s. While there and her three sisters, Margaret and Marlena, appeared on the television show Jack and Jill as "The Williams Sisters", she returned to Ohio but decided to go back to Los Angeles in order to launch a solo career.
Former Fifth Dimension member Ron Townson put Williams in his band Wild Honey. Following that stint, Williams found work as a backup singer, working with artists such as Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, Stephanie Mills, Anita Baker and Gordon Lightfoot. Williams sang on the original version of Joe Sample's "The Survivor", met producer David Crawford while working with his group Klique. After doing session work, she landed a recording contract with A&M Records and her debut album, was released in 1986; the album featured her first Top 10 R&B hit "Once Bitten, Twice Shy", which became her only UK hit and performed modestly on the US R&B charts. Her 1988 release, Vesta 4 U, produced the Top 10 R&B hits "Sweet Sweet Love", "4 U", "Congratulations", with the latter peaking at #55 on the Hot 100 chart and #5 on the R&B chart. "Congratulations" was Vesta's only single to enter the Hot 100 chart. The album was her most successful, her only album to appear on the US Billboard 200, peaking at #131. There were persistent rumors that the song was inspired by the dissolution of her long-time relationship with Bruce Willis and that Demi Moore was directly responsible for ending it.
In 1991, Williams released her third album entitled Special, with the title track as a single. "Special" became her highest charting song on the R&B chart at #2, but sales of the album were less than that of Vesta 4 U. Her next album, 1993's Everything-N-More, produced only a minor R&B hit, "Always". In 1989, Polygram Records purchased A&M Records. Williams' 1998 album Relationships was released under the Polygram name, it became a modest seller, appearing on the R&B charts. Following the release of Relationships, A&M/Polygram did not renew her contract. Williams continued to work as a session singer, landing spots on albums by such artists as Phil Perry, Howard Hewett, George Duke, her voice could be heard by radio listeners in jingles for advertisers that included McDonald's, Baskin-Robbins, Diet Coke and Exxon. That same year, she performed the opening theme to The Women of Brewster Place. Williams portrayed a saloon singer in the 1993 film Posse, directed by Mario Van Peebles. During this time period she had a hit with the SWV song, "Rain", recorded alongside smooth jazz musician Norman Brown.
Williams had a recurring role as "Monica", Jackée Harry's best friend, in the television series Sister, Sister in the 1998-99 season. Her singing voice is featured in the theme song of Eddie. In 2000, Polygram released a compilation album, featuring songs from Williams and former A&M artist CeCe Peniston. In 2007, Williams released an album of R&B songs on Shanachie Records entitled Distant Lover. Produced by Chris "Big Dog" Davis, Distant Lover was a cover album featuring songs recorded by Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and Deniece Williams, her last recording was the song "Dedicated," released on 7 December 2010 on Stimuli Music. By 2002, Williams had become a radio personality, was co-hosting a morning show on KRNB in Dallas/Fort Worth. In recent years, Williams had lost 100 pounds, going from size 26 to size 6, it was at this time that Williams became an advocate for the prevention of childhood obesity and juvenile diabetes. Her final performance occurred on September 17, 2011 in Portsmouth, Virginia at the Autumn Jazz Explosion, just five days before her death.
She was scheduled to perform at the 21st annual "DIVAS Simply Singing!" in Los Angeles on October 22, 2011. Shanice performed "Congratulations" during the show as a tribute to Williams. There was a tribute to the late singer Teena Marie. Williams was taping an episode of TV One's Unsung at the time of her death, it aired January 2, 2012. On September 22, 2011, Williams was found dead in a hotel room in El Segundo, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. According to the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office, she was found dead at 6:15 p.m. A spokesperson for the coroner's office stated. In late December 2011, the family released this statement through singer/producer Norwood Young, reporting her official cause of death: "Following three months of intensive coroner's autopsy and toxicology research, it has been definitively determined that the cause of death for our beloved Vesta was'natural death' from'hypertensive heart disease,'" adding: "An enlarged heart can remain undetected for many years."Vesta Williams was laid to rest at Forest Lawn Memorial Park on October 4, 2011 following a memorial service at West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles, California.
Attendees included Wanda Dee, singer Peggi Blu, Freda Payne, She
Steelpans is a musical instrument originating from Trinidad and Tobago. Steel pan musicians are called pannists; the modern pan is a chromatically pitched percussion instrument made from 55 gallon industrial drums that contained chemicals. Drum refers to the steel drum containers from. Steel pans are the only instruments made to play in the Pythagorean musical cycle of fourths and fifths; the pan is struck using a pair of straight sticks tipped with rubber. Some musicians use four pansticks; this skill and performance have been conclusively shown to have grown out of Trinidad and Tobago's early 20th-century Carnival percussion groups known as Tamboo bamboo. The pan is the national instrument of Tobago. French planters and their slaves immigrated to Trinidad during the French Revolution from Martinique, including a number of West Africans, French creoles from Saint Vincent, Saint Lucia and Dominica, establishing a local community before Trinidad and Tobago were taken from Spain by the British; the celebration of carnivale had arrived with the French.
Slaves, who could not take part in carnival, formed. Stick-fighting and African percussion music were banned in response to the Canboulay Riots, they were replaced by bamboo sticks beaten together. In 1937 they reappeared in Laventille, transformed as an orchestra of frying pans, dustbin lids, oil drums; these steelpans are now a major part of the Trinidadian music scene and are a popular section of the Canboulay music contests. In 1941, the United States Navy arrived on Trinidad; the pannists, who were associated with lawlessness and violence, helped to popularize steelpan music among the soldiers, which began its international popularization. Steel pan playing was a male activity until the late 1970s/early 1980s, it was not seen as an appropriate activity for women. At the time of the steel pan's popularity in Trinidad it was seen as being associated with a violent or derelict crowd, it was unacceptable for women to be involved in such activities. Culturally the stigma was focused on the idea that women belonged in the home or with the children and not out in the street with the pan players.
As the instrument became more mainstream women were allowed to join and the stigma that went along with playing the instrument subsided. The first instruments developed in the evolution of steelpan were Tamboo-Bamboos, tunable sticks made of bamboo wood; these were hit with other sticks in order to produce sound. Tamboo-Bamboo bands included percussion of a spoon. By the mid-1930s, bits of metal percussion were being used in the tamboo bamboo bands, the first being either the automobile brake hub "iron" or the biscuit drum "boom"; the former replaced the gin bottle-and-spoon, the latter the "bass" bamboo, pounded on the ground. By the late 1930s their occasional all-steel bands were seen at carnival, by 1940 it had become the preferred carnival accompaniment of young underprivileged men; the 55-gallon oil drum was used to make steelpans from around 1947. The Trinidad All Steel Percussion Orchestra, formed to attend the Festival of Britain in 1951, was the first steelband whose instruments were all made from oil drums.
Members of TASPO included Winston "Spree" Simon. Hugh Borde led the National Steel Band of Trinidad & Tobago at the Commonwealth Arts Festival in England, as well as the Esso Tripoli Steel Band, which played at the World's Fair in Montreal and toured with Liberace, they were featured on an album with him. Anthony Williams designed the "fourths and fifths" arrangement of notes, known as the cycle of fifths; this has become the standard form of note placement for lead pans. Other important developments include the tuning of harmonic overtones in individual notes and independently by Bertie Marshall and Alan Gervais; the Caribbean Research Institute CARIRI investigated possibilities to mass-produce raw forms with the use of pressing machines in the 1970s. Much of this project took place in Sweden in collaboration with the Saab Company. Although first results were promising, the project has been abandoned due to lack of finances and support by local pan tuners in Trinidad. Another method of shaping the pan was attempted: by spinning.
The pan was spun on a lathe-like device, a roller on the end of a bar was used to sink the pan. While this did create pre-sunk pans, a problem was that there would be scratches and grooves in the steel. Since the steel is stretched and thin, any scratch will expand and crack. Drums have lettering embossed into the bottom. If done these can sometimes be stretched without breaking, but cracks around lettering on some drums is common. To avoid this problem, makers position the inner notes to avoid most of the letters. Brazing over the holes and grinding, will fix the problems, without damaging the sound, but it has to be done nearly at the end of the sinking process and well before any final shaping. A Swiss steel pan manufacturer researched the field of fine-grain sheet steel and developed a deep-drawn raw form, additionally hardened by nitriding; this process, the new instruments they called pang, were presented at the International Conference of Steel pan and Science i