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New book claims Hendrix murdered by manager

How's this for some deep sh*t on Monday morning? According the Britain's The Independent: The rock legend Jimi Hendrix was murdered by his manager, who stood to collect millions of dollars on the star's life insurance policy, a former roadie has claimed in a new book. James "Tappy" Wright says that Hendrix's manager, Michael Jeffrey, […]

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SXSW09 Roundup: Quincy Jones keynote–3/19/09

I've been telling folks: I hear the word "keynote"–especially when attached to an icon like Quincy Jones–and I expect 20-30 minutes max from them.  But, Quincy, being the dean that he is, held forth for TWO AND A HALF HOURS!  I'm not going to try to recap the whole thing, but I will share my […]

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NYT on Death: "This Band Was Punk Before Punk Was Punk"

The Hackney brothers: David, Bobby and Dannis A very good and extensive article on Detroit punk rockers Death by Mike Rubin in today's Times.  Here's an excerpt: The group’s music has been almost completely unheard since the band stopped performing more than three decades ago. But after all the years of silence, Death’s moment has […]

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Duke Ellington gets his own quarter

First African American to appear by himself on a circulating U.S. coin. From The United States Mint launched a new coin Tuesday featuring jazz legend Duke Ellington, making him the first African-American to appear by himself on a circulating U.S. coin.  The District of Columbia coin honoring Duke Ellington was introduced Tuesday in Washington. […]

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A Black rock timeline (feedback appreciated)

Here's a timeline that I've been working on.  On top, it includes what I consider to be key moments in Black rock.  On the bottom portion, I'm trying to juxtapose events happening in the larger culture. I could've gone all the way back to Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, but I thought it […]

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Soho Calling: Rock Hall Annex now open

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ANNEX opened on November 24 on Mercer Street.  From the press release: The highly anticipated ANNEX will take visitors beyond the typical museum experience in a dynamic and immersive journey that recalls some of the most defining moments in rock and roll history. When the ANNEX opens on […]

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This is just the beginning

And the euphoria of those who helped make it real, Brooklyn-style. . .

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NPR (and I) look at the legacy of Bo Diddley

I had the pleasure of being asked to be on NPR’s News and Notes with Farai Chideya today to talk about Bo Diddley’s impact on music.  Funny what you can (and can’t) get in inside of just over 8 minutes. One of the things that I really love about being involved in Black rock is […]

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Official Black Rock Coalition statement regarding Bo Diddley

BRC Director of Operations Darrell McNeill sent me this statement in the wake of the passing of rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Bo Diddley: The Black Rock Coalition bestows its utmost respect to Ellas Otha Bates McDaniel, known world over as “Bo Diddley.” Not only was he one of the early pioneers of this still-largely misunderstood […]

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Two sides to cultural appropriation

Nona makes a great point here: As much as Black culture is co-opted, there’s an equal amount of abandonment that happens because we don’t value what we’ve created.

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