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Show #190: Christmas Teaser

Posted December 23, 2016 by | 0 Comments

This Sunday from noon to 4:00 p.m., I’ll be on air to host Christmas Becomes Eclectic for the seventh time. It’s always a treat to share the trove of holiday songs in my collection with listeners. Since Hanukkah also falls on the same day this year, I’m planning throw in some songs to celebrate that holiday, too. This week’s Rhythm Planet show …

Featured, Music History, music phenomena »

Thomas Edison’s Favorite Invention: The Phonograph

Posted December 21, 2016 by | 0 Comments

Just the other day, I heard one of the earliest popular recorded sambas, Donga’s “Pelo Telefone,” from 1916 and released on an Edison talking record, probably a wax cylinder. A few years later the “OKeh Laughing Record” (which featured a man and a woman laughing uncontrollably – an absurdist hit if there ever was one) was released on a 78 rpm disc. Thanks to Thomas Edison’s invention …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, music phenomena, RIP, world music »

Esma Redzepova, Queen of the Gypsies, 1943-2016 RIP

Posted December 19, 2016 by | 0 Comments

The great Romani singer Esma Redzepova passed away earlier this month at the age of 73. She began her career at the age of nine, and eventually sang in ten languages and recorded over 500 songs through her long career. The voice of the Romani (also spelled Romany), Redzepova was a powerful performer who captured the joys and sorrows of her people. As the …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Headline, Middle East, New Releases, Performances & Events, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #189: Showcase: Lebanese Oud Master Marcel Khalife

Posted December 16, 2016 by | 0 Comments

I first heard the music of Marcel Khalife, the Lebanese-born oud virtuoso, when a guest host on Morning Becomes Eclectic brought in a bunch of Arab LP’s, including a beguiling song for oud and voice. I had it on a cassette air check for years, but didn’t know what exactly it was until recently. The song was “Land of the South,” from an album called Al Mayadine: Of All the …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Middle East, Music History, Performances & Events, Recollections & Rediscoveries, RIP, world music »

Remembering Samir Hachem and His Gift of Arabic Music

Posted December 14, 2016 by | 0 Comments

During my “Morning Becomes Eclectic” days, I used to invite many guest hosts to come in and share their musical knowledge. Charlie Haden was the most frequent visitor, bringing in sweeping classical albums as well as old-timey mountain music that he grew up with in Missouri. Don Cohen, a busy attorney and passionate fadista–follower of Portugal’s great fado music–turned me onto Amalia Rodrigues, Carlos do …

Artist Spotlight, Featured, Jazz, Music History, music phenomena »

Sarah Vaughan: How Different Lyrics Were in the 50’s

Posted December 12, 2016 by | 1 Comment

I recently pulled out my copy of a classic 1950’s Emarcy recording of Sarah Vaughan‘s called Sassy. Most of the 12 songs portray true love as hopeless, women as doormats, and romance as fantasy and idealizing. Of course, this was before our more enlightened–and also cynical–age, pre-dating the feminist movement.
In the 1950’s, colleges offered majors in homemaking, and there were young women going to school for a …

African, Featured, Headline, Jazz, Latin, Music History, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #188: Cuban Classics–A Personal Selection Part 2

Posted December 9, 2016 by | 1 Comment

We feature another playlist of Cuban classics this week, but first please forgive me for not including some of your favorites. There’s no way I can do everybody justice!
Let’s start with the great bass player Israel “Cachao” Lopez, a guy who practically invented the mambo and who joined the Havana Philharmonic at just 16. Cachao plays a great little three minute classic …

Artist Spotlight, Audiophiles, Featured, Jazz, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries »

Miles Davis’s Landmark LP “Miles Ahead”: Enduring Fascination & Beauty

Posted December 7, 2016 by | 2 Comments

I recently pulled out my new-ish audiophile copy of Miles Davis‘s great 1957 LP with the Gil Evans orchestra, Miles Ahead. I’ve listened to this album a zillion times, yet I hear something new almost each and every time I put it on the turntable. I’ve worn out an older copy of the LP, and now enjoy a great mono recording.
I know the work well, and have …

African, Audiophiles, books, brazilian music, Classical, Featured, Holiday, world music »

Holiday Gift Ideas from Rhythm Planet

Posted December 5, 2016 by | 0 Comments

Unless you’ve somehow escaped the Christmas tunes piping ceaselessly from store speakers, you already know that the holiday shopping season is in full swing. To help you with your shopping list, here are a few gift ideas from all of us here at Rhythm Planet.
The Jazz Covers book from Taschen is now available in a new one-volume, attractively-priced version ($19.99). This hard cover book includes illustrations of many jazz …

Featured, Headline, Latin, Music History, Recollections & Rediscoveries, Rhythm Planet Music Show »

Show #187: Cuban Classics–A Personal Selection Part 1

Posted December 2, 2016 by | 0 Comments

With Fidel’s passing I wanted to play some Cuban music I really love. This is a personal selection, and if you’re wondering why there’s no Buena Vista Social Club, Cachao, or Gloria Estefan, we’ll have a sequel next week with more sizzling Cuban music.
We start with a Coca-Cola commercial from 1952. The beverage giant was a player on Cuban soil back …

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