“Session Men” is a fascinating peek into an unseen world of musical magic, a documentary about players whose names you didn’t know while they were working behind the scenes to create songs that have been the American soundtrack over the last 50 years.
Linda Ronstadt’s singing voice has been silenced in recent years by Parkinson’s Disease, but listening to her on a long-lost concert recording was a very pleasurable flashback — with quite a back story, too.
Dick Dale, the king of surf guitar, has died at 81. Here he is performing his 1962 song “Misirlou,” which Quentin Tarantino used to great effect in the opening of “Pulp Fiction” in 1994.
One of the greatest drummers of all time died this weekend at age 90. Even if you don’t recognize his name, you certainly know some of the 35,000 songs he played on.
I haven’t yet seen the four-hour documentary HBO will air tonight and tomorrow about 2 men who say Michael Jackson abused them when they were boys, but I’ll bet it burns up social media — and causes radio stations to consider dropping his music altogether.
I’m embarrassed to admit I’d never heard of Hazel Scott — who Alicia Keys paid tribute to at the Grammys with her two-piano routine — but I dug up this clip of her in the 1943 Mae West movie, “The Heat’s On.”
Seeing Diana Ross implore the audience to sing “Reach Out and Touch” at the Grammys reminded me of a joke by comedian Carol Leifer.
Last fall, I was intrigued when I heard about an all-star concert to celebrate Joni Mitchell’s 75th birthday. Like many in my generation, I grew up on Joni’s music, but since I couldn’t be there, I hoped the show would be recorded on film. Fortunately, it was. Unfortunately, it’s not as good an experience as I’d hoped.