KCUR Story on the Who’s Concert at Shawnee Mission South

Nothing dies on the internet: Sam Zeff of KCUR found my story from 2010 on the Who’s concert at Shawnee Mission South in November 1967, and he interviewed me for a story.

It aired this morning, and it turned out great. Sam interviewed a couple of people who were at the concert, which really added to the story.

You can listen to the story here. And if you’re interested, read the original story here.

 

Advertisements

Today in KC’s Music History: “Some Kind of Monster” Released

Some_kind_of_minster_(film)One of the more fascinating tales in KC music history happened when the Metallica movie Some Kind of Monster was released on Jan. 24, 2004.

The film documents the band recording St. Anger, during which James Hetfield went into rehab. The band’s management hired Phil Towle, then a Kansas City-based “performance enhancing coach,” to work with the band and keep the whole thing from imploding.

Phil Towle was a KC-based "performance enhancement coach" when he was hired to work with Metallica.

Phil Towle was a KC-based “performance enhancement coach” when he was hired to work with Metallica.

Towle has a fair amount of screen time. It’s hard to say whether his efforts contributed to the band working through a rough patch. I think that there would have been plenty of incentive for the band to work things out, which they eventually did. It could be that Towle’s services, at $40,000 a month, played a part.

I really like this film for its portrayal of the band struggling to maintain itself during a difficult period in its history.

Towle has kept a low media profile since the film’s release. His Linkedin profile lists him as still living in the Bay Area (he moved from KC to work with Metallica). He is a principal consultant with Deviate LLC, a “performance improvement consultancy” based in Annapolis, MD.

Obituary: Herb Reed, Last Original Member of the Platters

Herb Reed (far left), the last surviving original member of the Platters, died Monday. He was born in Kansas City and lived here until he was 13.

Herb Reed, the last surviving member of the vocal group the Platters, died Monday.

Reed was born in Kansas City in 1928 and lived here until he was about 13. After his parents died, he eventually landed in Los Angeles and started singing in church gospel choirs.

According to his obituary in the New York Times, Reed came up with the Platters’ name, based on the slang for vinyl records. He was the group’s bass singer, performing on all 400 of the group’s recordings.

The Platters’ hits include Only You, The Great Pretender and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

Hat Tip: Plastic Sax

Today in KC’s Music History: “If You Wanna Get to Heaven” Makes Top 30

Bookmark and Share

The Ozark Mountain Daredevils

The Ozark Mountain Daredevils’ first single, If You Wanna Get to Heaven, cracked the Top 30 the week of June 8, 1974.

The Daredevils were based in Springfield, Mo., but their management company, Good Karma, was located in Kansas City. Their best-known song, Jackie Blue, reached No. 3 the following year.

The National Recording Registry, KC Edition: Part 3

Bookmark and Share

To mark the release of this year’s additions to the National Recording Registry, we’re going to feature registry recordings with ties to Kansas City.

The National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress honors and preserves recordings of significant cultural, musical and historical value. The registry contains 17 recordings that has ties to Kansas City.

Part 1 contains recordings added in 2002-2004.

Part 2 contains recordings added in 2005-2007.

Mary Lou Williams

2008
Night Life, Mary Lou Williams. Kansas City’s jazz scene featured two exceptional female pianists: Julia Lee and Mary Lou Williams. At the time of this recording in 1930, Williams was the pianist, composer and arranger for Andy Kirk and His Clouds of Joy, the top band in KC and the midwest. This astonishing recording is further notable by the fact that she was only 20 years old.

Continue reading

The National Recording Registry, KC Edition: Part 2

Bookmark and Share

To mark the release of this year’s additions to the National Recording Registry, we’re going to feature registry recordings with ties to Kansas City.

The National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress honors and preserves recordings of significant cultural, musical and historical value. The registry contains 17 recordings that has ties to Kansas City.

Part 1 contains recordings added in 2002-2004.

2005
One O’Clock Jump, Count Basie and His Orchestra. Basie’s signature recording was released in 1937 and features some of the best musicians ever to have come from Kansas City, including Lester Young on tenor sax and Buck Clayton on trumpet.

Record producer Dave Dexter Jr., who grew up in Kansas City.

Continue reading

The National Recording Registry: KC Edition, Part 1

Bookmark and Share

To mark the release of this year’s additions to the National Recording Registry, we’re going to feature registry recordings with ties to Kansas City.

The National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress honors and preserves recordings of significant cultural, musical and historical value. The registry contains 17 recordings that has ties to Kansas City.

Continue reading

Historic KC Recordings: “What’d I Say” and “Respect”

Bookmark and Share

To mark the release of this year’s additions to the National Recording Registry, we’re going to feature registry recordings with ties to Kansas City.

Producer Jerry Wexler attended what is now Kansas State University and regularly drove to Kansas City to hear jazz.

Producer Jerry Wexler is the Kansas City connection to these historic recordings. Wexler is the legendary producer at Atlantic Records who worked with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, the Allman Brothers and Led Zeppelin.

Continue reading

Historic KC Recordings: “One O’Clock Jump” and “In the Mood”

Bookmark and Share

To mark the release of this year’s additions to the National Recording Registry, we’re going to feature registry recordings with ties to Kansas City.

Count Basie

One O’Clock Jump
Added to the registry in 2005, One O’Clock Jump by Count Basie and His Orchestra is perhaps the best example of Kansas City-style jazz. It’s a riff-based song that features a “head” arrangement that the musicians learned by ear, rather than one that’s written down.

Although developed and recorded in New York, One O’Clock Jump is pure Kansas City and features some of best players to ever come from here, including Lester Young on tenor sax, Buck Clayton on trumpet and Walter Page on the double-bass.

Continue reading

Stan Kenton Recording Added to National Registry

Although this is news is not directly tied to the Kansas City area, it’s worth noting that a recording by Stan Kenton, the Wichita-born bandleader, has been added to the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress.

The library announced today that Artistry in Rhythm by Stan Kenton and His Orchestra was one of 25 historic recordings to preserved for its cultural, artistic and historic merit.

According to the library, Kenton composed Artistry in Rhythm in 1941. Because of a musician’s union-imposed recording ban stemming from a dispute over royalties, it was not recorded until 1943.

This live performance was recorded in London in 1971.