Friday, 26 July 2013

Mavis Staples Career Highlights.

Mavis was born in the city of Chicago on the 10th July 1939.

Mavis Staples and the Staple Singers started their recording careers at the locally-based black-owned legendary record label, Vee-Jay records, during the mid-1950s, as a Gospel recording act for the label. During that period they scored a major hit entitled “Uncloudy Day,” which is now a gospel classic.         
Mavis Staples has become the first African American female solo gospel artist from America to reach the number-one position on the Official UK Christian & Gospel Albums Chart on week-ending 6th July 2013 (1 week), with her newly-released “One True Vine” album on Anti-Records.
The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 under the gospel category. The group had two more songs that were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, starting with “I’ll Take You There”, in 1999 under the R&B and Soul category, which was originally released on Stax Records in 1972. This was followed by “Respect Yourself”, also originally released on Stax Records in 1971 and inducted in 2002 under the R&B and Soul category. They were also inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame under the Performer category in 1999, presented by Lauryn Hill.

In 2010 her record company Anti- Records released an album called “You Are Not Alone” which was produced by Jeff Tweedy and won a Grammy Award in the Best Americana Album vocal or Instrumental category at the 53rd Grammy Awards Ceremony. This was Mavis’s first Grammy Award as a solo artist.

Time Magazine described the album as "gorgeous", Spin Magazine described the album as "inspiring", with Rolling Stone listing Staples as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

Mavis Staples has become the first African American female solo gospel artist from America to reach the number-one position on the Official UK Christian & Gospel Albums Chart on week-ending 6th July 2013 (1 week), with her newly-released “One True Vine” album on Anti-Records. The album was recorded in her home town of Chicago.

Written, researched and compiled by
Music Historian Kevin Tomlin
©RCM Music/Signaturesoundsonline 2013

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Guitarist Extraordinaire Who Impacted Rock Music Globally (Part 2)

                                                                     Jimi Hendrix
                                   Guitarist Extraordinaire.

One of the most important events in the Hendrix legacy was the transfer of royalty rights to the late Al Hendrix (Jimi’s father) and family which occurred in January 1997. This was made possible by the financial assistance of Paul Allen, a long-time fan of Hendrix and co-founder of Microsoft. He also underwrote the development of the Jimi Hendrix Museum to be located in Seattle. Immediately after the family acquired the intellectual property and several masters of Jimi’s work, they collaborated with Jimi’s former manager and original engineer, Eddie Kramer, who became the mastermind behind several classic recordings reissued on the Experience/MCA Records label. Out of this creative liaison between Eddie, Al and Janie Hendrix, a company was established to promote and administer the legacy of Jimi Hendrix in line with his original musical vision. The Experience Hendrix Company, created by Al and Janie Hendrix, Jimi’s half sister, has received income of over $44 million from recordings and associated merchandising in America alone.


With the expanding influence of Jimi Hendrix’s legacy, Touchstone Pictures, a division of the Disney Company, featured one of Hendrix’s classic anthems “Fire” on the movie soundtrack of “Reign Of Fire”, released in June 2002. Also in the same year a Vin Diesel film XXX featured “Purple Haze”, another classic from the 1960s. Nascar USA released Hendrix’s classic “Crosstown Traffic” through MCA Records/Nascar/FoxSports on a compilation entitled “Crank It Up” in 2002. The Gibson Guitar company has recently launched in January 2006 the “Jimi Hendrix Psychedelic Flying V” limited edition in collaboration with the Experience Hendrix Company.


According to Forbes magazine, which has compiled a top ten list of posthumous artists who are best sellers in the USA, since the new century began Hendrix’s earnings have been averaging approximately 10 million dollars each year.


According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Jimi Hendrix produced over 41 gold and platinum records which translates into over 22 million album copies sold to date. With lucrative licensing agreements and extremely large royalty payments accruing to his estate, Jimi Hendrix remains one of America’s greatest cultural earners, contributing significantly to the $40 billion generated annually by the American recording industry which accounts for fully one third of the world market.


He was a great fusion guitarist and a fashion trend-setter in the London entertainment community, as the first black man to be seen with long hair and wearing the latest fashion designs, as though they were made just for him.  Hendrix’s unique genius enriched popular music and culture across the world.

Researched and compiled by
Mr K Tomlin Music Historian

 ©RCM Music/Signaturesoundsonline 2013

Guitarist Extraordinaire Who Impacted Rock Music Globally (Part 1)


Jimi Hendrix
   Guitarist Extraordinaire.

One of the greatest guitarists the world has ever seen was a touring musician for Little Richard’s band and the Isley Brothers before actually becoming well-known as a solo artist in his own right. Jimi Hendrix bridged the cultural gap between various musical genres (blues, soul, jazz and progressive rock), raising the benchmark to the next level in the process and setting the British music industry on fire.

Hendrix brought with him his own peculiar genius, which he developed through playing American black music on the US soul circuit. He shared this love with British rock icons such as Pete Townshend, The Beatles and Eric Clapton.

Born in Seattle, Washington (the birthplace of the Boeing Aircraft Corporation), on the 27th November 1942 to parents Al Hendrix and Lucille Jeter and given the name James Marshall Hendrix, Jimi was a self-taught musician who wrote most of the brilliant tracks that marked him out as someone special. He perfected an extraordinary left-handed technique which transformed guitar playing into an art form which has never been repeated by any other recording artist since. Hendrix also used the wah-wah pedal with great mastery and was able to create in live performances (for example at the Woodstock festival) simulated sound effects such as machineguns, bombs and screams using just his guitar and without the assistant of his band members on stage.

Jimi Hendrix’s corporate impact started in the late 1960s with the lifting of trade restrictions on the import of Fender Stratocasters into the UK. Jimi helped to make this particular guitar the biggest-selling electric guitar in history. Before Hendrix’s arrival, all the top rock and blues guitarists in the UKwere using Gibsons and Rickenbackers. They soon switched to the Stratocaster. Hendrix’s legendary white Strat which he played at Woodstockwas auctioned at Sotheby’s in Londonin 1990 for £174,000 and later resold in 1993 for £750,000. The guitar is now on permanent exhibit at the “Experience Music Project” in Seattle, where a whole room is devoted to Jimi.

                    Researched and compiled by
                              Mr K Tomlin Music Historian

                        RCM Music/Signaturesoundsonline 2013

About Me

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Old Harlow, Essex, United Kingdom
Kevin Tomlin has over 34 years of teaching experience in Jamaica, England and America, including 15 years teaching music history of black origin and visual art in South Florida, U.S.A., through Arts in Education. Tomlin created special training programmes and workshops for music teachers in South Florida schools, using music history as the foundation, to build exciting programmes of study and support materials for education professionals. Since 2000, he’s taught music history, geography, religious education, history, visual arts and performing arts at schools in Hertfordshire and Essex, at both primary and secondary levels. He conducts research and provides consultancy services for multi-media organisations, schools, recording artists, cultural and faith-based groups and entertainment professionals.

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