Going to Temple

An India Travelogue, Part 12 by Lawrence Bush Click for Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.   INDIA’S MANY BEAUTIFUL PALACES, forts, and temples start to merge into one another after a few weeks of travel here, but this morning, in Udaipur, the “City of Lakes” (seven of them, man-made over the past four centuries), we had an exceptional […]

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While My Sitar Gently Screeches

An India Travelogue, Part 9 by Lawrence Bush Click for Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.   I BROUGHT a guitar on this trip to India, a $250 instrument with a resonator plate, which plays loud, has good action, and sounds excellent for the blues — but it’s a cheap instrument, so if anything happens to it, I will not be grief-stricken. Still, I’m […]

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Bill Graham and Fillmore East

Promoter Bill Graham (born Wulf Wolodia Grajonca) opened the Fillmore East in New York’s East Village on this date in 1968, with a concert that featured Big Brother and the Holding Company (with Janis Joplin). Graham was born in Berlin in 1931. At age 8, not long after Kristallnacht, he was placed in an orphanage by his Russian immigrant […]

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Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks

On this date in 1975, Bob Dylan’s raw and painful Blood on the Tracks, released six weeks earlier, became the number-one album on the chart compiled by Billboard magazine. It would remain at the top spot until March 15. Ranked number 16 on Rolling Stone magazine’s “definitive list of the 500 greatest albums of all time,” Blood on the Tracks featured […]

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Isaac Rice’s Gambits

Isaac Rice, a music teacher, innovator in the game of chess, and businessman who developed the U.S. Navy’s first modern submarines and helped found the company today known as General Dynamics, was born in Bavaria on this date in 1850. He emigrated to the U.S. at age 6, studied music in Paris, returned to America as […]

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Three Electric Guitarists

Three late, great electric guitarists were born on this date: John Geils in 1946, Walter Becker in 1950, and Randy California in 1951. Geils was the leader and only non-Jewish member of the J. Geils Band, which early on was dubbed “The Jewish Rolling Stones,” due to its sound and high-energy live shows. The band members often […]

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“The Russians Are Coming” and Other Poems

by Sparrow From our 2018 art calendar, dedicated to the theme of music   THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING The Russians are coming; the Russians are coming. They stole our election, and they are drumming. The Russians are drumming; the Russians are drumming. The president hears them, and he is humming. The president’s humming; the president’s humming. […]

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“The Sound” of Jazz

Jazz tenor saxophonist Stan Getz (Stanley Gayetsky), whose warm, smooth tones would earn him the nickname “The Sound,” was born in Philadelphia on this date in 1927. His parents, Ukrainian Jewish immigrants, bought him a sax (and a clarinet) when he was 13, and he began to practice obsessively. He attended Julliard briefly before going professional […]

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“Licorice Stick”

by Sherman Pearl LICORICE STICK When I came to accept that music was not my forte, that I was not Benny Goodman or Artie Shaw or player of a joyous klezmer clarinet, I stashed mine in the attic, maybe, with other relics I planned to revisit, or in the closet where passions go to die. But […]

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