Word reached us yesterday that legendary jazz and R&B vocalist and musician Al Jarreau had died at the age of 76. The sad news emerged in time for Jarreau to receive a tribute at last night’s Grammy Awards, but given how much of his back catalog resides here at Rhino, we wanted to pay our respects as well.
Alwin Lopez Jarreau was born on March 12, 1940 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he sang in the choir of his father’s Seventh-day Adventist Church. While attending Ripon College, he was a member of a singing group called The Indigos, and upon relocating to San Francisco, he worked as a rehab counselor by day and a singer for George Duke’s jazz trio by night. It was in 1968 that Jarreau became a full-time jazzman, joining forces with acoustic guitarist Julio Martinez and heading to Los Angeles. After a number of television appearances on such high profile alk shows as The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, The Mike Douglas Show, The Merv Griffin Show, and the like, Jarreau secured a record deal with Warner Brothers, releasing his debut album, WE GOT BY, in 1975.
On this day in 1942, Peter Halsten Thorkelson entered the world, but you probably know him better by the name he used when he was bassist and keyboardist with The Monkees: Peter Tork. To celebrate Peter’s birthday, we’ve put together a list of nine Monkees songs which were either written or co-written by Tork. Give ‘em a listen, and from there you can check out the official Monkees playlist to reach total Tork-dom.
If you watched the Grammy Awards last night, then you saw Bruno Mars’ loving tribute to the late, great music legend known as Prince, but now it’s time to get back to listening to the man himself…and in case you hadn’t yet noticed, as of yesterday, you can once again listen to his Warner Bros. catalog via your favorite digital streaming services.
Kris Kristofferson is a man of many talents. He found himself within the pages of Sports Illustrated in 1958 for his athletic prowess at Pomona College, and his academics were strong enough to subsequently earn him a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford. After that, he spent time as a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army, and upon leaving the military he embarked on a career as a songwriter, which ultimately transitioned into a career as a singer-songwriter.
Since the sad, seemingly sudden, and all-too-soon death of David Bowie last year, Rhino has continued with the reissue campaign that had begun before his passing, giving fans an opportunity to enjoy their hero’s work with newly-remastered sound. What we’ve also been doing is releasing special limited 7” picture discs, and today brings the latest in the series: the 40th anniversary edition of SOUND AND VISION.
32 years ago today, Madonna’s sophomore album arrived at the top of the Billboard 200, giving her the first – but definitely not the last - #1 album of her career.
Although Madonna had found a fair amount of success with her self-titled debut album, she walked into the studio to record LIKE A VIRGIN with a couple of ringers in her court: producer Nile Rodgers helmed the record, and – even better – he brought his Chic compadres Bernard Edwards and Tony Thompson to play bass and drums, respectively. (If you’re wondering, no, they didn’t play on every track, but they’re definitely both in the mix on several tracks.) But the heart of the album was Madonna, of course. “When we did that album, it was the perfect union, and I knew it from the first day in the studio,” Rodgers said in Randy J. Taraborrelli’s book Madonna: An Intimate Biography. “The thing between us, man, it was sexual, it was passionate, it was creativity… It was pop.”
53 years ago today, the cast of Oliver! performed on The Ed Sullivan Show, giving a young up-and-comer named Davy Jones his first opportunity to shine on American TV.
Oh, right, and the Beatles played, too.