Posts tagged new york city
“ About two years ago, I was pregnant for the first time. And I heard the heartbeat, which was the most beautiful music I ever heard in my life. I picked out names. I envisioned what my child would look like…I was feeling very maternal. I flew back to New York to get my check up—and no heartbeat. Literally the week before I went to the doctor, everything was fine, but there was no heartbeat. [And then] I went into the studio and wrote the saddest song I’ve ever written in my life…”
We worked the Copacabana in New York, and at that time they didn’t allow coloured people to come into the club. In fact, we didn’t have any dressing rooms: I had to dress at home, do my show, then get out of there between shows, go round the corner, and have a few drinks. And what I like about that is: the Copacabana went through the Frank Sinatras and the Nat Coles; then business got bad, and they had the rock’n’rollers, who tore the place up; but, as they’re just going out, they always end up getting some jazz people. So, just recently, I returned to the Copacabana. It was a thrill, because it was us at the last thing that they had to relate to, to keep the club going. Soon after that, they went boom-boom and I was glad. I’m sorry it lasted that long! You wonder why those things went on like they did. I don’t know what music has to do with colour, but it does. I can even remember when they had Race records; we had a hit, and then you had a hit—it was a separate thing. Yeah, it’s a dumb world we live in, I think.
more, from 1972.
art: Vaughan and Bob Shad, 1950
Luther Dixon…was responsible for dozens of pop classics in the 1950s and 60s and helped shape the classic “girl group” sound with the Shirelles. His songs were performed by artists including Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Dusty Springfield, BB King and the Jackson 5…n 1959 Dixon was hired as a producer and arranger by Florence Greenberg, who was intent on establishing Scepter among the many small labels specialising in black pop music. His status on the New York scene meant he was able to obtain part-ownership of Scepter and complete freedom to sign and produce artists. Greenberg paired him initially with a quartet of teenage girls called the Shirelles who attended high school with her daughter.
more on Luther Dixon from his 2009 obituary.
art: Dixon (left), Greenburg, and Marvin Schlacter, with Chuck Jackson
Whitney Houston Clive Davis at an event to celebrate Whitney’s debut album ‘Whitney Houston’ receiving a multi-platinum sales award in 1985 in New York City.
Born and raised in Columbus, Georgia, [Willie] Denson migrated to New York City in 1957. While pursuing a career as a songwriter and poet, he worked the night shift at the U.S. Post Office, a job he held for three decades and retained even when his musical aspirations became a reality. In 1959 he teamed with composer Luther Dixon to write ‘Mama Said’, inspired by the memory of Denson’s own mother, Lillie.
more, from a remembrance.