Ustad Bade Fateh Ali Khan at the Asian School of Music

Ustad Bade Fateh Ali Khan was once a regular at the Manchester based Asian School of Music. The Asian school of Music, as known by some, is the sister school of the London synthesiser school which comes under the umbrella of Chase Music, known for their world class, top of the line digital pianos. Now specialising in top range electric pianos and digital keyboards, it has been a while since the establishment was graced by Bade Fateh Ali Khan, but in his heyday he performed concerts of a world class standard in the recital hall of the Asian School of Music.

Continue reading “Ustad Bade Fateh Ali Khan at the Asian School of Music”

Farewell to the Last Dam Busters Pilot

This week is a sad week for Britain as the last Dam Busters pilot has died, just a day after the untimely death of Liverpudilan pop legend, Cilla Black.

The New Zealand born pilot was based at RAF Scampton while he was part of the 617 Dam Busters squadron that the famous 1955 The Dam Busters film by Michael Anderson was based on. Continue reading “Farewell to the Last Dam Busters Pilot”

Frankie Lymon – Kawai Do Fools Fall In Love

It was the summer of 1956 that Frankie Lymon And The Teenagers hit the UK charts. Their track ‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love’ sat on the musical cusp between rock ‘n’ roll and R & B yet the bands message was loud and clear as the soaring descant vocals of frontman Frankie Lymon rang out and doo wop became the word on everyone’s lips. The Frankie Lymon sound was a unique one; pitted against a harmonic wave of doo wop backing singers, snorting sax and a weighty digital piano progression that kept momentum alongside the back beat. But Frankie Lymon took his own bite of the big apple and the rest is history.Frankie Lymon – Kawai Do Fools Fall In Love Continue reading “Frankie Lymon – Kawai Do Fools Fall In Love”

Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off

Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off’ is the title of a song written by George and Ira Gershwin in the decadent 30’s. Originally written for the film ‘Shall We Dance’ of ’37; its popularity has soared as an independent track of amusement and jollity that pokes fun at class distinction. The song was beautifully tailored to the dandy couple the day of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers who shared both duet and the roller-skating rink with their bedazzling execution of song and shimmy. Several decades have seen equally bewitching vocal covers from the likes of legends Ella Fitzgerald, Sam Cooke, Mel Torme and instrumental arrangements recognisable for their same accented banter of the verse material.Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off! Continue reading “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off”

The Goodees – Leaders Of The Track

The Goodees are an American pop trio from the 60’s that seem to have had their musical wings clipped. Though repertoire was plentiful it would seem that ‘Condition Red’ was their only big hit with its signatory star-struck teenage storyline, close vocal harmonies and standard digital piano framework. Even this trademark track seemed distinctly similar to ‘Leader of the Pack’ sung by fellow pop band The Shangri-Las and it would seem that this musical town was big enough. Though The Goodees may have been nudged out at the time, their recent revival has uncovered a treasure trove of past material as well as several unreleased hits that reflect boy/girl melodramas of a bygone decade. ‘Sophisicated Boom Boom’ may not be as cultured as the first word of its title but it does have some musical thrust that would give The Chiffons and The Ronettes a run for their feminine honey. The latest ‘George at Asda’ promo seems to think so as The Goodees move in as their back drop sound complete with a crafty take on new home furnishings. As the UK’s answer to IKea steps up to the home range plate so it takes a onetime flat track with it.  What goes round… The Goodees – Leaders Of The Track Continue reading “The Goodees – Leaders Of The Track”

The Art Of Lionel Bart

Lionel Bart was first and foremost a talented painter – though today he is know more for his famous musicals than murals.  Despite his recognised talent, Lionel Bart exchanged the paintbrush for the digital piano at a young age and though Bart never learnt to read or write notation he became a musical forerunner in the world of British rock and pop music.

There are many signatory landmarks that have Lionel Bart stamped all over them. His contribution to a particular pop song of 1959 was one such success with Cliff Richard at the helm:The Art Of Lionel Bart Continue reading “The Art Of Lionel Bart”

Betty Hutton – A Quiet Word?

Betty Hutton really started something when she recorded her 45 rpm swing thing in the 50’s ‘’It’s Oh, So Quiet’’. She didn’t realise what a resounding success her song would be, as subsequent awards and nominations have been scattered upon this upbeat vinyl cut ever since. Even Betty Hutton, to whom we accredit such a blousy display of sound, sang a cover version of its 1948 German original with her raucous, orchestral blast preceded by a disingenuous digital piano lullaby in ¾. Since then Bjork has enjoyed equal applause for her version of a version in 1995, topped by ‘’It’s Oh So Quite’’ soundtrack to an even more weeny audience with its teen pop rendition in the animation film ‘The Ice Princess’ of 2005.

Betty Hutton really has started something as the 50’s favourite continues to circle the globe and be recognised with loud applause for its unsuspecting triumph that began eight decades ago!  Betty Hutton – A Quiet Word? Continue reading “Betty Hutton – A Quiet Word?”

Gerry and the Pacemakers – Makers of Peace

Gerry and the Pacemakers will be lauded again today as their char-topping single of the 60’s is played as part of the proceedings of the Hillsborough anniversary. It is twenty five years since 96 fans died at Anfield’s football stadium and today they will be officially remembered as ‘’You’ll Never Walk Alone’’ continues play out as Liverpool’s anthem and undying message to lost loved ones. The peace-making lyrics of the song are sung by Gerry Marsden who fronted Gerry and the Pacemakers all those years ago and with an unobtrusive digital piano accompaniment, soft back beat and Gerry Marsden’s empathetic vocals – this song of the Pacemakers is a peacemaker in itself.  With over 90 cover versions recorded world-wide with the most recent by a man in a transit van in 2013 – 96 souls will never walk alone.Gerry and the Pacemakers – Makers of Peace Continue reading “Gerry and the Pacemakers – Makers of Peace”

Blue Is The Colour

Blue is a word we associate first and foremost with colour. Blue however has many other connotations from the sensible to the censored. On screen Blue is a the name given to films that span Japan to Bollywood and in the world of music Blue heads an array of songs and albums from as diverse genres as Joni Mitchell to Linkin Park. Blue is the precious guitar owned by Billie Joe Armstrong, member of the punk rock band Green Day and the name of a full scale piano concerto by British composer Matthew King. But this colour pales into insignificance without mention of the R&B band 2000 Blue. This foursome boy band have made success bigger and brighter than most despite a lull in their early years and are presently performing at their peak. Avid fans think they’ve ‘dyed and gone to heaven’ with Blue as their favourite colour.

Billy Joe Armstrongs Blue Guitar

Continue reading “Blue Is The Colour”

Harmony Everly After

The Everly Brothers were a legendary music duo of the late 50’s. Their mark was made through a country-based style that produced ballad type songs of romance and perpetual love. The Everly Brothers played side-by-side accompanying their repertoire on steel-stung guitar and teaching the proverbial world to sing in perfect harmony. Today as Phil Everly passed away we reflect on the legacy he left behind and how the duo’s contribution shaped the course of modern rock music as it is today.The everly brothers Continue reading “Harmony Everly After”