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the pioneer of Dylan Studies; writer, public speaker, critic; became a Doctor of Letters in 2015 (awarded by the University of York, UK)

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Sunday, May 01, 2011

MORE BUSY BEING BORN & DYING


Last Saturday (April 23rd), Roy Orbison would have been 75 - he was born in Vernon TX that day in 1936; the same day 60 years later saw the death in New York City of Len Kunstadt, last husband and manager of pre-war blues star Victoria Spivey, for whose small Brooklyn record label Bob moonlighted in March 1962, the month his own first album was released. Kunstadt took the terrific photograph on the back cover of the New Morning album. He died aged 70.

A week ago, April 24th, would have been the 75th birthday of cult legend Paul Buff, the boyhood friend of Frank Zappa who, with Frank, co-owned the weird and invaluable record-making machine on which early Zappa demo tracks were concocted.

April 25th marked the 50th anniversary of the death in San Bernadino CA of Cisco Houston, aged 42. (Dylan not only namechecks him in 'Song To Woody' but writes about him vividly in Chronicles Volume One.

This last Friday, April 29th, would have been the 80th birthday of Lonnie Donegan, who for most British people, was the first conduit of Leadbelly's 'Rock Island Line', when he had a hit with it in the UK as singer with the Chris Barber Jazz Band in the mid-1950s.

Today Charley Patton would have been 120. He was born at Heron's Place MS on May 1st, 1891.



4 Comments:

Anonymous waldo said...

The cicadas in Georgia are busy being born and dying as their sweet melody is pulsing unrelentingly; their having made the periodic 13 year pilgrammage from the darkness underground to the spring sun before mating and dying in harmony with the natural order.
For whom do they sing?

7:14 pm  
Blogger Michael Gray said...

Likewise here with insects in the grass; their early evensong is getting louder by the day. But Waldo, ask not for whom the cicadas sing - they sing for thee.

7:32 pm  
Anonymous Waldo said...

Your Donnian statement gives me a chill.

10:10 pm  
Blogger Erik Robinson said...

Thanks for the information! I always wondered who took that 'New Morning' photo...it really is quite lovely!

10:50 pm  

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