Wednesday, August 26, 2009

'It gets stronger, in every way..'

Songwriter Ellie Greenwich, whose credits include songs like 'River Deep Moutain High', 'Da Doo Ron Ron' and 'Leader Of The Pack' died yesterday aged 68.

She left a remarkable catalog of classic songs that are a snapshot of a specific time in musical history and which have aged well.

Her passing also reminded me of the debate about whether or not a teenage Billy Joel actually played that ominously atmospheric piano part on 'Leader of the Pack'.

In 2005 Joel told Rolling Stone:

"I played on a session with "Shadow" Morton for two songs: "Remember (Walkin' in the Sand)" and "Leader of the Pack." We did the recordings before the Shangri-Las sang on them. I'm pretty sure it was me. I saw an interview with Ellie Greenwich [the song's co-writer], and she said it wasn't me. I never got paid, though, so it doesn't make any difference."


Not content with the prospect of achieving immortality through giving driving directions, Bob Dylan is recording a christmas album. Apparently profits will be donated to Feeding America, and other charities overseas that provide meals at Christmas.

Good on ya, Bob.


Very nice little tale over at Share My Guitar about bluesman Luther Allison.


According to Wired, Rock Band is looking at crowdsourcing songs through a community network. This looks like it could be a really interesting development, combining open source gaming and collaborative composition.

And on the subject of Rock Band, I mentioned yesterday how my kids aren't exactly bowled over by the prospect of the Beatles edition. I pressed them a bit on our way to GameStop and they told me this product will likely be a big hit "with people [your] age, who've maybe not used it before and who want a bigger experience rather than just playing the game."

Thanks, I think.


For one youth club in Inverness, there was apparently a problem getting their clients to go home at the end of the evening.

Solved, thanks to the soundtrack of The Sound of Music, says the BBC.

"..This is a creative use of music - classical music, musicals and if things get really awkward I understand nursery rhymes will be deployed."

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