LONG LIVE LITTLE RICHARD — Saturday’s passing of Little Richard was staggering. A genuine architect of rock and roll without question. Sure, he was a complicated personality; as evidenced by many of the tribute’s pouring in, but his influence in defining rock ‘n roll was astounding.
He was on The Monkees 1968 NBC special (along with Fats Domino!) and, says Micky Dolenz: “Without a doubt … a true original. And, a huge influence on my singing style. When he was on the The Monkee’s TV special, 33 1/3 Revolutions per Monkee (1969), he, once again, blew me away. It was amazing to watch him work up-close-and-personal. One of the last greats!”
Music-biographer Mark Bego said: “Little Richard was a true original in the rock & roll realm. I first saw him performing live in the 1970’s, and I could instantly see the talent and excitement that had made him a star. When I met him in the 1990’s I had an unforgettable conversation with him, and I was impressed by his natural warmth and his sense of humor. He was someone who truly was bigger than life, and he was one of a kind. We will miss you Little Richard!”
Writer David Stewart said “Richard’s influence was staggering.” From John Fogarty to Elton John, Paul McCartney and Prince, Little Richard was it. A huge loss for sure.
Here’s Richard with WOR’s Tom and Lisa Cuddy’ and, thank you to Stuart Hersh for the other Little Richard photo from a show at the late-great BB King’s. A true innovator of the highest order. RIP.
DR. JECKYLL & MR HYDE — I first met Andre Harell as part of the rap-group Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde, when they released “Genius Rap,” on Cory Robbins’ Profile Records. High school friend Alonzo Miller was his partner.
He was a firecracker. Intelligent, well-spoken , urbane, sophisticated … and, I knew immediately that this fellow was one to watch. Uptown Records followed (after a stint at Russell Simmon’s Def Jam Mgmt.) where he formally introduce Sean Combs to the world (after hiring him as an intern) and the two would eventually turn the rap-world upside down; he worked on Comb’s Revolt network.
He also worked with Mary J. Blige, Jodeci, Al B. Sure!, Guy and many more.
Harrell passed this weekend and to the music industry world, another terrible loss.
He was one of those rare personalities who made it all work. Truly gifted and magical. RIP.
SHORT TAKES — Bob Dylan’s is releasing his first new album in eight years of new material, Rough And Rowdy Ways -a ten song, double album. Can’t wait for this one … Did you catch NBC’s Blindspot … back for their final season? I loved this show when it first came on, but something happened between seasons three and four. Quality control? Most certainly. Mark Pellington was back as director, he directed their terrific pilot, and it was a great story-line; with yet another awesome scene set in Times Square-packed with people. One of the main characters died, so there’s an added edge to everything. This was huge show during its first season and sadly, it’s kind of gone the way of the network’s Heroes. Sad … very sad … Robert Miller, of Project Grand Slam, was interviewed Friday on WSBS, about his new song “Stockbridge Fanfare.” Excellent interview by Jesse Stewart … This week’s Blacklist on NBC, features the last quarter of the show, as an animated feature. When the pandemic broke, they had only finished half the show, resulting in the most creative choice I’ve yet seen. I’ve seen some of it, and it’s like a graphic novel come alive. Inspired … Radio’s legendary Barry Farber passed last week. In his day, his brand of talk-radio was superb. RIP … Happy Bday to PR-pasha Randy Alexander, radio-kingpin Ken Dashow and photographer RK Capak … And, congrats to photographer Jeff Smith on a gerat story via NY1 by Stephanie Simon. Much deserved. Check it out:https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2020/05/08/music-photographer-takes-pictures-of-the-city-while-waiting-for-live-music-to-return
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Darren Paltrowitz; Mike Greenblatt; Roy Trakin; Peter Abraham; Buddy Blanch; Donna Quinter; Jodi Ritzen; Peter Shendell; Rick Eberle; Vinny Rich; Adam Pollock; Marcel Albers; Venice; Randy Lewis; Gary Graff; and, CHIP!