Posts tagged "music"
One of my favorite iconic shots of all time: Minnie Riperton on the cover of her 1974 album, Perfect Angel. Photo: Barry Feinstein.

One of my favorite iconic shots of all time: Minnie Riperton on the cover of her 1974 album, Perfect Angel. Photo: Barry Feinstein.

"But for a lot of music fans, Marvin was the man. There’s plenty of audio covering his career, from Motown in 1963 (first hit: “Hitch Hike”) to just before he was killed, by his own father, in 1984. Video? That’s another matter. Back then, there was little television exposure for pop artists. The occasional spot on a variety show or Bandstand; later, a Shindig or a Hullaballoo. Gaye dutifully lip-syncs his hits on those and other shows. But he was not a happy to be there. As he told me in 1972, for Rolling Stone: “I got a thing; a psychological hangup about performing live. I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy performing.” Journalist Ben Fong-Torres, pictured here with Marvin Gaye in 1972.

Elisabeth Welch (1904-2003) the American singer who introduced the “Charleston” on Broadway before becoming a superstar in England, photographed by Carl Van Vechten on January 19, 1933. She was the first singer to popularize the classic Cole Porter tune, “Love for Sale” and it would become a signature song in her career. She also introduced “Stormy Weather” to British audiences and would be so beloved there, she remained for the rest of her life. Photo: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Happy 64th Birthday to ya Stevie Wonder!!! He was born Steveland Hardaway Judkins (his last name was later changed to Morris) in Saginaw, Michigan. What is your favorite Stevie song is (Is it possible to have just one?!) Photo: Michael Ochs Archives.

Happy 64th Birthday to ya Stevie Wonder!!! He was born Steveland Hardaway Judkins (his last name was later changed to Morris) in Saginaw, Michigan. What is your favorite Stevie song is (Is it possible to have just one?!) Photo: Michael Ochs Archives.

The Divine One herself, Sarah Vaughan was born 90 years ago today in Newark, New Jersey. In this 1960 photo (Getty) she is on tour in London.

The Divine One herself, Sarah Vaughan was born 90 years ago today in Newark, New Jersey. In this 1960 photo (Getty) she is on tour in London.

Joyce Bryant is one of the reasons I couldn’t wait to get Vintage Black Glamour in book form. This photograph was taken by Carl Van Vechten on May 28, 1953 at the height of her career. Even with her undeniable soprano (with a 4 octave range) the focus was on her sexy image. Once dubbed the “black Marilyn Monroe,” constant mentions in Walter Winchell’s gossip column made her a star and she was widely considered the first dark-skinned Black woman to be considered a sex symbol inside and outside of the black community. Joyce earned nearly $1 million at her peak, but her upbringing in a very strict Seventh Day Adventist home left her feeling guilty about sex and her sexy image. According to Dorothy Dandridge’s biographer Donald Bogle, Dorothy pulled Joyce aside after a date in still-segregated Miami Beach and asked for advice on negotiating her nightclub fees (“What do you do? How do you get ask?) She was also very impressed with her stage presence (“How do you walk up on that stage and stay as calm as you are? It seems so easy for you.”) After a series of trying events, Joyce Bryant left show business at the top of her career and returned home and to the church. She worked with the church for 20 years, singing, ministering to the poor, enduring sexism and lies from people who were less than forgiving about her past. Finally, disappointed with the people in her church, she left and eventually made her way back to the stage. After doing opera in Europe, South America and the New York Opera Company, she had a successful cabaret run in the late 1970s and 1980s. As far as I can tell, Ms. Bryant is still with us (see the link in the comments). If you would like to pre-order my book, go to this link - and thank you! http://vintageblackglamourbook.com/

Joyce Bryant is one of the reasons I couldn’t wait to get Vintage Black Glamour in book form. This photograph was taken by Carl Van Vechten on May 28, 1953 at the height of her career. Even with her undeniable soprano (with a 4 octave range) the focus was on her sexy image. Once dubbed the “black Marilyn Monroe,” constant mentions in Walter Winchell’s gossip column made her a star and she was widely considered the first dark-skinned Black woman to be considered a sex symbol inside and outside of the black community. Joyce earned nearly $1 million at her peak, but her upbringing in a very strict Seventh Day Adventist home left her feeling guilty about sex and her sexy image. According to Dorothy Dandridge’s biographer Donald Bogle, Dorothy pulled Joyce aside after a date in still-segregated Miami Beach and asked for advice on negotiating her nightclub fees (“What do you do? How do you get ask?) She was also very impressed with her stage presence (“How do you walk up on that stage and stay as calm as you are? It seems so easy for you.”) After a series of trying events, Joyce Bryant left show business at the top of her career and returned home and to the church. She worked with the church for 20 years, singing, ministering to the poor, enduring sexism and lies from people who were less than forgiving about her past. Finally, disappointed with the people in her church, she left and eventually made her way back to the stage. After doing opera in Europe, South America and the New York Opera Company, she had a successful cabaret run in the late 1970s and 1980s. As far as I can tell, Ms. Bryant is still with us (see the link in the comments). If you would like to pre-order my book, go to this link - and thank you! http://vintageblackglamourbook.com/

Duke Ellington and President Harry Truman comparing musical notes at the White House on September 29, 1950. During another visit to Truman’s White House, the president, “wanting to converse as one piano player to another,” dismissed his guards and, as Mr. Ellington described it, he and the president acted like “a couple of cats in a billiard parlor.” Photo: Bettman/Corbis. PRE-ORDER for my new coffee table book Vintage Black Glamour is now available! http://vintageblackglamourbook.com/

Duke Ellington and President Harry Truman comparing musical notes at the White House on September 29, 1950. During another visit to Truman’s White House, the president, “wanting to converse as one piano player to another,” dismissed his guards and, as Mr. Ellington described it, he and the president acted like “a couple of cats in a billiard parlor.” Photo: Bettman/Corbis. PRE-ORDER for my new coffee table book Vintage Black Glamour is now available! http://vintageblackglamourbook.com/