When Rock ‘n’ Roll was still in its musical crib, he was one of the pioneers that helped the genre spread from a passing fad to the most popular music in history. “Fats” Domino was one of the major factors in the transition. He was a force in his home town of New Orleans. Not an easy thing to do in a city where there were so many who made huge contributions.
His musical career started at a very early age. He was an accomplished piano player by age 10. At a time when the kind of music he played was lumped in with what was called “Race Music”, Domino recorded many gems with his unique style of “boogie” piano. In the 1949, long before Rock ‘n’ Roll even had a name, he recorded what many consider to be the genesis of a new beat.
After much confusion and speculation, it was sadly announced that indeed Tom Petty suffered a massive heart attack and died after being rushed from his Malibu home to the UCLA Santa Monica hospital. The confusion came after CBS had announced that Petty died and quoted the source as the LAPD. When asked, the LAPD said that they couldn’t confirm the death. No matter, Tom Petty is gone leaving behind legends of stunned fans.
Ironically, the 40th anniversary tour had recently ended on September 25 in Los Angeles. Tom himself saying that this would be the last tour. This is certainly not the way we expected it to end.
On September 20, 2017 a new and revamped Ten Years After came to absolutely shake up the Sellersville Theater. Before the night was done everyone in the building were on their feet or dancing in the aisles.
Prior to and after the show longtime friend (50 years now) Ric Lee and I caught up. It has been over three years (last time TYA performed here) since were able to eat dinner together and talk about things. He told me all about the new line up in the band and how happy he is with them. You could hear in the conversation and in his performance on stage that new life has been breathed into Ric and the group.
While there was a sign of trouble when Walter Becker didn’t make the Steely Dan tours in July, most expected him to return after he recovered from an undisclosed illness. Apparently that illness was the cause of his death
Details of the illness are as vague as Walter was quiet. In my first interview with Steely Dan at the time of their first sensational debut LP CAN’T BUY A THRILL, Donald Fagan did most of the talking. Before you think that Becker was just along for the ride, you have to check out how much his writing contributed to the success of the band.
I can only imagine how hard it will be for Donald to continue without his almost lifelong friend. As part of his moving tribute to his friend Fagan said, "I intend to keep the music we created together alive as long as I can with the Steely Dan band" Easier said than done since Becker was so much a part of the unit. The only real stables in the band were Donald and Walter. The rest of the band were a series of musicians that came and went.
A little bit of rain couldn’t dampen the spirited crowd that assembled for WMGK’s 2017 Big Gig. They came for a great night of music and Kategory 5, Joan Jett and Boston did not disappoint the jammed BB & T Pavilion.
I warned those who arrived late on the air that they would be missing a great opening act in Kategory 5. They were the WMGK house band for the past year and did us proud. Kat Pigliacamp and the rest of the group did another stellar performance as they readied the audience for the headliners. While the entire group plays very well, I was especially impressed by the bass guitar work of Kyle Frederick. OK- they are a cover band, but one gets the impression that if given a chance they would do some outstanding original material. Their performance of the classics were flawless. Here’s a link to their website so you can see their videos and judge for yourself: http://kategory5band.com/.
In a sold out dinner / ceremony that was held on November 17, 2017, longtime Philadelphia radio personality was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia’s Hall of Fame. He was cited for not only his contribution as a on air personality, but for his programming skills that stood out during his over fifty years of being associated with both radio and records.
T. Morgan would like to thank all those on the selection committee for selecting him for this very high honor. He would also like to thank all of his friends and family who were there to witness his induction. It made the night even more special to have all of you there.
If you would like to see the presentation, click on the link below. It will take you directly to the intro and acceptance speech. Please note that T. Morgan’s running up to the stage was edited out. This is a factor in understanding his reference to running while on stage.
Given the recent health issues, it was not a shock to hear that Gregg Allman died on Saturday May 27th. It was, however, very sad news. There had rumors of him being so ill that he had been admitted to a hospice. The family denied the rumor and only said that he died peacefully at his home in Savanah, Georgia.
It was as recent as the end of 2014 that it was announced that The Allman Brothers Band had officially disbanded forever. Many held out hope that they would make yet another comeback as they had before, but this time it was really the end.
The first impression one got when meeting Gregg Allman for the first time was just how quiet and laid back he was. In my encounter with him back stage at the WYSP be-in, he barely spoke above a whisper. Like so many performers who are basically shy his personality completely changed once he was on stage. What you saw and heard was a man that became completely transformed by his playing and singing the music with uncommon passion.
T. Morgan was once again the Grand Marshal for the Philadelphia Bar Association’s 38th Annual 5K Run/Walk held on May 21st, 2017. Thanks to the thousands of people who attended this year's event at Memorial Hall in Fairmount Park. Your participation helped many abused children find more stable lives.
Pictures from this year's event are now posted below!
For pictures of previous runs click here. http://www.tmorganonline.com/index.php/news-events
Thanks again to everyone who helped make this year's run a wonderful success!
When The Bob Dylan CD SHADOWS IN THE NIGHT was released in 2015 a review was posted on this website. It got a lot of attention and positive feedback from those who visited this site. Since then two more Bob Dylan cover albums of nothing but American standards have been released and readers are wondering why there hasn’t been a review of either of them.
The fact is that there wasn’t any plans to write a review until there was a demand to do one. It must be said upfront that this reviewer is a huge Bob Dylan fan. He is viewed as one as one of the all-time greats in any music history. Is there any award that hasn’t been bestowed on Dylan at this point? Some may feel that these strong feelings about an artist may cloud one’s judgement. This is not the case.
Has there ever been a band that created more excitement and joy on stage than The J. Geils Band? Now we have lost the name sake of the band. When the band was first created by J. Geils in 1967 they were determined to take blues and R & B to a new level. All the members grew up listening and loving the music that they ended up playing with a passion that brought those songs to a newer heights. These guys knew how to boogie.
It was a while before that Boston boogie sound was embraced by the rest of the world. They spread beyond being a regular act at the famous rock club in Boston known as the Boston Tea Party when a talent scout from Atlantic Records saw them play there and signed the group.
While there can be endless arguments about who was the starting point of Rock ‘n’ Roll music, there’s no doubt in the minds of music historians that Chuck Berry has more than earned the title of granddaddy of the genre. Regardless of who was first, no one has been more of an influence on those who followed him than Chuck Berry.
Everything is influenced by something that preceded it and this giant of rock music is no different. The early real rock ‘n’ Roll was mainly a blend of two truly unique American forms of music. One was the music that had its birth in the fields of the south as work songs that became the basis for Blues. The other an off shoot of folk and reels dance music that was brought over by the settlers from UK who arrived in the south and became Hillbilly or Country music. It is very hard to determine how the two forms were blended, but in the case of Chuck Berry, the mixing was very much part of a master plan.
James Cotton, who was given the nickname of “Superharp” because of his virtuosity on the harmonica, died of Pneumonia on March 16, 2017 in his adopted home of Austin, Texas. He was 81 years old. With his passing we have lost one of the last direct links to the golden age of Chicago Blues.
Mr. Cotton was also a link to music further back. When he was a child he learned how to make sounds on the harmonica that sounded like the sounds he heard around him. Sometimes he sounded like a train whistle or a chicken. Other times he tried to sound like the field hollers he learn from his parents and the other sharecroppers working the land on a plantation in Mississippi. His father was also a preacher, so he tried to copy the harmonies of the gospel singers.
Another sad note on the music front. Richie Ingui, who founded the Philadelphia group The Soul Survivors with his brother Charlie and Kenny Jeremiah, died on Friday, January 13, 2017. How ironic that he died on the unlucky day of Friday the 13th. He and his brother Charlie deserved better luck in the music business. They had much more talent than given credit for over the years.
The brothers started out as The Dedications and released a number of tracks between 1962 and 1964 before changing their name to the Soul Survivors. Legend has it that the name came from the fact that the group had a bad accident on the New Jersey Pike on their way to a gig. After seeing the damage, they were sitting around a table at dinner when someone commented “How did we survive?” The Soul part came from the fact that the young group was very much interested in Soul music. Soon after the name change they signed a deal with Crimson Records in 1965. That is where they first teamed up with the very young team of Gamble and Huff. Another legend from Philly, Joe Tarsia was the engineer. He went on to be the chief engineer and owner of the legendary Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia.