Saturday, October 07, 2006

Arts

Weathered but Scrappy, Jerry Lee Lewis Rocks On
On a Tuesday afternoon in Sept 2006 Jerry Lee Lewis sat down at a red baby grand piano at F.Y.E. Records in Rockefeller Center and proceeded to rock and roll. His left hand pumped boogie-woogie chords, his right splashed and jabbed, and his voice easily leaped up to the high notes of “Great Balls of Fire.” Said Jerry Lee: "I didnt know it was going to stir up such a stink." His new record is good, especially for a record using the 'duet' format. Some of the performances are called in, but the country stuff is great; Jerry Lee runs roughshod over all. It is up there with Live at the Star Club, the Palomino Club Recordings and that thing he did with Andy Paley.

Tony Bennett takes phone call from Hank Williams
Bennett in performance in NYC, 2006. Now and then there were vestiges of the throbbing lyricism of the crooner of 40 years ago. “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and “For Once in My Life,” both sung quietly until their stentorian finales, were suffused with a husky, bittersweet nostalgia. An arrangement of Hank Williams’s “Cold, Cold Heart” for guitar and voice swung it delicately. After his version became a hit in 1951, Mr. Bennett recalled, he received a phone call from Williams in Nashville, accusing him of ruining the song. Jake saw Hank Williams III at Paradise in Boston last night.

St.Louis Henry
ST. LOUIS, Sept. 28, 2006 (AP) — Henry Townsend, who ran away to St. Louis when he was 9 and stayed for a long career as a blues guitarist, died. He was 96. Mr. Townsend lived in the same brick bungalow in St. Louis he had shared for 40 years with his wife, Vernell, who performed with him before her death, but he died while in Grafton, Wis., where he was being honored as the last surviving artist who recorded for the old Paramount label, said John May, chairman of the St. Louis Blues Society.

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