Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Creator: Yola

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Creator is Yola Carter or Yola:

Yola is a British singer-songwriter. She was born in Bristol. And her new album is called “Walk Through Fire”. It was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. It’s not her first album but if there is any justice, this one is the one that will send her star into the heavens. She has a major voice. So listen. Enjoy. And here’s another from her 2016 EP Release “Orphan Offering”:

“Home”

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Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Song: To Be Young Gifted and Black

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Song is Nina Simone and her song, “Young, Gifted and Black:

The playwright Lorraine Hansberry inspired Nina Simone to write and perform this song. Lorraine Hansberry was an African American playwright. Her most famous work is “Raisin in the Sun”. After her death in 1965, the autobiographical play, “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” ran off Broadway for the 1968 – 1969 season. Nina Simone’s song was meant to inspire black children everywhere.

Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Song: When Will We Be Paid

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. To honor Black History Month, this week’s Spotlight Song is The Staples Singers singing  “When Will We Be Paid”:

In the voices and in the sound of the Staples Singers, there’s gospel, blues, pop and jazz. Their music isn’t loud but it sure can hit hard when you stop and listen.

In their voices, there’s the voice of Dr. King. In their voices, there’s the voice of Medgar Evers. In their voices, there’s the voice of Malcolm X. In their voices, there’s the voice of Billie Holiday. In their voices, there’s the voice of Louis Armstrong. In their voices, there’s the voice of Duke Ellington. In their voices, there’s the voices of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. And in their voices, there’s the voices of Langston Hughes and Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison and Toni Morrison.

Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Creator: Gabriela Montero

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Creator is the pianist and composer Gabriela Montero:

Gabriela Montero knows how to boogie. And she knows how to boogie all sorts of music.

Gabriela Montero is a classical trained pianist from Venezuela. But she doesn’t just perform classical pieces the way they are normally performed. Often she improvises those pieces the way a jazz musician improvises and perhaps the way some of the composers improvised. Often she asks for suggestions from the audience or the musicians in the orchestra.

Here she is performing Chopin’s Nocturne in C minor Op. 48, Nº 1:

And here’s a documentary of her piece: “Ex patria”:

Uncle Bardie’s Spotlight Song: Backstage

Once a week on Friday, Uncle Bardie celebrates the creativity in others by shining a Spotlight on a movie, a song or a creator. This week’s Spotlight Song is Gene Pitney’s “Backstage”:

There haven’t been too many songs about the touring life musicians endure. I’ve featured two on my Spotlight express: Bob Seger’s “Turn the page” and Gene Clark’s “Backstage Pass.” Both outstanding songs. One of the first was Gene Pitney’s “Backstage.”

Gene Pitney began his career as a songwriter for other musician. He wrote Ricky Nelson’s “Hello Mary Lou,” Bobby Vee’s “Rubber Ball” and “He’s a Rebel”by the Crystals. In the early sixties, he took up performing. His tenor voice could give a song a powerful rendition which was lacking in many of his contemporaries.

From 1961 to 1965, he turned out hit after hit, perfect songs for the radio format of that time: “Town Without Pity,” “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” “Mecca,” “Twenty-four Hours from Tulsa” and “I’m gonna be strong.” It’s hard to listen to any of these songs and not pull over your car and listen.