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On August 17th, in 1959, Jabriel Nassir Allah’s & my own favorite Miles Davis album was released-Kind of Blue. We both agree that it’s one of those albums you can put on and just let it go, turn it over, and let the other side go. It has Jimmy Cobb on drums, Bill Evans & Wynton Kelly on keys, Paul Chambers on bass, with Coltrane & Adderley on sax.
That lineup alone makes it one of the best joints he recorded. Miles lays back a lot on solos, and his phrasing is something similar to an Emcee over a mid-tempo track, less is more. This album also planted his flag as an ‘official artist’ that transcended all genres and age groups. Kind of Blue is liked by many and even the most hard-edged music lover has a copy in their collection. Miles put it down, and many critics regard it as Jazz’s greatest album. Other say it’s music’s most influential album. Either way, it’s banging. S.O. Miles Davis, an All-Original.
Jimi Hendrix, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Richie Havens, & Sly & the Family Stone. Nuff respect goes out to Max Yasgur. He’s the owner of the farm that allowed the concert to happen.
Woodstock was intended to be a $12 per ticket concert, but delays in fencing and ticket booths caused it to evolve into a free concert. Upwards of 500,000 attended the three-day event-there’s even a ‘rural’ myth that a child was born at the show. However, on the last day, a lot of people left, about 150,000 remained and enjoyed some of the best sets of the concert.
On August 17th, in 1971, The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin was signing at King Curtis’ funeral. The irony in this was that she had performed with him five months prior in San Francisco, California at the Fillmore West. Curtis was murdered on a street corner on August 13th, 1971 in New York, New York.
Stevie Wonder & Cissy Houston (mother of Whitney Houston) also attended the funeral, where they sang and prayed with the Queen of Soul. Sidebar: I recently returned from a trip to the Shoals and visited Fame Studios where Aretha made her groundbreaking recording for the Atlantic imprint: Respect. That’s all I have for her and her music. R.I.P. Aretha Franklin.
On August, 17th, in 1991, the one and only original grunge band-Nirvana, had their video shoot for their hit single: Smells Like Teen Spirit.
The camera caught this seminal style and theme at GMT Studios in Culver City, California, with an audience comprised entirely of real Nirvana fans. It cost less than $50, 000 to make the video, which wasn't much at the time (1991).
MTV Europe played the video more than any other video network, inducting it into the Guinness Book of World Records. It also won Best Alternative Group & Best ‘New’ Artist awards at the MTV Video Music Awards. S.O. Kurt Cobain, another one lost at 27.
S.O. to Dee Jay TRON for getting me the suggested cutz...to quote him: "all three solid...the one called Radio et. al. was a fuck you to their record company when they asked them to make something that would 'sell units'. It's raw af...The Entire 'In Utero' LP was pretty much a fuck you to their record company...they were funny..."
Honorable Mention: On August 17th, in 1887, one of the Prophets held in the highest regard for the Rastafarian Culture-Marcus Garvey was born in Saint Ann’s Bay, Jamaica. He died in 1940 in West Kensington, London, UK. Big Up Garvey I Seen!
On August 17th, in 1973, Paul Williams, from the Temptations was having problems with the IRS for back taxes, and his health was deteriorating rapidly. He was found in his car a few blocks from the Motown offices in Detroit, shot to death (suicide).
On August 17th, in 1990 George Benson, B.B. King, Miles Davis and other notables performed at the JVC Jazz Festival in Newport, RI. The Festival was an intricate component in keeping substance-based music alive.
On August 17th, in 1993 another greedy, conniving individual tried to get his 13 year-old son to say that Michael Jackson-The King of Pop, was molesting him. The police investigated, not much came of it.
On August 17th in 1996, Bobby Brown wrecked Whitney’s Porsche in Hollywood, Florida. He crashed into a street sign and sustained minor neck and leg injuries. Bobby’s was wildin' back then...the true rebel of the New Edition crew, and no stranger to incidents with cars.
On August 17th, in 2004, Mr. Bernard Odum-the Bass player for James Brown, died in Mobile, Alabama (72) from kidney failure. He was with James in the 60’s during the birth of the funk. He can be heard on Papa's Got a Brand New Bag.
On August 17th, in 1979, it was reported in the New York Post that Keith Richards’ spouse, Anita Pallenburg, was accused of participating in witchcraft, ‘pot smoking sex orgies’, ‘ritualistic stakes’, and the sacrifice of animals.