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10 Fun Music Facts: Week of June 22


Here are ten fun music facts for the week of June 22:

After graduating from college, Jimmy Buffett worked as a reporter for Billboard in Nashville and broke the news of the separation of Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt. I guess that was right before he started looking for that lost shaker of salt.

“Take Five,” the most famous song by The Dave Brubeck Quartet and one of the most recognizable jazz pieces ever, actually was written by saxophonist Paul Desmond, not Brubeck.

Dave Brubeck
Dave Brubeck
Jimmy Buffett

Norah Jones is Ravi Shankar’s daughter. I can’t get over that one.

BB King was given his first guitar by his cousin Bukka White, a famous blues guitarist.

Joan Armatrading is in the midst of an 18 month semi-retirement tour. That’s longer than some people’s careers.

Three guitarists played with The Yardbirds: Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page. Not a little pressure on the next guy.

John Coltrane’s first professional gig was in a “cocktail lounge”—a bar—with a piano and guitar. It was in 1945.

Mahalia Jackson grew up in a three-room house in New Orleans that was home to 13 people.

When he was six years old, string instrumentalist Ricky Scaggs performed on stage with the legendary Bill Monroe. The audience at a concert demanded that Scaggs be brought up.

The evolution of the name of The Wailers: The Teenagers, the Wailing Rudeboys, The Wailing Wailers and, finally, The Wailers. The original members of The Teenagers were Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Junior Braithwaite, Beverley Kelso, and Cherry Smith.

Here are last week’s Fun Facts.

Wikipedia was used to write this post. Harmonica player image: Helkathon

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Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.