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Run-DMC: “King of Rock” and “Christmas in Hollis”

It’s funny that one of the great early hip hop videos features David Letterman stooge Larry “Bud” Mellman.

Here is Wikipedia on Run-DMC:

Run–D.M.C. was one of the most well-known hip hop acts in the 1980s who, along with LL Cool J, signified the advent of the new school of hip hop music. They were the first group in the genre to have a gold album (Run–D.M.C., 1984) and be nominated for a Grammy Award.[1] They were the first to earn a platinum record (King of Rock, 1985), the first to earn a multi-platinum certification (Raising Hell, 1986) the first to have videos on MTV, the first to appear on American Bandstand and the cover of Rolling Stone.[2] The group was among the first to highlight the importance of the MC and DJ relationship.[3][4] In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked them number 48 in their list of the greatest musical artists of all time.[4]

DJ Jam Master Jay — Jason Mizell — was murdered in 2002. The case, according to a New York Daily News story posted this week, still is unsolved. The survivors — Joseph Simmons (“Run”) and Darryl McDaniels (“D.M.C.”) — are reuniting for the FunFunFun Fest in Austin Nov. 4-6.

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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.

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

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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.