Category Archives: Events

Momentary Salvation: Mahalia Jackson at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival

July 6, 1958 was sweltering. During the dog days of summer, you can feel the air hanging from the tree limbs, dripping like fresh clover honey. Anything that touches the night air is carried with a weight of exhausted anticipation. On this night, the sounds of crickets blended with crackles of laughter, and outdoor music… Continue Reading

Oh, That East Coast Sound; The Piedmont Blues

Every American knows the blues. We’ve all heard it drifting up from the sticky Mississippi delta, salty and reeking of bathtub gin; anyone who knows a rock song unwittingly knows the blues lick that preceded it. Modern media have done much to propel the delta blues into our musical lexicon, but what about the blues… Continue Reading

The Palomino Club:”Country Music’s Most Important West Coast Club”

For most, the building located at 6907 Lankershim Boulevard means nothing. Situated in North Hollywood, it’s home to a banquet hall, specializing in Persian and Armenian delicacies. To anyone familiar with the history of country music, it means much more, whether they know it or not. From 1952-1995, 6907 Lankershim was home to, as the… Continue Reading

“Drinks Are On Pearl”: The Death of Janis Joplin

October 4th, 1970 dawned similar to October 3rd. People woke up, got the kids off to school, dressed and went to work. It was a seemingly ordinary day for most, save one. On the morning of October 4th, Janis Joplin lay face down in her LA motel room, dead of a heroin overdose. This was… Continue Reading

The Most Popular Soldier in America: Elvis’ Army Induction

[youtube=] Once upon a time, military service was not volunteer-based. Uncle Sam wasn’t picky when it came to gathering enlisted men; they had to have a pulse and be able to walk. There’s more to a draft process than this, but this made it almost impossible for a man to dodge the bullet, even if… Continue Reading

Wattstax and The Celebration of a Movement

Some of the worst riots in American history occurred over the weekend of August 11-15, 1965. L.A.’s Watts neighborhood had reached a breaking point of racial tension and in one long blur of looting, beatings and commercial fires, the African-American community had finally taken a stand against the brutality of the LAPD. The event was… Continue Reading

“It’s Got A Good Beat…”

The post-war years of the 1950s saw the rise of the American teen as the economical barometer of the times. The younger generation was going out and getting after school jobs to finance growing record collections and burgeoning social lives. At the same time, Rock n’ Roll burst forth as the voice of teen angst… Continue Reading

The Rise and Fall of Chess Records

The visions of men have ability to take form, under the worst circumstances. The visions of men can drive them mad, make them hated, and lose them everything. Following dreams can sometimes produce fruit, while other times produce just one more opportunity to piss in the wind. Sometimes, they can make two polish immigrants push… Continue Reading

The Price of Free Love…Altamont, 1969

On December 6, 1969, the death knell hovering over the free-loving 60s rang out, cutting the cold night air like a rusted switch blade. In a beer-soaked, drug laced proscenium 30 minutes outside of San Francisco, the last cries of peace and love were blotted out by the thumping of pool cues on flesh, pitting… Continue Reading

The Comeback To End All Comebacks: Elvis’ ’68 Special

When an entertainer’s career is on the downturn, there’s usually no turning back. Fads come and go, styles change, and fans are fickle. A small percentage of young dreamers are given the opportunity to step out on the stage to show what they’re made of, and a fraction of those elite rarely hang around longer… Continue Reading