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If swing in its most characteristic form was a hot and hard-driving music, William ‘CountBasie showed that there was a cooler and softer side to the music, an alter ego that even at swift tempos could move with a relaxed, almost serene restraint that subliminally mirrored the streamlined design forms of the Machine Age, in which ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
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Vince Gill (b. 1957) broke out of a respected but static 10-year career as a bandmember and solo act and into country stardom with the 1990 hit ‘When I Call Your Name’. Gill was in the forefront of the neo-traditional country movement and became one of the biggest crossover singing stars in Nashville. It helped that he was an excellent country ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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Blue-eyed soul and country guitarist and singer-songwriter Bonnie Raitt was born in Burbank, California in 1949, the daughter of Broadway vocalist John Raitt and pianist-singer Marge Goddard. At the age of eight, she was given a Stella guitar as a Christmas present, which her parents insisted she play at family gatherings. Raitt became a devotee of blues ...

Source: Rock Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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In his short life, California guitarist-mandolinist Clarence White (1944–73) conceived innovations that would inspire country and rock guitarists from both a stylistic and technical perspective long after his death. He brought bluegrass picking to the forefront of rock, turning acoustic guitar into a solo instrument. He developed a device for electric guitar that let traditional guitarists sound like pedal-steel ...

Source: Rock Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
393 Words Read More

Blind Lemon Jefferson (c. 1893–1929) opened up the market for blues records in 1926 when ‘Got The Blues’, backed with ‘Long Lonesome Blues’, became the biggest-selling record by a black male artist. It brought him the trappings of success, including a car and chauffeur, and he released nearly 100 songs over the next four years, before his death. ...

Source: Rock Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
394 Words Read More

The term ‘counterpoint’ is derived from the Latin contra punctum (‘[note] against note’). It is generally understood to refer to a technique of composition in which continuous lines move (horizontally) against each other, as opposed to chordal writing, in which the sound can be thought of in vertical blocks. Strictly speaking, these two types of writing are called ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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It was in the rich cotton–producing Delta stretching from Mississippi to Tennessee that black labourers working the plantations gave ferment to an earthy style of music born out of African songs, chants, spirituals and gospel tunes that had been handed down for generations. They called it the blues. The man usually recognized as the first star of Delta country ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
1022 Words Read More

Country music has been euphemistically called ‘white man’s blues’ or ‘the poetry of the common man’. While both descriptions have elements of truth, neither is quite accurate. It is, in fact, a broad, nebulous, over-reaching category with no exact boundaries or parameters. Over the decades country music has grown to encompass a greatly varied assortment of ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
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The myths, legends and lore of the Wild West, for better or worse, have done much to shape the American character. They have given rise to the nation’s lingering infatuation with guns, outlaws, the rugged ethos of self-reliance, individualism and a world with simplistic definitions. These themes, usually portrayed in an earnest and nostalgic ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
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Western swing is an innovative, free-wheeling yet complex instrumental amalgam drawn from blues, jazz and Dixieland syncopations and harmonies. Central to the style is an emphasis on instrumental solos, often involving the transposition of jazz-style horn parts to fiddle, guitar and steel guitar. It is indicative of western swing’s sophistication that Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys, the ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
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Unlike practically any other strain of indigenous American music, bluegrass can be traced back to a particular time and a particular group of men: Kentucky-born mandolin player/bandleader Bill Monroe and a select handful of musicians he gathered in his band, The Bluegrass Boys. Monroe and the celebrated 1940s vintage line-up of The Bluegrass Boys first transformed traditional acoustic guitar-fiddle-bass-fiddle ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
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At least until the 1930s and 1940s the dominant themes in country music were a celebration of bedrock rural values like family, faith, fidelity and the redeeming powers of true love and honest labour. The music served as much as anything to offer listeners comfort, reassurance and a soothing sense of place and identity. But as America’s national ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
1029 Words Read More

The names of this array of landmark artists whose music either straddled or transcended specific genres, – Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Conway Twitty, Charley Pride and Buck Owens among others – have become synonymous with country music. During the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, country’s popularity penetrated ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
1000 Words Read More

By the late-1960s, the Nashville music industry had grown slick, complacent and predictable, even as the greater national culture, in the shadow of the Vietnam War, was entering an era of tumult and rebellion. Largely as a result of this, the outlaw movement arose. It began as a rudimentary grassroots uprising, instigated by a ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
1277 Words Read More

In terms of influences and origins, country and rock’n’roll draw so closely from the same antecedents that they are practically musical first cousins: branches from the same tree that share the same basic instrumentation of guitar, bass and drums. Two of country music’s greatest practitioners, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis, launched their careers in the mid-1950s ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
1213 Words Read More
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An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...

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Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

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