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(Vocal group, 1971–present) Renowned for their eclectic blend of styles, incorporating rhythm and blues, country, rock’n’roll and jazz rock, Little Feat was founded by two ex-members of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, guitarist and singer Lowell George and bassist Roy Estrada. They were joined by Richard Hayward (drums) and Bill Payne (keyboards, vocals). After ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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(Piano, vocals, 1906–85) Eurreal Wilford Montgomery was born in Louisiana and taught himself piano, dropping out of school to work functions and juke joints. He first recorded for Paramount in 1930 (‘Vicksburg Blues’/‘No Special Rider’) and then for Bluebird and ARC in 1935–36. Often featured with traditional jazz bands in addition to his primary work as a soloist ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
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(Vocals, 1935–84) Esther Mae Washington was born in Galveston, Texas. She moved to the Los Angeles area at the age of five and in 1949 was discovered by Johnny Otis. Her first recording with Otis, ‘Double Crossing Blues’, was a number-one R&B hit in 1950. In that year the pair had two more number ones on the R&B ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
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(Harmonica, vocals, 1930–68) Marion Walter Jacobs was born in Marksville, Louisiana. He taught himself harmonica at the age of eight and was working the New Orleans streets by the time he was 12. He worked in Helena, Arkansas (where he met Rice Miller) and St. Louis before arriving in Chicago in 1946. He was encouraged by guitarists ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
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(Harmonica, vocals, 1932–71) Herman Parker Jr. was born in Bobo, Mississippi and worked with Howlin’ Wolf as early as 1949 in West Memphis. Parker was associated with B.B. King, Bobby Bland and Johnny Ace in the Memphis scene of the early 1950s. He recorded for Sun with his own group, the Blue Flames, in ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
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(Guitar, vocals, 1934–2005) Born to sharecroppers in Inverness, Mississippi, the country music Milton Campbell heard in radio broadcasts from the Grand Ole Opry shaped his soulful sound as much as gospel and blues. After regional success, he signed to the Chess Records subsidiary Checker in 1961 and cut the classics ‘If Walls Could Talk’, ‘Feel So ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
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(Vocals, b. 1920) West Virginia-born James Cecil Dickens was a long-time fixture on the Grand Ole Opry and is best known for the novelty hits he released in the late 1940s and early 1950s, including ‘Sleepin’ At The Foot Of The Bed’, ‘I’m Little But I’m Loud’ and ‘Take An Old Cold Tater And Wait’. Dickens was inducted into ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music, consultant editor Bob Allen
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(Vocals, guitar, 1932–98) A cult hero, especially in Europe, Charlie enjoyed no commercial success whatsoever but was revered for his authentic rockabilly sound. Born near Holly Springs, Mississippi, he first recorded for Sun in 1954, but cut his finest rockabilly for King and Meteor. His unusual vocal technique – complete with hiccups and stutters ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music, consultant editor Bob Allen
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First performed in Brno on 6 November 1924, this opera, based on a story by Rudolf Tešnohlídek, centres around a little vixen known as ‘Sharp-ears’. Janáček’s music is colourful, evocative, playful, full of Moravian folk references and often very moving, combining ballet, mime, vocalization without text, orchestral interludes, a chorus ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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(Vocals, 1937–68) Arkansas-born William Edgar John, who moved to Detroit as a child, was signed to King Records from 1955. A string of US R&B Top 20 hits followed, several of which crossed over to the US pop chart. He is said to have influenced many major soul singers of the 1960s, and his best-known hits ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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(Piano, vocals, b. 1932) Georgia-born Richard Penniman, who combines frantic vocals with uninhibited pianistics, was one of 12 children. Raised in a religious family, he started recording for RCA in 1951 after winning a talent contest. Chart success followed his signing with Specialty Records, where Bumps Blackwell produced a series of classic rock’n’roll tracks between ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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(Vocals, 1943–2003) One of pop’s fairy tales. Eva Boyd was baby-sitting for Gerry Goffin and Carole King when they asked her to demo a new dance-craze song, ‘The Loco-Motion’. It was a 1962 worldwide No. 1, later covered by Kylie Minogue. Follow-up ‘Keep Your Hands Off My Baby’ also charted. The Crystals’ Goffin-King single ‘He Hit Me (And ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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(Vocal group, 1978–83, 1987–present) The Belfast outfit, comprising Jake Burns (guitar, vocals), Henry Clunie (guitar), Ali McMordie (bass) and Brian Falloon (drums) converted to punk on seeing The Clash in 1977. With lyrics by journalist Gordon Oglivie, Fingers’ early material, particularly the debut album Inflammable Material (1979), expressed anger at the troubles in Northern Ireland. ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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‘Make Luv’, 2003 Masterminded by Belgium-based producer Vito Lucente (a.k.a. Junior Jack), Room 5 was a Daft Punk-styled funk-dance creation. Based around Oliver Cheetham’s 1980s hit, ‘Get Down Saturday Night’, ‘Make Luv’ became a UK No. 1 in 2003, though the Room 5 concept was dropped the following year, after Lucente/Room 5 released a full-length album ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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(Singer-songwriter, b. 1947) Possessing the voice of an angel, Harris is one of the most adventurous country artists of the past four decades. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, she released a folk album in 1969; but it was her duets with Gram Parsons in the early 1970s that set her on the road. Fine solo sets with Parsons’ ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers his life, music, art and movies, with a sweep of incredible photographs.