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(Guitar, 1925–68) Wes Montgomery was a premier jazz guitarist; his unique guitar sound came from plucking octave figures with his thumb instead of a pick. Born into a musical family, Wes taught himself to play the guitar and toured with Lionel Hampton in the late 1940s. He performed with his brothers, bassist Monk and vibist Buddy, before ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel
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Wes Montgomery (1925–68) emerged in the Fifties and gained a wide following in the cool jazz movement before turning to pop-jazz in the Sixties. With his unique use of lead lines played in octaves with his left hand and strummed by his right-hand thumb, Montgomery mixed jazz harmonies with R&B rhythms to gain a pop following and exert broad influence ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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A pioneering hard-rock guitarist with a tone as big as his waistline, Leslie West (b. 1945) is one of the most underrated guitar heroes in rock history. Best known as the leader of the hard-rock trio Mountain, which was named by VH1 as one of the Top 100 Hard Rock Bands of All Time, West’s monster guitar sound ...

Source: Rock Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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1596–1662 English composer Henry Lawes served in the Chapel Royal of Charles I and, in the early part of his career, composed theatre music known as masques. By the early 1630s, Lawes had cultivated a friendship with the poet John Milton, with whom he collaborated on two masques, Arcades (1630), the music for which has not ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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1602–45 English composer William Lawes, like his brother Henry Lawes, was a musician at the court of the English King Charles I. Although he too composed songs and theatre music, his greater strength lay in consort music for viols or members of the violin family and it is for these that he is best remembered. Lawes’ consort music ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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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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English musical family The Wesley family, remembered primarily through the religious leader John Wesley (1703–91), made a deep and long-lasting contribution to English music. John’s brother Charles (1707–88), the hymn writer, had two musician sons, Charles (1757–1834) and Samuel (1766–1837). The young Charles, though a prodigy, never developed as a composer, but was a professional ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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Drumming in West Africa is a rural indigenous art form, and it accompanies dance and singing. Master drummers are members of the griot class of professional musical entertainers. These men lead the drumming and promote the tradition by teaching students. The two main types of West African drum are goblet drums and hourglass drums made from a hollowed-out single log ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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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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(Vocal group, 1930s) The Girls Of The Golden West were Millie (1913–93) and Dolly (1915–67) Good (real name Goad). They starred during the 1930s on Chicago’s WLS and recorded for Bluebird and ARC. Regionally popular and influential – they inspired Pee Wee King, among others – they were particularly renowned for their close harmony and harmonized yodelling. Marrying, ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music, consultant editor Bob Allen
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(Vocal/instrumental group, 1930s–40s) Louise Massey And The Westerners are largely forgotten today, but in their heyday, this was one of the most successful western acts in the USA. Polished, versatile and influential, they boasted a smooth sound that obscured their origins as rural musicians under their fiddling father Henry’s tutelage in New Mexico. The band included ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music, consultant editor Bob Allen
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Although one tends to think of Nashville as the primary source for country music, many other regions contributed to this music’s growth, especially the West Coast, where migrant workers from Oklahoma, Texas and other regions of the Southwest played a vital role in putting California on the country-music map. With Los Angeles as its focal point, ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music, consultant editor Bob Allen
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Like the USA itself, country music in California was built upon migrant forces, in relation to both musicians and audiences. Unlike Nashville, whose growth was mainly dependent upon local musicians, the Golden State scarcely produced any homegrown talent but, rather, was dependent upon the influx of migrant workers from other states. The greater number of ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music, consultant editor Bob Allen
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The singing cowboys did not have the monopoly on country music on the silver screen, although it was their breed that first caught Hollywood’s attention. By the time the 1940s rolled around, several of Nashville’s top stars found that they could expand their careers by bringing their talents to the vast new audiences. Singing Stars In the earlier decade ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music, consultant editor Bob Allen
790 Words Read More

In the Bakersfield family tree, the likes of Bill Woods and Wynn Stewart set the stage, Buck Owens put the town on the map, and Merle Haggard was the heir apparent. ‘The Hag’, as he is often known, also had the distinction of actually being born in Bakersfield, on 6 April 1937. His parents, James ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Country Music, consultant editor Bob Allen
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