Deep Blues: Missing Robert Palmer (A Critical Tribute)

Ten years ago today (November 20), the music critic Robert Palmer died at the age of 52 from complications due to liver disease.

Robert Palmer, photographed by Cherie NuttingPhoto of Robert Palmer by Cherie Nutting

Ten years ago today (November 20), the music critic Robert Palmer died at the age of 52 from complications due to liver disease.

Best known as the chief pop music critic for the New York Times (a gig he held down for more than a decade), Palmer achieved more in a relatively brief career as a critic than many will in a lifetime: author of several highly regarded books (including 1981’s Deep Blues, long considered one of the classic studies outlining the origins of rock & roll); screenwriter and music director of various music-based films; record producer and musician; ethnomusicologist and scholar.

Palmer’s first love was the blues, but his scope as a music critic was endless, as evidenced by the small sampling of available NYT articles way at the bottom of this feature. asked several critics colleagues and fans…

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Scott’s Bookshelf, Part 3

20. Hellfire: The Jerry Lee Lewis Story (Nick Tosches) – The number of music bios I own is relatively small (I’m guessing they account for, at most, 20% of my music books)

20. Hellfire: The Jerry Lee Lewis Story (Nick Tosches) – The number of music bios I own is relatively small (I’m guessing they account for, at most, 20% of my music books), the number I’ve read even smaller, and the number I’ve loved barely constitute a blip in my reading history, but this is the exception even among the exceptions (of which there are a few). As someone who came to the subject of Jerry Lee rather blindly — aside from knowing the obvious hits — and without an overwhelming amount of interest in learning more, I found Tosches’ telling of the story entirely absorbing, even haunting. Particularly in his channeling of Lewis’s voice, a risky device that resonated long after I put the thing down. “It was 1975. It might just as well have been 1965. He took a drink and beheld himself in the mirror. There were lines on his…

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Jerry Hopkins (1935-2018)

do you like rock crit? do you hate that title? well, hopefully you’ve already read these guys, because apparently they’re all dead. but that’s what’s great about publishing and the Internet. here’s your chance to find your favorite dead critic (i don’t know why i’m talking to millenials – i don’t know any). i hope Stanley Booth​ Robert Gordon​ Ross Johnson​ Samar Lorrento​ Tav Falco​ Lenny Smith​ James Barber​ Alex Greene​ R.u. Allman​ Rex Rose​ and any others out there will find this seemingly bottomless site up to their standards or derision (the last time i linked something about Peter Guralnick​, Stanley almost had a conniption), at least, compiling all of their achievements and/or demise into one place – a welcome/morbid link with which to keep in touch – the afterlife.

Jerry Hopkins, biographer of Jim Morrison, is dead at 82.

Mr. Hopkins produced an eclectic range of work that was largely about rock music but that also included books and articles about exotic food, sex, travel and Hawaiian musical instruments

(I never did read No One Here Gets Out Alive, but I certainly recall how big a deal both it and the Doors seemed at the time—a divisive moment among my music friends, even.)

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Roy Carr

Music Writer Roy Carr Has Died

Roy Carr’s illustrated records from the seventies (Stones, Beatles, and Bowie all grace my collection) were enormously inspiring to me at a young age–a bridge in many ways to the criticism which eventually took over (really) my life for several years. The Stones book in particular: I think I memorized every page of the thing, from the unbelievable photos and news clippings (including the infamous, “Would you let your daughter marry a Rolling Stone?”) to the solid-as-a-rock LP and singles reviews. Truly, along with the records themselves, Carr’s lavish book was the guide for my all-time Stones fixation.

Sad to hear that Carr has died. I wish we’d gotten to him for an interview back when we did such things around these parts. Would love to know more of his story.

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The Selvedge Yard

The Legendary Country Western tailor to the stars — Nudie Cohn.


Circa 1970’s, Los Angeles, CA– Hands of Nudie Cohn the Rodeo Tailor  –Image by © Jeff Albertson


Nudie suits have been worn by just about everyone who is anyone in the world of Country/Rock music. Simply put, he made Country cool with his one-off original creations that bedazzled a long list of diverse celebs– John Wayne, Gene Autry, George Jones, Elvis, Cher, John Lennon, Ronald Reagan, Elton John, Robert Mitchum, Pat Buttram, Tony Curtis, Michael Landon, Glenn Campbell, Hank Snow, Porter Wagoner, Hank Williams Sr., and groups such as, America, Chicago, ZZ top, and the Flying Burrito Bros (Gram Parsons’ “Gilded Palace of Sin” suit is considered the Sistine Chapel of Nudies).  To own a Nudie is to own something special; collected by fashion and music hounds alike– Dwight Yoakam, Ben Harper, Lenny Kravitz, Perry Farrell, Jeff…

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This gallery contains 18 photos.

Originally posted on The Selvedge Yard:
Irish McCalla, the towering beauty who posed for Vargas, and then found fame as “Sheena, Queen of the Jungle” was tough to measure-up against. She grew up humbly, forever the athletic tomboy, and even did her own vine-swinging and tree-climbing with her pet chimp, Chim, on “Sheena” until the day she…


This gallery contains 13 photos.

Originally posted on The Selvedge Yard:
Alice Denham — writer, Playboy centerfold, film actress who left a vivid chronicle of her literary and sexual adventures in her 2006 memoir, “Sleeping With Bad Boys: A Juicy Tell-All of Literary New York in the Fifties and Sixties.”  “Manhattan was a river of men flowing past my door,…

R.I.P Jimmy Denson – Memphis legend

Simon Nott Music

Sad news from our friend Tad Pierson in Memphis. Jimmy Denson, brother of Lee aka Jesse James passed away on Feb 2nd. Lee Petherick and I visited Memphis back in 2003. We met Tad when we hired him to drive us round the city in his pink Cadillac (what else!) and show us the sights less seen. He was playing some great music as we drove, I commented that I loved this one, ‘The South’s Gonna Rise Again’ by Jesse James. Tad looked a little surprised I knew it, not as surprised as I was when he got his phone out and dialed Jimmy Denson and passed him over. Jimmy had written the song that his brother recorded. He had stories (not always complimentary) about Elvis, Johhny and Dorsey Burnette and a whole host of 1950’s rockabilly legends he grew up with. On our last day in Memphis we hired…

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Thoughts on Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘King of Tears’ Podcast

Spaceman's Pancakes

I am a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell. I’ve read most of his books and I now follow his Revisionist History Podcast closely, typically listening to the newest episodes the day of their release. That was the case last week. On my way into work, I listened to the wonderful King of Tears episode, which centers around the difference between Rock N Roll and country music and country music songwriter extraordinaire, Bobby Braddock, who wrote for George Jones and Tammy Wynette among others. Like all of Gladwell’s work, the podcast was expertly written and researched and completely captivating. Few writers have ever been better at examining the nuances of our culture and their wide ranging impact on our lives. Gladwell makes me think as much as any I read regularly and I love him for that.

King of Tears certainly got me thinking. More accurately, it started me debating Gladwell’s…

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when will i get my blues shoes?? phone: [deleted] cell phone: [deleted] e-mail: [deleted] thanks a lot!!! Don’t step on my blue suede shoes. And don’t step on my, my, my, my boogie shoes.


[name deleted]

when will i get my blues shoes??

phone: [deleted] cell phone: [deleted] e-mail: [deleted]

thanks a lot!!!

Don’t step on my blue suede shoes.

And don’t step on my, my, my, my boogie shoes.

student exchange


My name is [name deleted] and I am a student at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. I am enquiring about the student exchange program. I have been trying to locate information on this subject for some time now and have recieved none. My Uma lives near Ruhr and i am thinking about living with her for the school year and getting transfered to your university. I do not know if your university deals with the University of Manitoba in this way so this is the reason i am writing you. If you could get back to me with any information on this subject it would be…

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Huey P. Meaux, R.I.P.


30 Days Out

Huey P. Meaux, the legendary and controversial Southeast Texas music producer who discovered the Sir Douglas Quintet, Freddy Fender, “Jivin’ Gene” Bourgeois and Barbara Lynn, died Saturday at the age of 82.

Meaux had been in federal prison since 1996, when a police raid of his Sugar Hill studios in Houston uncovered evidence that Meaux participated in child pornography, sex with underage females and drug possession. He skipped bail and ran to Mexico, but he finally gave up and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Meaux was released because of failing health and he lived in Winnie, where he died on Saturday.

Meaux, known as the “Crazy Cajun,” was a barber by trade and a radio DJ in Port Arthur, Texas, in the late 1950s. He would do a radio show on KPAC on Saturday afternoons, playing Cajun music for the transplanted coonasses who came to Texas to work…

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REVIEW: Alice Springs at Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris

The United Nations of Photography

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 15.47.18

Alice Springs and Jacques Henri Lartigue, two of the most high-profile figures of 20th-century photography, have a couple of things in common. The obvious one is that they are both the subjects of retrospective exhibitions currently at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris. The less obvious is that both became photographers by chance.

J.H. Lartigue (1894-1986) got his first camera aged seven, and took pictures of friends, family, and sporting events all his life. But he made a living – quite a successful one – as a painter. It wasn’t until he was 69 years old that his early photographs were seen by Charles Rado of the Rapho agency, and John Szarkowski of the Museum of Modern Art. Szarkowski arranged an exhibition of his work, Life magazine published the images in 1963, and Lartigue’s photography career took off.

(The portrait of Lartigue below is by Alice Springs, shot…

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Video Clip of The Week: Visitors, “Pollyanna”

The Worley Gig

People will say that originality is overplayed: I disagree. While it may be virally impossible to do anything truly original within the pop music landscape, that does not mean that intermingling the definitive essences of two bands that really have nothing in common — and that may or may not even be verifiable influences on the band performing the music in question — isn’t going to be utterly mind-blowing. What am I even talking about? It’s this week’s Sunday Jam, the curiously named “Pollyanna,” which comes to us from the experimental progressive rockers called Visitors. Successfully combining the best of Yes‘ most LSD-ridden mindfuck prog meandering with Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Ferrell releasing his Id with wild abandon, this song is intense.

Hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah, Visitors is Ian Cooperstein (Vocals, Lapsteel), Bryan Lee (Drums), Ian Hilton (Guitar), Ty Brigman (Guitar), and Bassist Cameron Jorgensen, whose lyrical bass…

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So Strung Out


Last year on this date, August 6, Willy DeVille passed. I knew he’d been sick, but not that sick. While undergoing treatment for Hepatitis C, DeVille was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He went fast. DeVille lived hard, and American men who live hard often have a hard time making it through their fifties. DeVille didn’t make it. He died at 58.

Though he inked his first record deal with Mink DeVille, a five-piece performing in the mid-’70s as “house band” for the NYC punk club CBGB, DeVille was never punk. Or “new wave.” He was a romantic troubadour. Working in a style all his own, one combining, among other things, rock, soul, Cajun, blues, R&B, New Orleans second line, Tex-Mex, cabaret, mariachi, and salsero. The music always in service of his one lyrical preoccupation: Big Love. “What I usually do,” he once said, “is try to shoot for the…

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What ever happened to Toots DeVille? (Did Heroin kill her?)

digiom. studienblog über das leben in und mit digitalen onlinemedien

Willy DeVille died on August 6, 2009. He had contracted Hepatitis C and, beginning his treatment, doctors found he had pancreatic cancer. That was in June. R.I.P Willy DeVille.

Browsing his bio on Wikipedia, I stumbled upon a peculiar character, Toots DeVille, and decided to do a little research on her. It isn’t much I have yet found out, but I am going to to continue on this article. So far, I have in particular brought together images – I wanted to know what she looked like.

EDIT: Please be sure to read the comments too, as the opinions about Toots seem to be rather controversial.
EDIT: Also keep in mind that some people who comment here have their own agenda, and each their own perception of how things are and were. I have now closed the comments (stopping at a whopping 441) as I grew irritated by the number…

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