One of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Robert Johnson’sshort life remains steeped in mystery and wrapped in some of the most enduringlegends of modern music. BY ALAN GREENBERGWriter, film producer, film director, and photographer It was 1974, and it all began when I was building a bed. Living alone … More With a little help: How crucial encounters with Werner Herzog and Mick Jagger led to the development of a screenplay about Robert Johnson’s extraordinary life and legacy.
BY JOHN (JAY) ARENAAssistant professor of sociology at the City University of New York’s College of Staten Island Uncle Lionel with the Treme Brass Band. “Uncle Lionel” Batiste, the legendary bass drummer and iconic figure of New Orleans music and culture, died on July 8th at the age of 80. Uncle Lionel — whose image … More New Orleans’s "Uncle Lionel" Batiste: Feted in death, evicted after Katrina.
In honor of Jazz Appreciation Month this month, writer Paul Devlin has agreed to discuss Papa Jo Jones’ little-known stint on Route 66, a series for which all episodes have been recently made available on YouTube. Hello, Good Night, Sweet Blues! — BY PAUL DEVLINEditor of Rifftide: The Life and Opinions of Papa Jo Jones … More Papa Jo Jones, Jazz Drummer and . . . Actor?
BY DIANE C. FUJINOAssociate professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara It’s been three years since Richard Aoki passed away. I was in Berkeley, California, that weekend in March 2009 celebrating the 40th anniversaries of UC Berkeley’s Third World Liberation Front strike and the formation of the Asian American Political … More Diane Fujino: Remembering Richard Aoki (Nov. 20, 1938 – March 15, 2009)
BY GEORGE LIPSITZProfessor of black studies and sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara I knew something was wrong the second I answered the telephone and heard Tom Reed’s voice. Although it has been decades since Tom ruled the airwaves in Los Angeles as the city’s most popular disc jockey — as “The Master … More George Lipsitz: Why Johnny Otis’s death hits so hard.
The Black Panther Party’s 40th reunion in 2006 in Oakland, California. October 2011 marks the 45th anniversary of The Black Panther Party’s founding. From the beginning of today’s Occupy Wall Street movement, Alondra Nelson argues, activists have raised the issue of health-care reform with underappreciated deliberation in a manner that also suggests the influence of … More Alondra Nelson: Health care and the 99 percent
“Papa Jo exists on the level of folklore, myth and parable; the cracker-barrel philosopher; teller of tall tales; venerable keeper of our oral traditions.”—Chip Stern, “Papa Jo Jones.” Modern Drummer, January 1984 BY PAUL DEVLINFreelance writer (Slate, the Root, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others), doctoral student at Stony Brook University, and editor of … More 100 Years: The life and "times" of jazz luminary Papa Jo Jones