Buddy Harman R.I.P.

August 23, 2008 - NY TIMES - By Bill Friskics-Warren
Buddy Harman, 79, Busy Nashville Drummer, Is Dead

Buddy Harman, a prolific and influential drummer whose rhythmic 
signature can be heard on thousands of recordings by the likes of 
Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and Simon and Garfunkel, died 
on Thursday at his home in Nashville. He was 79.
He had been suffering from congestive heart failure, said his daughter 
Summer Harman, who confirmed his death.

Mr. Harman played on an estimated 18,000 recordings, many of them 
major hits, in a career of more than five decades. He worked most 
sessions with the celebrated “A Team” of studio musicians who shaped 
the Nashville Sound of the 1950s and ’60s, performing on Cash’s “Ring 
of Fire,” Roger Miller’s “King of the Road” and Tammy Wynette’s “Stand 
by Your Man,” along with scores of hits by Loretta Lynn, George Jones, 
Dolly Parton, Ray Price and others.

Mr. Harman also made his mark on the pop charts, making distinctive 
contributions to records like the Everly Brothers’ “Bye Bye Love,” 
Presley’s “Little Sister,” Simon and Garfunkel’s “Boxer” (as a 
percussionist) and Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” 
He played — bass, not drums — on Ringo Starr’s 1970 country album, 
“Beaucoups of Blues.”

Versatility and imagination were among Mr. Harman’s great strengths as 
a musician. He could play everything from big-beat rock ’n’ roll, as 
demonstrated by his pile-driving 4/4 on Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty 
Woman,” to intimate cocktail jazz, as heard on his empathetic 
brushwork on Cline’s “Crazy.”

Drums were not commonly used in country music when Mr. Harman started 
working sessions in Nashville in the early 1950s. Later that decade, 
when he became the first house drummer for the Grand Ole Opry, he had 
to play behind a curtain because drums were not allowed on the show’s 
stage at the time. Before long, though, Mr. Harman had established his 
instrument as an integral voice in modern country music.

Murrey Mizell Harman Jr. was born Dec. 23, 1928, in Nashville. His 
mother, who played drums in the family band, was an early musical 
inspiration, along with jazz players like Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich.

Mr. Harman began drumming while in his early teens and went on to 
perform in bands while serving in the Navy. Later, after two years of 
college in Nashville, he enrolled in the Roy Knapp School of 
Percussion in Chicago. On returning to Nashville in 1952 he played in 
the band of Carl Smith, a future member of the Country Music Hall of 
Fame, and began doing studio work. By the mid-’50s, Mr. Harman had 
become the first-call drummer for recording sessions that were being 
booked on what became known as Nashville’s Music Row.

He was less active in the studio as the 1970s gave way to the ’80s. He 
eventually resumed work at the Opry, while also serving as the 
business agent for the Nashville chapter of the American Federation of 

Besides his daughter Summer, of Mount Juliet, Tenn., Mr. Harman is 
survived by his wife of more than 40 years, Marsha Harman; his sons 
Mark, of Franklin, Tenn., and Stanley and Murrey M. III, both of 
Nashville; another daughter, Autumn, also of Nashville; six 
grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Another son, Richard, 
died in 2007.

“I just went into Dad’s room,” Summer Harman said in a telephone 
conversation in June, when her father’s health had been declining, 
“and he was playing drums in his sleep. He had a smile on his face and 
was tapping on his chest.”

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Lee Young R.I.P.

NY TIMES - August 10, 2008 - By Douglas Martin
Lee Young Dies at 94; Jazz Man and Producer

Lee Young, who emerged from a family with musical roots deep in New 
Orleans jazz, drummed for greats like Ellington and Basie, became a 
pioneering black man in music’s executive suites — and survived his 
musician brother, Lester, by a half century — died on July 31 at his 
home in Los Angeles. He was 94.

The death was confirmed by his grandson Wren Brown.

In contrast to his brother, whose debilitating battle with alcohol and 
personal demons is almost as well known to jazz fans as his saxophone 
solos, Lee Young, a teetotaler, lived a long life of accomplishment in 
both performance and the music business.

His recollections, from touring in a carnival act as a child with 
Lester and their sister, Irma, in the 1920s; to playing drums and 
cutting his first records with Fats Waller in the 1930s; to helping 
forge a vibrant jazz scene in Los Angeles in the 1940s, were recorded 
by the oral history program of the University of California, Los 

His experiences included teaching Mickey Rooney to play drums for a 
movie and becoming the first black — and for several years the only 
one — to be a regular studio musician in Hollywood. He played drums 
and conducted for Nat King Cole.

Mr. Young played on literally thousands of records, said Phil Schaap, 
the jazz historian.

As a record producer, Mr. Young developed a reputation for knowing in 
advance what would sell, and discovered Steely Dan, the jazz fusion-
rock band.

Mr. Schaap called Mr. Young “a most significant figure in jazz who 
directly connected us to the music’s early glories: the birth of jazz 
in New Orleans, the jazz age, the swing era and bebop.” Mr. Schaap 
also said that Mr. Young, who led an integrated band when that was 
unusual, was “a hero in the fight for integration.”

Leonidas Raymond Young was born in New Orleans on March 7, 1914, to 
parents who were both musicians and teachers. His father had learned 
to play instruments including the violin, trombone and bass as he 
traveled the deep South at the time jazz was sprouting in New Orleans.

Mr. Young’s father was a stern taskmaster, drilling music into his 
children by putting notes on a blackboard before they even started 
school. He made them into a novelty dancing act for traveling 
carnivals until they learned to play instruments. Lee, the youngest, 
had visited more than 30 states by the time he was 8.

Lee was different from Lester as a youth. Lester would practice his 
saxophone for hours; Lee would rather sneak off to play ball. Lester 
begged off some of the vaudeville gigs, particularly longer stays in 
cities like Minneapolis and Phoenix.

The family finally settled in Los Angeles, where Lee and his sister 
entertained at the dance marathons that were the rage during the 
Depression. By this time, Lee was performing most often as a drummer, 
having switched from the trombone; Lester had decided to specialize in 
saxophone instead of drums.

Lee attended high schools in Los Angeles. He began playing with Mutt 
Carey, a trumpeter and bandleader who had gotten his start in New 
Orleans, and also toured withEthel Waters. He made his first records 
at 23 as Fats Waller’s drummer. He played with Lionel Hampton and 
others, and started his own orchestra, actually a smaller combo. His 
brother joined the band in 1941, and its stature grew exponentially. 
They toured for the U.S.O., broadcast with Billie Holiday and were a 
hit in New York.

LA Weekly said in 2004 that Mr. Young for years was the only black 
staff musician at a major studio. Mr. Schaap wrote that Mr. Young got 
his job by turning down a chance to be Stan Kenton’s drummer at a time 
when Kenton led the nation’s hottest band.

In 1953 Mr. Young became Nat King Cole’s drummer and conductor, Mr. 
Schaap said. From this pinnacle of the music world, he had new 
insights into the business side of music, and decided to join it. He 
produced for Vee-Jay, Motown and ABC/Dunhill Records.

Around 1937, Mr. Young met a teenager named Norman Granz on a tennis 
court and began playing against him regularly. Granz was enthralled 
when Mr. Young introduced him to jazz and went on to create Jazz at 
the Philharmonic, the all-star touring group that took the music out 
of smoky bars to jam in the concert halls; Mr. Young and his brother 
can be heard on some of the recorded jam sessions.

Lester Young died in 1959; Irma died in 1993. Lee Young is survived by 
his wife of 55 years, the former Louise Franklin Young; his daughter, 
Rosalind Brown of Los Angeles; his son, Lee Jr., of Los Angeles; his 
half-sister, Vivian Johnson of Louisiana; six grandchildren; and nine 

Mr. Young was interviewed for a book, “Central Avenue Sounds: Jazz in 
Los Angeles” (1999) and said that when the music industry was 
segregated, white musicians were paid for seven nights of work, even 
though they were given one day off, while blacks had to work all seven 
days for their pay.

“I just loved to play so much, I went to different clubs and told the 
guys that if they wanted a night off, I would play in their place,” 
Mr. Young said. “So I got a chance to play all kinds of music, because 
I used to let these guys off.”

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Alexander Solzhenitsyn (2)

This evening France 3 will broadcast a documentary on the life and works of this giant of Russian Literature.It starts at 23.35 P.M. and runs about an hour. Not to be missed of course!

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Alexander Solzhenitsyn R.I.P.

Hell they pass away at such a speed, it's hard to keep an up to date blog ;-).

This time it's Mr. Alexander Solzhenitsyn who passed away at the age of 89. You can read a lot obituaries of course but i'd like to get your attention for this and this one. I read his Gulag Archipelago trilogy some years ago and still have his August 1914 on my to read list.


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Jackie McLean on NPR

NPR has a profile on Jackie McLean, you can listen and even download it here. Enjoy!

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Jackie McLean - Quadrangle

Mt. Fuji Jazz Festival

Jackie McLean - Alto Sax

Wallace Rooney - Trumpet

Horace Parlan - Piano

Peter Washington - Bass

Kenny Washington - Drums

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