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The Beat

Maya Angelou LP cover
Collector's music from Maya Angelou's previous career as a calypsonian
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Sandy Nelson sitting at drums
Sandy Nelson
Earl Palmer

Think of a frenetic jazz piece with the counter-point of a steady, unfazed tap dancer's sound.  It's the musical equivalent of social "coolness."  

In the 1950s to 1970's music we focus on every Saturday from midnight to Sunday 3am, this sound evolved from the hoofers to drummers like New Orleans' own Earl Palmer and Sandy Nelson.  Drummers who like the hoofers had an acoustic presence in front of the band's music.  That presence was a sound sometimes referred to as "beat music."  A sound that made an appearance in almost every style of music during those decades but today Wikipedia does not have a single entry for it.

Tonight we'll focus on this unusual but influential sound as it appears in songs from Chet Atkins to James Brown and in musical styles of rockabilly, surf, rock, blues, jazz, New Orleans R&B and country (and its Siamese Twin "western").   Yep, look to a Chet Atkins song seamlessly flowing into a James Brown song as we start this set around 12:30am but first, sets of songs searching for the meaning of life followed by self-assured women who would crush the namby, pamby types who search for meaning of life like a crouton.  (Maya Angelou, Koko Taylor, Candye Kane and Ruth Brown)

Last set of the night - music about bed bugs because if there's no crying in baseball then there also shouldn't be any sleeping in New Orleans.  Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite.  


Saturday midnight to Sunday 3am - collector's music that didn't make it as a hit.  For us tin-ear types who can hear great music that sounds like a silent dog whistle to the rest of the population.    

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