When Norah Jones swept the 2003 Grammies, it was more than just a victory for a new artist — many (including myself) felt it was a statement in support of truly dedicated songwriters and musicians everywhere. It hinted toward the possibility that it was all right to be good again, and that the sea of technologically and cosmetically enhanced “pop” stars might not be as deep as we feared.
Swing can take many forms. It can bop and bounce like Calloway and Ellington, or it can sprout a 10-gallon hat and spurs in the hands of Bob Wills and his Playboys. It’s been reborn time and again whenever a younger generation looks to the past for something new and inspiring to embrace. After all, “it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.”
Just before Christmas, singer/songwriter Ashley Chambliss of Sylva got an email from the online music site where her music is available for download. She would be receiving a deposit into her bank account.
It was Allen Bailey’s aim to bring about a better understanding of black culture and the church’s role in the local community when he founded the Harlem Gospel Choir on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in 1986.