A new collection traces the growth of one of the most popular genres in history

The rise of rap and Hip-Hop to their current level of popularity — where even Donnie Osmond gives it a go (ugh!) —has not been a straight line. Like other genres before it, the music has taken many routes before ending up as an all-encompassing and highly lucrative pop culture.

What better time than Halloween to celebrate Marie Laveau’s unknowing impact on music

Tucked away in a tomb in New Orleans’ Saint Louis Cemetery №1 are the 140 year-old remains of one Marie Laveau. If the name sounds familiar, it is because people keep singing about her.

Marie (1801–1881) was a famous practitioner of New Orleans voodoo, the heady mix of West African…

Twenty years on, it’s worth remembering the contribution of music’s opposition

Perhaps because the legal end of South Africa’s odious Apartheid was less noticeable than, say, Nelson Mandela’s release or election as president, the 20-year anniversary of the formal end slid by relatively unnoticed.

It was on June 17, 1991, that the law institutionalising racial segregation was repealed. South Africa is…

How two songs (not two concerts) reflect the end of one era and the start of another

It is a common conceit that the peaceful Woodstock Music and Art Fair in Upstate New York in August 1969 marked the zenith of the hippie/flower power generation, while the violent Altamont Freeway Free Festival three months later in California was its death knell.

Like many things historical, of course…

“Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid” — 1973

“Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid” is a pretty difficult film to enjoy. It is a mishmash of well-trodden but not very well-defined or relevant cowboy scenes leading to the killing of Billy (Kris Kristofferson) by a former friend, now sheriff, Garrett (played with his usual brilliance by James Coburn).

Jeremy Gaunt

Music writer, historian, reviewer and broadcaster

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