Posts Tagged With: James Brown

“Greatest Southern Musician” Madness

Whether in sports or music, GREATEST-OF-ALL-TIME arguments are inherently pointless — but they sure are fun. And here’s another solid argument-starter: The Alabama Media Group  is conducting an online poll asking readers to “Vote for the Greatest Southern Musician” of all time. To that end, they’ve done up a seeded NCAA Basketball Tournament-style bracket of 64 acts in four different Southern regions, from Texas-Louisiana to Florida-Kentucky-North/South Carolina-Virginia.

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 8.54.38 AMNorth Carolina native Ryan Adams shows up in the latter bracket as a No. 14 seed. That puts him in a tough first-round matchup against No. 3 Lynyrd Skynyrd in what Al.com calls “the Battle of the Jacksonvilles,” Florida versus North Carolina. In that case, I think Ryan should get extra credit for “Jacksonville Skyline” and “Jacksonville.” Looks like he could use a little help, too. When I voted this morning, the ’70s Southern-rock icons were winning in a blowout with more than 88 percent of 819 votes cast so far.

This “ACC” Southeast region’s No. 1 seed is soul godfather James Brown, which actually seems just about right; he should make short work of No. 16 Chris Stapleton. Of North Carolina interest further down the bracket is confessional singer-songwriter James Taylor, who was born in Massachusetts but spent enough of his formative years in Chapel Hill to write one of North Carolina’s definitive songs, at No. 9 and matched up with No. 8 Jimmy Buffett; Tryon-raised r&b icon Nina Simone at No. 6, pitted against Wilmington native Charlie Daniels at No. 11; and songbird Emmylou Harris, an Alabama native who did some time at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro (and was also Ryan’s duet partner on “Oh My Sweet Carolina”), at No. 10 and up against No. 7 Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass.

There’s a whole section of rules about how they determined who rated a spot in the field and where. This round of voting closes Saturday (June 25), with the eventual winner scheduled to be unveiled on July 18. And if Ryan is to have better luck with this than the Grammy Awards, he’s got some ground to make up. Cast your vote here.

UPDATE (6/26/2016): Well, Ryan’s stay in this particular tournament was a short one. Lynyrd Skynyrd beat him with ease, pulling just under 80 percent of 1,235 votes cast to win by a final count of 987-248. James Taylor also bowed out in the first round, losing to Jimmy Buffett, as did Nina Simone to Charlie Daniels. But Emmylou Harris managed to advance past Bill Monroe; looks like she’ll be up against No. 2 seed Tom Petty in round two.

UPDATE (7/18/2016): The Overall winner is George Strait.

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More year-end love: Hats Off!

OnThatNoteGot another nice little end-of-the-year notice from On That Note, which modestly bills itself as “Just another WordPress.com weblog.” But heck, I live on that planet, too. And I will definitely vouch for OTN’s superlative taste, based on the kind words given to “Losering” in its recap “The Year In Music — 2012”:

Hats off to David Menconi for writing the finest rock book of the year.  ‘Losering: A Story Of Whiskeytown,’ is a look at Ryan Adams, starting when he was an unknown in Raleigh. Menconi was covering the scene for the News & Observer, immediately was taken with the unpredictable, gifted songsmith, who led Whiskeytown to acclaim before going solo.

Great anecdotes and keen observations fill the tome. It’s a rare rock book that’s addictive as potato chips.  You just can’t put it down. Fun take on one of rock’s few remaining characters.

“The finest rock book of the year…addictive as potato chips” — now that is one cool soundbite. Hats off to you, too!

(ADDENDUM: Turns out the author of the above assessment is one Ed Condran.)

In other year-end news, “Losering” picked up an honorable-mention nod from Music Tomes’ 2012 Favorites recap of music books — tied for second with RJ Smith’s “The One: The Life and Music of James Brown.” And the winner of that category is my American Music Series colleague Don McLeese’s Dwight Yoakam book.

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