|Birth name||Robert Franklin Palmer Jr.|
|Born||June 19, 1945|
Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
|Died||November 20, 1997 52) (aged|
Valhalla, New York
|Genres||Folk rock, folk, blues, rock|
|Associated acts||The Insect Trust|
Robert Franklin Palmer Jr. (June 19, 1945 – November 20, 1997) was an American writer, musicologist, clarinetist, saxophonist, and blues producer. He is best known for his books, including Deep Blues ; his music journalism for The New York Times and Rolling Stone magazine; his work producing blues recordings and the soundtrack of the film Deep Blues; and his clarinet playing in the 1960s band the Insect Trust. A collection of his writings, Blues & Chaos: The Music Writing of Robert Palmer, edited by Anthony DeCurtis, was published by Simon & Schuster on November 10, 2009.
Blues is a music genre and musical form which was originated in the Deep South of the United States around the 1870s by African Americans from roots in African musical traditions, African-American work songs, spirituals, and the folk music of white Americans of European heritage. Blues incorporated spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts, chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads. The blues form, ubiquitous in jazz, rhythm and blues and rock and roll, is characterized by the call-and-response pattern, the blues scale and specific chord progressions, of which the twelve-bar blues is the most common. Blue notes, usually thirds or fifths flattened in pitch, are also an essential part of the sound. Blues shuffles or walking bass reinforce the trance-like rhythm and form a repetitive effect known as the groove.
Deep Blues: A Musical Pilgrimage to the Crossroads is a British documentary film, released in 1991, and made by music critic and author Robert Palmer and documentary film maker Robert Mugge, in collaboration with David A. Stewart and his brother John J. Stewart. The film provided insight into the location, cast and characteristics of Delta blues and North Mississippi hill country blues. Filming took place in 1990 in Memphis, Tennessee, and various North Mississippi counties. Theatrical release was in 1991 and home video release in the United Kingdom, the next year, as was a soundtrack album. A United States consumer edition came in 2000.
The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U.S.
Palmer was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, the son of a musician and school teacher, Robert Palmer Sr. A civil rights and peace activist with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s, the younger Palmer graduated from Little Rock University (later called the University of Arkansas at Little Rock) in 1964. Soon afterwards he and fellow musicians Nancy Jeffries, Bill Barth, and Luke Faust formed a psychedelic music group, the Insect Trust, blending jazz, folk, and blues with rock and roll.The band recorded its first, self-titled album on Capitol Records in 1968. Palmer continued playing clarinet and saxophone from time to time in local bands in areas where he lived throughout the rest of his life.
Little Rock is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Arkansas. It is also the county seat of Pulaski County. It was incorporated on November 7, 1831, on the south bank of the Arkansas River close to the state's geographic center. The city derives its name from a rock formation along the river, named the "Little Rock" by the French explorer Jean-Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe in the 1720s. The capital of the Arkansas Territory was moved to Little Rock from Arkansas Post in 1821. The city's population was 198,541 in 2016 according to the United States Census Bureau. The six-county Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is ranked 78th in terms of population in the United States with 738,344 residents according to the 2017 estimate by the United States Census Bureau.
The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee was one of the major American Civil Rights Movement organizations of the 1960s. It emerged from the first wave of student sit-ins and formed at a May 1960 meeting organized by Ella Baker at Shaw University. After its involvement in the Voter Education Project, SNCC grew into a large organization with many supporters in the North who helped raise funds to support its work in the South, allowing full-time organizers to have a small salary. Many unpaid grassroots organizers and activists also worked with SNCC on projects in the Deep South, often becoming targets of racial violence and police brutality. SNCC played a seminal role in the freedom rides, the 1963 March on Washington, Mississippi Freedom Summer, the Selma campaigns, the March Against Fear and other historic events. SNCC may be best known for its community organizing, including voter registration, freedom schools, and localized direct action all over the country, but especially in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi.
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is a metropolitan public research university located in Little Rock, Arkansas, United States. Established as Little Rock Junior College by the Little Rock School District in 1927, the institution became a private four-year university under the name Little Rock University in 1957. It returned to public status in 1969 when it merged with the University of Arkansas System under its present name.
In the early 1970s, Palmer became a contributing editor of Rolling Stone . He became the first full-time rock writer for The New York Times a few years later, serving as chief pop music critic at the newspaper from 1976 to 1988.
Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. It was first known for its musical coverage and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine shifted focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content.
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s from musical styles such as gospel, jump blues, jazz, boogie woogie, and rhythm and blues, along with country music. While elements of what was to become rock and roll can be heard in blues records from the 1920s and in country records of the 1930s, the genre did not acquire its name until 1954.
Pop music is a genre of popular music that originated in its modern form in the United States and United Kingdom during the mid-1950s. The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are often used interchangeably, although the former describes all music that is popular and includes many diverse styles. "Pop" and "rock" were roughly synonymous terms until the late 1960s, when they became increasingly differentiated from each other.
He continued to work as a journalist for film magazines and Rolling Stone; meanwhile, he began teaching courses in ethnomusicology and American music at colleges, including at the University of Mississippi. In the early 1990s, he also began producing blues albums for Fat Possum Records artists, like R. L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough. After living near Memphis from 1988 through 1992, he spent about six months at a country estate near Pocahontas, AR, 150 miles Northeast of Little Rock before relocating in early 1993 to New Orleans, Louisiana, his home until his death.
Ethnomusicology is the study of music from the cultural and social aspects of the people who make it. It encompasses distinct theoretical and methodical approaches that emphasize cultural, social, material, cognitive, biological, and other dimensions or contexts of musical behavior, instead of only its isolated sound component.
The University of Mississippi is a public research university in Oxford, Mississippi. Including the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, it is the state's largest university by enrollment. The university was chartered by the Mississippi Legislature on February 24, 1844, and four years later admitted its first enrollment of 80 students. The university is classified as an "R1: Doctoral University—Very High Research Activity" by the Carnegie Foundation and has an annual research and development budget of $121.6 million. The university ranked 145 in the 2018 edition of the US News Rankings of Best National Universities.
Fat Possum Records is an American independent record label based in Water Valley and Oxford, Mississippi. At first Fat Possum focused almost entirely on recording previously unknown Mississippi blues artists. Recently, Fat Possum has signed younger rock acts to its roster. The label has been featured in The New York Times, New Yorker, The Observer, a Sundance Channel production, features on NPR, and a 2004 documentary, You See Me Laughin. Fat Possum also distributes the Hi Records catalog.
Two of his better-known books are the historical study Deep Blues (1982) and Rock & Roll: An Unruly History (1995), the latter of which was the companion book to the ten-part BBC and PBS television series Rock & Roll on which he served as chief consultant (not to be confused with All You Need Is Love: The Story of Popular Music , a 1977 television documentary series on the history of modern pop music directed by Tony Palmer).
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.
The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is an American public broadcaster and television program distributor. It is a non-profit organization and is the most prominent provider of educational television programming to public television stations in the United States, distributing series such as American Experience, America's Test Kitchen, Antiques Roadshow, Arthur, Downton Abbey, Finding Your Roots, Frontline, The Magic School Bus, Masterpiece, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Nature, Nova, PBS NewsHour, Sesame Street and This Old House.
Rock & Roll or Dancing in the Street: a Rock and Roll History is a 1995 American-British documentary miniseries about the history of rock and roll music produced by the BBC and WGBH.
In 1985, he was recruited to play clarinet by friends Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood on the song "Silver and Gold" by U2's Bono for the Artists United Against Apartheid album Sun City .
Keith Richards, sometimes credited as Keith Richard, is an English musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the co-founder, guitarist, backing vocalist, and co-principal songwriter of the Rolling Stones. Rolling Stone magazine called Richards the creator of "rock's greatest single body of riffs" on guitar and ranked him fourth on its list of 100 best guitarists in 2011, and the magazine lists fourteen songs that Richards wrote with the Rolling Stones' lead vocalist Mick Jagger on its "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list.
Ronald David Wood is an English rock musician, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, artist, author and radio personality best known as a member of The Rolling Stones since 1975, as well as a member of Faces and the Jeff Beck Group.
U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin formed in 1976. The group consists of Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr.. Initially rooted in post-punk, U2's musical style has evolved throughout their career but maintained an anthemic sound built on Bono's expressive vocals and the Edge's effects-based guitar textures. Their lyrics, often embellished with spiritual imagery, focus on personal and sociopolitical themes. Popular for their live performances, the group have staged several ambitious and elaborate tours over their career.
Throughout his life, Palmer published scholarly liner notes for albums by dozens of top jazz, blues, rock and roll and world music artists, including Sam Rivers, Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, Yoko Ono, John Lee Hooker, Albert King, Bo Diddley, Ray Charles, Ornette Coleman, the Master Musicians of Jajouka, La Monte Young, and many more.
He worked as screenwriter, narrator, and music director of the documentary films The World According to John Coltrane (which he also directed, with Toby Byron) and Deep Blues (based on his book by the same name), He wrote a book about Jerry Lee Lewis, entitled Jerry Lee Lewis Rocks.He was heavily involved in the 1995 WGBH/BBC co-production Rock & Roll , broadcast in the United States in late 1995 on PBS but never released to the general public.
Palmer died from liver disease at the Westchester County Medical Center in Valhalla, New York, on November 20, 1997.
His daughter Augusta Palmer directed a documentary called The Hand of Fatima (2009)about Palmer's lifelong relationship with the Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar
John Lee Hooker was an American blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist. The son of a sharecropper, he rose to prominence performing an electric guitar-style adaptation of Delta blues. Hooker often incorporated other elements, including talking blues and early North Mississippi Hill country blues. He developed his own driving-rhythm boogie style, distinct from the 1930s–1940s piano-derived boogie-woogie.
Charles Edward Anderson Berry was an American singer, songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive. Writing lyrics that focused on teen life and consumerism, and developing a music style that included guitar solos and showmanship, Berry was a major influence on subsequent rock music.
William James Dixon was an American blues musician, vocalist, songwriter, arranger and record producer. He was proficient in playing both the upright bass and the guitar, and sang with a distinctive voice, but he is perhaps best known as one of the most prolific songwriters of his time. Next to Muddy Waters, Dixon is recognized as the most influential person in shaping the post–World War II sound of the Chicago blues.
McKinley Morganfield, known professionally as Muddy Waters, was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician who is often cited as the "father of modern Chicago blues", and an important figure on the post-war blues scene.
Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones was an English musician, best known as the founder and the original leader of the Rolling Stones. Initially a slide guitarist, Jones would go on to play a wide variety of instruments on Rolling Stones recordings and in concerts, such as rhythm and lead guitar, slide guitar, upright bass, sitar, dulcimer, various keyboard instruments such as piano and mellotron, marimba, harmonica, wind instruments such as recorder, saxophone, drums and numerous others.
Jimmy Rogers was a Chicago blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player, best known for his work as a member of Muddy Waters's band in the early 1950s. He also had solo hits on the R&B chart with "That's All Right" in 1950 and "Walking by Myself" in 1954. He withdrew from the music industry at the end of the 1950s but returned to recording and touring in the 1970s.
Antoine "Fats" Domino Jr. was an American pianist and singer-songwriter. One of the pioneers of rock and roll music, Domino sold more than 65 million records. Between 1955 and 1960, he had eleven Top 10 hits. His humility and shyness may be one reason his contribution to the genre has been overlooked.
Fred McDowell, known by his stage name Mississippi Fred McDowell, was an American hill country blues singer and guitar player.
Robert Allen Palmer was an English singer-songwriter, musician, and record producer. He was known for combining soul, jazz, rock, pop, reggae, and blues.
Master Musicians of Joujouka are Jbala Sufi trance musicians most famous for their connections with the Beat Generation and the Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones These musicians hail from the village of Jajouka or Zahjouka near Ksar-el-Kebir in the Ahl Srif mountain range of the southern Rif Mountains in northern Morocco.
Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar is a group led by Bachir Attar, from the village of Jajouka near Ksar-el-Kebir in the Ahl Srif mountains in the southern Rif Mountains of northern Morocco.
Samuel Gene Maghett, known as Magic Sam, was an American Chicago blues musician. He was born in Grenada County, Mississippi, United States, and learned to play the blues from listening to records by Muddy Waters and Little Walter. After moving to Chicago at the age of 19, he was signed by Cobra Records and became well known as a bluesman after the release of his first record, "All Your Love", in 1957. He was known for his distinctive tremolo guitar playing.
"Love in Vain" is a blues song written by American musician Robert Johnson. He sings of unrequited love, using a departing train as a metaphor for his loss. Johnson's performance – vocal accompanied by his finger-style acoustic guitar playing – has been described as "devastatingly bleak". He recorded the song in 1937 during his last recording session and in 1939 it was issued as the last of his original 78 rpm records.
Anthony DeCurtis is an American author and music critic, who has written for Rolling Stone, the New York Times, Relix and many other publications.
Funk rock is a fusion genre that mixes elements of funk and rock. James Brown and others declared that Little Richard and his mid-1950s road band, The Upsetters, were the first to put the funk in the rock and roll beat, with a biographer stating that their music "spark[ed] the musical transition from fifties rock and roll to sixties funk".
Dancing in Your Head is a studio album by jazz artist Ornette Coleman, released in 1977 by Horizon Records.
"Cross Road Blues" is a blues song written and recorded by American blues artist Robert Johnson in 1936. Johnson performed it as a solo piece with his vocal and acoustic slide guitar in the Delta blues-style. The song has become part of the Robert Johnson mythology as referring to the place where he supposedly sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for his musical talents, although the lyrics do not contain any specific references.
The Insect Trust was an American jazz-based rock band that formed in New York in 1967.
Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka is an album produced by Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones. The album was a recording of the Moroccan group the Master Musicians of Joujouka, in performance on 29 July 1968 in the village of Jajouka in Morocco and released on Rolling Stones Records, and distributed by Atco Records in 1971. Jones called the tracks "a specially chosen representation" of music played in the village during the annual week-long Rites of Pan Festival. It was significant for presenting the Moroccan group to a global audience, drawing other musicians to Jajouka, including Ornette Coleman.
Bachir Attar is the leader of The Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar. He is the son of Hadj Abdesalam Attar, who led the group Master Musicians of Jajouka at the time of their album, Brian Jones Presents The Pipes of Pan at Jajouka, produced by Brian Jones in 1968.