Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thirteen Thirteen # 3 - Performers (Groups) That I Never Saw in Concert, But Wish I Had

In the past week I posted about classic concerts I had attended in the last few years and it got me to thinking about the performers that are no longer with us that I never had the pleasure seeing perform. This list is compiled alphabetically to avoid having to choose artists in order of importance. If someone is not on the list it is either because I saw them live, there was only thirteen slots, or I had no desire to see them.

1. The Beatles – Who wouldn’t want to see the fab four in concert? As a child I remember the excitement they generated when they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. That was the first time I saw girls screaming and crying. Although I liked their songs I did not understand what all the hype was all about. I understand now.

2. Ray Charles - This artist was a major player in the music industry, He recorded over five decades, starting in the golden age of Rock and Roll, but he was never really considered a Rock and Roll star, like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, or Fats Domino. He was in a class all his own and he could definitely "make it do what it do".

3. Patsy Cline – Arguably one of the best voices in the last century, most definitely one of the best country singer of all time. Her voice and style transcended country music making it impossible to pigeonhole her. She is to country music what Aretha Franklin is to Rhythm and Blues, often replicated, but never duplicated.

4. Sam Cooke - Mr. Smooth. He voice like velvet and a debonair air about him made that made him timeless. This guy was a class act with women falling at his feet. Hearing his self-penned ballad "A Change is Going to Come" can still invoke tears.

5. The Four Tops - One of the premier acts of the Motown label, with one of the best lead singers in the business (Levi Stubbs). What was rare about this group was that they were able to maintain the same line-up until illness and death caught up with them in later years. The group was the recipients of countless awards and accolades, but when think of Mr. Stubbs it is to remember him fondly as the man-eating plant in "The Little Shop Of Horrors"..."That guy sure looks like plant food to me!"

6. Marvin Gaye - My favorite male singer of all time bar none. Mr. Gaye had a huge career as a Motown artist, but in the late 60's he began to write about social conscientiousness, resulting in a total shift in his singing style and focus. He is also known for performing duets with such artists as Mary Wells, Kim Weston, Diana Ross, and of course Tammi Terrell. His untimely death the day before his 45th birthday was a blow to entertainment industry and the fans who loved him through good times and bad.

7. Jimi Hendrix - Could be the best guitar player ever. Started out performing with Little Richard and the Isley Brothers before striking out on his on. If you listen to Ernie Isley's guitar playing you can definitely hear hints of Hendricks who Isley claims taught him to play. Hendrix's' star was on the rise and he was much sought after performer until his involvement with drugs cut his life short.

8. Janis Joplin - Affectionately known as "Pearl", The Bette Midler movie The Rose was loosely based on her life. At first she patterned the singing styles of African-American artist, such as, Bessie Smith and Odetta before she fell into a style of her own. Her performances are legendary as much for her on stage antics as for her singing, but footage proves she was electrifying. Ms. Joplin was also responsible for purchasing a tombstone for Bessie Smith's unmarked grave.

9. Bob Marley - Jamaica's finest who became a world renowned king of reggae music.Marley was an artist who transcended all categories, classes, and creeds through a combination of innate modesty and profound wisdom. Bob Marley may yet prove to be the most significant musical artist of the twentieth century.

10. Wilson Pickett - Much of my youth was spent listening to songs by the "wicked" Mr. Pickett. My uncle had a record player in his car that 45 rpm records. This contraption was the predecessor to the 8 track tape player. I love "Mustang Sally", "The Midnight Hour" and of course "Land of 1000 Dances". Mr. Pickett even did justice to the Archie's song "Sugar, Sugar".

11. Elvis Presley - Yeah I said it. Look even though I do not believe he was the "king of Rock and Roll" I do believe he made a major contribution in that he made Rock and Roll (race music) more acceptable among the masses. As a child I remember going to the drive-in with my aunt all decked out in my pajamas in order to see the latest Elvis movie. She was a huge fan of "The Pelvis" and it was contagious I must admit.

12. Otis Redding - Notably the only Rhythm & Blues (Soul) singer to perform at California's Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. Mr. Redding was one of your more exciting performers of the time and was highly revered by acts like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Backing him up at this particular function was Booker T. & M.G's. Tragically he died in a plane crash a few months later.

13. Minnie Riperton - Ms. Riperton possessed a five octave vocal range and could imitate various instruments. Before striking out on her own she sang back up for Etta James, Fontella Bass, and Stevie Wonder, as well as fronting a group called Rotary Connection. She was cut down in the prime of her life and the height of her career by breast cancer.

Who are some of the acts that you wished you had seen in concert, but will never be able to because they are no longer with us or incapacitated to a degree in which they will never perform again? Please check out the custom player posted below to view footage from the above mentioned acts.

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Lori said...

I'm with you on most of these, especially Marvin, Marley and Minnie. I've only recently begun to appreciate Otis Redding and I'm looking forward to adding more of his music to my collection.

That "What's Goin On" album cover is one of my favorites. It sits right next to my The Divine Sarah Vaughan (The Columbia years 1949-1953). She's someone else I would have loved to have seen. To that list I'd also add Dinah Washington, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Lady Day . . .

pjazzypar said...

Hi Lori,

I should have been more descriptive. What I meant was people that I could have actually seen in my lifetime. Billie and Dinah passed on long before I knew what a concert was. I only had thirteen slots because honorable mentions on the list would have been Curtis Mayfield, Phyllis Hyman, Jackie Wilson, etc.

Malcolm: said...

I would have loved to have seen every one on your list. Here are some other acts that I wish I could have seen:

The "Classic 5" lineup of The Temptations
James Brown
Jackie Wilson
Bobby Darin
Dusty Springfield
The Mamas and Papas
The Monkees

Good job of including tidbits with each entry. I had no idea that Hendrix taught Ernie Isley how to play guitar.

I like how you put in the disclaimers as to why some people aren't on the list. Hopefully, it'll cut down on people commenting "Why isn't so and so on the list?"

pjazzypar said...

Hey Malcolm,

The only reason J. B. is not on the list is because I saw him at least 5 times, the last time in 2002 at the Greek Theater in L. A. I saw the Temps with Dennis back in 1973, I know that is not the line up you are talking about. You and Lori both brought some good choices to the table, which would have been included if I had unlimited slots, but alas I only had thirteen.

Oh yeah, if you listen to Ernie's playing on the Isley's stuff from the 3 + 3 album on you can definitely hear the Hendrick's influence. In fact listening to Ernie's guitar playing made me gain a higher level of respect and enthusiasm for the legendary Hendrix's (reading your post made me realize I spelled his name wrong), bad Pamella.

Malcolm: said...

I knew that you had seen JB (As Craig said, "you lucky"), otherwise he definitely would have made your list.

I also saw the Tempts, but it was in 1989 or 1990. They came to Marquette and performed at the U.P. Sports Festival. I think I might have told you about it.

jenn said...

All great artists.
Happy tt!

Open Grove Claudia said...

What great choices! I'd love to have seen Sam Cooke. He still sings one of my favorite songs! I never saw Marvin Gaye either. I could miss Jimi Hendrix, though....

Happy TT!

My TT is up A little kindness

Natalie said...

I agree with most of those and now I have quite a few songs in my head. LOL!

My T13 post is up, come check it out if you get a chance. :)

Nicholas said...

I saw the Beatles!

SJ Reidhead said...

I saw Sir Paul McCartney a few years ago in Memphis. Incredible show!

Then I saw John Denver years ago in Atlanta. I still cry when I think about him.

The Pink Flamingo

damozel said...

My favorites from that list are Joplin, Bob Marley, the Beatles, and Otis Redding. I really feel I missed out (though I did get to see Bob Dylan, Jethro Tull, and the Grateful Dead)....

pjazzypar said...


Old J.B. performed until the he left and I feel fortunate to have witnessed the prototype for Michael Jackson and Prince's performance style. I would see everyone on the list you provided, especially the Mamas and Papas and Dusty Springfield.


Thanks for visiting.

open grove claudia,

When I was a kid Jimi Hendrix was way over my head, but as I told Malcolm I gained a new respect for his music the Ernie Isley of the Isley Brothers. I enjoyed your TT. Thanks for stopping by.


Thanks for stopping by. Happy TT.


I am jealous. That's all I have to say.

sj reidhead,

I would like to see Paul McCartney and I may still get the opportunity to do so. It was sad about John Denver. I was living in Southern California and remember the incident vividly.


Do you consider yourself a "Dead Head"? I remember that being the name for Grateful Dead fans back in the day. Jerry Garcia has some cool guitars in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I would go see Dylan if only to honor his historic impact on American popular culture.

Rian Fike said...

That is one of the best ideas I have ever seen for a Thursday Thirteen.

I wish I would have seen Sublime and Nirvana and Karen Carpenter!

pjazzypar said...

Hi rian fike,

Thanks for stopping by and for the compliment. I am glad you mentioned Karen Carpenter because she had one of the most distinct voices in the history of pop music. What a tragic loss. When I lived in California I had a client that lived in Downey, California, which was where Karen resided and where her parents still live. Downey is also noted for being home to the original McDonalds'. It still stands today.

Rachel said...

Hi there fellow Texan!! Glad you enjoyed my TT.
I am absolutely on the ball with every one of those concerts and performers! I had never heard of #13 before, but I'm a huge Ella fan and all music of that genre.
I'm just a music fan period!
Thank you so much for stopping in!! Have a wonderful afternoon!
*off to check out more of your blog*

Kerith Collins said...

oh...the beatles for sure...but there are a couple left...right?

pjazzypar said...

Hi rachel,

Thanks for visiting. Minnie Riperton was not of Ella Fitzgerald's era, but strictly a 60's - 70's performer. You should go to You Tube and give her a listen. FYI: Minnie Riperton's daughter is none other than Maya Rudolph from Saturday Night Live.

Hi kerith collins,

Yes Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney are still among us, but because John and George are gone, we can never have a true Beatle reunion. Thanks for dropping by.

Harris Channing said...

Great list. I would have loved to have seen some of these folks too. Wonder what music would be if...


Dane Bramage said...

Great list. I got to see Ray Charles on a double bill with Gladys Knight and the Pips. It was a great evening. I have see Manhattan Transfer, The Spinners and Earth Wind and Fire the most times in concert.

Thanks for visiting my T13 #60: 13 Things I Want for Christmas But Will Never Get

pjazzypar said...

Hi Harris,

Thanks for your comment. The music landscape would probably be different if some of these acts had survived past their youth.

Hi dane bramage,

I am green with envy. I have seen Gladys with one Pip (Bubba). I missed a chance to see EWF back in the mid 70's when their album "That's The Way of the World" was in heavy rotation. I saw the Spinners with the Temps in the 70's and I would love to see The Manhattan Transfer. Thanks for sharing.

storyteller said...

What a wonderful list of musicians to see in concert. I've seen just 7 of the 13 live, but aren't we lucky to have video recordings so we can enjoy them even now? Thanks for visiting my blog and happy T-13 to you.
Hugs and blessings,

pjazzypar said...

Wow storyteller,

I am impressed! I wish I had seen even three of them. As you mentioned, at least we have video footage by each one of them and it makes missing them in concert at least bearable. Thanks for stopping by.

Holly Smith said...

Love them all, except I must admit I've never heard of #13. My favorite on the list is Sam Cooke. What a magical voice he had!!!

pjazzypar said...

Hey mama p.j.,

Thanks for stopping by. As for Minnie Riperton, you can see a performance by her on the player below. Also see my comments to rachel.