Sunday, July 16, 2017

R.I.P. Old School Record Guy and Jazz Lover JOE FIELDS

Joe Fields, a jazz lover and record label owner who took a chance on me with four or five jazz LPs in the 1970s has died.

He was 88.

Downbeat reports:

Joe Fields, a driving force in the jazz music business for over 50 years, passed away on July 12. He was 88 years old.

Fields was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1929 and raised in Brooklyn. In high school he was an accomplished athlete, winning the prestigious New York Journal American Lou Gehrig award. He was also an industrious student, working many jobs during his school years, including selling newspapers, pushing a rack in the Garment District and driving a cab. He played college football at Syracuse and the University of Bridgeport, where he was captain of his team his senior year. While attending Bridgeport, he met and married the woman who would become his wife of 66 years, Joan Nancy Boyd.

After graduating from college, Fields had several business ventures but found his calling in the music business. In the late 1950s, he began selling records to music stores in Brooklyn. Fields was hired by London Records to pick singles for the United States market.

He worked for MGM, Verve, Prestige and Sue Records before becoming the national sales manager at Buddha Records. While at Buddha, Fields started its jazz division, Cobblestone Records. He started his own record label when he acquired Cobblestone from Buddha and renamed it Muse Records.

I had three artists (co-produced with Skip Drinkwater) on Joe's Muse/Cobblestone:
  • Norman Connors during his Pharoah Sanders period
  • The Grubbs Brothers aka The Visitors, highly influenced by their cousin John Coltrane
  • Catalyst, virtuoso players ranging from hard bop to fusion

Read more at Downbeat and thanks for the photo!





Saturday, July 15, 2017

We backed up my SoundCloud to and you can too

I am a big consumer of online multimedia and as the editor and publisher of POCHO I regularly embed video and audio files.

The videos I feature are usually served by YouTube and Vimeo, and audio files mostly come from SoundCloud. I've never spent much time contemplating SoundCloud's business model -- I just thought of them as an audio YouTube analog.

Now it turns out SoundCloud is having cash flow problems and may not be around much longer. As far is POCHO is concerned this is no big deal --- creaters gonna create anyhow -- but as a SoundCloud creator myself I need to consider where my audio files will live if SoundCloud shuts down.

Thankfully my old friend Tom Higgins was a step ahead of me and put a shell script up on GitHub that you can use to move your files from SoundCloud to a nice new home on

Thanks, Tom!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

It was 60 years ago today St. Hubbins and Tufnel taught the band to play

Today is the 60th anniversary of the day that David St. Hubbins met Nigel Tufnel and formed The Originals, which eventually became SPINAL TAP.


Nigel Tufnel and David St. Hubbins grew up in the same city block in London's Squatney District, knowing each other only slightly. David played guitar in a skiffle band, the Creatures; Nigel did the same for the Lovely Lads. The two began jamming together outside tube stations, and eventually, formed their first legitimate band, the Originals, later changed to the New Originals when the East End Originals (now the Regulars) threatened suit.

The New Originals collapsed in 1964 without record company support, but David and Nigel were hired by the legendary Johnny Goodshow Revue and played the Seaside Circuit, gigging after hours at local pubs — and it was in a Southampton tavern, The Bucket (now the Bucket and Pail), that they met and jammed with John "Stumpy" Pepys, then drummer for Leslie Cheswick Soul Explosion (now Les & Mary Cheswick).

When the weather turned cold, the three hooked up with bassist Ronnie Pudding from the Cheap Dates (now Cheapdate) and began working in London as the Thamesmen. They released their debut single on Abbey, Gimme Some Money b/w Cups and Cakes, in late spring 1965. It did not hit the charts immediately.

Meanwhile, the band played extensively in the Benelux nations, particularly Amsterdam's Long-Hair Club, where they met sixteen-year-old keyboard prodigy Jan Van Der Kvelk, who did musical charts for the band and used his Dutch music-biz connections to get them work. Leaving Amsterdam and Van Der Kvelk behind, the band returned to Britain as the Dutchmen and found Gimme Some Money climbing the charts. The band quickly changed their name back to the Thamesmen but the single had peaked and vanished from sight.

During the next eighteen months the group performed under the following names: Rave Breakers, Hellcats, Flamin' Daemons, Shiners, Mondos, the Doppel Gang, the Peoples, Loose Lips, Waffles, Hot Waffles, Silver Service, The Mud Below, and the Tufnel-St. Hubbins Group; personnel included: Nick Wax, Tony Brixton, Dicky Laine, and Denny Upham (keyboards); Jimmy Adams, Geoff Clovington (horns); Julie Scrubbs-Martin, Lhasa Apso (backing vocals); and briefly Little Danny Schindler (vocals, harmonica), later with Shvegman-Hayman-Kvelkman Blues Band featuring Little Danny Schindler (Shvegman, Hayman and Kvelkman signed with CPR Records as Talmud).

Continued here...