After Jim passed away – it’s hard to believe he’s been gone more than two years now – it was left to Amelia Davis and Bonita Passarelli to deal with the sudden grief, the business particulars and challenges and, most importantly, hunker down to protect his legacy. First and foremost, that legacy hinged on his body of work and archive, but the work also included all of Jim’s personal effects, his gear and his treasured belongings and collections, including a rather eclectic collection of nearly 1,000 albums that highlighted many of his personal greatest hits, so to speak. In the next few blogs we are going to feature album covers and album packages culled from the albums that were in Jim’s personal collection on the day he died – many of them signed by him (not for posterity but to prevent them from being stolen, just like any other obsessive vinyl collector would do).
More Than Meets the Eye
I have talked a lot in these blogs about the fact that Jim Marshall was much more than just the infamous pain-in-the-ass rock ‘n roll photographer, about how much bigger his eyes and ears and heart were and how much broader his interests in literature and art and music really were … and how that was a hallmark of his career right from the very start in the early '60s. Hence, it’s no surprise that the year 1963 was a breakout year for him record label assignment-wise as well (he had 11 albums in his personal collection from that year alone). So it seems only fitting to lead off with some of our favorites from '63 and some wiki notes and artist's bios on the musicians and scenes that inspired him and resulted in some of his earliest, most treasured album package assignments. Enjoy!
"During World War II he served in the Navy where he started playing the trombone. Soon after his discharge he joined Benny Carter's band and later the trombone section of Lionel Hampton. After some solo work Grey joined Dizzy Gillespie's big band in 1956. In October 1957 Count Basie urgently needed a fill-in for his European tour and Al Grey luckily was in the right place at the right time. "After 1961 Grey performed only occasionally with the Count. Apart from leading his own combos, he appeared with many jazz greats such as Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones and even Ray Charles. He is featured on Count Basie recordings with Ella Fitzgerald or Frank Sinatra and recorded “Snap Your Fingers.” His trombone skills were also featured on the award-winning soundtrack for Steven Spielberg's film "The Color Purple." "Al Grey's early trombone style was inspired by Trummy Young. He developed a wild, strong and full sound. Solos often consisted of short, pronounced phrases with precisely timed syncopation. When playing with the plunger, however, he would produce the most mellow fill-ins and shape melodic answers to the lead voice."
"Carolyn Hester is a noted Folk Singer from the 60's Greenwich Villiage Folk Scene. She appeared on the cover of the "Saturday Evening Post" in the May 30th, 1964 issue and has been remembered in many books including 'Chronicles,' Bob Dylan's autobiography, as being the person who was most instrumental in Dylan's signing to Columbia records - the label that took an unknown singer-songwriter and elevated him to super-stardom. "Hester is known for her angelic voice and her repertoire of traditional English ballads mixed with an original selection of contemporary folk. She has recorded more than fifteen albums in her fifty years of performing. She was signed to the Decca/Coral label in 1957 by her manager-producer, Norman Petty. Also under Petty's influence at that time, was a hip entertainer and friend of Hester's, Buddy Holly. Throughout the '60s, Hester was well-established in the Greenwhich Village folk scene where she met a young, Bob Dylan. "Since 1972, Hester has played almost annually at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Kerrville, Texas and served as a member of the board of directors for most of that time. In 1992, Hester was asked to perform at the Bob Dylan tribute at Madison Square Garden which celebrated Dylan's 30th year recording for Columbia. Hester has appeared as a guest artist on many albums including the Grammy-Award winning album by Nanci Griffith, 'Other Voices, Other Rooms' recorded in 1993."
“An American gospel singer. Possessing a powerful contralto voice, she was referred to as ‘The Queen of Gospel.’ Jackson became one of the most influential gospel singers in the world and was heralded internationally as a singer and civil rights activist. She was described by entertainer Harry Belafonte as ‘the single most powerful black woman in the United States.’ She recorded about 30 albums (mostly for Columbia Records) during her career, and her 45 rpm records included a dozen ‘golds’ — million sellers. “At the March on Washington in 1963, she sang in front of 250,000 people "How I Got Over" and "I've Been 'Buked, and I've Been Scorned". Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous "I Have a Dream" speech there. She also sang "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" at his funeral after he was assassinated in 1968.”