Yesterday And Today

  • Remembering Sam Hinton

    A Lifetime of Achievement If you grew up in San Diego, chances are your classroom would have been treated to a visit by a man who played guitar and sang funny folk songs. You wouldn’t have easily forgotten this engaging man, because when he sang his songs, history came alive. That man would have been […]

  • Band of Brothers: The Liggins Brothers

    Although they were both born in Oklahoma (Joe in Guthrie on July 9, 1915, and Jimmy in Newby on October 14, 1922), band leaders Joe and Jimmy Liggins relocated to San Diego as youths. Revered by lovers of jump blues, swing, and R&B, they soon began their musical apprenticeship in the local clubs of 1930s. […]

  • A Darker Side of Donovan

    There’s a telling scene in Don’t Look Back, D.A. Pennebaker’s grainy 1967 documentary of Bob Dylan’s stormy 1965 tour of England. Dylan is in a hotel, filled with tour members, local celebs, musicians, and varieties of hangers-on. The Maestro is rifling through a British paper and happens upon an article on Donovan, the Scottish singer-songwriter […]

  • Time Between: Chris Hillman’s Life in Music Leads to his Roots

    “I heard the most beautiful voices I had ever heard.” This is how country-rock California bluegrass pioneer Chris Hillman describes the first time he heard Jim McGuinn, Gene Clark, and David Crosby sing together as the Byrds. As a founding member of the band that helped shaped the music of the pivotal decade—the 1960s—Hillman’s autobiography, […]

  • The Transformation of John Lennon

    I’m sick and tired of hearing things from uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocritics All I want is the truth, just give me some truth I’ve had enough of reading things by neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians All I want is the truth, just give me some truth. — John Lennon, “Gimme Some Truth” October 9th marks the […]

  • Rosie and the Originals Put National City on the Map

    The majority of rock historians agree that rock ‘n’ roll hit a dry spell between 1960 and 1962. The charts told the story: leather-clad rockers were out, acne-free boys and girls were in. There are several key reasons why the music retreated from the intensity of Little Richard to the conservatism of Connie Francis—the deaths […]

  • Ella Ruth Piggee: Remembering a San Diego Musical Titan

    Ella Ruth Piggee has been gone from San Diego far longer than she was here, but the mark she left on this town’s music community remains as pronounced as ever. In her too-short time in San Diego, she became one of the biggest acts on the local music scene—holding down gigs at most of the […]

  • Summer in the City: Looking Back on the Lovin’ Spoonful

    I love my baby by the lovin’ spoonful. —“The Coffee Blues” by Mississippi John Hurt It’s subjectively peculiar, not to mention a tad bit reassuring, how certain recordings manage to retain an aura of timelessness. Sonic paintings mysteriously devoid of a date stamp, even when the sentiments and emotions on display are over a half-century […]

  • Enlistment Blues: How I joined the Army, met Lester Young and Jo Jones, and found a career in jazz.

    Jimmy Cheatham’s memoirs of life in the Army during World War II as told to Jim Trageser. Part Three/Final. Jimmy Cheatham was head of the UC San Diego jazz program from 1978-2005. He played in Chico Hamilton’s band in the 1960s, also serving as arranger. He also briefly played in Duke Ellington’s band in the […]