Yesterday And Today

  • A Father’s Day Story: The Courtship of Harry Nilsson’s Son, Zak

    It’s hard to imagine a world without Zak Nilsson. Then again, it is hard to lose anyone who embodied so many virtues as this gentle friend. He loved life with good humor and common sense. He walked through his own elusive moments with humility and kindness. He walked in the footsteps of famous people beginning […]

  • Jazz 88 Keeps Pumping Out the Tunes: Station persists despite numerous challenges over the years, including Coronavirus

    Jumping joints have come and gone, and many musicians and fans are jamming with the angels. Yet, there has been one constant on the San Diego jazz scene over the last half century. With a twist of the dial or punch of a button on their radios, or a finger tap on online devices, listeners […]

  • Me and Ronnie Earl

    I joined my first professional blues band, King Biscuit, in 1981. We had a regular gig every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night at a club in San Diego called the Mandolin Wind. There was a guy who used to come see us and he was always telling me about this great jump blues band from […]

  • Lawrence Ferlinghetti: America’s Poet

    Lawrence Ferlinghetti passed away last month, at age 101, and what we’ve lost is a great American voice. His poems were written in a wonderfully amorphous American idiom, his rhythms were light, quick, jazz-like; his patois seemed to come from anywhere in 50 states. His poems were vocalizations of the man on the street who […]

  • Q & A with Gabe Lapano: After the Rain and Beyond

    If you recall the Cascades 1962 classic hit “Rhythm of the Rain,” it conjures a gentle scene of a quiet storm by the sea, perhaps with sand blowing on a lonesome shore. A yearning of love lost, far-flung yet hopeful. And so the song breezed by the winter of ’62, and by spring of 1963, […]

  • 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, […]