By JOHN DALY
Many people associate California with arts, music, and films and never have those creative arts been more important than during the last few months.
California and its artistic inhabitants are worth researching. The state not only gave birth to great independent films and art but also several niches in music, like Heavy Third Wave, Ska and Surf Rock. And while it sounds modern, California’s state song, “I Love You California” was written by F. B. Silverwood in 1913.
It would be time well spent and good, time-occupying activity for music fans to do the research on California culture. Many music fans from other parts of the world have little knowledge of the state’s rich musical history. And as California slowly reopens from lockdown, there is good music by great California artists that can occupy the mind and keep listeners busy.
1. Snoop Dogg
Calvin Cordozar Broadus, popularly known as Snoop Dogg was born on October 20, 1971, at Long Beach, California. He started his music career in 1993 when he released Doggystyle. Snoop is a successful producer, actor, entrepreneur, rapper, and songwriter. He has several collaborations with top musicians like Meek Mill and Jay Z. The artist rebranded himself as Snoop Lion in 2013 when he released a reggae album. He has appeared in top shows including King of the Hill, Monk, and Empire. His new song “I Wanna Thank Me” depicts some poker-playing Dogg and his pals.
2. Dexter Gordon
Dexter was born on February 27, 1923, and died on April 25, 1990. He was raised in Los Angeles, California, and was an ardent fan of jazz music. Dexter liked playing behind the beat and his sound was spacious. Jazz fans knew him for his musical quotes in solos. He influenced Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane.
3. Red Hot Chili Peppers
Red Hot Chili Peppers is an American rock band that was formed in 1983 in Los Angeles. Their music comprises funk, psychedelic rock, alternative rock, and punk rock. The band is made up of John Frusciante (guitarist), Chad Smith (drummer), Flea (bassist), and Anthony Kiedis (vocalist). The rock band has sold more than 80 million records in the past three decades. The band has won eight MTV Video Music Awards since 1990. Also, RHCP has won six Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
4. David Crosby
David Crosby was born and grew up in Los Angeles. He played a key role in forming the Byrds before recording with CSN. David’s band collaborated with Neil Young at the 1969 Woodstock Festival in New York. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the Byrds and CSN.
5. Etta James
Etta tried different music genres including gospel, jazz, rock and roll, soul, and R and B.”At Last” was her first music album. She released it in 1961. Etta has won many awards including 14 Blues Female Artist of the Year honors, a Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award, and three Grammy Awards. She influenced other musicians such as Christina
Aguilera, Beyoncé, and Celine Dion.
6. John Cage
John Milton Cage Jr. isn’t popular among many millennials. He was born on September 5,1912, and died on August 12, 1992. John was an artist, philosopher, a composer, and an American music theorist. He pioneered electroacoustic music. The music composer often collaborated with Merce Cunningham. The 433 is his most popular composition. He wrote it in 1952 using different instruments. John Cage was one of the top influential composers in the 20th century.
In may be different in 2020, but for as long as anyone can remember, music enthusiasts flock to Los Angeles and San Francisco to attend classical, jazz, folk, pop, rap, and rock concerts. And just maybe if luck is on the right side, we’ll see one of these great California musicians this year at a live performance.