Even if you've never heard of Billy Edd Wheeler, you might recognize "Jackson," a song he wrote with the help of songwriting heavyweights Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller back in 1963. It was a Top 20 pop hit for Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra in 1967, and got to No. 2 on the country charts that same year in a version by Johnny Cash and June Carter.
" 'Jackson' is a fun song," Wheeler says. "It's been my most famous and most lucrative song. It helped build our house."
The name of the band refers to Ken Peplowski, a Swing-era specialist; Evan Christopher, a living historian of the New Orleans Creole clarinet; and Anat Cohen — what doesn't she do? They're not the only ones on stage, of course — they'll be backed by a band which knows the time-honored and broad-shouldered methods of swing. This reedy convocation on the state of the clarinet today was put together for Newport, and — on the birthday anniversary of Louis Armstrong — was filled with ad lib fireworks.
After a sunny, warm afternoon on the Rhode Island shore, the first full day of the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival has come and gone. If you've got a free moment, you can already replay many of the sets we recorded online. But starting at 11:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, we'll be presenting eight more hours of live video from the festival at npr.org/newportjazz. Here's what's on tap:
Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 6:43 pm
Bill Frisell is a soft-spoken guy who does a lot of talking with his guitar — and its pedals and effects. So perhaps it's appropriate that he recently issued an album called All We Are Saying, an collection of John Lennon songs. Though he's known primarily for working with other improvisers, he's of the Baby Boomer generation, and he doesn't hide his love for Beatles songs away. With a band including steel guitar (Greg Leisz) and violin (Jenny Scheinman), Frisell doesn't reinvent the wheel — but he certainly gives it a new spin.