by Robert Wilkinson
Today’s the birthday of one of the most influential musicians ever to play a keyboard or drums.
Christopher Franke (6 April 1953) was part of the classic Tangerine Dream lineup with Edgar Froese from 1971 through 1987. If you don’t know who that band was, well, today you’re in for a treat! It’s synthesizer sonic tapestries as the world first heard them!
From Wikipedia, “While he was not the first musician to use an analog sequencer, he was probably the first to turn it into a live performance instrument, thus laying the rhythmic foundation for classic Tangerine Dream pieces and indeed for the whole Berlin school sound.... He may be best known for composing the music for the science fiction television series Babylon 5, as well as the score of the anime movie Tenchi Muyo! In Love.
Of course he’s done many solo projects these past 25 years, but today we’re going to focus on some of the most dramatic and exciting synth music ever made! For your enjoyment, the classic lineup of Edgar Froese, Christopher Franke, and Peter Baumann!
We’ll begin with the 1976 album Stratosphere
Also from 1976, their haunting soundtrack to the movie Sorcerer
Here’s the entire 1977 album Encore
From 1978, Cyclone
From 1979, Force Majeur
Now for some live shows!
From 1975, a 28 minute video! Tangerine Dream Live at Coventry Cathedral - 1975
Live on video in 1982, here’s "Kiew Mission"
Live in Warsaw, here’s an hour and 17 video show! Tangerine Dream Live in Poland - 1984
I found a lot of live shows, but the videos above are the only ones I could find of this original lineup. So from here, it’s live audio-only shows! (I think they were bootlegged as much as the Grateful Dead!)
From August 1975, an audio only 57 minutes of Tangerine Dream Live in Orange - 1975
From 1975, over 2 hours of live audio featuring TG! Tangerine Dream Live at the Royal Albert Hall - 1975
Live in Montreal in 1977, here’s an audio only hour and 55 of the classic lineup! Tangerine Dream Live in Montreal - 1977
From 1977 at Santa Monica, a one hour 45 minute audio only live show! Tangerine Dream Live in Santa Monica – 1977
Live in 1982, here’s an hour and 9 minutes! Tangerine Dream Live in Budapest - 1982
Definitely turned my head around in the 70s! Thanks for everything, Chris, and long may you run!
I just found out it’s the birthday of an outlaw country music legend, Merle Haggard (April 6, 1937 – April 6, 2016) who died on his birthday last year. With Buck Owens, he created the “Bakersfield Sound,” a new form of country music that broke through the Ring Pass Not of Nashville's stranglehold on the genre. While I can’t do a full tribute, I found a few that might move the country in your Soul!
With my old friend Saint Willie, their iconic 1983 performance of the Townes Van Zandt classic, “Pancho and Lefty”
Another chart topping duet, this time with George Jones in 1982! “Yesterday’s Wine”
Here’s a rare live clip of these two doing a medley! “The Way I Am,” “Yesterday's Wine,” & “I Must Have Done Something”
From 1965, his first top 10 hit! “(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers”
From 1966, his first #1! “I’m A Lonesome Fugitive”
Also from early in his career, here he’s on the Buck Owens show cranking out "Little Ole Wine Drinker Me" and "Today I Started Loving You Again"
From 1977 on the Donnie and Marie tv show, “If We Make It Through December”
Here are two live clips of one of his best known tunes! The first is with Johnny Cash where they give us a classic country arrangement of “Sing Me Back Home” and from his 1982 appearance on ACL, “Sing Me Back Home”
We’ll close this brief tribute with the song he is most associated with, “Okie from Muskogie” and since this is a classic duet, here he’s joined by Willie for “Okie from Muskogie” (I'm pretty sure Willie hadn't been to Muskogee when that was written!)
Thanks for the outlaw country, bad boy turned great musician. Glad Rabbit turned your head around.
It's also the birthday of Firesign Theater funny guy Phil Austin (April 6, 1941 – June 19, 2015). The FT were an amazing act, combining the best of comedy, improv, and radio show writing! This is surrealistic performance art of a different dimension than most of us ever hear!
This was their first, and it's funny from the very beginning! This is serious satire!!!
From 1968, the entire 1st Firesign Theater Album "Waiting For The Electrician or Someone Like Him" - Check it out, since it really is funny!
Speaking of funny, here's the entire 2nd Firesign Theater album! "How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You're Not Anywhere At All?" (All hail Groucho Marx and John Lennon!)
Here’s a 41 minute movie made by the FST titled Everything You Think You Know Is Wrong
If you want some real laughs, check out any of the Firesign Theater's works. Just absurdly brilliant. And very, very funny....RIP, Nick Danger. You gave me some great laughs over the years!
© Copyright 2017 Robert Wilkinson