My Favorite Musicians

We bubbling on the top 100…” — Bob Marley

I’ve written about my introduction to Pandora Internet Radio. By now I’ve got four stations going:

Rahsaan Radio (my original station, 50s/60s/70s jazz)

Cannonball Adderly, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Clifford Brown, Dave Brubeck, Benny Carter, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Eric Dolphy, Stan Getz, Herbie Hancock, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Hank Mobley, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Thelonious Monk, Wes Montgomery, Gerry Mulligan, Jaco Pastorius, Buddy Rich, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Smith, Sun Ra, Weather Report

Invasion Radio (British rock favorites)

The Animals, Argent, The Beatles, Jeff Beck, The Bonzo Dog Band, David Bowie, The Clash, Cream, Deep Purple, Rory Gallagher, Gentle Giant, The Hollies, The Kinks, Dave Mason, Van Morrison, Steeleye Span, Richard Thompson, The Who, The Yardbirds, Yes

Steely Radio (American rock favorites)

The Allman Brothers Band, The Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, Blood Sweat and Tears, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Chambers Brothers, The Doors, Dr. John, Earth Wind and Fire, The Everly Brothers, Galactic, Hall and Oates, Jimi Hendrix, The Impressions, The J. Geils Band, Loggins and Messina, Los Lobos, The Lovin’ Spoonful, The Meters, The Neville Brothers, Parliament, Santana, The Sir Douglas Quintet, The Spinners, Steely Dan, The Ventures, Junior Walker and the All Stars, War, The Young Rascals, Frank Zappa

Crossroads Radio (American blues/country/soul/etc.)

Booker T. and the MGs, Jimmy Buffett, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Bob Dylan, Jim & Jesse, B. B. King, Leo Kottke, Lyle Lovett, Bob Marley, Delbert McClinton, Fred Neil, Willie Nelson, Randy Newman, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Roy Orbison, John Prine, Smokey Robinson, Simon & Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, James Taylor, Tom Waits, Muddy Waters

* * *

These people, I guess, would thus be — except for the few dozen people who have let me play on stage with them — my Top 100 musicians/groups. At least they're the ones I thought of while programming. (A very few others, like my current favorites The Shuffle Demons, are not available in the Pandora playlists.)

You can see I have exquisite taste.

Most of them, of course, come from my teenage years, when we become most passionate about music. And, much like the list of my favorite writers, they all seem to be men. I didn't realize that until the very end when I was about to add Aretha Franklin, but decided to keep things all male. (Similarly, Steeleye Span and Richard Thompson really belong on Crossroads Radio, but I kept them with their countrymen.)

p.s. It’s not completely same sex. Speaking of Steeleye Span, one constant through almost all of that band’s 17 incarnations has been the very feminine Maddy Prior. We’ve also got Ruth Underwood playing with Frank Zappa; Lynn Mabry, Dawn Silva, and other vocalists with Parliament; and I think (for a few years, at least) David Bowie was a woman.

April 2006

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