ghost of miles

"1959: Jazz's Vintage Year" tonight on Night Lights

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This week on Night Lights it's 1959: Jazz’s Vintage Year. The year of 1959 saw an unprecedented spate of jazz masterpieces. Among the albums released or recorded that year were Miles Davis' groundbreaking Kind of Blue, Dave Brubeck's blockbuster Time Out, John Coltrane's leap forward Giant Steps, Ornette Coleman's avant-garde salvo The Shape of Jazz to Come, Charles Mingus' revolutionary-in-the-tradition Mingus Ah Um, and Bill Evans' piano-trio template Portrait in Jazz. We'll hear music from all of those albums--for more on the year 1959, see the timeline below. "1959" airs Saturday, October 7 at 11:05 EST on WFIU and in a slightly different fund-drive edition at 9 p.m. Central Time on WNIN-Evansville. It will be posted Monday afternoon in the Night Lights archives. (Note: the Blue Lake edition of Night Lights this week is "The Jazz Scene." The fund-drive version of "1959" will air on Blue Lake Sunday, October 22.) Next week: "The Jazz Workshops Part 1."

 

1959 timeline:

January—Fidel Castro takes over Cuba. Alaska admitted as 49th state to U.S. Pope John XXIII proclaims Second Vatican Council.

 

February—Buddy Holly dies in plane crash.

 

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March—Groucho, Chico, and Harpo Marx make their final TV appearance together. Uprising in Tibet against Chinese occupation; Dalai Lama flees to India. Mystery writer Raymond Chandler dies. Movie Some Like It Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon, premiers. Lester Young dies. First sessions for Kind of Blue. John Coltrane attempts first sessions for what will eventually be released as Giant Steps.

 

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April—NASA announces selection of seven astronauts for first U.S. orbital flight.

 

May—Japanese-Americans regain citizenship. Sidney Bechet dies. Ornette Coleman records The Shape of Jazz to Come. Charles Mingus records Mingus Ah Um.

 

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June—Johnny Horton’s “Battle of New Orleans” begins a six-week stay at #1 on the pop-rock charts. U.S. postmaster general bans D.H. Lawrence’s LADY CHATTERLY’S LOVER. America launches first ballistic-missile-carrying submarine. First sessions for Time Out.

 

brubecktime200.jpg

 

July—The so-called Nixon-Khrushchev “kitchen debate.” Billie Holiday dies.

 

August—Hawaii becomes 50th and final (to date) U.S. state.

 

September—WCBS in NYC bans “Mack the Knife” in response to teenage stabbings. TV show “Bonanza” begins 14-year-run on NBC. Soviet space probe Luna 2 becomes first man-made object to reach the moon. Khrushchev tours America; becomes angry when he is refused admittance to Disneyland.

 

October—“Twilight Zone” debuts on TV. Pan American becomes first airline to offer regular flights around the world. Errol Flynn dies of heart attack at age 50. Dr. Werner von Braun begins to work for NASA.

 

November—Charles van Doren admits to House subcommittee that he knew answers in advance on quiz show “Twenty One.” Ford discontinues Edsel. Chubby Checker introduces the Twist on “The Dick Clark Saturday Night Show.”

 

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December—Walter Williams, last surviving veteran of the Civil War, dies at the age of 117. First color photograph of Earth received from outer space. Bill Evans records Portrait in Jazz.

Edited by ghost of miles

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First Stax records made. Don't suppose you'll be playing any of them.

Drifters' "There goes my baby" recorded; first Soul masterpiece.

MG

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1959 is a special year for me because it was the first year I paid attention to sports (collecting the bubble gum cards, my dad took me to my first game, etc.) and the first year that I went off to summer camp.

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