Labor Day: Celebrate Music In Many Different Ways

By Bill Dudley

Looking for a musical adventure this Labor day weekend ?  You have many choices!

(1) The Skirball Cultural Center has an excellent exhibit on singer/songwriter Paul Simon. Organized by the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland, Paul Simon: Words and Music encompasses his 60 year career. In choosing Paul Simon as one of the “Greatest Songwriters of All Time”, Rolling Stone magazine hailed, “If Paul Simon’s career had ended in 1970 with the breakup of Simon & Garfunkel, he would still have produced some of the greatest songs ever… But Simon was just getting started.” Over the decades since, Simon has given us a unique blend of Folk, Rock, Gospel,R&B, and World Music. The Skirball exhibit wraps up soon, so see it this weekend if you can.

(2) The Grammy Museum has an excellent exhibit Ella at 100 commemorating the centennial birthday of one of the purest voices ever of Jazz and Pop, the great Ella Fitzgerald. While the entire exhibit is quite informative and very comprehensive, the thing that sticks with me the most is not that Ella worked with some of the biggest names in music: Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, and Dizzy Gillespie among others. And not that she got started as a young teenager, or even that she conducted her own band while still in her 20’s. It was her connection to Marilyn Monroe. Ella claimed, “I owe Marilyn a real debt. It was because of her that I played “The Mocambo.” Marilyn was so enthralled with Ella’s gripping talent that she reportedly told the club owner that if he booked Ella, Marilyn would come every night and sit at a front table.

The Grammy Museum  also has an interesting exhibit on Pop icon Michael Jackson, part of which was on display in 2009. The gloved one’s career is covered fully from the early Jackson 5 era, right up until his premature passing some 40 years later.

(3) Judy Collins and Stephen Stills friendship goes back 50 years, and they celebrate that musically this Friday night with a joint concert at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills.

(4) This Sunday morning you can also join me, Bill Dudley, as I host The Wave Sunday Brunch at Spaghettini in Seal Beach 10a-3pm.

No matter what you do this weekend, enjoy your holiday!

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