Saturday, November 26, 2011

AMERICAN FRONTIER

Between 1887 and 1892, John C.H. Grabill sent 188 photographs to the Library of Congress for copyright protection. Grabill is known as a western photographer, documenting many aspects of frontier life — hunting, mining, western town landscapes and white settlers’ relationships with Native Americans. Most of his work is centered on Deadwood in the late 1880s and 1890s. He is most often cited for his photographs in the aftermath of the Wounded Knee Massacre on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
From the Archive: The West
Title: "The Deadwood Coach" Side view of a stagecoach; formally dressed men sitting in and on top of coach. 1889. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: Villa of Brule A Lakota tipi camp near Pine Ridge, in background; horses at White Clay Creek watering hole, in the foreground. 1891. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: Ox teams at Sturgis, D.T. [i.e. Dakota Territory] Line of oxen and wagons along main street. [between 1887 and 1892] Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: The last large bull train on its way from the railroad to the Black Hills Summary: Train of oxen and three wagons in open field. 1890. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: Freighting in "The Black Hills". Photographed between Sturgis and Deadwood Full view of ox trains, between Sturgis and Deadwood, S.D. 1891. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: Freighting in the Black Hills A woman and a boy using bullwhackers to control a train of oxen. [between 1887 and 1892] Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: At the Dance. Part of the 8th U.S. Cavalry and 3rd Infantry at the great Indian Grass Dance on Reservation Group portrait of Big Foot's (Miniconjou) band and federal military men, in an open field, at a Grass Dance on the Cheyenne River, S.D.--on or near Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. 1890. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: Indian chiefs who counciled with Gen. Miles and setteled [sic] the Indian War -- 1. Standing Bull, 2. Bear Who Looks Back Running [Stands and Looks Back], 3. Has the Big White Horse, 4. White Tail, 5. Liver [or Living] Bear, 6. Little Thunder, 7. Bull Dog, 8. High Hawk, 9. Lame, 10. Eagle Pipe Posed group portrait of Lakota chiefs standing in front of tipi--probably on or near Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. 1891. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: U.S. School for Indians at Pine Ridge, S.D. Small Oglala tipi camp in front of large government school buildings in open field. 1891. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: "Hostile Indian camp" Bird's-eye view of a large Lakota camp of tipis, horses, and wagons--probably on or near Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. 1891. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: Indian chiefs who counciled with Gen. Miles and setteled [sic] the Indian War -- 1. Standing Bull, 2. Bear Who Looks Back Running [Stands and Looks Back], 3. Has the Big White Horse, 4. White Tail, 5. Liver [Living] Bear, 6. Little Thunder, 7. Bull Dog, 8. High Hawk, 9. Lame, 10. Eagle Pipe Group portrait of Lakota chiefs, five standing and five sitting with tipi in background--probably on or near Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. 1891. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA #
From the Archive: The West
Title: What's left of Big Foot's band Group of eleven Miniconjou (children and adults) in a tipi camp, probably on or near Pine Ridge Reservation. 1891. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA #
From the Archive: The West
Title: Indian Council in Hostile Camp Rear view of a large semi-circle of Lakota men sitting on the ground, with tipis in background, probably on or near Pine Ridge Reservation. 1891. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: "Home of Mrs. American Horse." Visiting squaws at Mrs. A's home in hostile camp Oglala women and children seated inside an uncovered tipi frame in an encampment--most are looking away from the camera--probably on or near Pine Ridge Reservation. 1891. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: "Red Cloud and American Horse." The two most noted chiefs now living Two Oglala chiefs, American Horse (wearing western clothing and gun-in-holster) and Red Cloud (wearing headdress), full-length portrait, facing front, shaking hands in front of tipi--probably on or near Pine Ridge Reservation. 1891. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: The Great Hostile Camp Bird's-eye view of a Lakota camp (several tipis and wagons in large field)--probably on or near Pine Ridge Reservation. 1891. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: "Little," the instigator of Indian Revolt at Pine Ridge Little, Oglala band leader, full-length studio portrait seated between two Euro-American men who are standing on either side of him; Chris Mathison (?) on left. 1890. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: Deadwood Central R.R. Engineer Corps Outdoor group portrait of ten railroad engineers and a dog, posing with surveyors' transits on tripods and measuring rods, on the side of a mountain. Most of the men are sitting; all are wearing suits and hats. [1888] Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: "A pretty view." At "picnic" grounds on Homestake Road Distant view of a train engine and several cars against a large wooded area. 1890. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: "Horse Shoe Curve." On B[urlington] and M[issouri River] R'y. Buckhorn Mountains in background Bird's-eye view of a train on tracks, just beyond a marked curve. 1891. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: "Hot Springs, S.D." From the Fremont, Elkhorn and M.V. Ry. bridge looking north to Fred T. Evans residence and plunge bath Bird's-eye view of a developing small town with railroad track running through it. Large buildings on hilltops in background. 1891. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: "Giant Bluff." Elk Canyon on Black Hills and Ft. P. R.R. A two-car train in front of a steep cliff; several passengers are posing in front of the train. 1890. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: Happy Hours in Camp. G. and B.&M. Engineers Corps and Visitors Small group of men and women and two deer in front of a tent. Some of the men are playing musical instruments. 1889. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: [Engineers Corps camp and visitors] Row of fifteen people and two deer in front of a tent. Some of the men are holding measuring poles and or standing next to surveyors' transits on tripods. 1889. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #
From the Archive: The West
Title: General Miles and staff Six military men on horseback on a hill overlooking a large encampment of tipis. 1891. Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 #

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RAY CHARLES: LOOKING BACK

As his 80th birthday approaches, a look at the life and legacy of the late Ray Charles.


"I just do what I do." That's what Ray Charles told Billboard in June 2002 when asked to assess his role in music history. Of course, Charles' self-effacing response belies a groundbreaking career and a legacy that endures today, as fans look toward celebrating what would have been the legendary artist's 80th birthday Sept. 23. Looking back at Charles' storied career, what comes to mind is the phrase "musical genius." In Charles' case, that's no hype.


Rare & Unseen Ray Charles Photos | Charles on the Charts

80th Birthday Year Events | Charles Charity


In 1954, the artist's melding of gospel and blues yielded the pioneering hit "I've Got a Woman"-and forged an indelible imprint on R&B, rock and pop. His earthy, soulful voice graced a steady stream of classics after "Woman," including "Drown in My Own Tears," "What'd I Say," "Hit the Road Jack," "Unchain My Heart," "I Can't Stop Loving You" and "Georgia on My Mind."

Video below: Ray Charles performs "Hit The Road Jack" in São Paulo, Brazil on September 22, 1963.


Video below: Ray Charles performs "Then I'll Be Home" in Montreux, Switzerland on July 19, 1997.


Just as at home on the Hammond B-3 organ as he was on the piano, he also landed at the top of Billboard's R&B, pop, country and jazz charts-and even the dance chart, collaborating with childhood friend Quincy Jones and Chaka Khan on "I'll Be Good to You."

His final recording, 2004's "Genius Loves Company," made history when it won eight Grammy Awards, including album and record of the year for his pairing with Norah Jones on "Here We Go Again."

But what many may not know is that the inimitable Charles was also a genius when it came to the business side of music. In the early '60s he negotiated a rare feat after leaving Atlantic Records to sign with ABC-Paramount: ownership of his own master recordings. He also established his own labels. Tangerine (his favorite fruit) came first, which later evolved into CrossOver Records.

A songwriter who penned nearly 200 songs, Charles also operated his own publishing companies, Tangerine Music and Racer Music. For these entities, Charles and longtime manager Joe Adams designed and built the RPM International office and studios on Washington Boulevard in Los Angeles. The Ray Charles Memorial Library will open in the building this fall.

Charles also found time to manage the careers of other acts, including Billy Preston and '70s R&B group the Friends of Distinction. And way before it was de rigueur for artists to do, Charles set up what became a foundation to help needy children with hearing disabilities and later on support education.


He was an amazing human being," says Jones, 77, who became friends with Charles when both were scrappy teenagers in Seattle. "A true innovator who revolutionized music and the business of music," he adds. "Growing up, we only had the radio; no Michael Jackson, Diddy or Oprah. So it was hard to imagine today's entrepreneurial world. But that didn't stop us. We spent a lot of time talking and dreaming about things that brothers had never done before."

"He really was a genius," says singer Solomon Burke, a former Atlantic labelmate. "He did things the way he wanted."

Charles was born Ray Charles Robinson Sept. 23, 1930, in Albany, Ga. As many learned through actor Jamie Foxx's Academy Award-winning portrayal in the 2004 film "Ray," Charles became blind by age 7 and orphaned at 15 while growing up in northwest Florida.

In eight years at a state school for the blind, the young Charles learned how to read and write music. Leaving Florida in 1947, he headed for Seattle ("Choosing the farthest place he could find from Florida," Jones says), where he notched his first hit two years later as a member of the Maxin Trio, "Confession Blues."

Even then, Charles was an enterprising individual. "He had his own apartment, record player, two pairs of pimp shoes, and here I am still living at home," Jones recalls with a laugh. "His mother trained him not to be blind: no cane, no dogs, no cup. His scuffed-up shoes... that was his guide and driving force. He was the most independent dude I ever saw in my life. Ray would get blind only when pretty girls came around."

Signing with Atlantic Records in 1952, Charles as a West Coast jazz and blues man recorded such songs as "It Should've Been Me" and label co-founder Ahmet Ertegun's composition, "Mess Around."

Then he connected in 1954 with "I've Got a Woman," which set off a chain reaction of more hits capitalizing on his bold gospel/blues fusion. But Charles was just getting started. In 1958, he performed at the Newport Jazz Festival, accompanied by a band that featured such jazz cats as saxophonists David "Fathead" Newman and Hank Crawford. Further bucking convention, he recorded "The Genius of Ray Charles," a 1959 release offering standards on one side (including "Come Rain or Come Shine") and big band numbers on the other, featuring members of Count Basie's orchestra and several arrangements by Jones.


Video below: Charles' 1966 Coke commercial, "So Tired."



Leaving Atlantic for ABC-Paramount, a fearless Charles recorded the seminal "Genius + Soul = Jazz" album in 1961. A year later, his earlier dabbling in country music grew serious with the release of the million-selling "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music."

Complemented by lush strings and a harmony-rich choir, he scored with covers of Don Gibson's "I Can't Stop Loving You" and Ted Daffan's "Born to Lose"-and spent 14 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.




For a black man to do this in 1962 was unheard of," says Tony Gumina, president of the Ray Charles Marketing Group, which handles the late artist's licensing affairs. "He was trying to sell records to people who didn't want to drink from the same water fountain as him. But this was one of his greatest creative and business moves: to not be categorized musically and cross over. Though he never worried about it, he was resigned to the fact that he might lose some core fans. But he thought he'd gain far more in the process."

Gumina was operating his own promotion company working with state lotteries when he met Charles in 1999. The two teamed up on a series of commercials for various state lotteries and also introduced a line of Ray Charles slot machines also accessible to the blind.

"Everything he did had a business acumen to it," says Gumina, who cites Charles' liaison with manager Adams as a pivotal turning point. Originally hired to be Charles' stage announcer, former radio DJ Adams segued into overseeing production of the singer's shows, lighting and wardrobe.

Together the pair designed and built Charles' L.A. business base, RPM International (Recording, Publishing and Management) studio. When he began recording there in 1965, the label rented the studio from him, so he made money on his recordings before they were even released.

To save money on travel expenses, Charles purchased an airplane to ferry his band around to gigs. A smaller plane was also acquired so that Charles could wing in to, say, New York to record a couple of songs before flying back out in time for a show.

"He understood the entertainment business enough to know that you may not be popular forever," Gumina says, "and you need to maximize your product. At the same time, he had as much fun as any rock star but without the sad money stories. There was a time to work and a time to play, and he knew the difference. He didn't have a bunch of homes or a large entourage. That's why he was able to save $50 million before he died."

Calling Charles an "incredibly smart man," Concord president John Burk says he learned a lot from the ailing singer while he was recording his final studio album, "Genius Loves Company."

Video below: Ray Charles performs "It Ain't Easy Being Green" in Trentnton, NJ on Nov. 7, 2002.


Going through "some sticky deal points, he was amazing," Burk recalls. "He had the whole agreement in his head. Without referencing any material, he knew all the terms we proposed and had the deal done for the album in two discussions."

Creatively, Burk says Charles was an artist dedicated to delivering "a true performance from the heart. Part of his creative legacy was his approach to singing. He opened the door to vocal improvisations, changing how people perceived you could sing a song. Many singers today are influenced by him and they don't even know it."


Rare & Unseen Ray Charles Photos | Charles on the Charts

80th Birthday Year Events | Charles Charity

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