The Big Unkle

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Today in Music History- 1/23

January 23rd

In 1969, working at Apple studios in London, The Beatles (with Billy Preston on keyboards) recorded ten takes of a new song called 'Get Back'.


In 1976, David Bowie released his tenth studio album Station to Station, which was the vehicle for his last great "character", the Thin White Duke. The album made the top five in both the UK and US charts.

In 1988, Michael Jackson went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'The Way You Make Me Feel'. It was the third single from Jackson's seventh studio album Bad for which Jackson had written over sixty songs for the album, with plans of releasing a three disc album, but producer Quincy Jones convinced Jackson to make Bad a one disc LP.

and In 1991, John Sebastian, owner and general manager of KLSK FM in Albuquerque, New Mexico, played Led Zeppelins 'Stairway To Heaven' for twenty-four solid hours to inaugurate a format change to Classic Rock. Police showed up with guns drawn: once after a listener reported that the DJ had apparently suffered a heart attack, and later because of suspicion that, this being eight days into the Gulf War, the radio station had been taken hostage by terrorists dispatched by Zeppelin freak Saddam Hussein.

In honor of Jaco Pastorius being inducted into the Philadelphia Walk of Fame

Jaco is a huge influence on us as a group. His contribution to the jazz world as a bass player has made a lasting impression on the world. He's collaborated with a slew of prolific artists from Weather Report to Joni Mitchell. 


Jaco is known for his virtuosic bass lines which combined Afro-Cuban rhythms to create 16th-note funk lines syncopated with ghost notes. He played these with a floating thumb technique on the right hand, anchoring on the bridge pickup while playing on the E and A strings and muting the E string with his thumb while playing on higher strings. You can hear this on "Come On, Come Over" from his self titled album "Jaco Pastorius". He was also known for championing the fretless electric bass, with which he was able to create a horn-like tone while playing in the upper register. He's renown as one of the greatest Electric Bass Players ever! 

Before Jaco, bass didn’t know what it was yet.
— Bootsy Collins (Bass Player, James Brown Band)

Last month Jaco Pastorious was inducted into the Philadelphia Walk of Fame by the Philadelphia Music Alliance.  What is your favorite Jaco song? What's your best Jaco memory? For more info about Jaco Pastorius check out this killer documentary about him by Robert Trujillo. 

African American Music Appreciation Month

On May 31st President Obama declared June African American Music Appreciation Month. This may not be news to you. Although Jimmy Carter declared June 1979 as "Black Music Month" Barack wanted to be P.C, so he renamed it "African American Music Appreciation Month" Check out his proclamation below:

 A vital part of our Nation’s proud heritage, African-American music exemplifies the creative spirit at the heart of American identity and is among the most innovative and powerful art the world has ever known. It accompanies us in our daily lives, and it has rung out at turning points in our history and demonstrated how our achievements as a culture go hand-in-hand with our progress as a Nation. During African-American Music Appreciation Month, we honor the artists who, through this music, bring us together, show us a true reflection of ourselves, and inspire us to reach for the harmony that lies beyond our toughest struggles. 

Songs by African-American musicians span the breadth of the human experience and resonate in every corner of our Nation - animating our bodies, stimulating our imaginations, and nourishing our souls. In the ways they transform real stories about real people into art, these artists speak to universal human emotion and the restlessness that stirs within us all. African-American music helps us imagine a better world, and it offers hope that we will get there together. 

This month, we celebrate the music that reminds us that our growth as a Nation and as people is reflected in our capacity to create great works of art. Let us recognize the performers behind this incredible music, which has compelled us to stand up - to dance, to express our faith through song, to march against injustice, and to defend our country’s enduring promise of freedom and opportunity for all. 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2016 as African-American Music Appreciation Month. I call upon public officials, educators, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate activities and programs that raise awareness and foster appreciation of music that is composed, arranged, or performed by African Americans. 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth. 


It's no secret that African American Music has influenced everyone connected to The Big Unkle. From the band members to our spouses and even our Social Media Manager! In celebration of this month, here's a mix of some of our favorite artists. 


Happy Birthday Paul Butterfield

Paul Butterfield known best for his group "Paul Butterfield Blues Band" recorded several successful albums and were a popular fixture on the late-1960s concert and festival circuit. He was the only performer to play The Monterey Pop Festival in '67, Woodstock in '69 and The Last Waltz '76.

They became known for combining electric Chicago blues with a rock urgency as well as their pioneering Jazz fusion performances. After the breakup of the group in 1971, Butterfield continued to tour and record in a variety of settings, including with his mentor Muddy Waters, and members of the group The Band.