Alex Steinweiss, The Man Who Invented Album Cover Art




Alex Steinweiss (March 24, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York) is a graphic designer.
In 1939, he was the first art director for Columbia Records, where he invented the concept of album covers and cover art; previously, recorded music was sold in plain, undecorated packaging. Steinweiss was active in record cover design from its inception in 1939 until 1973, when he semi-retired to devote himself to painting. By his own admission, he has designed roughly 2500 covers.




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Louis Farrakhan – Is She Is, Or Is She Ain’t?



Louis Farrakhan (born Louis Eugene Walcott; May 11, 1933) is the National Representative of the Nation of Islam. He is an advocate for black interests, and a critic of American society. Farrakhan has been widely criticized for his political views and often controversial rhetorical style. In 1996, he was awarded the Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights founded by the current Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi.


It”s hard to picture the leader of the Nation of Islam singing a calypso song about a sex change operation but the cheery singer is none other than Louis Farrakhan.

He was originally known as Gene Walcott, a kid who grew up with a passion for the violin and Caribbean music. He used his love of music to form a nightclub act where he was known as The Charmer, an alternative version of Harry Belafonte. His nightclub act was so hilarious that it led to a recording career. “Is She Is, Or Is She Ain”t’, a song which Farrakhan wrote himself, was featured in a compilation of Caribbean music called Calypsos from the West Indies on Monogram Records. The song was also featured on another Monogram compilation called Calypsos Too Hot to Handle. Farrakhan also released a solo album on Monogram called The Charmer.

In 1955 while The Charmer was on tour he was invited to a rally to hear Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad. The young Gene Walcott heard Muhammad talk about the lack of well educated African Americans leaders and told Walcott that “the black race had enough entertainers, but needed were more thinkers.’ And asked Walcott to choose between entertainment or the Nation of Islam. Walcott then joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name to Louis Farrakhan.

It”s a shame that Farrakhan ended his calypso career so early. Who knew where he could have been today! But his musical shenanigans didn”t end when he joined the Nation of Islam, he released two more singles! One of them was “A White Man”s Heaven is a Black Man“s Hell’ (released on the A Muslim Sings label) and the other is “Let Us Unite’ with “Benefit of Unity (released on Monogram Records). And on his birthday celebration Farrakhan wowed the audience with a violin performance of Mendelssohn”s Violin Concerto with the New World Orchestra.

I was lucky to find this record at a thrift store in Waco, Texas. But for those out there, who can”t get enough musical Farrakhan pleasures, be on the look out for a CD reissue on the defunct Bostrox record label. Or you can listen to all of Farrakhan”s music at the Sing-a-Long with Farrakhan website where you can play the songs, watch the “Is She Is, Or Is She Ain”t’ music video, and find out what your African name is with the Farrakhan African Name Generator. My name is Muhamid! As Salaam Alaikum everybody!

Van Morrison – Ring Worm/You Say France And I Whistle/Want A Danish



Van Morrison, OBE (born George Ivan Morrison, 31 August 1945 in Belfast, Northern Ireland) is a critically acclaimed singer and songwriter with a reputation for being at once stubborn,idiosyncratic, and sublime. His live performances at their best are seen as transcendental and inspired; while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeks and Moondance, and the live album It’s Too Late to Stop Now, are acclaimed as among the greatest ever made.


Recorded by Van Morrision in 1968 to get out of his recording contract with Bang Records. 31 tracks in total were given to Bang to fufill the contact obligation. Here are three.

Dick Clark Recording “Open Letter to the Older Generation” (Audio)



Richard Wagstaff “Dick” Clark (born November 30, 1929) is an American television, radio personality, game show host and businessman; he served as chairman and CEO of Dick Clark Productions, which he has sold part of in recent years. He is best known for hosting long-running television shows such as American Bandstand, five versions of the Pyramid game show, and Dick Clark’s New Year‘s Rockin’ Eve.

Dick Clark made this recording in 1967.  Thanks to Ubu!

Dick Clark’s Rock, Roll and Remember Comic Strip


Comic Strip From: