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People Let Me Tell You About...

People let me tell you about my best friend…

If you’re of a certain age or if you’re of a certain type—one who digested all sorts of TV shows from the late 60s, 70s, etc. then that opening line should ring a bell. It’s the opening line from the TV show “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father.” (Yes, I’m aware it was also a movie—ok, I actually didn’t know it was a movie until I IMDB’d it and saw that).

Anyway, that TV—the versions of which I watched most likely in reruns—was a special show to me. Not because it was just me and my Dad living together—which wasn’t the case. But because my Dad wasn’t living with me (though I got to see him and visit him all the time) that this show struck a chord. It’s also because the actor who played the Dad, Bill Bixby, happened to look a lot like my father. So, with some of the opening scenes of them playing on the beach, it sort of hit home as something to strive for.
Now, what does all this have to do with this week’s World Music Show (6/17)? Well, it’s my annual Father’s Day show. I love this show not only because I get a chance to bring both my kids back into the studio to play some of their favorite World Music shows, but because I get to share some of my favorite Father & Son and Father & Daughter musical combinations. And when that runs out, I’ll get to play some of my favorite “just because” picks.

Right off the bat, let’s get the combinations out in the open. The master list of Father/Son/Father/Daughter consists of:

Ali Farka Toure & Vieux Farka Toure—both are master guitarists. And though Ali Farka has been gone for more than 10 years, his son continues to carry the guitar torch for them both, but Vieux is also able to distinguish himself as a separate but just as masterful player.

Fela & Seun Kuti—Seun, like his brother Femi, have both developed their own unique take on Afrobeat. Both are political, just like their father was, and both are able to write stinging lyrics about the social ills Nigeria faces. As an added bonus, Seun also is able to use many musicians from his Father’s Egypt 80 band.

Caetano & Moreno Veloso—these two are both heavy weights in both Brazilian and World Music. Caetano, who was part of the Tropicalia movement, helped bring Brazilian music to a bigger stage. His son, Moreno, was able to take that beginning and run with it—by creating his own unique, almost alternative style in this genre. He’s also created a nice body of work by working with the musicians Kassin and Domenico.

The Marleys—so many to name, but of course we’ll be talking about Bob Marley as well as Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, which consist of much of the Marley family musicians. No need to say how much of a legend Bob Marley and the Wailers were, but I can say that Ziggy, who along with his siblings, have carried the torch of Reggae music and vibes into many facets of popular culture—all with a grace and a smartness that has allowed them to continue to evolve.

Astrud & Bebel Gilberto—now, in hindsight, I should’ve gone with Bebel’s father Joao, but for some reason, I had more selections featuring Astrud. However, I do know that on the track that I’m playing with Astrud, Joao is featured on the recording—so that counts a bit, right?

Ravi & Anoushka Shankar—both are master sitar players but Anoushka has taken this skill and brought it up for a younger generation. She’s done this by working with such people as Karsh Kale, who take her skills and push her to even greater heights.

Now, as for the rest of the show, we’ll be hearing a lot of my favorite tracks (which actually, I’m able to do on many of my shows). From the Beastie Boys doing dub music with Santigold, to Beck traveling around LA.’s Latin neighborhoods, I think you’ll enjoy these as much as I do. Also look for tracks from David Byrne, Arthur H., and some Soweto Street music.

Don’t worry if you think we’ll just being hearing some older music from the collection. I also have a couple of new tracks from the Spanish band Polock. Named after the famed painter, this band is like his paint drips—all over the place, but calculated in terms of their indie style.

As and added bonus on this week’s show, and as a annual event, both my kids—who grew up on the show (especially as the “Big Soap” voices at the end), will join me in playing some of their favorite world music tracks.

The World Music Show airs Saturday at 8:00 p.m. on 88.9 WCVE Richmond Public Radio. You can also stream the show via this website and join the fun on Twitter @wcveworldmusic and on Facebook at The World Show on WCVE. Plus, get live streaming track lists on the website during the show.