Whitney Houston (1963-2012)

She had talent out the ying-yang, and some amazing pipes, but sadly every obituary will include her infamous comment “crack is whack.”  She was found dead today at the Beverly Hilton hotel, on the eve of the Grammy Awards.  Her first album cover:


@Tommmcatt Be Fat, And That Be That: My sister and I bought the album (on cassette tape) with that hot photo of her on the front and played the tape over and over until it fell apart.

She was a beautiful woman, but that photo is perfect as it shows it in a non-flashy way.

That brilliant, dazzling voice.

And can I now ask formally that DListed be removed from this site’s links? As that ignorant fucking third rate pusillanimous cunt-featured, dick-breathed asshole was directly complicit in her death? As he won’t be satisfied till Lindsay Lohan is dead? Or any other of the other too-young-to-handle-fame-and-fortune sacrificed on our collective altar of monetized show-business are dead?

Here she was. The real thing. The video is ridiculous but they all are. Madonna can’t sing one note in tune: this woman had a four octave voice. Ruined by drugs and nothing to hold on to.

They were going to make Dreamgirls for her. She was the real thing. Blazing talent with nothing worthy to sing.

@Benedick: When was DListed ever in our links?

And if it was, I some major link-editing a few months back, so it’s long gone.

I never thought she sang the music that deserved her voice but she was a marvel. I’m overwhelmed with what she could have been.

@Benedick: Well, not one of mine…

Still, long gone. I thoroughly weeded the blogroll when I tidied up under the hood.

@redmanlaw: As it should be. When it goes back up will it continue to perve on slebs? My guess is yes, after he purges the site of all the disgusting stuff he posted about this poor woman.

There is an object lesson here. As the press (aka blogs et al) pilloried Whitney as an easy target so do they pillory our president. They will tie her death to his presidency and C Krauthammer will blame him for it.

@Benedick : Here is the isolated vocal track, the better to appreciate her power and precision. To me she peaked around the time of The Preacher’s Wife. This soundtrack of her gospel stylings is one of those must-haves, like Aretha’s Amazing Grace album.

@matador1015: Aretha is her godmother.

@Benedick: I can’t stand that crap. And yes to Lindsey. And I’m glad it seems that Cristina Aguillera managed to get off that train. But I don’t follow these things. Okay. Maybe Brad Pitt, but no more. If he’s so concerned about the environment, he needs to stop making babies.

@matador1015: thanks. I’ll get it in the morning. I’m in bed right now with sleeping dogs and hubby.

@JNOV is like, Peace?: And just to go full-metal meta, Maya Rudolph, who does a wicked Whitney, is Minnie Riperton’s daughter.

Just found out. I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut.

@nojo: And right on cue, Maya Rudolph is next week’s SNL host. Scratch that sketch.

Wait til Lindsay Lohan buys the farm. That’ll be bigger news than the presidential election. No one will care when Courtney Love croaks.

As for the music scene, I knew cats who were buying tickets to see Johnny Winter back in 1980 because they didn’t know how much time he had left. **********er played Letterman last month and is headed to Japan.

Play the blues if you want to live forever, I guess.


Another pop star bites the dust. Wake me when something musically important happens like the Trifecta of Jimi Janis Jim over 40 years ago.

As redmanlaw said, wait for Lindsay for them to get their panties in a twist. Or Paris, or … aw, fuck it. I can’t pretend to give a shit.

@redmanlaw: At first I defaulted to my usual (racist) response, “What do white guys know about the blues?” (I make exceptions for poor folks, abused folks, and southerners.) And then I saw that he’s got albinism and was like, “Oh, yeah. He’s whiter than white–he knows.”

@matador1015: That’s beautiful. What a voice. A big bright belt with no trace of howling. And you can hear Michael Jackson’s influence at the beginning. Not music I ever listened to but that voice would always stop me.

@Benedick: Yes. And back to music and race, apparently she was criticized for not being “black enough” because of her move to pop despite her gospel roots. And Elvis is credited for saving R&B/blues because he got airtime, but is considered by many African Americans to have been a racist who co-opted a musical tradition borne from slavery and traced to Africa. I think The Beatles, The Who (insert British invasion group HERE) get a pass because they are, well, British.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that most music, even the little bit of classical I’ve heard (recently Mahler’s 6th live!), these genres often incorporate call and response and a use of percussion that goes back to the cradle of civilization if you just listen.

I’m not sure why race matters in general or why it matters to me w/r/t the blues. Maybe the shit my grandfather, a polio-stricken soprano sax big band and jazz musician, went through influences my attitude. It probably shouldn’t. But when a town threatens to lynch your leg-braced granddad because he married a white woman, it kinda fucks you up some.

Time to let it go.

I am stunned. So hard to believe.

Back in the mid-eighties, a good friend of mine would perform drag as Whitney at a local gay bar. Miss Kelly Lee. He was damn good too! Had a huge following at the time.

Whitney, you will be missed.

@JNOV is like, Peace?: “Don’t worry, be happy /was a number one jam/damn if I say it you can slap me right here/”

@flypaper: I have no fucking idea what that means, yet I like it.

@JNOV is like, Peace?: Your mention of Elvis->Public Enemy->the part of the song people rarely quote.

And I think either you are unfair to Elvis or too easy on Beatles/Stones. I think Jerry Lee Lewis was as threatening to 50s America as Little Richard.

@flypaper: Did they both marry minors?

Ah, yes. Too bad PE is racist, too. Loved them until that.

I once read a list of what wasn’t blues. Antything by white folks and instumentals were both on the list. I had to disagree on both counts.

Elvis gave credit to both Big Boy Cruddup and Big Mamma Thornton. He helped some whites in the U.S. to appreciate the music. For a crappy rendition of blues by a white performer try Johnny Rivers version of Parchman Blues. Or maybe not.

The Brits had a better appreciation of blues and jazz that whites in America, at least in the 1960s. The story goes that when asked who they wanted to meet in America at their first press conference, the Beatles responded with Muddy Waters. The person asking the question was clueless.

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