All posts by rmd

You Can Call Her Queen Bee

Posted August 9th, 2013 at 10:52 am (UTC+0)

By Ray McDonald   There’s something at once awe-inspiring and chilling about being present at the creation of a new star. Once upon a time, music fans relied on magazines, radio, records,  and possibly the odd TV appearance  to familiarize themselves with new artists. The Internet changed the game:  today you see a video on […]

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Posted July 25th, 2013 at 8:29 pm (UTC+0)
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By Ray McDonald I want to tell you a little story. It’s about a band from Aberdeen, Washington called Nirvana. Active for only seven years, the trio released three studio albums. Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, and Krist Novoselic revolutionized rock with their album Nevermind and sold tens of millions of records before breaking up in […]

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Stormy Monday: Goodbye, Bobby “Blue” Bland

Posted June 24th, 2013 at 3:51 pm (UTC+0)

by Ray McDonald   Robert Calvin “Bobby” Bland died on June 23 in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 83. The Associated Press quoted his son as saying he died due to an ongoing illness. He was known as Bobby “Blue” Bland — or, the Sinatra Of The Blues. Born in rural Tennessee, he moved to Memphis, […]

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Figuring Out Kanye West

Posted June 17th, 2013 at 4:44 pm (UTC+0)
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By Ray McDonald   Kanye Omari West: who is he? Is he the challenging, creative rapper responsible for some of the best hip-hop releases of the past decade? Or is he a self-important irritant who, among other incidents, highjacked Taylor Swift’s big moment at the 2009 MTV Awards show and more recently lashed out at photographers after […]

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Within Them Without Them

Posted June 4th, 2013 at 2:32 pm (UTC+0)
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By Ray McDonald The Beatles released “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” on June 1, 1967 in the United Kingdom. It hit the United States the following day. I was seven years old that summer, and remember walking through our local department store record section with my mother. “Sergeant Pepper” copies were stacked like cord-wood, […]

A Lucky Star, Still Burning Brightly

Posted May 21st, 2013 at 9:01 pm (UTC+0)

By Ray McDonald   Last week, I noticed that Huey Lewis and the News were celebrating the 30th anniversary of their album “Sports.”  This got me thinking of all the other musical milestones from the year 1983, and once I started investigating, I was impressed. Bon Jovi formed in 1983. So did Megadeth, the Flaming […]

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Acting Like Musicians

Posted May 10th, 2013 at 4:14 pm (UTC+0)
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By Ray McDonald Hugh Laurie is one heck of an actor. Famed for his roles in the British TV series “Blackadder” and “Jeeves and Wooster,” he burst onto United States TV screens in 2004 as irascible M.D. Gregory House. His show, “House,” earned him multiple awards and the distinction of being among the highest-paid actors […]

Farewell, Wichita Lineman

Posted May 2nd, 2013 at 9:19 pm (UTC+0)
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By Ray McDonald We know we’re going to die. The circumstances usually remain a mystery – and mercifully so, don’t you think?  However, when we can see the end approaching, how do we face it? For Glen Travis Campbell, the answer lies in his great love, music. The son of an Arkansas farmer, he learned […]

Start Them Up!

Posted April 25th, 2013 at 7:24 pm (UTC+0)

By Ray McDonald Let’s play a game, shall we? Let’s assume that the Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary tour, which starts on May 3 in Los Angeles, will be their final outing. It could very well be: the youngest member, Ronnie Wood, is 65, while elder statesman drummer Charlie Watts is 71 and has been grumbling […]

What A Feeling!

Posted April 19th, 2013 at 6:20 pm (UTC+0)
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By Ray McDonald There was no shortage of pop-rock topics to blog about this week: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame held its 2013 Induction Ceremony on April 18. The Canadian rock band Rush finally made it in after years of stonewalling by critics, and that would have made a great post. And then […]



VOA’s music bloggers bring you info about all kinds of music. Katherine Cole will keep you up-to-date on the world of Bluegrass and Americana music while Ray McDonald rocks the Pop charts and artists. Diaa Bekheet  jams with you on Jazz.  Visit us often. Your comments are welcome.



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