Frida Kahlo is one of the 20th century’s most celebrated artists. Her paintings, particularly her many self-portraits, are instantly recognizable, and her image has been emblazoned on products as diverse as coasters, cosmetics, T-shirts, tote bags and tequila.
She has even been made into a Barbie doll.
But one side of Kahlo has long been inaccessible: her voice.
Previously, written descriptions were the only insight into how she spoke. Gisèle Freund, a French photographer and friend of Kahlo, once wrote that the painter sounded “melodious and warm.”
But now, a recording believed to be of the artist has been released by the National Sound Library of Mexico.
In the recording, a woman’s voice describes Diego Rivera, Kahlo’s husband and fellow artist.
“He is a huge, immense child, with a friendly face and a sad gaze,” the woman says. “His high, dark, extremely intelligent and big eyes rarely hold still. They almost pop out of their sockets because of their swollen and protuberant eyelids — like a toad’s.”
Rivera’s eyes seem made for an artist, the woman adds, “built especially for a painter of spaces and crowds.”
Admiration for Rivera is clear in the recording, which is said to be originally a text from an exhibition catalog. Rivera is said to have an “ironic, sweet smile,” “meaty lips” and “small, marvelous hands.” The voice concludes by calling Rivera’s unusual body shape, with its “childish, narrow, rounded shoulders,” as being like “an inscrutable monster.”
The recording is from a pilot edition of “The Bachelor,” a 1950s radio show in Mexico, recorded for Televisa Radio, the National Sound Library said in a statement on Wednesday. In 2007, thousands of tapes from Televisa Radio’s archive were given to the library to be digitized and stored.
Leon Redbone, the singer who built a career out of performing ragtime, vaudeville and American standards with a sly wink and an unmistakable, nasally voice, died Thursday. He was 69.
A statement on Redbone’s website confirmed his death, though it did so with a sweet bit of humor and joking that he was actually 127 years old.
“He departed our world with his guitar, his trusty companion Rover and a simple tip of his hat,” his family said in a statement. “He’s interested to see what Blind Blake, Emmett and Jelly Roll have been up to in his absence, and has plans for a rousing singalong number with Sári Barabás. An eternity of pouring through texts in the Library of Ashurbanipal will be a welcome repose, perhaps followed by a shot or two of whiskey with Lee Morse, and some long overdue discussions with his favorite Uncle, Suppiluliuma I of the Hittites. To his fans, friends and loving family who have already been missing him so in this realm he says, ‘Oh behave yourselves. Thank you… and good evening everybody.’”
Often clad in a Panama hat and big, dark sunglasses, Redbone rose to prominence in the mid-Seventies, though he always had an air of mystery about him, famously refusing to answer questions about his age and background. He was reportedly born in Cyprus, but moved to Canada in the Sixties and began performing in Toronto nightclubs. He eventually hit the folk festival circuit, which is how he met Bob Dylan, who praised Redbone’s enigmatic aura in a 1974 interview with Rolling Stone.
“Leon interests me,” Dylan said. “I’ve heard he’s anywhere from 25 to 60, I’ve been [a foot and a half from him] and I can’t tell. But you gotta see him. He does old Jimmie Rodgers, then turns around and does a Robert Johnson.”
Redbone kept things characteristically strange when Rolling Stone profiled him several months later. When asked if his parents were musicians, Redbone joked that his father was the long-dead Italian violinist Niccolò Paganini and his mother was the 19th century Swedish opera singer, Jenny Lind. When asked where the first place he ever played publicly was, Redbone threw on a W.C. Fields voice and cracked, “In a pool hall, but I wasn’t playing guitar, you see. I was playing pool.”
“The remarkable thing about Leon Redbone is that he’s so accurate in every aspect of his presentation – from his scat singing to his yodeling to his authentic nasally slurred vocals to the unerring accuracy of his Blind Blake-styled , ragtime-piano type of guitar playing,” Rolling Stonewriter Steve Weitzman wrote in 1974.
Redbone soon notched a record deal with Warner Bros and released his debut album, On the Track, in 1975. The album offered up endearing takes on classics like “Ain’t Misbehavin,” “Lazybones” and “Some of These Days.” He would release two more albums on Warner, 1977’s Double Time and 1978’s Champagne Charlie. His 1981 album, From Branch to Branch (released via Atlantic) featured his sole Hot 100 hit, a rendition of Gary Tigerman’s “Seduced.”
Though Redbone never achieved huge commercial success, he developed a cult following thanks in part to frequent appearances on Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. He also appeared in commercials for companies like Budweiser, Chevrolet, All laundry detergent and Ken-L Ration dog food, and sang the theme songs for Mr. Belvedere and Harry and the Hendersons.
Redbone continued to tour and record albums throughout the Eighties and Nineties,though his output slowed as he got older. In the 2003 film, Elf, he voiced Leon the Snowmanand recorded a rendition of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with Zooey Deschanelthat played over the film’s closing credits.
Redbone released his final studio album, Flying By, in 2014, and announced his retirement from music due to health concerns a year later. In 2015, Third Man Records issued a double-album compilation, A Long Way Home, that collected Redbone’s live and studio solo recordings, dating back to 1972.
“He’s just amazing,” Bonnie Raitt said of Redbone in 1974 before nodding to his enigmatic past. “He’s probably the best combination singer-guitarist I’ve heard in years. I’d like to know where he gets his stuff. I’d also like to find out how old he is.”
Leon Redbone, who burst onto the pop-music scene in the mid-1970s with a startlingly throwback singing style and a look to go with it, favoring songs from bygone eras drolly delivered, died on Thursday in Bucks County, Pa. He was 69.
His family announced the death on his website. A specific cause of death was not given, but Mr. Redbone had retired from performing in 2015 because of ill health.
Toting an acoustic guitar, his face generally half-hidden by a Panama hat and dark glasses, Mr. Redbone channeled performers and songwriters from ragtime, Delta blues, Tin Pan Alley and more, material not generally heard by the rock generation. His music defied easy categorization; he was sometimes described as a jazz singer, other times as a folk or pop or blues artist. He sang in a deep, gravelly voice that combined singing and mumbling, but he also deployed a falsetto of sorts on occasion.
He began turning up on the coffeehouse circuit in Toronto in the 1960s and developed a cult following. He broke through to a larger audience in late 1975 with his first album, “On the Track,” which included songs like “My Walking Stick,” by Irving Berlin, and “Lazybones,” by Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer. His sound was unique for the era, as The New York Times noted in a January 1976 article about the record and its producer, Joel Dorn:
“Redbone, who in his nightclub appearances plays the role of a grinning, almost catatonic folkie, will undoubtedly confound many, but Dorn has certainly given him his due in a completely ungimmicked musical setting.”
The album earned Mr. Redbone two appearances on “Saturday Night Live” in 1976, during the show’s first season. Fifteen more albums followed, most recently “Flying By” in 2014. Mr. Redbone also sang the theme songs for the television series “Mr. Belvedere” and “Harry and the Hendersons,” was heard on various commercials, and provided the voice of an animated snowman in the 2003 movie “Elf.”
The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park opens the new Royal Gorge Via Ferrata for Memorial Day Weekend, 2019. This is a one-of-a-kind mountaineering experience using trained guides, climbing lanyards with carabiners, steel cables and iron rungs. This is a perfect adventure for those who would like to try climbing or those who are advanced climbers. The Royal Gorge Via Ferrata has routes of varying degrees of difficulty. The Royal Gorge Via Ferrata provides a unique experience due to the sheer drama and vertical foot advantage of the Royal Gorge.
Dave Carman working the Hilti SDS Max. 36 inches into Pikes Peak granite!
Adventure Partners Attractions via ferrata “brain trust” on R &R at the Gorge.
Packing up the circus. Next show, Jackson.
el jefe, Mike Friedman ~ Managing Partner @ Adventure Partners
‘Like Trying to Find Out if Goodyear Inflates the Blimp’
President Trump encountered a setback on Monday in his attempts to deny Congress access to his financial records when a federal judge upheld a subpoena of Trump’s accounting firm. The House Democrats behind the subpoena are trying to find out whether Trump inflated his assets, Jimmy Kimmel said.
“Gee, I wonder what the answer to that question is? Of course he is. He inflates everything! This is like trying to find out if Goodyear inflates the blimp.” — JIMMY KIMMEL
Stephen Colbert also anticipated what the records could reveal.
“I have a strong feeling that we’re going to find out that the whole time, Eric was just a shell corporation. Nothing in there.” — STEPHEN COLBERT, referring to one of Trump’s sons
“The judge rejected the White House claim that Congress does not have legitimate oversight, pointing to precedents involving James Buchanan, Warren G. Harding, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton. Or, as history will remember them, bizarro Mount Rushmore.” — STEPHEN COLBERT
In what late-night hosts saw as a delightful irony, Trump’s appeal of the decision (“That right there is the first time a sentence has included both the phrases ‘Donald Trump’ and ‘appealing,’” James Corden joked) could be heard by Judge Merrick Garland, whose Supreme Court nomination by President Barack Obama was blockaded by Senate Republicans.
“[Imitating Trump] You can’t trust an Obama-appointed judge. Take it from me, a Putin-appointed president.” — STEPHEN COLBERT
“It’s like if Donald and Melania renewed their vows, and the minister was Stormy Daniels.” — JIMMY KIMMEL
“Now for the first time since 2016, he can wake up and say, ‘It’s a good day to be Merrick Garland.’” — STEPHEN COLBERT
Giddens plays and records what she describes as “black non-black music,” reviving a forgotten history. Photograph by Paola Kudacki for The New Yorker
To grasp the significance of what the twenty-first-century folksinger Rhiannon Giddens has been attempting, it is necessary to know about another North Carolina musician, Frank Johnson, who was born almost two hundred years before she was. He was the most important African-American musician of the nineteenth century, but he has been almost entirely forgotten. Never mind a Wikipedia page—he does not even earn a footnote in sourcebooks on early black music. And yet, after excavating the records of his career—from old newspapers, diaries, travelogues, memoirs, letters—and after reckoning with the scope of his influence, one struggles to come up with a plausible rival.
There are several possible reasons for Johnson’s astonishing obscurity. One may be that, on the few occasions when late-twentieth-century scholars mentioned him, he was almost always misidentified as a white man, despite the fact that he had dark-brown skin and was born enslaved. It may have been impossible, and forgivably so, for academics to believe that a black man could have achieved the level of fame and success in the antebellum slave-holding South that Johnson had. There was also a doppelgänger for scholars to contend with: in the North, there lived, around the same time, a musician named Francis Johnson, often called Frank, who is remembered as the first black musician to have his original compositions published. Some historians, encountering mentions of the Southern Frank, undoubtedly assumed that they were merely catching the Northern one on some unrecorded tour and turned away.
There is also the racial history of the port city of Wilmington, North Carolina, where Johnson enjoyed his greatest fame. In 1898, a racial massacre in Wilmington, and a subsequent exodus of its black citizens, not only knocked loose the foundations of a rising black middle class but also came close to obliterating the deep cultural memory of what had been among the most important black towns in the country for more than a century. The people who might have remembered Johnson best, not just as a musician but as a man, were themselves violently unremembered.
A final explanation for Johnson’s absence from the historical record may be the most significant. It involves not his reputation but that of the music he played, with which he became literally synonymous—more than one generation of Southerners would refer to popular dance music simply as “old Frank Johnson music.” And yet, in the course of the twentieth century, the cluster of styles in which Johnson specialized––namely, string band, square dance, hoedown––came to be associated with the folk music of the white South and even, by a bizarre warping of American cultural memory, with white racial purity. In the nineteen-twenties, the auto magnate Henry Ford started proselytizing (successfully) for a square-dancing revival precisely because the music that accompanied it was not black. Had he known the deeper history of square dancing, he might have fainted.
As a travelling “Negro fiddler,” Johnson epitomized the one musical figure in American history who can truly be called “ur.” Black fiddlers are the trilobites of American musical history. A legal record from the mid-seventeenth century details a dispute between Virginia households competing for the services of an enslaved man who had played the fiddle all night for a party on the Eastern Shore. After that, for more than two hundred years, black fiddlers are everywhere in the written sources. Then, around the start of the twentieth century, they fade, abruptly and almost completely.
President Trump famously declared that he wouldn’t lose any voters even if he shot someone in the middle of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.
If the first two years of his presidency have shown anything, that statement could be amended to say he wouldn’t lose votes from Republican senators, who have for the most part voted in line with the president at every turn, even when it has seemed to conflict with their stated values.
“Saturday Night Live,” sensing perhaps the elevated tensions coursing through the capital, took aim at this political phenomenon with a parody on NBC host Chuck Todd and his Sunday show, “Meet the Press,” for the cold open.
The three guests?
A trio of Senate Republicans who have occupied particularly prominent positions in the public eye over the last couple of years: Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (played by a surprisingly convincing Beck Bennett), Sen. Susan Collins (Cecily Strong, who nailed Collins’ idiosyncratic style of speaking), and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (Kate McKinnon, the faux South Carolina drawl poured on thick).
Todd, played by Kyle Mooney, began with an issue that has bubbled up in the news lately — the lingering questions about a potential trade war with China.
All three of his guests, Todd said, had opposed tariffs in the past. Would they support them as part of the president’s agenda now?
“Well Chuck, there’s a simple answer to that,” McConnell said. “There was no collusion.”
“When you have a president who’s a financial genius and a business Jesus, like Donald Trump, you just got to trust him,” Graham said, a parody of the over the top obsequiousness some have ascribed to the senator of late. “This man has lost 100 times more money than I’ve ever made.”
Todd noted that his guest had done a complete 180 from the independence he had appeared to flash during the presidential contest and early part of Trump’s presidency.
“Chuck, I am a man of conviction and principles,” Graham said. “Unless he can help me and then it’s, ‘new Lindsey, who’s this?’”
The segment also roasted Collins ruthlessly, skewering her as a woman who espouses beliefs that she simply cannot bear to stand up for in any substantive way.