Archive for the ‘black and white’ Category

Rest in Peace, Bill Wittliff, and thanks

Thursday, September 5th, 2019
by: Joe Leydon

We tip our hats to the talented screenwriter, author, and photographer.

WILLIAM D. WITTLIFF?—?often billed in TV and movie credits, and addressed by friends and collaborators, simply as Bill Wittliff?—?ensured for himself a prominent position in the pantheon of great western storytellers as the award-winning screenwriter of Lonesome Dove, the classic 1989 miniseries based on Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a cattle drive led by retired Texas Rangers Woodrow F. Call and Captain Augustus “Gus” McCrae.

Tommy Lee Jones, who befriended Wittliff while playing Call in the epic drama, spoke for millions of admirers when he described Wittliff’s handiwork thusly to Texas Monthly writer John Spong: “It wasn’t an adaptation. It was a derivation, a condensation. You’ve got to let the book be your guide, and that’s not easy. It requires a confidence in your own creativity, along with a selflessness that not a lot of people have. Bill had it in abundance.”

Wittliff, who passed away June 9 at age 79 in Austin, lived an enviably full life as a prolific author and screenwriter, an accomplished photographer, and a tireless champion of the arts. A native of Taft, Texas, he and his wife, Sally, founded Encino Press, a Dallas-based publishing house devoted to fiction and nonfiction about life in Texas and the Southwest, in 1964. He kicked off his show business career in 1978 by writing Thaddeus Rose and Eddie, a TV movie starring Johnny Cash and Bo Hopkins as reckless Texas buddies that was praised by People Magazine for having “a Last Picture Show authenticity.”

Wittliff went on to write or co-write several feature film screenplays, including Honeysuckle Rose (1980), Raggedy Man (1981), Barbarosa (1982), Legends of the Fall (1994), The Perfect Storm (2000), and A Night in Old Mexico (2013). In 1986, he wrote and directed Red Headed Stranger, a western based on Willie Nelson’s 1975 album, starring Nelson, Morgan Fairchild, and Katharine Ross.

Also in 1986, Bill and Sally Wittliff established at Texas State University what would become known as the Wittliff Collections, a wide-ranging archive and research center devoted to collecting, preserving, and celebrating the creative legacy of the Southwest. Among the items included in the Albert B. Alkek Library on the university’s San Marcos campus: More than 19,000 photographs of the Southwest and Mexico, including historical images, 20th-century masters, and emerging 21st-century artists; a Texas music collection that runs the gamut from country and Western swing to blues, polka, rock ’n’ roll, conjunto, and Tejano; and the  private papers and original manuscripts of authors, playwrights, screenwriters, and songwriters such as Sam Shepard, Cormac McCarthy, Bud Shrake, Larry McMurtry, Willie Nelson, and J. Frank Dobie.

And, yes, rest assured: There’s also an entire room devoted to memorabilia from the Lonesome Dove miniseries.

Photography: Ted Albracht/Courtesy Texas State University

From the October 2019 issue.

Scott Newton, photography

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019

Check out Austin Photographer Scott Newton’s updated website, with amazing photos from early Austin.

Monday, August 26th, 2019

Visit their website and blog for stories of how Farm Aid volunteers and contributions are helping our family farmers, and how we can all help.

Lots of stories about farmers, as well as incredible photographs from past shows, merchandise and music videos.

Visit the site, you’ll thank me later.

Monday, August 19th, 2019

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

Willie Nelson at the Palomino (August 7, 1971)

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019
LOS ANGELES – AUGUST 6: Country singer/songwriter Willie Nelson performs onstage at the Palomino Club on August 6, 1971 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Saturday, June 29th, 2019

Little Outlaws (Willie and Kris’ Kids)

Thursday, June 27th, 2019

Southern Soul Music Revival·  

Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson’s kids during a Highwaymen tour..

Left to right; Johnny Kristofferson, Lukas Nelson, Micah Nelson and Jody Kristofferson. It was common for outlaws children to accompany their parents on supergroup tours.

Friday, June 21st, 2019

Thursday, June 20th, 2019

Monday, June 17th, 2019

Willie Nelson performs at the Texas Prison Rodeo (Huntsville)

Saturday, June 15th, 2019

Willie Nelson performed at the Texas Prison Rodeo. He was presented with a portrait of himself.

Prison Rodeo Gone, but Not Forgotten

Another piece of Texas history was razed in mid-January when bulldozers unceremoniously demolished the prison rodeo arena in Huntsville, but the memory of the event rides on.

Read about rodeo here.

The original rodeo grounds in Huntsville were demolished in 2012, due to condition of arena. Recently though, local officials have given support to creating the prison rodeo again.

Read about it here.

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019
ca. 1976, Dallas, Texas, USA — Willie Nelson — Image by © Philip Gould/CORBIS

Monday, June 10th, 2019
photo by: Jay Blakesberg

Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker at Muscle Shoals

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019
by: Peter Stone Brown

Muscle Shoals is a small town on the Tennessee River near the larger city of Florence where, for some reason no one’s quite sure of during the mid-’60s, a lot of great musicians came together to make some of the greatest records of all time.

Willie Nelson recorded “Phases and Stages” at Muscle Shoals, with Jerry Wexler producint

In 2013, the movie Muscle Shoals toured country, the documentary about the town, the studio and the musicians. Muscle Shoals is the first movie by director Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier. It is a movie that anyone interested in R&B and soul music, not to mention rock & roll, will want to see.

The film is built around the story of Rick Hall, the man who founded FAME Studios. FAME is an acronym for Florence Alabama Music Enterprises. Hall’s life story is dark, full of truly horrible tragedies and brutal poverty, so the film is also the story of one man’s perseverance.

Fame was started in the late ’50s in Florence, Alabama, by Hall, Billy Sherrill and Tom Stafford — who soon moved on. Sherrill became a major Nashville record producer and was basically responsible for the career of Tammy Wynette. Hall then moved the studio to a former tobacco warehouse in Muscle Shoals and, in 1961, had his first hit with Arthur Alexander’s “You Better Move On,” which a few years later was recorded by the Rolling Stones. Interestingly enough, several of the musicians on that record, bassist Norbert Putnam, pianist David Briggs and drummer Jerry Carrigan, would also move to Nashville and become well known studio musicians and eventually producers. Hall used the money from the record, which reached #24 on the Billboard chart, to build another studio, and had another hit, “Steal Away” by Jimmy Hughes on FAME Records. Word of the studio began to spread and soon producers were bringing musicians to record there. One of the biggest hits was the Tams’ classic “What Kind Of Fool.” Soon, Joe Tex was recording there — though he used his own band. The next big album to help put Muscle Shoals on the musical map was Tell Mama by Etta James.

In 1966, Muscle Shoals broke in a big way with Percy Sledge’s “When A Man Loves A Woman.” The record was actually recorded at a smaller studio in Florence, Norala owned by a DJ aspiring to be a record producer, Quin Ivy, and included a couple of local musicians who had been working with Hall as well as the Memphis Horns. Ivy knew Rick Hall had connections to legendary producer Jerry Wexler, and asked for his help. The song shot to #1. Wexler, who had problems with Stax/Volt in Memphis, decided to use FAME Studios instead, and sent Wilson Pickett to record there. Wexler brought in some musicians from Memphis and elsewhere, but did use the house drummer, Roger Hawkins, and guitarist Jimmy Johnson, resulting in a number 1 hit: a cover of Cannibal! & the Headhunter’s “Land of 1,000 Dances” and quite a few other top ten hits. The next artist Wexler brought to Muscle Shoals made history: Aretha Franklin. Franklin recorded a few songs at Fame, most notably “I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You,” but when her husband caused problems, Wexler moved the sessions to New York and brought the Muscle Shoals Rhythm section with them. Suddenly, these small town musicians barely making a living where in demand.

?Read entire article here.