First, some musical notes from the Super Bowl.

Before the game even began, Broadway star and recent Emmy winner Sheryl Lee Ralph laid the people out with her version of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” considered the Negro National Anthem.

Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds sang and played “America the Beautiful” on an upside down Taylor hollow body acoustic guitar. Let’s assume he’s a southpaw because he just flipped the guitar. It was not re-strung.

Of course, Chris Stapleton nailed the “Star Spangled Banner.

Rihanna told us that cramming 17 years of hits into a 13-minute show would be “difficult,” I think singing while standing on a platform suspended 30 feet in the air is difficult.

Other music notes from the commercials:

Marcia Griffith’s “Electric Slide” showed up in a spot for electric Jeeps, with meerkats, a sloth, giraffes, a goat… the whole menagerie.

Rapper Jack Harlow and Elton John went hard-core triangle. I love the triangle, done properly. But also I love the cowbell. It’s not a battle.

Michael Franti and Spearhead’s “Out in the Sun” with the hook “Happy and You Know It” pitched San Diego tourism

Drummer Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters and Nirvana fame said “Thank you, Canada,” in his pitch for Crown Royal

True rock stars Paul Stanley from KISS, Ozzy, Joan Jett, Billy Idol, and Gary Clark Jr. set the people straight on the use of the term “rock star,”  courtesy of the HR accounting firm Workday.

The “Jesus Gets Us” spot with the black and white images of people in intense conflict used the song “Human” from Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, the stage moniker for English singer-songwriter Rory Charles Graham.

The International Blues Challenge awards were last month in Memphis. Matthias Lattin, a young songwriter out of Houston won Best Band and Best Band Guitarist. Best Solo/Duo award went to Frank Sultana.

The Best Solo or Duo Guitarist gets the “Memphis Cigar Box Award” – it went to acoustic bluesman from Montreal Adam Karch.

The Lee Oskar Harmonica Award went to the group Deuce ‘n a Quarter from Columbus, Ohio and their lead singer/harpist Brian Peters.

The Best Self-produced CD award went to Josh Hoyer and Soul Colossal out of Lincoln, Nebraska for their release called “Green Light.”  Back in 2020, they released a record with Denver-based Color Red Records.

The next big national blues event is the 44th Annual Blues Music Awards in Memphis on May 11.


Úrsula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso, also known as singer will be the first Afro Latina to be on the U.S. quarter in 2024 as part of The U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters Program celebrating the accomplishments and contributions made by women of the United States.

Known as“La Reina de la Salsa,” Celia Cruz was born in Havana and naturalized a U.S. citizen.  She had 23 gold albums, and received two Grammy awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award and the President’s National Medal of Arts.  She even had an asteroid named after her.


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