Tune in weekday mornings for Stories of Standards to hear our favorite versions of “Listen Here.”

Rodney Franks presents Stories of Standards Monday through Friday at 7:50 and 8:50 a.m.

“Listen Here”, written by Eddie Harris, was first released as a single in August 1966, then went to #11 on the R&B charts and #45 on the Hot 100. In 1967 it was the lead track on the album “The Electrifying Eddie Harris” and has been popular with both musicians and fans ever since its release.

Eddie Harris (Oct 20, 1934 – Nov 5, 1996), clarinet, electric piano, trumpet, trombone, bassoon, organ, and tenor saxophone player who introduced the electrically amplified saxophone, grew up in Chicago with a Cuban-born father and mother from New Orleans. He studied with Walter Dyett at DuSable High School before going on to Roosevelt University. After college, Harris was drafted into the US Army, placed in electronics, and while serving in Europe became a member of the Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra and its associated jazz band, and studied classical saxophone at the Paris Conservatory of Music. After returning to the US from Europe he signed a contract with Vee Jay Records in New York City. His first album “Exodus to Jazz” included his own arrangement of Ernest Gold’s theme for the movie “Exodus.” A shortened version of this reached such commercial success (It was the first jazz record to be certified gold.) that some jazz critics took it as a sign that Harris had “sold out”. He moved to Columbia Records in 1964 and 1965 to Atlantic Records, which released his album “The In Sound”, which restored his credibility in jazz circles. In 1969, an unrehearsed session with pianist/vocalist Les McCann at the Montreux Jazz Festival was so well received that Atlantic released it as “Swiss Movement.” Lively and inventive, he originated several combination instruments (amongst which were reed trumpet, saxobone, and guitorgan). In the 1960s and 1970s, he branched out to rock-jazz and comedy, not all of which was well-received. In the early 1980s, he performed with Horace Silver’s Quintet. He recorded 70 albums and wrote 7 music books. His works have been featured in highly popular films and television shows ranging from Martin Scorsese’s “Casino” (1995), “The Ice Storm” (1997) to A&E’s “Bates Motel,” HBO’s “Vinyl,” and “The War” (documentary).

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