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Topic: Music & Musicians

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Roberts, "Rockin' Robin" (1940-1967)

A founding father of Northwest rock 'n' roll, Tacoma's "Rockin' Robin" Roberts (1940-1967) initially sang with that town's trailblazing 1950s white rhythm & blues combo, the Blue Notes. But in mid-195...

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Robinson, Earl Hawley (1910-1991)

Seattle-born activist and musician Earl H. Robinson is remembered for writing some of the labor movement's most famous ballads, including "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night." Robinson attended West ...

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Rock Music -- Seattle

In the winter of 1991-1992, the Seattle rock-music scene suddenly became the darling of the global music industry. This "overnight success" was 15 years in the making.

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Rosa, Valerie (b. 1948)

Soulful Seattle singer Valerie Rosa's family roots were in Italy, Norway, and pre-statehood Alaska Territory. Her father was a professional musician who performed with prominent Seattle dance bands of...

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Ross, Glynn (1914-2005)

Glynn Ross was the founding General Director of the Seattle Opera, and served the opera as General Director from 1963 to 1983. Of his numerous achievements in this capacity, perhaps the most notable w...

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Rush, Merrilee (b. 1944)

Merrilee Rush was among the most popular homegrown singing stars that the Northwest rock 'n' roll teen scene produced during the mid 1960s. Her trademark low voice and comely looks and an exciting sta...

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Same Love: A Brief History of Queer Musicians in the Northwest

The Northwest music scene has long benefited from the creative spirit and expressive talents of innumerable LGBTQ artists. From pop singers and jazz players necessarily shielding their true natures du...

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Satsop River Fair and Tin Cup Races (1971)

The Satsop River Fair and Tin Cup Races started its troubled four-day run on Friday, September 3, 1971, as the first "legal" outdoor rock festival in Washington after passage of a state law regulating...

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Sayre, James Willis (1877-1963)

J. Willis Sayre was a longtime resident of Seattle -- a journalist, arts promoter, and local historian whose work spanned more than five decades during the city's most explosive period of growth and d...

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Schultz, Cecilia Augspurger (1878-1971)

In an era when show-business impresarios often were caricatured as homburg-hatted men wielding large cigars, Seattle had Cecilia Augspurger Schultz, a woman of august ancestry with her own taste in ha...

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Seafair Records: Seattle's Swingin' '60s Music Company

Of all the Pacific Northwest's pioneering record companies, it was Seafair Records that perhaps best embodied Seattle's innocent early days when a good honest effort would bring success. A true "mom ...

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Seattle Arts Commission/Office of Arts & Culture

The Seattle Arts Commission was formed in 1971. The commission evolved out of the Municipal Arts Commission, founded in 1955 with the aim of integrating artistic experiences into Seattleites' daily li...

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Seattle Bandstand, KING-TV (1958-1961)

Seattle Bandstand was a televised teen-dance show modeled after Dick Clark's national program, American Bandstand and hosted by Ray Briem (b. 1930). The Northwest version is an instant favorite of Nor...

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Seattle Banjo Club: The First 50 Years

This is a People's History of the first 50 years of the Seattle Banjo Club, founded in 1962. It was written by John LaFond, who joined in 1973. He is the club's longest-serving member.

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Seattle JazzED: A Seattle Music Education Organization

Seattle JazzED is a privately funded non-profit organization founded in 2010 and dedicated to providing an excellent music education to Seattle-area students regardless of their ability to pay. The st...

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Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Arts Education: Road to The Creative Advantage

This is a snapshot history of the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture's leadership in providing quality arts education to students in Seattle public schools. The Office of Arts & Culture was established ...

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Seattle Opera

Seattle Opera was formed in late 1963 with the merger of two briefly competing groups -- Seattle's Western Opera Company, founded in 1962 by Helen Jensen (1886-1974), and the Seattle Opera Association...

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Shelly's Leg (Seattle)

Shelly’s Leg (1973-1977) was Seattle’s first disco, an unapologetically gay establishment that welcomed revelers of every sexuality. It was named after Shelly Bauman, a Florida transplant ...

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Smith, Harry Everett (1923-1991)

Dubbed by one interviewer an "intellectual mischief-maker," artist Harry Smith was a man of varied interests who was alternately an anthropologist, ethnomusicologist, abstract painter, experimental f...

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Song-Catchers: Documenting the Music of Northwest Indians

Music played a deeply spiritual role in the lives of the Pacific Northwest's First Peoples for eons prior to the beginning of recorded time. Much of this age-old music has survived by being passed dow...

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Sonics, The: Tacoma's '60s Garage-Rock Teen Titans

The improbable "career" arc of Tacoma's Sonics is that of a teen combo who pounded their way to the top ranks of Northwest rock bands by 1965 -- and then crumbled in the psychedelic musical aftermath ...

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Spanish Castle Ballroom

The most fabled dancehall in Seattle's history was, ironically, not even located in Seattle. And that odd geographic detail is a defining aspect of the Spanish Castle Ballroom. When constructed in 193...

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Spokane Symphony

The Spokane Symphony, founded in 1945 under the name Spokane Philharmonic Orchestra, soon evolved into Spokane's premier cultural institution. It was the brainchild of conductor Harold Paul Whelan (19...

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Stuart, Alice (b. 1942)

Alice Stuart is a singer, guitarist, and songwriter whose old-timey, folk-blues style earned her a decades-long career and an enduring fanbase. From the tiny burg of Chelan, Washington, she worked her...

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