Lou Reed: He Walked on the Wild Side

At his best, Lou Reed was to rock music what Jean Genet was to literature — a chronicler of an unsavory, lubricious underworld who compelled us to see beauty and grace in the dissipated and disturbing. As leader of the Velvet Underground, the Brooklyn native, who died on Oct. 27 at age 71, helped provide the soundtrack for the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, artist Andy Warhol’s avant-garde multimedia scene in the late 1960s, performing songs on then-taboo topics ranging from drug use …

The Last of the Real Mississippi Bluesmen

James Lewis Carter “T-Model” Ford didn’t take up the guitar until he was 58, when his fifth wife ran off for good, giving him the instrument as a parting gift. As the story goes, the native Mississippian stayed up that whole night, drinking moonshine to dull his heartache as he started teaching himself how how to play the blues. When he got the hang of it, it sounded like this: That Ford, who died in Greenville, Miss., on July 16 …

Would You Want to Live in a Rock Legend’s Childhood Home?

Would you buy a house that a rock superstar is rumored to have lived in as a child? That’s a question that prospective home buyers will have a chance to ponder, now that a real estate agent has listed a four-bedroom, three-bath Cape Cod-style home in Arlington, Va., for $949,900. Aside from the covered front porch, hardwood floors and remodeled eat-in kitchen, there’s an additional selling point: The listing describes it as the “childhood home” of Jim Morrison, lead singer …

Leroy ‘Sugarfoot’ Bonner: 5 Facts About the ’70s Funk Legend

If you grew up in the 1970s and loved to cruise around in your parents’ car with your buddies, getting down to some funk music on the AM radio, the words to the Ohio Players’ “Fire” probably are still seared into your frontal lobes. The way you walk and talk really sets me off To a full alarm, child, yes, it does The way you squeeze and tease, knocks me to my knees ‘Cause I’m smokin’, baby, baby Everything about the OPs …

Hal Schaefer: The ‘Piano Man’s’ Other Claim to Fame

Hal Schaefer was an accomplished pianist, composer of movie scores and vocal coach to Hollywood stars — so multitalented, in fact, that he not only arranged the rendition of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” for the classic 1953 Marilyn Monroe film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes but also coached Monroe into giving a scintillating performance of the song. But Schaefer, who died on Dec. 8 at age 87 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., had another claim to fame. His brief affair with …

Dave Brubeck: 5 Little-Known Facts About the ‘Take Five’ Jazz Pianist

A 1954 cover story in Time magazine described Dave Brubeck as “a wigging cat with a far-out wail,” in a cringe-worthy attempt to approximate the hep lingo of the jazz aficionados who crowded into his performances in the smoky bohemian nightclubs of the day. But audiences flocked to see Brubeck at Carnegie Hall and other highbrow settings, too. Brubeck, who died at age 92 on Dec. 4 in Connecticut, was one of the biggest stars in the history of jazz. His Dave …