Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar got his start playing in bands such as the Kingbees and the Flying Machine. There was another skinny, long-haired fellow in Flying Machine named James Taylor who, at the time, was like Danny — just another Vineyard summer dink with a guitar and a melodic voice. Kootch and JT, the early incarnation of the Chilmark Potluck Jam.
When Peter Asher first heard Kate Taylor sing, he was instantly impressed. “I loved the texture of her voice and her phrasing, so I said, let’s make a record.”
Not one for idle chatter, Mr. Asher then produced her first record, Sister Kate. The year was 1971.
“She was even more of a soul singer devotee than James [Taylor] was,” Mr. Asher remembered. “He took after Sam Cooke and Ray Charles, but Kate was rocking out and blues-ing out much more overtly. I loved that she was a white soul singer.”
On Monday John Lee stood in the Tabernacle, excitedly talking about the second annual Martha’s Vineyard Jazz Festival. It was the same place he first came up with the idea. He pointed to the front few rows. “I sat in these pews with my daughter and visualized having a festival,” he said.
At the time there was nothing on stage. He was simply sitting and dreaming.
After graduating from Whittier College in the 1960s, Guy Webster decided to join the army reserves for a six-month stint rather than go to Viet Nam. For the first three months he purchased, shipped and decorated Christmas trees. For the second half he taught photography, even though he had never even held a camera before that moment.
“I had never taken a photograph in my life,” remembered Mr. Webster. It wasn’t until his last month in the reserves that he shot his first roll of film. That was all it took to get him hooked.
The Hebrew Center in Vineyard Haven is about to rock. True, the center has been rocking intellectually, spiritually and culturally all summer long with their varied programming, but next weekend they will literally rock. The lineup includes Joshua Nelson and his Kosher Gospel Singers with special guest, Lisa Gutkin.
The Vineyard is set to get a new radio station and the town of Tisbury to get an integrated information system following a couple of last-minute approvals this week.
On Tuesday, selectmen Tristan Israel and Denys Wortman (Thomas Pachico was absent) approved an easement at the department of public works site for a 70-foot pole which will be used by the station for its broadcasts and by public works to communicate with other town departments and the Tisbury school.
Perched in the second row of a community hall at five o’clock in the afternoon, a plate of reconstituted Thanksgiving food balanced in one hand, and a decent glass of red in the other — it was an unusual way to take in a festival of modern music. No poorly maintained toilet facilities, no vomit, no overweight rave casualties passed out at your feet. Nevertheless, it was how Martha’s Vineyard’s musical elite saw fit to present themselves on Sunday.