Friend to many a local LA musician, outspoken scribe and Messaround mastermind Jonny Whiteside will be my guest on Over Under Sideways Down, LuxuriaMusic.com, May 7, 3-5 PM Pacific. We’ll be talking about his many projects as a writer, will play artists whose reissues he’s worked on, and feature many bands that have played his marvelous Messaround event!
Since 1986, Jonny Whiteside is an award-winning author, veteran music journalist and regular contributor to LA Weekly. He runs an extremely fun monthly Sunday package event called The Messaround, four years running, with acts like Pat Boone & Charles Keep A-Knockin’ Connor, Freddy Boom Boom Cannon & the Gears, Evie Sands, Troy Walker, Gil Bernal, Eddie Ghettobaby Daniels, Simon Stokes, Mau Maus, Del Casher, Nolan Porter, the Hangmen, South Bay Surfers, Ray Campi, Leaking Pigs, Peeks, Billy Bones, Dick & Jane Family Ork, Tonya Watts, Freight Shakers, Dick Deluxe, many many many more.
Jonny’s writing has also appeared in BMI Music World, Variety (lead writer Frank Sinatra 80th birthday “spesh,” among other jobs), Chicago Tribune, Houston Press, Texas Music magazine, Oxford American, Journal of Country Music, Times Community News, Spin, LA Reader, LA Style, Music Connection, BAM, Fad, Rip, Sh-Boom, Country Sounds; NY Rocker, and Boston Rock. Jonny was the chief writer for the Academy of Country Music‘s award show accompanying hard-bound program book 1989-91.
Jonny is intimately conversant with country, punk, rock & roll, R&B, pop, jazz and blues. His feature-interview subjects have included Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Little Richard, Jimmy Scott, Anita O’Day, Kay Starr, the Cramps, Ricky Skaggs, Cheap Trick, Alex Chilton, Pat Boone, Los Lobos, Buck Owens, Frankie Laine, Patti Page, Hadda Brooks, Droogs, Zeros, Randy Travis, Johnny Paycheck, Knoxville Girls, Tommy Sands, Red Simpson, Ruben Guevara; cover stories on Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, convicted killer-punk rock singer Sam McBride of Fang, and a Hollywood Country Scene overview.
His books include “Cry: the Johnnie Ray Story” (Barricade Books, 1994), “an essential book on fame and pop culture,” Marshall Crenshaw in the New Yorker; “a valuable biography,” Robert Hilburn, LA Times; John Waters ranked “Cry” at number three on his Top Ten Tinseltown Books, Playboy, January 2006 and “Ramblin’ Rose: the Life and Career of Rose Maddox,” (Country Music Foundation/Vanderbilt University Press, 1997), winner of the American Society of Recorded Sound Collection’s Best Research in the Field of Recorded Country Music award, also a finalist in the 1997 Ralph J Gleason awards; “Fast becoming the standard by which country music biographies are judged,” Peter La Chappele, author “Proud to be an Okie.”
Johnny has numerous entries in the Country Music Foundation’s “Encyclopedia of Country Music” and “The Rough Guide to Country Music”; LA Weekly cover story “Love & Hell: Merle Haggard’s Twin Oracles” anthologized in DaCapo Press’ Best Music Writing of 2000 anthology, edited by Peter Guralnick. Jonny was directly cited more than thirty times in Gerald Haslam’s “Working Man’s Blues: Country Music in California.”
His CD & album liner notes include Porter Wagoner, Wagonmaster (Anti, 2007); Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, I Stand Alone (Anti, 2006) Wanda Jackson, Heart Trouble (CMH, 2003); Solomon Burke, Don’t Give Up On Me (Anti-Fat Possum, 2002); Merle Haggard, Roots (Anti, 2001); Merle Haggard, If I Could Only Fly (Anti, 2000); Rosie Flores, Dance Hall Dreams (Rounder, 1999) as well as numerous other reissues.
Jonny has been known to raise eyebrows and tempers with some of his fervent opinions which challenge mainstream thought. Even if he’s pissed you off, you have to give the man loads of respect for his drive, his all-things well-researched-music filled cranium, and his tastes in putting together a killer live show!
I am looking forward to Jonny’s appearance on Over Under Sideways Down – don’t miss it! Join in on the chatroom; http://luxuriamusic.com/chat and if you can’t tune in live, we’ll give you a podcast link after the show airs!