Monday, November 3, 2008

Farewell to Yma Sumac and Jimmy Carl Black; Together again for the first time

This past Saturday we lost two musical performers who, each in their own way, helped to make the 20th century a more interesting place.

Very different from each other, certainly, but both of them memorable characters, full of personality.

Singer Yma Sumac was the Peruvian-born self-styled 'Incan Princess' who rose to fame in the early 1950's. Her amazing multi-octave vocal range made her an early queen of Exotica music.

See also:
- Read Yma Sumac obituaries at and the L.A. Times.

- There are also nice remembrances to her at PCL LinkDump (including some great audio pieces) and at WFMU's Beware of the Blog.

- Click here for a previous link-laden Yma Sumac post on this blog.

Musician and vocalist
Jimmy Carl Black is best remembered as the original drummer from Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention.

(He's seated at the far right in this vintage group photo)

Dozens of talented musicians passed through Zappa's lineups over the years, but Black always remained a fan favorite.

Beyond Zappa's skills (as musician and taskmaster), Jimmy Carl was a strong part of what made the feel and sound of the original Mothers line-up so flavorful and distinct from later incarnations.

Beyond his original stint with Frank, he went on to perform with a long string of eclectic bands, including his own Geronimo Black, and Zappa-related bands like like The Grandmothers and
The Muffin Men.

See also:
- Jimmy Carl Black at MySpace, which includes some of his more recent music (including
'The Indian Of The Group') and a lengthy bio.

- The official website.

- A Jimmy Carl Black page at for a bit more of his music.

- Another bio and a lengthy & detailed discography at United Mutations.

- UPDATE: An obituary from The Los Angeles Times, first published on 11.05.08.

1 comment:

Timmy said...

Two of my favourite performers. Gone. I've dug Jimmy Carl Black since his days in the original line-up of Frank's M.O.I. Then I followed him for a while on his solo ventures. He was unique, just like Yma. Yma was an old school type of Hollywood star. Right in there with The Amazing Griswold. Peace, folks............

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