Karen Dalton was a huge inspiration in the Greenwich Village folk scene, and her voice had a Billie Holiday edge that made everything she sang beautiful and sad. She hated performing and was only coaxed into the recording studio twice, but in recent years her two albums have been reissued on CD (in no small part thanks to the efforts of WFMU's Nicholas Hill). And now after all these years you can finally see Karen Dalton in action, thanks to the new reissue of her album So Hard To Tell Who's Going to Love You the Best, which comes with a bonus DVD filled with rare performance footage.
Videos (YouTube): God Bless the Child It Hurts Me Too
As Dalton is the secret pioneer of the folk revival, so is Delia Derbyshire the secret pioneer of electronic music. Her prodigious talents were the driving force behind the influential "Radiophonic Workshop" series of BBC sound effects recordings. Indeed, her sounds are still heard to this day on Dr. Who? - whose iconic theme song is perhaps her most famous recording. Derbyshire was an inspiring collaborator, and hardly anyone who she worked with or worked near her didn't go on to greatness, while she herself remained mostly in the background. This web site details her life and works, and features several downloadable mp3s (some re-posted below).
Oh, and last year Liz pointed to the BBC's Dr. Who Theme Generator, which is still up, and infectuously fun.
Finally there is Madonna. I never liked Madonna. In fact, I remember as a kid saying to a friend, "That Madonna will never last, she's just ripping of Cyndi Lauper!". And yet her popularity grew, morphed, and continues well into the new millennium. And now I know why. According to video evidence from the nutsos at Fight the Good Fight Ministries (could I even make that up? I think not), Madonna is not just a pop star, she is actually a mythical Siren. Better than being a Harpy, I suppose.
Video (Google): Madonna is a siren
For more highly doubtful truths about rock music ("Tori Amos draws the unsuspecting into her evil web" - well, they have a point) check out the ministry's expose section, which lists all the offending artists and features many clips from their 10 hour DVD about the evils of rock music. (Thanks to Glammerocity for the photo)