Sunday, April 25, 2010

 

This Week's Birthdays (April 25 - May 1)

Apr 25
1913 ● Earl Bostic → Jazz saxophonist
1917 ● Ella Fitzgerald → The "First Lady of Song"
1923 ● Albert King → Blues guitarist
1933 ● Jerry Leiber → Lyricist, Leiber & Stoller songwriting team
1945 ● Bjorn Ulvaeus → ABBA
1945 ● Stu CookCreedence Clearwater Revival
1949 ● Mike Brown (Michael Lookofsky) → The Left Banke, solo
1950 ● Steve Ferrone → Average White Band, sessions
1955 ● David SikesBoston, Giuffria
1958 ● Fish (Derek William Dick) → Marillion, solo
1964 ● Andy Bell → Erasure
1965 ● Eric Avery → Jane’s Addiction
1980 ● Jacob Underwood → O-Town

Apr 26
1886 ● Ma Rainey (Gertrude Pridgett) → The "Mother of the Blues"
1925 ● Jorgen Ingmann → Jorgen Ingmann & His Guitar
1938 ● Duane Eddy → Electric guitar pioneer, "Rebel Rouser" (1958)
1938 ● Maurice Williams → Zodiacs, "Stay" (1960)
1942 ● Bobby Rydell (Ridarelli) → Teen idol, "Wild One" (1960)
1943 ● Gary Wright → Spooky Tooth, solo, "Dream Weaver" (1976)
1946 ● John "Bucky" Wilkin → Ronny & The Daytonas
1946 ● Vito Balsamo → Vito & The Salutations
1960 ● Roger TaylorDuran Duran
1961 ● Chris Mars → The Replacements
1970 ● T-Boz (Tionne Tenese Watkins) → TLC
1976 ● Jose Pasillas → Incubus

Apr 27
1932 ● Kemil Amen "Casey" Kasem → Radio DJ, American Top 40
1932 ● Maxine Brown → The Browns, solo
1947 ● Anne Peebles → "I Can't Stand The Rain" (1973)
1947 ● Peter Ham → Badfinger
1948 ● Kate PiersonThe B-52’s
1951 ● Paul "Ace" Frehley → Kiss, solo
1959 ● Marco Pirroni → Adam And The Ants
1959 ● Sheena Easton (Sheena Shirley Orr) → "9 To 5 (Morning Train)" (1980)

Apr 28
1941 ● Ann-Margret (Olsson) → Pop vocalist, actress
1941 ● Peter Anders (Andreoli) → The Trade Winds, The Innocence
1943 ● Fantastic Johnny C. (Corley) → R&B/soul, "Boogallo Down Broadway" (1968)
1945 ● John Wolters → Dr. Hook
1952 ● Kim Gordon → Sonic Youth
1955 ● Eddie Jobson → Roxy Music, Mothers of Invention
1956 ● Jimmy Barnes → Cold Chisel, INXS
1966 ● Too Short (Todd Shaw) → West Coast rapper
1968 ● Daisy Berkowitz → Marilyn Manson
1969 ● Mica Paris (Michelle Wallen) → "My One Temptation" (1988)

Apr 29
1899 ● Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington → Jazz composer, "Take The 'A' Train" (1941)
1928 ● Carl Gardner → The Robins, The Coasters
1931 ● Anthony James "Lonnie" Donegan → English skiffle star, rock 'n roll pioneer
1936 ● Albee Cracolici → The Mystics
1942 ● Klaus Voorman → Manfred Mann, Plastic Ono Band
1942 ● Vincent Poncia, Jr. → The Trade Winds, producer, songwriter
1943 ● Duane Allen → Oak Ridge Boys
1945 ● Tammi Terrell (Thomasina Winifred Montgomery) → "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (1967)
1947 ● Joel Larson → The Grass Roots
1947 ● Tommy James (Thomas Gregory Jackson) → The Shondells, solo "Draggin' The Line" (1971)
1948 ● Michael Karoli → Can, producer
1958 ● Simon Edwards → Fairground Attraction
1968 ● Carnie Wilson → Wilson Phillips (daughter of Brian)
1969 ● Master P (Percy Miller) → Hip-hop
1973 ● Mike Hogan → The Cranberries

Apr 30
1896 ● Rev. Gary Davis → Ragtime/folk guitarist, mentor
1925 ● Johnny Horton → "The Battle of New Orleans" (1958)
1933 ● Willie Nelson → Country star, "On The Road Again" (1980)
1941 ● Johnny Farina → Santo & Johnny, "Sleepwalk" (1959)
1943 ● Bobby Vee (Robert Thomas Velline) → "Take Good Care Of My Baby" (1961)
1944 ● Richard Shoff → The Sandpipers, "Guantanamera" (1966)
1948 ● Wayne Kramer → Proto-punker, MC5, solo
1953 ● Merrill Osmond → The Osmonds
1967 ● Turbo B (Durron Maurice Bulter) → Snap!, "The Power" (1990)
1971 ● Chris "Choc" Dalyrimple → Soul For Real
1972 ● J.R. Richards → Dishwalla, "Counting Blue Cars" (1996)
1973 ● Jeff Timmons → 98 Degrees, "Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)" (2000)

May 01
1929 ● Sonny James (James Loden) → The "Southern Gentleman"
1930 ● Little Walter (Marion Walter Jacobs) → Blues harpist, "My Babe" (1955)
1939 ● Judy Collins → "Both Sides Now" (1968)
1945 ● Mimi Farina (Baez) → Folk singer, Joan Baez's sister
1945 ● Rita Coolidge → "(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher And Higher" (1977)
1946 ● Nick Fortuna → The Buckinghams, "Kind Of A Drag" (1967)
1954 ● Ray Parker, Jr. → "Ghostbusters" (1984)
1966 ● Johnny Colt → The Black Crowes, Brand New Immortals, Train
1967 ● Tim McGraw (Smith) → Country star, "It's Your Love" (1997)
1968 ● D'Arcy Wretsky-Brown → Smashing Pumpkins

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Friday, April 23, 2010

 

Album of the Day: Rolling Stones (4/23/71) 39 Years!

The Rolling StonesSticky Fingers is one of the best rock ‘n’ roll albums of all time. Released on April 23, 1971, it’s a raunchy masterpiece of American roots music – some country, some blues, a dose of Southern soul and heaps of raw rock ‘n’ roll – all packaged in an Andy Warhol-designed, blue jean crotch shot cover with a working metal zipper (at least on my copy of the original LP release).

The Stones were at the top of their game on Sticky Fingers. The album was the first on their own label, Rolling Stones Records, it topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic, featured new lead guitarist Mick Taylor, introduced the now iconic lips and tongue logo, and firmly established the Stones as the self-appointed World’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band. And the music’s great: druggy “Sister Morphine,” extended guitar work on “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’, countrified “Wild Horses” and “Dead Flowers” (with Mick’s twangy vocals), the fine “I Got The Blues” and its bluesy partner “You Gotta Move,” the mid-tempo “Sway” and finally the late night closer “Moonlight Mile.” Capped with the intro hit “Brown Sugar” and the raunch-rockin’ “Bitch” and you couldn’t find a single bad tune on the disc.

Sticky Fingers is among my favorites and is ranked #63 on Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 500 albums of all time. There are two Stones playlists in Dr. Rock's Playlist Vault and Sticky Fingers is available on Amazon and iTunes. Enjoy!

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

 

Album of the Day: The Monkees (4/22/68) 42 Years!

For most people, The Monkees will forever be the teen/pop, made-for-TV band that could barely play their assigned instruments and would never have existed without the faceless session musicians and backroom songwriters who created the music behind their vocals. In reality, that’s an exaggeration. Yes, the band was assembled from a casting call for the TV show, and yes, their first two albums were largely performed by session players with vocal overdubs. But in 1967 the band released two well-received LPs (Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd.) on which they played, sang and wrote most of the material.

Mike Nesmith, Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork and Davy Jones had far more musical talent than they’re usually credited with, especially Tork (folk guitarist prior to the Monkees) and Nesmith, a songwriter (Ronstadt’s hit “Different Drum” and several Monkee B-sides) and solo 1970s country-rocker. After demanding and receiving control over Headquarters and Pisces…, their cohesiveness splintered as each member sought independence to write and produce his own material within the context of the band. The result was the April 22, 1968 release, The Birds, The Bees And The Monkees. While it sounded much like a typical Monkee record, it was an amalgam of songs produced and recorded separately by the four members using different backing musicians at different studios.

Despite its origins and its aftereffect (a disillusioned Tork left the Monkees later in 1968), The Birds… became a gold seller with the hits “Daydream Believer” and “Valleri.” Nesmith is credited with four of the twelve tracks, including the delicious “Tapioca Tundra” (a precursor to his future) to offset a couple of syrupy Jones soft rockers. The Monkees are in Playlist Vault and The Birds… is available from Amazon and iTunes.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

 

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

 

This Week's Birthdays (April 18 - 24)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Apr 18
1924 ● Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown → Electric blues guitarist, "Okie Dokie Stomp" (1954)
1939 ● Glen D. Hardin → The Crickets
1941 ● Mike Vickers → Manfred Mann, film score composer
1946 ● Alexander Lee "Skip" Spence → Quicksilver Messenger Service, Moby Grape, Jefferson Airplane
1946 ● Lonnie Baker → Sha Na Na
1958 ● Les Pattinson → Echo & The Bunnymen
1970 ● Greg Eklund → Everclear

Apr 19
1928 ● Alexis Korner → Blues Incorporated, Rocket 88
1934 ● Dickie Goodman → Buchanan & Goodman
1942 ● Alan Price → The Animals
1943 ● Eve Graham (Evelyn Mae Beatson) → New Seekers
1946 ● Tim Curry → Singer, actor, Rocky Horror Picture Show
1947 ● Mark VolmanTurtles, Flo and Eddie, Mothers of Invention
1956 ● Rod Morgenstein → Winger

Apr 20
1929 ● Bob Braun → Pop-rock, "Till Death Do Us Part" (1962)
1939 ● Johnny Tillotson → Pop-rock, "Poetry In Motion" (1961)
1945 ● Jimmy Winston → Small Faces
1948 ● Craig Frost → Grand Funk Railroad, Silver Bullet Band
1951 ● Luther Vandross → R&B/soul producer, singer, "Stop To Love" (1986)

Apr 21
1939 ● Ernie Maresca → "Shout Shout (Knock Yourself Out)" (1962)
1947 ● Iggy Pop (James Osterberg) → The Stooges
1947 ● John Weider → The Animals, solo
1948 ● Paul Davis → Pop-rock, "I Go Crazy" (1977)
1959 ● Michael Timmins → Cowboy Junkies
1959 ● Robert Smith → Siouxsie & the Banshees, The Cure
1963 ● Johnny McElhone → Texas

Apr 22
1922 ● Charles Mingus → Jazz bassist, composer
1936 ● Glen Campbell → Country star, "Wichita Lineman" (1968)
1937 ● Bernard Alfred "Jack" Nitzsche → Producer, arranger, songwriter "The Lonely Surfer" (1963)
1950 ● Peter Frampton → Humble Pie, Frampton's Camel, solo
1951 ● Paul Carrack → Squeeze, Ace, Roxy Music, Mike + The Mechanics
1955 ● Arthur Baker → Hip-hop producer
1966 ● Kimberley DahmeBoston, producer
1969 ● Craig Loman → Bros
1979 ● Daniel Johns → Silverchair

Apr 23
1936 ● Roy Orbison → "(Oh) Pretty Woman" (1964)
1939 ● Ray Peterson → Pop-rock, "Tell Laura I Love Her" (1960)
1944 ● Sandra Dee (Alexandra Zuck) → Actress, singer, wife of Bobby Darin
1952 ● Narada Michael Walden → Mahavishnu Orchestra, solo, songwriter
1960 ● Steve Clark → Def Leppard
1964 ● Gen (Simon Matthews) → Jesus Jones
1969 ● Stan Frazier → Sugar Ray

Apr 24
1933 ● Freddie Scott → R&B/soul singer, "Are You Lonely For Me" (1966)
1940 ● George Tomsco → Tex-Mex guitar, The Fireballs, "Torquay" (1960)
1942 ● Barbra Streisand → Stage, film, pop vocalist
1945 ● Doug CliffordCreedence Clearwater Revival
1945 ● Robert Knight → R&B/soul singer, "Everlasting Love" (1965)
1947 ● Glenn CornickJethro Tull, Wild Turkey, Paris
1947 ● Hubert Ann Kelly → Hues Corporation, "Rock The Boat" (1974)
1954 ● Jack Blades → Night Ranger, Damn Yankees
1955 ● Gary Cambra → Tubes
1957 ● David J. (Haskins) → Love & Rockets
1958 ● Boris WilliamsThe Cure
1963 ● Billy Gould → Faith No More
1967 ● Patty Schemel → Hole
1968 ● Aaron Comess → Spin Doctors
1982 ● Kelly ClarksonAmerican Idol, "Since U Been Gone" (2005)

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

 

Album of the Day: Lynyrd Skynyrd (4/15/74) 36 Years!

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s #2 LP, the aptly titled Second Helping, was served up on April 15, 1974. It’s now widely considered a first-tier 70s Southern rock album, right up alongside the several releases by the god-band, Georgia-based Allman Brothers Band. But Skynyrd cooked up a grittier, harder-edged platter of Southern blues-rock. Many will argue that they were the real Southern rockers (even when Allman fans chime in). Whatever your bend, Southern rock peaked about the same time Second Helping. It is unquestionably a showcase album.

For a young-but-bar-scene-seasoned band, Skynyrd explored the edges with “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Workin’ For MCA.” The former’s a now-classic retort to Neil Young’s self-righteous condemnation of southern American history (sings Skynyrd’s Ronnie Van Zant: “we don’t need him around, anyhow”). The second’s a thinly-veiled shot at their growing dissatisfaction with the music business (guys, aren’t you biting the hand that feeds you?). Add the spunky “Don’t Ask Me No More Questions,” the rocking drug-fest of “Needle And The Spoon” and a Dr. Rock-favorite in the rollicking “Call Me The Breeze,” and Second Helping’s everything is billed to be – first-rate, kick-ass Southern guitar rock.

Like its predecessor (Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd), Second Helping was produced by Al Kooper, the terribly under-appreciated but still-legendary blues-rock god (founder and leader of The Blues Project and Blood, Sweat & Tears) and producer for the 60s pop-rockers The Zombies, among others. Kooper coaxed the best out of Van Zant and his bandmates. The result really is one of the best Southern blues-rock albums of all-time.

Second Helping reached #12 on the Billboard album charts. Skynyrd’s in the Playlist Vault and Second Helping can be downloaded from Amazon and iTunes.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

 

Album of the Day: Van Halen (4/14/82) 28 Years!

Van Halen’s fifth record, Diver Down, surfaced on April 14, 1982. It’s a mixture of decent original material and vastly more memorable covers of 60s classics. The band recorded the album in about 12 days to catch the wave of popularity from the shooting star single, the cover of Roy Orbison’s “(Oh) Pretty Woman,” which they’d released earlier in the year.

Without the exuberant remakes of the Kink’s “Where Have All The Good Times Gone” and the Martha & The Vandellas’ “Dancing In The Street,” the originals might have been lost. They’re good but memorable only to hard core Van fans. Those three cover-singles outperformed the three original singles (“Secrets,” Little Guitars” and “The Full Bag”) by a wide margin and floated Diver Down into the #3 spot (it spent a total of 65 weeks on the charts) and eventually over 4 million in unit sales.

Perhaps the oddest cover of all is Van Halen’s rendition of Dale Evan’s (wife of Roy Rogers) “Happy Trails,” the song she wrote for her husband’s TV show (on which she was a nearly equal star). Van Halen’s in the Playlist Vault and Diver Down can be downloaded from Amazon and iTunes.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

 

This Week's Birthdays (April 11 - 17)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Apr 11
1943 ● Tony Victor → The Classics
1956 ● Neville Staples → Fun Boy 3
1958 ● Stuart Adamson → Big Country
1965 ● Nigel Pulsford → Bush
1966 ● Lisa Stansfield → "All Around The World" (1989)
1970 ● Delroy Pearson → 5 Star
1970 ● Dylan Keefe → Marcy Playground

Apr 12
1930 ● Carole Lindsay → Kaye Sisters
1933 ● Tiny Tim (Herbert Khaury) → "Tiptoe Through The Tulips" (1968)
1940 ● Herbie Hancock → Jazz fusion, "Chameleon" (1973)
1944 ● John Kay → Steppenwolf
1950 ● David Cassidy → Actor, singer, The Partridge Family
1951 ● Alexander Briley → Village People
1956 ● Herbert Grönemeyer → Actor, German rocker
1957 ● Vince Gill → Pure Prairie League, country star
1958 ● Will Sergeant → Echo & The Bunnymen
1962 ● Art Alexakis → Everclear
1964 ● Amy Ray → Indigo Girls
1970 ● Nicholas Lofton Hexum → 311

Apr 13
1934 ● Horace Kay → The Tams
1936 ● Richard Timothy "Rashad" Feild → The Springfields, spiritual teacher
1940 ● Lester Chambers → Chambers Brothers
1944 ● Brian Pendleton → Pretty Things
1944 ● John William "Jack" CasadyJefferson Airplane/Starship, Hot Tuna
1945 ● Lowell GeorgeLittle Feat, solo
1946 ● Al Green (Albert Greene)→ Southern R&B, "Call Me" (1973)
1946 ● Roy Loney → Flamin' Groovies, solo
1951 ● Max WeinbergE Street Band, Max Weinberg 7
1951 ● Robert Peabo Bryson → R&B duets, "Tonight I Celebrate My Love" (1983)
1954 ● Jimmy DestriBlondie
1955 ● Louis Johnson → Brothers Johnson
1957 ● Wayne Lewis → Atlantic Starr
1959 ● Kim McAuliffe → Painted Lady, Girlschool
1966 ● Marc Ford → Black Crowes, solo
1972 ● Aaron Lewis → Staind
1975 ● Lou Bega (David Lubega) → Latino, "Mambo No. 5" (1999)

Apr 14
1935 ● Loretta Lynn (Webb) → Country star, "Coal Miner's Daughter" (1970)
1945 ● Ritchie BlackmoreDeep Purple, Rainbow, Blackmore's Night
1946 ● Patrick Fairley (Fairlie) → Marmalade
1962 ● Joey Pesce → ’Til Tuesday
1969 ● Martyn Le Noble → Porno For Pyros
1974 ● DaBrat (Shawta Harris) → Urban rapper

Apr 15
1894 ● Bessie Smith → The "Empress of the Blues"
1933 ● Roy Clark → Country star, "Thank You God And Greyhound" (1970)
1939 ● Marty Wilde (Reginald Leonard Smith) → Early Brit rocker, "Bad Boy" (1959), father of Kim
1944 ● Dave Edmunds → Roots-rocker, "I Hear You Knock'" (1970)
1947 ● Stuart "Wooly" Wolstenholme → Barclay James Harvest
1966 ● Graeme Clark → Wet Wet Wet, "Love Is All Around" (1994)
1966 ● Samantha Fox → "Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)" (1987)
1968 ● Ed O’Brien → Radiohead


Apr 16
1924 ● Henry Mancini → Composer, conductor, "Moon River" (1961)
1929 ● Roy Hamilton → 50s R&B-pop, "Unchained Melody" (1954)
1930 ● Herbie Mann (Herbert Jay Solomon) → Jazz-pop flautist, "Hijack" (1975)
1935 ● Stanley Robert "Bobby" Vinton → Pop-rock crooner, "Blue Velvet" (1963)
1939 ● Dusty Springfield (Mary Isabel O'Brien) → Pop-soul diva, "Son Of A Preacher Man" (1969)
1943 ● "Lonesome" Dave Peverett → Savoy Brown, Foghat
1945 ● Stefan Grossman → Folk-blues guitar, The Fugs, solo
1947 ● Gerry Rafferty → Stealers Wheel, solo, "Baker Street" (1978)
1947 ● Lee "The Bear" Kerslake → Uriah Heep, Blizzard of Ozz
1963 ● Jimmy Osmond → The Osmonds
1963 ● Nick Berry → Brit actor, singer, "Every Loser Wins" (1986)
1964 ● David Pirner → Soul Asylum, solo

Apr 17
1934 ● Don Kirshner → Band manager, music publisher, concert promoter
1936 ● Alexander "Pete" Graves → The Moonglows, "Sincerely" (1954)
1940 ● Billy Fury (Ronald Wycherley) → Early Brit rocker, "Halfway To Paradise"" (1961)
1942 ● Shelly Buchansky → Vito & The Salutations
1943 ● Roy Estrada → Captain Beefheart, Mothers of Invention, Little Feat
1948 ● Jan Hammer → Jazz-rock fusion, "Miami Vice Theme" (1985)
1954 ● Michael Sembello → Producer, composer, "Maniac" (1983)
1955 ● Pete Shelley (McNeish) → Buzzcocks, solo
1957 ● Afrika Bambaataa (Kevin Donovan) → Hip-hop artist, spiritual leader
1964 ● Maynard James Keenan → Tool, A Perfect Circle
1967 ● Liz Phair → Indie pop-rocker, "Supernova" (1994)
1974 ● Victoria "Posh Spice" Adams → Spice Girls

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

 

Album of the Day: Elton John (4/10/70) 40th Anniversary!

Sir Elton John’s eponymous album was released on April 10, 1970. It was his U.S. debut LP but his second in the U.K., following the Brit-only Empty Sky from April 1969 (that was eventually released in the U.S. in 1975 once Sir Reg reached superstardom on the left side of the Atlantic).

Elton John (playlist here) sired the careers of Elton and his songwriting sidekick Bernie Taupin, with two big AM pop hits, the funky “Take Me To The Pilot” and the languid, now-standard “Your Song” since becoming signature John/Taupin songs. But Elton John is more. It’s a perfectly-timed, early 70s showcase LP for the burgeoning singer/songwriting genre. It’s got plenty of soon-to-be-perfected piano/orchestra ballads (a la “Border Song,” a well-crafted companion to “Pilot”), light rockers (“The Cage,” which Warren Zevon likely borrowed almost a decade later), and heavily-orchestrated, over-produced melodies with harpsichords, violins and punching pianos. Yet Sir Reg does it all well on Elton John, a great debut and prelude to Honky Chateau and all the other great E.J. albums. Elton John is the door-opening listen to a hugely influential pop-rock career.

The visual cacophony of Elton John’s later career is absent on Elton John. That would all come later, and none too soon. The duck suits, big glasses, flamboyant hairdos and genre-busting wardrobes aren’t on Elton John. It’s just the early work of true and earnest 70s singer/songwriter looking for his big break. And he got it. Elton John can be purchased as a CD or mp3 downloads on Amazon or iPod files on iTunes.

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Friday, April 9, 2010

 

Album of the Day: Bob Dylan (4/9/69) 41 Years!

Nashville Skyline wasn’t Bob Dylan’s best album by any stretch, but it did top out at #3 in the U.S. and a surprising #1 on the U.K. charts (find Bob in The Playlist Vault, here). Recorded in Nashville (where else?) with a cadre of local session musicians and released on April 9, 1969, the album includes a duet (a remake of “Girl From The North Country”) with Johnny Cash and reflects the emergence of the country-rock sub-genre and the early shift of pure country music toward the pop mainstream.

Nashville Skyline spun three singles onto the pop charts, with “Lay Lady Lay” the only one to see significant chart action. The other two (“Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” and “I Threw It All Away”) were pretty decent slower country tunes, but Dylan wasn’t a country artist and Nashville Skyline was far from a rock album, so one shouldn’t be surprised that the singles didn’t hit. But that’s the whole point. The album was smack in the middle of the early development of country-rock, and Dylan was on the forefront along with the Byrds, Gram Parsons and Neil Young.

And Bob Dylan’s best? My money’s on Blonde On Blonde, with Highway 61 Revisited at #2 and Blood On The Tracks #3. Your bias can be registered on DrRock.com. Nashville Skyline can be purchased as a CD or mp3 downloads on Amazon or iPod files on iTunes.

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

 

Album of the Day: CSN&Y (4/7/71) 39 Years!

Live albums generally sell well, but very few make it into the Top 10 on the Billboard album charts. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s 4 Way Street, released on April 7, 1971, broke that rule and then some by topping out in the #1 album position shortly after its release. Following re-release as an expanded CD in 1992, 4 Way Street became a multi-platinum seller and one of the highest selling live albums of all time.

Assembled from tapes made at a half-dozen shows in Chicago, L.A. and New York in June and July 1970, the double disc contains a nearly even sampling of songs by the four stars on its four sides. Most of the songs were previously released, either on solo works or in various groupings. And the live versions of their most well-known (“Ohio,” “Southern Man,” “Teach Your Children,” “Long Time Gone” and “Love The One You're With”) are all quite good.

What isn’t evident in the music is the internal friction that was tearing the band apart just as the shows were being taped. Within weeks after the tour ended, the band split, and by the spring of 1971 all four had released highly-acclaimed solo albums (with Nash’s Songs For Beginners and Stills’ Stephen Stills 2 coming within weeks of each other right after 4 Way Street). CSN&Y re-formed in mid-1974 for a summer tour (without an album to support), issued the compilation So Far that fall, but didn’t return as a foursome until American Dream came out in November 1988 (though CSN sans Young had three albums between 1977 and 1983).

That 4 Way Street was a big hit isn’t surprising given that every album from CSN&Y (and those without Neil) between 1969 and 1982 reached into the Top 10. They were (and in many was still are) the premier American folk-rock band in the 70s and 80s, and for live versions of their hits and other good tunes, 4 Way Street is required listening. It’s number 14 on my Top 25 Live Albums list and available on Amazon and iTunes.

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

 

This Week's Birthdays (April 4 - 10)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Apr 04
1915 ● Muddy Waters (McKinley Morganfield) → Blues giant, "Baby Please Don't Go" (1960)
1936 ● Margo Sylvia → Tune Weavers
1941 ● Major Lance → Chicago soul, "The Monkey Time" (1963)
1946 ● Dave Hill → Slade
1948 ● Berry OakleyAllman Brothers Band
1948 ● Pick WithersDire Straits
1951 ● Graeme Kelling → Deacon Blue
1951 ● Peter Haycock → Climax Blues Band
1952 ● Gary Moore → Skid Row, Thin Lizzy
1962 ● Craig Adams → The Cult
1964 ● Kid (Christopher Reid) → Kid 'N Play
1966 ● Mike Starr → Alice In Chains
1972 ● Jill Scott → R&B/soul, "A Long Walk" (2001)
1972 ● Magnus Sveningsson → The Cardigans
1973 ● Kelly Price → R&B/soul
1974 ● Andre Dalyrimple → Soul For Real, "Candy Rain" (1995)

Apr 05
1928 ● Tony Williams → The Platters
1939 ● Ronnie WhiteThe Miracles
1941 ● Dave Swarbrick → Fairport Convention
1942 ● Allan ClarkeThe Hollies
1944 ● Crispian St. Peters (Robin Peter Smith) → "The Pied Piper" (1966)
1944 ● Nicholas Caldwell → The Whispers, "And The Beat Goes On" (1980)
1950 ● Agnetha "Anna" Faltskog-Ulvaeus → ABBA
1951 ● Everett Morton → English Beat
1966 ● Mike McCready → Pearl Jam
1968 ● Paula Cole → "Where Have All The Cowboys Gone" (1996)

Apr 06
1927 ● Merle Haggard → "Mama Tried" (1968)
1944 ● John Stax → The Pretty Things
1945 ● Bob Marley → Reggae giant, "I Shot The Sheriff" (1973)
1947 ● Tony Connor → Hot Chocolate
1951 ● Ralph Cooper → Air Supply
1953 ● Christopher Franke → Tangerine Dream

Apr 07
1908 ● Percy Faith → "The Theme From A Summer Place" (1960)
1915 ● Billie Holiday (Eleanor Fagan Gough) → Jazz-blues singer
1920 ● Ravi Shankar → Sitarist, father of Norah Jones
1922 ● Ramon "Mongo" Santamaria → Latin-jazz bandleader, "Afro Blue" (1959)
1935 ● Bobby Bare → Country, "Four Strong Winds" (1964)
1937 ● Charlie Thomas → The Five Crowns, The Drifters
1938 ● Freddie Hubbard → Jazz trumpeteer
1938 ● Spencer DrydenJefferson Airplane, New Riders of the Purple Sage
1943 ● Mick Abrahams → Jethro Tull, Bloodwyn Pig
1946 ● Bill KreutzmannGrateful Dead
1947 ● Patricia Bennett → The Chiffons
1949 ● John Oates → Hall & Oates
1951 ● Bruce Gary → The Knack, "My Sharona" (1979)
1951 ● Janis Ian (Janis Eddy Fink) → "At Seventeen" (1975)

Apr 08
1941 ● J.J. Jackson (Jerome Louis Jackson) → R&B/soul, "But It's Alright" (1966)
1942 ● Roger "Chappo" Chapman → Family, Streetwalkers
1947 ● Steve HoweYes, Asia
1948 ● Phil Wright → Sons And Lovers, Paper Lace
1962 ● Izzy Stradlin (Jeffrey Isbell) → Guns N’ Roses
1963 ● Julian Lennon → "Too Late For Goodbyes" (1984)
1964 ● Biz Markie (Marcel Theo Hall) → Rapper, "Just A Friend" (1989)
1975 ● Anouk Teeuwe → Dutch pop-rock, "Nobody's Wife" (1997)

Apr 09
1932 ● Carl Perkins → King of Rockabilly, "Blue Suede Shoes" (1955)
1943 ● Terry Knight → DJ, producer, Grand Funk Railroad
1944 ● Emil Stucchio → The Classics, "Till Then" (1963)
1944 ● Gene ParsonsByrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, solo
1948 ● David Allen "Chico" Ryan → Sha Na Na
1969 ● Kevin Martin → Candlebox
1987 ● Jesse McCartney → Dream Street, solo

Apr 10
1932 ● Nathaniel "Nate" Nelson → Flamingos, "I Only Have Eyes For You" (1959)
1936 ● Bobbie Smith → Spinners, "I'll Be Around" (1972)
1947 ● Bunny Wailer (Neville O'Reilly Livingston) → The Wailers
1948 ● Fred SmithBlondie, Television
1950 ● "Lonesome Dave" Peverett → Foghat, Savoy Brown
1957 ● Steve Gustafson10,000 Maniacs
1959 ● Babyface (Kenneth Edmonds) → R&B, "It's No Crime" (1989)
1959 ● Brian Setzer → Stray Cats, Brian Setzer Orchestra
1970 ● Kenny Lattimore → R&B singer, "For You" (1997)
1970 ● Mike Mushok → Staind
1980 ● Bryce Soderberg → Lifehouse, "You And Me" (2005)
1984 ● Mandy Moore → Teen pop, "I Wanna Be With You" (2000)

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