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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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

 

Album of the Day: Genesis (3/31/80) 30 Years!

A good number of people - critics and die-hard Genesis fans especially - accused the progressive rock band of selling-out when they released their tenth studio album, the pop-oriented Duke, on March 31, 1980. Truth is, the seeds of change on Duke were sewn years before. Anyone who failed to hear the drift toward pop-rock wasn’t paying attention to all the signals, foul-crying critics and fans especially. Check out and comment on my Genesis playlist here).

Peter Gabriel’s departure from Genesis in mid-1975 ended the growing clash over musical direction for the band and, more importantly, brought drummer Phil Collins into the lead singer role. Where Gabriel was into high brow, theatrical live shows and heavy-handed concept albums, the remaining three (Collins, bassist Mike Rutherford, guitarist Steve Hackett and keyboardist Tony Banks) knew a good pop-rock melody and could pen them easier than Gabriel could design the costumes and deep lyrics for his stage persona. The last Gabriel-era LP, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, gained radio airplay in the U.S. to chip away at their cult status (they were always big in the U.K.). Each successive album grew bolder with pop rhythms, riffs and harmonies, with “Robbery, Assault And Battery” (1976), “Your Own Special Way” (1976) and “Follow You Follow Me” (1978) setting up the two hits from Duke, “Misunderstanding” and “Turn It On Again.”

Duke is usually viewed as the mid-point between the “new” and the “old” Genesis. While I disagree that the distinction is that clear, the fact remains that it became their first #1 record in the U.K. (and #11 in the U.S.). It was followed by four more terrific Genesis albums in the 80s paralleling Collins’ solo career. CD issues and mp3 downloads are available on Amazon (click here). iTunes downloads are available here.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

 

This Week's Birthdays (March 28 - April 3)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Mar 28
1945 ● Charles "Chuck" PortzThe Turtles, "Happy Together" (1967)
1948 ● John EvansJethro Tull
1948 ● Milan Williams → Commodores, "Three Times A Lady" (1978)
1955 ● Reba McEntire → Country singer, TV actress
1967 ● James Atkin → EMF, "Unbelievable" (1990)
1986 ● Lady Gaga (Stefani Germanotta) → Electronic dance-pop, "Just Dance" (2008)

Mar 29
1930 ● Donny Conn (Donald Claps) → Playmates, "Beep Beep" (1958)
1943 ● Chad Allan (Allan Kowbel) → Guess Who
1943 ● Vangelis (Evangelos O. Papathanassiou) → Composer, "Chariots Of Fire" (1982)
1947 ● Bobby Kimball (Robert Toteaux) → Toto
1959 ● Perry Farrell (Bernstein) → Jane’s Addiction
1967 ● John Popper → Blues Traveler

Mar 30
1941 ● Graeme EdgeMoody Blues
1943 ● John "Jay" Traynor → Jay & The Americans
1943 ● Kenny Forssi → Love
1945 ● Eric Clapton (Eric Patrick Clapp) → Yardbirds, Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith, solo
1948 ● Jim "Dandy" Mangrum → Black Oak Arkansas
1950 ● Dave Ball → Procol Harum
1962 ● MC Hammer (Stanley Kirk Burrell) → Rap star, "U Can't Touch This" (1990)
1964 ● Tracy Chapman → Singer/songwriter, "Fast Car" (1988)
1968 ● Celine Dion → Pop singer, "Because You Loved Me" (1995)
1979 ● Norah Jones (Geethali N. J. Shankar) → Acoustic pop, "Come Away With Me" (2002)

Mar 31
1934 ● Shirley Jones → Partridge Family
1935 ● Herb Alpert → Tijauna Brass, A&M Records executive
1944 ● Michael Geoffrey "Mick" Ralphs → Mott The Hoople, Bad Company, solo
1944 ● Rod Allen (Rodney Bainbridge) → The Fortunes, "You've Got Your Troubles" (1965)
1946 ● G. Allan NicholThe Turtles, "Happy Together" (1967)
1947 ● Al Goodman → The Moments, Ray, Goodman & Brown
1947 ● Jon Poulos → The Buckinghams, "Kind Of A Drag" (1967)
1948 ● Thijs Van Leer → Focus
1953 ● Sean HopperHuey Lewis & The News
1954 ● Tony BrockThe Babys, "Everytime I Think Of You" (1978)
1955 ● Angus YoungAC/DC
1958 ● Pat McGlynn → Bay City Rollers
1959 ● Robert Holmes → Til Tuesday, "Voices Carry" (1985)

Apr 01
1934 ● Jim Ed Brown → The Browns, "The Three Bells" (1959), solo
1939 ● Rudolph Isley → Isley Brothers
1942 ● Alan Blakely → The Tremeloes, "Silence Is Golden" (1967)
1942 ● Phil Margo → The Tokens, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (1962)
1945 ● John BarbataThe Turtles, Jefferson Airplane
1946 ● Ronald Frederick "Ronnie" Lane → Faces/Small Faces, solo
1948 ● Jimmy Cliff (James Chambers) → Reggae superstar, "The Harder They Come" (1972)
1954 ● Jeff PorcaroToto
1961 ● Mark White → ABC, The Spin Doctors
1961 ● Susan Boyle → "I Dreamed A Dream" (2009)
1986 ● Hillary Scott → Lady Antebellum, "I Run To You" (2009)

Apr 02
1939 ● Marvin Gaye (Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr.) → R&B/soul pioneer
1942 ● Leon Russell (Claude Russell Bridges) → Songwriter, sessions, solo, "Tight Rope" (1972)
1942 ● Phil "Parrot" Castrodale → The Reflections, "(Just Like) Romeo & Juliet" (1964)
1943 ● Glen Dale (Richard Garforth) → The Fortunes, "You've Got Your Troubles" (1965)
1943 ● Larry Coryell → Jazz-rock pioneer, The Eleventh House, solo
1946 ● Kurt Winter → The Guess Who
1947 ● Emmylou Harris → Songwriter, country star, collaborator, solo, "Sweet Dreams" (1976)
1952 ● Dave Bronze → Procol Harum
1952 ● Leon WilkersonLynyrd Skynyrd
1953 ● David RobinsonLynyrd Skynyrd
1961 ● Keren Jane Woodward → Bananarama
1967 ● Greg Camp → Smash Mouth

Apr 03
1922 ● Doris Day (Doris Von Kappelhoff) → Actress, singer, "Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be)" (1956)
1928 ● Don Gibson → Country-pop, songwriter, "I Can't Stop Loving You" (1957)
1936 ● Jimmy McGriff → Soul-jazz organist, "The Worm" (1969)
1938 ● Jeff Barry → Brill Building songwriter, producer, wrote "Leader Of The Pack"
1941 ● Jan Berry (William J.) → Jan & Dean, "Surf City" (1963)
1942 ● Billy Joe Royal → Country-rock, "Down In The Boondocks" (1965)
1942 ● Wayne Newton → Pop-rock solo act, "Danke Schoen" (1963), Vegas showman
1943 ● Joe Vann (Joseph Canzano) → The Duprees, "You Belong To Me" (1962)
1943 ● Richard ManuelThe Band
1944 ● Barry Pritchard (Fortunes) → The Fortunes, "You've Got Your Troubles" (1965)
1944 ● Tony Orlando (Michael Anthony Orlando Casavitis) → AM pop star, leader of Dawn, "Knock Three Times" (1971)
1946 ● Dee MurrayElton John band
1949 ● Richard Thompson → Fairport Convention, solo, duo with wife Linda
1951 ● Mel Schacher → ? And The Mysterians, Grand Funk Railroad
1955 ● Mick Mars (Bob Alan Deal) → Motley Crüe
1956 ● Judie Tzuke (Judith Myers) → UK pop, "Stay With Me Till Dawn" (1979)
1961 ● Eddie Murphy → Actor/singer
1968 ● Sebastian Bach (Bierk) → Skid Row
1985 ● Leona Lewis → Contemporary R&B, "Bleeding Love" (2007)

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

 

Album of the Day: Elvis Presley (3/23/56) 54 Years!

Elvis Presley was the first rock ’n’ roll album to reach #1 on the Billboard pop album chart (spending 10 weeks there), the first million-selling rock ‘n’ roll album, and the first million-selling pop album for RCA Records. While Elvis Presley (playlist here) had seen some action on the country and western singles charts in 1955, when his debut album was released on March 23, 1956, the ground shook, The King was born, rock ‘n’ roll found its legs and the world of pop music was never the same again.

Elvis Presley wasn’t really a cohesive album in that sense of the term that came along in the 60s, and certainly not in a time when teens mainly bought 45s. It’s disjointed, with 12 tracks on the original vinyl (mono) disc recorded at three different times. Seven came from two sessions in January at RCA studios in Nashville and New York. The remaining five were leftovers culled from Presley’s catalogue of singles acquired from his previous employer, Sun Records (RCA bought his contract from Sun in November 1955 for $35,000). But who cared? Inconsistency aside, the landmark record had great rockabilly (Carl Perkins’ “Blue Suede Shoes”), country-pop (“Trying To Get To You”), shufflin’ R&B (Ray Charles’ “I Got A Woman”) and languid cover of the classic ballad “Blue Moon” (which doo-wop group The Marcels would speed up with startling effect in 1961).

Most CD reissues of include the classic hit “Heartbreak Hotel,” which rose the charts along with the LP but was not on the original vinyl pressing. Together, though, they make one helluva starting point for a playlist of the Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll (soft sell, click here). Elvis Presley is #55 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 top albums of all-time. CD reissues and mp3 downloads are available on Amazon, but and iTunes downloads are available here.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

 

Album of the Day: The Beatles (3/22/63) 47 Years!

The Beatles (playlist here) recorded the bulk of their debut album, Please Please Me at EMI Studios in London in one, 9-hour marathon in February 1963. The album was rush-released in the U.K. on March 22, 1963 to leverage the success of two singles, “Love Me Do” and the title track, both of which came out in late 1962. Beatlemania was bubbling in Britain, but it would be nearly a year before the Fab Four appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, bringing the brouhaha to the U.S.

Please Please Me contains 14 excellent samples of the Beatles’ early work. You’ve heard them all many times over, but they’re just a fresh today as they were 47 years ago when four brash young guys banged them out for a few pounds pay (but millions more to come in royalties). And it wasn’t that much trouble for them to get it down in 9 hours, as most of the songs were staples of their live shows honed in the clubs of Hamburg and Liverpool. Eight Lennon/McCartney originals mix with six covers, including Motown (“Boys,” featuring Ringo on vocals, and “Baby It’s You,” another Shirelles hit), a Gerry Goffin/Carole King mid-tempo rocker (“Chains,” sung by George Harrison) and “Twist And Shout,” a hit for the Isley Brothers in 1962. Of the originals, there’s a balance of rock ‘n’ roll (“I Saw Her Standing There” and the title track) with sweet ballads (“There’s A Place” and “P.S. I Love You”) and the eternal “Do You Want To Know A Secret.”

Unless they purchased import copies, American listeners would have to endure a 10 month wait for the Beatles’ first U.S. releases, Introducing…The Beatles on Vee-Jay Records and Meet The Beatles on Capitol (both released in mid-January 1964). Even the Canadians got in ahead of their southern neighbors, as Capitol released a Canada-only version of With The Beatles (the second U.K. release) in November 1963. Please Please Me is available as a CD or mp3 downloads on Amazon, but as with all Beatles music, not on iTunes.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

 

This Week's Birthdays (March 21 - 27)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Mar 21
1902 ● Eddie James "Son" House, Jr. → Delta blues slide guitarist
1943 ● Victor Anthony "Vivian" Stanshall → Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
1945 ● Rosemary Stone Sly & The Family Stone
1946 ● Ray Dorset → Mungo Jerry, "In The Summertime" (1970)
1949 ● Eddie Money (Edward Joseph Mahoney) → "Two Tickets To Paradise" (1977)
1950 ● Roger HodgsonSupertramp
1951 ● Conrad Lozano → Los Lobos
1951 ● Russell Thompkins, Jr. → Stylistics
1967 ● Jonas "Joker" Berggren → Ace Of Base
1967 ● Sean Dickson → Soup Dragons
1968 ● Andrew Copeland → Sister Hazel

Mar 22
1941 ● Jeremy Clyde → Chad & Jeremy
1943 ● George Benson → Jazz/R&B guitarist, "Breezin'" (1976)
1943 ● Keith Relf → Yardbirds
1947 ● Harry Vanda → Easybeats, Flash And The Pan
1947 ● Patrick Olive → Hot Chocolate, "You Sexy Thing" (1975)
1948 ● Randy Jo Hobbs → The McCoys, "Hang On Sloopy" (1965)
1957 ● Stephanie Mills → Disco diva, "Never Knew Love Like This Before" (1980)

Mar 23
1949 ● Ric Ocasek (Richard Otcasek) → The Cars, solo
1950 ● Phil Lanzon → Uriah Heep
1953 ● Chaka Khan (Yvette Marie Stevens) → Rufus, solo, "I Feel For You" (1984)
1966 ● Marti Pellow (Mark McLachlan) → Wet Wet Wet, "Love Is All Around" (1994)
1968 ● Damon Albarn → Blur

Mar 24
1937 ● Billy Stewart → R&B/jazz singer, "Summertime" (1966)
1947 ● Mike Kellie → Spooky Tooth
1948 ● Lee Oskar → War, solo
1951 ● Dougie ThomsonSupertramp
1960 ● Nena (Gabriele Susanne Kerner) → "99 Luftballons" (1984)
1970 ● Pasemaster Mase (Vincent Mason, Jr.) → De La Soul
1970 ● Sharon Corr → The Corrs

Mar 25
1934 ● Johnny Burnette → "You're Sixteen" (1960)
1938 ● Hoyt Axton → Country songwriter, actor, "Boney Fingers" (1974)
1942 ● Aretha Franklin → R&B super-diva, "Respect" (1967)
1947 ● Elton John (Reginald Kenneth Dwight) → "Candle In The Wind 1997" (1997)
1948 ● Michael Stanley (Gee) → Michael Stanley Band, "Lover" (1980)
1949 ● Nick Lowe → Brinsley Schwarz, solo, producer
1960 ● Steve Norman → Spandau Ballet, "True" (1983)
1975 ● Melanie Blatt → All Saints

Mar 26
1917 ● Rufus Thomas → R&B/soul, "Do The Funky Chicken" (1970)
1936 ● Fred Parris → The Five Satins, "In The Still Of The Night" (1956)
1944 ● Diana Ross (Diane Earle) → The Supremes, solo
1948 ● Richard TandyElectric Light Orchestra
1948 ● Steven Tyler (Steven Victor Tallarico) → Aerosmith
1949 ● Fran SheehanBoston
1950 ● Teddy Pendergrass → Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, solo
1953 ● Billy Lyall → Bay City Rollers, Pilot, Alan Parsons Project
1968 ● James Iha → Smashing Pumpkins
1968 ● Kenny Chesney → Country star, "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" (1999)
1975 ● Juvenile (Terius Grey) → Gangsta rapper, "Slow Motion" (2003)
1981 ● Jay Sean (Kamaljit Singh Jhooti) → Urban R&B, "Down" (2009)

Mar 27
1950 ● Tony BanksGenesis
1954 ● Walt StockerThe Babys, Air Supply
1959 ● Andrew FarrisINXS
1962 ● Derrick McKenzie → Jamiroquai
1965 ● Johnny April → Staind
1970 ● Brendan Hill → Blues Traveler
1970 ● Mariah Carey → Pop diva, "Fantasy" (1995)
1975 ● Fergie (Stacy Ferguson) → Wild Orchid, Black Eyed Peas, solo

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

 

Album of the Day: Wild Cherry (3/20/76) 34 Years!

Funky one-hit wonder band Wild Cherry endured the bar and lounge circuit among the gritty steel mills along the Ohio River in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and southeastern Ohio for several years before their 5:01 minutes of global fame came in 1976. Allegedly pestered one night by a group of non-whites to “play something funky,” leader and guitarist Rob Parissi and his mates did just that, responding with the now-classic “Play That Funky Music (White Boy).” The single opened their eponymous debut album, released on March 20, 1976.

Unfortunately for Rob and his lounge pals, that was it. The single and album were an out-of-nowhere, huge and enduring hit. “Play That Funky Music” topped both the Billboard Pop and R&B charts, and the album and single were platinum sellers. Wild Cherry tried but never came close to matching the success of their one-hitter. But they’re still enjoying the income from royalties, including when you download the (pretty good funk/rock – for $6.99) album or mp3s on Amazon (click here) or iTunes (click here).

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

 

This Week's Birthdays (March 14 - 20)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Mar 14
1931 ● Phil Phillips (John Phillip Baptiste) → R&B singer, "Sea Of Love" (1959)
1933 ● Quincy Jones → Bandleader, producer, songwriter
1943 ● Jim PonsTurtles, Mothers Of Invention
1945 ● Walter ParazaiderChicago
1969 ● Michael Bland → Session drummer, Prince, Soul Asylum
1970 ● Kristian Bush → Sugarland
1983 ● Jordan Taylor Hanson → Hanson

Mar 15
1912 ● Sam "Lightnin'" Hopkins → Blues guitarist, "Mojo Hand" (1960)
1932 ● Arif Mardin → Atlantic Records producer
1940 ● Phil LeshGrateful Dead
1941 ● Mike LoveBeach Boys
1942 ● Jerry Jeff Walker (Ronald Clyde Crosby) → C&W singer, "Mr. Bojangles" (1968)
1944 ● David Costell → Gary Lewis & The Playboys
1944 ● Sly Stone (Sylvester Stewart) → Sly & The Family Stone
1946 ● Howard Scott → War
1947 ● Ry Cooder → Country-folk-blues-rock guitarist, Rising Sons, sessions, solo
1953 ● Preston Hubbard→ Roomful Of Blues, Fabulous Thunderbirds
1955 ● Etterlene "Bunny" DeBarge → DeBarge
1955 ● Dee Snider → Twisted Sister, solo
1962 ● Steve Coy → Dead Or Alive
1962 ● Terence Trent D’Arby (Howard) → "Wishing Well" (1988)
1963 ● Brett Michaels → Poison
1964 ● Rockwell (Kenneth Gordy) → "Somebody's Watching Me" (1984)
1968 ● Mark McGrath → Sugar Ray
1972 ● Mark Hoppus → Blink-182
1975 ● will.i.am (William James Adams, Jr.) → Black Eyed Peas
1977 ● DJ Joseph Hahn → Linkin Park

Mar 16
1948 ● Michael Bruce → Alice Cooper band, solo
1954 ● Nancy WilsonHeart
1959 ● Flavor Flav (William Jonathan Drayton, Jr.) → Public Enemy
1963 ● Stuart Kerr → Texas

Mar 17
1919 ● Nat "King" Cole (Nathaniel Coles) → "Unforgettable" (1954)
1937 ● Adam Wade → R&B/pop vocalist, "Take Good Care Of Her" (1961)
1939 ● Clarence Collins → Little Anthony & The Imperials
1940 ● Vito Picone→ The Elegants, "Little Star" (1958)
1941 ● Paul Lorin KantnerJefferson Airplane/Starship, KBC Band, solo
1944 ● John B. SebastianLovin' Spoonful
1946 ● Harold Brown → War
1948 ● Fran Byrne → Ace
1951 ● Scott Gorham → Thin Lizzy
1959 ● Mike Lindup → Level 42
1967 ● Billy Corgan → Smashing Pumpkins
1972 ● Melissa Auf der Maur → Hole, Smashing Pumpkins, solo

Mar 18
1938 ● Charley Pride → Country star, "I'd Rather Love You" (1971)
1941 ● Wilson Pickett → "In The Midnight Hour" (1968)
1947 ● Brian James "B.J." Wilson → The Paramounts, Procul Harum
1950 ● John HartmanDoobie Brothers
1959 ● Irene Cara (Irene T. Escalera) → "Flashdance…What A Feelin'" (1983)
1963 ● Jeff LeBar → Cinderella
1963 ● Vanessa Williams → R&B/pop vocalist, "Save The Best For Last" (1991)
1966 ● Jerry Cantrell → Alice In Chains
1967 ● Robert Harrison → Cotton Mather
1970 ● Queen Latifah (Dana Elaine Owens) → Rapper, "U.N.I.T.Y." (1993)
1974 ● Stuart Zender → Jamiroquai
1977 ● Devin Lima → LFO

Mar 19
1942 ● Robin Luke → Early rock 'n roller, "Susie Darlin'" (1958)
1946 ● Paul AtkinsonThe Zombies
1946 ● Ruth Pointer → Pointer Sisters
1951 ● Derek Longmuir → Bay City Rollers
1953 ● Ricky WilsonThe B-52's

Mar 20
1937 ● Jerry Reed (Jerry Reed Hubbard) → Actor, country singer/guitarist, solo, sessions
1950 ● Carl Palmer → Atomic Rooster, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Asia
1951 ● Jimmie Vaughan → Fabulous Thunderbirds, solo (Stevie Ray's brother)
1961 ● Slim Jim Phantom (James McDowell) → Stray Cats
1976 ● Chester Bennington → Linkin Park

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

 

Album of the Day: Steely Dan (3/9/75) 35 Years!

Advance disclaimer: I’ve always been a big Steely Dan fan (soft sell: download tracks here). That being said, I still proclaim with extreme confidence that the seven albums Walter Becker and Donald Fagen released between 1972 and 1980 represent the best collection of any one artist or group during the 1970s. And their fourth album, Katy Lied (released on March 9, 1975) is the cream of the bucket.

Steely Dan, of course, wasn’t a true rock band, but the platform for songwriter/musicians Becker and Fagen to showcase their eclectic, one-of-a-kind amalgam of jazz, pop, R&B and light rock influences, using a progression of top-level, veteran studio session as their backing band (“Skunk” Baxter, Larry Carlton, Michael McDonald and Jeff Porcaro, to name just four). Together they produced a consistent, but not repetitive sound with enough pop to field several AM radio hits and enough substance to create a cult following off free-format FM radio. By the time Katy Lied came out, the duo had stopped touring (and wouldn’t resume so for nearly 20 years) and became perfectionists on the mixing board. With light rock (“Black Friday”), jazz-pop (“Doctor Wu”), funky R&B (“Bad Sneakers”) and drowsy blues (“Chain Lightning,” featuring Rick Derringer on guitar), the album is prime stuff all the way through.

From their pop-rock debut, Can’t Buy A Thrill all the way to the artsy jazz-pop of Aja and Gaucho, Steely Dan perfected the subtle but persuasive mix that’s more than stood the test of time and shifting musical tastes. My take on Steely Dan’s Top 25 is in the Playlist Vault. Katy Lied is on Amazon (as a CD or individual mp3 downloads) and iTunes, where you can download the album or individual tracks.

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

 

Album of the Day: David Bowie (3/7/75) 35 Years!

David Bowie’s 24-odd mainline albums evidence his unusual skill at adapting himself, his wardrobe and his music to changing times and genres. That’s why he frequently called “The Chameleon.” Bowie’s 9th studio album, Young Americans came out on March 7, 1975 and heralded a self-termed “plastic soul” phase in which he briefly embraced the sounds of 60s and 70s American R&B music.

The blue-eyed soul of Young Americans followed Bowie’s late-60s start as a pop and music hall performer, the hard rock of The Man Who Sold The World (1970) and the glam-rock of Ziggy Stardust in the early 70s. But plastic soul was short-lived. Within a year, Station to Station moved him to an avant-pop mode, and 1977’s Low transitioned further into an electronic, synth-pop sound.

Young Americans had a #1 single in “Fame” (co-written by John Lennon, who also provided backing vocals) and a lesser hit with the title track. The album itself made it into the Top 10 in both the U.S. and U.K. It’s available on Amazon and iTunes. Check the Playlist Vault for my interpretation of Bowie's 25 best songs.

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This WeeK"s Birthdays (March 7 - 13)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Mar 07
1943 ● Chris Taylor WhiteZombies
1945 ● Arthur Lee (Arthur Porter Taylor) → Love
1946 ● Matthew Fisher → Procol Harum
1946 ● Peter Wolf (Blankfield) → J. Geils Band
1962 ● Taylor Dayne (Leslie Wunderman) → "Love Will Lead You Back" (1990)
1967 ● Randy Guss → Toad The Wet Sprocket

Mar 08
1942 ● Ralph Ellis → Swinging Blue Jeans
1944 ● Keef Hartley → John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Keef Hartley Band
1945 ● George Michael "Micky" Dolenz, Jr. The Monkees
1946 ● Carole Bayer Sager → Songwriter, co-wrote "Nobody Does It Better"
1946 ● Randy MeisnerPoco, Eagles, solo
1947 ● Andrew Semple → Fortunes
1947 ● Michael Allsup → Three Dog Night
1948 ● Little Peggy March (Margaret Battavio) → "I Will Follow Him" (1964)
1948 ● Mel GalleyDeep Purple, Whitesnake
1949 ● Dave Lambert → The Strawbs
1954 ● Cheryl Baker (Rita Maria Crudgington) → Bucks Fizz
1957 ● Clive Burr → Iron Maiden
1958 ● Gary Numan (Webb) → New Wave synth-pop, "Cars" (1979)
1964 ● Peter "Ped" Gill → Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Motorhead
1964 ● Salt (Cheryl James) → Salt-N-Pepa
1968 ● Shawn Mullins → Folk/pop singer, "Lullaby" (1998)
1978 ● Kameelah Williams → R&B dance/pop band 702

Mar 09
1933 ● Lloyd Price → "Stagger Lee" (1958)
1936 ● Mickey Gilley → Country singer
1942 ● John Cale → Velvet Underground, solo
1942 ● Mark Lindsay → Paul Revere & The Raiders
1944 ● Gary Leeds → Walker Brothers
1944 ● Trevor Burton → The Move
1945 ● Robin Trower → Procol Harum, solo
1948 ● Jeffrey Osborne → L.T.D., solo - "On The Wings Of Love" (1982)
1948 ● Jimmie Fadden → Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
1951 ● Frank Rodriguez → ? and The Mysterians
1958 ● Martin Fry → ABC
1968 ● Robert Sledge → Ben Folds Five
1980 ● Chingy (Howard Bailey, Jr.) → Rapper, "Right Thurr" (2003
1987 ● Bow Wow (Shad Gregory Moss) → Rapper, "Beware Of Dog" (2000)

Mar 10
1903 ● Bix Beiderbecke → Jazz pianist
1940 ● Dean Torrence → Jan & Dean
1947 ● Tom ScholzBoston
1950 ● Ted McKenna → Sensational Alex Harvey Band
1962 ● Gary Clark → Danny Wilson, "Mary's Prayer" (1987)
1963 ● Jeff Ament → Pearl Jam
1964 ● Neneh Cherry (Neneh Mariann Karlsson) → Pop/dance/hip hop, "Seven Seconds" (1994)
1964 ● Patrick Kane → Hue & Cry
1966 ● Edie Brickell → Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians
1967 ● Susie Q (Susan Banfield) → Cookie Crew
1971 ● Timbaland (Timothy Zachery Moseley) → Rapper, producer
1977 ● Robin Thicke → "Lost Without U" (2007)
1983 ● Carrie Underwood → "Wasted" (2007)

Mar 11
1944 ● Ric Rothwell → Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders
1945 ● Harvey Mandel → Canned Heat, Rolling Stones, solo
1947 ● Mark Stein→ Vanilla Fudge
1948 ● George Kooymans → Golden Earring
1950 ● Bobby McFerrin → "Don't Worry, Be Happy" (1988)
1955 ● Catherina "Nina" Hagen → "New York New York" (1983)
1957 ● Cheryl Lynn → Disco diva, "Got To Be Real" (1978)
1961 ● Bruce Watson → Big Country
1961 ● Mike Percy → Dead Or Alive
1968 ● Lisa Loeb → "Stay" (1994)
1969 ● Pete Droge→ "If You Don't Love Me (I'll Kill Myself)" (1994)
1979 ● Benji Madden (Benjamin Levi Combs) → Good Charlotte
1979 ● Joel Madden (Joel Reuben Combs) → Good Charlotte

Mar 12
1940 ● Al Jarreau → "Breakin' Away" (1981)
1942 ● Brian O'Hara → The Fourmost
1942 ● Larry Kaye (Kassman) → Quotations
1942 ● Paul KantnerJefferson Airplane/Starship
1946 ● Liza Minnelli → "Cabaret" (1972)
1948 ● James Taylor → "You've Got A Friend" (1971)
1948 ● Les Holyrod → Barclay James Harvest
1949 ● Bill PayneLittle Feat
1949 ● Mike Gibbins → Badfinger
1957 ● Marlon Jackson → Jackson 5
1957 ● Steve Harris → Iron Maiden
1969 ● Graham Coxon → Blur, solo

Mar 13
1933 ● Mike Stoller → Songwriter, Lieber & Stoller
1939 ● Neil Sedaka → "Calendar Girl" (1961)
1940 ● Daniel Bennie → The Reflections
1949 ● Donald York → Sha Na Na
1959 ● Ronnie Rogers → T'Pau
1960 ● Adam ClaytonU2
1972 ● Common (Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr.) → Rapper

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

 

Album of the Day: Patti Smith (3/3/78) 32 Years!

Though rightly given the moniker “Godmother of Punk,” Patti Smith drew much broader appeal than that of the hard-core punks who came after her. (A Patti Smith playlist will be on DrRock.com shortly). Many of Smith’s earliest songs were primitive, stripped-down rock ‘n roll and garage rock in the punk vein. Her first two albums, Horses (1975) and Radio Ethiopia (1976) were unquestionably the lead-in to the punk movement. But she also delivered shining examples of toned-down punk with melodies and poetic lyrics that actually held meaning, and thus was far more accessible than most of the buzzsaw noise that pounded New York, London and Los Angeles in the late 70s.

Smith’s third album, the March 3, 1978 release, Easter was the most entertaining (and commercially viable) of all of her early works. Sure, there’s the fury of “Babelogue,” the snarl of “Space Monkey” and the indignation of “Rock N Roll Nigger.” But there’s also the straight-ahead rock of “Till Victory,” the sweetly plodding, vaguely choral sound of the title track, and the emphatic hit “Because The Night,” the song she co-wrote with Springsteen and took to Top 10 status in the U.K. and #13 in the U.S.

Smith moved just enough away from the punk movement she helped launch to score a Top 20 album that charted for over five months. And with Easter, she also unmistakably opened the door for 80s hard rocking females like Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, Joan Jett and the Wilson sisters of Heart.

Easter is available as a CD and mp3 files on Amazon (click here), and as iPod downloads on iTunes (click here).

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Monday, March 1, 2010

 

Album of the Day: Elvis (3/1/65) 45 Years!

In the five short years following his discharge from the Army in March 1960, Elvis Presley went on a tear (click here for Dr. Rock's Top 25 Elvis songs). He recorded and released 13 albums, eight of which were soundtracks to films he starred in. And every one of those albums charted in the Top 10. Few other recording artists or groups have ever – or will ever – equal that prolific output.

Girl Happy was released on March 1, 1965 and was the sixth straight Elvis soundtrack album after Girls! Girls! Girls! from November 1962. Both Girl Happy the movie and its counterpart soundtrack were an obvious attempt to cash in on the beach party movie craze of the mid-60s (remember Frankie and Annette in the classic Beach Blanket Bingo?). As it turned out, neither was particularly memorable. The album featured only one single - “Do The Clam” peaked at #21 - but it did reach #8 for a short period in mid-1965.

Girl Happy is available as a CD on Amazon (click here), but not on iTunes.

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

 

This Week's Birthdays (February 28 - March 6)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Feb 28
1939 ● John Fahey → Folk guitarist (Rolling Stone #35), Takoma Records owner
1940 ● Joe South (Souter) → Singer/songwriter, "Games People Play" (1968)
1940 ● Marty Sanders → Jay & The Americans
1942 ● Brian JonesRolling Stones
1943 ● Barbara Acklin → Pop-soul vocalist, "Love Makes A Woman" (1968)
1952 ● Eddie "Kingfish" Manion → Asbury Jukes, Seeger Sessions Band
1957 ● Cindy WilsonB-52's
1957 ● Ian Stanley → Tears For Fears
1957 ● Phil Gould → Level 42
1967 ● Marcus Lillington → Breathe, "Hands To Heaven" (1988)
1969 ● Pat Monahan → Train, solo

Feb 29
1904 ● Jimmy Dorsey → Swing era Big Band leader
1940 ● Gretchen Christopher → The Fleetwoods, "Come Softly To Me" (1959)
1976 ● Ja Rule (Jeffrey Atkins) → Rapper, "Put It On Me" (2000)

Mar 01
1927 ● Harry Belafonte (Belafonete) → "Banana Boat Song" (1956)
1934 ● Jim Edward Brown → The Browns
1939 ● Warren Davis → The Monotones, "(Who Wrote) The Book Of Love" (1958)
1942 ● Jerry Fisher Blood, Sweat & Tears
1944 ● Mike D'Abo → Manfred Mann, solo
1944 ● Roger DaltreyThe Who, solo
1946 ● Tony Ashton → Ashton, Gardner & Dyke
1947 ● Burning Spear (Winston Rodney) → Reggae artist, Rastafarian preacher
1958 ● Nik Kershaw → "Wouldn't It Be Good" (1983)

Mar 02
1938 ● Lawrence PaytonThe Four Tops
1942 ● Lou Reed (Lewis Allen Rabinowitz) → Velvet Underground, solo
1943 ● George Benson → Jazz/R&B guitarist, "Breezin'" (1976)
1948 ● Rory Gallagher → Blues-rock guitarist
1950 ● Karen Carpenter → The Carpenters
1955 ● Dale Bozzio (Consalvi) → Missing Persons
1955 ● Jay Osmond → The Osmonds
1956 ● John Cowsill → The Cowsills
1956 ● Mark EvansAC/DC
1962 ● Jon Bon Jovi (John Fancis Bongiovi) → Bon Jovi, solo
1977 ● Chris Martin → Coldplay

Mar 03
1923 ● Arthel L. "Doc" Watson → Folk/country/bluegrass guitarist
1928 ● Dave Dudley (Pedruska) → "Six Days On The Road" (1963)
1938 ● Willie Chambers → Chambers Brothers, "Time Has Come Today" (1968)
1942 ● Mike Pender (Prendergast) → The Searchers
1944 ● Jance Garfat → Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show
1947 ● Derek "Blue" Weaver → The Strawbs, Mott the Hoople, Bee Gees, sessions
1947 ● Jennifer Warnes → "Right Time Of The Night" (1977)
1950 ● Re Styles → The Tubes
1953 ● Ricky Helton WilsonB-52's
1953 ● Robyn Hitchcock → The Soft Boys, solo
1966 ● Tone-Loc (Anthony T. Smith) → Rapper, "Wild Thing" (1989)
1969 ● John Bigham → Fishbone
1977 ● Ronan Keating → Boyzone

Mar 04
1932 ● Miriam Makeba → South African folk-pop singer
1944 ● Bobby Womack → "It's All Over Now" (1974)
1946 ● Red Stripe (David Gittens) → Flying Pickets, "Only You" (1983)
1948 ● Chris SquireYes
1948 ● Shakin' Stevens (Michael Barrett) → "This Ole House" (1981)
1951 ● Chris Rea → "Fool (If You Think It's Over)" (1978)
1953 ● Emilio Estefan, Jr. → Miami Sound Machine
1955 ● Boon Gould → Level 42
1963 ● Jason Newsted → Metallica
1966 ● Patrick Hannan → The Sundays
1967 ● Evan Dando → Lemonheads
1971 ● Fergal Lawlor → The Cranberries

Mar 05
1933 ● Tommy Tucker (Robert Higginbotham) → "High-Heeled Sneakers" (1964)
1947 ● Eddie Hodges → "I'm Gonna Knock On Your Door" (1961)
1948 ● Eddy Grant → "Electric Avenue" (1983)
1952 ● Alan ClarkDire Straits
1956 ● Teena Marie (Mary Christine Brockert) → "Lovergirl" (1984)
1958 ● Andy Gibb → Bee Gees
1962 ● Craig & Charlie Reid → The Proclaimers
1970 ● John Frusciante → Red Hot Chili Peppers

Mar 06
1893 ● Walter "Furry" Lewis → Blues guitarist/singer
1937 ● Doug Dillard → The Dillards
1944 ● Mary Wilson The Supremes, solo
1945 ● Hugh GrundyZombies
1946 ● David GilmourPink Floyd
1947 ● Kiki Dee (Pauline Matthews) → "I've Got The Music In Me" (1974)
1977 ● Bubba Sparxxx (Warren Mathis) → Rapper, "Ugly" (2001)

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

 

Vintage Video: Shocking Blue (1969)

Dutch pop-rock band Shocking Blue scored a major hit with “Venus” in 1969 from their second album, At Home (for the video, click here). While most of us remember Shocking Blue as a one hit wonder, they actually had nearly a dozen albums mixing country-flavored rock, mild psychedelia and almost bubblegum-pop sounds, none of which made much of a mark outside of their native Netherlands. “Venus” was covered very successfully by Bananarama in 1986 and the original, chart topping, gold-selling version has appeared in numerous TV shows, movie soundtracks and scores of compilation albums from the period. In this 1970 promo video, lead mime Mariska Veres plays the part of the disenchanted siren while her bandmates play air guitar for the caged monkeys behind them.

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Friday, February 26, 2010

 

Album of the Day: The Beatles (2/26/70) 40 Years!

An unusual collection of singles and B-sides never included on any of the Beatles mainline albums (except certain U.S. versions), Hey Jude was released by Capitol Records in the U.S. on February 26, 1970. Its original working title was The Beatles Again, but that was changed shortly before the album’s release to leverage the inclusion of the August 1968 single, “Hey Jude,” which still commanded significant attention on the radio and in stores 18 months after it hit the streets.

Hey Jude features ten former 45 rpm-only songs that span the Beatles’ career, including “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “I Should Have Known Better” from 1964 (both of which appeared on United Artists’ soundtrack to the movie A Hard Day’s Night but not on a previous Capitol LP), sides A and B of the 1966 disc “Paperback Writer”/“Rain,” and three tracks from the acrimonious recording sessions in the winter and spring of 1969 that led to the LPs Abbey Road and Let It Be, “Don’t Let Me Down” (the B-side to “Get Back”) and both front and back of the disc “The Ballad Of John And Yoko”/“Old Brown Shoe.

Hey Jude was followed closely by the Beatles’ final album Let It Be (May 1970) and the long-rumored announcement that the band would dissolve. As the only one-stop source of all of the songs included on the album, it’s almost required for any serious Beatle collector, but it was never issued on CD and the LP versions on Amazon are quite pricey. Apple iTunes, of course, doesn’t carry any Beatles, but Dr. Rock has 50 of the best Beatles songs in the Playlist Vault for you to use as a guide for downloading mp3 files on Amazon or other sites.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

 

Album of the Day: Neil Young (2/25/72) 38 Years!

Neil Young released his fourth solo album, Harvest, on February 25, 1972, a long 18 month gap following After The Gold Rush (for Dr. Rock’s Neil Young playlist, click here). The delay didn’t seem to matter to his fans, and likely stoked their collective interest. Harvest met with an enthusiastic reception; the LP quickly went to the top of the Billboard album charts and eventually became the highest selling album of 1972.

Along with the #1 hit “Heart of Gold” and the #31 single “Old Man,” Young delivered a masterful collection of second-tier slow, plodding and mid-tempo country-rock and folk tunes. Background vocals were provided by Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor and Young’s former bandmates, David Crosby, Graham Nash and Stephen Stills. Two tracks (“A Man Needs A Maid” and “There’s A World”) feature the London Symphony Orchestra, a potentially disastrous mix that could have resulted in schmaltzy elevator music, but Neil pulled it off with his plaintive vocals topping just the right level of soaring orchestral background.

Harvest brought Young into the glare of rock stardom as a solo artist. While his later work includes many great albums, he never matched the widespread popularity of Harvest, his biggest seller. It’s available on CD, LP or mp3 at Amazon (click here). Downloads for iPods are on iTunes (click here).

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

 

Album of the Day: Fleetwood Mac (2/24/68) 42 Years!

Fleetwood Mac (for Dr. Rock’s playlist, click here) is more than the 70s superstar group that brought “Rhiannon,” “Go Your Own Way” and “The Chain” to the top of the pops. Surely those are undeniably great and lasting tunes, but long before Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, and John and Christine McVie cut those classic pop-rock tracks, FM was a hardcore 60s British blues band organized around and named for the rhythm section of bassist McVie and drummer Fleetwood. But the two led the band in name only. Founder, blues guitarist and songwriter Peter Green and his partner Jeremy Spencer controlled things, at least until Green succumbed to lengthy drug fests and left Mick and John to move forward on their own in 1970. Seven years and seven LPs later, the latter two had the last laugh en route to the bank.

Debut album Fleetwood Mac (2/24/1968) is top-notch material from the British blues-rock bloom of the mid- and late 60s. A mix of Green/Spencer originals and covers of mid-level Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf and Elmore James, it’s one of the era’s best and a terrific counterpoint to what the world thinks is the real Fleetwood Mac.

Fleetwood Mac made it to #4 on the album charts in the UK but barely registered in the US. It’s available on CD, LP or mp3 at Amazon. Downloads for iPods are on iTunes.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

 

In Memoriam: Dale Hawkins, 1936 - 2010

In case you missed the news, Louisiana rockabilly star Dale Hawkins died a week ago Saturday at 73. Often (and unjustifiably) labelled a "one hit wonder," Hawkins surely had one massively memorable hit: “Susie Q” from 1957, mostly because the Stones and Creedence covered it with great effect in the 70s (click here for Dale’s TV performance from 1958). But Hawkins’ repertoire of “swamp rock” tunes (a mix of rock ‘n’ roll, country twang and deep Louisiana blues) were a huge influence on early rockers, and he’s always been counted with Elvis, Buddy, Bill Haley and others among the pioneers of rock ‘n’ roll music.

Dale continued to record through the 60s, despite being cheated out of royalties for “Suzie Q.” He hosted a TV program and toured regularly in the 70s. And his work as a record producer is forever pressed in several classic 70s AM pop-rock gems he shepherded, including “Western Union” by the Five Americans, “Judy In Disguise” by John Fred & The Playboy Band, and “Do It Again – A Little Bit Slower” by Jon & Robin. After a lengthy 80s bout with prescription drugs and seclusion in Little Rock, AR where he founded and ran a rehab facility, Hawkins returned to recording in the late 90s with an album of new material - Wildcat Tamer – that received great reviews and sold modestly. Another comeback album was recorded after he contracted colon cancer in 2006.

(Incidentally, Dale’s cousin is Ronnie Hawkins, a stellar rockabilly artist in his own right and frontman for the 60s rock ‘n’ roll group The Hawks. The backing musicians in a mid-60s lineup of the band became known to the world as The Band in 1968.)

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

 

This Week's Birthdays (February 21 - 27)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Feb 21
1933 ● Nina Simone (Eunice Kathleen Waymon) → "I Put A Spell On You" (1965)
1943 ● David Geffen → Geffen Records
1946 ● Paul Newton → Uriah Heep
1949 ● Jerry HarrisonTalking Heads
1951 ● Vince Welnick → The Tubes, Grateful Dead
1956 ● Lester Hunt → Climax Blues Band
1958 ● Mary-Chapin Carpenter → Folk/country-rock, "I Feel Lucky" (1992)
1961 ● Rankin' Roger (Charlery) → English Beat, General Public
1970 ● Eric Wilson → Sublime
1986 ● Charlotte Church (Reed) → Classical crossover singer

Feb 22
1936 ● Ernie K-Doe (Ernest Kador, Jr.) → New Orleans R&B, "Mother-In-Law" (1961)
1938 ● Bobby Hendricks → Five Crowns, Swallows, Drifters
1944 ● Mick Green → Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
1945 ● Oliver (William Oliver Swofford) → "Good Morning Starshine" (1969)

Feb 23
1944 ● Johnny Winter → Blues-rock guitarist (Rolling Stone #74)
1944 ● Mike Maxfield → Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas
1946 ● Rusty Young → Buffalo Springfield, Poco
1949 ● Terry "Tex" Comer → Ace
1950 ● Steve Priest → Sweet
1952 ● Brad WhitfordAerosmith
1955 ● Howard Jones → "What Is Love" (1984)
1955 ● Zeke Manyika → Orange Juice
1958 ● David Sylvian (David Alan Batt) → Japan
1962 ● Michael Wilton → Queensryche
1971 ● Jett Beres → Sister Hazel
1973 ● Lars Olaf "Lasse" Johansson → Cardigans

Feb 24
1941 ● Joanie Sommers (Drost) → Pop vocalist, "Johnny Get Angry" (1962)
1942 ● Paul Jones (Paul Pond) → Manfred Mann
1905 ● George HarrisonBeatles, solo
1944 ● Nicky Hopkins → Quicksilver Messenger Service, session pianist
1947 ● Lonnie TurnerSteve Miller Band
1947 ● Rupert Holmes → "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" (1979)
1948 ● Dennis Waterman → UK actor/singer, "I Could Be So Good For You" (1980)
1962 ● Michelle Shocked (Karen Michelle Johnston) → "If Love Was A Train" (1988)

Feb 25
1932 ● Faron Young → "Four In The Morning" (1971)
1942 ● Roy Michaels → Cat Mother & The All Night Newsboys
1946 ● Elkie Brooks (Elaine Bookbinder) → "Pearl's A Singer" (1977)
1947 ● David Stensen → The Grass Roots
1957 ● Dennis Diken → The Smithereens
1957 ● Stuart "Woody" Wood → Bay City Rollers
1905 ● Mike Peters → The Alarm
1973 ● Justin Jeffre → 98 Degrees
1976 ● Daniel Powter → "Bad Day" (2005

Feb 26
1928 ● Antoine "Fats" Domino → "Blueberry Hill" (1956)
1930 ● Carl Cicchetti → The Playmates, "Beep Beep" (1958)
1932 ● Johnny Cash
1943 ● Paul CottonPoco
1945 ● Bob "The Bear" Hite → Canned Heat
1905 ● Mitch Ryder (William Levise, Jr.) → The Detroit Wheels, solo
1947 ● Sandie Shaw (Sandra Goodrich) → "Puppet on a String" (1967)
1950 ● Jonathan CainJourney, Babys, Bad English
1953 ● Michael Bolton (Bolotin) → Blackjack, solo
1961 ● John Jon (Jonathan Hellyer) → Bronski Beat
1971 ● Erykah Badu → "On & On" (1997)

Feb 27
1927 ● Guy Mitchell (Albert Cernick) → "Heartaches By The Number" (1959)
1950 ● Robert Balderrama → ? and the Mysterians
1951 ● Steve Harley (Stephen Nice) → Cockney Rebel, solo, "Ballerina (Prima Donna)" (1983)
1954 ● Neil SchonSantana, Journey
1955 ● Garry Christian → The Christians
1957 ● Adrian Smith → Iron Maiden
1957 ● Johnny Van ZantLynyrd Skynyrd
1960 ● Paul Humphreys → Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
1964 ● Ewen Vernal → Deacon Blue
1971 ● Chilli (Rozonda Ocelean Thomas) → TLC
1972 ● Jeremy Dean → Nine Days
1981 ● Josh Groban → Pop singer, "The Prayer" (2001)

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

 

Album of the Day: Heart (2/14/76) 34 Years!


Heart. A debut album from a sister act. Two hotties in longing poses on the cover. Dreamboat Annie, the title. Released on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1976. How perfectly arranged! (Find Heart’s playlist here).

It didn’t take long to discern that this was no fluff-stuff. Nancy and Ann Wilson shot Cupid’s arrow dead on - pure, straight-ahead rock from a female perspective. Yes, Pat Benatar and Joan Jett snarled and rocked harder, but Heart covered all the bases. Hard rock with harmonies (“Magic Man” and “Crazy On You”, both now classics), dreamy-folksy love songs (the title track), and sweet female vocalist MOR pop-rockers (“I’ll Be Your Song”), even though they never made the soft-rock AM radio charts (but should have).

The debut topped out at #7 on the album charts in the US and launched what became one of the most important female rock acts (and attractive sisters, no less) in the 70s and 80s. Dreamboat Annie is available on CD, LP or mp3 at Amazon. Downloads for iPods are on iTunes.

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This Week's Birthdays (February 14 - 20)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Feb 14
1931 ● Phyllis McGuire → McGuire Sisters
1937 ● Samuel Gene "Magic Sam" Maghett → Chicago blues, "Feelin' Good (We're Gonna Boogie)" (1963)
1943 ● Eric Andersen → Greenwich Village folk, "Thirsty Boots" (1966)
1945 ● Vic Briggs → The Animals
1946 ● Doug Simril → Boz Scaggs Band
1947 ● Tim Buckley → Folk-rock singer/songwriter
1950 ● Roger FisherHeart, Alias
1951 ● Kenny Hyslop → The Skids, Simple Minds
1972 ● Rob Thomas → Matchbox Twenty, solo

Feb 15
1941 ● Brian HollandMotown songwriter (Holland-Dozier-Holland)
1944 ● Denny Zager → Zager & Evans, "In The Year 2525" (1969)
1944 ● Michael Charles "Mick" AvoryKinks
1945 ● John HelliwellSupertramp
1947 ● David BrownAllman Brothers Band, Santana
1951 ● Melissa Manchester → "Midnight Blue" (1975)
1959 ● Alistair "Ali" Campbell → UB40
1960 ● Mikey Craig → Culture Club
1976 ● Brandon Boyd → Incubus

Feb 16
1916 ● Bill Doggett → "Honky Tonk" (1956)
1927 ● Bobby Lewis → "Tossin' And Turnin'" (1961)
1935 ● Sonny Bono (Salvatore Phillip Bono) → Sonny & Cher, "I Got You Babe" (1965)
1949 ● Lyn Paul → New Seekers, "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" (1971)
1956 ● James Ingram → "I Don't Have The Heart" (1990)
1958 ● Ice-T (Tracy Morrow) → "I'm Your Pusher" (1988)
1961 ● Andy Taylor → Duran Duran
1962 ● Tony Kylie → Blow Monkeys

Feb 17
1902 ● Orvill "Hoppy" Jones → The Ink Spots
1922 ● Tommy Edwards → "It's All In The Game" (1958)
1939 ● John Leyton → UK teen idol, "Johnny Remember Me" (1961)
1941 ● Gene Pitney → "(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance" (1962)
1947 ● Dodie Stevens (Geraldine Ann Pasquale) → "Pink Shoe Laces" (1959)
1950 ● Rickey Medlocke → Blackfoot, Lynyrd Skynyrd
1966 ● Melissa Brooke-Bellard → Voice Of The Beehive
1972 ● Billie Joe Armstrong → Green Day

Feb 18
1933 ● Yoko Ono (Lennon)
1941 ● Herman Santiago → Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers
1941 ● Irma Thomas → "Ruler Of My Heart" (1963)
1947 ● Dennis De YoungStyx, solo
1948 ● Keith KnudsenDoobie Brothers
1952 ● Judy Kay "Juice" Newton → "Angel Of The Morning" (1981)
1953 ● Derek Pellicci → Little River Band
1953 ● Robbie Bachman → Bachman-Turner Overdrive
1954 ● John Travolta → Saturday Night Fever, Grease
1965 ● Dr. Dre (Andre Romell Young) → "Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang" (1993)

Feb 19
1936 ● Bob Engemann → The Lettermen
1940 ● William "Smokey" RobinsonThe Miracles, solo, songwriter, producer
1942 ● Lenny Citrin → Vito & The Salutations
1943 ● Lou Christie (Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco) → "Lightnin' Strikes" (1965)
1948 ● Tony IommiBlack Sabbath
1949 ● Eddie Hardin → Spencer Davis Group
1956 ● Dave Wakeling → General Public, English Beat, solo
1957 ● Falco (Johann Hölzel) → "Rock Me Amadeus" (1986)
1960 ● Prince Markie Dee (Mark Morales) → Fat Boys
1960 ● William "Holly" Johnson → Frankie Goes To Hollywood
1963 ● Seal (Seal Henry Samuel) → "Kiss From A Rose" (1996)

Feb 20
1898 ● Jimmy Yancey → Boogie-woogie pianist (Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, 1986)
1925 ● Robert Altman → Film producer/director, co-wrote "Theme From M.A.S.H."
1937 ● David Ackles → "Candy Man" (1970)
1937 ● Nancy Wilson → "How Glad I Am" (1964)
1940 ● Barbara Ellis → Fleetwoods
1941 ● Buffy Sainte-Marie → "Universal Soldier" (1964)
1944 ● Lew SoloffBlood, Sweat & Tears, sessions
1945 ● Alan Hull → Lindisfarne
1946 ● John "Jerome" Geils, Jr. → J. Geils Band
1950 ● Walter BeckerSteely Dan
1954 ● Jon BrantCheap Trick
1963 ● Ian Brown → Stone Roses
1975 ● Brian Littrell → Backstreet Boys
1985 ● Julia Volkova → t.A.T.u.
1988 ● Rihanna (Robyn Rihanna Fenty) → "Pon De Replay" (2005)

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