Monday, 25 April 2016
Exsanguination Blues/Hospitality Blues
In May of 1955 a group of Medical Students at the University of North Carolina Medical School were preparing skits for the annual Student-Faculty Day program.
A 3rd year student (now an M.D.) by the name of Doug Harrellwrote and presented with the aid of his fellow students a monolouge entitled "Exsanguination Blues." Harrell had the show recorded and it caused such a favourable comment that a recording company became interested.
The company asked Harrell to come up with another monolouge and he wrote "Hospitality Blues" The recording was issued in 1956 and became an instantaneous sucess.
The record was put out by Colonial Records, which had a lot of success with comedy records. Doug also released an L.P. in 1960 entitled "Laugh a Spell with Doug Harrell".
(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care/Valley of Tears/Rave On/Ready Teddy
Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959), known as Buddy Holly, was an American musician and singer-songwriter who was a central figure of mid-1950s rock and roll. Holly was born in Lubbock, Texas, to a musical family during the Great Depression; he learned to play guitar and to sing alongside his siblings. His style was influenced by gospel music, country music and rhythm and blues acts, and he performed in Lubbock with his friends from high school. He made his first appearance on local television in 1952, and the following year he formed the group "Buddy and Bob" with his friend Bob Montgomery. In 1955, after opening for Elvis Presley, Holly decided to pursue a career in music. He opened for Presley three times that year; his band's style shifted from country and western to entirely rock and roll. In October that year, when he opened for Bill Haley & His Comets, Holly was spotted by Nashville scout Eddie Crandall, who helped him get a contract with Decca Records.
Holly's recording sessions at Decca were produced by Owen Bradley. Unhappy with Bradley's control in the studio and with the sound he achieved there, Holly went to producer Norman Petty in Clovis, New Mexico, and recorded a demo of "That'll Be the Day", among other songs. Petty became the band's manager and sent the demo to Brunswick Records, which released it as a single credited to "The Crickets", which became the name of Holly's band. In September 1957, as the band toured, "That'll Be the Day" topped the US "Best Sellers in Stores" chart and the UK Singles Chart. Its success was followed in October by another major hit, "Peggy Sue".
The album Chirping Crickets, released in November 1957, reached number five on the UK Albums Chart. Holly made his second appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in January 1958 and soon after, toured Australia and then the UK. In early 1959, Holly assembled a new band, consisting of future country music star Waylon Jennings (bass) and Tommy Allsup (guitar), and embarked on a tour of the midwestern U.S. After a show in Clear Lake, Iowa, Holly chartered an airplane to travel to his next show, in Moorhead, Minnesota. Soon after takeoff, the plane crashed, killing Holly, Ritchie Valens, the Big Bopper, and the pilot, in a tragedy later elegized by Don McLean as "The Day the Music Died".
During his short career, Holly wrote, recorded, and produced his own material. He is often regarded as the artist who defined the traditional rock-and-roll lineup of two guitars, bass, and drums. Holly was a major influence on later popular music artists, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and Elton John. He was among the first artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1986. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 13 in its list of "100 Greatest Artists".
Cabaret/Slick/Flea Bag/Cowboys and Indians
Herbert "Herb" Alpert (born March 31, 1935) is an American musician most associated with the group variously known as Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass, or TJB. Alpert is also a recording industry executive, the "A" of A&M Records, a recording label he and business partner Jerry Moss founded and eventually sold to PolyGram. Alpert also has created abstract expressionist paintings and sculpture over two decades, which are publicly displayed on occasion. Alpert and wife, Lani Hall, are substantial philanthropists through the operation of the Herb Alpert Foundation.
Alpert's musical accomplishments include five No. 1 albums and 28 albums total on the Billboard Album chart, nine Grammy Awards, fourteen platinum albums, and fifteen gold albums. As of 1996, Alpert had sold 72 million albums worldwide. Alpert is the only recording artist to hit No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop chart as both a vocalist ("This Guy's in Love with You", 1968), and an instrumentalist ("Rise", 1979).
Help Me Make It Through The Night/Just The Other Side Of Nowhere/Duvalier's Dream/Darby's Castle
Kristoffer Kristofferson (born June 22, 1936) is an American singer, songwriter, musician, actor, and U.S. Army veteran. He is known for writing and recording such hits as "Me and Bobby McGee," "For the Good Times," "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" and "Help Me Make It Through the Night." Kristofferson is the sole writer of most of his songs, and he has collaborated with various other figures of the Nashville scene such as Shel Silverstein. In 1985, Kristofferson joined fellow country artists Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash in forming the country music supergroup The Highwaymen. In 2004, Kristofferson was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He is also known for his acting work, including starring roles in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore and A Star Is Born, the latter for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.
How Can I Be Sure/I'm So Happy Now/I Don't Love You Anymore/You Better Run
The Rascals, along with the Righteous Brothers, Mitch Ryder, and precious few others, were the pinnacle of '60s blue-eyed soul. The Rascals' talents, however, would have to rate above their rivals, if for nothing else than the simple fact that they, unlike many other blue-eyed soulsters, penned much of their own material. They also proved more adept at changing with the fast-moving times, drawing much of their inspiration from British Invasion bands, psychedelic rock, gospel, and even a bit of jazz and Latin music. They were at their best on classic singles like "Good Lovin'," "How Can I Be Sure," "Groovin'," and "People Got to Be Free." When they tried to stretch their talents beyond the impositions of the three-minute 45, they couldn't pull it off, a failure which -- along with crucial personnel losses -- effectively finished the band as a major force by the 1970s.
The roots of the Rascals were in New York-area twist and bar bands. Keyboardist/singer Felix Cavaliere, the guiding force of the group, had played with Joey Dee & the Starliters, where he met Canadian guitarist Gene Cornish and singer Eddie Brigati. Brigati would split the lead vocals with Cavaliere and also write much of the band's material with him. With the addition of drummer Dino Danelli, they became the Rascals. Over their objections, manager Sid Bernstein (who had promoted the famous Beatles concerts at Carnegie Hall and Shea Stadium) dubbed them the Young Rascals, although the "Young" was permanently dropped from the billing in a couple of years.
After a small hit with "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore" in 1965, the group hit number one with "Good Lovin'," a cover of an R&B tune by the Olympics, in 1966. This was the model for the Rascals' early sound: a mixture of hard R&B and British Invasion energy, with tight harmony vocals and arrangements highlighting Cavaliere's Hammond organ. After several smaller hits in the same vein, the group began to mature at a rapid rate in 1967, particularly as songwriters. "Groovin'," "Beautiful Morning," "It's Wonderful," and "How Can I Be Sure?" married increasingly introspective and philosophical lyrics to increasingly sophisticated arrangements and production, without watering down the band's most soulful qualities. They were also big hits, compiled for the 1968 LP release Time Piece: The Rascals' Greatest Hits, and provided some of the era's most satisfying blends of commercial and artistic appeal.
During the summer of 1968, almost as if to prove they could shake 'em down as hard as any soul revue, the Rascals made number one with one of their best songs, "People Got to Be Free." An infectious summons to unity and tolerance in the midst of a very turbulent year for American society, it also reflected the Rascals' own integrationist goals. Not only did they blend white and black in their music; they also, unlike many acts of the time, refused to tour on bills that weren't integrated as well.
"People Got to Be Free," surprisingly, was the group's last Top 20 hit, although they would have several other small chart entries over the next few years, often in a more explicitly gospel-influenced style. The problem wasn't bad timing or shifting commercial taste; the problem was the material itself, which wasn't up to the level of their best smashes. More worrisome were their increasingly ambitious albums, such as the 1969 releases Freedom Suite and See, which found Cavaliere in particular trying to expand into jazz, instrumentals, and Eastern philosophy. Not that this couldn't have worked well, but it didn't. They had never been an album-oriented group, but unlike other some other great mid-'60s bands, they were unable to satisfactorily expand their talents into full-length formats.
A more serious problem was the departure of Brigati, the band's primary lyricist, in 1970. Cornish was also gone a year later, although Cavaliere and Danelli kept the Rascals going a little longer with other musicians. The band broke up in 1972, with none of the members going on to notable commercial or artistic success on his own, though Cavaliere remained the most active
Paranoid/Black Sabbath/Tomorrow's Dream /Changes
Black Sabbath are an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler, singer Ozzy Osbourne, and drummer Bill Ward. The band have since experienced multiple line-up changes, with guitarist Iommi being the only constant presence in the band through the years. Originally formed in 1968 as a blues rock band, the group soon adopted the Black Sabbath moniker and began incorporating occult themes with horror-inspired lyrics and tuned-down guitars. Despite an association with these two themes, Black Sabbath also composed songs dealing with social instability, political corruption, the dangers of drug abuse and apocalyptic prophecies of the horrors of war.
Osbourne's regular abuse of alcohol and other drugs led to his dismissal from the band in 1979. He was replaced by former Rainbow vocalist Ronnie James Dio. Following two albums with Dio, Black Sabbath endured countless personnel changes in the 1980s and 1990s that included vocalists Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes, Ray Gillen and Tony Martin, as well as several drummers and bassists. In 1992, Iommi and Butler rejoined Dio and drummer Vinny Appice to record Dehumanizer. The original line-up reunited with Osbourne in 1997 and released a live album Reunion. Black Sabbath's 19th studio album, 13, which features all of the original members but Ward, was released in June 2013.
Black Sabbath are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970) and Master of Reality (1971). They were ranked by MTV as the "Greatest Metal Band" of all time, and placed second in VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock" list. Rolling Stone magazine ranked them number 85 in their "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". They have sold over 70 million records worldwide. Black Sabbath were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. They have also won two Grammy Awards for Best Metal Performance.
Monday, 4 April 2016
All I Really Want To Do/Where Do You Go/Alfie/Bang Bang
Cher born Cherilyn Sarkisian, May 20, 1946) is an American singer and actress. Described as embodying female autonomy in a male-dominated industry, she is known for her distinctive contralto singing voice and for having worked in numerous areas of entertainment, as well as adopting a variety of styles and appearances during her five-decade-long career, which has led to her being nicknamed the Goddess of Pop.
Cher gained popularity in 1965 as one-half of the folk rock husband-wife duo Sonny & Cher after their song "I Got You Babe" reached number one on the American and British charts. She began her solo career simultaneously, releasing in 1966 her first million-seller song, "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)". She became a television personality in the 1970s with her shows The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, watched by over 30 million viewers weekly during its three-year run, and Cher. She emerged as a fashion trendsetter by wearing elaborate outfits on her television shows. While working on television, she established herself as a solo artist with the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping singles "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves", "Half-Breed", and "Dark Lady". After her divorce from Sonny Bono in 1975, Cher launched a comeback in 1979 with the disco-oriented album Take Me Home and earned $300,000 a week for her 1980–82 residency show in Las Vegas.
Cher has won an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, a special CFDA Fashion Award, three Golden Globe Awards, and a Cannes Film Festival Award, among several other honors. Throughout her career, she has sold 200 million records worldwide. She is the only artist to date to have a number-one single on a Billboard chart in each decade from the 1960s to the 2010s. Outside of her music and acting, she is noted for her political views, philanthropic endeavors and social activism, including LGBT rights and HIV/AIDS prevention.
High Time/Thinking Ain’t For Me/I’ve Been A Bad Bad Boy/Sons And Lovers
Paul Jones was born as Paul Pond in Portsmouth, Hampshire. As “P.P. Jones” he performed duets with Elmo Lewis (better known as future founder member of the Rolling Stones, Brian Jones) at the Ealing Club, home of Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, whose singers included Long John Baldry and Mick Jagger. He was asked by Keith Richards and Brian Jones to be the lead singer of a group they were forming, but he turned them down. He went on to be the vocalist and harmonica player of the successful 1960s group Manfred Mann. Paul Jones had several Top Ten hits with Manfred Mann before going solo in July 1966. He remained with His Master’s Voice.
He was less successful without the band than they were with his replacement, Mike d’Abo, but did have a few hits, notably with “High Time” (1966) (UK No 4), “I’ve Been a Bad, Bad Boy” (1967) (UK No 5) and “Thinkin’ Ain’t for Me” (1967) (UK No 32) before branching into acting. While his solo career in the UK was mildly successful, he sold few records in the US. He had enough hits in Sweden to have a greatest hits album released there on EMI. Subsequent single releases in Britain in the late 1960s on the Columbia label, as a result of EMI transferring their remaining pop acts from His Master’s Voice, included “Aquarius”, from the musical “Hair”, and a cover version of a Bee Gees song, “And the Sun Will Shine”.
Living In The Past/Locomotive Breath/Hymn 43/Song For Jeffrey
Jethro Tull were a British rock group, formed in Luton, Bedfordshire, in December 1967. Initially playing blues rock, the band soon developed its sound to incorporate elements of British folk music and hard rock to forge a progressive rock signature. The band was led by vocalist/flautist/guitarist Ian Anderson, and have included other significant members such as guitarist Martin Barre, keyboardist John Evan, drummers Clive Bunker, Doane Perry, and Barriemore Barlow, and bassists Glenn Cornick, Jeffrey Hammond, and Dave Pegg.
The group first achieved commercial success in 1969, with the folk-tinged blues album Stand Up, which reached No. 1 in the UK charts, and they toured regularly in the UK and the US. Their musical style shifted in the direction of progressive rock with the albums Aqualung, Thick as a Brick and A Passion Play, and shifted again to hard rock mixed with folk rock with Songs from the Wood and Heavy Horses. Jethro Tull have sold over 60 million albums worldwide, with 11 gold and five platinum albums among them. They have been described by Rolling Stone as "one of the most commercially successful and eccentric progressive rock bands".
The last works released as a group were in 2003, though the band continued to tour until 2011. In April 2014, as he was concentrating on his solo career, Anderson said that Jethro Tull were finished.
I'm in Love Again/I'm Mad Again/Bury My Body/She Said Yeah
One of the most important bands originating from England's R&B scene during the early '60s, the Animals were second only to the Rolling Stones in influence among R&B-based bands in the first wave of the British Invasion. The Animals had their origins in a Newcastle-based group called the Kansas City Five, whose membership included pianist Alan Price, drummer John Steel, and vocalist Eric Burdon. Price exited to join the Kontours in 1962, while Burdon went off to London. The Kontours, whose membership included Bryan "Chas" Chandler, eventually were transmuted into the Alan Price R&B Combo, with John Steel joining on drums. Burdon's return to Newcastle in early 1963 heralded his return to the lineup. The final member of the combo, guitarist Hilton Valentine, joined just in time for the recording of a self-produced EP under the band's new name, the Animals. That record alerted Graham Bond to the Animals he was likely responsible for pointing impresario Giorgio Gomelsky to the group.
Gomelsky booked the band into his Crawdaddy Club in London, and they were subsequently signed by Mickie Most, an independent producer who secured a contract with EMI's Columbia imprint. A studio session in February 1964 yielded their Columbia debut single, "Baby Let Me Take You Home" (adapted from "Baby Let Me Follow You Down"), which rose to number 21 on the British charts. For years, it was rumored incorrectly that the Animals got their next single, "House of the Rising Sun," from Bob Dylan's first album, but it has been revealed that, like "Baby Let Me Take You Home," the song came to them courtesy of Josh White. In any event, the song -- given a new guitar riff by Valentine and a soulful organ accompaniment devised by Price -- shot to the top of the U.K. and U.S. charts early that summer. This success led to a follow-up session that summer, yielding their first long-playing record, The Animals. Their third single, "I'm Crying," rose to number eight on the British charts. The group compiled an enviable record of Top Ten successes, including "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" and "We've Gotta Get Out of This Place," along with a second album, Animal Tracks.
In the meantime, the group was growing increasingly unhappy with the material they were being given to record by manager Mickie Most. Not only were the majority of these songs much too commercial for their taste, but they represented a false image of the band, even if many were successful. "It's My Life," a number seven British hit and a similar smash in America, caused the Animals to terminate their association with Most and with EMI Records. They moved over to Decca/London Records and came up with a more forceful, powerful sound on their first album for the new label, Animalisms. The lineup shifts continued, however: Steel exited in 1966, after recording Animalisms, and was replaced by Barry Jenkins, formerly of the Nashville Teens. Chandler left in mid-1966 after recording "Don't Bring Me Down," and Valentine remained until the end of 1966, but essentially "Don't Bring Me Down" marked the end of the original Animals.
Go Now/Lose Your MoneyI Don't Want to Go on Without You/Steal Your Heart Away
Although they're best known today for their lush, lyrically and musically profound (some would say bombastic) psychedelic-era albums, the Moody Blues started out as one of the better R&B-based combos of the British Invasion. The group's history began in Birmingham, England with Ray Thomas (harmonica, vocals) and Mike Pinder (keyboards, vocals), who had played together in El Riot & the Rebels and the Krew Cats. They began recruiting members of some of the best rival groups working in Birmingham, including Denny Laine (vocals, guitar), Graeme Edge (drums), and Clint Warwick (bass, vocals).
It was coming up with a follow-up hit to "Go Now," however, that proved their undoing. Despite their fledgling songwriting efforts and the access they had to American demos, this version of the Moody Blues never came up with another single success. By the end of the spring of 1965, the frustration was palpable within the band. The group decided to make their fourth single, "From the Bottom of My Heart," an experiment with a different, much more subtly soulful sound, and it was one of the most extraordinary records of the entire British Invasion, with haunting performances all around. Unfortunately, the single only reached number 22 on the British charts following its release in May of 1965, and barely brushed the Top 100 in America. Ultimately, the grind of touring, coupled with the strains facing the group, became too much for Warwick, who exited in the spring of 1966; and by August of 1966 Laine had left as well. The group soldiered on, however, Warwick succeeded by John Lodge, an ex-bandmate of Ray Thomas, and in late 1966 singer/guitarist Justin Hayward joined.
Mr. Businessman/Face the Music/Talk To The Animals/Hey There
Stevens was born Harold Ray Ragsdale on January 24, 1939, in the small town of Clarkdale, GA. He started piano lessons at age six and formed a band at 15 called the Barons, which played at local venues and social events. At 17, he moved to Atlanta and caught on with radioman Bill Lowery's music publishing company; one of his songs, "Silver Bracelet," got him a shot at recording for Capitol subsidiary Prep, but the single never hit outside of Atlanta. Stevens enrolled at Georgia State University to study classical piano and music theory and in the meantime continued to record for Lowery's NRC label. One of his earliest novelty songs, 1960's "Sgt. Preston of the Yukon," was building a national buzz until a copyright infringement suit took it off the racks. Stevens began performing regularly on a radio show called The Georgia Jubilee, which helped lead to a job with Mercury Records as a session musician, arranger, and A&R assistant. Meanwhile, in 1961, he landed his first Top 40 hit with the novelty (obviously) song "Jeremiah Peabody's Poly Unsaturated Quick Dissolving Fast Acting Pleasant Tasting Green and Purple Pills."
An appearance on Andy Williams' variety show led to Stevens signing with the singer's Barnaby label in 1970. He hit immediately with a straight pop song, the relentlessly cheery "Everything Is Beautiful," which displayed his heretofore unseen sentimental streak. "Everything Is Beautiful" was an enormous hit, climbing to number one on the pop charts and winning Stevens a Grammy. Follow-ups included the serious-minded pop song "America, Communicate With Me" (1970), the novelty song "Bridget the Midget (Queen of the Blues)" (1971), and the gospel-styled "Turn Your Radio On" (1972), the latter of which was his first Top 20 country hit. It was, of course, a novelty song that would give Stevens his next big success. "The Streak," a 1974 ditty about the new fad of (what else?) streaking, zoomed up the charts to become Stevens' second number one pop hit and also made the country Top Five.
Stevens switched labels again, this time to RCA, and promptly had a Top Ten country hit with the humorous "Shriner's Convention" in 1980. Several more singles failed to duplicate its success, and in 1984 he departed RCA for the greener pastures of MCA. Over the next few years, he enjoyed a period of renewed popularity. Songs like "It's Me Again, Margaret" (about an obscene phone caller), "The Mississippi Squirrel Revival," "The Haircut Song," "Would Jesus Wear a Rolex," and "I Saw Elvis in a U.F.O." may not have been his highest-charting (only "Squirrel" made it to the country Top 20), but they all became audience favorites and signature songs. Moreover, his albums sold better than they ever had before; 1985's He Thinks He's Ray Stevens reached number three on the country charts, and the 1986 follow-up, I Have Returned, actually hit number one. Both went gold, as did 1987's Crackin' Up, and Stevens issued several other albums for MCA up through 1991, when he charted for what appeared to be the last time with "Working for the Japanese."
Caught In A Dream/Be My Lover/School’s Out/Elected
Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier; February 4, 1948) is an American singer, songwriter, musician and occasional actor whose career spans five decades. With a stage show that features guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, boa constrictors, baby dolls, and dueling swords, Cooper is considered by music journalists and peers alike to be “The Godfather of Shock Rock”; he has drawn equally from horror movies, vaudeville, and garage rock to pioneer a macabre, theatrical brand of rock designed to shock people. Cooper is also known for his distinctive raspy voice.
Originating in Phoenix in the late 1960s after he moved from Detroit, Alice Cooper was originally a band consisting of Furnier on vocals and harmonica, lead guitarist Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce on rhythm guitar, Dennis Dunaway on bass guitar, and drummer Neal Smith. The original Alice Cooper band broke into the international music mainstream with the 1971 hit “I’m Eighteen” from the album Love It to Death, which was followed by the even bigger single “School’s Out” in 1972. The band reached their commercial peak with the 1973 album Billion Dollar Babies.
Furnier adopted the band’s name as his own name in the 1970s and began a solo career with the 1975 concept album Welcome to My Nightmare. In 2011 he released Welcome 2 My Nightmare, his 19th album as a solo artist, and his 26th album in total. Expanding from his Detroit rock roots, in his career Cooper has experimented with a number of musical styles, including art rock, hard rock, heavy metal, new wave, pop rock, experimental rock and industrial rock.
In 2011, the original Alice Cooper band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.