Showing posts with label Bob Dylan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bob Dylan. Show all posts

Monday, June 13, 2022

Under The Influence • Songs of 1960-1962

Songs of 1949-19511952-19551956-19591960-1962

The Beatles at the Indra Club, Hamburg,  August 17, 1960. L-R: John Lennon, George Harrison, Pete Best, Paul McCartney, and Stuart Sutcliffe.

Songs of 1960-1962  concludes my mini-series Under The Influence. This series is based on my primary source, Wikipedia and their organization of music through the years. What I found interesting about Wikipedia's (Year) In Music entries is their succinct 'Events' highlights. Then, new albums released are listed alphabetically for the entire year, until 1963.

In 1963, Wikipedia entries go from a yearly album overview, to a month to month breakdown of mostly all popular albums from that month in time. As it turns out, rock 'n' roll is a lot bigger deal than the short-lived fad that many in the short-minded establishment predicted would quickly fade away.

In 1964, popular music just explodes with The Beatles coming to America and the The British Invasion.

On January 28th, 2019, I started my Fifty Years in Music • (Month and Year) Series starting with January, 1969. I noticed in going back to find that first post of the series, that I actually had skipped several months along the way. I will correct that, and at some point will have a Monday Monday Music™ historical record of the music that has influenced my life, and probably yours, since 1949.

My long-term game plan will be to have two concurrent 'Way Back' series– my current Fifty Years in Music that will cover the 1970's, and starting in 2023– Sixty Years of Music to cover every month and year of the 1960's, starting in 1963. 

••••••••••

No regrets.

Now one of the things I have mentally done over the years in the reflection of my life, is that I play the game, What If...

I've gone back to the fall of 1973 when I started college and started planning my life as a future teacher. My plan at the time was to become a special education teacher. I did that, and then I went on to become a general education elementary teacher, I did that, and so forth...

But, I did have an alternate plan of becoming a History major and teaching History at high school as it was my favorite subject in all of school. In my recent shoulda coulda reflections, that would have included a minor in English, but at 18 years of age, writing something more than a school assignment was something that I was never going to do. Later at San Diego State, I had to pay other students to type my assignments that required a typed finished product. 

So as a pretext here, I'm writing (typing on my laptop from the home row) about music every week that often goes back in history to the second half of the 20th century. 

Never say never.

••••••••••

1960 through 1962  is still about Elvis, but the King is already transitioning to ballads as many rock 'n' roll bands are forming in England and America and preparing for their own ascent to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, if not the rock 'n' roll throne.

In putting the playlist together, I was amazed at how many electric guitar instrumentals were huge Billboard 100 hits creating the whole surf music craze of the early 1960's. I think the public had just fallen in love with the electric guitar and you could see how every kid interested in playing music, simply had to have one.

Note- All dates and timeline descriptions below in italic are from Wikipedia. What I have done in this cut and copy exercise is to only include the interesting and influential stuff (from my perspective) from 1960-62. I have also interjected some (mostly sarcastic) commentary of my own in regular text.

1960 in Music

  • January – Stuart Sutcliffe joins the Liverpool band Johnny and the Moondogs and suggests they change their name to the Beatals; after several variations this settles on The Beatles in August. Stu was quite the looker, no doubt the best looking and coolest BEATAL starting out.
  • January 14 – Elvis Presley is promoted to Sergeant in the United States Army. Really.
  • January 25 – The National Association of Broadcasters in the United States reacts to the payola scandal by threatening fines for any disc jockeys accepting money for playing particular records. The music business has always been such a slimy business.
  • March 5 – Elvis Presley returns home from serving in the U.S. Army in Germany, having stopped off on March 2 at Glasgow Prestwick Airport, his only time in the U.K. Really, with all those #1's in the U.K. I would have thought he played there.
  • April 4 – RCA Victor Records announces that it will release all pop singles in mono and stereo simultaneously, the first record company to do so. Elvis Presley's single "Stuck on You" is RCA's first mono/stereo release.
  • April 17 – Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and Cochran's girlfriend Sharon Sheeley are injured in a car accident near Chippenham in England. Cochran dies in a hospital in Bath, Somerset, from severe brain injuries. Police officer David Harman, who attends the incident, starts learning to play the guitar using Cochran's impounded Gretsch, later becoming professional musician Dave Dee. I've never heard the last part of that story.
  • April 20 – Elvis Presley returns to Hollywood for the first time since coming home from Germany to film G.I. Blues. Bring on those "B" slock movies.
  • May 2 – The Drifters' Ben E. King leaves the group and signs a solo record contract with ATCO Records.
  • May 20–28 – The Beatles, as the Silver Beetles (uncredited), play their first ever tour, as a backing group for Johnny Gentle on a tour of Scotland. The lineup comprises John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and Tommy Moore.
  • July – The Shadows' instrumental 'Apache' is released in the U.K. I Love that song!
  • August 17 – The Beatles make their debut under this name in Hamburg, Germany, beginning a 48-night residency at the Indra club. The band at the time comprises John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stu Sutcliffe on bass and Pete Best on drums. (see photo above, credit to The Beatles Bible.)
  • The last 78 rpm records are released in the U.S. and the U.K.
  • English rock musician Ritchie Blackmore's musical career begins.
  • 14-year-old Neil Young founds The Jades with Ken Koblun. Neil loved The Shadows and playing Apache, not to mention his affinity for surf-style guitar.

1961 in Music

  • January 15 – Motown Records signs The Supremes. Have you ever heard of anyone not liking the Supremes? It's like someone saying, "I don't like pizza."
  • February 9 – The Beatles at The Cavern Club: The Beatles, at this juncture John, Paul, George and Pete, perform under this name at The Cavern Club for the first time following their December return to Liverpool from Hamburg. Beginning with this lunchtime session, the group would go on to make almost 300 appearances here in total. Practice, practice, practice.
  • February 12 – The Miracles' "Shop Around" becomes Motown's first million-selling single. Smokey Robinson's influence is off the charts.
  • February 13 – Frank Sinatra forms his own record label, Reprise Records, which will later release recordings by The Beach Boys, Ella Fitzgerald, The Kinks and Jimi Hendrix. Frank knew his way around a recording studio. Frank was very business savvy, like reading the script and not making "B" movies.
  • The 3rd Annual Grammy Awards are held in Los Angeles, hosted by actor Lloyd Bridges. Lloyd must have had a great agent! Ray Charles wins the most awards with four. Ray's on fire! Bob Newhart's The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart wins Album of the Year, Percy Faith's version of the "theme from A Summer Place" wins Record of the Year and Ernest Gold's "Theme from Exodus" wins Song of the Year. Newhart also wins Best New Artist. Really, Percy Faith? Love Bob Newhart who was the young part of that older generation tradition of being a lifetime comic and actor on TV.
  • June 14 – Patsy Cline is hospitalized as a result of a head-on car collision. While she is in hospital, the song "I Fall to Pieces" becomes a big Country/Pop crossover hit for her. Bigger news coming...
  • June–July – Stu Sutcliffe leaves The Beatles to resume his art studies in Hamburg. Man, who's gonna play bass now?
  • July 17 – Billboard magazine first publishes an "Easy Listening" chart, listing songs that the magazine determines are not rock & roll records. The first #1 song on this chart is "The Boll Weevil Song" by Brook Benton. This chart will be renamed a number of times, becoming the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart. The kids are driving the bus now.
  • October 17 – Former schoolfriends Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, later of The Rolling Stones, meet each other again by chance on Dartford railway station in Kent, England, on the way to their respective colleges and discover their mutual taste for rock and roll. Turns out, the whole universe is a series of random events.
  • November 9 – The Beatles at The Cavern Club: Future manager Brian Epstein first sees The Beatles. A huge part of The Beatles early success.
  • December 8 – The Beach Boys release their debut 45rpm single: "Surfin'"/"Luau" on the small California label Candix Records. If you love The Beach Boys, you have to read David Marks' book, 'The Lost Beach Boy.'
  • December 9 – The Beatles play their first gig in the south of England, at Aldershot. Due to an advertising failure, only 18 people turn up. In the early hours of the following morning they play an impromptu set at a London club. You mean Facebook screwed up back then too.
  • The Country Music Association (CMA) creates the Country Music Hall of Fame and inducts, Jimmie Rodgers, Fred Rose and Hank Williams as the first three members.
1962 in Music
  • January 1 – The Beatles and Brian Poole and the Tremeloes both audition at Decca Records in London which has the option of signing one group only. The Beatles are rejected, mainly as they come from Liverpool and the others are Dagenham-based, nearer London. Decca will come to regret that decision.
  • January 5 – The first album on which The Beatles play, My Bonnie, credited to "Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers" (recorded last June in Hamburg and produced by Bert Kaempfert), is released by Polydor.
  • January 24 – Brian Epstein signs on to manage The Beatles. Good move lads.
  • March 19 – Bob Dylan releases his debut album, Bob Dylan, in the United States, featuring mostly folk standards. The New Folk Movement gets their superstar.
  • April 7 – Mick Jagger and Keith Richards meet Brian Jones at The Ealing Club, a blues club in London. What if Brian Jones had lived past 1969? It sure would have made things even more interesting with their very interesting band.
  • April 10 – Former Beatle Stuart Sutcliffe dies from cerebral paralysis caused by a brain hemorrhage in Hamburg, Germany. The good die young.
  • April 12 – A recording is made of Bob Dylan's concert at the Town Hall, in New York City by Columbia Records. (Columbia eventually release the recording of "Tomorrow is a Long Time" from this concert.)
  • April 24 – Bob Dylan begins recording The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan in New York. Look out world.
  • May 29 – The 4th Annual Grammy Awards are held in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. Henry Mancini wins the most awards with five, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year for his song "Moon River". Judy Garland's Judy at Carnegie Hall wins Album of the Year, while Peter Nero wins Best New Artist. The old guard will run the Grammy's for years to come and mostly be out of touch with the changing culture.
  • June 6 – The Beatles play their first session at EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London.
  • June 19 – The film version of the musical The Music Man is released to theaters by Warner Bros. "Ya got trouble, my friend, right here, I say, trouble right here in River City."
  • August 2 – Robert Allen Zimmerman legally changes his name to Bob Dylan in the New York Supreme Court. Bob has repeatedly said that he did not take his name from Dylan Thomas. His quote, " I have done more for Dylan Thomas than he's ever has done for me."
  • August 16 – The Beatles fire drummer Pete Best and replace him with Ringo Starr. Single best decision the lads ever make as a band.
  • August 17 – 'Instrumental Telstar,' written and produced by Joe Meek for English band The Tornados, is released in the UK. The song will eventually be the first song by a British group ever to reach the top spot on the Billboard Top 100 in the United States, proving to be a precursor to the British Invasion.
  • August 18 – The Beatles play their first live engagement with the line-up of John, Paul, George and Ringo, at Hulme Hall, Port Sunlight on the Wirral Peninsula.
  • August 20 – Albert Grossman becomes Bob Dylan's manager. Colonel Tom Parker with a beard?
  • August 23 – John Lennon marries Cynthia Powell in an unpublicized register office ceremony at Mount Pleasant, Liverpool. She would not be treated well by John.
  • September 21 – New Musical Express, the British music magazine, publishes a story about two 13-year-old schoolgirls, Sue and Mary, releasing a disc on Decca and adds "A Liverpool group, The Beatles, have recorded 'Love Me Do' for Parlophone Records, set for October 5 release."
  • September 22 – Bob Dylan appears for the first time at Carnegie Hall in New York City as part of a hootenanny including the first public performance of "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall". I've heard live 1963 and 64 recordings of Hard Rain and they are extremely powerful, I got chills the first time I heard these live recordings just a few years ago.
  • September 23 – Opening concert at the New York Philharmonic's new home, Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, conducted by Leonard Bernstein and broadcast live on television across the United States by NBC. The opening work, Aaron Copland's specially commissioned Connotations, sends "shock waves through the world of music".
  • October 5 – The Beatles' first single in their own right, "Love Me Do"/"P.S. I Love You", is released in the UK on EMI's Parlophone label. Look out world!
  • October 17 – The Beatles make their first televised appearance, on Granada television's local news programme People and Places.
  • October 20 – Peter, Paul and Mary's self-titled debut album reaches No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Like a Hard Day's Night, I found this album in my grandfather's 'Columbia House Record Club' collection in his stereo console after he died and snatched it to be part of my new record collection in 1967.
  • Joan Baez has all of her first three albums on the Billboard charts, on their way to Gold status. I was not a fan of Joan Baez as a young person, but have grown to admire her life-long activism and singing. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Baez is a great example to anyone in how to take care of yourself over the years.
  • Two Pete Seeger classic songs reach the Billboard pop charts:"Where Have All the Flowers Gone" recorded by The Kingston Trio reaches No. 21. "If I Had a Hammer", recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary, reaches No. 10. Pete is such an influence to kick-starting the new folk movement and bringing folk music into U.S. classrooms across America. 
  • The first American Folk Blues Festival, initiated by German promoters, tours Europe; artists include Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee and T-Bone Walker. Its only UK date, 21 October at the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, is influential on the British R&B scene, with the audience including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones with Jimmy Page, Paul Jones, John Mayall and other musicians, and with a second show filmed and shown on Independent Television. Sad to learn years later that American Blues and Jazz treasures had to go to Europe to get the recognition they deserved. In a large sense Europe is like a boomerang for American music, where we put it out there, it's appreciated and absorbed by European fans who in turn bring it back around to American audiences. 

Monday, March 21, 2022

List Your FAV FIVE: Bob Dylan Songs

FAV FIVE Series

Songs • Albums • Singer-songwriters • Rock 'n' Roll Bands • Guitar Players 
Beatles Songs • Bob Dylan Songs • Rolling Stones Songs • Neil Young Songs


Let's continue the FAV FIVE Series by moving from the recent readership participation of creating a group Beatles playlist. 

This week, your assignment should you choose to accept it- 
LIST Your FAV FIVE: Bob Dylan Songs

You will make your list in the Comments section at the end of the blog post below. 

So to begin, let's start at the end. The big idea is for all of us to create a Monday Monday Music™ Readers: Bob Dylan Songs Playlist.

I'll start the playlist with my favorite five Dylan songs and then, as readers leave me their five in the Comments section below, we will grow the playlist together. Note- I'm sure we will have duplicates which is great, but I will only include a song once in the YouTube playlist as I receive the lists.

Songs must be originals recorded by Bob himself, that can include any collaborations like his work with the Traveling Wilburys. So, no covers from other artists doing Dylan songs, which is another whole blog in itself that I will do someday. 

So here's my five to kick this thing off.
  1. Like a Rolling Stone
  2. A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
  3. It's All over Now, Baby Blue
  4. Don't Think Twice
  5. With God On Our Side
Now if you want a little help in making your list, here's a great resource.
Also, here's the same little tutorial I made for The Beatles list.
  1. Scroll down to the bottom of the blog to the Comment section. Number and name you Bob Dylan songs 1-5.
  2. Comment as: If you're logged into your computer, tablet or smartphone with a Gmail (Google) account, pick the first selection. I would recommend using the Chrome browser.
    Or, pick Name/URL, write your name and leave URL blank,
    Or, if you pick Anonymous, just write your first and last name in the Comments box itself.
  3. Hit the Publish button, and I'll list your five songs in the post here (if you provided your first and last name), and then I will mix your list in the Youtube playlist.
  4. One last thing, if someone else has picked one of your favorite 5 already, still include it in your list. It may reveal a clear winner that in the end needs to sit at the top of the playlist.
Thanks in advance for playing along and come back later in the week to listen to OUR growing playlist!


Monday, February 07, 2022

Under The Influence • Songs of 1956-1959

Songs of 1949-1951 • 1952-1955 • 1956-1959 • 1960-1962

Elvis Presley's first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show (September 9, 1956).
Scottie Moore is on guitar, Bill Black is on bass.
 
1956 through 1959 is Elvis Presley. As a young good looking white singer from Memphis, Elvis has a ton of charisma and sex appeal with the ability to take other people's songs and make them his own. More than anyone in the 1950's, he makes 'the devil's music' mainstream in the bible belt and the rest of the world. In England, guys like Keith Richard are listening and watching too. Elvis' guitar player Scottie Moore is Keith's blueprint and nine years later will be in the same role opposite Mick Jagger on the Ed Sullivan stage.

Rock 'n' roll is by its various influences a force of integration. The music becomes an instrument of change beginning with radio stations who stray from their local programming format. Black and white artists and groups from Pop, R&B, Country, and Rock 'n' Roll start to appear on a single radio station's rotation. Listeners across America tune in and absorb the impact. In the years ahead, live performance shows and concerts will slowly evolve into integrated audiences all loving the same music. In 1956 I'm literally a baby, as the post World War II generation known as the "boomers" feed off this pioneering group of rock 'n' rollers, including: B.B. King (born in 1925), Chuck Berry (1926), Fats Domino (1928), Bo Diddley (1928), Little Richard (1932), Carl Perkins (1932), Johnny Cash (1932), Elvis Presley (1935), Gene Vincent (1935), Buddy Holly (1936), Eddie Cochran (1938), Duane Eddy (1938), The Everly Brothers, Don (1937) and Phil (1939), Ricky Nelson (1940), and Richie Valens (1941) .

Note- All dates and timeline descriptions below in italic are from Wikipedia (1950's in Music). What I have done in this cut and copy exercise is to only include the interesting and influential stuff (from my perspective) from 1956-1959. I have also interjected some commentary of my own in regular text.

1956 in music

  • January 26
    • Buddy Holly's first recording sessions for Decca Records take place in Nashville, Tennessee.
    • Roy Orbison signs with Sun Records.
  • January 27 – Elvis Presley's single "Heartbreak Hotel" / "I Was the One" is released. It goes on to be Elvis's first #1 hit.
  • March – The Coasters' recording career begins, with "Turtle Dovin'".
  • March 10 – Carl Perkins' single "Blue Suede Shoes" enters the R&B charts, the first time a country music artist has made it on the R&B charts. Carl Perkins would never get his due in my opinion.
  • March 24 – The first regularly scheduled nationally broadcast rock & roll show, Rock 'n Roll Dance Party, with Alan Freed as host, premières on the CBS Radio Network.
  • March 26 – Colonel Tom Parker formally becomes Elvis Presley's manager. This would probably be one of Elvis' biggest mistakes as agents like Parker stole from both white and black artists alike.
  • April 6 – Paramount Pictures signs Elvis Presley to a three-picture deal. Elvis is too young and stupid to see 'the big picture.' Most of all his movie roles will not bode well on his image now and into the 60's. Again, Tom Parker is only there for the quick buck and not helping Elvis for the long run.
  • April 10 – A group of racial segregationists (followers of Asa Earl Carter) rush the stage at a Nat King Cole concert in Birmingham, Alabama, but are quickly captured.
  • May 2 – For the first time in Billboard magazine history, five singles appear in both the pop and R&B Top Ten charts. They are Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" (#1 pop, #6 R&B), Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" (#4 pop, #3 R&B), Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally" (#9 pop, #1 R&B), the Platters' "(You've Got) The Magic Touch" (#10 pop, #7 R&B) and Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers' "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" (#7 pop, #4 R&B). Presley's and Perkins' singles also appeared on the country and western Top Ten chart at #1 and #2 respectively.
  • June 5 – Elvis Presley introduces his new single, "Hound Dog", on The Milton Berle Show, scandalizing the audience with his suggestive hip movements.
  • July 9 – Dick Clark hosts American Bandstand for the first time. He essentially looks the same for the next 50 years. 
  • July 22 – The first UK Albums Chart is published, in Record Mirror; Frank Sinatra's Songs for Swingin' Lovers! tops it for the first two weeks. Frank had the girls screaming in the 40's, Elvis in the 50's, who would be next?...
  • Summer – John Lennon forms a skiffle group, The Quarrymen, with friends from Quarry Bank High School in Liverpool, England, originally Eric Griffiths and Pete Shotton.
  • November 5 - Nat King Cole becomes the first major black performer to host a variety show on national television, when The Nat King Cole Show is broadcast. Racism is alive and well as Cole gets NO national corporation brand sponsors.
  • November 28 – Yoko Ono, recently divorced from Japanese composer Toshi Ichiyanagi, marries Anthony Cox. How old is Yoko now? 88.
  • December 4 – Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash record together at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. The sessions are later released under the name "the Million Dollar Quartet." I'm sorry folks, I cancelled Jerry Lee way back when I was a teenager in the 70's. I always thought he was an ass, and then you find out the perv married his 13 year old cousin when Lewis was 22 at the time in 1958. 
  • December 19 – Breaking the record for the highest number of concurrent singles by a single artist, Elvis Presley holds 9 positions on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Presley would hold the record until 1964 when the Beatles hold 14 positions on the chart.

1957 in music

  • January 16 – The Cavern Club opens in Liverpool, England, as a jazz club.
  • January 6 – Elvis Presley makes his final appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. I find this shocking. I think Colonel Tom Parker thinks he doesn't need Sullivan's show (the most influential gig in the world) anymore because he's got all the record and movie contracts making himself rich.
  • February 8 – Bo Diddley records his songs "Hey Bo Diddley" and "Mona" (aka "I Need You Baby").
  • March – Chicago's Cardinal Stritch bans all rock and roll and rhythm and blues music from Catholic-run schools, saying that "its rhythms encourage young people to behave in a hedonistic manner." Meanwhile the Catholic priests are...
  • March 1 – The Everly Brothers record in Nashville their first single "Bye Bye Love" for Cadence Records. In an era that is often time-locked, The Everly Brothers are timeless and relevant in any era.
  • March 19 – Elvis Presley purchases a mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, and calls it Graceland. Elvis keeps his bedroom dark and at deep freeze temperature, yeah come on in Priscilla!
  • March 26 – Ricky Nelson records his first three songs. Ricky did have a leg up when he started performing on his parents TV show, but he did have real talent and think he was swept under the 60's rug. A very underrated talent. In fact, how many artists who became stars in the 1950's would be stars in the 1960's? Johnny Cash and Ray Charles. Muddy Waters and B.B. King finally got their due in the 60's when the white kids finally discovered them, but artists like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Rick Nelson would have to wait to the 1970's to be seen and heard again.
  • July 6 – John Lennon and Paul McCartney of The Beatles first meet at a garden fete at St. Peter's Church, Woolton, Liverpool, England, at which Lennon's skiffle group, The Quarrymen, is playing (and in the graveyard of which an Eleanor Rigby is buried).
  • August 5 – American Bandstand begins its 30-year syndicated run on US network television.
  • August 7 – The Quarrymen first play at The Cavern Club in Liverpool in an interlude spot between jazz bands; when John Lennon starts the group playing Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel", the club's owner at this time hands him a note reading "Cut out the bloody rock 'n roll".
  • Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel name themselves Tom and Jerry and begin their recording career. Their first single, "Hey, Schoolgirl", backed with "Dancin' Wild", hits #49 on the Billboard pop charts. Garfunkel is Tom Graph (so called because he likes to write the pop charts out on graph paper) and Simon is Jerry Landis, a pseudonym he used during his early 1960s solo recordings. They tour for eighteen months before retiring to become college students and then reforming in 1963 as Simon & Garfunkel.

1958 in music

  • January 1 — Johnny Cash performs at San Quentin Prison. One of the audience members is Merle Haggard, in the midst of a two-year prison term for burglary.
  • January 24 – Paul McCartney makes his first appearance at The Cavern Club in Liverpool with The Quarrymen.
  • February — Struggling singer-songwriter Don Gibson finally gets a career break when his first major hit, "Oh Lonesome Me" reaches No. 1 on Billboard's "C&W Best Sellers in Stores" and "Most Played C&W by Jockeys" charts. The flip side of the single is "I Can't Stop Loving You," which went on to be recorded more than 700 times. Gibson is considered by many to be one of the originators of the Nashville Sound, a form of country music that uses pop music-styled arrangements (such as orchestrated strings) rather than traditional honky-tonk sounds.
  • February 19 - Motown released its first record Got a Job (Smokey Robinson and The Miracles).
  • March 24 – Elvis Presley enters the U.S. Army.
  • July 12 – The Quarrymen (Paul McCartney, John Lennon (lead vocals), George Harrison, Colin Hanton (drums) and John Lowe (piano)) record a single 78 rpm shellac acetate disc at Phillips' Sound Recording Services in Liverpool: "In Spite of All the Danger" (McCartney–Harrison) and a cover of Buddy Holly's "That'll Be the Day".
  • August 4 – Billboard magazine launches its "Hot 100" singles chart, with Ricky Nelson's "Poor Little Fool" as the #1 record.
  • Marvin Gaye begins recording with his first group.
  • Otis Williams & the Distants begin their musical career. They will later join with The Primes and become The Temptations.
  • Phil Spector begins his recording career. Underneath that hairball is a psychopath.
  • RCA introduces its first stereo LPs.
  • The major record labels begin to cease production of 78 rpm records.
  • Bob Bogle and Don Wilson founds the surf instrumental group The Ventures.
  • The Country Music Association (CMA) is founded as the first trade association dedicated to a single music genre.

1959 in music

  • January 22 – Buddy Holly records some acoustic demos in his New York City apartment, the last songs he will record. Songs included "Peggy Sue Got Married", "Crying, Waiting, Hoping", "Learning the Game", "What to Do", "That's What They Say", and "That Makes It Tough."
  • February 3 – "The Day the Music Died": Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper are killed in a plane crash in Iowa. Future country star Waylon Jennings was scheduled to be on the plane, but instead gave his seat up to The Big Bopper. What was incredible in doing the blog this week is to realize that Buddy Holly was only 22, and Riche Valens was only 17!
  • March 2–April 22 – The recording sessions for the extremely influential Miles Davis jazz album Kind of Blue take place at the CBS 30th Street Studio in New York City. 
  • May 4 – The 1st Annual Grammy Awards are held in Los Angeles. Henry Mancini's The Music from Peter Gunn wins Album of the Year,.
  • November 29 – Though they are held in the same year as the inaugural ceremony, the 2nd Annual Grammy Awards are held in Los Angeles and New York and are notable for being the first televised Grammy Award ceremony. Frank Sinatra's Come Dance with Me! wins Album of the Year, Bobby Darin's version of "Mack the Knife" wins Record of the Year and Jimmy Driftwood's song "The Battle of New Orleans" wins Song of the Year. Darin is also awarded Best New Artist.
  • Joan Baez performs at the first Newport Folk Festival as a surprise guest and becomes an underground favorite.
  • The Supremes are founded as a quartet ("The Primettes").
  • Jimi Hendrix buys his first electric guitar: a White Single pickup Supro Ozark 1560 S. So in 1959 Jimi Hendrix gets his first electric guitar and 8 years later he's the best electric guitar player in the world! 
The trio starting out left to right in 1955,
Scottie Moore, Elvis, and Bill Black
In the early 1960's, I remember as probably a 7-9 year old going over to my friend, Albert Lopez's house. Albert had a much older brother named Frankie. Frankie was way ahead of his time because he had converted a backyard shed into his personal man cave. Frankie had carpet in this room, painted the walls, a record player, and hung every one of his Elvis Presley records on the walls of his pad. Albert and I would sneak in there and play Elvis, Chuck Berry or other records from Frankie's collection when he wasn't home. I remember thinking, why is this Elvis guy Frankie's idol? 

Now from my perspective and from my peer group – the later boomers born in the mid-1950's, Elvis Presley was always an old guy. As a 9 year old, my experience with rock 'n' roll begins in 1964 with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones being on The Ed Sullivan Show. How did Elvis become so irrelevant by 1964? 

A couple years back, I ran across a Bob Dylan song that was first recorded on the New Morning album in 1970, Went To See The Gypsy. This song is a supposed scenario about Dylan meeting 'The King' in a hotel. Now Dylan's far too smart or coy to say, Went To See The King, as songs are written for our own interpretation. Anyway, I like to think it's about Elvis although Dylan actually never met Presley as he says, and we'll take him at his word on that. In 2009, he did give Rolling Stone magazine an interview that does land on the subject. I love this following quote here as I think Dylan captures my and many other's thoughts about Elvis Presley.

“I never met Elvis, because I didn’t want to meet Elvis. Elvis was in his Sixties movie period, and he was just crankin’ ’em out and knockin’ ’em off, one after another. And Elvis had kind of fallen out of favor in the Sixties. He didn’t really come back until, whatever was it, ’68? I know the Beatles went to see him, and he just played with their heads. ‘Cause George [Harrison] told me about the scene. And Derek [Taylor], one of the guys who used to work for him. Elvis was truly some sort of American king. His face is even on the Statue of Liberty. And, well, like I said, I wouldn’t quite say he was ridiculed, but close. You see, the music scene had gone past him, and nobody bought his records. Nobody young wanted to listen to him or be like him. Nobody went to see his movies, as far as I know. He just wasn’t in anybody’s mind. Two or three times we were up in Hollywood, and he had sent some of the Memphis Mafia down to where we were to bring us up to see Elvis. But none of us went. Because it seemed like a sorry thing to do. I don’t know if I would have wanted to see Elvis like that. I wanted to see the powerful, mystical Elvis that had crash-landed from a burning star onto American soil. The Elvis that was bursting with life. That’s the Elvis that inspired us to all the possibilities of life. And that Elvis was gone, had left the building. from Bob Dylan’s Late-Era, Old-Style American Individualism, Rolling Stone, May 14, 2009.

But let's remember here as Bobby says so eloquently, "the powerful, mystical Elvis that had crash-landed from a burning star onto American soil"... and in song, "So I watched that sun come rising from that little Minnesota town."

In putting together the playlist this week, I hear and see the brilliance of all these burning stars and their impact on Frankie Lopez and the youth of the world in the 1950's. Long live the king.

Update - 2/26/22
On a run the other day, a song came up on my phone from Bruce Springsteen's Broadway show, Growin' Up that just completes this whole blog post and playlist. It's a 12 minute song/dialogue that I've now included as the last song on the playlist. Bruce tells a wonderful story about the 7 year-old Bruce Springsteen watching Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan ShowSeptember 9, 1956 and the impact it had in that moment and time.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Fifty Years of Music • October, 1970



B.B.King's Indianola Mississippi Seed released in October, 1970 is an outstanding album and one of my favorite album covers of all-time. The album begins with "Nobody loves me, but my mother, And she could be jivin` too." I can't remember where I first heard that lyric, but I do remember laughing out loud it was so funny! This was B.B's 18th studio album and he finally gets his mainstream attention due as Producer Bill Szymczyk decided to follow up on the success of the [1969] hit "The Thrill Is Gone" by matching King with a musical all-star cast [including Leon Russell, Carole King, Joe Walsh and Russ Kunkel]. The result was one of King's most critically acclaimed albums and one of the most highly regarded blues crossover albums of all time. Wikipedia

Bob Dylan's New Morning released in October, 1970 was purchased by my friend Bill DeVoe, who I remember invited me over to his house to listen to it. His parents had an old portable turnable with crackling speakers that gave it an older feel like you were listening to an old 78 rpm rather than a 33 1/3 LP. The record player was set up in their dining room that led right into the kitchen. I mention this because we would often make a snack of Oroweat® 'HoneyWheat Berry' toast and would wash it down with a Coke. I had many a snack and meals at that table with Bill and his parents. So my memory of listening to New Morning for the first time is fondly associated with toast, my all-time favorite morning, noon, or night snack. 
This album has the song, If Not For You that I really liked and was happily surprised when George Harrison also recorded it for All Things Must Pass, a month later. 

I was a Johnny come lately to Dylan, and was really impressed that Bill had purchased this album, and as a result started listening to him more and more. I'm kind of disappointed that Bob Dylan has only released two songs from that album on YouTube (If Not For You and The Man In Me) and found one more (Went To See The Gypsy) to include on the playlist this week. So here are the links to the album on Spotify and Amazon Music. It's really worth a complete listen, I suggest in the morning with toast, butter and apricot jam.

New Morning on Spotify

New Morning on Amazon Music

I was never a huge Led Zeppelin fan like so many of my peers, but Led Zeppelin III kind of woke me up that this band was more than just a hard rock band. The folk and blues roots really jump out here and I just loved listening to this whole album the past several weeks. I've said this many times, my blog is just an excuse for me to go back and appreciate all the albums I didn't zero in on when I was young and stupid.
This week's playlist has enough songs for several sits, walks or runs. Two weeks ago, I featured Elton John's Tumbleweed Connection (read here) and have included all the songs again here as I simply love that album! This playlist also includes an outtake that I recommend you hear. It is an early version of Mad Man Across the Water, which in 1971 we all thought was Bernie Taupin's thoughts about Richard Nixon. Bernie Taupin had this to say: Back in the seventies, when people were saying that "Madman Across the Water" was about Richard Nixon, I thought, That is genius. I could never have thought of that. (Wikipedia). I wonder if he's thinking that now about Donald Trump? This version features Mick Ronson on guitar and I think you will enjoy this one.
Also on tap are songs from Arlo Guthrie (see- Arlo Guthrie Retires From Touring: ‘It’s Time to Hang Up the Gone Fishing Sign’), Joan Baez, Genesis, Tom Rush, Don McLean, The Supremes, Tony Bennett, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Pink Floyd, Paul Siebel, The Strawbs, and Frank Zappa. 

Enjoy my friends, stay well, mask up and vote. Eat it up!



Monday, July 06, 2020

Top 10 Albums • January - June • 2020



Okay, I say I'm an album guy but most of my blogs focus on individual songs. This week I'll be backing up my talk with my list of the most impressive new album releases in this first half of 2020. I'm even going to rate them 1-10 which is something I normally don't do. It is also no surprise to me that I have picked five albums by females and five by males not by design, but for the fact that women in music today make up half if not more of the great music being created today.

Making an album of typically 9-12 strong songs has always been a tall order for any artist or band. On any good album there are maybe three outstanding tracks that jump off the needle. The trick is getting the listener to come back and listen to the rest of the tracks that always seem to get better the more you do come back. After several listens, these 'deeper cuts' suck you in and the whole thing just comes together into a cohesive unit. You then tell your friends about the album. In your long-term memory, you'll even remember (sometimes fifty years later) the time and place where you shared that album with a friend.

I hope you can make the time this week to listen to one or more albums here, start to finish. Maybe there's even a new favorite to add to your collection.

Stay well and enjoy my friends.

1. Sarah Jarosz • Review: World On The GroundPurchase




2. Bob Dylan • Review: Rough And Rowdy Ways Purchase




3. Nora JonesReview: Pick Me Up Off The Floor Purchase




4. Hiam • Review: Women In Music Pt. IIIPurchase




5. Ayla Brook & The Soundmen • Review: Desolation Sounds • Purchase




6. James Elkington • Review: Ever Roving EyePurchase




7. Shelby Lynne • Review: Shelby LynnePurchase




8. Tomar & The FCs • Review: Rise Above • Purchase




9. Christian Lee Hutson • Review: BeginnersPurchase




10. Sarah Siskind • Review: Modern AppalachiaPurchase

Monday, June 29, 2020

#NewMusicMonday • June • 2020

Hampton & Papa social distancing
with strangers in the kiddie pool.
A YEAR of #NewMusicMondays  

Summer's here
I'm for that
Got my rubber sandals
Got my straw hat
Got my cold beer
I'm just glad that I'm here
–James Taylor

Adaptations
So we've had a rough four months. Everybody's glad summer is finally here. My HOA pool has just reopened with 'new rules' - residents must register online to reserve a 2 hour block with limited capacity in designated social distanced squares. Most people never have anything good to say about any HOA (Hobby Opportunity for Authority), but I have to say they have done a good job trying to keep everyone safe.

A typical Pickleball setup using a tennis court
The HOA tennis courts have also just reopened right across from my house. Pickleball is back in full-swing, the game made for my generation who have either forgotten how to run or can't. I'm not poking pickleballers here, it's more about me dealing with my own body and what it used to do compared to now. I'm also lamenting about the wonderful game of tennis, with less young people playing real tennis, I just hope the original white court lines don't fade away.

Pickleball is a great social activity. Everybody is chatting it up with lots of laughter just like old times, but from my box seat view, I see no masks or social distancing. C'mon boomers, you still can be flexible, just like your pickleball wrist!

I have family driving down all the way from Seattle on several different trips this summer, finally merging our packs together. Quite a long distance travel adaptation, all the while airlines like American Airlines announced they will scrap social distancing and start booking full planes July 1.

For our visiting grandkids their parents have come up with a simple term to explain our times, No San Diego Zoo (opened last week), Legoland, or Disneyland because of the "Big Germs." :-(

It's a different summer in a turbulent year, but we are learning to do things differently and still have fun together.

Recently I wrote a blog, Outdoor Exercise In The Time Of Coronavirus: Who was that masked man? where I basically talked about the current culture war of wearing a mask. My working titles were, #ManUpMaskUp, or #MaskUpMother####ers, but opted for a little more informative heading in the end. For people walking, running or biking it's really not political, wearing a mask just has become more of a hassle and can't be bothered with, I call it, "an inconvenient truth- coronavirus edition." I see my regulars, the people that exercise around me in my neighborhood every week. Most everyone, young and old have just given up the mask outdoors. There is such irony here, people making the effort to exercise, but too damn lazy to adapt to a new simple behavior by wearing a mask that SAVES LIVES.

Breaking News- VP Pence gets pensive and decides to wear a mask to a Texas mega-church on Sunday. Better late than never... at least I hope it's not too late?  Anyway, baby steps for Trump's little bucko.

So unless you're living under a rock, you know that there is more than a little uptick in coronavirus cases across the country in the month of June. I haven't heard, "flatten the curve" since the end of May. 

However, I still hear that we are still in the 1st wave, and there is going to be a second wave sometime in the fall. I think after the past several weeks, we probably should adjust our 'waves' talk too. For Western States who has lived through enough wildfires in the last twenty years, the analogy of the coronavirus being an 'uncontained wildfire' is a much more accurate way to describe how the virus is currently surging and spreading across the country. The term, "hot spots" seems quite appropriate.

Source - New York Times
The solid burnt orange of new coronavirus cases in Southern California is disconcerting to say the least, where as Disneyland staying closed is not really our biggest problem. When the brush fires do start in the coming days ahead, maybe the masks people aren't wearing now will suddenly have a function to them. Instead of Fire and Rain, we'll call it Fire and Fire and the masks will serve a dual purpose- keeping coronavirus from going red in your town while breathing in falling ash from your local brush fire.

Hey, but on the positive side, new music keeps rolling in everyday. I can't keep up with all the broadcast and Internet services with artists and bands just putting out more live and recorded music across all the streaming services everyday. I'm glad I've made #NewMusicMonday a series because I keep finding new songs and albums being pumped out in this first half of 2020.

If you are spending the time to read this blog, you probably love music, and I will suggest, you need to be listening to music more than ever! Make the adaptation necessary in your behavior to spend 15 more minutes a day listening to music. I'm just a guy here finding and organizing what I think are good songs to listen to and if you like my playlists, cool. If not, find sources where you can hear music that moves you emotionally. I need that movement more than ever, and I'm guessing so do you.

Stay well and enjoy this playlist my friends.



References

Monday, June 15, 2020

50 Years of Music • June, 1970

This week takes us back to June, 1970 and the completion of my freshmen year in high school, and one year closer to freedom. As I started to put the June, 1970 Playlist together I realized this was a weaker month for my personal musical tastes as bands like Grand Funk Railroad, Deep Purple, and Procol Harum just never made it with me, compared to the likes of The Rolling Stones, Cream, and The Who. The later grouping set the Tier I rock benchmark and the former grouping would never rise above a Tier II level in my opinion. However, I did like Deep Purple's Smoke On The Water in 1972.

I was excited to see Bob Dylan's Self Portrait was on the June 1970 in Music Wikipedia release list as I've been listening to him lately. In 1970, I really wasn't into Dylan that much and now wanted to explore why the critics had not been kind to this album. Dylan, never one to please anyone took a sharp Americana folk turn on this one, as everyone probably wanted more of Like A Rolling Stone.

The 24 song selection of the double album is a bit of a FU by Bob to the public and critics, but if you listen carefully, there's some really nice gold to be mined here. Dylan is also greatly panned for his singing on this album, with some carry over 'country crooning' songs from his 1969 Nashville Skyline album. I actually found Bob's singing to be a highlight of the album. Listen to Copper Kettle for example, I just love it!

So this week, I have two playlists: one; a mix of songs I liked from June, 1970 and two; a selection of songs I liked from the Self Portrait album. As for Self Portrait being on YouTube, I was sorely disappointed, I could only find a couple of song's (what's up with that Bob?). So, what I decided to do is make my own 'What If' playlist if Dylan had focused on releasing a single album of Folk cover songs. I have created a duplicate Spotify or Amazon 13 song playlist for you to choose from below. Enjoy, and stay well my friends!




Doug's 'What If' of Self Portrait by Bob Dylan

On Spotify

On Amazon


Monday, April 22, 2019

April, 1969 - 50 Years of Music

April, 1969 (Source: Wikipedia 1969 in Music)
DayAlbumArtistNotes
1TasteTaste-
7Nazz NazzNazz-
Songs from a RoomLeonard Cohen-
8Three Week HeroP.J. Proby-
9Nashville SkylineBob Dylan-
15Green Is BluesAl Green-
21Uncle MeatThe Mothers of InventionSoundtrack
23With a Little Help from My FriendsJoe Cocker-
25On the Threshold of a DreamThe Moody Blues-
26It's Our ThingThe Isley Brothers-
28The Chicago Transit AuthorityChicago-
30M.P.G.Marvin Gaye-
-Blue MatterSavoy Brown-
HairVarious ArtistsLondon cast
Our Mother the MountainTownes Van Zandt-
Ramblin' Gamblin' ManThe Bob Seger System-
My deep dive back to 1969 in music this year has been fun in the appreciation for all the songs I dismissed the first time around as a young and stupid 14 year old. Nashville Skyline is a perfect example. I liked Bob Dylan, but what was he doing changing his voice and making a Country album? Several years later, I did take notice when Lay Lady Lay came on the radio one day and my mom said, "I hate that song" and I said to myself, "Hey maybe Bobby's got something here."

In the 50 years since, I've expanded my thinking a bit as well as my taste for different genres of music. If this Monday finds you wanting a little retrospection, this music will take you there.