Saturday, September 10, 2011

Songs That Changed the World--The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era: "Fragile" by Sting

We sing along to songs on the radio, we hum them, we whistle, we make up our own words to them, we turn them up, we use them for mood music, but when a song really makes us think, the song and its writer(s) have accomplished something great.

Inside the Rock Era is saluting those songs that, in their own way, helped change the world.  For if the song changed one person, it changed the course of history.  It is appropriate on this most evil of days to remind everyone that "...Nothing ever came from violence...Nothing ever could."  This one is the great song "Fragile" from Sting.

by Sting

Words and Music by Sting

If blood will flow when flesh and steel are one
Drying in the colour of the evening sun
Tomorrow's rain will wash the stains away
But something in our minds will always stay
Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime's argument
That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are how fragile we are
How fragile we are how fragile we are 

This Date in Rock Music History: September 11

Songs That Changed the World--The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era: "At Seventeen" by Janis Ian

Logic would tell you that not all of The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era* are positive songs about mankind.  Some point out our shortcomings.  We all know that kids say the most hurtful things because they haven't learned one of the most important lessons yet--if you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all.  Some adults never learn that.

But in 1975, Janis Ian put this song out there and it caused millions of people to look inward, reassess their lives and change how they treat others.  In every person that we see in our lives, there's a soul, a spirit.  For people over the age of 17, this incredible song perhaps caused some regrets about the way they had behaved through school.  If anyone under 17 can grasp this message, they are way ahead of the rest of us.  Here is the YouTube version with the biting lyrics below of one of the most powerful songs ever written.

"At Seventeen"
by Janis Ian

Words and Music by Janis Ian

I learned the truth at seventeen,
That love was meant for beauty queens.
In high school, girls with clear-skin smiles,
Who married young and then retired.

The valentines I never knew.
The Friday night charades of youth,
Were spent on one more beautiful.
At seventeen I learned the truth.

And those of us with ravaged faces,
Lacking in the social graces,
Desperately remained at home,
Inventing lovers on the phone.
Who called to say come dance with me.
And murmured vague obscenities.
It isn't all it seems,
At seventeen.

A brown-eyed girl in hand-me-downs.
Whose name I never could pronounce,
Said, "Pity, please, the ones who serve,
They only get what they deserve."

And the rich-relationed, hometown queen,
Marries into what she needs.
With a guarantee of company,
And haven for the elderly.

Remember those who win the game,
Lose the love they sought to gain.
In debentures [3] of quality,
And dubious integrity.
The small-town eyes will gape at you,
In dull surprise, when payment due,
Exceeds accounts received.
At seventeen.

[Instrumental break.]

To those of us who knew the pain,
Of valentines that never came.
And those whose names were never called,
When choosing sides for basketball.

It was long ago and far away,
The world was younger than today.
And dreams were all they gave for free,
To ugly-duckling girls like me.

We all play the game and when we dare,
To cheat ourselves at solitaire.
Inventing lovers on the phone,
Repenting other lives unknown,
That call and say, come dance with me,
An' murmur vague obscenities,
At ugly girls like me,
At seventeen.

Friday, September 9, 2011

This Date in Rock Music History: September 10

1963:  Andrew Loog Oldham, manager of the Rolling Stones, invited Paul McCartney and John Lennon to the Studio 51 Jazz Club in London where the Stones were rehearsing.  The two Beatles were working on the song "I Wanna' Be Your Man", and finished it at the rehearsal when they found out the Rolling Stones needed another song.  The  Stones recorded it for their album. .
1963:  The Beatles received the award for Top Vocal Group of the Year from the Variety Club of Great Britain at a luncheon at the Savoy Hotel in London.
1964:  Nineteen year-old Rod Stewart recorded his first single "Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl" with the Hoochie Koochie Men.  Future Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones played on the song.
1964:  The Kinks had the top song in the U.K. with "You Really Got Me".
1965:  The Byrds spend a second session recording the song "Turn!  Turn!  Turn!" at Columbia Studios in Los Angeles. (They began recording on September 1 and finished the song with three more sessions September 14-16.)
1965:  Revolver by the Beatles shot up from #45 to #1 to leave no doubt which was the top album.  
                      The Hollies had this great song in the Top 10...

1966:  The Supremes scored their seventh #1 song out of 17 released with "You Can't Hurry Love".  Donovan barely had time to get comfortable at the position with "Sunshine Superman", which fell to #2.  The Beatles had hit #45 in their first three years with "Yellow Submarine".  The Happenings fell with "See You In September" while the former #1 "Summer In The City" from Lovin' Spoonful was song #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  Wilson Pickett & "Land of 1,000 Dances", "Sunny" from Bobby Hebb, Lee Dorsey remained at 8 with "Working In The Coal Mine", the Hollies popped from 18 to 9 with "Bus Stop" and "Guantanamera" by the Sandpipers moved into the Top 10.
1968:  The Beatles posted their 15th #1 song in the U.K. with "Hey Jude".
1970:  Michael Nesmith of the Monkees celebrated the birth of his daughter Jessica.

1975:  KISS released the double album Alive, which featured live performances of tracks on their first three albums, on Casablanca Records.

1975:  KISS released the single "Rock & Roll All Nite".  (Note:  some websites incorrectly report the release as October 14.  It is physically impossible for a song that debuts on the charts to be released that day.)
1975:  Bob Dylan recorded "Hurricane", "Oh Sister" and "Simple Twist Of Fate" for the television special The World of John Hammond, Hammond being the man who signed him to Columbia Records, to be broadcast on December 13.

1977:  The Sanford Townsend Band had the only new entry in the Top 10 on this date--"Smoke From A Distant Fire".
1977:  Carly Simon ("Nobody Does It Better") took over the #1 spot on the Adult chart from then-husband James Taylor ("Handy Man"), believed to be the only time in the Rock Era that an artist has replaced their spouse at #1.

1977:  The album Rumours by Fleetwood Mac tied the existing Rock Era record for weeks at #1, set in 1967 by the album More of the Monkees.  On this date, the two were tied for that mark with 18. 
1979:  Patti Smith ("Because The Night" from 1978) told an audience of 85,000 in Florence, Italy she was retiring from live performances.  She wanted to spend more time with husband Fred "Sonic" Smith of MC5.
1980:  Peter Comita replaced Tom Peterson in Cheap Trick.

1983:  Michael Sembello, formerly the guitarist for Stevie Wonder, completed a charge up to #1 with "Maniac", taking the place of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" from the Eurythmics.  Men Without Hats had song #3--"The Safety Dance" while Taco was "Puttin' On The Ritz".  The rest of the Top 10:  Billy Joel's "Tell Her About It" from the album An Innocent Man, the Police with their former #1 "Every Breath You Take", Donna Summer with her 24th career hit "She Works Hard For The Money", Bonnie Tyler moved from 15-8 with her great song "Total Eclipse Of The Heart", Michael Jackson was at 9 with "Human Nature" and Culture Club fell with "I'll Tumble 4 (sic) Ya".
1983:  The album Thriller by Michael Jackson regained the #1 position to notch week #20 at the top spot. 

1984:  The comeback train was full steam ahead and on this date Tina Turner released the single "Better Be Good To Me". 
1988:  Phil Collins reached #1 in the U.K. with "A Groovy Kind Of Love".

1988:  The song with that unforgettable guitar open--"Sweet Child O' Mine" from Guns N' Roses was the new #1 song with Robert Palmer's "Simply Irresistible" and "Perfect World" from Huey Lewis & the News trailing.  "Monkey" slid down for George Michael and Van Halen had song #5 with "When It's Love".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Fast Car" from Tracy Chapman, Taylor Dayne was up with "I'll Always Love You", #8 belonged to the New Edition and "If It Isn't Love", Bobby McFerrin was all smiles with "Don't Worry Be Happy", which moved from 15-9, and Kenny Loggins collected his 18th hit with "Nobody's Fool".
1988:  Def Leppard registered a fifth week at #1 on the Album chart with Hysteria, now in its 56th week.  It was an interesting test of endurance as Guns N' Roses had the #2 album Appetite for Destruction, which was in its 55th week.

1990:  Will Smith made his television debut in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
1993:  Prince released the box set The Hits/The B-Sides on Paisley Park and Warner Brothers Records.  (Note:  some websites report the box set was released September 14.  Although there are no reliable sources for either date, our best research indicates it was released September 10.)
1994:  Boyz II Men remained at #1 on the R&B chart for a fourth week with "I'll Make Love To You".

1995:  Cyndi Lauper received an Emmy Award for her guest appearance on the television show Mad About You.
1996:  Ray Coleman died of cancer at the age of 59 in Shepperton, England.  Coleman was a prominent journalist with the U.K. weekly magazine Melody Maker throughout the career of the Beatles and into the mid-'70s, and was nearing completion of a biography on Phil Collins.  (Note:  several websites claim Coleman died on September 11.  He died on September 10, according to the newspaper 'The New York Times'.)
1998:  Gary Glitter ("Rock And Roll, Pt. 2" from 1973) appeared in court on child pornography charges.  The predatory paedophile was convicted not only this time but several other times of committing obscene acts with underage girls.  
2003:  Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck postponed their wedding because of a media frenzy.  (Note:  some websites report the postponement occurred September 11.  News reports were published that day, but 'People' magazine, which broke the story, reported the news September 10.)
2005:  Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson, John Mellencamp, Usher, Coldplay, Green Day, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Dave Matthews Band, Rob Thomas, Nine Inch Nails, Kanye West and Beck were among those who performed in a four-hour benefit ReAct Now:  Music And Relief event on the MTV channels for victims of Hurricane Katrina.  
2005:  Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, session guitarist who recorded with Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, Frank Zappa and others, died of lung cancer at the age of 81 in Orange, Texas. 
2007:  Girls Aloud broke the U.K. record for consecutive Top 10 songs by a female act when "Sexy" gave the group their 16th in a row.  The group later extended that streak to 20.
2008:  Peter Gabriel was given the Ambassador of Conscience Award from Amnesty International in London at the Hard Rock Cafe in London.
2009:  Newspapers reported that Phil Collins would have to give up drumming for medical reasons.  However, Collins later clarified his situation on the Genesis website:  "There isn't any drama regarding my 'disability' and playing drums," Collins writes. "Somehow during the last Genesis tour I dislocated some vertebrae in my upper neck and that affected my hands. After a successful operation on my neck, my hands still can't function normally," Collins said.   "Maybe in a year or so it will change, but for now it is impossible for me to play drums or piano. I am not in any 'distressed' state, stuff happens in life."  (Note:  some websites somehow claim the news of Collins not being able to drum again was reported on April 25, 2008.  So not only do people get it wrong; they can't even get the news of the false rumors right!  The news appeared in the newspapers 'The Guardian', 'The Mirror' and 'The Daily Mail'.)

Born This Day:
1898:  Waldo Semon, the inventor of vinyl in 1926, the substance used to make LP and 45 records, was born in Demopolis, Alabama; died May 26, 1999 at the age of 100 in Hudson, Ohio.

1942:  Danny Hutton of Three Dog Night was born in Buncrana, Donegal, Ireland.

1945:  Jose Feliciano was born in Lares, Puerto Rico.
1949:  Barriemore Barlow, drummer and percussionist of Jethro Tull, was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England.

1950:  Joe Perry, elite guitarist of Aerosmith, was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
1950:  Don Powell, drummer of Slade ("Run Runaway"), was born in Bilston, Staffordshire, England  (Note:  some sites show birth year as 1946; his official website shows 1950.)
1951:  Pete Tolson, bass guitarist for Pretty Things, was born in Bishops Stortford, Hertsfordshire, England.
1955:  Pat Mastelotto, drummer with Mr. Mister, was born in Chico, California.
1956:  Johnnie Fingers of the Boomtown Rats  (Note:  some websites claim Johnny Fingers of the Boomtown Rats was born on this date.  There has never been a member of the group by that name.  The correct spelling is Johnnie.)
1957:  Siobhan Fahey of Bananarama was born in Dunshaughlin, County Meath, Ireland, near Dublin. 
1957:  Carol Decker, lead singer of T'Pau ("Heart And Soul"), was born in Huyton, Lancashire, England.
1966:  Robin Goodridge, drummer of Bush, was born in Crawley, Sussex, England.
1966:  Miles Zuniga, songwriter, singer and guitarist with Fastball, was born in Laredo, Texas.
1968:  Big Daddy Kane of the Juice Crew was born in Brooklyn, New York.
1980:  Mikey Way, bass guitarist for My Chemical Romance, was born in Newark, New Jersey.

Hits List: TLC

TLC was one of the most successful acts of the 90's and one of The Top Female Artists of the Rock Era*.  They have sold over 42 million albums to date.  Here is their complete Hits List:

1992:  "Ain't 2 (sic) Proud 2 (sic) Beg" (#6, #2 R&B, #13 U.K.)
           "Baby-Baby-Baby" (#2, #1 R&B, #55 U.K.)
           "What About Your Friends" (#7, #2 R&B, #59 U.K.)
1993:  "Hat 2 (sic) Da Back" (#30, #14 R&B)
           "Get It Up" (#42, #15 R&B)
           "Sleigh Ride" (#46 R&B)
1994:  "Creep" (#1, #1 R&B, #39 Germany, #9 Ireland, #6 U.K.)

1995:  "Red Light Special" (#2, #3 R&B, #18 U.K.)
           "Waterfalls" (#1, #4 R&B, #5 Germany, #4 Ireland, #4 U.K.)
           "Diggin' On You" (#5, #7 R&B, #46 Germany, #21 Ireland, #18 U.K.)
1998:  "Silly Ho" (#59, #21 R&B)
1999:  "No Scrubs" (#1, #1 R&B, #4 Germany, #1 Ireland, # U.K.)
           "Unpretty" (#1, #4 R&B, #16 Germany, #4 Ireland, #6 U.K.)
           "Dear Lie" (#51, #70 R&B, #37 Germany, #12 Ireland, #31 U.K.)
           "I'm Good at Being Bad" (#38 R&B)
           "My Life"
2002:  "Girl Talk" (#28, #23 R&B, #79 Germany, #30 U.K.)
           "Hands Up"
2003:  "Damaged" (#53)
2004:  "Come Get Some" (with Lil Jon & Sean P.)( #81 R&B)

Discography: Dire Straits

You could tell from their debut album that this was a hip band.  Here is the complete Discography from Dire Straits:

1978:  Dire Straits (#2, #5 U.K., #10 Norway, #6 Sweden)--their best album
1979:  Communique (#11, #5 U.K., #2 Norway, #1 Sweden)
1980:  Making Movies (#19, #4 U.K., #1 Norway, #4 Sweden)
1982:  Love Over Gold (#19, #1 U.K., #1 Norway, #2 Sweden)

1985:  Brothers in Arms (#1, #1 U.K., #1 Norway, #1 Sweden)
1991:  On Every Street (#12, #1 U.K., #1 Norway, #1 Sweden)

Live Albums:
1984:  Alchemy (#46, #3 U.K., #7 Norway, #19 Sweden)
1993:  On the Night (#116, #4 U.K., #1 Norway, #1 Sweden)
1995:  Live at the BBC (#71 U.K.)

1988:  Money for Nothing (#62, #1 U.K., #3 Norway, #8 Sweden)
1998:  Sultans of Swing:  The Very Best of Dire Straits (#6 U.K., #2 Norway, #7 Sweden)
2005:  The Best of Dire Straits & Mark Knopfler:  Private Investigations (#20 U.K., #5 Norway, #6 Sweden)

Songs That Changed the World--The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era: "Calling All Angels" by Train

Train appealed to our better side in this classic song, pledging not to give up and fight for what is right.  It is a timeless message and never more important than right now.

"Calling All Angels"
by Train

Words and Music by Charlie Colin, Pat Monahan, Scott Underwood and James W. Stafford

I need a sign to let me know you're here
All of these lines are being crossed over the atmosphere
I need to know that things are gonna look up
'Cause I feel us drowning in a sea spilled from a cup

When there is no place safe and no safe place to put my head
When you can feel the world shake from the words that are said

And I'm calling all angels
I'm calling all you angels

I won't give up if you don't give up [Repeat x4]

I need a sign to let me know you're here
'Cause my TV set just keeps it all from being clear
I want a reason for the way things have to be
I need a hand to help build up some kind of hope inside of me


When children have to play inside so they don't disappear
While private eyes solve marriage lies cause we don't talk for years
And football teams are kissing Queens
and losing sight of having dreams
In a world that what we want is only what we want until it's ours

[Chorus x2]

Calling all you angels [Repeat till fade]

Thursday, September 8, 2011

This Date in Rock Music History: September 9

1954, Elvis Presley played at the opening of the Lamar-Airways Shopping Center in Memphis, Tennessee.

1955:  The J.P. Seeburg Corporation came out with the Dual Music System Jukebox which was the first of its kind to hold 100 45's, for a total of 200 selections.
1956:  Elvis Presley made his first of three appearances on the Ed Sullivan show Toast of the Town.  Contrary to myth, he was not shown from just the waist up but was in full view.  If you read that somewhere, you can discount that source's credibility.  (As the 'Encyclopedia of Television' by Horace Newcomb points out, for the third appearance (on January 6, 1957), Presley indeed did appear from the waist up but speculation was that his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, had ordered the semblance of censorship to generate publicity for Presley.)
1956:  The Johnny Burnette Trio appeared on Ted Mack's Amateur Hour on ABC-TV.   
1957:  Jerry Lee Lewis took over at #1 on the R&B chart with "Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On".
1965:  The Rolling Stones had the top song in the U.K. with "Satisfaction".
1967:  The Doors performed at the Village Theatre in New York City, which would later be known as Fillmore East.
1967:  James Brown topped the R&B chart with "Cold Sweat - Part 1".
1967:  The Association soared from 59 to 25 with "Never My Love".

1967:  It was a magical time in music as "Ode To Billie Joe" by Bobbie Gentry was the #1 song, having taken over from the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love".  That song replaced "Light My Fire" by the Doors, which was the successor to "Windy" from the Association.  On its way up from 15-5 was "The Letter" from the Box Tops.  In between--"Reflections" from Diana Ross & the Supremes (as they were billed at the time), Bobby Vee's "Come Back When You Grow Up" at #3 and "Baby I Love You" by Aretha Franklin.  The rest of the Top 10:  "All You Need Is Love", "You're My Everything" by the Temptations, "Light My Fire", Jay & the Techniques with "Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie" and the great sound of the Animals with "San Franciscan Nights", which moved from #25 to 10 on this date.
1968:  The Beatles recorded 18 takes of "Helter Skelter" for The White Album, and in the course of the day, transformed the song from a slow blues jam into the frantic song you hear on the album.
1970:  Elvis Presley began his first tour in nine years in Phoenix, Arizona at the Phoenix Coliseum.
1971:  John Lennon released the album Imagine in the United States.  He released the LP a month later in the U.K.

1971:  Another famous day in the Rock Era as John Lennon released the single "Imagine".  Lennon released the single on October 8 in the U.K.
1972:  "Back Stabbers" by the O'Jays was the new #1 on the R&B chart.

1972:  Chicago V landed at #1 on the Album chart again for the fourth week.  Rod Stewart's Never a Dull Moment came in second followed by Big Bambu from Cheech & Chong.  Elton John's Honky Chateau was #4, itself a former #1 album.  The rest of the Top 10:  Moods from Neil Diamond, Carney by Leon Russell, Trilogy at #7 for Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles!  Live!, Seven Separate Fools by Three Dog Night at #9 and Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits coming in tenth.

1972:  Bread owned the #1 Easy Listening song with "The Guitar Man".

1972  New group the Doobie Brothers had a hot song on this date, moving from 89 to 62 with their first release "Listen To The Music".
1972:  Gilbert O'Sullivan logged a sixth week at #1 with "Alone Again (Naturally)".  The Hollies couldn't get higher than #2 with "Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress".  Al Green had song #3--"I'm Still In Love with You" and Mac Davis was looking good with "Baby, Don't Get Hooked on Me".  The rest of the Top 10:  Looking Glass and their former #1 "Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)", "Back Stabbers" from the O'Jays, Gary Glitter with "Rock And Roll Part 2", Jim Croce's "You Don't Mess Around With Jim", Three Dog Night with their ninth Top 10 "Black & White" and Chicago jumped in with "Saturday In The Park".

1975:  Wings set out on a world tour, beginning at the Gaumont Theatre in Southampton, England.
1978:  U2 opened for the Stranglers at the Top Hat Ballroom in Dublin, Ireland.
1978:  Boney M topped the Album chart in the U.K. with Night Flight To Venus.

1978:  Newcomer Chris Rea had the top Adult Contemporary song with "Fool (If You Think It's Over)".
1981:  Sting of the Police and Phil Collins of Genesis both made their solo debuts at Amnesty International's "The Secret Policeman's Other Ball" in London.
1982:  Al Green and Patti LaBelle starred in the gospel musical Your Arm's Too Short to Box with God, which opened at Alvin Theatre in New York City.

1985:  Glenn Frey released the single "You Belong To The City".

1988:  Elton John sold some of his old costumes (including those famous boots he wore in the movie Tommy) and memorabilia from his concerts at a four-day London auction for $8.2 million.  (Note: several websites report the items were sold September 8, but the action was held September 6-9, according to the newspaper 'The New York Times'.)
1989:  Sonic Youth and Nirvana performed at the Caberet Metro in Chicago, Illinois.
1989:  Richard Marx made it six weeks at #1 on the AC chart with "Right Here Waiting".
1991:  On the heels of his massive #1 "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You", Bryan Adams released another great one--"Can't Stop This Thing We Started".
1995:  Chynna Phillips of Wilson Phillips married actor William Baldwin.

1995:  Combine a great song with a great movie and you get a #1 song.  Coolio with L.V. climbed to #1 with "Gangsta's Paradise", a remake of Stevie Wonder's song "Pastime Paradise".  Michael Jackson had to fall with "You Are Not Alone", Seal remained at #3 with "Kiss from a Rose" and TLC completed an excellent Top Four with "Waterfalls".
1996:  Tom Petty's wife, Jane, filed for divorce.
1999:  D'Arcy Wretzky, bass guitarist of the Smashing Pumpkins, left the group.
1999:  Nine Inch Nails performed at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards.
2000:  Neil Peart of Rush married photographer Carrie Nuttall in Montecito, California.
2001:  Aaliyah had the #1 album with her self-titled release.
2003:  Simon and Garfunkel announced they would reform for a fall tour.
2003:  Velvet Revolver inked a recording contract with RCA 
2003:  John Mayer released his third album Heavier Things.
2003:  A Kiss concert at the Telstra Dome in Melbourne, Australia from February (recorded with a 60-piece symphony orchestra) was shown in movie theaters in 21 cities in the United States.

2003:  Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland of Coldplay constructed four 10-foot letters which spelled "hope" on a beach outside where the World Trade Organization was conducting a meeting in Cancun, Mexico.  The group represented the organization Make Trade Fair.
2003:  In today's episode of Dangerous Inmates Run Rap Music, the guy who is worth 50 cents (50 Cent) was asked to turn himself in after fleeing the scene in which shots were fired in a New Jersey hotel that the rapper was seen entering moments before.
2005:  The Eagles were in concert at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California.
2005:  U2, Mariah Carey, Madonna, Paul Simon, Sheryl Crow, Alicia Keys, the Dixie Chicks, Neil Young, and Randy Newman were among those who performed in difference cities around the United States for the benefit "Shelter From The Storm--A Concert For The Gulf Coast".
2006:  Travis Barker, formerly the drummer in Blink-182, broke his arm while shooting a video for his new group +44.
2006:  Danity Kane rose to #1 on the Album chart with their self-titled release.

2008:  Peoria, Illinois named a street "Dan Fogelberg Parkway" after the late superstar.  (Note:  several websites claim the dedication was made September 10.  The correct date is September 9, according to the Fogelberg Foundation.)

Born This Day:
1940:  Joe Negroni of Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, was born in New York City; died September 5, 1978 of a cerebral hemorrhage.

1941:  Otis Redding was born in Dawson, Georgia; died in a plane crash on October 10, 1967, three days after recording the single "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay".  The song was remixed and released early in 1968. 
1942:  Luther Simmons of the Main Ingredient was born in New York City.
1942:  Inez Foxx, who combined with brother Charles for the 1963 hit "Mockingbird", was born in Greensboro, North Carolina.
1945:  Dee Dee Sharp (real name Dione LaRue, who did "Mashed Potato Time" in 1962) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1946:  Bruce Palmer, bass guitarist with Buffalo Springfield, was born in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada; died of a heart attack in Belleville, Ontario, Canada on October 1, 2004.
1946:  Inez Foxx ("Mockingbird" from 1963) was born in Greensboro, North Carolina.
1946:  Doug Ingle, founding member and keyboard player of Iron Butterfly, was born in Omaha, Nebraska.
1947:  Freddy Weller, who co-wrote "Dizzy" with Tommy Roe and played a brief time as lead guitarist with the Boise, Idaho group Paul Revere & the Raiders, was born in Atlanta, Georgia.

1952:  Dave Stewart, guitarist with the Eurythmics, songwriter ("Don't Come Around Here No More" for Tom Petty and "Stay" for Shakespeaers Sister, among others) and producer (Petty, Stevie Nicks, Jon Bon Jovi and Joss Stone)  was born in Sunderland, England.  (Note:  many websites that Dave was born on December 30, 1950--the Dave Stewart born on that date is a British keyboardist, note Stewart of the Eurythmics.)
1953:  John McFee, singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the Doobie Brothers and later Elvis Costello, was born in Santa Cruz, California.  (Note:  several websites report McFee's birthday as November but 18, according to the book 'Motown Encylopedia' by Graham Betts, as well as the official website of the Doobie Brothers, McFee was born on September 9.)
1975:  Michael Buble was born in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.

Hits List: Black Eyed Peas

This hip-hop group has been on fire the last few years.  Here is the Hits List* of the Black Eyed Peas:

1998:  "Joints and Jam" (#53 U.K.)
1999:  "Karma"
2000:  "Weekends" (with Esthero) (#100 Germany)
2001:  "Request + Line" (with Macy Gray) (#63, #31 U.K., #85 Germany, #10 New Zealand)
2003:  "Where Is the Love" (#8, #1 U.K., #1 Germany, #1 New Zealand)
           "Shut Up" (#2 U.K., #1 Germany, #1 New Zealand)
2004:  "Hey Mama" (#23, #6 U.K., #5 Germany, #4 New Zealand)
           "Let's Get It Started" (#21, #11 U.K., #18 Germany, #6 New Zealand)
2005:  "Don't Phunk With My Heart" (#3, #3 U.K., #8 Germany, #1 New Zealand)
           "Don't Lie" (#14, #6 U.K., #12 Germany, #5 New Zealand)
           "My Humps" (#3, #3 U.K., #4 Germany, #1 New Zealand)
2006:  "Pump It" (#18, #3 U.K., #19 Germany, #8 New Zealand)
2009:  "Boom Boom Pow" (#1, #1 U.K., #3 Germany, #2 New Zealand)
           "I Gotta' Feeling" (#1, #1 U.K., #3 Germany, #1 New Zealand)
2010:  "Meet Me Halfway" (#7, #1 U.K., #1 Germany, #3 New Zealand)
           "Rock That Body" (#9, #11 U.K., #10 Germany, #16 New Zealand)
           "Imma Be" (#1, #55 U.K., #49 Germany)
           "The Time (Dirty Bit)" (#4, #1 U.K., #1 Germany, #1 New Zealand)

2011:  "Just Can't Get Enough" (#3, #3 U.K., #9 Germany, #4 New Zealand)
           "Don't Stop the Party" (#86, #17 U.K., #27 Germany, #9 New Zealand)

Songs That Changed the World--The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era: "Sky Pilot" by the Animals

There are many examples through the years of songs criticizing the idiocy of war.  Few have done it in such a thought-provoking way that hits home about the realities of war and their effects on the young people of the world.  The Animals produced a classic with "Sky Pilot".

 "Sky Pilot"
by the Animals

Words and Music by Barry Jenkins, Danny McCulloch, Eric Burdon, Johnny Weider and Vic Briggs

He blesses the boys as they stand in line
The smell of gun grease and the bayonets they shine
He's there to help them all that he can
To make them feel wanted he's a good holy man
Sky pilot
How high can you fly
You'll never, never, never reach the sky

He smiles at the young soldiers
Tells them its all right
He knows of their fear in the forthcoming fight
Soon there'll be blood and many will die
Mothers and fathers back home they will cry
Sky pilot
How high can you fly
You'll never, never, never reach the sky

He mumbles a prayer and it ends with a smile
The order is given
They move down the line
But he's still behind and he'll meditate
But it won't stop the bleeding or ease the hate
As the young men move out into the battle zone
He feels good, with God you're never alone
He feels tired and he lays on his bed
Hopes the men will find courage in the words that he said
Sky Pilot
How high can you fly
You'll never, never, never reach the sky

You're soldiers of God you must understand
The fate of your country is in your young hands
May God give you strength
Do your job real well
If it all was worth it
Only time it will tell

In the morning they return
With tears in their eyes
The stench of death drifts up to the skies
A soldier so ill looks at the sky pilot
Remembers the words
"Thou shalt not kill"
Sky pilot
How high can you fly
You never, never, never reach the sky 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

This Date in Rock Music History: September 8

1956:  Eddie Cochran signed a one-year deal with Liberty Records.
1956:  Elvis Presley was on the cover of TV Guide.
1957:  Paul Anka and Jimmy Rodgers appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.
1958:  Paul Anka started a tour of Southeast Asia in Tokyo, Japan.
1962:  "The Loco-Motion" by Little Eva remained #1 on the R&B chart for a third week.

                                            Buddy Holly's influence is unmistakable...

1962:  "Sheila" by Tommy Roe was #1 with Ray Charles in the runner-up spot with "You Don't Know Me".  Little Eva's former #1 "The Loco-Motion" came in third while Nat King Cole jumped from 11 to 4 with "Ramblin' Rose".  The rest of the Top 10:  Elvis Presley with "She's Not You", Neil Sedaka and "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do", Claudine Clark and "Party Lights", Bobby Darin's "Things" at #8, Rick Nelson jumped from 17 to 9 with "Teen Age Idol" and Connie Francis had #10--"Vacation".
1964:  The Who were in concert at the Railway Hotel in Wealdstone, London.
1965:  Advertisements appeared in The Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety magazine asking for applicants for The Monkees television show.
1967:  The Doors appeared at the Lagoon Patio Gardens in Farmington, Utah.  (Note:  some websites claim the Lagoon is in Salt Lake City.  The Lagoon is located 17 miles north of Salt Lake City in Farmington.)
1968:  The Beatles performed "Hey Jude" on the television show Frost on Sunday on BBC-TV.  (Note:  some sources incorrectly report the show as Frost on Saturday, but September 8 in 1970 was a Sunday.)
1971:  The Tams earned the #1 song in the U.K. with "Hey Girl Don't Bother Me".
1972:  Jr. Walker and the All-Stars and Howlin' Wolf performed on opening night at the Ann Arbor Jazz & Blues Festival in Michigan.
1973:  Paul Simon rolled up to #1 on the Easy Listening chart with "Loves Me Like A Rock".

1973:  The Allman Brothers Band motored up from 58 to 35 with "Ramblin' Man".
1973:  The Allman Brothers Band owned the top album with Brothers and Sisters.  That ended a six-week reign for Chicago VIThe Dark Side of the Moon slipped down to #3 for Pink Floyd. 

1973:  Marvin Gaye reached #1 as "Let's Get It On" passed "Brother Louie" by the Stories.  Helen Reddy was a strong #3 with "Delta Dawn".  Tony Orlando & Dawn moved up to 4 with "Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose" and Diana Ross was at 5 with her former #1--"Touch Me In The Morning".  The rest of the Top 10:  Paul Simon and "Loves Me Like A Rock", Wings were down with "Live And Let Die", Grand Funk roared into the Top 10 with "We're An American Band", War had song #9 with "Gypsy Man" and Al Green came in at #10 with "Here I Am (Come And Take Me)".
1974:  The Beach Boys, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Joni Mitchell shared a bill at the Summersault '74 at Roosevelt Raceway in Westbury, New York.

1975:  Neil Sedaka and Elton John released the single "Bad Blood".
1976:  United States President Gerald Ford asked Peter Frampton to spend a day at the White House.
1977:  Jimmy McCulloch left Paul McCartney & Wings to join the reformed group Small Faces and drummer Joe English also left Wings.
1979:  Led Zeppelin registered their eighth #1 album in the U.K. when In Through the Out Door rose to the top.
1979:  Michael Jackson moved into the #1 position on the R&B chart with "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough".

1979:  Maureen McGovern had a big hit among adults as "Different Worlds" reached #1 on the AC chart.
1979:  The Knack had the top album with Get the Knack but Breakfast in America by Supertramp remained at #2 in its 24th week of release.  The Cars and Candy-O came in third followed by I Am by Earth, Wind & Fire.  Million Mile Reflections by the Charlie Daniels Band remained at #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  Discovery from ELO, Chic's Risque, Rust Never Sleeps by Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Midnight Magic from the Commodores and Led Zeppelin debuted at #10 with In Through the Out Door.

                                                             ELO with their biggest career hit...

1979:  "My Sharona" by the Knack took on all challengers with a third straight week at #1.  Chic could not get there with "Good Times".  Earth, Wind & Fire was up to 3 with "After The Love Has Gone" while ELO was up to position #4 with "Don't Bring Me Down".  The rest of an excellent Top 10:  The Charlie Daniels Band with their memorable "The Devil Went Down To Georgia", Maxine Nightingale edged up with "Lead Me On", Robert John had his biggest hit since his Top 10 remake of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" in 1972 with "Sad Eyes", Barbra Streisand was on her way down with "The Main Event/Fight", Dionne Warwick had the #9 song--'I'll Never Love This Way Again" and the Little River Band had their third straight Top 10 song with "Lonesome Loser".
1984:  Stevie Wonder had his first #1 in the U.K. with "I Just Called To Say I Love You".
1984:  Billy Joel had the top Adult Contemporary song with "Leave A Tender Moment Alone".
1984:  Billy Ocean's great song "Caribbean Queen" held the #1 spot on the R&B chart.

1984:  Comeback queen Tina Turner made it two weeks at #1--"What's Love Got To Do With It".  John Waite, former lead singer of the Babys, remained at #2 with "Missing You" while newcomer Cyndi Lauper had #3 with "She Bop".  Ray Parker Jr.'s former #1 "Ghostbusters" was at #4.  The rest of the Top 10:  Lionel Richie with "Stuck On You", Prince came in at #6 with "Let's Go Crazy", Huey Lewis & the News had another winner from the album Sports--"If This Is It", Scandal came charging in with "The Warrior", Corey Hart was at #9 with "Sunglasses At Night" and the Cars rolled in with their 11th hit--"Drive".

1986:  Sun Valley, Idaho's Peter Cetera teamed up with Amy Grant for the release of the single "The Next Time I Fall".
1989:  Robert Wiggins of Grandmaster Flash died of a heart attack brought on by cocaine use at the age of 28 in Queens, New York.
1990:  Jon Bon Jovi's solo hit "Blaze Of Glory" made it to #1 but Wilson Phillips was on his tail with "Release Me".

1990:  Janet Jackson made it three consecutive weeks at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Come Back To Me".
1990:  M.C. Hammer made it 13 weeks at #1 on the Album chart with Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em, followed closely by Wilson Phillips, which spent their fifth week at #2 with their self-titled release.
2000:  In our Inmates Run Rap Music episode for today, Sean Combs pleaded guilty to assault charges in New York Criminal Court.  The charges were a result of Combs' assault on Interscope Records executive Steve Stoute.
2002:  Gordon Lightfoot had an emergency stomach operation in a Toronto hospital after he experienced acute stomach pain.
2002:  Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of Iron Maiden, began a new job as an airline pilot.
2003:  If you can't reach fans in the traditional way, experiment.  David Bowie premiered his new album Reality in a live performance in London that was broadcast to select movie theatres around the world.
2003:  There's so much material for the Inmates Run Rap Music series that today's version is extended.  C-Murder was arrested and charged with a nightclub shooting death in 2002 and further charges were added when he attempted to bribe guards to smuggle his cellphone into jail.
2003:  The Record Industry Association of America began legal action against 261 people accused of sharing music files on the Internet.
2005:  Radiohead, Gorillaz and other artists recorded "the fastest album ever released".  Less than 24 hours later, the album Help:  A Day in the Life went on sale with proceeds benefiting the charity War Child.
2006:  Whitney Houston filed for divorce from Bobby Brown.  Finally a good decision, but it proved to be too late to help her.

2007:  Lynyrd Skynyrd was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
2007:  In our Inmates Run Rap Music, Part III, Foxy Brown was jailed for a year in New York for violation of probation.  Brown had already assaulted a neighbor in 2004 and two nail salon workers in 2006.  This is what happens when you give people like this money.  You might be the next "neighbor" of a rapper.  Or a salon worker.

Born This Day:
1927:  Harlan Howard, who wrote "Heartaches By The Number" among over 4,000 songs, was born in Detroit Michigan; died March 3, 2002 in Nashville, Tennessee of an apparent heart attack.  (Note:  the notorious 'Allmusic'.com claims Howard was born in Lexington, Kentucky.  According to the newspapers 'The New York Times' and "The Los Angeles Times' and BMI, Howard was born in Detroit.) 
1928:  Earl Nelson of the duo Bob & Earl ("Harlem Shuffle") was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
1942:  Brian Cole, bass guitarist and vocalist of the Association, was born in Tacoma, Washington; died August 2, 1972 from heroin in Los Angeles, California.
1942:  Sal Spampinato (stage name Sal Valentino) of the Beau Brummels was born in San Francisco, California.
1945:  Kelly Groucutt, bass guitarist of the Electric Light Orchestra, was born in Coseley, Staffordshire, England; died of a heart attack February 19, 2009 in Worcester, Worcestershire, England.
1945:  Ron McKernan, keyboard player for the Grateful Dead, was born in San Bruno, California; died of a gastrointestinal hemorrhage at the age of 27 on March 8, 1973.  (Note:  some websites claim Ron was born in Palo Alto, California.  According to the book 'Grateful Dead:  What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been' by Michele C. Hollow, McKernan was born in San Bruno.)
1945:  Cathy Jean Giordano of the Roommates ("Please Love Me Forever" from 1961) was born in Brooklyn, New York.
1946:  Dean Daughtry, keyboard player with the Classics IV and co-founder of the Atlanta Rhythm Section, was born in Kinston, Alabama.

1947:  Benjamin Orr of the Cars was born in Lakewood, Ohio; died from pancreatic cancer on October 4, 2000 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Note:  Orr's birthday is reported as August 9, September 8, and September 9, with several sources of each.  MTV Italy, The Guardian, and the Orlando Sentinel report his birthday as August 9.  AllMusic, MTV, Wikipedia,,, and numerous other sites report his birth as September 8, while and several fan sites post the birth as September 9.  There are even some sites that show his birthday as 1955! 

We went with the date on his tombstone, although most sites report his death on October 3.  The facts are that he died close to midnight on the 3rd, but by law, a doctor must pronounce you dead, and they did not show up until after midnight.  So the official death is October 4, 2000)
1958:  David Lewis, lead singer and guitarist of Atlantic Starr

1960:  Aimee Mann, songwriter and lead singer of 'Til Tuesday, was born in Richmond, Virginia.
1960:  David Steele, bassist of the Fine Young Cannibals, was born in Cowes, Isle of Wight, England.  (Note:  one website reports Steele was born in Birmingham, England.  Unfortunately there are no credible sources for either site, but our best research indicates that David was born in Isle of Wight.)
1975:  Richard Hughes, drummer of Keane, was born in Gravesend, Kent, England.

1979:  Pink (Alicia Moore) was born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.