Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era: Songs That Changed the World..."Blowin' in the Wind" by Peter, Paul and Mary

If there's a more powerful song ever written calling on mankind to change than this one, I honestly don't know what it is.  Bob Dylan wrote it, and Peter, Paul & Mary deliver it in a stunning way.  Anyone who doesn't see the wisdom isn't human.  How many times can a man turn his head and pretend he doesn't see?  How many ears must one man have before he can hear people cry?  The answer is indeed blowin' in the wind and it is a million times that he can turn his head and he must have a million ears because 999,999 aren't enough for him. And a million ears would indeed make one hideous monster.  It's a song about human rights, about human dignity and about something better than the petty things we fight about on this earth.
"Blowin' in the Wind"
by Peter, Paul and Mary

Words and Music by Bob Dylan

How many roads most a man walk down
Before you call him a man ?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand ?
Yes, how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned ?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Yes, how many years can a mountain exist
Before it's washed to the sea ?
Yes, how many years can some people exist
Before they're allowed to be free ?
Yes, how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn't see ?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Yes, how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky ?
Yes, how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry ?
Yes, how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died ?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.

Friday, November 11, 2011

This Date in Rock Music History: November 12

1955:  Fats Domino had the top R&B song for a third week with "All By Myself".  
1966:  Lou Rawls reached the pinnacle of the R&B chart with "Love Is A Hurtin' Thing".
1966:  The self-titled debut album The Monkees reached #1.

1966:  Simon & Garfunkel made a healthy move (81 to 47) with "A Hazy Shade Of Winter".

1966:  Johnny Rivers scored the biggest hit of his great career as "Poor Side Of Town" went to #1.  The Monkees slid down with "Last Train To Clarksville", ? & the Mysterians were at #3 with "96 Tears" and the Beach Boys moved from 17-4 with "Good Vibrations".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Dandy" from Herman's Hermits, the New Vaudeville Band jumped from 24-6 with "Winchester Cathedral", the Supremes shot up from 27-7 with "You Keep Me Hangin' On", setting up a big battle for next week, Bobby Darin's "If I Were A Carpenter" remained in the #8 position, Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels jumped from 18 to 9 with "Devil With A Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly" and James & Bobby Purify moved into the Top 10 with "I'm Your Puppet".

1973:  ABC Records released the posthumous single "Time In A Bottle".

Dancing Queen by ABBA on Grooveshark
ABBA released the single "Dancing Queen".

1977:  Blondie and XTC played at Friars in Aylesbury, England.
 1977:  The Boz Scaggs song "We're All Alone" became the new #1 Easy Listening hit for Rita Coolidge.

1977:  Debby Boone made it five weeks at #1 with her classic "You Light Up My Life".  Heatwave was the new #2, as "Boogie Nights" swapped places with Carly Simon's "Nobody Does It Better".  Barry White turned up the heat with "It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me" and Crystal Gayle had a big hit on her hands--"Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue".  The rest of the Top 10:  Donna Summer and "I Feel Love", Chicago edged up to #7 with "Baby, What A Big Surprise", Paul Nicholas sang of "Heaven On The 7th Floor", the Bee Gees rang up hit #29 with the lead single from the great movie Saturday Night Fever--"How Deep Is Your Love" and Rita Coolidge hit the Top 10 with "We're All Alone".

Christine's "Songbird"...

1977:  The Fleetwood Mac album Rumours spent week #27 at #1.  Linda Ronstadt was a solid #2 with Simple Dreams, Steely Dan's great album Aja was third with the self-titled Foreigner in the #4 position.  Love You Live by the Rolling Stones was #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  Chicago XI, Elvis in Concert by Elvis Presley, Barry White Sings for Someone You Love at #8, Rita Coolidge with Anytime...Anywhere and Kansas jumped from 22 to 10 with Point of Know Return.

1979:  Kenny Rogers released the single "Coward Of The County".
1979:  Marty Balin, lead singer of Jefferson Starship, saw his rock opera Rock Justice open for a four-day run at the Old Waldorf nightclub in San Francisco, California.

1982:  The Pretenders released the single "Back On The Chain Gang".
1983:  Lionel Richie reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "All Night Long (All Night)".

    Ronstadt changed gears once again...

1983:  The Police album Synchronicity, which had fought off Thriller by Michael Jackson for the past nine weeks, spent a 16th week at #1.  Metal Health by Quiet Riot moved to challenge with Thriller third.  Billy Joel's great album An Innocent Man moved to #4. The rest of the Top 10:  Faster Than the Speed of Night by Bonnie Tyler, Eyes That See in the Dark from Kenny Rogers, Pyromania by Def Leppard was #7, the Greatest Hits album by Air Supply, ZZ Top moved into the Top 10 with Eliminator and Linda Ronstadt was content at #10 with What's New.

1983:  Duran Duran moved from 59 to 42 with "Union Of The Snake".

      Billy Joel was racing up the chart with "Uptown Girl"...

1983:  Lionel Richie's fifth consecutive Top 10 song to open his solo career went all the way to #1--"All Night Long (All Night)".  Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton paddled downhill with "Islands In The Stream" and Billy Joel was up to #3 with his 22nd hit "Uptown Girl".  Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson teamed up with "Say Say Say".  The rest of the Top 10:  Bonnie Tyler's former #1 smash "Total Eclipse Of The Heart", the Fixx and "One Thing Leads To Another", "Cum On Feel The Noize (sic)" from Quiet Riot, Prince remained at #8 with "Delirious", Air Supply's #2 song "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All" and the Motels checked in with song #10--"Suddenly Last Summer".
1984:  Madonna released her second album Like a Virgin.

1984:  Phil Collins and Phillip Bailey released the single "Easy Lover".

1986:  Madonna released the single "Open Your Heart".
1987:  Sly Stone was arrested for nonpayment of child support when he arrived an hour late for his "comeback concert" in Los Angeles.

1988:  Anita Baker achieved her 12th R&B hit and this one became a #1 song--"Giving You The Best That I Got".
1988:  Taylor Dayne had another big hit as "Don't Rush Me" was galloping up the chart from #81 to #56.

                       U2's live gem "Desire"...

1988:  The Escape Club had the new #1 song--"Wild, Wild West", taking over from the Beach Boys with "Kokomo".  Kylie Minogue's version of the song written by Stanley, Idaho's Carole King--"The Loco-Motion" took the opportunity to move up to #3 and Bon Jovi's "Bad Medicine" was right behind her.  The rest of the Top 10:  Whitney Houston and "One Moment iI Time", U2 and the live "Desire" was at #6, Phil Collins was on the way down with "Groovy Kind Of Love", Will to Power cracked the list with "Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley", the fifth consecutive Top 10 song from George Michael's Faith album--"Kissing A Fool" moved from 15 to 9 and Inxs wrapped up the list with "Never Tear Us Apart".

1988:  U2 reached #1 on the Album chart with the Soundtrack to "Rattle and Hum" while Guns N' Roses had the #2 album after 64 weeks of release with Appetite for Destruction.  The previous #1--New Jersey by Bon Jovi was down to #3 and the "Cocktail" Soundtrack and Def Leppard's Hysteria were also bumped down a notch.  The rest of the Top 10:  Don't Be Cruel from Bobby Brown, Anita Baker moved from 22 to 7 in just her second week with the album Giving You the Best That I Got, George Michael was still at #8 with Faith after 52 weeks, Bobby McFerrin had Simple Pleasures and Cinderella jumped into the Top 10 with Long Cold Winter.
1988:  Breathe took their song "How Can I Fall" to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
1990:  Ron Wood, guitarist of the Rolling Stones, broke both legs when his car was struck by a car fifty miles west of London.

1990:  C + C Music Factory released the single "Gonna' Make You Sweat".
1993:  Michael Jackson canceled his world tour, saying he had become dependent on painkillers.

1994:  "I Wanna' Be Down" by Brandy set the pace on the R&B chart.

1994:  The incredible Boyz II Men, who dominated the chart for 13 weeks just two years earlier with "End Of The Road", now held on for a 12th week at #1 with "I'll Make Love To You".  Sheryl Crow spent six of those weeks at #2 with her great song "All I Wanna' Do" and Real McCoy were up to #3 with "Another Night".  Ini Kamoze had song #4--"Here Comes The Hotstepper" and Madonna made it 26 Top 10 songs out of 32 releases with "Secret".

You Were Meant For Me by Jewel on Grooveshark
1996:  Jewel released the single "You Were Meant For Me".
1997:  Billy Preston was sent to jail for three years for possession of cocaine.
1999:  Gary Glitter ("Rock And Roll, Part 2" from 1972) was sentenced to four months in jail for possession of child pornography.
2000:  Destiny's Child had the #1 song with "Independent Women, Part 1".
2003:  Phil Collins announced that he had lost 60% of the hearing in his left ear due to a viral infection.

2003:  Tony Thompson, drummer of Chic and The Power Station, who also worked for David Bowie and Madonna, died of renal cell cancer in Encino, California at the age of 48.
2005:  Gary Glitter, who had been convicted of child pornography, vanished from his Ba Ring Vung Tau home after Vietnamese authorities discovered a 15 year-old girl living there.
2008:  Mitch Mitchell, drummer with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, was found dead at age 61 in his hotel room in Portland, Oregon.

Born This Day:

1930:  The great Bob Crewe, who wrote and produced many of the 4 Seasons hits and also wrote "Music To Watch Girls By", was born in Newark, New Jersey; died September 11, 2014 in Scarborough, Maine.  (Note:  many websites still show his birth as 1931, but 'The New York Times' and other reputable sites indicate that it was 1930.)
1936:  Mort Shuman, who wrote the music to "Save The Last Dance For Me" for the Drifters, "(Marie's The Name) Of His Latest Flame" and "Little Sister" for Elvis Presley, "Teenager in Love" for Dion & the Belmonts and many others, was born in New York City; died of cancer in London on November 2, 1991.
1936:  Charlotte Davis of the Tune Weavers ("Happy, Happy Birthday Baby" from 1957)
1939:  Ruby Nash Curtis of Ruby & the Romantics ("Our Day Will Come") was born in Akron, Ohio.

1943:  Brian Hyland, who was a sophomore in high school when his "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini" became a hit, was born in Queens, New York.
1943:  John Maus of the Walker Brothers ("The Sun Ain't Gonna' Shine (Anymore)"; died of liver cancer at his home in Los Angeles on May 7, 2011 at the age of 67.  (Note:  some websites show his date of death as May 8, but according to the official press announcement of his death, it was May 7.)

1944:  Booker T. Jones of Booker T. & the M.G.'s was born in Memphis, Tennessee.

1945:  Neil Young was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
1947:  Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser, bass guitarist with Blue Oyster Cult, was born in Long Island, New York.

1948:  Errol Brown, lead singer of Hot Chocolate ("You Sexy Thing"), was born in Kingston, Jamaica.
1949:  Arthur Tavares of the group Tavares ("Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel" from 1977)
1952:  Laurence Juber, lead guitarist with Wings, was born in Stepney, East London.

1955:  Leslie McKeown, lead singer of the Bay City Rollers, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland.  
1964:  David Ellefson, founding member and bassist of Megadeth, was born in Jackson, Minnesota.

1976:  Tevin Campbell ("Tell Me What You Want Me To Do" from 1992) was born in Waxahachie, Texas.  (Note:  some websites show he was born in Dallas, but according to the Waxahacie website, he was born there.)
1984:  Omarion of B2K was born in Inglewood, California.

The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era: Songs That Changed the World..."When Doves Cry" by Prince

As kids, we are acutely aware of the faults of our parents.  Perhaps we don't appreciate what they've gone through to make a home for you in this world, and we don't fully appreciate that until we get older, but we are in tune with their faults, no question.  While understanding that the tendency is to become like our parents, the challenge is to recognize the good qualities and continue those while discarding the bad qualities.
 "When Doves Cry"
by Prince

Words and Music by Prince

Dig if u will the picture
Of u and I engaged in a kiss
The sweat of your body covers me
Can u my darling
Can u picture this?

Dream if u can a courtyard
An ocean of violets in bloom
Animals strike curious poses
They feel the heat
The heat between me and u

How can u just leave me standing?
Alone in a world thats so cold? (so cold)
Maybe Im just 2 demanding
Maybe Im just like my father 2 bold
Maybe youre just like my mother
Shes never satisfied (shes never satisfied)
Why do we scream at each other
This is what it sounds like
When doves cry

Touch if u will my stomach
Feel how it trembles inside
Youve got the butterflies all tied up
Dont make me chase u
Even doves have pride

How can u just leave me standing?
Alone in a world so cold? (world so cold)
Maybe Im just 2 demanding
Maybe Im just like my father 2 bold
Maybe youre just like my mother
Shes never satisfied (shes never satisfied)
Why do we scream at each other
This is what it sounds like
When doves cry

How can u just leave me standing?
Alone in a world thats so cold? (a world thats so cold)
Maybe Im just 2 demanding (maybe, maybe Im like my father)
Maybe Im just like my father 2 bold (ya know hes 2 bold)
Maybe youre just like my mother (maybe youre just like my mother)
Shes never satisfied (shes never, never satisfied)
Why do we scream at each other (why do we scream, why)
This is what it sounds like

When doves cry
When doves cry (doves cry, doves cry)
When doves cry (doves cry, doves cry)

Dont cry (dont cry)

When doves cry
When doves cry
When doves cry

When doves cry (doves cry, doves cry, doves cry
Dont cry
Darling dont cry
Dont cry
Dont cry
Dont dont cry

Thursday, November 10, 2011

In Concert: The Beatles ("Twist and Shout" in Liverpool)

This Date in Rock Music History: November 11

1957:  Elvis Presley performed at the Schofield Barracks in Hawai'i, his final concert of the 50's.
1961:  Joan Baez performed a sold-out show at the Town Hall in New York City.

1963:  The Marketts released the great instrumental "Out Of Limits".
1963:  Few acts have had to do this but it worked for the Beatles.  The group dressed up as policemen after a show in Birmingham, England to escape a crowd of fans.
1964:  The Elvis Presley movie Roustabout was released.
1965:  The Beatles finished recording for the Rubber Soul Album at Abbey Road Studios in London.  The group incuded "Wait", which was a song that they had previously saved, and recorded two new songs--Paul McCartney's "You Won't See Me" and John Lennon's "Girl".

   The Doors were on fire with the album "Strange Days"...

1967:  Diana Ross and the Supremes Greatest Hits was #1 on the Album chart for a third week.  Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band from the Beatles was #2 after 21 weeks with The Doors third.  While that was active, the new Doors album Strange Days moved up--get this--from #100 to #4.
1967:  Sam & Dave made it five weeks at #1 on the R&B chart with the great soul hit "Soul Man".

1967:  Lulu logged a fourth week at #1 with one of The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era*--"To Sir With Love".

1968:  The Temptations released the single "Cloud Nine".

1968:  B.J. Thomas released the single "Hooked On A Feeling".
1969:  Upon arriving in Phoenix, Arizona, Jim Morrison of the Doors was arrested by the FBI for drunk and disorderly conduct aboard a plane.  Morrison was fined heavily and spent the night in jail.
1970:  Bob Dylan published his first book Tarantula, that he had written in 1965 and 1966.
1971:  Led Zeppelin began a tour of Britain at the City Hall in Newcastle.  The concert sold out before it was announced when thousands of people turned up at the ticket office early after hearing a rumor of the show.  The venue was forced to sell its tickets.
1971:  Tom Jones, Cher, Cilla Black and Slade were among the guests for the 400th show of the popular British television show Top of the Pops.
1972:  The Allman Brothers Band and their motorcycles.  Bassist Berry Oakley was killed when his cycle crashed into a bus in Macon, Georgia, just three blocks from the place where guitarist Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident just a year previous.  Skull fracture for Oakley.
1972:  Gilbert O'Sullivan enjoyed another #1 song in the U.K. with "Clair". 
1972:  The Spinners enjoyed a fifth week at #1 on the R&B chart with "I'll Be Around".

1972:  Johnny Nash had the top song for a second week with "I Can See Clearly Now".  The Moody Blues were second with "Nights In White Satin" with Lobo making a nice move (8-3) with "I'd Love You To Want Me".  Helen Reddy entered the Top 10 with "I Am Woman" and the Eagles moved from 15-10 with "Witchy Woman".

1975:  The Captain (Daryl Dragon) & Tennille (Toni) were married in Virginia City, Nevada.  (Note:  numerous websites erroneously report that the two were married on February 14.  The correct date is November 11, according to the newspaper 'The Contra Costa Times.')
1975:  Earth, Wind & Fire released the album Gratitude.
1976:  Linda Ronstadt performed at the Odeon in Birmingham, England.
1977:  Good show here--Fleetwood Mac, Santana and the Little River Band hooked up for a concrt at the RAS Sydney Showgrounds in Australia.
1978:  The Cars released a picture disc to the song "My Best Friend's Girl".

        Billy had an excellent follow-up to "The Stranger"...

1978:  Live and More from Donna Summer took over from Linda Ronstadt's Living in the U.S.A. as the #1 album.  The "Grease" Soundtrack was third followed by Double Vision from Foreigner.  Billy Joel crashed into the list, moving from 17 to 5 in his third week with 52nd Street.  The rest of the Top 10:  Who Are You from the Who, Pieces of Eight by Styx, Don't Look Back by Boston was on its way down, Some Girls from the Rolling Stones moved up to #9 and the great album Stranger in Town from Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band was #10.

1978:  Al Stewart had a huge Adult Contemporary hit and on this day it became #1--"Time Passages".

1978:  Donna Summer took her remake of the Richard Harris song "MacArthur Park" all the way to #1.  Anne Murray slipped after a week at the top with "You Needed Me", Foreigner's "Double Vision" continued the group's great early success and Ambrosia reached #4 with "How Much I Feel".  The rest of the Top 10:  Nick Gilder's former #1 "Hot Child In the City", Exile's smash "Kiss You All Over", Kenny Loggins was at #7 with "Whenever I Call You Friend", the Rolling Stones climbed up with "Beast Of Burden", Foxy's "Get Off" was song #9 and Gino Vannelli rose from 16 to 10 with "I Just Wanna' Stop".
1982:  Prince began a tour at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

1985:  Newcomers the Dream Academy released the single "Life In A Northern Town".
1989:  Lisa Stansfield rose to #1 in the U.K. with "All Around The World".

1989:  The Rolling Stones moved from 79 to 58 with "Rock And A Hard Place".
1989:  Bad English topped the chart with "When I See You Smile", taking over from Roxette's "Listen To Your Heart".
1989:  Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 was the #1 album for a third week.

1989:  Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville took the great Bill Medley song "Don't Know Much" to a third week at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
1994:  Micky Dolenz of the Monkees, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick and Billy Vera were guests on the television program Boy Meets Girl on ABC.
1995:  Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by the Smashing Pumpkins debuted at #1 on the Album chart.

                          Take That with their first big hit...

1995:  Mariah Carey's song "Fantasy" was #1 for a seventh straight week.  "Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio had been a #1 song for three straight weeks and on this date, it posted a seventh straight week at #2.  Pretty impressive.  "Runaway" from Janet Jackson was #3 and Seal remained at #4 with his classic "Kiss From A Rose".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Tell Me" by Groove Theory, Sophie B. Hawkins with "As I Lay Me Down", Take That with "Back For Good" at #7, Hootie & the Blowfish with "Only Wanna' Be With You", Xscape entered the Top 10 with "Who Can I Run To?" and the Goo Goo Dolls had song #10 with "Name".
2001:  Invincible by Michael Jackson was the #1 album.
2003:  John Mellencamp talked to a class in rock music history at Indiana University.  He told them "You've got to believe in yourself no matter where your dream leads you."

            R.I.P. Bobby...

2003:  Bill Medley sang "Precious Lord" at the funeral of Bobby Hatfield, his partner in the great duo the Righteous Brothers.
2004:  One act from each decade was chosen by television viewers to be the first five artists inducted into the U.K. Music Hall of Fame.  Cliff Richard (50's), the Rolling Stones (60's), Queen (70's), Michael Jackson (80's) and Robbie Williams (90's) were the winners of the less than scientific survey.

Born This Day:

1929:  LaVern Baker ("I Cried A Tear" from 1958) was born in Chicago, Illinois; died of cardiovascular disease in Queens, New York on March 10, 1997.
1938:  Roger Lavern (real name Roger Jackson), keyboardist with the Tornados ("Telstar" from 1962), was born in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England; died in London on June 15, 2013 after a two-year battle with prostate cancer.   (Note:  several websites report Lavern was born in 1938.  'The Telegraph' and 'The Independent' newspapers in England say he was born in 1937, and fellow Tornado member Joe Meek also says Lavern was born in 1937.)
1943:  Mac Kissoon of Mac & Katie Kissoon ("Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep") was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies. 
1945:  Chris Dreja, guitarist of the Yardbirds, was born in Surbiton, England.  (Note:  one prominent website lists Dreja's birthplace as Subiton.  There is no such place--the correct spelling of the London suburb is Surbitron.  At the time of his birth, Subitron was located in the Country of Surrey, but is now included in the Greater London area.)
1945:  Vince Martell, guitarist from Vanilla Fudge, was born in The Bronx, New York.
1947:  Pat Daugherty, bassist of Black Oak Arkansas, was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas.  (Note:  several websites list Pat's birthplace as Black Oak, but Colin Larkin, in his book 'Encyclopedia of Popular Music', states that Daugherty was born in Jonesboro.) 

1950:  Jim Peteric, lead singer of Ides of March ("Vehicle" from 1970) and Survivor, was born in Berwyn, Illinois.
1952:  Paul Cowsill of the Cowsills was born in Portsmouth, Virginia.
1953:  Marshall Crenshaw ("Someday Someway" from 1982) was born in Detroit, Michigan.
1953:  Andy Partridge, singer/songwriter and guitarist of XTC, was born in Mtarfa, Malta.
1956:  Ian Craig Marsh, who played guitar and synthesizer with the Human League, was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.
1957:  Mike Mesaros of the Smithereens

New Featured Unknown/Underrated Song--"When October Goes" by Barry Manilow

Here is the new featured Unknown/Underrated Song of the Rock Era:  It was a bold change of direction for Barry Manilow and it is probably the finest album of his career.  From 2 A.M. Paradise Cafe, the track "When October Goes".

"When October Goes"
by Barry Manilow

And when October goes
The snow begins to fly
Above the smokey roofs
I watch the planes go by
The children running home
Beneath a twilight sky
Oh, for the fun of them
When I was one of them

And when October goes
The same old dream appears
And you are in my arms
To share the happy years
I turn my head away
To hide the helpless tears
Oh how I hate to see October go

And when October goes
The same old dream appears
And you are in my arms
To share the happy years
I turn my head away
To hide the helpless tears
Oh how I hate to see October go
I should be over it now I know
It doesn't matter much
How old I grow
I hate to see October go 

The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era: Songs That Changed the World--The Next 10

The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era: Songs That Changed the World--The Next 10

The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era: Songs That Changed the World..."Spirit in the Sky" by Norman Greenbaum

This song reflects the Baby Boomers waking up to the realities of the world and coming to terms with the age-old questions of Man--"Why Am I Here?", "What is the Purpose of Life?", etc.  Norman Greenbaum's great song fit that curiosity perfectly.

"Spirit in the Sky"
by Norman Greenbaum

When I die and they lay me to rest
Gonna go to the place that's the best
When I lay me down to die
Goin' up to the spirit in the sky

Goin' up to the spirit in the sky
That's where I'm gonna go when I die
When I die and they lay me to rest
Gonna go to the place that's the best

Prepare yourself you know it's a must
Gotta have a friend in Jesus
So you know that when you die
He's gonna recommend you
To the spirit in the sky

Gonna recommend you
To the spirit in the sky
That's where you're gonna go when you die
When you die and they lay you to rest
You're gonna go to the place that's the best

Never been a sinner I never sinned
I got a friend in Jesus
So you know that when I die
He's gonna set me up with
The spirit in the sky

Oh set me up with the spirit in the sky
That's where I'm gonna go when I die
When I die and they lay me to rest
I'm gonna go to the place that's the best
Go to the place that's the best

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

This Date in Rock Music History: November 10

1958:  Sam Cooke and Lou Rawls were injured in a car accident that claimed the life of the driver near Marion, Arkansas.
1958:  Frank Sinatra began filming the movie A Hole in the Head.
1958:  "Topsy II" by Cozy Cole spent a third week at #1 on the R&B chart.

1958:  "I Got Stung" by Elvis Presley moved from #65 to #18.
1960:  Gregg Allman received a guitar as an early present for his 13th birthday (December 8).
1961:  Elvis Presley scored his ninth #1 song in the U.K. with "(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame"/"Little Sister".
1962:  Brenda Lee took over at #1 on the Easy Listening chart with "All Alone Am I".
1963:  The Yardbirds, with Eric Clapton aboard on guitar, performed at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, Surrey, England.
1964:  The Beatles played the last date of a U.K. tour at Colston Hall in Bristol, England.  (Note:  some websites erroneously show the date of the concert as November 9, but the official website of Colston Hall reports that it was November 10.)
The Night: Nights in White Satin by The Moody Blues on Grooveshark
1967:  Although it did not become a smash until five years later, the Moody Blues released the single "Nights in White Satin".
1967:  The Beatles filmed three promotional clips for the single "Hello Goodbye" at the Saville Theatre in London.  In the first, the group wore the uniforms they wore in the movie Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.  They wore normal, everyday clothes in the second and in the third, the clip showed sequences from the group's first two movies plus additional shots of the group doing the dance the twist.
1969:  "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" by Gene Autry went over a million copies sold and earned a Gold record.
1969:  Change of Habit, the last movie starring Elvis Presley, was released in theaters.  (Note:  some websites list the premiere as January 21, 1970, but according to the book 'The Encyclopedia of Sixties Cool:  A Celebration of the Grooviest  People' by Chris Strodder, the movie was released on November 10, 1969.)
1970:  Martha Reeves and her husband celebrated the birth of son Eric.

1971:  Badfinger released their single "Day After Day".
1972:  Led Zeppelin's winter tour of the U.K. sold out as fans bought 120,000 tickets in one day.

1973:  Helen Reddy advanced from 90 to 59 with "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)".

1973:  Eddie Kendricks, former lead singer of the Temptations, earned the #1 song with "Keep On Truckin'".  That meant Gladys Knight & the Pips had an abbreviated stay of two weeks at #1 with "Midnight Train To Georgia".  The Rolling Stones' former #1 "Angie" was third followed by "Heartbeat - It's A Lovebeat" from the DeFranco Family.  The rest of the Top 10:  Marie Osmond's "Paper Roses", Ringo Starr had his fourth solo hit and third straight Top 10 with "Photograph", moving from 11 to 6, Billy Preston's instrumental "Space Race" came in at position #7, Cher's former #1 "Half-Breed" was #8, Art Garfunkel slipped up to #9 with "All I Know" and the Carpenters were an amazing 10 of 14 in earning Top 10 hits, registering their eight consecutive Top 10 with "Top Of The World".

1973:  Charlie Rich claimed the new #1 Easy Listening song with "The Most Beautiful Girl".
1973:  Gladys Knight & the Pips spent a fourth week at #1 on the R&B chart with their classic "Midnight Train To Georgia".

1973:  Goodbye Yellow Brick Road rose to #1 on the Album chart for Elton John after just four weeks.
1974:  Jose Feliciano was a guest star on the popular television show McMillan and Wife on NBC.
1975:  Chicago released Chicago IX, their greatest hits package.
1975:  David Bowie owned the top song in the U.K. with "Space Oddity".
1979:  Fleetwood Mac had the #1 album in the U.K. with the great Tusk.
1979:  Kool & the Gang knew where their bread was buttered, and their song about "Ladies Night" moved from #56 to #25.

          Styx with one of their biggest career hits...

1979:  The Eagles collected their fifth #1 song "Heartache Tonight", which was also their 8th Top 10 in 16 releases.  Donna Summer challenged with "Dim All The Lights" while "Still" by the Commodores moved to #3.  Herb Alpert's former #1 "Rise" was fourth while the previous #1 from M--"Pop Musik" was fifth.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Babe" from Styx, Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer moved up with "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)", Fleetwood Mac's lead single from Tusk, the title track, was #8, Kenny Rogers and "You Decorated My Life" and K.C. and the Sunshine Band registered their sixth Top 10 and 15th hit with "Please Don't Go".
1980:  Neil Diamond released "The Jazz Singer" Soundtrack album.
1984:  Chaka Khan went to #1 in the U.K. with "I Feel For You".

1984:  One of The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era*--"Pride (In The Name Of Love)" from U2, moved from 74 to 55 on this date.

                      Chaka Khan had a big hit...

1984:  Billy Ocean remained at #1 with "Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run)".  Stevie Wonder's former #1 "I Just Called To Say I Love You" wasn't going away, Prince remained at #3 with "Purple Rain" and Wham! had #4--"Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go".  The rest of the Top 10:  A solo hit from Chaka Khan ("I Feel For You") moved from 10-5, Hall & Oates had their 25th hit and sixth straight Top 10 song with "Out Of Touch", Tina Turner's comeback was complete with "Better Be Good To Me", David Bowie's "Blue Jean" was #8, Chicago dropped with their great song "Hard Habit To Break" and Styx lead singer Dennis DeYoung picked himself up a solo Top 10 with "Desert Moon".
1984:  After 18 weeks, Cyndi Lauper re-entered the Top 10 on the Album chart with She's So Unusual.
1986:  Bruce Springsteen released the boxed set Live 1975-1985.

1986:  Peter Gabriel released the single "Big Time".

1986:  Bob Dylan presented Gordon Lightfoot with the Canadian Hall of Fame Award at a ceremony in Toronto, Ontario.
1988:  Steve Miller set out on his first concert tour in six years.
1990:  Ronnie Dyson, who starred in the original production of Hair and was a solo artist ("(If You Let Me Make Love to You Then) Why Can't I Touch You" from 1970) died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania of heart failure and lung disease at the age of 40.
1990:  The Very Best of Elton John was the #1 album in the U.K.
1990:  To the Extreme by Vanilla Ice was the album that finally ended M.C. Hammer's 21-week reign at #1 with Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em, fifth most in the Rock Era.
1990:  Mariah Carey" slid up to #1 on the R&B chart with her great song "Love Takes Time".

1990:  Two releases, two #1's for Mariah Carey as "Love Takes Time" was the new #1 song.
1992:  It always catches up to you.  Axl Rose was found guilty of assault and property damage at a Guns N' Roses concert in Maryland Heights, Missouri.  Rose was ordered to pay $50,000 to community groups.
1994:  Jimmy Page and Robert Plant performed an acoustic version Stairway to Heaven" at a news station in Tokyo, Japan for broadcast on television.
1997:  Tommy Tedesco, session guitarist for Elvis Presley and the Beach Boys, died of lung cancer in Northridge, California at the age of 67.
2002:  Johnny Griffith, keyboard player with the Motown house band which played on Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" among others, died of a heart attack at age 66 in Detroit, Michigan.
2002:  Westlife picked up their 11th #1 song in the U.K. with "Unbreakable".
2003:  Jane's Addiction played a surprise "flash mob" concert in Convent Garden in London.

2004:  Cat Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam, was given the Man for Peace award from ex-Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev in Rome, Italy.
2004:  As today's artists could no longer put together good albums, a collection of hits by Ashlee Simpson, Gretchen Wilson and others called Now 17 (similar to the albums K-Tel used to release in the 70's) easily rose to #1 on the Album chart.
2006:  Gerald Levert, who had a hit with "Casanova" in 1987 and was the son of O'Jays vocalist Eddie Levert, died of a heart attack in Cleveland, Ohio at age 40.
2007:  Carrie Underwood had the #1 album with Carnival Ride.

Born This Day:

1947:  Greg Lake, singer/songwriter, bassist of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer and later a producer, was born in Poole, Dorset, England.  (Note:  some websites show that Lake was born in Bournemouth.  '' and other reputable websites show he was born in Poole.  Greg later moved to Bournemouth.)  

1947:  Glen Buxton, guitarist of the Alice Cooper Band, was born in Akron, Ohio; died October 19, 1997 in Mason City, Iowa from complications of pneumonia.  (Note:  some websites report Glen was born on June 17 and died October 18, 1997.  The notorious '' claims Buxton was born November 11.  Several websites say he died in Clarion, Iowa.  According to the official website for Glen, he lived in Clarion but he died in Mason City on October 19 and he was born November 10.)

1947:  Dave Loggins, cousin of Kenny Loggins and a solo star with the song "Please Come to Boston" from 1974, was born in Mountain City, Tennessee.
1949:  Donna Fargo ("The Happiest Girl In The Whole U.S.A." from 1972) was born in Mount Airy, North Carolina.
1949:  Peter Bramall, who adopted the stage name Bram Tchaikovsky and was the lead singer of the group that goes by that name, was born in Lincolnshire, England.
1950:  Ronnie Hammond, lead singer of the Atlanta Rhythm Section, was born in Macon, Georgia; died of heart failure in Forsyth, Georgia on March 14, 2011.

1953:  Midge Ure, signer/songwriter, guitarist and keyboardist of Ultravox and also the author of the Band Aid song "Do They Know It's Christmas?", was born in Cambuslang, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
1954:  Mario Cipollina, bassist of Huey Lewis & the News, was born in San Rafael, California.
1959:  Frank Maudsley, bass guitarist with A Flock of Seagulls, was born in Liverpool, England.
1970:  Warren G. ("Regulate" from 1994) was born in Long Beach, California.
1970:  Derry Brownson, keyboardist of EMF ("Unbelievable" from 1990), was born in Gloucester, England.
1975:  Jim Adkins, singer and guitarist of Jimmy Eat World, who gave us one of The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era*--"The Middle", was born in Mesa, Arizona.

1978:  Eve ("Gangsta' Loviin'" from 2002) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1979:  Chris Joannou, bassist of Silverchair, was born in Newcastle, New South Wales.