Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era: Songs That Changed the World--"Slip Slidin' Away" by Paul Simon

This could be titled "The Copout Song" for it tells of times when we take the path of least resistance (the easy way out) rather than doing what's right.  Paul Simon has written some incredible lyrics over the years but this is perhaps his most powerful.  He indeed changed the world with this song.  
"Slip Slidin' Away"
by Paul Simon

Written by Paul Simon

Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away

Whoah and I know a man, he came from my hometown
He wore his passion for his woman like a thorny crown
He said Dolores, I live in fear
My love for you's so overpowering, I'm afraid that I will disappear


I know a woman, (who) became a wife
These are the very words she uses to describe her life
She said a good day ain't got no rain
She said a bad day is when I lie in the bed
And I think of things that might have been


And I know a father who had a son
He longed to tell him all the reasons for the things he'd done
He came a long way just to explain
He kissed his boy as he lay sleeping
Then he turned around and he headed home again


Whoah God only knows, God makes his plan
The information's unavailable to the mortal man
We're workin' our jobs, collect our pay
Believe we're gliding down the highway, when in fact we're slip sliding away

[Chorus 2x]

Friday, November 18, 2011

This Date in Rock Music History: November 19

1954:  Sammy Davis, Jr. was in a serious car accident in San Bernadino, California.  Three days later, Davis lost his ability to see with his left eye.
1958:   David Seville, who magically created the fictitious group the Chipmunks through amazing studio work, released the single "The Chipmunk Song".

1958:  The Exciters released the single "Tell Him".
1962:  Proof that the great ones indeed do pay their dues.  The Beatles did three concerts in one day--first the usual lunchtime show at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England, then an 85-mile drive to the Midlands where they gave a show at the Smethwick Baths Ballroom (known to the locals as the Thimblemill Baths, and today called the Smethwick Swimming Centre) and then a concert at the Adelphi Ballroom in West Bromwich, Staffordshire.
1964:  The Supremes became the first all-female group to reach #1 in the U.K. as "Baby Love" climbed to the top.
1965:  Roger Daltrey, lead singer of the Who, walked out on the group during a performance at the Glad Rags Ball in London after there was a problem with the sound.  The Kinks, the Hollies and Wilson Pickett also performed at the Ball and had no such problems.
1965:  The Doors were at the Hughes Aircraft Union Dance at the Royce Hall Auditorium in Los Angeles.
1966:  Eddie Floyd had the #1 R&B song with the original version of "Knock On Wood".

1966:  Donovan had a popular song on his hands as his distinctive "Mellow Yellow" moved from 65 to 24 on this date.

1966:  The Supremes achieved their eighth career #1 in their last 13 releases with one of their biggest hits--"You Keep Me Hangin' On".
1966:  The Soundtrack to "The Sound of Music" re-entered the Top 10 on the Album chart after 88 weeks of release.
1967:  The Bee Gees were in concert at the Saville Theatre in London.
1968 - The Supremes performed at a Royal Variety Show in London with Queen Elizabeth in attendance. 
1970:  James Brown married Deidre Yvonne Jenkins in Barnwell, South Carolina.

1973:  Led Zeppelin began recording the song "Driving To Kashmir", which was later shortened to "Kashmir", at Headley Grange in East Hampshire, England for their sixth album.  The session ended when bassist John Paul Jones threatened to leave the group to become a choirmaster.

1973:  Barry White's Love Unlimited Orchestra released the fabulous single "Love's Theme".

1973:  Barbra Streisand released the single "The Way We Were". (Note:  some websites falsely report that the single was simultaneous released with the release of 'The Original Soundtrack' in January of 1974, and others state that the date of release was September 26, but according to the book 'The Invisible Art of Film Music:  A Comprehensive History' by Laurence E. MacDonald, the song was released in November.  Also, since the song debuted on the chart on November 24, 1973, it is impossible that the song was released in January.)

1974:  Linda Ronstadt released the single "You're No Good".

1974:  Average White Band released the single "Pick Up The Pieces". 

1976:  George Harrison and Paul Simon recorded a sketch for Saturday Night Live that was broadcast the following night, November 20.
1977:  Earth, Wind & Fire achieved a #1 song on the R&B chart with "Serpentine Fire".
1977:  Debby Boone had the new #1 on the Easy Listening chart--"You Light Up My Life".

1977:  Heart debuted at #84 with one of The Top Unknown/Underrated Songs of the Rock Era*--"Kick It Out".

    Linda Ronstadt accomplished a rare feat...

1977:  Debby Boone stood all alone at #1 for the sixth week with "You Light Up My Life".  Linda Ronstadt became one of a select few artists in the Rock Era to have two singles in the Top 10 simultaneously as "It's So Easy" joined "Blue Bayou" on this date.

      Steely Dan had their biggest career album...

1977:  Rumours by Fleetwood Mac topped the Album chart for a then-record 28th week.  Linda Ronstadt had one of the only albums in that seven month period that could challenge it--Simple Dreams.  Steely Dan's fine album Aja was third followed by the debut from Foreigner.  The rest of the Top 10:  Elvis In Concert by Elvis Presley, Chicago XI, Lynyrd Skynyrd jumped from 50 to 7 with Street Survivors, Barry White Sings for Someone You Love, Kansas was up to #9 with Point of Know Return and Rose Royce II/In Full Bloom cracked the Top 10.
1979:  Chuck Berry was released from Lompoc Prison in California after serving jail time for income tax evasion.
1983:  Tom Evans, bass guitarist of Badfinger, who also wrote the classic "Without You" for Nilsson, committed suicide.  (Note:  several websites show his death as November 23, but according to the 'BBC', 'Billboard', and other reputable sources, it was on November 19.)

1983:  Synchronicity by the Police remained at #1 on the Album chart for the 16th week, tied for 10th-longest in the Rock Era.  
1983:  Tina Turner had a song on the charts for the first time in 10 years with "Let's Stay Together".
1988:  Anita Baker held on to #1 on the R&B chart with "Giving You The Best That I Got".

               The landmark Silhouette album hit the Top 10...

1988:  U2 held on to #1 on the Album chart with Rattle and Hum.  Appetite for Destruction by Guns N' Roses and Hysteria by Def Leppard remained in the Top 10 after long stints at #2 and #6, respectively.  The Soundtrack to "Cocktail" was #3 with New Jersey from Bon Jovi falling and Anita Baker moving up to #5 with Giving You the Best That I Got.  The rest of the Top 10:  Don't Be Cruel by Bobby Brown, the great Faith album by George Michael, Luther Vandross entered the list with Any Love and Kenny G's great Silhouette album moved from 16-10.

1988:  Bon Jovi collected their third #1 with "Bad Medicine".  The Escape Club fell with "Wild, Wild West" while Kylie Minogue had the third version of "The Loco-Motion" to reach the Top 10.  U2's "Desire" moved to #4, just ahead of "Kokomo" by the Beach Boys.  The rest of the Top 10:  Will to Power with "Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley", George Michael was up to #7 with "Kissing A Fool", Breathe cracked the Top 10 with "How Can I Fall?", Chicago scored their 18th Top 10 song and 44th career hit with "Look Away" and Whitney Houston fell with "One Moment In Time".

1990:  Celine Dion released her first single "Where Does My Heart Beat Now".
1990:  Milli Vanilli was forced to relinquish their Grammy Award for Best New Artist after it was discovered that other singers had in fact done the work on the album Girl You Know It's True.

1991:  U2 released the album Achtung Baby.
1993:  Nirvana recorded an Unplugged concert in New York City.
1994:  Barry White scored his seventh and final #1 on the R&B chart with "Practice What You Preach".

1994:  TLC had a hot song as "Creep" moved from #71 to #25. 
1994:  Boyz II Men, who this week made it 12 weeks at #1 with "I'll Make Love To You", fifth-best in the Rock Era at the time, had another song debut at #14--"On Bended Knee".

1995:  Bob Dylan performed "Restless Farewell" and Paula Abdul sang "Luck Be A Lady" at the 80th birthday tribute to Frank Sinatra at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
1997:  St. Luke's Orchestra played the premiere of the Standing Stone operetta by Sir Paul McCartney at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

1997:  Michael Hutchence, lead singer of INXS, arrived in Sydney, Australia to begin rehearsing for the group's 20th anniversary tour.
1998:  Motley Crue opened a retail store, S'Crue, in Los Angeles.
2000:  Anthology I by the Beatles was the top album in the U.K.
2000:  LeAnn Rimes led the way in the U.K. with "Can't Fight The Moonlight".
2001:  Scott Weiland of the Stone Temple Pilots was arrested again, this time for fighting with his wife at a hotel.
2003:  The Stone Temple Pilots announced they were splitting up.
2003:  A warrant was issued for Michael Jackson for suspicion of molesting a 12-year-old boy from Los Angeles.  Jackson was acquitted of all charges.
2003:  Greg Ridley, bassist with Spooky Tooth and Humble Pie, died of pneumonia in Javea, Spain at the age of 61.  (Note:  some websites show his place of death as Alicante--in the book  'Rock Obituaries:  Knocking on Heaven's Door' by Nick Talevski states that Ridley died at Alicante Hospital in Javea. 
2004:  In today's edition of Dangerous Inmates Run Rap Music, Young Buck was arrested in Santa Monica, California for stabbing a man at the Vibe hip-hop awards.
2004:  Terry Melcher of the Rip Chords ("Hey Little Cobra" from 1964), and son of Doris Day, a producer for the Beach Boys, Boise, Idaho's Paul Revere and the Raiders, Glen Campbell, Pat Boone, the Mamas and Papas and the Byrds, died at his home in Beverly Hills, California at age 62 after battling the effects of melanoma.
2005:  Christina Aguilera married record executive Jordan Bratman in Rutherford, California.  (Note:  Some websites show the wedding date as November 26 and other dates, but the book 'Christina Aguilera:  A Biography' by Mary Anne Donovan, as well as 'People' and 'UPI' show the date as November 19.)
2006:  George Michael had the #1 album in the U.K. with Twenty-Five.

Born This Day:

1934:  Dave Guard, vocalist and guitarist for the Kingston Trio, was born in Honolulu, Hawai'i; died of lymphatic cancer at age 57 on March 22, 1991 in Rollinsford, New Hampshire.  (Note:  some websites say that Guard was born in San Francisco; according to the official site for the Kingston Trio, as well as the book Rock Obituaries-Knocking on Heaven's Door' by Nick Talevski,  Dave was born in Hawai'i and moved to California after graduating from high school.)
1936:  Robert White, session musician for Motown who played guitar on the album What's Going On by Marvin Gaye, was born in Billmyre, Pennsylvania; died October 27, 1994.  (Note:  some websites print that White was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, but according to the book 'Motown Encyclopedia' by Graham Betts, White was born in Billmyre.)
1937:  Geoff Goddard, songwriter and keyboard player for the Tornadoes ("Telstar" from 1962); died May 15, 2000.  (Note:  many websites report Goddard's birth as November 17--according to Tornadoes bandmate Joe Meek, Goddard was born on November 19.)
1937:  Ray Collins, singer, guitarist, and co-founder of Mothers of Invention, was born in Pomona, California; died of a heart attack December 24, 2012 in Pomona.  (Note:  some websites report his birth year as 1936, but according to the newspaper 'The Daily Bulletin', Collins was born in 1937.)
1938:  Hank Medress of the Tokens ("The Lion Sleeps Tonight" from 1961) was born in Brooklyn, New York; died June 18, 2007 in Manhattan, New York of lung cancer.
1939:  Warren "Pete" Moore of the Miracles, who wrote "Going To A Go-Go" and other songs for the group, was born in Detroit, Michigan.
1943:  Fred Lipsius, original saxophonist and arranger of Blood, Sweat & Tears, was born in The Bronx, New York.
1946:  Joe Correro, drummer of Paul Revere & the Raiders, was born in Greenwood, Mississippi.
1960:  Matt Sorum, drummer and percussionist with the Cult and Guns N' Roses, was born in Long Beach, California.  (Note:  some websites inaccurately report his birthplace as Mission Viejo, a town that wasn't even around at the time of Sorum's birth (it was incorporated in 1988.)  The fact that cities spring up all the time doesn't mean people were born there (a birth certificate isn't going to show a future city)--Sorum was born in Long Beach.)
1969:  Travis McNabb, drummer with Better Than Ezra, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana.
1971:  Tony Rich of the Tony Rich Project ("Nobody Knows" from 1994) was born in Detroit, Michigan.
1971:  Justin Chancellor, bassist of Peach and Tool
1975:  Tamika Scott of Xscape was born in College Park, Georgia.  (Note:  some websites report Scott's birthday as November 20, but according to 'NBC News', Scott was born on November 19.)

Songs That Changed the World--The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era: "Saturday in the Park" by Chicago

We are featuring some of The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era*.  The Era has included much, great songs to listen to, to dance to, and songs that make us think.  These are the songs I've searched out, going over scores of charts and lists to select the songs that really matter.  Some are positive, some point out the negative things in our world, but all helped changed the world.  This is an uplifting message from Chicago, about a day when everyone is happy and getting along.

"Saturday in the Park"
by Chicago

Written by Robert Lamm

Saturday in the park
I think it was the Fourth of July
Saturday in the park
I think it was the Fourth of July
People dancing, people laughing
A man selling ice cream
Singing Italian songs
(Italian lyric)

Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And I've been waiting such a long time
For Saturday
Saturday in the park
You'd think it was the Fourth of July
Saturday in the park
You'd think it was the Fourth of July

People talking, really smiling
A man playing guitar
Singing for us all
Will you help him change the world
Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And I've been waiting such a long time
For today

Slow motion riders fly the colours of the day
A bronze man still can tell stories his own way
listen children all is not lost
all is not lost

Funny days in the park
Every day's the Fourth of July
Funny days in the park
Every day's the Fourth of July

People reaching, people touching
A real celebration
Waiting for us all
If we want it, really want it
Can you dig it (yes, I can)
And I've been waiting such a long time
For the day
Who "disappeared after drawin' out all his hard-earned cash"?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What Did "Papa" Do in the Cher song "Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves"

"...whatever he could," but specifically, He "preached a little gospel, sold a couple bottles of Doctor Good."

Doctor Good is presumed to refer to snake oil.  Snake oil salesmen would travel from town to town selling the concoction as a magical elixir that cured everything imaginable, and hoping word to the contrary did not reach the next town until they could get out of there.  It is still used in China for relief of muscular and joint pain and doesn't have the dubious connotation it does in the Western world. 

Snake oil was made of different materials, depending on where and when it was sold.  In San Francisco's Chinatown in 1989, for example, the oil contained:

75% unidentified liquid, including camphor and 25% oil from Chinese water snakes.  The oil contained an omega-3 fatty acid as well as myristic acid, stearic acid, eleic acid linoleic acid and arachidonic acid.  The Chinese water snake is the richest known source of EPA, the material that the body uses to make series 3 prostaglandins, the biochemical messengers that control some aspects of inflammation. 

The 1917 version, called Stanley's snake oil, contained mineral oil, 1% fatty oil, red pepper, turpentine and camphor.

Did You Know?

Amsterdam coffee shop Little

The oldest coffee shop in Amsterdam is called "Mellow Yellow".

Songs On the Album "Aja" by Steely Dan

Side One:
1.  "Black Cow" (5:10)
2.  "Aja" (7:57)
3.  "Deacon Blues" (7:37)

Side Two:
1.  "Peg" (3:57)
2.  "Home at Last" (5:34)
3.  "I Got the News" (5:06)
4.  "Josie" (4:33)

This Date in Rock Music History: November 18

1956:  Fats Domino performed "Blueberry Hill" on The Ed Sullivan Show.
1964:  The Supremes and the Righteous Brothers were on the television show Shindig!

1967:  Diana Ross and the Supremes Greatest Hits topped the Album chart for a fourth week with the former #1 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles still #2.  Strange Days, which had moved from 100-4 the previous week, was slowed down by the superior top two, while The Doors was fourth.  The rest of the Top 10:  The Four Tops Greatest Hits, Vanilla Fudge took #6 with their self-titled release, Ode to Billie Joe by Bobbie Gentry, Bee Gees 1st moved into the Top 10, the Soundtrack to "Doctor Zhivago" was #9 and Groovin' from the Young Rascals finished the list.

                 The Cowsills weren't just a one-hit act...

1967:  One of The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era*, "To Sir With Love" by Lulu, remained #1 for a fifth week.  "Soul Man" from Sam & Dave took the runner-up spot with the great Strawberry Alarm Clock song 'Incense And Peppermints" #3.  The Cowsills were up to challenge with "The Rain, The Park & Other Things; Vikki Carr, however, slipped to #5 with "It Must Be Him".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Please Love Me Forever" from Bobby Vinton, "Your Precious Love" by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell, Dionne Warwick jumped from 22-5 with "I Say A Little Prayer", Soul Survivors remained at 9 with "Expressway To Your Heart" and the Who enjoyed their first and only Top 10 hit with "I Can See For Miles".

1968:  The Steve Miller Band released their first career single "Living In The U.S.A.".
1968:  Spiral Starecase began recording "More Today Than Yesterday".
1970:  Jerry Lee Lewis and wife Myra Brown divorced in Memphis, Tennessee.
1972:  Danny Whitten, singer/songwriter (wrote "I Don't Want To Talk About It" for Rod Stewart) and a member of Neil Young's Crazy Horse band, died at age 29 in Los Angeles of drugs.
1972:  A new act appeared on the scene on this date.  Steely Dan debuted with their first career single--"Do It Again".


1972:  Catch Bull at Four by Cat Stevens was the new #1 album, taking over from Curtis Mayield's Superfly.  The incredible Days of Future Passed by the Moody Blues was still at #3 after 62 weeks of release, 38 more weeks than any other album in the Top 10.  All Directions from the Temptations remained in the #4 position with Ben from Michael Jackson fifth.  The rest of the Top 10:  Rock of Ages from The Band, Close to the Edge by Yes, Stanley, Idaho's Carole King moved from 20 to 8 with her new album Rhymes & Reasons, Rod Stewart was stuck on 9 with Never a Dull Moment and The London Chuck Berry Sessions wrapped up the list.

1972:  Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes rose to #1 on the R&B chart with "If You Don't Know Me By Now".
1972:  Johnny Nash held on to the top spot on the Easy Listening chart for the third week with "I Can See Clearly Now".

The Moody Blues were just a bit ahead of their time with this one...

1972:  "I Can See Clearly Now" was the top song for a third week.  Lobo moved to #2 with his great song "I'd Love You To Want Me" while the Spinners had song #3--"I'll Be Around".  Helen Reddy couldn't be ignored at #4 with "I Am Woman" and "Nights In White Satin" by the Moody Blues was still in the Top 10 after 16 weeks.  The rest of the Top 10:  The Temptations logged their 14th Top 10 and 36th career hit as "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" jumped from 13-6, "Freddie's Dead" dropped for Curtis Mayfield, "Convention '72" by the Delegates was #8, the Eagles placed "Witchy Woman" at #9 and Seals & Crofts joined the group with "Summer Breeze".
1975:  Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen were the guest stars on Police Woman on NBC-TV.
1975:  Bruce Springsteen performed at the Hammersmith Odeon in London.
1978:  Billy Joel notched his second straight #1 album with 52nd Street.

                 Foreigner was runner-up to Ms. Summer...

1978:  Donna Summer remained at #1 with the fantastic "MacArthur Park".  Foreigner was up to #2 with "Double VIsion" with Ambrosia right behind with "How Much I Feel".  Anne Murray's former #1 "You Needed Me" dropped, but "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" from Barbra (Streisand) & Neil (Diamond) rose from 16-4.  The rest of the Top 10:  Two former #1's--"Hot Child In The City" by Nick Gilder and Exile's "Kiss You All Over", Canada's Gino Vannelli with "I Just Wanna' Stop" at #8, Kenny Loggins dropped with "Whenever I Call You Friend" and the Captain & Tennille edged up with "You Never Done It Like That".
1982:  Joan Jett & the Blackhearts released the album I Love Rock 'n' Roll.
1983:  R.E.M. appeared on the show The Tube in the U.K.
1988:  The movie Buster starring Phil Collins debuted in theaters.
1989:  Super songwriter Diane Warren had the #1 and #2 songs as she penned "When I See You Smile" by Bad English" as well as "Blame It On The Rain" by Milli Vanilli.  "We Didn't Start The Fire" by Billy Joel and "Angelia" from Richard Marx both entered the Top 10. 

1989:  Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 was on top for a third week on the Album chart, holding off Girl You Know It's True by Milli Vanilli.  I don't know how it did it.  Even more embarrassing, the Rolling Stones album Steel Wheels was unable to beat Milli Vanilli, having to settle for third behind the fake vocalists.  Paula Abdul moved back up with Forever Your Girl after 70 weeks of release, leaping over Aerosmith's Pump.  The rest of the Top 10:  Hangin' Tough by New Kids on the Block, Motley Crue's Dr. Feelgood, Billy Joel rushed into the Top 10 with Storm Front, Tracy Chapman stayed at 9 with Crossroads and the B-52's reached the list with Cosmic Thing.

1989:  Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville set the pace on the Adult Contemporary chart or the third week with "Don't Know Much".
1990:  Paul McCartney's birth certificate sold for $18,000 at an auction.
1992:  Black Sabbath earned a star on the Rock Walk in Hollywood, California (not the famous Walk of Fame).
1995:  The Rolling Stones were still being pioneers, becoming the first major act to broadcast a concert on the Internet.

1995:  "You Remind Me Of Something" by R. Kelly was the new #1 song on the R&B chart.

Fantasy by Mariah Carey on Grooveshark
1995:  Mariah Carey kept "Fantasy" at #1 for an eighth week, tied for 17th-longest in the Rock Era. 

1997:  The final recording of John Denver, The Unplugged Collection, was released.
1997:  AC/DC released the boxed set Bonfire.
1999:  Doug Sahm, who was with the Sir Douglas Quintet ("She's About A Mover") died of a heart attack caused by heart diease in a hotel room in Raos, New Mexico at age 58.
2001:  Britney Spears scored another #1 album with Britney.
2003:  Michael Jackson released the compilation album Number Ones in the U.S.
2003:  Michael Kamen, who wrote "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" for Bryan Adams, conducted the orchestra on the album S&M by Metallica, and worked with Pink Floyd, Queen, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Rush and many others, died of a heart attack at the age of 55 in London.  (Note:  some websites report his place of death as Los Angeles, but BMI states that occurred at Kamen's home in London.)

2003:  The lyrics to "Nowhere Man" by the Beatles, handwritten by John Lennon, fetched $300,000 at an auction in New York City.
2005:  A judge ruled that Madonna had copied part of the song of a Belgian songwriter for "Frozen".  Record stores were thereby ordered to remove copies of Madonna's song.
2010:  Cher had her hand and foot prints placed in cement in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

Born This Day:

1909:  Johnny Mercer, who wrote over 1,500 songs including "Moon River", "That Old Black Magic", and "Days Of Wine And Roses", and co-founded Capitol Records and served as its first president and chief talent scout, was born in Savannah, Georgia; died June 25, 1976 in Bel Air, California after an in operable brain tumor was diagnosed.  (Note:  some websites, many years after his death, still report Mercer's place of death as Los Angeles.  He died in Bel Air, according to 'The Los Angeles Times' and other respectable sources.)

1927:  Hank Ballard of Hank Ballard and the Midnighters and the author of "The Twist" by Chubby Checker was born in Detroit, Michigan; died of throat cancer in Los Angeles on March 2, 2003.  (Note:  Ballard for years lied about his age, saying he was born in 1936, and some websites still believe that, but he didn't fool us in the end, as his gravestone reads born 1927.)
1941:  Con Clusky of the Bachelors ("Diane" from 1964) was born in Dublin, Ireland.
1949:  Herman Rarebell, drummer of the Scorpions, was born in Saarbr├╝cken, Germany.
1950:  Graham Parker ("Wake Up (Next To You)" from 1985) was born in East London.  (Note:  some websites show his birthday as November 15, but the 'BBC' reports it as November 18.)
1950:  Rudy Sarzo, bass guitarist of Quiet Riot and Whitesnake, was born in Havana, Cuba.
1954:  Charles Williams of K.C. and the Sunshine Band
1954:  John Parr ("St. Elmo's Fire") was born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England.
1958:  Michael Ramos, keyboardist of the BoDeans

1960:  Kim Wilde ("Kids In America" and "You Keep Me Hangin' On") was born in Chiswick, London, England.

1962:  Kirk Hammett, elite guitarist and songwriter of Metallica, was born in San Francisco, California.
1969:  Duncan Sheik ("Barely Breathing") was born in Montclair, New Jersey.
1977:  Fabolous (real name John David Jackson) was born in Brooklyn, New York.<

The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era: Songs That Changed the World--"Praying for Time" by George Michael

This is a powerful song that touches on several subjects but most notably, how it is that the rich can take all kinds of exemptions from their taxes and actually pay less than someone who makes much, much less money.  And they hope that God's stopped keeping score.
"Praying for Time"
by George Michael

Written by George Michael

These are the days of the open hand
They will not be the last
Look around now
These are the days of the beggars and the choosers

This is the year of the hungry man
Whose place is in the past
Hand in hand with ignorance
And legitimate excuses

The rich declare themselves poor
And most of us are not sure
If we have too much
But we'll take our chances
Because God's stopped keeping score
I guess somewhere along the way
He must have let us alt out to play
Turned his back and all god's children
Crept out the back door

And it's hard to love, there's so much to hate
Hanging on to hope
When there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it's much too late
Well maybe we should all be praying for time

These are the days of the empty hand
Oh you hold on to what you can
And charity is a coat you wear twice a year

This is the year of the guilty man
Your television takes a stand
And you find that what was over there is over here

So you scream from behind your door
Say "what's mine is mine and not yours"
I may have too much but I'll take my chances
Because God's stopped keeping score
And you cling to the things they sold you
Did you cover your eyes when they told you

That he can't come back
Because he has no children to come back for

It's hard to love there's so much to hate
Hanging on to hope when there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it's much too late
So maybe we should all be praying for time

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This Date in Rock Music History: November 17

1957:  Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps appeared on national television for the first time on The Ed Sullivan Show(Note:  numerous other "timeline" websites and other sites show that this date was November 25.  In the first place, The Ed Sullivan Show aired on Sunday nights, not Monday, and in 1957, Sunday fell on November 3, 10, 17 and 24th.  According to the book 'Handbook of Texas Music' by Laurie E. Jasinski, as well as the book 'Race with the Devil:  Gene Vincent's Life in the Fast Lane' by Susan VanHecke, as well as '' and other television history sites, the correct date is November 17.)
1958:  Duane Eddy roared up the chart from 71 to 25 with "Cannonball".
1958:  The Kingston Trio hit #1 with "Tom Dooley".  
1961:  The Beatles played a lunch show at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, then ventured to the Village Hall, Knotty Ash for a nighttime concert.
1962:  "Big Girls Don't Cry" was the new #1 song on the R&B chart for the 4 Seasons.

1962:  The 4 Seasons blasted into the #1 position with "Big Girls Don't Cry".  Elvis Presley edged up with "Return To Sender" while the Crystals' former #1 "He's A Rebel" was third.
1963:  Nancy Sinatra was on The Ed Sullivan Show.
1966:  "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys was #1 in the U.K.
1967:  Davy Jones, lead singer of the Monkees, opened his clothing boutique Zilch (named after a song on the Headquarters album) in Greenwich Village, New York.
1970:  Elton John recorded a show at A&R Recording Studios in New York City for live broadcast on radio station WABC-FM that was later released as the 11-17-70 album.
1973:  Billy Preston's "Space Race" took over the #1 spot on the R&B chart.
1973:  Helen Reddy moved from 59 to 29 with "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)".
                Ringo captured the moment...

1973:  Eddie Kendricks maintained with "Keep On Truckin'" at #1 while the previous #1 "Midnight Train To Georgia" by Gladys Knight & the Pips was still #2.  The DeFranco Family surprisingly had song #3--"Heartbeat - It's A Lovebeat", Ringo Starr was up to 4 with "Photograph" and Billy Preston's instrumental "Space Race" was at #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  Marie Osmond with "Paper Roses", the Carpenters had their 14th hit in just three years with "Top Of The World", the Rolling Stones tumbled with "Angie", Chicago had their seventh Top 10 with "Just You 'N' Me" and the late Jim Croce entered the list with "I Got A Name".

1973:  Elton John had the top album with Goodbye Yellow Brick RoadGoats Head Soup was second by the Rolling Stones and Brothers and Sisters by the Allman Brothers was awarded the #3 position.  The Who were up from 24 to 4 in their second week with Quadrophenia
1974:  ABBA ventured out of their native Sweden for the first time.  But not too far--just on a tour of Europe, which began at the Falkonercentret in Copenhagen, Denmark.
1976:  A Very Special Olivia Newton-John was shown on ABC television.
1976:  The Carpenters played two sold-out concerts at the Playhouse in Edinburgh, Scotland.

1977:  Neil Diamond released the single "Desiree".
1978:  Led Zeppelin recorded two takes of "All My Love" at ABBA's Polar Studios in Stockholm, Sweden for Led Zep's forthcoming album In Through the Out Door.
1979:  John Glascock, bassist of Jethro Tull in the studio, died at the age of 28 of a congenital heart valve defect in London.  (Note:  some websites show that Glascock died at age 26--he was 28 as reported by the 'BBC'.)

1979:  ABBA was verified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the top-selling group in recording history.
1979:  ABBA had their fifth #1 album in the U.K. with Greatest Hits, Volume 2.
1979:  Kool & the Gang stood on top of the R&B chart for the third week with "Ladies Night".

 1979:  "You're Only Lonely" by J.D. Souther became the new #1 song on the Adult Contemporary chart.

1979:  The Commodores enjoyed their second #1 song with "Still".
1979:  The Eagles had a stranglehold on the #1 album with their great release The Long Run.  Led Zeppelin was second with In Through the Out Door, Styx's Cornerstone was third and Tusk by Fleetwood Mac moved to 4.  The rest of the Top 10:  On the Radio--Greatest Hits Volumes I & II by Donna Summer, Midnight Magic from the Commodores, Herb Alpert's Rise was #7, Barbra Streisand edged up with Wet, One Voice from Barry Manilow captured the #9 spot and Bee Gees Greatest, a two-album set, debuted way up at #10.

1980:  John Lennon released the album Double Fantasy.

1980:  Dolly Parton released the single "9 To 5".
1980:  Aretha Franklin and Sammy Davis, Jr. performed for Queen Elizabeth in London.
1984:  The exciting Chaka Kahn had the top R&B song with "I Feel For You".

1984:  Giuffria had one of the fastest-moving songs as "Call To The Heart" climbed from 82 to 66.

               Sheena Easton changed her image...

1984:  Wham! moved up to #1 with "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go".  Prince peaked at #2 with "Purple Rain" and Billy Ocean's first #1 song "Caribbean Queen" was down to #3.  Chaka Khan had song #4 with "I Feel For You" and Stevie Wonder's former #1--"I Just Called To Say I Love You" was fifth.  The rest of the Top 10:  Hall & Oates were stuck on 6 with "Out Of Touch", Tina Turner and "Better Be Good To Me", Sheena Easton had her 12th hit with "Strut", Cyndi Lauper moved in with "All Through The Night" and Lionel Richie's "Penny Lover" was #10.
1984:  Lionel Richie was making history with his seventh #1 song on the AC chart out of eight releases.  "Penny Lover" took over at the top.

1985:  Wham!  led the way on the U.K. Album chart with Make It Big.
1987:  Madonna released her compilation You Can Dance(Note:  some websites report the date of release as November 18--according to Madonna's official website, it was November 17.)
1990:  David Crosby broke his left leg, ankle and shoulder in an accident on his motorcycle in Los Angeles.
1990:  Debbie Gibson was the honorary chairperson at the seventh annual Music Industry Tennis Party to benefit the T.J. Martell Foundation at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadow, New York.
1990:  The Rhythm of the Saints by Paul Simon moved from 11-5 on the Album chart, the only new entry in the Top 10.

1990:  Bette Midler continued her momentum as "From A Distance" remained #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for the third week.

1990:  Mariah Carey remained at #1 with "Love Takes Time".  M.C. Hammer was sitting back with "Pray" and Alias moved up to #3 with their great song "More Than Words Can Say".  Deee-Lite had song #4--"Groove Is In The Heart".  The rest of the Top 10:  Whitney Houston moved from 13 to 5 with "I'm Your Baby Tonight", her 11th Top 10 song in 13 tries, Vanilla Ice cooled off with "Ice Ice Baby", Poison and "Something To Believe In", newcomer Stevie B moved from 15-8 with "Because I Love You (The Postman Song)", James Ingram with "I Don't Have The Heart" and Bette Midler moved into the Top 10 with "From A Distance".
1992:  In what was becoming a trend, Jimmy Merchant and Herman Santiago of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers received $4 million in back payments from the song "Why Do Fools Fall in Love".  What?  Corporations doing something evil by withholding money from employees?  Shocking.
1997:  Metallica released their album Reload.
1998:  Mariah Carey released the album #1's
1998:  Jewel released the album Spirit.
2000:  The two-hour documentary The Beatles Revolution was shown on ABC-TV.
2000:  Cher was a guest star on the show Will & Grace on NBC-TV.
2003:  Britney Spears (21 years old) became the youngest singer to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  In other words, they give one to anyone these days.
2003:  Arthur Conley ("Sweet Soul Music" in 1967) died of intestinal cancer in Ruurlo, The Netherlands at age 57.

2007:  The Eagles' great album Long Road out of Eden was #1.
2010  Legendary songwriters Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff had a street in front of their Philadelphia International studios named after them.

Born This Day:
1937:  Gerry McGee, guitarist of the Ventures, was born in Eunice, Louisiana.

1938:  Gordon Lightfoot was born in Orillia, Ontario, Canada.

1942:  Bob Gaudio, of the Royal Teens ("Short Shorts" from 1958) and who wrote many of the hits for the 4 Seasons with Bob Crewe and also produced several Neil Diamond albums, was born in The Bronx, New York.

1944:  Gene Clark, songwriter and guitarist for the New Christy Minstrels, the Byrds and later McGuinn, Clark & Hillman, was born in Tipton, Missouri; died of a heart attack at the age of 47 brought on by years of consumption of alcohol and drugs on May 24, 1991 in Sherman Oaks, California.

1946:  Martin Barre, lead guitarist of Jethro Tull, was born in King's Heath, Birmingham, England.
1947:  Rod Clements of Lindisfarne was born in North Shields, England.
1947:  Robert "Stewkey" Antoni, vocalist and keyboard player for the Nazz and Utopia
1955:  Peter Cox of Go West was born in Kingston, Surrey, England.
1957:  Jim Babjak, lead guitarist and founding member of the Smithereens, was born in Cartaret, New Jersey.
1967:  Ronnie Devoe of New Edition and Bell Biv Devoe was born in Boston, Massachusetts.
1967:  Ben Wilson, keyboardist of Blues Traveler, was born in Chicago, Illinois
1980:  Isaac Hanson of the group Hanson was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma.