Saturday, May 17, 2014

This Date in Rock Music History: May 18

1959: This artist changed the name at the suggestion of Dick Clark's wife Bobbie because he resembled a teenage Fats Domino.  He scored 35 hits over three decades, but on this date, Chubby Checker debuted on the chart for the first time with "The Class", in which he did imitations of Fats Domino, Elvis Presley, the Coasters, Cozy Cole and the Chipmunks.

1959:  Wilbert Harrison rose from 6 to 1 with "Kansas City".  The Impalas were lodged at #2 with "Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home)" while Dave 'Baby' Cortez slipped to 3 with "The Happy Organ".  The three top newcomers to the Top 10 were "A Teenager In Love" by Dion & the Belmonts, which moved from 12 to 5, "Dream Lover" by Bobby Darin, up from 16-6, and "The Battle Of New Orleans", which climbed from 23-7 for Johnny Horton.
1963:  The Beatles, Roy Orbison, and Gerry and the Pacemakers performed at the Adelphi Theatre in Slough, England.  (Note:  some websites claim the concert was at the Grenada Theatre in Slough, and that the Beatles were the featured act for the first time.  According to 'The Beatles Bible', the official website for the city of Slough, and the official website of Roy Orbison, the show was at the Adelphia Theatre in Slough, and Roy Orbison got top billing to start the tour.  The Beatles were not the featured act on this night--Roy Orbison was.  The Beatles had started out their four week tour in February opening for Tommy Roe, but assumed headline status by the end of the tour, according to 'The Beatles Bible'.)
1963:  20-year-old Jackie DeShannon appeared on The Jackie Gleason Show on CBS-TV, in DeShannon's U.S. television debut.
1963:  Jackie Wilson ruled the R&B chart for a third week with "Baby Workout".

1963:  Jimmy Soul had the #1 song with "If You Wanna' Be Happy", replacing Little Peggy March's "I Will Follow Him".  "Puff The Magic Dragon" by Peter, Paul & Mary slipped to 3, followed by the Beach Boys with "Surfin' U.S.A."
1964:  A very special day in rock history for this is the day that the Animals went into De Lane Lea Studios in London to record "The House Of The Rising Sun".
1966:  The Castilles, featuring Bruce Springsteen on lead vocals, recorded a couple of tracks at Mr. Music in Brick Town, New Jersey.
1966:  The Hollies recorded "Bus Stop" at EMI Studios in London.  (Note:  some websites insist on saying the song was recorded at Abbey Road Studios.  The studio was not renamed Abbey Road until after the Beatles album of the same name was released in 1968, long after the Hollies recorded "Bus Stop".  When the Hollies recorded the song, the studio was still named EMI Studios)
1967:  Paul McCartney and John Lennon sang backing vocals on the Rolling Stones song "We Love You" during a recording session in London.
1968:  Jefferson Airplane, the Steve Miller Band, the Youngbloods, and the Grateful Dead performed at the Northern California Rock Festival at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds in Santa Clara.  (Note:  several websites claim that the Doors performed on May 18.  The Festival was a two-day event, and the Doors played on May 19.) 1968:  "Tighten Up" by Archie Bell & the Drells took over at &1 on the R&B chart.

1968:  Hugo Montenegro's classic instrumental "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly" from the movie of the same name, was #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

                 Dionne Warwick seemed to know her way up the charts...

1968:  Archie Bell & the Drells climbed up to #1 with "Tighten Up".  Simon & Garfunkel's latest, "Mrs. Robinson" was up impressively from 9-2 while Bobby Goldsboro finally dropped after five weeks at #1 with "Honey".  Hugo Montenego held steady with "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly" and the Rascals grabbed position #5 with "A Beautiful Morning".  The rest of the Top 10:  The Intruders with "Cowboys To Girls", the Troggs had the #7 song with "Love Is All Around", the Irish Rovers and "The Unicorn", Gary Puckett from Twin Falls, Idaho & the Union Gap with "Young Girl" and Dionne Warwick moved from 19-10 with "Do You Know The Way To San Jose".
1970:  The Beatles released Let It Be, their final studio album, in the United States .


1973:  Pink Floyd played The Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety at Earls Court in London.
1974:  Another instrumental, "The Entertainer" from the classic movie The Sting, was #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

1978:  The movie The Buddy Holly Story, with Gary Busey in a tremendous performance in the title role, premiered at the Medallion Theatre in Dallas, Texas.
1980:  Peter Criss officially left KISS to begin a solo career. (Note:  several websites report that Criss left on May 17.  While there are no credible sources for either date, our best research indicates that the official date of the announcement was May 18, 1980.)
1981:  Diana Ross left Motown Records, signing with RCA Records for $20 million, the largest recording contract at that time.  (Note:  some websites report Ross left Motown on May 20.  While there are no credible sources for the exact date, our best research indicates that the transaction took place on May 18.)
1983:  Bob Dylan finished recording of the album Infidels at the famous recording studio The Power Station in New York City.

1985:  This artist debuted on the chart with her first single on this date.  She went on to have 12 hits and was very popular in the 1990's.  Her first single was "Find A Way"--Amy Grant.
1985:  Kool and the Gang collected their eighth #1 on the R&B chart with "Fresh".

1985:  "Smooth Operator" by Sade spent another week atop the Adult Contemporary chart.
1985:  Simple Minds celebrated a #1 song with "Don't You (Forget About Me)".  

1985:  Phil Collins moved into the #1 spot on the Album chart with No Jacket Required.  We Are the World from USA for Africa fell to 2 with the Soundtrack to "Beverly Hills Cop" coming in third.  Bruce Springsteen had #4--Born in the U.S.A. and Prince & the Revolution were 5 with Around the World in a Day.  The rest of the Top 10:  Sade with Diamond Life, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers remained at #7 with Southern Accents, Madonna slipped to #8 with Like a Virgin, Wham! had the #9 album Make It Big and John Fogerty was at 10 with Centerfield.
1988:  Fleetwood Mac played the first of six sold-out shows at Wembley Arena in London.
1988:  Ike Turner was sentenced to a year in jail for possession and transportation of cocaine.
1991:  Hi-Five moved to #1 with "I Like he Way (The Kissing Game)".


                                 "Shiny Happy People" loved R.E.M.'s new album...

1991:  R.E.M. had the top album with Out of Time but Mariah Carey only slipped to #2 in her 47th week on the chart with her debut album.
1991:  Amy Grant remained at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for a third week with "Baby Baby".
1999:  The Backstreet Boys released the album Millennium.
2002:  CBS-TV showed the Barry Manilow special Ultimate Manilow.
2003:  Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Piots was arrested for drug possession in Burbank, California.
2004:  Clint Warwick, bassist with the Moody Blues, died of liver disease in Birmingham, West Midlands, England at the age of 63.

2008:  Neil Diamond had the #1 album in the U.K.--Home Before Dark.
2010:  Los Angeles celebrated "John Fogerty Day" as the former CCR member was honored by BMI with their Icon Award at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles.

Born This Day:

1912:  Perry Como was born in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania; died  in his sleep May 12, 2001 in Jupiter Inlet Colony, Florida.
1922:  Kai Winding, the great trombonist who gave us the instrumental "More", was born in Aarhus, Denmark; died of a coronary attack while being treated for a brain tumor in Yonkers, New York May 6, 1983.  (Note:  several websites claim Winding died in New York City, but according to the newspaper 'The New York Times', Winding died at Riverside Hospital in Yonkers.)
1942:  Albert Hammond ("It Never Rains In Southern California" from 1972) was born in London, England.
1949:  William Wallace, guitarist of the Guess Who, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

1949:  Rick Wakeman, great keyboardist of Yes, was born in Perivale, Middlesex, England.  (Note:  some websites naively say that Rick was born in Perivale, London.  Perivale was located in the county of Middlesex at the time of Wakeman's birth (at Perivale Maternity Hospital).  In 1974, it became part of the county of Greater London, but that was 25 years after Rick's birth, and you will never see Greater London listed as the county of birth on his official birth certificate.)
1950:  Mark Mothersbaugh, songwriter, singer, and co-founder of Devo, was born in Akron, Ohio.
1953:  Butch Tavares of the group Tavares ("It Only Takes A Minute" and "Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel")
1957:  Michael Cretu of Enigma was born in Bucharest, Romania.
1966:  Michael Tait of dc Talk was born in Washington, D.C.
1967:  Rob Base ("It Takes Two") was born in Harlem, New York.
1969:  Martika ("Toy Soldiers") was born in Whittier, California.
1970:  Billy Howerdel, founding member, songwriter, guitarist and producer of A Perfect Circle

1975:  Jack Johnson was born in North Shore, Oahu, Hawai'i.

Classic Summer Songs: "Too Late To Turn Back Now" by Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose

We go to 1972 for today's featured great Summer Song* in our continuing series.  Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose had two big hits in the summer.  We'll also be featuring the other one later in the summer.

These guys timed this one perfect--it straddled the springtime feelings of romance and the good times of summer:

Be Sure To Check Out The Inside The Rock Era Highlights

The special features we present from time to time are all included on our Blog Highlights* Tab.  It contains background information about songs and artists and interesting anecdotes about the Rock Era.  Each time we come up with a new angle, we add it to the Blog Highlights* section, so be sure to check it often!

Friday, May 16, 2014

This Date in Rock Music History: May 17

1958:  "Jerry Lee Lewis Day" was held in Lewis's hometown of Ferriday, Louisiana.
1963:  Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul & Mary and Pete Seeger performed at the first Monterey Folk Festival, held over three days in Monterey, California.
1967:  The Bob Dylan documentary Don't Look Back, reliving Dylan's 1965 British tour, premiered at the Presidio Theater in San Francisco, California.
1968:  The Monkees performed at the Lagoon Patio Gardens, a venue inside the famous amusement park, for about 5,000 fans.  (Note:  Several websites report that the Monkees appeared at Olympia Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah, on May 21, 1968.  There was not and never has been an Olympia Stadium in that city.  There was an Olympia Stadium in Detroit, Michigan, and the Monkees performed there on January 14, 1968.  The group did perform in Salt Lake City in 1968, though, but the information badly damages the credibility of the websites.  According to the official website for the Monkees, they performed in Salt Lake City May 17 at the Lagoon Patio Gardens.)

1969:  The Soundtrack to "Hair" had a hold on #1 on the Album chart for the fourth straight week.  Blood, Sweat & Tears was #2, Glen Campbell's Galveston was #3 and Nashville Skyline from Bob Dylan captured spot #4.  The rest of the Top 10:  Donovan's Greatest Hits, Cloud Nine by the Temptations was #6, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, featuring the song of the same name by Iron Butterfly, was #7, Creedence Clearwater Revival had #8 with Bayou Country, Help Yourself by Tom Jones fell to 9 and the debut from Led Zeppelin entered the Top 10.

                   A great time to be alive, listening to "Aquarius" by the great 5th Dimension...

1969:  "Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In" by 5th Dimension was once again the #1 song on the Adult Contemporary chart.
1969:  "Aquarius" remained as the #1 song in the land for a sixth week, making it one of The Top 20 Songs of the Rock Era* to that point.  "Hair" by the Cowsills was #2 while the Beatles climbed from 10 to 3 with "Get Back".  "It's Your Thing" from the Isley Brothers was song #4 and the great One-Hit Wonder* song from Mercy--"Love (Can Make You Happy)" moved from 11 to 5.  The rest of the Top 10:  The great instrumental "Hawai'i Five-O" from the television show of the same name by the Ventures was #6, Simon & Garfunkel climbed to #7 with their classic "The Boxer", Donovan's probing song "Atlantis" was #8, Ray Stevens kept things light at #9 with "Gitarzan" and the Guess Who reached the Top 10 with "These Eyes".
1971:  The popular musical Godspell debuted in New York City, off-Broadway at first, at the Cherry Lane Theatre, before hitting Broadway five years later.  (Note:  several websites report that 'Godspell' debuted on May 13.  The official date of opening is May 17, 1971, according to the magazines 'Billboard' and 'Atlantic'.)
1974:  Frankie Avalon hosted The Midnight Special on NBC-TV, featuring Sam & Dave, Fabian and Shirley & Lee.
1974:  Elton John performed "Candle In The Wind" and "Rocket Man" in his television special Say Goodbye to Norma Jean and Other Things on ABC.
1975:  Dumb ol' Mick Jagger.  Put his hand through a window at Gosman's Dock restaurant in Montauk, New York.  Required 20 stitches.  (Note:  some websites say the restaurant is in Long Island, New York.  Long Island is not a city but rather the name of an island.  Gosman's Dock is located in Montauk, New York.)  
1975:  "Rainy Day People" reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for Canada's Gordon Lightfoot.

                  Earth, Wind & Fire were one of the great groups of all-time...

1975:  That's the Way of the World,  the Soundtrack to the movie from Earth, Wind & Fire, reached #1 on the chart as Chicago VIII dropped to #2.  The Soundtrack to "Tommy" was #3, followed by Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti and Bad Company's Straight Shooter.  The rest of the Top 10:  Have You Never Been Mellow from Olivia Newton-John, the Soundtrack to "Funny Lady" at #7, An Evening with John Denver, the singer's live album at #8, Welcome To My Nightmare from Alice Cooper was #9 and Hearts from America was #10.

                             The Ozarks enjoyed their biggest hit "Jackie Blue"...

1975:  It was a pretty solid Top 10--"He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)" by Tony Orlando & Dawn was #1 for a third week, Freddy Fender had #2 "Before The Next Teardrop Falls" and "Jackie Blue", the great Ozark Mountain Daredevils song, was #3.  Earth, Wind & Fire moved up to 4 with "Shining Star" and the Carpenters hit the Top Five with "Only Yesterday".  The rest of the Top 10:  The Blackbyrds were at 6 with "Walking In Rhythm", "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" by John Denver moved from 14-7, Ace featuring great lead singer Paul Carrack moved into the Top 10 with "How Long", Paul Anka's "I Don't Like To Sleep Alone" was at #9 and the former #1 with the long title "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" by B.J. Thomas was #10.
1978:  The Carpenters television special Space Encounters aired on ABC.
1978:  Andy Gibb and ABBA were the guests on Olivia Newton-John's special Olivia on ABC-TV.
1978:  Thank God It's Friday, the movie starring Donna Summer, premiered in Los Angeles.
1980:  Paul and Linda McCartney were the guests on the television show Saturday Night Live.
1980:  The Soundtrack to "Urban Cowboy", one of the best soundtrack albums of the rock era, was released.
1980:  "Let's Get Serious" by Jermaine Jackson reached #1 on the R&B chart.

1980:  "The Rose", the title song from the movie in which she starred in, was #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for Bette Midler.
1980:  Against the Wind, the great Bob Seger album, was #1.  Pink Floyd was stuck at 2 with The Wall, while Glass Houses by Billy Joel and Mad Love by Linda Ronstadt maintained their positions for a fifth week.    

                              Christopher Cross's first single was well received...

1980:  "Call Me" from Blondie remained #1 for the fifth week and it wasn't done yet.  "Ride Like The Wind" by Christopher Cross would have to settle for being one of the top #2 songs in history.  Air Supply had #3 with "Lost In Love" while "Funkytown" from Lipps, Inc. moved from 19 to 4.  The rest of the Top 10:  "With You I'm Born Again" from Billy Preston & Syreeta was #5, "Sexy Eyes" by Dr. Hook held down #6, Billy Joel remained at 7 with "You May Be Right", "Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer" by Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes edged up to #8, "Another Brick In The Wall" by Pink Floyd fell to #9 and Ambrosia had a huge hit on their hands at #10 with "Biggest Part Of Me".

1986:  Genesis released the single "Invisible Touch".
1986:  "On My Own" from Michael McDonald and Patti Labelle, was #1 on the R&B chart, where it would spend four weeks at the top.
1986:  "Greatest Love Of All" by Whitney Houston was once again #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
1986:  Incredibly, Whitney Houston climbed back to #1 on the Album chart in its 60th week of release.  

1986:  The smash "Greatest Love Of All", which reached #1 on this date, was largely the reason for the resurgence in the Whitney Houston album.
1987:  Tom Petty's home in Encino, California was consumed by a fire, causing a million dollars in damage.
1989:  Jack Hall, guitarist of Wet Willie, died.
1992:  Lawrence Welk died of pneumonia in Santa Monica, California at the age of 89.
1993:  Barry Manilow was on the CBS-TV show Murphy Brown.
1995:  Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Little Richard played in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, their first time together on stage.  (Note:  some websites report the concert took place in Sheffield, London.  The concert wasn't in two locations.  Sheffield is not in the county of London, but rather in South Yorkshire.  In fact, the two cities are 167 miles apart.  The three rock pioneers appeared in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.)
1999:  Bruce Fairbairn died at the age of 49 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  He produced albums by Aerosmith, Bon Jovi and Krokus.

                                         Hands off our name!

1999:  No Doubt filed a lawsuit against a clothing manufacturer with the same name, claiming the company violated No Doubt's copyright service mark.
2000:  The Eagles had a similar claim against the "Hotel California" restaurant in Dallas, Texas, claiming trademark violations.
2002:  Little Johnny Taylor ("Part Time Love" from 1963) died of a heart attack at the age of 59 in Conway, Arkansas.
2003:  Radiohead performed at the Olympia in Dublin, Ireland.  Guitarist The Edge of U2 was among the fans in the audience.
2005:  Kylie Minogue was diagnosed with breast cancer.
2008:  Bob Flick of the Brothers Four ("Greenfields" hit #2 for four weeks in 1960) married actress Loni Anderson.  

2010:  Songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who wrote "Hound Dog", "Jailhouse Rock", "Love Me", "Don't" and many others for Elvis Presley, "Kansas City" for Wilbert Harrison and "Charlie Brown" for the Coasters, were given the Outstanding Achievement Award for Musical Collaborators by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers in Chicago, Illinois.

2012:  Donna Summer, whose amazing voice helped her score 33 hits, including 14 Top 10's and five #1 songs, died at the age of 63 after a battle with lung cancer in Naples, Florida.

Born This Day:
1941:  Malcolm Hale, lead guitarist of Spanky & Our Gang, was born in Butte, Montana; died October 30, 1968 of carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty heating system in his home in Chicago, Illinois.
1944:  Jesse Winchester ("Say What" from 1981), whose songs have been recorded by the Everly Brothers, Anne Murray, Wilson Pickett, Patti Page, Reba McEntire, Joan Baez, Jimmy Buffett, Fairport Convention, Emmylou Harris and Elvis Costello, was born in Shreveport, Louisiana; died April 11, 2014 of cancer in Charlottesville, Virginia.
1949:  Bill Bruford, drummer and founding member of Yes, who later joined King Crimson, was born in Sevenoaks, Kent, England.
1949:  Keith (James Barry Keefer, who had the hit "98.6" in 1967) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1952:  Roy Adams, current drummer of the Climax Blues Band, was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England.
1958:  Paul Di'Anno, singer with Iron Maiden, was born in Chingford, London, England.  (Note:  some websites claim Paul was born in West Ham, London.  According to the book 'Iron Maiden:  The Ultimate Unauthorized History of the Beast' by Neil Daniels, Di'Anno was born in Chingford, London.

1961:  Enya (Eithne Ni Bhraonain) was born in Donegal, Ireland.
1963:  Page McConnell, songwriter and keyboardist of Phish, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1965:  Trent Reznor, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist of Nine Inch Nails, was born in Mercer, Pennsylvania.
1970:  Jordan Knight of New Kids on the Block was born in Worcester, Massachusetts.  (Note:  '' claims Knight was born in Boston, Massachusetts, but 'MTV' and other credible sources state that he was born in Worcester.)
1973:  Josh Homme, guitarist, songwriter and founding member for Queens of the Stone Age, was born in Joshua Tree, California.
1974:  Andrea Corr of the Corrs was born in Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland.

Classic Summer Songs: "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins

This couldn't help but be a hot summer was from the hot movie of the summer, Top Gun starring Tom Cruise.  Kenny Loggins at that time had become very much in demand to record songs for movies, after his "Footloose" had toes tapping in that 1986 movie. 

Casey Kasem Found and Fine

Three days after a California judge ordered an investigation to find Kasem, a sheriff in Kitsap County, Washington, found him.  He and his wife, Jean, were staying with longtime friends, according to Deputy Scott Wilson.  Wilson said Kasem had all of his medications and seemed to understand the situation, and that there was nothing at all to indicate he was held against his will.

Famous Artists Paying Their Dues

Some people mistakenly get the impression that being a big star happens overnight, and have no idea the tremendous work one must put in, nor the road they must travel prior to being successful.  We created this series to give some insight into what is involved in becoming a successful recording artist.  As we show below, most of the musicians the superstar came into contact with did not meet with the same success.  In fact, if you want to pursue a recording career, your odds are about one million to one.  Doesn't mean you can't join a band and have fun, but understand that the money is hard to come by, and you face tremendous obstacles in becoming successful.
Believe me, there are a ton of talented musicians (the same is true for the arts in general) who never make it big.


Phil Collins

(That's Phil second from left)
Flaming Youth was a progressive band that included 18-year-old Phil Collins.  Brian Chatton was the keyboardist, with Ronnie Caryl on bass and Gordon Smith on guitar.  Rod Mayall was briefly with the group on organ.  Flaming Youth released one album (Ark 2) in 1969 before breaking up.  The album received good reviews but did not sell.
Collins and Caryl both auditioned for Genesis the next year, but only Phil was successful.  Collins later invited Caryl to be the guitarist on his solo tours.

Elton John

(Elton (Reginald Dwight) on the right)
In 1961, fourteen-year-old Elton John and singer/guitarist Stewart Brown, left the group the Corvettes, and formed Bluesology with bassist Rex Bishop and drummer Mick Inkpen.  They began playing pubs in London, and in 1963, earned a weekly gig at the Establishment Club. 
In 1965, Bluesology signed a professional contract, and became the backing band for touring American performers, such as the Isley Brothers, Patti LaBelle and Doris Troy.  They signed a recording contract with Fontana Records, and recorded the single featured above, Dwight's "Come Back Baby" in 1965.  They released another Dwight single, "Mr. Frantic", but were not successful.  They toured Germany, then became the backing band for Major Lance.

Robert Palmer

Dada, the 12-piece jazz-rock fusion band, gave birth to the group Vinegar Joe.  Dada, with vocalist Elkie Brooks and guitarist Pete Gage, had released a self-titled album in 1970.  Palmer and bassist Steve York had joined Dada after the album had been recorded.  The four of them, along with keyboardist Dave Thompson, formed Vinegar Joe and signed with Atlantic Records in the U.S. and Island Records in the U.K.
The group didn't have a drummer, and hired Conrad Isidore and Rob Tait to handle the kit on their self-titled album in 1972.  Although Vinegar Joe never sold a lot of records, they sold out several concerts throughout Great Britain, and received extensive press coverage.

Pink was in an R&B group called Choice, along with Chrissy Conway and Sharon Flanagan.  The song featured above ("Key to My Heart") was sent to L.A. Reid's LaFace Records.  Reid heard it and invited the group to come to Atlanta, Georgia so he could see them perform.  Choice proceeded to sign a recording contract with LaFace, and they recorded an album.  "Key to My Heart" was included on the "kazaam" Soundtrack in 1996.
Afterwards, Reid gave Pink (then Alecia Moore) an ultimatum--either stay with LaFace Records and begin a solo career, or stay with the group and be dropped from the label.  Reluctantly, Moore chose a solo career, and became one of The Top 100 Female Artists of the Rock Era*.



Usher was in the quintet NuBeginning in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  They recorded an album released locally in 1993 before being re-released nationally in 2002 after Usher became famous as NuBeginning Featuring Usher Raymond IV.

Unknown/Underrated*: Canned Heat's "On The Road Again"

Always loved the name of this group.  They were one of the performers at the legendary Woodstock Festival in 1969.  For the other 7,162,600,000 of us that didn't get to see them then, we get to listen to the song on Inside The Rock Era.  Unfortunately, most radio stations don't play this song, because it didn't reach the Top 10.
But it peaked at #11, and when you consider the quality of competition, a #11 song in 1969 is better than the vast majority of the Top Ten songs of today.  But then, Canned Heat was always underrated.  Regardless, this is a great song, and deserves to be heard nearly 45 years later (Can we really be coming up on the 45-year anniversary of Woodstock?):

"On The Road Again"
Canned Heat
Written by Floyd Jones and Alan Watson
Well, I'm so tired of crying
But I'm out on the road again
I'm on the road again
Well, I'm so tired of crying
But I'm out on the road again
I'm on the road again

I ain't got no woman
Just to call my special friend

You know the first time I traveled
Out in the rain and snow
In the rain and snow
You know the first time I traveled
Out in the rain and snow
In the rain and snow

I didn't have no payroll
Not even no place to go

And my dear mother left me
When I was quite young
When I was quite young
And my dear mother left me
When I was quite young
When I was quite young

She said, "Lord, have mercy
On my wicked son."

Take a hint from me, mama
Please don't you cry no more
Don't you cry no more
Take a hint from me, mama
Please don't you cry no more
Don't you cry no more

'Cause it's soon one morning
Down the road I'm going

But I ain't going down
That long old lonesome road
All by myself
But I ain't going down
That long old lonesome road
All by myself

I can't carry you, baby
Gonna carry somebody else

Thursday, May 15, 2014

This Date in Rock Music History: May 16

1960:  The city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania celebrated proclaimed it "Jimmy Clanton Week".
1960:  Elvis Presley held on to #1 for a fourth week with "Stuck On You".

1964:  This great group formed in 1962 in Manchester, England.  They went on the record 23 hits and are one of The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era*.  On this date, the Hollies first debuted on the chart with their debut single--"Just One Look".  (Note:  some websites report that the group formed in "autumn" of 1962, while others claim they formed in December.  Although unfortunately no credible sources exist for their exact founding, the Hollies debuted at the Oasis Club in December of 1962, so it is doubtful they started a band the month they made their live debut.) 

1964:  "My Guy" by Mary Wells was the new #1 song.  "Hello, Dolly!" by Louis Armstrong fell to #2 after just one week at the top while the Beatles were closing fast with "Love Me Do", which moved from 12 to 3.  The Dave Clark Five had #4 with "Bits And Pieces while the Beatles fell to #5 with "Do You Want To Know a Secret".
1965:  Petula Clark performed on The Ed Sullivan Show on CBS-TV.  (Note:  numerous websites falsely claim that the Beach Boys appeared on the show.  The group was scheduled to appear, but canceled, according to ''.)

1966:  The Beach Boys released their landmark Pet Sounds album.
1968:  Tony Joe White recorded the song 'Polk Salad Annie". at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  (Note:  one website claims White recorded the song in 1969--it was released in 1968, making that impossible.)
1969:  Jack Cassady of Jefferson Airplane was arrested at the Royal Orleans Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana for possession of marijuana.
1969:  Pete Townshend of the Who was arrested onstage after mistakenly kicking a New York police officer.
1970:  The Moments enjoyed their moment as "Love On A Two-Way Street" hit #1 on the R&B chart.

                                  "Cecelia", one of the bad girls of the Rock Era. 

1970:  The Guess Who's double sided hit "American Woman"/"No Sugar Tonight" remained at #1 for another week with the Jackson 5's former #1 "ABC" holding strong at #2.  The Ides of March had a huge hit with "Vehicle" while the Beatles' former #1 "Let It Be" was now at #4.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Cecilia" from Simon & Garfunkel moved from 14 to 5, Norman Greenbaum slipped to 6 with "Spirit In The Sky", funnyman Ray Steven's serious song "Everything Is Beautiful" was at #7, Tyrone Davis edged up one with "Turn Back The Hands Of Time", CCR had a huge double-sided hit of their own with a 13-9 jump for "Up Around The Bend"/"Run Through The Jungle" and the Marmalade remained at #10 with "Reflections Of My Life".

                                   CSNY dislodged a classic from the top...

1970:  Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel finally relinquished its spot at #1 on the Album chart after 10 weeks, falling to #2.  The winner was the great Deja Vu by Crosby Stills, Nash & Young.  McCartney, Paul's first solo release, went from 14-3 with Hey Jude from the Beatles at 4 and Band of Gypsys (sp) by Jimi Hendrix coming in fifth.  The rest of the Top 10:  Chicago II at #6, Steppenwolf 'Live', It Ain't Easy from Three Dog Night moving from 18 to 8, the Guess Who at 9 with American Woman and Bobby Sherman scored a Top 10 album with Here Comes Bobby.

1970:  Randy Bachman left the Guess Who after a show at the Fillmore East in New York City.  He would soon form the highly-successful Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
1970:  Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane was arrested for marijuana possession and for contributing to the delinquency of minors in Bloomington, Minnesota.  (What the heck was going on May 16?  May be a good day to stay inside..)
1975:  Chuck Berry hosted a retro tribute on The Midnight Special with taped performances by the Drifters, Lesley Gore, the Angels, and Danny & the Juniors.
1980:  Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn of the Buggles joined Yes after the exit of Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman.
1980:  Dr. George Nichopoulos was indicted on 14 counts of overprescribing drugs to Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and 12 other patients in Memphis, Tennessee.

1983:  Michael Jackson performed the moonwalk for the first time before a live audience in the television special Motown 25:  Yesterday, Today and Forever.
1984:  Prince released the single "When Doves Cry".
1987:  "Just To See Her" from Smokey Robinson was atop the Adult Contemporary chart.
1987:  "Always" by Atlantic Starr was the new #1 R&B song.

1987:  U2 scored a #1 song "With Or Without You", jumping over "Looking For A New Love".  The biggest move within the Top 10 came from Atlantic Starr, which moved from 17 to 10 with "Always".
1987:  David Crosby married Jan Dance in Los Angeles, California.  Stephen Stills gave the bride away.  Graham Nash also renewed vows with his wife Susan.

1988:  Richard Marx released the single "Hold On To The Nights".
1990:  Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets and singles "Rainbow Connection" and "Rubber Duckie", died of pneumonia at age 53 in New York City.

1990:  Sammy Davis, Jr. died at the age of 64 from throat cancer in Beverly Hills, California.
1992:  Genesis took over the #1 position on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Hold On My Heart".  It would remain there for five weeks.

1992:  En Vogue's great song "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna' Get It)" topped the R&B chart.
1992:  No Fences from Garth Brooks moved from 15 to 7 on the Album chart.  Adrenalize from Def Leppard was #1 for a fifth consecutive week.
1993:  Marv Johnson died of a stroke at age 54 in Columbia, South Carolina.  Johnson helped get the Tamla Motown label off the ground in 1959 with "Come To Me".
1998:  Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones fell again, this time off a chair in his Connecticut home, injuring his ribs and chest.  The Stones had to cancel concert dates.
1999:  Diana Ross and Brandy starred in the television movie Double Platinum on ABC.
2000:  Pearl Jam released the album Binaural on Epic Records.
2000:  "The Artist" announced that he was reclaiming the name "Prince" after his contract with Warner-Chappell had expired.  The superstar had actually lost the rights to that name through the previous contract (which is why he rebelled by calling himself the "unpronounceable symbol".
2002:  Cher was a guest star on the television show Will & Grace on NBC.
2003:  The post office in Frank Sinatra's hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey was named after him.
2003:  Soul great Barry White suffered a stroke while undergoing dialysis treatment in Los Angeles for kidney failure.
2004:  Usher's "Burn" took over the #1 spot from his own "Yeah!".

2004:  Carlos Santana, Alicia Keys and Andrea Bocelli performed at the We are the Future concert at the Circus Maximus in Rome, Italy.  Circus Maximus was the first and largest chariot racing and entertainment facility that dates back to the second century before Christ and was built to hold 250,000 people.  The show, organized by Quincy Jones, benefited child care centers in Africa and the Middle East.
2007:  Parma, Italy named streets after Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.
2012:  Chuck Brown ("Bustin' Loose"), died May 16, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland at age 75 from multiple organ failures.

Born This Day:

1932:  Drummer Isaac "Redd" Holt, who gave us two of rock's great instrumentals ("Soulful Strut" with Young-Holt Unlimited and "The In Crowd" with the Ramsey Lewis trio), was born in Rosedale, Mississippi.
1933:  Corinthian "Kripp" Johnson, tenor for the Del-Vikings ("Come Go With Me"), was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts; died of cancer June 25, 1990 in Pontiac, Michigan.
1945:  Nicky Chinn, songwriter extraordinaire and producer with Mike Chapman, was born in London.  Chinn and Chapman wrote "Kiss You All Over" for Exile,  "Little Willy" and "Ballroom Blitz" for Sweet, "Better Be Good To Me" for Tina Turner, "Mickey" for Toni Basil, "Heart And Soul" for Huey Lewis & the News, "Stumblin' In" for Suzi Quatro & Chris Norman, and many others.
1946:  Drummer Billy Cobham, who played for James Brown and Peter Gabriel, was born in  Colón, Panama.  (Many websites, including '', lazily report that Cobham was born in Panama.  According to Billy's official website, he was born in Colón.

1946:  Elite guitarist Robert Fripp of King Crimson was born in Wimborne, Dorset, England.  (Note:  some websites lazily report that Fripp was born in Dorset, England.  Dorset is a county, but the city that Fripp was born in is Wimborne, according to the book 'Legends of Rock Guitar:  The Essential Reference of Rock's Greatest Guitarists' by Pete Prown and Harvey P. Newquist.)
1946:  Roger Earl, drummer of Savoy Brown and Foghat, was born in London.
1947:  Darrell Sweet, drummer for Nazareth, was born in Bournemouth, Hampshire, England; died of a heart attack April 30, 1999 in New Albany, Indiana.  (Note:  some websites naively say that Sweet was born in Bournemouth, Dorset, England.  While Bournemouth is now in the county of Dorset, the city was a part of Hampshire until 1974.  Since Sweet was born in 1947, you will never see Dorset listed on his official birth certificate.)
1964:  Boyd Tinsley, violinist and mandolinist of the Dave Matthews Band, was born in Charlottesville, Virginia.
1965:  Krist Novoselic, bassist with Nirvana, was born in Compton, California.

1966:  Janet Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana.
1968:  Ralph Tresvant of the New Edition and later a solo star, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Note:  some websites report that Tresvant was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts.  Roxbury was once a town, but it hasn't been since 1868, when it was annexed by Boston.  It is now a neighborhood in Boston, and neighborhoods are never listed on official birth certificates.)
1974:  Sonny Sandoval, singer with P.O.D., was born in San Diego, California.  (Note:  some websites report Sandoval was born in San Ysidro, California.  San Ysidro was annexed by San Diego in 1957, long before Sandoval's birth.  In 1974, San Ysidro was not a city, but rather a district within the city of San Diego.)