Saturday, July 23, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: July 24

1962:  Booker T & the MG's released one of The Top 100 Instrumentals of the Rock Era*--"Green Onions".  (Note:  one website claims the single was released in September.  It debuted on the Singles chart on August 11, 1962.  It is physically impossible for a song to be ranked on the Singles chart if it has not been released as a single.)

Friday, July 22, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: July 23

1955:  Slim Whitman had the #1 song in the U.K. with "Rose Marie".

1955:  Fats Domino continued to roll, watching "Ain't It A Shame" (now better known as "Ain't That A Shame") post its 10th week on top of the R&B chart.
1963:  Neil Young went through his first recording session at radio station CKRC in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

George Harrison Estate Furious At Trump

The estate of the late great George Harrison ripped into U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump for using Harrison's song "Here Comes The Sun" at his convention last night in Cleveland.

The Harrison estate says Trump used the song without permission and he does not have their approval, indicating a violation of copyright infringement.  

"The unauthorized use of "Here Comes The Sun" at the RNC is offensive and against the wishes of the George Harrison estate," the estate tweeted right after the song was used at the convention.

The 10 Best Albums of 1972

It's been a while since we've looked back at one of the years in the Rock Era and compiled a Top 10 Albums list.  Today, we look at 1972.

It wasn't an overpowering year in which there were blockbuster albums--the closest we have are the Carpenters' A Song for You and Neil Young's Harvest, which were the top-selling albums at four million apiece.  As usual with our album charts, this list is based on the overall strength of the album as shown by its Track Strength*, and its album sales to date.

An album must have sold at least half a million to be considered for this list.

A Song for You

The Carpenters were red-hot by 1972, and the best album of their career is a toss-up between this one and their debut in 1970.  Although it only peaked at #4, one cannot go simply by chart position in ranking albums.  For one reason, an album's peak ranking depends on the competition out at the time.  For another reason, sometimes it takes years to discover the true strength of an album, and thus album sales to date are a much better indicator.  For album purists, one also has to factor in the Track Strength*, which measures the average strength of each track on the album.  A Song for You leads the way in the latter category.

A Song for You is the only album from 1972 in The Top 100 Albums of the Rock Era*.  There are some recognizable hits on the album, as well as some of The Top Unknown/Underrated Songs of the Rock Era*.  "Hurting Each Other" was one of the biggest hits at #2.  "Top Of The World" went to #1 overall and #2 on the Adult chart.  "Goodbye To Love" also reached the Top 10, featuring the guitar work of Tony Peluso.  It is believed to be the first power ballad to feature a fuzz guitar solo.

The Carpenters always did better with adults than they did with teeny-boppers.  "I Won't Last A Day Without You" is one of 15 #1's the duo scored with adults.  "It's Going To Take Some Time", co-written by Carole King and Toni Stern, was another of the biggest Adult songs of the year, reaching #2 for four weeks.

Karen is recognized as one of the best female singers of the Rock Era--she does a great job on the title song.  "Bless The Beasts And The Children", the title song from the movie of the same name, is one of the great underrated songs of all-time.  "Road Ode" is another track worth checking out from this great album.

Neil Young

Fans immediately point to the classic "Heart Of Gold" and the hit "Old Man" from this great album.  "Out On The Weekend" and "Harvest" stand out, and "The Needle And The Damage Done" are other prime tracks.

Honky Chateau
Elton John

Though Madman Across the Water, his earlier album in 1972, began to attract fans to his music, and earlier albums by Elton John contain some of his best music, Honky Chateau is the album that really put him on the map.  It became his first #1 album, one that stayed at the top for seven weeks, and contained his biggest hit to that point, "Rocket Man", at #6.  Honky Chateau also features "Honky Cat", a #8 song.

Like all of his best albums, though, Honky Chateau includes many other outstanding tracks.  "Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters" has become a concert favorite and "Mellow" is also solid.  "I Think I'm Going To Kill Myself", "Susie", "Salvation", "Slave" and "Hercules" are also worth checking out.

Machine Head
Deep Purple

Nearly every great album needs at least one big hit to attract attention, and this one contains "Smoke On The Water", a #1 smash that was released in 1973.  "Highway Star" has also received much airplay, and "Space Truckin'", "Lazy", Maybe I'm A Leo" and "Pictures Of Home" are also solid tracks.

Catch Bull At Four
Cat Stevens

Another of the year's #1 albums, Catch Bull at Four is the biggest album of Cat Stevens' career.  There isn't a bad song on the album, highlighted by "Sitting", "Can't Keep It In" and "Ruins".

Eat a Peach
Allman Brothers Band

Eat a Peach is where you can find the great song "Melissa".  "Ain't Wastin' Time No More", "Mountain Jam", "One Way Out", "Blue Sky" and "Little Martha" are other fine tracks on the album.


This group stormed onto the scene with this great debut album in 1972.  It contains the #1 classic "A Horse With No Name", the #9 song "I Need You" and the highly underrated "Sandman".  "Here", "Rainy Day", "Never Found The Time" and "Children" are some of the other top tracks on the album.

Saturate Before Using
Jackson Browne

Another outstanding debut from 1972 is this one from Jackson Browne, originally his self-titled release that was later named Saturate Before Using.  The #8 album of the year contains the Top 10 hit "Doctor My Eyes" and the minor hit "Rock Me On The Water".  It's another solid album without a bad song, but most Rock Era fans should enjoy "A Child In These Hills", "Looking Into You", "Song For Adam" and "Under The Falling Sky".

Exile On Main Street
Rolling Stones

Here's one of the finer double albums of the Rock Era.  Lacking the big hits of some other Stones releases, "Tumbling Dice", "Rocks Off", "Happy", "Soul Survivor" and "Stop Breaking Down" are some of the many highlights.

First Take
Roberta Flack

1972 was also the year we first heard of this bright talent.  First Take is famous for containing "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", but Roberta's great talent is shown on this album that also features some slow jazz-influenced numbers.  The opening song, "Compared To What", is superb, as is the last one, "Ballad Of The Sad Young Men".  "Our Age Old Hearts" and Roberta's version of "I Told Jesus" also stand out.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: July 22

1963:  The Beatles released their first album Introducing the Beatles, the group's first U.S. album.

1963:  The Angels released "My Boyfriend's Back".
1963:  The Beatles began their tour of the U.K. with Gerry and the Pacemakers at Odeon Cinema in Weston-super-Mare, England.
1967:  Quicksilver Messenger Service and Big Brother & the Holding Company were at the Convention Hall of San Diego, California.
1967:  The Doors made their national television debut performing "Light My Fire" on American Bandstand.
1967:  Petula Clark's "Don't Sleep In The Subway" was #1 for a second week on the Adult chart.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: July 21

1960:  Brian Hyland was the guest on the popular CBS television show To Tell the Truth.
1961:  The Everly Brothers reached #1 with "Temptation" in the U.K.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: July 20

1954:  Elvis Presley, with Scotty Moore and Bill Black as the Blue Moon Boys, gave his first concert in the flat bed of a truck in Memphis, Tennessee.

1959:  Lloyd Price scored another week at #1 on the R&B chart, his fourth, with "Personality".
1963:  The Beatles performed at the Ritz Ballroom in Rhyl, North Wales.
1963:  The Rolling Stones got down at the Wisbech Corn Exchange in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England.

Queen Tells Trump To Quit Using "We Are The Champions"

In yet another copyright violation, Donald Trump used the Queen song "We Are The Champions" last night in Cleveland, Ohio without permission.  Queen fought back and told Trump to "cease and desist" using the song.

Monday, July 18, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: July 19

Elvis Presley That's All Right Original 45 Record
1954:  Elvis Presley released his first single on Sun Records--"That's All Right".
1957:  Bobby Darin, Andy Williams, Chuck Berry and Frankie Lymon performed on Alan Freed's television show The Big Beat on ABC.
1958:  Manager George Treadwell fired all of the original Drifters and inserted the Five Crowns in their place.
1960:  Brian Hyland sang "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" on the popular television show American Bandstand

Sunday, July 17, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: July 18

1960:  Elvis Presley took out a mortgage on the Graceland mansion he had purchased in 1960 for $160,000.  Presley had several buildings and additions constructed and made several improvements to the property. 
1960:  Hank Ballard and the Midnighters released the single "The Twist".

1960:  Brenda Lee moved to #1 with "I'm Sorry". 
1963:  The Beatles recorded "Til There Was You", "You Really Got a Hold on Me" and "Money (That's What I Want)".
1964:  The Rolling Stones had the top U.K. song with "It's All Over Now".

1964:  "C'mon And Swim" by Bobby Freeman moved up from #100 to #58.

1964: Getz & Gilberto had the #1 Easy Listening hit "The Girl From Ipanema".


1964:  "Rag Doll" by the 4 Seasons was the #1 song, followed by "Memphis" by Johnny Rivers and the former #1 "I Get Around" from the Beach Boys.  The Dave Clark Five edged up with "Can't You See That She's Mine" and Stan Getz & Astrud Gilbeto teamed for the #5 smash "The Girl From Ipanema".  The rest of the Top 10:  Jan & Dean climbed from 12 to 6 with "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena", Gerry & the Pacemakers had #7 with "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying", Roger Miller moved up with "Dang Me", Millie Small's "My Boy Lollipop" fell and the Impressions were at 10 with "Keep On Pushing".

1966:  The Beach Boys released the single "Wouldn't It Be Nice".
1966:  Bobby Fuller of the Bobby Fuller Four ("I Fought The Law" from 1966) died at the age of 23 in Hollywood, California.  Fuller's body was found in a parked car in front of his apartment, and although some suspected the Mafia was involved, the death was ruled a suicide from asphyxiation.
1968:  The Grateful Dead released the album  Anthem of the Sun.
1968:  Des O'Connor had the top U.K. hit with "I Pretend".
1968:  The Beatles recorded "Cry Baby Cry" and three rehearsal takes of "Helter Skelter".
1969:  Ringo Starr recorded the lead vocal for "Octopus's Garden" at Abbey Road Studios.
1969:  The Doors released the album The Soft Parade.
1970:  Pink Floyd and Deep Purple gave a free concert at Hyde Park in London that attracted just 20,000 fans.
1970:  Anne Murray debuted on the chart with her first single "Snowbird".

1970:  Edwin Starr moved from #72 to #44 with "War".
1970:  The Jackson 5 had the #1 R&B hit for a fifth week with "The Love You Save".
1970:  "Close To You" by the Carpenters was #1 for a second week on the Adult chart.

                                  Blues Image scored a Top 10 hit...

1970:  Three Dog Night remained at #1 with "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)".  The Jackson 5 were at #2 with their former #1 "The Love You Save" while a new duo, the Carpenters, were climbing up fast with "Close to You".  Freda Payne had "Band Of Gold" up to #4 while the Temptations fell with "Ball Of Confusion".  The rest of the Top 10:  Blues Image and "Ride Captain Ride", Melanie with "Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)", the Five Stairsteps had their great song "O-o-h Child" at #8, the Pipkins were up to 9 with "Gimme Dat Ding" and Bread's first single moved from 20-10--"Make It With You".

This is a copy photo of Mick Jagger taken on July 18, 1972, upon his arrest in Warwick, R.I. before a Rolling Stones concert stop in Boston, Mass. Jagger and fellow band member Keith Richards were arrested for and charged with assault and obstruction of a police officer. (AP Photo)
1972:  They could have just as easily been rap stars--they'd fit right in.  Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones were thrown in jail for fighting with a photographer in Providence, Rhode Island.
1973:  Jethro Tull sold out three concerts from July 20-22 at the Los Angeles Forum, so a fourth was added on this date.

1977:  Monday fell on this date, and that meant new releases.  Foreigner released their second single of their career "Cold As Ice".  (Note:  several websites naively say that the single was released July 23.  "Cold As Ice" debuted on the 'Billboard' charts on July 23.  Repeat after us--it is physically impossible for a record company to release a single, mail it to radio stations, be received and listened to by the radio stations, added to the station playlists and reported to the trade papers, and printed and published by the trade papers, all in the same day.)
1978:  Def Leppard made their debut at Westfield School in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England.  The audience:  150 students.
1980:  No Nukes, a documentary showing the No Nukes benefit concerts from Bruce Springsteen and James Taylor, debuted at Cinema I in New York City.  (Note:  several websites claim the movie opened on Monday, July 16, 1980, which in itself is an odd day of the week to premiere a movie.  According to the city's newspaper, 'The New York Times', 'No Nukes' opened July 18.  That date is confirmed by the book 'Jackson Browne:  His Life and Music' by Mark Bego.)

1981:  Kim Carnes made it nine weeks at #1 with one of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*, "Bette Davis Eyes". 
1984:  Prince released the second 45 from Purple Rain--"Let's Go Crazy".
1987:  Whitney Houston made it three weeks in a row at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me).
1989:  Jefferson Airplane got back together with original members Paul Kantner, Marty Balin and Grace Slick joined by Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady.
1991:  Nine Inch Nails, Jane's Addiction and Living Colour appeared on the Lollapalooza Tour at the Compton Terrace in Phoenix, Arizona.

1992:  Jon Secada debuted in the Top 10 with "Just Another Day" from his great first album.

1992:  Luther Vandross, Janet Jackson, BBD & Ralph Tresvant combined for the top R&B song--"The Best Things In Life Are Free".
1992:  One of the dark days of the Rock Era--Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown were married at Whitney's estate in New Jersey.  Stevie WonderGloria Estefan, Natalie Cole, Patti Labelle and Freddie Jackson were among those in attendance.   Brown would not only ruin his own life but drag Whitney down with him.
1994:  The Rolling Stones arranged a secret concert in Toronto, Ontario, Canada for their fans.
1994:  Dolores O'Riordan of the Cranberries married Don Burton at Holy Cross Abbey, in Tipperary, Ireland.
1995:  Neil Young and manager Eliot Roberts began the recording label Vapor Records.
1995:  Selena's album Dreaming Of You was released following her murder.
2000:  Metallica performed at the House of Blues in Los Angeles.
2001:  MTV premiered the movie Hysteria - The Def Leppard Story.
2002:  In today's episode of "Inmates Run Rap Music", Mystikal was arrested for raping a 40-year-old woman in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  One of these days, you're going to listen to me about this idiotic form of "music".
2004:  Usher had the #1 song with "Confessions, Part 2".
2005:  This is what happens when you let Inmates Run Rap Music.  Lil' Kim, fresh from getting out of prison for perjuring herself, sued Lil' Cease, saying that he used her name and likeness without her permission to promote a DVD by Junior M.A.F.I.A.  Cease had testified against Kim in the perjury case.  Inmate + Inmate = Mass Chaos.
2015: Buddy Buie, prolific songwriter, producer, and manager, who wrote "Spooky", "Stormy" and "Traces" for the Classics IV, as well as many songs for other artists, died of a heart attack in Dothan, Alabama at age 74.  Buie stayed on with the group as their main songwriter, manager and producer when they evolved into the Atlanta Rhythm Section in 1971, writing hits such as "So Into You" and "Imaginary Lover".  Buie also wrote for Garth Brooks, Santana, Gloria Estefan, and Tommy Roe, among others.  Buie was 74.

Born This Day: 
1929:  Jay Hawkins ("I Put A Spell On You" from 1956) was born in Cleveland, Ohio; died February 12, 2000 after an emergency surgery for an aneurysm in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.
1931:  Thomas Allen, percussionist with War, was born in Wilmington, Delaware; died on stage of a heart attack August 30, 1988 in Vallejo, California.
1935:  Johnny Funches, singer of the Dells ("Stay In My Corner" from 1968), was born in Harvey, Illinois; died of pneumonia January 23, 1998.
1938:  Ian Stewart, keyboardist with the Rolling Stones, was born in Pittenweem, Scotland; died of a heart attack December 12, 1985 in London.
1939:  Dion DiMucci was born in the Bronx, New York.

1941:  Martha Reeves was born in Eufaula, Alabama.  (Note:  several websites report that Reeves was born in Detroit, Michigan.  According to the books 'Setting the Record Straight:  The Music and Careers of Recording Artists from the 1950s and early 1960s' by Anthony P. Musso and 'Motown:  The Golden Years' by Bill Dahl, Reeves was born in Eufaula and her family moved soon after to Detroit.) 
1941:  Lonnie Mack ("Memphis" from 1963) was born in Dearborn County, Indiana; died April 21, 2016 of natural causes in Nashville, Tennessee.
1943:  Robin McDonald, rhythm guitarist with Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas, was born in Nairn, Scotland.
1945:  Danny McCulloch, bass guitarist for the Animals, was born in Shepherd's Bush, Middlesex; died January of heart failure 29, 2015.  (Note:  several websites say McCulloch was born in London, or in Shepherd's Bush, London.  According to the magazine 'New Music Express", Danny was born in Shepherd's Bush, a census-designated area in London.  While the area is now included in the Greater London county, in 1945, when McCullock was born, Shepherd's Bush was part of the county of Middlesex.)
1948:  Phil Harris of Ace ("How Long" from 1975), was born in Muswell Hill, Middlesex, England.  (Note:  several websites incorrectly state that Harris was born in Muswell Hill, London.  Muswell Hill, a suburb of London, was not part of the county of London until 1974, long after Harris was born.  When Phil was born in 1948, Muswell Hill was in the county of Middlesex.) 
1949:  Wally Bryson, guitarist of the Raspberries, was born in Gastonia, North Carolina.
1948:  Cesar Zuiderwijk, drummer of Golden Earring, was born in The Hague, the Netherlands.
1950:  Glenn Hughes of the Village People was born in the Bronx, New York; died March 4, 2001 of lung cancer in Manhattan, New York.  (Note:  some websites list his birthplace as New York City, which of course is made up of several boroughs.  Hughes was born in the Bronx, according to the book 'Fade to Black:  A Book of Movie Obituaries' by Paul Donnelley.)
1950:  Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Records, was born in Blackheath, Surrey, England.  (Note:  several websites claim Branson was born in Blackheath, London, but according to 'CNN', he was born in Surrey.  The sources are likely confused because of the Local Government Act of 1972, which changed the governance relating to counties, changing the boundaries of many, dropping others, and naming new counties.  The changes took place in 1974.  Blackheath was once part of the county of Surrey, and is now a part of Greater London.  Back in 1940, when Branson was born, Blackheath was part of Surrey, and his place of birth was Blackheath, Surrey, England)
1955:  Terry Chambers, drummer of XTC, was born in Swindon, Wiltshire, England.
1958:  Nigel Twist of the Alarm was born in Manchester, Lancashire, England.
1962:  Jack Irons, drummer of Pearl Jam beginning in 1994, was born in Los Angeles.
1975:  Daron Malakian of System of a Down was born in Hollywood, California.
1978:  Tony Fagenson, songwriter and drummer of Eve 6
1982:  Ryan Cabrera was born in Dallas, Texas.