Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas! This Date in Rock Music History

1954:  Johnny Ace shot himself before a Christmas concert in Houston, Texas.  (Note:  it was widely reported that Ace died in a game of Russian roulette.  Curtis Tillman, bass player for Big Mama Thornton, however, witnessed the incident.  He said that Ace had been drinking and was waving the pistol around.  He said "The gun's not loaded...see?"  Ace then pointed the gun at himself, the gun went off, and killed him.) 
1958:  The Everly Brothers, Jackie Wilson, Chuck Berry, Frankie Avalon, Johnnie Ray, Bo Diddley, Eddie Cochran and the Moonglows performed at Alan Freed's Christmas Rock & Roll Spectacular at Loew's State Theatre in Manhattan, New York.

Rick Parfitt Has Died

Rick Parfitt, guitarist for Status Quo, died at the age of 68.

Status Quo gave us the very underrated song "Pictures Of Matchstick Men".

The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time, December 24

Musical tastes are as diverse as the number of people in the world.  I have listened to thousands of Christmas songs, not only over the years but in preparation for this Inside the Rock Era special.  I do hope that I've touched upon songs that you find enjoyable.  Only one more day to go, 12 more songs, so let's get right to them!

  "Opera of the Bells"
by Destiny's Child

"Carol of the Bells" was the original Ukrainian composition.  An alternate English version features more Nativity-based lyrics.  Destiny's Child renamed it "Opera of the Bells" for inclusion on their album 8 Days of Christmas.  

"Away in a Manger"
by John Denver

Denver's Christmas album, A Rocky Mountain Christmas, contains many great Christmas songs on the same album.  Few artists have been able to include so many great recordings on one Christmas album.  Denver adds his touch to this spiritual favorite.

"Handel's Messiah"
by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

No list of the Top Christmas Songs would be complete without this song, an oratorio written by George Frideric Handel in 1741.  It includes a scriptural text written by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer.  It was first performed in Dublin, Ireland on April 13, 1742 and has since become one of the best-known and most performed choral works in Western music.

"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"
by Brenda Lee

I'm sure you and yours will do some rocking around the Christmas tree while this song is played in the background.  It was written by Johnny Marks, who has three of his compositions in The Top 150*.  When Brenda first introduced this in 1958, it didn't do much but finally in 1960, after she had enjoyed success with "I'm Sorry" and "Sweet Nothin's", the song took off and hasn't looked back.  It has now gone over eight million in sales.

"The Christmas Song"
by Nat King Cole

Cole originally recorded this song in 1946, then re-recorded it later in the year with a small string section.  It became a massive hit.  He then recorded a third version in 1953 and this one, on March 30, 1961 at Capitol Studios in New York City.  It is this fourth recording that is the most famous.  The instrumentation is nearly identical to that of the 1953 recording, but the vocals are much deeper.  It has remained not only the definitive version of the song, but one of The Top 10 Christmas Songs of All-Time ever since.

"White Christmas"
by Bing Crosby

This all-time favorite written by Irving Berlin reached #1 in 1942, 1945 and 1946 although the version you are used to hearing isn't the original.  There was so much demand for the song at the record plant that the original master was actually destroyed from overuse!  So Bing and group went into the studio and re-recorded it in 1947, essentially remaking the song perfectly.  This song is the biggest-selling single of all-time.

Friday, December 23, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: December 24

1955:  The Lennon Sisters were the new featured vocalists on The Lawrence Welk Show on ABC-TV.
1964:  The Beatles began a second series of Christmas concerts at the Hammersmith Odeon on London, with help from the Yardbirds, Freddie and the Dreamers and others.
1966:  Tommy James & the Shondells recorded "I Think We're Alone Now".
1966:  "(I Know) I'm Losing You by the Temptations was the new #1 on the R&B chart, taking over from "You Keep Me Hangin' On" by the Supremes.
1966:  The New Vaudeville Band made it four weeks in the #1 spot on the Easy Listening chart with "Winchester Cathedral".

Sign Up for Spotify

Inside The Rock Era has always tried to bring you the best videos for our music features and daily Calendar*.  

With The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era* coming up in February, some artists do not allow their music on YouTube.  In an effort to bring you as many of the songs as possible, we have begun to utilize Spotify.  This is a free service that you can sign up for.  If you are unable to view any of the videos, it is because you're not signed up with Spotify.  This is something you'll want to do prior to The Top 100 Artists*.

The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time, December 23

We've sifted through all of the Christmas songs and are featuring what we believe to be the cream of the Christmas crop.  We began on December 1 and by Christmas Day will have presented The Top 150 Christmas Songs of All-Time*.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: December 23

1957:  The Champs recorded "Tequila" in three takes at Gold Star Recording Studio in Hollywood, California.
1957:  A new act appeared on the chart for the first time by the name of Tom & Jerry with the song "Hey Schoolgirl".  They have now sold over 105 million albums, but they really didn't take off until they changed their name to Simon & Garfunkel.
1957:  Sam Cooke once again was #1 on the R&B chart for a fifth week with "You Send Me".
1959:  Chuck Berry was arrested in St. Louis, Missouri for transporting a minor (14 year-old girl) across state lines for an immoral purpose. 
1959:  The Drifters recorded "This Magic Moment".

Captured Live In Concert: Santana in London 1976--"Europa"

Santana plays one of their great instrumentals live in London:

The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time, December 22

Three more days, boys and girls!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: December 22

1956:  Elvis Presley finished the year with 17 hit songs, a Rock Era record that would stay until the magical year of 1964, when the Beatles had 30.
1958:  The creation of David Seville, the Chipmunks, made one of the biggest leaps to #1 of the Rock Era (10-1) with "The Chipmunk Song".  The Platters moved strongly to #2 with "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes".  
1962:  Bob Dylan performed at the Singer's Club Christmas Party in London.
1962:  "Stranger On The Shore" by Mr. Acker Bilk dropped off the U.K. chart after 55 weeks, a Rock Era record for longevity at the time.

This Date in Rock Music History: December 26

1957:  Elvis Presley donated thousands of teddy bears to the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis.
1960:  Neil Sedaka shot up from #100 to #57 this week with "Calendar Girl".
1960:  Elvis Presley's "Are You Lonesome To-night?" was #1 for a fifth week. 

  1963:  The Beatles released the single "I Want To Hold Your Hand" in America.

                          The Stones from '12 x 5'...

1964:  Beach Boys Concert by the Beach Boys was #1 on the Album chart for the fourth consecutive week.  Elvis Presley was lined up at #2 with the Soundtrack to "Roustabout" while 12 x 5 from the Rolling Stones came in third.  People by Barbra Streisand was #4 while the Supremes moved up with Where Did Our Love Go and the "Mary Poppins" Soundtrack was #6.  The rest of the Top 10:  The Beatles moved back up to 7 after 24 weeks with the Soundtrack to "A Hard Day's Night", The Beatles' Story moved from 20-8 after three weeks, Dean Martin held on with The Door Is Still Open to My Heart and the Soundtrack to "My Fair Lady" dropped to #10.
1964:  Petula Clark's first single ("Downtown") was on its way, moving from 87 to 41 in its second week.

1964:  The Beatles scored another #1 with "I Feel Fine".  The group finished the year with six #1 songs and monopolized the #1 position for 18 weeks.  "Come See About Me" from the Supremes was second with Bobby Vinton remaining at 3 with "Mr. Lonely".  The Beatles moved from 14-4 with "She's A Woman" while the Zombies were on their way down with "She's Not There".

1966:  The Spencer Davis Group released the single "Gimme' Some Lovin'".

1967:  The Doors and Chuck Berry began a weeklong series of concerts at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, California.
1968:  A new group arrived in the United States for their first tour and on this night, Led Zeppelin opened in Denver, Colorado. 
1970:  "Stoned Love" by the Supremes was the new #1 on the R&B chart.

1970:  A new Canadian artist that would produce some of the world's great music in the years to come first debuted on the chart on this date.  Gordon Lightfoot's first career single "If You Could Read My Mind" entered the chart.

  1970:  George Harrison became the first Beatle to earn a #1 solo hit as "My Sweet Lord" climbed to the top.  The 5th Dimension was second with "One Less Bell To Answer".  The previous #1 "The Tears Of A Clown" from Smokey Robinson & the Miracles was third, followed by Dawn's "Knock Three Times" and "Black Magic Woman" from Santana.  The rest of the Top 10:  The former #1 "I Think I Love You" from the Partridge Family, the Supremes remained at #7 with "Stoned Love", Chicago wouldn't budge with "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?", Brian Hyland was still at #9 after 17 weeks with "Gypsy Woman" and Badfinger finished the list with "No Matter What".

1979:  Paul McCartney held the first of three concerts at Hammersmith Odeon in London to benefit relief efforts in the war-torn country of Kampuchea, with help from the Who, Queen, the Clash, Elvis Costello and Rockpile.  (Note:  many websites incorrectly say that the concerts premiered December 22, and that there were only three.  There were four shows, and they began on December 26, according to the book 'Band on the Run:  A History of Paul McCartney and Wings' by Garry McGee.) 
1981:  AC/DC had their second straight #1 album as For Those About to Rock We Salute You moved to the top spot.  Barbra Streisand had the only new Top 10 album, her compilation called Memories.
1987:  Jason Mizell of Run D.M.C. was hospitalized after his Jeep was hit head-on by a driver going the wrong way.
1987:  Michael Jackson moved to #1 on the R&B chart with "The Way You Make Me Feel".
1987:  Patrick Swayze & Wendy Fraser jumped from 84 to 55 with "She's Like The Wind".
         INXS with one of the great songs from the album 'Kick'...

1987:  George Michael made it three weeks at #1 with "Faith".  Whitney Houston moved to challenge with her new one "So Emotional" while Whitesnake swapped places with Whitney with "Is This Love".  George Harrison edged up with "Got My Mind Set On You".  The rest of the Top 10:  Debbie Gibson's "Shake Your Love", Jody Watley with "Don't You Want Me", Michael Jackson was up to #7 with "The Way You Make Me Feel", Pretty Poison remained at #8 with "Catch Me (I'm Falling)", John Cougar Mellencamp scored another Top 10 with "Cherry Bomb and the hot new song from INXS--"Need You Tonight" bounced up from 16 to 10.
1992:  The "Bodyguard" Soundtrack was #1 on the Album chart for the third week.  Home for Christmas by Amy Grant was #2.
1992:  "I Will Always Love You" was the top R&B song for the fourth straight week.

1992:  Whitney Houston was accumulating weeks at #1 (5 now) and climbing up the rungs of history with "I Will Always Love You". 
1997:  The Spice Girls' movie Spice World was released in the U.K.
2003:  You have one hit and you think you own the world.  Cris Kirkwood, bassist for the Meat Puppets ("Backwater") got his due when he was shot in the stomach by a security guard in Phoenix, Arizona.  Kirkwood got into an argument with the guard over a parking spot and beat the guard with his own baton before finally being put in his place.

2003:  Bruce Springsteen finished the year with the top tour as he grossed $115.9 million.  Celine Dion was second, earning $80.5 mil from shows at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Born This Day:
1935:  Abdul Fakir of the Four Tops was born in Detroit, Michigan.  He is the only surviving original member of the group.
1939:  Phil Spector, songwriter and famed record producer of "The Wall of Sound" and convicted murderer, was born in The Bronx, New York.  (Note:  some websites, including '' and ' incorrectly put his birth as 1940, but, as pointed out in Carlton's smith book Reckless:  Millionaire Record Producer Phil Spector and the Violent Death of Lana Clarkson, Spector entered the year 1939 for his birthday when his group the Teddy Bears signed a record contract, and 1939 was also the year entered in Spector's arrest sheet.)
1946:  Bob Carpenter of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1946:  Gordon Edwards, keyboardist of Pretty Things, was born in Southport, Lancashire, England; died of drugs in 2002.
1953:  Steve Witherington, drummer of Ace ("How Long" from 1975), was born in Enfield, Middlefield, England.
Kashif, formerly Michael Jones, who changed his name after he converted to Islam, died Sunday at his home in Los Angeles of undetermined causes.  He was 59.
1956:  Kashif, six-time Grammy nominee who, did session work for the Four Tops, Tavares, Gloria Gaynor and Stephanie Mills, had eight Top 20 R&B hits and produced  for Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick, Kenny G., George Benson, the Average White Band and Evelyn "Champagne" King", was born December 26 in New York City; died September 25, 2016 in Los Angeles.  (Note:  some websites claim Kashif was born in 1959.  According to 'Billboard' and the newspaper 'The Los Angeles Times', he was born in 1956.)
1963:  Lars Ulrich, drummer and founding member of Metallica, was born in Gentofte, Denmark.
1966:  Jay Yuenger, guitarist of White Zombie, was born in Chicago, Illinois.
1969:  Peter Klett, guitarist of Candlebox, was born in Seattle, Washington
1979:  Chris Daughtry was born in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.

The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time, December 21

We still have 30 more songs in Inside the Rock Era's presentation of The Top 150 Christmas Songs of All-Time*.  Some of the absolute best are still to come!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: December 21

1959:  The new single called "The Little Drummer Boy" by the Harry Simeone Chorale moved from 99 to 47.
                                 Marty Robbins' classic...

1959:  "Heartaches By The Number" by Guy Mitchell was #1 for a second week but it was the #3 song, which jumped all the way from 11, that was creating all the talk.  "El Paso" from Marty Robbins was that song.  Other new Top 10 songs--"Way Down Yonder In New Orleans" from Freddie Cannon at #5, "Among My Souvenirs" by Connie Francis and Fabian's "Hound Dog Man".
1960:  Elvis Presley was inducted into the Los Angeles Indian Tribal Council Creek by Indian Chief Wah-Nee-Ota in conjunction with the premiere of his movie Flaming Star.
1963:  The Beatles did their first Christmas show at the Gaumont Theatre in Bradford, England.
1963:  "Dominique" by the Singing Nun was #1 for a third week on the Easy Listening chart, which in 1979 became the Adult Contemporary chart.
1963:  People were flocking to see a gal with a message, and Joan Baez entered the Top 10 on the Album chart with Joan Baez In Concert.
1963:  The Singing Nun also achieved a third week at #1 overall with "Dominique".  The only new Top 10 for the week was "Popsicles And Icicles" by the Murmaids.
1964:  Charlie Watts, drummer of the Rolling Stones, published Ode to a High Flying Bird, a picture book tribute to Charlie Parker.

1965:  Shirley Bassey released the single "Goldfinger", the theme for the new James Bond movie. 
1966:  The Who played at The Upper Cut in Newham, England near London.

1967:  The Beatles had a costume party at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London to celebrate the showing of their movie Magical Mystery Tour on the BBC.
1968:  The newly-formed trio Crosby, Stills and Nash performed together for the first time.
1968:  Janis Joplin appeared as a solo performer at the Stax/Volt Yuletide Thing at Mid South Coliseum in Memphis, Tennessee.  

                     Hendrix with his last studio album...

1968:  Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell took over at #1 on the Album chart, completing a meteoric rise from 16 to 4 to 1.  Pretty impressive, especially considering Glen held off The White Album, the new release from the Beatles, which rose from 11 to 2 in its second week.  Cheap Thrills from Big Brother & the Holding Company fell from #1 with Feliciano!  from Jose Feliciano #4.  The rest of the Top 10:  The Second from Steppenwolf, Judy Collins rose from 31 to 6 with Wildflowers, jumping Electric Ladyland from the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Glen Campbell's back catalog began to sell as Gentle On My Mind rose to #8 after 43 weeks, Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda-Da Vida was #9 and Time Peace, the Rascals' Greatest Hits package, grabbed the final spot.
1968:  "Wichita Lineman" held on to #1 for a second week on the Adult chart for Glen Campbell.
1968:  A new talent first appeared on the chart on this day, although it would be seven long years before he made it big. Bob Seger debuted with his first career single "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man".
1968:  Tommy James & the Shondells were quickly becoming one of the 60's biggest acts and on this date, they jumped from 85 to 39 with "Crimson And Clover".

1968:  Marvin Gaye notched a second week at #1 with "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" although the song was so great that CCR and Gladys Knight & the Pips also had excellent versions.  "Love Child" by the Supremes was second with Stevie Wonder at #3 with "For Once In My Life".  Dion remained at the #4 spot with "Abraham, Martin And John" and Glen Campbell reached #5 with "Wichita Lineman".  The rest of an excellent Top 10:  "Stormy" from the Classics IV, Johnnie Taylor was in there with "Who's Making Love", bright newcomer Judy Collins reached the Top 10 with "Both Sides Now", "I Love How You Love Me" from Bobby Vinton was #9 and Steppenwolf was still flying with "Magic Carpet Ride".
1969:  Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Canned Heat shared a bill at Balboa Stadium in San Diego, California.
1969:  Diana Ross appeared with the Supremes for the final time on The Ed Sullivan Show, singing "Someday We'll Be Together".

1970:  Gordon Lightfoot released his first career single--"If You Could Read My Mind".
1970:  Elvis Presley visited U.S. President Richard Nixon at the White House to volunteer his services towards fighting the country's drug problems.
1970:  "Hey Old Man" by the Festfolk Quartet peaked at #5 in Sweden.  We know the Festfolk Quartet better now by their later name of ABBA.
1971:  Martha & the Vandellas broke up after playing at the Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan.
1971:  Charlie Fuqua, founding member of the Ink Spots, died at the age of 61 in New Haven, Connecticut.
1974:  Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin joined Bad Company on stage at the Rainbow Theatre in London.
1974:  He was the man of the moment.  Elton John continued to own the #1 album with his Greatest Hits package, now #1 for five weeks.  

1974:  Two of America's greatest groups, Chicago and the Beach Boys, teamed up for one great song--"Wishing You Were Here" reached #1 on the Adult chart.

1974:  Grand Funk's new song "Some Kind Of Wonderful" was rocking up the chart from 67 to 38.

1974:  Today was the day that the classic "Cat's In The Cradle", which is without question one of The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era* by Harry Chapin, reached #1.  
1976:  Barry Manilow on Broadway opened for a two-week run in New York City.
1978:  Rod Stewart settled out of court with drummer Mickey Waller, who had claimed he was not paid royalties for his work on Stewart's album Smiler.

1983:  Van Halen released the single "Jump".
1985:  Bruce Springsteen's album Born in the U.S.A. passed Thriller by Michael Jackson for the second-most weeks in the Top 10 of the album chart with 79 weeks.  The Rock Era record is still the Soundtrack to "The Sound of Music", which remained a top-seller for 109 weeks.
1985:  Heart's comeback was complete as their self-titled release completed its 24-week climb to #1 on the Album chart.  
1985:  "Say You, Say Me" by Lionel Richie was #1 for a third week on the Adult Contemporary chart.

                                Newcomers Simple Minds ...
1985:  Richie also moved to #1 overall with "Say You, Say Me" in a pretty good Top 10.  Mr. Mister was toppled with "Broken Wings" while Eddie Murphy had the surprising hit "Party All The Time".  Simple Minds had one of their biggest with "Alive & Kicking" and the former #1 "Separate Lives" from Phil Collins & Marilyn Martin was #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Election Day" from Arcadia, the great new song "I Miss You" from Klymaxx, Dionne & Friends (Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Stevie Wonder & Gladys Knight) moved from 14 to 8 with "That's What Friends Are For", John Cougar Mellencamp scored another Top 10 with "Small Town" and ZZ Top fell with their "Sleeping Bag".
1987:  John Spencer, original member with No Doubt, committed suicide at the tender age of 18.  So young and na├»ve.
1989:  Santana and his wife celebrated the birth of daughter Angelica Faith.
1991:  "Bohemian Rhapsody"/"These Are The Days Of Our Lives", a single released following the death of Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury, took over at #1 in the U.K. 
1991:  "I Love Your Smile" by Shanice was the new #1 on the R&B chart.

             The unmistakable harmonies of the Boyz...

1991:  Michael Jackson had his 15th Top 10 hit in his last 17 releases with "Black Or White" and it was his 12th solo #1.  Boyz II Men had a solid hit with "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday".  Color Me Badd was on fire as well with "All 4 Love" and PM Dawn only slipped slightly with "Set Adrift On Memory Bliss".  Michael Bolton's former #1 "When A Man Loves A Woman", the remake of Percy Sledge's classic, was fifth with another winner from Mariah Carey--"Can't Let Go" #6.

     An unforgettable tribute sparked Natalie's album...

1991:  Some of the best albums of the 1990's were in here:  Dangerous by Michael Jackson spent a second week at #1 but Ropin' the Wind from Garth Brooks, a former #1, wasn't going away.  Too Legit to Quit from Hammer moved to 3, switching places with U2's Achtung Baby.  Michael Bolton moved up to 5 after 33 weeks with Time, Love & Tenderness and Nirvana's landmark Nevermind was #6.  The rest of the Top 10:  Unforgettable With Love from Natalie Cole moved from 13 to 7, Cooleyhighharmony from Boyz II Men, Metallica with their debut and Use Your Illusion II by Guns N' Roses slipped to #10.

1991:  Richard Marx rose to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with help from Luther Vandross with the great song "Keep Coming Back".
1994:  Mike Love and Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys settled a dispute out-of-court over authorship of 35 of the group's songs, with Love receiving $5 million.
1996:  "Knockin' On Heaven's Door", the cover version of Bob Dylan's song written by Ted Christopher of Dunblane, Scotland, rose to #1 in the U.K.  Christopher wrote a new verse in memory of the children and teacher killed in the Dunblane massacre and the song features brothers and sisters of the victims singing the chorus with Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler on guitar.

1996:  Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt took over the #1 spot on the Album chart, just ahead of the great Falling Into You album from Celine Dion.  Alanis Morissette continued to amaze with Jagged Little Pill, moving back into the Top 10 after 78 weeks of release.
2003:  Ruben Studdard had the top album with Soulful.
2005:  Mutya Buena announced she was leaving the group the Sugababes.
2005:  The Human Rights Watch reported that the so-called "muzak" of Eminem and Dr. Dre was used to torture detainees at a CIA prison near Afghanistan.  I'll tell you anything, but please turn off that God-awful crap!

Born This Day:

1921:  Luigi Creatore (left), part of the songwriting team Hugo & Luigi with cousin Hugo Peretti ("Can't Help Falling In Love" for Elvis Presley and English lyrics for the Tokens classic "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", among many others), producer for Perry Como, Sam Cooke ("Chain Gang", Twistin' The Night Away and "Wonderful World"), Little Peggy March ("I Will Follow Him"), Van McCoy ("The Hustle") and Jimmie Rodgers ("Honeycomb" and "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine"), among others, and co-owner of Roulette Records and Avco Records, was born in Manhattan, New York; died December 13, 2015 from complications of pneumonia in Boca Raton, Florida.  (Note:  some websites lazily say Creatore was born in New York City.  Specifically, he was born in Manhattan, according to the newspaper 'The New York Times'.) 
1934:  Hank Crawford, who played saxophone for Ray Charles and Ike Turner, was born in Memphis, Tennessee; died in Memphis from complications of a stroke suffered in 2000 on January 29, 2009.

1940:  Frank Zappa was born in Baltimore, Maryland; died of prostate cancer in Los Angeles on December 4, 1993.
1940:  Ray Hildebrand of Paul & Paula was born in Joshua, Texas.
1951:  Kevin Scott MacDonald, guitarist of the Cutting Crew ("I Just Died In Your Arms").
1942:  Carla Thomas ("Gee Whiz" from 1960), who also recorded several duets with Otis Redding, was born in Memphis, Tennessee.
1943:  Gwen McCrae, solo artist ("Rockin' Chair" from 1975) and wife of her manager George ("Rock Your Baby" from 1975) was born in Pensacola, Florida.

1943:  Albert Lee, famous session guitar player, was born in Lingen, Herefordshire, England.  (Note:  some websites report his place of birth as Leominster, England; according to both the 'BBC' and the newspaper 'The Telegraph', Lee was born in Lingen.)

1946:  Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys was born in Hawthorne, California; died February 6, 1998 of brain and lung cancer in Los Angeles.
1948:  Barry Gordon ("Nuttin' For Christmas") was born in Brookline, Massachusetts.

1951:  Nick Gilder of Sweeney Todd and later a solo artist ("Hot Child In The City" from 1978) was born in London.
1953:  Betty Wright ("Clean Up Woman" from 1971) was born in Miami, Florida.
1971:  Brett Scallions, lead singer of Fuel, was born in Brownsville, Tennessee.

Journey, ELO, Pearl Jam and Yes Will Be Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Supergroups Journey, ELO and Pearl Jam will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year along with Yes, Joan Baez and Tupac Shakur.

The Hall, which has been sharply criticized for being too lax in letting some artists in, such as Shakur above, have also spurned some of the greatest acts of all-time, such as the Cars.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for April 7 in Brooklyn, New York.  Artists are eligible for the Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their debut recording.  Journey finished as the top vote-getter in a fan poll, followed by ELO, Yes, Pearl Jam and the Cars.

The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time, December 20

Inside the Rock Era has presented 114 of The Top 150 Christmas Songs of All-Time*.  Here are six more to add to that list.

Monday, December 19, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: December 20

1957: Elvis Presley received his draft notice from the United States Army.
1958:  John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison appeared as The Quarrymen at the wedding reception of Harrison's older brother Harry.  The reception was at the Harrison family home at 25 Upton Green, Speke, Liverpool.
1962: The Osmond Brothers made their television debut on The Andy Williams Show on NBC.
1966:  Otis Redding was in concert at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco.

The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time, December 19

Six days away, here are six more great ones.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Thanks for being part of a great month!

Our readership is generally pretty consistent, though it does pick up around December, when we have our Top Christmas Songs of All-Time.  This year, we are headed towards 25,000 page views for the fifth time since we entered the Internet five years ago.  There is an outside chance that this month will set an all-time record.

Thank-you for your continued support!

This Date in Rock Music History: December 19

1955:  Carl Perkins recorded "Blue Suede Shoes" at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee.  (Note:  several websites inaccurately report this date as November 19.  According to 'The Sun Sentinel' newspaper as well as the books 'Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings' by Steve Sullivan and 'The Golden Age of Rock 'N' Roll' by Richard Havers and Richard Evans, as well as other reputable sources, Perkins recorded his signature song on December 19.)

The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era Begins February 6 on Inside The Rock Era!

One of our signature music specials, The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era* kicks off the day after the Super Bowl, Monday, February 6 right here!

You won't want to miss one day of this spectacular one-of-a-kind special that you won't hear anywhere else in the world.  Save the Date--Monday, February 6 on Inside The Rock Era!!!

The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time, December 18

Here are six more of The Best 150* as we are just one week away!