Saturday, January 7, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: January 8

1957:  Bill Haley & the Comets, Lavern Baker and Joe Turner opened an Australian tour at Newcastle Stadium in Newcastle.
1957:  Elvis Presley passed a United States Army pre-induction exam in Memphis, Tennessee on his 22nd birthday.
1960:  Eddie Cochran had his last recording session in Hollywood, California.
1966:  The Who and the Kinks performed on the final episode of Shindig! on ABC-TV
1966:  "Spanish Eyes" from Al Martino took over at #1 on the Easy Listening chart.

Anne Murray, Steve Miller and the Fifth Dimension

There's three pretty amazing artists right there, and Miller and the Fifth Dimension have been in The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era* for the last 30 years or more.  But in the brand new unveiling of one of our signature specials in 2017, those three great acts are on the outside looking in.

February 6, mark it down, the beginning of this musical spectacular on Inside The Rock Era!

Featured Unknown/Underrated Song*: Fleetwood Mac's "Monday Morning"

With the addition of two new songwriters prior to the recording of their 1975 album, Fleetwood Mac all of a sudden had more great material than they knew what to do with.  Rather than release a fourth single from the album, they kept this gem secret known only to people who bought the album:

"Monday Morning"
Fleetwood Mac

Lyrics and Music by Lindsey Buckingham

Monday morning you look so fine
Friday I got travelin on my mind
First you love me, then you fade away
I can't go on believin' this way

I got nothing but love for you
So tell me what you really wanna do
First you love me then you get on down the line
But I don't mind.
I dont't mind
I'll be there if you want me to
No one else that could ever do
Got to get some peace in my mind.

Monday morning you look so fine
Friday I got travelin on my mind
First you love me then you say it's wrong
I can't go on believing for long

But you know it's true
You only want me when I get over you
First you love me then you get on down the line
But I don't mind
I don't mind
I'll be there if you want me to
No one else that could ever do
Got to get some peace in my mind

Sylvester Potts Has Passed Away

Sylvester Potts, who became lead singer of the Contours in 1961, has died at the age of 78.

Potts joined the group just prior to their big hit "Do You Love Me" in 1962.

Friday, January 6, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: January 7

1955:  "Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley & the Comets debuted on the U.K. chart.
1961:  Johnny Tillotson had the #1 U.K. song with "Poetry In Motion".
1964:  Long John Baldry formed the Hoochie Coochie Men.
1964:  Cyril Davies, harmonica player who formed Blues Incorporated with Alexis Korner, died of leukemia at age 31.  (Note:  numerous websites incorrectly report that he died at age 32; Davies died 16 days before his 32nd birthday (January 23, 1932), according to his official website.)
1964:  The Beatles recorded for the BBC program Saturday Club, performing Chuck Berry's "Johnnie B. Goode", along with "All My Loving", "Money", "The Hippy Hippy Shake", "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "Roll Over Beethoven", and "I Wanna' Be Your Man".  It was the group's fourth appearance on the show. 

More of the Artists Just Outside of The Top 100 for the Rock Era

Ricky Nelson, who piled up hits in the '50s, came up just short in compilation for the highly anticipated Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era*.  Others who are just outside of the list include Kelly Clarkson, Shania Twain, Bread, Paul McCartney in his solo career and the Spinners.

This should give you a good idea of how great The Top 100 Artists* are.

Top Track*: Foreigner's "The Modern Day"

One of the great songs on Foreigner's album Head Games is this one:

Thursday, January 5, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: January 6

1956:  Elvis Presley performed at Randolph High School in Mississippi.
1957:  Elvis Presley made his third and final appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in New York City, singing "Hound Dog", "Don't Be Cruel", "Love Me Tender", "Heartbreak Hotel", "Peace In The Valley", "Too Much" and "When My Blue Heart Turns To Gold Again". 
1958:  Gibson patented its Flying V electric guitar.  Jimi Hendrix, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Marc Bolan of T. Rex are among those who played the Flying V.
1958:  Bobby Helms filmed for the movie The Case Against Brooklyn.
1958:  Danny & the Juniors moved to #1 on the R&B chart with "At The Hop".

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: January 5

1954:  Elvis Presley recorded a 10-minute demo tape at Memphis Recording Studio.
1957:  Pat Boone began filming the movie Bernadine.
1957:  Ivory Joe Hunter took over from Fats Domino's "Blueberry Hill" at #1 on the R&B chart.  "Since I Met You Baby" moved into the top spot after Fats had owned the position for 11 weeks.
1958:  Pat Boone was the mystery guest on the television show What's My Line? on CBS.

The Monkees, Britney Spears, Pat Benatar, the Pointer Sisters and Herman's Hermits Just Outside The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era*

Don't forget--this monumental special starts February 6, the day after the Super Bowl, on Inside The Rock Era!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: January 4

1936:  Billboard magazine debuted the first music chart that based results on national sales.
1950  RCA Victor Records announced that they would begin manufacturing long-playing records.
1954:  Elvis Presley recorded "Casual Love" and "I'll Never Stand In Your Way" in his second recording session in Memphis, Tennessee.  Studio manager Sam Phillips heard the session and asked Elvis to leave his phone number.  
1957:  Elvis Presley went in for a pre-induction medical checkup at Kennedy Veterans Hospital, prior to being called up from the United States Army.
1957:  Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis introduced Solomon Burke on The Steve Allen Show.
1960:  Marty Robbins moved to #1 with "El Paso".  

Monday, January 2, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: January 3

1955:  Elvis Presley performed in Booneville,Virginia.

1957:  Fats Domino recorded "I'm Walkin'".
1960:  Bobby Darin and Connie Francis performed together on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Mariah Carey's Damaged Reputation Now in Freefall

Mariah Carey, who's credibility already has been hanging by a thread since her personal meltdown in 2001 committed another blunder New Year's Eve, walking off stage of the annual celebration in Manhattan, New York.

Carey, who chose to lip synch to pre-recorded music, got off track, then gave up and walked off stage. 

To make matters worse, Carey yesterday claimed that Dick Clark Productions "set her up to fail", a change the veteran broadcast group flatly denies.

Carey began her career as one of the most successful artists in recording history under the direction of husband Tommy Mottola.  But after the couple divorced, Carey began writing music that appealed to a tiny segment of the Rock Era audience and her career has mostly floundered ever since.

Five Best*: Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige has been recording since 1992.  Here are her Five Best Songs*:

"Not Gon' (sic) Cry"


"Runaway Love" (with Ludacris)

"Be Without You" 

"Family Affair"

"I'll Be There For You/You're All I Need To Get By" (with Method Man)

Captured Live in Concert: Pearl Jam from Madison Square Garden, 2010

Just Outside of The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era*

In helping you with your lists, here are some of the top artists who did not make the elite list, The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era*:

Steve Winwood, Toto, REO Speedwagon, George Harrison, Maroon 5, Guns N' Roses

Sunday, January 1, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: January 2

1926:  The first issue of Melody Maker went on sale.
1964:  The Rolling Stones performed "I Wanna' Be Your Man", a song written for them by the Beatles, on Top of the Pops in the U.K.

Navigating on Inside The Rock Era

If you're one of the thousands of new people who have found Inside The Rock Era in the last month, welcome!  And, if you're an occasional visitor, here are some tips for enjoying the website.

We have to put in a shameless plug for our two books published thus far.  You can purchase them directly from us by clicking on the appropriate link on the right-hand side of the website and choosing your preferred method of shipping.

Our first book was The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*, which gathered up all the information we packed into that music special and put it into a handy book where everything is together and easy to keep track of.  We always try to keep the price competitive, but also invite you to check out Amazon's best prices.  If you're interested in obtaining an autographed copy, you can purchase that here.

Our second book was published last year, The Top 100 Female Artists of the Rock Era*.  Similarly, it contains all of the information from that music special and can also be purchased by clicking on the link on the right-hand side of the website.  Here is a link to Amazon's best New price, although keep in mind that some vendors "fudge" on what they consider "new".  If you buy on Amazon, always go with a dealer which has a 100% rating, even if you pay more for it.  A dealer with less than 100% is not worth time time, money or gamble.

The Tabs at the top of the Inside The Rock Era website are for your perusing pleasure and we highly recommend them!  Blog Highlights* are simply that--links to music specials and features that represent events that go beyond the daily scope of music news and information.

We separate an artists' work into Tabs for albums (Discography*) and singles (Hits List*).  Each contains peak rankings for each album or single for several countries.  Neither is an all-inclusive list, but they do contain most of the major stars and we just keep adding to them regularly.  

The Unknown/Underrated Songs* Tab is our most popular regular feature which now contains over 30 pages.  Each page contains about 10 songs, and the number of pages is constantly growing as we add one song per week to the feature.  We've found that 10 songs or less is the optimal number; any page greater than that takes too long to load, so to maximize your listening pleasure, we strive to keep each segment at about 10 songs.  For a song to be included in this category, it must not have reached the Top 10 in the United States. 

 From my experience in radio, I can tell you that there are several songs per month that never become big hits that are nonetheless songs that should have made the Top 10.  The reasons why they don't are many--it could be that the record company or the artist didn't promote it properly, in some cases, the song was released at the wrong time of year, or released during a time of amazing strength where it was difficult to reach the Top 10.

In any case, the songs in The Unknown/Underrated* category are all songs that we believe are worthy of Top 10 status and thus radio airplay today.

The Charts and Lists* Tab is a handy guide for those who love to see song rankings.  These are done on numerous other websites; the difference is that we don't just provide a boring ranking of The Top 100 Songs of a year; you actually get to hear the songs on Inside The Rock Era.  We constantly add new charts and lists so be sure to check this Tab often.

The Five Best Songs* is a periodic feature we do to present an artists' best work.  Ideally, we like to choose artists who have about five really good songs; but in some cases, we'll present the Five Best Songs* from a decade of that artists' work, or we expand the number depending on where we would like to make the cut.

Captured Live in Concert* is one of our relatively newest features.  In this feature, we present YouTube clips of outstanding live performances, in some cases historic ones.  If you really like an artist but haven't been able to come up with the money to see them or they haven't visited your city or town, this is a chance to hear a snippet of what their concerts sound like.  I know for me, some artists were long gone by the time I was "of age", so I never got to see them.  In some respects, then, this is a musical time machine where you can go back in time and hear what they sound like live.

Calendar* is another popular feature of Inside The Rock Era.  Each day, we present the top historical music news on our front page from that day in history.  The Calendar* contains links to every day of the year, so if you're wondering what song was #1 on the day you or your spouse or your children were born, or what the music news was on the day of your wedding, etc., you can find that out any time you desire.  

The Top Tracks* Tab was the final one we added.  The distinction between that and the Top Unknown/Underrated Songs* is that, while these songs wouldn't make the Top 10* in overall popularity, many Rock Era fans will still like several of them.  They are generally album tracks which were never released as singles and thus didn't receive widespread airplay.

Those nine Tabs* contain enough information and listening links to likely keep you busy for several hours a day for an entire year or more!  Enjoy them often!  Meanwhile, we keep adding to each of them weekly or monthly with new features.

You'll always find the "current" Top Unknown/Underrated Song* on the right-hand side of the website below our book offers.  The song is changed weekly.

A great feature of the Blogger* series is that the news and posts from the past can be accessed on the left-hand side of the website.  If you need to get back up to speed on recent posts, or are looking for something you saw recently, it might be a good place to look through those.  We also have a "Search" bar that allows you to search the website for music specials, songs, artists, etc.

And again, thank you for finding this site.  If you're a music lover like me, you'll likely find plenty of things to enjoy.  And if you ever have a suggestion, correction or question, please post below the item you are curious about!

December 2016 Smashes All-Time Inside The Rock Era Record

We knew early on in the month that there had been a significant pickup in Inside The Rock Era fans.  Shortly after Christmas, December became the fifth month in history to go over 25,000 page views.  And shortly after that, December broke the all-time record of 26,394 set in July of our first year.  December of 2016 ended up completely obliterating the existing record by reaching 28,578 page views.

We cannot thank you enough for your interest and support and hope the thousands of new viewers will stay with us in the months and years to come.  We'll be providing tips for easy viewing and features that you might be interested in.  You've actually found the website just in time for one of our major music specials, The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era*.

This special is one that I've been putting together since 1976.  That year, I did hundreds of hours of work on it before submitting it to a local radio station while I was in high school.  To my shock, I got a call saying they were interested in broadcasting it and I spent the next several months meeting with Tom Scott, Program Director at KFXD in Boise, Idaho to go over the details.  I was eventually hired there to do part-time work, which soon turned into full-time, which shortly after turned into Music Director working 80 hours a week doing the same things I'm doing now on Inside The Rock Era, putting together music features and specials.

A lot has changed since then in the industry.  Back then, a "Top 40" station played music from several genres, with the only requirement being that it was popular.  A market's Top 40 station was what people who liked Rock music listened to.  Those days are long gone, with the endless segmentation which split the Rock audience into many different directions.  

That's unfortunately, really, for one doesn't get to hear the many great styles of music, and it also likely is responsible for "Top 40" stations thinking they are playing what most people want to hear, such as the rap and the crap that you hear and see on nationally-published song rankings.  

It's also unfortunate because a special of the nature of The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era* will never be played on the radio, since each station today plays a select sliver of what the general population likes; for example, an artist such as AC/DC or Metallica will never be played on the same station that plays Barbra Streisand or Air Supply, and that station will never play the Beatles, Elvis or the Platters.

So what we have coming up is essentially a "world exclusive"--you won't be able to hear music from all different decades of the Rock Era by the many diverse artists who add to the great flavor that is the full cuisine of the last 60 years at the same time, in the same place.

But that is what is coming up, beginning February 6 on Inside The Rock Era!  We will feature one artist per day, beginning with #100 and going to The #1 Artist of the Rock Era*.

In the meantime, have some fun and write down who you think the most successful artists of the last 60 years are and see how close your guesses come to the actual list.  Base it on number and quality of hit songs, sales of singles and albums, radio airplay (and keep in mind that the station you listen to doesn't play even close to all of the songs that are popular), awards won, and concert revenue.  Think longevity and depth of material--in some cases, artists may not have had a lot of "hit" records, but their albums are so filled with great material that their overall body of work earns them a spot in the elite list.

We don't expect you to agree with every artist in the list; if you did, we'd be afraid you were a robot!  Our goal, however, is to present each artist with their story and the many things they have accomplished in their career in the hope that, even if you don't particularly like that artist, you can see why they are successful and deserve to be ranked where they are.

In the days to come, we'll be revealing some of the great artists who are just outside The Top 100 Artists*, not to demean them in any way, but rather to convey just how special it is and how difficult it is to make The Top 100*!

Join us February 6 and every day after that for The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era*!