Archive for December, 2009

This Week’s Birthdays (December 27 – January 2)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Dec 27
1931 ● William “Scotty” MooreElvis Presley guitarist
1940 ● Pete Brown → Co-lyricist for Cream
1941 ● Leslie Maguire → Gerry & The Pacemakers
1941 ● Mike PinderMoody Blues
1943 ● Peter Sinfield → King Crimson
1944 ● Michael Leslie “Mick” JonesForeigner
1944 ● Tracy Nelson → Mother Earth, solo
1948 ● Larry ByromSteppenwolf
1950 ● Terry Bozzio → Missing Persons
1952 ● David KnopflerDire Straits
1952 ● Karla Bonoff → Singer, songwriter “Someone To Lay Down Beside Me”
1972 ● Matt Slocum → Sixpence None The Richer

Dec 28
1903 ● Earl “Fatha” Hines → Jazz pianist
1915 ● Roebuck “Pops” Staples → Staple Singers
1932 ● Dorsey Burnette → Rockabilly singer
1938 ● Charles Neville → Joey Dee & The Starlighters, Neville Brothers
1943 ● Charles “Chas” Hodges → Chas & Dave
1946 ● Edgar Winter → Edgar Winter Group
1947 ● Dick Diamonde → The Easybeats
1950 ● Alex Chilton → Box Tops
1954 ● Rosie Vela → “Magic Smile” (1986)
1958 ● Mike McGuire → Shenandoah
1960 ● Mart Roe → Diamond Rio
1978 ● John Legend (Stephens) → Neo-soul singer/pianist/songwriter

Dec 29
1935 ● Virgil Johnson → Velvets
1941 ● Ray ThomasMoody Blues
1942 ● Rick DankoThe Band
1942 ● Jerry Summers → The Dovells
1946 ● Marianne Faithfull → “As Tears Go By”
1947 ● Cozy Powell → Rainbow, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath
1948 ● Charlie Spinosa → John Fred & His Playboy Band
1951 ● Yvonne Elliman → “If I Can’t Have You” (1977)
1961 ● Jim Reid → The Jesus And Mary Chain
1968 ● Glen Phillips → Toad The Wet Sprocket

Dec 30
1928 ● Bo Diddley (Elias Otha Bates McDaniel)
1931 ● Skeeter Davis (Mary Frances Penick) → “The End Of The World” (1963)
1934 ● Del Shannon (Charles Westover) → “Runaway” (1961)
1937 ● John Hartford (Harford) → Singer, songwrite, “Gentle On My Mind” (1967)
1939 ● Felix PappalardiMountain
1942 ● Michael NesmithThe Monkees
1943 ● John Denver
1945 ● Davy JonesThe Monkees
1946 ● Patti Smith
1947 ● Jeff LynneElectric Light Orchestra, The Move, Traveling Wilburys
1956 ● Suzy Bogguss → Country singer, “Drive South” (1992)
1959 ● Tracey Ullman → Singer “They Don’t Know” (1983), comedienne
1969 ● Jay Kay → Jamiroquai
1978 ● Tyrese Darnell Gibson → R&B singer

Dec 31
1930 ● Odetta Holmes → Folk-blues, folk revival
1942 ● Andy SummersThe Police
1943 ● Pete QuaifeKinks
1947 ● Burton Cummings → The Guess Who
1948 ● Donna Summer (Donna Adriene Gaines)
1951 ● George Thorogood → The Destroyers
1951 ● Tom HamiltonAerosmith
1960 ● Paul Westerberg → The Replacements
1961 ● Scott Taylor → Then Jericho
1963 ● Scott Ian → Anthrax
1972 ● Joe McIntyre → New Kids On The Block

Jan 01
1942 ● Country Joe McDonald → Country Joe & The Fish
1950 ● Morgan Fisher → Mott The Hoople
1950 ● Steve Ripley → Tractors
1958 ● Grandmaster Flash (Joseph Saddler) → The Furious Five

Jan 02
1936 ● Roger Miller → “King Of The Road” (1965)
1949 ● Michael George “Chick” Churchill → Ten Years After
1954 ● Glen Goins → Parliament, Funkadelic
1975 ● Doug Robb → Hoobastank
1981 ● Little Drummer Boy (Kelton Kessee) → Immature

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 20 – 26)

Happy Birthday this week to:

Dec 20
1944 ● Bobby ColombyBlood Sweat & Tears
1945 ● Peter Criss (Crisscoula) → KISS
1948 ● Stephen Wright → The Easybeats
1949 ● Alan Parsons → Alan Parsons Project
1957 ● Stephen William “Billy” Bragg → “She’s Leaving Home” (1988)
1966 ● Chris Robinson → Black Crowes

Dec 21
1940 ● Frank Zappa → Solo, Mothers Of Invention
1940 ● Ray Hildebrand → Paul & Paula
1942 ● Carla Thomas → “B-A-B-Y” (1966)
1943 ● Albert Lee → Thunderbirds, sessions, solo
1946 ● Carl WilsonBeach Boys
1953 ● Betty Wright → “Clean Up Woman” (1972)
1965 ● Gabrielle “Gabby” Glaser → Luscious Jackson
1971 ● Brett Scallions → Fuel

Dec 22
1939 ● James GurleyBig Brother & the Holding Company
1944 ● Barry Jenkins → The Animals
1946 ● Rick NielsenCheap Trick
1949 ● Maurice Gibb → Bee-Gees
1949 ● Robin Gibb → Bee Gees
1957 ● Ricky Ross → Deacon Blue

Dec 23
1932 ● Reverend James Cleveland → Gospel singer
1935 ● Johnny Kidd (Frederick Heath) → Pirates, “Shakin’ All Over” (1960)
1935 ● Little Esther Phillips (Esther Mae Jones) → “Release Me” (1963)
1940 ● Eugene Record → Chi-Lites
1940 ● Jorma KaukonenJefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna
1940 ● Tim Hardin → “How Can We Hang On To A Dream” (1966)
1943 ● Harry Shearer → Derek Smalls of Spinal Tap
1945 ● Ron Bushy → Iron Butterfly
1946 ● Luther Grosvenor (aka Ariel Bender) → Spooky Tooth, Mott the Hoople
1946 ● Robbie Dupree (Robert Dupuis) → “Steal Away” (1980)
1949 ● Robert Steven “Adrian” BelewTalking Heads, King Crimson, solo
1951 ● Johnny Contardo → Sha Na Na
1958 ● Dave Murray → Iron Maiden
1958 ● Victoria Williams → Folk singer/songwriter
1964 ● Eddie Vedder → Pearl Jam

Dec 24
1920 ● Dave Bartholomew → New Orleans producer
1924 ● Lee Dorsey → “Working In The Cole Mine” (1966)
1944 ● Mike Curb → MGM Records head, producer
1945 ● Lemmy (Ian Frasier Kilminster) → Hawkwind, Motorhead
1946 ● Jan Akkerman → Focus
1957 ● Ian Burden → Human League
1963 ● Mary Ramsey10,000 Maniacs
1971 ● Ricky Martin → “Livin’ La Vida Loca” (1999)

Dec 25
1907 ● Cab Calloway → “Minnie The Moocher” (1931)
1929 ● Billy Horton → Silhouettes
1929 ● Chris Kenner → “I Like It Like That” (1961)
1937 ● O’Kelly Isley → Isley Brothers
1939 ● Bob James → Jazz-pop composer, bandleader
1943 ● Trevor Lucas → Fairport Convention
1944 ● Henry “The Sunflower” Vestine → Canned Heat, Mothers of Invention
1944 ● Kenny Everett (Maurice James Cole) → BBC Radio DJ
1945 ● Noel ReddingJimi Hendrix Experience
1946 ● Jimmy Buffett → “Margaritaville” (1977)
1948 ● Barbara Mandrell → Country singer/songwriter
1948 ● Merry Clayton → Backup/session singer, solo
1954 ● Annie Lennox → Eurythmics
1954 ● Robin Campbell → UB40
1957 ● Shane MacGowan → Pogues
1971 ● Noel Hogan → The Cranberries
1972 ● Dido (Armstrong) → “Thank You” (2001)

Dec 26
1935 ● Abdul “Duke” Fakir The Four Tops
1940 ● Phil Spector → Record producer
1946 ● Bob Carpenter → Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
1951 ● Paul Quinn → Saxon
1953 ● Steve Witherington → Ace
1963 ● Lars Ulrich → Metallica
1967 ● J. Yuenger → White Zombie
1969 ● Peter Klett → Candlebox
1979 ● Chris Daughtry → “It’s Not Over” (2006)

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Album of the Day: The Rascals (12/15/69) 40 Years!

The Rascals were the quintessential 60s blue-eyed soul band, a blend of hard R&B with gospel influences, pounding rhythms and tight harmonies in the Motown and Memphis veins. In their peak years from 1966 through 1969, they released six Top 20 albums and thirteen self-composed Top 40 hits, including two #1’s (for a Rascals playlist, click here). But the internal desire to expand their music and the external pressure to retain relevance in the days of psychedelic rock caused the group to stray from their core competency – pop/soul singles – as the decade came to a close. Two experimental, near “concept” albums (1968’s Once Upon A Dream and March 1969’s Freedom Suite) delved into broader genres and were thus less focused on what the band did best. But they sold well anyway and each included a big single (“It’s Wonderful” and “People Got To Be Free,” respectively). With the release of their seventh LP, See, on December 15, 1969, the Rascals returned to their roots as a singles band, but it was too late. See was the beginning of the end and was the last Rascals’ album to have any measurable impact.

See is not a bad album at all, it just lacks a monster single or two to grab the listener and carry the band’s return to the gritty, exuberant white soul of their earlier albums. It’s available as a CD on Amazon (click here) but not on iTunes.

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Album of the Day: The Clash (12/14/79) 30 Years!

London Calling is the best damn punk album ever. Period. It was released by The Clash (click here for my playlist) in the U.K. thirty years ago today on December 14, 1979 (it came out in the U.S. during January 1980).

Without losing one snarling bit of the raw, nervous, socio-politically nihilistic core of pure punk, The Clash spanned the late 70s abyss from mainstream pop-rock, power pop and straight-up rock ‘n roll to the driving noise of pure punk rock, and pulled everyone back across. And it’s no sell-out. A double album(!), London Calling is full of memorable riffs, toe-tapping rhythms, sing-along lyrics and more distinct genres than the Sex Pistols or Generation X could ever play. And it’s still basic punk.

London Calling has the shuffling reggae sounds of “Rudy Can’t Fail,” the anachronistic, danceable celebration of “Revolution Rock,” the pulsing but melodic punk of “Hateful,” the hard-rock title track, the roots rockabilly of “Brand New Cadillac,” and the hard-edged pop-rock of “Train In Vain” (which was not listed on the cover or Side 4 label of the original Epic vinyl release – but I’ve got mine!).

London Calling is an essential LP in any rock music collection. It’s a Grammy Hall of Fame record, #8 on the Rolling Stone Magazine list of the 500 top albums of all time, #1 on the magazine’s Top 100 Albums of the 80s, and available as a CD on Amazon (click here) and download tracks on iTunes (click here).

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 13 – 19)

Happy Birthday this week to:
Dec 13
1940 ● Tony Gomez → Foundations
1945 ● Robert Martinez → ? and The Mysterians
1948 ● Andy Peebles → BBC Radio DJ
1948 ● Jeff “Skunk” BaxterSteely Dan, Doobie Brothers
1948 ● Ted Nugent → Amboy Dukes, solo
1949 ● Randy Owen → Alabama
1949 ● Tom Verlaine → Television
1950 ● Davy O’List → The Nice, Roxy Music
1952 ● Berton Averre → The Knack

Dec 14
1932 ● Charlie Rich → “The Most Beautiful Girl” (1973)
1937 ● Warren Ryanes → Monotones
1943 ● Frank Allen → Searchers
1946 ● Jackie McAuley → Them
1946 ● Joyce Vincent-Wilson → Tony Orlando & Dawn
1947 ● Anna Marie “Patty” Duke → “Don’t Just Stand There” (1965), TV show
1949 ● Cliff WilliamsAC/DC
1958 ● Mike Scott → The Waterboys
1958 ● Peter Stacy → Pogues

Dec 15
1915 ● Edith Piaf (Edith Giovanna Gassion) → “Milord” (1959)
1921 ● Alan Freed → Radio DJ, coined term “rock and roll”
1933 ● Jesse Belvin → “Goodnight My Love” (1956)
1939 ● Cindy BirdsongThe Supremes
1942 ● Dave ClarkDave Clark Five
1946 ● Harry Ray → Moments
1946 ● Carmine Appice → Vanilla Fudge
1955 ● Paul SimononThe Clash
1958 ● Don Johnson → Actor (Miami Vice), singer

Dec 16
1931 ● Karl Denver (Angus Murdo McKenzie) → “Wimoweh” (1961)
1943 ● Tony HicksThe Hollies
1946 ● Benny Andersson → ABBA
1949 ● Billy GibbonsZZ Top
1972 ● Michael McCary → Boyz II Men

Dec 17
1936 ● Tommy Steele (Thomas William Hicks) → “Rock With The Caveman” (1956)
1937 ● Art Neville → Neville Brothers
1938 ● Carlo Little (Carl O’Neil Little) → First Rolling Stones drummer
1939 ● Eddie KendricksTemptations
1942 ● Paul Butterfield → Butterfield Blues Band
1947 ● Simon Bates → BBC Radio DJ
1948 ● Jim Bonfanti → The Raspberries
1949 ● Paul Rodgers → Free, Bad Company, Queen
1950 ● Carlton “Carlie” Barrett → Wailers
1958 ● Mike MillsR.E.M.

Dec 18
1938 ● Bryan James “Chas” Chandler → The Animals, producer (Jimi Hendrix)
1941 ● Sam AndrewBig Brother & The Holding Company
1942 ● Les Cauchi → Del Satins, Brooklyn Bridge
1943 ● Keith RichardsRolling Stones
1953 ● Elliot EastonThe Cars, New Cars
1963 ● Greg D’Angelo → White Lion
1966 ● Steve Dullaghan → Primitives

Dec 19
1918 ● Professor Longhair (Henry Roeland Byrd) → New Orleans blues pianist
1940 ● Phil Ochs → “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” (1965)
1941 ● Maurice White → Earth, Wind & Fire
1944 ● Zalman “Zal” YanovskyLovin’ Spoonful
1944 ● Alvin Lee → Ten Years After
1945 ● John McEuen → Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
1958 ● Limahl (Christopher Hamill) → Kajagoogoo

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This Week’s Birthdays (December 6 – 12)

Happy Birthday this week to:
Dec 06
1920 ● Dave Brubeck
1943 ● Michael George “Mike” SmithDave Clark Five
1944 ● Jonathan King → “Everyone’s Gone To The Moon” (1965)
1947 ● Kim Simmonds → Savoy Brown
1947 ● Miroslav Vitous → Weather Report
1952 ● Randy Rhoads → Quiet Riot
1956 ● Peter BuckR.E.M.
1961 ● David Lovering → The Pixies
1962 ● Ben Watt → Everything But The Girl
1970 ● Ulf Ekberg → Ace Of Base

Dec 07
1942 ● Harry Chapin
1942 ● Mike Nolan → Bucks Fizz
1949 ● Tom Waits
1958 ● Timothy Butler → Psychedelic Furs

Dec 08
1921 ● Johnny Otis (John Veliotes)
1925 ● Sammy Davis, Jr.
1925 ● Jimmy Smith → Jazz player
1939 ● Jerry Butler → The Impressions, solo
1942 ● Bobby Elliot The Hollies
1943 ● Jim MorrisonThe Doors
1944 ● Mike Botts → Bread
1946 ● Graham Knight → Marmalade
1947 ● Geoff Daking → Blues Magoos
1947 ● Gregg AllmanAllman Brothers Band, solo
1949 ● Ray Shulman → Gentle Giant
1950 ● Dan Hartman → Edgar Winter Group
1956 ● Warren Cuccurullo → Duran Duran
1957 ● Phil Collen → Def Leppard
1959 ● Paul Rutherford → Frankie Goes To Hollywood
1962 ● Marty Friedman → Megadeath
1966 ● Sinead O’ Connor

Dec 09
1934 ● Junior Wells
1941 ● Sam Strain → The O’Jays
1941 ● Dan Hicks → Hot Licks
1943 ● Kenny Vance (Kenneth Rosenberg) → Jay & The Americans
1943 ● Rick DankoThe Band
1944 ● Neil Innes → Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
1944 ● Shirley Brickley → The Orlons
1950 ● Joan Armatrading
1955 ● Randy Murray → Bachman Turner Overdrive
1957 ● Donny Osmond
1958 ● Nick Seymour → Crowded House
1969 ● Jakob Dylan → The Wallflowers
1972 ● Geoff Barrow → Portishead
1972 ● Tre Cool (Frank Edwin Wright III) → Green Day

Dec 10
1910 ● John Hammond Sr.
1926 ● Guitar Slim (Eddie Jones)
1941 ● Chad Stewart → Chad & Jeremy
1946 ● Ace Kefford → The Move, solo
1947 ● Walter Orange → Commodores
1948 ● Ralph Tavares → Tavares
1948 ● Jessica Cleaves → Friends of Distinction
1951 ● Johnny Rodriguez
1958 ● Paul Hardcastle → “19” (1985)
1972 ● Scot Alexander → Dishwalla

Dec 11
1926 ● Big Mama Thornton (Willie Mae Thornton)
1940 ● David Gates → Bread
1944 ● Brenda Lee (Brenda Mae Tarpley)
1954 ● Jermaine JacksonJackson 5
1958 ● Nikki Sixx → Motley Crue

Dec 12
1915 ● Francis Albert “Frank” Sinatra
1932 ● Charlie Rich
1938 ● Connie Francis (Conetta Rosa Maria Franconera)
1940 ● Dionne Warwick
1941 ● Terry Kirkman → The Association
1942 ● Mike Heron → Incredible String Band
1943 ● Dave Munden → The Tremeloes
1943 ● Dickey BettsAllman Brothers Band
1943 ● Grover Washington Jr.
1944 ● Rob Tyner → MC5
1945 ● Tony Williams → Jazz drummer
1945 ● Alan Ward → Honeycombs
1946 ● Clive BunkerJethro Tull
1947 ● Ralph Scala → Blues Magoos
1947 ● Vin Scelsa → FM radio DJ (WNEW-fm New York)
1948 ● Ray Jackson → Lindisfarne
1949 ● Paul Rodgers → Free
1957 ● Cy Curnin → The Fixx
1957 ● Sheila E. (Sheila Escovedo)
1959 ● Belouis Some → “Some People” (1985)
1963 ● Claudia Brucken → Propaganda
1963 ● Eric Schenkman → Spin Doctors

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