Posts Tagged ‘ABC Wednesday’
The roots of the band Heart actually go back over forty years. While there have been a number of members of the group over the years, including, briefly, brothers Roger and Mike Fisher, it’s been sisters Ann Wilson on vocals, and guitarist Nancy Wilson, who have been at the heart of the group since 1974. Their careers have had lots of ups and downs, but they survive. They were, rightly, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.
One of my colleagues loves Red Velvet Car, their 2010 album, which was the group’s first Top 10 album in 20 years. I probably should check out that collection because it’s supposed to be “a return to the melodic hard rock and folk sound of early Heart albums.” And I loved early Heart.
The Dreamboat Annie album from 1976 Read the rest of this entry »
I saw a video of Michael Feinstein, who tended to Ira Gershwin’s papers the last six years of the lyricist’s life. Feinstein was asked who is missing from the discussion of Read the rest of this entry »
John Fogerty, Doug Clifford, and Stu Cook met in junior high school, and soon backed John’s older brother Tom on some gigs. Eventually they became a band, with Doug on drums, Stu – formerly on piano – switching to bass, and Tom on rhythm guitar, as John became “the band’s lead vocalist and primary songwriter.” In Tom Fogerty’s words: ‘I could sing, but John had a sound!’” That he did.
The group had a hit with their second single, a cover of Read the rest of this entry »
The Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Bee Gees, Bob Dylan, the Byrds, and Simon & Garfunkel all listed them as influences. In fact, Paul Simon described his solo hit Graceland as an Everly Brothers song. The bonus tracks on Rockpile’s Seconds of Pleasure album features Nick Lowe & Dave Edmunds sing songs by the duo.
Isaac Donald “Don” Everly (born February 1, 1937) and Phillip “Phil” Everly (born January 19, 1939) were known for “steel-string guitar playing and close harmony singing.” They were elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the first class, in 1986.
I remember seeing my father’s single of Bird Dog/Devoted to You on Cadence Records in the house. The brothers got some great songs from the husband and wife Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, as well as tunes they penned themselves. Unfortunately in the early 1960s, the Everlys were shut off from Acuff-Rose songwriters. “These included Felice and Boudleaux Bryant… as well as Don and Phil Everly themselves, who were still contracted to Acuff-Rose as songwriters.” But they remained popular in England and the European continent well after their US popularity waned.
For a time, they had a major falling out, but eventually got back together to play the oldies circuit. Still, their impact on popular music was already settled.
Sadly, Phil Everly died on January 3, 2014 of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 74.
My favorite Everly Brothers songs Read the rest of this entry »
When I first bought the 1998 Dixie Chicks album Wide Open Spaces, I knew the group had copped their name from the Little Feat song Dixie Chicken. What I did not realize is that the group had been around since 1989 as a bluegrass quartet, with the sisters Martie and Emily Erwin and two others. When those other two left – one quit, the other apparently forced out – Natalie Maines became the lead singer. The sisters expanded their instrumental repertoire, and their sound became more contemporary country.
The 1999 album Fly was even more successful. It “debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts, selling over 10 million copies and making the Dixie Chicks the only country band and the only female band of any genre to hold the distinction of having two back-to-back RIAA certified diamond albums.” It was not without controversy, though. Read the rest of this entry »
Some of the albums I own that came out in 1971, the year I went to college, include Sticky Fingers – Rolling Stones; Pearl – Janis Joplin; Aqualung – Jethro Tull; What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye; Every Picture Tells a Story – Rod Stewart; Who’s Next – the Who; Santana (III); Led Zeppelin (IV); Hunky Dory – David Bowie. And, oh yeah, Carpenters, the eponymous third album put out by the sibling duo of Karen and Richard Carpenter.
Talk about uncool! These are the artists who took one of the Beatles’ hardest rockers, Ticket to Ride [LISTEN], and turned it into a ballad on their first album. (I rather liked it.) I loved Karen’s voice, though, and I thought they performed some lovely songs.
The “tan album” begins with Rainy Days and Mondays [LISTEN], written by Roger Nichols and Paul Williams, which I swear radio DJs at the time referenced every time there was precipitation on the first day of the work week. The Carpenters* had recorded the Nichols/Williams tune We’ve Only Just Begun [LISTEN] on their previous album. Both songs went to #2 on the US singles charts.
Richard Carpenter was a great arranger for himself and his sister, and a decent keyboard player, but often wrote drippy songs, with a person named Bettis, and, worse, sang them. Saturday at least was only eighty seconds long.
Let Me Be the One was yet another nice Nichols/Williams song.
(A Place To) Hideaway was a lovely song by someone named Randy Sparks
When I was a teenager, my sister had this album Best of Bee Gees, with all of the early hits, such as I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You [LISTEN], To Love Somebody [LISTEN], and what I thought was their first hit, in 1967, New York Mining Disaster 1941 [LISTEN], plus a couple B-sides, and this oddity called Spicks and Specks [LISTEN].
It was only later that I discovered that the Barry Gibb (b. 1946), and his twin brothers, Maurice and Robin (b. 1949) had moved with their family, including baby brother Andy (b. 1958), from England to Australia in 1958, where they would achieve some musical achievements; Spicks and Specks went Top 10 in the Netherlands, the UK, and Australia, and went to #1 in New Zealand in 1966. Their return to the UK the next year led to true international stardom.
The brothers had even greater success in the early 1970s with their first #1 hit Read the rest of this entry »