Posts Tagged ‘music’

I was surprised to discover that The Yardbirds apparently still exist as a band in 2017, albeit with only one founding member, drummer Jim McCarty.

As the Rolling Stone bio indicates, they “may not have been as famous as their British Invasion contemporaries…, but the pioneering blues-based combo introduced three of the most famous and influential guitarists of the rock era: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page.”

The original band was Keith Relf (vocals, harmonica); Anthony “Top” Topham and Chris Dreja (guitars), Paul “Sam” Samwell-Smith (bass), and McCarthy. Clapton joined the band in October 1963, replacing Topham, who was only 16 and forced to quit by his parents. But “Slowhand” left the group in March 1965 when they got less bluesy and more pop-driven; eventually he helped form Cream.

Clapton was replaced by Beck, through October 1966. Page joined in June 1966 until the last throes of the Yardbirds in July 1968. He then formed the New Yardbirds in October 1968, which evolved into Led Zeppelin.

Jim McCarty and Chris Dreja reformed the Yardbirds in 1992 with John Idan handling bass and lead vocals. Since then, the group has operated off and on with various band permutations, including, for a time, original guitarist Topham.

The Yardbirds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, with members Keith Relf, Chris Dreja, Jim McCarty, Paul Samwell-Smith, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page.

All references to chart action refers to the Billboard (US) Hot 100 pop charts.

Listen to:

Good Morning, School Girl (1964, Sonny Boy” Williamson cover) here or here
I Ain’t Got You (1965) here or here
I Wish You Would (1965, early single) here or here

For Your Love (#6 in 1965, written by Graham Gouldman; recording of this song drove Clapton out of the band) here or here
Heart Full Of Soul (#9 in 1965, Gouldman) here or here
I’m A Man (#17 in 1965) here
Train Kept A Rollin’ (1965) here or here
You’re a Better Man Than I (1965) here or here

Shape of Things (#11 in 1966, written by the band) here or here
Over Under Sideways Down (#13 in 1966, written by the band) here or here
Happening Ten Years Time Ago (#30 in 1966, written by the band) here or here

ABC Wednesday – Round 20

Yeah, I know about those earlier iterations of Fleetwood Mac, going back into the late 1960s, fronted by Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. I alluded to the group’s evolution in a post from three years ago.

Still, most of my favorite songs were from the version represented in the 1975 eponymous album (not be confused with the 1968 album of the same name), when Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined Christine McVie and the two guys for whom the band is named.

In no hard order except the first two. Chart action refers to the Billboard pop charts in the US. Links to all:

20. Save Me (Behind the Mask), #33 in 1990
19. What Makes You Think You’re the One (Tusk – T), 1979 – some referred to Tusk as the band’s “white album”. It was a double LP, the band was fractured, and some of the songs were kind of weird
18. Dreams (Rumours – R), #1 in 1977. It’s difficult for someone not living through it to understand how dominant Rumours was. 19 weeks at #1.
17. Skies the Limit (Behind the Mask), 1990 – Buckingham was gone at this point; he would return. Rick Vito and Billy Burdette were in the band
16. Everywhere (Tango in the Night – TitN), #14 in 1988

15. Over My Head (FM), #20 in 1976
14. Little Lies (TitN), #4 in 1987
13. You Make Loving Fun (R), #9 in 1977
12. Tusk (T), #8 in 1979 – there’s a live version with the USC marching band that’s even sillier
11. Say You Love Me (FM), #11 in 1976 – this first part of the list is heavy with Christine McVie songs, I just noticed; always thought she was the glue of the group

10. Monday Morning (FM), B-side of Say You Love Me – I have an irrational affection for pop songs about days of the week, from Ruby Tuesday to Monday, Monday
9. Oh Well (Then Play On), 1970 – from the Peter Green days
8. Landslide (FM), 1977
7. I’m So Afraid (FM), B-side of Over My Head – and I believe Lindsay is
6. Gypsy (Mirage – M), #12 in 1982

5. Rhiannon (FM), #11 in 1976
4. Hold Me (M) , #4 in 1982
3. Don’t Stop (R), #3 for two weeks in 1977 – the inauguration song for one William Jefferson Clinton
2. Go Your Own Way (R), #10 in 1977 – a great breakup song
1. The Chain (R), 1977 – written by all five members; given all the romantic and musical breakups over the years, SOMETHING must be holding them together

Happy birthday, Mick Fleetwood.

Rebecca Jade, Sheila E., Lynn Mabry

Three new discoveries in a month rock our African origins

THE ARCTIC DOOMSDAY SEED VAULT FLOODED. THANKS, GLOBAL WARMING

Left-lean faith leaders are hungry to break the right’s grip on setting the nation’s moral agenda

Amy Biancolli: I yam what I yam by the grace of God

Social Capital and Inequality

Time for equal media treatment of ‘political correctness’

The toddler defense

American Ex-Pats Explain Why They Quit America

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Brexit II

Dustbury has discovered not everyone he’s likely to meet is prepared to deal with someone who walks only with a bunch of equipment

The Short, Sad Tale of Allyn King of Albany

Arthur is 15 Years a Kiwi citizen

Baby boomers are downsizing — and the kids won’t take the family heirlooms

The Negro Motorist Green Book, which I wrote about here. Check out
the 1949 edition

The art of writing an obituary

An Interview With Author Kelly Sedinger

She returned from Iraq to a broken family. Then writing changed her life

Anne Lamott: 12 truths I learned from life and writing

Anita Pallenberg Passes Away at Age 73

In appreciation of an old-school journalist, the late Dan Lynch

HEATHER FAZIO: I spent two days with Dennis Rodman

The Tony Awards — rehearsals

Documentary producer Robert Weide interviewed Woody Allen live on Facebook

Gary Burghoff explains Radar

Bill Messner-Loebs and Jack Kirby to Receive 2017 Bill Finger Award

Night Court was the black sheep of NBC’s sitcom dynasty

Pete and Harry, two rabbits in commercials for Carnation Milk. I DO NOT remember this

Too Many People Still Think Chocolate Milk Comes from Brown Cows

Now I Know: Fighting North Korea in a Flash and The Counterfeit Money Which is Intentionally Worthless and The Green Versus the Eardrums and Why Mattresses Come With Warning Tags and There’s No Place Like 0,0

Adam West, star of the ‘Batman’ TV series, dies at 88. Here’s his Idaho phone listing. Some insights from Mark Evanier and reflections by Chuck Miller, plus Eddie’s elegy and Rob Hoffman calling him one of “most accomplished and revered ‘B’ level actors of all time”

MUSIC

The Absolute Authenticity of REBECCA JADE (niece #1) and CD REVIEW – PETER SPRAGUE & REBECCA JADE: Planet Cole Porter, available here. Recently, Rebecca has sung at least twice with percussionist Sheila E. and singer Lynn Mabry. Lynn, among many other things, sang backup on the Stop Making Sense tour, which I saw at SPAC in 1984

Coverville: Sgt.Pepper 50th anniversary plus Gregg Allman tribute and All 213 Beatles Songs, Ranked From Worst to Bestand The Final Beatles Concert

What is Life – Weird Al

K-Chuck Radio: The Mystery of Blueberry Hill

Bohemian Rhapsody – Vika Yermolyeva

Pieces about Bobby Vee and Brian Hyland, both apparently inspired by me

Wap Bap, the most hated song on YouTube

Song of the Volga Boatmen sung by the Red Army Chorus

Reg Kehoe and his Marimba Queens

Billy Joel on Self-Doubt and Finally Becoming Cool

As I waded through The Billboard of Number One Hits, I noticed that A World Without Love by Peter and Gordon (#1 on June 27, 1964) was immediately followed by I Get Around by the Beach Boys (#1 for two weeks starting July 4, 1964). They appear in reverse order on an album I bought from the Capitol Record Club way back in 1965 or 1966 called Big Hits of from ENGLAND AND USA.

The story of A World Without Love is probably familiar to fans of a certain group Read the rest of this entry »

Among the wealth of artists that performed on the Motown labels in 1960s, I probably know about Junior Walker the least. He was born Autry DeWalt-Mixom, Jr. in Blythesville, Arkansas on 14 June 1931. He grew up in South Bend, Indiana.

He started his band, the Jumping Jacks, and his good friend, drummer Billy Nicks, had a group, the Rhythm Rockers, but the two would play on each other’s gigs. Since Nicks had a local TV show in South Bend, he asked Walker to join his band.

When Nicks got drafted, Walker convinced the group to move to Battle Creek, Michigan. After some personnel and name changes, the All Stars were signed by Harvey Fuqua to his Harvey records. “Fuqua’s labels were taken over by Motown’s Berry Gordy, and Jr. Walker & the All Stars [the usual spelling] became members of the Motown family, recording for their Soul imprint in 1964.”

The group’s first big hit was “Shotgun” in 1965, which “uses only one chord throughout the entire song — A-flat seventh. Other songs featuring this same structure (or non-structure) are Chain of Fools and Land of 1000 Dances.” The song is in the Grammy and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame. The All Stars were in a particular groove. The song appeared in several movies, including Malcolm X.

I have this Motown LP box set that explains that there was a songwriter – it doesn’t identify who, but it was either Johnny Bristol, who discovered the group; Fuqua, who took Bristol’s suggestion; or a guy named Vernon Bullock. The songwriter pitched the song to Junior, but he said it wasn’t his thing.

The next year, the songwriter said he still had that song, and Walker reluctantly agreed to record “What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)” in 1969. “A Motown quality control meeting rejected this song for single release, but radio station DJs made the track popular, resulting in Motown releasing it as a single.”

Junior Walker died of cancer on 23 November 1995 at the age of 64 in Battle Creek.

Listen to:

Shotgun, #4 pop, #1 rhythm & blues for four weeks in 1965 here or here

(I’m A) Road Runner, #20 pop, #4 r&b in 1966 here or here

How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You), #18 pop, #3 r&b in 1966 here or here

What Does It Take (To Win Your Love), #4 pop, #1 r&b for two weeks in 1969 here or here

These Eyes, #16 pop, # r&b for two weeks in 1969 here or here

Urgent (Foreigner, with Jr. Walker on sax solo), #3 pop in 1981, here or here

Urgent, 1983, appears in 1985 movie Desperately Seeking Susan, here or here

Round 20 of ABC Wednesday.

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