Sunday, December 30, 2018

Night Train to Nashville..Music City Rhythm and Blues 1945-1970

In white America, Nashville is best known as the seat of country music. However, African-Americans looked to Nashville as a great source of R'n'B. Radio station WLAC was rife with the hits of the R'n'B stars and the hopefuls. This 2-disc collection features the evolution of R'n'B as you've never heard it before: thumpin', gritty, growlin' and rockin'.

The most startling revelation is how rich, varied, and deep Nashville's R'n'B scene was during a 25-year period in which the city solidified its reputation as the undisputed capital of country music. Arranged chronologically, Night Train to Nashville also traces the steady progression of African-American music beginning with the end of WWII--from jump blues, lusty R'n'B, and smooth-groove vocal groups to proto rock & roll, Southern soul, and Top 40 pop that drew blacks and whites together even as the Vietnam War nearly ripped the country apart. Although this collection contains well-known hits (Bobby Hebb's "Sunny", Robert Knight's "Everlasting Love") and widely acknowledged stars (Etta James and Ruth Brown, both of whom recorded some of their best work in Nashville), many of its most satisfying pleasures come courtesy of lesser-known artists, such as R'n'B belter Christine Kittrell, swamp blues man Shy Guy Douglas, and balladeer Sam Baker. In the midst of many ear-opening discoveries, add one more: When listening to the countrified soul of Arthur Alexander, Joe Simon, and Johnny Adams, it's apparent that Nashville in its '60s heyday wasn't two separate but equal towns but one glorious Southern-music Mecca. --Keith Moerer (Amazon)

Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Unissued Carl Perkins...30 tracks from original Sun Studios recordings

A 30 track collection of alternative and unissued takes of Carl Perkins' recordings at Sam Phillips' Sun Studios from 1954 to 1957. A now rare and hard to find release, this is will be of interest to rockabilly and Carl Perkins fans.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Columbia Rockabilly Vol.1...Ronnie Self, Carl Perkins, Joe Maphis, Link Wray, Collins Kids, Rose Maddox

Hot-blooded and sharp-boned, this is the original voice of teen frustration. No dewy-eyed walk down memory lane, just passion-packed music that burst out of the hills and changed the world.

1 –Ronnie Self Ain't I'm A Dog 2:15
2 –Joe Maphis & Larry Collins  Hurricane 2:09
3 –Carl Perkins Where The Rio De Rosa Flows 3:04
4 –The Collins Kids Party 1:36
5 –Marty Robbins Tennessee Toddy 3:15
6 –Bobby Lord Everybody's Rockin' But Me 2:09
7 –Johnny Horton The Woman I Need (Honky Tonky Mind) 2:12
8 –Werly Fairburn I'm Jealous 2:14
9 –Link Wray New Studio Blues 3:15
10 –Ronnie Self You're So Right For Me 2:03
11 –Sid King & The Five Strings Sag, Drag And Fall 2:17
12 –Ersel Hickey Goin' Down That Road 1:46
13 –Derrell Felts It's A Great Big Day 2:30
14 –Commonwealth Jones Who's Been Here? 3:30
15 –Johnny Horton Lover's Rock 2:34
16 –Charlie Adams Sugar Diet 2:05
17 –The Collins Kids Hop, Skip And Jump 1:52
18 –Carl Perkins Pointed Toe Shoes 2:00
19 –Commonwealth Jones Do Do Do 2:51
20 –Billy Brown Flip Out 2:28
21 –Sid King & The Five Strings Purr, Kitty Purr 3:05
22 –Cliff Johnson Go Away Houndog 2:08
23 –Rose Maddox Hey Little Dreamboat 2:55
24 –Onie Wheeler Goin' Back To The City 2:14
25 –Billy Brown Did We Have A Party 2:26

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Aretha Franklin 1942-2018 tribute to the Queen of Soul plus The Very Best of..Vols.1 & 2

Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter, civil rights activist, actress, and pianist. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan where her father C. L. Franklin was minister. At age 18, she embarked on a secular career recording for Columbia Records. However, she achieved only modest success. Franklin found commercial success and acclaim after signing with Atlantic Records in 1966. Hit songs such as "Respect", "Chain of Fools", "Think", "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman", "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)", and "I Say a Little Prayer", propelled Franklin past her musical peers. By the end of the 1960s, Aretha Franklin had come to be known as "The Queen of Soul".

She continued to record acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967), Lady Soul (1968), Spirit in the Dark (1970), Young, Gifted and Black (1972), Amazing Grace (1972), and Sparkle (1976) before experiencing problems with her record company. Franklin left Atlantic in 1979 and signed with Arista Records. She appeared in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers before releasing the successful albums Jump to It (1982), Who's Zoomin' Who? (1985), and Aretha (1986) on the Arista label. In 1998, Franklin returned to the top 40 with the Lauryn Hill-produced song "A Rose Is Still a Rose", later issuing the album of the same name, which went gold. That same year, Franklin earned international acclaim for her performance of "Nessun dorma" at the Grammy Awards, filling in at the last minute for Luciano Pavarotti, who had cancelled after the show had already begun. In 2015, she paid tribute to singer/songwriter and honoree Carole King by singing "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" at the Kennedy Center Honors.

Franklin recorded 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top-ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries, and 20 number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in history. Franklin's other well-known hits include "Rock Steady", "Call Me", "Ain't No Way", "Don't Play That Song (You Lied)", "Spanish Harlem", "Day Dreaming", "Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)", "Something He Can Feel", "Jump to It", "Freeway of Love", "Who's Zoomin' Who", and "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (a duet with George Michael). She won 18 Grammy Awards, including the first eight awards given for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance from 1968 through to 1975, and she is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide.

Franklin received numerous honors throughout her career, including a 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the first female performer to be inducted, the National Medal of Arts, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and to the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012.[6] Franklin is listed in two all-time lists by Rolling Stone magazine, including the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. In 2008, she was ranked by Rolling Stone as the No. 1 greatest singer of all time.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Bob Dylan's Jukebox...the songs that inspired the bard

1 –Little Richard Tutti Frutti 2:22
2 –Elvis Presley Milkcow Blues Boogie 2:24
3 –Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup That's All Right 2:53
4 –Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup Mean Old 'Frisco 2:34
5 –Lightnin' Hopkins Automobile 2:46
6 –Woody Guthrie Pretty Boy Floyd 3:03
7 –Cisco Houston 900 Miles 3:33
8 –Mississippi John Hurt Candy Man 2:46
9 –Memphis Jug Band Stealin', Stealin' 2:55
10 –Blind Willie Johnson Jesus Make Up My Dyin' Bed 3:11
11 –Roy Acuff Wait For The Light To Shine 2:32
12 –Johnny & Jack* This World Can't Stand Long 2:38
13 –Blind Boy Fuller Mama Let Me Lay It On You 2:54
14 –Blind Willie McTell Delia 2:30
15 –Josh White St James Infirmary 3:38
16 –The Carter Family Little Moses 3:11
17 –Stanley Brothers* Little Maggie 2:16
18 –Mississippi Sheiks I Got Blood In My Eyes For You 3:12
19 –Lead Belly* Midnight Special 2:10
20 –Buell Kazee The Wagoners Lad 3:02
21 –Bently Boys* Down On Penny's Farm 2:47
22 –Hank Williams Lost Highway 2:40
23 –Richard (Rabbit) Brown* James Alley Blues 3:05
24 –Robert Johnson Stones In My Passway 2:27
25 –Chubby Parker King Kong Kitchie Kitchie Ki-Me-O 3:08

Friday, June 22, 2018

Stratosphere Boogie: The Flaming Guitars of Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant

Pedal steel-er West and guitarist Bryant were the most in-demand session musicians of the 50's. On their own, though, is when they really let loose; and this 16-track collection culling the best of their Capitol instrumentals contains country, jazz, bluegrass and space-age effects that musicians are still scratching their heads over 40 years later! 

These 16 sides were selected from the more than 50 that guitarist Bryant and pedal steel player West cut in Los Angeles between 1951 and 1956, when they were also most in demand as country--and occasionally pop--session men. Forty years later, these are still considered the hottest, most fully realized, most musical instrumentals in the history of country. West's slashing, muscular steel lines send out sparks, while Bryant's bop-influenced, breakneck guitar cuts clean as a scalpel. Using the guitar-steel pairings of Western swing as a jumping-off point, these guys created a jazzy body of work that many guitarists are still trying to decipher.

1. Stratosphere Boogie
  2. Blue Bonnet Rag
  3. Cotton Pickin'
  4. Old Joe Clark
  5. Sleepwalker's Lullaby
  6. Arkansas Traveler
  7. The Night Rider
  8. Low Man On A Totem Pole
  9. Speedin' West
  10. Comin' On
  11. Bryant's Bounce
  12. Midnight Ramble
  13. Pickin' Peppers
  14. Shuffleboard Rag
  15. Bustin' Thru
  16. Flippin' The Lid


Monday, March 26, 2018

Good Rockin' Tonight, The Legacy of Sun Records...music by various artists

Good Rockin' Tonight',  The Legacy of Sun Records, is a musical celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of Sun Records. This London-Sire Records release features new renditions of the Sun classics.

Most of the artists on this tribute to Sam Phillips's legendary Memphis label have chosen to cover the rockabilly hits. It isn't until a genuine Sun rockabilly artist--the late Carl Perkins--makes an appearance, joining Van Morrison for Howlin' Wolf's "Sittin' on Top of the World," that things briefly get bluesy. Instead, Paul McCartney, Jeff Beck, Chrissie Hynde, Tom Petty, and Bryan Ferry all offer up loving, note-for-note recreations of early Elvis tunes, even if it was Jerry Lee Lewis, not Elvis, who recorded a cover of "Don't Be Cruel" (Ferry's tune) for Sun.

But Elton John and Mandy Barnett both do The Killer (Lewis) proud here, as Sheryl Crow later does for Charlie Rich, and Led Zep's Page & Plant do for Sonny Burgess. Especially marvelous is Bob Dylan's subtle and, at times, hilarious take on Warren Smith's "Red Cadillac and a Black Moustache." It's a career highlight and every bit as enchanting as Robert Gordon's '70s cover version. Like the label itself, there are more hits than misses here.

  1. That's All Right Mama - Paul McCartney
  2. Mystery Train - Jeff Beck and Chrissie Hynde
  3. My Bucket's Got a Hole in It - Jimmy Page and Robert Plant
  4. Blue Suede Shoes - Johnny Hallyday
  5. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On - Elton John
  6. Blue Moon of Kentucky - Tom Petty
  7. Sitting on Top of the World - Van Morrison and Carl Perkins
  8. Don't Be Cruel - Brian Ferry
  9. Red Cadillac and a Black Moustache - Bob Dylan
  10. Walkin' in the Rain - Eric Clapton
  11. Lonely Weekend - Matchbox 20
  12. Who Will the Next Fool Be? - Sheryl Crow
  13. It Wouldn't Be the Same Without You - Chris Isaak
  14. I Walk the Line - Live
  15. Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee - The Howling Diablos and Kid Rock
  16. You Win Again - Mandy Barnett with the Jordanaires


Friday, January 26, 2018

songs The Beatles taught us...15 tracks covered by John, Paul, George and Ringo

Packed full of amazing tracks, the late 50's and early 60's really was a golden period in music and one that deserves a bigger revival. These 15 tracks were all covered by The Beatles at various stages of their career, in particular their earlier "pre-fab" days. All original tracks by the original artists.

The Isley Brothers - Shout (Part One)
Little Richard - Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey (Going Back to Birmingham)
Larry Williams - Bad Boy (Junior Behave Yourself)
Chuck Berry - Rock and Roll Music
Carl Perkins - Everybody's Trying to be My Baby
Barrett Strong - Money (That's What I Want)
The Shirelles - Boys
The Marvelettes - Please Mr. Postman
Richie Barrett - Some Other Guy
Ray Charles - Hallelujah I Love Her So
Arthur Alexander - A Shot of Rhythm and Blues
The Coasters - Searchin'
The Cookies - Chains
Buddy Holly - Crying, Waiting, Hoping

Anita Bryant - Till There Was You

Friday, October 27, 2017

Fats Domino...1928-2017...legendary rock and roll icon...tribute post

Antoine Dominique "Fats" Domino Jr. (February 26, 1928 – October 24, 2017) was an American pianist and singer-songwriter of Louisiana Creole descent. He had 35 records in the U.S. Billboard Top 40, and five of his pre-1955 records sold more than a million copies, being certified gold.

Between 1955 and 1960, he had eleven Top 10 hits, and his record sales were reportedly surpassed only by Elvis Presley. During his career, Domino sold more than 65 million records. His musical style was based on traditional rhythm and blues, accompanied by saxophones, bass, piano, electric guitar, and drums.

He was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, the youngest of eight children born to Antoine Caliste Domino (1879–1964) and Marie-Donatille Gros (1886–1971). The Domino family was of French Creole background, and Louisiana Creole was his first language. By age 14, Domino was performing in New Orleans bars. In 1947, Billy Diamond, a New Orleans bandleader, accepted an invitation to hear the young pianist perform at a backyard barbecue. Domino played well enough that Diamond asked him to join his band, the Solid Senders, at the Hideaway Club in New Orleans, where he would earn $3 a week playing the piano.[8] Diamond nicknamed him "Fats", because Domino reminded him of the renowned pianists Fats Waller and Fats Pichon, but also because of his large appetite.

Domino was one of the biggest stars of rock and roll in the 1950s and one of the first R&B artists to gain popularity with white audiences. His biographer Rick Coleman argues that Domino's records and tours with rock-and-roll shows in that decade, bringing together black and white youths in a shared appreciation of his music, was a factor in the breakdown of racial segregation in the United States. The artist himself did not define his work as rock and roll, but as a Dixieland music, saying, "It wasn't anything but the same rhythm and blues I'd been playin' down in New Orleans." 

Domino was also an important influence on the music of the 1960s and 1970s and was acknowledged as such by some of the top artists of that era. Elvis Presley introduced Fats at one of his Las Vegas concerts, saying, "This gentleman was a huge influence on me when I started out." Presley also made this comment in a 1957 interview: "A lot of people seem to think I started this business. But rock ’n’ roll was here a long time before I came along. Nobody can sing that music like colored people. Let’s face it: I can’t sing it like Fats Domino can. I know that."

Both John Lennon and Paul McCartney recorded Domino songs. According to some reports, McCartney wrote the Beatles song "Lady Madonna" in emulation of Domino's style, combining it with a nod to Humphrey Lyttelton's 1956 hit "Bad Penny Blues". Domino also recorded the song in 1968. Domino returned to the "Hot 100" chart for the last time in 1968, with his recording of "Lady Madonna". That recording, as well as covers of two other songs by the Beatles, appeared on his Reprise album Fats Is Back, produced by Richard Perry and with several hits recorded by a band that included the New Orleans pianist James Booker

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Seeds ... singles A's and B's 1965-1970 anthology

The Seeds' definitive anthology of their entire run of singles from 1965 to 1970, a collection that includes some of the band's best-known material including Can't Seem To Make You Mine, Mr.Farmer and their lone Top 40 hit, the garage rock touchstone that is Pushin' Too Hard.

Singles such as Satisfy You, The Wind Blows Your Hair and Bad Part Of Town have become as equally renowned in the years since, and Seeds' B-sides are almost as popular - tracks such as Out of the Question, The Other Place and Wild Blood are all fan favorites.

This exhaustive 24 track collection is drawn from the original singles masters, which in most cases have never been available since their first issue; most cuts feature unique mixes and different edits.

After leaving the GNP Crescendo label in 1969, the Seeds moved to MGM for two swansong 45's, both included here, never before on CD. Bonus tracks are Excuse Excuse with a different vocal, issued on a French EP, and the original, unedited version of Pushin' Too Hard.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Steppenwolf...Born To Be Wild...A Retrospective..1966-1990

Steppenwolf are a Canadian rock band that were prominent from 1968 to 1972. The group was formed in late 1967 in Toronto by lead singer John Kay, keyboardist Goldy McJohn, and drummer Jerry Edmonton (all formerly in Jack London and The Sparrows from Oshawa, Ontario). Guitarist Michael Monarch and bass guitarist Rushton Moreve were recruited by notices placed in Los Angeles-area record and musical instrument stores.

They have sold over 25 million records worldwide, released eight gold albums and 12 Billboard Hot 100 singles, of which six were top 40 hits, including three top 10 successes: "Born to Be Wild", written by Dennis Edmonton (using the stage name Mars Bonfire), "Magic Carpet Ride", and "Rock Me." Steppenwolf enjoyed worldwide success from 1968 to 1972, but clashing personalities led to the end of the core lineup. Today, John Kay is the only original member, having served as the lead singer since 1967.

This compilation of 34 tracks includes all their hits plus previously unreleased tracks and comprehensive 28 page booklet.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Dave Clark Five...Glad All Over Again...35 Solid Gold Hits

The Dave Clark Five (also known as "the DC5") were an English pop-rock group. Their single "Glad All Over" knocked the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" off the top of the UK Singles Chart in January 1964; it peaked at number 6 in the United States in April 1964. "Over And Over" was a number 1 single in the United States for the group in December 1965.

They were the second group of the British Invasion on The Ed Sullivan Show, appearing in March for two weeks after the Beatles appeared three straight weeks in February 1964. For some time the Dave Clark Five were more popular in the US than in their native UK, but had a renaissance in the UK between 1967 and 1970. 

The band started out as the Dave Clark Quintet in 1957, with Clark on drums, Dave Sanford on lead guitar, Chris Walls on bass, Don Vale on piano (and arranger). In 1958, Sanford was replaced by Rick Huxley and people were confused by the meaning of the word quintet, so the band renamed themselves the Dave Clark Five, with Stan Saxon on lead vocals, Huxley on rhythm guitar, Roger Smedley on piano and Johnny Johnson on lead guitar. Mick Ryan replaced Johnson in 1958 and Jim Spencer joined on saxophone, while Smedley left. Walls left in 1959 and Huxley became the bass player. Mike Smith joined on piano in 1960, and Lenny Davidson replaced Ryan in 1961. In 1962, the band changed its name to the Dave Clark Five when Saxon left. The group was Clark on drums, Huxley on bass, Smith on organ and lead vocals, and Davidson on lead guitar, adding Denny Payton on tenor and baritone saxophone, harmonica and guitar.

The Dave Clark Five had 17 records in the Top 40 of the US Billboard chart and 12 Top 40 hits in their native UK between 1964 and 1967. Their song "Over and Over" went to number one in the US on the Billboard Hot 100 on Christmas Day 1965, despite less impressive sales in the UK (it peaked at number 45 on the UK Singles Chart), and they played to sell-out crowds on their tours of the U.S. The Dave Clark Five was the first British band of the British Invasion to tour the US, and they made 18 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show – the most of any British Invasion group.

The group disbanded in late 1970. On 10 March 2008, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Let's Hear It for the Girls...22 Classic All-Girl tracks from the 60's

They're all here! 22 of the biggest and most popular tracks by female artists of the 1960's. All the favourites including "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", "Downtown", Baby Love", "Rescue Me", "My Boyfriend's Back", It's In His Kiss", "He's So Fine", and all done by the original artists including The Shirelles, Petula Clark, The Supremes, The Angels, Dusty Springfield, Cilla Black, Leslie Gore and a host of others. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Ultimate Peter and Gordon..20 track collection

No, it's not Austin Powers! Peter and Gordon were a British pop duo, composed of Peter Asher (b. 1944) and Gordon Waller (1945–2009), who achieved international fame in 1964 with their first single, the million-selling transatlantic No.1 smash "A World Without Love". The duo had several subsequent hits in the so-called British Invasion-era.

Peter Asher and his sister Jane were child actors in the 1950's. They played siblings in a 1955 episode of the television series The Adventures of Robin Hood. Jane Asher dated The Beatles' Paul McCartney between 1963 and 1968, and Peter and Gordon recorded several songs written by McCartney but credited to Lennon–McCartney. Those hits included "A World Without Love" (US & UK No.1), "Nobody I Know" (US No.12; UK No.10), "I Don't Want To See You Again" (US No.16, but not a hit in the UK), and "Woman".

Other hits for the duo included "I Go to Pieces", written by Del Shannon and given to Peter and Gordon after the two acts toured together. The duo also recorded remakes of Buddy Holly's "True Love Ways" (US No.14 and UK No.2 in 1965), and The Teddy Bears' "To Know Him Is To Love Him", retitled "To Know You Is To Love You" (US No.24 and UK No.5 in 1965).

Peter and Gordon had their last hit in Britain in late 1966 with "Lady Godiva", which reached No.16 there (and No.6 in the US), whilst their success lasted into 1967 in the US, with "Knight in Rusty Armour" and "Sunday for Tea" both registering in the upper reaches of the Billboard Hot 100 that year.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Chuck Berry...1926-2017...R.I.P...Tribute Post

Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957) and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958), Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive. Writing lyrics that focused on teen life and consumerism, and developing a music style that included guitar solos and showmanship, Berry was a major influence on subsequent rock music.

Born into a middle-class African-American family in St. Louis, Missouri, Berry had an interest in music from an early age and gave his first public performance at Sumner High School. While still a high school student he was convicted of armed robbery and was sent to a reformatory, where he was held from 1944 to 1947. After his release, Berry settled into married life and worked at an automobile assembly plant. By early 1953, influenced by the guitar riffs and showmanship techniques of the blues musician T-Bone Walker, Berry began performing with the Johnnie Johnson Trio. His break came when he traveled to Chicago in May 1955 and met Muddy Waters, who suggested he contact Leonard Chess, of Chess Records. With Chess, he recorded "Maybellene"—Berry's adaptation of the country song "Ida Red"—which sold over a million copies, reaching number one on Billboard magazine's rhythm and blues chart. By the end of the 1950's, Berry was an established star, with several hit records and film appearances and a lucrative touring career. He had also established his own St. Louis nightclub, Berry's Club Bandstand. But in January 1962, he was sentenced to three years in prison for offenses under the Mann Act—he had transported a 14-year-old girl across state lines. After his release in 1963, Berry had several more hits, including "No Particular Place to Go", "You Never Can Tell", and "Nadine". But these did not achieve the same success, or lasting impact, of his 1950's songs, and by the 1970's he was more in demand as a nostalgic performer, playing his past hits with local backup bands of variable quality. His insistence on being paid in cash led in 1979 to a four-month jail sentence and community service, for tax evasion.


Berry was among the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on its opening in 1986; he was cited for having "laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance." Berry is included in several of Rolling Stone magazine's "greatest of all time" lists; he was ranked fifth on its 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll includes three of Berry's: "Johnny B. Goode", "Maybellene", and "Rock and Roll Music". Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" is the only rock-and-roll song included on the Voyager Golden Record.

A few choice album selections....

See also other posts on this blog:

The Chess Box
America's Hottest Wax, Rare and Unreleased

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

John Mayall...Lost and Gone (1964) and Blues Breakers (1966)

John Mayall, OBE (born 29 November 1933) is an English blues singer, guitarist, organist and songwriter, whose musical career spans over fifty years. In the 1960's, he was the founder of John Mayall and the Blues Breakers, a band which has counted among its members some of the most famous blues and blues rock musicians. They include Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jack Bruce, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Mick Taylor, Don "Sugarcane" Harris, Harvey Mandel, Larry Taylor, Aynsley Dunbar, Hughie Flint, Jon Hiseman, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Andy Fraser, Johnny Almond, Walter Trout, Coco Montoya and Buddy Whittington.

Born in Macclesfield, Cheshire in 1933, Mayall's father Murray Mayall, was a guitarist and jazz music enthusiast. From an early age, John was drawn to the sounds of American blues players such as Lead Belly, Albert Ammons, Pinetop Smith, and Eddie Lang, and taught himself to play the piano, guitars, and harmonica.

Mayall spent three years in Korea for national service and, during a period of leave, he bought his first electric guitar. Back in England, he enrolled at Manchester College of Art and started playing with semi-professional bands. After graduation, he obtained a job as an art designer but continued to play with local musicians. In 1963, he opted for a full-time musical career and moved to London. His previous craft would be put to good use in the designing of covers for many of his coming albums.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Johnny Rivers...The Memphis Sun Recordings

Johnny Rivers is one of the most underrated rock pioneers. This album is his tribute to rockabilly by recordings that made Sun studios so famous. He plays and sings them close to the originals. Rivers pays homage to the greats, yet makes each well known song his own; no small feat.

One can only imagine how crowded the little Sun Studio in Memphis must have been when this great record was made - guitars, horns, back-up singers, bass, etc, and Johnny singing live. Just terrific versions of early Sun songs plus some of Johnny's hits in stripped down versions. His "Memphis" sounds just as strong as his original 60's recording at the Whiskey A Go Go. Johnny enlisted hall of fame musicians to lend a hand, the late Carl Perkins and James Burton, to name two. 

Carl Perkins sits in and plays after Johnny says to him "Carl, why don't you come in and help us out", after being told by Rebekah Alperin who was helping with the project that I think Carl wants to play. Johnny was thrilled when Carl joined him. Johnny handed his guitar to Carl and picked up an acoustic guitar and they started playing "Bopping the Blues". Carl went on to play lead on all the songs that were his.

Johnny Rivers is in his strongest element on this album; this had to be a great work of joy for him, and it shines through. He has gone back to the roots of rock and roll. Elvis, Roy and Carl would be proud.

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