Saturday, March 21, 2015

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "Already Gone" from the Eagles

Inside The Rock Era is preparing a musical smorgasbord for you, The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*, which begins May 21.

In the meantime, we are presenting some of the top songs just outside the list.  We featured this song as one of The Top Unknown/Underrated Songs of the Rock Era*, and it seems the public agrees, for since that time, the song has steadily gained in the ranking of The Top 13,000 Songs* through increased sales and radio airplay.  Now, it is close to making the all-time Top 500*.

The Eagles show off their trademark harmonies on one of their great early hits--"Already Gone"...
Already Gone by Eagles on Grooveshark

This Date in Rock Music History: March 22

1957:  Elvis Presley released the single "All Shook Up".
1956:  Carl Perkins broke four ribs and a shoulder when the car he was traveling in was involved in an accident that sadly claimed the life of his brother Jay.

1963:  The Beatles released the album Please Please Me in the U.K.
1964: Barbra Streisand opened in the Broadway play I Can Get it For You Wholesale at the Sam S. Schubert Theatre.
1965: Bob Dylan's first album featuring his electric guitar Bring it All Back Home was released on Columbia Records.

1967: The Who played their first U.S. show at the Paramount Theater in New York City.
1969:  The Temptations reached #1 on the R&B chart with "Run Away Child, Running Wild".
1969:  Glen Campbell's album Wichita Lineman, featuring the great title track, was #1 on the Album chart.  Cream's farewell album Goodbye was second while The White Album by the Beatles, which had held on to #1 for 10 weeks, was still hanging around at #3.

Dizzy by Tommy James & The Shondells on Grooveshark
1969:  There were fun times in music as Tommy Roe held on to #1 with "Dizzy", one of The Top 10 Bubblegum Songs of the Rock Era*.  CCR was in their favorite place of #2 with "Proud Mary".
1971: Police arrested all members of the Allman Brothers Band for heroin and marijuana possession in Jackson, Mississippi.
1973: Traffic and Spooky Tooth (Mick Jones, Gary Wright) appeared at The Hard Rock in Manchester, England.

The Eagles On The Border Album Cover
1974: The Eagles released their third LP, On the Border.
1975: Barry Manilow made his first appearance on American Bandstand.
1975:  The Bay City Rollers ruled in the U.K. with their remake of the Four Seasons' song "Bye Bye Baby".

1975: Led Zeppelin, who had debuted at #3 the previous week, took over at #1 on the Album chart with Physical Graffiti.  Olivia Newton-John was #2 with Have You Never Been Mellow with Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks coming in third.  One of the career best for the Doobie Brothers, What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits, held down #4 after 45 weeks of release.

1975:  Earth, Wind & Fire had the new #1 on the R&B chart with their great song "Shining Star".
1975:  B.J. Thomas scored another #1 on the Adult chart with "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song".
1975:  Elton John roared from #35 to #11 with "Philadelphia Freedom".

My Eyes Adored You by The Four Seasons on Grooveshark
1975:  Frankie Valli completed one of the most amazing comeback stories of the Rock Era when he climbed the final step of the ladder to #1 with "My Eyes Adored You".  He had not had a Top 10 hit in seven years.  LaBelle moved to #2 with "Lady Marmalade" while Minnie Riperton was up with "Lovin' You".  Previous #1 "Black Water" from the Doobie Brothers fell and former #1 "Have You Never Been Mellow" by Olivia Newton-John was on its way down.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Express" from B.T. Express, Joe Cocker scored one of his only Top 10's with "You Are So Beautiful", Phoebe Snow moved from 11-8 with "Poetry Man", Ringo Starr burst into the group with "No No Song" and Sugarloaf remained at #10 with "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You".  

1977:  Stevie Wonder released the single "Sir Duke".

1977: John Denver's television special Thank God I'm a Country Boy was shown on ABC.
1978: The Police signed a recording contract with A&M Records.
1979: Chaka Khan gave birth to a son, Damien Milton Patrick Holland.

1980:  Pink Floyd posted their only #1 song on this date--"Another Brick In The Wall", holding off "Longer" by Dan Fogelberg, although many stations favored the latter.  Queen finally came off their perch after four weeks with "Crazy Little Thing Called Love".  Andy Gibb had his sixth straight Top 10 to begin his career ("Desire"), one of the top feats for a newcomer in the Rock Era.  The rest of the Top 10:  the Spinners were up to 6 with the medley "Working My Way Back To You/Forgive Me Girl", Donna Summer's "On the Radio", Rupert Holmes and "Him", Shalamar edged up with "The Second Time Around", Kool & the Gang had another Top 10 with "Too Hot" and Linda Ronstadt moved up with "How Do I Make You".

1980:  Promising newcomers Air Supply were rewarded for a great song by reaching #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Lost In Love".

Hurts So Bad by Linda Ronstadt on Grooveshark     
   Linda Ronstadt from 'Mad Love' with "Hurts So Bad"...

1980:  It was evident that the album The Wall by Pink Floyd was going to be one of The Top 100 Albums of the Rock Era*, spending a 10th week at #1.  Damn the Torpedoes from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers was at #2 for seven of those with Linda Ronstadt jumping to #3 in just the second week of release for Mad Love.  Rush's excellent Permanent Waves was third while Heart's rocker Bebe Le Strange gained the #5 position.  The rest of the Top 10:  The superb Phoenix from Dan Fogelberg, the Whispers with their self-titled album, Fun and Games from Chuck Mangione, Bob Seger moved from 20 to 9 in just his second week with his third consecutive smash album in a row--Against the Wind and Michael Jackson stood pat at #10 with Off the Wall.
1986:  Starship controlled the AC chart with "Sara".

1986:  Janet Jackson's "What Have You Done for Me Lately" topped the R&B chart.
1986:  Newcomer Whitney Houston was on her way--her debut album, which had been out for a full year, was #1 for a third straight week.  

1986:  Heart had the first #1 song of their career with "These Dreams", although anyone who didn't place "Magic Man" at #1 bordered on lunacy.  Starship relinquished their spot with "Sara".
1992: Polygram Records announced that Tears For Fears had split up.

1994: Singer, songwriter and producer Dan Hartman died of an AIDS-related brain tumor in Westport, Connecticut. Hartman wrote "Free Ride" while he was with the Edgar Winter Group, had hits "Instant Replay" and "I Can Dream About You", and collaborated with Tina Turner, Dusty Springfield, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Tyler, Paul Young, James Brown and Steve Winwood.

                                                  "Discoteque" from U2...

1997:  U2 debuted at #1 on the Album chart with Pop.  LeAnn Rimes moved up to challenge with Unchained Melody/The Early Years.  Celine Dion was moving back up after 52 weeks with Falling Into You and Jewel's masterpiece, Pieces of You, was fourth after 56 weeks.  The rest of the Top 10:  No Doubt with Tragic Kingdom, Spice from the Spice Girls, Live was back with Secret Samadhi, the Wallflowers grabbed position #8 with Bringing Down the Horse, Erykah Badu's Baduizm and LeAnn Rimes had a second entry with her breakthrough album Blue.
1997: Puff Daddy started a six-week run at #1 with "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down".
1999: Britney Spears' album ...Baby One More Time was certified triple platinum.

2000: With Angus Young present, the Spanish town of Leganes unveiled a sign designating a street "Calle de AC/DC".

2001: "Butterfly" by Crazy Town was #1.
2003: Guns N' Roses gave the Offspring a cease and desist letter after they announce plans to call their new album Chinese Democrazy (You Snooze You Lose). Chinese Democracy was the long-awaited album from Guns N' Roses.

2005: Rod Price, founding member of Foghat, died after falling down a stairway at his home in Wilton, New Hampshire after suffering a heart attack. He was 57.
2006: The High School Musical Soundtrack returned to #1 on the Album chart.
2006: Aerosmith canceled their North American tour as Steven Tyler entered the hospital for throat surgery.
2008: Mariah Carey reached #1 with "Touch My Body", her 18th #1 song. That tied Elvis Presley's record for the most #1 songs by a solo artist in the Rock Era. It was Carey's 79th week at #1, just short of Elvis's all-time record there.  (Note:  websites which claim that Carey has the most #1's among solo performers are forgetting Elvis's double-sided #1, in fact the biggest double-sided hit of the Rock Era--"Don't Be Cruel"/"Hound Dog".  Both "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog" reached #1.)
2009:  Lady Gaga had the #1 song in the U.K. with "Poker Face".

2013:  My Chemical Romance announced they were breaking up after 12 years together.

Born This Day:

1930: Stephen Sondheim, winner of eight Tony Awards, an Academy Award and numerous Grammys, was born in New York City.

1936: Roger Whittaker ("The Last Farewell" from 1975) was born in Nairobi, Kenya.
1941: Jeremy Clyde of Chad & Jeremy ("A Summer Song") was born in Dorney, England.

1943:  George Benson, ten-time Grammy Award winner, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1943:  Keith Relf, lead vocalist with the Yardbirds, was born in Richmond, Surrey, England; died of electrocution playing a guitar that was not properly grounded at the age of 33 on May 14, 1975.
1946:  Harry Vanda (member of the Easybeats and the producer of AC/Dc) was born in The Hague, Netherlands.
1947:  Patrick Olive of Hot Chocolate was born in Grenada.

1948: Andrew Lloyd Webber, songwriter, producer with Tim Rice and creator of the masterpiece play Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Les Miserables and many others, was born in London.
1948: Randy Jo Hobbs, bass guitarist with the McCoys ("Hang On Sloopy"), Montrose and the Johnny Winter Group, was born in Winchester, Indiana; died August 5, 1993 of heart failure in a hotel in Dayton, Ohio.  (Note:  'Billboard" reports Hobbs was born in Winchester; '' reports he was born in Union City.  We have to go with the credible music site.)

1957: Stephanie Mills ("Never Knew Love Like This Before") was born in Brooklyn, New York.
1963: Susanne Sulley, vocalist of the Human League, was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.
1979: Aaron Wright North, lead guitarist and co-founder of Nine Inch Nails, was born in Los Angeles.
1980: Shannon Bex, singer with Danity Kane, was born in Bend, Oregon.
1981: Shawn Mims was born in Manhattan, New York.  (Note:  some websites claim Mims was born in Old Westbury, New York, while others say he was born in Washington Heights, Manhattan, New York.  Washington Heights is not a city; rather, it is a neighborhood, and neighborhoods are not official places of birth.  According to his agent, Richard De La Font, Mims was born in Manhattan.)

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd

This song was ever so close in making The Top 500 Songs*, going against strong competition and selling tons of albums.  Southern Rock at its best, from Lynyrd Skynyrd...

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "Vogue" from Madonna

These are the songs that serve as bridesmaids to the crème de la crème of the last 60 years.  We hope you are getting excited to join us for The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*, beginning April 1...

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "Love Train" by the O'Jays

We are featuring some of the top songs just outside The Top 500 Songs* as a Prelude*.  We go to 1973 for this classic from the O'Jays...

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: Ringo Starr with "It Don't Come Easy"

Ringo Starr surprised some people when his solo release went to #1 in 1971, as Ringo had written very few songs with the Beatles.  This is the one that stood tall for Starr--"It Don't Come Easy"...

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "Wooly Bully"

We are leading up the rock & roll extravaganza--The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*, coming May 21.  We have selected a few great songs just outside the list for you to enjoy while you mark your calendars and get ready to fully enjoy the special.

This Dallas, Texas rock group enjoyed a #2 Gold record right out of the chute with this one in 1965.  Leader Domingo "Sam" Samudio went on to become a street preacher in Memphis, Tennessee.

Enjoy the sound of Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs!

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "The Tears Of A Clown"

The fabulous Motown group the Miracles scored 46 hits, but none bigger than this classic.  #1 for two weeks in 1970--"Tears Of A Clown"...

Calendar* Correction: Neil Aspinall

Some websites incorrectly report that Neil Aspinall, head of Apple Corporation's music empire for the Beatles from 1970-2007 died March 23, 2008.  The correct date is March 23, according to the newspaper The New York Times.

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "Love (Can Make You Happy)" from Mercy

Mercy had only one hit, but it has stood the test of time.  Here we are in 2015, and it finds itself just out of The Top 500* for 60 years.

Crank up "Love (Can Make You Happy)"...

Featured Unknown/Underrated Song*: Mariah Carey's "Music Box"

Some artists are so great that the record company could easily release 5 or 6 singles on an album.  So it was for Mariah Carey back in her earlier days.  The title track from Music Box was never released, but it should have been.

"Music Box"
Mariah Carey
Written by Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff
When I am lost
You shine a light for me
And set me free
When I am low
You wash away my tears
And take me through

The loneliness
And emptiness
Through the darkest night
Somehow I survive
Through it all

When you tell me I'm the only one you need
Sweet and tenderly
And your love
Breaks away the clouds surrounding me
All I have I want to give to thee

If I should fall
Your love is strong enough to lift me up
If I'm afraid
You chase away my fears
And take me to

A brighter place
Beyond the rain
And I feel alright
'Cause your by my side
Through it all


You take me through
The loneliness and emptiness
And I feel alright
'Cause your by my side
Through it all

You tell me I'm the only one you need
Sweet and tenderly
And your love
Just breaks away the clouds surround me
And baby all I have I want to give to thee

Want to give you all of my love
Now and forever my love
All I have I want to give to thee

This Date in Rock Music History: the Calendar*

Each night, we publish the Calendar*, containing all the music news for the following day.  Most days, that Calendar* will be visible on the Front Page of Inside The Rock Era.  When we have a lot of new posts, as is the case now while we are doing our Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*, the Calendar* will be bumped from the Front Page.  No worries.

That post containing the day's music news is simply a reprint of our Calendar*.  You can always access the most up-to-date music news by clicking on the Calendar* Tab at the top of the website.  It contains all 366 days of music news that you can access at any time.

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "Tequila" from the Champs

Here's one of The Top 10 Instrumentals of the Rock Era*.  This great song by the Los Angeles group the Champs reigned for five weeks at #1 in 1958--"Tequila"

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: the Beatles with "Day Tripper"

In The Top 500*, you'll get to hear all your favorite artists, from Elvis Presley to Alicia Keys, from ABBA to Led Zeppelin.  Here's a Beatles song that did not quite make the list--"Day Tripper"...

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "Cherish" by Kool and the Gang

We are putting the finishing touches on the musical spectacular, The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*.  Before that, though, we decided to showcase some of the best songs just outside the list.  This accomplishes two things:  1)  it features some great music leading up to The Top 500*, and 2) we can appreciate just how great The Top 500 Songs* are by seeing the quality of the songs that did not make the special.

Several songs that we are featuring were once members of The Top 500 Club*.  Here's one such great song--"Cherish", by Kool and the Gang...

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "Drive" by the Cars

The Cars came up with the great album Heartbeat City in 1984.  Here's one of four hits from the album, the multi-format smash "Drive"...

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "In The End", from Linkin Park

We are saluting some of the top songs just outside of the all-time Top 500 for the Rock Era*

This rock outfit from Agoura Hills, California, struck it big with the fourth single from their debut album Hybrid Theory.  That song topped the Modern Rock chart for five weeks and went all the way to #2 overall.

Enjoy Linkin Park's "In The End"...
In the End by Linkin Park on Grooveshark

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "Rock And Roll" from Led Zeppelin

Never released as a single, this song nonetheless is close to The Top 500* because of huge album sales, helping sell over 29 million albums.  It is from Led Zeppelin's album IV...

Friday, March 20, 2015

This Date in Rock Music History: March 21

1952:  Alan Freed staged the Moondog Coronation Ball, billed as "the first-ever rock & roll stage show", at the Cleveland Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.  Acts included the Dominoes and Tiny Grimes.
1956:  Elvis Presley performed at the 4,000-seat YMCA Gymnasium in Lexington, North Carolina.  Tickets were $1 for general admission and $1.50 for reserved.
1957:  Elvis Presley, his father Vernon, and his mother Gladys, signed an official real estate contract to purchase the Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee.  The official date of sale was several days later.
1960:  Dinah Washington & Brook Benton had the top R&B song for the sixth week with "Baby (You've Got What It Takes)".
1960:  Percy Faith had a lock on #1 for the fifth week with "The Theme From 'A Summer Place'".  
1961:  The Beatles played their first nighttime performance at The Cavern Club in Liverpool.
1963:  Barbra Streisand and Elliot Gould were married.
1964:  Jan & Dean recorded "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena" with The Wrecking Crew (including drummer Hal Blaine, pianist Leon Russell as backing musicians).  The duo recorded five sessions in three hours, and Liberty Records decreed that no overtime was allowed.  They finished the first four with ten minutes left, and finished "Little Old Lady" in two takes.  (Note:  some websites claim the session was on May 14, but the correct date is May 21, according to the book 'The Wrecking Crew:  The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret' by Kent Hartman.)
1964:  13-year-old Judy Collins made her live debut at New York City's Carnegie Hall, performing Mozart's "Concerto for Two Pianos" .
1964:  Meet the Beatles!  was #1 for the sixth week on the Album chart.  Introducing...The Beatles was #2.
1964:  "She Loves You" by the Beatles hit #1, taking over from "I Want To Hold Your Hand" by the Beatles, which had spent seven weeks at the top.  What's more, the Beatles had #3--Please Please Me"  This was the first time in the history of the Rock Era in which one artist owned the top three songs and the Beatles would continue to do this in various combinations for four straight weeks.  The week's biggest mover was "Twist And Shout" by the Beatles, which moved from 55 to 7.  You think music was changing forever, maybe?

1966:  The Beach Boys released the single "Sloop John B".
1967:  The Turtles climbed to the top with "Happy Together".

1969:  Simon & Garfunkel released the single "The Boxer".

1969:  Tommy Roe had the #1 song with "Dizzy".
1970:  Faces, featuring new lead singer Rod Stewart, released the LP First Step.
1970:  Simon & Garfunkel spent a fourth week at #1 on the Adult chart with "Bridge Over Troubled Water".
1970:  Simon & Garfunkel also had the #1 overall song for the fourth week with "Bridge Over Troubled Water".  The Jaggerz was there at #2 with "The Rapper".  Chairmen of the Board peaked at #3 with "Give Me Just A Little More Time" and John Lennon moved from 15 to 4 with "Instant Karma (We All Shine On)".  The rest of the Top 10:  Brook Benton's "Rainy Night In Georgia", the Beatles had the highest debut of the Rock Era to that point at #6 with "Let It Be", the Hollies were next with one of The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era*--"He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother", Edison Lighthouse jumped to 8 with "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)", Santana and "Evil Ways" and the Delfonics moved inside the Top 10 with "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)".
1970:  Simon & Garfunkel's album Bridge Over Troubled Water was #1 for the third week.  It had only been out for six weeks.  Led Zeppelin II remained second with Hey Jude by the Beatles debuting at #3.  The Doors were back with Morrison Hotel/Hard Rock Cafe, moving from 12 to 4.  The rest of an excellent Top 10:  Willy and the Poorboys from CCR, Abbey Road by the Beatles was #6, the self-titled Santana, Chicago II was #8, Tom Jones Live In Las Vegas and Johnny Cash dropped with Hello, I'm Johnny Cash.

1975:  Frankie Valli had a solo #1 with "My Eyes Adored You".
1981:  Phil Collins debuted with his first solo single--"I Missed Again".

1981:  After ten years of hard work, REO Speedwagon finally hit #1 with "Keep On Loving You".  John Lennon's "Woman" was second with Styx moving up with "The Best Of Times".  Dolly Parton's former #1 "9 to 5" dropped while Don McLean took position #5 with "Crying".  The rest of the Top 10:  Blondie and "Rapture", Neil Diamond's 47th career hit "Hello Again", ABBA's great song "The Winner Takes It All", Eddie Rabbitt was on his way down with "I Love A Rainy Night" and Barbra Streisand & Barry Gibb combined for the week's #10 song--"What Kind Of Fool".

                               Amazing that Rush could achieve this sound with three members...

1981:  Hi Infidelity by REO Speedwagon was #1 on the Album chart for a sixth week.  Styx held steady with Paradise Theater with the Soundtrack to "The Jazz Singer" behind them.  John Lennon's Double Fantasy was #4 while the Police remained in the #5 position with Zenyatta Mondatta.  The rest of the Top 10:  Pat Benatar's Crimes of Passion, Blondie with Autoamerican, Rush was up to #8 after just three weeks with Moving Pictures, Journey with Captured and Barbra Streisand hit #10 with Guilty.
1982:  Donny Osmond starred in the title role of the Broadway play Little Johnny Jones.
1983:  Pink Floyd released The Final Cut, the last LP with Roger Waters on board.

1984:  Officials broke ground on Strawberry Fields, a section of Central Park purchased by Yoko Ono in memory of huband John Lennon.  It opened on October 9, 1985.  (Note:  many websites falsely report that Strawberry Fields opened on this date.  The ground breaking ceremony was on this date, but the park opened on October 9, according to the official website for Central Park.)
1987:  U2 released the LP The Joshua Tree.
1987:  Bruce Hornsby & the Range took over at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Mandolin Rain".

1987:  Jody Watley had the new R&B #1--"Looking For A New Love".
1987:  Club Nouveau hit #1 with their remake of the classic Bill Withers song "Lean On Me".  Janet Jackson was second with "Let's Wait Awhile".  Starship's comeback song "Nothing's Gonna' Stop Us Now" bounded from 10 to 3.  Bruce Hornsby & the Range were up to #4 with "Mandolin Rain" while Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram dropped with "Somewhere Out There".  The rest of the Top 10:  Genesis moved from 12 to 6 with "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight", the former #1 "Jacob's Ladder" by Huey Lewis & the News tumbled, Bruce Willis had the song "Respect Yourself", Expose scored their first career Top 10 with "Come Go With Me" and Peter Gabriel's "Big Time" landed at #10.
1989:  Madonna released the album Like A Prayer.
1989:  Dick Clark announced that after 33 years, he would no longer host American Bandstand.

1991:  Leo Fender, the inventor of the Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars, died from Parkinson's disease at age 81.  Fender began mass producing solid body electric guitars in the late 1940's.
1992:  Michael Bolton and Kenny G. remained at #1 on the AC chart for the third straight week with "Missing You Now".

1992:  Vanessa Williams took over at #1 with "Save The Best For Last".

1994:  Bruce Springsteen won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Streets Of Philadelphia".
2003:  Kid Rock and country star Tim McGraw played a concert outside Detroit to benefit the Red Cross.
2003:  Bryan Ferry, lead singer of Roxy Music, divorced his wife Lucy for committing adultery.  
2006:  Three South African daughters, whose father Solomon Linda wrote "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" in 1939, won a six-year court battle that gave the women 25 percent of all past and future royalties from the song.  Linda worked as a cleaner at a Johannesburg record company when he wrote the song.  He had received virtually nothing for his work and died in 1962 with just $25 in the bank.
2009:  U2 went to the top of the Album charts with No Line on the Horizon.

Born This Day:

1940:  Solomon Burke was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; died October 10, 2010 while on a plane from Los Angeles to Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
1941:  John Boylan, producer and songwriter, who worked with Rick Nelson and the Association, was born in New York City.  Boylan managed Linda Ronstadt and introduced her to a group of musicians that she ultimately hired to be her backing band in 1971.  That group of musicians would later go on to form the Eagles.
1945:  Rosemary Stone, vocalist and pianist with Sly and The Family Stone
1946:  Ray Dorset, singer, guitarist and songwriter ("In The Summertime") with Mungo Jerry, was born in Ashford, Middlesex, England.
1949:  Eddie Money, singer, songwriter, guitarist and saxophonist, was born in Brooklyn, New York.

1950:  Roger Hodgson, songwriter, guitarist and vocalist with Supertramp, was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England.
1951:  Russell Thompkins, Jr., lead singer of the Stylistics, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1951:  Conrad Lozano, bassist for Los Lobos, was born in Los Angeles, California.
1953:  Robert Johnson of K.C. and The Sunshine Band was born in Miami, Florida; died in 1983 in Miami.
1958:  Jonathan Norton, drummer, percussionist and vocalist who has worked with Tracy Chapman, Rufus Wainwright, Fiona Apple and Aimee Mann, was born in Inglewood, California.
1967:  Jonas Berggren, songwriter, guitarist and keyboardist for Ace of Base, was born in Gothenburg, Sweden.
1967:  Maxim Realty (real name Keith Palmer), vocalist with Prodigy, was born in Petersborough, Cambridgeshire, England.
1968:  Andrew Copeland, guitarist and vocalist of Sister Hazel, was born in Gainesville, Florida.
1980:  Deryck Whibley, songwriter, guitarist, lead vocalist and producer of Sum 41, was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada.

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: Paul Mc Cartney & Wings with "Listen To What The Man Said"

What is unique about our presentation of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era* is that we don't rank songs by chart numbers, nor do we do the unprofessional thing and rank them by our own opinion.  The songs are ranked by public opinion, through music sales and radio airplay, as well as awards won and other verifiable factors.  These factors are plugged into a huge database of over 13,000 songs using a formula that would take nearly a page to print out.  Thus, a #1 song isn't necessarily better than a #2 or 3 song, and weeks at #1 isn't the determining factor.  One published ranking actually had "Macarena" as The #1 Song of All-Time.  That was embarrassing--I felt bad for the author.

This great #1 song used to be a member of The Top 500 Songs Club*--crank up this great 1975 song... 

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "Africa" from Toto

The year was 1982, and an album was sweeping across the world.  One of The Top Albums of the Rock Era*, in fact.  Toto cleaned up at the Grammy Awards for their efforts on Toto IV, thanks to great songs like "Africa"...

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: Bread and "If"

One of the best songs ever with a two-word title, this song recently adorned the list of The Top Love Songs of the Rock Era*.  It nearly makes The Top 500* for the last 60 years as well.

Here is Bread's "If"...

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "Ride Like The Wind" by Christopher Cross

With songs as great as those in this Prelude*, you know The Top 500* is going to be incredible. 

Kept out of the top spot only by Blondie's "Call Me", this great song provided the introduction by singer-songwriter Christopher Cross.  It includes backing vocals by Michael McDonald...

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "Long Time", from Boston

Hard to believe it was nearly 40 years ago that a group called Boston came out with their debut album.  Many an LP was worn out in those days, many by myself...

Here's another song that is painfully close to The Top 500 Songs*.  Another million or two of the album selling, and it will likely get there.  You are excused for playing this at peak volume!


Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "Survivor", from Destiny's Child

On May 21, Inside The Rock Era is really bringing back The Top 500 Songs*.  It is hard to believe, but there are some people in the world that have never heard it.  You don't have to share it with your enemies, but do your friends a favor and let them in on the news.

In the days leading up to the special, we are featuring some of the top songs just outside the list, which includes this great song from Destiny's Child...

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "I'm Not In Love", from 10cc

We feature this great song from 1977.  It is from England's 10cc, who gave us the memorable "I'm Not In Love".

It too is a former member of The Top 500 Songs Club*.  We believe it still should be, but the public says it is just outside the list.

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: the Zombies, and "She's Not There"

This song is oh so close to making The Top 500*, perhaps if you buy it, you'll provide the impetus for it to make the list the next time we present it.

Rod Argent and the Zombies recorded a classic with this one...
She's Not There by The Zombies on Grooveshark

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: Bob Seger with "Shame On The Moon"

A special treat for you prior to the kickoff of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*, a prelude featuring some of those great songs just outside the list.

This great song from 1983 was originally written and recorded by Rodney Crowell.  Bob Seger covered it, brought along Eagle Glenn Frey for the ride on backing vocals, and had a huge hit with it. 

Enjoy the great song "Shame On The Moon"...
Shame on the Moon by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet on Grooveshark

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "My Boyfriend's Back" by the Angels

This great song spent three weeks at #1 in 1963.  A member of The Top 500* in years past, it's still one of the best songs just outside the list...
The Angels - My Boyfriend's Back by Girl Groups on Grooveshark

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era: "That'll Be The Day" by Buddy Holly & the Crickets

One of the great things to look forward to when we present The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era* is the great diversity.  You will be able to hear all the great music from all decades, not just the few that your radio station limits you to. 

Here is one of the great pioneers of the Rock Era, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, with their biggest hit:

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: Cream's "Sunshine Of Your Love"

This British group wasn't around long, but they gave us this great song in 1968.

Crank up Cream!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era: "American Woman" by the Guess Who

We are a little more than two months away from the musical equivalent of the greatest fireworks show you've ever seen, The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*.  This signature special of ours, first written and produced in 1979, gets better each time we do it, because the song quality improves.  As more songs enter the list, it gets tougher and tougher to make it.

We are presenting a special Prelude* to The Top 500* through the end of March and here is the biggest career hit from the Guess Who...

This Date in Rock Music History: March 20

1959:  Bobby Rydell appeared on American Bandstand.
1960:  Elvis Presley recorded for the first time since being discharged from active service in the United States Army.  He recorded "Stuck On You" among others in a 12-hour session at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee.  Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana, who had quit Presley's touring band back in 1957, joined him in the studio but it would be their last time backing Elvis. 
1961:  Ricky Nelson began recording  "Hello Mary Lou".

Surrender by Elvis Presley on Grooveshark

1961:  Elvis was on top with "Surrender", his 16th #1 song, 22nd Top 10 and 45th hit in six years.
1964:  The Beatles performed on English TV's Ready Steady Go, which achieved its highest rating of all-time.
1964:  The Beatles were presented with an award from Billboard Magazine honoring the group owning the top three singles of the week.
1965:  Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Martha & the Vandellas and the Temptations toured the U.K. on the first package tour by Motown, opening with two shows at the Rainbow Theatre in London.
1965:  The Soundtrack to "Goldfinger" rose to #1 on the Album chart.  The Soundtrack to "Mary Poppins" slipped to 2 with Beatles '65 third.
1965:  Roger Miller collected a sixth week at #1 on the Easy Listening chart with a song he wrote in Boise, Idaho--"King Of The Road".
1968:  Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Richie Furay and Jim Messina were arrested in Los Angeles on charges of marijuana.  

1969:  John Lennon married Yoko Ono at the British Consulate Office in Gibraltar, Spain.   
1971:  The Temptations picked up a third week at #1 on the R&B chart with "Just My Imagination".

1971:  The late Janis Joplin reached #1 with "Me And Bobby McGee".  The gentleman Tom Jones always let women go first and he was next with "She's A Lady".  The Temptations were next with one of their biggest career hits--"Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)".  The previous #1--"One Bad Apple" from the Osmonds fell to earth at #4 while the Carpenters' big hit "For All We Know" was now at #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  Ike & Tina Turner with their remake of the CCR classic "Proud Mary", the Partridge Family and "Doesn't Somebody Want To Be Wanted", Marvin Gaye sliced through the competition to rise from 18 to 8 with "What's Going On", "Help Me Make It Through the Night" from Sammi Smith entered the Top 10 and Gordon Lightfoot's first hit "If You Could Read My Mind" was #10.

1973:  Jim Croce released the single "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown".
1976:  Alice Cooper married 19-year-old Sheryl Goddard.

"Peaceful Easy Feeling", one of the underrated gems for the Eagles...

1976:  The Eagles continued to soar with Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 still #1 on the Album chart.  The new album from Peter Frampton, Frampton Comes Alive!  was second with the self-titled Fleetwood Mac still #3.  Thoroughbred from Stanley, Idaho's Carole King rested at #4.  The rest of the Top 10:  Desire from Bob Dylan, David Bowie's Station To Station, Paul Simon held steady with Still Crazy After All These Years, Bad Company edged up to #8--Run With the Pack, Queen entered the Top 10 with A Night at the Opera and Gary Wright's great album The Dream Weaver was #10.
1977:  T. Rex gave their final concert at the Locarno in Portsmouth, England.
1982:  Although most wouldn't get to know her until later, Laura Branigan first appeared on the chart with her first single "All Night With Me".

1982:  Buckner & Garcia performed "Pac-Man Fever" on American Bandstand.
1982:  For the fifth week, Stevie Wonder held on to #1 on the R&B chart with "That Girl".
1982:  Newcomer Bertie Higgins snuck in for a #1 Adult Contemporary song--"Key Largo".

Take Me to the Top by Loverboy on Grooveshark                       
                             "Take Me to the Top" from Loverboy's new album...

1982:  The Go-Go's were to this point the top self-contained all-girl group of the Rock Era (The Bangles would later pass them.)  The Go-Go's album Beauty and the Beat was #1 for a third week.  Freeze-Frame from the J. Geils Band was second, I Love Rock & Roll by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts was next and Foreigner's 4 was still #4 after 35 weeks of release.  The rest of the Top 10:  Escape from Journey, Vangelis moved from 13-6 with the Soundtrack to the classic movie "Chariots of Fire", Ghost in the Machine from the Police, Olivia Newton-John was Physical at #8, comedians Bob & Doug McKenzie took off to #9 with Great White North and Loverboy put out their best album with Get Lucky.

1982:  A very historic day in the Rock Era--Joan Jett & the Blackhearts brought rock & roll back in a big way as "I Love Rock 'N Roll" reached #1 on this date.  Journey's "Open Arms" was passed over and spent a fourth week at #2.  Previous #1 "Centerfold" from the J. Geils Band was now at 3 with Stevie Wonder's "That Girl" fourth.  Air Supply had their sixth straight Top 10 to begin their career--"Sweet Dreams" and the Go-Go's were on the move to #6 with "We Got The Beat".
1984:  Slim Jim Phantom, drummer of the Stray Cats, married Britt Ekland on his birthday.  (Note:  some websites claim the wedding took place on March 21.  March 20 is Phantom's birthday, and the wedding was on March 20, according to 'Billboard' magazine.)
1990:  Gloria Estefan was seriously injured with broken vertebrae after a tractor crashed into her tour bus on a snow-covered highway in the Poconos near Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania while Gloria was on her way to a concert.  Husand Emilio Estefan and son Nayib were also injured; Gloria required back surgery and she had a long recovery.  The song "Coming Out Of The Dark" was written about the experience.  

1991:  Michael Jackson signed a $1 billion record/film deal with Sony Music and Columbia Pictures.
1991:  Eric Clapton's 4 year-old son, Conor, died after falling from a 53rd story New York City apartment window.
1993:  "Simple Life" by Elton John was the #1 Adult Contemporary song.

1993:  Whitney Houston scored her 16th Top 10 song in 20 releases--"I Have Nothing".
2000:  Gerri Halliwell went to #1 in the U.K. with "Bag It Up".
2001:  The RIAA certified that the Eagles album Hotel California had gone over 16 million in sales.
2003:  Dru Hill were sued by their former manager, who maintained that he was owed $30 million in lost royalties and fees from the previous three albums.  (Note:  many websites falsely report that the group was sued on March 21.  Stories of the lawsuit appeared on March 21, but as everyone knows, newspapers contain news from the previous day.  The manager filed a lawsuit in Baltimore (Maryland) Circuit Court on March 20, according to the newspaper 'The Baltimore Sun'.)
2003:  On the day America bombed Iraq, Bruce Springsteen opened his show in Melbourne, Australia, with an acoustic version of "Born In The U.S.A." (which for those who are lyrically challenged is a song critical of the United States) followed by a cover of Edwin Starr's "War".  

2008: Quincy Jones received an honorary Doctorate of Music from the University of Washington.

Born This Day:
1942:  Robin Luke ("Susie Darlin'" from 1958) was born in Los Angeles.

1937:  Jerry Reed ("Amos Moses") was born in Atlanta, Georgia; died of emphysema in Nashville, Tennessee on September 1, 2008.
1937:  Joe Rivers of Johnnie & Joe ("Over The Mountain; Across The Sea" from 1957) was born in Charleston, South Carolina.

1950:  Carl Palmer, elite drummer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, was born in Handsworth, Birmingham, England.
1951:  Jimmie Vaughan, guitarist of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, was born in Dallas, Texas.
1959:  Richard Drummie of Go West ("King Of Wishful Thinking") was born in London.
1961:  Slim Jim Phantom (real name James McDonnell), drummer of the Stray Cats, was born in Brooklyn, New York.
1972:  Alex Kapranos, lead singer of Franz Ferdinand, was born in  Almondsbury, Gloucestershire, England.
1976:  Chester Bennington, lead vocalist and songwriter of Linkin Park, was born in Phoenix, Arizona.