Sunday, March 30, 2008

This Day In Music History- March 30

Slowhand, Eric Clapton ("I Shot The Sheriff") turns 63.

Rolf Harris ("Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport") is 78.

Lesley Gore first appeared on TV, on ABC's "American Bandstand" in 1963.

Jim "Dandy" Mangrum of Black Oak Arkansas ("Jim Dandy") turns 60.

John Denver's "Sunshine on My Shoulders" went to No. 1 on the pop chart in 1974.

Also in 1974, the Ramones played their first-ever gig at New York's Performance Studio (Thank God, They Are Punk Boys!).

Miles Davis released Bitches Brew in 1970. Over time it became the cornerstone of a jazz-rock movement known as "fusion."

In 1968, Celine Dion was born in Charlemagne, Quebec.

The cover for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was photographed at a studio on London's Flood Street in 1967, using cardboard cutouts and wax figures to represent the Beatles' heroes. The effigies featured include Edgar Allan Poe, Lenny Bruce, Vidal Sassoon, Laurel and Hardy, Bob Dylan, and Huntz Hall.

Hammer time officially began in 1962, when Stanley Kirk Burrell, aka MC Hammer-aka Hammer, was born in Oakland, Calif.

Frankie Laine, one of the best pop singers of the 1950s, was born in Chicago in 1913. His hits included the No. 3 "Moonlight Gambler."

Sonny Boy Williamson, a master of the blues harmonica whose songs were covered by the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers Band, Canned Heat, and Rod Stewart, was born in Jackson, Tennessee in 1914.

In 1946, Mahalia Jackson signed with Apollo Records, where she recorded some of her most fervid and best-loved gospel slides over the next eight years.

"He's So Fine" by the Chiffons hits #1 in 1963.

16 year old Lesley Gore recorded her breakthrough hit, "It's My Party" in 1963. Producer Quincy Jones hurried Gore into the studio when he found out that Phil Spector was going to cut the song with The Crystals.

Buddy Knox became the first artist in the Rock 'n' Roll era to write his own number one hit when "Party Doll" topped the Billboard chart in 1957. Buddy would go on to place four more songs in the Top 40 between 1957 and 1961.

In 1976, the Sex Pistols played their first London show and attracted an audience of 50 or so.

The Eagles’ Hotel California” hits the top of the album chart in 1977.

Little Richard had his final US Top 10 hit with "Good Golly Miss Molly" in 1958. The song was from his last recording sessions for Specialty Records, after which he recorded a series of gospel songs.

In 1962, the Russian newspaper Pravda warned communist youths about the dangers of dancing the Twist.

In 1989, Gladys Knight performed without The Pips for the first time since grammar school at a show at Bally's in Las Vegas.

In 1992, The soundtrack to Wayne's World was the number 1 album in the US. It featured the return to the charts of Queen's, "Bohemian Rhapsody", actually making the song a bigger hit the second time around. Tracks by Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Alice Cooper, as well as a new version of "Dream Weaver" from Gary Wright, were also included on the LP.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Unique Items

A couple of items of interest:


Recycling Old Records:

This Day In Music History- March 28

1958-Opening night of "Alan Freed's Big Beat Show," a two-month tour, finds Jerry Lee Lewis arguing with Chuck Berry over who will close the show. Freed decided Berry will get to go last, inciting a literally incendiary performance by Lewis, who torched his piano during his set-closing "Great Balls of Fire."

Today in 1981, the song "Rapture" by Blondie topped the charts and stayed there for 2 weeks.

In 2003, officials in Manchester, England canceled a Bruce Springsteen concert after residents complain about noise levels. 50,000 tickets had already been sold. Uhhh, it’s a concert people.

In 1996, Phil Collins says he's leaving Genesis 20 years to the day after he made his North American debut as their lead singer.

In 1982, David Crosby was pulled over in Los Angeles and was discovered to be driving under the influence of cocaine. The singer's day turns worse after police discovered Quaaludes, drug paraphernalia, and a .45-caliber pistol in his car.

Blues guitarist Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, best known for the hit "That's All Right Mama," died in Nassawadox, Virginia in 1974. Elvis Presley loved the song so much he recorded it as his first single for Sun Records in 1954.

Led Zeppelin released "Houses of the Holy" in 1973.

In 1958, legendary songwriter W.C. Handy died at age 84. The Father of the Blues is credited with writing the seminal "St. Louis Blues," as well as "Memphis Blues." The latter was the first song to have the word "blues" in the title.

Reba McEntire, the country superstar who turned to acting later in her career, was born today in 1954.

Eddie Cochran recorded his classic teen angst tune “Summertime Blues” in 1958.

In 1969, Ringo said “no.” John said “yes.” Ringo announced The Beatles will make no public appearances in the near future. John counters saying the group will make several appearances during the year. Ringo is right.

After bassist Chris Novoselic and drummer David Grohl threaten to disband Nirvana if their singer/songwriter/guitarist Kurt Cobain doesn’t get drug treatment, Cobain enters the SoCal Exodus Recovery Center in 1994. This is after Cobain nearly died from an OD in Rome only weeks earlier. Cobain walked out three days later.

In 1985, 6000 radio stations in the US and Canada simultaneously played "We Are the World", the fundraising song for African famine relief recorded by 45 superstar performers. Sales of the single, album, video and related merchandise initially raised more than $38-million US.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

20 Biggest Record Company Screwups

As promised, here is the rest of the list 10 through number one:

Youth Movement
#10 Columbia Records loses Alicia Keys, drops 50 Cent
Columbia had a way with young talent in the late ’90s and early ’00s. First, after plunking down a reported $400,000 to sign Alicia Keys, they turned her over to high-priced producers who tried to transform her into Whitney Houston. Frustrated, she bolted—and signed with J Records, where she has sold more than 20 million albums to date. Around the same time, another languishing Columbia prospect, 50 Cent, recorded “How to Rob” in a desperate attempt to get his label to notice him. But when he was shot nine times in 2000, skittish execs dumped him—and then watched as he became an unstoppable one-man money factory at Interscope.

Unintended consequence Fedoras and bullet­proof vests become essential urban-fashion accessories.

Spy Game
“Digital-rights management” backfires even more badly than usual
In a 2005 effort to combat digital piracy, Sony BMG packaged millions of CDs with copy-protection software that automatically installed a “rootkit” on users’ PCs, which, in addition to preventing consumers from making more than three copies of their legally purchased CD, also made them vulnerable to viruses and hackers. Sony BMG initially downplayed the problem, but after the Department of Homeland Security issued an advisory, the label recalled more than 4 million CDs. Sony was accused of spying on its customers’ listening habits and was forced to pay several million dollars to settle class-action lawsuits that alleged violations of spyware laws and deceptive trade practices.

Unintended consequence Radiohead offer up In Rainbows for a bargain pay-what-you-like price.

Rap Attack
#8 Warner junks Interscope
When anti-rap crusaders wanted to deliver a body blow to hip-hop, they took aim at the Warner Music Group, because its corporate parent, Time Warner, was American-owned and publicly traded. When Ice-T’s “Cop Killer” became too hot to handle, Warner Music dropped him, but the label still enjoyed huge rap hits—particularly through Death Row Records, partially owned by their Interscope label. But when Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole attacked Warner Music in his stump speech, Time Warner panicked, ordering the sale of Interscope to rival Universal. Universal soon became the biggest record company in the world—in large measure due to Interscope hits by Tupac, Dr. Dre and Eminem. Warner Music went on a long slide and was finally sold in 2004.

Unintended consequence Time Warner shareholders never have to worry about who killed Tupac.

Something’s Happening, But You Don’t Know What It Is
#7 Music publisher gives away Bob Dylan
In the early 1960s Leeds/Duchess was a legendary music-publishing company but far from the hippest: It knew Tin Pan Alley but couldn’t find a Greenwich Village coffeehouse with a compass. Yet when Columbia signed Bob Dylan in 1961, they steered him to Leeds, where he happily signed a publishing deal with a $1,000 advance. The following year, Dylan’s new manager, Albert Grossman, got out of the deal with the disinterested publisher simply by repaying the $1,000. Dylan’s new publisher, the savvier M. Witmark & Sons, received 237 songs—many of them future standards worth tens of millions of dollars—in just the first three years.

Unintended consequence The receptionists at Leeds/Duchess never have to field calls asking what “All Along the Watchtower” is really about.

Nothing Exceeds Like Excess
#6 Casablanca rides strong sales straight to the poorhouse
No record label represents the coked-up inanity of the late ’70s like disco-driven behemoth Casablanca. In 1978, the label simultaneously shipped a million copies of four solo albums by each member of their biggest rock act, Kiss, so they could justifiably claim the records “shipped platinum.” The albums sold well—but not that well. Record stores returned hundreds of thousands
of unsold copies, inspiring comedian Robert Klein to joke that Casablanca’s releases “shipped gold and returned platinum.” The label continued to lose millions a year throughout the late ’70s, until part-owner PolyGram Records bought out founder Neil Bogart for $15 million in 1980.

Unintended consequence Hey, man—400,000 extra surfaces to snort drugs from!

Whoa, Mama

#5 The RIAA sues a struggling single mom for digital piracy
n In the court of public opinion, it’s hard to find a more sympathetic defendant than a single mother of two, earning $36,000 a year. So what in the name of common decency was the Recording Industry Association of America thinking when it went after 30-year-old Jammie Thomas from Brainerd, Minnesota? The RIAA accused Thomas of using the P2P service Kazaa to illegally share mp3 files of 24 songs, including Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris” and Destiny’s Child’s “Bills, Bills, Bills.” Thomas pleaded not guilty, blaming the shared files on mistaken identity, but last October a jury disagreed and fined her $222,000. That breaks down to a whopping $9,250 per song—more than six times her annual salary. At press time, Thomas was planning an appeal.

Unintended consequence The nation’s toddlers and fluffy kittens rush to erase their hard drives.

Pay (Somebody Else) To Play
#4 Indie promoters take the major labels to the cleaners
After the payola scandals of the ’50s, the government barred record labels from paying radio stations to play records. The solution: set up middlemen to do the dirty work! “Independent promoters” represented the labels’ interests to radio programmers, creating a massive cash flow of corruption. Even a mid-size hit could cost $700,000 in promo expenses—cash, vacations, drugs and other illicit rewards for mustachioed DJs—and labels ended up paying to get airplay for huge artists the stations would have spun anyway. A lot of coked-up DJs got nice tans, while the labels spent unnecessary millions and covered their balance sheets in bloody red.

Unintended consequence Colombian GDP spikes each time Mariah Carey releases a single.

Detroit At a Discount
#3 Motown sells for a pittance
In 1988 Berry Gordy Jr., reportedly losing millions of dollars on the label he had founded decades earlier, sold Motown and its incomparable back catalogue to MCA and investment company Boston Ventures for $60 million. How bad was that price? The next year, Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss sold their A&M Records to PolyGram for roughly $500 million. In 1990, David Geffen got about $700 million for Geffen Records and in ’92, Richard Branson unloaded Virgin Records to EMI for $960 million. And five years after buying Motown, Boston Ventures cashed out, selling the label to PolyGram for $325 million—a return of more than 500 percent.

Unintended consequence The Motown Atlantic airline, and Berry’s career as a trans-global balloonist, have yet to materialize.

Tomorrow Never Knows
#2 Decca Records A&R exec tells Fab Four, “No, thanks”
Dick Rowe was not the only record-label executive who passed on the Beatles in the early ’60s, but he was the only one who brushed off their manager, Brian Epstein, with the astute prediction that: “Groups with guitars are on their way out.” Epstein begged Rowe to reconsider, so Rowe hopped a train to Liverpool to check out the band live. When he arrived at the Cavern, he found a mob of kids trying to force their way into the club in the pouring rain. Annoyed, he smoked a cigarette, went home and signed Brian Poole and the Tremeloes instead.

Unintended consequence The Monkees

#1 Major labels squash Napster
Shawn Fanning’s file-sharing service attracted tens of millions of users, but instead of trying to find a way to capitalize on it, the Recording Industry Association of America rejected Napster’s billion-dollar settlement offer and sued it out of existence in 2001. Napster’s users didn’t just disappear. They scattered to hundreds of alternative systems—and new technology has stayed three steps ahead of the music business ever since. The labels’ campaign to stop their music from being acquired for free across the Internet has been like trying to cork a hurricane—upward of a billion files are swapped every month on peer-to-peer networks. Since Napster closed, “there’s been no decline in the rate of online piracy,” says Eric Garland of media analysts BigChampagne, who logged users of son-of-Napster peer-to-peer networks more than doubling between 2002 and 2007. And that figure doubles again if you count BitTorrent.

Unintended consequence Your grandmother deciding to trade up from that dial-up connection

This Day In Music History-March 26

Happy Birthday to Diana Ross, born in 1944.

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith was born in 1948.

Johnny Crawford ("Cindy's Birthday") and “Rifleman” fame turns 62.

Alan Arkin of the Tarriers ("Banana Boat Song" and later an Academy Award winning actor) is 74.

Fred Parris of the Five Satins ("In The Still Of The Night") turns 72.

Birthday wishes to Vicki Lawrence ("The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia"), who is 59.

Jon Jon Poulos of the Buckinghams ("Don't You Care") died of heart failure in 1980.

Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary was arrested in Washington, DC in 1970 for taking "immoral liberties" with a 14 year-old girl (he pleads guilty and spends three months in jail).

Ricky Nelson recorded his first tunes-- "I'm Walkin'" and "A Teenager's Romance" in 1957.

"Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson topped the charts in 1988 and stayed there for 2 weeks.

Jan Berry of '60s surf duo Jan & Dean ("Surf City") died in 2004 following a seizure at his Los Angeles home. Jan & Dean's career was curtailed when Berry was paralyzed following a 1966 car crash that eerily paralleled their hit "Deadman's Curve". He was 62.

In 2002, Former president Bill Clinton told the New York Times that he's listening to "Puff Daddy, or whatever they call him now." (and he never inhaled either)

Elvis Costello released his first single, "Less Than Zero" in 1977.

In 1972, Mott the Hoople decided to break up, but changed their minds when David Bowie came calling with a song called "All the Young Dudes."

For you trivia buffs-Nena was born as Gabriele Kerner in Hagen, Germany in 1960. She's a one-hit-wonder known for 1983's excellent "99 Luftballons."

Bluesman Rufus Thomas, who had '70s hits with songs like "Do the Funky Chicken," was born in Cayce, MS in 1917.

James Iha (formerly of the Smashing Pumpkins) entered the world in 1968. The Japanese-American guitarist is from Chicago.

Fran Sheehan has a birthday. The Boston bassist was born in Beantown in 1946.

E.L.O.’s keyboardist, Richard Tandy, began his life in Birmingham, England in 1948.

In 1958, Eddie Cochran recorded his only US Top Ten hit, "Summertime Blues", which rose to #8 in the US the next fall.

In 1980, seven years after its release, Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon" breaks the record for the longest-charting Pop album, previously held by Carole King's "Tapestry". At the same time, their latest single "Another Brick In The Wall" was topping both the Cashbox Best Sellers chart and the Billboard Hot 100.

Guns N' Roses was signed to Geffen Records in 1986.

In 2003, the aging ‘boy band’ Backstreet Boys released a statement to say that while they're not splitting up, they're not making a new album either. (Who?)

In 1977, 'Islands,' the final album by The Band’s original lineup, was released. Having met their contractual obligation to Capitol Records, they were free to disband – which they did.

Debbie Hennessey-Country Rock Star

By Robert Benson

Debbie Hennessey accolades are impressive, including AC40 Female Artist of the Year by New music Weekly, she is a two-time ASCAPlus Award recipient, named Best Vocalist of the Month by Singer Universe, received Honorable Mentions in both the Billboard World Song Contest and Great American Song Contest, just to name a few.

But what is most impressive and what Debbie Hennessey is best known for is her immense musical talent and songwriting abilities. Her new CD, “Good As Gone” is a fresh country pop sound that is sure to go places.

The title cut, “Good As Gone” is a peppy country rock ditty with impeccable vocals and harmonies (“Good As Gone” was written by Mark Luna & Richard Wold). This L.A.-based country pop rocker is ready to take on Nashville by storm with her catchy singles and ‘from the heart’ lyrics. “Love Might Change Your Mind” is a classic acoustic guitar pop song that is sung with soft toned vocals and harmonies. The cut “When Two Become One,” with brilliant lyrics and a soulful swagger is a modern day pop classic and may be her signature ballad. (“When Two Become One” was written by Mark Luna & Terry Burns).

“Dare Me” is a playful, seductive country pop melody that belongs on any mainstream country radio play list. Another playful ditty called “Man Free Weekend,” is sung from the heart and implies what every woman needs every now and then.

These co-written songs are consistently creative, articulated and passionate. When a listener can not only hear the passion in a song, but actually feel it, then the musician’s job is done. Debbie Hennessey certainly does her job; she is a masterful musician and talent that everyone must experience.

Visit Debbie:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Freedom and Whiskey

By Robert Benson

The hard-rocking group “Freedom and Whiskey” has added a new voice to their arsenal, the husky growl and presence of vocalist Mark Hoeskstra. Add to that, the guitar prowess of ex- Days of the New guitarist Chuck Mingus, blend in the exceptional bass lines of Bill Goins, the stalwart skin work of drummer Mike Huettig and you have a recipe for an iconic rock and roll band that any hard-rocking American would be proud of.

Their third CD, “Super Real,” is a full and complete recipe of pure, masterful rock, blues and acoustic gems. Adeptly mixing their influences such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Skynyrd, Collective Soul and ZZ Top, among many others, has this Louisville, Kentucky foursome catching listener’s ears nationwide.The cuts on the CD are tightly structured, classic rock jams with elements of a unique freshness that has MySpace and other online venues clamoring for more. The cut, “The Road,” is a hard-rocking lament to life on the road complete with a love torn chorus. The title cut, “Super Real” can remind some of the rapid-fire guitar prowess of Ted Nugent mixed with ZZ top riffolgy and details just how hard the band can rock. “Whiskey State Of Mind” is a unique southern rock anthem, ala the Allman Brothers Band, but with Zeppelin-like riffs and ZZ Top energy augmented by a supreme harmonica solo.

If your musical palette includes the blues, Freedom and Whiskey takes you down the blues road with the cut “Sellavision Blues.” A socially conscious number about the perils of the tube, the cut has Tragically Hip-like vocals and a lead guitar solo that will have ‘air guitarists’ breaking their fingers trying to keep up with Mingus’s passionate fingers and style. The cut “Freedom” is one that would belong on any Zeppelin play list, with classic acoustics and a guitar solo blended in with a modern rock punch. Another song, “Running Blind” is a precise acoustic ballad with Floyd-like guitar work meshing with the vocals as if in harmony. “For No Good Reason,” is an AC/DC type cut but with Freedom and Whiskey’s distinctive stamp on it, complete with a blues harmonica solo and raucous backing vocals.

Other cuts only exemplify just how much the band can rock and even the slower cuts are full of passion and poignant lyrics. The band can play slow, melodic numbers such as “August,” that has references to the perils we have all faced or the acoustic Floyd-like instrumental “Green.”

These veteran rockers have proved to be innovative, articulate and this cohesive, sophisticated CD will be heard years from now, as it is a masterful voice for this unique and hard-rocking quartet.

Freedom and Whiskey are:

Mark Hoekstra - Lead Vocals / Harmonica

Bill Goins - Bass Guitar / Lead Vocals / Backing Vocals

Mike Huettig- Drums / Backing Vocals

Chuck Mingis - Lead Guitar / Backing Vocals

Visit the band:

Lisa Dames

By Robert Benson

Can a forty-year old housewife from Greensboro, NC make a name for herself and compete with the country icons that dominate country music these days? You can if your name is Lisa Dames. With the determination of a twenty-year old, this rising country music star has and is working hard to establish herself in the country music world.

Her first single, “Just Another Day,” is full of real-life lyrics and is a slow tempo ditty that explodes into a full-bore country rocker that would be at home on any country radio play list. In fact, the single reached #56 on the Music Row chart with over 7,000 spins on over 43 radio stations nationwide. Additionally, the video for “Just Another Day,” made its debut on national television on GAC’s “Positively Country” and has been added to’s website.

Another cut called “Your Love,” is full of playful acoustics, rapid-fire lyrics and blended in perfectly with a rhythmic country flavor, sort of a Shiana Twain-like romp. Her second single, the banjo/violin laced “I’d Leave Me” is a perfect compliment to her country mystique, with tongue-in-cheek lyrical content and impeccable backing vocals. The cut, “No One Like Me,” is an introspective lament about what comes first in Lisa’s life-family and is passionately sang and expertly played. The ‘no regrets’ lyrical content emulates an exhilarating sweetness and is what I consider her signature ballad.

So from her constant touring that says to the world of country music, I am here!; Lisa Dames is slowly but surely making the world of country music her own musical haven. Working with Grammy nominated producer David Grow, and blending in her consistently inventive musicianship, Lisa Dames IS here, right alongside the top female country music superstars!

Visit Lisa Dames and Hear Her Music:

20 Biggest Record Company Screw-Ups of All Time

This is from the pages of

From turning down the Beatles to stomping Napster— the most ill-advised, foolhardy and downright idiotic decisions ever made by The Man.

written by Jon Dolan, Josh Eells, Fred Goodman

Blender March 11 2008

They Never Even Recouped Their Aqua Net Expenses
#20 As grunge dawns, one label bets on hair metal
In 1989, with hair metal reaching its zenith, the A&R department at MCA Records finally decided to get in on the act—by tossing a rumored $1 million at L.A. band Pretty Boy Floyd, who at the time had played only eight shows. The band’s debut, Leather Boyz With Electric Toyz, peaked at No. 130 on the Billboard charts, and the Floyd blew another mil or so of MCA’s money before the label finally dropped them in 1991 … right around the time the suits blew a chance to sign a fledgling Seattle outfit called Nirvana.

Unintended consequence Around 1992, the Sunset Strip pizza-delivery scene gets a fresh infusion of talent.

The Vinyl Solution
#19 The industry kills the single—and begins its own slow demise
In the early ’80s, the music industry began to phase out vinyl singles in favor of cassettes and later, CDs. Then, since it costs the same to manufacture a CD single as a full album, they ditched the format almost altogether. But they forgot that singles were how fans got into the music-buying habit before they had enough money to spend on albums. The end result? Kids who expect music for free. “Greed to force consumers to buy an album [resulted] in the loss of an entire generation of record consumers,” says Billboard charts expert Joel Whitburn. “People who could only afford to buy their favorite hit of the week were told it wasn’t available as a single. Instead, they stopped going to record shops and turned their attention to illegally downloading songs.”

Unintended consequence The Eagles still top the album charts.

Come Back, Kid
#18 BMG dumps Clive Davis, begs him to return
In 2000, when company retirement policy deemed Clive Davis too old to run Arista, the label he’d founded 25 years earlier, he was pushed out the door in favor of Antonio “L.A.” Reid. After loud public complaints from artists including Whitney Houston and Carlos Santana, parent company BMG was shamed into giving Davis a nice going-away present—his own label, J Records, along with a $150 million bankroll. Ironically, while J spawned hits from Alicia Keys, Luther Vandross and Rod Stewart, Arista reportedly chalked up hundreds of millions in losses. In 2002, BMG forked over another $50 million to buy J, then two years later ousted Reid and hired a new CEO of BMG North America: an ambitious young turk named Clive Davis

Unintended consequence Rod Stewart’s The Great American Songbook, Volumes I-IV

Dim Bulb
#17 Thomas Edison disses jazz, industry standards
America’s most famous inventor, and the creator of the phonograph, also had his own record label: National Phonograph Company, later Edison Records. Naturally, it was the biggest one around at first but made two fatal errors. One was that Edison Records worked only on Edison’s players, while other manufacturers’ conformed to the industry standard and worked interchangeably. The other was that Edison let his personal taste govern Edison releases—and he hated jazz: “I always play jazz records backwards,” he sniffed. “They sound better that way.” So after releasing the world’s first jazz recording—Collins and Harlan’s “That Funny Jas Band From Dixieland”—the company spurned the craze in favor of waltzes and foxtrots. Edison Records folded in October 1929.

Unintended consequence Edison adds “tin-eared A&R” to his list of inventions.

Double Jeopardy
#16 Warner pays for Wilco record twice
When Wilco handed over their album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot to Reprise in June 2001, acting label boss David Kahne—best known for producing Sugar Ray albums—reportedly thought it was “so bad it would kill Wilco’s career.” The band refused to make changes, so Reprise handed them their walking papers—and the masters to the album. A few months later, Wilco signed with Nonesuch, which, like Reprise, was a subsidiary of AOL Time Warner, meaning that after shelling out roughly $300,000 to make YHF in the first place, the corporation was now paying for it again. The record remains Wilco’s best seller to date.

Unintended consequence Jeff Tweedy’s poetry collection is published in 2004.

Money For Nothing
#15 MCA’s teen-pop calamity
How sure was MCA that slinky Irish teen Carly Hennessy was going to be a gargantuan pop star? So sure that in 1999 they staked the former Denny’s sausage spokesmodel with a $100,000 advance, $5,000 a month in living expenses and an apartment in Marina Del Rey, California, spending roughly $2.2 million in all on her 2001 debut, Ultimate High. How wrong were they? In its first three months in stores, Ultimate High sold a whopping 378 copies, putting the label’s investment somewhere in the order of $5,820 per copy sold. Last seen, Hennessy had resurfaced—still looking for her big break—on season seven of American Idol.

Unintended consequence “Sausage spokesmodel” proves a less embarrassing resumé entry than expected.

Always Read The Fine … Oh, Never Mind
#14 Stax Records unintentionally gives away the store
Soul fans can credit Memphis’s Stax Records for classic hits by Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and Booker T & the M.G.’s—but the real winner was Atlantic. In 1960, Atlantic partner Jerry Wexler liked one of Stax’s first releases enough to pay label president Jim Stewart $1,000 to lease it, and Atlantic soon contracted to market and distribute all Stax releases. Seven years later, with Stax reeling from Redding’s death, Stewart finally took a close look at the Atlantic contract and discovered he’d been bamboozled: Contrary to industry practice, Atlantic became the owner of any Stax release it handled. Stax had signed away its catalogue and future.

Unintended consequence Bob Dole flips “Soul Man” into “Dole Man” during his ’96 presidential campaign.

The Last Of The Mega-Deals
#13 One label’s big spending single-handedly ends “alt-rock” boom
In 1996, Warner Bros. signed R.E.M. to a five-album contract for a reported $80 million. It was the most costly record deal in history and elicited one of the lowest returns. Warner needed R.E.M. to sell at least 3 million copies of all five records to come out in the black, but sleepy folk-rock albums like 1998’s Up moved a fifth of that. The execs went further into the hole by allowing R.E.M. to keep the masters of all their Warner releases, forfeiting future revenues generated by the band’s popular ’80s and early-’90s discs. No one knows how much the label lost—but the debacle brought to a close an era in which acts known for their “integrity” could score huge paydays.

Unintended consequence Warner executives still hoping “Daysleeper” makes it on to The Hills soundtrack.

Axl Grease
#12 Geffen pumps millions into (the nonexistent) Chinese Democracy
Ten years ago, Guns N’ Roses still looked like a good investment—they’d gone platinum 32 times. So in 1998, Geffen Records could be forgiven for paying Axl Rose a million bucks to complete GNR’s fifth album, promising a million more if he delivered it soon. (Rose had already spent four years working on the LP, losing every original bandmate in the process.) Beset by perfectionism, lack of focus and plain-old nuttiness, Rose never got that bonus million. But his label kept spending: In 2001, monthly expenses totaled $244,000. Four producers and a gazillion guitar overdubs later, the album is no closer to release. And Geffen’s in the red for $13 million.

Unintended consequence A frustrated Rose gets into a well-publicized fistfight with … Tommy Hilfiger!

Just Be Yourself—Or Else
#11 Geffen sues Neil Young for making “unrepresentative” music
At the dawn of the ’80s, David Geffen signed Neil Young to his new record label, promising that “commercial” considerations would never get in the way of art. Young took this to heart, wandering so far off the reservation with albums like 1983’s synth-driven Trans that Geffen filed a $3 million breach-of-contract suit: effectively charging the folk-rock icon with not making “Neil Young” records. Young filed a $21 million countersuit before settling out of court, but remained somewhat bemused by Geffen’s judgment: “He didn’t seem to comprehend how … uh, diverse my musical career had become,” Young said.

Unintended consequence Young’s Happy House and Tejano albums remain on the shelf.

Look for 1-10 in tomorrow's post!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

This Day In Music History- March 24

The O'Jays hit #1 with "Love Train" in 1973 and the song has been reborn in a beer commercial.

The late Billy Stewart ("Summertime") was born in 1937.

Nick Lowe ("Cruel To Be Kind") and a member of Rockpile turns 59.

Dave Appell of the Applejacks ("Mexican Hat Rock") is 86.

The late Nervous Norvus ("Transfusion"-- real name is Jimmy Drake) was born in 1912.

Private Elvis Presley (serial number US53310761) was inducted into the U.S. Army in 1958.

Future Rolling Stones Mick Jagger and Keith Richards made their professional stage debut with the group called Little Boy Blue & the Blue Boys at a club in Ealing, England in 1962.

In 2001, "Duane Allman Boulevard" was dedicated in Macon, Georgia, near where he died in a motorcycle crash.

Freddie & the Dreamers' "Do The Freddie" was released in 1965 and set off yet another silly dance craze.

Today the song "Tragedy" by Bee Gees topped the charts and stayed there for 2 weeks in 1979.

50s and early ‘60s guitar great Duane Eddy rumbled on to the earth in 1938.

In 1966, the New York Assembly makes the sale of unauthorized recordings, known as bootlegs, a misdemeanor.

In 1945, Billboard Magazine published their first album chart with
"A Collection of Favorites" named as #1.

In 1963, the Beatles were the opening act for American Pop stars Chris Montez and Tommy Roe in the quartet's hometown of Liverpool, England.

In 1966, the Beatles posed with mutilated and butchered dolls for the cover of the album, "Yesterday and Today". After a public outcry, the L.P. was pulled from stores and re-issued with a new cover.

In 1992, a Chicago judge settled the Milli-Vanilli class-action suit by approving cash rebates of up to $3 to anyone proving they bought the group's music before November 27, 1990, the date the lip synching scandal broke. Arista Records and its parent, BMG, paid out more than $400,000. About 80,000 claims were filed, most of them by people who bought compact discs.

57 year old Harold Melvin, leader of the Philadelphia Soul group Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, died of heart related problems on March 24th 1997. The group is remembered for their 1972, #3 hit, "If You Don't Know Me By Now.”

Rod Price, a founding member of Foghat, died in 2005 after falling down a stairway at his home. The 57 year old guitarist was with the band for three platinum and eight gold records, including their highest charting US single "Slow Ride" in 1976.

During a show in Buffalo, NY, in 1973, a fan bites Lou Reed on the butt. The assailant shouts "Leather" before security hauls him away. (he must like ‘butt’ roast’)

Billy Stewart, the dynamic soul belter who scored a hit with "Summertime," was born in Washington, D.C. in 1937.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

This Day In Music History- March 22

Tom Petty forms Mudcrutch in Gainesville, Florida in 1970. Guitarist Mike Campbell joins the same year and keyboardist Benmont Tench signs on in 1973.
'Apostrophe,' Frank Zappa's highest-charting album, was released in 1974. It reached #10 and became Zappa's second consecutive gold album.

In 1975, 'Physical Graffiti,' a double album by Led Zeppelin, reached #1 in its second week of release. It stayed there for six weeks.

"Another Brick in the Wall," by Pink Floyd, topped the singles charts for the first of four weeks in 1980. It is their second and final Top Forty single in the US.

Jeremy Clyde of Chad & Jeremy ("Summer Song") is 64.

Mark Dinning, who scored a US number one hit in 1960 with "Teen Angel", died of a heart attack on March 22nd at the age of 52. The song had been written by his sister, Jeannie. Although he never had another hit, Mark continued performing throughout the 1960s, but felt his lack of success was because, "groups were in and singles were out", once the British Invasion started.

Dave Guard of the Kingston Trio ("Tom Dooly") died of lymphoma, in 1991. The Kingston Trio had 17 chart singles and nine gold albums between 1958 and 1963.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono began their "bed-in for peace" in Amsterdam in 1969.

Elvis Presley's "Easy Come, Easy Go" movie opened in 1967.

Bob Dylan's first electric album, "Bring It All Back Home" was released in 1965.

Today in 1986, the song "These Dreams" by Heart topped the charts and stayed there for a week.

In 1997, Paul McCartney's birth certificate was sold to a bidder for Beatles memorabilia for $84,146.

The Police were signed to A&M Records in 1978.

The Who played their first American live gig at New York's Paramount Theater in 1967.

Jazz guitarist George Benson was born in Pittsburgh in 1943. He shares a birthday with Yardbird singer and harmonica player Keith Relf, who is also born today in Richmond, England.

Coral Records hired original rock DJ Alan Freed as their A&R man in 1955.

1958 - Hank Williams Jr. made his stage debut in Swainsboro, GA, at the age of eight.( and it wasn't on MNF, which wasn't on the air back then)

The Beatles' first album, "Please Please Me," was released in the U.K. in 1963.
In 1978, the BBC airs “The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash.” It’s the ultimate (and very funny) Beatles parody. (and actually contains some great music as well!)

Franki Valli returned to the US Top 40 for the first time in nearly seven years in 1975 when "My Eyes Adored You" went to number one. The song was originally titled "Blue Eyes In Georgia" by its writers, Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan, but Valli altered the lyrics to suit himself.

Diana Ross' first solo album for RCA, "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" goes platinum less than three months after its release in 1982.

In 2001, Earl Beal of the Philadelphia vocal group The Silhouettes died at the age of 76. The group topped the Billboard chart in 1958 with "Get A Job".

Friday, March 21, 2008

New "SMELLY' Album Cover?

Haven't really heard of this, but it is a fresh new gimmick to add to the already fascinating allure of vinyl records- check this out from a post on

"We wouldn't ordinarily advocate scratching your vinyl, but in this case, we'll make an exception. Black Moth Super Rainbow, the convention-thwarting Pennsylvanian bunch responsible for last year's Recommended Dandelion Gum album, have gone and pressed said release into a turntable-ready LP.

Okay nothing so unconventional there, but wait! This isn't just any vinyl we're talking about here. This is, as you may have noticed in the headline, scratch'n'sniff vinyl!! Yes, the friction created by running something coarse (a fingernail, say) across the cover of this record will unleash odors as yet un-smelt by the noses of men! Women, too!

As if this olfactory offering weren't enough, the vinyl version of Dandelion Gum also includes a bonus track not found on the CD, "The Dark Forest Joggers". Both formats are available now via Graveface Records."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

This Day In Music History- March 20

John Lennon marries Yoko in Gibraltar, Spain in 1969. The subsequent single, "The Ballad of John and Yoko," explains the couples trials and tribulations.

Jerry Reed ("Amos Moses") turns 71.

Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer ("Lucky Man") is 58.

Joe Rivers of Johnnie & Joe ("Over The Mountain, Across The Sea") is 71.

David Bowie marries his wife, Angela (subject of the Rolling Stones' song, "Angie" four years later) in 1970.

In 1968, Eric Clapton, Neil Young and Poco members Richie Furay and Jim Messina are all arrested in Los Angeles on drug charges (Eric is freed, the others fined).

Today in 1971, the song "Me and Bobby McGee" by Janis Joplin topped the charts and stayed there for 2 weeks.

The song "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts topped the charts and stayed there for 7 weeks in 1982.

In 2003, the South Carolina House of Representatives pass a resolution urging the Dixie Chicks to make a public apology for derogatory statements about President Bush, and back it up with a concert for the families of troops serving in the Iraq conflict. (For stating what is obviously right?)

The No.1 album in America in 2002 is the soundtrack to "O Brother Where Art Thou?," with performances by bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley and vocalist-fiddler Alison Krauss.

Tracy Chapman was born in Cleveland in 1964. The singer-songwriter's first single is the smash hit, "Fast Car."

In 1960, Elvis Presley begins his first recording session since exiting the U.S. Army on March 5. With longtime guitarist Scotty Moore, he records "Stuck on You" and "Fame and Fortune" at the RCA Studios in Nashville.

Guitarist Jimmie Vaughan of the Fabulous Thunderbirds was born in Austin in 1951.

In 1971, the Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” slipped off the Billboard album chart after a 138 week run.

Bobby Helms, who is best remembered for his Christmas classic, "Jingle Bell Rock", had his biggest single reach the US Country chart in 1957. The song was called "Fraulein" and it would eventually hit number 1, spending 52 weeks on the chart, longer than any other Country song of the 1950s. Later in the year, he had another number one record with "My Special Angel". Jingle Bell Rock was first released in November 1957, and would return to the US Top 40 on two other occasions.

In 1989, Dick Clark announced his retirement from American Bandstand.

In 1991, Eric Clapton's four year old son, Conor, fell to his death from the 53rd story of a New York City apartment window. The boy was in the custody of his mother, Italian actress, Lori Del Santo and the pair were visiting a friend's apartment. The housekeeper had just cleaned a room and opened the window to air it out. Eric was staying in a nearby hotel after taking his son to the circus the previous evening. The tragedy inspired his song "Tears in Heaven".

Costello To Release New Album on Vinyl

To help celebrate the mass reissuing of Elvis Costello’s back catalog on remastered CDs, the “Allison” singer will release his first album in four years on vinyl–only vinyl. The disc, dubbed "Momofuku," will be available on April 22nd, complete with a special download code which will allow buyers to download the album onto their computers.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Vintage Posters To Brighten Up Any Room

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Fun Vinyl Record Video

New CD Distribution Channel For Independent Artists Announced

By Robert Benson

The music industry is changing again, specifically the way that consumers get their music. With CD sales slumping, vinyl record sales on the rise and MP3 music downloads now dominating the music landscape, a small Internet radio station is also changing the way that its artist’s music is being distributed.

I spoke with DJ Tom of about the new distribution service that the radio station is offering.

“With digital sales being the main online sales source for music, most independent artists turn to CDbaby or iTunes to sell their music,” explained DJ Tom. “What we are doing is making a move to ‘cut out the middleman’ so to speak, which will allow the independent artists to put more money in their own pockets, where it belongs.”

DJ Tom detailed some of the specific ways that iTunes and CDbaby operate:

“These companies rely on their own affiliates to promote the artists that they have and really don’t do anything to promote the artists. As an ex-affiliate for iTunes, I used to sell digital downloads for a five percent commission, so for a ninety-nine cent song that equates to a nickel. The artist in turn gets sixty-nine cents, leaving a twenty-five cent profit for iTunes, who are just an online warehouse cataloging music in hopes that their affiliates are successful in promoting them.

“CDbaby is a bit similar in that they are also a music warehouse that relies on other distributors, affiliates and the artists themselves to generate the sale while taking $4 for each CD sold to drop it in the mail. I can see artists with a CDBaby Logo on their website or MySpace page to buy their CD. If an artist wants to make $7 per CD sold, then the cost to the consumer is $11 through CDbaby. Why not just sell the CD directly using PayPal, add in their processing costs and sell it for $7.50? An independent artist will probably generate more sales at the lower cost.”

So, CDbaby and iTunes do nothing to promote the independent artists who sign on with them?

DJ Tom explained, “When you go to iTunes you see what is what may be ‘hot’, like American Idol or movie sales or highlights. Sure, that may be what is popular and selling at the time, but what are they really doing to promote the music for the independent artists they are supposed to represent? CDbaby does nothing more than create an online catalog of music, charging the artist a $35 set up fee and taking four dollars per sale on top of that.”

How does promote their independent artists?

“We feature artists on our homepage, add their music to our station play list, include their music in free podcasts, artist interviews, CD and music reviews and live radio shows along with other promotions, all to get the artist’s music out there in front of the public, which helps generate interest in their music and the band,” explained DJ Tom.

But here is the most exciting element to the music distribution channel that is instituting.

“What we are offering our artists is a CD distribution method where we would receive one dollar per sale plus credit card processing fees. This will allow the artists to lower the price on their CD for the consumer to benefit and also put more money in their own pockets, where it belongs. We are also offering MP3 sales at competitive industry rates directly from our site instead of an affiliate link that sends the consumer elsewhere to buy the music, then possibly having the sale fall through as an advertisement for a "Commercial" artist appears causing the buyer to become distracted and forget why they went there in the first place.”

So the bottom line is very simple. is making a move to undercut most independent music distributer’s prices and pass the savings along to the consumers, all the while putting more money into the pockets of the artists who actually created the music. The music landscape is changing again, this time for the benefit of the music consumer and the bands and artists who create the music. What a novel concept!

It's Official- Vinyl Is Back

In the United Kingdom, where the CD single is basically dead, there is such a resurgence in vinyl that retailers can’t keep up with capacity. In the U.S., figures as high as 22 per cent are being floated about the growth in vinyl record sales.

At a time when digital downloading is the thing, does this return to the “good old days” merely represent a small portion of audio geeks who pine for the tactile and genuine listening experience of playing a record on a turntable? Or is it, as Eric Levin, owner and president of Criminal Records/AIMS, thinks, the beginning of something big that will create a massive collectors’ market a few decades from now?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

U2 Re-Releases has pried some information from the German branch of Universal, concerning release dates for various remastered albums.

The upcoming release dates are:

6th June: Boy, October
20th June: War, Under a blood red sky

Keep in mind that these are release dates for Germany, where CDs in general are released on Friday. speculate this could mean 9th/23rd june for the UK, and 10th/24th for the US.

All albums will be released in the following formats:
Single-cd-version, double-cd-deluxe-version, vinyl.

There will also be another DVD, ‘Live at Red Rocks” which is slated some time in July.

Raconteurs- New Vinyl Release

The Raconteurs announced via their Myspace page that their new album "Consolers of the Lonely" will be released in just over a week on March 25th. From the band's myspace page:

"The album was mastered and completed in the first week of March. It was then taken immediately to a vinyl pressing plant. Then to a CD pressing plant. Then preparations to sell it digitally began. March 25th became the soonest date to have it available in EVERY FORMAT AT ONCE. The band have done no interviews or advertisements for this record before this announcement.

The purpose: to get the album to the fans as soon as possible and as we promised. We wanted to get this record to fans, the press, radio, etc., all at the EXACT SAME TIME so that no one has an upper hand on anyone else regarding it’s availability, reception or perception.

With this release, The Raconteurs are forgoing the usual months of lead time for press and radio set up, as well as forgoing the all important "first week sales." We wanted to explore the idea of releasing an album everywhere at once and THEN marketing and promoting it thereafter. The Raconteurs would rather this release not be defined by it’s first weeks sales, pre-release promotion, or by someone defining it FOR YOU before you get to hear it."

This Day In Music History- March 18

The late Wilson Pickett ("Funky Broadway") was born in 1941.

John Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas ("Monday Monday") died of heart failure in 2001.

The Doobie Brothers, Dionne Warwick and Petula Clark were among the entertainers at Liza Minelli's wedding reception in 2002.

Teddy Pendergrass of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes was paralyzed in a car accident in 1982.

Jerry Lee Lewis became the first artist to sing three songs on an episode of ABC-TV's "American Bandstand" (and he sings, not lip-synchs them) in 1958.

The Everly Brothers recorded "Cathy's Clown" in 1960.

Happy birthday to Charley Pride, who was born in Sledge, Mississippi in 1938. The "Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'" hit-maker is arguably the most successful African-American in country music.

Vanessa Williams was born in Tarrytown, NY in 1963. She's famous for a bit of everything, including being the last significant Miss America.

Alice in Chains' guitarist Jerry Cantrell was born in 1966.

All hail the Queen! Hip-hop MC turned actress Queen Latifah was born in Newark, NJ in 1970.

In 1972, Neil Young topped the charts with "Heart of Gold." It's his only solo single to go top 30. Backing vocals were provided by James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt.

The Clash released their first single, "White Riot" in 1977.

In 1994 four guns and 25 boxes of ammo were confiscated from Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) after his wife, Courtney Love, called police fearing he was going to commit suicide. He did commit suicide about 3 weeks later.

After three minor chart makers, an Oklahoma group called Five Americans released their biggest hit, "Western Union,” which would eventually crack Billboard's Top 10 in 1967.

Also in 1967, the Beatles enjoyed their thirteenth US number one single with "Penny Lane.”

In 1978, the Bee Gees continued an amazing hot streak of three consecutive number one hits with "Night Fever,” which topped the charts and stayed there for 8 weeks. (Who really liked Disco?)

In 2000, a film company paid over a million dollars for nine hours of film shot by Yoko Ono during the 70s that showed John Lennon smoking hash and talking about his political beliefs.

The Best of the Lovin' Spoonful, drawn from three albums and numerous singles, entered the album charts in 1967. It charted for a full year, peaking at #3.

In 1976, 'The Man Who Fell to Earth,' a science-fiction movie starring David Bowie in an award-winning performance, debuts takes place in London.

Doobie Brothers co-founder and drummer, John Hartman, was born in Falls Church, VA in1950.

Cinderella guitarist Jeff LeBar has a birthday. He was born in 1953.

In 1995, Madonna hosted the world's largest pajama part, "Madonna's Bedtime Story Pajama Party," live from New York City's Webster Hall. (I slept through it)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Top 5 eBay Vinyl Record Sales

Week Ending 02/23/2008

1) 45rpm - Bruce Springsteen "Spirit In The Night" / "For You" Columbia - $5,100.00

2) LP - Phafner "Overdrive" Dragon - $5,000.00

3) 45rpm - The Squires "The Sultan" / "Aurora" V - $4,161.00

4) 45rpm - U2 "All I Want Is You" Purple Vinyl - $4,058.00

5) LP - Beatles "Please, Please Me" Parlophone - $3,850.00

This Day In Music History- March 16

Rock ‘n’ Roll’s pioneer promoter (and the man who coined the term) Alan Freed got nailed for tax evasion in 1964, ending his illustrious career.

Nancy Wilson of Heart ("Barracuda") turns 54.

Tammi Terrell ("Ain't Nothin' Like The Real Thing" with Marvin Gaye) died of brain cancer in 1970.

Johnny Cymbal (he sang "Mr. Bass Man" and was known as Derek when he later recorded "Cinnamon") died of a heart attack in 1993.

In 1996, "One Sweet Day," by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men, stayed at No. 1 on the Hot 100 for a 16th week, breaking all previous records.

Seven members of Reba McEntire's touring party died in 1991, when their private plane crashes in California. Reba was on another plane.

A son is born to Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli in 1991. They name him Wolfgang Van Halen. (thanks Mom & Dad!)

In 1975, the legendary T-Bone Walker died of pneumonia at age 64 in Los Angeles. His expressive guitar soloing brought the instrument to the fore of modern blues.

In 1972, John and Yoko are served with deportation papers after someone hears one of Yoko's solo recordings.

In 1971, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and its title track by Simon & Garfunkel win Grammy Awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year.

The Beatles released “Let It Be” on this date in 1970.

In 1967, Pink Floyd began sessions at Abbey Road studios for their debut album, “Piper at the Gates of Dawn.”

In 1963, Peter, Paul & Mary released the toker's favorite "Puff the Magic Dragon." Yet another song that was not about drugs.

"The Ballad of Davy Crockett" by Bill Hayes, reached the number one spot on the US Pop music charts in 1955, where it would stay for five weeks. The song sold more than 7,000,000 records on more than 20 different labels worldwide and sparked a coonskin cap craze.

In 1902, Bluesman Guitar Slim was born in Charles City County, Virginia.

“(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” by Otis Redding, reached #1 for the first of four weeks in 1968. Recorded three days before Redding’s death in a plane crash, it is the biggest hit from the Stax Records label group, appearing on Volt.

In 1999, The Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) created the Diamond sales award for album sales in excess of 10 million copies. Groups who have already hit the mark are AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Boston, Journey, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Van Halen and ZZ Top. At the top of the list was The Eagles' Greatest Hits, with over 25 million copies (it would sell another million by the end of the year).

US radio and TV personality Arthur Godfrey died on March 16, 1983 in New York City at the age of 79. His show, Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts was a fore runner of Star Search and American Idol on which "scouts" presented their discoveries to perform live before a national radio and television audience.

Friday, March 14, 2008

This Day In Music History- March 14

Phil Phillips ("Sea Of Love") turns 77.

Producer Quincy Jones (produced records by Michael Jackson and Lesley Gore, as well as "We Are The World") is 75.

Rick Dees ("Disco Duck") is 58.

Songwriter Doc Pomus ("Save The Last Dance For Me", "Suspicion", "Hushabye" and many others) died of lung cancer in 1991.

In 1955, Elvis Presley was interviewed by Jimmy Dean on Jimmy's Washington, DC television show.

In 1965, Petula Clark made her American TV debut on the "Ed Sullivan Show" on CBS.

The movie, "Rock Around The Clock" (with Bill Haley, the Platters and Freddie Bell & the Bellboys) premiered in Washington, DC in 1956.

In 1958, the first official gold record was awarded- to Perry Como for "Catch A Falling Star.”

Jim Pons, bassist for the Turtles and the Mothers of Invention, was born in 1943.

1959-Elvis Presley made the Billboard album chart with "For LP Fans Only". It was the first LP ever issued without the artist's name to be found anywhere on the cover - front or back.

Thieves steal $325,000 worth of Elvis Presley`s jewelry and kitsch from the Elvis-A-Rama Museum in Las Vegas in 2004. Among the stolen inventory: a gold-plated handgun, a custom scarf, a bracelet and Presley`s Humes High School ring from 1953. However, the crooks leave Elvis` blue suede shoes.

1964- For the first time in British recording history, all Top Ten singles in the UK are by British acts. #1 - "Anyone Who Had A Heart" by Cilla Black, #2 - "Bits and Pieces" by The Dave Clark Five, #3 - "Little Children" by Billy J Kramer, #4 - "Diane" by The Bachelors, #5 - "Not Fade Away" by The Rolling Stones, #6 - "Just One Look" by The Hollies, #7 - "Needles and Pins" by The Searchers, #8 - "I Think Of You" by The Merseybeats, #9 - "Boys Cry" by Eden Kane, #10 - "Let Me Go Lover" by Kathy Kirby. Talk about a British invasion!

In 1972, Carole King's "Tapestry" LP was named Album Of The Year at the 14th Grammy Awards. The disc had been 1971's best selling record.

One of Chicago’s founding members and their sax player, Walter Parazaider, was born in the Cubs/White Sox hometown in 1945.

In 1987, Huey Lewis and The News scored their third number one record in the US with a Bruce Hornsby composition, "Jacob's Ladder", one of six singles released from the album "Fore".

Michael Jackson was voted artist of the decade at the annual Soul Train Awards in 1990.

Frankie Avalon hits #1 in the US with "Venus" in 1959. It stayed there for five weeks.

"Me and Bobby McGee," Janis Joplin's only Top Forty hit, reaches #1 in 1971.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Releases On Vinyl

NIN- New Album Pulls In $1.6M In First Week

The online release of the new Nine Inch Nails album, "Ghosts I-IV," resulted in just under 800,000 transactions in its first week, totaling $1.6 million in revenue, the band revealed.

Orders include free and paid downloads, as well as online orders for physical products like various limited-edition vinyl releases, CDs, and a dual-CD box set. NIN will not release traditional sales figures to SoundScan.


Grammatics to release a 10" vinyl single in April

On Monday, 7th April, Leeds four-piece Grammatics will release a new single on the Dance To The Radio record label. A double A-side release ('D.I.L.E.M.N.A' / 'Polar Swelling') the single is available both on limited-edition 10" vinyl and on Digital Download formats.

Two wildly different pieces of music, the tracks have one thing in common: they don't sound like they've been recorded by a new band still finding its feet; rather, they sound like the kind of ambitious, forward-thinking creations you'd expect from any of the bands that inspired Grammatics in the first place. Most importantly, they sound like they couldn't have been recorded by anybody else.


Legendary U.S. thrashers HIRAX release seven-inch single.

After being on hiatus for a couple of years, Sweden's Stormbringer Records is back with another release lined up for 2008 — a seven-inch single from legendary U.S. thrashers HIRAX. This will contain the very first recording the band did, the classic 1984 demo recording. The seven-inch will be on colored vinyl, come with an insert with photos from original HIRAX guitarist Bob Savage's own collection and include liner notes written by Laurent "I Love Atheist" Ramadier from Snakepit magazine.


Portishead To Release 'Third' Via USB Stick Format

Portishead have confirmed that they are releasing a very special USB stick version of their new album ‘Third.’

The limited-edition 1GB will feature the 11 album tracks as well as four films titled: 'Ade's House, Machine Gun', 'The Rip live @ Mr Wolfe's’, 'We Carry On' and ‘The Truly Spectacular Universal Conference Film.'

On top of the CD and USB stick there is a limited-edition double 12” vinyl version featuring special prints and etched vinyl. All three versions will be available on April 28.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Independent Rocker's Hit The Mark

As I continue my band reviews for the independent online radio station, I wanted to share a great band that really knows their stuff and plays music with a hard-rockin' style:


By Robert Benson

With their new CD called “The Next One,” the hard-rocking quartet Vonzeles is making musical waves with their unique melding of precision power rock that is making the music industry stand up and take notice.

Their CD is full of raw intensity, indescribable power and is a rare collection of fresh rock melodies. This rocking band from Tolleson, Arizona hits the mark hard with cuts like the arena-ready rocker “New Existence,” the Candlebox-like, slow tempo sounds of the cut “Feel Good” and the acid-flavored funk and heavy bass lines of the song “Sex Machine.”

But Vonzeles brings down the house with cuts like “I Remember,” an affectionate ballad with Zeppelin-like acoustic guitar that explodes lyrically and musically (ala 3 Doors Down) into a song that people can relate to. The instrumental "This One," with more inspiring acoustics, appropriately serves as an introduction and compliment to "This Is Me," with rough-edged confessional lyrics and rapid-fire, high voltage guitar work adroitly reflecting the song's rage and bitterness.

“Useless Woman,” with its bold lyrics, is another heavy rocker with a fantastic lead guitar that meshes perfectly with the spitefully sung husky growl of Carl, the lead singer. Other cuts like “Cocked & Loaded,” full of fuzz guitar, heavy bass lines has the listener thinking Metallica is playing along with the band. The cuts “End Of Days,” “Half Of It” and “Next One” are all full of grungy guitar rock and all would be right at home on any heavy metal radio station play list.

All in all, “The Next One” is by far Vonzeles breakthrough CD, full of slashing riffs, explosive vocals and straight-up rock and roll. One can actually feel the music, something that every band or artist strives to achieve. Vonzeles has captured this element perfectly and does not let their listeners down.

Visit the band:

Alkaline Trio Reissue

Goddamnit, has it been 10 years already? Chicago punks Alkaline Trio reissued their debut album, Goddamnit, today via Asian Man Records. The reissue features the original album completely remixed and remastered, as well as four bonus tracks, new artwork and an in-depth documentary that features interviews with all of the group's original members. On March 25, Asian Man will issue a vinyl version of the re-release.

Vinyl Records Top 5 eBay Sales

Week Ending 02/09/2008

Top 5 List:

1) LP - Bob Dylan "Blood On The Tracks" Vinyl Test Pressing - $4,999.99

2) 45rpm - Soul Brothers Inc "Teardrops" / "Salem" - $4,494.44

3) 78rpm - Bix Beiderbecke test pressing "Thou Swell" - $3,000.00

4) 78rpm - Robert Johnson test pressing Vocalion DAL 402-1 - $2,550.00

5. 78rpm - Ramblin' Thomas "So Lonesome" / "Lock And Key Blues" Paramount 12637 - $2,481.78


Vinyl Records Top 5 eBay Sales

Week Ending 02/02/2008

Top 5 List:

1) 45rpm - Elvis Presley "That's All Right Mama" / "Blue Moon Of Kentuck" Sun Sample - $2,026.00

2) 45rpm - Vikki Styles "The Tears Won't Stop Falling" / "If I Didn't Love You" ODEX - $1,999.99

3) 45rpm - Beatles "Noregian Wood" Greeny Vinyl 45 - $1,530.00

4) 45rpm - Anthony Ellis Blank 7" Reggae Ska Instrumental - $1,501.00 Start:

5) LP - Beatles "Yesterday & Today" Butcher Cover LP - $1,499.99


Vinyl Records Top 5 eBay Sales

Week Ending 01/26/2008

Top 5 List:

1) 45rpm - The Misfits "Horror Business" (Signed) - $14,301.38

2) 45rpm - Ray Pollard "This Time (I'm Gonna Be True)" / "No More Like Me" Shrine 103 - $3,060.00

3) LP - Bob Dylan "Vol. 4" Japan White Label Promo w/ OBI - $2,799.99

4) 45rpm - Willie Wright "Right On Darkness" - $2,716.00

5. LP - Vashti "Bunyan" - $2,300.00

This Day In Music History- March 12

Pink Floyd's David Gilmour topped the U.K. album charts with "On An Island" in 2006.

In 2003, callers to Nashville radio station WKDF demand a boycott of Texan trio the Dixie Chicks' music after singer Natalie Maines says, "We're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."

In 1971, John Lennon released his solo single "Power to the People," having recorded it a mere four days before.

Guitarist Graham Coxon of Blur was born in 1969.

It was a dark day for jazz in 1955 as Charlie "Bird" Parker died at the age of 34. A master saxophonist, he was also a musical innovator, helping to birth the animated style of swing called bebop. The hard-living Parker's postmortem suggests he may have died from pneumonia, a heart attack, burst stomach ulcers, or cirrhosis of the liver.

Liza "with a Z" Minnelli was born in Hollywood in 1946.

In 1946, Jefferson Airplane's Paul Kantner was born in San Francisco. The guitarist is a free-thinker who helped create the West Cost psychedelic sound in the 1960’s.

The late Leonard Chess was born in Motol, Poland in 1917. His Chicago-based Chess label documented the seminal blues and rock 'n roll of Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, and Howlin' Wolf.

James Taylor ("Your Smiling Face") turns 60.

Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman in 1969 (none of his band mates attended).

George Harrison was arrested for possession of marijuana in 1969 (maybe that’s why he wasn’t at the wedding)

John Lennon and Harry Nilsson were thrown out of the Troubador nightclub in Los Angeles for heckling the Smothers Brothers, who were performing there in 1974. This period becomes known as Lennon’s “Lost Weekend.”

In 1965, The Beatles wrapped up their location shooting of Help! in the Bahamas. In an interview with The New York Times, Beatles manager Brian Epstein predicts that the band will still be popular in 10 years and declares the Rolling Stones "a fine group."

1996 - The album "Unplugged" was released by KISS.

2003 - The Chinese government ordered the Rolling Stones to eliminate four songs from their upcoming performances in Shanghai and Beijing. The banned songs were "Brown Sugar," "Honky Tonk Women," "Beast of Burden," and "Let's Spend the Night Together."

In 1959, an American Bandstand viewer's pole lists 15 year old Fabian Forte as the Most Promising New Talent. The young man is currently enjoying success with "Turn Me Loose", which will crack the US Top 10 in April.

In 1966, The Levi Strauss Company began selling bell-bottom blue jeans in the US. (far out man!)

A poll conducted by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2001, music fans voted Judy Garland's "Over The Rainbow" as the Song Of The Century. The Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" came in at #16 and The Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand" was #26.

The Mamas and the Papas' debut single, "California Dreamin'," reached #4 in 1966. Over time, it becomes the Mamas and the Papas' signature song.

Steve Harris was born in London in 1956. He works as an architectural draftsman but quits his day job after launching Iron Maiden in '75. The bassist also serves as the group’s principal composer and lyricist.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Old Southern Moonshine Revival

I am still doing band and CD reviews for the independent online radio station and I have just listened to an inventive 'Southern Rock' band and want to share their music.

Old Southern Moonshine Revival

by Robert Benson

Itching for some fresh down-home ‘Southern Rock?’ You can’t go wrong with the North Carolina–based band called Old Southern Moonshine Revival who have released a compelling array of rootsy country sounds on their debut CD called “Old Southern.”
With interwoven harmonies, inventive melodies and a bit of Southern nostalgia, the band may remind some of the Marshall Tucker Band, Mason Profit or the iconic Allman Brothers Band.

But what Old Southern Moonshine Revival is able to accomplish is to bring these classic sounds into the 2000’s and add their distinctive stamp on the Southern Rock genre. In fact, the Revival are in the top 25 Unsigned Southern Rock Bands on MySpace, a hefty feat indeed!

The cut “2 Shells Gone Now,” is a classic ‘storytelling’ rock song that is expertly played and sung with artistic confidence. “Alabama” is an acoustic gem, a banjo laced lullaby of sorts about a man missing his home. The song “New pair Of Boots” is a tongue-in-cheek ditty about leaving your loved one and has a delicious catchiness to it. The alcohol silliness of “Sobered Up My Drunk” is another acoustic country gem about love gone wrong and is played with obvious zest.

But Old Southern Moonshine Revival really shines with the cut “Solo Whiskey Travelin' Blues,” with impeccable harmonies, fine acoustics and is the band’s signature song. “Kitchen Floor” is a mellow country gem with poignant lyrics and an intoxicating palette of piano work. The guys have fun and cut loose with the cut “Shouldn’t Have Fed Me The Whiskey Tonight,” a country-rock classic.

It is easy to see why the group is a popular destination on MySpace and this popularity has led the band to be named one of the top 50 Unsigned Country Bands. Years from now I am sure that they will be regarded as one of the top Southern Rock bands of all time.

Old Southern Moonshine Revival is:

Kenny Taylor-bass
The Kemist-electric/lead guitar/vocals
Brent Bennett-drums/percussion/vocals
Ryan Puckett-piano/organ

For more information:

Monday, March 10, 2008 now open!

As I try to keep up with the demands of my readers, I have just opened up a new site called

I have incorporated many sites all rolled into one. Browse for classic band t-shirts, animal tees, band hoodies, classic posters, three stooges tees, biker t-shirts,classic car t-shirts, heavy metal tees, Beatles' t-shirts and much more! Stop by for a visit today!

I have recently found a very interesting and informative site for all music lovers. Music News, Album & Concerts Reviews, MP3's, Music Videos, Art / Entertainment and much more!

Take a stroll over to: and tell Morgan I sent you by!

This Day In Music History- March 10

Dean Torrence of Jan & Dean ("Drag City") turns 68.

LaVern Baker ("Jim Dandy") died from heart failure in 1997.

Andy Gibb ("I Just Want To Be Your Everything") died from a viral infection of his heart in 1988.

In 1979, at the invitation of country star Porter Wagoner, James Brown performed at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, singing "Your Cheatin' Heart,” "Tennessee Waltz" and "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag.” Some Country artists such as Jean Shepard complained, but others like Barbara Mandrell said that Brown should have been invited five years earlier.

In 2005, Danny Joe Brown, lead singer of Southern rockers Molly Hatchet, died from pneumonia complications. The 53-year-old rocker once released a solo album credited to Danny Joe Brown and the Danny Joe Brown Band.

In 2005, Dave Blood, bassist with punk rockers the Dead Milkmen, committed suicide. The Milkmen's 1988 single "Punk Rock Girl" was an MTV staple.

In 2003, a Spanish hairdresser pays over a thousand dollars for a lock of hair George Harrison cut off in 1964. The hair will be displayed in Rafael Pages' hairdressing museum in Barcelona. (hairdressing museum?)

John Lennon released his cover of Ben E. King's "Stand by Me" as a single in the U.S. in 1975.

In 1971, Beatles manager Allen Klein was barred from involvement in the band's affairs as the Fab Four's career together winds down. According to legend, it is also on this night that John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr go to Paul McCartney's London townhouse and throw a brick through one of the windows. (All You Need Is Love)

In 1966, Edie Brickell was born in Oak Cliff, Texas.

The Beatles' "Eight Days a Week" goes to No. 1 in 1965. It's the first single by a British act to top the American charts but not make the charts in Britain, where it was unreleased.

In 1964, Neneh Cherry, the innovative R&B/hip-hop singer responsible for the "Buffalo Stance," was born in Stockholm.

Jeff Ament, the bassist in Pearl Jam and leader of Three Fish, was born in Big Sandy, Montana in 1963.

Pop mastermind Tom Scholz of Boston was born in Toledo, Ohio in 1947.

In 1955 RCA Records placed a half page ad in Billboard Magazine claiming that Elvis Presley was 'the new singing rage’.

In 1964, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel recorded "The Sounds Of Silence" as an acoustic duo. It wasn't until electric guitar, bass and drums were added that the song would become a hit.

In 1973, Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" was released in America, where it would spent over 740 weeks on the chart.

Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" found its way from B-side obscurity to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979. It was also a #1 in the UK.

Today in 1962, the song "Hey! Baby" by Bruce Channel topped the charts and stayed there for 3 weeks.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

This Day In Music History- March 8

Birthday wishes to Randy Meisner who was born in 1947.

Ron “Pig Pigpen” McKernan, keyboardist and vocalist with the Grateful Dead, died of liver failure in 1973.

Micky Dolenz of the Monkees ("I'm A Believer") turns 63.

"Little" Peggy March ("I Will Follow Him") is 60.

Songwriter Carole Bayer-Sager ("Groovy Kind Of Love", "Midnight Blue", "Nobody Does It Better" and many others) is 61.

In 1970, Diana Ross made her first solo concert appearance, in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Elvis Presley's "Stay Away Joe" movie debuts in 1968.

In 1962, the Beatles made their British national radio debut, singing "Dream Baby", "Maybelline" and "Please Mr. Postman" on the BBC's "Teenagers' Turn" program. (Pete Best on the drums)

The Dave Clark Five make the first of 18 appearances on CBS-TV's "Ed Sullivan Show" in 1964.

Bad Company played their first gig in Newcastle, England in 1974.

Paul McCartney pleads guilty to having grown marijuana on his Scottish farm. He's fined the British equivalent of $240. The singer explains that a fan gave him the seeds, and he didn't know what kind of plants would blossom from them. (great excuse, can I use that one?)

In 1971, Radio Hanoi played Jimi Hendrix's interpretation of "The Star-Spangled Banner" to the troops after receiving the tape from activist Abbie Hoffman.

In 1968, the Fillmore East opened for business in New York at Second Avenue and Sixth Street in the East Village. The opening bill features the eclectic mix of bluesman Albert King, folkie Tim Buckley, and the San Francisco phenomenons Big Brother & the Holding Company.

Gary Numan was born in Hammersmith, England in 1958. His No. 9 single "Cars" would go on to achieve immortality in numerous advertisements.

Proud Mary” was Creedence Clearwater Revival’s first million selling single in 1969.

Having left Spooky Tooth for a solo career, Gary Wright got a gold record for “Dream Weaver” in 1976.

In 1978, Steely Dan went platinum (sales over a million) for the first time with their “Aja” album.

Just four weeks after being released in 1959, Frankie Avalon's "Venus" topped the US singles charts.

In 1963, over 25,000 people attended the March 8th funeral for country singer Patsy Cline, killed three days earlier in a plane crash. (what a voice!)

Also in 1963, The Four Tops inked a deal with Berry Gordy's Motown label and received a $400 signing bonus.

Olivia Newton-John's "Have You Never Been Mellow" becomes her second Billboard number one record in 1975. She would go on to have three more.

Adam Faith suffered a fatal heart attack on March 8th, 2003 at the age of 62. He was one of England's major pop stars in the early 1960s and enjoyed a run of eleven British Top 20 hits prior to the arrival of the Beatles.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Metallica to reissue on vinyl

Metallica are going to reissue their back catalogue. On vinyl!

"While we're finishing up the new album, we told the dudes at the record company we thought it might be cool to dust off the old tapes and get all retro with some vinyl re-releases..."

The first two albums, Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning are scheduled for release on 15 April in the US and soon after the rest of the world.

"There will be two like the original on a single disc spinning at 33 1/3, the other a two disc, 180 gram vinyl, 45 rpm package all in a double gatefold. The music was half speed mastered from the original analog tapes at Mobile Fidelity to bring you audiophile quality."

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Killing Joke's back catalogue is going to be released on limited edition double gatefold 180g virgin DMM vinyl early next year through Let Them Eat Vinyl.

This Day In Music History- March 6

Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour was born in 1946.

In 1965, the number of British singles in Billboard's' Top 100: 25

The Temptations hit #1 with "My Girl" in 1965.

Mary Wilson of the Supremes ("Where Did Our Love Go") is 64.

Kiki Dee turns 61. The English singer is best remembered for dueting with Elton John on the million-selling "Don't Go Breaking My Heart."

Sylvia Vanderpool Robinson ("Pillow Talk", and one-half of Mickey & Sylvia-- "Love Is Strange") is 72.

King Floyd
("Groove Me") died of complications from a stroke and diabetes in 2006.

In 2005, legendary metal DJ Tommy Vance died after suffering a stroke in the U.K. His “Friday Night Rock Show” on BBC Radio One introduced audiences to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal's leading lights, including Iron Maiden and Def Leppard.

Blues legend Lowell Fulson died in 1999. His signature tracks include "Reconsider Baby" and "Lonely Hours."

In 1995, Soulful reggae singer Delroy Wilson died in Kingston, Jamaica, at age 46. His tunes include "Once Upon a Time" and "I've Tried My Best."

Elvis fans go wild, critics despair as Elvis Presley's Kissin' Cousins premiered in 1964. Only a cameo by Teri Garr enlivens the tedious story of Army guy Presley romancing a relative.

Jerry Naylor, a member of Buddy Holly & the Crickets was born in Stephenville, Texas in 1939.

Bob Wills was born in Kosse, Texas in 1905. With his Texas Playboys, he turned western swing into a national phenomenon during the '30s and '40s.

The Go-Go’s hit #1 for a seven week stay in 1982, with their album “Beauty And The Beat."

Dick Clark’s American Bandstand podium was given to the Smithsonian in 1982.

In 2000, Eric Clapton gets a third induction into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame – a first. He’s in as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream.

The Diamonds become one of the first Canadian artists to have success in the United States when their hit "Little Darlin" reaches #2 on the Billboard Pop chart and #3 on the R&B chart in 1957.

Charles Manson released an album called "Lie" to help raise money for his defense in the Tate-LeBianca murder trial in 1970. The album jacket is made to look like a cover of Life magazine with the letter f removed from the word Life. In the mid sixties, Manson had been a wanna-be musician who befriended Beach Boys' drummer Dennis Wilson, eventually talking the group into recording one of his songs, "Cease To Exist". The title was changed to "Never Learn Not To Love" and was released as the "B" side of the single "Bluebirds Over The Mountain", which eventually climbed to number 61 in early 1969, giving Manson a hit record on Billboard's Hot 100. Another song, "Look at Your Game Girl," was later covered by Guns N' Roses.

In 1973, attempts to bring Elvis Presley to the UK for shows at London's Earl's Court failed when promoters were told that Elvis had US tour and filming commitments. The real reason was that Elvis' manager, Colonel Tom Parker was an illegal US immigrant and would not leave the country for fear he would not be allowed back in.

In 1976, England's EMI Records re-issued twenty-three Beatles singles including "Yesterday," which had never been released as a 45 in the UK. All 23 records made the British chart.

In 2001, Led Zeppelin was named as "the most bootlegged band" when 422 illegal albums were counted. The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and The Beatles were next in line with over 350 unauthorized titles available.

Also in 2001, Mike "Smitty" Smith, the original drummer for Paul Revere and the Raiders died of natural causes at his home in Hawaii on March 6th, at the age of 58.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

This Day In Music History- March 4

In 1968, 'We’re Only in It for the Money,' by the Mothers of Invention, was released. Composed by bandleader Frank Zappa, it satirizes of hippie culture and the Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper.'

Chris Rea ("Fool If You Think It's Over") turns 57.

Bobby Womack ("Looking For A Love") is 64.

Lyricist Howard Greenfield died in Los Angeles in 1986. With Neil Sedaka, he wrote Brill Building standards such as "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do,” "Love Will Keep Us Together" and "Stupid Cupid."

In 2001, Glenn Hughes of the Village People ("Macho Man") died of lung cancer and was buried in his leather biker outfit.

John Lennon caused a major stir in the United States in 1966 when London's Evening Standard newspaper published an interview with him in which he remarks, "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue that. I'm right and will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus right now." Lennon would later apologize, explaining that what he meant was "the way some people carry on, (screaming at their concerts) you'd think we were more popular than Jesus Christ". Thousands of Beatle records were smashed at mass rallies and some radio stations quit playing their songs altogether. John's apology was eventually accepted by most and time has healed the wounds.

In 1970, Janis Joplin was fined $200 for onstage profanity by a Tampa, Florida judge.

An icy car crash sent Temptations members Eddie Kendricks and Otis Williams to a Sommerset, Pennsylvania hospital in 1968.

Jason Newsted (from Metallica) was born in 1963.

Today in 1989, the song "Lost in Your Eyes" by Debbie Gibson topped the charts and stayed there for 3 weeks.

The Band pianist and vocalist Richard Manuel hanged himself following a gig at the Cheek to Cheek nightclub in Winter Park, Fla. He was 41.

Guitarist Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top was born in Houston in 1950.

Yes founding bass player Chris Squire was born in London in 1948.

Happy birthday to Evan Dando of the Lemonheads, who entered the world in 1967.

The Rolling Stones hit #1 with “Ruby Tuesday” in 1967. But censorship efforts swirling around the classic “Let’s Spend The Night Together” (on the flip side) cause that song to stall at #55.

Steve (then known as Stevie) Winwood left the Spencer Davis Group to form Traffic in 1967.

Badfinger received a gold record for "Day after Day" in 1972.

The Bee Gees were the hottest act around in 1978, when they helped their younger brother Andy to the top spot on Billboard's Hot 100 by writing his hit, "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water". Their own tune, "Stayin' Alive" was pushed back to number 2, while another of their compositions, "Emotion" by Samantha Sang, sat at number 4 and "Night Fever" was number 5.

Also in 1978, the US internal Revenue Service carried out a dawn raid at the home of Jerry Lee Lewis and removed cars worth over $170,000, to pay off his back taxes.

In 1999, Cher had her first Billboard number one single in 25 years with "Believe." The last time she topped the chart was with 1974's "Dark Lady."