Thursday, July 31, 2008

This Date In Music History- Aug 1


Blues guitarist Robert Cray was born in Columbus, Georgia in 1953.

Birthday wishes to Michael Penn, songwriter and husband of Aimee Mann.

Joe Elliott, the lead singer of Def Leppard, was born in Sheffield, England in 1959.

Chuck D. of Public Enemy, was born in Roosevelt, N.Y. in 1960.

Adam Duritz, dread-locked singer with the Counting Crows, was born in 1964.


The late Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead was born in 1942.

The Grateful Dead's LP "In The Dark" entered the Billboard album chart in 1987. It contained the group's only US Top 40 hit, "Touch Of Grey", which would reach #9.

The Carter Family, country's first superstar act, cut their first record in Bristol, Tenn in 1927.

In 1964, Billboard reported that sales of harmonicas were on the rise after artists like Stevie Wonder, the Beatles and the Stones started featuring it on their records.

Also in 1964, Rockabilly singer Johnny Burnette ("You're Sixteen") drowned in a boating accident on California's Clear Lake. He was 30.

The first Atlantic City Pop Festival kicked off in New Jersey in 1969. Over 110,000 customers paid $13 to hear such artists as Iron Butterfly, CCR, Jefferson Airplane, Three Dog Night, Little Richard, Janis Joplin, Santana, Procol Harem and Joe Cocker perform. Wow, what a lineup!

MTV made its debut at 12:01am in 1981. The first video to be shown was "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles. Fitting.

In 1987, MTV Europe was launched and the first video that was played was 'Money For Nothing' by Dire Straits which contained the appropriate line 'I Want My MTV.'

In 1956, RCA released two of Elvis Presley's hit singles: "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Love Me Tender."

Chubby Checker's "The Twist" was released in 1960. By mid-September, it will be the number one record in the US. Record industry history was made when Checker's original hit recording re-entered the charts in the fall of 1961 and by January of 1962, was back in the number one position. It was the first record ever to hit number one on two separate occasions.

The title track from The Beatles' movie "A Hard Day's Night" topped the record charts on both sides of the Atlantic in 1964. The film was originally titled "Beatlemania," until producers heard an offhanded comment by Ringo Starr as he flopped into a canvas chair and said "It's been a hard day's night, that was."

In 1966, The Troggs accomplished the rare feat of having a Top Ten hit in both the UK and the US with different songs. In England, "With a Girl Like You" was a major hit, while in the US, "Wild Thing" led the Billboard chart.

The "Concert for Bangla Desh" was staged in 1971 to raise money for victims of famine and war in that country. The show featured George Harrison, with some help from his friends Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Ravi Shankar and some members of Bad Finger.

"Elvis - What Happened," an expose by two of Presley's former bodyguards, was published in 1977. It sat in bookstores almost unnoticed until Presley's death two weeks later. Then it sold more than three-million copies.

In 2002, a new book 'Show the Girl the Door' written by a former tour manager disclosed some strange demands by female acts. It revealed that Shania Twain would travel with a sniffer dog in case of bombs. Jennifer Lopez liked her dressing room to be all white, including carpets flowers and furniture. Cher would have high security rooms for her wigs. Janet Jackson would have a full medical team on standby including a doctor nurse and throat specialist and Britney Spears would demand her favourite Gummie Bear soft sweets.

The first Beatles Monthly Fan Club Magazine was published in 1963. It continued until 1969 and at its peak was selling 350,000 copies a month.

Bob Dylan to release more rarities in October

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bob Dylan is opening up his vaults for the first time in three years, with his label announcing on Tuesday that it will issue a multi-disc album consisting of late-era outtakes, previously unreleased recordings and live tracks in October.

"Tell Tale Signs," the eighth installment in Dylan's "Bootleg Series," focuses on albums from the last two decades, ranging from 1989's "Oh Mercy" to 2006's "Modern Times."

Columbia Records will release "Tell Tale Signs" in three configurations on October 7: a standard two-disc package with 27 songs, a "limited edition" set with a bonus disc containing 12 songs; and a four-LP vinyl version including all the elements of the two-CD set.

Most of the tracks come from sessions for "Oh Mercy" and his 1997 comeback of sorts "Time Out of Mind." Selections from the former include a piano demo of "Dignity" and two alternate versions of "Most of the Time"; and from the latter, a live version of "Cold Irons Bound" recorded during Dylan's set at the 2004 Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee.

The sessions for his 1993 folk covers album "World Gone Wrong" have yielded "32-20 Blues," a tune billed as Dylan's first release of a Robert Johnson song.

Dylan's "Bootleg Series" launched in 1991 with a three-disc boxed set collecting rare and unreleased tracks spanning 27 years. The most recent release was the 2005 soundtrack to the documentary "No Direction Home."

While there have been some reports that Dylan is working on a follow-up to "Modern Times," a Columbia spokesman said "Tell Tale Signs" is the focus for now.

Dylan, meanwhile, will begin a monthlong North American tour in Philadelphia on August 8.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

EBOOK Is Now A Free Download!

Learn about the hobby of collecting vinyl with FREE ebook called "The Fascinating Hobby Of Vinyl Record Collecting" that details why people collect records, grading vinyl, why vinyl is the best sound reproduction format, where to buy collectible records, album cover art, collectibles insurance, interviews with record collectors and vinyl record retailers, and much more.

For your FREE download, visit my website:

Creedence Clearwater albums to be reissued

Wed Jul 30, 2:14 AM ET

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The first six albums of California rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival are being reissued on September 30 with bonus tracks and new liner notes, Concord Music Group said on Tuesday.

The reissued albums, which have been digitally remastered and will be presented in DigiPaks, are: "Creedence Clearwater Revival," "Bayou Country," "Green River," "Willy & the Poor Boys," "Cosmo's Factory" and "Pendulum," all originally released from 1968 to 1970.

Among the many extras are unreleased studio versions of "Down on the Corner" and "Born on the Bayou," which were recorded with Booker T & the MGs. The tracks appear on "Willy & the Poor Boys" and "Cosmo's Factory," respectively.

The announcement comes about three years after Creedence singer/songwriter John Fogerty re-signed as a solo artist with Concord's Fantasy Records label, for which Creedence recorded in the late '60s and early '70s.

Concord bought Fantasy in 2004 from Fogerty's nemesis, Saul Zaentz, and has been mending bridges with Fogerty, such as paying performance royalties on his back catalog.

Creedence, one of the great American bands to emerge in the late 1960s, recorded for Berkeley, Calif.-based Fantasy until it broke up in 1972. Fogerty had signed away his copyrights to such tunes as "Fortunate Son" and "Bad Moon Rising," and spent the ensuing decades in legal battles with Zaentz.

He once immortalized Zaentz in a song called "Zanz Kant Danz," while Zaentz countered with a plagiarism lawsuit, claiming that Fogerty's solo song "The Old Man Down the Road" ripped off the Creedence hit "Run Through the Jungle." The litigation went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman)

This Date In Music History- July 30


Born on this day in 1949, Andy Scott, guitar, Sweet.

Jeffrey Hammond Hammond, bass, Jethro Tull Tull was born in 1946.

Born on this day in 1945, David Sanborn, saxophone, US session player.

Paul Anka ("Diana") turns 67.

Bluesman Buddy Guy was born in Lettsworth, La. in 1936.

Kate Bush was born in Bexleyheath, England in 1958.


The Apple Boutique, owned and operated by The Beatles, closed its doors in 1968, after just seven months in business on Baker Street. After the owners had their pick, the remaining stock was given away.

The Beatles topped the American chart in 1966 with "Yesterday ... and Today." The cover of the album (the infamous ‘butcher' cover) had to be quickly changed when people objected to the band dressing up as butchers surrounded by dismembered dolls.

In 1954, Elvis Presley made his first full stage appearance, opening for a Slim Whitman concert in Memphis. Advised by DJ Dewey Phillips to play uptempo material, he drives the crowd nuts with his hip-swinging versions of "Good Rockin' Tonight" and "That's All Right Mama." Phillips has to push him back out onstage for an encore while country star Webb Pierce expresses his disbelief.

Elvis Presley's "Loving You" movie opened nationwide in 1957.

Sam Phillips, the man who discovered Elvis Presley and owner of the legendary Sun Records, passed away July 30, 2003 at the age of 80. Phillips also helped launch the careers of Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Charlie Rich, Conway Twitty and Jerry Lee Lewis. He sold Elvis' contract to RCA in November, 1955, for $40,000. Sam was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

Marshall Lon "Deacon" Freeman, one of the founding members of gospel's Oak Ridge Boys, died at his Rocky Face, Ga., home in 2003.

The Rolling Stones headlined a one-day festival in Toronto in 2003 to revive the city's tourism industry following an outbreak of the SARS virus. Other performers include AC/DC, Rush and Justin Timberlake. An estimated 450,000 people attend.

The late Marc Bolan was born in London in 1947. As a member of T. Rex, he went to No. 10 in 1972 with "Bang a Gong (Get It On)."

The Bee Gees' younger brother Andy Gibb started a three week run at the top of the Billboard Pop chart in 1977 with "I Just Wanna Be Your Everything", his first of three US #1's. The record made it to #26 in the UK.

1986- Oops! The show business newspaper Variety reported that RCA dumped John Denver from its roster after the release of his single, "What Are We Making Weapons For.” Variety said the song upset the record company's new owner, General Electric, one of the largest defense contractors in the US. GE sold RCA two months later.

The Troggs started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart in 1966 with 'Wild Thing'.

1973- The Mamas & the Papas Papa John Phillips calls a press conference to accuse his old label ABC-Dunhill of "the systematic, cold-blooded theft of perhaps up to $60 million, stolen from each and every artist who ever recorded for the company during a seven-year period."

In 1991, a police officer was forced to tear up a traffic ticket given to the limousine that Axl Rose was travelling in after it made an illegal turn. Rose threatened to pull that nights Guns N' Roses gig if the ticket was issued. Oh, the benefits of being a rock star!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Upcoming Record Fairs:

For all record & music collectors, I have listed some of the Record & Music Conventions around the US for August & September...hopefully there is one near you and you can add some gems to your record collection!

Aug 9 NJ, Wayne. 2nd Saturday Record & CD Collectors Show at Firemen's Convention Center. 97 Parish Dr. (north of Rt. 46& Rt. 80)@ Rt. 23 & Rt. 202S, by Bus take NJT #195 from Port Authority toRoute 23/Fairfield Rd (after WillowbrookMall). SH: 10am 4pm. Up to 100 tables. Adm: $6.00 (Children under 12 free).Info: F. Falk, 2nd Saturday, PO Box 251,Hamburg, NJ 07419-0251 or Ph: (973) 209 6067, Email: or

Aug 9 FL, Tampa. Tampa Bay Record & CD Show at Holiday Inn Express, 4732 N. Dale Mabry Hwy. SH: 10am - 4pm. Adm: $3.Tables $50. Info call (727) 251-9458 or

Aug 10 CA, San Francisco. KUSF's Rock'n'Swap - Music Fair and Fundraiser McLaren Hall on the University of San Francisco campus. Benefits KUSF 90.3FM - non-commercial alternative radio in SF. Adm: (10a-3p) is $3, USF students FREE! EarlyBird (6am-10a) is $20.00. INFO: (415) 386-KUSF(5873) or

Aug 10 PA, Lancaster. Pennsylvania Music Expo, Jaycees Bingo Hall. 2460 New Holland Pike (PA Rt 23). SH: 9am-3pm, Tables: 95-6’, $35. Adm: FREE. Keystone Record Collectors, Ph: (717) 898-1246 or

Aug 16 NY, New York City. New York City Record & CD Collectors Expo, The Holiday Inn(formerly the Days Inn), 440 West 57th Street (between 9th & 10th Avenues).SH: 10am 4pm. Up to 100 tables. Adm: $6.00 (children under 12 free).FREE CD to First 100 Customers. Info: F. Falk, NYC Record Show, PO Box 251, Hamburg, NJ 07419-0251. Ph: (973) 209 6067, email: or

Aug 16 & 17 AL, Birmingham. Birmingham Record Collectors Show. The Cedars Club, 301 Green Springs Ave S. Adm:$ 3. SH: 9am - 5pm Sat, 10am - 4pm Sunday. Limited early adm. for BRC members only, Fri. 5 - 8:30pm. Lots of show info at

Aug 17 MI, Kalamazoo. Kalamazoo Record & CD Collectors Show at County Fairgrounds, 2900 Lake St., County Center, Room A. Adm: Free, SH: 11am-5pm. (574) 329-1483. 35+ Tables, $40 each.

Aug 17 CA, Newark. Music Swap Meet at The Pavilion, 6430 Thornton Ave., SH: 8:30am-1pm, Tables: $45.-$60., Adm: $3. Info: Charlene White, (408) 263-5127.

Aug 17 WI, Milwaukee. Music Marketplace, American Serb Hall. 5101 W. Oklahoma Ave. SH: 10am-4pm, Adm: $3. Info: Bill, (847) 409-9656.

Sept 7 MI, Roseville. Metro Detroit Record Show at VFW Hall, 25671 Gratiot Ave. SH: 10am-4pm. Adm: $3. Records, oldies to current. Plus, cd's and music memorabilia. Info: (586) 759-5133 or

Sept 7 MO, St. Louis. Record & CD Show at American Czech Hall, 4690 Landsdowne at Kings Hwy. SH: 10am-4pm, F: $35., Adm: $2.50. Info: Jim Ronat, (618) 654-3049 or Carl, (314) 821-9121.

Sept 13 NJ, Wayne. 2nd Saturday Record & CD Collectors Show at Firemen's Convention Center. 97 Parish Dr. (north of Rt. 46& Rt. 80) @ Rt. 23 & Rt. 202S, by Bus take NJT #195 from Port Authority to Route 23/Fairfield Rd (after WillowbrookMall). SH: 10am 4pm. Up to 100 tables. Adm: $6.00 (Children under 12 free). Info: F. Falk, 2nd Saturday, PO Box 251,Hamburg, NJ 07419-0251 or Ph: (973) 209 6067, Email: or

Sept 13 MN, Minneapolis. MSP Music Expo, Tri-City American Legion. 400 Old Highway #8 NW, New Brighton, MN. SH: 10am-4pm, Tables: 8’, $35., Adm: $3. Info: Tim at (651) 373-0065 or

Sept 14 PA, Lancaster. Pennsylvania Music Expo, Jaycees Bingo Hall. 2460 New Holland Pike (PA Rt 23). SH: 9am-3pm, Tables: 95-6’, $35. Adm: FREE. Keystone Record Collectors, Ph: (717) 898-1246 or

Sept 14 IL, Hillside. Chicagoland Record & CD Collectors Show at Chicago Hillside Hotel, 4400 Frontage Road, Hillside. Adm: $3, SH: 9am-4pm. Early Birds 7:00am. (630) 898-1533. 85 dealer tables.

Sept 14 NJ, Springfield. Greater NJ Record & CD Show Holiday Inn, Route 22 West. SH: 10am-5pm. Adm:$6. Info: (908) 541-0511 or e-mail

Sept 14 MA, Dedham. Original New England Compact Disc and Record Show at the Holiday Inn at the junctions of RT #95/128 & RT #1. Exit 15A. SH: 10am - 4pm, Adm: $4. Includes lots of free parking. Featuring 50 vendors - some of which have participated 30 years. Info: call (781) 986-4538. Other 2008 dates: Nov 9.

Sept 20 NY, New York City. New York City Record & CD Collectors Expo, The Holiday Inn (formerly the Days Inn), 440 West 57th Street (between 9th & 10th Avenues). SH: 10am 4pm. Up to 100 tables. Adm: $6.00 (children under 12 free). FREE CD to First 100 Customers. Info: F. Falk, NYC Record Show, PO Box 251, Hamburg, NJ 07419-0251. Ph: (973) 209 6067, email: or

Sep 20 PA, Allentown. Original 19th Semi-Annual 45-78 RPM Record Expo, Merchants Square. 12th & Vultee Sts. SH: 10am-?, Adm: $3. Tables: 8’ $55 in advance, $65 after. Surround Sound Prods, (610)-530-7606 or (797)-7743 day of show.

Sept 21 PA, Allentown. Fall 2008 Lehigh Valley Music Expo, Merchants Square. 12th & Vultee Sts. SH: 10am-?, Adm: $3. Tables: 8’ $55 in advance, $65 after. Surround Sound Prods, (610)-530-7606 or (797)-7743 day of show.

Sept 28 MA, Boston. Record & CD Collectors Show, Radisson Hotel. 200 Stuart St., 6th floor, SH: 10am-4pm, Tables: 100-8’, Adm: $6. Info: (978) 388-6576 or

Sept 28 OH, Fairview Park. Record & CD Convention at American Legion Hall, 22001 Brookpark Rd.(I-480, Exit 9 Grayton Rd.) SH: 10am-4pm, Adm: $3. Info: Lawrence, Ph (330) 242-4499 or

Sept 28 CA, Buena Park. Greater Orange County Record Show at the UFCW Union Hall, 8530 Stanton Ave. SH: 10am - 3pm, Adm $3. T: 8’, F: $65 Early bird admission $8.00 at 7:00am. Info: Steve Brunner (626) 963-9717 or or

Vinyl Record News & Vinyl Releases:

Turntable shipments topped 32,000 in April, one-third higher than the 19,000 record players sold the same month a year ago, according to the Consumer Electronics Association in Arlington. That's less than 1 percent of total music-player sales, but the increase has not escaped the notice of store managers.

CD sales declined 15 percent in 2007, but sales of vinyl recordings are on the rise, according to Nielsen SoundScan, a research company that tracks music sales. Year-over-year sales of vinyl records increased 70 percent in March and could reach 1.6 million by year's end.


Some new releases:

ABBA: The Album (reissue) [vinyl]
Annie: I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me (import single)
Awesome Color: Electric Aborigines [vinyl]
Bauhaus: In the Flat Field (reissue) [vinyl]
Cat Stevens: Tea for the Tillerman (reissue) [vinyl]
Common: Announcement/Universal Mind Control (single)
Cream: Disraeli Gears (reissue) [vinyl]
Elton John: The Captain & the Kid (reissue) [vinyl]
Eric Clapton: 461 Ocean Boulevard (reissue) [vinyl]
James Brown: Live at the Apollo (reissue) [vinyl]
KISS: Alive! (reissue) [vinyl]
Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin (import reissue) [vinyl]
Led Zeppelin: Led Zeppelin III (import reissue) [vinyl]
Madonna: Give It 2 Me (import single)
The Police: Zenyatta Mondatta (reissue) [vinyl]
The Presets: Apocalypso [vinyl]
Subtle: Exiting Arm [vinyl]
Supertramp: Breakfast in America (reissue) [vinyl]
Van Morrison: Tupelo Honey (reissue) [vinyl]
Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2LP with CD) [lp]

More Vinyl Releases:

Afrika Bambaataa - Planet Rock: The Album
David Bowie - Live in Santa Monica '72
Billy Bragg - Mr. Love and Justice
Def Leppard - C'mon C'mon
Led Zeppelin - The Song Remains the Same
U2 - Boy
U2 - October
U2 - War

Classic Releases:

Crystal Visions The Very Best of Stevie Nicks Limited HQ 180g 2LP Set
Stevie Nicks
Release Date: 23 July 2008
Format: LP Double Vinyl

Consolers of the Lonely Double 180g Vinyl LP Set+Postcards
The RaconteursRelease Date: 26 July 2008
Format: LP Double Vinyl

White Light White Heat Limited Edition Deluxr Vinyl LP
Velvet Underground
Release Date: 28 July 2008
Format: LP Vinyl

What we did on our Holidays Limited Edition Deluxe Vinyl LP
Fairport ConventionRelease Date: 28 July 2008
Format: LP Vinyl

Unhalfbricking Limited Edition Deluxe Vinyl LP
Fairport ConventionRelease Date: 28 July 2008
Format: LP Vinyl

Welcome to Goon Island Limited(500) Deluxe Gatefold Vinyl
XX TeensRelease Date: 28 July 2008
Format: LP Vinyl

The Times They are A-Changin' Limited 180gram Vinyl LP
Bob DylanRelease Date: 28 July 2008
Format: LP Vinyl

Nashville Skyline Limited High-Quality Vinyl LP
Bob DylanRelease Date: 28 July 2008
Format: LP Vinyl

My People Were Fair and Limited 180gram LP+Bonus Track Debora
Tyrannosaurus Rex
Release Date: 28 July 2008
Format: LP Vinyl

Living With War In the Beginning Limited Edition 200gram Vinyl
Neil YoungRelease Date: 28 July 2008
Format: LP Vinyl

End Titles..Stories For Film Limited Double Vinyl LP
UnkleRelease Date: 28 July 2008
Format: LP Double Vinyl

Bringing It All Back Home Limited HQ 180Gram Vinyl LP
Bob Dylan
Release Date: 28 July 2008
Format: LP Vinyl

Another Side of Limited High Quality Vinyl LP
Bob Dylan
Release Date: 28 July 2008
Format: LP Vinyl

Along Came A Spider Limited Edition Coloured Vinyl LP
Alice CooperRelease Date: 28 July 2008
Format: LP Vinyl

Monday, July 28, 2008

This Date In Music History- July 28


Rick Wright of Pink Floyd was born in 1945.

Jonathan Edwards ("Sunshine") is 62.

Mike Bloomfield, of the Butterfield Band and a memorable appearance on Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited, was born in Chicago in 1943.

Drummer Simon Kirke (Free/Bad Company) entered the world in 1949.


The Crew Cuts reached the top spot of the Billboard pop singles chart in 1954 with "Sh-Boom", a song that many consider to be the premier forerunner of 1950s Rock and Roll. Certainly up for debate (anyone remember Chuck Berry?)

Also in 1954, the first press interview with 19 year old Elvis Presley was published in the Memphis Press-Scimitar.

In 1973, The Band, the Grateful Dead, and the Allman Brothers Band performed before a crowd of 600,000 (larger by half than Woodstock!) in upstate New York at the Watkins Glen "Summer Jam."

In 1987, the Beatles sued Nike over the use of their song "Revolution" in a TV commercial for the athletic company. Good, I say.

In 1956, "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" by Elvis Presley topped the charts and stayed there for a week.

Jerry Lee Lewis made his national TV debut on The Steve Allen Show in 1957. The exposure helps sales of his single "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" jump from 30,000 copies to 6 million. Lewis proves so popular he is invited back on the show two more times.

In 1956, Gene Vincent made his first appearance on national TV by performing on The Perry Como Show. His first single, "Be-Bop-A-Lula" was still climbing the charts and would eventually make it into the Top 10. Vincent bought the song from a fellow hospital patient while he was recovering from leg injuries. A demo was sent in to Capitol Records as part of an Elvis sound-alike contest and a re-recorded version gave Vincent his first big hit.

Wango Tango! In 1978, in response to a fan's request, Ted Nugent autographs his arm. With a Bowie knife.

In 1995, control of Jimi Hendrix's estate was passed on to his father, James Al Hendrix, who fought a long legal battle for the rights to his son's likeness and music.

The Who made their first appearance on British TV's Ready Steady Go! in 1965. Their managers packed the audience with mods, ensuring a rapturous reception as the band rips through "I Can't Explain."

The first singing telegram was sent in 1933. It was given to Rudy Vallee on his 32nd birthday.

Judy Garland recorded "Over the Rainbow" in 1939.

In 1958, Billboard reported on a claim from the Esso Research Center "...tuning in Rock 'n' Roll music on a car radio can cost a motorist money, because the rhythm can cause a driver to unconsciously jiggle the gas pedal, thus wasting fuel." So that’s where all the gas went!

The Tokens recorded "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" in 1961, which will reach the US pop chart in November and climb to number one by Christmas. The song was originally a hit in South Africa in 1939 for its writer, Solomon Linda under its original title "Mbube" (pronounced EEM-boo-beh) which means "Lion.”

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Vinyl Is Back

An Interview with Jeff Loos of Backtrack Records

Written By Robert Benson

Vinyl is back. From the ‘error’ by a Fred Meyer employee (where LP’s were ordered by mistake), major electronic retailer Best Buy’s stocking vinyl in select stores and mainstream recording artists releasing records gain, the resurgence is upon us.

And in the heartland of America, records are a hot commodity. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jeff Loos, owner of Backtrack Records, located in Lincoln, Nebraska. Backtrack Records ( been selling vinyl records in Lincoln for over 16 years, mostly as an online entity. But the ‘brick and mortar’ store is a busy, bustling arena of quality, vintage LP’s, with a special emphasis on the 60’s music scene.

Let’s explore Backtrack Records with owner Jeff Loos:

We keep reading about the resurgence of vinyl records, what is your take on this ‘new found love’ of records?

“First of all, records really never left, they just got pushed to the side because of all the hype on CD’s,” explained Jeff. “We then find out that CD’s aren’t all they were hyped up to be and the price really never came down like they claimed-plus they are digital binary sound.”

“The record industry did keep pressing records during this time except it was on a much smaller scale. People who still owned turntables from the middle price range to high end always knew that a clean record LP was superior to the CD in sound, if the record was an analog pressing in which almost all are.”

“We’ve had a retail store for over ten years from 1988-2000 and went to the world-wide web and decided after seven years to reopen the retail store. I’m glad we did because I have previous customers from the past come in and I ask them what they have done for the past seven years and almost all say they still been spinning their vinyl and are glad we are back open (that’s a dedicated customer). Also we’ve made many new friends world wide who love the sound of records over CD’s. Countries in the U.K., Germany, Sweden, Holland, Spain, Japan, Australia, etc, are all pressing and selling vinyl.”

“I’m so amazed that almost all of my customers know that vinyl records are analog and CD’s are digital plus they know the difference that analog is a continuous sound wave and CD’s are sampled and chopped up in bits. This can get a lot deeper but I don’t want to get into that but you can just Google in ‘analog vs. digital’ and it will give you the true scoop.”

“Finally, I can say that most of the major record labels are up and pressing again, not everything is getting pressing but lots of great artists. Recently I just purchased the new “Doors” box set and it sounds fantastic (what a great job by Mastering Engineer Bernie Grundman, Jac Holzman the founder of Elektra Records and Bruce Botnick the original Doors producer did on this box set). The “Complete Clapton” box is great as well as the “Traveling Wilbury’s” new release. Another “Led Zeppelin” box is coming out soon. The pressing are usually a short print, so if any doubt don’t get left out because some of these pressing will be worth as much as some of the originals.”

What is it about the sound of vinyl that makes it better than a CD or really any digital format?

“Vinyl LP’s (analog sound) is primarily the reason LP’s sound better than CD’s. It all comes down to a true continuous sound wave length vs. digital sound bits, with a gap between each sampled bit. The system you play your records on is very important and there are quite a few variables that play a role in the sound you hear. Power source, turntable, speakers and more all come into play, it can pretty deep and expensive if you want to go for the high end equipment,” explained Jeff.

I refer to digital sound as ‘binary sound,’ is this a good comparison when debating analog vs. digital sound?

“From what I understand is that if we took an analog pressing and tried to convert it from its source to a computer, it first must go through a process converting it to binary numbers so the computer can read it. So I would say yes your correct in saying that digital sound is a binary sound into bits,” said Jeff.

I imagine that you have amassed quite a collection, what are some of your personal favorites in your own collection?

“Actually, when I first open my store in 1988, I promised myself and the store-that the store came first. It paid my rent and let me buy more inventory to make a better store. So really, I personally don’t have huge collection for myself. I do have my favorite bands such as the Rolling Stones, the Doors, Beatles, and Pink Floyd- you get the idea classic rock.”

When did you first start in the business and why did you pursue this retail genre?

“I have a Bachelors Degree in Teacher College and couldn’t find a teaching job in the area back in the 1970’s/80’s, so I decided to open a retail record store. I always loved “Dirt Cheap” records in Lincoln, and a friend of mine owned it and moved the store to Omaha and said why don’t you open a store in Lincoln and that’s we did. It’s a fun job but still it is a lot of work. Cleaning thousands of records by hand does take some time and patience. The love of the music and the customers are by far the most interesting part of the job. There always seems to be a challenge either finding that rare record for someone or finding the new vinyl that is being pressed.”

I always tell people about the “thrill’ and adrenaline rush that I get while ‘crate digging’, what are your thoughts about record collecting?

“It’s like an Easter egg hunt for me. I’m always thumbing through record stores while on vacation looking for that rare find,” detailed Jeff. “I seem to always see something from the 60’s or 70’s I haven’t seen in the past. There’s ton’s of groups out there that have only one or two albums and sound great, but only a handful of people know about them and the radio didn’t play their music. There are so many major bands that tie in to another band that goes on forever. Look at the “Traveling Wilbury’s” and all the bands those guys played in.”

Regarding grading records, what methods do you utilize when grading the records that you sell?

“The Internet is the tough place to grade records because in the retail store I leave the record open for the buyer to inspect. I try to be tough on grading because I hate to have returns. On the Internet we grade record & cover as a M- (extremely clean, looks & sounds like a new record), VG++ (possible small wear but looks and plays close to new), VG+ (minor scuffs, possible small noise but no skips and plays ok), VG (usually end up in my $1.00 section or the goodwill).”

Is there any particular genre of music (i.e. blues, jazz, etc) that is selling the most in your store, what is “hot” right now?

“I would say that classic rock is really the best right now. From college kids to the baby boomers, they all seem to be playing this genre. Jazz and blues hold their own but I have to stick with the classic rock,” said Jeff.

How large is your ‘online’ inventory?

“Our online inventory is about 6,000 records, we have added a few more, but since we opened the retail store, I’ve kind of got a little behind on the data basing of our inventory. We have a little over 15,000 items in the store.”

What about selling on eBay, what experiences have you had, good or bad?

“EBay is fine for what they do but I really don’t sell much there. I’ve had a few of the high dollars items and moved them on eBay but I really don’t sell any of the $8.00 to $15.00 records there. I would rather sell them on our site at or or,” explained Jeff.

What is the best ‘record find’ that you have ever been a part of?

“One of the best finds was an original 1958 Buddy Holly “That’ll Be The Day” Extended Play with the liner notes on the back cover in near mint condition. I’ve also had a couple of the Beatles “Butcher Cover” 2nd state version.”

Where do you see vinyl records five years from now?

“Five years from now I see vinyl records still holding their own in the market,” predicted Jeff. “High end tube equipment seems to coming into the scene more and more. The audiophile market seems to be holding its own. The companies are continually trying to make the analog sound even better. The “Doors” box set is a good example. The vinyl of this set actually sounds better than the original records because they are using the new technology. Life is good when the sound keeps getting better. Don’t forget some people just play music while other people listen to music, there is a big difference.”

What is the difference between an audiophile record and a ‘regular’ record?

“An audiophile record is mastered at better equipped mastering plants such as Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records, Speakers Corne and the like,” explained Jeff. “Many of the U.S. records are mastered at the home plant and pressed at RTL. The people, who master the record, produce it and engineer it, are all very important. Also many companies are going to 180 gram & 200 gram vinyl claiming a nice big platter makes a difference. The companies are also using virgin vinyl which also helps. Let’s not forget that many of the late 50’s and 60’s records were taken very seriously when it came to sound. Mercury had the “Mercury Living Presence” series, “RCA Living Presence” “London Bluebacks” & “Columbia SAX Series.”

“Regular records sound good on a middle range turntable, high end turntables and equipment need high end quality records. You are wasting your hard earned cash if you play a high end record on a low end turntable.”

So, there you have it, vinyl records are back and we have learned why; from a gentleman with his hand on the pulse of the vinyl resurgence. Let’s hope that the music keeps always being what it is all about, and if musicians and record companies really care about the sound, the vinyl record will live forever.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Top 4 Vinyl Records eBay Sales

Week Ending 07/05/2008

1) 45rpm - U2 "Joshua Tree" Promo Box Set Collection - $2,850.00

2) 10" - Charles Brown "Mood Music" Aladdin - $2,500.00

3) LP - Velvet Underground & Nico Verve Sealed Banana Cover - $2,275.01

4) 10" - Benny Joy "Little Red Book" "I'm Doubtful" / "Crash The Party" "Miss Bobbysocks" Tri-dec = $1,225.00


This Date In Music History- July 26


Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones ("Jumpin' Jack Flash") turns 65.

Bobby Hebb ("Sunny") is 67.

Dobie Gray ("The 'In' Crowd") turns 66.

Happy Birthday to Darlene Love of the Crystals ("He's a Rebel").

drummer Roger Taylor was born in Kingslynn, England in 1949.


Dirty Loo- Decca pulled the Rolling Stones' Beggars Banquet from its release schedule in 1968, citing problems with the album cover. The design featured a graffiti-covered toilet. It was the first album on which Jagger played guitar. It's also one of the first disagreements between the band and the label, with Mick Jagger angrily pointing out that Decca released Tom Jones' A-tom-ic Jones with a nuclear explosion printed on its jacket sleeve.

Mary Wells ("My Guy") died of larynx cancer in 1992 at the age of 49. When she was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx in 1990, she had no medical insurance and lost her modest home in L.A. when she couldn't pay the rent.

The Jackson 5 signed with Motown Records in 1968.

The Monkees recorded "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" in 1966.

Jeannie C. Riley recorded "Harper Valley P.T.A." in 1968.

Howlin' Wolf played the first of three nights at San Francisco's Avalon Ballroom in 1968, supported by Quicksilver Messenger Service.

The first Beatles’ Convention was held in Boston in 1974.

Brent Mydland, the German keyboardist with the Grateful Dead, died in 1990 at age 37.

In 2000, a U.S. federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against Napster, Inc. The injunction had been requested by the Recording Industry of Association of America (RIAA). The website was ordered to cease trade in music covered by RIAA member copyrights by midnight July 28, 2000.

1968 - John Lennon and Paul McCartney completed the song "Hey Jude."

"Give Peace a Chance," recorded by John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band, entered the charts in 1969. It will peak at #14, which barely suggests its lasting significance as a peace anthem.

John Lennon's application to remain in the U.S. as a permanent resident was approved at a special hearing in 1976.

Kay Starr recorded "Baby Me" with Glenn Miller and his orchestra in 1939.

Elvis Presley opened at the Showroom of the International Hotel in Las Vegas in 1969, for a four week engagement which netted him $1 million dollars. The concerts were universally acclaimed as a triumph.

John Denver earned a gold record in 1974 for his all-time biggest hit, "Annie's Song", a tribute to his first wife, Annie Martell. Denver would later say that he wrote the song in 10 minutes while he was on a ski-lift.

Tragedy struck Led Zeppelin's lead singer Robert Plant in 1977, when his six year-old son, Karac, died suddenly of a respiratory ailment. The remaining seven dates on Led Zeppelin's US tour were cancelled.

In 2006, the guitar on which Paul McCartney learned his first chords sold for £330,000 at an auction at London's Abbey Road Studios.

Peter Gabriel went to No.1 on the US singles chart in 1986 with 'Sledgehammer', a No.4 hit in the UK.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Laura Roppe- Country Music Star Is Unleashed!

I was priviledged to hear this release before anyone else and I certainly feel that Laura, not only has the talent to be Country Music's next sensation, but is already there. This is a great CD, I urge you to pick up a copy ASAP before they are all gone!!

Apparently being the runner up in Kenny Chesney’s “Next Big Star Competition” in May of 2008 is just the springboard that Country Music’s next star needed, as Laura Roppe’s debut CD can attest to. The CD “Girl Like This” will soon take the country music scene by storm, as this engaging singer/songwriter is more than just country music ear candy.

For many years, her career in music had taken a back seat to a legal career, marriage and being a mother, but when the ‘music itch’ became too strong, she resumed her career in music. In 2006, Laura was the lead singer of the popular Southern California cover band CoolBandLuke, belting out cover tunes from artists such as Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Blondie, Lucinda Williams, and Kelly Clarkson. Combining an eclectic mix of influences (such as the Indigo Girls, Carly Simon, Shania Twain among many others) and Laura’s unique voice and fresh style, the debut CD is a compelling array of edgy country girl sounds and rare, intoxicating country flavors. Let’s explore the music:

The single, “Mama Needs A Girls Night Out,” is certain to top mainstream Country Radio and is full of fun country music, memorable lyrics (“babies on the brain” and “put your skinny jeans on”) and a “Mom’s Gone Wild” chorus that every mother who hears the cut can identify with. And when you add inventive guitar work, titillating fiddle work and stellar musicianship-you have a recipe for success. The title cut, “Girl Like This,” combines a Shania Twain-like sassiness with an infectious melody and will be right at home on the Country Music Charts.

“Fly Fly Fly,” with Edie Brickel-like vocals, is a fun, country ditty and just makes you tap your foot with anticipation and sing along. “Float Away” may remind some of Jodie Messina, but others may hear vintage Carly Simon and the song is sung with angelic precision and passion. The cut “Little Daughter” may be her signature ballad, with poignant, emotional lyrics that is sung and played with tenderness and warmth that shows you that it is sincere.

Other songs include the sashaying cut “Ooh La La,” with great guitar licks adeptly mixed with her unique country growl and spicy solos. “Come To Me” is another fantastic country number, with dreamy lyrics and achingly tender acoustics. “Sing A Love Song” is full of inventive harmonies and an irresistible chorus. And the cut, “Crazy About You And Me,” just may be a new look at love gone wrong and has a delicious catchiness to it.

All in all, there is not a weak cut on Laura Roppe’s debut CD, “Girl Like This.” The music transcends typical country music boundaries and is full of expressive vocals, polished country pop and well-crafted instrumental sections and will certainly take the country music scene by storm. This stunning debut is just what country music has been looking for and I, for one, can’t wait to hear more!

Laura Roppé Band:

Laura Roppé- vocals
Albert Margolis- hammond organ
Jann Hoff- bass
Jennifer Argenti- violin/fiddle
Crystal Keith- vocalist
Ricky Lewis- lead guitar
Alex Fuller- drums
Brian Rogers- lap steel guitar

Visit Laura and hear the music:

Written by Robert Benson for Internet Radio

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Will oil prices sink the vinyl record boom?

With the vinyl record sales continuing their upward trend, is there a potential problem looming? Material and production costs are going up as well and will be passed along to the consumer. Read about this interesting dilema in a recent article here:

Album Cover Art Stories-Santana

This is the second article in a series of Album Cover Art Stories, a behind the scenes look at the art and the artist. I want to thank Michael Goldstein of for allowing the reprints of this fascinating material. There are many others to come and if you want to read more, please feel free to stop by Michael's site ( see more!

Cover Story - Santana's "Santana", with illustration by Lee Conklin

Cover Story for March 14, 2008

Subject: Santana, a 1969 release (on Columbia Records) by Santana, with cover art & design by Lee Conklin

The cover of Santana’s debut record was adapted (at Santana’s request) from a poster design originally done for a concert performance at Bill Graham’s legendary San Francisco venue, the Fillmore West. This iconic image done in pen and ink was certainly one of the best examples of early psychedelic art.

Both guitarist Carlos Santana and artist/illustrator Lee Conklin hit their stride in San Francisco’s mid-60’s cultural scene, with Santana finding a wide variety of music being played in the clubs (Tito Puente’s salsa, folk, Gabor Szabo’s jazz and in 1966, a concert by the great blues guitarist B.B. King at the Fillmore West that would greatly influence the development of his own personal style) and Lee Conklin meeting a number of aspiring artists – Victor Moscoso, Alton Kelley, Stanley Mouse, and many others – who were producing the promotional posters and related graphics for events at the Fillmore and at Family Dog’s Avalon Ballroom and other venues.

Soon after his B.B. King-inspired epiphany, Santana formed The Santana Blues Band (later shortening it to simply “Santana”) and the band made its debut at the Fillmore in June, 1968 (playing a 4-nite stand that was released in 1997 by Columbia/Legacy in a set titled Live at the Fillmore 1968). Santana impressed Bill Graham so much that the band became a regular act at the Fillmore, packing the auditorium regularly.

And then came the Summer of Love, Woodstock, and the band’s legendary performance there on 8/15/69...

Santana’s debut album was released the same month and featured great examples of what would be both “the hits” (“Evil Ways” and “Jingo”) and well-known examples of the band’s musicianship – particularly after their performance at Woodstock – such as the powerful “Soul Sacrifice” (written to be premiered at Woodstock and a particularly impressive showcase for drummer Michael Shieve, I must say). The record peaked in the Top 5, going on to remain on the charts for over two years and ultimately selling over four million copies. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked the album #150 in their 2003 list of the “Greatest Albums of All Time”.

This album featured a classic line-up including Carlos Santana on guitar/vocals, Gregg Rolie on keyboards and vocals, and the awesome rhythm section consisting of David Brown on bass, Michael Shrieve on drums, and Michael Carabello and Jose “Chepito” Areas on percussion.

Lee Conklin also became a favorite of Mr. Graham and produced a particularly trippy poster (aka "BG-134" to collectors) promoting two multi-day shows at the Fillmore (8/27-29/68 featuring Steppenwolf, the Staple Singers and Santana; 8/30-9/1/68 featuring The Grateful Dead, Sons of Champlain and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band – amazing!), with the resulting pen and ink image so impressing Santana that Lee was asked to create the cover for Santana’s debut, the details of which are presented here in today’s Cover Story. So grab a pick, practice your Sustain, and read on…

In the words of the artist, Lee Conklin – (interviewed February, 2008) –

I didn’t start out initially to be an artist, but while I was studying History and Philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I took on the role of cartoonist for the college paper called the “Calvin College Chimes”. I met my wife Joy there, left school, got married and moved to Florida. The Army grabbed me and I cooked for a year in Korea. They let me out in 1967 and we moved to Los Angeles.

In L.A., I did some pen and ink work and some of it was published by the Los Angeles Free Press (remember “Don’t be a creep, buy a Freep”?), which was cool, and I read an article in Time about the “Summer of Love” and that San Francisco was becoming the center of the Universe for music and art and since I wanted to be a cartoonist, my wife and I decided to move up there to see what we could find.

I heard about the Fillmore and that Bill Graham was hiring artists from the area to make posters for his upcoming shows, and so one Friday night I went there with some drawings and showed them to him. He must have liked what he saw because he asked me if I could do a poster over the weekend for the following week’s show! He chose one of the drawings I had already done and I spent the weekend doing all of the lettering.

From then on for the next two years, I had a pretty steady gig doing posters for Bill and the Fillmore West (Ed. note – he did over 30 posters in 1968-69). At the same time, the Santana band was playing there pretty frequently and I was well aware of their music, both from performances and their demos, which received extensive airplay on FM radio in San Francisco. One day, Bill asked me to do a poster for a show that Santana was headlining and so, with a little inspiration from a Muse named MaryJane, I remembered seeing a picture of a lion in a book of animal picture I had and used that image as the basis of my drawing. Even then, I knew that I was making art for future generations and so even though Bill usually liked posters in color, I detailed this one in pen-and-ink. I only made one image, and the next morning he told me that he was going to print is as it was, so he must have been happy with the results.

Santana also thought that the image was really great, so afterwards he contacted me and asked me to redraw the image for the cover of his debut record. Although the drawing I created really was not inspired by Santana, I guess that the details and the nature of the images impressed him and the people at the record label. My challenge has always been to subvert the poster form to whatever my muse insists on and then to convert my psychedelic experiences to any medium I’m working in. I made it my mission to translate my psychedelic experience into paper. Later on, in the early 70’s, I took acid and when I went to art class, all I could do was sit and stare at the teacher…LSD had little to do with my most-creative efforts (as a druggy, I am over-rated)!

About the artist, Lee Conklin –

Lee Conklin was born July 24, 1941 in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, and grew up mostly in Monsey, New York. Lee's dad was a house builder, his mom was a nurse and he was the youngest child in a family of three brothers and three sisters. Lee graduated from Spring Valley High School in 1959 and attended Calvin College in Grand Rapids Michigan for several years, where he studied philosophy and history and met his wife Joy. In 1972, Lee and Joy had a son, Quinn, and in 1979 a daughter, Caitlin. They have lived in various parts of Northern California over the years.

Lee is now a fulltime artist working out of his home studio in Columbia, California where he continues to create his incredibly-detailed works of poster art (which, according to Lee, he calls “New Age cheesecake”!).

Conklin’s Fillmore posters remain amongst the most-popular and highly-prized with today’s poster collectors - a true testament to his prodigious talents.

To see more of Lee Conklin’s current work, please visit his website at

To see Lee’s “Lion” print in the RockPoP Gallery collection, please click on this link -

To see all of the Santana-related items in the RockPoP Gallery collection please click on this link -

Santana philanthropy update – Santana and his ex-wife Deborah founded their Milagro Foundation in 1998, which has distributed nearly $2 million to date to organizations that “promote the welfare of underserved children in the areas of health, education, and the arts.”

To learn more, please visit the Milago Foundation’s website at –

In addition, Santana has joined the fight against AIDS in Africa through a partnership with ANSA – Artists for New South Africa (in 2003, all of the proceeds from Santana’s U.S. tour were donated to this cause). To learn more about ANSA, please visit their web site at .

Other organizations he has championed include Hispanic Education and Media Group, Doctors Without Borders, Save the Children, Childreach, Rainforest Action Network, Greenpeace, American Indian College Fund, Amnesty International, and the LA-based Museum of Tolerance.

All images featured in this Cover Story are Copyright 1968 and 2008, Lee Conklin - All rights reserved. Except as noted, all other text Copyright 2008 - Mike Goldstein & RockPoP Gallery ( - All rights reserved.

Billy Bob goes Mod


Billy Bob Thornton forms retro trio The Boxmasters

By: Brent Thompson

There is no shortage of actors that have attempted side careers as musicians – Keanu Reeves (Dogstar), Russell Crowe (30 Odd Foot of Grunts) and Kevin Bacon (Bacon Brothers) to name only a few – but few people realize the role that music has played throughout Billy Bob Thornton’s life. In addition, Thornton’s musical career has ties to Alabama that some may find surprising.

“I made my first recording in 1974 in Muscle Shoals,” Thornton recalls, speaking by phone from Santa Fe, New Mex. “I was just a kid and I couldn’t believe that we were really in Muscle Shoals. That whole group of guys – Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham, David Hood, Roger Hawkins and Jimmy Johnson – is just incredible.”

On Tuesday, July 29, Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters will perform at Zydeco. The 18-and-over show begins at 9 p.m. Thornton and bandmates Mike Butler and J.D. Andrew are touring in support of the trio’s self-titled album, released earlier this year on Vanguard Records. The Boxmasters musical vision combines a hillbilly-influenced sound alongside the British Invasion “Mod” sound of the 1960s, a mix Thornton describes as “Mod-Billy.” The trio’s latest release features an original CD and a disc of cover songs.

“We’re very proud of this record. Two of the songs on the original side are older songs – I wrote one called ‘That Mountain’ with Marty Stuart about nine years ago and it was on my first solo record. We just Boxmaster-ized it and put it on this record – it just belonged on here. The song ‘Build Your Own Prison’ I actually wrote with one of your countrymen down there, Donnie Fritts. All the rest of the songs were written in the studio specifically for the album. The idea was to write songs about the lower-middle class lifestyle that we all know so well and the problems we all go through. The covers side was really just a tribute to all the people that have inspired us to even create The Boxmasters,” Thornton says.

An Academy Award-winning actor and screenwriter known for his roles in Sling Blade, Primary Colors and Monster’s Ball among others, Thornton received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2004. Off screen, his private life has been a recurring topic of discussion, most notably during his marriage to actress Angelina Jolie. As a musician, Thornton enjoys the live interaction that film acting does not provide.

“Music’s more immediate – you make a record and it comes out fairly soon and then you go out and play for the fans. In a movie, there’s a certain distance between the actor and the audience because you’re never there when they’re seeing the movie. There’s not a real sense of completion when you’re making a movie because you’re doing bits at a time every day, whereas you do a concert and it’s a full thing in one night. But they both have their ups and downs. I find the movie business to be a little more accommodating sometimes,” he says.

Anyone that speaks with Thornton quickly learns that he is a musical historian with a tremendous depth of knowledge and passion on the subject. An admittedly old soul when it comes to music and movies, Thornton finds that technology and the modern media have taken the mystique out of the two art forms.

“I grew up around music as a musician and a roadie and there’s no mystery anymore. If you see HBO’s ‘Behind The Scenes’ and you see an actor sitting there in his costume talking about his role, then it kind of destroys the magic of it. When we were growing up, the only time you saw Jimmy Stewart or Robert Mitchum was in the movie and musicians weren’t all over the Internet and you didn’t know everything about somebody. When you went to a concert, you couldn’t believe that John Fogerty was standing right in front of you. The Boxmasters’ record is out on limited-edition vinyl as well. Just to look at that artwork and to be able to read the lyrics without a magnifying glass is pretty incredible. Vanguard’s a classy old label - it’s a label that I wanted to be on since I was a kid,” he says.

Later this year, The Boxmasters will release a Christmas album that includes original material and Christmas classics recorded in Boxmasters’ fashion. Fans attending shows on the current tour will get a double-dose as Thornton and his band perform two shows nightly.

“One thing that’s important to mention is that we are the opening act - The Boxmasters open the show. We open as The Boxmasters with the whole ‘Mod’ look because that was the idea behind The Boxmasters. So we look like The Kinks or The Beatles and yet we play hillbilly music - the stage set is very Hullabaloo looking. The second show is my solo show and it’s a big rock show. We come out and it’s a little heavier and louder and the songs go on longer. A lot of people ask, ‘How can you do two shows a night for the whole tour as two different bands?’ But when you go out for the second show, it actually feels like another night.”

This Date In Music History- July 24


Barbara Jean Love (Friends of Distinction) 1941.

Heinze Burt (The Tornadoes) 1942.

Born on this day in 1970, Jennifer Lopez, singer, actress.

Born on this day in 1961, Gary Cherone, vocals, Extreme.


Nervous Norvus ("Transfusion"-- his real name was Jimmy Drake) died of liver failure in 1968.

The film version of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (starring Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees) debuts in New York in 1978. It bombed at the box-office and the critics hated it.

Today in 1971, the song "Indian Reservation" by the Raiders topped the charts and stayed there for a week. The song was actually recorded by Mark Lindsay alone, but he chose to put the group's name on the label as a sign of friendship for his old buddy Paul Revere.

In 1982, "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor topped the charts and stayed there for 6 weeks. Over the next four years, the band would place six more songs on the Billboard Top 40.

A riot broke out in 1964, when the Rolling Stones play the English city of Blackpool, contributing to their bad-boys-of-rock image.

At the Newport Folk Festival today in 1965, Bob Dylan performed"All I Really Wanna Do" at an afternoon workshop. The following day he scandalizes the festival when he makes his electric debut.

La Bamba, the Ritchie Valens biopic, opened in theaters in 1987. The film stars Lou Diamond Phillips and has appearances by Brian Setzer and Marshall Crenshaw. The production had the full support of the Valenzuela family and Bob and Connie Valenzuela even came to the set to help the actors portray their characters correctly. The music was performed by Los Lobos.

The case against Judas Priest opened in Reno, Nevada in 1995. The band members are accused of planting subliminal messages in their album Stained Class that led two young fans to attempt suicide. The group was later cleared of wrongdoing.

Jefferson Airplane’s second album, the classic “Surrealistic Pillow” went gold in 1967. The record contains two Airplane classics “White Rabbit” and “Somebody To Love.” Both songs were originally recorded by singer Grace Slick’s previous band, The Great Society. Good idea to bring her on board.

The Beach Boys' "California Girls" was released in the US in 1965, where it will reach #3 in September.

The trio of Dino, Desi and Billy achieved their first US chart entry in 1965 with "I'm A Fool", which will rise to #17. Dino, the son of Dean Martin, Desi, the son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, along with Billy Hinsche would also crack the Top 40 with "Not The Lovin' Kind" later in the year.

Paul McCartney recorded a demo of his new song ‘Come and Get It’ at Abbey Road studios in London in 1969. McCartney gave the song to The Iveys, (soon to become known as Badfinger). The song was later used as the theme for the movie The Magic Christian. The Beatles also recorded ‘Sun King/Mean Mr. Mustard’ for their forthcoming Abbey Road album.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This Date In Music History- July 22


Bobby Sherman ("Julie Do Ya Love Me") is 65.

Don Henley of the Eagles ("Hotel California") turns 61.

Estelle Bennett of the Ronettes ("Be My Baby") turns 64.

George Clinton, the visionary leader of the Parliament-Funkadelic empire, was born in Kannapolis, North Carolina in 1940.

Soul superstar Keith Sweat ("I Want Her") was born in Harlem, N.Y. in 1965.

Emily Saliers (Indigo Girls) was born in 1963.

Born on this day in 1944, Ric Davis, vocalist and keyboardist with Supertramp.


Eugene Record of the Chi-Lites succumbed to cancer in 2005. The singer and author of soul classics like "Have You Seen Her?" and "Oh Girl" was 64.

In 2005, Doors’ drummer John Densmore won a ruling that kept the other two surviving members - Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger - from using the band's name as part of their oldies act, The Doors of the 21st Century.

The Byrds' "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" album was released in 1968.

Elvis Costello's first album, "My Aim Is True," was released in Britain in 1977. It was later released in the U.S.

In 1967, Vanilla Fudge made their live debut at New York's Village Theatre with the Byrds and the Seeds.

Also in 1967, The Doors made their debut on American Bandstand performing "Light My Fire."

In 1979, Little Richard, now known as the Reverend Richard Pennman told his congregation about the evils of rock & roll music, declaring 'If God can save an old homosexual like me, he can save anybody.'

The Grateful Dead’s first single, “Stealin’” b/w “Don’t Ease Me In,” was released on the Scorpio label in 1966.

The Beatles' first US album, "Introducing The Beatles" was pressed by Vee-Jay Records in 1963. When it was finally released in January, 1964, Capitol Records hit Vee Jay with an injunction against manufacturing, distributing, advertising, or otherwise disposing of records by the Beatles.

Oh, those naughty Stones! Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Bill Wyman appeared in a London courtroom in 1965 and were found guilty of "insulting behavior" for urinating against a London gas station wall. They argued that the owner had refused to give them the key to the men's room, but they were fined five pounds each.

In 1971, thirteen days after lead singer Jim Morrison passed away, the Doors were awarded a gold album for "L.A. Woman". The L.P. included "Love Her Madly" and "Riders on the Storm.”

OOPS! In 1995, Canadian singer David Clayton-Thomas angered patrons at a Blood, Sweat and Tears concert in the heavily Jewish Detroit suburb of West Bloomfield. Halfway through the show, he remarked that the weather was "as hot as the last train car going to Auschwitz." Clayton-Thomas later apologized, saying he spoke "in the heat of the moment."

Paul and Linda McCartney were arrested in Sweden in 1972 for possession of drugs.

Johnny Cash was at No.1 on the US album chart in 2006 with ‘American V: A Hundred Highways.’ Released posthumously on July 4, the vocal parts were recorded before Cash's death, but the instruments were not recorded until 2005.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Vinyl Record Appraisals

Meet Record Appraiser and Historian Scott Neuman

By Robert Benson

Everyday it seems that we read about the resurgence in the sales of vinyl records. In fact, in a recently-released 2007 RIAA sales report, the American music industry sold 36.6 percent more Extended Play (EP) and Long Play (LP) records than it had in the previous year; increasing vinyl sales revenue by 46.2 percent.

And the world of collecting vinyl records is also reaping the benefits from this renewed interest in vinyl. But how does one place a value on these classic recordings, what is a rare record worth and what is the process for acquiring such information?

I spoke with vinyl record historian and record appraiser Scott Neuman, owner of about this dilemma and some of the obstacles one may encounter. But, first, let’s meet Scott and review his background.

Scott Neuman is a vinyl record veteran who started working in the music industry at an early age and has been a record collector/dealer/appraiser since 1975. He has been an on air disc jockey for several radio stations, worked in television as an announcer and cameraman and has also owned and operated a record store. And keeping up with the times, Scott was one of the first “online” record shops, operating; which boasts an inventory of well over 2 million records.

I asked Neuman about the renewed interest in vinyl records and the allure of vinyl.

“Listening to records used to be a time to be enjoy with a few friends, hang out, listen to the music and read the liner notes on the back,” explained Neuman. “Maybe you enjoyed the gatefold sleeves in a personal way, maybe you just enjoyed slipping the sealing material off the cover on your pants by rubbing the corner of the record on your knee, taking the record out, getting that little “pop” of static electricity and taking a slight sniff of the vinyl. Then lining up the needle on the record after cleaning it and sitting down to enjoy the fruits of your work. All of that is very hard to do with a CD or MP3. Records are personal, something to share with friends. Sure, CD’s are nice and so are MP3’s. But records force you to listen to them.”

And, what is the allure, and can you tell me about your record collection.

“The allure? For all the reasons above,” said Neuman. “All formats have their points. I just like handling vinyl. I was a DJ for years and used to use records to entertain in the Philadelphia and New York area. I didn’t just play records. We made a night of entertainment. As for the digital sound, I prefer the warmer sounds I get from vinyl.”

“I do have a music collection and my favorite items are not necessarily rare. I do have a large jazz collection from the 50’s in mint condition that I’m not ready to sell yet. These would be first pressings by John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Monk, and a few others. I also have some rare Beatle items that I enjoy looking at including a first state ‘butcher’ cover and an “Introducing the Beatles” in excellent condition that isn’t counterfeit. I also appreciate Gold and Platinum RIAA award albums given to various artists, autographs by various artists and also Vogue picture discs which were picture discs pressed on 78 records. One more thing I enjoy owning are various acetates. These were one off pressings by artists used just for test and listening purposes and were normally destroyed after a final production of a product. You can sometimes hear alternate versions of your favorite songs. These items self destruct the more you play them so it’s wise to record them and put them away for safe keeping.

Neuman is also one of the world’s most renowned vinyl record appraisers and offers this service on There are many variables that go into what a particular record may be worth and I asked Neuman about the demand for this service and what makes a record valuable.

“Forever Vinyl gets more than twenty calls a day for customers looking for appraisals for estates and charity donations,” detailed Neuman. “As far as the elements of an appraisal, it depends on the needs of the customer. For donations, we draw a number of different elements to get the correct market value for your collection. We neither under nor over appraise your collection.
What makes a record valuable?

“What makes a house value? Location, location, location. When it comes to records, demand, demand, demand. Age is not a determining factor in record collection, demand is,” stated Neuman.

What donating records to a charity, what are the main obstacles a person might encounter?

“There really aren’t any obstacles per say other then finding a non-profit entity to accept them. The IRS is very picky about fair retail market value as they should be. We should all pay our fair share of the tax burden. It’s important to understand that the IRS considers the value of a collection to be based on the value and use of the entity you are donating the collection to. If you donate the collection to a university, and they hold on to it for three years, possibly put it in their library and make the collection available to the students to learn from, the appraisal will normally stand. If you donate the collection to a thrift shop, the IRS will normally look at what the thrift shop sold the collection for and adjust any appraisal value over that amount. Needless to say, we highly recommend finding a charity that would value and use the collection rather then just dump the collection for pennies on the dollar.”

Tell me about your appraisal services that are offered at Forever Vinyl.

“As you know, many records are now valued in the hundreds and thousands of dollars. Because of the amount of appraisals that are requested per day, we've instituted a reasonable fee to cover our cost, time and expertise for these appraisals. Our current fee is $20.00 for the first item of the appraisal and $5.00 for each additional item. For collections with over 200 pieces, please call us 732-505-5337 for adjusted rates,” explained Neuman.

“All information must contain the following information- Artist, Title, Type of item, Condition (1 - 10 is fine with 10 looking like its brand new), Label and Label Number. If the item is a 45 single, does it have a picture sleeve? Also any other comments you'd like to make about the item. Examples could be if it's a promotional or "Not for Sale" copy, if it's a test pressing or acetate, if it's autographed and so forth. If necessary, we can and will travel to your location. For those of you with larger collections, we do work on a rate of $200.00 an hour plus travel, food and lodging expenses, if you need us to come to you. This is only by appointment. Many of our customers have used this service. We also can accept items shipped to us for appraisal. Feel free to contact us for more information; we’d loved to help your put a value on your collection.”

So as the sales of vinyl records and the interest in this historic audio medium continue its upward trend, so too, will the need for vinyl record appraisals. Thankfully, we have vinyl record experts like Scott Neuman to help us put a value on our collections.

Going for a spin

By Steve Clark


The truth is, vinyl never completely went away.

Underground punk music and various obscure independent releases have continued to be pressed into vinyl records ever since the supposed death of the medium as the mainstream commercial standard for music delivery in the late 1980s.

Nevertheless, vinyl is enjoying a mainstream comeback—not that music lovers are tossing their CD collections and iPods into dumpsters across America and scooping up turntables to spin the venerable 33 1/3. Still, it appears to be more than a passing fad, says Taylor Sullivan, music buyer for the Compact Disc Store, which has several boxes of newly released vinyl LPs in addition to its stock-in-trade CDs.

“I don’t think it’s going away,” he says. “I don’t think it’s just a fluke.”

Sullivan, 32, spun records as a kid and never stopped collecting the obscure underground stuff. A few years ago he tried ordering a few for the store to see if they would sell. They did. Like crazy. Eventually, less esoteric offerings began to be issued again on LP, and the Compact Disc Store, despite its name, is carrying it.

REM’s newest album, Accelerator, is available in LP format, for instance, as is the new one from Coldplay, Viva la Vida. Even Best Buy has jumped on the vinyl wagon—gingerly: An employee at a Baton Rouge Best Buy reported all five copies—yes, five—of the Coldplay album had sold out.

Also, more and more old music is being reissued on vinyl—the Beatles and Pink Floyd, for instance, though for now it’s just a trickle. Sullivan says look out for a wave of new old releases on LP in the next few months as the trend gains steam. Sullivan says the people buying his LPs are a mix of young and old.

“I would say that just in the last six or nine months it’s doubled, but then again so has the availability of stock,” he says. “I’ve noticed a lot recently. Right now the demand is outrunning the supply. There’s a lot of big indie records that are coming out on LP. The pressing plants are backed up where things are not getting out on time.”

Sullivan, who guesses he’s “killed four turntables” during his record-listening career, says the renewed interest in vinyl could be in part because of a backlash against the relatively low sound quality of downloadable MP3s compared to other formats.

Brad Pope, owner of the Compact Disc Store, acknowledges the irony of selling LPs at a store founded on the notion that LPs were history.

“I had doubters at the time,” he says. “They were wrong for about 20 years.”

Pope says today’s vinyl is heavier and higher quality—at least for the time being—than records used to be. The prices aren’t terrible. Flipping through the stacks, he finds a John Coltrane LP re-issue for $12.99, John Prine’s Fair & Square at $15.99 and a limited edition of Viva la Vida for $28.99.

“Lately sometimes our days are made by our LP sales—where it’s made the difference between a so-so day and a good day,” Pope says. “It’s a for-real phenomenon. Whether it’s just a flash in the pan remains to be seen.”

The Recording Industry Association of America reports that manufacturers’ shipments of LPs rose 1.3 million between 2006 and 2007—a 36% jump—while CD shipments dropped 17% during the same period, largely because of downloading.

None of this means Pope is ready to change his mind in the debate over LPs versus CDs. The LP school maintains that vinyl, recorded using analog technology, has a warmer sound than CDs, which are recorded digitally. He doesn’t buy it. Pope, a classical music aficionado, says CDs are superior in sound quality and a lot more convenient. He has no plans to get caught up in the vinyl frenzy.

“It really doesn’t have any fascination for me, but I’m a million years old,” he says.

Records do have a fascination for Clarke Gernon Jr., a local architect. While he’s mostly into collecting out-of-print blues and country LPs, he did recently splurge on a new vinyl release of bluesman R.L. Burnside’s music from the late 1960s. Gernon, who isn’t averse to downloading music onto his iPod, says records seem somehow more alive than CDs or digital formats.

He guesses the resurgence of vinyl is partly from young people in the age of iTunes and MP3s yearning to “actually have something to hold in your hands.”

“While it’s pretty easy to get the songs, the thing that you miss is the opportunity to shop for it, or at the end of it all to have a thing: something you can put on the wall and display,” Gernon says. “It actually is like a piece of art. I do try and sort of display my top four or five [LP covers] at any given moment.”

If you’re going to play a record, you need something to play it on. Believe it not, turntables are still around, and not just the equipment used by hip-hop DJs. Guitar Center and sell low- to mid-range turntables. Or you can spend thousands of dollars on a designer turntable available—though not necessarily in stock—from Valentino Home Entertainment in Perkins Rowe.

Troy Semons, the store’s installation manager, says the turntable market isn’t what it used to be. With major audio equipment makers having long since ditched the market, the high-end stuff now comes small, esoteric designer-builders. The Reference Super Scoutmaster Signature, for instance, winner of the 2008 Absolute Sound Golden Ear Award, retails for $7,400 on

Semons says the few customers who buy turntables tend to be older people replacing their worn-out equipment. Why? Because LPs—on a high-end turntable—sound better than CDs. While he may not have a turntable himself, he does have an opinion: As long as the master recording is high-caliber, vinyl sounds better—noticeably better—on a high-end record player.

“What you’ll have is frequency extension above a certain point,” Semons says. “Supposedly we’re not capable of hearing it, but it is there and you notice when you listen.”

Sunday, July 20, 2008

This Date In Music History- July 20


Carlos Santana ("Evil Ways") is 61.

John Lodge of the Moody Blues ("Nights In White Satin") is 63.

Kim Carnes, of "Bette Davis Eyes" fame, was born in Los Angeles in 1946.

Sex Pistols drummer and later Bananarama producer Paul Cook was born in London in 1956.

Chris Cornell, frontman for megagroups Soundgarden and Audioslave was born in Seattle, WA in 1964.


Today in 1963, the song "Surf City" by Jan & Dean topped the charts and stayed there for 2 weeks. The pair had recorded the song in a converted garage underneath their apartment in Bel Air, California. The single reached #26 in the UK.

In 1954, Elvis Presley performed on one what was probably the smallest stage of his career when he appeared on the back of a flatbed truck outside a Memphis drugstore for its grand opening. Elvis was then a member of The Blue Moon Boys trio with Bill Black and Scotty Moore, who took their name from a song they had recorded just 2 weeks previously, "Blue Moon of Kentucky".

The late Buddy Knox ("Hula Love") was born in 1933.

The Beatles signed a German recording contract with producer Bert Kaempfert in 1961, as the Beat Brothers.

Bob Dylan releases "Like a Rolling Stone" in 1965. The single becomes his first major hit, reaching No. 2.

Pop vocalist Roy Hamilton, the former boxer who first had a hit with "Unchained Melody," dies in New Rochelle, N.Y. in 1969, after suffering a stroke.

Engineer Gary Kellgren drowned in a Hollywood swimming pool in 1977. As well as making classic albums like Jimi Hendrix's "Electric Ladyland" and Frank Zappa's "We're Only in It for the Money" sound the way they do, he was the operator of the Los Angeles Record Plant studio.

The Iron Butterfly’s epic “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” featuring the 17:05 title track, complete with drum solo, entered the album chart in 1968 for a two-and-a-half year stay. Also in 1968, Cream`sWheels Of Fire,” a double album with both live and studio material, enters the LP chart. The set contains “White Room” and Eric Clapton’s signature song “Crossroads.”

Billboard's first comprehensive record chart is published in 1940. The magazine had previously published best-seller lists submitted by the individual record companies, but the new chart combined the top sellers from all major labels. Their first number one song was "I'll Never Smile Again" by Frank Sinatra and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.

Lesley Gore released "Judy's Turn To Cry" in 1963, the follow up to her number one hit, "It's My Party". The record was a continuation of the original story and it too became a Top 5 hit in the US.

The Lovin' Spoonful released their first record, "Do You Believe in Magic" in 1965. It will reach #9 on the US pop chart.

In 1968, Jane Asher announced on a national British TV show, Dee Time, that her engagement to Paul McCartney was off. McCartney reportedly was watching at a friend's home and was surprised by the news. Jane went on to have a successful career in films and on television

Friday, July 18, 2008

Album Cover Art Series

This is the first in a series of Album Cover Art stories, a behind the scenes look at the art and the artist. I want to thank Michael Goldstein of for allowing the reprints of this fascinating material. There are many others to come and if you want to read more, please feel free to stop by Michael's site ( see more!

Cover Story - The Moody Blues' "In Search of the Lost Chord", with artwork by Philip Travers

Cover Story for March 28, 2008

Subject: In Search of the Lost Chord, a 1968 release (on Deram Records) by The Moody Blues, with cover artwork & design by Philip Travers

After the success of their Days of Future Passed record (featuring the memorable cover artwork by artist David Anstey) in which the band began the transformation from its original, Denny Laine-led pop songcrafting (“Go Now”) to writers of early symphonic rock masterworks such as “Forever (Tuesday) Afternoon” and “Nights in White Satin” – delivered in Decca/Deram Records’ new “Deramic Stereo Sound” – the release of 1968’s In Search of the Lost Chord delivered to fans of the band a record showcasing their new, more experimental and psychedelic leanings.

Mike Pinder’s Mellotron replaced much of the full orchestra from the previous record, and the rest of the band added the popular “psychedelic” instrumentation of the day – sitar and other stringed instruments, flutes, harpsichord, etc. – to fill out the sound and make it more possible to recreate the music in live performances. Pinder also continued introducing listeners to Graeme Edge’s wonderful poems, his readings of which set the mood for the complex and beautiful music and lyrics that would follow (although we do get to hear Edge’s own voice and maniacal laughter during his recitation of the album opener “Departure”).

Songs on this record included fan favorites such as the rocking “Ride My See Saw”, “Legend of a Mind” (a Ray Thomas trippy tribute to Timothy Leary), “Voices in the Sky”, “The Actor” and ending with “the lost chord” itself - “Om” (which went along with the tantric graphics found inside the record’s gatefold cover).

A late 60’s psychedelic record from a band like the Moodies – one that truly exemplified the notion of a long-playing sonic experience - could only be packaged in an album sleeve with a truly fantastic cover image that would only add to the overall experience. This notion required a visual artist of exceptional talents, which prompted the band to turn to artist and illustrator Phil Travers, who’d impressed them with his previous work for the label. I think that we’ll all agree that the result of Phil’s commission was an image that would send the record owner immediately on his own search for the answer to life’s existential questions (“how can I be on the outside, looking in, if I’m dead”?, for example). To find Phil Travers, all I had to do was search on Google, after which he provided me with the recollections of his efforts on this project that are outlined in today’s Cover Story…

In the words of the artist – Phil Travers (interviewed in late February, 2008)

After five years at Art College in London, I got a job in the art department at Decca Records. I spent my time there designing record sleeves, and after about two years, I left Decca to take a job as a designer/illustrator in a design office in Wimbledon. While there, I was contacted by someone I knew at Decca because, apparently, the then-manager of the Moody Blues had been at Decca to look through their catalogue of sleeve designs and he’d really liked an illustration of mine which I had done shortly before I left. Shortly thereafter, I was invited to an introductory meeting with the Moodies at a pub in London - I forget which one – and after we’d worked out the details of the commission, I was invited to listen to the soundtrack of In Search of the Lost Chord at their recording studio.

While I was listening to the music, the concept for the cover was actually given to me in some sort of subliminal way. The recording and mixing area of the studio where I was sitting was separated from the area where the band would play by a large glass window and in this glass I could see several images of myself - one above the other - almost as if I was ascending up into space.

The band wanted me primarily to illustrate the concept of meditation. This was not something that I had much personal experience of and so my initial thoughts about such an ethereal subject were, unfortunately, insubstantial, and so I wasn`t producing any cohesive visual ideas, with this lack of ideas evident in my first rough designs. In fact, as time was getting short (by the way everything was always wanted in a hurry) I was starting to panic. It was then that the image in the glass window of a figure ascending came back to me and, after that, everything just fell into place. Its impossible for me to tell you now how long it took me to produce the illustration, other than to say that, in most cases, I had days rather than weeks to complete them and submit them for approval. As for the way I painted, I used Gouache and some watercolour, and very often I employed an airbrush.

The band was a good bunch of guys and generally I got on pretty well with them. They were always fully involved in the project (this, and the next 5 records I did for them) from start to finish. Apart from the album Every Good Boy Deserves Favor - where they had come to me with their own idea on how the cover should look - there was a similar working pattern for all of the other sleeves. At the first meeting we would listen to the soundtrack together and discuss the themes and ideas behind the album. It was then left to me to produce a pencil rough which was then discussed further. Eventually a consensus would be reached and the painting would begin in earnest. Time always was of the essence, and many times I was working all day and all night to meet the printer’s deadline. But I have to say it was greatly fulfilling and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

About the artist, Philip Travers –

Born in 1945, Philip studied art and design at the Sutton School of Art and the London School of Printing. After college, he spent several years working as a designer and illustrator in studios in the London area. It was at this time that he became associated with the internationally-renowned rock group - The Moody Blues - for whom he produced record sleeves in the late 1960s and early `70s, including:

- In Search of the Lost Chord (1968)
- On The Threshold of a Dream (1969)
- To Our Children’s Children’s Children (1969)
- Question of Balance (1970)
- Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1971)
- Seventh Sojourn (1972)

In addition to the images for The Moody Blues, Philip created a couple of sleeves for the band `Trapeze` (the seminal hard rock band produced by John Lodge and featuring Glenn Hughes and Dave Holland) on the Threshold label and, according to Phil, “I did do a sleeve for The Four Tops single `A Simple Game`. This was produced by Tony Clarke. However, it was never used, which is a pity because I think it was really good!”

Coming initially from London, he grew up enjoying the landscape of Surrey and the surrounding counties, and his paintings at this time were exhibited at galleries in Wimbledon, Thames Ditton, Windsor and Petersfield.

Philip moved to Cornwall in 1976 after spending several holidays in the area and then deciding that he should live there. He felt that the close proximity of the sea, and the diverse and exciting landscape that it engendered created a stimulating environment in which to work. Phil is mainly concerned to convey the mood and atmosphere of the subjects he is painting, and with his bold use of light and shade, he continues to produce highly-dramatic images. He often likes to include animals and sometimes figures in his work, as they provide not only life and a focus but also a narrative element.

To see more of Phil Travers’ current work, please visit his website at

To see all of the Moody Blues-related items in the RockPoP Gallery collection please click on this link -

Moody Blues update – The Moody Blues continue to tour the world today (you’ll find their schedule on their web site – ). The soon-to-open Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach, SC, will feature a ride named "Nights in White Satin - The Trip", which will include a version of the title song newly re-orchestrated by Justin Hayward. And even after the release of 25 Top 100 charting singles, the sales of countless millions of records, and sell-out tours world-wide (including a multi-night stand at London’s Royal Albert Hall, later this year), they have STILL not been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Very sad.

All images featured in this Cover Story are Copyright 1968, 1972 and 2008, Philip Travers - All rights reserved. Except as noted, all other text Copyright 2008 - Mike Goldstein & RockPoP Gallery ( - All rights reserved.