Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hall of Fame Member Earl Palmer Dies at 84

He was the man who put the backbeat Tutti Frutti, You've Lost That Loving Feeling and River Deep, Mountain High. Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Earl Palmer passed away on Friday at the age of 84.

Palmer grew up in a vaudeville family and was tap dancing by the age of four. The rhythms got him interested in drums and he readily mastered the instrument, starting with BeBop Jazz and eventually gravitating toward blues and R&B.

His first professional gig started in 1947 when he joined Dave Bartholomew's band, which led to a long term association with Fats Domino starting with his 1950 hit The Fat Man. Palmer's use of backbeat throughout the entire record was one of the basis for the Rock and Roll sound. Palmer once said, "That song required a strong afterbeat throughout the whole piece. With Dixieland you had a strong afterbeat only after you got to the shout last chorus. ... It was sort of a new approach to rhythm music."

Palmer was the main drummer at Cosimo Matassa's recording studio in New Orleans for much of the 50's, playing on records like Tutti Frutti for Little Richard, I Hear You Knocking by Smiley Lewis and Lawdy Miss Clawdy for Lloyd Price, but in 1957 he received an offer from Los Angeles' Aladdin Records and he tried his fortunes in the west.

In L.A., Palmer became a highly respected session drummer working with everyone from Phil Spector to Frank Sinatra to B.B. King. He also was used extensively as a session drummer for movies and TV.

Palmer also tried his hand at recording under his own name. Although sales were not great, he released a number of albums, including Drumsville (1961) and Percolator Twist (1962).

A biography, Backbeat: The Earl Palmer Story, by Tony Scherman, was released in 1999 and, in 2000, he was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Among the thousands of recordings graced with the drums of Earl Palmer:

The Fat Man (Fats Domino)

Tipitina (Professor Longhair)
Tutti Frutti (Little Richard)
Blueberry Hill (Fats Domino)
Long Tall Sally (Little Richard)

I'm Walkin' (Fats Domino)
Lucille (Little Richard)

Chicken Shack Boogie (Amos Milburn)
Rockin' Robin (Bobby Day)
La Bamba (Ritchie Valens)
Little Bitty Pretty One (Thurston Harris)
You Send Me (Sam Cooke)
Sinatra and Swingin' Brass (Frank Sinatra)
The Little Old Lady From Pasadena (Jan & Dean)

You've Lost That Loving Feeling (Righteous Brothers)
River Deep, Mountain High (Ike and Tina Turner)
People Like Us (Mamas & the Papas)

Theme From Mission Impossible (Lalo Schifrin)
Birds, the Bees and the Monkees (Monkees)
Express Yourself (Charles Wright & the 103rd Street Rhythm Band)
Stoney End (Barbara Streisand)
L.A. Midnight (B.B. King)
Sail Away (Randy Newman)
Blue Valentine (Tom Waits)
King of America (Elvis Costello)


MVD Plans Vinyl Releases For Devo, GG Allin, Plastmatics and Dwarves

MVD Entertainment Group (MVD) has announced plans to issue several releases on vinyl including new and previously unreleased tracks by Devo and the Dwarves, plus reissues by G.G. Allin, Wendy O. Williams and the Plasmatics, and more. MVD and Big Daddy have deep access to a great amount of quality content from some very collectible artists.

DEVO – Watch Us Work It: This will contain four versions of the song "Watch Us Work It": Teddy Bears Version, Original Devo Demo Version, Karaoke Version, and "Still Workin'" Version. It was recorded at Mutato Muzika in Los Angeles and produced by Sweden's famous Teddy Bears. The DELL company heard it when Paul Malmstrom and Linus Karlsson at the Mother agency in NYC pitched it as a possibility for a TV campaign for the newly developed, high-end laptop computer. DELL loved it, so they used it for nationwide TV ad campaign. The vinyl will also include "Devo Was Right About Everything" by Attery Squash (re-mix by Robert and Gerald Casale).

GG Allin - Freaks, Faggots, Drunks and Junkies: Vinyl edition of what is probably GG Allin's greatest studio album. This was GG's fourth album when it was originally released on Homestead Records in 1988. Recorded with a backing band featuring members of New England punk/thrash heavies Psycho, this one contains some of GG's best songs. "Die When You Die" is arguably the most famous GG Allin song and this album features the original, best version of the live warhorse. It also includes GG's rewrite of David Allen Coe's "Longhair Redneck" titled "Outlaw Scumfuc." The punkest man alive (at the time) at his peak.

Plasmatics - Wendy O Williams – Beyond the Valley of 1984: This is their second album and features some of the best songwriting of their career, as well as a lean and tight sound combing metal, punk and hard rock. A truly ground breaking release that sums up everything the band stood for and still sounds completely fresh over 25 years after its release.

Dwarves - Dwarves Limited 10 Inch: Way limited 10" picture disc vinyl split, one side Dwarves, live KSZU FM Stanford, recorded in 2004. The other side is Dwarves singer Blag Dahlia covering AC/DC (Big Balls) and the Ramones (The KKK Took My Baby Away) as well as some originals. This record is limited to 1030 copies and these are the last of them. Full color picture disc of a delightful young woman in a Mexican wrestling mask and not much else.

Album Cover Art

Continuing our album cover art series as complied by the crack staff at, let's explore some more unique album cover art:


39. Nirvana: ‘In Utero’ - This cover makes yet another list-In Utero is the third and final studio album by the American grunge band Nirvana, released on September 21, 1993 by DGC Records. The album's abrasive and aggressive sound was a departure from the polished production of the band's breakthrough second album, Nevermind (1991), due in part to the selection of recording engineer Steve Albini. The subject matters of the songs included dysfunctional family, cancer, issues of privacy, and abortion.

The art director for In Utero was Robert Fisher, who had designed all of Nirvana's releases on DGC Records. Most of the ideas for the artwork for the album and related singles came from Cobain. Fisher recalled that "[Cobain] would just give me some loose odds and ends and say 'Do something with it.'

The cover of the album is an image of a Transparent Anatomical Mannikin, with angel wings superimposed. Cobain created the collage on the back cover, referred to as "Sex and woman and In Utero and vaginas and birth and death," which includes fetuses and body parts lying in a bed of orchids and lilies. The collage had been set up on the floor of Cobain's living room and was photographed by Charles Peterson after an unexpected call from Cobain. According to Peterson, "one Sunday afternoon, Kurt calls me up, and is like 'Hey, I want you to take that picture now.' I rummaged for whatever film I had in the fridge, and went over." The album's track listing and re-illustrated symbols from Barbara G. Walker's The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects were then positioned around the edge of the collage.

Interestingly, the original title for "In Utero" was supposed to be "I Hate Myself And Want to Die," sharing its title with a song that was planned for the album. The phrase had originated in mid-1992 from one of Cobain's journal entries, and was meant as humor. It was Cobain's response whenever someone would ask him "how are you?" The tentative album title would be changed after band mate Novoselic convinced Cobain that "I Hate Myself And Want to Die" could potentially result in a lawsuit. The band considered the title "Verse Chorus Verse," a title shared with "Verse Chorus Verse" and an earlier working title of "Sappy". The final title was taken from one of Courtney Love's poems and is a Latin term meaning "in the uterus." Nice one Courtney.



39. The Billy Cobham, George Duke Band: 'Live On Tour In Europe' - George Duke (born 12 January 1946 in San Rafael, California) is a piano and synthesizer pioneer and singer. He made a name for himself with the album The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with the George Duke Trio. He is known for his solo work as well as for his collaborations with other musicians, particularly Frank Zappa.

Born in Panama, Cobham's family moved to New York City during his early childhood. A drummer from his youth, Cobham attended New York's High School of Music and Art, graduating in 1962.

He played in a U.S. Army Band from 1965 to 1968. Following his discharge, Cobham joined the group of pianist Horace Silver for about a year, also playing or recording with saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, organist Shirley Scott, and guitarist George Benson.

Blending these two talented musicians was brilliance, as the album is a jazz-fusion masterpiece. The cover? Well, I suppose you would have to ask the dynamic duo- if you can catch them!



39. Kenny Loggins – ‘Keep The Fire’ Kenneth Clark "Kenny" Loggins (born January 7, 1948 in Everett, Washington) is an American singer and songwriter best known for a number of soft rock and adult contemporary hit singles beginning in the 1970s. He has also recorded as a solo artist and written hit songs for other artists. After attracting the attention of fellow singer-songwriter Jim Messina, the two began a duo career as Loggins and Messina. It lasted until 1976. In 1977 Loggins went on to produce his first solo album, Celebrate Me Home, which included the hit "I Believe In Love," originally sung by Barbra Streisand in A Star Is Born. Nightwatch, a popular album released in 1978, included the hit "Whenever I Call You Friend", a duet with Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac. He followed this in 1979 with Keep the Fire.

The cover, well my guess is, he likes fire or being burned by it. Maybe it was a breakthrough in photography in the late 70's, but a nerd with Photoshop could conjure up a similar cover with ease today!



39. Snoop Dogg – ‘Doggy Style’ Cordozar Calvin Broadus, Jr. (born October 20, 1971), better known by his stage name Snoop Dogg (previously Snoop Doggy Dogg), is a Grammy Award-nominated American rapper, record producer, and actor. Snoop is best known as an MC in the West Coast hip hop scene, and for being one of producer Dr. Dre's most notable protégés.

While recording Doggystyle with Dr. Dre in August 1993, Snoop Dogg was arrested in connection with the death of Phillip Woldermarian, a member of a rival gang who was fired at and killed in a gang fight. Snoop Dogg was defended by David Kenner, with his bodyguard McKinley Lee, while Sean Abrams (accompanying member in the jeep) was defended by Johnnie Cochran. Both Snoop Dogg and McKinley Lee were acquitted; Lee was acquitted on grounds of self-defense, but Snoop Dogg remained entangled in the legal battles around the case for three years. His video "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" with Tupac Shakur chronicled the difficulties each rapper was dealing with as a result of their unrelated but concurrent criminal prosecutions.

The Doggystyle album was released in November 1993 on Death Row Records and became the first debut album ever to enter the charts at #1, helping to fuel the ascendance of West Coast "g-funk" rap. The singles "Who Am I (What's My Name)?" and "Gin and Juice" reached the top ten most-played songs in the United States, and the album stayed on the Billboard charts for several months. Gangsta rap became the center of arguments for censorship and labeling, with Snoop Dogg often used as an example of violent and misogynistic musicians. Doggystyle, much like The Chronic, featured a host of rappers signed to or affiliated with the Death Row label including Daz Dillinger, Kurupt, Nate Dogg and others.

Unbelievable, humorous and flat out insane (some say brilliant) album cover. Who let the dogs out?

Classic Rock Videos

I just couldn't help myself, another classsic rock video from the master- Little Richard!!

This Date In Music History- September 20


Gogi Grant ("The Wayward Wind") is 84.

Guitarist Nuno Bettencourt of Boston metal band Extreme was born in Portugal in 1966.

Styx bassist Chuck Panozzo was born in Chicago in 1947.


In 1964, the Beatles wrapped up their American tour with a charity show in Brooklyn, N.Y. Bob Dylan visited them backstage and later introduced the band mates to pot.

Thirty-year old Jim Croce was in fatal plane crash in 1973, after playing a concert at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. His small chartered plane hit a tree while taking off. Maury Muehleisen and four others were also killed. Only a week before, Croce finished recording his third album, "I Got a Name.”

"Fame," a song from David Bowie's 'Young Americans' album, topped the US singles charts in 1975. It was co-written by Bowie, John Lennon (who can be heard singing near the end of the record) and guitarist Carlos Alomar.

Bob Marley suffered a stroke while jogging in Central Park in 1980. X-rays revealed a brain tumor.

Paul McCartney was arrested for growing marijuana on his farm in Scotland in 1972.

Peter Frampton left Humble Pie to begin a solo career in 1971.

In 1966, George Harrison journeyed to India to meet with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for the first time.

No. 1 on both the American and British albums charts today in 1969 was Blind Faith, the only album by the supergroup that featured Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, and Ginger Baker.

In 2006, Keith Richards says he's finally given up drugs ... because they're not strong enough. "I think the quality's gone down," whines the irresponsible fossil. Talk about tolerance…

In 1970, Jim Morrison of The Doors was acquitted on charges of lewd and lascivious behavior, but was found guilty of exposing himself during a concert at The Dinner Key Auditorium in Coconut Grove a year and a half earlier. At his trial at the Dade County Courthouse in Miami, Judge Goodman sentenced Jim to six months of hard labor and a $500 fine for public exposure and sixty days of hard labor for profanity. The sentence was appealed, but Morrison was never brought to trial, as he would die in Paris France on July 3, 1971.

In 1978, The Who's "Who Are You" LP goes gold. The single of the same name is now used as the theme for the popular US TV show C.S.I.

Hall & Oates released the album, "Private Eyes" in 1981. The L.P. would go platinum on the strength of two #1 hits: "Private Eyes" and "I Can't Go For That".

The Bay City Rollers appeared live on the premiere of the Howard Cosell's Saturday Night show in 1975 and performed their just released record, "Saturday Night." It was their U.S. debut. The song would reach number one by the first week of January.

Grand Funk Railroad owned the #1 spot on the pop chart in 1973 with “American Band.”

Creedence Clearwater Revival scored their only UK #1 single with "Bad Moon Rising". They did not have a number one hit in the US.