Sunday, February 22, 2009

Classic Rock Videos

She Loves You - The Beatles

ELO Bassist Dies

On February 19, 2009, the rock and roll world lost an extremely talented musician when Electric Light Orchestra’s (ELO) bass player Kelly Groucutt passed away at the age of 63. In their heyday, ELO were one of the world’s biggest rock acts, adeptly blending lush orchestra arrangements with electronic and good old-fashioned rock and roll.

Groucutt was a member of a little known band called Sight and Sound before he was a member for ELO, he joined up with the band for the “Eldorado Tour.” His passion and talent quickly made him a fan favorite and distinctive vocals can be heard on such ELO cuts as “Night Rider” (1975), “Poker” (1975), and “Above The Clouds” (1976), among others.

His first appearance on an ELO album was 1975’s “Face The Music,” which featured the hits “Evil Woman” (#10) and “Strange Music” (#14 in 1976). He also played on the ELO albums “A New World Record” (1976), “Out Of The Blue” (1977), “Discovery” (1979), “Xanadu” (1980) and “Time” in 1981.

Groucutt released a self-titled solo project in 1982 called “Kelly,” which featured some of his fellow ELO bandmates. He remained with ELO until the beginning of the recording sessions for the 1983 “Secret Messages” album, but left the group due to his unhappiness with royalty payments. He sued band leader Jeff Lynne and the dispute was settled out of court.

Groucutt took part in many of the ELO spin-off groups including OrKestra, ELO Part 2 and The Orchestra. This talented musician leaves behind a wife and four children and his enthusiasm and passion will be missed by everyone who knew him.

Louisiana Guitarist Legend Eaglin Passes Away

The New Orleans R&B circuit lost a legend on February 18, 2009 when “Snooks” Fird Eaglin Jr. passed away from an apparent heart attack. His distinct guitar style ranged from a wide range of the Blues, Rock & Roll, Jazz, Country and even Latin and his singing style reminded some of Ray Charles.

Known as Blind “Snooks” Eaglin, he had the ability to play a wide array of songs and his ability to make tunes his own earned him the nickname the “Human Jukebox.” Eaglin claimed that his repertoire included over 2,500 songs and at his live shows, he did not prepare a set list, instead choosing to select songs that popped into his head at the time and taking audience requests.

Eaglin lost his sight shortly after his first birthday and was sickly as a child, spending years in and out of the hospital with a variety of illnesses. When he was five years old, his father gave his young son a guitar, which Eaglin quickly mastered; teaching himself to play by listening to the radio. His nickname ‘Snooks” is borrowed from an old-time radio character, the mischief-making Bobby Snooks.

At the age of eleven, Eaglin won a local radio talent contest, playing the “Twelfth Street Rag.” He dropped out of the school for the blind three years later to become a professional musician. He joined the Allen Toussaint-led Flamingoes in 1952, often playing both guitar and bass parts at the same time since the band had no bass player. He stayed with the group until they disbanded in the mid 1950’s.

For a musician with such a legendary career, his recordings and concerts were, to say the least, inconsistent. Eaglin played the clubs with Sugar Boy Crawford, Allen Toussaint and Dave Bartholomew and he recorded some country blues on Folkways in 1958. In the 1960’s Eaglin backed up Professor Longhair and recorded solo material on Imperial with Bartholomew producing.

After his Imperial sessions, Eaglin recorded alone at his home in 1964 for the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation and for the rest of the 1960’s he did no more recordings. He worked for another Swedish label Sonet in 1971 and his “Down Yonder” album was released in 1978. Eaglin also played guitar on the Wild Magnolia’s first record in 1973.

However, his best years were in the 1980’s when he signed with Black Top Records and between 1987 and 1999, Eaglin released four studio albums, a live album and appeared as a guest on albums by Henry Butler, Earl King and Tommy Ridgley.

Although in his later years Eaglin did not play many live shows, he was a staple at the Rock N’ Bowl in New Orleans and the New Orleans Jazz Fest. Rock and roll and specifically Louisiana will sincerely miss this legend and the “Human Jukebox.”

Album Cover Art

Let's continue our look at Molly Hatchet album covers, this time Molly Hatchet - Greatest Hits:

Defining moment: Drummer Max Roach politicises album cover art, September 1960

By Mike Hobart

The album shot of three young black men at the counter of an American diner, staring into the camera in a less than humble way was, in 1960, an open challenge to white America.

As the men wait to be served – by a white attendant – the album design for drummer Max Roach’s We Insist! clearly alludes to the sit-ins of the civil rights desegregation movement.

Frank Gauna’s design specifically refers to a sit-in that took place earlier in the same year, at the whites-only lunch counter at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, North Carolina.

On February 1 1960, four black students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University sat at the counter. They were refused service, but they were not ejected.

A contemporary newspaper photograph of the incident showed three of the students staring straight at the camera; the counter attendant was black. Within days, the store was engulfed by hundred of protesting desegregationists.

Jazz musicians had expressed broadly political sentiments on record before, but We Insist!, subtitled “Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite”, represented the first time that politics had been carried through so overtly from the music to the sleeve notes and cover art.

Racial segregation invested such mundane activities as eating lunch or sitting on a bus with momentous political significance. Jazz musicians often restricted their political leanings to aesthetic choices – an emphasis on rhythm, an accent on the blues, incorporating non-European musical elements – or to coded song titles that carried allusions to Africa. The Sonny Rollins tune “Airegin” is Nigeria spelled backwards, for example.

But We Insist! was brazen. Oscar Brown Jr’s lyrics spoke of slavery, South Africa and emancipation; and Roach’s music drew African and Afro-American folk traditions into the orbit of contemporary modern jazz; and jazz critic Nat Hentoff’s sleeve notes were unequivocal. In 1960, We Insist! was a provocation.


This Date In Music History-February 22


Michael Wilton- Queensryche (1962)

Scott Phillips- Creed (1973)

James Blunt (1977)

Bobby Hendricks- Drifters (1938)

They Are Missed:

Papa John Creach, the 76-year-old violinist with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, died of heart failure in 1994.

In 2001, 61 year-old avant-folk guitarist John Fahey died after suffering complications following heart bypass surgery.

Florence Ballard of the Supremes died of cardiac arrest in 1976.

Andy Warhol, pop artist who produced and managed The Velvet Underground, designed the 1967 Velvet Underground And Nico 'peeled banana' album cover and The Rolling Stones 'Sticky Fingers' album cover, died in 1987.

Born on this day in 1936, Ernie K-Doe (1961 US #1 single with “Mother-in-Law”) K-Doe died on July 5, 2001.

The late Norman "Hurricane" Smith ("Oh Babe, What Would You Say") was born in 1923.


In 1957, famed US dance instructor Arthur Murray reported that enrollment in his dance studios has increased ten percent since the "rock and roll craze" has swept the country.

In 1956, Elvis Presley entered the music charts for the first time with "Heartbreak Hotel."

In 1986, MTV dedicated a full 22 hours broadcast to The Monkees, showing all 45 episodes of the original Monkees TV series.

In 1958, Roy Hamilton's "Don't Let Go" becomes the first stereo single to reach the Billboard chart when it entered at #13.

Scottish group The Average White Band went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1975 with “Pick Up The Pieces,” the bands album AWB also went to #1 on the US chart.

Percy Faith started a 9-week run at #1 on the US chart in 1960 with “Theme From A Summer Place,” a #2 hit in the UK.

In 1969, the Beatles began their sessions for Abbey Road with a take of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)."

In 1968, Genesis released their debut single, "The Silent Sun."

In 1956, today's issue of Billboard reviewed James Brown's debut single, a little song called "Please, Please, Please." "A dynamic, religious fervor runs through the pleading solo here," the magazine raves. "Brown and his group let off plenty of steam."

The Beatles formed their Northern Music Publishing Company. (now owned by Michael Jackson) in 1963. Their single "Please Please Me" spent its first week at #1 on the U.K. charts. Brian Epstein takes the boys out to dinner to celebrate.

This Bud’s For You- In 1979, Rolling Stone reported that Journey have entered into a sponsorship deal with Budweiser in one of the first instances of what will soon become standard music industry practice.

In 2001, the Sunday Mirror listed the Beatles as the biggest money-earners of 2000. Although they no longer exist, the band pulled in a tidy $50 million.

The Silhouettes topped Cash Box Magazine's Best Sellers Chart in 1958 with "Get A Job" after Dick Clark started playing it on his TV show, American Bandstand. The group got their name from the 1957 song by The Rays, (covered by Herman's Hermits in the 60's) and the inspiration for the tune came from writer Rick Lewis' mother, when she chided her son to "get up in the morning and go out and get a job."

In 1989, a category for Heavy Metal was included at the Grammys Awards for the first time. Metallica performed on stage, but the award went to Jethro Tull. Many audience members booed. Meanwhile, Bobby McFerrin won Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year for "Don't Worry, Be Happy," Tracy Chapman was named Best New Artist and Tina Turner won Best Female Rock Vocal Performance for "Tina Live in Europe."

The film "Don't Knock The Rock," featuring appearances by Alan Freed, Little Richard and Bill Haley, opened at the Paramount Theatre in New York in 1957.

In 1986, Fine Young Cannibals had to postpone their appearance at a Boston nightclub after a tear gas bomb goes off in the venue. They finally came onstage and performed at 2 a.m.