Friday, August 14, 2009

Guitar Legend Les Pau Dead At 94

Written by Robert Benson

Les Paul, who invented the solid-body electric guitar and whose studio technology and recording innovations made him one of the most important figures in modern recorded music, passed away on August 13, 2009, from complications from pneumonia. Paul was 94.

From his humble beginnings in Waukesha, Wisconsin (born in 1915), Paul helped to reinvent recorded sound with innovations like multitrack recording techniques which allowed musicians to record different instruments at different times and to sing harmony with themselves and of course the solid-body guitar that bears his name, the Gibson Les Paul. His many recording innovations include effects such as "sound on sound" (or overdubbing) tape delay and phasing effects.

He began his music career at an early age, playing the harmonica and banjo before moving on to the guitar. By age 13 he was performing semi-professionally as a country music artist. By the mid-1930s he joined on with Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians and moved to New York to form the Les Paul Trio. He worked alongside several big band singers, including Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and the Andrews Sisters and in the early 1950s, he and his wife Mary Ford earned 36 gold records for hits including "Vaya Con Dios" and "How High the Moon," which both hit number one. Many of their songs used overdubbing techniques that Paul had helped develop.

Paul's methods of multitrack recording were unique, at the time most recordings were made on a single tape. However, by recording each element separately, from the vocals to instrumentation on different tracks, they could be mixed and layered, adding to the richness in sound.

"I could take my Mary and make her three, six, nine, 12, as many voices as I wished," he recalled. "This is quite an asset."

But it was the Les Paul electric guitar that helped the music industry gain popularity in the mid-to-late 1940s, and then exploded with the advent of rock in the mid-'50s. Some say that Paul’s guitar and studio techniques have as much to do with the birth of rock and roll than some of the most famous singers who are credited early in the genre’s existence.

Paul's innovative guitar, "The Log,” built in 1939, was one of the first solid-body electric guitars and with careful work and planning evolved into the creation of the first solid-body electric guitar, a departure from the hollow-body guitars of the time. Leo Fender's Broadcaster was the first mass-produced solid body electric on the market in the late 1940s and Gibson solicited Paul to create a prototype for a guitar, now known as the The Les Paul series.

"I had to build it, make it and perfect it," Paul said in 2002.

"For 10 years, I was a laugh," he told CNN in an interview. "[But I] kept pounding at them and pounding at them saying hey, here's where it's at. Here's where tomorrow, this is it. You can drown out anybody with it. And you can make all these different sounds that you can't do with a regular guitar."

"Suddenly, it was recognized that power was a very important part of music," Paul once said. "To have the dynamics, to have the way of expressing yourself beyond the normal limits of an unamplified instrument, was incredible. Today a guy wouldn't think of singing a song on a stage without a microphone and a sound system."

Gibson introduced his model in 1952 and the rest, as they say, is history. The Les Paul series has become one of the most widely used guitars in the music industry and became the standard instrument for legends like Pete Townshend (Who) Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Eric Clapton and many other guitar gods.

In the late 1960s, Paul retired from music to concentrate on his inventions. His interest in country music was rekindled in the mid-'70s and he teamed up with Chet Atkins for two albums. By the late 1980s, Paul had returned to active live performance. In 2006, at the age of 90, he won two Grammys for his first official rock album “Les Paul & Friends: American Made World Played.” Among those playing with him were Peter Frampton, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Richie Sambora.

"They're not only my friends, but they're great players," Paul told The Associated Press. "I never stop being amazed by all the different ways of playing the guitar and making it deliver a message."

Accolades and respect from all over the music industry are pouring in, remembering this gentle inventor with the magic fingers and sound.

"He was truly the cornerstone of popular music," said Henry Juskiewicz, chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar, which mass produced Paul's original invention. "He was a futurist, and unlike some futurists who write about it and predict things, he was a guy who actually did things."

“Les lived a very long life and he got to a lot of his goals, so I'm happy for him in that respect. ... At least he realized that he was a legend in his own time while he was alive," said Richie Sambora, Bon Jovi's guitarist and a friend of Paul's, on Thursday. "He was revolutionary in the music business."

“Les Paul was truly a 'one of a kind.' We owe many of his inventions that made the rock 'n roll sound of today to him, and he was the founding father of modern music," B.B. King said in a statement. "This is a huge loss to the music community and the world. I am honored to have known him."

Joe Satriani said in a statement: "Les Paul set a standard for musicianship and innovation that remains unsurpassed. He was the original guitar hero and the kindest of souls. Last October I joined him onstage at the Iridium club in [New York], and he was still shredding. He was and still is an inspiration to us all."

Said Kiss' Paul Stanley: "The name Les Paul is iconic and is known by aspiring and virtuoso guitar players worldwide. That guitar is the cornerstone of a lot of great music that has been made in the last 50 years."

Paul is enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Inventors Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Les Paul now moves on to another place, where he can dazzle them with his guitar skills and prowess. He will be remembered as one of the greatest assets that the music industry ever had the pleasure to work with.

Classic Rock Videos

Brown Sugar-Rolling Stones

Bird And Animal Names In Rock And Roll History- part twenty-five

Let's continue with our series about 'bird' and 'animal names in rock and roll history:

In 1991, Swedish pop singer Meja was visiting a school as part of a music workshop when she was overwhelmed by a young singer named Robin Miriam Carlsson. Meja contacted the young singer’s management and then met with them and Carlsson’s parents to discuss the young singer’s future. Right after she finished her middle school education, Robyn (which was now her “stage” name) signed on with Ricochet Records Sweden (a subsidiary of BMG Music) and collaborated with producers Max Martin and Denniz Pop; who provided the young songstress music in which Robyn would help formulate her gritty, yet popular voice and style.

Already a hit in her native land, Robyn hit the worldwide stage with her dance-pop singles “Show Me Love” (#7 in May of 1997) and “Do You Know (What It Takes),” which also hit number seven ( in November) on the Billboard Top 40 charts.

As the young singer’s popularity grew, especially in the US, she was hired to be the supporting act for the 1997 Backstreet Boys tour. But the singer was diagnosed with exhaustion and had to return to Sweden to recover and rest.

Robyn’s recording career rebounded with her 1999 album “My Truth.” With her single called “Electric,” she peaked at the number two position in Sweden and the song received heavy air play all across Europe. But there were internal management problems (the record company RCA, wanted to re-record parts of the release so it would be more US-radio friendly) and Robyn did not want to at change her sound, therefore the album was not released in the states.

After Robyn’s song “Say You’ll Walk The Distance” was included in the soundtrack for the film On The Line, Robyn switched record labels (from RCA to Jive Records) and released the album “Don’t Stop The Music” in Sweden in 2002. Popular singles from the album included the title track and “Keep This Fire Burning.”

Tired of the restraints that her labels put upon her musical aspirations and sound, Robyn left Jive Records in 2005 to start her own record label called Konichiwa Records. She released her new single called “Be Mine!” in March of 2005, and followed that with a new studio album, which garnered rave reviews for the Swedish soulstress. She also earned three Swedish Grammy Awards in 2006, for Best Album, Best Writer as well as Best Pop Female. Three more critically acclaimed singles were released including “Who’s That Girl,”“Handle Me” and “Crash and Burn Girl.”

In March of 2007, her new album “Konichiwa Bitches” hit the charts. New songs such as “With Every Heartbeat” and “Cobra Style,” were released digitally with the cut “With Every Heartbeat” peaking at number one on the UK singles charts in August of 2007.

Konichiwa Records signed an international licensing agreement with Universal Music Group and helped launch and distribute Robyn's music globally (releases in the UK are issued under the Island Records label). An EP, "The Rakamonie" was released in January 2008 under Cherrytree Records, a subsidiary of Interscope, and the US edition of Robyn was released in April 2008. "With Every Heartbeat," "Handle Me" and "Cobrastyle" were top ten club hits, and the former received airplay at US pop and dance radio stations. Robyn was also visible in the US in 2007 when Britney Spears released the single "Piece of Me," which contains Robyn's backing vocals. She was also featured on the Fyre Department remix of "Sexual Eruption" by rapper Snoop Dogg.

Robyn stated to Aftonbladet, a Swedish newspaper site that she wants to start recording a new album in the beginning of 2009. Her global popularity continues to grow and we will be hearing more from this talented songstress for years to come.

The revolving door project of famed drummer, programmer, band leader and Cleveland native, Anton Fier, is a band called the Golden Palominos. After playing with the group The Feelies and later the punk-jazz outfit called the Lounge Lizards (we will cover them in an upcoming article) as well as the legendary new wave band Pere Ubu,” Fier relocated to New York City and founded the first Golden Palominos line up in 1981.

Their self-titled debut album is a record that exemplifies the group’s downtown New York origins and spotlights the avant-funk sounds of the cut “Material.” The music is eclectic, experimental (including hip-hop turntables, which was a new sound, especially in 1983) and even included clarinets that were played underwater and was augmented by multi-instrumentalist John Zorn. The sound is definitely an acquired taste and certainly can be considered underground music.

After abandoning the experimental sounds of the first album and most of its players, the group did a left turn, so to speak, and released the folk-pop oriented album called “Visions Of Excess” in 1985. The group’s nucleus of Fier (drums), Bill Laswell (bass), Jody Harris (guitar) and Bernie Worrell (keyboards), played superbly among a stable of guest vocalists including Jack Bruce, and newcomers Syd Straw and Michael Stipe. One song, "The Animal Speaks", featured a pronounced, punk-like electric guitar part and vocals by The Sex Pistols' John Lydon. Adding guest musicians such as Richard Thompson, Henry Kaiser and Mike Hampton, it is an irresistible and extraordinary release of pop melodies and rock.

Another all-star line up was formed for the group’s next release in 1986’s“Blast Of Silence.” The band brings in more guest musicians including T-Bone Burnett, Matthew Sweet, Nicky Skopelitis and Peter Bleguad (among others), and adeptly blends country, folk and blues, all the while maintaining a tight cohesiveness.

The moody 1989 album called “A Dead Horse” lacks the energy of previous releases and did not fair as well as other albums. But the Palomino’s score again with another all-star line up (including an appearance by Rolling Stones member Mick Taylor, Stipe, Thompson and Sugar/Husker Du guitarist Bob Mould) with the 1991 album entitled “Drunk With Passion.” The album “This Is How It Feels” was released in 1993 and the group adds vocalists Lori Carlson and three songs sung by Lydia Kavanaugh. A concept album, inspired by the Graham Greene novel “The End of The Road,” the record spotlighted the talents of Carson (who co-wrote all the songs on which she sings) and guest musicians Bootsy Collins, Nicky Skopelitis and Bernie Worrell.

In 1994, using much of the same aforementioned players, the Golden Palominos released the shimmering, experimental pop sounds of the album “Pure.” For the1996 album entitled “Dead Inside” (which would prove to be the group’s last album), the band was ‘stripped down’ to essentially a trio of Fier, ex-Psychedelic Furs guitarist Knox Chandler and poet/vocalist Nicole Blackman and focused on Blackman’s dark, death obsessed lyrics.

In the late 90's, other members of the band formed a new band called Lapdog and released a studio album entitled “Near Tonight” in 2001. Lapdog released another album in 2002 called “Mayfly,” but since then have kept a fairly low profile, occasionally getting together to play.

Singer/songwriter Seal released a critically acclaimed self-titled debut in 1991 and mixing elements of soul, folk, pop and rock, charted with the song “Crazy,” which peaked at number seven on the Billboard Top 40 charts. (The video for the song showed off Seal’s distinctive facial scars which are the result of a skin ailment) But, it was his next release, again a self-titled album (1994) where Seal really came into his own with a Top 40 hit called “Prayer For The Dying.” The release got a second chance when a song from the LP, “Kiss From A Rose” (1995) was included on the Batman Forever soundtrack. The song propelled Seal to superstardom as the song became the number one pop single in America, spending a total of twelve weeks at the top of the adult contemporary charts and an amazing forty-five week run. Additionally, Seal was awarded a Grammy award for Best Song, Best Record and Male Pop Vocal of the Year.

In 1996, Seal contributed a cover of Steve Miller’s 1977 top ten hit “Fly Like An Eagle” for the movie soundtrack Space Jam. Seals’ third LP (1998) contained the singles “Human Beings,” “Latest Craze” and the song “Lost My Faith.” But the next album called “Togetherland” failed, either because Seal cancelled the project or the record was turned down by his recording company (Warner Brothers). Even so, one single was released from the album. "This Could Be Heaven" was released in the US and featured on The Family Man soundtrack.

Seal then released another self-titled LP in 2003 which provided the hit singles “Waiting For You,” “Get It Together” and “Love’s Divine.” He added a greatest hits album in 2004, "Seal: Best 1991-2004," which included a cover of Echo & the Bunnymen's song "Lips Like Sugar" and a cover of the Burt Bacharach/ Hal David classic "Walk On By." In June of 2005, Seal recorded a special concert, "One Night to Remember" which was released in 2006 as a CD/DVD combo. The DVD included the live performances and backstage footage. It was recorded in a historic steel mill, the Altes Kesselhaus (‘old boiler house’), in Düsseldorf, Germany and includes his version of Brahms' Lullaby, which Seal sang in German and then English. Seal was also accompanied by his band, a full orchestra and choir of 52 musicians.

His next release, "System," was in November 2007 and Seal described the album as a return to his dance roots and his best album since his debut. However, it is his lowest selling LP to date in the US, but was mildly successful in Europe.

Seal released an album of covers of eleven soul classics in the 2008 LP, appropriately called "Soul." The album was produced by David Foster, and co-produced, engineered and mixed by Jochem van der Saag. The album peaked at #1 on French Album Charts for 13 consecutive weeks and included covers of such classic as "Stand By Me," "If You Don't Know Me By Now" and "A Change Is Gonna Come;" which was the lead single. Seal continues to tour and delight audiences with his vocal talent and love for his music.

Robyn Tidbits:

Robyn's parents are actors, and she herself was involved in acting at the age of 9, having an extra role in Kronbruden at the Swedish theatre Dramaten. She was discovered by the Swedish pop singer Meja while singing about her parents' divorce.

After the release of her second album in 1999, My Truth, Robyn became a UNICEF ambassador and visited, among other countries, Kenya and Tanzania. During her two years of dedicating herself to this work, she intended to draw attention to UNICEF and their worldwide work for children in need of aid.

Robyn completed a short U.S. tour to promote Robyn, and was the supporting act for Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour at select European dates in 2008. In January 2009, Robyn won a Swedish Grammis Award for Best Live Act 2008; in her acceptance speech, she said that Madonna was to thank for the prize.

Golden Palominos Tidbits:

In 1997, The Palominos released another EP, named “Dead Outside,” composed of five remixes of tracks from “Dead Inside.” However, this EP was released as free MP3s on the Internet and also through a fan-created band website (since decommissioned).

"Dead Outside" consisted of these five remixes, which were available for download for one month only, as per Fier's instructions: 'Victim: The Last Thing' by Sean Beavan (whose credits include 8MM/Nine Inch Nails/Marilyn Manson) with John Van Eaton (a frequent Blackman collaborator who has worked with NIN for 10 years) 'Ride: Pragmatic Spasmatic' by Raymond Watts (of KMFDM/Pig) "Belfast: Empty As Wire" by Scanner (another Blackman collaborator) "Ride" by Mark Walk (of Ruby) "Victim: Interference" by John Van Eaton.

Both Syd Straw and Lori Carson have gone on to moderately successful and critically acclaimed solo careers, with Carson a frequent contributor to television shows and movies.

Much of the Golden Palominos' work has become increasingly hard to find, just a few best-of compilations are available: two A History collections on Celluloid both released in 1992; a German collection released in 1997; and 2002's collection “Run Pony Run.” However, none include any material from “Drunk With Passion” onward.

Seal Tidbits:

Seal proposed to German supermodel Heidi Klum on December 24, 2004 at 7,000 ft, in an igloo on a glacier in Whistler, British Columbia.

On Thursday April 16, 2009, Seal confirmed to the press and his audience at Radio City Music Hall that Klum was pregnant with their fourth child, a girl.

On June 11, 2009, Seal, on tour with his new album “Soul,” revealed, "It is nice to be in newspapers and magazines for something other than my marriage." He said his marriage may take away the attention, but doesn't detract from what he loves doing: making music.

Written by Robert Benson

Copyright 2009

Music News & Notes

Kid Cudi Artwork

The official artwork for Kid Cudi’s upcoming album “Man on the Moon: The End of Day” has been officially unveiled. Originally pushed back because the artwork was not yet completed, a release date of September 15th has been announced, with these images serving as the regular and deluxe edition cover art.


Michael Jackson's 1983 Motown Moonwalk Glove Set For Auction

The glove, worn during Jackson's performance of 'Billie Jean' at Motown's 25th-anniversary TV special in 1983 (during his first televised moonwalk) is expected to fetch between $40,000 and $60,000.

Unlike the late singer's later custom-made crystal gloves, this one was store-bought and customised with rhinestones. It is also left-handed, where as Jackson's others were made for his right hand.

The glove has been in the care of founding Commodores member Walter 'Clyde' Orange since Jackson gave it him as a gift in 1983.

Proceeds from the sale will benefit MusiCares, which helps musicians struggling with substance abuse.

Other items at the Music Icons auction, which will take place at The Hard Rock Cafe in New York this November, include Jimi Hendrix lyrics and a Madonna demo tape.


ALICE IN CHAINS: 'Black Gives Way To Blue' Artwork Unveiled

The cover artwork for "Black Gives Way To Blue", the highly anticipated new album from ALICE IN CHAINS.

"Black Gives Way To Blue" is ALICE IN CHAINS' first new studio release in more than 10 years. The quartet (guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell, drummer Sean Kinney, bassist Mike Inez and guitarist/vocalist William DuVall) recorded the album with producer Nick Raskulinecz (RUSH, FOO FIGHTERS) at Studio 606 in Northridge, CA and Henson Studios in Hollywood.

The track listing for the CD is as follows:

01. All Secrets Known
02. Check My Brain
03. Last Of My Kind
04. Your Decision
05. A Looking In View
06. When The Sun Rose Again
07. Acid Bubble
08. Lessons Learned
09. Take Her Out
10. Private Hell
11. Black Gives Way To Blue


Lennon Lyrics

Song lyrics John Lennon scrawled on a postcard approximately 40 years ago are going on display in an English exhibit assembled by his first wife Cynthia and son Julian for the first time ever, the BBC reports.


'The Beatles: Rock Band' Track-Listing Unveiled

The tracks unveiled range from 'I Saw Her Standing There' and 'Twist and Shout' from the 1963 album Please Please Me to the reworked 'Within You Without You/ Tomorrow Never Knows' from 2006's Love.

The identity of the 45th track is for some reason a closely guarded secret, although 'Hey Jude' seems an all too glaring omission.

The track-listing is as follows:

I Want To Hold Your Hand
I Feel Fine
Day Tripper
Paperback Writer
Don't Let Me Down

Please Please Me (1963)
I Saw Her Standing There
Do You Want To Know A Secret
Twist and Shout

With the Beatles (1963)
I Wanna Be Your Man

A Hard Day's Night (1964)
A Hard Day's Night
Can't Buy Me Love

Beatles For Sale (1964)
Eight Days a Week

Help! (1965)
Ticket To Ride

Rubber Soul (1965)
Drive My Car
I'm Looking Through You
If I Needed Someone

Revolver (1966)
Yellow Submarine
And Your Bird Can Sing

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band/With a Little Help From My Friends
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
Getting Better
Good Morning Good Morning

Magical Mystery Tour (1967)
I Am The Walrus
Hello Goodbye

The White Album (1968)
Dear Prudence
Back In the U.S.S.R.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Helter Skelter

Yellow Submarine (1969)
Hey Bulldog

Abbey Road (1969)
Come Together
Octopus's Garden
I Want You (She's So Heavy)
Here Comes the Sun

Let It Be (1970)
Dig a Pony
I Me Mine
I Got a Feeling
Get Back

Love (2006)
Within You Without You/ Tomorrow Never Knows


LITA FORD: 'Wicked Wonderland' Vinyl To Feature Different Artwork

'80s hard rock queen Lita Ford will release her first new studio album in 14 years, "Wicked Wonderland", in Europe on October 2 via earMUSIC/Edel. The set will be issued in the U.S. on October 6 through Lita's own JLRG Entertainment label as a regular CD and limited-edition vinyl with different artwork (see below).

"It's harder and sexier than anything I've ever done," says Lita of the record, which was co-produced by Ford, her husband and former NITRO singer Jim Gillette, and Greg Hampton, the songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer known for his work with ALICE COOPER, his band SCIENCE FAXTION (with Bootsy Collins and Buckethead and Brain from GUNS N' ROSES) and other rock notables. Lita is backed on the record by drummer Stet Howland, formerly of W.A.S.P., Hampton on bass, rhythm guitar and keyboards, Gillette on background vocals, and its vivid cover art is by ROB ZOMBIE bassist and solo artist Piggy D.

LP Cover

This Date In Music History-August 14


Dash Crofts - Seals and Crofts (1940)

David Crosby – Byrds/CSN&Y (1941)

Gil Bridges - Rare Earth (1942)

Larry Graham - Sly and The Family Stone/Graham Central Station (1946)

George Newsome - Climax Blues Band (1947)

Terry Adams – NRBQ (1950)

Slim Dunlap – Replacements (1951)

Sharon Bryant - Atlantic Starr (1956)

Mark Collins – Charlatans (1965)

Tanya Donelly - Throwing Muses/Breeders (1966)

Kevin Cadogan - Third Eye Blind (1970)

Ana Matronic, (Ana Lynch) - Scissor Sisters (1974)

They Are Missed:

Johnny Burnette died in a boating accident on Clear Lake in California in 1964.

In 1965, Carl Fizer of the Olympics ("Western Movies") was shot and killed during rioting in the Watts section of Los Angeles.

In 1971, the great King Curtis ("Soul Twist") was stabbed to death in New York. As well as playing for the Coasters and blowing on his own hits, Curtis led Aretha Franklin's band the Kingpins.

Lead singer, poet and frontman of Hawkwind Robert Calvert died of a heart attack in 1988. He was a member of Hawkwind from 1972-1979.

In 1988, guitarist Roy Buchanan died after hanging himself by his own shirt in Fairfax County Jail, Virginia after being arrested for drunkenness. Buchanan released over 15 solo albums; Jeff Beck dedicated the song “Cause We've Ended As Lovers” to Buchanan in 1975 on his Blow by Blow album.

Tony Williams lead singer with The Platters died in his sleep of emphysema in 1992 (age 64). He sang most of the group’s hits up until 1961 when he was replaced by Sonny Turner

In 2002, Dave Williams lead singer of US heavy rock band Drowning Pool was found dead on the band’s tour bus during Ozzy Osbournes Ozzfest tour in Manassas, Virginia. The autopsy concluded that he suffered from a form of heart disease.

Edith Wong, a promoter who booked bands like the Police, X, the Go-Gos, Oingo Boingo, the Motels, the Knack, the Textones and Plane English at her string of Madame Wong's clubs in Los Angeles, died in 2005 (age 88).


Etta James hits #1 on the R&B chart in 1955 with "The Wallflower" and #6 on the R&B chart with "Good Rockin Daddy".

NBC pulled the plug on the popular Nat King Cole Show in 1957 after a yearlong search for a sponsor. Cole said, "The advertising agencies are afraid of the dark. They don't take any chances. I think the show can be sold if the agency men look at it from a money point of view rather than from that of a race issue. The network likes me and so do the TV viewers." Nat's show had attracted quality guests like Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, and Harry Belafonte.

Unhappy with drummer Pete Best's role in The Beatles Brian Epstein and the other three members decide to fire him in 1962. Best played his last gig the following night at The Cavern, Liverpool. Ringo Starr who was nearing the end of a three-month engagement with Rory Storm & the Hurricanes at a Butlin's holiday camp received a telephone call from John Lennon, asking him to join The Beatles. Ringo gave Rory Storm three days notice and on August 18, appeared as a member of The Beatles for the first time.

In 1964, the Beatles cut Little Willie John's "Leave My Kitten Alone" at EMI Studios in London. Intended for album 'Beatles For Sale' ('Beatles '65' in the US), it was left off and remained unreleased until 'Anthology 1' in 1995.

Sonny & Cher started a three week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1965 with “I Got You Babe.”

The McCoys' "Hang On Sloopy" was released in 1965.

Little Anthony & The Imperials, (Steve Van Zandt’s band), The Shadows and The Castiles (with Bruce Springsteen on vocals) all appeared at the Surf ‘n See Club in Seabright New Jersey in 1966.

In 1966, London's Catholic Herald calls John Lennon's apology for his remark about the Beatles being more popular than Jesus Christ, "arrogant." However the publication admits, as Lennon asserted, it's probably true. Amen.

Rod Stewart released "Maggie May" in 1971. It became his breakthrough single in the U.S., going to #1.

In 1989, after decades of mass bootlegging by Soviet Rock fans, Bon Jovi’s “New Jersey” LP becomes the first U.S. album legally released in the Soviet Union. The group’s first royalty payment is a truckload of firewood. No joke! It’s because rubles, the Soviet currency, can’t leave the country.

In 1999, 765,000 tickets to a Backstreet Boys North American tour were sold in one day.

Sun Records became a National Historic Landmark in 2003. Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King, Johnny Cash and, of course, Elvis Presley started their careers there. Countless others recorded there before and after. It’s the first recording studio to be named a Historic Landmark.

Faith Hill was at #1 on the US chart in 2005 with “Fireflies,” Hill's third consecutive album to debut at #1 on both the country and Billboard album charts.

John Lennon's solo catalog was available for purchase on iTunes in 2007. "John would have loved the fact that his music will now be available in a format suited to a new generation of listeners," says Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono.