Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rock/Pop Tidbits

Elvis Presley was a devoted animal lover. He owned dogs, mules, horses, peacocks, chickens, a turkey and had a silly mynah bird that said, “Elvis! Go to hell!”

We all know that Elvis loved his food. “I like it well-done,” the legendary icon stated. “I ain’t ordering a pet.”

While we are on the subject, it seems that rowdy Allman Brother Dickey Betts was out riding his motorcycle one day and he was hungry. So he stopped his machine, jumped a fence and killed a cow. As he was butchering the animal, a cop passed by and quickly arrested the bloody Brother.

The first known million selling recording was by Ben Selvin and his Orchestra. It was a two sided hit featuring "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" and "Darandella," recorded in 1919.

Guitarist Henry Gross, who hit the US charts in 1976 with "Shannon", was one of the founding members of the rock and roll revival group, Sha Na Na.

For the year 2005, the top earning dead celebrity in the US was Elvis Presley, who still generated $45 million worth of business. John Lennon was third with $22 million.

The Beatles 4th UK #1 single, "Can't Buy Me Love", had advanced sales of over 2.1 million, setting the record for the greatest advanced orders in the UK.

The most expensive guitar in the world is a Fender Stratocaster once owned by Eric Clapton. Nicknamed "Blackie", it sold at auction for $959,500. on June 25th, 2004.

In early 1957, RCA Records released two versions of a song called "Young Love", one by Tab Hunter, the other by Sonny James. Both records caught on and by the first week of March, Hunter's rendition was number one in the US, while James' version was number 4.

When Cher topped the Billboard Hot 100 with "Believe" in March, 1999, she became the first female over the age of 50 to have a chart topping record.

When Elvis was drafted into the US Army in March, 1958, his monthly pay went from $100,000 to $78.

Bobby "Boris" Pickett, who topped the Billboard Pop chart in 1962 with "The Monster Mash", once had his tour bus break down outside of a town called Frankenstein, Missouri.

When asked about their controversial hit song "One Toke Over The Line" during an interview with Brewer and Shipley, they said that "toke" had nothing to do with marijuana, but meant token or ticket. Hence the line about "sittin' downtown in a railway station."

When The Beatles' single "Ticket To Ride" was first issued, the fine print under the title said "From the United Artists Release Eight Arms To Hold You", which was the original name for the film Help!

The bass drum head with the Beatles logo that Ringo Starr used during the band's first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show was bought by a memorabilia collector in the mid-1990s for around $50,000. By 2006, it's estimated value had risen to half-a-million dollars.

Jethro Tull's 1968 debut single, "Sunshine Day" was erroneously credited to Jethro Toe.

When Roberta Flack was awarded a gold record for her 1973, number one hit, "Killing Me Softly With His Song", she wanted to listen to her song etched in gold. She removed the disc from its frame and placed it on a turntable, only to hear "Come Softly to Me" by The Fleetwoods.

The studio musicians who recorded the music for many "bubblegum" hits credited to The 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Ohio Express and many others, were actually former members of The Shadows of Knight, who had a hit of their own with "Gloria".

In February and March, 1964, The Beatles sold 60% of all the records sold in the U.S.

This Date In Music History-August 30


Singer Kitty Wells, later dubbed the Queen of Country Music, was born in Nashville in 1919. She's best remembered for "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels," which became the first single by a woman to top the country charts.

Rockabilly star Dale Hawkins, who recorded the immortal hit "Suzie Q," was born in 1938

John McNally - Searchers (1941)

Charles Colbert - American Breed (1944)

Mick Moody - Whitesnake (1950)

Ronald Beitle - Wild Cherry (1954)

Martin Jackson - Magazine (1958)

Aaron Barrett - Reel Big Fish (1980)

George Ryan Ross III - Panic at the Disco (1986)

They Are Missed:

Born on this day in 1935, John Phillips, The Mamas and the Papas. Phillips died of heart failure (age 65) on March 18, 2001.

Born today in 1939, John Peel, BBC radio DJ and TV presenter. Longest running BBC Radio 1 and most influential British DJ ever. Died in Cuzco, Peru of a heart attack on October 25, 2004 (age 65).

In 1995, Sterling Morrison founder member of the Velvet Underground died of cancer at his home in New York City two days after his 53rd birthday. The guitarist left the group in August 1971 and re-joined in 1992 for a European tour. During the 80’s he became the Captain of a Houston tugboat.


Bobby Darin's "Mack the Knife" debuts on the pop charts in 1959. The song from the "Three Penny Opera" will be Darin's biggest hit.

The Beatles appeared at the Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, California in 1965. Tickets cost $3.00.

The Beatles' "Hey Jude" was released in 1968.

The three day Texas Pop Festival took place in 1969 featuring Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Sam & Dave, Santana, Johnny Winter, Grand Funk Railroad, Delaney & Bonnie, Nazz, Spirit, BB King, Canned Heat and Chicago. Over 120,000 fans attended the festival.

Two weeks after the Woodstock festival, the second Isle of Wight festival took place in 1969. Over 150,000 turned up over the two days to see Bob Dylan, The Band, Blodwyn Pig, Blonde On Blonde, Bonzo Dog Dooh Dah Band, Edgar Broughton Band, Joe Cocker, Aynsley Dunbar, Family, Fat Mattress, Julie Felix, Free, Gypsy, Richie Havens, The Moody Blues, The Nice, Tom Paxton, Pentangle, The Pretty Things, Third Ear Band and The Who.

In 1969, one hit wonders Zager and Evans started a six week run at #1 with "In The Year 2525." The song that was written by Rick Evens in 1964.

In 1972, John Lennon and Yoko Ono played Madison Square Gardens to raise money for the One to One charity. Stevie Wonder, Sha Na Na and Roberta Flack also appeared at the event. Lennon personally bought $60,000 worth of tickets which were given to volunteer fund-raisers. Several of the performances were later included on Lennon’s, Live in New York City album.

After two so-so albums, the post Jim Morrison Doors broke up in 1973.

KC and the Sunshine Band went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1975 with, "Get Down Tonight," the group's first of five #1 hits.

Cher mades one of her unannounced visits in 1980. This time it's as lead singer with Black Rose, the band led by her former love, guitarist Les Dudek. It happened at a show in New York's Central Park.

The Rolling Stones released their "Tattoo You" album in 1981. From the album, "Start Me Up," is driven into the ground at professional sporting events, especially football, before becoming a Microsoft theme song. Who can say "no" to $12 million?

Steve Winwood's "Higher Love" hit #1 on the singles chart in 1986.

In 1988, John Denver, who wants to ride on a Soviet spaceship, undergoes an astronaut-style physical at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Rapper Dr. Dre (real name Andre Young) was sentenced to 8 months in jail in 1994 after he pleads no contest to drunk driving charges. Young had been arrested in January following a high-speed chase through Beverly Hills, CA.

James Taylor and ex-wife Carly Simon reunited in 1995 for their first concert together in 16 years on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Today in 1997 the song "Mo Money Mo Problems" by The Notorious B.I.G. topped the charts and stayed there for 2 weeks.

Music News & Notes

KISS: New Commercial For Upcoming Album, Tour Posted Online

A 30-second commercial promoting KISS' upcoming album, "Sonic Boom", and the Alive 35 Tour can be viewed below.

"Sonic Boom" will be released in Europe on October 5 via Loud & Proud/Roadrunner Records. The CD will be made available on October 6 in the U.S. and Canada exclusively via Wal-Mart, and Sam's Club retail locations.

"Sonic Boom", produced by Paul Stanley in Los Angeles, is the centerpiece of a three-disc set that also features a completely re-recorded greatest hits CD (previously available in Japan) as well as a live DVD shot in Argentina during the band's recent, record-breaking KISS Alive 35 South American tour. The CD set will retail for $12, with pre-orders starting in September on

KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons says, "'Sonic Boom' may be the best new record we've done since 'Destroyer'! It is 'Rock And Roll Over' meets 'Love Gun'. The world's biggest retailer had better get ready for the hottest band in the world and hire more cashiers before October 6!"

Stanley adds, "Through all of the albums that are considered our classics, we tried to always find ways to give our fans extras that went beyond just the music. Besides our making the best KISS album in decades, Wal-Mart has made it possible for us to include a bonus CD with 15 of our most famous songs and an additional live DVD, shot during our recent concert in Buenos Aires. So in every sense, 'Sonic Boom' is the ultimate return to classic KISS form. You wanted the best, you got the best!"

Wal-Mart, one of America's largest music retailers, is finalizing its exciting plans now for its in-store and online destinations for KISS fans surrounding the launch of the new album and tour, and will host various KISS products in addition to their music in its stores this fall. More details on Wal-Mart KISS activity, announcements regarding album pre-sales, sweepstakes and KISS appearances will be shared shortly.

"Sonic Boom" track listing:

01. Modern Day Delilah
02. Russian Roulette
03. Never Enough
04. Yes I Know (Nobody's Perfect)
05. Stand
06. Hot And Cold
07. All For The Glory
08. Danger Us
09. I'm An Animal
10. When Lightning Strikes
11. Say Yeah

Re-recorded KISS classics:

01. Deuce
02. Detroit Rock City
03. Shout It Out Loud
04. Hotter Than Hell
05. Calling Dr. Love
06. Love Gun
07. I Was Made For Lovin' You
08. Heaven's On Fire
09. Lick It Up
10. I Love It Loud
11. Forever
12. Christine Sixteen
13. Do You Love Me?
14. Black Diamond
15. Rock And Roll All Nite

KISS bonus live DVD track listing:

01. Deuce
02. Hotter Than Hell
03. C'mon And Love Me
04. Watchin' You
05. 100,000 Years
06. Rock & Roll All Nite


SYCRONOMICA: 'Sycroscope' Artwork, Track Listing Revealed

Munich, Germany-based "epic black metal" band SYCRONOMICA will release its third album, "Sycroscope", on October 23 via the Bavarian label Silverwolf Productions. The CD was recorded at Munich's Helion Studios, where both of SYCRONOMICA's previous albums — "Paths" (2004) and "Gate" (2006) — were tracked. The cover artwork was created by drummer Michael Bayer.

A special CD-release show will be held at the Helion Festival II in Munich on October 24 (alongside such acts as EQUILIBRIUM, DEBAUCHERY, SUIDAKRA, DARK FORTRESS, RIGER).


DARZAMAT: New Song Posted Online

Polish dark metallers DARZAMAT are streaming a brand new track, "Chimera", on their MySpace page. The song comes off the band's fifth full-length studio album, "Solfernus' Path", which is scheduled for release on August 28 in Europe via Massacre Records and in Japan through Spiritual Beast Records. The CD was recorded in Poland under the supervision of Jaroslaw Toifl, with whom the band had previously worked on 2005's "Transkarpatia" (Metal Mind Productions in Europe, MVD in the USA). There are two great guests on the album: KING DIAMOND's Andy La Rocque (guitar solo in "King of the Burning Anthems") and STONE SOUR's Roy Mayorga (opening intro). The artwork for the new CD was created by Agency, which has previously worked with such bands as DEATHSTARS and BEHEMOTH. The album was mixed by Jonas Kljellgren (SCAR SYMMETRY guitarist) of Black Lounge Studios in Avesta, Sweden.


ARKONA: New Album Details Revealed

Moscow, Russia-based "Slavic pagan metal" band ARKONA will release its new album, "Goi, Rode, Goi!", via Napalm Records on the following dates:

Oct. 28 - Finland, Spain
Oct. 30 - GAS, Benelux, France, Italy, Sweden
Nov. 02 - Rest of Europe
Nov. 03 - USA, Canada

The CD was recorded at CDM Records studio between October 2008 and May 2009 except the drums, which were recorded at Gigant studio, and the guitars, which were recorded at Astia studio.

"Goi, Rode, Goi!" contains a 15-minute song called "Na Moey Zemle" ("In My Land"), which is being described as "a kind of pagan metal opera about the travelling of Slav around countries of Europe." The CD artwork was created by Kris Verwimp (THYRFING, MÃ…NEGARM).