Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Birth Of Rock And Roll In Wisconsin

Here's a wonderful post from another blog, the owner Joe Knapp was kind enough to allow me to repost this historical material. I want to send an sincere thank you for Joe allowing to me post his material. I hope to learn more about the local history of early rock and roll, in the meantime, read some of the history of the local Milwaukee scene as it was some fifty years ago!

About The Author Joe Knapp Milwaukee, WI, United States
I'm President/CEO of A-Ware Software in Milwaukee, makers of MusicMaster, the #1 Windows-based music scheduling software in the world. I'm a record collector, huge poker fan, and former radio engineer, disc jockey, and programmer.

Johnny Coy (aka Stan Cook) of WAPL Radio in Appleton circa 1956

Let's spin our magic radio dial back to 1956 and tune in WAPL in Appleton, Wisconsin. Stan Cook, who's real name was Johnny Coy, was on the air. His co-workers included Bob Bandy, Smiley Riley (who later moved to WLS in Chicago as Ron Riley), and Jack Gardner. One evening, Johnny Coy was watching a two piece polka band called The Rockin-Rhythm-Airs perform at a local theatre in nearby Neenah, Wisconsin. He felt the group was pretty talented, so he and fellow dee-jay Jack Gardner offered to become the group's managers. They accepted the offer. Johnny and Jack outfitted every member of the group with a white cap and changed the group's name to The White Caps, a name that may have been inspired by Gene Vincent's Blue Caps. Johnny started booking the White Caps into several local clubs, such as the Riverside Ballroom in Green Bay, the Cinderella Ballroom in Appleton, the Eagles Ballroom in Oshkosh, along with various other clubs and schools around Wisconsin. He even got them a gig at The Prom, which was all the way across the state and into Minnesota (Minneapolis).

This is the original lineup of Johnny Edwards With The White Caps. From left to right: Jerry Stengl, Johnny Edwards, Jack Gardner, Jerry (Gerald) Van Dynhoven, and Ricky Leigh (Ricky Lee Smolinski). Gerald became known later as Jerry Williams.

Founding member Gerald Van Dynhoven recalls, "We were playing before Rock 'n' Roll started. I was still in high school and we played at weddings, churches and school dances." The release of Rock Around The Clock by Bill Haley And The Comets changed everything. "We switched to rock, started looking for more musicians and changed our name to The Rockin-Rhythm-Airs," Williams said. "We knew this new sound was going to be something."

In January 1957, the group assembled at Northland Sound Studios at 531 Third Street in Wausau, Wisconsin. This was the home of Northland Records, a label run by Duke Wright. The White Caps recorded two songs in that session to be published on their first 45 RPM single. The songs were Rock 'N Roll Saddles and Why'd You Leave Me? Both had been written by Ricky Lee, the guitar player. This record has come to be known by collectors as the very first "rock and roll" record ever made in Wisconsin.

It's not clear exactly how many pressings were made of this record, but the number is not very large. The first 500 were made with a white label and listed the artist as simply The Whitecaps. Another 500 were pressed, again on the white label, but with the artist credits changed to Johnny Edwards With The White Caps. The white label started to scorch, so they changed to a maroon label and made around 2000 more copies using both variations of the artist name.

The record got quite a bit of airplay around Wisconsin, but it never caught on nationally. They did manage to get the record played on TV's American Bandstand in one of that show's famous song rating segments.

The White Caps disbanded around 1959. Some members went on to play successfully with other groups, while others left the music business and moved on to other ventures.

Pete Miller - Ricky Lee - Jerry Stengl

Jack Gardner - Johnny Coy

Pete Miller - Jerry Stengl

Johnny Edwards - Jack Gardner

Ricky Lee - Johnny Edwards - Jack Gardner

Ricky Lee - Johnny Edwards - Jack Gardner

Johnny Edwards

Ricky Lee (Smolinski)

Ricky Lee (with his White Cap on!)

Ricky Lee (also spelled Rick Leigh sometimes), born Richard Lee Smolinski, was a fantastic guitar player who, at the age of 15, was already showing his guitar teacher how to play! He was just 17 when he wrote these two songs for the White Caps and played lead guitar on the record. Rick continued playing as a member of various groups in the Appleton area for a while. He received a masters degree from Lawrence College, retired from the music scene, and is now working as a computer programmer in Green Bay. Rick's son is a also musician and, as his proud father says, "He is better than I ever was."

Pete Miller replaced Gerald Van Dynhoven on the drums and stayed with the White Caps for one year. He moved on to work with Jerry Williams And The Rockets for a while.

The Jitterbugs

Dave Pozolinski replaced Pete on the drums, and he's still living in the Appleton area. He had been playing drums with a polka combo called The Jitterbugs in Menasha, Wisconsin (above photo). That group also included Ricky Lee Smolinski on lead guitar. Bob Timmers, while still a junior in high school, had also been a member of The Jitterbugs.

Jerry Stengl played piano and accordion. We don't know where Jerry ended up after leaving the White Caps.

Jack Gardner, the dee jay who co-managed the group with Johnny Coy, ended up playing rhythm guitar for the band. He is currently living in Florida and may still be working in the radio business.

Johnny Edwards, who sang lead and played the saxophone, tragically passed away at a very young age due to a heart attack.

Duke Wright

Duke Wright, who was the leader of a polka band and owner of Northland Records, filled in on bass guitar during the recording session. He always joined the group whenever they played around the Wausau area. As the owner of Midwest Communications in Green Bay, Duke has been operating many successful radio stations in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa. He started his radio career in 1958 as a teenage disk jockey at WRIG-AM, a station his family owned in Wausau, Wisconsin. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he returned to manage WRIG-AM. He put WRIG-FM on the air in 1964. This was the beginning of a radio broadcasting career that has spanned over 40 years. He served on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association from 1981 to 1985, and was chairman of that group's Hall of Fame Committee in 1997-1998. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation. By the way, all of Duke's radio stations use MusicMaster to schedule their music! (Thanks, Duke!)

Johnny Coy, the group's manager, left the radio business and became head of security for the Presto Corporation in Appleton, Wisconsin. He was a very humble man who got a twinkle in his eye whenever he recalled his contribution to Rock and Roll in Wisconsin! He was always held in very high regard by the members of the White Caps. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2004 at the age of 84.

The Rockets (1958)

Meanwhile, Jerry (Gerald) Van Dynhoven, who had been the drummer for Rhythmaires And The Rockets, left the White Caps the day before the Northland recording session to form his own band called The Rockets. In the above photo we see the founding members (top row, left to right) Roger Loos (sax) and Jerry Williams (drums), and (lower row left to right) Cliff Peronto (lead guitar), Denny Noie (vocals, rhythm guitar), Larry Russell (vocals, rhythm guitar), and Bill Pable (piano). Jerry was not happy with the way WAPL radio in Appleton was handling the White Caps. He said, "They were really throwing the shaft to us because we were all young kids. Like we were making $60 when they made $1000. So, I broke away!"

In 1958, the band regrouped under the name The Rockets and started performing across Wisconsin. Jerry Van Dynhoven added his first and middle name to dub the band Jerry Williams And The Rockets. Later Jerry's brother Donnie joined the band and began using Williams as his last name. Jerry Williams started out playing drums, but switched to sax and guitar later on. Other members that contributed their talents later included: Jerry Starr, Tom Gebheim, Gary Laabs, Ricky Leigh, Dave Hermsen, Jim Kobs, Dave Yokeum, Pete Miller, Brother Don Van Dynhoven, Dennis Heimerman, Bobby "Bryll" Timmers, and Mike Pluger. The group backed Danny And The Juniors at the Cinderella Ballroom in Appleton on March 16, 1958. They also appeared with Fabian in March 1959 at the Riverside Ballroom in Green Bay. They also backed up other bands like Johnny Cash at the Eagles Club in Oshkosh, and Johnny And The Hurricanes at the Riverside Ballroom.

Carol Bosman started out singing at night clubs with her mother who played guitar and her uncle who played the accordion. Many people compared her to Brenda Lee. She was chosen to become the band's new vocalist after beating out 15 male competitors in auditions. Carol said, "They needed a novelty to top Noie, since Noie left for the military service, and that is why they needed a replacement and brought a girl into the group." She added, "No other band had ever done that, and it became an attraction." Apparently, she was also an attraction to Jerry Williams, and she became attracted to Jerry as well. About six months after joining the group, the two started dating. They ended up getting married to each other in 1961, after which she also started using the last name of Williams! Denny Noie later formed his own group, Denny Noie And The In Crowd, and then worked with the Catalinas, while band-mate Roger Loos ended up working with a Wisconsin rock group called The Temptations.

Jerry eventually got over his early troubles with WAPL, later letting a station dee-jay named Bob Falkner produce his group's only record. which they recorded on January 6, 1962 at the WAPL studios. It was produced by the Gold Star Recording Company in Appleton and released in June 1962 on Rocket 001 (above) and featured an instrumental cover of Blueberry Hill (called Blueberry Lane) on one side, with A Boy Like You, sung by Jerry's wife Carol (formerly Carol Bosman), on the other side. A Boy Like You was a female "answer" cover version of a Gary Stites song from 1959 called A Girl Like You.

Jerry Williams And The Rockets were in head-to-head competition with the White Caps. According to Bob Timmers, who later joined Johnny And The Rockets playing bass guitar, "The White Caps just stood there and played. The Rockets had uniforms, we had Chuck Berry Stuff, we were flying all over the stage, we were doing the showman stuff, so the band was a little more popular." The photo of Jerry Williams And The Rockets shown above was taken in 1961. That's Jerry Williams on the front row left with the sax in his hand. Right next to him is his brother, Donnie Williams (Van Dynhoven), who played drums at this point. In the back row we can see Dennis Heimermann with his bass guitar on the left, Jerry's wife Carol Williams (Van Dynhoven), and Bob Timmers with his rhythm guitar on the right.

The band played at Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) dances, school functions, weddings and night clubs. According to Jerry, it was the Wednesday evening Pierce Park dances in the late '50's and early '60's where the group attained its popularity peak. "Because we were all the same ages as the people out there and playing the kind of music that they liked, we were very popular with the crowds," Jerry said. They won a "best band" contest in Green Bay in 1962. In 1964, when Beatle-Mania hit the country, they continued performing, adopting the sound of the Fab Four.

Here's another photo of the band with Bob Timmers on the far left. Bob was (and still is) a huge fan of guitarist Johnny Meeks of Gene Vincent's Blue Caps. He went on to work with many other rock bands in Wisconsin. He did some British Invasion style music with an actual Brit, Lord Beverly Moss And The Mossmen. Bob's father was the founder of The Bargain Bulletin, a shopping tabloid that still exists today. He worked in the family business for many years, all the while staying tuned in to the music scene. One day he visited the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland where he was disappointed at the lack of early rock and roll and rockabilly displays. He started talking about starting up a Rockabilly Hall Of Fame. With the help of Joe Wajgel, the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame became a reality on March 21, 1997. On June 5, 2000, Bob moved from Wisconsin to Nashville to set up the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame office there. He's living in Tennessee now.

Johnny Williams And The Rockets went into retirement in 1979, but got together again to perform at the Pierce Park Apple Sock dances revival in 1990-1994.

Bill Broege in 1953

Much of the information and photographs in this post came from my friend, Bill Broege. Bill worked as a representative for Columbia/Epic Records for 34 years. Bill had been a close friend of Johnny Coy since they first met in 1957. You will still find Bill selling records at an eight foot table at the vinyl record collector's shows in Milwaukee that take place at Serb Hall on the south side every month or so. Another valuable source of information was Gary E. Myers great book about Wisconsin bands called Do You Hear That Beat, and his follow up book, On That Wisconsin Beat. I also found pieces of the puzzle at the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame website.

If you have any more information about these guys, or you were a former member of the White Caps, Jitterbugs, Rockets, or any other associated group, I'd love to hear from you! Please send me an e-mail ( Now, let me tell you a story about how I managed to get my hands on a copy of this historic record!

Back in April 2003, I bought Great Lakes Music at 78th and Burleigh Streets on the north side of Milwaukee. The previous owner, Doug, had been very sick and the shop had been closed up for about a year. I tracked him down, found out the store was in his brother Dave's name, so I purchased the contents from him. The old store was stuffed full of used records and collectables that filled four very large rooms on two floors. Everything was totally disorganized. Some parts of the store were blocked so badly by stacks of boxes and crap that many of the records hadn't been seen by anyone in many years. I hired a bunch of helpers and we spent a couple of months cleaning it out, sorting the records, and putting them back in on nice shelves and album racks. I merged in a bunch of records from my own collection, and added a few other large collections that I bought from other dealers around the country. The store reopened as Great Lakes Records, one of the best-stocked used record stores in the country. In October, I moved the whole operation to Brookfield, a western suburb of Milwaukee, where I continued to operate it until April 2006 when I sold the inventory to a bunch of guys from New Zealand who operated a chain of stores called Real Groovy Records. Running Great Lakes Records was one of the best experiences of my life!

One day, while the shop was open in Brookfield, a lady walked in with a big cardboard box filled with old records. People used to bring in old records all the time looking to trade them for some cash. Actually, this is the best reason to own a used record shop -- especially if you're a record collector like me! She walked in, set the box down on the floor, and then waited to speak with Gary, who was busy with another customer at the time. Gary Mason practically ran the store for me, especially since I was busy most of the time running my MusicMaster software business. Most of the time, Gary was the guy at the cash register checking out customers. He helped me price records, arrange them on the racks, and keep the racks in the front of the store updated with "good stuff" that had recently arrived for resale. We both liked to go through new arrivals to see what kind of goodies we'd find in there. But, on this particular day, Gary was really busy and I was out of the shop running an errand or something. After a while, the lady got tired of waiting. She told Gary, "I just wanted to drop these off. I don't want anything for them. I just wanted them to go to a good home!" Gary thanked her and she was on her way. We never got her name.

Before Gary finished up with the customers, I came back to the shop and saw the box of new arrivals. Before I did anything else, I pulled that box up to the counter and began digging through it. Most of the time, people brought in records that had no real value at all. Many were "too new" to be valuable. Some were extremely common, such as Fleetwood Mac's Rumors, Boston's first album, Herb Alpert's Whipped Cream And Other Delights, and so on. We already had way too many of those in stock. Some of them were more scarce, but had very little demand among collectors, like big band reissue albums or lounge stuff like Jackie Gleason's Orchestra. Some had both factors working against them, such as the Firestone Christmas Albums. We once filled a 40 foot dumpster to the top with overstock of these albums! I think they were given away free at tire stores and gas stations and everybody in the world got one! Sometimes, someone would walk in with a bunch of fairly valuable records, such as the good soul stuff, or a rare variation of a Beatles album. Unfortunately, too often these used records were in terrible condition and too beat up for us to sell. We used to have a box of these "expensive but beat to crap" records sitting up front by the cash register with a sign saying "Free records - Take one!" Some of the records in this box were listed in the price guides for a lot of money, often more than $100 each. Still, very few people ever took one of the records from that box of freebies.

As I started digging through this new batch, I was half expecting to be disappointed as was usually the case. Almost immediately, however, I knew this was going to be a good batch. For starters, the records were in pretty darn good shape. They were all in sleeves, and many of them were in those old 45 single cases that were popular back in the 1950's and 1960's. Kids used those little cases to carry their records to a friend's house for a party or neighborhood sock hop. Even better, I saw that many of the records in this batch were on local Wisconsin labels featuring fairly small, local bands from the 1950's and early 1960's. That's the cream of the crop! Those are always worth a lot more to collectors because they're very scarce, virtually unknown, and usually quite good. I got about half way through the records in the box and there it was -- a nice clean copy of Rock 'N Roll Saddles by Johnny Edwards With The White Caps on Northland Records! This record is listed in the price guides at about $300 for a clean copy. I showed the record to Gary, who immediately knew what it was (you get to know the rare stuff when you work in the business), and all he could say was, "You lucky dog!"

We both wanted to track down the lady who brought in those records and give her some kind of cash for them, but we had no idea who she was. She never came in the shop again. She was probably just visiting town, maybe cleaning out her parent's old house or something.

Here are some pictures of the inside of Great Lakes Records, which was actually a huge warehouse filled with used records. In the front was a showroom where you'd find the more expensive records (above photo). Still, with all those records to organize, there were plenty of hidden treasures lurking around in the back!

Saddles, by the way, refer to a type of shoe called Saddle Soles that were really popular back in the 1950's.

Here are the lyrics to Rock 'N Roll Saddles, in case you want to sing along!

Well I went to a dance just the other night,
the band they was a-rockin' to the left an' the right.
I sure got a shock as I walked in through the door,
I saw the rock roll saddles boppin' 'cross the floor.

Well th' rock 'n roll saddles, white and black,
the rock 'n roll saddles with a buckle on the back,
the rock 'n roll saddles, dancin' to the rock an' roll.

Well, the cats they were jumpin' and goin' hog wild;
The chicks sure looked cute with their ponytails high.
I really had'a smile when I took a peek,
at the rock 'n roll saddles on the pretty gals' feet.

Well'a rock 'n roll saddles, white and black,
rock 'n roll saddles with a buckle on the back,
a'rock 'n roll saddles, a'dancin' to the rock an' roll.

All right now, it's your chance! (guitar break)
Weird man! (guitar break continues)

Well that pretty little girlie came out to me;
She said, "Come on honey won't ya bop with me?"
I said, "Okay baby," but I couldn't keep from starin'
at what that little rock 'n roll-a mama was a-wearin'.

Well'a rock 'n roll saddles, white and black,
a'rock 'n roll saddles with a buckle on the back,
a'rock 'n roll saddles, boppin' to the rock an' roll.

Well'a rock 'n roll saddles, boppity bop;
a'rock 'n roll saddles, boppity bop,
a'rock 'n roll saddles, teach me to da-do the rock 'n roll.

You can find Rock 'N 'Roll Saddles on these compilation CDs:

Buffalo Bop: Rock 'N Roll Riot (CD 55004)
Pure Rockabilly - Volume 5 (Club LP 005)
Ultra Rare Rockabilly's - Volume 13 (Chief CD 1156513/2)
Wisconsin Rock-A-Billy (CD)
32 Original Historic Rockabilly Classics - Volume 3 (CD)

And, here's a recording of that record I got out of the cardboard box, Johnny Edwards With The White Caps doing "Rock 'N Roll Saddles." This is the very first rock and roll record ever pressed in Wisconsin, recorded in 1957:

The flip side of that record is pretty good too!

Here's the rarely heard flip side, Why'd You Leave Me? I actually like this side very much, too! I hope you enjoy it as well:

Here's Gary Stites doing A Girl Like You from 1959:

Here's Jerry Williams And The Rockets doing Blueberry Lane from 1962:

Here's Jerry Williams And The Rockets doing A Boy Like You from 1962:

You'll hear all of these songs, along with more than a thousand great rock and roll songs from Wisconsin, on MusicMaster Oldies! Thanks for listening! Tell your friends!


After stopping by Joe's site, I see that he also has a live 365 internet radio show, I stopped by and heard some great, classic oldies, check it out!

The 50's and 60's are back! Here's where you'll find all the big hits, little hits, shoulda-been hits, and the music that helped shape rock and roll. Hear songs you will not hear anywhere else!

Classic Oldies - Stop By!

Broadcaster Comments

The music of the 1950s and 1960s lives again here on MusicMaster Online Worldwide! Hear the big hits, little hits, songs that should have been hits, songs that helped create rock and roll, and lots of other surprises. We play EVERY charted song from 1954 through 1972, plus an equal number of great non-charted songs from those years, plus the biggest hits from 1973, plus some interesting music from before 1954 that influenced the creation of rock and roll music. You'll hear a lot of really rare and collectible records here, too. Some of the records we play are so rare that only one or two are known to exist. Listen for an hour and you'll likely hear thousands of dollars worth of music. You'll hear a mix of genres here, from early country and rockabilly, pop, early rock and roll, garage rock, surf music, teeners, and hard rock. The genre mix means that you'll hear the music of this exciting era in the same context the songs were played on the radio back then - before radio specialized into individual genres. You'll also hear hits from all over the world, like Europe, Asia, and Australia, as well as the United States. It's all here! We guarantee you'll hear songs you HATE - but you'll also hear songs you LOVE - along with some new favorites you've never heard before! If you know any great songs that you think we should add to our mix, please let us know. If you hear a song you want to own, but you can't buy it anywhere, let us know. We'll let you know where you can find it, or, if it's out of copyright and unavailable elsewhere, we'll gladly send you a digital copy. Visit our website to learn more about MusicMaster, the world's most advanced music scheduling system! Use MusicMaster to keep track of your music library, and automatically build the 'perfect mix' of music for YOUR streaming audio broadcast!

Music News & Notes

Blake Lewis LP

American Idol Season 6 runner up Blake Lewis' second album, Heartbreak on Vinyl, will be released on October 6th, 2009 from Tommy Boy Entertainment and the singer will be holding a record release party for the effort at the Roxy in West Hollywood next Thursday night.

For his official album release party, Lewis will perform tracks with his full band from his forthcoming Heartbreak on Vinyl. The event is open to the public with tickets available through Ticketmaster.

Lewis made a name for himself as the unconventional and charming beat boxer who was selected as first runner up on season six of American Idol in 2007. His cover of Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name," was the biggest selling download of the season on iTunes with over 190,000 downloads. His debut album Audio Day Dream hit the Billboard album charts at #10 and has since sold over 350,000 units to date. He created a unique persona for himself as not only a singer-songwriter, but DJ and beatboxer, drawing fans of all ages to his shows, which vary between musical performances and DJ sets.


Rick Wakeman's The Six Wives Of Henry VIII Set for CD, DVD and BluRay Release

On October 13, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release The Six Wives Of Henry VIII on DVD and Blu-ray via Eagle Vision and CD through Eagle Records. This eagerly anticipated release for Rick Wakeman fans is his first solo release on Blu-ray.

Rick Wakeman's The Six Wives Of Henry VIII is one of the landmark albums of the seventies, a critical and commercial success that has sold in excess of 15 million copies worldwide.

In May 2009, Wakeman finally achieved his long held dream of performing the entire album live at Hampton Court Palace. It was the first time the whole album had ever been performed in concert and included the Henry VIII track "Defender Of The Faith," that had to be cut from the original album for space reasons, plus new opening and closing pieces. The two spectacular sell out concerts were a never to be repeated event, which give those not able to attend the ability to experience this epic performance.


New John Mayer Album Details

John Mayer's Battle Studies will be released on November 17th, 2009 on Columbia Records. The seven-time Grammy Award winner's fourth studio album was co-produced by John Mayer and Steve Jordan and debuts three years after his critically acclaimed 2006 album, Continuum.

Incorporating the warmth, melodies and simplicity of 70's and 80's California rock/pop, Battle Studies is a confessional, relaxed and liberated album recorded in a private home in California where Mayer lived and worked over the course of six months before wrapping at the famed Capitol Studios in Los Angeles.

The album's first single, "Who Says" challenges conventional standards of what one can accomplish or undertake - despite society's constraints. Battle Studies also showcases universal themes on "Heartbreak Warfare," "Assassin," and "War of My Life," while flexing guitar chops on "Rock Song," and a reinterpretation of "Crossroads." The famously collaborative guitar player also invited one of music's brightest new talents, Taylor Swift, to appear on "Half of My Heart."


RUSH - Complete Working Men Details Revealed

Anthem Entertainment has announced the release of Working Men, the first 'best of' live performance compilation from renowned rock trio Rush. Due in stores and online November 17th, the collection will be released on DVD in partnership with Rounder and on CD via Atlantic Records outside of Canada.

Culled from Anthem Entertainment and Zö Vision's three other Rush DVD releases - Rush in Rio, R30 & Snakes & Arrows Live - Working Men features live recordings of the band's greatest hits as well as one previously unreleased track , "One Little Victory" (see attached track listing).

Rush - Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart - is without question one of the most inventive and compelling groups in rock history, equally famed for both its virtuoso musicianship and provocative songwriting. Just last year, a career-chronicling Rolling Stone feature praised the band for its continuing artistic vitality, noting that "It's true that Rush doesn't mean today what it did in '76 or even '96. It may mean more." The sentiment was echoed in subsequent pieces published earlier this year in Entertainment Weekly and Spin. Rush's enduring pop culture relevance is perhaps best evidenced by a pair of high profile appearances - a rare national television performance and interview on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report in 2008 (the band's first TV appearance since 1975), and a pivotal role in the storyline of the hit comedy, I Love You, Man. Released this past spring, the band also made a memorable cameo in the film, which starred Paul Rudd and Jason Segal.

Since releasing their self-titled debut album in 1974, Rush has achieved worldwide sales exceeding 35 million units, including such acclaimed works as 1976's 2112, 1981's Moving Pictures, 1996's Test For Echo, and 2002's Vapor Trails. The band's most recent studio collection, 2007's Snakes & Arrows, made a triumphant debut on the Billboard 200 upon its initial release, entering the chart in the #3 spot. The album's success marked Rush's highest chart debut since 1993, as well as the group's eleventh top ten album in the U.S.

Working Men tracklisting:

'The Spirit Of Radio'
'Far Cry'
'One Little Victory' (previously unreleased)
'Closer to the Heart'
'Tom Sawyer'
'Working Man'


Former INXS Singer Hospitalized For Heart Surgery Complications

Jon Stevens, former singer of INXS and Noiseworks is being held at a hospital after suffering complications following emergency open-heart surgery, according to his management company.

The Australian rocker's manager Simon Lucas said the operation was carried out in a Sydney hospital about three weeks ago and was deemed a success, or at least that's what they thought.

Unfortunately, 46-year-old Stevens' condition has deteriorated and his recovery has been hampered due to some post-operative complications, primarily fluid around the heart and infection. The singer was taken to the hospital after doctors reportedly found a blockage in one of the main arteries during a routine check-up.


Robyn Hitchcock To Release Concert Film And Live Album

Robyn Hitchcock will release concert film and live album I Often Dream of Trains in New York on November 10, 2009 on Yep Roc Records.

I Often Dream of Trains in New York was filmed live at Symphony Space in New York City in the fall of 2008 during the U.S. leg of Hitchcock's highly anticipated I Often Dream of Trains Tour. Deftly shot by acclaimed director John Edginton (The Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett Story) and originally aired on the Sundance Channel, this concert film DVD and accompanying audio CD captures the cult songwriting icon recreating one of his most intimate and haunting albums in its entirety.

Robyn is joined by Trains tour mates Terry Edwards (vocals, keyboards, trumpet, soprano sax, guitar) and Tim Keegan (vocals, guitar) as well as guests Gaida Hinnawi (vocals) and Amir El Saffar (trumpet) from the Robyn-led band seen in Jonathan Demme's stunning film Rachel Getting Married. As its title suggests, I Often Dream of Trains is a glimpse into the phantasmagorical mind of the artist himself. And I Often Dream of Trains in New York captures him fantastically raw and singularly in-the-moment – in other words, quintessentially….Hitchcock.


Queen: The Ultimate Illustrated History Coming Next Month

Voyageur Press has joined forces with renowned British rock journalist Phil Sutcliffe (Mojo, Los Angeles Times) for QUEEN: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock. This beautifully packaged book, a perfect balance of photos and text, arrives on Nov. 15, 2009, and retraces the history of this massively popular and influential group.

Brimming with more than 400 photographs and pieces of memorabilia — including concert programs, posters, domestic and foreign 45 singles, LPs, backstage passes, ticket stubs, and more — QUEEN: The Ultimate Illustrated History of the Crown Kings of Rock also includes a discography, and commentary from dozens of admiring musicians and performers. The result is the most complete and captivating portrait of this larger-than-life group, one that captures and celebrates as never before Queen — one of popular music's most successful recording artists of all time.

Fronted by the unforgettable Freddie Mercury, Queen almost single-handedly created the common phrase "arena rock," with mammoth tours, stage shows, costumes, and such classic anthems as "Bohemian Rhapsody," "We Will Rock You," "We Are the Champions," "Another One Bites the Dust," "Under Pressure" (with David Bowie), and "Radio Gaga."


The Greening Release Psychedelic New EP

The Greening, an experimental psychedelic power-pop band from Northern California, released their latest EP, (She's So) Electric, on September 29 (ZaiRecords).

Marking the follow-up to their 2003 debut EP, After Shoal Parlor, features four blisteringly catchy tunes and an encoded animated video for the single, "Sunday Afternoon," directed by renowned local artist/animator Danny Ochoa. It was recorded at a private studio in Marin, and was produced and mixed by guitarist/vocalist Will Loving.

The Greening's mission statement is to push pop music to new frontiers through their blend of accessible experimentation. Combining memorable hooks, strong melodies and cascading vocal harmonies, the band craft instantly memorable songs. However, the radio friendly nature of the songwriting disguises its underlying complexity. Surprise bridges and unexpected arrangements/time signatures unite to enhance the compositions in an integrated fashion. -


Railway Classics Reissued

Railway was one of the most promising German heavy metal groups in the 80's – their first three albums released at that time became true classics of the genre. Although their career had its ups and downs, the band finally managed to reunite in its original line-up in 2006, much to their fans' satisfaction.

And now, thanks to these exclusive re-releases of "Railway", "Railway II" and "Climax" you can once again relive Railway's history and witness some of their finest moments in the music industry.

These exclusive re-issues of Railway's classic albums: "Railway", "Railway II" and "Climax" - are a great addition to any heavy metal collection, and a perfect opportunity to meet one of the most amazing German heavy metal bands of all time! They will be released by Metal Mind Productions on 2nd November in Europe and 12th January 2010 in USA (via MVD).


AC/DC Singer Addresses Health Issue

AC/DC were forced to postpone several dates on their current world tour because frontman Brian Johnson "recently underwent a medical procedure and at the advice of his doctor is taking some time to rest." Some rumors floating around speculated that he was having throat problems but on Wednesday the man himself posted an update on the official AC/DC website to fill fans in on what is going on.

Here is what he had to say: "It's an inside job that forced me to reschedule those upcoming 6 shows! Inside being the operative word here. My insides were giving me lots of trouble, ulcers and such. They were really uncomfortable and painful, which required me to seek immediate medical attention.

"The doctor's looked me over, poked, scanned and prodded all possible areas. In the end they gave me a clean bill of health, but insisted that I take a bit of time to recuperate and rest up. We've been touring non stop since this time last year and have a lot more touring to do. Thanks for all of the get well wishes and I hope to see you all again very soon."


ZZ Top Double Down Live

On October 20, Eagle Rock Entertainment, through its wholly-owned Eagle Vision subsidiary, will release ZZ Top's Double Down Live, the first historic concert performance ever to be approved for release by the band. Clocking in at just under two hours, this double dose disc delivers twenty-eight years of hard rock, blues, and boogie – ZZ Top Style!

Disc one, filmed in 1980, is dubbed "DEFINITELY THEN" and is packed with 22 early ZZ Top classics from their Tres Hombres and Fandango! albums, including: "La Grange," "Tush," "Cheap Sunglasses," "Tube Snake Boogie," and more, many of which remain in their live set to this day. This concert was captured at the Grugahalle in Essen, Germany for the Rockpalast TV series. The concert took place hot on the heels of the release, 30 years ago, of their classic Deguello album (it features 9 of the 10 songs from it). The show found ZZ Top in the era prior to the band's discovery of sequencers and synthesizers and epitomized the down 'n' dirty take no prisoners attitude of "that lil' ol' band from Texas" nickname. To this day, this disc is a true best of ZZ Top in the seventies.

Disc two, subtitled "ALMOST NOW," was shot during their European tour in 2008, includes 11 performances, interview clips, and backstage footage to create the ultimate ZZ Top on the road movie.


Sevendust Working On New Album

Sevendust have begun work on their next album and offered an update to fans about where they are at in the process and who is involved. Here is what they had to say: " We've been writing and recording demos with Corey Lowery engineering, which have been amazingly productive and creative, over the past few months. We wanna thank Corey for making a very cool atmosphere for us and helping us achieve the material we needed. We look forward to continuing work with Corey in the future.

We've have hired on Johnny K(Disturbed, Staind) to produce the next Sevendust record. We've enjoyed his work over the years and believe he is the guy for the job. This record is VERY important and we have some of the best songs going into this process than we ever have. We read your comments on here and we believe you will not be disappointed. We still have a ways to go but we hope to have it out by spring next year.

We will be up in the Chicago area for the rest of the year working on it and are ready to peel faces off with this thing. It's a very creative time for the band and being back to the original line up will reinstall the elements that made us what we are. Thank you for your support and cannot wait to put this record out.


BON JOVI - Cover Art For New Album Revealed

The cover art for BON JOVI's forthcoming album The Circle, due out November 10th, can be viewed on the left (click to enlarge). The tracklist of the album is as follows:

'We Weren't Born To Follow'
'When We Were Beautiful'
'Work For The Working Man'
'Superman Tonight'
'Thorn In My Side'
'Live Before You Die'
'Broken Promiseland'
'Love's The Only Rule'
'Fast Cars'
'Happy Now'
'Learn To Love'

More details will be revealed soon.

As previously reported, prior to the release the band will issue the new single, 'We Weren't Born To Follow'. Further details on both the new album and single will be released soon. Stay tuned for updates.

Talking to's Greg Prato, Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora recently stated: “It’s back to rock & roll for us, man. Jon and I had a wonderful time making it. Very proud of it - just getting down to mixing it right now. We hit a very prolific period in our songwriting.”

Sambora reveals the band was considering churning out a greatest hits album, but reports, “We started having so much fun making this record, that we decided we would do a studio album first. It sounds fresh - I think we reinvented ourselves again.”


“First Lady of Guitar” Liona Boyd releases new album

Canada’s brilliant and beautiful classical guitar virtuoso Liona Boyd at long last has a new release entitled Liona Boyd Sings Songs of Love.

It’s the 5 time Juno award winner’s first release since 2005's Romanza, and showcases her abilities as a singer - songwriter along with her guitar prowess.

Released in Canada by Universal Music, “Songs of Love” contains 17 songs interpreted by herself and duo partner, Croatian born guitarist - vocalist, Srdjan Gjivoje. The pair sing in harmony throughout the record while accompanying themselves on the guitar.

With one exception, all tracks were co-written by Boyd.

The CD also features 3 special guests who including American flamenco guitarist Esteban, the late Oliver Schroer on violin, Doug Emery on piano and Christopher Glansthorpe on cello.

"Songs of Love " was released in Canada on Sept 22/09 and will be available internationally through Amazon on Oct 6. as well as through her official website.


Rolling Stones - Get Your Ya-Ya's Out (40th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set)

ABCKO, the company that owns all of the early Stones material, will release a 40th Anniversary Box Set on November 17 that brings the entire concert experience to a new level. The 3-CDs include the original 10-song album with remastered sound, a second CD of the five remaining tracks from the shows that were not included on the original release and a third disc with the opening performances of B.B. King and Ike and Tina Turner. The fourth disc, a DVD, includes the 28-minute film of the same name by the Maysles Brothers (Gimme Shelter) which includes backstage and photo shoot footage along with a few performances.

Get Your Ya-Ya's Out, released in 1970, was the first official live album for the Rolling Stones (Got Live If You Want It was considered a contractual obligation). Recorded on November 27 and 28, 1969 at New York's Madison Square Garden, the album captured a portion of the Stone's first tour in three years. Even though it is known that at least half of the lead vocals were re-dubbed in the studio, the album is still considered one of the great live LPs.

Finally, the basic set includes a 56-page book is included which features rare photos, essays and the original Rolling Stone review of the record, a postcard size replica of the original concert poster and a voucher to download I'm Free for Guitar Hero 5. A deluxe version of the release also has three vinyl picture discs and a full-size replica poster.

The full track list for all four discs is after the cut.

•Disc 1 (Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out (remastered))
•Jumpin’ Jack Flash
•Stray Cat Blues
•Love In Vain
•Midnight Rambler
•Sympathy For The Devil
•Live With Me
•Little Queenie
•Honky Tonk Women
•Street Fighting Man
•Disc 2 (Unreleased Rolling Stones tracks)
•Prodigal Son
•You Gotta Move
•Under My Thumb
•I’m Free
•(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
•Disc 3 (Opening Acts)
•B.B. King
•Everyday I Have The Blues
•How Blue Can You Get
•That’s Wrong Little Mama
•Why I Sing The Blues
•Please Accept My Love
•Ike and Tina Turner
•Gimme Some Loving
•Sweet Soul Music
•Son Of A Preacher Man
•Proud Mary
•I’ve Been Loving You Too Long
•Come Together
•Land Of 1000 Dances
•DVD (Maysles Brothers’ Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out)
•Prodigal Son
•You Gotta Move
•Under My Thumb
•I’m Free
•(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction