Jun 2013 (I) / FUR (Part 1)




I have been turning this post over and over in my head for several months and haven’t been able to come up with an appropriate UARB to go with it, so I am finally just going with one of my favorite old-school 1990’s punk rock bands (very d.i.y.), FUR.  I can’t really explain why I love their CD so much, but I have played this album dozens of times, and it is one of those bands that I never get tired of. 


Several years ago, I found the bandleader Holly Ramos’ website, where (in the pre-YouTube era) she had posted some songs from the Fur CD.  At that time, she was primarily an actress; that’s understandable, since there are several photographs of her on/with the CD that hardly look like the same woman at all. 


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     Alas for maiden, alas for Judge,

     For rich repiner and household drudge!

     God pity them both! and pity us all,

     Who vainly the dreams of youth recall;

     For of all sad words of tongue or pen,

     The saddest are these:  “It might have been!” 


This famous quotation is taken from an 1856 poem by the American poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier; he is also the gentleman responsible for the line in a poem about Barbara Frietchie:  “‘Shoot, if you must, this old gray head / But spare your country’s flag,’ she said.” 


At the top of the list of “might have been” in rock and roll has to be the crash on February 3, 1959 in an Iowa cornfield of a small airplane carrying three early rockers to their graves:  Buddy HollyRitchie Valens, and The Big Bopper.  The stories around this tragic event include those about several men who were not on the plane for one reason or another, most famously future country music star Waylon Jennings, who had recently joined Buddy Holly’s band after the break-up of his previous band the Crickets.  Also, Dion DiMucci (of Dion and the Belmonts) couldn’t afford the $36 cost, so he also decided not to board the plane. 


By now, the parade of early deaths of beloved musicians is long indeed; I remember being affected by the senseless assassination of John Lennon on December 8, 1980 nearly as much as that of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963


Not a few of these losses have occurred in small airplane crashes:  Glenn MillerJohn DenverJim ReevesOtis ReddingJim CroceRick NelsonStevie Ray VaughanAaliyah, and three bandmembers in Lynyrd Skynyrd:  Ronnie van ZantStevie Gaines, and Cassie Gaines There is even a parallel to The Day the Music Died in country music, when Patsy ClineCowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins all died in a plane crash on March 5, 1963


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Still, in 1959, this kind of loss was a new experience (particularly for young people).  In his moving 1971 epic of the American landscape of the 1960’s, “American Pie”, Don McLean immortalized this event as “The Day the Music Died”.  Rich with imagery worthy of a Bob Dylan song, McLean has refused to discuss the meaning of the cryptic lyrics over the years, though the main theme is clearly the loss of innocence. 


In 2009 (on the 50th anniversary of the airplane crash), Don McLean wrote an editorial for CNN.com that told of his learning of it the following morning:  “Buddy’s death, for me, an impressionable 13-year-old, delivering papers, was an enormous tragedy.  The cover photo of the posthumously released [The] Buddy Holly Story and The Buddy Holly Story, Vol. 2, coupled with liner notes written by his widow, Maria [Santiago-Holly], created a sense of grief that lived inside of me, until I was able to exorcize it with the opening verse of ‘American Pie’.” 


But there is no shortage of interpretations from all quarters (I took a stab at it myself ages ago):  Bob Dylan is said to be the “jester”; the Beatles are evidently referenced in the line “sergeants played a marching tune”; and the Rolling Stones (Mick Jagger in particular) seem to have a more central role in the tale – the fifth verse includes the lyric “Jack be nimble, Jack be quick / Jack Flash sat on a candlestick” (an obvious reference to the Rolling Stones hit “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”), several mentions of Satan (“Sympathy for the Devil” is one of several times that the Stones toyed with Satanic imagery), and apparent veiled references to the horrific Altamont Speedway Free Concert that occurred on the heels of Woodstock on December 6, 1969, where the Rolling Stones were the featured act, and the Hells Angels motorcycle club provided security. 


As depicted in Gimme Shelter (I saw the film when it came to theatres in 1970, but I never want to see it again), one audience member, Meredith Hunter was stabbed to death by several bikers after he pulled a gun – and yes, someone caught the incident on film.  Lead male singer Marty Balin of Jefferson Starship was knocked out cold by a Hells Angel, and Mick Jagger was punched in the face by an unruly fan shortly after his arrival by helicopter.  It was a perfect storm where simply everything went wrong – the rain and the other privations at Woodstock were nothing compared to what occurred at Altamont.  


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Some people who should know better are reluctant to put Buddy Holly in the first rank of the founding fathers (and mothers) of rock and roll, among the others whose importance is undisputed.  Elvis Presley is justly labeled The King; courtesy of the visionary recording industry mogul Sam Phillips (founder of the seminal Sun Records, among his many achievements), Elvis was ideally suited in many ways to be the one to bring rhythm and blues to white audiences. 


A native of Tupelo, MSElvis Presley has strong connections to the Mississippi Gulf Coast region; the house where Elvis spent several summers still stands practically next door to the Gulf Hills Hotel near Ocean Springs – that’s where my wife Peggy Eglin Winfree and I lived for several weeks after losing our home to Hurricane Katrina in August 2005Peggy knew Elvis personally long before he became a star and loves to regale friends and acquaintances with tales about the near mythic figure. 


After Elvis Presley signed with RCA Victor Records, his first single on the new label, “Heartbreak Hotel” was released on January 27, 1956.  The song was Elvis’s first #1 pop single and first million-selling record; it went on to become the biggest selling record of the entire year.  


The impact of this one Elvis recording can hardly be overstated.  Heartbreak Hotel was one of the biggest influences on John Lennon that inexorably led to the formation of the Beatles.  In a quote given in WikipediaJohn Lennon speaks of his feelings about the song:  “When I first heard ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, I could hardly make out what was being said.  It was just the experience of hearing it and having my hair stand on end.  We’d never heard American voices singing like that.  They always sung like [Frank] Sinatra or enunciate very well.  Suddenly, there’s this hillbilly hiccuping on tape echo and all this bluesy stuff going on.  And we didn’t know what Elvis was singing about. . . .  It took us a long time to work out what was going on.  To us, it just sounded like a noise that was great.” 


John Lennon is not the only British rock legend who was similarly affected by Heartbreak Hotel.  George Harrison was only 13 and riding his bike past a friend’s house when he overheard the song being played in 1956; he said the song gave him a “rock and roll epiphany”.  The following year, Harrison auditioned to be the guitarist for John Lennon’s early band the Quarrymen


Lead singer Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin heard Heartbreak Hotel when he was just 8 years old; he has said that the song “changed my life”:  “It was so animal, so sexual, the first musical arousal I ever had.  You could see a twitch in everybody my age.  All we knew about the guy was that he was cool, handsome and looked wild.”  


Guitarist and songwriter Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones wrote of the Elvis Presley classic in his 2010 memoir, Life:  “Good records just get better with age.  But the one that really turned me on, like an explosion one night, listening to Radio Luxembourg on my little radio when I was supposed to be in bed and asleep, was Heartbreak Hotel’.  That was the stunner.  I’d never heard it before, or anything like it.  I’d never heard of Elvis before.  It was almost as if I’d been waiting for it to happen.  When I woke up the next day I was a different guy.” 


Finally, the legendary 1992 appearance by future President Bill Clinton playing saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show included a performance of Heartbreak Hotel


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Everyone knows about “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and His Comets, the 1954 classic that is likely regarded by the general public as the first rock and roll record.  The inclusion of the song in the 1955 film Blackboard Jungle (starring a young Sidney Poitier) is what truly made it a hit.  However, Bill Haley’s rock roots actually go much deeper and much earlier than that. 


Bill Haley has told the story of crafting a simulated guitar out of cardboard when he was just a child; his parents then bought him a real guitar.  In about 1940, when he was 15, Haley left home to become a professional musician; two years earlier, Bill Haley was already landing paid gigs at $1 a night.  Haley got his start in country music and became one of the top cowboy yodelers under the name Silver Yodeling Bill Haley in the 1940’s; he later formed a band called The Four Aces of Western Swing


Sometime in the 1949 to 1952 period, Bill Haley and the Saddlemen were formed; this was the band that would later evolve into Bill Haley and His Comets.  This band recorded a cover version of “Rocket 88” on Holiday Records that was released on June 14, 1951, barely two months after the original release of this song by Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm (though this original record was actually credited to Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats). 


Now, Ike Turner’s “Rocket 88 is named by many rock critics and music historians as “the first rock and roll record”; what’s more, “Rocket 88” as recorded by Bill Haley and the Saddlemen is one of the very earliest recordings in what would later become known as “rockabilly”, the musical style pioneered by Elvis Presley and others.  The Saddlemen’s follow-up single, “Rock the Joint” is yet another contender for the first rock record, that is, the version of “Rock the Joint” as performed in 1949 by Jimmy Preston.  


The changing nature of Bill Haley’s music made the band name “Saddlemen” increasingly incongruous, and by the fall of 1952, the band had changed its name to Bill Haley and His Comets.  The idea for “the Comets” came from the common mispronunciation of Halley’s Comet that persists to this day.  (Edmond Halley’s surname actually rhymes with “Sally”; Halley concluded that three especially bright comets that had been observed over the preceding two centuries were actually the same object that appeared every 76 years and correctly predicted the return of the comet in 1758). 


In 1953, “Crazy Man, Crazy” by Bill Haley and His Comets became the first rock and roll song to be televised nationally when it was used in the soundtrack of an episode of the CBS anthology series Omnibus called Glory in the Flower that starred James DeanRock Around the Clock was their next record, and the band continued with a string of hits in the mid-1950’s that included “Shake, Rattle and Roll”, “See You Later, Alligator”, “Skinny Minnie”, and “Razzle Dazzle”. 


Following Bill Haley’s death in 1981, there were at least six bands using the name The Comets that claimed (with varying degrees of authority) to be the continuation of Haley’s band.  Three were still touring as late as 2008 according to Wikipedia.   


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So, you might well ask, what is the earliest song on the list of contenders for the first rock and roll record?  According to Wikipediathat would be the 1944 recording “Strange Things Happening Every Day” by Sister Rosetta Tharpe.  As might be imagined from her name, Tharpe was a traveling evangelist who became the first superstar of gospel music in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  As Wikipedia puts it, Sister Rosetta Tharpe.was “willing to cross the line between sacred and secular by performing her music of ‘light’ in the ‘darkness’ of the nightclubs and concert halls with big bands behind her”.  However, she never abandoned her first love of gospel music


I first encountered Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s music on Michelle Shocked’s fascinating 2007 gospel CD, ToHeavenURide.  The CD was recorded live at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival; the album name is a takeoff on the nickname for the festival, “To Hell You Ride”.  Shocked launched her concert with a long introduction about Tharpe’s legacy and then performed “Strange Things Happening Every Day”.  More recently, Sister Rosetta Tharpe was featured in the opening program on the 2013 season of the PBS series American Masters


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Sister Rosetta Tharpe is the only woman mentioned in the Wikipedia list, but she is not the only one that I have heard talked about.  Rosemary Clooney had one of her biggest hits with “Hey There” b/w “This Ole House”; both songs individually reached #1 in 1954 on the Billboard singles charts (in case you think – as I had – that the Beatles were the first to have double-sided #1 hit singles).  The latter song is one that I have heard discussed as the first rock and roll record – or at least, one of the first (before doing the research for this post, I had thought that her recording dated from 1953). 


As written by Stuart Hamblen – one of the earliest “singing cowboys” – “This Ole House” was originally treated as an epitaph for a dead mountain man who was found in his home.  Rosemary Clooney’s rollicking, gospel-tinged version is a rock and roll treatment of the song; as with Hamblen’s original recording, her cover version features basso profundo vocals by Thurl RavenscroftRavenscroft is best known as the original voice behind Tony the Tiger in TV commercials for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal and also performed the vocals (uncredited) for the song “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” on the classic Christmas television special, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.  Shortly after Thurl Ravenscroft’s death in 2005, I heard an interview with him on NPR, and I don’t think I have ever heard a man who had such a deep voice. 


Rosemary Clooney had a long singing career in the years leading up to the rock and roll revolution.  Though she preferred performing big-band swing numbers, her breakthrough hit, “Come on-a My House” in 1951 was one of several dialect-flavored novelty songs that she recorded at the insistence of Mitch Miller (later famous for his television show in the early 1960’sSing Along with Mitch). 


Come on-a My House was co-written by two Armenian American cousins, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Saroyan and Ross BagdasarianBagdasarian, under his stage name David Seville went on to great fame by experimenting with recordings using speeded-up vocals.  The first result was a #1 hit in the summer of 1958 called “Witch Doctor” – remember “Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang, walla walla, bing bang, ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang, walla walla, bing bang”?  He is best known of course for creating Alvin and the Chipmunks, whose popularity continues to the present day. 


Sadly, Rosemary Clooney is mostly remembered today not so much for her formidable powers as a performer, but rather for the members of her extended family – and also for the long-running PBS series This Old House that was named after her 1954 hit song.  The eldest son from her marriage to Puerto-Rico–born movie star José Ferrer – the first Hispanic to win an Academy Award – is another movie and television star, Miguel Ferrer.  Her nephew George Clooney is one of the biggest movie stars of our time and has two Oscars of his own. 


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While not at all minimizing the contributions of the legends that I have discussed thus far, my own nominee for the man who most directly congealed a variety of musical ingredients into what we know today as rock and roll is Chuck Berry.  Berry’s classics like “Maybellene” (1955), “Rock and Roll Music” (1957) and “Johnny B. Goode” (1958) sound as fresh to my ears today as they did the first time I heard them more than 50 years ago.  His 1956 hit “Roll Over Beethoven” – “Roll Over Beethoven” also might be my very favorite Beatles cover song – contains a truly delicious song lyric:  “Roll over [in your grave], Beethoven / And tell Tchaikovsky the news”. 


Chuck Berry grew up in a middle-class family in St. Louis and began working as a musician in local nightclubs in the early 1950’s.  Influenced by the guitar stylings and showmanship of Texas bluesman T-Bone Walker, he was performing with the Johnnie Johnson Trio by early 1953.  As Wikipedia tells it:  “[Chuck ]Berry’s calculated showmanship, along with mixing country tunes with R&B tunes, and singing in the style of Nat King Cole to the music of Muddy Waters, brought in a wider audience, particularly affluent white people.” 


Chuck Berry met Muddy Waters on a trip to Chicago in May 1955, who suggested that he contact Leonard Chess of Chess Records.  (The story of Chess Records and their musical roster is told in the 2008 film, Cadillac Records).  To Berry’s surprise, Leonard Chess was most interested not in his blues material, but in his performance of a traditional country song called “Ida Red” (as recorded in 1938 by Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys).  The song was rewritten by Chuck Berry and was released on May 21, 1955 as the million seller Maybellene


The hits continued for Chuck Berry through the end of the 1950’s and are available in the essential collection, The Great Twenty-Eight – Rolling Stone magazine ranks this retrospective album #21 on its list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.  Just for fun, try to count up how many other rock bands and artists recorded a group of songs that could justifiably be described as “the great 28”. 


Chuck Berry also starred in two early rock and roll movies, Rock Rock Rock (1956) and Go, Johnny, Go! (1959, with the film name taken from a line in Johnny B. Goode).  In the latter film, Berry appeared with the early rock and roll DJ and impresario Alan Freed.  I believe I saw Go, Johnny, Go! many years ago, and I recall (perhaps incorrectly) that Berry was the only African-American in the whole movie, though he never looked out of place. 


Chuck Berry had previously been a part of Alan Freed’s touring “Biggest Show of Stars for 1957” that had a truly amazing lineup:  Fats Dominothe Everly BrothersBuddy HollyLaVern BakerEddie Cochranthe Spanielsthe DriftersClyde McPhatterPaul AnkaFrankie Lymon, and others. 


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Chuck Berry has continued recording over the years and scored his only #1 hit with his double-entendre–loaded My Ding-a-Ling in 1972.  I have picked up several of the more recent Chuck Berry albums over the years, and I have never heard a song of his that I didn’t like.  Unlike nearly all of the other pioneers of rock and roll (who are mostly long since deceased), Chuck Berry is still touring at the age of 86.  Don’t miss seeing him if you get a chance. 


It is well known that Keith Richards heavily borrowed his guitar style from Chuck BerryRichards told Best of Guitar Player in a 1992 interview:  “Chuck was my man.  He was the one who made me say ‘I want to play guitar!’ . . . Suddenly I knew what I wanted to do.” 


A 1987 Taylor Hackford documentary, Hail! Hail! Rock ’n’ Roll was made to honor Chuck Berry on his 60th birthday.  In this film, Eric Clapton says:  “If you wanna play rock and roll – or any upbeat number – and you wanted to take a guitar ride, you would end up playing like Chuck [Berry]. . . . because there is very little other choice.  There’s not a lot of other ways to play rock and roll other than the way Chuck plays it; he’s really laid the law down.” 


John Lennon was even more blunt:  “If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry’.”  Ted Nugent has said:  “If you don’t know every Chuck Berry lick, you can’t play rock guitar.” 


Berry’s influence also shows up in places that you might not expect.  I once saw an interview with Joni Mitchell on VH1 where she said that her 1970 hit song “Big Yellow Taxi” was “pure Chuck Berry” to her. 


In 2003Chuck Berry was listed #6 among “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” by Rolling Stone magazine; Time magazine put him at #7 on their list of the 10 greatest electric-guitar players.  Six of Berry’s songs made the 2004 list of Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”; Johnny B. Goode was ranked #7, and it topped Rolling Stone’s 2008 list of “100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time”.  


In addition, Chuck Berry received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984 and was awarded the Kennedy Center Honors in 2000.   


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There are others who helped pave the way for rock and roll as we know it that will have to wait for another time, such as Fats Domino, Pat Boonethe Everly Brothers  . . .


Hold on:  Pat Boone???  Ladies and Gentlemen, this little series of posts is all about Under-Appreciation; and if there is any 1950’s rock star – maybe any 1950’s musician, period – who is more under-rated today as a performer than Pat Boone (one of the original teen idols), I don’t know who it might be.  The “crime” that Boone is accused of – recording white versions of black R&B songs – is what almost every white rock and roll artist in the 1950’s was doing; heading that list is Elvis Presley.  And yet Pat Boone is the only one who gets much guff about it.  Pat Boone’s extremely clean-cut image works against his legacy in this regard, especially in retrospect. 


Pat Boone hit the top of the charts with his second single, “Ain’t That a Shame”, which came out in July 1955 – yeah, a little earlier than you expected I’ll bet.  For context, that was just two months after Chuck Berrys first single,Maybellenewas released; and Elvis Presley wouldn’t hit #1 until early 1956


Also, Pat Boone was not in competition with the original release of “Ain’t That a Shame” by Fats Domino (which also came out in July 1955 and was originally called “Ain’t it a Shame”); quite the contrary:  White teenagers often bought the original single – actually, both 78’s and 45’s were being released in this period – after they heard Pat Boones version.  This was a little before my time, but I knew several people from that era who liked both Boone’s recordings and the originals.  Pat Boone was a major force in introducing white audiences to R&B music, because the original recordings were not being played on white radio stations more than any other reason. 


Fats Domino and Pat Boone were friendly with each other; and he praised Boone’s version of this song.  Fats Domino once brought Pat Boone on stage with him at a concert and pointed to a large gold ring, saying:  “Pat Boone bought me this ring” (with the royalties from sales of his record that soared when Boone’s 45 became so popular).  


No one can deny that Pat Boone had an ear for finding great songs to record, and he knew how to craft a single that people wanted to buy – otherwise, Boone wouldn’t have put together an impressive 38 Top 40 singles between 1955 and 1963.  There is another list you could work on if you want:  other rock artists who managed to achieve that feat.  


As far as I am concerned, Pat Boone had a real feel for rhythm and blues, and his recordings have held up over the decades since they were made.  But don’t take my word for it; YouTube has dozens of them available for listening. 


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Among all of these giants and more, is there room for Buddy Holly in the top levels of the pantheon of rock and roll pioneers?  You’d better believe it.  


First of all, Buddy Holly is a first-rate songwriter (many of his songwriting credits are in the name of Charles Hardin, taken from his real name, Charles Hardin Holley).  Rather than adapting traditional songs and musical styles, what he was writing was brand new.  Holly also brought a level of sophistication to his recordings that was also new to rock and roll; the music of most of the early rockers was pretty raw – not that I’m complaining, mind you; as readers of these posts probably realize by now, I like my music that way.  Additionally, even before he became a star, Buddy Holly primarily made his recordings at an independent recording studio and was not bound by record company policies and union rules that stultified numerous musicians in those days. 


Buddy Holly and the Crickets also helped win over black audiences to rockabilly and rock and roll when they were signed – literally sight unseen – for a series of shows from August 16 to 22, 1957 at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre.  They were the first white act ever to play at the Apollo; though it took several appearances, the audience eventually warmed up to them. 


Writing for Allmusic, rock critic Bruce Eder states his case well:  “Buddy Holly is perhaps the most anomalous legend of ’50s rock & roll – he had his share of hits, and he achieved major rock & roll stardom, but his importance transcends any sales figures or even the particulars of any one song (or group of songs) that he wrote or recorded.  Holly was unique, his legendary status and his impact on popular music all the more extraordinary for having been achieved in barely 18 months. . . .  In a career lasting from the spring of 1957 until the winter of 1958-1959 – less time than Elvis had at the top before the army took him (and less time, in fact, than Elvis spent in the army) – Holly became the single most influential creative force in early rock & roll. . . .


Holly and the band weren’t afraid to experiment even on their singles, so that ‘Peggy Sue’ made use of the kind of changes in volume and timbre on the guitar that were usually reserved for instrumental records; similarly, ‘Words of Love’ was one of the earliest successful examples of double-tracked vocals in rock & roll, which the Beatles, in particular, would embrace in the ensuing decade.” 


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A native of Lubbock, TexasBuddy Holly initially began performing with his childhood friend Bob Montgomery under the name Buddy and Bob, calling their musical style “western and bop”; they were the opening act for Elvis Presley when he performed in the Lubbock area in 1955.  In February 1956, Holly was signed by Decca Records but found the recording environment confining, where he was allowed virtually no input.  Buddy Holly was dropped by the label in January 1957 but was still bound by his contract that forbade him to re-record any songs during his stint with Decca for five years, regardless of whether or not they had been released. 


Buddy Holly and his band – by now known as the Crickets (they noticed crickets chirping in the studio one time while they were recording, or so the film The Buddy Holly Story maintains) – then began working at Norman Petty’s studio in New Mexico, concentrating in particular on what they considered their strongest song, “That’ll Be the Day” that they had never been able to satisfactorily record in the Decca studios.  The recording was brought to the attention of Bob Thiele, an executive at Coral Records; though Thiele liked it, others at Coral were unenthusiastic.  


Nevertheless, in March 1957the Crickets signed with Brunswick Records.  In order to avoid problems with Decca Records – even though Brunswick was a Decca subsidiary – Buddy Holly was not listed as a member of the Crickets on the original recording contract.  Not surprisingly, this would create serious legal and financial problems for Buddy Holly in the future. 


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According to Norman Petty, That’ll Be the Day by the Crickets was released in May 1957 to “humor” Bob Thiele.  The song became a #1 hit that summer; and before long, the jig was up as Decca Records executives realized that Buddy Holly was their bandleader.  However, as Cyndi Lauper observed in her 1984 hit song, “Money Changes Everything”, so Decca Records released Buddy Holly from his original contract restriction.  As a condition though, Buddy Holly was signed individually to Coral Records (yet another Decca subsidiary); thus, Buddy Holly was in the unusual position of being bound by two recording contracts at the same time – his earlier contract as a member of the Crickets and this new one as an individual artist. 


The confusion spread to the general public as well, since some of his 45’s were released under the name Buddy Holly, and others as the Crickets (often with Holly’s name nowhere in sight, even as a songwriter).  In spite of this, Buddy Holly and/or the Crickets had numerous hit songs, among them “Not Fade Away”, “Everyday”, “Listen to Me”, “Oh Boy!”, “Peggy Sue”, “Maybe Baby”, “Rave On”, “Heartbeat”, and “It’s So Easy”. 


Holly released just three albums during his lifetime, all under different names:  The Chirping Crickets by the Crickets on Brunswick Records in 1957Buddy Holly by Buddy Holly (pictured above) on Coral Records in 1958; and That’ll Be the Day by Buddy Holly & the Three Tunes on Decca Records, also in 1958.  The latter album was an attempt by Decca to cash in on Holly’s fame by releasing the songs from Buddy Holly’s 1956 studio recordings from his original contract with Decca


There were indications that Buddy Holly was beginning to eclipse even Elvis Presley in popularity, particularly in England but also in America.  For one thing, Buddy Holly and the Crickets toured the United Kingdom for a month in 1958 (they were only the second white rock band to do so), which Elvis never did, at least in those days.  Elvis Presley went into the Army in early 1958 – though his record company had plenty of future hits in the can, he was clearly no longer on the scene.  


Meanwhile, Buddy Holly was at the height of his powers as a musician, though record sales began to slip as a result:  Holly’s final 45 during his lifetime, Heartbeat b/w “Well . . . All Right” peaked at #82 on the Billboard singles charts.  Of the “B” side, Bruce Eder notes:  “[Buddy Holly] might even have advanced farther than a big chunk of the group’s audience was prepared to accept in late 1958.  ‘Well . . . All Right’, for example, was years ahead of its time as a song and a recording.”  Well All Right is one of the tracks on the excellent Blind Faith album that was released in 1969


Buddy Holly split from both the Crickets and Norman Petty in the fall of 1958 and was thus free to pursue his new musical visions.  Unfortunately, he got only a meager settlement when Norman Petty’s books were found to be in hopeless disarray – probably Petty took a big slice of the pie for himself, though there was no way to prove it. 


With a new, pregnant wife, and short on money, Buddy Holly signed on for the “Winter Dance Party” package tour of the Midwest.  It was during this tour that Holly was killed in the airplane crash in February 1959, along with Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper. and the pilot Roger Peterson.  Buddy Holly was just 22 years old. 


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In the 1978 film, The Buddy Holly StoryGary Busey stars as Buddy Holly in an Oscar-nominated performance; Busey even performs the songs himself rather than having them dubbed in, as is the usual custom.  Gary Busey was previously in a rock band called Carp; I have a copy of their debut self-titled album, Carp that was released on Epic Records in 1969


One of the most memorable scenes in the movie depicts a performance by Buddy Holly and the Crickets at the Apollo Theatre in 1957.  As the applause dies away when the audience realizes that the band is white, Buddy says into the mike, “Well, we didn’t expect you either”, before launching into their set. 


*       *       *  


Buddy Holly’s impact on American music is immense; Wikipedia succinctly sums it up:  “Holly set the template for the standard rock and roll band:  two guitars, bass, and drums.  He was one of the first in the genre to write, produce, and perform his own songs.” 


Bobby Vee (not to be confused with Bobby Vinton) launched a successful musical career by taking Buddy Holly’s place in the Winter Dance Party tour.  Holly’s influence is clear in Bobby Vee songs like “Rubber Ball” and “Run to Him”.  


Bob Dylan (who was 17 at the time) attended Buddy Holly’s show on January 31, 1959 – only three days before the airplane crash.  Dylan spoke of the concert during his 1998 Grammy acceptance speech for Album of the Year for Time out of Mind:  “And I just want to say that when I was sixteen or seventeen years old, I went to see Buddy Holly play at Duluth National Guard Armory, and I was three feet away from him . . . and he LOOKED at me.  And I just have some sort of feeling that he was – I don’t know how or why – but I know he was with us all the time we were making this record in some kind of way.” 


As an aside, fellow Bob Dylan fans who might have quit buying his albums back in the 1960’s and 1970’s would do well to start with Time out of Mind Dylan’s next album, Love and Theft is even better – to see how great his newer music still is. 


In 1978Bruce Springsteen told Dave Marsh in an interview published in Rolling Stone:  “I play Buddy Holly every night before I go on; that keeps me honest.” 


Not Fade Away” ranks as the seventh most-performed song by the Grateful Dead in concert; they played the song an astounding 530 times.  Additionally, the Buddy Holly classic is on eight of their officially released live albums. 


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As important as he is in his home country, the influence of Buddy Holly among British musicians is incalculable.  Quoting Bruce Eder again:  “The group’s heavy use of rhythm guitar slotted right in with the sound of skiffle music, a mix of blues, folk, country, and jazz elements that constituted most of British youth’s introduction to playing music and their way into rock & roll.  Additionally, although he cut an exciting figure on-stage, Holly looked a lot less likely a rock & roll star than Elvis  tall, lanky, and bespectacled, he looked like an ordinary guy who simply played and sang well, and part of his appeal as a rock & roll star was rooted in how unlikely he looked in that role.  He provided inspiration – and a way into the music – for tens of thousands of British teenagers who also couldn’t imagine themselves rivals to Elvis or Gene Vincent in the dark and dangerous department. . . .  Additionally, although he played several different kinds of guitar, Holly was specifically responsible for popularizing – some would say elevating to mystical, even magical status – the Fender Stratocaster, especially in England.”  


Buddy Holly’s death had a profound effect in the United Kingdom; Buddy’s final single, “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” rose to #1 on the charts following his death.  In 1961, the ground-breaking record producer Joe Meek, working with singer Mike Berry created “Tribute to Buddy Holly” that seemed like the man himself singing from beyond the grave.  Joe Meek apparently never got over the loss, and he committed suicide in 1967 on the anniversary of the airplane crash.  


Even beyond musical influence, the Buddy Holly persona is also evident among British musicians.  In the late 1950’s, at least one British guitarist, Hank Marvin of the Shadows – the premier English instrumental rock band of the 1960’s that also backed Cliff Richard for several years – took the Buddy Holly look on stage, down to the glasses.  Marvin is also reputed to be the first man to bring a Fender Stratocaster guitar to England.  

The extravagant glasses that Elton John has worn throughout his decades-long career all started when young Reg Dwight began wearing glasses in his teens “not because he needed them, but in homage to Buddy Holly”, as Philip Norman wrote in his biography of the English legend.  Lead singer Freddie Garrity of Freddie and the Dreamers is another British star who wore Buddy Holly glasses on stage; in the 1970’s, pub-music star Elvis Costello was doing the same.  Allmusic describes Freddie and the Dreamers as “the clowns of the British Invasion” due to their outlandish hits like “Do the Freddie”, but there is a lot more to them than that (though I will have to get into that another time). 


More than a few British rock groups adopted band names in tribute to Buddy Holly.  The Beatles in part took their insect-oriented name from that of his band the Crickets.  One Manchester band of the British Invasion period simply called themselves the Hollies.  Yet another British Invasion band, the Searchers took their name from the John Wayne movie of that name, The Searchers, where the Duke often said, “That’ll be the day”; the catch phrase had been adopted by Buddy Holly as the name of one of his first hits, That’ll Be the Day


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The above disk is of Buddy Holly’s song “That’ll Be the Day” and is the first recording that was made by the Quarrymen, the skiffle band that later became the Beatles.  Intended only as a demonstration disc, just one copy was ever pressed (in 1958); this record is one of the most valuable on earth, worth an estimated £100,000 according to NME.com.  The song was officially released in 1995 on the BeatlesAnthology 1 retrospective album package. 


Both Paul McCartney and John Lennon have called Buddy Holly a primary influence on their work; Ian Whitcomb once said that “Buddy Holly and the Crickets had the most influence on the Beatles”.  The Beatles did a lovely cover of “Words of Love” that was released in late 1964 on their album Beatles for Sale.  During the recording sessions for the Let it Be album in January 1969the Beatles recorded a slow version of “Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues” (a song popularized by Buddy Holly, though not written by him); the song was later released on Anthology 3.  Also, John Lennon recorded a cover of “Peggy Sue” on his 1975 solo album Rock ’n’ Roll.  


Keith Richards once said of Buddy Holly that he had “an influence on everybody”.  Richards heard Buddy perform Not Fade Away in concert; as only their third single, the Rolling Stones hit #3 on the UK charts with “Not Fade Away” (performed in the Bo Diddley style that was the genesis of the song in the first place) – and that song is my very favorite Rolling Stones cover song. 


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I have written of Ritchie Valens already; he was the first Hispanic rock star and grew up in the San Fernando Valley community of Pacoima.  Despite his Anglicized name (his birth name was Ricardo Esteban Valenzuela Reyes), Valens was proud of his heritage and was expressing an interest in making music at the age of 5.  He taught himself to play guitar and, at 16, was hired by a local band called the Silhouettes (not the same as the doo-wop group the Silhouettes); he became the frontman when the lead singer moved on.  The Silhouettes had a remarkable diversity among its membership, including African-American and Japanese-American members; he shared vocalist duties with two women.  Under the name Richard Valenzuela, he was becoming known as the “Little Richard of San Fernando”. 


Ritchie Valens was signed by producer Bob Keane to Del-Fi Records in 1958 after he saw one of the Silhouettes shows; it was Keane who suggested that he shorten his last name and add the “t” to his first.  Bob Keane recalls of that night:  “I’ll never forget the first time I saw Ritchie.  He had a small, somewhat beat-up guitar amp worth about fifty bucks.  He stood up there on stage, with complete command of his audience.  He was this bull-like kid with an opera tenor’s torso.  I knew he had a lot of potential.  It should go without saying that what I heard impressed me, but I had no idea what to do with the raw talent I saw up there on the stage.” 


Ritchie Valens released just two 45’s but still showed incredible versatility.  His first, “Come On, Let’s Go” is now regarded as a straight-up rock and roll classic, but it failed to chart.  Writing in 1998Billy Vera recalls “first hearing [“Come On, Let’s Go”] on Alan Freed’s TV Dance Party, a local New York equivalent of Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.  It was a record which really grabbed my teenaged ears.  I had never heard anything quite like it.  It had a much ‘thicker’ sound than anything by Elvis, Chuck BerryGene Vincent or even Eddie Cochran.  For thickness, the only thing that came close was Bo Diddley.” 


His follow-up, “Donna” was completely different and became a bonafide hit, peaking at #2 on the charts at the end of 1958.  “Donna” inspired a host of other songs addressed to female loves, most directly Dion’s “Donna the Prima Donna” (Dion and the Belmonts were also along on the Winter Dance Party), but also Neil Sedaka’s “Oh, Carol!” and “Denise” by Randy and the Rainbows (later covered by Blondie as “Denis”). 


Legendary rock critic Lester Bangs has written of this song:  “[Ritchie] Valens sang with an unassuming sincerity that made him more truly touching than any other artist from his era.  ‘Donna’ is one of the classic teen love ballads, one of the few which reaches through layers of maudlin sentiment to give you the true and unmistakable sensation of what it must have been like to be a teenager in that strange decade. . . .  The agonizing sense of frustration which is so crucial to adolescent life is never very far from his lyrics; and in his best songs, like ‘Donna’ and ‘Come On, Let’s Go, it is right up front, just as it is in Eddie Cochran’s classic ‘Summertime Blues.” 


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The flip side of Donna though is the song that has really endured over the years.  Sung entirely in Spanish, “La Bamba” was just starting to become a hit as well in early 1959 and is a rocked-up version of a traditional Mexican wedding song dating from the 14th Century that is believed to have as many as 500 verses. 


Writing for the Rolling Stone Record GuideDavid McGee states:  “To get an idea of his indelible contribution to rock & roll, consider the critic Lester Bangs’ citation of [Ritchie] Valens as the prototypical punk guitarist whose signature ‘La Bamba’ riff links Valens to a hard-edged, no-frills style of rock & roll later advanced by the Kingsmenthe Kinksthe Stoogesand the Ramones.”  The thrilling Ramones call “Hey Ho, Let’s Go” – from the opening song Blitzkrieg Bopon their first album, Ramones – might have been lifted directly from Ritchie ValensCome On, Let’s Go


La Bambahas been covered numerous times over the years; another Hispanic star, Trini Lopez had a 1966 hit with a more mellow version of the song, while Freddy Fender got on the charts with a Tex-Mex treatment.  Folk artists like the Kingston TrioJoan Baez and Harry Belafonte (among others) have also recorded the song.  In one of their early sessions together, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards played La Bamba in 1961; ironically, they were both 17 years old, the same age as Ritchie Valens when he perished on the airplane crash.  The tape of this rare recording brought $81,000. 


The 1987 film La Bamba that helped revive interest in Ritchie Valensmusic starred Lou Diamond Phillips; the Chicano rock band Los Lobos (celebrating their 40th anniversary together this year) faithfully recreated Ritchie Valens’ music in the movie. 


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Born J. P. Richardson, Jr. in 1930the Big Bopper was the other rocker that passed on the day the music died.  Starting with a brash “Hello, Ba-a-a-by!”, his big hit “Chantilly Lace” is simply a delight to the ears – a compelling chorus ending with “Oh, baby, that’s what I like!” that is interspersed with an improvised telephone conversation with his girlfriend.  One listen, and there is no doubt that the Big Bopper was a born entertainer.  I remember a reminiscence years ago where someone said he could have been a successful actor or comedian had he lived. 


J. P. Richardson, Jr. – “Jiles” or “Jape” to his friends – grew up in Beaumont, Texas in the same government housing project as one of the greatest country musicians, George Jones, who died just this past April.  After graduating from high school and a few years in college, J. P. Richardson, Jr. became a disc jockey at a local radio station, KTRM (now KZZB) and was permanently hired in 1949.  


While at KTRM in 1953Schlitz Brewing Company was offering a sponsorship to someone who could come up with a character that they could promote, so J. P. Richardson, Jr. invented “the Big Bopper” (“bop” comes from a form of jazz music called be-bop dating from the 1940’s and has become a slang term meaning all sorts of things).  He then used this moniker in his recording career. 


After being drafted in the Army for two years, J. P. Richardson, Jr. went into the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest continuous on-air period as a disc jockey.  From April 29 to May 4, 1957 (a total of more than 122 hours), he played a mind-boggling 1,821 songs, ending with “Cattle Call” by Dinah Shore.  


The first 45 released by the Big Bopper – actually a pair of instrumental recordings credited to Wortham Watts (the two men co-wrote the songs) – came out on D Records:  “Cotton Picker” b/w “Lonesome”.  Shortly afterwards, “Beggar To A King” b/w “Crazy Blues” came out on Mercury/Starday Records


In June 1958the Big Bopper was going to record a new song called “Purple People Eater Meets Witch Doctor”, featuring two characters from popular novelty songs of the day:  the David Seville song Witch Doctorthat was mentioned already, and the Sheb Wooley hit “The Purple People Eater” about the “one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater” who wants to be a “singer in a rock and roll band”.  (Both of these characters used sped-up vocals in the songs).   


Remarkably, the Big Bopper wrote Chantilly Lace while on the way to the Gold Star Studio in Houston; he had originally intended it to be the “B” side for Purple People Eater Meets Witch Doctor, but Chantilly Lace was on the charts for 22 weeks and topped out at #6.  For shows like American Bandstand  – where the performers lip-synch to their records – the Big Bopper had a hard time matching his improvised speaking parts and inflections. 


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Near the end of 1958the Big Bopper decided to film three of his hit songs at a local nightclub:  Chantilly Lace, “Big Bopper’s Wedding” and “Little Red Riding Hood” (not the same song as the Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs hit, Li’l Red Riding Hood).  


On January 24, 1959the Big Bopper gave a visionary interview to Disc magazine in England.  He mentioned that these songs that he filmed should be recorded on “video tape” – similar to the tape used in recording studios for audio recordings.  He also thought that jukeboxes should have a television screen to show tapes like these for viewing.  He even spoke of a “video attachment” for home television sets that could not only play video tapes like these, but could also be used to record favorite television programs.  All this more than 50 years ago! 


Just 10 days later, the Big Bopper was gone.  A briefcase was found in the wreckage that contained lyrics for 20 songs that he was working on.  His friend Elvis Presley sent a note of condolence and a guitar-shaped arrangement of yellow roses for the funeral procession. 


Besides his own wonderful recordings, the legacy of the Big Bopper includes several other songs written by him.  The best known is “White Lightning”, a song that was recorded by his life-long friend George Jones and released less than one week after the plane crash; it became Jones’ first #1 country single. 


J. P. Richardson, Jr. offered one of his songs, “Running Bear” to another friend, Johnny Preston after hearing him perform at a local club.  The song concerns a doomed romance between an Indian brave named Running Bear and an Indian maid named White Dove, who each come from warring tribes, much like the story of Romeo and Juliet.  The song was recorded in 1958 and features the Big BopperGeorge Jones and Bill Hall performing Indian chanting and Indian war cries.  In January 1960, the song reached the top of the singles charts in both the U.S. and the U.K. 


In time, the Big Bopper’s son, Jay Perry Richardson learned of his father’s career.  He sounded and looked a lot like his famous father, so he began recording and touring as a tribute to his father under the name the Big Bopper, Jr.  Jay Perry Richardson is now in the process of recruiting other musicians to provide music for the Big Bopper’s final songs and release them in a series of albums; a concert was also planned on the 55th anniversary of the airplane crash on February 3, 2014


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Little Richard is another man who helped lay the foundations of rock and roll.  His hit songs – “Tutti Frutti”, “Long Tall Sally”, “Slippin’ and Slidin’”, “Jenny, Jenny”, “Ready Teddy”, “Keep a Knockin’”, “Good Golly, Miss Molly”, etc. – are so primal and so ingrained in the rock and roll milieu that it seems like they have always been there.  Little Richard (real name:  Richard Penniman) is sometimes unfairly dismissed as a one-dimensional shouter, but he brought a passion to his music – and a flamboyant personality to match – that made even Elvis Presley seem tame by comparison.  His short stature only exaggerated the vehemence of his performances. 


Quoting Riche Unterberger in Allmusic:  “One of the original rock & roll greats, Little Richard merged the fire of gospel with New Orleans R&B, pounding the piano and wailing with gleeful abandon.  While numerous other R&B greats of the early ’50s had been moving in a similar direction, none of them matched the sheer electricity of Richard’s vocals.  With his bullet-speed deliveries, ecstatic trills, and the overjoyed force of personality in his singing, he was crucial in upping the voltage from high-powered R&B into the similar, yet different, guise of rock & roll.”  


Little Richard’s first hit song, Tutti Frutti came out in September 1955 and was markedly different from his earlier, more traditional recordings.  This song established the basic template for his parade of hit songs that would follow over the next couple of years.  Even among the other rock and roll greats that I have already discussed, Tutti Frutti had an incredible impact and looks even better in retrospect.  


In 2007, a panel of established recording artists voted on “The Top 100 Records That Changed The World”; as published in Mojo magazine, Tutti Frutti was voted #1 on the list, and the accompanying article lauded the record as “the sound of the birth of rock and roll”.  The song was added by the U. S. Library of Congress to its National Recording Registry in 2010, noting that the “unique vocalizing over the irresistible beat announced a new era in music”. 


The song opens with a cry of “A-wop-bom-a-loo-mop-a-lomp-bom-bom!!” and closes with the same cry except that it ends “. . . bam boom!!”  In April 2012Rolling Stone magazine declared that the opening cry in Tutti Frutti “has to be considered the most inspired rock lyric ever recorded”.  To Little Richard, these syllables were a drum pattern that he heard in his head. 


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During the middle of a tour in late 1957 with Gene Vincent and Eddie CochranLittle Richard had a series of visions – one of which turned out to be the launching of the first artificial satellite by the Soviet UnionSputnik 1 – that convinced him to abandon his rock-and-roll life and go into the ministry.  He shocked the world by announcing his conversion to Christianity while still a major star.  He enrolled in a Bible College and formed the Little Richard Evangelistic Team in 1958


By 1959Little Richard was starting to make gospel recordings and had minor sales success with some of them; “He Got What He Wanted” made the Top 40 in the U.K.  His childhood hero Mahalia Jackson acknowledged his gospel efforts positively; after working with Little Richard on his 1962 album King of the Gospel SingersQuincy Jones said in 1984 that he was more impressed with those performances than those of anyone he had worked with. 


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Little Richard started edging back into rock and roll in 1962; a European tour with Sam Cooke where he sang his gospel material was not well received, but crowds enthusiastically applauded his older songs like “Long Tall Sally”, a song that the Beatles recorded in full-blown Little Richard style in 1964, with Paul McCartney on lead vocals.  The same year, Little Richard unapologetically returned to rock and roll and released “Bama Lama Bama Loo” in 1964; however, public tastes had changed, and he spent much of the 1960’s and 1970’s in what should have been unnecessary self-promotion. 


Not long ago, I picked up the above LP, Second Coming that reunited Little Richard with many of the original musicians on the 1950’s classics as well as the man who masterminded those recordings, R. A. ‘Bumps’ Blackwell.  I’m not sure how sales were this time, but the recordings are thrilling without being as over-the-top as his original songs.  A second LP came out later, along with a 2-CD collection.  These records are a reminder of what we lost when Little Richard abandoned rock and roll for a higher calling, and what we gained when he made the return. 


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That’s not all, folks!  “Part 2” of this post can be found at:  Fur (Part Two)


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The Honor Roll of the Under Appreciated Rock Bands and Artists follows, in date order, including a link to the original Facebook posts and the theme of the article.
Dec 2009BEAST; Lot to Learn
Jan 2010WENDY WALDMAN; Los Angeles Singer-Songwriters
Feb 2010 CYRUS ERIE; Cleveland
Mar 2010BANG; Record Collecting I
Apr 2010THE BREAKAWAYS; Power Pop
May 2010THE NOT QUITE; Katrina Clean-Up
Jun 2010WATERLILLIES; Electronica
Jul 2010THE EYES; Los Angeles Punk Rock
Aug 2010QUEEN ANNE’S LACE; Psychedelic Pop
Sep 2010THE STILLROVEN; Minnesota
Oct 2010THE PILTDOWN MEN; Record Collecting II
Nov 2010SLOVENLY; Slovenly Peter
Dec 2010THE POPPEES; New York Punk/New Wave
Jan 2011HACIENDA; Latinos in Rock
Feb 2011THE WANDERERS; Punk Rock (1970’s/1980’s)
Mar 2011INDEX; Psychedelic Rock (1960’s)
Apr 2011BOHEMIAN VENDETTA; Punk Rock (1960’s)
May 2011THE LONESOME DRIFTER; Rockabilly
Jun 2011THE UNKNOWNS; Disabled Musicians
Jul 2011THE RIP CHORDS; Surf Rock I
Aug 2011ANDY COLQUHOUN; Side Men
Sep 2011ULTRA; Texas
Oct 2011JIM SULLIVAN; Mystery
Nov 2011THE UGLY; Punk Rock (1970’s)
Dec 2011THE MAGICIANS; Garage Rock (1960’s)
Jan 2012RON FRANKLIN; Why Celebrate Under Appreciated?
Feb 2012JA JA JA; German New Wave
Mar 2012STRATAVARIOUS; Disco Music
Apr 2012LINDA PIERRE KING; Record Collecting III
May 2012TINA AND THE TOTAL BABES; One Hit Wonders
Jun 2012WILD BLUE; Band Names I
Jul 2012DEAD HIPPIE; Band Names II
Aug 2012PHIL AND THE FRANTICS; Wikipedia I
Sep 2012CODE BLUE; Hidden History
Oct 2012TRILLION; Wikipedia II
Nov 2012THOMAS ANDERSON; Martin Winfree’s Record Buying Guide
Dec 2012THE INVISIBLE EYES; Record Collecting IV
Jan 2013THE SKYWALKERS; Garage Rock Revival
Mar 2013THE GILES BROTHERS; Novelty Songs
Apr 2013LES SINNERS; Universal Language
May 2013HOLLIS BROWN; Greg Shaw / Bob Dylan
Jun 2013 (I) – FUR (Part One); What Might Have Been I
Jun 2013 (II) – FUR (Part Two); What Might Have Been II
Jul 2013THE KLUBS; Record Collecting V
Aug 2013SILVERBIRD; Native Americans in Rock
Sep 2013BLAIR 1523; Wikipedia III
Oct 2013MUSIC EMPORIUM; Women in Rock I
Nov 2013CHIMERA; Women in Rock II
Dec 2013LES HELL ON HEELS; Women in Rock III
Jan 2014BOYSKOUT; (Lesbian) Women in Rock IV
Feb 2014LIQUID FAERIES; Women in Rock V
Mar 2014 (I) – THE SONS OF FRED (Part 1); Tribute to Mick Farren
Mar 2014 (II) – THE SONS OF FRED (Part 2); Tribute to Mick Farren
Apr 2014HOMER; Creating New Bands out of Old Ones
May 2014THE SOUL AGENTS; The Cream Family Tree
Jun 2014THE RICHMOND SLUTS and BIG MIDNIGHT; Band Names (Changes) III
Jul 2014MIKKI; Rock and Religion I (Early CCM Music)
Aug 2014THE HOLY GHOST RECEPTION COMMITTEE #9; Rock and Religion II (Bob Dylan)
Sep 2014NICK FREUND; Rock and Religion III (The Beatles)
Oct 2014MOTOCHRIST; Rock and Religion IV
Dec 2014THE SILENCERS; Surf Rock II
Jan 2015 (I) – THE CRAWDADDYS (Part 1); Tribute to Kim Fowley
Jan 2015 (II) – THE CRAWDADDYS (Part 2); Tribute to Kim Fowley
Feb 2015BRIAN OLIVE; Songwriting I (Country Music)
Mar 2015PHIL GAMMAGE; Songwriting II (Woody Guthrie/Bob Dylan)
Apr 2015 (I) – BLACK RUSSIAN (Part 1); Songwriting III (Partnerships)
Apr 2015 (II) – BLACK RUSSIAN (Part 2); Songwriting III (Partnerships)
May 2015MAL RYDER and THE PRIMITIVES; Songwriting IV (Rolling Stones)
Jun 2015HAYMARKET SQUARE; Songwriting V (Beatles)
Jul 2015THE HUMAN ZOO; Songwriting VI (Psychedelic Rock)
Aug 2015CRYSTAL MANSIONMartin Winfree’s Record Cleaning Guide
Dec 2015AMANDA JONES; So Many Rock Bands
Mar 2016THE LOVEMASTERS; Fun Rock Music
Jun 2016THE GYNECOLOGISTS; Offensive Rock Music Lyrics
Sep 2016LIGHTNING STRIKE; Rap and Hip Hop
Dec 2016THE IGUANAS; Iggy and the Stooges; Proto-Punk Rock
Mar 2017THE LAZY COWGIRLS; Iggy and the Stooges; First Wave Punk Rock
Jun 2017THE LOONS; Punk Revival and Other New Bands
Sep 2017THE TELL-TALE HEARTS; Bootleg Albums
Dec 2017SS-20; The Iguana Chronicles
(Year 10 Review)
Last edited: April 8, 2021