Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hits List: Supertramp

This British group had a loyal cult following, but it wasn't until their blockbuster breakthrough Breakfast in America that they became known to the masses.  Here is the complete Hits List for Supertramp:

1971:  "Forever"
1974:  "Land Ho"
1975:  "Dreamer" (#36, #13 U.K., #75 Canada)
           "Bloody Well Right' (#35, #49 Canada)--underrated.
1976:  "Ain't Nobody But Me" (#64 Canada)
           "Give a Little Bit" (#15, #29 U.K., #29 Germany, #8 Canada)
1978:  "From Now On"

1979:  "The Logical Song" (#6, #7 U.K., #12 Germany, #1 Canada)
           "Breakfast in America" (#62, #9 U.K., #23 Germany)
           "Goodbye Stranger" (#15, #57 U.K., #6 Canada)
           "Take the Long Way Home" (#10, #4 Canada)
1980:  "Dreamer" (live) (#15, #1 Canada)
           "Breakfast in America" (live" (#62)

1982:  "It's Raining Again" (#11, #7 Mainstream Rock, #26 U.K., #3 Germany, #4 Canada)
           "Don't Leave Me Now" (#32 Mainstream Rock)
           "Crazy" (#10 Mainstream)
1983:  "My Kind of Lady" (#31, #74 Germany)
1985:  "Still in Love"
           "Cannonball" (#28, #4 Mainstream, #60 Germany, #24 Canada)
           "Better Days"
1987:  "I'm Beggin' You" (#73 Canada)
1988:  "Free as a Bird"
1989:  "School"
1992:  "Give a Little Bit" (re-issue)
1997:  "You Win, I Lose" (#63 Germany, #38 Canada)
           "Listen to Me, Please"
2002:  "Slow Motion"

Discography: Beatles

The group's discography is complicated because of different release dates and even different album titles and associated tracks.  It's an amazing performance on the top charts of the world.  What's noteworthy is that they finished their career on top at #1 (just like they started), something few artists are able to do.

1963:  Please Please Me (#1 U.K., #5 Germany)
          With the Beatles (#1 U.K., #1 Germany)
           Beatlemania!  With the Beatles

1964:  Introducing the Beatles (#2)
          Meet the Beatles!  (#1)
          Twist and Shout (in Canada)
          The Beatles' Second Album (#1)
          The Beatles' Long Tall Sally (in Canada)
          "A Hard Day's Night" Soundtrack (#1)
          Something New (#2, #8 Germany)
          Beatles for Sale (#1 U.K., #1 Australia, #1 Germany)
          Beatles '65 (#1, #9 Germany)

1965:  Beatles VI (#1, #5 Germany)
          "Help!" Soundtrack (#1, #1 U.K., #1 Australia, #1 Germany)
          Rubber Soul (#1, #1 U.K., #1 Australia, #1 Germany)
1966:  Yesterday and Today (#1, #3 Germany)
           Revolver (#1, #1 U.K., #1 Australia, #1 Germany, #14 Norway)

1967:  "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" Soundtrack (#1, #1 U.K., #1 Australia, #1 Germany, #1 Norway)
           "Magical Mystery Tour" Soundtrack (#1, #31 U.K., #1 Australia, #1 Germany, #13 Norway)

1968:  The Beatles (which became known as The White Album) (#1, #1 U.K., #1 Canada, #1 Australia, #1 Germany, #1 Norway)
1969:  "Yellow Submarine" Soundtrack (#2, #3 U.K., #1 Canada, #4 Australia, #5 Germany, #1 Norway)
           Abbey Road (#1, #1 U.K., #1 Canada, #1 Australia, #1 Germany, #1 Norway)

1970:  Let It Be (#1, #1 U.K., #1 Canada, #1 Australia, #1 Germany, #1 Norway)

Live Albums:
1977:  Live!  at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962 (#111)
           The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl (#2, #1 U.K., #12 Australia, #4 Norway)
1979:  First Live Recordings
1994:  Live at the BBC (#3, #1 U.K., #2 Australia)

1962:  My Bonnie
1964:  The Beatles with Tony Sheridan & Guests
           The Beatles Beat
           Something New
           Ain't She Sweet
           The Beatles' Story (#7)
1965:  The Early Beatles (#43)
           The Beatles
           The Beatles' Greatest (#38 Germany)
           Los Beatles
1966:  Greatest Hits Volume 1 (Australia & New Zealand)
           A Collection of Beatles Oldies (#7 U.K., #7 Australia, #12 Norway)
1967:  Greatest Hits Volume 2 (Australia)
           The Beatles' First (U.K.)
1969:  Very Together (Canada)
1970:  Hey Jude (#2, #1 Australia, #2 Canada)
           In the Beginning (#117)
           From Then to You (U.K.)
           The Beatles' Christmas Album
1971:  Por Siempre Beatles (Argentina)

1973:  1962-1966 (#3, #3 U.K., #2 Germany, #38 Canada, #9 Australia, #1 Norway)--definitely one of their best compilations.

           1967-1970 (#1, #2 U.K., #2 Germany, #42 Canada, #8 Australia, #2 Norway)--needs to be purchased with the above.
1976:  Rock 'n' Roll Music (#2, #11 U.K., #10 Germany, #2 Canada, #4 Australia, #8 Norway)
1977:  Love Songs (#24, #7 U.K., #18 Canada, #59 Australia, #20 Norway)
1978:  The Beatles Collection (#33 Australia)
           Rarities (#71 U.K.)
1980:  Rarities (#21, #26 Canada, #27 Australia)
           The Beatles' Ballads (#17, #69 Canada, #1 Australia)
           Rock 'n' Roll Music, Volume One
           Rock 'n' Roll Music, Volume Two
           The Beatles Box (boxed set)
           The Beatles 1967-1970 (East Germany)
1982:  The Beatles (East Germany)
           Reel Music (#19, #26 Canada, #56 Australia)
           20 Greatest Hits (#50, #10 U.K., #52 Canada)
1983:  The Number Ones (#1 Australia)
1984:  The Early Tapes of The Beatles (U.K.)
1988:  Past Masters, Volume One (#149, #49 U.K., #79 Australia)
           Past Masters, Volume Two
           Past Masters, Volumes One & Two
           The Beatles Box Set 

1995:  Anthology 1 (#1, #2 U.K., #1 Germany, #1 Canada, #1 Australia, #5 Norway)--the three Anthology albums are another way to capture the great Beatles music in a collection.

1996:  Anthology 2 (#1, #1 U.K., #4 Germany, #3 Canada, #2 Australia, #5 Norway)

           Anthology 3 (#1, #4 U.K., #9 Germany, #3 Canada, #3 Australia, #13 Norway)
1999:  Yellow Submarine Songtrack (#15, #8 U.K., #11 Germany, #12 Canada, #1 Norway)
2000:  1 (#1, #1 U.K., #1 Germany, #1 Canada, #1 Australia, #1 Norway)
2001:  Beatles Bop - Hamburg Days
2003:  Let It Be...Naked (#5, #7 U.K., #13 Germany, #8 Canada, #11 Australia, #6 Norway)
2004:  The Capitol Albums, Volume 1 (#35, #80 Germany)
2006:  The Capitol Albums, Volume 2 (#46)
            Love (#4, #3 U.K., #2 Germany, #1 Canada, #2 Australia, #8 Norway)
2009:  The Beatles in Mono (#40, #57 U.K., #3 Germany)
           Mono Masters
           The Beatles Stereo Box Set (#15, #24 U.K., #23 Australia, #3 Norway)
           Past Masters (#31 U.K., #61 Germany, #34 Australia)
2010:  1962-1966/1967-1970 (#59 U.K., #29 Germany, #38 Norway)

The #83 Guitarist of the Rock Era: Dave Mason

Inside the Rock Era looked at some of the other lists of top guitarists as a basis to go on.  Then we listened and listened to each of the top guitarists of the rock era.  We evaluated them on their overall ability, the sound of their guitar-playing, their popularity, their longevity, their experience, their guitar riffs, the ability to play a melody, their speed, creativity, their entertainment ability and live stage presence.  We narrowed it down to about 160.  Then we listened some more, continuing to evaluate each on the factors above.  We ranked them then re-ranked them, doing our best to compare each guitarist and rank them where they truly deserved to be ranked.  #783is next.
#83:  Dave Mason, Traffic, solo
active guitarist for 46 years
(solo on "All Along the Watchtower)

David Thomas Mason was born May 10, 1946 in Worcester, England.  He became prominent as the singer-songwriter and guitarist with Traffic.  Mason has performed live and in the studio with artists such as Michael Jackson, George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac and Eric Clapton. 

Mason was a friend of Hendrix, who heard "All Along the Watchtower" at a party that Mason had invited him to.  That night, he recorded the song with Mason playing acoustic guitar. 

Although Mason co-founded Traffic, he left the group following the recording of their first album, Mr. Fantasy in 1967, only to rejoin halfway through the recording of the next album Traffic.  He then left again, although Dave did tour with the group briefly in 1971 when they re-formed. 

Mason played guitar on the 1968 album Beggars Banquet by the Rolling Stones, although the band did not credit him.  He also played on the George Harrison album All Things Must Pass, the Jimi Hendrix album Electric Ladyland and on Paul McCartney's song "Listen to What the Man Said".  In 1970, Mason was set to be the second guitarist for Derek and the Dominos behind Eric Clapton, but Dave left before the group recorded any material. 

Mason recorded several solo albums with moderate success, with his biggest hit being "We Just Disagree" in 1977.  Dave's last solo albumwas 26 Letters - 12 Notes in 2008.  He joined Fleetwood Mac for a brief period and recorded the album Time with them in 1995.  He has kept a fairly active tour schedule, in 2005 doing about 100 shows a year in the United States and Canada.

Mason favors Fender Telecaster but is also working with RKS Guitars.

Mason is one of the most experienced of The Top 100 Guitarists* at 46 years.  He ranks #83 for the Rock Era*...

This Date in Rock Music History: February 18

1956:  The Platters ruled the R&B chart for the seventh week with "The Great Pretender".
1959:  Elvis Presley performed after hours at the Lido Club in Paris, France while on leave from the United States Army.
1962:  While on leave from training in the United States Marines, the Everly Brothers appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, in full uniform and cropped hair, singing "Crying In The Rain".

1963:  Peter, Paul & Mary released the single "Puff (The Magic Dragon)".  (Note:  several websites naively state the single was released on March 16.  "Puff" debuted on the Singles chart on March 16.  It is physically impossible for a record company to release a single to radio stations, have the song listened to and added to radio station playlists, reported by the radio station to the trade papers, and have the trade papers printed and published, all in the same day.  There are no reputable sources that state the exact day of release, but our best research uncovered a February 15, 1963 'Billboard' magazine that revealed that Peter, Paul & Mary would release "Puff (The Magic Dragon)" as their next single.)
1965:  The Beatles recorded two new songs--"You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" and "Tell Me What You See" at Abbey Road studios in London.
1965:  The Kinks topped the U.K. chart with "Tired Of Waiting For You".
1967:  Ed Ames had the #1 Easy Listening song for the third week with "My Cup Runneth Over".
1968:  Boise, Idaho's Paul Revere & the Raiders had the highest debut of the week, "Ups And Downs", at #77.

          The Spencer Davis Group gave us this great song...

1968:  The Buckinghams had the new #1 song with "Kind Of A Drag", ending seven weeks at the top for the Monkees' "I'm A Believer".  The Rolling Stones edged up with "Ruby Tuesday" while the former #2 smash "Georgy Girl" by the Seekers fell this week.  The rest of the Top 10:  "(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet" by Blues Magoos, the Supremes were back with "Love Is Here And Now You're Gone", Keith remained steady at "98.6", Aaron Neville and "Tell It Like It Is", Sonny & Cher were at #9 with "The Beat Goes On" and the Spencer Davis Group rolled up from 17 to 10 with "Gimme' Some Lovin'".

1968:  Pink Floyd fired frontman Syd Barrett.  After being released from a psychiatric hospital, Barrett went into seclusion.  (Note:  many websites claim Gilmour replaced Barrett on this date.  Not true.  Gilmour had already joined the band in December, 1967 as a fifth member, according to the book 'Pink Floyd- The Music and the Mystery' by Andy Mabbett.  Peter Buckley, in his book 'The Rough Guide to Rock' said that Gilmour joined in "early 1968".  In any case, Gilmour was already a member of the group by this time, as you can tell from the January, 1968 photo above.  What happened on this date was the firing of Barrett.) 
1969:  The Jimi Hendrix Experience were in concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
1969:  Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees and Lulu ("To Sir With Love") were married at St. James' Church in Gerrard's Cross, England in front of over 3,000 guests.  
1974:  KISS released their self-titled debut album on Casablanca Records.
1974:  Yes performed at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

        The Trammps' "Disco Inferno" helped fuel 'Saturday Night Fever'...

1978:  The Soundtrack to "Saturday Night Fever" was the #1 album for a fifth week.  The Stranger from Billy Joel moved to challenge while Queen's News of the World was third.  Earth, Wind & Fire were at #4 with All 'N All and Rod Stewart dropped with Foot Loose & Fancy Free.  The rest of the Top 10:  Neil Diamond's I'm Glad You're Here With Me Tonight, Styx and The Grand Illusion, Jackson Browne edged up to #8 with Running On Empty, Randy Newman placed ninth with Little Criminals and Fleetwood Mac's Rumours was still in the Top 10 after 52 weeks.
1978:  Working off of two consecutive number ones, the Bee Gees positioned themselves well with another single--"Night Fever" moving from 32 to 17.

                           Dan Hill had himself a Top 5 song...

1978:  "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees stayed at #1 for the third week.  The group had spent six of the last nine weeks at #1 counting their previous #1 "How Deep Is Your Love".  Brother Andy Gibb was now #2 with "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water", Billy Joel moved to #3 with "Just The Way You Are" and Queen's "We Are The Champions" remained fourth.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Sometimes When We Touch" by Dan Hill, Samantha Sang and the Bee Gees were up to 6 with "Emotion", Chic and "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)", Randy Newman dropped with "Short People", the former #1 "Baby Come Back" by Player and the Bee Gees were still at 10 after 22 weeks with their earlier #1 "How Deep Is Your Love".

1980:  Bob Seger released the single "Fire Lake".
1984:  Christopher Cross controlled the Adult Contemporary chart for a third week with "Think Of Laura".

                            Newcomer Cyndi Lauper...

1984:  Culture Club remained at #1 with "Karma Chameleon".  "Jump" by Van Halen was #2 in an awesome Top 10.  Kool & the Gang were down with "Joanna", newcomer Nena's "99 Luftballoons" elevated from 12 to 4 and the Romantics were at #5 after 20 weeks with their biggest hit "Talking In Your Sleep".  The rest of the Top 10:  "That's All!"  from Genesis, Michael Jackson moved from 20 to 7 with "Thriller", Yes and "Owner Of A Lonely Heart", the first hit ever from Cyndi Lauper--"Girls Just Want To Have Fun" and Shannon entered the list with "Let the Music Play".
1984:  Thriller by Michael Jackson was #1 on the Album chart for the 29th week, just two shy of the Rock Era record set in 1977 by Fleetwood Mac's Rumours.

1985:  Simple Minds released the single "Don't You (Forget About Me)".  (Note:  some websites erroneously report the date of release as February 20.  The song debuted on the Singles chart on February 23, and the deadline for new releases to make the chart each week is Tuesday.  Tuesday in 1985 fell on February 18.)

1985:  Don Henley released the single "All She Wants To Do Is Dance".

1989: Sheriff grabbed the #1 spot on the AC chart with the great song "When I'm With You". 1989:  The Fine Young Cannibals owned the #1 album in the U.K. with The Raw and the Cooked.
1992:  Vince Neil, lead singer of Motley Crue for 11 years, quit the band.
1993:  Patrick Waite, founder of Musical Youth ("Pass The Dutchie" from 1982) died at age 24 of a hereditary heart condition.
1995:  Newcomers Hootie & the Blowfish scored their first Top 10 song as "Hold My Hand" reached #10.
1995:  TLC had the #1 song for a fourth week with "Creep".
2001:  James Taylor married his longtime girlfriend Caroline "Kim" Smedvig at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Boston, Massachusetts.
2001:  Joe and Mystikal had the #1 song with "Stutter".
2006:  The Rolling Stones gave a free concert at Copacabana Beach in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil before one million people.
2007:  Norah Jones went to #1 on the Album chart with Not Too Late, her third consecutive #1.
2008:  Carpenters fans objected to plans to have the duo's former family home in Downey, California bulldozed.  The current owners said they objected to fans looking in the windows and leaving floral tributes.  You know what?  If you didn't want that, you shouldn't have bought the house.  Duh.  The United States does a horrible job of preserving history.
2012:  Otis "Damon" Harris, who joined the Temptations in 1971 at age 21 when original lead singer Eddie Kendricks left, died of prostate cancer at the age of 62 in a Baltimore hospice.

Born This Day:
1934:  Skip Battin, singer-songwriter and bassist of the Byrds, the New Riders of the Purple Sage and the Flying Burrito Brothers, was born in Gallipolis, Ohio; died July 6, 2003 from complications associated with Alzheimer's in Salem, Oregon.  (Note:  some websites list his birthplace as Gallipolis, West Virginia.  There isn't a Gallipolis in West Virginia--there is a Gallipolis Ferry, but Battin wasn't born there.  He was born in Ohio, according to the newspaper 'The Los Angeles Times'.)
1939:  Bobby Hart (real name Robert Harshman), singer-songwriter with Tommy Boyce ("I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight" from 1968), who also wrote "Last Train To Clarksville" and "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone" for the Monkees, was born in Phoenix, Arizona.
1941:  Irma Thomas ("Wish Someone Would Care" from 1964) was born in Ponchatoula, Louisiana.
1941:  Herman Santiago of Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
1943:  Denny Zager of Zager & Evans ("In The Year 2525" from 1969) was born in Wymore, Nebraska.  (Note:  some websites list his birthday as February 15, 1944, but according to the official website for Zager Guitars, he was born in 1943.)
1947:  Dennis DeYoung, lead singer and keyboardist with Styx, was born in Chicago, Illinois.

1948:  Keith Knudsen, songwriter and drummer of the Doobie Brothers, was born in LeMars, Iowa; died February 8, 2005 of pneumonia.  (Note:  numerous websites incorrectly show Keith's date of birth as October 18, some show it as November 3, and many show his birth as being in Ames, Iowa.  According to "The LeMars Sentinel' newspaper and '', and the tombstone pictured above, Keith was born on February 18 in LeMars.)

1952:  Juice Newton was born in Virginia Beach, New Jersey.  (Note:  some websites claim she was born in Lakehurst, New Jersey--she was born in Virginia Beach, according to the newspaper 'The Los Angeles Times'.)
1953:  Robbie Bachman, drummer of BTO, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
1953:  Derek Pellicci, co-founder and drummer of the Little River Band, was born in London.
1954:  John Travolta, movie superstar who teamed with Olivia Newton-John for the #1 song "You're the One That I Want" as well as the big hit "Summer Nights" and was also a solo artist ("Let Her In") was born in Englewood, New Jersey.
1965:  Dr. Dre (real name Andre Young) was born in Compton, California.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The #84 Guitarist of the Rock Era: Rick Derringer

I don't think people realized in the 70's how good this guy was.  But over the years, he's gotten the respect and in fact, made himself a better player too:
#84:  Rick Derringer, the McCoys, the Edgar Winter Group, Solo
48 years as an active guitarist

Richard Zehringer was born August 5, 1947.  He started the band the McCoys, who scored a #1 hit when Rick was 17 years old.  Since then, he's stayed active; in fact Rick is one of the most experienced of The Top 100 Guitarists*.

When Rick was 17, his group the McCoys recorded "Hang On Sloopy", which became a #1 song.  He adopted the stage name of Derringer after the Bang Records logo which featured a derringer pistol.  The group got a tremendous break when they were chosen to open for the Rolling Stones on their entire 1966 American tour.  

Derringer played the guitar solo on "Under My Wheels" for the Alice Cooper album Killer in 1971.  He was also featured on several Todd Rundgren albums in the 1970's.  Derringer joined the Edgar Winter Group for a brief time in the early 1970's.  Derringer had the solo hit "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo" in 1974. Derringer opened for Led Zeppelin on their final tour before the tragic death of John Bonham.  He also recorded with Steely Dan on several of their albums.

 Derringer began producing in the 1980's, playing guitar and mandolin and producing "Weird Al" Yankovic and others.  That's Derringer's guitar solo on the Weird Al song "Eat It", paying homage to Eddie Van Halen's solo on the Michael Jackson song "Beat It".  In 1983, Rick played the solo on "Exciter" on the Kiss album Lick It Up.  

In 1990, Derringer reunited with Edgar Winter for the album Edgar Winter and Rick Derringer Live in Japan. Edgar returned the favor, playing for Rick on his album Winter Blues in 1999.  Derringer recorded four blues albums beginning in 1993 which were well-received.

Rick on the Ringo Starr tour...

Derringer, who likes to delve into many different styles, released a jazz album called Free Ride Smooth Jazz in 2002 which also did well.  Along with wife Brenda, her eight year-old son Marn and Rick's nine year-old daughter Loving, the family recorded the gospel rock album We Live in 2008.  In 2009, Derringer released his latest album Knighted by the Blues.  He spent the summer of 2010 touring with Ringo Starr's 11th All-Starr Band along with longtime friend Edgar Winter.

He's got the speed, the melody, the knowledge of his guitar, the experience and the showmanship.  Rick Derringer...#84 for All-Time...

This Date in Rock Music History: February 17

1955:  Little Richard sent his first audition tape to Specialty Records.

1958:  The Silhouettes stood tall at #1 for a third week on the R&B chart with "Get A Job".

1960:  Paul Anka released the single "Puppy Love".
1960:  Elvis Presley received Gold record for his debut album Elvis.
1960:  The Everly Brothers signed a new 10-year record-breaking contract with Warner Brothers Records for $1 million.
1962:  "Midnight In Moscow" by Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen was still #1 on the Easy Listening chart.
1962:  For the fifth week in a row, "Duke Of Earl" by Gene Chandler was #1 on the R&B chart.

1962:  A new group appeared on the chart with a sound that was unlike anything we'd heard.  They would go on to become one of The Top 20 Artists of the Rock Era*.  The Beach Boys debuted on the chart with their first single release--"Surfin'".
1962:  Gene Chandler took over at #1 with "Duke Of Earl".

1964:  Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass made their live debut in Los Angeles.

1964:  Chad & Jeremy were guests on the television program The Patty Duke Show(Note:  some websites claim the appearance occurred on February 14, 1965.  The correct date is February 17, 1965, according to the book 'Beatleness:  How the Beatles and Their Fans Remade the World' by Candy Leonard.) 

1965:  The Kinks released the single "Tired Of Waiting For You".  (Note:  some websites erroneously place the date of release as either March 13 or August 11.  These are both physically impossible.  The song debuted on the Singles chart on March 13.  It is not possible for a song to appear in print on the Singles chart if it was released that day or not released as a single at all.)
1966:  The Beach Boys began recording "Good Vibrations".  Six months, four studios, seventeen sessions, and an estimated $50,000-$70,000 later, the group finished with the most expensive single song in the history of the Rock Era.
1966:  Nancy Sinatra topped the U.K. singles chart with "These Boots Were Made For Walkin'".

1967:  The Beatles began recording  "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!" with seven takes at Abbey Road Studios in London.  John Lennon got the words from an antique poster of a circus performance that took place in February of 1843 in Rochdale, Lancashire.  John had purchased the poster in Sevenoaks on January 31 while the Beatles were filming the "Strawberry Fields Forever" promotional film.

1968:  Big Brother and the Holding Company signed a recording contract with the new CBS label Columbia Records.
1968:  Diana Ross & the Supremes' compilation Greatest Hits was #1 on the U.K. Album chart.
1968:  "Love Is Blue" from Paul Mauriat was the #1 Adult song for the fifth consecutive week.

            Boyce and Hart had a lot of requests for this one...

1968:  Paul Mauriat continued to have a firm hold on #1 with "Love Is Blue".  The Lemon Pipers were still at #2 with "Green Tambourine" while the Classics IV were right behind with "Spooky".  The Temptations placed fourth with "I Wish It Would Rain".  The rest of the Top 10:  Dionne Warwick jumped up 10 with "(Theme From) 'Valley Of The Dolls'", the late Otis Redding vaulted from 28 to 6 with "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay", the Lettermen's medley of "Goin' Out Of My Head/Can't Take My Eyes Off You", the Human Beinz remained in the #8 spot with "Nobody But Me", John Fred & His Playboy Band dropped with their former #1--"Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)" and Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart reached the Top 10 with "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight".
1970:  Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees opened in the stage musical Sing a Rude Song at the Greenwich Theatre in London.
1971:  James Taylor made his prime-time television debut on The Johnny Cash Show on ABC, performing "Fire And Rain" and "Carolina In My Mind".  Linda Ronstadt, Neil Young and Tony Joe White ("Polk Salad Annie") were the other guests.
1972:  Pink Floyd wrapped up a tour of the U.K. with the first of four shows at the Rainbow Theatre in London.

1973:  Anne Murray moved to #1 on the Adult chart with "Danny's Song".
1973:  War ruled the Album chart with The World is a Ghetto, knocking Carly Simon's No Secrets from the top.  The great Stevie Wonder album Talking Book was third.  
1973:  Gladys Knight & the Pips took over at #1 on the R&B chart with "Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First to Say Goodbye)", toppling "Love Train" by the O'Jays.  Both songs are ranked in The Top 30 R&B Songs of the 1970's*.
1973:  The Stylistics' new song "Break Up To Make Up" was a hot song, moving from 88 to 53.      

               Steely Dan--not bad for a first single, huh?

1973:  Elton John's first career #1 was a big one--"Crocodile Rock" remained there for a third week.  Carly Simon's former #1 "You're So Vain" proved durable with its fourth week at #2 since it left the top spot.  Hurricane Smith snuck in with "Oh, Babe, What Would You Say?", Eric Weissberg & Steve Mandell jumped into the Top 10 with "Dueling Banjos" and Roberta Flack moved from 15 to 5 with "Killing Me Softly With His Song".  The rest of a solid Top 10:  Impressive Steely Dan with "Do It Again", the Spinners had song #7 with "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love", Lobo edged up with "Don't Expect Me To Be Your Friend", Timmy Thomas's #3 song "Why Can't We Live Together" was on its way down and John Denver had another Top 10 with "Rocky Mountain High"..
1975:  John Lennon released the album Rock n' Roll in the United States on Apple Records, his last LP before leaving the music business for five years.

1975:  AC/DC released their debut album, High Voltage.
1976:  The Eagles released their Greatest Hits album, that closed out the millennium as the best-selling album of all-time in the United States.  It was passed in 2009 by Michael Jackson's Thriller, but just barely--both albums have been certified by the RIAA has having sold over 29 million albums.
1976:  Bette Midler was named the "Woman of the Year" by Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Theatrical Society.
1979:  The Clash began its first tour of the United States at the Palladium in New York City.1979:  Another exciting new wave group appeared on the scene as Blondie first hit the charts with their debut single--"Heart Of Glass".
1979:  The U.K. was ahead on this group as Blondie already was #1 on the Album chart with Parallel Lines.

1979:  The Bee Gees landed at #4 on the Album chart with Spirits Having Flown in its first week.  The first album from Dire Straits moved from 15-7, while Totally Hot by Olivia Newton-John moved from 12-8 and the self-titled debut from Toto entered the Top 10.
1980:  Kenny Rogers owned the #1 U.K. song--"Coward Of The County".
1989:  David Coverdale, formerly with Deep Purple and later with Whitesnake, married Tawny Kitaen.
1990:  Aerosmith appeared on Saturday Night Live on NBC-TV.
1990:  Quincy Jones, Al B. Sure!, James Ingram, Barry White and El DeBarge combined for the new #1 R&B song--"The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)".
1990:  Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville followed up their smash hit "Don't Know Much" with another #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart--"All My Life".

1990:  Few albums in the Rock Era were still at #1 at this point in their lifespan but on this date, Forever Your Girl was still #1 for Paula Abdul.

1992:  Mariah Carey released the great single "Make It Happen".  (Note some websites naively report that the single was released on April 4.  "Make It Happen" debuted on the Singles chart on February 22, 1992.  It is physically impossible for a song to debut on the Singles chart if it has not been released as a single yet.)
1996:  A Platinum American Express card that once belonged to Bruce Springsteen sold for $4,500 at a memorabilia sale in New York City.  Springsteen had given the expired card to a waiter by mistake and let him keep it.

                      LaBouche exploded for a huge hit...

1996:  Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men were in the stratosphere with a 13th week at #1 with "One Sweet Day".  That tied them with "End Of The Road" by Boyz II Men and just two songs--"I'll Make Love To You" by Boyz II Men and "I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston, with 14 weeks apiece, had ever spent more time at #1.  "Missing" by Everything But the Girl would likely have been a #1 song in nearly any other time period but had to settle for #2.  Whitney Houston was third with "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)", Mary J. Blige moved up to fourth with "Not Gon' Cry" and the Tony Rich Project placed "Nobody Knows" at #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  Brandy's "Sittin' Up In My Room", LL Cool J fell with "Hey Lover", La Bouche had the dance floors cooking with "Be My Lover", Joan Osbourne was on her way down with "One Of Us" and the Goo Goo Dolls wrapped up the list with "Name".
1997:  Michael Nesmith, guitarist for the Monkees, directed the documentary television special Hey, Hey, It's the Monkees, in which all four members performed, which was broadcast by ABC-TV on this date.
1998:  Bob Merrill, who wrote "People" for Barbra Streisand,  "Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania", "How Much is That Doggy In The Window?" and many hits, including co-writing 'Hello Dolly!", committed suicide in Culver City, California at age 76.  (Note:  many websites report his birth year as 1920, or that he died at age 74 (which would have made his birth year 1923), but Merrill's official website reports that he was born in 1921.)  

1998:  Destiny's Child released their self-titled debut album.
2000:  The Steinway piano that John Lennon used to write "Imagine" went on display at the Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool, England.
2001:  The Manic Street Preachers became the first Western band to play in Cuba as they were in concert at Karl Marx Stadium in Havana.
2002:  Westlife reached #1 in the U.K. with "World Of Our Own", their 10th #1 on that chart.
2002:  Ja Rule and Ashanti had the #1 song in the United States with "Always On Time".
2004:  Krist Novoselic, former bassist of Nirvana, dropped out of the race for lieutenant governor of Washington.

2004:  Don Henley said what we all feel in an editorial published in The Washington Post.  "When I started in the music business," Henley wrote, "music was important and vital to our culture.  Record labels signed cutting-edge artists and there was an incredible variety of music.  Music touched fans in a unique and personal way.  Our culture was enriched and the music business was healthy and strong.  That's all changed."  So true, Don.
2006:  The Rolling Stones were named the top money-makers for 2005, grossing $168 million in record and ticket sales.
2006:  Bill Cowsill of the Cowsills ("Hair" from 1969) died of emphysema in Calgary, Alberta, Canada at the age of 58.  (Note:  some websites report that Bill died on February 18, but 'Rolling Stone' states that he died on February 17.)
2010:  Susan Jacks of the Poppy Family ("Where Evil Grows" from 1971) received a kidney transplant from her brother, Billy.
2014:  Bob Casale, guitarist, keyboardist, and singer with Devo, and later a sound engineer, died of heart failure in Los Angeles at the age of 61.

Born This Day:
1905:  Orville "Hoppy" Jones, bassist, cello player and singer with the Ink Spots, was born in Chicago, Illinois; died October 18, 1944 in New York City.  (Note:  several websites report that Jones was born in 1902, but according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he was born in 1905.)
1922:  Tommy Edwards, who had one of the great songs of the early Rock Era ("It's All In The Game" from 1958), was born in Richmond, Virginia; died October 22, 1969 after suffering a brain aneurysm in Henrico County, Virginia.

1940:  Gene Pitney, one of the great stars of the early Rock Era, who also wrote "Hello, Mary Lou" for Ricky Nelson, "He's A Rebel" for the Crystals, and "Rubber Ball" for the Cyrkle, was born in Hartford, Connecticut; was found dead at age 65 in his bed in a hotel in Cardiff, Wales  April 5, 2006 while on a tour of the U.K.  (Note some sources claim Pitney was born in Rockville, Connecticut.  According to the newspaper 'The Los Angeles Times', he was born in Hartford and later lived in Rockville.)     
1946:  Dodie Stevens (real name Geraldine Ann Pasquale), who had the hit "Pink Shoe Laces" in 1959 when she was 13 years old, was born in Chicago, Illinois. 
1950:  Rickey Medlocke, singer and guitarist of Blackfoot ("Train, Train") and later a guitarist of Lynyrd Skynyrd, was born in Jacksonville, Florida.
1970: Tim Mahoney, lead guitarist of 311, was born in Omaha, Nebraska. 

1972:  Billie Joe Armstrong, songwriter,  lead guitarist and lead vocalist with Green Day, was born in Oakland, California.  (Note:  some websites claim Armstrong was born in Rodeo; he was born in Oakland and raised in Rodeo, according to the band's official website.)
1972:  Taylor Hawkins, drummer who worked with Alanis Morrisette and the Foo Fighters, was born in Fort Worth, Texas.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The #85 Guitarist of the Rock Era: Richie Sambora

Recapping our list so far:  
100.   Mick Barr, Orthrelm
99.    Jerry Cantrell, Alice in Chains
98.    Mike Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield Blues Band
97.    Danny Kirwan, Fleetwood Mac
96.    Daron Malakian, System of a Down
95.    Sam Totman, Dragonforce
94.    Kerry King, Slayer
93.    Robbie Krieger, Doors
92.    Ted Nugent
91.    Jason Becker, David Lee Roth
90.    John 5, David Lee Roth, Marilyn Manson
89.    Jake E. Lee, Ratt, Ozzy Osbourne
88.    Michael Wilton, Queensryche
87.    James Munky Shaffer, Korn
86.     Uli Jon Roth, Scorpions

Up next, a cowboy, with a steel horse he rides...

#85:  Richie Sambora, Bon Jovi
30 years as an active guitarist
(compilation of some of his best solos)

Richard Stephen "Richie" Sambora was born July 11, 1959 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.  He has been the steady lead guitarist and one of the main songwriters that made Bon Jovi a special group for so many years.

Richie taught himself to play the guitar at the age of 12, shortly after the death of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix.  Sambora is one of those natural talents--as he says, if he hears a song on the radio, he can start playing it and know the guitar part within five minutes.  I'm envious but I greatly respect it. 

Sambora graduated from Woodbridge High School in New Jersey.  He was influenced mostly by blues and rock & roll in the 1960's, specifically the Beatles, Hendrix, Jimmy Page, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny Winter and Joe Perry of Aerosmith.  Spanish classical music appealed to Richie and led him to a lifetime of playing the Spanish guitar.  Sambora has also said that Janis Joplin's singing had a big influence on his style and classical music too has had its influence.

Sambora reportedly saw a Bon Jovi concert and approached Jon Bon Jovi about the possibility of working together.  The two hit it off immediately and Sambora was invited to a rehearsal.  That rehearsal went so well that Richie was hired on the spot.

Sambora was the missing piece of the puzzle and the group has thrived ever since.  Their album Slippery When Wet has now sold over 28 million copies worldwide.  The group's follow-up New Jersey was itself wildly successful and many songs are still demanded at live shows.

Sambora has also released two solo albums and he has been working on a third.  He has also done session work for Pink and Bo Diddley.

Sambora's favorite guitar of over 120 in his collection is the 1959 Gibson Les Paul.  In the 1980's, Sambora played Kramer, Jackson, Chavel and Hamer superstrats and custom Les Paul guitars, such as his Rod Schoepfer model.  In 1987, Kramer released a Richie Sambora signature guitar with three humbuckers, a pointy drooped headstock, gold hardware, star-shaped fingerboard inlays and a Floyd Rose Original locking tremolo.