Saturday, December 3, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: December 4

1956:  Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins recorded some gospel standards together at Sun Records studios in Memphis, Tennessee in what became known as "The Million Dollar Quartet".  What made the recordings so special is that they weren't planned.  Perkins was in the studio to record new material, including a reworked version of "Matchbox".  Sam Phillips, owner of Sun Records, had asked piano madman Jerry Lee Lewis to play the piano on the Perkins session to add some zest to the recording.  Sometime that afternoon, Elvis, a former Sun artist who had switched to RCA, dropped by the studio.  Presley was the hottest star in the business, having reached #1 five times in the last year.  Presley and Phillips talked in the control room before Elvis went into the studio.  Cash also dropped by, and soon, the jam session began.  Phillips left the tapes running in order to "capture the moment".  The session, however, would not be released for 25 years.

The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time, December 3

When we get done, you'll have The Best 150 Christmas Songs of All-Time*.  I'll put up a page with the links to each of these groups of six, so you'll have them in one place.  Today is December 3, and here are the next six:

Friday, December 2, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: December 3

1938:  Alfred Lennon married Julie Stanley.  That partnership would soon produce a son, John, that would go on to change the world and alter popular music forever.
1956:  Guy Mitchell had the top song with "Singing The Blues".

The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time, December 2

Here are the next six songs in Inside the Rock Era's Christmas Spectacular of The Best 150 Christmas Songs of All-Time*:

Thursday, December 1, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: December 2

1957:  Connie Francis appeared on the chart for the first time with "The Majesty Of Love".
1959:  Bobby Darin was on the television show This Is Your Life.

The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time, December 1

As a holiday treat, Inside the Rock Era will present The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time*.  Rather than give them to you all at once, which would require a good deal of time to sort through, we are featuring six per day, beginning today and going through Christmas Day, for a total of 150 songs.  We aren't going to "count them down" or anything, because we want to feature some of the great songs at the start of the month as well.  So the 150 songs are well mixed in terms of quality. 

Plus, I tried to find at least one great version of the traditional songs to mix in with the secular songs.  So make sure you check out the blog every day to properly "get in the spirit" before you start your day.  Here are the first six:

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: December 1

1956:  The rock & roll movie Shake, Rattle and Rock opened in theaters.  (Note:  there are several websites which call the movie 'Shake, Rattle and Roll' (presumably after the Bill Haley song of the same name).  There was no such movie in the 50's; there was a film series of the 90's called 'Shake, Rattle and Roll'.  The movie that opened on this date was a comedy called Shake, Rattle and Rock, according to 'Turner Classic Movies' and other authoritative sites.)
1956:  "Blueberry Hill" by Fats Domino was the #1 R&B song for the seventh week.
1957:  Buddy Holly & the Crickets, Sam Cooke and the Rays made their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show.  Holly & the Crickets performed "That'll Be The Day" and "Peggy Sue" while Sam Cooke sang "You Send Me".
1958:  "Topsy II" by Cozy Cole spent a sixth week at #1 on the R&B chart.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: November 30

1954:  Nat King Cole played the first of six nights at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York.

1960:  The Shirelles re-released the single "Dedicated To The One I Love".  (Note:  some websites claim the single was released in December of 1961.  It was first released in April of 1959, then re-released after "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" became a hit.  The second time, it debuted on the chart on December 26, 1960, so it is physically impossible for the song to chart in 1960 and then not be released until 1961.) 

Inside The Rock Era's Christmas Special Returns December 1

When Inside The Rock Era first began, we ran a Christmas special of The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time*.  The special was well-received and we have brought it back each year since.  No new songs have been recorded to top those originally presented, so it is still the same as it was back in 2012.

The special can always be found by clicking Charts and Lists at the top of the website, but to make it easy, beginning December 1, we'll present the special as it was originally featured.

And don't forget shortly after the New Year, we will present another major music feature, The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era*.  You don't want to miss that!

Monday, November 28, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: November 29

1959:  Bobby Darin won Best New Artist and Record of the Year for "Mack The Knife" at the Grammy Awards. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: November 28

1960:  Elvis Presley had his 43rd hit and 15th #1 in four years--"Are You Lonesome Tonight?" 
1962:  The Beatles performed at the Cavern Club in Liverpool and then did a dance for the staff of Lewis Department Store at the 527 Club, also in Liverpool.
1963:  "She Loves You" by the Beatles returned to #1 in the U.K.
1964:  People by newcomer Barbra Streisand was the #1 album for a fifth week but Beach Boys Concert moved from 7-2.  Good ol' Dean Martin came in third with Everybody Loves Somebody while previous #1 A Hard Day's Night from the Beatles was #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  How Glad I Am from Nancy Wilson, Something New by the Beatles at #6, The Great Songs From "My Fair Lady" and other Broadway Hits by Andy Williams was seventh, followed by All Summer Long from the Beach Boys, Sugar Lips by Al Hirt and Hello, Dolly! by Louis Armstrong cracked the Top 10.