23/11/2017

Bruce Hornsby

November 23rd 1954, Born on this day, Bruce Hornsby, keyboards, vocals, The Range, (1986 US No.1 & UK No.15 single 'The Way It Is').

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Billy Swan

November 23rd 1974, One Hit Wonder Billy Swan started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'I Can Help'. The song was a hit throughout most of Europe and also reached No.1 in Australia. It was so successful in Norway that it charted for 37 weeks on the Norwegian charts making it the 4th best-performing single of all time in that country.

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Big Joe Turner

November 23rd 1985, American blues artist Big Joe Turner died of a heart attack aged 75. Wrote 'Shake Rattle and Roll', (a hit for Bill Haley and His Comets) and 'Sweet Sixteen.'

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Genesis

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November 23rd 1991, Genesis scored their 5th UK No.1 album with 'We Can't Dance', featuring the singles 'Jesus He Knows Me' and 'I Can't Dance'.

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Pink Floyd

November 23rd 1979, Pink Floyd released 'Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)' which rapidly topped the charts in the UK, followed by the US and a further 9 countries. Featuring children from Islington Green School in North London, close to Floyd's Britannia Row Studios, it was the group’s first UK single since Point Me At The Sky in 1968, and their first chart hit since See Emily Play in 1967.

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The Rolling Stones

November 23rd 1974, The Rolling Stones scored their fifth US No.1 album with 'It's Only Rock 'N Roll'. The album which was the last Stones album for guitarist Mick Taylor peaked at No.2 in the UK.

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Queen.

23rd Nov 1975, Queen started a nine-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with Bohemian Rhapsody. The promotional video that accompanied the song is generally acknowledged as being the first pop video and only cost £5,000 to produce. When the band wanted to release the single various record executives suggested to them that, at 5 minutes and 55 seconds, it was too long and would never be a hit.

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22/11/2017

The Beatles.

The White Album

The Beatles' ninth album in seven years is arguably one of their best. The working title was A Doll’s House, changed after UK progressive rock band Family released the similarly titled Music In A Doll's House earlier that year, so the album became simply The Beatles, or, more commonly, The White Album. With no graphics or text other than the band's name embossed in grey letters (and, on the early LP and CD releases, a serial number) on its plain white sleeve, The White Album was the first that The Beatles undertook following the death of their manager, Brian Epstein, and the first released by their own record label, Apple.

Anticipation for the release was huge, as was the speculation whether the band were going to better their last album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. In many ways they did, the eclectic nature of the double album’s songs showing the four members still at the top of their game. John Lennon laid down some of his most memorable work with three of his finest on side one of the album alone – Dear Prudence, Glass Onion and Happiness Is A Warm Gun. And then we had Paul’s tunes, including the Chuck Berry meets The Beach Boys of Back In The U.S.S.R., with McCartney on drums after Ringo quit the group for a couple of weeks. Then there was the bouncy song about his Old English Sheepdog, Martha My Dear, and what has become one of his signature tunes, the beautiful acoustic Blackbird, featuring just Paul’s voice and acoustic guitar, plus the warbling of a blackbird.

As for George Harrison’s material, when The Beatles recorded overdubs onto his new song While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Eric Clapton added the guitar solo and became the first outside rock musician to play on a Beatles recording. At first Clapton was reluctant to join them in the studio, saying: ‘Nobody ever plays on the Beatles' records’, but Harrison convinced him. George and Eric had become good friends over the years, which saw Clapton becoming a little too friendly with Harrison’s wife, Pattie. The former Cream guitarist eventually married George’s first love and wrote both Layla and Wonderful Tonight about the former actress and model.

Clapton also loved chocolates, and his mate George wrote Savoy Truffle as a tribute to Eric’s chocolate addiction - the title and many of the lyrics come from a box of Mackintosh's Good News chocolates. Completing Harrison’s contributions was another fine song, Long Long Long and the amusing Piggies.

The White Album was written and recorded during a period of turmoil for the group, having visited the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India in early 1968 and, while abroad, enjoyed a particularly productive songwriting period. The group returned to the studio for recording from May to October 1968, only to have conflict and dissent drive the group members apart. Ringo Starr quit the band for a brief time, leaving Paul McCartney to play drums on two of the album's songs. Many of the songs were ‘solo’ recordings, or at least by less than the full group, as each individual member began to explore his own talent.

Although Hey Jude was not intended to be included on the LP release, it was recorded during the White Album sessions and was released as a stand-alone single before the release of The Beatles. The B-side, Revolution, was an alternative version of the album's Revolution 1. John Lennon had wanted the original version of Revolution to be released as a single, but the other three Beatles objected on the grounds that it was too slow. A new, faster version, with heavily distorted guitar and a high-energy keyboard solo from Nicky Hopkins, was recorded, and was relegated to the flip side of Hey Jude. The resulting release – Hey Jude on side A and Revolution on side B – emerged as the first release on The Beatles' new Apple Records label, going on to become the band’s most successful single, with world sales of over 5 million by the end of 1968 and 7.5 million by October 1972.

Many Beatles fans have long debated what a great ‘single’ record The White Album could have made, and there are some tracks that don’t score with everybody, except that those that upset some people turn out to be the absolute favourites of many others.

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Michael Hutchence

November 22nd 1997, INXS singer Michael Hutchence was found dead in his hotel suite in Sydney. He was 37. Hutchence body was found at 11.50am naked behind the door to his room. He had apparently hanged himself with his own belt and the buckle broke away and his body was found kneeling on the floor and facing the door. It had been suggested that his death resulted from an act of auto eroticism, no forensic or other evidence to substantiate that suggestion was found.

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Steven Van Zandt

November 22nd 1950, Born on this day, Steven Van Zandt, (Little Steven or Miami Steve), guitarist with South Side Johnny, then Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band and Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul. Created music-industry activist group Artists United Against Apartheid as an action against the Sun City resort in South Africa, Springsteen, U2, Bob Dylan and Run DMC, collaborated on 'Sun City'. Starred as Silvio Dante in the TV Series 'The Sopranos'.

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Pearl Jam

November 22nd 1994, Pearl Jam released their third studio album Vitalogy, which was first released on vinyl and became the first vinyl album to appear on the US chart, since the domination of the compact disc format. They followed the release in other formats two weeks later, whereupon it became the second-fastest-selling CD in history, behind only the band's previous release Vs.

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Stevie Ray Vaughan

November 22nd 1986, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble kicked off a 149-date North American and European tour at the Towson Center in Towson, Maryland.

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The Beatles

November 22nd 1963, The Beatles released their second album 'With The Beatles' which went on to spend 51 weeks on the UK charts. The LP had advance orders of a half million and sold another half million by September 1965, making it the second album to sell a million copies in the UK, (after the soundtrack to the 1958 film South Pacific).

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21/11/2017

Dr. John

Happy birthday Malcolm John "Mac" Rebennack (born November 21, 1940), better known by the stage name Dr. John (also Dr. John Creaux, or Dr. John the Night Tripper), is an American singer, songwriter, pianist and guitarist, whose music combines blues, pop, jazz as well as zydeco, boogie woogie and rock and roll.
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, Dr. John claims that his French lineage took root in New Orleans sometime in the early 1800s. Growing up in the Third Ward, he found early musical inspiration in the minstrel tunes sung by his grandfather and a number of aunts, uncles, sister and cousins who played piano. He did not take music lessons before his teens, and only endured a short stint in choir before getting kicked out. His father, the owner of an appliance store and record shop, exposed him as a young boy to prominent jazz musicians like King Oliver and Louis Armstrong, who inspired his 2014 release, Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit of Satch. Throughout his adolescence his father's connections enabled him access to the recording rooms of burgeoning rock artists such as Little Richard and Guitar Slim. From these exposures he advanced into clubs and onto the stage with varying local artists, most notably, Professor Longhair.
When he was about 13 or 14 years old, Rebennack met Professor Longhair, which started a period in his life that would mark rapid growth as a musician and the beginnings of his entry into professional music. He describes his initial impression of Professor Longhair with note, not only of his musical prowess, but of his style: "I was also fascinated that he was sitting out there in a turtleneck shirt with a beautiful gold chain with a watch hangin' on it, and an Army fatigue cap on his head. And I thought, Wow, I never seen nobody dressed like this guy. Just everything about the man was totally hip. And he had gloves on him, too, beautiful silk gloves. I'll never forget this. "
At age 16 he was hired by Johnny Vincent as a producer at Ace Records. There, he worked with artists like James Booker and Earl King, his musical experience expanding notably. He struggled through intermittent years of high school. While a student at Jesuit High School, he was already playing in night clubs, something the Jesuit fathers disapproved of. They told him to either stop playing in clubs or leave the school. He chose the latter. According to lore, this was the seed of his classic, "Right Place, Wrong Time." Eventually he focused entirely on music. Thereafter an entry into heavy narcotics use would fuel his desire to get out of New Orleans and move to California where his character, Dr. John, was born.
In late 1950s New Orleans, Rebennack originally concentrated on guitar and he gigged with local bands including Mac Rebennack and the Skyliners, (Paul Staele/Dennis "Bootsie" Cuquet, drums; Earl Stanley, bass; Charlie Miller, trumpet; Charlie Maduell, sax; Roland "Stone" LeBlanc, vocals), Frankie Ford and the Thunderbirds, and Jerry Byrne and the Loafers. He had a regional hit with a Bo Diddley-influenced instrumental called "Storm Warning" on Rex Records in 1959. During these days he was an A&R man producing, with Charlie Miller, monophonic singles on 45s for Johnny Vincent and Joe Corona for such local labels as ACE, RON, RIC and others. For these sessions he oversaw A&R and the rhythm section while Miller wrote the horn arrangements and headed up the horns. It was a productive team until Miller decided to move to New York and to study music formally.
Rebennack's career as a guitarist was stunted when his left ring finger was injured by a gunshot while he was defending singer/keyboardist Ronnie Barron, his bandmate, Jesuit High School classmate, and longtime friend, at a Jackson, Mississippi gig. After the injury, Rebennack concentrated on bass guitar before making piano his main instrument; pianist Professor Longhair was an important influence on Rebennack's piano-playing style.
Dr. John grew up with full exposure to the realities of New Orleans. Prostitutes, pimps, thieves and addicts all participated in the same nightlife scene that contributed to his development as a musician. During the 1950s, he sold narcotics and even ran a brothel. He was arrested on drug charges and sentenced to two years in a federal prison at Fort Worth, Texas. His sentence ended in 1965 and he left for Los Angeles.
He moved to Los Angeles in 1965 where he became a "first call" session musician in the booming Los Angeles studio scene in the 1960s and 1970s and was part of the so-called "Wrecking Crew" stable of studio musicians. He provided backing for Sonny & Cher (and some of the incidental music for Cher's first film, Chastity), and for Canned Heat on their albums Living the Blues (1968), Future Blues (1970), and Freak Out! for Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention (1966); along with many other acts.
Active as a session musician since the late 1950s, he gained a cult following in the late 1960s following the release of his album Gris-Gris and his appearance at the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music. He performed a wildly theatrical stage show inspired by medicine shows, Mardi Gras costumes and voodoo ceremonies. Rebennack has recorded over 20 albums and in 1973 scored a top-20 hit with the jaunty funk-flavored "Right Place Wrong Time", still his best-known song.
He had a heroin habit through the 1980s. Finally, Dr. John exited his final rehabilitation stint, clean, in December 1989 and often speaks of how happy he is to have been clean and sober for over 25 years.
The winner of six Grammy Awards, Rebennack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by singer John Legend on March 14, 2011. In May 2013, Rebennack was the recipient of an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Tulane University. He was jokingly referred to by Tulane's president, Scott Cowen, as "Dr. Dr. John".

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Nicholas George "Nick" Gilder

Happy birthday to the great Nicholas George "Nick" Gilder (born 21 December 1951), an English-Canadian musician who first came to prominence as the frontman for the glam rock band Sweeney Todd. He later had a successful solo career as a singer/songwriter.
Born in London, England, Gilder was raised in Vancouver. He began his career as front-man for the glam rock band Sweeney Todd, which later briefly featured a very young Bryan Adams. Sweeney Todd had a number one hit, "Roxy Roller", that held on to the top spot in the Canadian music charts for three weeks in 1975. It went on to win a Juno Award for "Best Selling Single" in 1977.
Feeling they had international scope, Gilder and fellow band member, guitarist and songwriting partner, James McCulloch left the band and signed a US record deal. It was in his second solo album that spawned the hit, "Hot Child in the City", that gave Gilder chart success in the United States. That song went to No.1 both in Canada and the US. It also earned him two more Juno Awards: "Single of the Year" and for "Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year" in Canada as well as a People's Choice Award in the US. It stalled outside the Top 40 in the United Kingdom, though it was featured on Top of the Pops and also in a Hot Gossip dance routine on The Kenny Everett Video Show. He's had subsequent hit singles, but none ever reach the success of “Hot Child in the City.”
Gilder has also been successful as a songwriter for artists such as Bette Midler, Joe Cocker and Pat Benatar. In 1984, the band Scandal featuring Patty Smyth had a number one hit with "The Warrior," which was written by Gilder and Holly Knight, and it earned him a BMI Airplay Award.
Gilder's songs have been used in several movies such as Youngblood with Rob Lowe, The Wraith with Charlie Sheen, Barb Wire with Pamela Anderson, Scenes From the Goldmine, that included a cameo appearance in the movie by Gilder, and in TV series like Sex and the City, That '70s Show, Ed (TV series), and most recently Nip/Tuck.
Armand Van Helden sampled "Rockaway" on his 2005 club hit, "When the Lights Go Down." The following year Nemesis recorded “Hot Child in the City” for their 2006 debut CD, Rise Up and Rocket recorded "Backstreet Noise" for their CD, Girls with Candy Hearts.
Gilder returned to Canada in the mid-1990s, where he continues to record and tour. He has currently settled in Port Moody, British Columbia, where he lives with his family.
A CD called, “A Night on the Town, A Day in the Country” was to be released in 2005, but was shelved.

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Andrew Love

November 21st 1941, Born on this Day, Andrew Love, saxophone player based in Memphis, Tennessee, best known for being a member of The Memphis Horns. With trumpet player Wayne Jackson, the two created the signature horn sound at Stax on hit records by Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and others such as Neil Diamond, Elvis Presley and Dusty Springfield. Love died on 12th April 2012 aged 70.

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The Beatles

November 21st 1995, The Beatles Anthology 1 was released in the US, featuring 60 tracks including the track 'Free As A Bird', a song originally composed and recorded in 1977 as a home demo by John Lennon. In 1995 a studio version of the recording, incorporating contributions from Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr was released as a single by The Beatles.

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Mick Jagger

November 21st 1990, Mick Jagger married Jerry Hall in Bali. The marriage was declared 'null and void' on 13th August 1999 after a judge ruled that the six- hour ceremony in Bali was never registered.

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Billy Idol

November 21st 1987, Billy Idol knocked Tiffany from the No.1 single position on the US singles chart with his version of Tommy James ' Mony Mony'. Tiffany had been at No.1 with another Tommy James song ' I Think We're Alone Now.'

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Queen and David Bowie

November 21st  1981, Queen and David Bowie were at No.1 in the UK with Under Pressure. They recorded the song together when both acts were working in a German recording studio. It was David Bowie's first released collaboration with another recording artist.

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