14/02/2018

Gary B.B. Coleman

Today we remember the passing of the great bluesman Gary B.B. Coleman (January 1, 1947 – February 14, 1994) was an American soul blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and record producer.
Originally a local-musician turned-blues promoter and session musician, Coleman recorded his debut album in 1986, which was re-released on Ichiban Records. Coleman issued several other albums, and produced most of Ichiban's blues catalog up to his death in 1994. On many occasions, Coleman undertook multi-instrumentalist duties in the recording studio. Coleman acknowledged both B.B. King in his "B.B." moniker; and his fellow-Texan, Freddie King.
Born in Paris, Texas, Coleman was working alongside Freddie King by the age of 15. Coleman later supported Lightnin' Hopkins in concert, and went on to form his own group. At this time he started simultaneously booking acts into nightclubs across three states; Texas, Oklahoma, and Colorado. This dual lifestyle in the Southwest continued for nearly twenty years. In 1985, he created his own independent record label, called Mr. B's Records, and issued both a single, "One Eyed Woman", and his debut album, Nothin' But the Blues, the following year. The album proved to be popular. Ichiban Records signed Coleman to a recording contract, and duly re-released Nothin' But the Blues on their label in 1987.
If You Can Beat Me Rockin' (1988) followed, and in the same year Coleman's duties expanded with Ichiban to include record production for other acts, songwriting, and becoming an A&R scout. He released a further six albums up to 1992, as well as production duties on albums from Blues Boy Willie, Chick Willis, Little Johnny Taylor, and Buster Benton (Money's the Name of the Game, 1989).
He continued to write material for others and sometimes played guitar and keyboards on their records. His own albums featured self-penned material, such as "I Fell in Love on a One Night Stand" and "If You Can Beat Me Rockin' (You Can Have My Chair)".
Coleman successfully continued to combine various roles until his early death in 1994.

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The Beatles

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14th February 1961, The Beatles performed at Litherland Town Hall, Liverpool where they play a special Valentine's Day show. Paul McCartney sang Elvis Presley's 'Wooden Heart, wearing a wooden heart pinned to his coat, covered with satin and embroidered with the names "John", "Paul", "George", and "Pete". The heart was raffled off, and the winner also won a kiss from Paul.

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David Bowie

February 14th 1973, David Bowie collapsed on stage during a concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

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Vic Briggs

February 14th1945, Born on this day, Vic Briggs, guitarist with The Animals, who had the 1964 UK & US No.1 single 'House Of The Rising Sun'.

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13/02/2018

Viola Beach

13th February 2016, All four members of English indie rock group Viola Beach, Kris Leonard (guitar and vocals), River Reeves (guitar), Tomas Lowe (bass guitar), and Jack Dakin (drums) along with their manager Craig Tarry, died in a car crash in Södertälje, Sweden. Witnesses said they saw the car fall through a gap on the E4 motorway bridge, which was open to let a boat pass. The band had played at the Where's the Music? festival in Norrköping the previous day. The band had been scheduled to support Blossoms on a tour of the UK and Ireland during February and March 2016.

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Rainbow

Biography Rainbow

Perceived by many as the vehicle used by ex-DEEP PURPLE guitarist RITCHIE BLACKMORE to enhance his own solo standing RAINBOW nevertheless produced some exceptional hard rock albums throughout its tumultuous career. With an ever fluid line up Blackmore remained the lynchpin throughout it all and established RAINBOW as one of the major Rock bands of its time.

Always a volatile relationship Blackmore and DEEP PURPLE had almost parted ways in 1972. The guitarist set up a band project titled BABY FACE projected to include THIN LIZZY bassist PHIL LYNOTT, former FREE vocalist PAUL RODGERS and DEEP PURPLE drummer Ian Paice. BABY FACE never got beyond a few jam sessions and both Lynott and Blackmore persevered with their own bands.

Blackmore finally split from DEEP PURPLE seemingly in disgust at the new funkier direction of the 'Stormbringer' album and the rest of the band's refusal to record the QUATERMASS track 'Black Sheep Of The Family'. Previously the guitarist had worked with one of DEEP PURPLE's support bands ELF, whose first album had been produced by ROGER GLOVER and Ian Paice, and with this band he cut his first solo album 'Richie Blackmore's Rainbow' in 1975...

RAINBOW went into the studio in early 1976 to record their second album before heading out on more American dates running from May until August before finally hitting Europe. The European tour coincided with the release of what many regard as the finest RAINBOW recording 'Rainbow Rising' featuring the classic Dio tour de force 'Stargazer'. The British tour completely sold out and RAINBOW rounded off the year with their first Japanese dates.

Quick to capitalize on this initial success the rather lukewarm live album 'Rainbow On Stage' was released. The line up was soon in disarray as after a world tour Bain was unceremoniously fired, he went on to form the ill fated WILD HORSES, whilst Carey was also given his marching orders only to be reprieved for six months.

Bain's place was filled by ex-URIAH HEEP, TEMPEST and COLOSSEUM bassist Mark Clarke but, after 1977 recording sessions in France, Blackmore scrapped both the tapes and gave the boot to Clarke and finally Carey. The recordings were resumed with former WIDOWMAKER bassist Bob Daisley. The position of keyboard player was auditioned by ex-CURVED AIR and ROXY MUSIC man Eddie Jobson, Mark Stein of VANILLA FUDGE and PROCUL HARUM's Matthew Fisher. However, it was a relative unknown, former SYMPHONIC SLAM man David Stone, who eventually stepped in.

Before the release of the third album RAINBOW once more performed another sell out UK tour and completed the world tour in Japan during February 1978. 'Long Live Rock n' Roll' presented a much cleaner sound and heralded the beginning of RAINBOW's concentrated assault on the American market. Ditching the infamous rainbow prop the band spent many months slogging across the States. Following the tour Stone and Daisley were asked to leave and rumours abounded that Dio was next on the list.

In January 1979 Dio finally announced he was quitting. After attempts form up a solo band in Connecticut the singer later relocated to Los Angeles to head up BLACK SABBATH, his entry into that British institution marking a renaissance for the band. Meantime Bob Daisley became involved in another thread of the BLACK SABBATH tapestry, helping form up OZZY OSBOURNE's first 'Blizzard Of Ozz' band for a brace of landmark albums. He would subsequently go on to join URIAH HEEP, the GARY MOORE band and BLACK SABBATH...

GRAHAM BONNET was to pack his bags (and infamous beach shirts) toward the end of 1980. The singer would put out the commercially successful solo record 'Line Up' in 1981 before pursuing an erratic path through the MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP and then founding ALCATRAZZ in Los Angeles with the Blackmore worshipping Swede YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and former personnel from NEW ENGLAND for the 'No Parole From Rock n' Roll' outing.

By the time of 1981's 'Difficult To Cure' album, recorded in Sweden, was on the streets RAINBOW had another American member. New Jersey born frontman JOE LYNN TURNER had previous experience cutting four albums with RCA act FANDANGO. Bonnet's official parting shot was the inclusion of two live RAINBOW tracks on the 'Monsters Of Rock' album of the event, but in actual fact the former singer had laid down vocals for the next album, subsequently re-recorded by Turner. RAINBOW once more got to grips with North America touring on a bill with the PAT TRAVERS BAND beginning in March before touring Britain, then Japan. During the Japanese dates Airey announced he was leaving and was quickly replaced by ex-MORNING THUNDER and BOSTON man David Rosenthal who debuted on 'Straight Between The Eyes'. Despite success in Europe and Japan RAINBOW were still finding the going tough in America...

With tensions beginning to show in the DEEP PURPLE camp, bizarrely Blackmore was linked to the reformation of WHITESNAKE in 1994, but rumours of a RAINBOW reformation continued unabated. Blackmore finally walked out on DEEP PURPLE prior to some Japanese dates, being swiftly replaced by JOE SATRIANI then STEVE MORSE. In late 1994 Blackmore was rehearsing as a solo artist in Connecticut with ex-LA PAZ, SOLE ASYLUM, PRAYING MANTIS and MIDNIGHT BLUE vocalist Doogie White. The singer had first come to Blackmore's attention when the ambitious Scotsman had dropped off a tape with DEEP PURPLE's tour manager at Blackmore's last London gig with his old troupe.

Also involved in these formative steps was VIRGIN STEELE and RONDINELLI bassist Rob DeMartino. This inevitably culminated in a RAINBOW reformation with the addition of ex-ALICE COOPER and BLUE OYSTER CULT bassist Greg Smith, keyboard player Paul Morris and drummer John O'Reilly.

Before long O'Reilly had jumped to BLUE OYSTER CULT and ex-RAINBOW drummer Chuck Burgi, who had been replaced by O'Reilly in BLUE OYSTER CULT, joined the fold. Eventually Burgi returned to BLUE OYSTER CULT and O'Reilly was back in position for RAINBOW. This bizarre scenario of swapping drummers between the two acts did not end there as Burgi's place in BLUE OYSTER CULT was taken shortly after by Bobby Rondinelli- ex RAINBOW!...

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Marillion

Marillion 

   

Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny

 

Marillion emerged from the short-lived progressive rock revival of the early '80s to become one of the most enduring cult acts of the era. The group formed in Aylesbury, England, in 1979, and adopted its original name, Silmarillion, from the title of a J.R.R. Tolkien novel. Initially, Marillion were comprised of guitarist Steve Rothery, bassist Doug Irvine, keyboardist Brian Jelliman, and drummer Mick Pointer, but after recording "The Web," an instrumental demo, they recruited vocalist Fish (born Derek Dick) and bassist Diz Minnitt. Prior to recording their debut single, "Market Square Heroes," keyboardist Mark Kelly and bassist Pete Trewavas replaced Jelliman and Minnitt.

 

 

Script for a Jester's Tear

Marillion issued their debut album, Script for a Jester's Tear, in 1983, and on the strength of a relentless touring schedule they won a loyal following. With new drummer Ian Mosley (formerly of Curved Air) firmly in place, they returned to the studio for 1984's Fugazi, which streamlined the intricacies of the group's prog rock leanings in favor of a more straight-ahead hard rock identity; the refinements paid off, and both "Assassin" and "Punch and Judy" became British hits. With 1985's Misplaced Childhood, an elaborate conceptual album reflecting Fish's formative experiences, Marillion earned their greatest success to date; the lush ballad "Kayleigh" reached the number two position on the U.K. charts, and became a hit in the U.S. as well. The follow-up, "Lavender," was also a smash, but the group began crumbling: Fish developed alcohol and drug problems, and egos ran rampant. After 1987's Clutching at Straws (and the 1988 live effort The Thieving Magpie), Fish left the band for a solo career.

 

Holidays in Eden

The initial release of post-Fish Marillion did not substantially alter the sound the band had displayed on Misplaced Childhood and Clutching at Straws. The addition of lyricist John Helmer and lyricist/vocalist Steve Hogarth came after the band had developed much of the musical material for Season's End, and few alterations in style were made. The follow-up, Holidays in Eden, was intended as a more mainstream rock album but failed to attract a wider audience. Marillion's record label, EMI, gave the band a higher budget for the next album and the result of 15 months labor was Brave, a concept album that mixed classic symphonic progressive rock with standard rock. The following release, Afraid of Sunlight, considerably altered the band's approach with great success -- it is the most consistent Marillion release to date.

 

Ice Cream Genius

Following Afraid of Sunlight, the bandmembers split up briefly to record side projects. Hogarth released Ice Cream Genius under the name H, Rothery formed the Wishing Tree (which produced Carnival of Souls), and Mosley and Trewavas joined Iris for Crossing the Desert. The Rothery and Hogarth projects were both very acoustic in nature, and when the band re-formed for This Strange Engine in 1997, Marillion's style changed again to a softer sound.

 

Radiation 2013

After the release of This Strange Engine, Marillion scheduled a European tour, but keyboardist Kelly posted an online message stating that the band would not tour the United States due to a lack of record company support. Fans of the band worldwide joined forces to raise over $60,000 to underwrite the tour, and the band undertook its largest North American tour since Holidays in Eden. In 1998, the band returned to the studio to record its tenth album, Radiation. Again changing styles, the effort showed the influences of the Beatles and Radiohead, specifically OK Computer. Marillion.com followed in 1999, and the early part of the new century saw the release of two additional studio albums, 2001's Anoraknophobia and 2004's Marbles, the latter displaying the influences of both U2 and Pink Floyd. While both of these albums were closely followed by themed live releases, the second of these -- 2005’s Marbles Live -- featured on-stage renditions that were arguably stronger than their comparative studio takes.

 

Somewhere Else

Breaking away from the meticulous approach to production offered by long-time collaborator Dave Meegan, in 2007 Marillion employed Michael Hunter to oversee the recording of their 14th studio album, Somewhere Else. In terms of sales, it was their most successful release in almost a decade and featured the U.K. hit single "Thank You Whoever You Are." In 2008, Hunter also produced their ambitious two-volume work, Happiness Is the Road before a back-to-basics, self-recorded acoustic album -- Less Is More -- was issued the following year, featuring pared-down versions of post-1994 Marillion material. Their next full-blown studio album was 2012's politically motivated Sounds That Can’t Be Made, which included the sprawling 17-minute "Gaza." The following year a live performance from their 2013 biannual weekend festival in Port Zelande, Netherlands, was recorded. Titled A Sunday Night Above the Rain, the album was expected to be released in 2014.(Allmusic)

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Pink Floyd

In 1981, the band played eight shows in Dortmund - here's the poster advertising them:

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Peter Gabriel

Happy Birthday to English singer-songwriter, record producer Peter Gabriel, born on 13th February 1950. With Genesis he had the 1974 UK No.21 single 'I Know What I Like In Your Wardrobe'. Gabriel left Genesis in 1975 to launch his solo career and had the 1986 US No.1 & UK No.4 single 'Sledgehammer' from the 1986 UK No.1 & US No.2 album So. Gabriel has been a champion of world music for much of his career. He co-founded the WOMAD festival in 1982

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Black Sabbath

February 13th 1970, On this day, Friday the 13th, Black Sabbath released their debut self-titled studio album on Vertigo records in the UK. Peaking at No.8 on the charts, the album has been recognised as the first main album to be credited with the development of the heavy metal genre.

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The Beatles

February 13th 1967, The Beatles released the double A sided single 'Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane' on Capitol Records in the US. The single spent 10 weeks on the chart peaking at No.1.

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12/02/2018

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

On 13th Feb 1969, Bob Dylan recorded versions of "Lay, Lady, Lay", at Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. "Lay Lady Lay" was originally written for the soundtrack of the movie Midnight Cowboy, but wasn't submitted in time to be included in the finished film. The song has gone on to become a standard and has been covered by numerous bands and artists over the years, including The Byrds, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, The Everly Brothers, Neil Diamond, Melanie, The Isley Brothers, Duran Duran, Hoyt Axton and Isaac Hayes amongst others.

His vast influence on music is matched only by Elvis Presley and The Beatles, (and even the Beatles' shift toward introspective songwriting wouldn’t have happened without his towering influence). Dylan's gift was to marry poetic lyrics with catchy tunes, and as a vocalist, he broke the notion that a singer must have a conventionally good voice in order to perform, redefining the vocalist's role in popular music in the process.

As his contemporaries, including McCartney, Jagger, Richards and Paul Simon, all approach 70, the old troubadour is still working harder than any of them. In the 20 years up to 2010, he performed 2,045 concerts, although eh now made his shows so idiosyncratic that not more than half the audience could probably tell which particular Dylan classic he was performing at any given time.

Robert Zimmerman was born on 24th May 1941, in St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota. He lived in Duluth until age six, when his father was stricken with polio and the family returned to his mother's home town, Hibbing, where Zimmerman spent the rest of his childhood. Bob spent much of his youth listening to the radio - first to blues and country stations and later, to early rock and roll. He formed several bands while he attended Hibbing High School, including The Shadow Blasters and The Golden Chords. In his 1959 school yearbook, Robert Zimmerman listed as his ambition "To follow Little Richard", with whom he was obsessed.

Following his graduation in 1959, he began studying art at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. While at college, he began performing folk songs at coffeehouses under the name Bob Dylan, taking his last name from the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

Finding his way to New York City in January of 1961, Dylan immediately made a substantial impression on the folk community. Initially inspired by the songs of Hank Williams, Woody Guthrie and Robert Johnson, Dylan incorporated in his early song lyrics a variety of political, social and philosophical, as well as literary influences, while drawing on many traditional folk song forms and melodies, including highly topical and witty ‘talking blues’ tales. They defied existing pop music convention, sometimes extended over many verses, appealing, along with the young Dylan’s persona, sometimes world-weary, sometimes mischievous, to the then-burgeoning alternative music scene, almost entirely folk-based.

Columbia Records A&R man John Hammond sought out Dylan on the strength of a review, and signed the songwriter in late 1961, producing Dylan's eponymous debut album, a collection of folk and blues standards that surprisingly boasted only two original songs. Over the course of 1962 Dylan began to write a large batch of original songs, many of which were political protest songs in the vein of his Greenwich Village contemporaries. These songs were showcased on his second album, ‘The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan’.

Between April 1962 and April 1963 he claimed to have written more than 100 songs, being so prolific in this period that he said he was afraid to go to sleep at night, for fear he would miss a song.

His breakthrough to the pop audience in the summer of 1965, when "Like a Rolling Stone" became a #2 hit. Driven by a circular organ riff and a steady beat, the six-minute single broke the barrier of the three-minute pop song.

A couple of years back, Dylan was detained by police in Long Branch, New Jersey, when a young officer failed to recognize him. The scene was like something out of one of Dylan's epic songs: it was pouring with rain, Dylan was soaked and wandering alone, far from the travelling home of his entourage of tour buses. When he wandered into the yard of a home that had a "For Sale" sign on it, the home's occupants became spooked by his appearance and called police with a report of an "eccentric-looking old man" in their yard.

Dylan was in the area as part of yet another national concert tour, a fact lost on 24-year-old Long Branch police officer Kristie Buble, who had to go to great lengths to finally discover that the hooded, disheveled, rain-soaked figure was indeed the music legend he claimed to be.

The late-model Bob Dylan has released some amazing records, as good as anything he did in 1975, 1989, and 1997, and is still making great records after 50 years of studio and live work, (check out his 2006 album Modern Times).

Since 1994, Dylan has published six books of drawings and paintings, and his work has been exhibited in major art galleries. As a musician, Dylan has sold more than 100 million records, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time.

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Al Jarreau

February 12th 2017, American singer and musician Al Jarreau died of respiratory failure at the age of 76, just two days after announcing his retirement. During his career he received a total of seven Grammy Awards and is best known for his 1981 album Breakin' Away. He also sang the theme song of the late-1980s television series Moonlighting.

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Screamin' Jay Hawkins

February 12th 2000, American singer, songwriter, musician Screamin' Jay Hawkins died aged 70 after emergency surgery for an aneurysm. A Golden Gloves boxing champion at 16, he was married nine times, fathered over 30 children, spent two years in jail and was temporary blinded by one of his flaming props on stage in 1976. He recorded 'I Put A Spell On You' in 1956, (which was covered by many acts including The Animals, Creedance Clearwater Revival and Nina Simone).

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Al Green

February 12th 1972, Al Green went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Let's Stay Together', his only US chart topper. It was ranked the 60th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Tina Turner had a hit with the song in 1984.

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Donovan

February 12th 1965, Pye Records announced that they'd signed 'the British Bob Dylan', when they added Donovan to the label. The Scottish singer-songwriter produced a series of hit albums and singles between 1965 and 1970 and became a friend of leading pop musicians including Joan Baez, Brian Jones and The Beatles. He influenced John Lennon when he taught him a finger-picking guitar style in 1968.

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John Lennon

12th Feb 1970, John Lennon performed 'Instant Karma!' on BBC TV's Top Of The Pops, becoming the first Beatle to have appeared on the show since 1966. Lennon wrote, recorded, and mixed his new single, all in one day. It ranks as one of the fastest-released songs in pop music history. Lennon later stated, "I wrote it for breakfast, recorded it for lunch, and we're putting it out for dinner.

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The Police

February 12th 1977, The Police recorded their first single, 'Fall Out' for £150 ($255) at Pathway Studios, London, England.

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11/02/2018

Bob Dylan

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Bob Dylan - Artist Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

 

Bob Dylan's influence on popular music is incalculable. As a songwriter, he pioneered several different schools of pop songwriting, from confessional singer/songwriter to winding, hallucinatory, stream-of-consciousness narratives. As a vocalist, he broke down the notion that a singer must have a conventionally good voice in order to perform, thereby redefining the vocalist's role in popular music. As a musician, he sparked several genres of pop music, including electrified folk-rock and country-rock. And that just touches on the tip of his achievements. Dylan's force was evident during his height of popularity in the '60s -- the Beatles' shift toward introspective songwriting in the mid-'60s never would have happened without him -- but his influence echoed throughout several subsequent generations, as many of his songs became popular standards and his best albums became undisputed classics of the rock & roll canon. Dylan's influence throughout folk music was equally powerful, and he marks a pivotal turning point in its 20th century evolution, signifying when the genre moved away from traditional songs and toward personal songwriting. Even when his sales declined in the '80s and '90s, Dylan's presence rarely lagged, and his commercial revival in the 2000s proved his staying power.

 

For a figure of such substantial influence, Dylan came from humble beginnings. Born in Duluth, Minnesota, Bob Dylan (b. Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) was raised in Hibbing, Minnesota, from the age of six. As a child he learned how to play guitar and harmonica, forming a rock & roll band called the Golden Chords when he was in high school. Following his graduation in 1959, he began studying art at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. While at college, he began performing folk songs at coffeehouses under the name Bob Dylan, taking his last name from the poet Dylan Thomas. Already inspired by Hank Williams and Woody Guthrie, Dylan began listening to blues while at college, and the genre wove its way into his music. He spent the summer of 1960 in Denver, where he met bluesman Jesse Fuller, the inspiration behind the songwriter's signature harmonica rack and guitar. By the time he returned to Minneapolis in the fall, he had grown substantially as a performer and was determined to become a professional musician.

 

 

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan

Dylan made his way to New York City in January of 1961, immediately making a substantial impression on the folk community of Greenwich Village. He began visiting his idol Guthrie in the hospital, where he was slowly dying from Huntington's chorea. Dylan also began performing in coffeehouses, and his rough charisma won him a significant following. In April, he opened for John Lee Hooker at Gerde's Folk City. Five months later, Dylan performed another concert at the venue, which was reviewed positively by Robert Shelton in The New York Times. Columbia A&R man John Hammond sought out Dylan on the strength of the review, and signed the songwriter in the fall of 1961. Hammond produced Dylan's eponymous debut album (released in March 1962), a collection of folk and blues standards that boasted only two original songs. Over the course of 1962, Dylan began to write a large batch of original songs, many of which were political protest songs in the vein of his Greenwich contemporaries. These songs were showcased on his second album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. Before its release, Freewheelin' went through several incarnations. Dylan had recorded a rock & roll single, "Mixed Up Confusion," at the end of 1962, but his manager, Albert Grossman, made sure the record was deleted because he wanted to present Dylan as an acoustic folkie. Similarly, several tracks with a full backing band that were recorded for Freewheelin' were scrapped before the album's release. Furthermore, several tracks recorded for the album -- including "Talking John Birch Society Blues" -- were eliminated from the album before its release.

Comprised entirely of original songs, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan made a huge impact in the U.S. folk community, and many performers began covering songs from the album. Of these, the most significant were Peter, Paul and Mary, who made "Blowin' in the Wind" into a huge pop hit in the summer of 1963 and thereby made Bob Dylan into a recognizable household name. On the strength of Peter, Paul and Mary's cover and his opening gigs for popular folkie Joan Baez, Freewheelin' became a hit in the fall of 1963, climbing to number 23 on the charts. By that point, Baez and Dylan had become romantically involved, and she was beginning to record his songs frequently. Dylan was writing just as fast.

 

 

The Times They Are A-Changin'

By the time The Times They Are A-Changin' was released in early 1964, Dylan's songwriting had developed far beyond that of his New York peers. Heavily inspired by poets like Arthur Rimbaud and John Keats, his writing took on a more literate and evocative quality. Around the same time, he began to expand his musical boundaries, adding more blues and R&B influences to his songs. Released in the summer of 1964, Another Side of Bob Dylan made these changes evident. However, Dylan was moving faster than his records could indicate. By the end of 1964, he had ended his romantic relationship with Baez and had begun dating a former model named Sara Lowndes, whom he subsequently married. Simultaneously, he gave the Byrds "Mr. Tambourine Man" to record for their debut album. the Byrds gave the song a ringing, electric arrangement, but by the time the single became a hit, Dylan was already exploring his own brand of folk-rock.

 

Bringing It All Back Home

Inspired by the British Invasion, particularly the Animals' version of "House of the Rising Sun," Dylan recorded a set of original songs backed by a loud rock & roll band for his next album. While Bringing It All Back Home (March 1965) still had a side of acoustic material, it made clear that Dylan had turned his back on folk music. For the folk audience, the true breaking point arrived a few months after the album's release, when he played the Newport Folk Festival supported by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. The audience greeted him with vicious derision, but he had already been accepted by the growing rock & roll community. Dylan's spring tour of Britain was the basis for D.A. Pennebaker's documentary Don't Look Back, a film that captures the songwriter's edgy charisma and charm.

 

Highway 61 Revisited

Dylan made his breakthrough to the pop audience in the summer of 1965, when "Like a Rolling Stone" became a number two hit. Driven by a circular organ riff and a steady beat, the six-minute single broke the barrier of the three-minute pop single. Dylan became the subject of innumerable articles, and his lyrics became the subject of literary analyses across the U.S. and U.K. Well over 100 artists covered his songs between 1964 and 1966; the Byrds and the Turtles, in particular, had big hits with his compositions. Highway 61 Revisited, his first full-fledged rock & roll album, became a Top Ten hit shortly after its summer 1965 release. "Positively 4th Street" and "Rainy Day Women #12 & 35" became Top Ten hits in the fall of 1965 and spring of 1966, respectively. Following the May 1966 release of the double album Blonde on Blonde, he had sold over ten million records around the world.

During the fall of 1965, Dylan hired the Hawks, formerly Ronnie Hawkins' backing group, as his touring band. the Hawks, who changed their name to the Band in 1968, would become Dylan's most famous backing band, primarily because of their intuitive chemistry and "wild, thin mercury sound," but also because of their British tour in the spring of 1966. The tour was the first time the British had heard the electric Dylan, and their reaction was disagreeable and violent. At the Manchester concert (long mistakenly identified as the show from London's Royal Albert Hall), an audience member called Dylan "Judas," inspiring a positively vicious version of "Like a Rolling Stone" from Dylan and the band. The performance was immortalized on countless bootleg albums (an official release finally surfaced in 1998), and it indicates the intensity of Dylan in the middle of 1966. He had assumed control of Pennebaker's second Dylan documentary, Eat the Document, and was under deadline to complete his book Tarantula, as well as record a new record. Following the British tour, he returned to America.

 

 

The Basement Tapes

On July 29, 1966, he was injured in a motorcycle accident outside of his home in Woodstock, New York, suffering injuries to his neck vertebrae and a concussion. Details of the accident remain elusive -- he was reportedly in critical condition for a week and had amnesia -- and some biographers have questioned its severity, but the event was a pivotal turning point in his career. After the accident, Dylan became a recluse, disappearing into his home in Woodstock and raising his family with his wife, Sara. After a few months, he retreated with the Band to a rented house, subsequently dubbed Big Pink, in West Saugerties to record a number of demos. For several months, Dylan and the Band recorded an enormous amount of material, ranging from old folk, country, and blues songs to newly written originals. The songs indicated that Dylan's songwriting had undergone a metamorphosis, becoming streamlined and more direct. Similarly, his music had changed, owing less to traditional rock & roll, and demonstrating heavy country, blues, and traditional folk influences. None of the Big Pink recordings was intended to be released, but tapes from the sessions were circulated by Dylan's music publisher with the intent of generating cover versions. Copies of these tapes, as well as other songs, were available on illegal bootleg albums by the end of the '60s; it was the first time that bootleg copies of unreleased recordings became widely circulated. Portions of the tapes were officially released in 1975 as the double album The Basement Tapes.

 

John Wesley Harding

While Dylan was in seclusion, rock & roll had become heavier and artier in the wake of the psychedelic revolution. When Dylan returned with John Wesley Harding in December of 1967, its quiet, country ambience was a surprise to the general public, but it was a significant hit, peaking at number two in the U.S. and number one in the U.K. Furthermore, the record arguably became the first significant country-rock record to be released, setting the stage for efforts by the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers later in 1969.

 

Nashville Skyline

Dylan followed his country inclinations on his next album, 1969's Nashville Skyline, which was recorded in Nashville with several of the country industry's top session men. While the album was a hit, spawning the Top Ten single "Lay Lady Lay," it was criticized in some quarters for uneven material. The mixed reception was the beginning of a full-blown backlash that arrived with the double-album Self Portrait. Released early in June of 1970, the album was a hodgepodge of covers, live tracks, re-interpretations, and new songs greeted with negative reviews from all quarters of the press. Dylan followed the album quickly with New Morning, which was hailed as a comeback.

 

Dylan [1973]

Following the release of New Morning, Dylan began to wander restlessly. He moved back to Greenwich Village, he finally published Tarantula in November of 1970, and he performed at the Concert for Bangladesh in August 1971. During 1972, he began his acting career by playing Alias in Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, which was released in 1973. He also wrote the soundtrack for the film, which featured "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," his biggest hit since "Lay Lady Lay." The Pat Garrett soundtrack was the final record released under his Columbia contract before he moved to David Geffen's fledgling Asylum Records. As retaliation, Columbia assembled Dylan, a collection of Self Portrait outtakes, for release at the end of 1973. Dylan only recorded two albums -- including 1974's Planet Waves, coincidentally his first number one album -- before he moved back to Columbia. the Band supported Dylan on Planet Waves and its accompanying tour, which became the most successful tour in rock & roll history; it was captured on 1974's double live album Before the Flood.

 

Blood on the Tracks

Dylan's 1974 tour was the beginning of a comeback culminating with 1975's Blood on the Tracks. Largely inspired by the disintegration of his marriage, Blood on the Tracks was hailed as a return to form by critics and it became his second number one album. After jamming with folkies in Greenwich Village, Dylan decided to launch a gigantic tour, loosely based on traveling medicine shows. Lining up an extensive list of supporting musicians -- including Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Arlo Guthrie, Mick Ronson, Roger McGuinn, and poet Allen Ginsberg -- Dylan dubbed the tour the Rolling Thunder Revue and set out on the road in the fall of 1975. For the next year, the Rolling Thunder Revue toured on and off, with Dylan filming many of the concerts for a future film. During the tour, Desire was released to considerable acclaim and success, spending five weeks on the top of the charts. Throughout the Rolling Thunder Revue, Dylan showcased "Hurricane," a protest song he had written about boxer Rubin Carter, who had been unjustly imprisoned for murder. The live album Hard Rain was released at the end of the tour. Dylan released Renaldo and Clara, a four-hour film based on the Rolling Thunder tour, to poor reviews in early 1978.

 

Street Legal

Early in 1978, Dylan set out on another extensive tour, this time backed by a band that resembled a Las Vegas lounge act. The group was featured on the 1978 album Street Legal and the 1979 live album At Budokan. At the conclusion of the tour in late 1978, Dylan announced that he was a born-again Christian, and he launched a series of Christian albums that following summer with Slow Train Coming. Though the reviews were mixed, the album was a success, peaking at number three and going platinum. His supporting tour for Slow Train Coming featured only his new religious material, much to the bafflement of his long-term fans. Two other religious albums -- Saved (1980) and Shot of Love (1981) -- followed, both to poor reviews. In 1982, Dylan traveled to Israel, sparking rumors that his conversion to Christianity was short-lived. He returned to secular recording with 1983's Infidels, which was greeted with favorable reviews.

 

Real Live

Dylan returned to performing in 1984, releasing the live album Real Live at the end of the year. Empire Burlesque followed in 1985, but its odd mix of dance tracks and rock & roll won few fans. However, the five-album/triple-disc retrospective box set Biograph appeared that same year to great acclaim. In 1986, Dylan hit the road with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers for a successful and acclaimed tour, but his album that year, Knocked Out Loaded, was received poorly. The following year, he toured with the Grateful Dead as his backing band; two years later, the souvenir album Dylan & the Dead appeared.

 

The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1

In 1988, Dylan embarked on what became known as "the Never-Ending Tour" -- a constant stream of shows that ran on and off into the late '90s. That same year, he appeared on The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1 -- by the supergroup also featuring George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne -- and released his own Down in the Groove, an album largely comprised of covers. The Never-Ending Tour received far stronger reviews than Down in the Groove (the Traveling Wilburys album fared much better), but 1989's Oh Mercy was his most acclaimed album since 1975's Blood on the Tracks, due in part to Daniel Lanois' strong production. However, Dylan's 1990 follow-up, Under the Red Sky (issued the same year as the second album by the Traveling Wilburys, now a quartet following the death of Roy Orbison shortly after the release of the Wilburys' first long-player in 1988), was received poorly, especially when compared to the enthusiastic reception for the 1991 box set The Bootleg Series, Vols. 1-3 (Rare & Unreleased), a collection of previously unreleased outtakes and rarities.

 

Good as I Been to You

For the remainder of the '90s, Dylan divided his time between live concerts, painting, and studio projects. He returned to recording in 1992 with Good as I Been to You, an acoustic collection of traditional folk songs. It was followed in 1993 by another folk record, World Gone Wrong, which won the Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album. After the release of World Gone Wrong, Dylan released a greatest-hits album and a live record.

 

Time Out of Mind

Dylan released Time Out of Mind, his first album of original material in seven years, in the fall of 1997. Time Out of Mind received his strongest reviews in years and unexpectedly debuted in the Top Ten, eventually climbing to platinum certification. Such success sparked a revival of interest in Dylan, who appeared on the cover of Newsweek and began selling out concerts once again. Early in 1998, Time Out of Mind received three Grammy Awards -- Album of the Year, Best Contemporary Folk Album, and Best Male Rock Vocal.

 

Love and Theft

Another album of original material, Love and Theft, followed in 2001 and went gold. Soon after its release, Dylan announced that he was making his own film, to star Jeff Bridges, Penelope Cruz, John Goodman, Val Kilmer, and many more. The accompanying soundtrack, Masked and Anonymous, was released in July 2003. Dylan opted to self-produce his new studio album, Modern Times, which topped the Billboard charts and went platinum in both America and the U.K. It was Dylan's third consecutive album to receive praise from critics and support from consumers, and it was followed three years later in 2009 by Together Through Life, another self-produced effort (as Jack Frost) that also featured contributions from David Hidalgo of Los Lobos and Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. He capped off the year with an old-fashioned holiday effort, Christmas in the Heart. Proceeds from the album were donated to various charities around the world. Dylan released the self-produced (again as Jack Frost) Tempest on September 11, 2012.(AllMusic)

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Whitney Elizabeth Houston

Today we remember the passing of the great Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time. Houston is one of pop music's best-selling music artists of all-time, with an estimated 170–200 million records sold worldwide. She released seven studio albums and three movie soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold certification. Houston's crossover appeal on the popular music charts, as well as her prominence on MTV, starting with her video for "How Will I Know", influenced several African American women artists who follow in her footsteps.
Whitney Houston was born on August 9, 1963 in what was then a middle-income neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey. She was the daughter of Army serviceman and entertainment executive John Russell Houston, Jr. (September 13, 1920 – February 2, 2003), and gospel singer Emily "Cissy" (Drinkard) Houston. Her elder brother Michael is a singer, and her elder half-brother is former basketball player Gary Garland.[ Her parents were both African American, and she was also said to have Native American and Dutch ancestry. Through her mother, Houston was a first cousin of singers Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick. Her godmother was Darlene Love and her honorary aunt was Aretha Franklin, whom she met at age 8 or 9 when her mother took her to a recording studio. Houston was raised a Baptist, but was also exposed to the Pentecostal church. After the 1967 Newark riots, the family moved to a middle-class area in East Orange, New Jersey, when she was four.
At the age of 11, Houston started performing as a soloist in the junior gospel choir at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, where she also learned to play the piano. Her first solo performance in the church was "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah". When Houston was a teenager, she attended Mount Saint Dominic Academy, a Catholic girls' high school in Caldwell, New Jersey, where she met her best friend Robyn Crawford, whom she described as the "sister she never had". While Houston was still in school, her mother continued to teach her how to sing. Houston was also exposed to the music of Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, and Roberta Flack, most of whom would have an influence on her as a singer and performer.
Houston is the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits. She is the second artist behind Elton John and the only woman to have two number-one Billboard 200 Album awards (formerly "Top Pop Albums") on the Billboard magazine year-end charts. Houston's 1985 debut album Whitney Houston became the best-selling debut album by a woman in history. Rolling Stone named it the best album of 1986, and ranked it at number 254 on the magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Her second studio album Whitney (1987) became the first album by a woman to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
Houston's first acting role was as the star of the feature film The Bodyguard (1992). The film's original soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Its lead single, "I Will Always Love You", became the best-selling single by a woman in music history. With the album, Houston became the first act (solo or group, male or female) to sell more than a million copies of an album within a single week period under Nielsen SoundScan system. The album makes her the top female act in the top 10 list of the best-selling albums of all time, at number four. Houston continued to star in movies and contribute to their soundtracks, including the films Waiting to Exhale (1995) and The Preacher's Wife (1996). The Preacher's Wife soundtrack became the best-selling gospel album in history.
On February 11, 2012, Houston was found dead in her guest room at the Beverly Hilton, in Beverly Hills, California. The official coroner's report showed that she had accidentally drowned in the bathtub, with heart disease and cocaine use listed as contributing factors. News of her death coincided with the 2012 Grammy Awards and featured prominently in American and international media.

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