Artist Biography by Richard Skelly
Although he's often skirted the edges of blues music, at heart, saxophonist, keyboardist and composer Edgar Winter is a blues musician. Raised in Beaumont, TX, the younger brother of ukulele player and guitarist Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter has always pushed himself in new directions, synthesizing the rock, blues and jazz melodies he hears in his head. As a consequence, his fan base may not be what it could have been, had he made a conscious effort -- like his brother Johnny -- to stay in a blues-rock mold over the years. He's one musician who's never been afraid to venture into multiple musical arenas, often times, within the space of one album, as in his debut, Entrance (1970 Columbia Records).
Edgar Winter, the second son of John and Edwina Winter, was born December 28, 1946 in Beaumont, TX, and much of the credit for Edgar and Johnny's early musical awareness must go to the brothers' parents, who have been a constant source of encouragement throughout their respective musical careers. The boys' father sang in a barbershop quartet, in their church choir, and played saxophone in a jazz group. Edgar and Johnny, who's three years older, began performing together as teens, playing local watering holes like Tom's Fish Camp before they were old enough to drink. The pair's early R&B and blues groups included Johnny and the Jammers, the Crystaliers and the Black Plague.
In high school, Edgar became fascinated with the saxophone stylings of Julian "Cannonball" Adderley and Hank Crawford, and he began playing alto sax in earnest. As a pre-teen, he had played ukulele, like his older brother. But by the time he was of college age, Edgar had become competent on keyboards, bass, guitar and drums.
Edgar was signed to Epic Records in 1970 after performing on his brother's Second Winter album. He recorded Entrance, his debut, which featured himself on most of the instruments. After radio success accompanying his brother on Johnny Winter And, he formed a large horn ensemble called White Trash. Although it was a short-lived group which broke up in mid-'72, Winter assembled another group to record two more albums for Epic Records, White Trash and Roadwork. Winter's single, "Keep Playing That Rock 'n' Roll," reached number 70 on the U.S. rock radio charts, and the album Roadwork hit number 23 on the album charts. By the summer of 1972, through constant touring, (and a ready willingness to do interviews, unlike his older brother), Winter formed the Edgar Winter Group in the summer of 1972. In January, 1973, Epic released They Only Come Out at Night, produced by guitarist Rick Derringer, which reached number three in the U.S. This album had Winter's most famous song, "Frankenstein," which reached number one in the U.S. in May of 1973. Later that year, "Free Ride" from the same album reached number 14. Although he's never matched that kind of commercial radio success again, Winter has continued to tour and record at a prolific pace. He relocated from New York City to Beverly Hills in 1989 to pursue movie score work, which he's had some success with, most notably with a slightly reworked version of "Frankenstein" for the movie Wayne's World II.
Although his early-'70s albums like Entrance, White Trash, They Only Come Out at Night and Shock Treatment are bluesier affairs than some of his later albums, there are blues tunes like "Big City Woman" on one of his 1990s releases, Not a Kid Anymore (1994), on the Intersound label, and 1999's Winter Blues was almost wholly devoted to the idiom. A good introduction to Winter for those who weren't around in the early '70s is The Edgar Winter Collection (1993) on Rhino Records.(AllMusic)
13th March 1965, The Beatles started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Eight Days A Week', the group's 7th US No.1. Paul McCartney would later say the name of the song came from a chauffeur who drove him one day. "I said, 'How've you been?'. 'Oh working hard,' he said, 'Working eight days a week.'"
March 13th 1939, Born on this day, Neil Sedaka, singer, songwriter, (1959 UK No.3 single 'Oh Carol' plus over 30 US & 14 UK other Top 40 singles, 1962 US No.1 & UK No.7 single 'Breaking Up Is Hard To Do').
March 13th 1966, Pink Floyd appeared for the first time at The The Marquee Club in Wardour Street, London, England. The Marquee became the most important venue for the emerging British scene and witnessed the rise of some of the most important artists in the 1960s and 1970s, such as Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Manfred Mann, The Who, Yes, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, King Crimson and Genesis.
March 13th 1965, Eric Clapton quit The Yardbirds due to musical differences with the other band members. Clapton wanted to continue in a blues type vein, while the rest of the band preferred the more commercial style of their first hit, 'For Your Love'.
13th March 1971, Brewer and Shipley entered the US singles chart with 'One Toke Over The Line'. The song, which featured The Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia on steel guitar, peaked at No.10 despite being banned by radio stations for its drug references. Brewer and Shipley maintained that the word "toke" meant "token" as in ticket, hence the line "waitin' downtown at the railway station, one toke over the line."
Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny
Over the course of their decades-spanning career, Canadian power trio Rush emerged as one of hard rock's most highly regarded bands; although typically brushed aside by critics and rarely the recipients of mainstream pop radio airplay, Rush nonetheless won an impressive and devoted fan following, while their virtuoso performance skills solidified their standing as musicians' musicians.
Rush formed in Toronto, Ontario, in the autumn of 1968, initially comprised of guitarist Alex Lifeson (born Alexander Zivojinovich), vocalist/bassist Geddy Lee (born Gary Lee Weinrib), and drummer John Rutsey. In their primary incarnation, Rush drew a heavy influence from Cream, and honed their skills on the Toronto club circuit before issuing their debut single, a rendition of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away," in 1973. A self-titled LP followed in 1974, at which time Rutsey exited; he was replaced by drummer Neil Peart, who also assumed the role of the band's primary songwriter, composing the cerebral lyrics (influenced by works of science fiction and fantasy) that gradually became a hallmark of the group's aesthetic.
With Peart firmly ensconced, the band returned in 1975 with a pair of LPs, Fly by Night and Caress of Steel. Their next effort, 1976's 2112, proved their breakthrough release: a futuristic concept album based on the writings of Ayn Rand, it fused the elements of the trio's sound -- Lee's high-pitched vocals, Peart's epic drumming, and Lifeson's complex guitar work -- into a unified whole. Fans loved it -- 2112 was the first in a long line of gold and platinum releases -- while critics dismissed it as overblown and pretentious; either way, it established a formula from which the band rarely deviated throughout the duration of its career.
A Farewell to Kings followed in 1977 and reached the Top 40 in both the U.S. and Britain. After 1978's Hemispheres, Rush achieved even greater popularity with 1980's Permanent Waves, a record marked by the group's dramatic shift into shorter, less sprawling compositions; the single "The Spirit of Radio" even became a major hit. With 1981's Moving Pictures, they scored another hit of sorts with "Tom Sawyer," which garnered heavy exposure on album-oriented radio and became perhaps the trio's best-known song. As the 1980s continued, Rush grew into a phenomenally popular live draw as albums like 1982's Signals (which generated the smash "New World Man"), 1984's Grace Under Pressure, and 1985's Power Windows continued to sell millions of copies.
As the decade drew to a close, the trio cut back on its touring schedule while hardcore followers complained of a sameness afflicting slicker, synth-driven efforts like 1987's Hold Your Fire and 1989's Presto. At the dawn of the '90s, however, Rush returned to the heavier sound of their early records and placed a renewed emphasis on Lifeson's guitar heroics; consequently, both 1991's Roll the Bones and 1993's Counterparts reached the Top Three on the U.S. album charts. In 1996, the band issued Test for Echo and headed out on the road the following summer. Shortly thereafter, Peart lost his daughter in an automobile accident. Tragedy struck again in 1998 when Peart's wife succumbed to cancer.
Dire times in the Rush camp did not cause the band to quit. Lee took time out for a solo stint with 2000's My Favorite Headache; however, rumors of the band playing in the studio began to circulate. It would be five years until anything surfaced from the band. Fans were reassured in early 2002 by news that Rush were recording new songs in Toronto. The fruit of those sessions led to the release of Rush's 17th studio album, Vapor Trails, later that spring. By the end of the year a concert from the supporting tour was released on DVD as Rush in Rio.
In 2004 Rush embarked on their 30th anniversary tour, documented on the DVD R30, and in 2006 they returned to the studio to begin work on a new album. The resulting Snakes & Arrows was released in May 2007, followed by the CD/DVD set Snakes & Arrows Live in early 2008. Material from the latter was combined with footage from Rush in Rio and R30 for the CD/DVD compilation Working Men, which was released in 2009. A documentary on the band assembled by Toronto's Bangor Productions called Beyond the Lighted Stage appeared in 2010, followed a year later by another Bangor video production, Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland. Rush's 19th full-length studio album, Clockwork Angels, arrived in June of 2012. While the following year wouldn't bring a new album, it did deliver the next best thing by way of Vapor Trails: Remixed, which found producer David Bottrill revisiting one of the more notable victims of the so-called loudness wars. Along with a freshly repaired album, the band also released Clockwork Angels Tour, a three-disc live album recorded during their 2012 tour.(AllMusic)
12th March 1968, The Rolling Stones started recording their next single 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' with new producer Jimmy Miller at Olympic studios in London. Keith Richards has stated that he and Jagger wrote the lyrics while staying at Richards' country house, where they were awakened one morning by the sound of gardener Jack Dyer walking past the window. When Jagger asked what the noise was, Richards responded, "Oh, that's Jack
March 12th 1969, Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman at Marylebone Register Office. They then held a reception lunch at The Ritz Hotel, Paul then went to Abbey Road studios in the evening to work. George Harrison and his wife Patti were arrested on the same day and charged with possession of 120 joints of marijuana.
March 12th 2006, Former Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour went to No.1 on the UK album chart with his third solo album 'On An Island.' In 2009 UK radio station Planet Rock held a poll asking listeners to name the 'Greatest Solo Album Written By A Former Band Member'. David Gilmour was voted into first place with 'On An Island.'
March 12th 1948, Born on this day, James Taylor, US singer, songwriter, (1971 US No.1 & UK No.4 single 'You've Got A Friend'. His first album was released on The BeatlesApple label. Taylor married Carly Simon in 1972.