05/02/2018

Cory Wells

Cory Wells (born Emil Lewandowski; February 5, 1941 – October 20, 2015) was an American singer, best known as one of the three lead vocalists in the band Three Dog Night.
Wells came from a musical family and began playing in Buffalo, New York-area bands in his teens. His biological father, who was married to someone other than his mother, died when Cory was a small child, leaving his mother to struggle financially until she eventually remarried. She gave Cory her maiden last name although Cory eventually changed his surname to Wells (which is a shortened version of his birth father's last name, Wellsley). His full stage name "Cory Wells" was suggested by The Enemys' first manager, Gene Jacobs who had a son named Cory.
Having survived childhood in a low income, blue collar neighborhood and an even more brutal home environment fueled by an abusive stepfather, this according to manager Joel Cohen's band biography, Three Dog Night And Me, before forming The Enemys, Wells joined the United States Air Force directly out of high school.
Following his military tour of duty, Wells returned to Buffalo and was asked to join a band named the Vibratos. Gene Jacobs, the brother-in-law of the Vibratos guitar player, Mike Lustan, suggested to him that the Vibratos travel to California if they were serious about making it in music. They took his advice and changed the name of the band to "The Enemys." They soon began working the clubs in Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas and Sacramento., and they became the house band at the Whisky a Go Go. They were also featured in the television shows The Beverly Hillbillies, Burke's Law, Riot on Sunset Strip, and the film Harper, with Paul Newman and Shelley Winters. While at the Whisky a Go Go, Cher asked the band to tour with Sonny & Cher. It was on this tour that Wells met Danny Hutton, a former songwriter/performer for Hanna-Barbera Productions who became his future partner in the rock band Three Dog Night. The Enemys had minor hits with recordings of "Hey Joe" and "Sinner Man". Wells moved to Phoenix in 1967 where he formed The Cory Wells Blues Band, whose bass player was future Three Dog Night bass player, Joe Schermetzler (stage name Joe Schermie). In 1968, Wells returned to Hollywood where he "couch-surfed" while Danny Hutton worked to convince him of the feasibility of forming a group with three lead singers and a back-up band.
While in the Air Force, he formed a band of interracial musical performers, inspired by his boyhood love of a similar popular band called The Del-Vikings, who had a national hit with the doo-wop song, "Come Go with Me."
Hutton and Wells formed Three Dog Night in 1968. They found a third lead singer in Chuck Negron, whom Hutton had met at a Hollywood party. Hutton, Wells, and Negron met The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, and they recorded demos under the name "Redwood" with Wilson as producer. The sessions produced a potential single, "Time to Get Alone," but Beach Boy member Mike Love wanted to save the song for the next Beach Boys album. Having perfected their three-part harmony sound, Wells, Hutton and Negron added a four-piece backing group consisting of guitarist Michael Allsup, organist Jimmy Greenspoon, bassist Joe Schermie, and drummer Floyd Sneed. The group began performing as Three Dog Night in 1968, and became one of the most successful bands of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Wells sang the lead vocal on Three Dog Night's Billboard No. 1 hit song "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)". He said that Randy Newman, who wrote the song, later called him on the phone and said: "I just want to thank you for putting my kids through college." 
Unlike many other rock musicians of the day, Wells managed to abstain from drug and alcohol problems. Also, he didn't squander his earnings on the lavish lifestyles of many other successful rock stars; rather, he chose to live a somewhat more moderate existence. After Three Dog Night broke up in 1976, Wells tried a solo career, recording the album Touch Me for A&M Records in 1978. Wells helped re-launch Three Dog Night in the mid-1980s, recording an EP called "It's a Jungle." A falling out with Negron left Hutton and Wells with the name "Three Dog Night" as an entity, under which they had performed successfully until recently, and the pair (along with original member Mike Allsup) toured regularly each year. Original member Jimmy Greenspoon also toured with Three Dog Night until his diagnosis of metastatic melanoma in late 2014, which led to his death in March 2015.
Wells died suddenly in his sleep on October 20, 2015, in Dunkirk, New York at the age of 74. His family later confirmed he was fighting Multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, and apparently died of infection related to it. His survivors include his wife, daughters, five grandchildren and siblings.

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David Denny

Happy birthday David Denny (born February 5, 1948, Berkeley, California) an American rock guitar player who was a founding member of Frumious Bandersnatch, a seminal psychedelic rock band from 1960s San Francisco. Denny was a member of the Steve Miller Band, playing on 1977's Book of Dreams, Greatest Hits 1974-1978 (released in 1978, sold over 13 million copies), and 1993's Wide River. Denny wrote the hit song "The Stake," which was on the Book of Dreams and Greatest Hits 1974-1978 albums. While running a Mission District studio during the late 1980s, Denny contributed his guitar and vocal talents as a founding member of the Bombay Crawlers and played several Bay Area gigs with the swampy, powerful rock ensemble. He later released two solo albums, 1991's Diesel Harmonics and 1997's Louisiana Melody. David Denny and his wife Kathy Peck (Executive Director and Co-founder of H.E.A.R. and former bass player with The Contractions) are artists, songwriters, film score composers, and music publisher owners of Monima Music.

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Andrew "Duff" McKagan

Happy birthday Michael Andrew "Duff" McKagan (born February 5, 1964) an American musician, singer, songwriter and author. He is best known for his twelve-year tenure as the bass guitarist of the hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he achieved worldwide success in the late 1980s and early 1990s. McKagan rejoined the band in 2016, following their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Towards the end of his first tenure with Guns N' Roses, McKagan released a solo album, Believe in Me (1993), and formed the short-lived supergroup Neurotic Outsiders. Following his departure from Guns N' Roses in 1997, McKagan briefly reunited with his pre-success Seattle punk band 10 Minute Warning, before forming the still-active hard rock band Loaded, in which he performs lead vocals and rhythm guitar. Between 2002 and 2008, he played bass in the supergroup Velvet Revolver with his former Guns N' Roses band mates Slash and Matt Sorum. He briefly performed with Jane's Addiction in 2010 and joined the supergroup Hollywood Vampires in 2016.
In addition to his musical career, McKagan has established himself as a writer. He has written weekly columns on a wide variety of topics for Seattle  Week tv 
A former high school drop-out, he attended Seattle University's Albers School of Business and Economics in the early 2000s, and subsequently founded the wealth management firm Meridian Rock.

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Chris Barron

Happy birthday Chris Barron, singer (born February 5, 1968 (age 49 years), Pearl Harbor, Honolulu County, Hawaii, HI) with American group The Spin Doctors .Born while his father, a Vietnam veteran, was stationed at Pearl Harbor during the divisive war. Barron spent his childhood in the Bronx and Rye, NY, before moving to Australia for over three years. When his family returned to the States, Barron attended the same high school in Princeton, NJ, as members of Blues Traveler. Barron and John Popper were close high school friends; the two shared feelings of being an outsider. Barron felt like he was neither an Australian nor an American at that point -- he was just out there.
While at Princeton High, Barron and Popper would jam together after school. Barron was actually in the first incarnation of Blues Traveler, when it was the Blues Band, but was eventually kicked out. (This may have even been before that first version of the band was even considered a band.) Barron has often described Princeton as "the wall that we were all banging our heads against." In his youth, he was quoted as saying that he wouldn't care if the whole town burned down, except for a famous sandwich shop called Hoagie Heaven. His feelings changed in adulthood, but Barron's youth was defined by a certain amount of soul-searching.
Barron attended Bennington College in Vermont for only a year. There, he was a member of two local bands: Dead Alcoholics With Boners and the Funbunnies. After leaving Bennington, Barron returned to Princeton, got a job at a restaurant, and immersed himself in music. It was during this time that he wrote the songs "Jimmy Olsen's Blues" and "Two Princes." One night, Blues Traveler was in town and, after hanging out for night and hearing his songs, invited Barron to move in with them in New York City. 
Up for Grabs...Live New York City is where Barron met the future members of the Spin Doctors: Mark White, Aaron Comess, and Eric Schenkman. The band released Up for Grabs and Pocket Full of Kryptonite in 1991, but the latter took nearly a year to break through. When it did, the band was embraced by MTV, mainstream radio, and Apple Computers, who sponsored their biggest headlining tour; a Grammy nomination followed. The band never had a successful follow-up to the multi-platinum album, due in large part to personality conflicts. Guitarist Eric Schenkman left the band before the release of Turn It Upside Down, and was barely part of the odds-and-ends CD, though he is credited on many of the songs. In fact, the first album with all-new material was 1996's You've Got to Believe in Something, which came out a full five years after their debut. Mark White would also quit the band, leaving only two original members as part of the group.
Chris Barron's legacy is significant. He has a Grammy nomination, a Rolling Stone cover, and two Top Ten hits -- "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" and "Two Princes" -- for which he won a BMI award. While now considered a one-hit wonder, the Spin Doctors were one of the most popular and ubiquitous bands of the early-'90s rock scene.
In 1999, doctors believed that Barron would never sing again because of a rare vocal chord paralysis. He defied the odds, however, with a full recovery. Following intense treatment and training, his voice remained stronger than ever. A solo album called Shag was released in 2001. The mature album includes diverse influences, including rock, jazz, country, and funk.

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Hal Blaine

5th February 1929, Born on this day, Hal Blaine, American drummer and session musician. He is most known for his work with the Wrecking Crew in California. Blaine played on numerous hits by Elvis Presley, John Denver, the Ronettes, Simon and Garfunkel, the Carpenters, The Beach Boys, Nancy Sinatra, and the 5th Dimension. Blaine has played on 50 No.1 hits, over 150 top ten hits and has recorded, by his own admission, on over 35,000 pieces of music over four decades of work.

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J.R. Cobb

February 5th 1944, Born on this day, J.R. Cobb, from Atlanta Rhythm Section who had the 1979 UK No.48 single 'Spooky'.

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Al Kooper

February 5th 1944, Born on this day, Al Kooper, The Royal Teens, who in 1958 had the US No.3 single 'Shorts Shorts'. As a member of Blood Sweat & Tears, had the 1969 US No.12 & UK No.35 single 'You've Made Me So Very Happy'). Kooper played organ on Bob Dylan's 'Like A Rolling Stone.'

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Alex Harvey

February 5th  1935, Born on this day, Alex Harvey, vocals, guitar, with the Sensational Alex Harvey Band who had the 1975 UK No.7 single 'Delilah, and the 1975 album 'Next'. Harvey died on February 4th 1982.

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Def Leppard

February 5th 1983, Def Leppard's album 'Pyromania', started a 92 week run on the US charts, it never reached No.1 but sold over 6 million copies in the US alone.

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The Beatles

February 5th 1967, The Beatles filmed part of the promo clip for 'Penny Lane' around the Royal Theatre, Stratford, London and walking up and down Angel Lane in London. Together with the video for 'Strawberry Fields Forever', this was one of the first examples of what later became known as a music video.

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T- Rex

5th Feb 1972, T Rex were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Telegram Sam', the group's third UK No.1 which was taken from their album The Slider. The song is also known for bringing the term "main man" into popular culture

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Black Sabbath

February 5th 1971, Black Sabbath started recording what would be their third album, 'Master Of Reality' at Island Studios in London, England. Released in July of this year, it is sometimes noted as the first stoner rock album. Guitarist Tony Iommi, decided to down tune his guitar down three semi-tones, Geezer Butler also down tuned his bass guitar to match Iommi. The result was a noticeably 'darker' sound that almost two decades later would prove hugely influential on at least three of the biggest grunge acts, namely Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, and Nirvana.

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04/02/2018

Natalie Imbruglia

February 4th 1975, Born on this day, Natalie Imbruglia, actress, singer, who had the 1997 UK No.2 single 'Torn', from the 1997 UK No.5 album 'Left Of The Middle'. Imbruglia was known to audiences as Beth Brennan in the popular Australian soap Neighbours.

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Fleetwood Mac

February 4th 1977, Fleetwood Mac released Rumours. The songs 'Go Your Own Way', 'Don't Stop', 'Dreams', and 'You Make Loving Fun' were released as singles. Rumours is Fleetwood Mac's most successful release; along with winning the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1978, the record has sold over 45 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time.

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The Rolling Stones

February 4th 1966, The Rolling Stones released '19th Nervous Breakdown' it reached No.2 on both the US and UK charts, while topping the NME charts and was the fifth best-selling single of 1966 in the UK.

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David Bowie

4th Feb 1972, During sessions at Trident Studios, London, England, David Bowie recorded 'Rock 'n' Roll Suicide', 'Starman' and 'Suffragette City', the last songs recorded for the The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars album

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The Carpenters

4th Feb 1983, Karen Carpenter died aged 32 of a cardiac arrest at her parent's house in Downey, California; the coroner's report gave the cause of death of imbalances associated with anorexia nervosa. The Carpenters 1970 album Close to You, featured two hit singles: ‘(They Long to Be) Close to You’ and ‘We've Only Just Begun.’ They peaked at No.1 and No.2, on the US chart. In 1975 - In Playboy's annual opinion poll; its readers voted Karen Carpenter the Best Rock Drummer of the year. 

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Alex Harvey

February 4th 1982, Scottish singer Alex Harvey died of a heart attack while waiting to take a ferry back to shore after performing a concert with his new band, the Electric Cowboys. In an ambulance on the way to the hospital, he suffered a second heart attack, this one fatal. It occurred on the day before his 47th birthday, in Zeebrugen, Belgium. Formed Alex Harvey Big Soul Band in 1959 and then mid 1960's band Tear Gas. Had the 1975 UK No.7 single with Sensational Alex Harvey Band 'Delilah' and 1975 album 'Next'.

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Alice Cooper

February 4th 1948, Born on this day, Alice Cooper, (Vincent Furnier), singer, who formed the Earwigs, and then the Alice Cooper Band, who had the 1972 UK No.1 & US No.7 single 'School's Out'. Copper is now also a radio presenter.

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03/02/2018

The Lemon Pipers

February 3rd 1968, One Hit Wonders The Lemon Pipers went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Green Tambourine' the song was a No.7 hit in the UK. The song has been credited as being one of the first bubblegum pop chart-toppers.

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