I would do anything for love(but I won’t do that) RIP Jim Steinman

There is nothing I can write that would do any justice to the legend that is Jim Steinman. Without him there would be no Meat Loaf, Bonnie Tyler and probably no Celine Dion either.

His songs were not just songs, they were epic mini operas. Something many people don’t know that aside from being a composer, he also worked as a producer and lyricist. In 1998 he produced the song “No Matter What” performed by Boyzone. It was taken from an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical ” Whistle down the wind” for which Jim Steinman wrote the lyrics for. Given the fact he has composed so many of my favourite songs I am willing to forgive his collaboration with aforementioned Boyzone.

The news broke today that Jim Steinman died on Monday the 19th of April. Rest in Peace Jim.

All that is left for me to do is to highlight some of his epic work.

Happy Birthday Henry Mancini-Legendary composer and WWII Hero

American composer and conductor Enrico Nicola “Henry” Mancini was born in Cleveland on April 16 in 1924.But he grew up in Pennsylvania, where he played the flute flute with his father in an Italian immigrant music group called “Sons of Italy”,

At age eight, Mancini started to learn to play the piccolo.

He later studied piano and orchestral arrangement under Pittsburgh concert pianist and Stanley Theatre, currently called Benedum Center, conductor Max Adkins. Adkins also introduced Mancini to the up and coming bandleader Benny Goodman. So additionally to producing arrangements for the Stanley Theatre bands, Mancini also wrote one for Benny Goodman.

In 1942 Mancini went to the Juilliard School of Music in New York after a year at Carnegie Tech, but he never finished his studies. He was drafted to fight in World War II, in 1943 when he turned 18, and served in both the Army air forces and the infantry. During the war, he got to know some musicians who played in Glenn Miller’s Army Air Corps Band.

Mancini was first assigned to the 28th Air Force Band before being reassigned overseas to the 1306th Engineers Brigade in France. In 1945 he ,participated in the liberation of the Austrian Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camp.

After the war, Mancini arranged music and played piano for Miller’s band.

He was nominated for 18 Oscars and won four; in addition, he won 20 Grammys and 2 Emmys, made over 50 albums and had 500 works published. Mancini worked extensively together with Blake Edwards ,initially on TV’s Peter Gunn (1958), then on Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), which won him two Oscars; he won further Oscars for the titles song for Days of Wine and Roses (1962) and the score for Victor Victoria (1982); he will be best-remembered for the theme tune for The Pink Panther.

Mancini died of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles on June 14, 1994. He was working at the time on the Broadway stage version of Victor/Victoria, which he never saw on stage. Mancini was survived by his wife of 43 years, singer Virginia “Ginny” O’Connor, with whom he had three children.

Finishing the blog with the theme for the Pink Panther and Moon River of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The song I have often sung for my daughter as a lullaby.

sources

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000049/?ref_=nmbio_bio_nm

https://www.tampabay.com/archive/1994/06/15/henry-mancini-1924-1994-his-work-was-music-for-the-ear-and-the-eye/

https://www.theglassfiles.com/images/1099

https://mst3k.fandom.com/wiki/Henry_Mancini

https://biography.yourdictionary.com/henry-mancini

It’s the Singer not the Song.

Vital Signs is a 1984 album released by one of my all time favourite bands Survivor. I was a bit reluctant to buy the album because Survivor had changed singers, from Dave Bickler to Jimi Jamison. However it turned out to be one of their best albums.

On it there was a track called “It’s the singer not the song” and I actually forgot how good that album and that particular track were.

I also think it is a true statement that a good singer makes the song. I was never a great Bob Dylan fan but I like a lot of his songs , sung by other singers.

This blog is a tribute to some of the finest Rock singers, well at least in my opinion. So sit back, relax and enjoy.

Happy Birthday Eric Clapton

There are guitarist: amateur, professional, hobbyists, virtuoso and there is Eric Clapton. To me and many others the undisputed best guitarist ever. I don’t even mention him in my top 10list because he basically is a league on his own.

Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE (born 30 March 1945) is an English rock and blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and of Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time.

Eric Clapton was born on 30 March 1945 in Ripley, Surrey, England, to 16-year-old Patricia Molly Clapton (7 January 1929 – March 1999) and Edward Walter Fryer (21 March 1920 – 15 May 1985), a 25-year-old soldier from Montreal, Quebec.

After a brief encounter between 16-year-old Patricia Clapton and Edward Walter Fryer ,a 24-year-old Canadian soldier stationed in England during Second World War, Eric Clapton was born and then raised by his grandparents in Ripley, a village outside London.

Edward returned to Canada after the war and never knew of his famous son in his lifetime. Music was very much a part of his whole adult life, playing piano and singing in pubs at the time he met Eric’s mother in England. It was said he had a sound like Nat King Cole. Eric Clapton got an acoustic Hoyer guitar, made in Germany, for his thirteenth birthday, and musical history was made.

Elvis, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eddie van Halen and Jim Croce all influenced my musical taste in one way or another but it was Eric Clapton who defined it.

Celebrating his birthday with some of his music.

For my mum

On 20 March 1991, Clapton’s four-year-old son, Conor, died after falling from the 53rd-floor window of his mother’s friend’s New York City apartment at 117 East 57th Street. Conor’s funeral took place on 28 March at St Mary Magdalene’s Church in Clapton’s home village in Ripley, Surrey. This tragedy inspired Eric Clapton to write the song Tears in Heaven, which he co wrote with Will Jennings.

He even sounds great on a mash up of Billie Jean.

Guitar Music -Part 2

 I figured whilst most of the planet is in some sort of Covid Lockdown or restriction, rather then only reading heavy historical blogs(which still is very important) I thought it to be nice to lighten the load a bit with some nice guitar music, Just a random choice of great guitarists from across the globe.

Jan Akkerman-Trojan Horse

Django Reinhardt: -Minor Swing

Vinnie Moore – Mind’s Eye

The Jeff Healey Band – All Along the Watchtower

The Michael Schenker Group – Armed and Ready

George Benson-Breezin

Mark Knopfler-Going Home-Wild Theme- from “Local Hero “

The first musical members of the 27 Club

The 27 club is a group of artists who have all died in a variety of way, drugs overdose , alcoholism ,suicide, plane crash, traffic accident, natural causes or murder. The one thing they had in common was their age, the all died aged 27.

It all started off when Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison all died at the age of 27 between 1969 and 1971. At the time, the coincidence gave rise to some comment, but it was not until Kurt Cobain’s 1994 death, at age 27, that the idea of a “27 Club” began to catch on in public perception.[Blues musician Robert Johnson, who died in 1938, is the earliest popular musician who has been included in the members of the 27 Club, although there were two other musicians before him who died age 27.

Alexandre Levy ,a Brazilian composer, Levy died prematurely at 27 and is considered to be the first musical artist to die at the age. His hometown, Sao Paulo , grants a prestigious award in his name.

Louis Chauvin (March 13, 1881 – March 26, 1908) was an American ragtime musician.

His death certificate lists causes of death as “multiple sclerosis, probably syphilitic”, and starvation due to coma, but a modern diagnosis probably would conclude he had a neurosyphilitic sclerosis and not link it to multiple sclerosis.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

https://www.history.com/news/music-legends-who-lived-fast-and-died-at-27-slideshow

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/27_Club

What if?.. The rockers that may have never been. A story of Kiss.

I am passionate about Music, especially Rock. One of my favourite bands is Kiss. When we hear one of their songs on the radio, songs like “I was made for loving you” or “World without heroes” we just sit back and enjoy and don’t give it a seconc thought.

However these songs and so many of their other classics , may have never been written or composed. The two lead men of Kiss Gene Simmons(aka Gene Klein and Chaim Witz) and Paul Stanley (aka Stanley Bert Eisen) are both lucky they were born.

Paul’s both parents are Jewish. He was the second of two children. His mother came from a family that fled Nazi Germany to Amsterdam, Netherlands, and then to New York City. His father’s parents were from Poland.

His mother was born in Berlin, Germany on November 16, 1923. and fled the Nazi uprising she lived for a brief time in Amsterdam, the Netherlands with her mother and stepfather before moving to New York City in 1939. If they had stayed in Germany, like so many others did, they definitely would have been subjected to the cruelty of the Nazi regime.

Gene Simmons’s start in life could have been even more uncertain . He was born on August 25, 1949 in Haifa, Israel, to Jewish immigrants from Hungary. His mother, Florence Klein (née Flóra Kovács), was born in Jánd and survived internment in Nazi concentration camps. She and her brother, Larry Klein, were the only members of the family to survive the Holocaust.

Florence or Flora was 19 when she was liberated on May 5th 1945 , from Mauthausen concentration camp , by American troops.

I have written blogs on the Holocaust before ,contemplating how many talents were destroyed by this evil ideology and regime. Thankfully some people did survive and their legacy produced talented people like Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons.

For some people the Holocaust may seem like a distant bit of history, but this is how close the Holocaust still is.

Finish up with my favourite Kiss song , I chosen a video with the lyrics because the song “A world without heroes” has such a powerful message and is still so poignant today.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

https://www.thesound.co.nz/home/music/2020/05/kiss-gene-simmons-shown-his-mother-s-nazi-victim-impact-statement.html

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/gene-simmons

https://www.geni.com/people/Eva-Eisen/6000000002765905416

The significance of August 16 in Music.

Elvis

August 16 is a date like any other date, except when it comes to music. Several events on this date have had a massive impact on the music industry. In fact in musical terms it just doesn’t get bigger than this .

August 16-1915 The birth of Al Hibbler

Al Hibbler

Nowadays the name Al Hibbler will mean very little to most.But if I will mention the song ‘Unchained Melody’ it will trigger a lot of memories to many, especially the pottery scene in the movie ‘Ghost’ the version of the song was by ‘the Righteous Brothers” and a great number of people may think theirs was the original but it was Al Hibbler who brought the song to the number 1 spot of the charts for the first time in 1955.It was composed by by Alex North and lyrics by Hy Zaret.

In the late 1950s and 1960s, was involved in the  civil rights movement. He got arrested in 1959 in New Jersey and in 1963 in Alabama partaking in protest marches with .This didn’t make him very popular with major record labels notoriety and they did not  carry his work, but Frank Sinatra supported him and signed him to a contract with his label.

August 16-1938 the death of Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson

Robert Elroy Johnson is without a doubt the undisputed King of the blues. Legend has it that he made a deal with the devil for his talents.

As a young man living on a plantation in rural Mississippi, he had a burning desire to become the greatest blues musician. He was instructed to take his guitar to a crossroad near Dockery Plantation at midnight. There he was met by allegedly the devil who took the guitar and tuned it. The devil played a few songs and then returned the guitar to Johnson, giving him virtuosity of the instrument.All Robert had to give in exchange was his soul.

That soul was taken on August 16,1938 when he was aged 27, which also makes one of the first musicians to make it to the list of the the club of 27, the cause of his death has never really been solved. Popular believe is that he was poisoned during an altercation in a bar with  the jealous husband of a woman with whom he had flirted. It is said he was given a given a poisoned bottle of Whiskey after another bottle was knocked  out of his hand.

He only recorded 29 songs but there is yet another legend about a 30th song never recorded. This ‘missing’ song is the plot line of the 1986 movie ‘Crossroads’ in all honesty the movie isn’t great but the music is fantastic, especially the guitar duel between Ry Cooder and Steve Vai is something else.

August 16-1958 the Birth of Madonna

Madonna

Love her or loathe her there is no denying Madonna’s place in musical History, she is without a doubt the most influential female artist in decades.

Born Madonna Louise Ciccone on August 16, 1958 she became the leading female singer in the 80’s,90’s, and early 21st century. Although her acting and directing careers both turned out to be fiasco’s, when it comes to music there is no other like her. Staring off with poppy songs like ‘Borderline’ or ‘Like a Virgin’ she constantly reinvented herself and did not shy away from controversies.

She herself was influenced by 2 other strong female performers,Debbie Harry and Chrissie Hynde.

August 16-1962  the sacking of the Beatle, Pete Best.

Pete Best

The Beatles have been and still are one of the most influential bands ever, Their fame did not diminish after they split up. Kids nowadays still know them, and if you were to ask ,anyone to name the 4 band members people would say”John Lennon,Paul McCartney,George Harrison and Ringo Starr” however as the picture above indicates this wasn’t the original line up.

The original drummer was Pete Best but he was replaced by Ringo Starr on August 16,1962. There was no official reason given why he was sacked but according to Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ manager,Lennon, McCartney and Harrison thought that Best was “too conventional to be a Beatle” and added that “though he was friendly with John, he was not liked by George and Paul”

Originally the Beatles had been a 5 piece band, the original bass player Stuart Sutcliffe died in 1961, in Hamburg.

August 16-1977 the death of the King of Rock N Roll,Elvis.

Elvis the King

I am not going to say too much about the King, because I don’t think there is anybody on the planet who hasn’t heard of them.

This is me personal memory of the day he died on August 16,1977.

Death

I came home from school that day and my mother sat at the kitchen table, and she asked me “Guess who died today?” I replied “I don’t know, just tell me” She said ‘Elvis’. I was 9 at the time and pretended not to care. But I went up to my room and cried my eyes out, it felt I had just lost my best friend.

Leaving you with one of my favourite Elvis songs.

 

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I am leaving on a jet plane and I won’t be back again.

hire-jet-plane

Traveling by plane is still the safest way to travel, well at least if you’re not a musicians.

A disproportionate of singers and musicians over the last few decades, if you’d go by their track records you’d never board a plane again.

Since the list is quite extensive I will focus on the lesser known or forgotten ones.

Passion Fruit

1.JPG

On November 24, 2001, the group was on board Crossair Flight 3597 from Berlin to Zurich when it crashed into a wooded range of hills 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) short of the runway on approach towards Zurich International Airport, near the town of Bassersdorf. Maria Serrano-Serrano and Nathaly van het Ende died along with former La Bouche vocalist Melanie Thornton, who was also on the plane, while Debby St. Maarten survived with serious injuries along with eight other people.

In December 2001, Passion Fruit’s management decided to donate all the proceeds from their single “I’m Dreaming of . . . A Winter Wonderland” to the victims and survivors of the crash.

Patsy Cline

2

The immensely popular country singer had sold millions of records with songs like “Crazy” and “I Fall to Pieces.” She was 30 when a Piper Comanche carrying her home from a benefit concert crashed in 1963, 90 miles from Nashville.

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lynyrd_Skynyrd_band_(1973)

Following a performance at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium in Greenville, South Carolina, on October 20, 1977, the band boarded a chartered Convair CV-240 bound for Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where they were scheduled to appear at LSU the following night. Due to a faulty engine, the airplane ran low on fuel and the pilots were diverted to the McComb-Pike County Airport. After running out of fuel they attempted an emergency landing before crashing in a heavily forested area five miles northeast of Gillsburg, Mississippi.Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines, along with backup singer Cassie Gaines (Steve’s older sister), assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, and co-pilot William Gray were killed on impact; other band members (Collins, Rossington, Wilkeson, Powell, Pyle, and Hawkins), tour manager Ron Eckerman, and several road crew suffered serious injuries.

Otis Redding

3

The mesmerizing soul singer of “Try a Little Tenderness” and “Respect” was flying between Nashville and Madison, Wis., when his plane went down in bad weather in 1967. Three days earlier, he had recorded “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” which went on to be his biggest hit.

Jim Croce

4

The 30-year-old Croce had already made the charts multiple times with “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” when a light plane carrying him and four bandmates crashed shortly after taking off from Nachitoches, La., on Sept. 20, 1973, the day his single “I Got A Name” was released.

Aaliyah

5

The pop singer died in 2001 after a plane carrying her and eight others to Florida from the Bahamas crashed. Her debut album was titled “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.” She was 22 when she died.

Jenni Rivera

6

Rivera was in Mexico performing a concert at Monterrey Arena on December 8, 2012, in Monterrey, Nuevo León. At 2:00 a.m. local time (Central Time Zone, CST) on December 9, after the show ended, she held a press conference at the same venue. She left the arena along with her staff and travelled to Monterrey International Airport. She was one of five passengers and two crew that took off from the airport at 3:00 a.m. CST in a 43-year-old Learjet 25 (a small business jet) registered in the US as N345MC. At approximately 3:20 a.m. CST, air traffic controllers lost contact with the Learjet as it was flying near Iturbide, Nuevo León.The aircraft was en route to Toluca for an appearance by Rivera on La Voz… México.

The Fanfarekorps of the Royal Netherlands Army.

Capture

On 15 July 1996 at 6:02 PM local time, a Belgian Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft  crashed at Eindhoven Airport with a total of 41 people on-board: Four Belgian crew members and 37 young members of the Fanfarekorps of the Royal Netherlands Army. As the aircraft was coming into land at Eindhoven, it encountered a flock of birds; it overshot, but lost power and crashed into the ground; a fire broke out, which destroyed the cockpit and forward fuselage. Killing 32 people on board.

John Denver

7

Son of an Air Force colonel who set multiple speed records, Denver ran out of gas flying his single-seater experimental airplane near Monterey, Calif., on Oct. 12, 1997.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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