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 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.

Happy Birthday George Harrison

George Harrison -25 February 1943 – 29 November 2001- was an English musician, singer, songwriter, and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. Sometimes called “the quiet Beatle”

Inspired by the likes of Django Reinhardt; Carl Perkins and Chet Atkins.

This is jst some of his music together with the Quarry Men,the Beatles, the Traveling Wilburys and solo.

Happy Birthday Kurt Cobain

I could say so much about Kurt Cobain but today I want to celebrate his birthday with his music.

He was a troubled soul, often referred to as the founder of the grunge music, which is not true because it was actually another Seattle band called Green River who pioneered the grunge sound. Kurt Cobain and many other of the so called ‘grunge’ scene did not like that label.

But as I said I want to celebrate his birthday, February 20,1967, with his music. Starting off with a picture of him playing drums in a high school band, it must be so caool for the other peole in the picture to be able to say they played with Kirt Cobain.

Bill Haley-July 6, 1925 – February 9, 1981

Today marks the 40th aniverasry of Bill Haley’s death. Bill Haley was one of the pioneers of Rock N Roll and I felt he deserved a tribute on his annversary.

It will not be on the same scale as the tribute he received in 2006 , on the 25th anniversary , where the International Astronomical Union announced the naming of asteroid 79896 Billhaley to mark the 25th anniversary of Bill Haley’s death. This tribute is more to celebrate his music.

Many people believe that ‘Rock Around the Clock’ was Bill Haley;s first record, which he recorded with the band’ the Comets’.. However before he became a Rock N Roll star he was a Country and Western singer. His first released single was a cover version of Hank Williams’s “Too Many Parties, Too Many Pals” Bill Haley released the song with his band ‘The Four Aces Of Swing’

Probably Bill Haley’s most famous songs.

Finishing up with a song by Gina Haley, Bill’s youngest child who followed in her Dad’s footsteps.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe-Hail,Hail Rock N Roll.

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I hang my head in shame. For decades I have been boasting about my knowledge of all things music, and especially rock music,when suddenly it hits me like a wet fish in the face, I KNOW NOTHING.

Well that might be too harsh but the fact is I had never heard of one of the founders of Rock and Roll before,Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

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Chuck Berry borrowed her guitar stylings. Little Richard said she was responsible for his career. Elvis was influenced by her. Who was the real Sister Rosetta Tharpe?

Born Rosetta Nubin in Cotton Plant, Arkansas in 1915, the young prodigy was performing gospel music with her mother at churches and revivals by age six, when the two moved north to Chicago. Tharpe’s singing and guitar style developed with both rural and urban elements, which gave her a broad appeal. In her teens, she married a preacher, who she soon left, heading to New York CIty. There, she played with Duke Ellington and other top musicians. By her twenties, she’d hit her stride; after years working up north with swing bandleader Lucky Millinder, she toured the south with fellow gospel icons the Dixie Hummingbirds. In 1945, her jaunty single “Strange Things Happening Every Day,” with its hot guitar solo, was the first gospel single to cross over on the Billboard race charts.

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In 1946 Tharpe saw Marie Knight perform at a Mahalia Jackson concert in New York. Tharpe recognized a special talent in Knight. Two weeks later, Tharpe showed up at Knight’s doorstep, inviting her to go on the road. They toured the gospel circuit for a number of years, during which they recorded hits such as “Up Above My Head” and “Gospel Train”. Though dismissed by both artists as gossip, several in the Gospel community speculated that Knight and Tharpe maintained a romantic and sexual relationship.

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Tharpe’s relationship with Knight eventually faded, and in 1951 – over two decades before Sly Stone thought to get hitched in Madison Square Garden – Tharpe got married to her third husband in Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. The concert and promotional stunt drew 25,000, many with gifts.

Tharpe’s career waned over the next decade. In 1964, as the folk revival was cresting, she was booked for the Folk Blues and Gospel Caravan tour in England, and she played a famous gig in an abandoned railroad station that was broadcast nationwide by Granada television. It was a cold and rainy day, but Tharpe got out of a horse-drawn carriage like royalty, strode across the wet platform, picked up her electric guitar, plugged in, and played “Didn’t It Rain,” electrical-shock risk apparently be damned, soloing and singing her heart out in front of a crowd of young people.

VARIOUS - 1960'S

Tharpe’s career didn’t get the same bump that male blues musicians did in the late Sixties and Seventies, no doubt in part because of her devotion to religious material. Her last known recording was in 1970, for Danish TV, singing the Thomas Dorsey gospel standard “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” a song Elvis Presley had recorded, among many others.

Tharpe’s performances were curtailed by a stroke in 1970, after which one of her legs was amputated as a result of complications from diabetes.On October 9, 1973, the eve of a scheduled recording session, she died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as a result of another stroke. She was buried in Northwood Cemetery in Philadelphia.

On April 14 2018, she will be inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame together with Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, and Nina Simone.

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