Elvis Presley, King of Rock N Roll-Robert Johnson. King of the Blues: RIP.

August 16 is not a good day in Music History. On August 16,1938, legendary Blues musician Robert Johnson died at the age of 27. Making him of the first members of the elusive club of 27.

Johnson’s death was not reported publicly. Almost 30 years later, Gayle Dean Wardlow, a Mississippi-based musicologist researching Johnson’s life, found Johnson’s death certificate, which listed only the date and location, with no official cause of death. No formal autopsy had been done. Instead, a pro forma examination was done to file the death certificate, and no immediate cause of death was determined. It is likely he had congenital syphilis and it was suspected later by medical professionals that this may have been a contributing factor in his death. Although rumour has it thet he sold this soul to the Devil, in order to become the best Blues guitarist to ever walk the earth.

39 years later fate would strike the King of Rock N Roll.On the evening of Tuesday, August 16, 1977, Presley was scheduled to fly out of Memphis to begin another tour. That afternoon, Ginger Alden discovered him in an unresponsive state on the bathroom floor of his Graceland mansion. According to her eyewitness account, “Elvis looked as if his entire body had completely frozen in a seated position while using the toilet and then had fallen forward, in that fixed position, directly in front of it. … It was clear that, from the time whatever hit him to the moment he had landed on the floor, Elvis hadn’t moved.” Attempts to revive him failed, and he was pronounced dead at Baptist Memorial Hospital at 3:30 p.m. He was 42 years old.

While an autopsy, undertaken the same day Presley died, was still in progress, Memphis medical examiner Jerry Francisco announced that the immediate cause of death was cardiac arrest. Asked if drugs were involved, he declared that “drugs played no role in Presley’s death”, but we now know that drugs had played a major part in his death.

Both men changed the music scene forever. The were both Kings in their genre. Tow genres that soo often intertwined. If Rock N Roll and Blues were human beings they would have been brothers.

Finishing up with the music that made them so famous.

sources

Queen at Live Aid

Today marks the 37th anniversary of the Live Aid concerts.

Live Aid was a benefit concert held on Saturday 13 July 1985, as well as a music-based fundraising initiative. The original event was organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise further funds for relief of the 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia, a movement that started with the release of the successful charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” in December 1984. Billed as the “global jukebox”, Live Aid was held simultaneously at Wembley Stadium in London, UK, attended by about 72,000 people and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, US, attended by 89,484 people.

The one act that stood out during the concert was Queen, their performance in Live Aid is akin to Elvis’s comeback special. As with Elvis in the Comeback special, Queen’s career was basically rebooted at the Live Aid concert.

Queen didn’t open or close the Live Aid show. They performed just before 7pm, uncharacteristically in daylight, bookended by gigantic acts like U2, Elton John and David Bowie.

Past their peak and still suffering from the catastrophe of a misadvised run of shows in apartheid South Africa the previous year, Queen was not expected to be in the limelight. Especially Freddie Mercury had been the focus of disparaging coverage and rumors in the press, about his sexuality.

Despite all the pessimism , Queen did shine and it is still seen as one of the best music performance ever, although the set only lasted only 21 minutes, it remained in musical history to this date and will remain there for a long time.

Queen were immediately preceded at Wembley by the comedians Griff Rhys Jones and Mel Smith – who were dressed as policemen and joked about receiving a complaint about the noise “from a woman in Belgium.” They introduced “the next combo” as “Her Majesty… Queen.”

A truly charismatic Mercury, who looked full of confidence, jogged out on to a vast stage whose top was adorned with a banner saying “Feed The World.” Mercury, sporting his trademark mustache and wearing white jeans, a white tank top, and with a studded band around his right bicep, began by sitting at the piano and playing a short, inspired version of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

During “Radio Ga Ga” he got up and strutted around the stage, using the microphone and stand as a prop, and getting the fired-up crowd to join in with the chorus. The next few moments were remarkable, as Mercury led the 72,000 spectators in some spine-tingling vocal improvisation, as they sang along to “ay-oh.” His final, wonderful vocal was dubbed “the note heard around the world.”

This is the full session of Queen at Live Aid, sit back and enjoy.

sources

https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2018/11/opinions/queen-live-aid-cnnphotos/

Music History August 18

On August 18.1969, Rolling Stones front man was shot. This was not by a criminal or by a deranged fan, but while shooting a film about an Irish outlaw in Australia ‘Ned Kelly’. A pistol loaded with blanks, which he was using at the time, backfired to drive the metal into his hand. Maybe that’s why singers should stick to singing, and actors stick to acting.

On August 18,1972, Paul and Linda McCartney were fined ś800 in Sweden for cannabis possession. They had been arrested 8 days earlier. They did not serve any time in Jail. The incident is rumored to have been the inspiration for the hit single ‘Band on the Run’

On August 18, 1956 Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” and “Don’t Be Cruel” reach #1 in the charts

On August 18, 1984,Duran Duran keyboardist Nick Rhodes (weds Des Moines department store heiress Julie Anne Friedman at London registrar’s office.

Born in Des Moines, Julie Anne Friedman went to boarding school in Massachusetts and university in New Orleans before landing in LA. It was there, in the early 80s, that she was discovered by a photographer. An invite to a yacht party after Duran Duran’s mixing session for Hungry Like the Wolf brought her and keyboardist Nick Rhodes together.

On August 18,2004 Elmer Bernstein, American film music composer (The Magnificent Seven; To Kill A Mockingbird; The Age Of Innocence; Thoroughly Modern Millie), dies at 82

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That’ll be that day-How John Wayne inspired Buddy Holly.

So you are young musician. You have had some success thus far ,but you are still struggling to get that all important first number one hit, that first megahit.

You want to put your stamp on Rock and Roll, You just saw Elvis performing and you know he is the guy to beat when it comes to chart success.

What do you do?

Well you go to the cinema of course because that is what Buddy Holly. Buddy and his friend and band mate Jerry Allison went to the cinema where they saw John Wayne in probably his best movie “The Searchers”.

According to legend, Buddy Holly and Jerry Allison saw the movie “The Searchers” and heard John Wayne use the phrase throughout the film. One night, while Holly and Jerry were working together, Holly said to him that it sure would be great if they could write a hit song. Jerry replied “That’ll be the day.” Immediately inspired, they wrote the rock-and-roll song of the same name.

It was first recorded by Buddy Holly and the Three Tunes in 1956 and was re-recorded in 1957 by Holly and his new band, the Crickets. The 1957 recording achieved widespread success. Holly’s producer, Norman Petty, was credited as a co-writer, although he did not contribute to the composition. It would become Buddy Holly’s first number one hit single.

Meanwhile back in Liverpool, England. an unknown skiffle band called “The Quarrymen” picked up the song and recorded it as a demo track.

That Liverpool band would soon change their name to “The Beatles”.

Linda Ronstadt recorded “That’ll Be the Day” for her 1976 Grammy Award-winning platinum album Hasten Down the Wind, produced by Peter Asher and issued by Asylum Records. Her version reached number 11 on both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and the Cash Box Top 100 and number 27 on the Billboard Country Singles chart. In Canada, her version peaked at number 2 on the singles chart and was the 35th biggest hit of 1976. It also made the adult contemporary charts in the United States and Canada.

I bought Linda Ronstadt’s single, but I have to be honest I didn’t only but it for the song but also for the cover. Hey what can I say I was a young boy .

Finishing up with the great man himself.

sources

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/buddy-holly/thatll-be-the-day

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Heartbreak Hotel.

elvis

I don’t think there isn’t one person on the planet who hasn’t heard of Elvis, the undisputed King of Rock N Roll.

This is the story of his first ever number 1 hit “Heartbreak Hotel”. ‘Why do a story on just one song?’ I hear you say. The answer is easy, there are so many aspects to this song.

For starters, as already mentioned it would be Elvis’s first ever number 1 hit. It was the 2nd song he recorded with RCA Victor. Prior to his recording of Ray Charles’s “I got a woman” ,Elvis had been with Sun records.

“Heartbreak Hotel” was released as a single on January 27.1956.

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It is also the song that inspired John Lennon,Elton John,George Harrison,Keith Richards and Robert Plant to become musicians, just imagine this song is responsible for the Beatles,Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin.

Something that is often overlooked or taken for granted is the actual structure of the song. It starts of with only Elvis’s vocals. Typically a song would start with the instruments first and then the vocals come in, but in Heartbreak Hotel it is turned around. There are very few songs structured that way and I think it may have been the first time or one of the first times this happened in popular music.

Then there is the back story to the song, which remains a bit of a mystery.The song was written in 1955, by Mae Boren Axton, a high school teacher who was also involved in musical promotions, and Jacksonville based singer–songwriter Tommy Durden.

The lyrics were inspired by an article in ‘The Miami Herald’ about a hotel guest who jumped out of a window and committed suicide and left the note, “I walk a lonely street”.

However In 2016, a piece in Rolling Stone magazine suggested that the story originated from a report about a painter and petty criminal, Alvin Krolik, whose marriage had broken down and had written a partial autobiography including the line “This is the story of a person who walked a lonely street.”

 

lonely street

Krolik first made the news in 1953 in Chicago. One day in November  he walked into an Albany Park police department and confessed to his part in 10 robberies.

He said his victims could not identify him because he had used oil paints on his face.

He confessed he was driven to crime after his five-week marriage to Agnes Sampson ended in divorce.

He was given a lenient sentence because he had handed himself in and the Police thought he could be rehabilitated.

On August 25th,1955 , just prior to  Durden and Axton  found their inspiration for “Heartbreak Hotel,” which was written in September ,Krolik was about to make news again. On a Saturday night in El Paso, Texas, Krolik attempted  to rob a liquor store.

D.R. Pinney,  a former Texas patrolman.was the owner of the Busy Bee Liquor Store, shot Krolik 9 times. Krolik was not the first person Pinney had killed, he had killed robbers before.Maybe Krolik had  known about Pinney’s record on criminals that held up his store, making this perhaps  a suicide, similar to suicide by cop.

krolik

Whatever event it was, the Krolik or the Miami Herald event, it adds a certain intrigue to the Rock N Roll classic”Heatbreak Hotel”

Ending the blog with the aforementioned song, enjoy.

 

Sources

Rolling Stone Magazine

YouTube

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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 my 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.

August 16 -2008 Ronnie Drew, Irish singer (The Dubliners), dies at 73 

ronnir

In September 2006, Drew was reported to be in ill health after being admitted to St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, to undergo tests for suspected cancer. The Evening Herald reported that his apparent illness was due to years of heavy drinking. However, according to a fan site dedicated to The Dubliners, it was reported that he was undergoing treatment for throat cancer. Drew had been a teetotaler for a number of years, with an occasional relapse,[citation needed] but he remained a regular smoker.

He appeared on Ireland’s The Late Late Show on 15 December 2006 along with Phil Coulter, where he discussed his recent health scares.

Despite his failing health, he was featured on an album entitled Pearls—produced by Niall Austin—with work he did with Jah Wobble.[11]

His wife of more than 40 years, Deirdre Drew (née McCartan, daughter of Patrick McCartan) died on 7 June 2007 at St Vincent’s Hospital, just one day before he was scheduled to return to performing live at the Legends of Irish Folk concert, which also featured Johnny McEvoy, Ralph McTell and Finbar Furey.

On 25 October 2007, Drew—now bald and beardless—appeared on Ryan Confidential on RTÉ 1 to give an interview about his role in The Dubliners, his life since leaving the band and being diagnosed with throat cancer. Later in 2007, he again appeared on The Late Late Show, where he spoke some more about the death of his wife and his ongoing treatment for cancer.

Drew died in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin on 16 August 2008, following his long illness. He was buried three days later in Redford Cemetery in Greystones.

August 16,2018 Aretha Franklin, American singer-songwriter

aretha

Known as “The Queen of Soul” (Respect) and first female performer inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1987), dies of pancreatic cancer at 76

On August 13, 2018, Franklin was reported to be gravely ill at her home in Riverfront Towers, Detroit.[164][165] She was under hospice care and surrounded by friends and family. Stevie Wonder, Jesse Jackson and former husband Glynn Turman visited her on her deathbed.[166] Franklin died at her home on August 16, 2018, without a will. The cause of death was a malignant pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor  which is distinct from the most common form of pancreatic cancer.

Leaving you with one of my favourite Elvis songs.

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Graceland-Memphis Tennessee

gace

Graceland is of course forever associated with the King of Rock N Roll, however it wasn’t always the property of Elvis.

Graceland Farms was originally owned by Stephen C. Toof, founder of S.C. Toof & Co., the oldest commercial printing firm in Memphis.

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He had previously been the press room foreman of the Memphis newspaper, the Memphis Daily Appeal. The “grounds” (before the mansion home was built in 1939) was named after Toof’s daughter, Grace. She inherited the grounds from her father in 1894. After her death, the property was passed down to her niece Ruth Moore, a Memphis socialite, who together with her husband, Thomas Moore, built a 10,266 square feet (953.7 m2) Colonial Revival style mansion in 1939.

 

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With a $1,000 cash deposit against a sale price of $102,500, Elvis Presley agreed to purchase the home called Graceland on March 19, 1957.

elvis

It has now become a shrine for many Elvis fans(including me although I haven’t been yet).

 

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Source

Graceland

Do you gaze at your bald head and wish you had hair? Elvis Laughing.

Elvis-Cant-Stop-Laughing-While-Singing-Are-You-Lonesome-Tonight-Featured

Ever since I was a kid I have been a fan of Elvis-The King of Rock N Roll. Not  only was he  a great singer and performer he had also a great sense of humour.

Elvis would often ad lib lyrics during live concerts, as he did during a Las Vegas gig in April 1969. While he was doing a version of “Are you lonesome tonight” he changed one line from “Do you gaze at your doorstep and picture me there?”  to “Do you gaze at your bald head and wish you had hair?”

elvis-presley

As he sang it he started giggling not realizing what was about to happen next. A man in the front row happens to remove his wig and begins swaying to the music. At that point Elvis loses it and can’t stop laughing.

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Elvis in the Army

Elvis-Presley-In-The-Army

In December 1957, while spending the Christmas holidays at Graceland, his newly purchased Tennessee mansion, rock-and-roll star Elvis Presley receives his draft notice for the United States Army.

graceland_experience_panel_graceland-mansion

Presley was originally scheduled to be inducted on January 20, 1958. However, due to commitments at Paramount and the filming schedule of his latest film, King Creole, Presley had to personally write to the Memphis Draft Board to request a deferment. He explained to them that Paramount had already spent up to $350,000 on pre-production of the film, and that many jobs were dependent on him being able to complete filming, which was due to begin on January 13. They granted him an extension until the middle of March. When news of the extension broke, angry letters were sent to the Memphis Draft Board complaining about the “special treatment” that Presley was receiving. According to Milton Bowers, head of the draft board and angered by the public outcry, Presley “would have automatically gotten the extension [anyway] if he hadn’t been Elvis Presley the superstar”

Elvis_sworn_into_army_1958

After six months of basic training–including an emergency leave to see his beloved mother, Gladys, before she died in August 1958–Presley sailed to Europe on the USS General Randall. For the next 18 months, he served in Company D, 32nd Tank Battalion, 3rd Armor Corps in Friedberg, Germany, where he attained the rank of sergeant.

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http_a.amz.mshcdn.comwp-contentuploads201410Elvis-6

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