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

The 1st Rock N Roll song.

When you think of the first Rock N Roll stars, you think of the names of Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Bill Haley and Chuck Berry. Yet none of these rock giants could claim that they recorded the first Rock N Roll hit.

That honor actually goes to Ike Turner.

“Rocket 88” was first recorded in Memphis, Tennessee, in March 1951. The recording was credited to “Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats”, who were actually Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm. The single reached number-one on the Billboard R&B chart.

In 1951, Ike Turner walked into Sam Phillips’ studio in Memphis and, along with his band, helped create a sound that still echoes through history like thunder across the sky. The original song they recorded, Rocket 88, may well have been the first rock ‘n’ roll record, and in the years that followed, innumerable music reference sources, from The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (“frequently cited as the first rock & roll record”) to the website of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum (“widely considered the first rock and roll record”), have backed up that title.

In 1991, after a great deal of debate, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognized this as the first rock and roll song ever recorded. Turner was in jail at the time for cocaine possession, so his daughter accepted the award.

The song was a hymn of praise to the joys of the Oldsmobile Rocket 88 automobile which had recently been introduced, and was based on the 1947 song “Cadillac Boogie” by Jimmy Liggins. It was also preceded and influenced by Pete Johnson’s “Rocket 88 Boogie” Parts 1 and 2, an instrumental, originally recorded for the Los Angeles-based Swing Time Records label in 1949.

Turner wasn’t the lead vocalist on Rocket 88 — his saxophone player, Jackie Brenston was — and the record was released under Brenston’s name. Exactly who wrote the song, Brenston or Turner along with the band, is a matter of dispute (Turner has said his name was left off because he had another record coming out). The only thing that’s certain is that it took many people to create the song, including the canny, visionary producer Phillips.

Time published this review of the record:

“Rocket 88 was brash and it was sexy; it took elements of the blues, hammered them with rhythm and attitude and electric guitar, and reimagined black music into something new. If the blues seemed to give voice to old wisdom, this new music seemed full of youthful notions. If the blues was about squeezing cathartic joy out of the bad times, this new music was about letting the good times roll. If the blues was about earthly troubles, the rock that Turner’s crew created seemed to shout that the sky was now the limit.”

It is a pity that Ike Turner is now mainly remembered as Tian Turner’s abusive husband. But I suppose sometimes you have to separate the art from the person .

sources

http://content.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,661084,00.html

https://stacker.com/stories/4280/100-iconic-moments-music-history

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/ike-turner/rocket-88

ROCKTOBER-Edge of Seventeen

It is very hard for artists, who are part of an iconic band, to breakthrough as a solo artist. Stevie nicks was able to handle it(maybe that’s what Destiny’s child meant when they asked “Can you handle it?}

Stevie Nicks only became a singer for Fleetwood Mac by chance. The band as looking for a new guitarist after Peter Green left, and they approached Lindsey Buckingham. He agreed provided his girlfriend, Stevie Nicks, could join too. The rest is Rock N Roll history.

When she went solo in earnest 40 years ago, the woman who had been integral to Fleetwood Mac’s transformation into the world’s biggest band carved out an identity as a star in her own right. She didn’t just make a chart-topping album, Bella Donna, but came up with a stunning anthem that only seems to grow more popular with age.

“Edge of Seventeen” was released as the third single from the album on February 4, 1982.The lyrics were written by Nicks to express the grief resulting from the death of her uncle Jonathan and the assassination of John Lennon during the same week of December 1980. The song features a distinctive, chugging 16th-note guitar riff, drum beat and a simple chord structure typical of Nicks’ songs. The song’s title for the single release was “Edge of Seventeen (Just Like the White Winged Dove)”. In the United States, “Edge of Seventeen” just missed out on the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 11. Despite this, it became one of Nicks’ most enduring and recognizable songs and has been covered by several artists.

The most successful rendition was done by the aforementioned ‘Destiny’s Child’ The distinctive riff from the song was sampled in their 2001 hit single “Bootylicious”, with Nicks making a cameo appearance in the accompanying music video.

sources

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20210820-edge-of-seventeen-an-anthem-that-stuns-each-new-generation

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/stevie-nicks/edge-of-seventeen

ROCKTOBER-Young Elvis

No Rock blog could be without mentioning the King of Rock ‘N’ Roll ,Elvis Presley. He may have been one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. But it wasn’t always the case.

When he was just 10 years old he tried to become a star by entering a talent show. It was on October 9th 1945, just a few months after World War 2. Maybe the world wasn’t ready yet for him.

Standing on a chair at a microphone, he sang “Old Shep” at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show, held in Tupelo. The show was broadcast over WELO Radio, though no recording of it now exists.

Some reports say that he came second and won a prize of five dollars in fair-ride tickets. Interviewed years later, however, Elvis recalled that he came fifth and his most vivid memory of the day was receiving “a whipping from my Mama” for misbehaving.

A photograph taken of some of the contestants seems to bear out his recollection of the result. Wearing glasses, Elvis is standing empty-handed next to two other youngsters, both proudly clutching a trophy.

His next known public performance was on 6 November 1948 when he played guitar and sang Leaf On A Tree as a farewell to his fellow students at Milam Junior School in Tupelo. The poverty-stricken Presleys then packed their belongings into a trunk, strapped it to the roof of their 1939 Plymouth car, and headed for Memphis, Tennessee, in search of a better life..

On January 8,1946,Elvis received his first guitar for his birthday; he had hoped for something else, by different accounts, either a bicycle or a rifle. Over the following year, he received basic guitar lessons from two of his uncles and the new pastor at the family’s church. The rest is Rock N Roll history.

On July 18, 1953, he paid $3.98 for a recording studio time at the Sun Studio in Memphis, a recording studio that was also home to the Sun Records label. Elvis recorded a double-sided acetate demo single, though he was not yet signed to the Sun Records label. On the A-side, he recorded “My Happiness”, For the B-side, he recorded “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin”.

source

https://www.onthisday.com/articles/elvis-comes-fifth-in-talent-show

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ROCKTOBER-I love Rock ‘n’ Roll

You’re a teenager, you are still experimenting with different types of music. One day you turn the TV, tune in to the Dutch music show TopPop, and you see this lady with a guitar, There are a few drumbeats at the start and then a kick ass guitar riff. You are hooked, you found the music you like. That’s basically how I started my lifelong addiction to Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, and it was all because of a lady called Joan Jett.

“I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” is a rock song written by Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker and first recorded by the Arrows, a British rock band, in 1975.

It was originally recorded and released by Arrows in 1975 on Rak Records, with Merrill on lead vocals and guitar and Mickie Most producing. Merrill wrote both the music and lyrics but gave a co-writer credit to Hooker as part of settling a debt. In an interview with Songfacts, Merrill said he wrote the song as “a knee-jerk response to the Rolling Stones’ ‘It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)’.” This version was first released as a B-side, but was soon re-recorded and flipped to A-side status on a subsequent pressing of the record. Arrows performed the song in 1975 on the Muriel Young-produced show 45, after which Young offered Arrows a weekly UK television series, Arrows, which was broadcast on ITV starting in March 1976.

Joan Jett saw the Arrows perform “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” on their weekly UK television series Arrows while she was touring England with the Runaways in 1976.She first recorded the song in 1979 with two of the Sex Pistols, Steve Jones and Paul Cook. This first version was released on vinyl in 1979 on Vertigo records as a B-side to “You Don’t Own Me”. In 1981, Jett re-recorded the song, this time with her band, the Blackhearts. This recording became a U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one single for seven weeks, being the only one for the band.

The rest as they say is history. To those of you who had to endure the many hours of rock music I played throughout the years, you can blame Joan Jett for that.

Finishing up with the aforementioned performance om TopPop.

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August 16 not a good day in Music history.

According to legend, as a young man living on a plantation in rural Mississippi, Robert Johnson had a tremendous desire to become a great blues musician. One of the legends often told says that Johnson was instructed to take his guitar to a crossroad near Dockery Plantation at midnight. (There are claims for at least a dozen other sites as the location of the crossroads.)There he was met by the Devil, who took the guitar and tuned it. The Devil played a few songs and then returned the guitar to Johnson, giving him mastery of the instrument. This story of a deal with the Devil at the crossroads mirrors the legend of Faust. In exchange for his soul, Johnson was able to create the blues for which he became famous.

The story was initially told of an older bluesman, Tommy Johnson (no relation), but he died in 1956, aged 60. It was more hauntingly apposite for Robert Johnson, who died in 1938, aged only 27, after a troubled life and an itinerant career. His only recordings, made a year before his death, still have a spooky quality even 80 years on.

His death was as mysterious as his life. He died on August 16, 1938, at the age of 27, near Greenwood, Mississippi, of unknown causes. His death was not reported publicly; he merely disappeared from the historical record and it was not until almost 30 years later, when Gayle Dean Wardlow, a Mississippi-based musicologist researching Johnson’s life, found his death certificate, which listed only the date and location, with no official cause of death. No formal autopsy was 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 may have been a contributing factor in his death. However, 30 years of local legend and oral tradition had, like the rest of his life story, built a legend which has filled in gaps in the scant historical record.

Elvis Aaron Presley, aka Elvis, aka the “King of Rock and Roll”, he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century. His energized interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences across color lines during a transformative era in race relations, led him to both great success and initial controversy.

Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi on January 8,1935.

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 a bathroom floor. 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.”[295] Attempts to revive him failed, and his death was officially pronounced at 3:30 p.m. at the Baptist Memorial Hospital.

I remember that day as if it was Yesterday. I was 9 at the time. I came home from school and my mother asked me “Guess who died today?” I asked who, she replied Elvis. Trying to be the tough guy I said “What is it to me?” . But when I went to my room, I cried for the rest of the day.

Joseph Ronald Drew, or Ronnie Drew was an Irish singer, folk musician and actor who achieved international fame during a fifty-year career recording with The Dubliners. He is most recognised for his lead vocals on the single “Seven Drunken Nights” and “The Irish Rover” both charting in the UK top 10 and then performed on TOTP. He was recognisable for his long beard and pale blue eyes and his voice.

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 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.

Aretha Franklin was an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Referred to as the “Queen of Soul”, she is regarded as the most influential female vocalist of the 1960s. Franklin began her career as a child, singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where her father C. L. Franklin was a minister.

On August 13, 2018, Franklin was reported to be gravely ill at her home in Riverfront Towers, Detroit.[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. Aretha Franklin died at her home on August 16, 2018, aged 76, without a will.The cause of death was a malignant pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (pNET),which is distinct from the most common form of pancreatic cancer.[Numerous celebrities in the entertainment industry and politicians paid tribute to Franklin, including former U.S. President Barack Obama who said she “helped define the American experience”.[ Civil rights activist and minister Al Sharpton called her a “civil rights and humanitarian icon”.

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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Elvis’s last concert.

Anyone who tells me they like rock music but don’t like Elvis, are either lying or don’t like rock or pop music at all. The fact is that without Elvis Rock N Roll would have never been as popular as it is.

He always will have a special place in my heart. However there is no denying that his end was tragic and I still believe totally avoidable. But I will not go into that this time.

As the title suggests, this is about Elvis’s ever last concert which was held on June 26,1977. The venue was the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was his 55th show of the year.

His final show brought in a crowd of 18,000 fans at the Indianapolis’s Market Square Arena and was a must-see gig for Presley fans.

Despite his poor health condition , and at times sickly appearance, his presence alone was still enough of a draw to sell out shows nationwide.

While Elvis was overweight,158 kg, and pale at this point in his life, he still appeared on form and put on a great show.

This was his setlist; “Also Spoke Zarathustra (opening) “”C.C. Rider,” “I Got A Woman/Amen,” “Love Me,” “Fairytale,” “You Gave Me A Mountain,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “It’s Now Or Never,” “Little Sister,” “Teddy Bear,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Release Me,” “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Early Mornin’ Rain,” “Johnny B. Goode,” “I Really Don’t Want To Know,” “Hurt,” “Hound Dog,” and “Can’t Help Falling In Love.”

As he left the stage for the final time, on June 26, 1977, the King of Rock n’ Roll told his fans “We’ll meet you again, God bless, adios” He ended the show with this song.

He truly was the King of Rock N Roll

Sources

https://www.irishcentral.com/culture/on-this-day-elvis-presley-last-concert

https://www.smoothradio.com/artists/elvis-presley/final-performance-video/

https://www.thecoast.net.nz/videos/watch-elvis-presleys-final-song-at-his-last-ever-concert/

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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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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.

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.