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Music History Monday: November 5

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 5, 2012 11:30am | Post a Comment

music history monday To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.


Born on this day: November 5, 1941 - Singer, songwriter, and actor Art Garfunkel (born Arthur Ira Garfunkel in Forest Hills, NY). Happy 71st Birthday Art!!
 


Born on this day: November 5, 1947 - Peter Noone (born Peter Blair Denis Bernard Noone in Davyhulme, Greater Manchester, UK), lead vocalist of Herman's Hermits. Happy 65th Birthday, Peter!!
 



Born on this day: November 5, 1957 - Mike Score (born Michael Score in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, UK), lead vocalist and keyboardist of A Flock of Seagulls. Happy 55th Birthday, Mike!!




On this day in music history: November 5, 1956 - The Nat King Cole Show makes its debut on the NBC television network. It will make history as the first nationally aired program to be hosted by an African American performer. The show will begin initially as a 15 minute program, which is then expanded to a half hour in July 1957. The show will feature many high profile guests (and personal friends of Cole's) including Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Harry Belafonte, Mel Tormé, and Eartha Kitt. These performers appeared on the show working for either industry scale or for no pay at all. During its run, the program will lack major product sponsorship with many potential sponsors fearing they will offend certain viewers not wanting to see black performers on television. In spite of generating constantly high ratings, the show will be canceled after only 13 months due to high operating costs.
 

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Music History Monday: October 22

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 22, 2012 10:00am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

Music History MondayOn this day in music history: October 22, 1969Led Zeppelin II, the second album by Led Zeppelin is released. Produced by Jimmy Page, it is recorded at Olympic Studios and Morgan Studios in London; A&M Studios, Quantum Studios, Sunset Sound, Mirror Sound, and Mystic Studios in Los Angeles; A&R Studios, Juggy Sound, Groove Studios, and Mayfair Studios in New York City; "The Hut" in Vancouver, BC, Canada; and Ardent Studios in Memphis, TN from January - August 1969. Quickly following the success of their self-titled debut, the album is written on the road and recorded in numerous studios in the US and UK on days off between tour dates. Led Zeppelin II will quickly surpass their debut in sales, cementing the bands' musical reputation as well as establishing a template in which countless hard rock and heavy metal bands will follow. It will spin off several classics that become rock radio staples including "Heartbreaker," Ramble On," and "Whole Lotta Love" (#4 Pop), the latter of which is issued as a single. The initial US pressing of the LP mastered by Bob Ludwig will be problematic for some as loud and dynamic passages on the record will cause it to skip on cheaper turntables of the day, initiating sizeable returns. Atlantic will be forced to remaster the album (this time by George Marino), with the bass and high end significantly rolled off. These original "loud cut" pressings of II will become sought after by collectors over the years. Led Zeppelin II will spend 7 weeks at #1 (non-consecutive) on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 12x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Happy Birthday Alan Aldridge -- The Man with the Kaleidoscope Eyes

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 1, 2012 04:00pm | Post a Comment
English artist Alan Aldridge

Today is the 69th birthday of English artist, graphic designer and illustrator, Alan Aldridge (click here to visit his site). His distinct airbrush work adorned numerous books and albums in the 1960s and '70s and helped define the aesthetic of the era -- equal parts whimsy and menace.
Alan Aldridge Painting Finale

Aldridge appeals to me, in part, due to the way he draws upon older artists from very different traditions. The grotesque, fantastical characters echo the febrile visions of Dutch Renaissance painter Hieronymus Bosch. The invasive, sometimes threatening vegetation reminds me of the vegetable portraits of Italian Mannerist Giuseppe Arcimboldo. The soft, velvety folds and textures of clothing remind me of French Neoclassicist Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres's almost single-minded focus on mastering the technique of depicting textiles.
 
As a young child, when I was first exposed to Aldridge, I hadn't yet heard of any of those artists. I don't remember ever even asking who Alan Aldridge was, but it was clear even that his particular synthesis of influences and ability to simultaneously captivate and repulse was immediately recognizable as the work of one artist, whatever work it adorned.

Trip Down Memory Lane Via Rock Album Billboards of the 70's Along Sunset Blvd

Posted by Billyjam, February 29, 2012 09:51am | Post a Comment

Of interest to anyone into rock albums from the seventies and of particular interest to folks in LA into recent era history is the excellent collection of Billboards on Sunset Blvd 1974-5 flickr page by Larry The Frog that features photos of billboards shot in those two years of the mid 1970's along Sunset Blvd. in the  vicinity of the Hollywood Amoeba store.  The majority of these shots are ones advertising new album releases or concert dates from such acts as Poco, Loggins & Messina, Barbi Benton, Donovan, The Who, War, Joni Mitchell, Billy Preston, Neil Sedaka, Greg Allman, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Mahogeny Rush, Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Rolling Stones, George Harrison, The 5th Dimension, Steppenwolf, Rick Derringer, and many more.

These great shots were all photographed by Larry The Frog when he lived a block off the Sunset Strip back in the 70's.and were recently lovingly restored by the photographer utilizing photoshopping from scanned 35mm slides and negatives. There are over a hundred shots in this engaging collection that, like rummaging through the old 70's album dollar bins at Amoeba, will unveil a whole bygone era - only better than merely album cover art since they also capture the time and place so well. View the full collection here

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Why We Love Those Sad Songs So Much: Because It Feels So Good To Hurt So Bad!

Posted by Billyjam, July 21, 2011 01:20pm | Post a Comment
 

The Smiths "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Today"

Why do we love those sad songs so much? What is It with songs that help us wallow in our misery? Those post break up anthems, or songs about loss and depression that just seep of sadness yet draw us like a moth to a flame. Why do people love Morrissey and the Smiths' sad songs about been miserable? Because - like hot tea on a hot day that fights fire with fire - so too do sad songs quell the sadness in our collective hearts. Some say that we like sad songs of others' tales of despair because we can indulge in their suffering from a safe distance. Like in the comic strip above we love/hate those sad songs so much we have to hit replay. "Please Mr Please" don't play B 17. I don't ever want to hear that song again," sang Olivia Newton John on the weepy Bruce Welch & John Rostill penned 1975 international hit - but you know she secretly indulged in hearing B17 again despite the sadness it aroused in her tortured soul.  Of all the pop hits over the past several decades Elton John's Bernie Taupin penned hit "Sad Songs (Say So Much)" sums up our need for sad songs: "It's times like these when we all need to hear the radio.`Cause from the lips of some old singer we can share the troubles we already know. Turn them on, turn them on. Turn on those sad songs when all hope is gone!" and the song's clincher line, "it feels so good to hurt so bad"

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