Greetings & Salutations from the College of Rock n’ Roll Knowledge: 1/26/2021

It’s another Tuesday Bluesday here as I prepare to return to Retail Hell. Still, your lessons are important, so here we go!

Today, we wish the great Lucinda Williams a very happy birthday indeed!

Here’s today’s lesson!

January 26, 1956: Buddy Holly recorded at Decca Records for the first time using the name Buddy and the Two Tones.

January 26, 1957: The great Fats Domino had the #1 song on the R & B chart with one of my favorites, Blue Monday.

January 26, 1961: Elvis Presley had his sixth #1 song in the UK with Are you Lonesome Tonight.

January 26, 1963: The Beatles continued their frenetic live performance pace, performing two concerts on this day. One was at the El Rio Club and Dance Hall in Maccelsfield, Cheshire. They then drove 20 miles to King’s Hall, Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire for an evening performance.

January 26, 1966: Eric Burdon handled lead vocals for Manfred Mann at a London concert, filling in for Paul Jones who was injured in an auto accident.

January 26, 1969: Just another day on the job for The Beatles. First, they recorded Let It Be and The Long and Winding Road for the upcoming Let It Be album. Then they decided to record a series of covers, including Shake, Rattle & Roll, Kansas City, Miss Ann, Blue Suede Shoes, and Lawdy Miss Clawdy. Ringo Starr wrote Octopus’s Garden on this day. Then the band came up with the idea and plan for their amazing final show — the rooftop concert on Saville Row.

January 26, 1970: Simon & Garfunkel released Bridge Over Troubled Water on this day, both the album and the hit single.

Three Dog Night also released the song Celebrate on this day.

John Lennon wrote and recorded his hit Instant Karma all in one day at Abbey Road Studios. It is known as one of the fastest releases in music history. And it’s a great fucking song to boot.

January 26, 1973: Elton John released the album Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only The Piano Player. I have a love-hate thing going with Sir Elton. Nothing personal. Music related.

January 26, 1974: Dolly Parton makes her first appearance on the charts with Jolene.

Born On This Day

January 26, 1953: Lucinda Williams was born in lake Charles, Louisiana. Hell, yeah!

January 26, 1944: Merilee Rush, of Angel of The Morning fame, was born in Seattle, Washington.

January 26, 1945: Ashley Hutchings, vocalist, songwriter, arranger, and bassist for the folk group Fairport Convention (yes, their music is coming) was born in Southgate, Middlesex, England.

January 26, 1948: Corky Laing, drummer for the band Mountain, was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

January 26, 1957: Not a fan of Van Halen the band. Never really have been. But I am a fan of Eddie Van Halen, kickass guitarist, and I pay him the utmost respect always. He was born on this day in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The End. We’ll be back with the line-up soon!

It’s Saturday in The College of Rock n’ Roll Knowledge: 1/23/2021

Good Morning, fellow music trivia buffs, and welcome to The Mermaid Lounge! We have today’s lesson all prepared for you. We guarantee you’ll impress your friends and family with your knowledge if you apply yourselves.

The Winter Dance Party Tour begins. But before it’s over, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper will die in a plane crash. Don McLean called it “the day the music died” in his hit American Pie.

Here’s today’s lesson:

January 23, 1959: The Winter Dance Party Tour began at the Million Dollar Ballroom in Milwaukee. Before the 24-city tour is over, the headliners, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper will die in a plane crash.

January 23, 1964: The Temptations released The Way You Do The Things You Do, one of the best R & B songs ever, in my opinion.

January 23, 1965: Herman’s Hermits released Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat.

Also on this day, Downtown made Petula Clark the first woman to have a #1 in the US since Vera Lynn in 1952. Of course, she’ll have many more here, but she is an old hand at this in the UK where she has been charting since 1954.

Beatles ’65 spent a third week at #1 on the Album charts.

January 23, 1966: Stevie Wonder played The Cavern Club in Liverpool.

January 23, 1967: Johnny Rivers, one of our favorites here, released Baby I Need Your Lovin’.

January 23, 1969: Alan Parsons (later of The Alan Parsons Project) engineered his first session at Apple Studios (as 2nd engineer to Glyn Johns) as The Beatles record one of their best ever, Get Back.

Elvis Presley records Suspicious Minds at American Sound, a small studio in Memphis. It is a huge comeback hit for The King, and it is also his final #1 hit in America.

January 23, 1970: Judy Collins is denied the opportunity to sing her testimony at the infamous Chicago 7 trial.

January 23, 1971: George Harrison is the first ex-Beatle to hit #1 on the UK charts with My Sweet Lord.

Also on this day, Gladys Knight & The Pips recached #1 on the R & B charts with If I Were Your Woman. This band never got the recognition it deserved, in my opinion, and Gladys Knight was a powerhouse of a singer.

January 23, 1973: While singing to a sell-out crowd at Madison Square Garden in New York, Neil Young is handed a message. He then announces that a peace accord had been reached in Vietnam. The crowd goes wild for 10 minutes. Here we are in 2020, and American imperialism continues on unabated and forgotten as we fucking argue over masks.

January 23, 1978: Terry Kath of Cbicago accidentally shoots himself in the head with a gun he believed was empty. He dies instantly, just eight days shy of his 32nd birthday. It also marks the death of Chicago, as far as I am concerned, as Peter Cetera leads them down the path of elevator music and renders them irrelevant.

Born On This Day

January 23, 1950: Danny Federici, keyboardist for the E Street Band, was born in Farmington, New Jersey.

January 23, 1950: Bill Cunningham, bassist for The Box Tops, was born in Memphis, Tennessee.

And that is all because we do not give a flying fuck about Mariah Carey or Justin Bieber. We will be back with our line-up soon!

It’s Friday Morning in The College of Rock n’ Roll Knowledge: 1/22/2021

Good Morning, Students! Here we are again. It’s another Friday here in The Mermaid Lounge, and this was a pretty active day in rock n’ roll history!

The Beatles put their differences aside and managed to finish Let It Be, a great fucking album.

Here’s today’s lesson:

January 22, 1959: Buddy Holly left for Milwaukee to begin The Winter Dance Party tour.

January 22, 1960: Sam Cooke signed with RCA Records on this day, his 29th birthday.

January 22, 1963: Gerry & The Pacemakers held their first recording session ever, laying down How Do You Do It.

January 22, 1964: Sonny Boy Wiliamson and The Yardbirds appeared at The Cavern Club for their Big R & B Night.

January 22, 1965: The Rolling Stones began a tour of Oceana with two shows at the Agricultural Hall in Sydney, Australia.

January 22, 1966: The Beach Boys began recording Wouldn’t It Be Nice at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood.

Also on this day:

Stevie Wonder went to #1 on the R & B chart with Uptight (Everything’s Alright). He was just 13 years old at the time, making him the youngest artist to ever top the charts.

The Beatles album Rubber Soul was at week three in the top Album position.

Simon & Garfunkel had their first #1 hit with Sounds of Silence.

January 22, 1968: Kenny Rogers & The First Edition released their first single, Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In). I wonder if anybody realizes that he started out as a rocker before he began singing formualted country hits.

Also on this day:

Another great band, Sly & The Family Stone, sent their first 45 record, Dance To The Music, to the radio stations.

The Who performed two shows in Sydney Stadium in Australia. They were backed by the Small Faces.

January 22, 1969: Billy Preston arrived at Apple Studios to play keyboards and help the Beatles finish the Let It Be album. In addition to his talents, he also provided a great buffer for their in-fighting.

January 22, 1971: The Joe Cocker film, Mad Dogs & Englishmen, premiered in London. It featured performances by Cocker himself, along with Leon Russell and Rita Coolidge. There was also a cast of great session musicians like Jim Keltner (Buster Sidebury of Traveling Wilbury fame), Jim Horn, and Carl Radle.

January 22, 1972: Don McLean’s album American Pie hits #1 in the US, where it will remain for seven weeks.

January 23, 1973: Gladys Knight & The Pips released the single Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye).

Also on this day, Roberta Flack released the single Killing Me Softly With His Song. The lyricist was Lori Lieberman, who was inspired by a 1971 live performance by none other than Don McLean.

January 22, 1974: Carly Simon’s great album Hotcakes is certified Gold.

January 22, 1977: Paul McCartney & Wings have the #1 album in the US with Wings Over America.

January 22, 2004: The famous nightclub, The Bottom Line, closes its doors in Greenwich Village, New York after thirty years.

Born On This Day

January 22, 1931: Sam Cooke, the man with the voice made to sing soul music, was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

January 22, 1949: Another great vocalist, Steve Perry, the frontman for Journey, was born in Hanford, California. (No matter what they tell you, there’s no real Journey without Steve Perry at the mike.)

January 22, 1959: Nigel Pegrum, drummer for both Small Faces and Uriah Heep, was born in North Wales.

I hope you took notes. Because this is a lot of information. We’ll be back with the line-up.

All the Pertinent Details From The College of Rock n’ Roll Knowledge: 1/5/2021

It is another day in the College of Rock n’ Roll Knowledge, and we’re getting a jump on all things musical today. It’s a fairly active day on the trivia front.

Jesse Winchester left the U.S. for Canada to avoid the draft. But when he left the planet, the world lost one of its best songwriters ever.

Here’s today’s lesson:

January 5, 1954: Elvis Presley recorded a 10-minute demo tape at Memphis Recording Studios.

January 5, 1959: Buddy Holly released It Doesn’t Matter Anymore, his final release before his death.

January 5, 1961: The Beatles played at Literton Town Hall in Liverpool. Two members of Rory Storm & The Hurricanes were on hand to watch — Johnny Guitar, and drummer Ringo Starr. Paul McCartney played bass for the first time with the band as Stu Sutcliffe remained at home.

January 5, 1965: The Supremes recorded Stop! In The Name of Love at Motown Studios in Detroit. Soon after, they depart on the first Motown revue tour in Europe.

January 5, 1967: Jesse Winchester, one of the finest singer-songwriters ever to grace this planet, moves from the U.S. to Canada to avoid the draft and serving in Viet Nam.

Also on this day, Paul McCartney recorded his vocal for Penny Lane which was planned (but actually never included) on the upcoming Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band album.

Tommy James & The Shondells released their single, I Think We’re Alone Now.

Pink Floyed played in concert at The Marquee Club.

January 5, 1968: Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits album is certified Gold.

January 5, 1969: Creedence Clearwater Revival releases the album Bayou Country.

January 5, 1973: Bruce Springsteen released his debut album, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.

January 5, 1974: Jim Croce remained at #1 with the song Time In A Bottle, rated one of the Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era.

Bruce Springsteen plays the song Rosalita for the first time in concert at Joe’s Place in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It becomes a fan favorite and is often played as his encore.

January 5, 2004: John Guerin, one of the most respected and prolific session drummers who worked with Joni Mitchell, Elvis Presley, Linda Ronstadt, The Byrds, Willie Nelson, and many more, died from pneumonia on this date in West Hills, California. He was 64.

Born On This Day

January 5, 1923: Sam Phillips, the founder of Sun Records, who discovered Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, was born near Florence, Alabama.

January 5, 1929: Wilbert Harrison, who wrote and recorded the great classic Kansas City in 1959, was born in Charlotte, North Carolina.

January 5, 1934: Phil Ramone, songwriter, violinist, recording engineer, and legendary producer who made albums with Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, and many others, was born in South Africa.

And that just about sums it up from The College of Rock n’ Roll Knowledge!