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!

Getting a Jump On The Day At The College of Rock n’ Roll Knowledge: 12/23/2020

It’s getting closer and closer to Christmas. The shorter the time gets, the nastier the shoppers get. The pressure’s on to make sure they buy enough, or just the right thing, or whatever the fuck. Give it up.

The first transistor radios. Undoubtedly, man’s finest invention.

Here’s today’s musical lesson:

December 23, 1947: Three scientists from Bell Labs in New Jersey demonstrate the transistor, which leads to the invention of small, portable transistor radios. They would win the Nobel Prize for their work in 1956.

December 23, 1957: A new act called Tom & Jerry appear on the chart for the first time with their new song Hey Schoolgirl. They were just sixteen years old. Today, we know them as Simon & Garfunkel, and they have sold 105 million albums.

December 23, 1961: The Marvelettes spent their sixth week at #1 on the R & B chart with Please Mr. Postman.

Also on December 23, the Beach Boys make their live debut, performing two songs during intermission of surf guitarist Dick Dale’s concert at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Newport Beach, California.

December 23, 1962: Bob Dylan did a show at the King and Queen Pub in London.

December 23, 1963: Lesley Gore released the single, You Don’t Own Me.

December 23, 1964: Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys suffered a breakdown on a flight from LA to Houston. As a result, he decided to retire from performing live, in spite of the fact that their Beach Boys Concert was #1 at the time. Glen Campbell was a temporary replacement for Wilson, until Bruce Johnston joined the group.

December 23, 1966: London’s premier psychedelic hangout, The UFO Club, opens on Tottenham Court, with Pink Floyd as the house band.

December 23, 1969: Elton John met with Bernie Taupin for the first time, along with arranger Paul Buckmaster, and producer Gus Didgeon, to begin work on his first (and best, in my opinion) album.

December 23, 1970: Joni Mitchell earned her first Gold with her third album, Ladies of The Canyon.

December 23, 1972: The Moody Blues had another big album with Seventh Sojurn, which spent a third week at #1.

Born On This Day

December 23, 1940: Jorma Kaukonen, guitarist with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, was born in Washington, D.C.

December 23, 1941: Folk musician Tim Hardin, who wrote If I Were A Carpenter, was born in Eugene, Oregon.

December 23, 1946: Ariel Bender, guitarist for Mott The Hoople, was born in Evesham, Worcestershire, England.

December 23, 1964: Eddie Vedder, lead singer, guiarist, and songwriter of Pearl Jam, was born in Evanston, Illinois.

And that’s it for today’s lesson!

Here’s Your Tuesday (Bluesday) Lesson From The College of Rock n’ Roll Knowledge: 12/22/2020!

Yes, it’s Tuesday Bluesday in The Mermaid Lounge, and the lesson is lighter than usual today. Seems it’s not a very eventful day in music history, unless you’re talking about shit we don’t play.

The Beatles Live at The Empire Theatre, Liverpool, December 22, 1963.

Here’s today’s musical lesson:

December 22, 1956: Elvis Presley finished the year with 17 hit songs, a record that would stand until the year 1964 — when The Beatles had 30. (Yes, I said 30.)

December 22, 1962: Bob Dylan played at the Singer’s Club Christmas Party in London.

Also on this day, one of the greatest instrumental songs ever recorded, Telstar by the Tornadoes, went to #1. And yes it was a tribute to the satellite.

December 22, 1963: The Beatles performed at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool.

December 22, 1972: Led Zeppelin performed at Alexandra Palace in London.

December 22, 1973: Elton John moved to #1 on the UK Album chart with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

December 22, 1978: Kenney Jones, formerly of Faces, was chosen as the new drummer for The Who. He replaced Keith Moon, who had passed away a couple of months earlier.

December 22, 1979: The Pretenders performed at the Marquee Club in London.

December 22, 1980: Linda Ronstadt debuted on Broadway in the Gilbert & Sullivan production of The Pirates of Penzance at the Uris Theatre.

Also on this date, Pat Benatar’s first hit — Heartbreaker — debuted on the charts.

Born On This Day

December 22, 1939: James Gurley, guitarist for Big Brother & The Holding Company, was born in Detroit.

December 22, 1944: Barry Jenkins, drummer for The Animals, was born in Leicester, England.

And that signals the end of today’s lesson. We’ll be back with the Tuesday Bluesday line-up in just a bit.

Good Saturday Morning From the College of Rock n’ Roll Knowledge: 12/19/2020

Good Morning, Students! Here’s today’s lesson from the college:

The Rolling Stones.

December 19, 1955: Carl Perkins recorded Blue Suede Shoes two days after writing it. Although it is generally the Elvis Presley version we hear, that version peaked at #20 on Billboard’s Top 100, while Perkins’ original version went to #2 and spent 17 weeks on the charts.

December 19, 1964: The Beatles’ fourth album, Beatles For Sale, begins a seven-week run at the top of the UK album charts by knocking off The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night. It stayed in the Top 20 for an amazing 46 weeks.

Also on this day, Come See About Me by the Supremes became their third straight #1 single.

New singer Petula Clark makes her debut on the chart with her single, Downtown.

December 19, 1968: Led Zeppelin performed at the Exeter City Hall in England for 125 pounds. They had to bill themselves as The New Yardbirds to attract an audience.

December 19, 1969: The Rolling Stones moved to #1 in the UK with their album, Let It Bleed.

December 19, 1970: Elton John’s first US hit, Your Song, enters the Billboard Hot 100, where it will peak at #8.

December 19, 1974: Guitarist Ron Woods joined the Rolling Stones.

December 19, 1993: Michael Clarke, original drummer for The Byrds, died of liver failure at the age of 47 after decades of alcohol abuse. After The Byrds, he played for the Flying Burrito Brothers (1969-1973) and Firefall (1974-1981).

Born On This Day

December 19, 1918: Blues singer Henry Roeland “Roy” Byrd, better known as Professor Longhair, was born in Bogalusa, Louisiana.

December 19, 1944: Zalman (Zal) Yanovsky, lead guitarist and found of The Lovin’ Spoonful, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Also on December 19 1944: Alvin Lee, great guitarist of Ten Years After and who worked with George Harrison, John Mayall, Steve Winwood, and Bo Diddley (among others), was born in Nottingham, England.

December 19, 1945: John McEuen, founding member of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, was born in Garden Grove, California.

That is it from the college. We’ll be back with the line-up soon!

Happy Friday From The College of Rock n’ Roll Knowledge: 12/11/2020

Greetings from the College of Rock n’ Roll Knowledge, where we enrich your lives by making sure you have all the pertinent details required to win a musical trivia contest.

Little Richard performs during the halftime show on December 31, 2004, at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn. The pioneering musician died on Saturday, May 9, 2020; he was 87. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images/TNS)

Here’s today’s lesson!

December 11, 1960: Aretha Franklin gives her first live performance at the Village Vanguard in New York city.

December 11, 1961: Motown Records has it’s first #1 hit on the Top 100 with Please Mr. Postman by the Marvelettes.

Also on this day, Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii goes to #1.

December 11, 1965: The Velvet Underground plays its first live gig when they open for a group called The Myddle Class in the auditorium of Summit High School in New Jersey.

December 11, 1966: Elton John’s band, Bluesology, opens for Little Richard in London. Elton would later say: “When I saw Little Richard standing on top of the piano, all lights, sequins, and energy, I decided there and then that I was going to be a rock and roll piano player.”

December 11, 1968: The Rolling Stones record their Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus TV special, then proceed to bury it for nearly 30 years.

December 11, 1970: John Lennon releases his first solo album, titled John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.

December 11, 1972: Genesis plays its first US concert ever at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts.

December 11, 1988: Tom Petty, Bonnie Raitt, Graham Nash and Don Henley perform at a Roy Orbison tribute concert at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles.

December 11, 1990: Led Zeppelin IV is certified Diamond with sales of 10 million in the US.

Born On This Day

December 11, 1926: Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton was born in Anton, Alabama. Willie Mae was the first to record Hound Dog, the song that would later be made famous by Elvis Presley.

And that is just about it from the College of Rock n’ Roll Knowledge for this fine day!