Inspired by Black Music Month, LGBTQ Pride Month, the passing of Bonnie Pointer, and the June 9 birthdays of Jackie Wilson, The Chemical Brothers’ Ed Simons, Muse’s Matt Bellamy, Les Paul, Johnny Ace and composer Cole Porter.
Tag Archives: Roy Orbison
Inspired by the April 20 birthdays of A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip, The Spinners’ Bobby Smith, Eels’ E, Stray Cats’ Brian Setzer, Maren Morris, The Flamingos’ Nate Nelson, Katrina Leskanich, Sheb Wooley, and Poor Righteous Teachers’ Wise Intelligent.
Inspired by the April 5 birthdays of ABBA’s Agnetha Faltskog, Pharrell Williams, The Hollies’ Allan Clarke, The Platters’ Tony Williams, Three 6 Mafia’s Juicy J, Wall of Voodoo’s Stan Ridgway, Paula Cole, Crispian St. Peters and Bette Davis.
Inspired by Valentine’s Day and the February 14 birthdays of Cait Brennan, Tim Buckley, Rob Thomas, and Dwele.
Inspired by the January 19 birthdays of Phil Everly, Dolly Parton, Janis Joplin, Robert Palmer, Caron Wheeler, America’s Dewey Bunnell, Deep Purple’s Rod Evans, and Shelley Fabares, and by National Popcorn Day.
I just thought of a great line to use in an improv scene I was in six years ago. I wish I could turn back time (not intending to quote a song title from birthday boy R. Kelly there) and use it. Ironically, the scene was about traveling back in time. I won’t tell you more about it, because describing an improv scene is .00003% as much fun as watching the improv scene, and this scene was no great shakes to start with, though with the addition of the line I just thought of its shakes would be .07% greater.
Today’s playlist begins with songs from two music legends with birthdays today – Elvis Presley and David Bowie. It’s also Little Anthony’s birthday, which led me to lean heavily toward oldies from the early days of rock and roll. Dame Shirley Bassey also celebrates her birthday today, so I threw in a couple of joints from her catalogue. i opted to not include any R. Kelly songs in the playlist, though Mary J. Blige and Erykah Badu are representing 90s r&b.
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From 1958 to 1960, Ben E. King was the lead singer of The Drifters, scoring hits with “There Goes My Baby,” “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “This Magic Moment” and “I Count the Tears.” He suggested to the group’s manager, George Treadwell, that they record the spiritual tune “Stand by Me Father,” but Treadwell turned him down. King also asked Treadwell for a greater share of the group’s royalties. Again, Treadwell turned him down. King said goodbye.
King left the group after recording just thirteen songs with them. He soon made the top ten as a solo act with 1961’s “Spanish Harlem.”
Around that time, King was working on a song based on “Stand by Me Father.” He had some lyrics and a melody. He finished the lyrics with his producer, Jerry Leiber. Leiber’s songwriting/production partner, Mike Stoller, added some chords behind the melody, as well as a bass line.
Per Leiber, it’s that last addition that makes Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” a classic. “The lyrics are good, King’s vocal is great. But Mike’s bass line pushed the song into the land of immortality. Believe me – it’s the bass line.”
“Stand By Me” kicks off this week’s Throwback Thursday playlist, spotlighting hits from 1961.
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