Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 5-11-24

Eric Burdon rose to fame as the lead vocalist of the rock band The Animals, which was part of the British Invasion that took the music world by storm in the 1960s. With his powerful and distinctive vocals, Burdon helped the band achieve international success with hits like “House of the Rising Sun” and “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.”

In the late 1960s, with a new set of Animals, Burdon embraced the psychedelic sound that was popular during that era. This incarnation of the band showcased Burdon’s ability to evolve with the changing times, as they incorporated elements of funk, soul, and psychedelic rock into their music.

In 1970, Burdon introduced the world to the band War. Their collaboration resulted in the hit song “Spill the Wine,” which fused elements of rock, funk, and Latin music. I’m impressed by Burdon’s versatility and willingness to explore new musical territories.

Eric Burdon was born on this date in 1941. A few songs from him are included on today’s playlist.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 4-19-24

Gee, I think you’re swell
And you really do me well 
You’re my pride and joy, et cetera…

After the huge success of their “Happy Together,” The Turtles’ record label asked them for another love song in a similar vein. Jokingly, they turned in “Elenore.” It became their eighth US top 40 hit, reaching number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Turtles’ Mark Volman was born on this date in 1947. A few songs from his band are included on today’s playlist.

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Tunes Du Jour Presents The Everly Brothers

Don and Phil Everly were rock and roll pioneers, combining elements of different musical traditions and creating a distinctive sound that inspired generations of artists. Their songs are timeless classics, full of emotion and harmony.

The Everly Brothers started their musical career singing with their parents on the radio in the 1940s. They learned the art of close harmony singing from their father, Ike, who was a master of the thumbpicking guitar style of western Kentucky. They also absorbed influences from the folk, country, and blues music of their region, as well as from the pop and R&B hits of the day. They began writing and recording their own songs in 1956, and soon caught the attention of Chet Atkins, who helped them get a deal with Cadence Records. Their first hit, “Bye Bye Love”, written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, was released in 1957 and reached No. 1 on the country and pop charts. It was followed by a string of hits, many of them also written by the Bryants, such as “Wake Up Little Susie”, “All I Have to Do Is Dream”, and “Bird Dog”. The Everly Brothers’ songs captured the joys and sorrows of teenage life, with catchy hooks, witty lyrics, and expressive vocals.

In 1960, the Everly Brothers moved to Warner Bros. Records, where they had more creative freedom and control. They wrote some of their own songs, such as “Cathy’s Clown” and “When Will I Be Loved?”, and also recorded songs by other writers, such as “Let It Be Me” and “Crying in the Rain,” the latter being the third top ten pop songwriting credit for Carole King. They experimented with different sounds and styles, incorporating elements of rockabilly, country, and pop. The Everly Brothers’ music was influential to many artists, especially in the 1960s, when the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Byrds, Simon and Garfunkel, and many others cited them as an inspiration.

The Everly Brothers’ legacy is undeniable and enduring. They have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Musicians Hall of Fame. They have received numerous awards and honors, such as the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Trustees Award, and the BMI Icon Award. They have sold over 80 million records worldwide, and have had over 30 top 40 hits.

If you are a fan of the Everly Brothers, or if you want to discover their music for the first time, I invite you to listen to this playlist that I have curated. It includes some of their most popular and memorable songs, as well as some of their lesser-known gems. I hope you enjoy the Everly Brothers’ harmony and history, and appreciate their contribution to music.

Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 8-12-23

I’m generally not one for guitar solos, but Mark Knopfler’s work on this record, particularly starting at around the 4:50 mark, coupled with the main riff, sends me every time.

Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler was born on this date in 1949. Some of his band’s best work is included on today’s playlist.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 5-28-23

I tend to think there are three age groups – children, the elderly, and folks around my age. Children bang on about things I’ve never heard of. The elderly tell stories of how when they were kids nobody in the neighborhood owned a television set so the family would take the trolley downtown to Sears and watch The Lawrence Welk Show through the store window. Folks in my age group all share the same cultural references.

This morning when walking my dogs, Ringo and Winston, I was made aware that there are those who are older than children yet younger than I. We saw Jeffrey, who lives across the street, walking his dog Molly and another dog. We said hello (well, I said hello. Ringo and Winston didn’t say anything. They’re not morning dogs.) and I asked “And who is this?,” referring to the other dog. Jeffrey replied “This is Luka,” to which I said “Does he live on the second floor?” I know the three or four of you reading this were thinking the same thing. Jeffrey had a puzzled look on his face. “What?” “His name is Luka. Does he live on the second floor?” Jeffrey, still confused, said “No. He lives next door to me.”

I hadn’t thought about it, but now I know Jeffrey is a lot younger than I. Unlike me, I’m sure when filling out a form that asks in which age group he falls, he never has to color in the circle by the group that ends with “and over.”

Everyone should know Suzanne Vega’s song “Luka.” And everyone should absolutely know Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son.” If you aren’t familiar with it, put down your phone, then pick it back up because I just remembered that’s how young people listen to music nowadays, play the song (which kicks off the playlist below), and do this every day. Memorize the words. Scream along with it. It’s a great way to release your pent-up rage at The Man. Take my word for it. I’ve been doing so for <and over> years.

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s John Fogerty turns 78 today. I’ve never heard him mention The Lawrence Welk Show, though a show called Fortunate Son – A Tribute to Creedence Clearwater Revival is now playing at the Welk Resort Theater on Lawrence Welk Drive in Escondido, California.

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