portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Monday, December 31, 2018


On this day in music history: December 30, 1967 - “Hello Goodbye” by The Beatles hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it is the fifteenth US chart topper for the “Fab Four”. Originally written by McCartney under the title “Hello, Hello”, the basic track for the song is recorded on October 2, 1967 in Studio Two at Abbey Road in London, with overdubs recorded on October 19, 1967, completed on November 2, 1967 with final mixing on October 6, 1967. It is released as a single on November 24, 1967 backed with the John Lennon penned “I Am The Walrus” (#56 Pop) featured in the band’s recent television film “Magical Mystery Tour”. Both tracks appear on the US LP release of “MMT”. The Beatles make three different promotional films for “Hello Goodbye” at the Saville Theatre (owned by their late manager Brian Epstein) in London on November 10, 1967. The clip makes its US television debut on The Ed Sullivan Show two days after the singles release on November 26, 1967. However, it is not shown in the UK due to the Musician’s Union ban on artists miming to their own songs when making public appearances on either television or in any other venue. Entering the Hot 100 at #45 on December 2, 1967, it streaks to the top of the chart four weeks later. In September of 2011, the original US 45 is reissued by Capitol Records to re-promote the “Beatles 1” compilation. Available exclusively through big box retailer Target, the limited edition release replicates yellow and orange Capitol swirl labels and picture sleeve found the original US single. On original US pressings of the single, the B-side “I Am The Walrus” uses a unique mono mix, featuring an additional instrumental vamp before the fourth and final verse. This extra bar is edited out of the other mono and stereo mixes of the song. Though the Target exclusive 45 contains the additional music, it is copied from an original US 45 and edited (poorly) into the UK mono mix, when the US master tape cannot be located. The record comes packaged a box along with a T-shirt. Beginning in 2002, Paul McCartney begins performing “Hello Goodbye” on tour, playing it on virtually every tour since. “Hello Goodbye” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.


Born on this day: December 30, 1946 - Singer, songwriter and poet Patti Smith (born Patricia Lee Smith in Chicago, IL). Happy 72nd Birthday, Patti!!

Nearly forgot Patti's birthday! 72 good grief how is that possible but like finding out Jane Fonda was 81 early this month!? It's the same day as my son so I'm forgiven! He's 38!?

put 'Horses' on and turn it up!

Nice Treat for New Year's Eve - THE BEATLES


This is yummy!

All thanks to the inimitable Voodoo Wagon

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Well here 'tis! The good (nay GREAT) people over at Floppy Boot Stomp have turned up trumps here at Swappers Mansions! What can I say, my Main Man the good Henry Roeland Byrd,


The Fess

"The Bach Of Rock"*

Live in New Orleans 1978

Professor Longhair & The Blues Scholars
New Orleans LA
FM Broadcast @320

1st Set

01. Doing It
02. Mess Around
03. Big Chief
04. She Ain't Got No Hair
05. Everyday I Have The Blues
06. Go to the Mardi Gras
07. I'm Movin' On #2
08. Got My Mojo Workin'
09. Hey, Little Girl
10. Her Mind Is Gone
11. Stagger Lee
12. Cry to Me
13. Auld Lang Syne

2nd Set

14. Doing It
15. How Long Has This Train Been Gone
16. Rockin' Pneumonia
17. Bright Lights, Big City
18. Rum and Coca-Cola
19. Tipitina
20. Jambalaya
21. She Walks Right In
22. Hey Now Baby
23. Band Introductions
24. Big Chief

Professor Longhair - Piano, Vocals 
Ronald Johnson - Guitar
Dave Watson - Bass
Earl Gordon - Drums
Alfred Roberts - Congas, Percussion
Stanley John - Steel Drums
Tony Dagradi - Tenor Saxophone 
Andy Kaslow - Tenor Saxophone

If you download one thing today make it this!

You won't be able to stop 'Doing it'!

 Allen Toussaint 
Norman Gimbel (November 16, 1927 – December 19, 2018

perhaps the definitive version

Do you know anyone who didn't buy this?


because the music goes round and it comes out here . . . . we have mentioned 'Innervisons' and the trilogy or quadruple stellar album we bought when they came out when the maestro had his most creative episode of some several years . . . . . so let's listen to that again yeah?

On this day in music history: December 29, 1973 - “Living For The City” by Stevie Wonder hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 2 weeks, also peaking at #8 on the Hot 100 on January 12, 1974. Written by Stevie Wonder, it is the eighth R&B chart topper for the Motown superstar. Issued as the second single from “Innervisions”, the songs’ narrative follows a young man’s struggle to overcome an impoverished upbringing, only to end up in jail after being tricked into transporting drugs. Co-producers Robert Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil capture Wonder’s intense vocals on the final verse, deliberately making him angry, by stopping the tape in the middle of takes and criticizing his performance. “City” is also unique for its extended dialogue section, creating an even more vivid picture in the listener’s mind of what happens to the songs’ protagonist. Wonder takes this technique a step further, when the “Innervisions” album is previewed for music and other media journalists. They are blindfolded and driven around on a bus, then finally led into a room to listen to the music. All of this is done at Stevie’s request so that the journalists, for a brief time can experience the world and music from his perspective. “Living For The City” is also covered by a number of artists including Ray Charles, and as part of a medley with The O'Jays “For The Love Of Money” which is recorded by Levert, Troop and Queen Latifah for the film “New Jack City” in 1991.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

On this day in music history: December 29, 1966 - The Beatles begin recording “Penny Lane” in Studio Two at Abbey Road Studios in London. Written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon/McCartney), the song is inspired by a street and district near the town center in Liverpool. The first recording session is with McCartney laying down several different piano parts (processed in multiple ways), as part of the basic track. The piano tracks are recorded in various ways, including recording one of the tracks through a Vox amplifier with the tremolo setting on. Along with the piano tracks, McCartney also records two high pitched notes played on a harmonium, and also run through a guitar amplifier. These parts are bounced down and combined into a single track as more overdubs are recorded. The band work on the song for a couple weeks, when McCartney mentions to producer George Martin that he had heard this “high pitched trumpet” while watching a performance of Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto” the night before. They hire David Mason from the LSO to play piccolo trumpet, adding the crowning touch to the song which is completed on January 17, 1967. Originally intended to be part of the next Beatles album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, it is instead paired with “Strawberry Fields Forever” and released as a stand alone single on February 13, 1967 in the US and on February 17, 1967 in the UK, and is added to the US LP release of “Magical Mystery Tour” in November of 1967.


Born on this day: December 28, 1950 - Box Tops and Big Star lead singer Alex Chilton (born William Alexander Chilton in Memphis, TN). Happy Birthday to this pop and indie rock icon on what would have been his 68th Birthday.
thanks to Jeff Harris' blog Behind the Grooves

You know it . . . . .when it came out! still have it!
Classic single . . . . . . 

Alex and Big Star Hyde Park July 2009

Alex passed away from a heart attack in New Orleans in 2010 he was 59

On this day in music history: December 28, 1970 - “Mother” by John Lennon is released. Written by John Lennon, it is the fourth solo single release from the former Beatle. Lennon is inspired to write the song after attending Primal Scream therapy sessions with Dr. Arthur Janov, addressing issues of abandonment by his parents, specifically the death of his mother directly in the song. The spare, emotional ballad features Lennon on piano and vocals, bassist Klaus Voorman, and former Beatle band mate Ringo Starr on drums. Issued two weeks after the release of his debut solo album “John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band”, Lennon has doubts about its commercial potential and nearly releases the track “Love” (released posthumously in 1982) in its place, but goes with his original intention and puts it out anyway. Though it is not a commercial success, peaking at #43 on the Hot 100 in January 1971, it is regarded as one of Lennon’s most personal and affecting songs. The single is backed with the track “Why” from Yoko’s debut solo album “Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band”. The US 45 (released with an edited version of the song) is also issued with a picture sleeve featuring the same photo of Lennon and Ono sitting under a tree, as on the album cover. Due to small print run, and minimal sales of the single, the sleeve becomes one of the rarest and sought after Lennon collectibles. The single is reissued in April of 2010 as part of the “Lennon Singles Bag” with a reproduction of the rare US picture sleeve. Over the years, “Mother” has been covered by a number of different artists including versions recorded by Barbra Streisand, Maynard Ferguson, Shelby Lynne, and Christina Aguilera.

thanks to Jeff Harris' blog Behind the Grooves

On this day in music history: December 28, 1968 - “The Beatles (aka "The White Album”)“, the ninth album by The Beatles hits #1 on the Billboard Top 200 for 9 weeks (non-consecutive). Produced by George Martin, it is recorded at Abbey Road Studios and Trident Studios in London from May - October 1968. Following the psychedelic influenced "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Magical Mystery Tour”, The Beatles begin the musical transition back to their rock & roll roots. The majority of the songs are written during the bands’ trip to India to study Transcendental Meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Sessions are often tense as squabbling between the four begin to drive them apart, with Ringo Starr actually quitting the band temporarily and main recording engineer Geoff Emerick also walking out on the project. Though the album is self-titled, implying it is a full group effort, the opposite is actually true with the band members acting almost like side musicians for the other three, depending on whose song is being recorded. The thirty track double LP set comes to be regarded as one of The Beatles greatest and most musically diverse works. The album is also their last to be issued with separate mono and stereo mixes. The mono version is not issued in the US until 2009 when it is included in “The Beatles In Mono” CD box set. *The set also comes packaged with a poster featuring a photo collage on one side and song lyrics printed on the other side, as well as four individual portraits of the band members. In September of 2014, the mono version of the album is released in the US on vinyl for the first time, making it the first time “The White Album” has been available in that configuration since being briefly reissued in the UK in 1982. The album is also remixed in its entirety by Giles Martin, as part of a fiftieth anniversary reissue in November of 2018. The remixed version is available as a three CD edition, including “The Esher Demos”, along with a Super Deluxe six CD + Blu-ray disc, including numerous outtakes and previously unreleased material. The Blu-ray contains the 2018 remix stereo, DTS-HD and Dolby True HD 5.1 surround sound, along with the original mono mix. The set is also reissued on vinyl as a double LP and as a four LP deluxe box including “The Esher Demos”. “The Beatles” is certified 19x Platinum in the US by the RIAA. [thanks to Jeff Harris' blog Behind the Grooves]

* this cursory description does not do the history of the album's design justice at all. A joint effort between Paul McCartney and thanks to his interest and connections in the art world, his knowledgeable sense of the contemporary artwork (affected by Paul's friendship with Robert Fraser) that led him to ask father of Pop Art Richard Hamilton to design the album which he duly does. They had already turned down three designs. Paul comes up with a case containing a multitude of snaps of the band and Hamilton sets to work. The poster collage is considered by Hamilton aficionados an artwork by the master himself and has hidden and not so hidden references and clues that only diehard fans would get and the cover with it's plain white statement and serial number taking a humorous swipe at limited editions and mass production. Hamilton knowing that it would sell anyway without any imagery on it whatsoever Paul has to persuade the others. The four portrait photos are commissioned by Hamilton from John Kelley portraits taken in 1968. The albums design and art direction are officially credited to Richard Hamilton, Gordon House and Jeremy Banks, with photography by John Kelly.

Paul at Richard's Highgate home and studio working on the collage 

Artsy article on Hamilton White Album design

because . . . . . it's Prince and er, Susannah Hoffs!

On this day in music history: December 27, 1985 - “Manic Monday” by The Bangles is released. Written by Christopher (aka Prince), it is the fourth single release for the rock band from Los Angeles, CA. Not long after releasing their major label debut album “All Over The Place” in mid 1984, The Bangles receive a phone call from R&B and pop megastar Prince. The musician tells them that he loves their album, especially “Hero Takes A Fall”. What he doesn’t say but is obvious is that he is also attracted to their petite, doe eyed lead singer and rhythm guitarist Susanna Hoffs. He tells them that he has two songs for them. Already big fans of the Minnesota born musician, The Bangles say yes to his offer, with Prince sending them a cassette with the two songs. The two songs on the tape are “Jealous Girl” and “Manic Monday”. “Manic Monday” is written by Prince just as he is completing work on the blockbuster soundtrack and film “Purple Rain”. It is originally recorded by Apollonia 6 for their album released in late 1984. However, Prince has a change of heart about Apollonia 6’s version and pulls it from the album. The Bangles decide that “Manic Monday” is perfect for them and tell Prince that is the song that they are going to record. The Bangles cut it at Sunset Sound Studios in Hollywood, CA in mid 1985 with producer David Kahne. Coincidentally, it is the same studio favored by Prince, when he’s not working in his home base of Minneapolis. Prior to embarking on a tour, he attends a Bangles rehearsal and hears their arrangement of his song for the first time. At first apologizing to Prince that their keyboardist who also plays on the song is not present at the rehearsal, the band launch into the song. He then cryptically says, “You don’t need the keyboards. It’s gonna go”, and then walks out. When “Manic Monday” is included on The Bangles album, it is credited to the pseudonym “Christopher”, after Prince’s character Christopher Tracy in his second film “Under The Cherry Moon”. “Monday” is released two weeks ahead of The Bangles second album “Different Light”, it quickly takes off. Entering the Hot 100 at #86 on January 25, 1986, it peaks at #2 twelve weeks later on April 19, 1986. Trimmed down to 3:03 for the LP and 7" single releases, “Monday” is recorded with an additional instrumental break and reprise of the bridge that is cut from those releases. However, the complete version of the song running 4:38 (also known as the “Extended California Version”) is released by CBS Records as a promotional 12" single in the US, and as a commercially issued 12" in the UK and the rest of Europe. Ironically, The Bangles’ single is held off from the top spot on the chart by Prince & The Revolution’s “Kiss”. Also a huge hit internationally, the success of “Manic Monday” helps take the band to pop stardom and helps propel their album to 3x Platinum status in the US. “Manic Monday” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Friday, December 28, 2018


Usually post this on St Stephen's Day (Boxing Day) but never mind, this is a favourite winter song and I post it every year . . . . . 

May I take this opportunity to wish you all well for the coming year ahead and may you discover all that you need and just a little of what you want!

Mike Heron solo album with invited guests

Pete Townshend * John Cale * Richard Thompson * Deve Pegg * Dave Mattacks * Jimmy Page * Elton John * Keith Moon * Ronnie Lane * Dudu Pukwana * Pat Donaldson * Gerry Conway * Steve Winwood and Dr Strangely Strange (now THAT'S  a line up!!!)

Turn it up!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

And yes I think I have mentioned before that we bought the first two Led Zeppelin albums when they came out and I considered them almost superhuman in writing and playing; the riffs the bass and the drumming and above all the extraordinary singing. The soaring dipping whispering screaming vocals. You have never heard their like before . . . . or since
These two first albums I considered, and still do consider, almost note perfect . . . . . . vocally they were the music of strange gods of some far off Nordic or Viking land . . . . . . . they were strange erotic and mystical . . . . . . . I was 16
Check out the riff on Heartbreaker here, you have heard it before, in your dreams, somewhere elemental, it is a universal, a truth we have merely all connected with, it stands the test of time. It is without equal anywhere in music. Turn it up! Window shaking volume and tell me I am wrong

On this day in music history: December 27, 1969 - “Led Zeppelin II” by Led Zeppelin hits #1 on the Billboard Top 200 for 7 weeks (non-consecutive). Produced by Jimmy Page, it is recorded at Olympic Studios, Morgan Studios in London, A&R Studios, Juggy Sound, Groove Studios, Mayfair Studios in New York City, Ardent Studios in Memphis, TN, The Hut in Vancouver, BC, Canada, Sunset Sound, A&M Studios, Quantum Studios, Mirror Sound and Mystic Studios in Hollywood, CA from January - August 1969. Following the success of their self-titled debut, Atlantic request that Led Zeppelin quickly record a follow up for release by the end of the year. With their schedule fully booked during this period, the album is largely written and recorded while the band are on the road on their first and second tours of the US and UK. Final recording and mixing takes place at Olympic Studios in London. No singles are issued in the UK, though “Whole Lotta Love” is released in the US (and several other countries) and becomes their highest charting single (#4 Pop). Atlantic Records runs into a problem with the original US pressing of the LP, when many fans return the album to stores complaining that their copies skip when played. The original mastering of the album cut by engineer Bob Ludwig at Sterling Sound in New York captures the albums’ wide sonic dynamics, which unfortunately prove to be too much for many cheaper turntables of the time. The label quickly remasters the LP, this time using engineer George Marino. The newer copies have a significant amount of high end and bass rolled off which caused tracking problems on the first issue copies. The original “loud cut” by Ludwig becomes a heavily sought after collector’s item by fans in later years. “Led Zeppelin II” goes on to be one of the most influential rock albums of all time, and is certified 12x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, earning a Diamond Certification.

thanks to Jeff Harris' blog Behind the Grooves


John Wesley Harding

On this day in music history: December 27, 1967 - “John Wesley Harding”, the eighth studio album by Bob Dylan is released. Produced by Bob Johnston, it is recorded at Columbia Recording Studios in Nashville, TN from October 17 - November 29, 1967. The sparsely arranged songs come out a of prolific writing period while Dylan is recovering from a serious motorcycle accident more than a year before, with other life changing events occurring, such as the birth his second child and losses of his father and musical mentor, legendary folk musician Woody Guthrie. During the same period, Dylan also records a number of tracks with The Band (at Big Pink in upstate NY), though not included on the new album later surface on the album “The Basement Tapes” in 1975. The album includes several classics including his original version of “All Along The Watchtower” (covered by Jimi Hendrix the following year). Dylan asks Columbia to release the album with minimal promotion or fanfare (not even releasing a single from it) following widespread media speculation about his whereabouts during the year he virtually disappears from the public spotlight. It is also the final Dylan album to be issued with separate mono and stereo mixes, with the mono version being discontinued shortly after its release. The album is remastered and reissued in 2003 as as a hybrid SACD, that is eventually discontinued and issued as a standard redbook CD. Audiophile label Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab also reissues the title as a hybrid SACD in and double vinyl set mastered at 45 RPM (stereo versions in 2015 and the mono versions in 2017). “John Wesley Harding” spends four weeks at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

Bought when it came out by my older brother Steve this album haunts me in a very special way as I am sure it does to many, if not all, Dylan fans. The cover fascinated me and who were these people on the cover?! Who WAS John Wesley Harding? I pored over this album and still know all the lyrics by rote . . . . . . . a strange and beautiful work of genius 
Again in an occasional series of songs that became pop classics, I was ten so didn't buy this but the drums made me think, well I could do THAT! and you know what I could! Didn't but could . . . . . . and I'm feeling . . . . . . . 

On this day in music history: December 27, 1963 - “Glad All Over” by The Dave Clark Five is released in the US (UK release date is on November 15, 1963). Written by Dave Clark and Mike Smith, it is the first major hit single for the pop/rock band from Tottenham, North London, UK. Going through numerous line up since forming as The Dave Clark Quintet in 1957, by 1961 the bands’ line up is set with Dave Clark (drums), Mike Smith (lead vocals, keyboards), Rick Huxley (bass), Lenny Davidson (lead guitar) and Denis Payton (saxophones, harmonica, guitar). The band change their name to The Dave Clark Five in 1962, becoming a popular attraction at clubs and the ballroom circuit in and around London. They release two non charting singles on the Picadilly label before attracting the attention of EMI Records who sign them to the Columbia Records subsidiary. The DC5’s first chart single is a cover of The Contours’ “Do You Love Me” (#30 UK). Not content with recording covers of the R&B and rock & roll standards they’ve been playing as part of their live act, or recording songs by outside songwriters, Clark and Smith decide they should write original songs for their band. The first song the pair write is the uptempo “Glad All Over”, which also sets the pattern for the DC5’s sound with a foundation of heavy drums, topped by Mike Smith’s power lead vocals and the rest of the band singing call and response vocals and in unison. The track is recorded at Landsowne Studios in London in September of 1963, with recording engineer Adrian Kerridge who also plays a vital role in the trademark sound of The Dave Clark Five’s records. “Glad All Over” is recorded live in the studio on a four-track tape machine, adding any additional overdubs while the track is being mixed to mono. Released in the UK first in mid November of 1963, the song is an immediate sensation, rocketing to the top of the UK singles chart, garnering much attention for having unseated The Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand” from the number one spot. The DC5’s recordings are licensed to Epic Records in the US, who follow in promoting the band as the closest rivals to The Beatles. Entering the Hot 100 at #77 on February 15, 1964 and peaking at #6 on on April 25, 1964, it becomes the first of eighteen Top 40 singles The Dave Clark Five have in the US over the next three and half years.

thanks to Jeff Harris' blog Behind the Grooves


As Santa brought me 'What We did Instead of Our Holidays' from the redoubtable 'Route' and signed by the author Clinton Heylin I thought I would post this . . . . .  

Facebook - Route books

What We Did Instead of Our Holidays

Wednesday, December 26, 2018


On this day in music history: December 26, 1967 - “Magical Mystery Tour”, starring The Beatles airs on BBC1 in the UK. An hour long film directed by the band shows them on charabanc bus trip with numerous friends and other odd characters around the English countryside. The original idea for the film comes from Paul McCartney after a recent trip to the US. He creates an outline for his ideas on a sheet of paper, drawing a circle, and sketching out what should happen during a particular segment. When filming begins in September of 1967, it is largely unscripted, with the group simply driving around, and letting the cameras roll and hoping to capture any spontaneous moments. The band spent two weeks filming, and then eleven weeks in the editing room paring the ten hours of footage shot into the finished film. Though it is shot in color, the initial broadcast by the BBC is in black & white, greatly diminishing the film’s visual impact. When it is aired to a large UK viewing audience on Boxing Day, it is so poorly received by fans and critics, that plans for it to be aired on US TV by NBC are immediately withdrawn. However, the LP and double EP set containing music from the film is highly successful. Over the years, the film takes on cult status among Beatles fans. “Magical Mystery Tour” is fully restored and released on DVD and Blu-ray disc in 2012, nearly forty five years after its original broadcast.
please don't be long, please don't you be very long  . . . . . . . . 

I though this film a work of genius when it was broadcast twice over one Christmas (who DOES that!?) and that may tell you more about my then state of mind but I still adored this song and album and film . . . . . . . . 
Bought when it came out but by my older brother not me but boy did we play this single to DEATH!
Superb classic pop from one of those magic unique moments in time . . . . . . 

On this day in music history: December 26, 1966 - “Gimme Some Lovin’” by The Spencer Davis Group is released in the US (UK release date is on October 28, 1966). Written by Steve Winwood, it is the first major hit single for the blue eyed soul/rock band from Birmingham, UK. Formed in 1963 and led by guitarist Spencer Davis, the band is actually fronted by musical prodigy Steve Winwood who is only fourteen years old when he joins. The band also includes Steve’s older brother Mervyn “Muff” Winwood on bass. The Spencer Davis Group are signed to Philips Records subsidiary Fontana Records in 1965, making their big breakthrough with “Keep On Running”, becoming their first UK #1 and their first US chart entry (#76 Pop) in early 1966. Idolizing many American R&B musicians, in particular Ray Charles, the then still teen aged Steve Winwood possesses an effortlessly soulful voice that echoes his musical hero, and exhibits a maturity well beyond his tender age. Winwood also displays a natural virtuosity on several instruments, especially on the Hammond B-3 organ and guitar. Looking to break the band in the US, co-producer Chris Blackwell asks them to write something they think will appeal to American audiences. Among the first songs Winwood writes is the uptempo R&B flavored rave up “Gimme Some Lovin’”. Released in the UK at the end of October 1966, it is another smash, peaking at #2 on the UK singles chart. In the interim, the US branch of Philips Records who had declined to release The Spencer Davis Groups’ earlier singles stateside, has the Philadelphia based Jordan Bros cover “Gimme Some Lovin’”, and releases it as a single in mid December of 1966. United Artists Records, the US licensee of The Spencer Davis Groups’ records, rush releases the original version. The Spencer Davis version completely steamrolls The Jordan Bros. record, quickly becoming a hit. Entering the Hot 100 at #100 on December 31, 1966, it peaks at #7 on February 25, 1967. The US hit single version of “Gimme Some Lovin’” differs significantly from its UK counterpart, featuring a different lead vocal, as well as additional instrumentation and background vocals not included on the original UK single. An instant party anthem, “Gimme Some Lovin’” becomes The Spencer Davis Groups’ signature song, and is covered numerous times with versions by The Grateful Dead, Sam & Dave, Booker T. & The MG’s, and The Blues Brothers whose version is featured in the 1980 film. The original version has been featured in many films, including “The Big Chill”, “Days Of Thunder”, “The Boat That Rocked”, “Notting Hill” and “Good Morning Vietnam”. The Spencer Davis Groups’ original version of “Gimme Some Lovin’” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999.

On this day in music history: December 26, 1964 - “I Feel Fine” by The Beatles hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it is the bands’ sixth US chart topper in just ten months. Recorded on October 18, 1964 during the sessions for “Beatles For Sale”, John Lennon comes up with the songs’ main riff while the band are also recording “Eight Days A Week” that same day. The distinctive intro on “I Feel Fine” is one of the first notable uses of feedback on a record, which initially is the result of an accident when Lennon leans his Gibson J-160E guitar against his Vox AC-30 amplifier while it is still plugged in. “Fine” is backed with “She’s A Woman” (written mostly by McCartney). The US release of both songs differ from the UK Parlophone single as Capitol Records adds additional reverb to both songs where as the original British 45 features minimal post production processing. Not scheduled to be released in the US until November 23, 1964, somehow radio station KRLA in Los Angeles, CA acquires a copy of “I Feel Fine” on November 6, 1964 and begins airing it immediately. Capitol issues an immediate cease and desist letter to the station, asking them to refrain from further airplay or passing it on to another station before its official release. Five days later on November 11, 1964, KQV in Pittsburgh, PA obtains a copy of the record and passes a tape copy on to its sister station WABC in New York City. After the single is officially released to the public right before Thanksgiving, it ascends the charts rapidly. Entering the Hot 100 at #22 on December 5, 1964, rocketing to the top only three weeks later. The singles B-side “She’s A Woman quickly follows "Fine” into the top 10, peaking at #4 on the same date. The original US versions of both songs differ noticeably from their UK counterpart. Capitol Records’ A&R producer Dave Dexter adds a prodigious amount of reverb and compression to both tracks (on top of what producer George Martin has added to the tapes), in comparison to the “drier” sounding UK mixes. The US versions are also added to the US LP “Beatles ‘65” which is released in early December of 1964. Since both songs are originally mixed into mono only, the stereo LP features them in “Duophonic” re-chaneled fake stereo. “I Feel Fine” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.


Born on this day: December 25, 1954 - Eurythmics lead vocalist Annie Lennox (born in Aberdeen, Scotland). 
Happy 64th Birthday, Annie!!


Wouldn't be Christmas without some Bobby


Track 109. Love Minus Zero No Limit 4:00

Bob Dylan (guitar & vocal), Billy Cross (guitar), Steven Soles (guitar & vocals), David Mansfield (violin & mandolin), Steve Douglas (saxophone), Alan Pasqua (keyboards), Jerry Scheff (bass), Ian Wallace (drums), Bobbye Hall (percussion), Helena Springs, Jo Ann Harris, Carolyn Dennis (background vocals).
LB-2801; The Rundown Rehearsal Tapes (White Bear / 009-010-011-012)

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

An Alternative Christmas!

from George!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

You know how on television Tom Jones has a running joke about who he met . . . . Elvis etc . . . 
well dig this . . . . . . . . . Tom and CSNY! on his own American TV show

I may have posted this before and said I think it was the first single I ever bought (I was nine years old) and this music brought me alive. I had grown up thus far with a house ringing with classical music from Rossini, Mozart, Beethoven, Mahler and others in house with a piano and an electronic organ but this was for me, MY generation making music for themselves. I had heard many ballads and pop songs of the time on the radio but this shook me awake and was music I identified with . . . . . . something was happening . . . . . .

On this day in music history: December 22, 1962 - “Telstar” by The Tornados hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks. Written and produced by Joe Meek, it is the debut single and biggest hit for the London based instrumental quintet. The song (named after the AT&T communications satellite) is recorded by Meek in his home studio located in a small flat above a shop in North London. Released in the US by London Records, the single quickly breaks into the charts following its overseas success. Entering the Hot 100 at #85 on November 3, 1962, it climbs to the top of the chart seven weeks later. It is the first single by a British band to hit number one in the US, proceeding The Beatles US breakthrough with “I Want To Hold Your Hand” by nearly fourteen months. “Telstar” is also the subject of a lawsuit from French composer Jean Ledrut who claims that Meek plagiarized the tune from his composition “La Marche d’Austerlitz”. The suit is not settled until three weeks after Meek’s death in 1967. In spite of having produced numerous hits for other artists including Lonnie Donegan and The Honeycombs, by the late 60’s Meek is deeply in debt and suffering from depression. The producer kills his landlady and himself on February 3, 1967. Meek is only thirty years old at the time of his death. “Telstar” is covered by numerous artists over the years, including versions by The Ventures, The Shadows, OMD and The Ashley Hutchings Big Beat Combo. The Tornados’ original version is later featured on an episode the hit 60’s period drama “Mad Men” in 2008.

Saturday, December 22, 2018


On this depressing day in music history: December 21, 1970 - Elvis Presley meets with President Richard Nixon at the White House. Writing to Nixon in advance, Presley makes the visit in order to offer his services in fighting the war on drugs. A collector of law badges, Elvis asks the President for a Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs badge. As a gift, the singer presents the President with a chrome plated Colt 45 which has to be removed by security. Quite how Elvis was able to smuggle a fire arm into the white House is anyone's guess! . Presley receives his BNDD badge the next day. It is a collector's item and not 'official' or evidence that he joined any such bureau despite the will and desire of Presley. White House staff consider it a joke.



Have yourselves a Very Merry T-Rexmas!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Pop . . . . . . . well two words, 

Susanna Hoffs

She is still working at 57 and has done loads of work with the likes of Matthew Sweet and formed a covers band, Ming Tea,  with Mike Myers under the pseudonym Gillian Shagwell (of course). It's like watching Joanne Whalley on LSD turned rock star! 
On this day music history: December 20, 1986 - “Walk Like An Egyptian” by The Bangles hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 4 weeks. Written by Liam Sternberg, it is the first chart topping single for the power pop/rock band from Los Angeles, CA. Songwriter Liam Sternberg (“21 Jumpstreet Theme”) is inspired to write the song after watching people trying walk while off balance on a ferry boat. Their movements remind him of movements of ancient Egyptians sculpted and painted on the walls of burial tombs. “Walk Like An Egyptian” is originally written for singer and choreographer Toni Basil who passes on recording it. While working on The Bangles’ second album in 1985, producer David Kahne finds the song through Sternberg’s publisher, presenting it to the band who record it for their second album “Different Light”. However, it creates tension in the band when drummer Debbi Peterson is regulated to a secondary role on the track, singing only background vocals and having her drum parts played by a drum machine. In spite of this the track is completed and included on the album. Released as the third single from “Different Light” in September of 1986, it becomes The Bangles biggest hit to date. The song is accompanied by a music video featuring the band performing live, inter cut with footage of various people on the street doing the signature “walk like an egyptian” dance and hand gestures. Entering the Hot 100 at #82 on September 27, 1986, it climbs to the top of the chart twelve weeks later. Following the 9/11 Attacks in September 2001, corporate broadcasting behemoth Clear Channel Media places “Walk” on its list of songs deemed “inappropriate” for broadcast radio play, due to the fact that some of the terrorist perpetrators were Egyptian nationals. The restriction on radio play for the song has since been lifted, and the record is a popular recurrent today. “Walk Like An Egyptian” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Me, I prefer 'Manic Monday' but hey this is fun!