Video of the Week: The Beatles, Barbershop Style

Julien Neel (aka Trudbol) is a one-man barbershop quartet. Check out his sublime take on the Beatles’ “If I Fell” and visit his YouTube page for lots more:

Video of the Week: Ray Manzarek and the Origins of ‘Riders on the Storm’

Ray Manzarek tells the story of the origin of the Doors’ classic “Riders on the Storm”. Manzarek passed away in 2013.

Tommy James’ Real-Life Story Makes “Vinyl” Look Tame

(via CultureSonar)

How would you feel if a mobster cheated you out of $30 million, and threatened your life in the process? “Grateful” might not be your top answer, but that’s how 60’s/70’s hitmaker Tommy James really feels. James enjoyed a career most anyone would envy. With his band, The Shondells, Tommy sold over 100 million records worldwide and enjoyed 32 Billboard Hot 100 charting hits, 23 gold singles and 9 platinum albums. His hits include “Crystal Blue Persuasion”; “Mony, Mony”; “I Think We’re Alone Now”; “Hanky Panky”; “Draggin’ The Line”; and “Sweet Cherry Wine.” His songs have been covered by major artists including Prince, Joan Jett, Billy Idol, Bruce Springsteen, Carlos Santana, REM, Kelly Clarkson, Dolly Parton, Boyz ll Men and even the Boston Pops.

But before all of that, there was Morris Levy and Roulette Records…

Read more and hear the podcast here:

Video of the Week: Simon & Garfunkel Perform ‘The Sound of Silence’ Like Only They Can

With the popularity of the recent cover version by Disturbed, it might be worth reminding young people the song is a little older than 2015. Even half a century later, no one can perform the song like Simon & Garfunkel.

Songs in the Key of Amy

(via Purple Clover) by Jess Tardy

The casting call found its way to me by email, a strange, urgent request from a booking agent who’d previously altogether ignored me. A beautiful young woman was planning her memorial service, he wrote. She was just weeks, if not days, from her death, and she wished for the story of her life to be told through a series of her favorite songs, and for those songs to be sung by an Eva Cassidy-ish singer.

I’d recently returned to Boston from a doomed stint in Nashville. A development deal with a major label went south, and I fled north with my hat in my hand. I joined a wedding band upon my return and was promptly fired for refusing to sing a Destiny’s Child cover. I sulked at a copyediting job by day and played a few divey gigs singing sad Dinah Washington songs by night. I was bummed out and broke, the subject of me and my tanked music career a sore one, my future a big, hazy question mark. Even 1,100 miles from Music Row, I felt surrounded by singer-songwriter types bent on making it, frenetically promoting shows and breathlessly extolling their latest recording projects. They made me tired. I didn’t see the point in singing, for fun or profit. I didn’t have the heart for it anymore.

When the agent offered me the memorial service performance, I took it anyway. It was a sad way to make rent, but beggars can’t be choosers. I assumed it would be just another weird, unfulfilling rent gig on my resume, like the time I sang the national anthem at a near-deserted horse track. Nothing I’d ever want to tell anyone about, and certainly not a game changer…

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Songs You May Have Missed #613

Until June: “Baby” (2009)

“When planes fly away, do you feel left behind?”

Just as they do in “Sleepless”, another song we’ve featured here, Until June tug at the heartstrings in the song’s first line.

If you like the sound of this one, check out Dan Ballard’s solo project My Dead Air, also recommended and represented among the links below.

See also:

See also:

See also:

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Aerosmith said no. Lynyrd Skynyrd said yes to the plane. It crashed killing 3 members

(via The Vintage News)

The date of 20th October 1977 is remembered as one of the saddest moments in the music industry for the disaster that fell upon the rock band Lynyrd Skynrd.

A Convair CV-240 was chartered by the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd from L&J Company of Addison, Texas and the jet ran out of fuel and crashed near Gillsburg, Mississippi very close to the end of its flight from Greenville, South Carolina going towards Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The lead singer of the band Ronnie Van Zant, vocalist and guitarist Steve Gaines, backing vocalist Cassier Gaines, and the managing crew including assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, died in the crash.

The pilot of the plane was Walter McCreary, who also perished along with his co-pilot Willian Gray; twenty other passengers, however, survived the crash.

On the day of the crash, a mere three days after the release of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Street Survivors, the band decided to charter a Convair CV-240.

The Convair CV-240 had been inspected by members of Aerosmith’s flight crew for possible use earlier in 1977, but was rejected because it was felt that neither the plane nor the crew were up to standards. Aerosmith’s assistant chief of flight operations Zunk Buker tells of seeing pilots McCreary and Gray passing a bottle of Jack Daniel’s back and forth while his father and he were inspecting the plane. Aerosmith’s touring family was also relieved because the band, specifically Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, had been trying to pressure their management into renting that specific plane –  Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith

However, it did not contain enough fuel for the entire journey and came down in South Carolina. The band was coming back from a performance at Greenville Memorial Auditorium, and members were on their way to LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana…

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Video of the Week: The Night Johnny Carson Bumped all his Guests for Chuck Berrry

Chuck Berry’s 1987 appearance on the Johnny Carson show. The audience response was such that Carson (at 18:15 of this video) announces that his two other guests will appear another time, and Carson devotes the entire show to Berry, who duck walks his way through classic songs.

Video of the Week: Billy Joel Explains the Role of a Good ‘Vowel Movement’ in Lyric Writing

Jon Anderson to play with Yes at Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

Jon Anderson will perform Roundabout onstage with Yes at their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April

(via Prog Magazine)

Jon Anderson will take to the stage and perform with Yes at their induction ceremony into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame next month.

He’ll be honoured along with Steve Howe, Alan White, Rick Wakeman, Trevor Rabin, Tony Kaye and Bill Bruford on April 7 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in New York.

Billboard report that they’ll play Roundabout and are also contemplating I’ve Seen All Good People and Owner Of A Lonely Heart.

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