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“Linda Ronstadt – Blue Bayou”

“Linda Ronstadt – Blue Bayou”

Linda Maria Ronstadt (born July 15, 1946 in Tucson, Arizona) is an American popular music singer. She has earned 11 Grammy Awards, three American Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy Award, an ALMA Award, and numerous United States and internationally certified gold, platinum and multiplatinum albums. She has also earned nominations for a Tony Award and a Golden Globe award.

Ronstadt has collaborated with artists from a diverse spectrum of genres including Bette Midler, Billy Eckstine,[5] Frank Zappa, Rosemary Clooney, Flaco Jiménez, Philip Glass, Warren Zevon, Emmylou Harris, Gram Parsons, Dolly Parton, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, and Nelson Riddle. She has lent her voice to over 120 albums and has sold more than 100 million records, making her one of the world’s best-selling artists of all time.[6][7] Christopher Loudon of Jazz Times noted in 2004, Ronstadt is “Blessed with arguably the most sterling set of pipes of her generation … rarest of rarities – a chameleon who can blend into any background yet remain boldly distinctive … It’s an exceptional gift; one shared by few others.”[8]

In total, she has released over 30 studio albums and 15 compilation or greatest hits albums. Ronstadt charted 38 Billboard Hot 100 singles, with 21 reaching the top 40, 10 in the top 10, three at #2, and “You’re No Good” at #1. This success did not translate to the UK, with only her single “Blue Bayou” reaching the UK Top 40.[9] Her duet with Aaron Neville, “Don’t Know Much”, peaked at #2 in December 1989.[10] In addition, she has charted 36 albums, 10 top-10 albums and three #1 albums on the Billboard Pop Album Chart.

In a 2011 interview with the Arizona Daily Star she said, “I am 100 percent retired and I’m not doing anything any more”. It was announced publicly in August 2013 that Ronstadt had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in December 2012, which left her unable to sing.[11]

Her autobiography, Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir,[12] was released in September 2013. It debuted in the Top 10 on The New York Times Best Sellers List.

Linda Ronstadt was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2014.[13] On July 28, 2014, she was awarded one of the twelve 2013 National Medals of Arts and Humanities.

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Posted by on MonAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-08-13T10:36:35+00:00America/Los_Angeles08bAmerica/Los_AngelesMon, 13 Aug 2018 10:36:35 +0000 31, in 1970s, classic music, female vocalist, music

 

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“Tower of Power – You’re Still A Young Man”

“Tower of Power – You’re Still A Young Man”

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Rick Stevens, Lead Singer – You’re Still A Young Man

In the summer of 1968, tenor saxophonist/vocalist Emilio Castillo met Stephen “Doc” Kupka, who played baritone sax. Castillo had played in several bands, but Castillo’s father told his son to “hire that guy” after a home audition. Together, they became the backbone of Tower of Power. Within months the group, then known as The Motowns, began playing various gigs around Oakland and Berkeley, their soul sound relating to both minority and rebellious listeners.

Castillo really wanted to play Bill Graham’s Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, but he realized he would never get in with a name like The Motowns. So, on a break from recording in a little studio in Hayward, Castillo was sitting on the studio owner’s desk, and right in front of him was a long list of weird band names. He looked through it and saw Tower Of Power and thought “Yeah, that describes us.” The band agreed so the name stuck.

By 1970, the now renamed Tower of Power (including trumpet/arranger Greg Adams, first trumpet Mic Gillette, first saxophone Skip Mesquite, Francis “Rocco” Prestia on bass, Willie Fulton on guitar, and drummer David Garibaldi) signed a recording contract with Bill Graham’s San Francisco Records and released their first album, East Bay Grease. Rufus Miller performed most of the lead vocals on this debut album. The group was first introduced to the San Francisco Bay area by radio station KSAN, which played a variety of artists such as Cold Blood, Eric Mercury and Marvin Gaye’s album “What’s Goin On” in its entirety before the bay area’s soul and R&B stations became aware. Dusty Street of the Flying Eye Radio Network’s Fly Low show and Sirius XM radio was a DJ there in the late 1960s/early 1970s. The single “Sparkling in the Sand” received airplay on famed Bay Area soul station KDIA.

Augmented by percussionist/conga/bongo player Brent Byars, Tower of Power was released from their San Francisco label contract and moved to Warner Brothers Records. With Rick Stevens now singing lead, 1972’s Bump City gave the band their first national exposure. This album included the hit single “You’re Still a Young Man”, which peaked at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Stevens’ pinnacle vocal performance before leaving the band. Emilio Castillo, who, along with Stephen Kupka, co-wrote “You’re Still a Young Man,” told Songfacts that the song was based on a true story concerning a former girlfriend who was six years older. Though not a big hit single “Down to the Nightclub” received heavy airplay on West Coast FM stations and several AM stations. Both songs still get substantial airplay on oldies radio and remain fan favorites.

Tower of Power, released in the spring of 1973, was the third album for the band. It featured Lenny Williams on lead vocals and Lenny Pickett on lead tenor saxophone. Bruce Conte replaced guitarist Willy Fulton and keyboardist Chester Thompson also joined the band during the recording of the album. This was the group’s most successful album. It peaked at #15 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart and was RIAA certified as a gold record (for sales in excess of 500,000 copies). The album also spawned their most-successful single “So Very Hard To Go”. Although the single peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100, it landed in the Top 10 on the surveys of many West Coast Top 40 radio stations, hitting #1 on many of them. The album also charted two other singles on the Billboard Hot 100, “This Time It’s Real” and “What Is Hip?” The latter is possibly their most enduring song.

1974’s Back to Oakland spawned another hit, “Don’t Change Horses (in the Middle of a Stream)”, that reached #26 on the Billboard Hot 100, and “Time Will Tell”, which charted at #69.[4]

On some of their releases in the mid-1970s, such as Urban Renewal (1974), the band moved more toward funk than soul; however, they continued recording ballads as well. Williams left the band in late 1974, and was replaced as vocalist by Hubert Tubbs. Though the band remained popular, their days of chart radio airplay declined. During the late 1970s they briefly tried recording disco-sounding material. Leader Emilio Castillo said in an interview that the band’s brief foray into quasi-disco was at the request of Columbia Records, who had the band under contract at the time.

Tower of Power still tours extensively today, although there have been many changes in personnel over the years. At least 60 musicians have toured or recorded with the band over their 40-plus-year existence. These include current Saturday Night Live musical director/saxophonist Lenny Pickett, drummer David Garibaldi, bassist Francis “Rocco” Prestia, organ master Chester Thompson, saxophonists Richard Elliot and Euge Groove, and guitarist Bruce Conte. Conte’s cousin, BALCO founder Victor Conte, also played bass guitar in the band from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. Former lead vocalist Rick Stevens (real name Donald Stevenson) was sentenced to life in prison on three counts of first-degree murder for crimes committed after leaving the band. Stevens was paroled on July 20, 2012 after 36 years in prison.

Bruce Conte rejoined the band in 2006, replacing veteran guitarist Jeff Tamelier. He departed after slightly more than a year, citing personal recording projects and health issues. Following Conte as guitarist was Charles Spikes (while auditions for a permanent player were held), then Mark Harper. The band’s current guitarist is Jerry Cortez.

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Rick Stevens, Lead Singer – You’re Still A Young Man

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Original Tower Of Power band and singing group

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Posted by on MonAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-08-13T10:30:00+00:00America/Los_Angeles08bAmerica/Los_AngelesMon, 13 Aug 2018 10:30:00 +0000 31, in classic music, soul oldies

 

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Leonard Cohen – Dance Me To The End of Love

Dance Me to the End of Love” is a 1984 song by Leonard Cohen. It was first performed by Cohen on his 1984 album Various Positions. It has been recorded by various artists and in 2009 was described as “trembling on the brink of becoming a standard.”

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Posted by on FriAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-08-10T14:20:08+00:00America/Los_Angeles08bAmerica/Los_AngelesFri, 10 Aug 2018 14:20:08 +0000 31, in classic music, smooth jazz

 

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“Copacabana (At the Copa)” 

“Copacabana (At the Copa)” 

The song was inspired by a conversation between Manilow and Sussman at the Copacabana Hotel in Rio de Janeiro, when they discussed whether there had ever been a song called “Copacabana”. After returning to the US, Manilow — who, in the 1960s, had been a regular visitor to the Copacabana nightclub in New York City — suggested that Sussman and Feldman write the lyrics to a story song for him. They did so, and Manilow supplied the music.

 
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Posted by on FriAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-08-10T13:57:25+00:00America/Los_Angeles08bAmerica/Los_AngelesFri, 10 Aug 2018 13:57:25 +0000 31, in classic music, Italiano (I Tell Ya I Know), music

 

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“The Rascals – It’s A Beautiful Morning”

“The Rascals – It’s A Beautiful Morning”

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“A Beautiful Morning” is a song written by Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati and recorded by The Rascals. Coming out in early 1968, it was the group’s first single released under that name rather than The Young Rascals. The first album on which the song appeared was Time Peace: The Rascals’ Greatest Hits. It continued the theme of carefree optimism that had distinguished the previous year’s “Groovin'”. The song was a big hit in the United States, reaching number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and also reaching number 36 on the Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles chart.[1] It was RIAA-certified as a Million Seller on June 28, 1968. The song had an introductory sound of mystical wind chimes and bells.

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Posted by on MonAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-08-06T08:30:52+00:00America/Los_Angeles08bAmerica/Los_AngelesMon, 06 Aug 2018 08:30:52 +0000 31, in American music artists, classic music, male vocal group, pop music, r&b, r&b history

 

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 “Tequila” by the Champs

Tequila” is a 1958 Latin-flavored rock and roll instrumental recorded by the Champs. It is based on a Cuban mambo beat. The word “Tequila” is spoken three times throughout the tune. “Tequila” became a #1 hit on both the pop and R&B charts at the time of its release and continues to be strongly referenced in pop culture to this day.[1]

History

In 1957, Gene Autry’s record label, Challenge Records, signed Dave Burgess (born 1934), a rockabilly singer-songwriter from California who often recorded under the name “Dave Dupree”. At the end of 1957, having produced no hits, Challenge Records looked to Burgess, who organized a recording session on December 23 in Hollywood. In the studio that day were Burgess on rhythm guitar, Cliff Hills on bass guitar, the Flores Trio (Danny Flores on saxophone and keyboards, Gene Alden on drums, and lead guitarist Buddy Bruce), and Huelyn Duvall contributing backing vocals.[2] They gathered primarily to record “Train to Nowhere”, a song by Burgess, as well as “Night Beat” and “All Night Rock”.

The last tune recorded was “Tequila”, essentially just a jam by the Flores Trio. There were three takes, and Danny Flores, who wrote the song, was also the man who actually spoke the word “Tequila!”. Flores also played the trademark “dirty sax” solo.[3] The song served as the B-side for “Train to Nowhere”, which was released by Challenge Records on January 15, 1958. Duvall recalls that the record initially found little success, but, after a DJ in Cleveland played the B-side, “Tequila” skyrocketed up the charts, reaching #1 on the Billboard chart on March 28, 1958.

Daniel Flores had written “Tequila”, but, because he was signed to another label, the tune was credited to “Chuck Rio”, a name he adopted for the stage. Those present for the December 23 session began recording together again on January 20, 1958, under the name the Champs; the group technically formed after recording “Tequila”. The tune has been noted[by whom?] to have a similar rhythm structure to Bo Diddley’s 1958 release “Dearest Darling”.

Challenge Records was founded in Los Angeles in 1957 by cowboy singer Gene Autry and former Columbia Records A&R representative Joe Johnson. Autry’s involvement with the label was short lived as he sold his interest to the remaining partners in October 1958. The label’s first success came with instrumental group the Champs, who had their biggest hit in 1958 with “Tequila”. They also had a series of hits with pop singer Jerry Wallace (“Primrose Lane”) and country singer Wynn Stewart (“Wishful Thinking”). Other recording artists with the label included Jan and Dean, Gary Usher, the Knickerbockers, and singer-songwriter Jerry Fuller. The first Challenge label was blue with silver print, followed after the first half dozen releases by a short-lived light blue label with red print, then a maroon colored label with silver print. Finally around late 1959, the company issued their singles on a green label with silver print.
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Posted by on SatAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-08-04T21:32:20+00:00America/Los_Angeles08bAmerica/Los_AngelesSat, 04 Aug 2018 21:32:20 +0000 31, in Billboard, classic music, latin music, music

 

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“Laura Nyro “Wedding Bell Blues”

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Laura Nyro /ˈnɪəroʊ/ near-oh (October 18, 1947 – April 8, 1997) was an American songwriter, singer, and pianist. She achieved critical acclaim with her own recordings, particularly the albums Eli and the Thirteenth Confession (1968) and New York Tendaberry (1969), and had commercial success with artists such as Barbra Streisand and The 5th Dimension recording her songs. Her style was a hybrid of Brill Building-style New York pop, jazz, gospel, rhythm and blues, show tunes, rock, and soul.

Between 1968 and 1970, a number of artists had hits with her songs: The 5th Dimension with “Blowing Away”, “Wedding Bell Blues”, “Stoned Soul Picnic”, “Sweet Blindness”, “Save the Country”, and “Black Patch”; Blood, Sweat & Tears and Peter, Paul & Mary with “And When I Die”; Three Dog Night and Maynard Ferguson with “Eli’s Comin'”; and Barbra Streisand with “Stoney End”, “Time and Love”, and “Hands off the Man (Flim Flam Man)”. Nyro’s best-selling single was her recording of Carole King and Gerry Goffin’s “Up on the Roof”.

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Posted by on FriAmerica/Los_Angeles2018-08-03T10:46:18+00:00America/Los_Angeles08bAmerica/Los_AngelesFri, 03 Aug 2018 10:46:18 +0000 31, in American music artists, classic music, female vocalist, songwriter

 

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