RSS

Category Archives: classic music

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

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

wp-1473994672182.jpeg

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.

wp-1473994788618.jpeg

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

null

Original Tower Of Power band and singing group

en.m.Wikipedia.org

 

Tags: ,

Grease – Beauty School Dropout

Grease – Beauty School Dropout

“Beauty School Dropout” is a song from the musical Grease[1]

In the musical, the song is the showcase piece of the Teen Angel, who makes his only appearance in the musical to sing the song. The Teen Angel is Frenchy’s guardian angel, and script notes specifically identify him as a Fabian look-alike, dressed in all-white. The Teen Angel appears to Frenchy, who has recently dropped out of beauty school out of frustration with her teachers, asks for a guardian angel in the mold of those seen in Debbie Reynolds movies. The Angel descends from the heavens, then pointedly sings to her that she lacks work ethic and suggests that she return to high school so that she might eventually qualify for a career as a stenographer later in life. Frenchy silently refuses and walks away, leading the Angel to close his number by lamenting her refusal to listen and ascending back to the heavens. (The film version does not have Frenchy refusing the advice, and the lyrics are likewise adjusted.)

Alan Paul, later a member of The Manhattan Transfer, originated the role on Broadway. It is not uncommon for the role of the Teen Angel to be held as a dual role by one of the other characters in the cast during stage adaptations (in Paul’s case, he also appeared as bandleader Johnny Casino). It was recorded by Frankie Avalon (who, like Fabian, was a client of Bob Marcucci‘s during his heyday) for the 1978 film adaptation of Grease, a role he reprised on stage through the 1990s and early 2000s. The Wild Angelsrecorded an earlier version for Decca Recordsin 1972.[2][3]

In the Noddy episode “The Tooth Fairy”, a parody of the song entitled “Tooth Fairy” is performed by Johnny Crawfish, Whiny, Whimper and the Ruby Reds, with the lyrics altered to be about Johnny’s first childhood encounter with the Tooth Fairy.

In 2012 the song was featured in an episode of the TV musical series Glee and in the related extended play soundtrack in a version sung by Darren Criss.

In 2017, Sandy and Richard Riccardi performed a spoof of the song called “Tiki Torch Nazis“, in reference to the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Wikipedia.org

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 20, 2018 in 1970s, classic music

 

Tags:

“Louie Louie – The Kingsmen (HQ)”

“Louie Louie – The Kingsmen (HQ)”

In 1962, while playing a gig at the Pypo Club in Seaside, Oregon, then managed by Al Dardis, the band noticed Rockin’ Robin Roberts’s version of

“Louie Louie”

being played on the jukebox for hours on end. The entire club would get up and dance.Ely convinced the Kingsmen to learn the song, which they played at dances to a great crowd response. Unknown to him, he changed the beat because he misheard it on a jukebox. Ken Chase, host of radio station KISN, formed his own club to capitalize on these dance crazes. Dubbed the “Chase”, the Kingsmen became the club’s house band and Ken Chase became the band’s manager. On April 5, 1963, Chase booked the band an hour-long session at the local Northwestern Inc. studio for the following day. The band had just played a 90-minute

“Louie Louie”

marathon.

Despite the band’s annoyance at having so little time to prepare, on April 6 at 10 am the Kingsmen walked into the three-microphone recording studio. In order to sound like a live performance, Ely was forced to lean back and sing to a microphone suspended from the ceiling. “It was more yelling than singing,” Ely said, “’cause I was trying to be heard over all the instruments.” In addition, he was wearing braces at the time of the performance, further compounding his infamously slurred words. Ely sang the beginning of the third verse several bars too early, but realized his mistake and waited for the rest of the band to catch up. In what was thought to be a warm-up, the song was recorded in its first and only take. The Kingsmen were not proud of the version, but their manager liked the rawness of their cover. The B-side was “Haunted Castle”, composed by Ely and Don Gallucci, the new keyboardist. However, Lynn Easton was credited on both the Jerden and Wand releases. The entire session cost $50, and the band split the cost.

“Louie Louie” was kept from the top spot on the charts in late 1963 and early 1964 by the Singing Nun and Bobby Vinton, who monopolized the No.1 slot for four weeks apiece. The Kingsmen single reached No. 1 on the Cashbox chart and No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Additionally in the UK it reached No. 26 on the Record Retailer chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.

The band attracted nationwide attention when “Louie Louie” was banned by the governor of Indiana, Matthew E. Welsh, also attracting the attention of the FBI because of alleged indecent lyrics in their version of the song. The lyrics were, in fact, innocent, but Ely’s baffling enunciation permitted teenage fans and concerned parents alike to imagine the most scandalous obscenities. All of this attention only made the song more popular. In April 1966 “Louie Louie” was reissued and once again hit the music charts, reaching No. 65 on the Cashbox chart and No. 97 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

en.m.wikipedia.org

 

Tags: ,

“DAVID BOWIE – FAME”

“DAVID BOWIE – FAME”

David Bowie born David Robert Jones, 8 January 1947) is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, painter, and actor. Bowie has been an influential figure in popular music for over four decades, and is renowned as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s. He is known for his distinctive baritone voice as well as the eclecticism and intellectual ambition of his work. His androgynous appearance was an iconic element of his image, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s.

Bowie first came to the attention of the public in July 1969 when his song “Space Oddity” reached the top five of the UK Singles Chart. After a three-year period of experimentation he re-emerged in 1972 during the glam rock era with the flamboyant, androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust, spearheaded by the hit single “Starman” and the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Bowie’s impact at that time, as described by biographer David Buckley, “challenged the core belief of the rock music of its day” and “created perhaps the biggest cult in popular culture.”[4] The relatively short-lived Ziggy persona proved merely one facet of a career marked by continual reinvention, musical innovation and striking visual presentation.

In 1975, Bowie achieved his first major American crossover success with the number-one single “Fame” and the hit album Young Americans, which the singer characterised as “plastic soul”. The sound constituted a radical shift in style that initially alienated many of his UK devotees. He then confounded the expectations of both his record label and his American audiences by recording the minimalist album Low (1977)β€”the first of three collaborations with Brian Eno over the next two years. Low, “Heroes”, and Lodger, the so-called “Berlin Trilogy” albums, all reached the UK top five and received lasting critical praise. After uneven commercial success in the late 1970s, Bowie had UK number ones with the 1980 single “Ashes to Ashes”, its parent album Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), and “Under Pressure”, a 1981 collaboration with Queen. He then reached a new commercial peak in 1983 with Let’s Dance, which yielded several hit singles. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Bowie continued to experiment with musical styles, including blue-eyed soul, industrial, adult contemporary, and jungle. He has not toured since the 2003–04 Reality Tour and has not performed live since 2006. Bowie’s latest studio album The Next Day was released in March 2013.

en.m.Wikipedia.org

 
8 Comments

Posted by on April 18, 2018 in classic music, entertainment, music, r&b

 

Tags: ,

“Elton John – Bennie and the Jets (with lyrics)”

image

Sir Elton Hercules John CBE (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, 25 March 1947) is an English singer, songwriter, composer, pianist, record producer, and occasional actor. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriter partner since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date.

In his five-decade career Elton John has sold more than 300 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. He has more than fifty Top 40 hits, including seven consecutive No. 1 US albums, 58 Billboard Top 40 singles, 27 Top 10, four No. 2 and nine No. 1. For 31 consecutive years (1970–2000) he had at least one song in the Billboard Hot 100. His single “Something About the Way You Look Tonight”/”Candle in the Wind 1997” sold over 33 million copies worldwide and is “the best-selling single of all time”. He has received six Grammy Awards, five Brit Awards β€“ winning two awards for Outstanding Contribution to Music and the first Brits Icon in 2013 for his “lasting impact on British culture”, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Tony Award, a Disney Legend award, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him Number 49 on its list of 100 influential musicians of the rock and roll era. In 2013, Billboard ranked him the most successful male solo artist on “The Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists” (third overall behind The Beatles and Madonna).

Elton John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, is an inductee into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, and is a fellow of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. Having been named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1996, John received a knighthood from Elizabeth II for “services to music and charitable services” in 1998. John has performed at a number of royal events, such as the funeral of Princess Diana at Westminster Abbey in 1997, the Party at the Palace in 2002 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace in 2012.

en.m.wikipedia.org

 
 

Tags: ,

“MADONNA-PAPA DON’T PREACH”

null

“Papa Don’t Preach” is a song by American singer Madonna from her third studio album True Blue (1986). The song was written by Brian Elliot with additional lyrics by Madonna, and produced by Stephen Bray and Madonna. The song also appears remixed on the 1990 compilation album The Immaculate Collection and in its original form on the 2009 compilation album Celebration. The song’s musical style combines pop and classical styling, and its lyrics deal with teenage pregnancy and abortion. It was based on teen gossip Elliot heard outside his studio, which has a large front window that doubles as a mirror where schoolgirls from the North Hollywood High School in Los Angeles regularly stopped to fix their hair and chat.

Released as the album’s second single in mid-1986, the song was a commercial success. It became Madonna’s fourth number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100, and performed well internationally, reaching the top position in the United Kingdom and Australia. It was well received by music critics and was frequently cited as a highlight in the album. The music video, directed by James Foley, shows Madonna’s second image makeover, featuring her with a more toned and muscular body, and cropped platinum blonde hair. It portrayed a storyline where Madonna is trying to tell her father about her pregnancy. The images are juxtaposed with shots of Madonna dancing and singing in a small, darkened studio, and spending a romantic evening with her boyfriend.

Shortly after its release, the song caused heated discussions about its lyrical content. Women’s organizations and others in the family planning field criticized Madonna for encouraging teenage pregnancy, while groups opposed to abortion saw the song as having a positive pro-life message. Madonna has performed “Papa Don’t Preach” in four of her world tours, most recently The MDNA Tour in 2012. The song also caused her first conflict with the Vatican, as she dedicated it to Pope John Paul II, who urged Italian fans to boycott her concerts during the Who’s That Girl World Tour in 1987. In 2002, British singer Kelly Osbourne recorded a hard rock cover of the song which was included as a bonus track on her debut album Shut Up.

en.m.Wikipedia.org

 

Tags: ,

“Elton John – DANIEL (with lyrics)”

image

Daniel” is a major hit song and ballad by Elton John. It appeared on the 1973 album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player. It was written by John and his lyricist Bernie Taupin. In the United Kingdom, the song reached no. 4 in the official chart.[1] In the USA the song reached No. 2 on the pop charts and No. 1 on the adult contemporary charts[2] for two weeks in the spring of 1973. In the United States, it was certified Gold on 13 September 1995 by the RIAA. In Canada, it became his second No. 1 single, following “Crocodile Rock” earlier in the year, holding the position for two weeks in the RPM 100 national singles chart.[3] Writers John and Taupin received the 1973 Ivor Novello award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically.[4]

Donatella Versace named her son Daniel Versace after this song.[5]

en.m.Wikipedia.org

 
6 Comments

Posted by on April 16, 2018 in classic music, entertainment

 

Tags:

 
%d bloggers like this: