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“Crystal Blue Persuasion – Tommy James & The Shondells” 

“Crystal Blue Persuasion – Tommy James & The Shondells” 

Crystal Blue Persuasion” is a 1968 song originally recorded by Tommy James and the Shondells and composed by Eddie Gray, Tommy Jamesand Mike Vale.

A gentle-tempoed groove, “Crystal Blue Persuasion” was built around a prominent organ part with an understated arrangement, more akin to The Rascals‘ sound at the time than to James’s contemporary efforts with psychedelic rock. It included melodic passages for an acoustic guitar, as well as a bass pattern, played between the bridge, and the third verse of the song.

In a 1985 interview in Hitch magazine, James said the title of the song came to him while he was reading the BiblicalBook of Revelation:

I took the title from the Book of Revelations [sic] in the Bible, reading about the New Jerusalem. The words jumped out at me, and they’re not together; they’re spread out over three or four verses. But it seemed to go together, it’s my favorite of all my songs and one of our most requested.[1]

With an appropriate lighting scheme, the 2000s edition of Tommy James and the Shondells perform “Crystal Blue Persuasion”

According to James’s manager, James was actually inspired by his readings of the Book of Ezekiel, which (he remembered as) speaking of a blue Shekhinah light that represented the presence of the Almighty God, and of the Book of Isaiah and Book of Revelation, which tell of a future age of brotherhood of mankind, living in peace and harmony.[2]

When released as a single in June 1969, “Crystal Blue Persuasion” became one of the biggest hits for the group, peaking at number two on the Billboard Pop Singleschart for three weeks behind Zager and Evans‘s single “In the Year 2525“.[4] The single version differs from the album version of the song with horn overdubs added to the mix and a longer bongosoverdub before the third verse.

A primitive non-representational music video was made, that showed various scenes of late 1960s political and cultural unrest and imagery of love and peace.

Tito Puente, Joe Bataan, The Heptones, Morcheeba, Concrete Blonde and John Wesley Harding are among those who have covered the song.

 

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“Eric Clapton Layla Original”

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Eric Clapton Layla Original:

Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE (born 30 March 1945), is an English musician, singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time.[1] Clapton ranked second in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”[2] and fourth in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”.[3] He was also named number five in Time magazine’s list of “The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players” in 2009 [4]

In the mid-1960s, Clapton left the Yardbirds to play blues with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. Immediately after leaving Mayall, Clapton joined Cream, a power trio with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce in which Clapton played sustained blues improvisations and “arty, blues-based psychedelic pop”.[5] For most of the 1970s, Clapton’s output bore the influence of the mellow style of JJ Cale and the reggae of Bob Marley. His version of Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff” helped reggae reach a mass market.[6] Two of his most popular recordings were “Layla”, recorded while he was a member of band Derek and the Dominos; and Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads”, recorded by band Cream. Following the death of his son Conor in 1991, Clapton’s grief was expressed in the song “Tears in Heaven”, which featured in his Unplugged album.

Clapton has been the recipient of 18 Grammy Awards, and the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2004, he was awarded a CBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music.[7][8][9] In 1998, Clapton, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, founded the Crossroads Centre on Antigua, a medical facility for recovering substance abusers.[10]

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Posted by on August 11, 2017 in 1970s, classic music, male vocalist, r&b

 

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“Stitches – Shawn Mendes (Whitney Woerz Cover) LIVE”


Whitney Woerz, born October 22, 2000, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She has made numerous appearances on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. In January 2015 she began recording her debut EP, set to release in November. In August 2015, Whitney also recorded an album of covers at the legendary FAME Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. There, she found connections to her musical roots that doubled as inspiration and added a sense of rawness to her music. Glenn Rosenstein (Madonna, U2), mixed and produced Whitney’s recordings for a series titled, “The Fame Sessions:  LIVE from Muscle Shoals.” The videos, available on YouTube and other social media outlets, earned over 1.2 million views in less than four weeks.
Through continued collaboration with Grammy Award-winning producer, Glenn Rosenstein, Whitney will release her first EP, Behind the Smile, in November 2015. Behind the Smile highlights Whitney’s search for direction as she faces the challenges of being both an artist and a teenager. The album also incorporates subtle imagery of a vintage Polaroid. Like her music, the camera reflects happy faces that carry stories hidden behind a veneer.  Such themes exemplify Whitney’s strength as a songwriter while simultaneously reflecting an awareness of relevant teen issues.

Whitney has also helped raise awareness by participating in anti-bullying programs. Her advocacy against bullying coupled with her experience helping friends with depression has helped create a foundation for her musical wisdom. Together with the music label Black Vine, Whitney has officially committed to sharing a portion of her music profits with the organization LETS Bring Change 2 Mind, chaired by Glenn Close. Bringchange2mind.org is “a non-profit organization working together to end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness.”

Whitney continues to develop a sincere and affirmative message. The journey to FAME studios led her to find her own musical roots and embrace self expression while her life experiences provide insight to advocate awareness of serious social issues. This unique combination has helped Whitney gain recognition with fans. Her impressive artistry spread quickly across social media, resonating with a wide and varied audience. The November 2015 release of Behind the Smile stands to illuminate Whitney’s talent and personality as she connects with fans, affecting them with a message of hope and inspiration.

http://www.whitneywoerz.com/

 
 

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“Polk Salad Annie” by Tony Joe White.

“Polk Salad Annie”  by Tony Joe White.

“Polk Salad Annie” is a 1968 song written and performed by Tony Joe White.[1] It was recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Its lyrics describe the lifestyle of a poor rural Southern girl and her family. Traditionally, the term to describe the type of food highlighted in the song is polk or poke sallet, a cooked greens dish made from pokeweed.[2] Its 1969 single release peaked at Number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. In Canada, the song made #10 on the RPM Magazine Hot Singles chart.
Song
The song vividly recreates the Southern roots of White’s childhood and his music reflects this earthy rural background. As a child he listened not only to local bluesmen and country singers but also to the Cajun music of Louisiana, that rare hybrid of traditional musical styles introduced by French settlers at the turn of the century.

His roots lie in the swamplands of Oak Grove, Louisiana, where he was born in 1943. Situated just west of the Mississippi River, it’s a land of cottonfields, where pokeweed, or “polk” grows wild, and alligators lurk in moss-covered swamps. “I spent the first 18 years of my life down there,” said White. “My folks raised cotton and corn. There were lotsa times when there weren’t too much to eat, and I ain’t ashamed to admit that we’ve often whipped up a mess of polk sallet. Tastes alright too.. a bit like spinach.”[3]

Sallet is an old English word that means “cooked greens,”[4] not to be mistaken for “salad”; in fact, a great many cases of pokeweed poisoning result from this linguistic mistake.[citation needed] While it may be that record companies labeled the song “salad,” the dish in question was a “sallet” made of pokeweed.[citation needed]

Tony Joe White (born July 23, 1943, Oak Grove, Louisiana, United States) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known for his 1969 hit “Polk Salad Annie” and for “Rainy Night in Georgia”, which he wrote but was first made popular by Brook Benton in 1970. He also wrote “Steamy Windows” and “Undercover Agent for the Blues”, both hits for Tina Turner in 1989; those two songs came by way of Turner’s producer at the time, Mark Knopfler, who is a friend of White. “Polk Salad Annie” was also recorded by Elvis Presley and Tom Jones.

Biography
Tony Joe White was the youngest of seven children who grew up on a cotton farm near Oak Grove, Louisiana. He first began performing music at school dances, and after graduating from high school he performed in night clubs in Texas and Louisiana.[1]

1960s–1970s
In 1967, White signed with Monument Records, which operated from a recording studio in the Nashville suburb of Hendersonville, Tennessee, and produced a variety of sounds, including rock and roll, country and western, and rhythm and blues. Billy Swan was his producer.

Over the next three years, White released four singles with no commercial success in the U.S., although “Soul Francisco” was a hit in France. “Polk Salad Annie” had been released for nine months and written off as a failure by his record label, when it finally entered the U.S. charts in July 1969. It climbed to the Top Ten by early August, and eventually reached No. 8, becoming White’s biggest hit.

White’s first album, 1969’s Black and White,[2] was recorded with Muscle Shoals/Nashville musicians David Briggs, Norbert Putnam, and Jerry Carrigan, and featured “Willie and Laura Mae Jones” and “Polk Salad Annie”, along with covers of Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Lineman”. “Willie and Laura Mae Jones” was covered by Dusty Springfield on her album Dusty in Memphis also recorded in 1969.

Three more singles quickly followed, all minor hits, and White toured with Steppenwolf, Sly & the Family Stone, Creedence Clearwater Revival and other major rock acts of the 1970s, playing in France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden and England.

In 1973, White appeared in the film Catch My Soul, a rock-opera adaption of Shakespeare’s Othello. White played and sang four and composed seven songs for the musical.

In late September 1973, White was recruited by record producer Huey Meaux to sit in on the legendary Memphis sessions that became Jerry Lee Lewis’s landmark Southern Roots album.[citation needed] By all accounts,[citation needed] these sessions were a three-day, around-the-clock party, which not only reunited the original MGs (Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn and Al Jackson, Jr. of Booker T. and the MGs fame) for the first time in three years, but also featured Carl Perkins, Mark Lindsay (of Paul Revere & the Raiders), and Wayne Jackson plus The Memphis Horns.

en.m.Wikipedia.org

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2017 in 1970s, country music, male vocalist

 

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“GRAYSON HUGH – WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT”

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Grayson Hugh

is an American singer-songwriter, pianist, Hammond B3 organ player and composer. (Hartford, Connecticut, October 30, 1950)

He is best known for his 1989 hit “Talk It Over,”, and his other blue-eyed soul hits “Bring It All Back” and “How Bout Us”.

In 1980, Hugh released a self-titled album (One in Nineteen Records, 1980). This album was produced by Ron Scalise, winner of 14 Emmy Awards for audio work with ESPN.

In 1987, Hugh was signed to RCA Records. He broke into the Billboard Hot 100 in 1989 with three singles from his album Blind to Reason (RCA Records, 1988). In 1989 “Talk It Over,” a song written by Sandy Linzer and Irwin Levine that Hugh arranged, reached the Top 20. After Hugh had arranged and recorded this song, Olivia Newton-John was given rights of first release, then recorded it herself and released it as a single under the name “Can’t We Talk It Over In Bed”. Hugh subsequently released his version which became a hit. His two other singles “Bring It All Back” and “How ‘Bout Us” (a remake of the 1981 Champaign hit recorded with Betty Wright) were also radio hits. Blind to Reason eventually went gold in Australia.

1990s
Hugh’s second major label album Road to Freedom (MCA Records, 1992) was voted “one of the year’s top-ten albums” by Billboard Magazine and received rave reviews. Leonard Pitts, Jr. of the Miami Herald said: “Have I heard any newcomer in the last decade who excites me as much as this guy? No.”[1]

Director Ridley Scott heard an advance pressing of Road to Freedom and wanted to put Hugh’s music in his film Thelma & Louise (1991).[2] They eventually settled on two: “I Can’t Untie You From Me” and “Don’t Look Back” (both of these songs having some additional music contributed by songwriter Holly Knight). Grayson’s gospel-tinged arrangement of Bob Dylan’s I’ll Remember You” was the featured end-title song for the film Fried Green Tomatoes (1991).[3]

In 1993, the A&R man who signed Grayson to MCA Records (Paul Atkinson) was fired, and Hugh was dropped from the label, along with the other acts Atkinson had signed. After a few years living and writing songs in rural North Carolina he wound up teaching songwriting at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

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Watch “What It’s All About” from “An American Record”

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2017 in Billboard, male vocalist

 

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“The Whispers-As I Sit Here”

“The Whispers-As I Sit Here”

Miss Back In The Day USA

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The Whispers are an American group from Los Angeles, California, with a consistent track record of hit records dating back to the late 1960s. The Whispers were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003, and were winners of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s prestigious Pioneer Award in 2008. By popular vote, the group was inducted into The SoulMusic Hall Of Fame at SoulMusic.com in December 2012.

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“Chicago- Make Me Smile”

“Chicago- Make Me Smile”


“Make Me Smile” is a song written by James Pankow for the rock band Chicago with the band’s guitarist, Terry Kath, on lead vocals. Part 1 of Pankow’s 7-part Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon song cycle/suite, it was recorded for their second album, Chicago (often called Chicago II), which was released in 1970.
Background

A radio-friendly edit of “Make Me Smile” (incorporating the end of “Now More Than Ever,” the final track from the Ballet) was released as a single in March 1970, becoming the band’s first Top 10 record, peaking at number nine on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.[1] When

Chicago

released their compilation album The Very Best of: Only the Beginning in 2002, they featured a new edit of the song, with the

“Make Me Smile”

and “Now More Than Ever” parts segued together again, but without the numerous cuts—the full intro and the guitar solo of the former part, and the full outro of the latter part, were thus included.

Since the death of Terry Kath in 1978, the vocals for live performances of “Make Me Smile” were handled by Bill Champlin, who joined the band for the recording of Chicago 16, until he departed the group in August 2009. On shows that Champlin did not attend, Robert Lamm sang the lead vocal. Champlin’s replacement Lou Pardini has now taken over the singing of “Make Me Smile”.

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