This song comes from Prince’s album Hit n Run Phase Two. It was the thirty-ninth and final studio album by him and the last to be released within his lifetime. The song is for the memory of the death of Freddie Gray.
It was originally released on his SoundCloud account in early May 2015; it was then re-released as an official single with additional horn and orchestra overdubs later in the month, which is presented on this album.
The album debuted at No. 23 on the Top R&B Albums chart on its release. It re-entered the chart at No. 13 when he died four months later, and peaked at No. 3 on chart dated May 21, 2016.
During his lifetime he won seven Grammy Awards, seven Brit Awards, six American Music Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, an Academy Award (for Best Original Song Score for the film Purple Rain), and a Golden Globe Award.
He has sold over 150 million records worldwide, ranking him among the best-selling music artists of all time. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006, and the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame in 2016 .
The Byrds were an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964.
This song was never put onto an album or released as a single until they released a compilation album called The Preflyte Sessions in 1969. The album is a collection of demos recorded by the Byrds (then named the Jet Set) at World Pacific Studios in Los Angeles during 1964, before the band had signed to Columbia Records and became famous. All of the recordings on this album pre date their debut single Mr. Tambourine Man.
By 1969, only Roger McGuin, of the original members, was still involved with the band.
Rhythm guitar player Gene Clark had departed in 1968 and began a collaboration with the banjo player Doug Dillard, guitarist Bernie Leadon (later with The Flying Burrito Brothers and The Eagles), bassist Dave Jackson and mandolinist Don Beck joined them to form the nucleus of Dillard & Clark.
David Crosby had been kicked out of the band & had been a member of Crosby, Stills & Nash since 1968.
Drummer Michael Clarke, but was fired from the band in early December 1967 after The Notorious Byrd Brothers album was completed. He was now a member of the Flying Burrito Brothers & will eventually become a founding member of Firefall.
And Chris Hillman was also in The Burrito Brothers. He will eventually join Stephen Stills’ band, Manasas & then go on to form The Souther-Hillman-Furay Band with J.D. Souther & Ritche Furay.
A large part of rock history branch out from this band.
Wow, that is a lot of history. Me - I thought The Byrds were British - HA!
It makes me happy that someone is finally responding to these things. Thanks much.
It is interesting when you think about different areas of the country & what type of music was coming out of those places. Southern California was filled with Country rock acts like The Byrds, Poco, Buffalo Springfield & eventually The Eagles, while just a bit up the coast in Northern California we got The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, & Big Brother with Janis Joplin. Same state...much different musical styles.
The Accidentals are an American band, formed in Traverse City, Michigan in 2012 by Sav Buist (lead vocals, violin, viola, ukulele, acoustic/electric guitar, bass, piano, mandolin and musical saw) and Katie Larson (lead vocals, accordion, acoustic/electric guitar, cello, ukulele, piano, glockenspiel, bass and kazoo).
They met in 2011 at their public high school in Traverse City, Michigan. Larson, then 15, was a freshman cello player, and Buist, then 16, was a sophomore who played violin, and they teamed up for a class orchestra project. They added drummer/percussionist Michael Dause at a later date.
Sometimes you have to wonder if critics go over the top with either denigrating or praising a band. For example, Yahoo! Voices journalist Jonathan Frahm was among the first to note the band as genre-benders, stating that "They're the best folk/jazz/bluegrass/classical/alternative band out there today," and "one of the most ground-breaking musical experiences one might just have in a lifetime.
But, I have to say, these girls are really good. And another brand new discovery for me.
Michigan & Again & Again & Again by The Accidentals
Today we land in Minnesota for a song from one of the state's native sons.
This song was originally recorded at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City in April 1963, and released the following month as the second track on Dylan's second studio album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. He re-recorded the song as a duet with Johnny Cash in February 1969. That recording became the opening track on Nashville Skyline, Dylan's ninth studio album.
The album was recorded in Nashville using a lot of Nashville’s best studio musicians including Charley Daniels who plays both bass & guitar. The album got positive reviews & included 3 singles, but only Lay Lady Lay became a big hit going to #7. I Threw It All Away stalled out at #80 & Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With you made it to #50. The album itself came in at #3 on the Billboard Top 200.
For you movie fans out there, you may recall this version appears in the 2012 film Silver Linings Playbook starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.
Girl From The North Country by Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash
We haven’t had a whole lot of hard rock yet but when you head into Mississippi, you have to make the pilgrimage to pay homage to the Queen, don’t you?
Leslie West put this band together in 1969 & called them "Mountain", after his 1969 solo album. The band played shows on the West Coast before getting to play their third concert as a working band at the 1969 Woodstock Festival in Bethel, New York.
3rd concert, Woodstock! I reckon they began at the top of the Mountain, so to speak.
This song comes from their debut album called Climbing, recorded in early 1970. When the group began to record "Mississippi Queen", bass player & producer Felix Pappalardi insisted on numerous takes. Growing weary, drummer Corky Laing started using the cowbell to count off the song. Pappalardi liked it so much he left it in the mix, creating the song's recognizable intro.
Guitarist Leslie West explained how "Mississippi Queen" came together: "When Corky (Laing, drummer) brought me the idea, it was a one-chord dance song. We got real high, took out a napkin, and I came up with the main riff and the chords. Then we fit the words over the sound." Laing says of the song: "I was madly in love with The Band, and I decided to put a 'Cripple Creek' feel behind it. Later on, I told Levon Helm that I felt bad about ripping him off, but he said that he didn't hear any similarity between the two songs, and that we didn't owe them any money!"
In my best attempt to keep the variety of music alive, we go from the hard rocking Mountain to the beautiful harmonies & acoustic playing of Rhonda Vincent & her band.
Rhonda is an American bluegrass singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from Kirksville Missouri. She is a seven-time Grammy nominee, winning the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2017. In 2020, she was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. She also won the Award from The International Bluegrass Association for Best Female vocalist every year from 1999 to 2004.
This particular song comes from that previously mentioned Grammy Winning album from 2017 called All The Rage (she had previously been nominated 6 times before finally winning on her 7th).
The other members of her band are Hunter Berry - fiddle, mandolin: Brent Burke – dobro: Mickey Harris - bass, backing vocals : Aaron McDaris - banjo, guitar & Josh Williams - guitar, mandolin, backing vocals
Dan Seals had previously been successful as a member of England Dan & John Ford Coley. Marie had, of course, teamed with brother Donny for a few years. And now the two artists team up to travel new roads.
The song was released in July 1985 as the lead-off single from Dans' album Won't Be Blue Anymore, and the second single from Marie's 1985 album There's No Stopping Your Heart.
"Meet Me in Montana" reached No. 1 on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart for one week in October 1985. This was the first #1 single for Dan, and it was the second No. 1 hit for Marie, her first to peak at the top of the chart since 1973's Paper Roses.
The song won the Country Music Association Vocal Duo of the Year award in 1986.
Dan Seals is also the younger brother of Jim Seals of Seals & Crofts. Dan died at the age of 61, on March 25, 2009, at his daughter's home in Nashville, after receiving treatment for mantle cell lymphoma at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville and at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and receiving a stem cell transplant at the National Institutes of Health.
These guys are a rock band that was originally formed in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 1994 but some of them had known each other since high school in the late 80’s.
This song comes from their 4th album called Bowling For Soup Goes To The Movies which they released in 2005. The album contains songs from movies and television, both original & covers. This song happens to be an original written by the singer & guitar player Jaret Reddick.
The song was used for ESPN's College World Series. Jaret admits to writing this in 5 minutes, and says "Everyone at ESPN is crazy!!!"
Seems like I have been pitching a no hitter lately. But, onward we go, into Nevada.
Sheryl Crow is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and actress from Kennett Missouri. She has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide,won 9 Grammy Awards & been nominated for 23 others.
This song comes from her debut album called Tuesday Night Music Club, released in 1993. The album went to #3 & has sold over 4.5 million copies.
Her singles from the album had a bit of a rough time finding an audience. She released Run, Baby, Run which failed to chart. Followed that up with What Can I Do For You which stalled out at #97. Then along came All I Want To Do & things took off for her, that song hit the top 5 on charts all around the world. Leaving Las Vegas was actually the 4th out of what would eventually be 6 different singles released from the album, but it also failed to hit the top 40 by landing at #60. She followed that up with Strong Enough which went to #5 & then closed out the era with Can’t Cry Anymore, #36.
All I Wanna Do won her 2 Grammys, Best Pop Female Vocalist & Record Of The Year & Sheryl would also win the Grammy that year for Best New Artist.
She seemed to stir up a bit of controversy one night:
The song's title was based on the semi-autobiographical 1990 novel of the same name by the late John O'Brien, who was a good friend of one of the song's writers, David Baerwald. However, on a performance on the Late Show with David Letterman, Sheryl stated that the song was "autobiographical". This infuriated Baerwald and the rest of the original Tuesday Night Music Club who helped write most of the album. Though O'Brien's suicide occurred soon after this incident, his family came forward to state there was no connection.
We have moved on to the state of New Hampshire & even though the title of the song doesn’t mention the state, The Old Man of the Mountain, also known as the Great Stone Face or the Profile, was a series of five granite cliff ledges on Cannon Mountain in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, that appeared to be the jagged profile of a face when viewed from the north.
The first recorded mention of the Old Man was in 1805. It collapsed on May 3, 2003.
This song goes back to 1933 & a Fleisher Brothers cartoon starring Cab Calloway & Betty Boop. (The original cartoon is available to watch over on youtube) for anyone interested.
The version presented here comes from the album, How Big Can You Get, The Music Of Cab Calloway released in 2009 it was the 6th album from the group.
The Old Man Of The Mountain by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Fountains Of Wayne were an American rock band that formed in New York City in 1995 when group members Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood first met as freshmen at Williams College. They eventually disbanded in 2013.
Bass player Adam Schlesinger died of complications from COVID-19 on April 1, 2020. He was 52!
This song comes from their 3rd album, Welcome Interstate Managers, released in 2003. The album included a single called Stacy’s Mom which went to #21 & was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals.
In 2009, Katy Perry performed a cover of "Hackensack" on MTV Unplugged.
We move on to New Mexico with some good old rockin & rolling blues. These guys are a band from Ann Arbor Michigan. They got together in 2004 but they released their latest album in 2016. According to their website, they are scheduling live shows for June, so they are still a viable entity.
But there also must have been a bit of discord along the way, as they make this statement:
The Bluescasters have returned! Founding members Doug Wolgat (bass) and Phil Ryski (guitar, harp, keys) have teamed with Pete Bullard (guitar) and Tom Twiss (drums) with a sense of obligation to legacy and strong commitment to their audience.
As long as they make music like this, I reckon they will always find an audience. This song comes from their 2nd album called Give Yourself The Blues, released in 2006.
Of all the places in this country to have music dedicated to them, there is no area that quite compares to New York City. There must be a couple of thousand different songs about all aspects of the place. Many of them are related to specific streets & avenues, like this one for example.
Tito Puente was a Puerto Rican musician, songwriter, record producer and bandleader. He is often credited as "The Musical Pope", "El Rey de los Timbales" (The King of the Timbales) and "The King of Latin Music".
During his career he recorded more than 120 different albums & continued to play as many as 300 gigs a year until he passed away in 2000 at the age of 77.
It’s a bit difficult to determine exactly which album this came from, but all signs point towards a 1972 album called Tito Puente And His Concert Orchestra. It would also be nice to be able to tell exactly who is playing on this song, cause they are tearing it up!
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) are an English electronic band formed in Wirral, Merseyside in 1978.
They have gone through multiple breakups, reformations, spin off groups & more reformations. But all things considered, they seem to have endured & are still soldiering on. As part of the group's 40th-anniversary celebrations, a UK and European tour was announced in March 2019.
This song comes from their 6th studio album called Crush, released in 1985. The album landed at #38 here in the US & got mostly mediocre to less than mediocre reviews.
88 Seconds in Greensboro by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
This is a pair of sisters that are actually from the state they are singing about. That doesn’t seem to be the case very often.
They are Kendra and Krista Slaubaugh; sisters, 2 ½ years apart. But, like many artists that seek a bigger audience, they relocated from North Dakota to Nashville in 2017. The band quickly landed a weekly residence performing at Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row.
By the end of 2019 they had played over 130 shows to close out the year, including opening slots for LeAnn Rimes, Big and Rich, Justin Moore and Chris Janson.
There seems to have been a Canadian, all girl band, with the same name. And then Natalie Merchant released an album called Tigirlily. Everybody, be like, Tigirlily…yeah, let’s go with that!
It is tough to narrow down any info on this song. I’d love to tell you which of their albums this comes from, but even their own website doesn’t make that info available. And they may have had only one album & the song may or may not have been on an album at all.
One thing I can tell you, is that they have the family benefit of being able to harmonize really well.
R.E.M. was of the first alternative rock bands, formed in 1980 in Athens Georgia by a group of guys who were students at the University of Georgia. They went on to sell more than 85 million albums worldwide and became one of the world's best-selling music acts. They have won multiple awards all across the world including 3 Grammys.
This song comes from their 4th studio album called Life’s Rich Pageant, released in 1986. The themes of "Cuyahoga" include the pollution of the Cuyahoga River in Ohio and the treatment of American Indians earlier in American history. It was one of their earliest environmentally conscious songs, along with the album's lead single, "Fall on Me".
The band broke up in 2011 with members devoting time to solo projects.
For anyone that grew up listening to Chubby Checker sing about The Twist, I can guarantee that this will be an eye opener. It’s Chubby like ya never heard him before.
His real name is Ernest Evans & he got his name when he was given the opportunity of a private recording for American Bandstand host Dick Clark. At this recording session he got his stage name from Dick Clark's wife, who asked him what his name was. "Well," he replied, "my friends call me 'Chubby'." As he had just completed a Fats Domino impression, she smiled and said, "As in Checker?" That little play on words ("chubby" describing a degree of fatness and "checkers" being, like "dominoes," a tabletop game) got an instant laugh, and stuck: from then on, he would use the name "Chubby Checker".
Even on his own website, there is no information on this song or the album from which it came. But it appears to have been on an album called The Texas Twist with Texas Radio. You would think that they would make the album available for purchase in his online store, but nope...nada!
I have no idea when he recorded it, or when the album came out, but it is a pretty stunning departure from the Chubby of Twist fame.
Up to this point I haven’t posted many, if any, songs like this, but this is really nice…in my opinion.
It turns out that this is a TV theme song for a show called The Eric Andre Show. He has written songs for many other movie & TV shows as well. Some of his credits include Sponge Bob Square Pants & The new Disney/Pixar movie Soul. Personal info on this guy seems to be almost non - existent.
This particular song comes from his 1995 album called TV Show Trax.
I reckon there are a lot of South Streets all across the country, but since we are stopping off today in Pennsylvania, this particular South Street is in Philadelphia.
These folks were classified, for some reason, as a girl group, which must have been a thorn in the side of the guy that was also a member. They were from Philadelphia. The group formed in the late 1950s in junior high school and consisted of lead singer Rosetta Hightower, Shirley Brickley, Marlena Davis and Stephen Caldwell.
Only Stephen Caldwell is still alive. On October 13, 1977, Shirley Brickley was shot dead by an intruder in her home in Philadelphia. Marlena Davis died of lung cancer on February 27, 1993 (aged 48). Rosetta Hightower Green died in Clapham, London, on August 2, 2014, at the age of 70.
This song was the 3rd hit single for them & it went top 10 on both the Pop & the R&B charts & went on to sell over a million copies. It was also their 3rd & final top 10 hit.
Margrethe Blossom Dearie was an American jazz singer and pianist. Over the years she collaborated with many musicians, including Johnny Mercer, Miles Davis, & many of the jazz greats. Some of her earlier influences were musicians such as Count Basie, Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington.
The song was originally written for Inside U.S.A. which was a musical revue by Arthur Schwartz (music) and Howard Dietz (lyrics). The revue opened on Broadway at the New Century Theater on April 30, 1948, transferred to the Majestic Theater on September 23, 1948, and closed on February 19, 1949 after a total of 399 performances
This version, by Blossom, comes from her 1960 album called Soubrette: Blossom Dearie Sings Broadway Hit Songs. It was her 6th studio album.
On February 7, 2009, after a long illness and failing health, Blossom died in her sleep of natural causes at her apartment in Greenwich Village, New York City,. She was 84.
When he got his start in that city, Nashville was oriented toward pop "urban cowboy" music, and Yoakam's brand of hip honky tonk music was not considered marketable. So, he moved to LA & things began to take a turn for the better. He began by playing many shows in rock and punk rock clubs around Los Angeles, playing with roots rock or punk rock acts like The Blasters, Los Lobos, and X. This helped him diversify his audience beyond the typical country music fans, and his authentic, honky-tonk revivalism brought rock audiences closer to country music.
He has won multiple Grammys, ACM Awards, & a CMA Award & been nominated for many more.
This song comes from his 2003 album called In Other’s Words. It was his 23rd studio album. The album included songs written by Merle Haggard, Bill Monroe, Jimmie Rogers, Jerry Garcia & other members of the Grateful Dead & this particular song linked to here was a Kinky Friedman composition.