Music History Today podcast

Music History Today for November 9

This is Music History Today for November 9. On this date:

* In 1967, Rolling Stone magazine came out with its first issue.
* In 1845, the New York Symphony Orchestra performed for the first time.
* In 1854, classical composer Franz Liszt premiered the composition Fest-Long.
* In 1961, Brian Epstein watched the Beatles perform for the first time at the Cavern Club.
* In 1966, John Lennon met Yoko Ono for the first time at an art exposition.
* In 2002 hit #8 on Billboard’s singles chart. It was her 35th top 10 single, breaking the Beatles’s record for most career top 10 singles.
* In 2006, David Bowie gave what turned out to be his final performance, when he performed with Alicia Keys at a charity event.
* In 1993, the Wu-Tang Clan released their debut album.
 
Born on this date:
* singer / actress Dorothy Dandridge
* Tom Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival
* Mary Travers of Peter, Paul, & Mary
* Sisqo of Dru Hill
* Nick Lachey of 98 Degrees
* rapper Scarface of the Geto Boys
* rapper Pepa of Salt N Pepa
* Joe Bauchard of Blue Oyster Cult
* Roger McGough of the Scaffold
* Alan Gratzer of REO Speedwagon
* rapper Joe C, Kid Rock’s sidekick
* singer Benny Mardones
* Phil May of the Pretty Things
* Lee Graziano of the American Breed
* Dennis Provisor of the Grass Roots 
* Dennis Stratton of Iron Maiden
* Tommy Caldwell of the Marshall Tucker Band

 

 

Music History Today the Album Review Show 10

This is Music History Today the Album Review Show 10. On this week’s show, we review new releases from Maroon 5, Sam Smith, Plumb, & Kygo. Plus, our indie artist of the week is Helena Hauff.
 
 
First, a little housekeeping. When I do my reviews, I like to keep them short & to the point; that much you know if you’ve listened to this podcast before. However, I also do my reviews from my basic standpoint which is this: would I actually spend my money to own the album? I know that streaming music is the thing these days but to me, owning the music is the true nature of what makes a good album because if you’re will to put money down to get something that you can honestly get for free, then it must be good. Now, on to the reviews.
 
This first album review is Red Pill Blues by Maroon 5. This 15 song album is about as smart a pop album as you can get. It’s got catchy songs, great production value, & great lyrics. There’s just something missing & I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it’s the fact that there isn’t one song on it where three years from now, I’ll look back on it fondly & say remember when. It’s what I like to call a cotton candy album, where it fills you up with sweetness but leaves you feeling sort of empty afterwards. I could be wrong. There have been more than a few Maroon 5 songs that I still love over the years like She Will Be Loved & This Love. Maybe down the road, I’ll love Cold, Wait, What Lovers Do, or Whiskey. In any event, the album’s good going down.
 
 
 
 
 
This next review is the Thrill of It All by Sam Smith. After some down time dealing with some personal emotional wreckage, he’s back. You can tell he poured it all out on this album. The 14 songs tear at your heart & make you feel something. His voice drives the point home with perfect emotion. His mix of old school r&b along with ballads leave an imprint on you like no album has done in quite some time. Do not listen to this album if you are in a bad mood but DO listen to it. It’s damn good.
 
 
 
 
 
Singer Plumb started out in the Christian pop realm but has since moved over to EDM & alt rock. Her new one is a 5 song EP called God Help Me. This new album is more Christian pop with songs like God Help Me & I’m Not Alone. The songs breath you in & out. The production’s great on it. The album strays from recent Christian releases in that it’s kind of preachy. Not my cup of tea but if you like that sort of thing, then this album might not be too bad for you.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Norwegian producer Kygo is back with a new EDM album called Kids in Love. This 8 song album isn’t so much EDM as it is pop songs with electronic music; which is the trend this day. There really isn’t much music to dance to here. Still, taken strictly as a pop album, it’s ok. The songs are crafted well. His choice of vocalists to sing them is a big problem with it. I’m not sure if that was done purposely or not. Overall, you can probably skip this album. 
 
 
 
 
The indie artist this week is German DJ & record producer Helena Hauff. Her 4 song EP is called Have You Been There, Have You seen It. This album is different from other EDM in that it’s made with analog equipment & is pretty stripped down. That’s what makes it so fresh & yet, so retro. I would definitely check it out.
 
Let’s do a quick recap. Out of 5 albums this week, the only ones I would actually buy are from Sam Smith & Helena Hauff. As far as Maroon 5, Plumb, & Kygo, meh. Not great, not bad, & not worth my money but I would probably stream Maroon 5’s album.
 

 

Music History Today for November 8

 

This is Music History Today for November 8. On this date:

* In 1887, Emile Berliner got the first patent for the gramophone.
* In 1971, Led Zeppelin released the classic album Led Zeppelin IV.
* In 1968, Diana Ross left the Supremes.
* In 2002, Eminem’s movie 8 Mile was released.
* In 1928, the Gershwin Brothers’s musical Treasure Girl premiered.
* In 1990, Chris Isaak’s song with the steamy video Wicked Game was released.
* In 1932, Oscar Hammerstein & Jerome Kern’s musical Music in the Air premiered on Broadway.
 
Born on this date:
*  Rickie Lee Jones
* Bonnie Raitt
* Minnie Riperton
* Patti Page
* Roy Wood of Electric Light Orchestra
* Don Murray of the Turtles
* Bonnie Bramlett of Delaney & Bonnie
* Johnny Perez of the Sir Douglas Quintet
* Lauren Alaina of American Idol fame.
* country singer Bucky Covington
* reggae singer Diana King
* 70s teen idol Leif Garrett

 

Music History Today the Weekly Edition 38

 

This is Music History Today the Weekly Edition 38. On this week’s show, we discuss Justin Timberlake performing at the Super Bowl halftime show, we review the new album by Maroon 5, & we try to figure out if the Zombies belong in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

 
 
 
 
 
First, the news. Truth is, there really wasn’t any on the music side this week. All of the entertainment news seems to have come from the movie & tv sides with the sexual harassment & assault charges flying around. Shockingly, that wave has barely touched the music industry. So far, the only casualty has been Twiggy Ramirez getting fired from Marilyn Manson’s band over rape allegations. I think it’s only a matter of time before the floodgates open on the music side. 
 
 
 
 
This past week, it was announced that Justin Timberlake has been chosen to perform at next year’s Super Bowl halftime show. It was met with some pretty swift reaction from women and minorities.

For those of you who are too young to remember what happened the last time Timberlake performed at a Super Bowl, here’s a brief history lesson. Back on February 1, 2004, Janet Jackson and Timberlake were two of the most popular performers on the planet. Janet had hit after hit, while Timberlake had been enjoying success with his first solo album after being in the insanely popular group  ‘N Sync.

They were in the middle of performing his song Rock Your Body. When they sang the line “and I’ll have you naked by the end of this song”, Timberlake went behind Jackson, reached around her, grabbed her costume by the breast, and ripped it, exposing her nipple for about 2 seconds.

The reaction was pretty swift and negative; at least for one person. Initially,  Timberlake gave the excuse that the costume wasn’t supposed to rip and that there had been a wardrobe malfunction. Now kids, you know where that overdone phrase came from. It’s pretty obvious when you look at the footage, though, that the costume was supposed to tear so that excuse was blown out of the water.

There was swift condemnation, not of Timberlake, but of Jackson. At the Grammy awards ceremony, which was only a couple of weeks later, Timberlake was invited to attend but Jackson was barred. Timberlake won an award that night, went on stage to accept it, read a public relations apology, and for him, the incident was over. His career took off, with acting, producing, and awards thrown his way.

Meanwhile,  Jackson’s career spiraled out of control into freefall. Her next few albums crashed and burned. Any time she was mentioned in the press, somewhere in the coverage, the phrase wardrobe malfunction worked its way into coverage. That still happens to this day. I will say that I think a lot of the backlash against Janet had a lot to do with her brother Michael, who the press were having a field day with and transferred their hatred of him onto her.

For Timberlake’s part, he has sort of apologized a few times. In one interview, he said he was probably 10% responsible for what happened. Well, since it was his hand on her clothing, my thought is that the 10% number is a little low.

For many women and minorities,  this incident reminds them of white male privilege in society. The woman gets vilified, while the man goes on with his career. At this particular time, especially in light of the sexual harassment & rape allegations flowing through society right now, this is unneeded attention for the NFL.

Here’s my personal feelings on it. I’ve had a problem with Justin ever since the incident; not because of the incident but because not once did he publicly defend Janet against the vilification. A real man would have stood up and told people to lay off of her. Instead, he decided to let her twist in the wind in order to save his career at that time. Now, if he wants to man up and make amends, what he should do is to publicly apologize to her and then, invite Janet on stage to sing a song or two. At this point, with his career firmly established, it’s the very least he can do.

 
 
 
 
 
 
This week, we’re going to do something a little different. For only the second time in this podcast’s history, I’m going to see if I can make the case for putting an act into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The twist is that unlike the last time, when Ted Nugent said he deserved to be in (spoiler alert: he doesn’t), this next act has actually been nominated this year.
 
The Zombies were a popular group that rode the British Invasion wave in the late 1960s. They combined jazz music with psychedelic music to make some memorable songs, including Time of the Season & Tell Her No. Their 1968 album Odessey & Oracle is on Rolling Stone’s Greatest Albums of All Time List. Quick trivia: the album’s spelled Odessey because someone misspelled Odyssey & it was too late to change it when the album went to print.
 
The main thrust of their career was between 1965 – 1968; at which point, they broke up. I’m sure they have artists who were influenced by them, although I’m hard pressed to find any who have said that they were. The thing is that they’re now on the list of nominees for the third time so that means that some people find them Hall worthy.  
 
Now, if you want to get your feet wet, then check out The Zombies: the Collection. If you want to deep dive, it’s not hard. Just get Odessey & Oracle & Begin Here. I started going into this with the intent of making the case for putting the Zombies into the Hall. Now, I’m kind of on the fence. It’s not that I don’t like them; I do. There have been plenty of times this past week where I’ve caught myself humming Time of the Season. I’m just not sure if they’re worthy of being in the Hall, that’s all.
 
 
 
 
 
This week’s album review is Red Pill Blues by Maroon 5. This 15 song album is about as smart a pop album as you can get. It’s got catchy songs, great production value, & great lyrics. There’s just something missing & I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it’s the fact that there isn’t one song on it where three years from now, I’ll look back on it fondly & say remember when. It’s what I like to call a cotton candy album, where it fills you up with sweetness but leaves you feeling sort of empty afterwards. I could be wrong. There have been more than a few Maroon 5 songs that I still love over the years like She Will Be Loved & This Love. Maybe down the road, I’ll love Cold, Wait, What Lovers Do, or Whiskey. In any event, the album’s good going down.
 
 
 
 
 
On the Billboard charts, Rockstar by Post Malone & 21 Savage is still number one on the singles chart, while One Direction’s Niall Horan debuts at number one on the album chart.
 
New releases this week come from Taylor Swift, Billy Ray Cyrus, Evanescence, Quicksand, Smokey Robinson, & Teen Daze.

 

Music History Today for November 7

 

This is Music History Today for November 7. On this date:

* In 1997, the soundtrack to the movie Titanic was released. It went on to be the most overplayed soundtrack before that title was taken by the Frozen soundtrack. Kidding…sort of. I know: let it go.

* In 1786, the Stoughton Musical Society was founded. It was the oldest musical organization in America.

* In 1912, the Deutsche Opernhaus opened in Berlin. Their first production was of Beethoven’s Fidelio.

* In 1970, MGM Records dumped 18 artists from their label for “exploiting & promoting hard drugs”. 

* In 1995, Alice in Chains’s debut album was released. Actually, it was released on vinyl 2 days earlier but vinyl was already dying by then so they released it on CD.

* In 2016, the great Leonard Cohen passed away.

* In 1979, the movie loosely based on Janis Joplin’s life, the Rose, premiered.

* In 1972, Bette Midler released her debut album the Divine Miss M.

 

 

Born on this date:

* Joni Mitchell

* Lorde

* singer Johnny Rivers

* opera great Joan Sutherland

* singer Dee Clark

* trumpet player Al Hirt

* producer Jellybean Benitez

 

Music History Today for November 5

This is Music History Today for November 5. On this date:

* In 1956, Nat King Cole debuted his tv variety show, becoming the first black person to host one.
* In  2005, Link Wray passed away.
* In 2003, Bobby Hatfield of the Righteous Brothers passed away from a cocaine-induced heart attack.
* In 1974, the Eagles released the single Best of My Love.
* In 1942, one of the giants of Broadway, George M. Cohan passed away.
 
Born on this date:
* Kevin Jonas of the Jonas Brothers 
* Ryan Adams
* Art Garfunkel
* Ike Turner
* country legend Roy Rogers
* Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead
* Heather & Jennifer Kinley of the Kinleys
* Bryan Adams
* Gram Parsons
* Brian Wheat of Tesla
* David Moyse of Air Supply
* Mike Score of a Flock of Seagulls
* Don McDougall of the Guess Who
* Peter Hammill of Van Der Graaf Generator
* Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits
* Loleatta Holloway
* Pablo Gomez of Los Bravos

 

Music History Today for November 4

This is Music History Today for November 4. On this date:

* In 1996, the Spice Girls released their debut album.
* In 1994, Sonic Smith of MC5 & the Sonics passed away.
* In 1988, U2’s music documentary Rattle & Hum premiered.
* In 1984, Prince started his Purple Rain tour.
* In 1847, classical composer Felix Mendelssohn passed away.
Born on this date:
* Sean Combs
* Shawn Rivera of Az Yet
* Jeff Soto of Journey
* James Honeyman-Scott of the Pretenders
* Chris Difford of Squeeze
* Van Stephenson of Blackhawk
* Mike Smith of Amen Corner
* Scherrie Payne of the Supremes
* Delbert McClinton
* Harry Elston of Friends of Distinction
* Jeff Watson of Night Ranger
* Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater
* jazz musician Najee
* Wayne Static of Static-X
* Kool Rock of the Fat Boys

 

Music History Today for November 3

This is Music History Today for November 3. On this date:

* In 1752, classical composer George Frideric Handel had an eye operation done to save what was left of his eyesight. It failed miserably & he ended up completely blind.
* In 1927, the musical Connecticut Yankee from Rodgers & Hart premiered on Broadway.
* In 1960, the musical Unsinkable Molly Brown premiered on Broadway.
* In 1992, Whitney Houston’s version of Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You was released.
* In 1990, Vanilla Ice topped the Billboard singles chart with Ice Ice Baby. It was the first time a rapper had done so. 
* In 1972, James Taylor & Carly Simon got married.
* In 1962, the Crystals were credited with hitting number one on the singles chart with He’s a Rebel, even though the song was actually sung by the Blossoms.
 
Born on this date:
* Adam Ant
* singer Lulu
* Nick Simper of Deep Purple
* folk artist Bert Jansch
* Brian Poole of the Tremeloes
* film composer John Barry
* Motown artist Mable John
* classical composer Vincenzo Bellini
* singer Marilyn
* Helios Creed of Chrome
* James Prime of Deacon Blue
* Mick Thomson of Slipknot

 

Music History Today for November 2

This is Music History Today for November 2. On this date:

* In 1983, Michael Jackson released the title track for the album Thriller.
* In 1972, Carly Simon released You’re so Vain.
* In 1956, a riot broke out at a Fats Domino concert in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
 
Born on this date:
* Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake, & Palmer
* K.D. Lang
* Nelly
* Prodigy of Mobb Deep
* Bruce Welch of the Shadows
* Carter Beauford of the Dave Matthews Band
* singer Maxine Nightingale
* Dave Pegg of Jethro Tull
* J. D. Souther
* Chip Hawkes of the Tremoloes
* Jay Black of Jay & the Americans
* Speedoo Carroll of the Cadillacs
* country musician Charlie Walker
* John Hampson of Nine Days
* Reginald Arvizu of Korn

 

Music History Today the Album Review Show number 9

This is Music History Today the Album Review Show number 9. On this week’s show, we review the new albums from Weezer, Kelly Clarkson, Phutureprimitive, Bootsy Collins, & our indie band this week is Buffalo Killers.
 
Before we begin, last week on the album review podcast, I gave a bad review to the new Galantis album the Aviary. When the podcast went live, I posted it on Instagram (@CJBTProductions, for those of you who don’t follow me). Anyway, I’m flipping through my likes & wouldn’t you know it? Whoever controls Galantis’s Instagram social liked my post. Apparently, they didn’t listen to the podcast. Otherwise, they probably would’ve banned my page so if you guys are listening Galantis, I love you but your new album? Not great. I expect better because I know you’re capable of it. You still put on one hell of a dj set, though, so keep doing your thing. Just put out better music next time. On with the show.
 
This week, the fun band with the fun videos & great music Weezer is back with a new one called Pacific Daydream. I will say up front that I’ve never been a huge Weezer band. Out of all of their albums, I’ve liked maybe 7 songs. It’s not that I hate them; I don’t. I’ve just never really gotten into them. Will their new album turn me into a true believer?
 
In a word, yes. The songs are produced well. They’re pop rock catchy & well thought out. Favorites on it are Beach Boys (with its beach vibe), Mexican Fender, Feels Like Summer, & especially Happy Hour. Overall, it’s a great album. It may not get me to get their other albums but I’d definitely pick up this one.
 
 
 
 
 
The next album is from Kelly Clarkson called Meaning of Life. Kelly’s gone through some maturing & definitely is not the young girl who won the first American Idol. She seems happy with herself at the moment, with a child, a good marriage, & hopefully a record label that lets her put out her vision instead of what they want her to put out. 
 
She has 14 songs on this one. Style-wise, it’s all over the map. On a lot of them, you could trade her for Christina or Mariah pretty easily, which means that the style is not her own. That’s ok because Kelly has the voice & the talent to pull it off well. Medicine sounds very Mariah-esque while Love So Soft sounds like Demi Lovato rolled through. Other songs that a pretty good are Heat, Meaning of Life, & Move You. Overall, it’s not a bad album. I’m not sure I would put it in my collection but it’s worth streaming.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The next review is the EP from dubstep producer Phutureprimitive. The 5 song EP isn’t deep dubstep but rather, dubstep pop, for lack of a better phrase. In other words, it’s dubstep you’ll like & your parents won’t understand or like but at least they’ll let you listen to it in the car without the “back in my day” speech. 
 
Every song on it is good. The only one with vocals is Lifeline, which will probably be the big release off of it. The rest of the songs have great production on it. Overall, I love it. It’s a buy, especially at $4.95 on Amazon.
 
 
 
 
 
In the history of funk music, there are two pioneers who everybody, including hip-hop stole from. One is James Brown. The other is George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. The bass funk master from Parliament is Bootsy Collins. He’s back with his own album called World Wide Funk.
 
Oh my God, what a great album this is. It’s 15 songs of pure 70s & 80s funk. Bootsy’s got an all star old school backup crew working on this one, including Chuck D, Musiq Soulchild, Doug E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, & jazz great Stanley Clarke, for starters. Every song on here is funky. The groove only slows down for a few songs like A Salute to Bernie, which is a tribute to the late Parliament keyboardist Bernie Worrell. Bernie’s actually playing keyboards on this song, although I’m not sure if he recorded this part for this song specifically before he tragically passed away from cancer in 2016 or if they just took a part of a song he had worked on & reworked it. In any event, if you like funk music, then this is your album of the year.
 
 
Let’s recap. Weezer may not have made me go out to get their earlier albums but they made me get this new one, Kelly Clarkson sounds like all of the other talented songstresses but that’s not such a bad thing, Phutureprimitive is pop dubstep but it’s good dubstep, Bootsy made the funk album of the year, & Buffalo Killers is good, old rock & roll & worth a listen.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

This week’s indie artist of the week is Buffalo Killers. The Ohio based band has 8 albums to their credit. Their new album is called Alive & Well in Ohio. This 12 song album is good time rock & roll. Their style is along the lines of 1990s Black Crowes, who they’ve toured with a couple of times. 

 
The production is raw & sometimes distorted, definitely not tight but it fits with the type of music that’s being played. Favorites include Applehead Creek, Need a Changin’, & On Out. It’s a good record to buy & a great group to get into, especially if you want to get ahead of the public & get into a really good band before everyone else makes them a trend like Stranger Things & Rick & Morty.