Month: March 2016

Way back up in the woods among the evergreens

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

March 31

Chuck-Berry1958: Chuck Berry releases Johnny B Goode. None of us will ever be the same. It is his fifth Top 10 single, peaking at #8.

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I guess there’s nothing left for me to explain

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

March 30

Clapton1945: Eric Clapton is born in Ripley, Surrey, England. Rock and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, he is the only three-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is in there as a solo artist, as a member of the Yardbirds and as a member of Cream. Peace to you, Slowhand.

I seek to cure what’s deep inside

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

March 29

Bobby-Kimball1947: Born this day in Orange, Texas: Robert (Bobby) Troy Kimball, original and longtime frontman for Toto. Raised in nearby Vinton, Louisiana, Kimball performs with various New Orleans-areas bands until 1974, when he moves to Los Angeles. He is invited to join a group of session musicians to form Toto, and he performs on the group’s first four studio albums. He is fired from Toto in 1977 and then returns to the band in 1998. Here from the album Toto IV is Africa.

Grief’s Teachings: The Economy of the Heart

A Healing Project poem

And now I understand
after waking enough times to think I see
the Holy Kiss that’s supposed to last eternity
blow up in smoke, its destiny
falls on strangers, travels free.
Yes, I know now, traps are only set by me
and I do not really need to be
assured that love is just a four-letter word.
                                             — Bob Dylan | Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word

I’ve heard it said it’s not a lie

if you believe what you say. Promise and vow,

then, live under incessant threat.

There’s no wayfinding in this landscape

but who needs it? The confident

victim’s True North is blame.

This or that thing will be so

until it no longer pleases you

to have it so.

This economy of the heart

is neatly equipped with a built-in crash.

Look at all the broken stuff over there

on the supply side. Better see

if you can sell it cheap.

— Copyright (c) 2014 Steve Kline

You light my morning sky

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

March 27

Burning-Love1972: Despite his reluctance to perform Burning Love, Elvis Presley is in the studio recording the song. Elvis has just separated from his wife Priscilla and is in no mood for a song like this one. His producer, Felton Jarvis, talks Elvis into it. Great emotional pain can sometimes coax inspiring performances, no matter the field of endeavor. That is the case here. Elvis’ Burning Love is his final Top 10 hit, soaring to #2 in October of 1972.

I bet you’re wonderin’ how I knew

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

March 26

Marvin-Gaye-Grapevine1967: Marvin Gaye is in the Tamla-Motown studios recording his version of I Heard It Through the Grapevine. The song is written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, and Whitfield is having it recorded by various Motown artists. A version by Gladys Knight & The Pips goes to #1 on the charts later in 1967. The song also is recorded by The Miracles and possibly by The Isley Brothers. Gaye’s version takes more than a month to complete, given the complexities of overdubbing Gaye’s vocals with that of the Andantes’ background vocals, mixing in several tracks featuring the Funk Brothers on the rhythm track, and adding the string section from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra with an arrangement by Paul Riser. Gaye’s version hits #1 in late 1968.

 

Chain, chain, chain

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

March 25

aretha1942: Aretha Franklin — fourth of five siblings — is born in Memphis, Tennessee to the Rev. C. L. Franklin, a Baptist minister, and Barbara Siggers Franklin. Aretha’s parents have a troubled relationship and separate when Aretha is 6. Siggers dies of a heart attack when Franklin is 10. Aretha’s father’s first pulpit after Memphis is in Buffalo, New York. The family subsequently moves to Detroit, Michigan where Rev. Franklin assumes the pulpit of the New Bethel Baptist Church, and gains national fame as a preacher. Adept at the piano as well as having a gifted voice, young Aretha is a child prodigy with a recording contract by the time she is 14. She is one of the most honored artists alive, having scored a total of 20 #1 singles on the R&B chart. One of them is 1967’s Chain of Fools.

This is it, boys, this is war

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

March 24

Nena1960: Nena (Gabriele Susanne Kerner) is born this day in Hagen, North Rhine-Westphalia, West Germany. She is a singer and actress and the co-founder (with three others) of the Neue Schule Hamburg, a school following the Sudbury model. She rises to international fame in 1984 with the New German Wave song 99 Luftballons, whose English version is called 99 Red Balloons. Nena is also the name of the band with whom she releases the song. With the re-recording and subsequent release of some of her old songs, her career re-emerges in 2002.

Now people let me put you wise

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

March 23

dion-runar1963: Doo-wop prince Dion DiMucci marries childhood sweetheart “Runaround” Sue Butterfield. In a 2009 interview with Blueswax, Dion reveals that his wife tells people this song is about her, even though she knows it isn’t. Says Dion: “She goes around telling everybody, ‘Yeah, I’m Runaround Sue.’ I said, ‘Why do you tell people that?’ She says, ‘They remember me.’ She said, ‘If I don’t tell them that, they won’t remember me.'”