Month: April 2016

Shotgun, get it done, come on, Mony

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

April 29

Tommy-James1947: Thomas Jackson, who will grow up to become Tommy James, frontman of The Shondells, is born in Dayton, Ohio. Tommy James and The Shondells will have two #1 hits, Hanky Panky in 1966 and Crimson and Clover in 1969. For my Mony, though, here’s their greatest tune:

I don’t believe you, you’re not the truth

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

April 23

Roy-Orbison1936: Roy Orbison is born in Vernon, Texas. Between 1960 and 1964, 22 of his songs hit the Top 40, including Only the Lonely and Crying. In an era of defiantly masculine male singers, Orbison displays a quiet vulnerability. Dressed in black, wearing shades and standing stock still, his on-stage persona exudes power and mystery. In 1988, he joins with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne to form the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys. His biggest hit and signature song is Oh, Pretty Woman, which has a three-week run at #1 in 1964. We lose him to a heart attack when he is just 52 years old.

 

Shakespeare, he’s in the alley

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

April 21

BoB1966: Bob Dylan’s LP Blonde on Blonde is released in the U.S. It completes a trilogy of astoundingly great LPs, following Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisisted. Blonde on Blonde is considered by some to be the greatest rock album ever, period. Recording begins in New York in late 1965 then moves to Nashville in February and March of 1966. The track list includes Rainy Day Women #12 and #35, Absolutely Sweet Marie, I Want You and Visions of Johanna. Visions of Johanna has perhaps the greatest opening line ever: “Ain’t it just like the night / to play tricks when you’re tryin’ to be so quiet.” My personal favorite song on this personally favorite album, however, is Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again. Here I sit so patiently . . .

A thousand violins begin to play

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

April 21

Mathis-Misty1959: Johnny Mathis records Misty, a jazz tune written by in 1954 by pianist Erroll Garner. Released in September of 1959, Misty will peak at #12 on U.S. pop charts and become his signature. Clint Eastwood uses the Mathis version in his movie Play Misty for Me. Although many artists cover it over the years, the Johnny Mathis version is the definitive Misty.