I seek to cure what’s deep inside

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

September 2

Steve Porcaro 11957: Steve Porcaro is born in Connecticut, where he is playing the piano by age 4. He will grow up to become the keyboardist with Toto. You know his work from — among other songs — Africa.


Rod Stewart1971: Rod Stewart’s Maggie May is an improbable #1 hit.


He’s kinda big and he’s awful strong

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

August 31

vm1945: Van Morrison is born.

The Angels1963: Girl trio The Angels rules the charts with My Boyfriend’s Back, which will remain at #1 for three weeks. The writers of the song are Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer, Brooklyn songwriter/producers who go on to write the hit Sorrow and have the 1965 U.S. #11 single as The Strangeloves with I Want Candy.

Is it tomorrow or just the end of time?

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

August 26

Jimi Hendrix 11967: The Jimi Hendrix Experience releases Purple Haze. The song is inspired by a dream experienced by Hendrix. The opening chord of two riffs then an interval of flattened fifth is the d5 or “tritone,”  regarded as the most imperfect of dissonances and generally avoided in composition for that reason.

He’s a complicated man

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

August 20

IsaacHayesPNG1942: Singer-songwriter-record producer-actor Isaac Hayes is born in Covington, Kentucky. Hayes is one of the main creative forces behind southern soul music label Stax Records, where he serves as both an in-house songwriter and producer with partner David Porter during the mid-1960s. In the late 1960s, Hayes becomes a recording artist, with albums such as Hot Buttered Soul (1969) and Black Moses (1971) as the Stax label’s premier artist. Alongside his work in popular music, Hayes is a film score composer for motion pictures. His best known work, for the 1971 blaxploitation film Shaft, earns Hayes an Academy Award for Best Original Song and two Grammy Awards. He receives a third Grammy for the album Black Moses.

Robert Plant1948: Robert Plant is born.

I should have listened

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

August 15

Bill Pinkney1925: Bill Pinkney, one of the founding members of The Drifters, is born in Dalzell, South Carolina. In his youth he sings gospel in his church choir. He pitches on a sandlot team owned by MLB’s New York Yankees. He serves in the U.S. Army during World War II, seeing duty at Normandy and in Bastogne. He earns a Presidential Citation with five Bronze Stars. Upon his return to civilian life, he goes after a career in music. He is recruited by Clyde McPhatter, who is forming a group called The Drifters to record for Atlantic Records. Pinkney is chiefly responsible for The Drifters’ original sound — but the entire group is fired in 1958 by manager George Treadwell. Pinkney quickly puts together a new group called The Original Drifters, and he continues to perform until his death of a heart attack on July 4, 2007. Pinkney’s silky lead vocals are featured on the 1956 Drifters recording of I Should Have Done Right.

Me and the Devil was walkin side-by-side

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

August 13

Robert Johnson 11938: Robert Johnson is poisoned by the jealous husband of a woman he began seeing during a stint at the Three Forks juke joint in Greenwood, Mississippi. He dies three days later. He’s only 27 when he dies, and he’s recorded only 29 songs, but he changes the landscape of the Blues forever.

Lee Dorsey1968: Working in the Coal Mine enters the Top Forty.

Elvis Presley

Don’t be cruel to a heart that’s true

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

August 11

Elvis Presley1956: Elvis Presley dominates the Pop, Country and R&B charts — Don’t Be Cruel is #1 on all three. The single’s B-side is Hound Dog, which peaked at #2. Don’t Be Cruel is written by Otis Blackwell and recorded on July 2 of 1956. It is a grueling session. Presley isn’t happy until the 28th take of Don’t Be Cruel, and the 31st of Hound Dog. Don’t Be Cruel is his biggest selling single of 1956 and will have six million in sales by 1962.

We’ll go walking out while others shout of war’s disaster

Steve Kline Ages of Rock

August 10

Ronnie Spector1943: Ronnie Spector is born.

Ian Anderson 11947: Ian Anderson — lead vocalist and flautist for Jethro Tull — is born in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland. After attending primary school in Edinburgh, his family relocates to Blackpool in the north of England in 1959. Following a traditional Grammar school education, he moves on to Art college to study fine art before deciding on an attempt at a musical career. Jethro Tull forms in 1968 out of the amalgamation of the John Evan Band and McGregor’s Engine, two blues-based local U.K. groups. Still enjoying a lengthy if intermittent ongoing career, Jethro Tull has released 30 studio and live albums, selling more than 60 million copies since the band first performed at London’s famous Marquee club. Widely recognized as the man who introduced the flute to rock music, Ian Anderson remains the crowned exponent of the popular and rock genres of flute playing. So far, no pretender to the throne has stepped forward. Ian also plays ethnic flutes and whistles together with acoustic guitar and the mandolin family of instruments, providing the acoustic textures which are an integral part of most of the Tull repertoire.