Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Who Was the Singer Julie London

Famous WW II pinup girl and successful actress Julie London (Man of the West, 1958 and 19 others) was also an extremely successful jazz singer.

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Describing her voice as "tiny" but "intimate,"  London released a total of 35 albums of 4 decades. She also appeared in the television show "Emergency" and has a star on the Hollywood walk of fame.

Julie London died in 1980 and was buried in the Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills cemetery.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Who Are the Chambers Brothers Band?

Not to be confused with the gang of the same name, the Chambers Brother's Band are a gospel/blues band from Los Angeles.

Chambers Brothers songs
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The Chambers Brothers have been active since 1954.  They are best known for "The Time Has Come Today" which they released in 1968.

Often novel and inventive in their song writing, The Chamber Brothers have been know to add elements of Southern Rock and even psychedelia to their music.

They continue to play together today and have released more than 30 albums. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Who Are the New South

The New South are an American Blue Grass band founded in 1973 and still active today.

The New South Songs
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while the New South has had several lineup changes over the years, they continue to write and record blue grass music under the leadership of their founder J.D. Crowe.

To date, The New South has recorded a total of 11 albums.

Who Are the Dillards?

The Dillards are an American Folk Rock/Blue Grass band from Missouri, USA originally founded in 1960s and still playing together today. They are most remembered for playing a recurring role on the Andy Griffith show as "The Darlings."

The Dillards
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While "The Darlings" were a purely blue grass band, The Dillards also explored folk rock and are considered one of the founding influences in the "Southern Rock" movement.    They have recorded a total of 15 albums in their long career.    The Dillards continue to write songs and play today.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Who is Danny Ben-Israel?

Danny Ben-Israel is one of the unsung heros of the psychedelic rock movement.  His 1970 album "Bullshit 3 1/4" is generally considered to be the first psychedelic album to come from a Jewish musician and is considered by many to be a masterpiece of the genera.

Danny Ben-Israel Songs
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Because of its groundbreaking style and strongly themed songs, "Bullshit 3 1/4" was not a commercial success, and Ben-Israel's next album "The Kathmandu Sessions" was not released for many years due to financial difficulty.  Danny Ben-Israel lives in Israel today and is still active in the music industry.

Who Was Norman Greenbaum

Norman Greenbaum is an American musician from Massachusetts who is most famous for being the person who sang "Spirit in the Sky" generally considered to be one of the top ten songs of the 1970s.

The man who recorded Spirit in the sky
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Greenbaum also performed with Dr. West's Medicine Show and Junk band.  With them he had several minor hit's including 1968's "The Eggplant that Ate Chicago."

Greenbaum continued to record for several decades but never experienced anything like the success of "Spirit in the Sky." 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Who was the Band Rare Bird?

Rare Bird was a British Progressive rock band active from 1968 to 1974.   They are best known for their hit single "Sympathy."

Rare Bird Songs
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Although they were an English band, Rare Bird found its greatest success in the other countries of Europe.  In an interesting side note, ten years after the breakup of Rare Bird, their keyboardist, Dave Kaffinette, appeared as the Viv, the keyboardist for the fictional band Spinal Tap.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Who Were the Sir Douglas Quintet?

The Sir Douglas Quintet were a blues/rock band from Austin Texas.  They were active from 1965 to 1973.

Sir Douglas Quintet Songs
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Although the name "Sir Douglas Quintet" sounds quite British and un-folkrockish, the band made their mark with hard driving songs taken from the musical heritage of Southern Texas.  They are considered far more Southern Rock than anything else.   Although they broke up in 1973, The Sir Douglas Quintet continued to play together occasionally until their lead singer and name sake, Doug Sahm died in 1999.

Was Was Sir Lord Baltimore?

Sir Lord Baltimore, an American rock band active from 1968 to 1976 are the band for whom the phrase "heavy metal" was invented.   it was in a review of their 1971 album "Kingdom Come" that the words "heavy metal" were first used.

Sir Lord Baltimore songs
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While Sir Lord Baltimore only released two albums during their time together, their claim to fame as the origin of the phrase "heavy metal" has given them a form of immortality.

They are also unique in that their drummer John Garner was also their lead vocalist.   Sir Lord Baltimore were from Brooklyn New York.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Who Was the Band Velvett Fogg

Velvett Fogg was a short lived (1968 - 1970) British rock band.  They are most remembered as being the starting band for Tony Lommi of Black Sabbath fame.

Velvett Fogg Songs
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Their single album "Velvett Fogg" was most noted for it's controversial album cover which featured two women wearing only body paint.   They were dropped by their label and broke up a short time later.   Velvett Fogg is remembered as a trend setting band and there is a small collector's market for their original album and single. 

Who was the American Band Warhorse

Warhorse was an American Doom Metal Band active from 1996 - 2005.  They self- released several albums as well as one studio album "As Heaven Turns to Ash" released through Southern Lord Records.

Warhorse Songs
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Noted for the dark, morbid nature of their music, Warhorse broke up shortly after recording the ironically titled "I am Dying."  They were from Massachusetts.

There was also a British band active in the early 1970s named Warhorse.

Who Was the British Band Warhorse

Warhorse was a mostly unsuccessful British hard rock band founded by former Deep Purple member, Nick Semper.

Warhorse songs
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During their time together they recorded two albums "Warhorse" and "Red Sea."   When neither album produced a hit, they were dropped by their record label and soon disbanded.   The song "St. Louis" was released as a single.

Warhorse was active from 1970 - 1974.   There is also an American band of the same name.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Who Was Musician Tim Buckley

Tim Buckley was an American musician who died of a heroin overdose in 1975.   His career lasted from 1966 until his death.  He released a total of nine albums during that time.

Tim Buckley Songs
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Buckley was a pioneer writing and preforming folk, jazz, and funk songs and albums.   While he was popular during his lifetime (the show the night before his death was sold out) his constant drug and alcohol abuse haunted him.  Tim Buckley was 28 at the time of his death.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Who is Joshua Rifkin?

Joshua Rifkin is a multi-talented American composer from New York.  He was instrumental in the "rediscovery" of Ragtime in the 1970s.

Joshua Rifkin Songs
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He is most remembered for his album "Scott Joplin Piano Rags" which sold over 1 million copies in 1970. He has also worked as a conductor and music arranger.  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Who Was the Trapeze Band?

Trapeze was an English heavy metal band active from 1969 to 1982.  While not a commercial success themselves, member of Trapeze went on to join Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and other more successful bands.

Trapeze songs
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Trapeze released a total of total of eight albums all of which featured changes in their lineup.  They have been covered by Jake Lee and ex band member Glenn Hughes

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Who Was Nick Drake?

Nick Drake was a British folk singer active from 1967 to 1974.  While very popular with critics, Drake refused to perform live and so never developed a public following.  He released three albums before retiring from public life.

Nick Drake Songs
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Nick Drake died in 1974 of a drug overdose but has continued to influence music.  The 1985 hit "Life in a Northern Town" by Dream Academy is based on Drake's life.  There was also a 1998 documentary about him called "A Stranger Among Us."    Curiously, and possibly due to his intense shyness, there is no know video footage of Nick Drake performing, nor any video of him as an adult.

Who Was the Gentle Giant Band?

Gentle Giant was a progressive rock band from England active from 1970 to 1980.   While never a commercial success, Gentle Giant was well known for the sophistication of their songs and the high level of talent in its band members.

Gentle Giant Songs
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Gentle Giant released a total of 11 studio albums the most successful of which was "Free Hand" which peaked at #75 in the US.   Their songs were noted for musical innovation and unusual chord structures.   

Gentle Giant is often considered to be similar to early Genesis or King Crimson.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Who is Paul Siebel?

Paul Siebel is an American musician folk who released two albums "Wood Smoke and Oranges" 1970 and "Jack-Knife Gyspy" 1971.

Paul Siebel Songs
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While Siebel became disillusioned with the music industry and has not recorded since the early 1970's, his songs have remained popular with other musicians.  Siebel's songs have been covered by Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris and many others.  

Monday, May 7, 2012

Who Was the Rock Band Mallard?

Mallard was a short lived, (1974 - 1976) rock band formed by ex-members of the Captain Beefheart's Magic Band and members from the band Rattle Snake and Eggs.

Mallard Band Songs
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Mallard released two albums in Britain and the US and was generally well liked by the British Press but was unable to generate any interest in the public.  They called it quits after their 1976 release, "In a Different Climate" failed to generate any sales.  

Who Were Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band?

Captain Beefheart was on of the most influential "underground" musicians in America in the late 1960s and 1970s.   A contemporary friends and some time rival of Frank Zappa Beefheart's music was avante-garde, and difficult to place into a single category.

Captain Beefheart Songs
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His band "The Magic Band" changed members frequently.  Captain Beefheart was the act and the Magic Band were always the backup.

While never a commercial hit, Captain Beefheart had a large cult following and his exploration into multiple genera from blues to spoken word, paved the way for future musicians.   

Captain Beefheart was born Don Van Vliet and was a multi-instrument musician and composer who penned hundreds of songs.  He passed away in 2010. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Who Was Blue Cheer?

Blue Cheer was an American band active from 1967 - 1972 and intermittently until 2009.  While very influential, Blue Cheers is difficult to define in terms of genera.  Influenced by blues rock, they also provided inspiration to the punk rock and heavy metal genera.

Blue Cheer Songs
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Their most popular single was also their first.  "Summer Time Blues" reached #14 in the US in 1968.  In later years Blue Cheer became embattled in a dispute about who owned rights to the band name.

Who Were Mott the Hoople?

Mott the Hoople was a British Glam rock band active from 1969 - 1974.  They have been reincarnated several times since then but have never enjoyed the success of the early years.

Mott the Hoople Songs
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David Bowie, who was a fan of Mott the Hoople, offered to write them a song when he heard that they were in danger of splitting up.  That song, "All The Young Dudes,"  Was Mott's only hit and still receives air play today on classic rock stations.

Mott the Hoople toured with Queen and several members played with Bowie at Freddy Mercury's memorial concert.  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Who Were the Quick Silver Messenger Service?

The Quicksilver Messenger Services was a psychedelic rock band that came out of the same San Francisco music scene as The Greatful Dead and Janis Joplin.  They were active from 1965 to 1979.

Quicksilver Messenger Service Songs
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  While never a successful as Joplin or The Greatful Dead, Quicksilver Messanger did release eight albums during their hay day and have released several reunion albums since then.

Quicksilver Messanger Service has experienced several lineup changes, most notably the 1969 departure of David Duncan, reportedly due to Duncan drug abuse issues.

What Happened to The Sandpipers Band?

The Sandpipers were a California musical trio who were active between 1966 and 1975.  Their sound was mostly easy listening but they attracted an audience out of the 1960 folk music revival.

The Sandpipers Songs
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In all, The Sandpipers released a total of 10 albums, the most successful of which was 1966s. Guantanamera, which was itself a cover of a Jose Fernandez song.  

As the folk music fad faded, so did the fortunes of the Sandpipers, amid dwindling sales and without a hit in years, The Sandpipers called it quits in 1975.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Who Was Spooky Tooth?

Spooky Tooth was  a hard rock band from England that was active intermittently from 1967 - 1974.

spooky tooth songs
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While Spooky Tooth was not successful commercially, they have left a significant impact on rock music. Their song "Better by You, Better Than Me" was covered by Judas Priest on their album "Stained Class."  Spooky Tooth was also the break out point for musician Gary Wright who recorded the hit "Dream Weaver" in 1976.  

Who Were the James Gang

Active from 1966 to 1977, the James Gang was the band that launched the career of Joe Walsh and also Glen Schwartz who went on to found Pacific Gas and Electric.

James Gang Songs
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While The James Gang remained active from 1966-1977, they only released four singles that reached the US charts between 1969 and 1971.  

In 2005 and 2006 Walsh rejoined some of the original band members for a series of concerts.   They are not currently active.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Who Was the Cactus Band

Cactus was one of the bands Rod Stewart was a member of before he went solo.  They featured a hard rock sound and mixed with xylophone and rhythm section music. They were formed on 1970 using already existing talent in an attempt to form a "superband."  Like most superband efforts, this one failed without producing a hit single.

cactus band songs
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Under intense pressure, Cactus released four albums between 1970 and 1972 before dissolving.  They spawned several follow up acts including Rod Stewart, The New Cactus Band which had none of the same members, and a club band of the same name started by a former member.    Only Rod Stewart Experienced lasting success with hits in the next three decades. 

Who Were (Are) The Ides of March Band

The Ides of March were an Illinois based band who scored two hit songs in the early 1970s;  "Vehicle" and "LA Goodbye."  The band broke up in 1973 but have been playing together again since the 1990s.

ides of march songs
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While originally featuring a horn section the band moved slowly toward a more pop and rock sound.  They are perhaps best remembered as being Jimmy Peterik's first band.  As a member of the band Survivor, Peterick co-wrote such hits as, "Eye of the Tiger," "High on You," and "The Search is Over."

The Ides of March were originally formed in 1964 under the name "The Shon-Dels." 

Who Was Tryone Davis?

Tryone Davis was an influential soul musician discovered while chauffeuring noted blues singer Freddie King.  While his career was not initally successful and was cut short by his death, he had a lasting impact on both the rhythm and blues and pop worlds.

tryone Davis songs
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Originally billed as "Tryone the Wonder Boy" Davis found frequent success on the R&B charts with hits like "Can I Change My Mind?" and "Turn Back the Hands of Time" which was also a hit on the pop charts.  

In all Davis realeased 41 songs as singles.  His performance of "How Sweet it is To Be Loved by You,"  is perhaps the most recognized of his songs today.   

Tryone Davis suffered a stroke in 2004 and died of complications a year later.

Who Were the Amboy Dukes?

Most famous for being Ted Nugents starting band, the Amboy Dukes were an American Band from Detroit Michigan.  They were active from 1964 to 1975.

Ted Nugent and The Amboy Dukes Songs
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The Amboy Dukes toured extensively and wrote most of their own songs.  They lone hit was "Journey to the Center of the Mind"  which was believed to be about the use of hallucinogenic drugs.   The band collapsed after Ted Nugent left in 1975.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Who are The Pretty Things?

The Pretty Things are a long lived blues/rock crossover band formed in England in 1963.  While initially commercially successful in England, The Pretty Things have not had a hit since 1966's Kinks Cover "A Place in The Country."

The Pretty Things Songs
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The Pretty Things have had a notable impact on music.  During the late 1960s they recorded music for films and were also covered by David Bowie.  He used two of their songs in 1973's  "Pin Ups."  

The Pretty Things, with several lineup changes are still together and recording today.

Who is Steeleye Span?

Steeleye Span are the most successful of the British Folk revival bands from the late 1960s.  They are sometimes considered the British equivalent of The chieftans of Ireland.

Steele Eye Songs
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While Steeleye Span continues to record traditional English folk songs, they have recorded an increasing number of original music.  Although they broke up at one time and have had several lineup changes over the years, they continue to tour and play today.  Steeleye Span has released 21 albums since their formation in 1968.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Who was the band Eclection

Eclection was a progressive rock/folk band from England active from 1967 to 1969.  The released one album "eclection" in 1968.

eclection songs
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it is noteworthy that while Eclection recorded and played in England, only one of the original members were British.  Georg Kajanus was Norwegian, Michael Rosen was Canadian, and Trevor Lucas and Kerrilee Male were Australians.  The only Brit. in the Eclection lineup was drummer Jerry Conway. 

Who Was Sandy Denny?

Sandy Denny was an influential British Folk singer active from 1966 till her death in 1978.  She was a member of the bands, "The Strawbs," "Fairport Convention," and "Fotheringay" before releasing four solo albums.

Sandy Denny songs
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Although never commercially successful, Denny left a lasting mark on the world of folk music and is sometimes considered to be the best folk singer to come out of England.  Her most famous song is "Who Knows Where the Time Goes" which has been covered by Nina Simone, Judy Collins, and others.

Who Was the Fotheringay Band?

Frotheringay was a British folk Rock band named after Frotheringay Castle in Northamptonshire where Mary Queen of Scots was executed in 1587.

Fotheringay Songs
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Fotheringay was composed of former members of "Ecletion," "Fairport Convention," and "Poet and The One Man Band."  They released one album in 1970 before breaking up.  Front woman Sandy Denny went on to have a solo career and the other members went on to join other groups.