Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday Tuesday

A few more comments from the bleachers!

With all the recent talk about the Rock 'n" Roll Hall of Fame it made me think of yet another group of people the nominating committee has overlooked. Elvis Presley's TCB Band, the band Elvis used from 1969 to 1977. James Burton is in the Hall but Ronnie Tutt, Jerry Scheff, Glen D. Hardin, John Wilkerson are not. Also, his backing vocal groups, The Jordanaires and The Sweet Inspirations are not in the Hall.
All The Best,
Cory Cooper
Elvis Historian, Consultant, Technical Advisor
Of course Elvis' original guys ... Scotty Moore, Bill Black and DJ Fontana are all Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees, too ... and I'll agree that The Jordanaires certainly deserve some recognition for all their vocal contributions over the years ... but honestly (and with no disrespect to Elvis' latter-day back up band), if THESE guys got in before deserving (and long-ignored) artists like Chicago, The Moody Blues, The Guess Who, Genesis, Heart, Yes, Linda Ronstadt, Hall and Oates and so many others that are sure to make our latest Deserving And Denied List, I'd have to rank that decision right up there with all of the OTHER bonehead decisions The Hall Of Fame has made of late!  Not that they don't deserve it ... it's just that I can think of about 300 OTHER artists who deserve it first!  (kk)  

In regards to whether Rod McKuen should or should not be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I say why not.  (tongue in cheek). Who could ever forget such memorable records such as OLIVER TWIST out of 1961 on Spiral Records and his novelty type record out of 1959 THE MUMMY on Brunswick with Bob McFadden and Rod doing the voice of the mummy Dor (Rod spelled backwards), both records charting here in OKC.
Larry Neal   

Going back to WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF THERE WAS NO ROCK AND ROLL, your readers are right with ROCK AND ROLL IS HERE TO STAY. and don't forget the Showmen's
IT WILL STAND out of early 1962, which was big here in OKC.

When I think of the 1st Rock n Roll 45 it’s Probably “Good Rockin’ Tonight”. If not, maybe “Rocket 88” by Jackie Brenstan.  
Both of these tunes come up quite often on this list ... and are both good candidates for the title.  While Bill Haley and the Comets' recording of "Rock Around The Clock" going to #1 has been cited as the start of "The Rock and Roll Era", these guys also recorded "Shake, Rattle And Roll" a full year earlier ... and it went to #7 ... yet has been virtually overlooked in these tabulations.  Then again, Big Joe Turner's 1954 version is probably the more deserving of the two!  (kk)    

Barry has now seen all three of his younger brothers pass before him, like Brian Wilson has seen younger brothers Carl and Dennis pass before him.  That has to be tough. 
CNN butchered their story on Robin completely.  They showed an LP cover from 1970 when Robin was separated from the Bee Gees, showed credits from a TV special when same thing was happening and showed Travolta TWICE as the only video footage in whole story.  Thing is, they showed the Saturday Night Live footage while playing "You Should be Dancing" which was NOT in SNF film!  I think media coverage of such a talent was VERY poor today as it was for Davy Jones.
Clark Besch
And it's not like the history of The Bee Gees isn't well-documented ... there are TONS of clips available.  It's a shame how our so-called "reliable news sources" continue to get the facts wrong so often.  (Lends even more credence to the recent "Beatles 3000" clip we ran again the other day): Click here: beatles 3000 - YouTube
But it's easy to see how little mistakes can sometimes slip by.  In your email, for example, you refer to "Saturday Night Live" rather than "Saturday Night Fever", which is what I'm sure you MEANT to say!  And, for the record, "You Should Be Dancing" IS used in the film ... in a key dance scene, in fact ... it just wasn't written FOR the film ... but neither were some of the best-known tracks from the soundtrack ... read on!  (kk)  

Kent ...
I'm reading a story about the Bee Gees in the Daily News.  
I quote Robin Gibb:  "We were never a disco group. The songs in the movie, Saturday Night Fever, weren't written as disco songs."  He sure fooled me. What do you think about it?
Frank B.
Robin spoke the truth.  The Bee Gees were already writing and recording tracks for what was supposed to be their next studio album ... and "How Deep Is Your Love" and "Stayin' Alive" were already in the can ... with "Night Fever" nearly complete as well.  When their manager Robert Stigwood approached them and told them that he had just signed on to produce a new film, he simply asked "What have you got?"  It was just another lucky musical happenstance ... The Bee Gees abandoned their new LP and began crafting songs to be used on the soundtrack, eventually filling in the gaps with a few of their older tracks (like "You Should Be Dancing" and "Jive Talkin'") and writing new material like "If I Can't Have You" and "More Than A Woman" ... both originally planned as Bee Gees tracks but then given to Yvonne Elliman and Tavares respectively to break up the monotony of the soundtrack a little bit ... and a MAJOR hit was born.
The Bee Gees NEVER presented themselves as a "disco band" ... and never felt that they were one.  This was something that radio and the media came up with and, because the film "Saturday Night Fever" was ABOUT a dancer who spent all of his spare time and money at a disco, they became the "poster children" of this popular new music art form.  Truthfully this "new" sound just happened to be their musical platform at the time, leaning more toward an R&B sound that they first started developing on their "Main Course" album with hits like "Jive Talkin'" and "Nights On Broadway".  In fact, when Stigwood asked them to rewrite "Stayin' Alive" as "Saturday Night", The Brothers Gibb finally put their collective foot down.  Feeling there were already enough songs about Saturday Night (The Bay City Rollers had recently topped the charts with THEIR song of the same name), they came up with "Night Fever" as a means to still capitalize on the title of the film.  The rest, as they say, is history ... but The Bee Gees took the hit for over saturation and paid dearly for it.  As mentioned in our recent Bee Gees tribute piece, history has also shown songs like "How Deep Is Your Love" and "Stayin' Alive" to be a couple of the strongest and most enduring tracks of our generation ... but at the time, there was a whole lot of Bee Gees-bashing going on.  (kk)   

Here's a clip of The Left Banke performing "Pretty Ballerina" live at B.B. King's with the elusive Michael Brown on keyboard.
Believe it or not, The Left Banke received a few votes in our on-going Favorite Garage Bands Poll.  I think they'd be amongst the first to admit that this isn't a list they belong on!  One listen to the classical sounds of this band (reformed and performing again) will show you that!  (kk)  

Meanwhile, we ARE still tabulating your votes!   

How about:
The Rugbys
The Balloon Farm
The Swampseeds
Tal Hartsfeld
The Rugbys were eliminated from the ballot for having under 20 votes (I believe they had four).  The Balloon Farm are doing fine ... they currently have 78 votes.  And I don't recall if The Swampseeds were ever even nominated ... if they were, it was most likely the only vote they received.  (kk)   

I thoroughly enjoyed Al Kooper's selection of his top 50 instrumentals of all time. I guarantee you I would never have guessed at #40 Chet Atkins' BOO BOO STICK BEAT. The same can be said about #22 Ray Bryant's LITTLE SUSIE. I had forgotten how LITTLE SUSIE sounded so I just came from playing it here at home. I did remember one thing though. I did remember that on the flip side of the record (1960 Columbia) was LITTLE SUSIE (Part III), not Part II. This was probably a typo on the label when it came out
Larry Neal   

Hey Kent,
One good thing about having older brothers is that you get to listen to all their records (over and over again)! It's great when an instrumental becomes a hit, and the lists of those rankings on your site has really brought back the memories. Unfortunately, instrumental hits are almost non-existent these days. Al Kooper has just sent in his own list of favorites. First of all, I'd like to thank him for all his contributions to the industry, over the years. I'm also glad that he listed a tune, that one of my brothers brought to my attention, when it came out, "The Lonely Surfer", by Jack Nitzsche. A whole chapter could be written about all the things he did in the business, but this lone recording was intriguing. What made it so unique was that the melody was played on a bass guitar, and what REALLY is interesting is that bass on the recording was performed by David Gates. Yes, THAT David Gates of Bread fame. Years later, when I accidentally played the 45 record at 33 speed, on my college radio station's turntable, the lower bass frequency actually blew out a tube in the transmitter!
- John LaPuzza