Sunday, February 10, 2013

Rock History: Hey Bulldog

This week in 1969, the Beatles soundtrack for Yellow Submarine reached gold record status. Only four new songs appeared on the album and Yellow Submarine was not one of them. It originated on the Revolver album in 1966. New songs included All Together Now, Only a Northern Song and It's All Too Much. The best, at least in my not always so humble opinion was Hey Bulldog,written by Lennon and McCartney.

1969 - Hey Bulldog by The Beatles

See ya next time on Rock Steady.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Rock History: The Day The Music Died

Fifty four years have passed, but many still refer to February 3, 1959 as the Day the Music Died. It is a day that has become infamous as we lost some early Rock & Roll legends.

On this fateful day, Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and J.P. Richardson (better known as the Big Bopper) were killed along with the pilot of the single engine plane taking them from Clear Lake, Iowa to Fargo, North Dakota. They chose to fly because of heating problems that had developed on Holly's tour bus. After all, it would be more comfortable with heat, and faster too.

The Winter Dance Party Tour was to include 24 stops in 21 days. Buddy Holly booked the tour as a way to make additional money following the break up of his original band, the Crickets, the previous year. His new band, which included future country star Waylon Jennings, was along as Holly's backup group.

Jennings was to be one of the original passengers on the flight, but gave up his seat to the Big Bopper, due to the Bopper's case of the flu, which was probably related to poor conditions on the cold tour bus. Another member of Holly's band lost his seat to 17-year-old Richie Valens due to a coin flip.

Not all of the music died on that tragic day in 1959, but it definitely created a void that could never be filled.

Buddy Holly recorded Raining In My Heart in 1958, and was released posthumously as the B Side to It Doesn't Matter Anymore. Needless to say, the loss of these legends does matter to Rock History as we know it. Here's Raining In My Heart which captures the feeling we have as we remember one of the legends today.

1959 - Raining In My Heart by Buddy Holly

To find out more about it, you can read about the Day the Music Died here.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Remembering Ol' '55

Too often really good songs seem to get lost inside the passage of time and the constant parade of new music. I'd like to feature one of those tracks, a song that was written and originally recorded by Tom Waits. It's called Ol' '55 and it got radio play when the Eagles included it on their On The Border album.

Waits wasn't particularly fond of the Eagles interpretation of his song, terming it "a little antiseptic." Well, antiseptic or not, I liked the Eagles version when I heard it in 1974 and I like it now. For the most part it's gone from the radio, but now and again my memory plays it loud and clear.

1974 - Ol' '55 by the Eagles

And if you prefer the grittier, non-antiseptic Tom Waits style, check out songwriter Wait's version.

1973 - Ol' '55 by Tom Waits

That's another LookBack from Rock Steady. See ya next time.