The Happening By The Supremes

June 22, 2020

“The Happening” as the last number one hit with the name Supremes. It would now be Diana Ross & The Supremes.

“The Happening” was the last of ten number one hits to be written by Holland-Dozier-Holland. They would go on to form they own record label.

“The Happening” was the last number one hit to feature original member Florence Ballard. She would be replaced by Cindy Birdsong. In 1976, she would pass away at the age of 32.

“The Happening” was the number one song in the United States for the week of May 13, 1967.

Somethin’ Stupid By Nancy And Frank Sinatra

May 28, 2020

Nancy Sinatra and Frank Sinatra were the first father and daughter to both have number one hits. They would be joined by the Boones.

Nancy and Frank joined together in early 1966 and recorded a duet. It would be the only one of their careers together.

It proved to be a huge hit and on April 15, 1967, became the number one song in the United States, where it remained for four weeks.

Nancy would go on to have a series of top ten hits, including a number of duets with Lee Hazlewood. It would be the last top ten hit of Frank’s career.

Happy Together By The Turtles

April 22, 2020

The Turtles made music that made you smile.

They started out in a folk/rock direction. Their cover of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe” reached the top ten. They then turned down “Eve Of Destruction,” which Barry McGwire took to the top of the charts.

They took a different direction with their hit “You Baby.” The harmonies and the feel good nature of their music were in place.

Their sixth single release was “Happy Together.” It entered the Hot 100 on February 11, 1967, Six weeks later, on March 25th, it reached number one, where it would remain for three weeks.

The Turtles would break-up in 1970, leaving behind a legacy of just plain old fun-filled music and a single number 1 song.

Penny Lane By The Beatles

April 13, 2020

August 29, 1966: The Beatles play the last concert of their career at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

November 9, 1966: John Lennon attends an exhibition at an art gallery and meets Yoko Ono.

December 1966: The Beatles begin recording SGT. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Two of the first songs records are “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.” There are dropped from the album and released as a single.

March 18, 1967: “Strawberry Fields” peaks at number 8 on the Billboard 100. “Penny Lane” reaches the top of the charts for one week and becomes the Beatles 13th chart topper in the United States.

Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone By The Supremes

April 9, 2020

There was trouble in paradise.

The Supremes were about to become Diana Ross and The Supremes. Cindy Birdsong was getting ready to replace original Supreme Florence Ballad.

Despite everything that was percolating under the surface, musically the Supremes kept on rolling.

“Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone” topped the American Music Charts the week of March 11, 1967.

Ruby Tuesday By The Rolling Stones

March 29, 2020

Ed Sullivan had a problem. The Rolling Stones were about to appear on his television show and sing their new single “Let’s Spend The Night Together.” He was not comfortable with the sexually explicit lyrics and asked Mick Jagger to change them. Jagger slurred his way through the objectionable parts.

American radio disc jockeys took a different approach. They just played the B side of the single release. The song was not a favorite of the band but on March 4, 1967, it became their fourth number one American single.

Problem solved!

The Beatles White Album: 50th Anniversary Edition (3-CD Set) by The Beatles

March 20, 2020

The Beatles White Album has reached the half-century mark. At the time of its release, the band had begun its downward spiral toward dissolution. Yoko Ono, outside projects, and tensions among members led to a sprawling, non-cohesive, and disparate album of brilliant music. The individual tracks were better than the whole as songs such as “Back In The USSR,” “Ob-La-Di, Ob La-Da,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Rocky Racoon,” and “Birthday” have become essential parts of rock history.

To mark the albums 50th anniversary, the music has been released in a number of formats including a four vinyl LP set and a huge 6-CD plus Blu-ray including a hard-cover book that provides everything you ever wanted to know about the album and more. However, unless you want absolutely everything by the Beatles, then this 3-CD edition, currently being reviewed, is more manageable and price conscious.

The first two CD’s cover the material from the original release. Giles Martin, son of original producer George Martin, has re-engineered the original tracks with modern day technology. The result is a vibrancy not heard on the 50 year old material.

The individual instruments have an increased clarity and there are more layers and textures to the music. Sometimes its the small things such as the discovery of harmonies toward the end of “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Di” and the piano on “Rocky Racoon” becoming more prominent.

The third disc is some of the more interesting Beatles material to see the light of day. Titled “The Esher Demos;” it is a series of acoustic tracks recorded at George Harrison’s home. While rarely do all four band members appear on a track, the music has a laid back and finished feel. It gives the songs from the album a different feel.

The Beatles White Album: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition is an interesting and technological upgrade of a classic album that has aged well. The tracks may still not have a cohesiveness but individually the songs don’t get much better.

Tea Leaf Confessions By Ynana Rose

March 20, 2020

Ynana Rose is an accomplished vocalist, and an acoustic guitarist; But above all she is a talented poet, which forms the basis for her original compositions.

Whether it be the philosophy of aging, “Stardust Firefly,” a tribute to her grandmother, “Lillian,” or odes to love, “Impossible” and “The Gift Of A Song;” the words are incisive and the melodies simple.

Her approach is simple. She provides a foundation with her voice and guitar and then fills in the gaps and expands the sound with her band.

Ynana Rose has created her own musical universe for her thoughts and words. Tea Leaf Confessions is an album for the ear and mind.

When I Rise By Cary Morin

March 20, 2020

Cary Morin is an artist who helps define the musical style Americana. He includes elements of folk, blues, and jazz into his approach, and it all coalesces into a distinct American sound.

His new album, When I Rise, consists of 10 original compositions and two cover songs. Drawing on his own experiences and the world around him, both real and imaginary, he is able to create stories rich in imagery.

Morin has a distinctive guitar sound. He is a precise picker who is able to layer his own sound so it appears he is playing both the lead and rhythm parts.

In addition to his own material, he tackles the Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter “Dire Wolf,” but it is his take on Duane Allman’s “Little Martha” that really shines.

Cary Morin has carved out a niche for himself. When I Rise adds nicely to his expanding legacy.

Global Griot By Eric Bibb

March 20, 2020

Eric Bibb’s career has been one of exploration, creativity, and change. His early career found him as a gentle folk singer emulating Greenwich Village folk singers such as Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and Odetta. As time passed he began fusing blues into his folk music. His latest album finds him returning to his cultural roots as he has added West African rhythms to his sound.

His latest release, Global Griot, continues his musical metamorphosis by exploring and adapting some of West Africa’s culture and stories into his music. The word griot is an African word for a member of a caste who is responsible for maintaining an oral record  of tribal history through music, poetry, and storytelling. He expands this concept as he moves his music outward into the world around him.

Global Griot is a career defining statement and his most distictive and powerful to date. It is also his most ambitious as it contains 24 songs spread over two discs.

Sometimes his approach belies the social commentary as “We Don’t Care,” “What’s He Gonna Say Today,” “Race And Equality,” and “Where’s The Money At” tackle a number of social and political issues.

Bibb has always had a spiritual presence in his music and here songs such as “Let God,” “Listen For The Spirit,” and a simple “Michael, Row Da Boat Ashore” provide a nice counterpoint to the other material as they as interspersed throughout the album.

Anyone acquainted with the music of Eric Bibb will find Global Griot full of surprises, yet never straying too far from the familiar. Several decades in his career, he may have produced his most accomplished album of music.