An Introduction to Rather Rare Records

MY FIRST “POST” was with the Wyoming Valley West High School newspaper, where I was the nerd who got the gig of reviewing records. That was 1969 and, like most nerds with super cool record collections, I wrote condescending reviews of records that all my non-nerd classmates bought. 1 I remember damning Glen Campbell (in the ’60s, teens actually bought Glen Campbell albums and were still cool) and dismissing Cream’s last album, GOODBYE. Then, everything changed. In 1970, I found Paul Williams’s book Outlaw Blues, a collection of his writings from Crawdaddy magazine. Williams didn’t write negative reviews—he wrote… Continue Reading An Introduction to Rather Rare Records

the history of rock & roll in a nutshell (300 words or less)

THE NUTSHELL IS THIS: Rock & roll has had two golden eras, both times when the artists took control of the music and its direction and led the way. But that’s not the norm for popular music: the norm is for businessmen in the form of owners, Artists & Repertoire (A&R) men, and other “bean-counters” to say what’s so. In the beginning, a bunch of old white men in the A&R departments of the major record companies dictated what was recorded and what was played on the radio based on their idea of what middle-aged white women wanted to hear. The major companies (Columbia and RCA Victor were the… Continue Reading the history of rock & roll in a nutshell (300 words or less)

bravi bravata and the south they all ignore!

IF YOU’RE ON FACEBOOK, you’ve received requests from friends to “like” a page of theirs. These “likes” are the surest way to have your page “shared” and circulated on that social media platform. I receive a few each week, and I always have a look at these new pages—so it was that I discovered Bravata. People launch these to display their photography, their hobby, their culinary creations, and of course their pets. The most common request I receive is to like a new page from a band. Many of these bands are new, the musicians young, and Facebook is a… Continue Reading bravi bravata and the south they all ignore!

the transfiguration of young man mose allison

DURING THE BRITISH INVASION OF 1964-1966, ‘serious’ information on the British groups—in fact, on rock & roll artists in general—was very hard to come by for we American fans. Fans had to turn to the teenybopper fan mags of the era for any transfiguration of their tastes from the ordinary to the extraordinary. The dearth of meaningful data was the opposite of the overkill of info that has been the hallmark of publications in the current “celebrity culture,” which has been made even worse by the Internet. Fifty years ago, there were the trade publications Billboard, Cash Box, Record World,… Continue Reading the transfiguration of young man mose allison

poor boys and pilgrims are going to graceland

THE WEBSITE FOR GRACELAND posted a condensed version of my article, “Elvis Presley’s ’68 Comeback – Burbank to Graceland.” This was done to commemorate the anniversary of the original broadcast of the NBC-TV Special on December 3, 1968. This posting on Elvis Presley’s “official” website has sent tens of thousands of interested readers to the Best Classic Band’s Facebook page to find the complete, original article. (For more information, see the previous post on this site.) So, now more people have read this article in one weekend than have read all the articles on my own Elvis site in three years. That’s all the articles combined! A close-up… Continue Reading poor boys and pilgrims are going to graceland

published on the best classic bands website

I JUST PUBLISHED my first professional article in almost twenty years. That means I got paid for it, rather than publishing it on my own website for free. “From Burbank To Graceland To Facebook” is a look at the NBC-TV Special ELVIS broadcast on December 3, 1968. It was published on the Best Classic Bands website. I’ve posted 800,000 words in three years on my sites. But as a writer paid to publish his work, it’s taken a while to motivate my aging authorial juices to submit my work to websites other than my own. Until now, that is.… Continue Reading published on the best classic bands website

the frank daniels discographies & labelographies project

FRANK DANIELS HAS BEEN COLLECTING RECORDS for a long time. Somewhere along the way, he started collecting all sorts of record-related data and information. For years now, he has been researching, compiling, assembling, and publishing several incredibly detailed and accurate Frank Daniels discographies (listings of records) and labelographies (breakdowns on the visual changes in the label designs of a given record company). Here, for the first time EVER, is a list of all of Mr D’s published discographies (listings of records) and labelographies (breakdowns on the visual changes in the label designs of a given record company). Note that all… Continue Reading the frank daniels discographies & labelographies project

stax records’ main soul men of the ’60s: david porter and isaac hayes

“IT WAS SUMMER 1967, and Isaac Hayes was at Stax Records in Memphis watching Detroit burn. The local news carried alarming reports of a massive riot in Motor City, which started when a police raid on an after-hours bar turned into a tense standoff with patrons and bystanders. Governor George W. Romney deployed the Michigan National Guard to quell the violence, which lasted five days. Even at the time, it was seen as a major event in the American Civil Rights movement, as well as proof that racial friction was not limited to the South. Hayes, an untrained but deeply talented… Continue Reading stax records’ main soul men of the ’60s: david porter and isaac hayes