elvis paved the way for artists like ed sheeran (who?)

Elvis 1956 photo Wertheimer SteveAllen 1500

“DID YOU LOVE ELVIS PRESLEY?” That was the ques­tion that popped up on Quora on Friday and that I ig­nored over the weekend. It seems kinda dumb but this morning it caught my at­ten­tion again and I thought I’d check out what­ever an­swers had been posted in the past few days. One an­swer from a young man signed in as Zeek Street stood out from the others:

“I wasn’t born in that time pe­riod and I’m not much of a rock and roll sort of guy. READ MORE

does link wray belong in the rock & roll hall of fame?

LinkWray 2 1500 crop

I HAVEN’T BEEN PAYING a lot of at­ten­tion to Quora lately, but this ques­tion caused me to re­spond; “Will Link Wray ever make the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?” Wray had one sem­inal hit, Rumble, in 1958 that Cub Koda stated pop­u­lar­ized “pop­u­lar­ized “the power chord, the major modus operandi of modern rock gui­tarists.” My an­swer was short and, I be­lieve, apt:

“The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame should have at least three means of entry:

• as an artist
• as an in­flu­ence
• for a record

Whether or not Link be­longs in the Hall as an Artist is de­bat­able; that he was an in­flu­ence and that Rumble be­longs in the Hall as a record are not. READ MORE

follow my new publication on medium that’s all about elvis

Elvis IGotLucky 1500 black crop

WE LAUNCHED our new pub­li­ca­tion Tell It Like It Was on Medium on Jan­uary 1, 2019. The ar­ti­cles within ad­dress pop­ular music, pri­marily rock & roll from the ’60s. “We” are John Ross (my fa­vorite music blogger), Lew Shiner (my fa­vorite nov­elist), and my­self. We love the music (and the books and the movies and the styles and the girls girls girls) of that era. READ MORE

should the crew-cuts be in the rock & roll hall of fame?

CrewCuts InPerson 1960 1500 crop

THERE ARE GOOD PEOPLE AMONG US. They see a wrong and they set out to right it. Mostly, they fail. Nonethe­less, we think of them as heroic for their ef­forts. There are others who set out merely to suc­ceed at their own goals. While achieving those goals, they may also right a wrong, break down a bar­rier, or ex­pand a horizon. READ MORE

go rockin’ robin ’cause we’re really gonna rock tonight

Bird Robin Beijinger 1500 crop

FOR MOST OF US, the pe­riod in our lives when we are most pas­sionate about music is our teenage years. Some­where around 13 or 14 years old, we start both in­tense for love and equally in­tense hate af­fairs with the pop music of the day. For me, this pe­riod was 1964-1969: to this day, most of my greatest loves come from this “era.”


isn’t it a shame that pat boone gets no r-e-s-p-e-c-t? (or, should pat boone be in the rock & roll hall of fame?)

PatBoone 1955 PublicityPhoto 1500

THE QUESTION ON QUORA was “Who was the first rock & roll su­per­star to be dis­carded and for­gotten to time?” I an­swered with Bill Haley, Pat Boone, and Connie Francis. Each singer was a big star in their heyday—the word “su­per­star” did not exist then—but each has been under-appreciated by most critics and his­to­rians since rock & roll be­came self-reflective decades ago. READ MORE

the first discarded and forgotten superstars of rock & roll

ATOG TS header 1955 Haley 1500 crop

THE BURNING QUESTION on Quora today was “Who was the first rock & roll su­per­star to be dis­carded and for­gotten to time?” Of course, I couldn’t re­sist, al­though my an­swer may not have been ex­actly what the ques­tioner was looking for in for­gotten su­per­stars. But who knows—maybe this is ex­actly the kind of thinking-provoking an­swer the asker wanted? READ MORE

should connie francis be in the rock & roll hall of fame?

ConnieFrancis 1961 1500 crop

THE READERS AT QUORA have been keeping me busy—once I an­swered a ques­tion or two in­tel­li­gently and fairly, I’ve been get­ting re­quests to an­swer others. An­swer one ques­tion, and an­other pops up, even if it wasn’t asked di­rectly of me. Many ques­tions I just pass by, but this one was right in my ball­park: “Why isn’t Connie Francis in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?” READ MORE

antoine “fats” domino has left new orleans for the last time

FatsDomino EP 2 1500

I NEVER THOUGHT of An­toine “Fats” Domino as a rock & roll artist. I thought he was a rhythm & blues-based artist, maybe a boogie-woogie artist, def­i­nitely a New Or­leans artist. For some reason, white teenagers in the ’50s glommed onto him and the rest is rock & roll his­tory.

I mean, yeah, when I was a kid in­her­iting my Aunt Judy’s 45 col­lec­tion, I thought every­thing in it was rock & roll, from great stuff like Fats and the Plat­ters to Fabian and silly jive like Who put the bomp in the bomp-bah-bomp-bah-bomp, who put the ram in the rama-lama-ding-dong? READ MORE