Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NAT PERRILLIAT'S SPOT IN THE EVOLUTION OF ROCK 'N ROLL: NEW ORLEANS SAX MAN EXTRAORDINAIRE

Nat Perrilliat and his sax gettin' props from Smiley Lewis!




Nat Perrilliat, an incredibly talented and sought after sideman was born November 29, 1936, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Nat was one of the finest players in New Orleans in the 1950s.


Nat recorded with Jesse Hill,



Ernie K-Doe,



and Irma Thomas.



Perrilliat also recorded with the Nat Adderley Sextet,




Roy Brown,



Champion Jack Dupree,



Barbara George,



Clarence “Frogman” Henry,



and of course with Smiley Lewis,



Professor Longhair,



and the legendary Allen Toussaint, doing session  work with the various acts produced by him....

Nathaniel Perrilliat didn’t begin playing the saxophone until he started attending Joseph S. Clark High School. He practiced constantly, always challenging himself to play tunes at “unbelievable tempos,” and honed his chops performing at talent shows at the Caffin Theater in downtown New Orleans.

Perrilliat got his first professional gig with the New Orleans legend, pianist Professor Longhair.





Nat also went on to tour with Roy Montrell




 In the early 60s, Perrilliat joined the Ellis Marsalis Quartet, recording the seminal album, Monkey Puzzle.


Again Nat went on the road with Junior Parker,



Joe Tex


and Fats Domino.



In the late 60s he was injured in an automobile accident with other members of the Fats Domino Band. He ultimately died of injuries sustained in that crash.

R.I.P. NAT PERRILLIAT:
LEGENDARY NEW ORLEANS SAX MAN

Monday, November 28, 2011

BERRY GORDY, JR, BORN ON NOVEMBER 28, 1929


  




Berry Gordy, Jr had seven older siblings--all prominent black citizens of Detroit.  Young Berry, however, had dropped out of high school in the eleventh grade to become a professional boxer--He'd hoped to become rich quick!!!--That was a career he followed until 1950 when he was drafted by the United States Army for the Korean War.

After his return from Korea in 1953, he married Thelma Coleman. He developed his interest in music by writing songs and opening the 3-D Record Mart, a record store featuring jazz music. The store was unsuccessful and Gordy sought work at the Lincoln-Mercury plant, then he met Al Green (not the singer), owner of the Flame Show Bar talent club

That's where Green introduced Berry to Jackie Wilson...

In 1957, Wilson recorded Reet Petite, a song Gordy had co-written with his sister Gwen and writer-producer Billy Davis. It became a modest hit but had more success internationally, especially in the UK where it reached the Top 10 and even later topped the chart on re-issue in 1986.




 Wilson recorded four more songs co-written by Gordy over the next two years, including "Lonely Teardrops", which topped the R & B charts and got to #7 on the pop chart.  


 

Berry and Gwen Gordy also wrote "All I Could Do Was Cry" for Etta James at Chess Records. 







Gordy reinvested his songwriting success into producing.       In 1959, at Miracles leader Smokey Robinson's encouragement, Gordy borrowed $800 from his family to create an R&B label, Tamla Records.



  After a couple of “near hit” productions, Berry's third release was "Bad Girl" by The Miracles, and was the first-ever release for the Motown record label. "Bad Girl" was a solid hit in 1959 after Chess Records picked it up. 
 


Barret Strong's "Money (That's What I Want)" initially appearing on Tamla and then charted on Gordy's sister's label, Anna Records, in February 1960.

The Miracles' hit "Shop Around" peaked at #1 on the national R&B charts in late 1960 and at #2 on the Billboard  pop charts on January 16, 1961, which established Motown as an independent company worthy of notice.
 


Later in 1961, The Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman" made it to the top of both charts. 

In 1960, Gordy signed an unknown named Mary Wells who became the fledgling label's first star, with Smokey Robinson penning her hits "You Beat Me to the Punch,"
"Two Lovers" and "My Guy". The Tamla and Motown labels were then merged into a new company Motown Records--The rest, including the movies, is history... 
Gordy's gift for identifying and bringing together musical talent, along with the careful management of his artists' public image, made Motown initially a major national and then international success. Over the next decade, he signed such artists as The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Jimmy Ruffin, The Contours, The Four Tops, Gladys Knight & the Pips, The Commodores, The Velvelettes, Martha and the Vandellas, Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5.


Although Motown continued to produce major hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s by artists like the Jacksons, Rick James, Lionel Richie and long-term signings, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson, the record company was no longer the major force it had been previously. Gordy sold his interests in Motown Records to MCA and Boston Ventures on June 28, 1988 for $61 million. He also later sold most of his interests in the Jobete publishing concern to EMI Publishing. 


Happy Birthday Berry Gordy, Jr.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

IT'S TINA TURNER'S BIRTHDAY--THE QUEEN OF ROCK 'N ROLL--A MAJOR PLAYER IN THE EVOLUTION OF ROCK 'N ROLL!!!

 
Born this date (November 26, 1938), Annie Mae Bullock was destined to make her home town Nutbush, Tennessee, famous. First, though, she had some heavy dues to pay…When her parents moved out of Nutbush, they left Anna with her grandmother, the “Big City” of St. Louis being no place to raise a daughter as sweet as Annie Mae

x


As a teenager, after her grandmother's death. she headed out to join the family in St. Louis. When she arrived, her older sister started taking her to several St. Louis nightclubs. At Club Imperial she met Ike Turner, a Mississippi born R&B musician...



Annie Mae asked Ike if she could sing in his act. He was initially skeptical, but Annie was persistent and Ike decided to let her perform in his show. At the age of 18, known as "Little Ann.,"  she became an occasional singer with  the Kings of Rhythm and the spotlight of a soul revue by the band.
     Luck hit when another singer failed to show for a recording session and "Little Ann" recorded "A Fool In Love" for Ike's band...



The tune was a MONSTER, reaching #2 on the R&B Chart. Ike married Tina and changed the name of the band to The Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Throughout the 60s and 70s Ike and Tina rose to stardom. Tina and the back-up singers (The Ikettes) wove intricate dance routines into the act, influencing many "up and comers," including Mick Jagger & The Rolling Stones (for whose 1966 UK tour they opened)...

Their HIGH ENERGY cover of CCR's "Proud Mary" peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March of 1971 and won a grammy for the Best R&B Vocal Performance by a duo or a Group that same year....




     By 1978, Ike had become unbearably (physically) abusive of Tina and the couple divorced...Tina had a couple of near-miss recordings after the split up, including her recording of The Who's Acid Queen and her part in that movie...
 

Then she showed up on the stage with Mick Jagger:




She jammed with Rod Stewart:



And just about everybody who was hot in rock at the time (David Bowie, Paul McCartney and SO MANY others!!!)

TINA TURNER IS 
THE QUEEN OF ROCK 'N ROLL!!! 
(Just go to You Tube and be amazed!)


THE USE OF ANY COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL IS USED UNDER THE GUIDELINES OF "FAIR USE" IN TITLE 17 & 107 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE. SUCH MATERIAL REMAINS THE COPYRIGHT OF THE ORIGINAL HOLDER AND IS USED HERE FOR THE PURPOSES OF EDUCATION, COMPARISON, AND CRITICISM ONLY. NO INFRINGEMENT OF COPYRIGHT IS INTENDED 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Cadillacs, Bo Diddley, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, The Debutants, The Dells, The Chips, The Schoolboys, Robert And Johnny and The Heartbeats play the fourth of seven nights as part of Dr Jive's Rhythm'n'Blues Revue at The Apollo Theater, Harlem, New York City

Dr. Jive's Rhythm Revue played seven nights at the Apollo Theater in Harlem and this date, November 24, 1956, was just one of those nights. The headliners included the Cadillacs...

Bo Diddley doing his recent hit tune.."Pretty Thing"




Screamin' Jay Hawkins doing what would become a classic!!!



A group called The Debutants--Sorry, they just didn't make it...But The Dells were there (The "Stay In My Corner" cats)...Most likely doing what should have become a Doo-Wop classic with this one...


The FABULOUS Schoolboys were on the bill doing what did become a Doo-Wop classic (at least for those "in the know"--like in The Burgh. NYC, LA etc...)



Next up, the incredible duo, Roberrt & Johnny, with what would become ANOTHER classic, "We Belong Together"



Also on the bill, The Heartbeats--the group which would become "Shep & The Limelites"--They most likely did their cover of 1000 Miles Away which charted for them (at #57) a year later...



That was all in 1956!!! Great Rock 'n Roll shows happened throughout the 50s and 60s and were all major factors in THE EVOLUTION OF ROCK 'N ROLL!!!


THE USE OF ANY COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL IS USED UNDER THE GUIDELINES OF "FAIR USE" IN TITLE 17 & 107 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE. SUCH MATERIAL REMAINS THE COPYRIGHT OF THE ORIGINAL HOLDER AND IS USED HERE FOR THE PURPOSES OF EDUCATION, COMPARISON, AND CRITICISM ONLY. NO INFRINGEMENT OF COPYRIGHT IS INTENDED 

November 23, 1955 in the EVOLUTION OF ROCK 'N ROLL: The Lucky Seven Show hits Roanoke, VA

On November 23, 1955, The Lucky Seven Blues Show tears up  Roanoke, VA with: Little Willie John doing a tune he doesn't even like: ; /And Champion Jack Dupree doing whatever it takes to put his INCREDIBLE music out there and make a few bucks

 

 
The INCREDIBLE George "Harmonica" Smith was on this show--He should have made the big time--He didn't...



And then came Otis Williams and the Charms
--Smokin' Boo! If this ain't a MAJOR factor in THE EVOLUTION OF ROCK 'n ROLL, well, grits ain't groceries...

It's November 23 and this is a MAJOR date in The Evolution of Rock 'N Roll 'cause Robert Johnson really hit the scene on this date in 1936...Seems like old stuff? Bear with me...


 Yep, Robert Johnson recorded "Sweet Home Chicago" on this date--Like, for the first time ever!!
    
A "few" years later, these cats were still giving homage to the tune...




The Blues Brothers (R.I.P Brother John Belushi)  knew all about it!!!



And, it was the last tune Stevie Ray Vaughan ever performed...




If this Blues ain't ROCK 'N ROLL, well Mona Lisa was a man...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

THE GROOVE SPECTACULAR AT PITTSBURGH'S SYRIA MOSQUE ON NOVEMBER 22, 1961--A LANDMARK IN PITTSBURGH'S EVOLUTION OF ROCK 'N ROLL

The GROOVE SPECTACULAR took place at the Syria Mosque in Pittsburgh, PA on November 22, 1961. "The Burgh"--already known as the Doo-Wop Capitol of the world put on a great show that night!

First up was Jackie Wilson: With his three-year-old MONSTER "Lonely Teardrops" he had no less than ten more charted hits at the time, the least of which not being "Please Tell Me Why"




Next up, The "Peppermint Twist" cat. Joey Dee and his Starlighters...





Chris Kenner was on that show, doing his monster "Land of 100 Dances" and Pittsburgh's favorite "That's My Girl" for sure and even his BIG hit "I Like It Like That"--But still pushin' the one that got away (when his buddy Fats Dominoe had a monster hit with it). This is Chris Kenner's tune, though, and this is him doing it!!!




Next up, The Ice Man himself, Jerry Butler doing one of Burt Bacharach's earliest compositions, a major hit for Jerry and already a  Pittsburgh favorite...



The Five Satins did their two MONSTER tunes...







Huey "Piano" Smith tore the place UP, with his set...







THE (FABULOUS) SKYLINERS layed down the Pittsburgh Sound in their set with their incredible Pittsburgh Doo-Wop classics...






And these were just the headliners!!! Not a lot of groups originated in The Burgh, but Pittsburgh made a lot of folks famous!~Even though that really wasn't the plan--The "plan" was just to have a good time bein' a part of the EVOLUTION OF ROCK 'N ROLL!!!

Learn more about Pittsburgh's place in the evolution of Rock 'n Roll... http://tropicaljon.blogspot.com/2011/03/pittsburghs-daddio-of-raddio-and-his.html

http://tropicaljon.blogspot.com/2011/07/terry-lee-legendary-pittsburgh-dj-hes.html

http://tropicaljon.blogspot.com/2011/03/my-introduction-to-up-front-and.html

Sunday, November 20, 2011

November 21 in the 60s--NOT the early 70s everybody refers to as the 60s--But this date in the 60s in the EVOLUTION OF ROCK 'N ROLL!

By 1960, Rock 'n Roll had taken over the mainstream! Now we had to figure out how to make the world understand that Rock 'n Roll was also R&B and Soul and Jazz and WHATEVER rocked!

SO, on November 21. in 1960, Maurice Williams came out with a Number One hit with STAY...




A couple of years go by and November 21, 1963 rolls along and, Frankie Valli, a dude outta New Jersey, has a hit with a tune called Big Girls Don't Cry. His earlier tune, Sherry. had just finished up at Number One on the charts and this new one,  (co-written and produced by Bob Crewe) "Big Girls Don't Cry" begins a five week stint at the top of the pop chart and three on R&B!!!



November 21, 1963 and a duo named Dale & Gracie hit the #1 spot with an old Don and Dewey (a Houston, TX act) tune, "I'm Leavin it All Up To You"
 This was the first time a duet had hit number one back to back with another duet doing the same tune. Check out Don & Dewey doing the ORIGINAL




And Dale & Gracie doing their number one cover:




November 21, 1964, 1965, AND 1966 saw the Motown sweethearts, Diana Ross and The Supremes,  at the top of the charts for three years running--MOTOWN MAGIC!!!

November 21, 1964: Chart Toppers


November 21, 1965: Chart Toppers


November 21, 1965: Chart Topper



November 21, 1967 and the psychedelic band Strawberry Alarm Clock (actually a great band) hit number one with a sort of bubble gum psychedelic tune titled Incense and Peppermint:



And on November 21, 1969, the Beatles, on the heels of the band's demise, were at the top of the Billboard Chart with the classic "Hey Jude":



This date, November 21, in the EVOLUTION OF ROCK 'N ROLL...At least in the "Mainstream"...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

MIQUE CRAIG (October 23, 1944 ~ November 18, 2010) R.I.P. MIQUE

I met Mique at the beginning of
THE (INFAMOUS) ODYSSEY days, that was in the early 1970s and her name was Mique Burnette at the time. Of course, after marrying Bobby Craig a few years later, She was, from thenceforth known and universally loved as MIQUE CRAIG.

     Her parties were legendary (held at at The Odyssey,The Hill and The Roadhouse, just to name a few of the "more intimate" venues--as well as all over the area). A Mique's get-together was sure to showcase such GREAT acts as Jim Tate (Mojo Boogie Band, Livewire, Tate Blues Band and others), SRC, Jeannie and the Dreams (one of the early Al Hill bands), The Prodigals or any of the more popular and/or upcoming acts in the area.





     It wasn't long before Miq turned the parties into benefits for Ann Arbor's Mott's Children's Hospital, forming the B.I.T.C.H Club to put on those functions. Angela Burnette, Miq's daughter, is keeping those functions alive now...

Here's Miq with Jim Tate (Jim sadly passed away on May 17, 2010)


     It was five years ago today, November 18, 2010 that we lost Mique. Rest In Peace, Sister...We Love You!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

NOVEMBER 17 IN THE EVOLUTION OF ROCK 'N ROLL...

It was 1962, I was thirteen years old and doin' alright DJ'ing in Pittsburgh, playing mostly R&B and Soul tunes--and a lot of Doo-Wop when The Four Seasons hit the scene with Sherry, then came right back with Big Girls Don't Cry. Had to play this 'cause it was the hottest thing in The Burgh at the time--And had gone to #1 on Billboard!!! According to legendary song writer/producer, Bob Crewe, the title came from a line in the movie "Slightly Scarlet"--The tune hit #13  in the UK...






On that same date, one year later, Dale & Grace had a monster hit  (with a 50s feel--which I liked!)--I'm Leaving It All Up To You...



It took another eight years before this date (September17) produced another significant event, but it was a monster! Hot on the heels of an incredible album named Gasoline Alley
 Rod Stewart & The Faces--With soon to be Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood--came out with A Nod is as Good as a Wink to a Blind Horse!!!





Then Tina gave Ike another shot in '73...




Didn't work out for Ike--Tina became A STAR!

"Nutbush" hit #23 on November 17. 1973...

Can't pass by this date without noting that Brother John Lennon released "Double Fantasy" on November 17 in 1980.
R.I.P. BROTHER ~ DAMN, WE MISS YOU


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

NOVEMBER 16 IN THE EVOLUTION OF ROCK 'N ROLL...


William Christopher Handy (November 16, 1873 – March 28, 1958) was a blues composer and musician. He was widely known as the "Father of the Blues".
Handy remains among the most influential of American songwriters. Though he was one of many musicians who played the distinctively American form of music known as the blues,  he is credited with giving it its contemporary form. While Handy was not the first to publish music in the blues form, he took the blues from a regional music style with a limited audience to one of the dominant national forces in American music.
Before I get into ANYTHING else about this day in the Evolution of Rock 'n Roll, I gotta give tribute to W.C. Handy. born on this date in 1873. and brought BLUES (and thereby Rock 'n Roll!) into the mainstream...Here's one of his contemporaries--Eubie Banks--doing a right on point rendition of Handy's Memphis Blues...

THIS CAT INVENTED MODERN BLUES!!!

But LOTS more happened on this day in THE EVOLUTION OF ROCK 'N ROLL some more Blues, as a matter of fact...

In 1931 Hubert Sumlin was born in Mississippi. He worked as a guitarist with Howlin' Wolf from '55 until '76 when Wolf passed, then had a solo career of his own. Check this out and then get more from You Tube...




Movin' right along on the November 16 EVOLUTION OF ROCK 'N ROLL...
One of Janis Joplin's heroes was born on this date:


November 16, 1933: Singer Garnet Mimms is born in Ashland, West Virginia, USA. As leader of The Enchanters he will score a series of early 60s R'n'B chart hits in the USA
Austin, Texas' Wesley Curley Clark--That's W.C Clark!--was born on this date in 1939. He'll be playing at Key's Lounge in Fort Worth  this weekend (11-19-11)--I'LL BE THERE!!!



Remember  "In The Still Of The Night" by the Five Satins? They played the Civic Auditrorium in Honolulu on November 16, 1957. Dig this Five Satins' jam--It's MY favorite...



Here's an interesting fact about this date; After Brenda Lee had turned down a chance to record  what became the Patsy Cline MONSTER "I Fall To Pieces," Patsy's recording reached #12 the following summer... 




And finally. in 2001, Palm Springs, CA installs a life size statue of their hero Sonny Bono--Yep, On November 16, 2001...



























Thursday, November 10, 2011

NOVEMBER 11 IN THE EVOLUTION OF ROCK AND ROLL



1936: James Lee Land is born in Jasper, Texas, USA. He will grow up to become R&B guitarist/singer Buddy Ace, aka The Silver Fox Of The Blues. Buddy Ace was in gospel groups at first (one contained Joe Tex) before going R & B in the early 50s. He played in Bobby Bland and Junior Parker's bands before he finally got a record contract with Duke/Peacock in 1955. Buddy Ace live in Berlin/germany Franz-Club (early 90's)

 On November 11, 1937
 Sonny Boy Williamson (The First) recorded "Good Gal Blues" in a session at the Leland Hotel in Aurora, Illinois


During that same Leland Hotel session, Robert Lee McCoy (better known as Robert Nighthawk), with Sonny Boy Williamson I on harp,  recorded "Mean Black Cat"



On November 11, 1955 The Clovers recorded their classic "Devil or Angel" at Capitol Studios in NYC. That session also produced "Hey Doll Baby"--the sax heavy flip side of that signature hit:





A year later (November 11, 1956) when Billboard Magazine published the results of its annual Disk Jockey poll:
Johnny Ace's "Pledging My Love" is named the most played R & B single
 
 The most promising artist according to that DJ poll was Chuck Berry





 The Billboard DJ poll named Fats Domino as the favorite R&B artist





And Elvis is named the most promising Country and Western artist

The same date (November 11, 1956) was the day that Billboard Magazine introduced "The Top 100" format, combining record sales with radio and jukebox play to arrive at the standings. The Four Aces has the distinction of having the first "Number One" with their tune "Love Is A Many Splendered Thing"


 Buddy Holly's "Peggy Sue" was released in the U.S. on November 11, 1957 and made it to #3, remaining on the chart for 16 weeks! (The tune also reached #6 in the UK)



Hank Ballard released his new dance tune "The Twist" on November 11, 1958-- Of course he never recieved credit for inventing The Twist...




Ballard's (original) "The Twist" was issued as the B side of "Teardrops on Your Letter"
 



"Teardrops" did reach #16 on the R & B Chart, but "The Twist" by Ballard wouldn't appear on the Billboard Pop Chart for another two years (after Chubby Checker's "The Twist" was a hit)
 With a #10 hit ("Brown Eye Girl"), Van Morrison was interviewed by Dick Clark on November 11, 1967:



Although a staple on American "Oldies" radio to this day, the tune never charted in the UK




Early in 1982, Brother Marvin Gaye (R.I.P.) left Motown Records. By November 11, 1982 he'd released his masterpiece "Sexual Healing" -- His 13th and final #1on the Billboard R & B Chart, reaching #3 on the Pop Chart and #4 in the UK by the next year...




Bob B Soxx lead male singer Bobby Sheen passed away on November 11, 2000. I'm not gonna post their hit (Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah which did reach #8 in 1963) But I am going to post Michael Erlewine's video of THE RATIONALS doing the tune...