Saturday, January 26, 2013

The ‘27’ Club

What do Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Kurt Cobain have in common? What about Brian Jones, Amy Winehouse, Ron McKernan, and Pete Ham? If you said they were all musicians/performers, you would be correct. If you noticed that all of them are deceased, you would also be correct. They also had something else in common - they are all members of an exclusive club.

Every one of these performers (and a dozen or more other, lesser known musicians) are members of the infamous ‘27 Club’.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Rhythm Aces

Popular music has its stars, and also those ‘other’ musicians that made major contributions yet are not very well known. Rhythm guitarists are rarely the stars of a band, unless they happen to be the lead singer, but no one can deny their importance to the music. Although the guitarists featured in this piece are not as well known as most lead guitar players, they deserve mention for their skill in driving the music of rock and roll.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The ‘Other’ Turner

One of the forgotten stars of the early rock era is Ike Turner. He is probably better known as the former husband of a mega-star singer, but Ike holds a place all his own among the pioneers of rock and roll. He was a bandleader, guitarist, songwriter, pianist, talent scout, record arranger, and producer. He discovered Anna Mae Bullock; changed her name to Tina Turner and helped to propel her to stardom. His musical resume is impressive, but unfortunately for him, Turner is best known as an alleged wife beater and abuser.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Good Dusting

Few songs speak more to the roots of blues and blues-rock than ‘Dust My Broom’. It is a signature piece, written in the 1930’s, and has been recorded by many prominent rock and blues singers and guitarists. No one knows for certain who wrote it; it has been attributed to two legendary bluesmen: Robert Johnson and Elmore James, although it is possible that either or both used other songs of the time and altered them to produce their own version.