Month: October 2018
Bruce Springsteen Part 2
I’m not the first nor last to state that the legacy of Springsteen’s music is a gift for not only the present listeners to enjoy but the distant future ones as well. I talk about this all the time, history shows we consistently don’t fully appreciate many a talented artist during their lifetime, someone will be recording and no doubt blogging about his music in 3018. While we don’t have to pass the hat, I just don’t think he gets the credit he deserves. Sounds silly perhaps as he has had amazing success and a remarkable career thus far, but you may be surprised to know he has never had a number one hit single on the Billboard charts. Not that Billboard is the benchmark for greatness but it does reflect popularity, even if just briefly. His highest charting song was “Dancing In The Dark” which peaked at #2 on June 30, 1984. He has had a total of 26 songs chart and 12 hit the top 10. I draw a comparison to Chuck Berry, with one exception he didn’t chart at #1 on the Billboard Pop charts. But we hear and see constant references to his music 60 plus years later, while many others who charted ahead of him are relative unknowns. I don’t think it’s ever been about charts or even record sales with Bruce, having said that no one has had the same success with their albums, Bruce has consistently been in the top 5 for sales and the Billboard Top 200 album chart with rare exceptions. This says a lot about Bruce and his fans, it’s about the experience and the story and if you get a pop song out of it that’s ok too.
Bruce’s fourth album was “Darkness on the Edge of Town”(1978). Full of amazing guitar and songs with intense lyrics, a great representative song is “Badlands”. All songs are written and performed by Bruce Springsteen.
Delta Blues Part 1
Delta Blues Musicians (Part 1)
Where to start on this topic is difficult, but it seems to me the geography is perhaps best. What we now know as the Delta Blues came from (not surprisingly) the Mississippi Delta. This is a region of the United States that stretches from north to south between Memphis, Tennessee, and Vicksburg, Mississippi, and from east to west between the Yazoo River and the Mississippi River. The river being the blood that feeds the land which at one time was not only the heart of slave country but the farms, plantations and agriculture that brought them there to begin with.
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen was born September 23, 1949 in New Jersey, USA. Now 69 years old. Inspired by Elvis Presley, Bruce bought his first guitar for $18 when he was 13 years old. These days I expect that’s a bit late to be taking up an instrument that will carry you to the pinnacle of Rock and Roll stardom, but a lot of hard work and practice got him his first record deal with Columbia in 1972. Now a multi-instrumentalist playing piano, electric piano, pump organ, autoharp, ukulele, banjo, electric guitar, and stomping board, as well as acoustic guitar and harmonica the man provides a live performance like no other as I can attest through personal experience.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, he is a Kennedy Center Honouree and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, has a Tony Award, an Academy Award, 20 Grammy Awards and his own Broadway Play. Yet he remains I think a humble man. Not a one blog pony this guy so I will move chronologically and see how far I get for part one. Steve buddy, this one is for you.
Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017)
Just ahead of the birth date of Chuck Berry I thought it time to blog about him. While there are many artists that shaped the Rock and Roll landscape, other than Elvis one of the biggest, and most enduring was Chuck Berry. While he would later cover many songs, in many ways Berry was a true original. Not to say he did not rest on the shoulders of many of the greats before him and copy a tune or three, but few people capitalized on this new music like Chuck Berry. At least 60 of his songs have been covered and many by the best pop music has ever seen such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Animals, Buddy Holly, Eric Clapton, Elvis and list goes on and on. While being ‘out of fashion’ soon after his initial success and not producing any popular new music, he still managed to influence a generation or two at least. I’ve referenced him a few times because of his musical reach and impact.