This is an updated repost from Dec. 18, 2018
For a TV series that ran for only two years (1966-68) albeit 58 episodes, it has had a significant effect on music, even today. I recall ‘sneaking’ as my father was very much against us watching such “garbage” with two of my sisters to watch the shows on Saturday morning reruns. I tried watching a couple of episodes recently, it’s about a wacky group of guys struggling to make it in the music business, and apart from the music my father was not all wrong. However, for the time period it was great entertainment for tweens and teens especially and that demographic bought their records-lots of them. In fact about 75 million records to date. The demise of the silly TV show was due to a backlash regarding the ‘manufactured’ nature of the band itself and a change in the format in season two, the ratings dropped and that was it. The TV show was gone and all that was left was a lot of great songs and by now, an actual fully functioning band with the Monkeys themselves playing instruments and as always doing all the vocals.Read More »
I Write the Songs (part 3)
Jerry Leiber (April 25, 1933 – August 22, 2011) and Mike Stoller (born March 13, 1933) This pair met in Los Angeles and by age 17 their songs were being recorded. With the success of “Hound Dog” by Big Mama Thornton in 1953, they, along with their mentor Lester Sill, formed Spark Records which was the first of many businesses. Though they were not initially fans of Elvis’s rendition of Hound Dog, they grew to have a great relationship with him and wrote some of his #1 hits such as “Don’t” (1958) and “Jailhouse Rock” (1957) as well as several other top tens. They wrote “There Goes My Baby” and “On Broadway” for The Drifters, and “Stand By Me” and “I (Who Have Nothing)” for Ben E. King, which would go on to be a hit song for at least five other artists. Their favorite group were The Coasters who had four #1 R&B songs and a dozen other hits on Billboard’s Hot 100 and the R&B charts. They hit #1 with “Yakety Yak” in 1958. Jerry Leiber also co-wrote two very memorable songs without Stoller: “Spanish Harlem” by Ben E. King, later a #1 R&B hit for Aretha Franklin, and “Jackson” by The Kingston Trio, later a #2 hit for June Carter and Johnny Cash. Read More »
Happy Canada Day and Happy Independence Day!
To celebrate these birthdays, I will be listing some of the well-known groups with both American and Canadian members.Read More »