ABBA – Oh . . .the 70s.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Abba – Live In Concert – 1981
Truly 70s this weekend – even though the concert is from 1981 and one of the last before ABBA broke up. Nonetheless, it’s a record of just what a wildly popular mainstream Pop group sounded like.
I confess to never having been a fan of ABBA. I just never got into their music. But, from a historic standpoint, they are an important chapter in the history of Pop music. A phenomenon world wide, with a string of hits that continue to sell in the millions, even today. A band that has been acknowledged as an inspiration for a ton of other bands, including several unlikely ones, in recent years. In short, one of the perfectly crafted Pop ensembles to come along in a very long time. And yes, the Platform shoes were a common sight in the early 70s.
Here is a concert, or a compilation of several concerts, from their 1981 Tour. It was issued on CD only to ABBA fans in 1994 and not offered for sale to the general public.
If you missed the phenomenon the first time around, you can get some idea of what it was like seeing them live via this concert.
So now you know.
Percy Mayfield – Poet of The Blues.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Percy Mayfield – What A Fool I Was – 1950
The immortal Percy Mayfield tonight. Rightfully dubbed The Poet Of The Blues, Mayfield was not only a gifted and compelling singer, but he was also was one of the great Blues and Pop Music composers from the 1950’s writing a string of hits, not only for himself, but for Ray Charles among many others.
Tonight it’s one of his own singles – What A Fool I Was came out on Specialty Records in 1950 and climbed up the Billboard charts, topping at Number 8.
Definitely an artist you need to get familiar with if you aren’t already.
You kind of owe that to yourself this weekend.
In lieu of a band photo – Cultural Anthropology: Teenagers in 1925
Click on the link here for Audio Player: George Olsen And His Music – Sugar Plumb – 1925
Since the Studio/Past Daily Nerve Center has been undergoing renovations this past week, I’ve been stumbling over buried shelves of old 78’s – some I haven’t played since they arrived. And since Nights At The Roundtable is an eclectic mish-mash of music most nights anyway, why not end the week/start the new one, with something I usually don’t play; 1920’s Big Band.
This one comes from one of the more popular Dance bands of the 1920’s, a band in heavy competition with Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra. They both recorded for the same label (Victor), and both bands had a massive catalog to their credit and both were huge throughout the 20’s and into the 1930’s.
So rather than try and make something profound out of this entry from a historic standpoint, I thought I would just grab at random, and I chose this one – Sugar Plumb, recorded in 1925 and certainly one of the more danceable numbers the kids in the above photo probably cut a few rugs to.
There has always been Pop Music and Pop Culture – it just sounds and looks different over the years. The sentiment is the exact same.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Nashville Teens – Tobacco Road – 1964
Just about every collector of Rock knows this track backwards and forwards and you’ve probably heard it at least a thousand times. But I remember hearing it for the first time when it came out and it’s stuck to me ever since. It’s just a great track by a band that was part of that enormous wave of talent known as The British Invasion of 1964. The Nashville Teens hit it huge with Tobacco Road, becoming a world-wide sensation early on. They had gotten great word of mouth as a live band, based on backing Jerry Lee Lewis during his UK tour in 1964.
But as the vagaries of Pop Music often work, they never really duplicated the intense popularity of their initial hit, and more or less faded from view as the 60’s wore on.
Like so many bands of the period, they were underrated and simply got lost in the shuffle. And where the fortunes of a hit record were dictated on how it placed on a chart limited to 40 other hopeful singles, there were very small windows of opportunity to be had.
So as a reminder of just how much of a miracle it is for any band to sustain their popularity over time, and to introduce those who aren’t familiar with this band, another entry in the vast catalog of worthy musicians who need a second hearing, here is Tobacco Road by The Nashville Teens.
The Police – One of the defining bands of the 70’s.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: 1980-05-05 BBC In Concert (Police)
The Police managed to straddle the non-conventional Punk and New Wave audience with the more mainstream Pop Music audience to become of the biggest selling and most popular bands in the world during the 70’s and early 80’s.
This week’s concert was recorded on May 5, 1980 at the completion of their latest tour and in Sting’s hometown of Newcastle. The audience is sold out and the energy is high. And for the next hour or so, you get to hear why they were such a popular band.
Adrienne Pauly: Multi-talent.
Click on the link here for Audio player: Adrienne Pauly – Mechant cafard -2006
Over to France for a sampling of Adrienne Pauly, an artist who has fit in comfortably with rock, pop and acting and has gained an international reputation from all three.
Tonight it’s a track off her first self-titled album. Released in 2006 it quickly establish Pauly as an artist on the way up. Mèchant Cafard is pure Pop, not of the 60’s Yè-Yè variety but something more along the lines of Pop/Indie and gives some idea Adrienne Pauly isn’t fooling around. And for a multi-talent, that’s good news.
Hal David, Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick – The unbeatable combination.
Click on the link here for Audio player: Dionne Warwick – Walk On By
I was very sad to learn earlier today that legendary songwriter and partner to the iconic writing team of Bacharach and David had passed away, the result of a massive stroke Mr. David suffered in March of this year.
As way of tribute to their unique and timeless contribution to the art of song writing, and one of my favorite pop tunes by this team, here is Dionne Warwick’s unforgettable rendition of Walk On By, a song written for her by Hal David and Burt Bacharach and a huge hit in 1964.