Thirty-six years ago yesterday, a dark day for many Elvis fans.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Elvis Presley – Live At Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas – August 3, 1969
As was quietly yet repeatedly mentioned to me yesterday, August 16 marked the 36th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley, who passed from the scene in 1977. I remember the day well – bars filled to overflowing, grown men weeping, the sound of any given Elvis Presley song became the wall of sound permeating neighborhoods via just about every radio in the country offering tributes. People who imagined or were convinced they were somehow connected to “The King Of Rock n’ Roll” were interviewed and asked their thoughts. To many, it was the day Rock n’ Roll died.
But as we all know, life goes on despite repeated attempts to freeze it at a certain place and time.
So if you weren’t there at the time, not born yet, avoided it, or remember Elvis Presley with a degree of fondness, here is one of the many Las Vegas concerts he performed during his comeback period. Recorded and circulated by the legion of Presley fans from August 3, 1969, here is that concert from the Hilton Las Vegas.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: [audio https://pastdaily.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/hueylewisandthenews1984kabukitheatersanfranciscoca.mp3]
80’s Americana this weekend. The venerable Huey Lewis & The News, in concert in San Francisco at The Kabuki Theater in 1984. This concert coincides with their tour for the newly released and wildly popular Sports album and the audience is suitably happy.
As much as they tried to fit into the “skinny tie/new-wave/post-punk” mold, they were still a pretty basic rock n’ roll band and their appeal was universal. Something not a lot of bands have been able to accomplish in the course of their careers – straddling several genres at once and cutting a wide swath of audience appeal in the process.
And maybe you forgot just how popular they were in 1984 – or maybe you’ve never heard them before.
Either way, here’s a good reminder and and an introduction to a band very much synonymous with the 80s, who are still around and in the process of celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release of Sports.
Suggested playback level: loud.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: TBoneWalker1967-09-16MontereyJazzFestivalCA
Tonight it’s the Original/One-And-Only/Accept-No-Substitutes T-Bone Walker, in concert at The Monterey Jazz Festival, recorded September 16, 1967.
T-Bone Walker was probably one of the most influential and pioneering artists to straddle the worlds of Jazz and Blues in the 1940’s all the way to the 1970’s. Part of that pivotal genre known as Jump-Blues, that rare common ground which existed just post-World War 2 into the dawn of Rock n’ Roll, where the influence of Big-Bands was fading and the small group experiments were happening all over the place. T-Bone Walker was right in the middle of it.
A legendary figure to those-in-the-know, Walker didn’t get the mass mainstream recognition many of his contemporaries got. But he had more than his fair share of champions, and listening to this excerpt from the full concert gives you some indication why.
Hit the play button and turn it up.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: LittleFeat1973-03-20CivicAuditoriumSantaMonicaCA
Continuing our look at Iconic Americana, I ran across this concert by the legendary Little Feat, recorded by KMET-FM in Los Angeles on March 20, 1973.
Having been a fan of this group since their early days, I always enjoyed their live gigs equally as much as their studio recordings. Something about playing in front of an audience that loves what you’re doing gives it an extra boost, and this one of those times.
Getting started in the late 1960s and hitting their stride in the early 70s, Little Feat were the epitome (to me) of the straight-ahead, no frills, no pretense of what Rock n’ Roll was all about. Founded by Lowell George, and made up largely of ex-members of The Mothers Of Invention, Little Feat were a cut above a lot of bands at the time. They brought a high level of musical ability and virtuosity to a scene that was undergoing direction changes, and in doing so carved out a niche and created an enduring legacy as the result.
Still around, but with a lot of personnel changes (not to mention the passing of Lowell George years earlier), Little Feat are as much an institution now as they ever were. But it’s a kick to hear them in the early days when they were exploring new territory and we were going along for the ride.
Some things just don’t get old, and never will.
Heart – Straight ahead rock n’ roll.
Click on the link here for Audio Player:Heart – Live in New Jersey – 1979
Back to some basic, no-frills American Rock n’ Roll this weekend. Heart were an institution on most FM Rock Radio stations throughout the U.S. in the 1970’s. A string of hits and a huge following, Heart rode the crest of a popularity wave throughout the decade of the 70’s and into the early 80’s.
Here they are, during their heyday, at a concert recorded live on January 26, 1979 in Passaic, New Jersey.
The Wilson Sisters are alive and well and tearin’ up the joint.