April 21: Iggy Pop was born in 1947

iggy_pop_smile

My parents wanted to light my artistic candle. But over time, the definition of ‘the arts’ began to stretch. And as I got older, they suddenly realized, Oh, my God, we’re the parents of Iggy Pop.
~Iggy Pop

There’s a reason why many consider Iggy Pop the godfather of punk: every single punk band of the past and present has either knowingly or unknowingly borrowed a thing or two from Pop and his late-’60s/early-’70s band, the Stooges.
~Greg Prato (allmusic.com)

Live 2001 (30min)

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April 8: Elvis Presley released Elvis is Back! in 1960

Elvis is back

 Recorded when Presley was 25, fresh off a two-year military stint and musically fit to burst, Elvis Is Back! might be the King’s greatest noncompilation LP: wildly varied material, revelatory singing, impeccable stereo sound.
~Will Hermes (rollingstone.com)

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April 4: The late great Muddy Waters was born in 1913

“Man, you don’t know how I felt that afternoon when I heard that voice and it was my own voice.” 

– Muddy Waters

“I rambled all the time. I was just like that, like a rollin’ stone.”

– Muddy Waters

Waters_Muddy_003

Wikipedia (Read more):

McKinley Morganfield (April 4, 1913 – April 30, 1983), known as Muddy Waters is generally considered the “father of modern Chicago blues”. He was a major inspiration for the British blues explosion in the 1960s, and was ranked #17 in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

In his later years Muddy usually said that he was born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, in 1915, he was actually born at Jug’s Corner in neighboring Issaquena County, Mississippi, in 1913.

One of the greatest and most influential blues artists of all times.

Got my Mojo workin, 1976:

His grandmother Della Grant raised him after his mother died shortly after his birth. His fondness for playing in mud earned him the nickname “Muddy” at an early age. He then changed it to “Muddy Water” and finally “Muddy Waters”.

muddy waters Michael choIllustration by Michael Cho

The actual shack where Muddy Waters lived in his youth on Stovall Plantation is now at the Delta Blues Museum at 1 Blues Alley in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He started out on harmonica but by age seventeen he was playing the guitar at parties emulating two blues artists who were extremely popular in the south, Son House and Robert Johnson.

You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had:

“His thick heavy voice, the dark coloration of his tone and his firm, almost solid, personality were all clearly derived from House,” wrote music critic Peter Guralnick in Feel Like Going Home, “but the embellishments which he added, the imaginative slide technique and more agile rhythms, were closer to Johnson.”

Album of the day, The Folk Singer by Muddy Waters:
muddy waters folk singer

Muddy Waters started out playing acoustic blues in the Delta, and it shows on this return to his roots, it is probably designed to appeal to the mid-1960s surge of interest in blues music, especially in the UK. It is a great acoustic blues album. You’ve got Muddy Waters and you’ve got legendary songwriter/bassist Willie Dixon, and a young Buddy Guy on lead guitar! Waters sings very strong and the sound is surprisingly clean , enjoy!

Other April 4th:

Gary Moore was born in 1952 in Belfast Ireland.

In a career dating back to the 1960s, Moore played with artists including Phil Lynott and Brian Downey during his teens, leading him to memberships with the Irish bands Skid Row and Thin Lizzy on three separate occasions. Moore shared the stage with such blues and rock luminaries as B.B. King, Albert King, Colosseum II, George Harrison and Greg Lake, as well as having a successful solo career.

Moore died in his sleep of a heart attack in his hotel room while on holiday in Estepona, Spain, in February 2011

Elvis Presley:

A taped Elvis Presley concert entitled Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii was telecast on NBC in the USA and proved to be a huge success. The total worldwide audience for the show, the first commercial worldwide satellite broadcast, amounts to over a billion people.

-Hallgeir

Sources: Wikipedia, Allmusic, Peter Guralnick – Feel Like Going Home and Robert Gordon’s wonderful book:

Muddy Waters bio

April 3: Richard Thompson was born in 1949 – Happy Birthday!

“The finest rock songwriter after Dylan and the best electric guitarist since Hendrix.”
– Los Angeles Times

April 03: Richard Thompson was born in 1949 – Happy Birthday!

Richard John Thompson OBE was born 3 April 1949, he is a British songwriter, guitarist and recording and performing musician.

Thompson was awarded the Orville H. Gibson award for best acoustic guitar player in 1991. Artists who have recorded Thompson’s compositions include such diverse talents as Del McCoury, R.E.M., Bonnie Raitt, Christy Moore, David Gilmour, Mary Black, Elvis Costello, Marshall Crenshaw, The Corrs, Sandy Denny, June Tabor, Joel Fafard, Maria McKee, Shawn Colvin, Norma Waterson, Martin Carthy, Nanci Griffith, Graham Parker, The Pointer Sisters, Maura O’Connell, Los Lobos, John Doe, Greg Brown, Bob Mould, Barbara Manning, Loudon Wainwright III, The Futureheads, Jeff Lang, Dinosaur Jr., David Byrne, and The Blind Boys of Alabama.

Check out our post about one of the saddest songs ever written, Walking on a Wire.

Richard Thompson BBC 4 Session 2013 (full set):

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April 1: The legend Ronnie Lane was born in 1946

As the former bassist for the Small Faces, and later the Faces, Ronnie Lane left both bands when he felt the spirit of the group had died, gaining him the reputation of an uncompromising artist, and allowing him the opportunity to release some fine solo material in the ’70s.
~Steve Kurutz (allmusic.com)

Ronnie Wood and Kenney Jones Talk The Faces on Hall of Fame Induction:

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March 25: Aretha Franklin was born in 1942 – Happy 76th birthday!

If a song’s about something I’ve experienced or that could’ve happened to me it’s good. But if it’s alien to me, I couldn’t lend anything to it. Because that’s what soul is all about.
~Aretha Franklin

I Say A Little Prayer – “The Cliff Richard Show” 1970:

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