January 30: The great late Steve Marriott was born in 1947 (full documentary about his life)

Stephen Peter “Steve” Marriott (30 January 1947 – 20 April 1991) was an English musician, songwriter and frontman of two notable rock and roll bands, spanning over two decades. Marriott is remembered for his powerful singing voice which belied his small stature, and for his aggressive approach as a guitarist in mod rock bands Small Faces (1965–1969) and Humble Pie (1969–1975 and 1980–1981). Marriott was inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 as a member of Small Faces.
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January 27: Elvis Presley released Heartbreak Hotel in 1956

heartbreak_hotel_cover

Elvis Presley released Heartbreak Hotel January 27th in 1956

From Wikipedia:

Heartbreak Hotel” is a song recorded by Elvis Presley. It was released as a single on January 27, 1956, Presley’s first on his new record label RCA Victor. His first number-one pop record, “Heartbreak Hotel” topped Billboard‘s Top 100 chart, became his first million-seller, and was the best-selling single of 1956. It was written by Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton.

Well, Since my baby left me

These opening words set the tone, this is not a happy-song…

I got this record from my aunt when I was about 7 or 8 years old (1973/1974), I couldn’t  comprehend the heartache and suffering in the lyrics. I just thought it was the coolest thing I had ever heard. I still got that record. It is worn and scratched and it’s still the coolest record in the world.

Heartbreak Hotel (audio):

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January 26: Lucinda Williams was born in 1953 , Happy Birthday!

Like so many, I discovered Lucinda Williams when she released the fantastic album, Car Wheels On A Gravel Road. I went to the record store (yes, we actually did that in the old days) and bought as many of her albums as I could find. There were four albums before Car Wheels.., great albums, I love them all. Since then I’ve awaited all Lucinda Williams albums with great excitement. She’s always good, most of the time she’s great.

Half an hour of the wonderful Lucinda Williams live at Paradiso Amsterdam (2013):

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January 25: John Phillips released John The Wolfking of L.A. in 1970

“…not exactly a great lead vocalist. Phillips knew this, and, according to his book, Papa John, he purposely buried his voice in the mix. This proved to be a bit of tragedy, because underneath it all, this is an excellent album. Songs such as “April Anne,” “Malibu People,” and “Holland Tunnel” bear out what a fine songwriter he really was, and indeed, these are some of the finest songs of his career. The performances on this record are spectacular. Backed by an all-star group of musicians (most of Elvis Presley’s band, including James Burton, as well as the Wrecking Crew, among others), the record’s decidedly country feel is crafted to the extreme. Mamas co-founder Denny Doherty has always felt that had the Mamas & Papas recorded this album, it would have been one of their finest. There’s no doubt.
– Matthew Greenwald (Allmusic)

John Phillips (John, the Wolf King of L.A.) is the first solo recording by the Mamas & the Papas leader John Phillips. All songs were Phillips originals, dealing mostly with recent events in Phillips’ life, including references to his new girlfriend Geneviève Waïte and longtime friend Ann Marshall (“April Anne”). The backing musicians included members of Wrecking Crew. Today the album receives favourable reviews from fans and critics alike. The album was selected as one of ShortList’s 50 Coolest Albums Ever. Continue reading “January 25: John Phillips released John The Wolfking of L.A. in 1970”

January 24: The great late Warren Zevon was born in 1947

All the salty margaritas in Los Angeles
I’m gonna drink ’em upAnd if California slides into the ocean
Like the mystics and statistics say it will
I predict this motel will be standing until I pay my bill
~Warren Zevon (Desperados Under the Eaves)

Few of rock & roll’s great misanthropes were as talented, as charming, or as committed to their cynicism as Warren Zevon.
~Mark Deming (allmusic.com)

Live in Passaic NJ, 1982 (The Full Concert):

BF: Who are some of your favorite songwriters?
Bob Dylan: Buffett I guess. Lightfoot. Warren Zevon. Randy. John Prine. Guy Clark. Those kinds of writers.
~Bob Dylan (to Huffington Post – May 2009)

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