January 20: Elvis Presley recorded In The Ghetto in 1969

In the Ghetto” (originally titled “The Vicious Circle“) is a song written by Mac Davis and made famous by Elvis Presley, who had a major comeback hit with it in 1969. It was recorded January 20th 1969 and released in April the same year as a 45 rpm single with “Any Day Now” as the flip side.

It is a narrative of generational poverty: a boy is born to a mother who already has more children than she can feed in the ghetto of Chicago. The boy grows up hungry, steals and fights, purchases a gun and steals a car, attempts to run, but is shot and killed just as his own child is born. The song implies that the newborn will meet the same fate, continuing the cycle of poverty and violence. The feeling of an inescapable circle is created by the structure of the song, with its simple, stark phrasing; by the repetition of the phrase “in the ghetto” as the close of every fourth line; and finally by the repetition of the first verse’s “and his mama cries” just before the beginning and as the close of the last verse. Continue reading “January 20: Elvis Presley recorded In The Ghetto in 1969”

The Beatles Released “Something” 50 years ago today – Here are cover versions by Bob Dylan, Springsteen, Sinatra, Elvis and more

Something in the way she moves
Attracts me like no other lover
Something in the way she woos me
I don’t want to leave her now
You know I believe and how

At the time I wasn’t particularly thrilled that Frank Sinatra did “Something” … I was more interested when Smokey Robinson did it and when James Brown did it. But I’m very pleased now, whoever’s done it. I realise that the sign of a good song is when it has lots of cover versions.
– George Harrison, 2000

Something” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1969 album Abbey Road. It was written by George Harrison, the band’s lead guitarist. Soon after the album’s release, the song was issued as a single, coupled with “Come Together”, making it the first Harrison composition to become a Beatles A-side.

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BBC documentary: Elvis the Rebirth of the King (2017)

The widely accepted Elvis narrative is that the Vegas period was the nadir of his career, but this film argues that Elvis reached his peak both as a singer and performer in the first few years of his Vegas period. He became, in those short years, the greatest performer on earth. The film tracks this five-year renaissance with some of his key musical and artistic collaborators of the period, including the creator of his most memorable jumpsuits, to celebrate the greatest pop reinvention of all time. (BBC) Continue reading “BBC documentary: Elvis the Rebirth of the King (2017)”

1961: 20 Songs Released in 1961 You Must Hear

My rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed (that’s another & more complicated list)

Please feel free to publish your own favorite songs from 1961 in the comments section…

Here we go…

1972: 21 Songs Released in 1972 You Must Hear






First: Historical events

from: infoplease.com

  • President Nixon makes unprecedented eight-day visit to Communist China and meets with Mao Zedong (Feb. 17).
  • Britain takes over direct rule of Northern Ireland in bid for peace (March 24).
  • Eleven Israeli athletes at Olympic Games in Munich are killed after eight members of an Arab terrorist group invades Olympic Village; five guerrillas and one policeman are also killed (Sept. 5).
  • Nixon orders “Christmas bombing” of North Vietnam (Dec)
  • Gov. George C. Wallace of Alabama is shot by Arthur H. Bremer at Laurel, Md., political rally (May 15)
  • US Supreme Court rules that death penalty is unconstitutional (June 29)

My rules:

  • Only one song per artist/group
  • The song must be released that specific year
  • Songs from live albums not allowed (that’s another & more complicated list)

Please feel free to publish your own favorite songs from 1972 in the comments section…

AND lists like this are supposed to be fun! Don’t take it too seriously.

Here we go…

  • Shine A Light – The Rolling Stones

    Released on “Exile on Main St.” – a double album by English rock band The Rolling Stones. It was released on 12 May 1972 by Rolling Stones Records. The album’s music incorporates rock and roll, blues, soul, country, and gospel genres.
    In 2003, the album was ranked 7th on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

    Saw you stretched out in Room Ten O Nine
    With a smile on your face and a tear right in your eye.
    Oh, couldn’t see to get a line on you, my sweet honey love. 

    Berber jew’lry jangling down the street,
    Make you shut your eyes at ev’ry woman that you meet.
    Could not seem to get a high on you, my sweet honey love. 

    May the good Lord shine a light on you,
    Make every song (you sing) your favorite tune.
    May the good Lord shine a light on you,
    Warm like the evening sun.



    Continue reading “1972: 21 Songs Released in 1972 You Must Hear”

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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