Monday, December 7, 2009


Bing Crosby
White Christmas

Bing Crosby
Do You Hear What I Hear?

Brenda Lee
Rockin Around the Christmas Tree

Silent Night (Irish)

Elmo & Patsy
Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Wizards in Winter

The Kinks
Father Christmas

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Friday, October 9, 2009

Victory at Sea

Richard Rogers classic masterpiece was the musical score for the first, great television documentary: Victory at Sea.

Pearl Harbor


The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot

U.S. Marines

MacArthur Returns

The Battle for Leyte Gulf

Leyte Gulf was the largest naval battle ever fought on planet earth. For four years after Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Navy had chased the Imperial Japanese Navy across the Pacific Ocean and finally cornered them in the Philippines at Leyte Gulf. A friend of mine appears in this episode, as his ship, the "Jeep carrier" U.S.S. Gambier Bay was sunk by the gigantic Japanese battleship Yamato with it's 18 inch guns. It was the second ship that was sunk from under him during the war...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Some Great Live Music

When I was a boy, I went to the record store with only a dollar in my pocket. You couldn't buy much for a dollar, so I went to the discount table and bought nine 10-cent, 45-RPM singles. They all turned out to be junk except this one...

Johnny Guitar Watson
Gangster of Love

He was unknown then and little known now, but I'm still a fan. He died on stage in Yokohama, Japan in 1996.
Johnny Guitar Watson
I Wanna Ta Ta You

One of the greatest live acts of all-time was this band from Boston. It featured lead singer Peter Wolf, (a former disc jockey), lead guitar player J. Geils, and harmonica soloist Magic Dick.

J. Geils Band
Looking For a Love

Magic Dick
Whammer Jammer

I saw them four times. Here they are back home at the Boston Garden.
J. Geils Band
I Could Hurt You

They turned sleeze into an artform:
"I don't care if she waddles like a duck,
or talks with a lisp;
I'll still think
she's a good lover,
if those dollar bills are crisp."
J. Geils Band
First I Look at the Purse

Sunday, August 16, 2009

One of a Kind

His music was unique. Over a period of decades, his tunes reached the top of every chart: rock chart, pop chart, country music chart, blues chart, jazz chart...all of them. He was the one performer who appealed to everyone...

Ray Charles
Hit the Road Jack

Blind since the age of seven, he concentrated everything on his music.
Ray Charles
Georgia On My Mind

Ray Charles
I Got A Woman

Ray Charles
What'd I Say?

Thanks to Ray Charles' performance, we now have two national anthems...
Ray Charles
America the Beautiful

Friday, July 24, 2009

Evolution of Two Bands

This 60's band featured one of the greatest rockers ever: Steve Marriott. No member of the band stood taller than 5'5".

Small Faces
Itchycoo Park

Marriott left the Small Faces to form one of the greatest heavy metal bands of all-time...
Humble Pie

Humble Pie
Don't Need No Doctor

The Small Faces regrouped after Marriott left and became one of the biggest rock&roll acts ever, with Rod Stewart (from the Jeff Beck Group) taking over as lead singer and Ronnie Wood (future Rolling Stones) on lead guitar, with Kenney Jones (Keith Moon's replacement in The Who) on drums.
Stay With Me

Many original Small Faces came to a bad end. Steve Marriott died when his house accidently burned down in 1991. Bassist Ronnie Laine died of multiple sclerosis in 1997, but they had left a huge legacy.

I'm Losing You

Monday, June 22, 2009

Irish Rock

Four guys from Dublin, Ireland who take themselves way too seriously...

Sunday Bloody Sunday

With or Without You

Where the Streets Have No Name

Bad (Live Aid Concert 1985)

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Are You Ready For Freddie?

I first saw Freddie Mercury (Farrokh Bulsara) when he was a solo singer. He was the opening act for a band called Mountain featuring Leslie West. He was so different from anything else going at that time, that the audience didn't quite know what to make of him. All they knew was, "That guy sure can sing!" The breakthrough came when he joined lead guitarist Brian May and changed the name of their group to...

Live at Wembley Stadium, London 1986.

Weeks before their sold-out, mid 70's concerts, bumper stickers would appear on LA freeways that said, "Are you ready for Freddie?"

Under Pressure

Live Aid Concert

Freddie eventually died of Aids. It was no coincidence that many of the songs that he wrote were anticipating death...

Hammer to Fall

We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions

I Want to Break Free

He was the queen of rock&roll.
Their classic masterpiece...
Bohemian Rhapsody

Brian May solo

Friday, June 5, 2009


By 1968, British musicians knew that they had conquered the world. Three of these young men felt that they were MUCH better musicians than anyone else; the cream of the crop. So they decided to form their own band and play their own psychedelic form of rythm & blues...

Deserted Cities of the Heart

They were just a three-man group:
Drums: Ginger Baker
Bass/lead vocals: Jack Bruce
Lead guitar: Eric Clapton


Pressed Rat and Warthog

Drug use finally broke up the band: especially the heroin addiction of Ginger Baker
Tales of Brave Ulysses

Sunshine of Your Love

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Kinks

Led by uber-talented Ray Davies, who was the lead singer and composer, this group is almost forgotten now, but they were one of the leaders of the British Invasion. Drummer Mick Avory landed with these guys after being fired by Brian Jones and replaced with Charlie Watts in the Rolling Stones in 1963. Lead guitar Dave Davies was weird, but he was also the brother of Ray, which kept him in the group for decades.

The Kinks
Got Love If You Want It

The Kinks
You Really Got Me

We used to turn this one up loud as we drove around town in 1966.
The Kinks
Till the End of the Day

The Kinks
All Day and All of the Night

"Father Christmas,
Give us your money!
We'll beat you up,
if you make us annoyed"

Come on! Everybody sing!
The Kinks
Father Christmas

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Eric Burdon

The Animals
House of the Rising Sun

The Animals
We Gotta Get Out of This Place

Eric Burdon and the Animals

Eric Burdon and the Animals
When I Was Young

Eric Burdon and War
Spill the Wine

Friday, May 22, 2009

Female Pop Stars

Maybe the greatest female pop singer of all time...
Dusty Springfield (Mary O'Brien)
I Only Want To Be With You

Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield
You Don't Have To Say You Love Me

The Seekers (Judith Durham) The first great Australian pop stars
I'll Never Find Another You

The Seekers
Georgy Girl

Here is the greatest selling female singer ever to come out of Great Britain. She was a child star in British films beginning in 1944 and her singing career includes Top 20 hits from 1954 to 2009.
Petula Clark

Petula Clark
Don't Sleep In the Subway

Petula Clark
I Know a Place

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The British Invasion

From the "Day the Music Died" in 1959 to early 1964, real rock&roll nearly died out. It was replaced by formula music, which was favored by the large music companies as safer investments. No one even suspected that a musical revolution was brewing in Great Britain and other English speaking countries as teenagers created their own versions of American rock&roll and blues tunes. These new "beat groups" exploded onto the scene at the same time and astonished the world for the next 30 years...

The Beatles
I Want to Hold Your Hand

The Beatles

The Beatles (George Harrison sings lead on this one.)
I'm Happy Just to Dance With You

The Beatles
She Loves You

The Animals
Boom Boom

The Animals
Talkin About You

Six foot five inch, red-haired, Paul Jones was offered the job of lead singer of the Rolling Stones by Brian Jones, but he turned it down. Don't feel too badly for him. His son became one of the richest businessmen in the world...
Manfred Mann
Hubble Bubble

These lads don't look too enthusiastic about having to lip-synch their anthem of teenage rebellion. Its a good thing those ducks and boaters don't get too close to Keith Moon...
The Who
The Kids Are Alright

This one is more like it...
The Who
Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere

The teenage band that eventually became The Who were originally known as...
The High Numbers
I'm the Face

The Rolling Stones
Pain in My Heart/Around and Around

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Greatest Show on Earth

The Who
Baba O'Rielly

The greatest guitarist that I ever saw was Peter Townsend and the greatest drummer was Keith Moon: both of them were in this band. When their first hit records came out, the oldest member of the band, bassist John Entwhistle, was 19 and the youngest member of the band, Moon, was only 16.
The Who

Most of their songs were a continous battle between light melodies and harmonic vocals against a background of violent drumming with explosive guitar work.
The Who
Happy Jack

The Who
Won't Get Fooled Again

The masters of angry teenage music...
The Who
Behind Blue Eyes

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Birth of Rock & Roll

Here is the very first rock & roll tune from 1954.
The term "rock & roll" hadn't even been invented yet.
The Crew Cuts

Here is the tune that conquered the world.
In 1956, this band caused riots wherever they went.
Bill Haley and His Comets
Rock Around the Clock

The first rock & roll superstar was a 21 year-old truck driver from Tupelo, Mississippi.
Elvis Presley
You Ain't Nothin', but a Hound Dog

Forced to wear tuxedos for TV, (so they wouldn't scare the parents) these motorcycle toughs from Texas were led by a 20 year-old who was killed two years later on "the day the music died."
Buddy Holly and the Crickets
Peggy Sue

The greatest teen idols of their time, these guys are seen here on American Bandstand: the first weekly rock & roll TV show, which was broadcast live from Philadelphia.
Dion and the Belmonts
A Teenager in Love

Here they are 50 years later. Modern equipment makes a big difference!
Dion and the Belmonts

This was filmed live just four days after "the day the music died" in February, 1959, when Buddy Holly (22), Richie Valens (17) and the Big Bopper (28) were killed in a plane crash. One year after this was filmed, Eddie was also killed in a taxi cab crash in London, England. He was 21.
Eddie Cochran
Summertime Blues

Eddie wrote his own material and he was a local kid from Bell Gardens, California.
Eddie Cochran
C'mon Everybody

White radio stations in the south wouldn't play black rockers on the air, but they were huge stars everywhere else in the world. Here Chuck Berry is introduced by the man who invented the phrase "rock & roll", Alan Freed.
Chuck Berry
You Can't Catch Me

Watch the teenagers react to Chuck Berry more than half a century ago...

Johnny B. Goode (Live 1958)

The wildest of them all was this guy.
Little Richard

Long Tall Sally (1956)

Whole Lotta Shakin Goin on

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Swing Time

Glenn Miller Orchestra
I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo

In the Mood

Moonlight Serenade

Chattanooga Choo Choo

Benny Goodman Orchestra (Gene Krupa on drums)
Sing! Sing! Sing!

War version

Benny Goodman's orchestra was an all-star band.
Check out Gene Krupa on drums, Harry James on lead trumpet and Lionel Hampton on vibes.
(Medley 1937)

Benny Goodman (The King of Swing)
Roll Em

Tommy Dorsey Orchestra
Song of India

Tommy Dorsey (Frank Sinatra lead singer)

Andrews Sisters
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy

Lionel Hampton
Flying Home

Duke Ellington
Take the "A" Train

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chicago Blues

Hound Dog Taylor and Little Walter

Little Walter's Fast Boogie

Jimmy Reed: Bright Lights, Big City (I used to have this record.)

Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters and Little Walter: My Babe

Paul Butterfield Blues Band: Born in Chicago
Mike Bloomfield on lead guitar. (I had this record too.)

Muddy Waters: Got My Mojo Working

John Lee Hooker; with Carlos Santana: Chill Out

The Blues in the 60's

Little Red Rooster- Brian Jones on slide guitar

The Spider and the Fly (This is wicked stuff.)

Elmore James (Brian Jones hero)

Elmore James: King of the Slide Guitar

Howlin Wolf

All Down the Line
(Mick Taylor on slide guitar after the death of Brian Jones.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009