Jack Bruce 1943 – 2014

October 26, 2014

Jack Bruce

14 May 1943 – 25 October 2014

Jack Bruce 1Iconic bass player Jack Bruce has died.

Since the 1960s, Jack has been a malent his musical talents to bands such as, Cream, Blues Incorporated, the Graham Bond Organization, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Manfred Mann, West, Bruce & Laing, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, Kip Hanrahan, BBM, Gary Moore, and Rocket 88.

Legendary supergroup Cream, which also included Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker, are now considered one of the most important bands in rock history.

Jack Bruce 2They sold 35 million albums in just over two years and were given the first ever platinum disc for Wheels of Fire.

Read the BBC’s report of Jack Bruce’s death here.

Sunshine of Your Love – Cream – Video

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Alvin Stardust – 1942 – 2014

October 24, 2014

Alvin Stardust, glam-rock star, television and stage artist, has passed away aged 72.

Alvin Stardust

27 September 1942 – 23 October 2014

Alvin 1Bernard William Jewry was born on September 27, 1942. He first appeared on stage in a pantomime when just four years old.  As a teenager he began performing as Shane Fenton.  The Shane Fenton moniker came about in interesting circumstances.

Shane Fenton and the Fentones were an unknown teenage band who, in the early 1960s, sent a demo tape to the BBC. Before the BBC could reply, the band’s 17-year-old singer Shane Fenton (real name, Johnny Theakston) died.  The band decided to break-up.  Soon after a letter arrived from the BBC asking them to audition for a television spot; Shane’s mother asked the boys to stay together to honour her son’s memory.  Alvin was asked to assume the role and name of Shane Fenton.   The band based their sound on The Shadows and had a few hits in the UK Singles Chart

Alvin 2Alvin is best known as a glam-rock performer from the 70s and 80s, with his biggest hits occurring very early in his career: My Coo Ca Choo (#2) and Jealous Mind (#1).

With the shelving of glam-rock, Alvin hit the stage, staring in the UK tour of Godspell and playing Uriah Heep in David Copperfield – The Musical and Sir Billy Butlin in The Butlin Story at the London Palladium. In 2005, he starred as the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

In 2011, Alvin the singer was reborn. He continued to perform up until the illness that led to his death.

Alvin passed away on October 23, 2014, just a couple of weeks before the planned release of his first album for 30 years. He had been diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer and died at his home.

Ma Coo Ca Choo – Alvin Stardust – 1973

Jealous Mind – Alvin Stardust – 1974

Red Dress – Alvin Stardust – 1974 (introduced by… Jimmy Saville!)


Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone – The Temptations – 1972

October 19, 2014

The Temptations Papa Was a Rollin Stone 1972In 1972, one of pop’s most successful acts, The Temptations, hit #1 on the US singles chart for the fourth time with Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone.

The Temptations 1the temptations fax

  • The Temptations were one of Motown’s first acts and one of their most successful during the 1960s and 1970s.
  • Like many Motown acts of that era they were singers, dancers, and fashion icons.
  • The Temptations continue to perform with one living original member, Otis Williams, still in the line-up. The only other member of the early Temptations still surviving is Dennis Edwards.
  • The Temptations have sold tens of millions of records and have, among their 20+ hit singles, four #1 US singles: My Girl, I Can’t Get Next to You, Just my Imagination (Running Away With Me), Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone. They have also produced 14 #1 US R&B singles.
  • The band has won three Grammy Awards – they were the first Motown act to win a Grammy Award (for Cloud Nine in 1969). In 2013, they were awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Speaking of awards; The Temptations, Dennis Edwards, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin, Otis Williams and Paul Williams) were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989; and three of their songs, Three classic Temptations songs, My Girl, Just My The Temptations 2Imagination (Running Away with Me), and Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone, are among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
  • In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked The Temptations #67 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

papa was a rollin’ stone – the temptations – 1972

  • Otis Williams considers Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone to be the last real classic the group recorded.
  • Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone was written by famous Motown writers, Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong.
  • The song was originally released in 1971 by Motown band, The Undisputed Truth in 1971.
  • The Temptations version was recorded in June 1972 and released in September of that year. It dented the charts, but only just; it peaked at #63.
  • Norman Whitfield had produced Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone and, later in 1972, remixed it as a 12:05 minute long record – it went straight to #1 on the US singles chart and won three Grammy Awards in 1973 – Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Group, Best R&B Instrumental (for the B-side) and Best R&B Song.
  • The Temptations 3The B-side of the single was the instrumental of the song – the music to Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone was performed by The Funk Brothers, the Motown session band who backed most the Motown artists.
  • Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone has been covered by several artists including: George Michael, Run-D.M.C., David Lindley and El Rayo-X, Los Lobos, Phil Collins and Craig David.
  • In 1985, in the Battle of the Groups segment of the TV special Motown Returns to the Apollo, The Four Tops sang the coda of Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone. The Temptations pretended to be outraged.  They responded by singing The Four Tops’ hit, Baby I Need Your Loving.
  • In 1994, comedian Bob Rivers parodied the song as Grandpa Loved the Rolling Stones.
  • Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone lyrics.

papa was a rollin’ stone – the temptations -1972 – video – SHORT Version

papa was a rollin’ stone – the temptations -1972 – video – LONG Version

papa was a rollin’ stone – the undisputed truth – 1971 – video

grandpa loves the rolling stones – bob rivers – 1994 – video

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All By Myself – Eric Carmen – 1975

October 1, 2014

Eric Carmen - All By Myself CoverEric Carmen had hits with his band The Raspberries, he’s written hits for several other artists, and he’s had a number of solo hits, but none has been as big as his 1975 #1 hit, All By Myself.

Eric Carmen 1eric carmen fax

  • Eric Carmen was a member of The Raspberries with whom he had a million-selling single, Go All The Way.
  • As a solo artist he had a number of hits including:
    • Never Gonna Fall in Love Again
    • She Did It
    • Hungry Eyes, and the smash,
    • All By Myself.
  • Eric Carmen 2Eric has written hit songs for Shaun Cassidy, Michael Damian, Peter Cetera and Diana Ross.

all by myself fax

  • Eric Carmen wrote All By Myself in 1975, it was released on December 1, 1975.
  • Classically trained pianist, Eric, based All By Myself on the second movement (Adagio sostenuto) of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Opus 18. Eric reached an agreement with the Rachmaninoff estate providing them with a 12% share of the royalties from All By Myself.
  • All By Myself hit #1 in the US and peaked at #12 in the UK. It was the first of eight solo hits Eric had in the US.
  • Arttists to cover All By Myself include, Celine Dion, Frank Sinatra, and Il Divo.
  • Eric Carmen 3All By Myself is featured in episodes of the sit-coms Friends and That 70’s Show.
  • All By Myself lyrics.

all by myself – eric carmen – 1975 – video

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