Magnet and Steel – Walter Egan – 1978

May 30, 2018

Magnet_and_SteelHere’s one you forgot about – Walter Egan’s rather easy-going 1978 gold record hit, Magnet and Steel.

walter egan fax

  • Despite releasing around a dozen singles, American muso, Walter Egan, can probably be considered a one hit wonder.
  • Walter graduated from uni with a degree in Fine Arts, majoring in sculpture.
  • Barely out of his teens, Walter began writing songs and played guitar in a college band known as Sageworth and Drums. The band broke up in 1971, Walter moved to LA and began his career as a solo artist.
  • In LA, Walter met members of Fleetwood Mac – Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks produced his first album, Fundamental Roll, and songs on his second album, Not Shy.
  • Walter’s highest charting song was Magnet and Steel (#8 on the US charts). He also wrote Hearts on Fire, which was covered by Gram Parsons on his album Grievous Angel, and Hot Summer Nights, which was the first hit for the band Night, which included such session musicians as Nicky Hopkins and Robbie McIntosh.
  • Walter is credited as a co-writer of the Eminem hit We Made You because Dr. Dre, who produced the song, believed he was inspired by the bass line from Hot Summer Nights.
  • Walter remains involved in the music industry and, as recently as 2011 produced an album titled Raw Elegant.
  • Walter is also known for appearances on US game shows. In 1985, he was a four-time champion on Catchphrase. In 1986, he appeared as a contestant on the television game show Scrabble. During his introduction on the latter show, Walter was introduced as a singer and songwriter. When the show’s host asked Walter to sing something he’d written, he sang the main chorus of Magnet and Steel.
  • Walter is apparently currently employed as a substitute teacher in Williamson County, Tennessee, near Franklin.

magnet and steel fax

  • Magnet and Steel was written by Walter Egan. Released in May 1978, it was the first single from Walter’s, second solo album, Not Shy.
  • Magnet and Steel peaked at #8 on the US singles chart.
  • Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham sang background vocals and co-produced the song. The third producer was Richard Dashut who produced a number of Fleetwood Mac albums, including: Rumours, Tusk and Mirage.
  • Stevie Nicks is said to be Walter’s inspiration for the song.
  • Magnet and Steel features in at least three movies: Boogie Nights (1997), Overnight Delivery (1998) and Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo (1999).
  • Magnet and Steel lyrics.

magnet and steel – walter egan – 1978 – video

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Ol’ ‘55 – Tom Waits – 1973

May 6, 2018

Tom Waits Closing Time 1973Ol’ ‘55 – Tom Waits – 1973

A wonderful song from one of the great poets/singers – Tom Waits’ 1973 song, Ol’ ’55.  If you haven’t heard this song before – you are in for a treat!!

tom waits fax

  • Tom Waits has one of those distinctive voices – once described as, “sounding as if it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car” – and is almost as well-known for his persona as he is his music. (Tom’s persona is perhaps best observed when we compare the live and studio versions of Ol’ ’55).
  • Aged 12 years and living in San Diego, Tom was inspired by Bob Dylan and the Beat Generation. Four years later, he began singing in local folk clubs before moving to LA.
  • In LA, Tom worked as a songwriter before gaining a recording contract of his own. The result was the fabulous album, Closing Time (1973).
  • Since then, he has released a further 15 studio albums and has worked as a composer for movies and musicals. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his soundtrack work on One from the Heart.
  • He has also appeared in 39 movies to date with a couple more due for release later this year.
  • An incredible 19 Tom Waits tribute albums have been released around the world!
  • Although his albums have experienced mixed commercial success in the US, Tom is cited as an inspiration by many well-known artists. His albums have also gone gold in a number of nations around the globe.  Some of this songs are best known for the cover versions produced by more commercial artists, e.g. Jersey Girl by Bruce Springsteen, Ol’ ’55 by The Eagles, and Downtown Train by Rod Stewart.
  • Tom was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. He is included in the 2010 list of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers, and the 2015 list of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.

ol’ ’55 fax

  • Written by Tom Waits, Ol’ ’55 is the opening track and lead single from Tom’s debut studio album, Closing Time.
  • Recorded in early 1972, Ol’ ’55 was released in March 1973 on Asylum Records.
  • Ol’ ’55 has been covered by numerous artists including: Eagles (1974 on the On The Border album and B-side of Best of My Love), Fairport Convention singer Iain Matthews (1974), Richie Havens (1980) and Sarah McLachlan (1994).
  • In a 1975 interview Tom criticised Eagles’ cover version of his song, admitting that he was “not that particularly crazy about (their) rendition of it … I thought their version was a little antiseptic.” Tom has since admitted he had a chip on his shoulder, and he is prouder now of that version.
  • Ol’ ’55 lyrics.

ol’ ’55 – tom waits – 1973 – video – LIVE

ol’ ’55 – tom waits – 1973 – video – STUDIO VERSION

Sometimes the YouTube links dropout – if this link doesn’t work, please go to YouTube and search for the song – it will be worth it!

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Why Me – Kris Kristofferson – 1973

March 11, 2018

Why Me - Kris K - 1973Kris Kristofferson, the man who wrote the fabulous Me and Bobby McGee, had his greatest hit with a 1973 gospel country song, Why Me.

kris kristofferson fax

  • Kristoffer Kristofferson was born in Brownsville, Texas, in the USA; his grandparents were from Sweden, which explains the surname.
  • Kris is a pretty bright guy. He graduated in 1958 with a Bachelor of Arts in literature and was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in the UK.  At Oxford he was awarded his Blue for boxing and played rugby for his college.
  • About this time, he began writing and recording songs using the name Kris Carson. He found little success in the music world but graduated with a B.Phil degree in English literature.
  • Kris joined the US Army and attained the rank of captain. He also worked as a helicopter pilot for a while.
  • In 1965, he left the army, moved to Nashville, and began pursuing his music career between working various odd jobs. While sweeping floors at Columbia Studios, he met June Carter and handed her a tape which he asked be given to Johnny Cash.  Johnny didn’t get around to listening to it for a while and, frustrated with waiting, Kris landed a helicopter in Johnny’s front yard.  Apparently, Johnny wasn’t home, but it did get Johnny’s attention.  A short time later, Johnny recorded Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down, earning Kris the Songwriter of the Year award at the Country Music Awards.
  • Kris continued writing songs and other artists continued to have success with them – including Janis Joplin (who Kris dated until her death) with Me and Bobby McGee. Kris recorded his own music but with little initial success.
  • Then, in 1971, Kris’ second album, The Silver Tongued Devil, was released. It was successful, as was his third album, Jesus was a Capricorn.
  • In 1972, he appeared on The Old Grey Whistle Test in the UK with Rita Coolidge (to whom he was married for a while), singing Help Me Make It Through The Night, a song off his unsuccessful first album. His success as a solo artist was established.
  • About this time, Kris made his acting debut in in The Last Movie, directed by Dennis Hopper. He enjoyed acting and made the that a focus for a while.  He is best known for his starring roles in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Heaven’s Gate, and A Star Is Born, the latter of which earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.
  • In 1985, Kris joined fellow country artists Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash in forming the country music supergroup The Highwaymen.
  • In 2004, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

why me fax

  • Why Me was written by and recorded on July 8, 1972, by American country music singer and songwriter Kris Kristofferson. It was released as a single in April 1973 – the third single from Kris’ third album, Jesus was a Carpenter.
  • Why Me was Kris’ greatest hit, peaking at #16 on the US singles chart, but topping the US and Canadian Country singles chart.
  • Artists to cover Why Me include, Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, and Conway Twitty.
  • Why Me lyrics.

Why Me – Kris Kristofferson – 1973 – video


the why me story – kris Kristofferson – video

Sometimes the YouTube links dropout – if this link doesn’t work, please go to YouTube and search for the song – it will be worth it!

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Tulsa Time – Don Williams – 1978

January 17, 2018

Tulsa Time Don WilliamsDon Williams – one of the artists we lost in 1978, was the first to record the Danny Flowers song, Tulsa Time.

don williams fax

  • Born in 1939, was in his early 30s when he began his solo career as a country singer – a move that saw him amass 17 #1 US Country hits and induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame (2010). Don had success in the UK too.  In 1976, he was on the UK Top 40 with You’re My Best Friend and I Recall a Gypsy Woman.  In 1978, his album Images reached #2 on the UK charts.
  • Don only ever had one song on the US singles chart – I Believe in You peaked at #24 ihn 1980. He did, however, release 63 singles and 25 albums.
  • Don was a prolific and gifted songwriter. His songs being recorded by artists including: Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, Alison Krauss, Charley Pride, Kenny Rogers, Waylon Jennings, and Pete Townshend.
  • Don died in Mobile, Alabama on September 8, 2017 due to emphysema.

tulsa time fax

  • Tulsa Time was written by American songwriter, Danny Flowers.
  • It was first released by Don Williams in October 1978 – the first single from his album, Expressions.
  • It became Don’s eighth #1 single on the US Country Chart.
  • Tulsa Time was also recorded by Eric Clapton for his 1978 album Backless. There is also a live version on his album Just One Night.  It peaked at #30 on the US singles chart in 1980.
  • Reba McEntire recorded Tulsa Time for her 1995 album, Starting Over. It wasn’t included on the final release, however, but was released on her 1999 compilation album Comfort from a Country Quilt.
  • Tulsa Time lyrics.

tulsa time – don williams – 1978

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Fire – The Pointer Sisters – 1978

November 30, 2017

fireWritten by Bruce Springsteen in 1977, Fire, had its highest profile as a 1978 single release by the Pointer Sisters.

the pointer sisters fax

  • With a career spanning four decades, The Pointer Sisters began as a duo back in 1969. That’s when June and Bonnie began singing in clubs around Oakland, California.  Anita soon joined in and then, in 1972, Ruth completed the line-up.
  • 1972 was also the year they recorded their debut album, winning a 1975 Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance for Fairytale.
  • Since then their repertoire has stretched across many genres, including pop, disco, jazz, electronic music, bebop, blues, soul, funk, dance, country and rock.
  • In all, The Pointer Sisters have won three Grammys, have a star on the Hollywood Hall of Fame, and have had 13 US top 20 singles and five top 20 UK singles.
  • June passed away in 2004 and was replaced by Ruth’s daughter, Issa. Since 2009, the group has consisted of Anita, Ruth, Issa, and Ruth’s granddaughter Sadako Pointer.

fire fax

  • Fire was written by Bruce Springsteen in 1977.  In writing Fire, Bruce envisioned is as a song that could be recorded by his idol Elvis Presley.  Bruce says he sent Elvis a demo of it but he died before it arrived.
  • Bruce recorded Fire for his 1978 album Darkness on the Edge of Town but it didn’t make it onto the disc. It was, however, included in the set list of the Darkness Tour.
  • As a single, Fire peaked at #46 on the US chart and #54 on the UK chart.
  • In 1978 The Pointer Sisters, then a trio of Anita, June and Ruth, released Fire as the first single from their album Energy.
  • The Pointer Sister’s version peaked at #2 on the US charts and #34 on the UK charts. Stopping it get to #1 in the US was Rod Stewart with Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?
  • It became The Pointer Sisters first gold single.
  • Billboard named the song #48 on their list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.
  • Fire lyrics.

fire – the pointer sisters – 1978 – video

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David Cassidy – 1950 – 2017

November 22, 2017

David

David Cassidy, pop culture idol of the 1970s, has died in a Florida hospital. The musician and actor remembered for his starring role in The Partridge Family was 67.

Read Rolling Stone Magazine’s tribute here.


My Thang – James Brown – 1974

November 18, 2017

My Thang - James Brown - 1974 CoverWhat can you say? The Godfather of soul’s 1974 hit, My Thang…

james brown fax

  • Born in 1933, passed away in 2006; James Brown is called The Godfather of Soul because, for many people, he was the progenitor of soul and funk music.
  • Like many of his era, James’ career began as a member of the in the R&B gospel group, the Gospel Starlighters. During 1950s, they evolved into the Flames and James was the lead singer.
  • By the late 1950s they were known as The Famous Flames and began to find chart success with songs like Please, Please, Please and Try Me.
  • Many say James’ success was at its peak in the 1960s with the live album Live at the Apollo and hit singles such as Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag, I Got You (I Feel Good), and It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.
  • It was during the late 1960s that he began to refine his style – a style which greatly influenced the development of funk music.
  • By the early 1970s, James was playing with his band, the J.B.s and funk was a real thing. During this time, he became known for songs which made commentary of social issues of the day – songs like the 1968 hit Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud.
  • James holds the record for the most singles to reach the US singles chart without ever reaching #1 – 64 singles. He did, however, have 16 singles that reached #1 on the R&B charts.  Between 1959 and 2002, James released a phenomenal 66 studio albums and 15 live albums.
  • The closest James came to a #1 US hit was in 1965 when, I Got You (I Feel Good) reached #3.
  • James is an inductee into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame.
  • When Joel Whitburn analysed the Billboard R&B charts from 1942 to 2010, he placed James at #1 among The Top 500 Artists. He is also ranked seventh on the music magazine Rolling Stone’s list of its 100 greatest artists of all time. Rolling Stone also also cited James as the most sampled artist of all time.

my thang fax

  • My Thang was written and recorded by James Brown. From the album Hell, it was released in April 1974.
  • The song borrows lines from another of James’ songs, Funky Drummer. James often borrowed lines from his songs that did not chart to incorporate into a new song.
  • My Thang spent two weeks at #1 on the US R&B singles chart and reached #29 on the US singles chart.
  • My Thang is sampled on a number of Hip-Hop songs, including Brand New Funk by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.
  • My Thang lyrics.

my thang – james brown – 1974 – video

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