Nutbush City Limits – Ike and Tina Turner – 1973

September 26, 2013

Ike and Tina cover Nutbush City LimitsMr and Mrs Turner’s last (decent) single together was their 31st single release – Nutbush City Limits, by Ike and Tina Turner was released in June 1973.

Ike and Tina 1better on her own

The tumultuous nature of Ike and Tina’s relationship is well chronicled. What’s not so widely appreciated is the mountain of music they made together – 34 singles, 30 studio albums, and 10 live albums – all in just 19 years.

Not one #1 single or album, however. Even the wonderful Creedence Clearwater cover, Proud Mary, only made it to #4 on the US charts.

what can’t be doubted

There is no doubting Mrs Turner’s staying power, though. Sans Ike, she has produced more singles than I could be bothered adding up from her website – still only one #1, though; What’s Love Got To Do With It, in 1984.

ike rip

Ike died of a cocaine overdose in 2007. He and Tina hadn’t spoken to each other for over 30 years.

meanwhile, back in tina’s world

Tina remarried in August this year (2013) in Switzerland where she now lives. She and her husband have been together for 27 years.

nutbush city limits fax

  • The lyrics to Nutbush City Limits were written by Tina Turner and is a semi-autobiographical account of her hometown of Nutbush, Tennessee. Ike composed the music but didn’t put his name on the record.
  • Ike and Tina 4Nutbush City Limits was released June 1973, and was the last song Tina produced with her husband Ike.
  • Nutbush City Limits peaked at #4 on the US singles charts.
  • It has long been rumoured that UK guitarist Marc Bolan played guitar on the song – this is usually disputed.
  • Since its release, Tina has released a number of versions of the song.
  • Nutbush City Limits has been covered by artists such as Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band, and Alvin Lee.
  • Brian Johnson sang Nutbush City Limits as part of his first audition for the band AC/DC.
  • There is a dance named The Nutbush. It’s performed to Nutbush City Limits and was popular in Australia during the disco era (go figure!).
  • Nutbush City Limits lyrics.

nutbush city limits – ike and tina turner – 1973 – video

nutbush dance – video – what they call entertainment in aussie!

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Yellow River – Christie – 1970

September 19, 2013

Christie Yellow River 1970 single coverThe musings of a young soldier who is looking forward to returning to his home town on Yellow River, is the theme of Christie’s 1970 #1 UK single, Yellow River.

not quite a one hit wonder

Formed in the 1960s, Christie was a UK band whose greatest hit was Yellow River. The follow-up single, San Bernadino, peaked at #7 on the UK charts before the band faded away…

Many US one-hit-wonder lists include Christie because, while Yellow River peaked at #23 in the US, classifying it as a hit, San Bernadino didn’t survive the Atlantic crossing and was unheard of Stateside.

(I must confess – for years I thought Christie were an American band, linking their second hit to San Bernardino, California).


The band’s name came from the founder – Jeff Christie. The band broke up in 1976, but Jeff resurrected it (well, the name at least – it was a completely new line-up) in 1990. They toured until 2009.

In all, the band released five albums between 1969 and 1976.

yellow river fax

  • Yellow River was written by Jeff Christie.
  • Yellow River was originally offered to, and recorded by, The Tremeloes. They decided against releasing it although it has since appeared on a number of their compilation albums.
  • So, rather than Christie recording it, the vocals were taken off The Tremeloes version, and Jeff’s vocals added to their music.
  • Where is Yellow River? No one has ever said. The video of the song had Christie on a barge sailing down the Thames River, however.
  • Yellow River lyrics.

yellow river – christie – 1970 – video

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Respect – Aretha Franklin – 1967

August 22, 2013

Aretha-RespectOkay, we’re straying into the top end of the 60s this week – but it’s well worth it to hear what many people consider the greatest R ‘n’ B song of all time; Aretha Franklin’s, fabulous 1967 single, Respect.

the queen of soul

I remember playing this song for our children when they were younger – “Who’s this, kids?” I’d shout. To which they would chorus back, “’Retha! The Queen of Soul!” That folks, is a good education!

Like so many singers of her genre, Aretha began her career as a gospel singer before embarking on her soul career aged 18.

To date she has charted on the US singles chart 88 times making her the most charted female artist in history. Her last Top 40 hit was in 1998 with A Rose is Still a Rose.

but wait, there’s more

Aretha has won 18 Grammy Awards. She’s sold over 75 million records. In 1987 she was the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She is also a member of the UK Music Hall of Fame, the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame. She is in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time (#9), and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time (#3).

Aretha 2respect fax

  • Respect was written and recorded by Otis Redding in 1965.
  • Aretha recorded the song in 1967 taking it from a song about a man who demands respect from his woman to a song that became a feminist anthem; a woman demanding respect from the world.
  • Respect earned Aretha two Grammy Awards in 1968; Best Rhythm & Blues Recording and Best Rhythm & Blues Solo Vocal Performance, Female.
  • Aretha’s version of Respect sits at #5 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and was included in the list of Songs of the Century, by the Recording Industry of America and the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Respect has appeared in a number of movies, most famously in The Blues Brothers, in which Aretha appeared singing it as a challenge to her movie husband.
  • Covers of Respect have been produced by: the John Evan Band (now Jethro Tull), Ike and Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, Cass Elliot and Sammy Davis, Jr., and Dexys Midnight Runners,
  • Respect lyrics.

respect – aretha franklin – 1967 – video

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Heartbreaker – Pat Benatar – 1979

April 4, 2013

Pat Benatar HeartbreakerFrom classical singer to bank teller to singing waitress to rock star; Pat Benatar just sneaks into the list of 70s music by a few months thanks to her 1979 hit, Heartbreaker.

chatting with my bro-in-law

So, I’m chatting with my brother-in-law the other day when he mentions how much he loves the music and voice of Pat Benatar. I think, it would be great to include something by her in the 70s music blog, but you know the rules—I have to hear it on the radio that week!

Well, the rock gods were smiling on us all because the very next morning = Heartbreaker!!

lil’ patti, bank teller!

Patti—as she was known as a girl—became enamoured with singing as an eight year old. Back then it was classical music and theatre. Rock music was completely outside her sphere of listening.

By the time she hit teenage years, Pat had her heart set on attending the Juilliard School, majoring in classical singing—then came the surprise. Pat shocked her family by suddenly changing her mind. She decided classical music wasn’t for her. She dropped singing and studied health education at university in New York instead. Only for a year though.

At 19 years old, she left university to marry her high school sweetheart Dennis Benatar. Pat moved to Virginia with him (he was an army man), and worked as a bank teller.

along came liza

In 1973, Pat went to a Liza Minnelli concert. So inspired was she that she decided to take up singing again—but this time a genre with a little more beat to it.

She was offered a job as a singing waitress in a 20s themed nightclub, and then with a lounge band named Coxon’s Army.

For the next five or six years nothing much happened outside of a divorce and a part in Harry Chapin’s musical The Zinger.


In 1978, Pat signed with Chrysallis Records and, in June and July 1979, she recorded her first album, In the heat of the night—on it was the hit single, Heartbreaker.

Pat went on to win an unprecedented four consecutive Grammy Awards for Best Female Rock Performance from 1980 to 1983. In fact, of the ten Grammy Award ceremonies in the 1980s, Pat was nominated for Best Female Rock Performance eight times,

heartbreaker fax

  • Heartbreaker is featured on Pat’s 1979 album, In the Heat of the Night. It was co-produced by the famous Mike Chapman.
  • Heartbreaker peaked at #23 US Billboard Hot 100.
  • Heartbreaker was named the 72nd best hard rock song of all time by VH1.
  • The only significant cover of Heartbreaker has been by Alvin and the Chipmonks!
  • A parody version of Heartbreaker was featured in US comedy show, My Name is Earl.
  • There is another song named Heartbreaker, performed by The Crystals, that contains the lyrics;

He’s a heartbreaker, hip shaker, troublemaker.

Heartbreaker – Pat Benatar – 1979 – video

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What the World Needs Now / Abraham, Martin and John – Tom Clay – 1971

March 14, 2013

TomClayMedley singlePerhaps the most moving song of all time? Tom Clay’s tribute song, What the World Needs Now / Abraham, Martin and John, were originally two songs; one released in 1965, the second in late 1968.  Then Tom turned them into his touching medley.

tom clay

Tom Clay was an American disc jockey. Back in the 1950s he was caught up in the Payola Scandal. Turns out DJ’s had been accepting huge pay outs from record companies in return for playing nominated records on their shows.

tom clay 1Tom was fired, but soon found work on other stations.

Scandal followed Tom (who BTW, was a friend of Marilyn Munroe!). He once interviewed The Beatles. From there he devised a scheme. He started the Beatles Booster Club. People could send in a dollar to join and would receive a membership card and a personal item used by one of the Beatles. The items were a crock! They turned out to be things like cigarette butts or used tissues.

But, good news for Tom, over 80,000 fans responded—a lot of money in those days—meaning he lived quite comfortably for some time on the cash. Which was just as well because, he was fired again!

tom’s claim to fame

Abraham Martin and JohnTom’s best remembered for his Motown single, What the World Needs Now Is Love/Abraham, Martin and John. It’s basically a series of interviews and speeches from Jack and Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King emphasising tolerance and civil rights, placed over the top of two popular songs. The result is very moving—perhaps one of the most moving songs you’ll ever hear.

Tom had a #8 hit and sold over one million copies of the single.

no, they don’t play it much anymore

Despite owning a single version of this song, I haven’t heard it for a long time, but two things made me post it here this week. The first is that I heard Dionne Warwick’s version of What the World Needs Now on the radio the other day. Interestingly, when she was first offered this song, she turned it down. Jackie DeShannon recording it instead.

The second thing that drew me to this song was talking to a friend of mine who has just returned from Washington DC.  He spoke of how moved he was by the various memorials he saw there; particularly the ones for Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln, and the Korean War Veterans Memorial.

what the world needs now / abraham, martin and john fax

  • What the World Needs Now was written in 1965 by Hal David and Burt Bacharach. It’s been recorded and played live by over 100 artists including Dionne Warwick, Jackie DeShannon, The Staple Singers, Judy Garland, The Supremes, Cilla Black, Barry Manilow, Johnny Mathis, Luther Vandross, Rick Astley, Coldplay and Ronan Keating.
  • What the World Needs Now has appeared in numerous movies including: Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and Happy Gilmore.
  • The song Abraham, Martin and John was written by Dick Holler and released in 1968 by Dion. It is a tribute to the memory of four assassinated Americans, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. BTW – Dick Holler also wrote the well-known song Snoopy vs the Red Baron!
  • Abraham, Martin and John has also been recorded by: Andy Williams, (who was a close friend of Robert Kennedy), Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Harry Belafonte, Bob Dylan, Bon Jovi, and Paul Weller. In 1970, Wilson Pickett, recorded a version of the song titled Cole, Cooke and Redding which paid tribute to deceased performers Nat “King” Cole, Sam Cooke and Otis Redding.
  • Tom Clay’s version peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on August 14, 1971.
  • Abraham, Martin and John lyrics.

what the world needs now / abraham, martin and john – tom clay – 1971 – video

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Me and Bobby McGee – Janis Joplin – 1971

March 7, 2013

Janis-Joplin-Bobby-McGee-1970-single-coverJanis Lyn Joplin would have been 70 last January if not for her tragic death on October 4, 1970. Her legacy contains some of the finest blues music of the early 70s and one of the greatest hits of the decade, 1970’s Me and Bobby McGee.

Janis Joplin 1janis and her big brother

Janis Joplin’s singing career really kicked off when she was in her mid-twenties. First, as the lead singer of psychedelic rock band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, then as a soloist with The Kozmic Blues Band and The Full Tilt Boogie Band as her backing bands.

lovin’ those festivals

It was at the Monterey Music Festival in 1968 that Big Brother and the Holding Company was first noticed—or, to be more precise, their lead singer was noticed. Within a short while they were Janis Joplin 2riding the top of the popularity charts. On April 7, 1968, they played at “The Wake for Martin Luther King, Jr.” concert in New York. Also on the bill were Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, Joni Mitchell, Richie Havens, Paul Butterfield, and Elvin Bishop.

By 1969, Janis had gone solo and was one of the feature acts at Woodstock festival and the Festival Express train tour. She charted five singles, but only one hit #1; that was Me and Bobby McGee.  In fact, it was her only song to make it into the US top ten.

the 27 club

Janis died, aged 27, at the Landmark Hotel in Hollywood. The official cause of death was an overdose of heroin, possibly combined with the effects of alcohol.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked Janis #46 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time in 2004 and #28 on its 2008 list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Janis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.

me and bobby mcgee fax

  • Me and Bobby McGee was written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster. The first recording was by Roger Miller, but it was Janis who had the biggest hit with the song.
  • Me and Bobby McGee (Janis’ version) hit #1 on the US singles chart in January 1971, three months after her death. It was the second posthumous #1 single in US chart history after Otis Redding’s (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.
  • Janis recorded Me and Bobby McGee about three days before she died. It was released on her album Pearl—Pearl being a name Janis was often referred to by.
  • In 2004, Janis’ version of Me and Bobby McGee was ranked at #148 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
  • The song was originally written to a woman; Janis changed the gender and some of the lyrics to that of a man.
  • Other artists to record Me and Bobby McGee include: Roger Miller, Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, Gordon Lightfoot, Kris Kristofferson, Bill Haley & His Comets, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Grateful Dead, Arlo Guthrie, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Chet Atkins, Thelma Houston, Olivia Newton-John, Lonnie Donegan, Joan Baez, Melissa Etheridge, LeAnn Rimes, Anne Murray, and Pink. In the first five years of the 70s 12 notable versions were released by well-known artists.
  • Me and Bobby McGee lyrics.

me and bobby mcgee – janis joplin – 1970 – video

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All Along the Watchtower – Bob Dylan – 1974 (1968)

February 28, 2013

First released in 1968, re-released in 1974 (live version), All Along the Watchtower is one of Bob Dylan’s best known songs and yet, it never charted… not for him anyway.

Bob dylan 2i knew it would come to this

I knew that one day, on seventiesmusic, I’d have to include a Dylan song–no hardship, of course; the question was, however, which song would it be? Then, the other day I downloaded the fabulous 1974 album, Before the Flood. I made a rash decision; the very next one of Bob’s songs that I heard on the radio (and that was released in the 70s) would be this week’s seventies hit.

Suddenly, Bob disappeared from the airwaves, until this afternoon with the familiar strains of All Along the Watchtower…

Bob dylan 3robert zimmerman what can i say?

What can anyone say about Bob? Most seventies music fans grew up with his songs in the background somewhere. We heard his folk songs; we heard him go electric; one of us even called him Judas! We watched him go through his Christian phase; then a phase where his music seemed to lack a bit of the old Zimmerman passion; then, in recent times, we’ve seen him come back with some fine songs—but I can help thinking, his best were produced back in the 60s and, to a lesser extent, the 70s.

all along the watchtower fax

  • All Along the Watchtower originally appeared on Bob’s 1967 album John Wesley Harding. It was written during Bob’s recovery period following his July 1966 motorcycle crash.
  • Bob dylan 1All Along the Watchtower was released as a single but never charted. Despite that it has been included on most of Bob’s greatest hits compilations and has been performed in concert more than any of his other songs. It has also appeared on four of Bob’s live albums, including the wonderful, Before the Flood (1974) recorded with The Band.
  • Cover versions of All Along the Watchtower have been numerous, but none is as well-known as Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland recording. It made the Top 20 in 1968 and was ranked at 47 in Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
  • Other cover performances include: Dave Matthews Band, Dave Mason (who also played on Jimi Hendrix’s version), U2, Neil Young, Grateful Dead, Bryan Ferry, Pearl Jam, Chris de Burgh, Richie Havens, Jeff Healey, Van Morrison, Supertramp, Paul Weller, Bobby Womack, Bruce Springsteen, and XTC.
  • According to Bob, by midway through last year (2012), he had performed All Along the Watchtower, 2,034 times.
  • All Along the Watchtower lyrics.

all along the watchtower – bob dylan – 1968 – original version – video

all along the watchtower – bob dylan – ?? – live video

all along the watchtower – jimi Hendrix – video

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