During a news conference held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee on April 10 it has been announced that Bobby Bare, Kenny Rogers, and Jack Clement will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Each inductee had a great impact on country music. Kenny Rogers, famous for songs like ‘The Gambler’, ‘Lucille’, or ‘Lady’, crossed over into pop music. With his white hair, he was a pop culture sensation during the 1970s, and ’80s, starring in TV movies and performing all over the world. Kenny Rogers was inducted in the modern era category.
Jack Clement, famous record producer and artist who produced Johnny Cash’s icon ‘Ring of Fire’, played a leading role as a producer and engineer at Sun Records during the 1950s. Clement was inducted into the non-performer category.
Bobby Bare inspired his contemporaries like “outlaws” Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings to move freely from country to rock or pop, and back again. He was inducted in the veterans era.
Rogers, Bare and Clement will be formally inducted in a ceremony later this year.
Eddie Bond, musician, cult TV star, radio deejay, and record label head, died of Alzheimer’s disease, March 20. He was 79.
Eddie Bond was born in South Memphis in 1933. His early musical influences were George Morgan and Hank Williams. After high school he spent time in the Navy. Finally, in 1952, he founded The Stompers, a country swing band performing at locals bars. When rock ‘n’ roll was taking off, country music faded, and the young Eddie Bond followed the trends. Sun Records owner, Sam Phillips rejected to sign him. Ekko Records, a small Hollywood-based record label, offered him a deal. His first single came to the attention of Mercury Records who released several blazing rockabilly classics between 1956, and 1958, amongst them classics like ‘Rockin ‘ Daddy’, ‘Boppin’ Bonnie’, and ‘Slip, Slip, Slippin’ In’. Later, Eddie Bond worked as a radio deejay for country music station KWAM. He continued playing music, returning to his country music roots.
During his career which spanned more than half a century, Eddie Bond was a rockabilly artist with a love for country music, and he discovered future guitar greats like Reggie Young, and Travis Wammack. Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs were the house band at his ‘Diplomat Club’. He ran several clubs in the Memphis area and helped launch the career of wrestler Jerry Lawler. In the late sixties, Eddie Bond became very popular during the rockabilly revival in England. He continued to perform into the new millennium until his poor health forced him to retreat from the public.
Tony Sheridan was born May 21, 1940 in Norwich, England. He passed away February 16, 2013 at the Asklepios Klinik Barmbek, Hamburg, Germany. He is acknowledged as an early supporter of The Beatles and was instrumental in the initial establishment of Beat Music.
In 1956, in England, Tony Sheridan founded The Saints, a Skiffle group. He backed several notable American artists on their European tours, including Conway Twitty, Eddie Cochran, and Gene Vincent. In 1960, he came to Hamburg as a member of The Jets. While there he was backed by several groups, including a young group of players from Liverpool calling themselves The Beatles. As the oldest and most experienced person, Sheridan taught them techniques and tricks on the guitar and in 1961 producer Bert Kaempfert produced a couple of tracks for Polydor where Sheridan was backed by the Beatles, aka the Beat Brothers. Among the tracks recorded was My Bonnie which came to the attention of Brian Epstein. Tony Sheridan & The Beatles met again in April 1962 when the famous ‘Star-Club’ opened its doors in Hamburg. In December 1962, the Beatles played the ‘Star-Club’ for the last time.
Backed by the Scottish Band, the Big Six, Tony Sheridan recorded his hit single, Skinnie Minnie for Polydor in 1964. Later he toured Australia and most of the countries in Europe before landing in Vietnam in 1967 where he performed for the Allied troops. In 1969, he returned to Germany focusing on un-plugged music, playing folk and blues influenced songs. During the 1970s, he became the host of a weekly blues radio show on Germany’s national public radio station, NDR 2 in Hamburg. During the 1980s he was busy touring Europe, often backed by Larry & The Handjive, a cover band from Northern Germany. In 2002, ‘Vagabond’, his last studio album was released on Bear Family Records, containing all original recordings. During his last years he lived in Seestermühle in Pinneberg county in the state of Schleswig Holstein, Germany.
With the 2-CD set ‘Beatles Bop – Hamburg Days’ (BCD 16447), Bear Family has painstakingly documented Tony Sheridan’s enormously important role in supporting the young Beatles and his contribution to popular music during the early 1960s. Bear Family has included all available recordings of Tony Sheridan & The Beatles / Beat Brothers, an incredible 38 tracks from the so-called ‘Polydor Years,’ all lovingly restored from tapes that – in some cases – were previously considered lost or a figment of someone’s imagination. Finally, collectors can hear stereo and mono versions, some songs partly overdubbed, some takes with different overdubs, and much more! The beginning of the Beatles’ worldwide career is here, thanks in good part to Tony Sheridan. The Sheridan retrospective on Bear Family is completed by the CD ‘Damals in Hamburg’ (BCD 16284); the audio book (in German) ‘Beat in Hamburg – Die grosse Freiheit – Star-Club, Sixties, Reeperbahn – Eine Dokumentation von Herbert Hoven und Hans Jacobshagen’ (BCD 16087); and, finally, his last studio album from 2002, ‘Vagabond’ (BCD 16616).
The world of popular music has lost one of the important figures of a great era in musical history. In Hamburg and beyond, we should honor him and respect his memory.
‘Plug It In! Turn It Up! – Bear Family’s internationally distributed history of electric Blues on 12 CDs has been nominated for the ‘Blues Music Awards’ of the Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee in the ‘Historical Recordings’ category. The Blues Foundation will present the awards at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis, TN, on May 9, 2013. The Blues Music Awards are universally recognized as the most prestigious awards in Blues music.
From the New York Times:
RED SIMPSON: ‘HELLO, I’M RED SIMPSON’
If you like underdog stories and 18-wheelers, make room in your life for this boxed set. In the Bakersfield hard-country scene of the 1960s Buck Owens was clearly the boss: bandleader, singer, songwriter, publisher, celebrity. But in the circle of creativity around him there was Red Simpson, a singer-songwriter who took his own talent much less seriously, and almost accidentally ended up as one of the four giants of truck-driving music. (The others were Dave Dudley, Red Sovine and Dick Curless, none of whom had Mr. Simpson’s diffident charm or heartbreaking ballad voice.) At the instigation of the producer Ken Nelson, he pumped out hauling-related LPs for Capitol through the 1960s and ’70s, including a genuinely tear-inducing Christmas album and a collection of tracks from the often misunderstood point of view of the highway patrolman. All that is here: 165 songs, 26 of them previously unissued, and a 108-page biography by Scott B. Bom
Mickey Baker, born McHouston Baker in Louisville, Kentucky, October 15, 1925 – November 27, 2012, died near Toulouse in the south of France. He was an American guitarist, and an in-demand session guitar player. Mickey Baker’s fluid and elegant style influenced countless guitarists of his generation and also young British rock musicians like Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. Along with contemporaries like Ike Turner, Chuck Berry, and Bo Diddley, Baker’s music was building bridges from Rhythm ‘n’ Blues to Rock ‘n’ Roll. Continue reading
Patsy Cline was one of the greatest and most influential country music singers of all times. She was born September 8, 1932 and died in 1963 in a plane crash. She helped define the modern early 1960s Nashville sound in country music.
Patsy Cline is best remembered for her role as a female country music pioneer. Her songs successfully crossed over into pop music. ‘Walkin’ After Midnight’, ‘I Fall To Pieces’, ‘She’s Got You’, and ‘Crazy’, penned by Willie Nelson, are some of her greatest hits.
Along with country singers Hawkshaw Hawkins, and Cowboy Copas she died in a private plane crash March 5, 1963 on the height of her career.
Posthumously, she was in inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973. She became the first female solo artist inducted. In 1995 she received a Grammy lifetime achievement award.
The show was aired Sunday, August 26. For details (in Swedish …) and the complete playlist, please click here
George Hamilton IV, long-standing member of the Grand Ole Opry, with many hit records under his belt, from his first, ‘A Rose And A Baby Ruth’, to his biggest, ‘Abilene’, will be celebrating his 75th birthday, July 19, 2012.
Along the way, George Hamilton IV has earned a well-deserved reputation as the ‘International Ambassador of Country Music’. GH4 (as his fans call him) and Bear Family Records are closely connected. When Bear Family was celebrating the 35th anniversary of the company in 2010, George Hamilton IV flew in from Tennessee on his own expense to perform at the birthday party.
Time flies. I still remember when we first met in London. You invited me to come to the Nashville Room on Cromwell Road, to watch the taping of your TV show. I then have been a regular guest during the tapings. Now that was about 40 years ago.
Time really flies.
Later on the way we met on and off, and then lost contact for about 15 years.
One day I was standing at the American counter at Nashville Airport. You tapped me on my shoulder and said “Hey, Richard.” It was really good to see you again. Since then you have come to see us during our 35th Anniversary Party, and we have met you and Tinky (Mrs. George Hamilton) many times.
Both Birgit and I hope to see you in Nashville later this year.