Live on Stage 60's, 70's & 80's Artists

The Eagles - "Best Of My Love"



On The Border was the Eagles third album, and like their first two, they started recording it in London with producer Glyn Johns. This time, the band abandoned the sessions and recorded most of the album with Bill Szymczyk. Glyn Johns thought of the Eagles as an acoustic act, and helped them create several hits with this sound, including "Witchy Woman" and "Peaceful Easy Feeling." The band members, especially Glenn Frey, thought they should be rocking harder, and the Eagles eventually found success with rockers like "Life In The Fast Lane" and "Heartache Tonight." This song was one of two that was leftover from the Glyn Johns sessions and included on On The Border, and it became the Eagles first #1 hit.

This song is often played at weddings and anywhere else one wants to demonstrate affection, but it's really a breakup song: "You see it your way, and I see it mine, and we both see it slipping away." No happy ending here, just a guy who gave it his best, but things didn't work out.

According to Don Henley, he Souther and Frey wrote some of the lyrics over libations at the Los Angeles restaurant Dan Tana's where they were regulars. There, they studied women and relationships. Henley says they were "typical, frustrated, young men" at the time.

The Doors - "Roadhouse Blues"



When Jim Morrison got drunk, he liked to sing blues numbers at The Doors jam sessions. This in one of the songs he came up with at one of those inebriated sessions. When Jim Morrison got drunk, he liked to sing blues numbers at The Doors jam sessions. This in one of the songs he came up with at one of those inebriated sessions. There was a cabin behind the Topanga Corral that many sources say Morrison bought for his girlfriend, Pamela Courson. This could be what provided the line, "In back of the Roadhouse they got some bungalows."

John Sebastian from the Lovin' Spoonful played harmonica. He is identified on the album as "G. Puglese" because he was afraid to be identified with The Doors in light of Morrison's arrest at a concert in Miami when he was accused of exposing himself to the crowd. Morrison was convicted of indecent exposure and sentenced to six months in jail, but he died while the case was being appealed. In 2010, Florida governor Charlie Crist granted Morrison a pardon, clearing him of the charges.

Allman Brothers - "Blue Sky"



Allmans guitarist Dickey Betts wrote this about his Native Canadian girlfriend, Sandy "Bluesky" Wabegijig. They married in 1973 and divorced two years later. This was the first time Betts sang lead on an Allman Brothers song. He also sang lead on their biggest hit, "Ramblin' Man."
For a while after his 1975 divorce from this song's muse Sandy, Dickey Betts refused to perform this song. This was released after Duane Allman's death on Eat A Peach. The album is dedicated to him. Betts and Sandy Bluesky had a daughter, Jessica, on May 14, 1972. Betts wrote "Jessica" about her a year later. Duane Allman and Dickey Betts played on the bridge solo - one playing "lead" lead, the other playing "rhythm" lead. They switch up half way through - listen very carefully and you will hear them synch up on a riff for two measures or so right around 2:30 into the track.

Whitney Houston - "Greatest Love Of All"



 

Live Washington D.C. 1997. This was written by songwriters Michael Masser and Linda Creed. Linda Creed was recovering from breast cancer when they wrote the song in 1977. Originally recorded by George Benson, his version went to #24 in the US. In 1985, the song was revived by Whitney Houston, and on May 17, 1986, it went to #1 for the first of three weeks.

Creed's cancer claimed her life on April 10, 1986. She was later inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame on the strength of this song and the many hits she co-wrote for The Spinners, The Stylistics, and other acts on the Philadelphia International label. Phil Hurtt, who also wrote for the label, told us, "There are thousands of ways to say I Love You, and the difficulty is trying to find a nuance, a new way to say what's been said thousands of times, and Linda Creed is someone who was able to do that."

Masser and Creed wrote this for the 1977 film biography of Muhammad Ali, The Greatest, and the song first appeared on the film's soundtrack recorded by George Benson. Ali played himself in the movie, essentially recreating his defining moments intercut with clips of his actual fights. Ali was the heavyweight champ at the time of the film's release. 

Michael Jackson - "Billie Jean"



This song is about a girl who claimed Jackson was the father of her child. Jackson based it on a woman who used to stalk him, writing him letters about a son she thought was his. Jackson rarely spoke about this woman, but he had a very hard time dealing with this unwanted attention and became more reclusive as a result. The song was his way of expressing his feelings without addressing her directly.While Jackson didn't give many details about the real Billie Jean, his producer Quincy Jones said that Jackson found the woman one day lounging by his pool with a bathing suit and sunglasses on. According to Jones, she accused Jackson of being the father of one of her twins, which Jones thought was pretty funny.

Michael Jackson said of this song in Moonwalk, "A musician knows hit material. It has to feel right. Everything has to feel in place. It fulfills you and it makes you feel good. You know it when you hear it. That's how I felt about 'Billie Jean.' I knew it was going to be big while I was writing it. I was really absorbed in that song. One day during a break in a recording session I was riding down the Ventura Freeway with Nelson Hayes, who was working with me at the time. 'Billie Jean' was going around in my head and that's all I was thinking about. We were getting off the freeway when a kid on a motorcycle pulls up to us and says, 'Your car's on fire.' Suddenly we noticed the smoke and pulled over and the whole bottom of the Rolls-Royce was on fire. That kid probably saved our lives. If the car had exploded, we could have been killed. But I was so absorbed by this tune floating in my head that I didn't even focus on the awful possibilities until later."

Frank Sinatra - "New York New York"



Though many people associate this song with Frank Sinatra, it was Liza Minnelli who debuted it in the 1977 film of the same name, which was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Minnelli and Robert De Niro as musicians and lovers. It was written for the film by John Kander and Fred Ebb, who wrote many songs for her, including the Cabaret songs "Maybe This Time" and "Yes." Frank Sinatra began performing this in 1978 at concerts in New York's Radio City Music Hall. His version was released on his 1980 triple album Trilogy: Past, Present and Future, which was highly acclaimed and brought the singer back in the public eye. "New York, New York" quickly became one of Sinatra's signature songs.

While many songs have been written about New York City, no song has captured the pride and elegance of the city quite like this one. The lyrics, "If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere" sum up what many New Yorkers feel about their city: competition is intense, but success there is richly rewarded and very satisfying. The song stresses personal responsibility in the line, "It's up to you, New York, New York," as it's a place where you can't expect a handout but have an opportunity to succeed no matter who you are. This song also popularized New York as the "City that never sleeps," which is true in the literal sense that many businesses are open 24 hours but also in the figurative sense that you are expected to always be at your best.

Aretha Franklin - "Natural Woman"




This was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. They were a married couple who helped shape the Brill Building sound, named for the famous building in New York City where many hits from the '60 were written and recorded. Ode Records owner Lou Adler, who worked closely with King and Goffin, said: "Gerry Goffin is one of the best lyricists in the last 50 years. He's a storyteller, and his lyrics are emotional. 'Natural Woman,' 'Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.' These are perfect examples of situations, very romantic, almost a moral statement. Coming out of the 1950s, with the type of bubble gum music, and then in 1961, Gerry is writing about a girl who just might let a guy sleep with her and she wants to know, 'is it just tonight or will you still love me tomorrow?' Goffin could write a female lyric. If he could write the words to 'Natural Woman,' that's a woman speaking. Gerry put those words into Carole's mouth. He was a chemist before he was a full time lyricist. He's very intelligent and obviously emotional."

Regarding the origins of the song, Adler added: "Last year (2007) I spoke to Jerry Wexler at his home in Florida, and he told me the story that Gerry was coming out of a building in New York, (Goffin now remembers it as an Oyster House), and Jerry Wexler is passing in a car, and yells out, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Natural Woman'?' They felt the title was so distinct and so important to the song that they gave him a piece of it. So, when I spoke to Jerry recently to call him on his 90th birthday, he said, 'Isn't it amazing what those kids gave me? The checks keep coming in and I'm really happy about it.' Knowing how much he added to the song, not really as a third writer but the title and the inspiration of what was to be, a great song."

Janis Joplin - "Piece Of My Heart"




"Piece of My Heart" is a romantic funk/soul love song written by Jerry Ragovoy and Bert Berns, originally recorded by Erma Franklin in 1967. The song came to greater mainstream attention when Big Brother and the Holding Company (featuring Janis Joplin on lead vocals) covered the song in 1968 and had a much bigger hit with it. The song has since been remade by several singers, including Dusty Springfield on her 1968 album Dusty... Definitely, Bryan Ferry on his solo debut album These Foolish Things in 1973. It was recorded by Sammy Hagar on his first Geffen Records release, Standing Hampton, which hit the airwaves in 1982, and reached platinum status , Faith Hill in 1994 and Melissa Etheridge in 2005. In 2004, the Big Brother and the Holding Company version was ranked number 353 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song is also included among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

George Thorogood - "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer"



 

7/5/1984 - Capitol Theatre "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" (or "One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer") is a blues song written by Rudy Toombs and recorded by Amos Milburn in 1953. It is one of several drinking songs recorded by Milburn in the early 1950s that placed in the top ten of the Billboard R&B chart. Other artists released popular recordings of the song, including John Lee Hooker in 1966 and George Thorogood in 1977.Amos Milburn's "One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer" is a mid-tempo blues song, sometimes described as a jump blues, with pop-style chord changes. It tells the story of a man who is "in a bar at closing time trying to get enough booze down his neck to forget that his girlfriend's gone AWOL, harassing a tired, bored bartender who simply wants to close up and go home into serving just one more round". During the one break in the song, Milburn implores the bartender:

One more nip and make it strong
I got to find my baby if it takes all night long
One scotch, one bourbon, one beer

The song was a hit, reaching number two in the R&B chart during a fourteen-week stay in 1953.[1] The single lists the performers as "Amos Milburn and His Aladdin Chickenshackers" after his first number one single "Chicken Shack Boogie". Mickey Baker provided the guitar parts. Several of Milburn's contemporaries commented on his indulgence;[3] for his part, Milburn added "I practiced what I preached".

Fleetwood Mac - "Landslide"



This song is about a father-daughter relationship. Stevie wrote it on the guitar in about five minutes in Aspen, Colorado. She was surrounded by mountains and thinking, "Wow, all this snow could just come tumbling down around me and there is nothing I can do about it." When she feels like this she just goes to a room and writes her thoughts down so she can read it and ponder what she has written.

Nicks said of this song: "My dad did have something to do with it, but he absolutely thinks that he was the whole complete reason it was ever written. I guess it was about September 1974, I was home at my dad and Mom's house in Phoenix, and my father said, 'You know, you really put a lot of time into this [her singing career], maybe you should give this six more months, and if you want to go back to school, we'll pay for it. Basically you can do whatever you want and we'll pay for it - I have wonderful parents, and I went, 'cool, I can do that.' Lindsey and I went up to Aspen, and we went to somebody's incredible house, and they had a piano, and I had my guitar with me, and I went into their living room, looking out over the incredible Aspen skyway, and I wrote 'Landslide.' Three months later, Mick Fleetwood called. On New Year's Eve, 1974, called and asked us to join Fleetwood Mac. So it was three months, I still had three more months to go to beat my six month goal that my dad gave me." 

Don Henley - "The Boys Of Summer"



Don Henley told the NME that he really did see a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac. Said the Eagles frontman: "I was driving down the San Diego freeway and got passed by a $21,000 Cadillac Seville, the status symbol of the right-wing upper-middle-class American bourgeoisie – all the guys with the blue blazers with the crests and the grey pants – and there was this Grateful Dead 'Deadhead' bumper sticker on it!" The opening lines, "Nobody on the roads, nobody on the beach," refer to the California coast as summer turns into fall. It becomes a much quieter place when the weather gets cold. The title comes from a 1972 baseball book by Roger Kahn called Boys of Summer, which is about The Brooklyn Dodgers, who broke the hearts of their fans when they moved to Los Angeles. That book got its title from a Dylan Thomas poem called I See the Boys of Summer, which was published in 1939.

Hall & Oates - "She's Gone"



Many Hall & Oates songs were written primarily by one member of the duo, but this song was an equal collaboration. In our interview with Daryl Hall, he explained that Oates came up with the chorus, which he wrote on acoustic guitar. Hall thought it sounded like the Cat Stevens song "Wild World," so he went to his Wurlitzer keyboard and reworked the groove. From there, it was a matter of finding the progression and coming up with the lyrics. 

"We sat down together, and the first line that came out was, 'Everybody's high on consolation,'" said Hall. "It was one of those things where the lines just flowed out, and we were banging it back and forth. To me that is the ultimate Daryl and John song, because that was so collaborative, and so much a part of both of our experiences and lives thrown together."

This is one of the duo's favorite Hall & Oates songs. Daryl Hall told Entertainment Weekly (October 16, 2009): "It's very autobiographical. What we wrote about was real, even though it was two different situations. And it's very thematic with us: this soaring melody and uplifting chord progression, but about a very sad thing."

Player - "Baby Come Back"



This was written by Peter Beckett and J. C. Crowley, the two founders of Player. Beckett was the lead singer and guitarist. He is originally from Liverpool, England (home of The Beatles). After the demise of Player, Beckett joined Australia's Little river Band, who included this on a live album. Beckett also wrote "Twist of Fate" for Olivia Newton-John and "After All This Time" for Kenny Rogers.

According to Beckett's webmistress Patricia, he and a girlfriend of five years had broken up, and Beckett wrote the song from what he was feeling in his heart. She told us: "I had asked him if he ever heard from the girl again and he said 'No! Thank God!'"

A staple of soft rock radio, "Baby Come Back" exemplifies what would later be known as "Yacht Rock": mellow, sophisticated (and often maligned) music. Nicholas Niespodziani of the Yacht Rock Revue told us that this song is a crowd-pleaser. "'Baby Come Back' is such a great tune melodically, and the emotion of it really connects with people," he said. "I noticed that when we do it, there's something undeniably sexy about it, and it still works for those dudes all these years later."

Joan Jett - "I Love Rock & Roll"

This was originally recorded by a British group called The Arrows in 1975, and it was written by their lead singer Alan Merrill and guitarist Jake Hooker. Merrill explained in a Songfacts interview how this song came about: "That was a knee-jerk response to the Rolling Stones' 'It's Only Rock 'N' Roll.' I remember watching it on Top of the Pops. I'd met Mick Jagger socially a few times, and I knew he was hanging around with Prince Rupert Lowenstein and people like that – jet setters. I almost felt like 'It's Only Rock and Roll' was an apology to those jet-set princes and princesses that he was hanging around with - the aristocracy, you know. That was my interpretation as a young man: Okay, I love rock and roll. And then, where do you go with that?"

The song was released as a B-side with The Arrows' "Broken Down Heart." The group was recording for RAK Records, which was run by Mickie Most. As Merrill explains, "I Love Rock And Roll" didn't suit his current tastes, as during that time Most preferred ballads and blues. Most's wife Christina Hayes encouraged him to flip the sides, but the song didn't catch on, as it suffered from a poor run of luck at the time of its release. First, it had to be re-released as an A-side. Second, the song came out during an English newspaper strike, so new songs weren't getting the exposure they'd normally get. Third, The Arrows were feuding with their record label. As a result, the song didn't chart and was banished to obscurity.

All was not lost, however, as The Arrows performed this song when they were guests on the UK TV series Pop 45. The show's producer, Muriel Young, was so impressed that on the strength of this performance, she gave them their own TV show, simply called The Arrows Show, which ran from 1976-1977 in the UK for two full 14-week seasons on the ITV network. It was this show that Joan Jett saw in 1976, which prompted her to acquire a copy of "I Love Rock and Roll" and later cover it in 1981, producing what is arguably one of the most successful covers in rock history.

Nat King Cole - "The Christmas Song"



Nat King Cole recorded this for the first time in 1946 with his group The Nat King Cole Trio. They were the big act on Columbia Records, who had them re-record the song with a string section - the first time the trio used strings on a record. The no-strings version was shelved (later released in 1989 on a Rhino compilation called Billboard Greatest Christmas Hits 1935-1954), and the strings version issued - it made #3 in the US and hung around the charts even after Christmas. Cole recorded it again in 1953 with Nelson Riddle, who was an ace arranger at Capitol famous for his sessions with Frank Sinatra. Capitol Records released it again in December of 1960 as part of Cole's Christmas album The Magic of Christmas. Cole recorded another version (this time in stereo) in 1961.

Mel Torme and Bob Wells were songwriting partners, and used to take turns going over to each others' homes to write songs. One particularly hot July day, Mel drove over to Bob's house in Teluca Lake, California. When he got there he walked into the house, couldn't find Bob, but found a spiral notepad of paper with some words on it: "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose, Yuletide Carols being sung by a choir, folks dressed up like Eskimos." When Mel found Bob, he asked him, "What's this?" and Bob said, "It's so blistering hot here, and thought it would be fun to see if I could write something about a totally different season, the winter season, Christmas season, and see if I could mentally, virtually cool off." Mel said, "Not only have you also cooled me off, but I think you've got a song here!" And the duo wrote the rest of the song in about 35 minutes.

The song became more popular than ever in the '00s, as radio stations in a variety of formats added it to their holiday playlists every year. In 2006, ASCAP announced that it was the most-played holiday song of the previous five years, and while many artists had recorded it, Cole's version was still by far the most popular. In 2011, ASCAP announced that the song was the third most played holiday song that year, behind "Sleigh Ride" and "Winter Wonderland."

Muddy Waters & The Rolling Stones - "Baby Please Don't Go"



On 22 November 1981, in the middle of their mammoth American tour, the Rolling Stones arrived in Chicago prior to playing 3 nights at the Rosemont Horizon.  Live at the Checkerboard Lounge, Chicago 1981 is a concert video and live album by American blues musician Muddy Waters and members of British rock band the Rolling Stones. It was recorded on November 22, 1981 by David Hewitt on the Record Plant Black Truck, mixed by Bob Clearmountain, and released on July 10, 2012.[1] The Checkerboard Lounge was a blues club in Bronzeville, on the South Side of Chicago, which was established in 1972 by Buddy Guy and L.C. Thurman.[6][7]

Creedance Clearwater Revival - "Bad Moon Rising"



In Rolling Stone issue 649, John Fogerty explained that the lyrics were inspired by a movie called The Devil And Daniel Webster, in which a hurricane wipes out most of a town. This is where he got the idea for the words "I feel the hurricane blowin', I hope you're quite prepared to die." Overall, he said the song is about the "apocalypse that was going to be visited upon us."

In Rolling Stone issue 649, John Fogerty explained that the lyrics were inspired by a movie called The Devil And Daniel Webster, in which a hurricane wipes out most of a town. This is where he got the idea for the words "I feel the hurricane blowin', I hope you're quite prepared to die." Overall, he said the song is about the "apocalypse that was going to be visited upon us."

This was used in two science-fiction movies of the 1980s: An American Werewolf In London (1981) and Twilight Zone: The Movie (1982). In the former, it plays as the main character is awaiting a full moon and wondering if he will turn into a werewolf.

Dan Fogelberg - "The Leader Of The Band"



The senior Fogelberg began his musical journey directing high school bands in his home state of Illinois, first in Peoria and then at Pekin. He married Margaret Irvine, a talented singer who directed her sorority chorus, in 1946, and the couple had three children. Dan was the youngest, born in 1951. By this time, his dad was the band director at Bradley University in Peoria, where the family lived. The band would play concerts and perform at basketball and football games; Dan often told a story about his father letting him "conduct" the band when he was four years old, standing in front of his father with a baton while his dad did the job behind him. "It was an amazing feeling," Dan recounted. "It felt both very magical and powerful. And I was fearless."

 

  • Fogelberg recorded this for his 1979 album Phoenix, but felt it was too sentimental for the album and didn't release it until 1981 on The Innocent Age. His father died the following year.

  • When Fogelberg wrote this song, he didn't hear it as a hit, but the song expressed something that many children have trouble articulating: a love for their father. The intimacy of the song actually broadened its appeal, and it became one of his most enduring songs and one that fans would often mention to him as one they connected with.

  • The line, "Thank you for the freedom when it came my time to go," is a reference to Fogelberg dropping out of college. He attended the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, but decided to leave in the middle of a semester to pursue music - not what most parents want to hear. Fogelberg's father was disappointed, but supported his son's decision, telling Dan to try it for a year. The music thing worked out well: Dan drove to Los Angeles, got a record deal, and became one of the top-selling solo artists of the '70s.

John Denver - "Take Me Home Country Road"



"Take Me Home, Country Roads", also known as "Take Me Home" or "Country Roads", is a song written by Bill Danoff, Taffy Nivert, and John Denver about West Virginia. It was released as a single performed by Denver on April 12, 1971, peaking at number 2 on Billboard's US Hot 100 singles for the week ending August 28, 1971. The song was a success on its initial release and was certified Gold by the RIAA on August 18, 1971, and Platinum on April 10, 2017.[2] The song became one of John Denver's most popular and beloved songs. It has continued to sell, with over 1.5 million digital copies sold in the United States.[3] It is considered to be Denver's signature song.

Joni Mitchell - "Big Yellow Taxi"



Mitchell (from a 1996 interview with the Los Angeles Times): "I wrote 'Big Yellow Taxi' on my first trip to Hawaii. I took a taxi to the hotel and when I woke up the next morning, I threw back the curtains and saw these beautiful green mountains in the distance. Then, I looked down and there was a parking lot as far as the eye could see, and it broke my heart... this blight on paradise. That's when I sat down and wrote the song." This song is about taking things for granted and then missing them when they're gone. In the first verse she uses Waikiki, Hawaii as an example. It used to be paradise but now it's a fakey tourist destination.
 

  • This song is about taking things for granted and then missing them when they're gone. In the first verse she uses Waikiki, Hawaii as an example. It used to be paradise but now it's a fakey tourist destination. When you fly over the islands all of the other islands are nice and green, but when you go over O'ahu you see Waikiki and Honolulu buildings.

  • The line, "Took all the trees, put 'em in a tree museum, charged the people a dollar and a half just to see 'em" refers to Foster Gardens, a place in Waikiki which is basically a tree museum. It's a huge garden full of trees so tall you feel like Alice in Wonderland. 

    The line, "Put away that DDT now, give me spots on my apples but leave me the birds and the bees" refers to the insecticide DDT, which was used on crops. The deleterious effects of the chemical were in the news, as Americans learned that their food was being contaminated by its use - those spotless apples looked great but held hidden dangers. Also, birds were eating the insects and fish poisoned by DDT, which caused them to lay brittle eggs and put many species in danger, including the bald eagle. In 1972, DDT was banned for most uses.

  • Most of this song deals with environmental concerns, but in the last verse, the singer's boyfriend leaves her (her "old man"). This is where we hear the song's title for the first time, as the big yellow taxi comes to take him away.

  • The line, "They paved paradise and put up the parking lot" refers to the destruction of The Garden of Allah, a Hollywood hotel renowned for its rowdy celebration parties.

Carpenters - "Close To You"



This was written by the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. It was originally released as the B-side of "Blue Guitar" by Richard Chamberlain in 1963. Dusty Springfield recorded an early version of this song in 1964, which was originally scheduled for release as a single and potential follow-up to her hit "I Just Don't Know What To Do with Myself." However, it wasn't until three years later, in 1967, that her version was finally was released on her album Where Am I Going?.
 

The Carpenters signed with A&M Records in 1969, which was co-owned by Herb Alpert. Burt Bacharach asked Alpert to record the song himself, but he didn't feel comfortable with the lyrical content - "Moondust in your hair" - and instead produced a new arrangement for the Carpenters. >>


Richard Carpenter said of recording this song: "He (Herb Alpert) just gave me a lead sheet, and he said, 'I have a recording of this, but I don't want you to hear it. I don't want anything to influence what I may come up with. Just keep, at the end of the first bridge, two piano quintuplets.' That record, that song, the arrangement, all of it, is misleading to the uninitiated, because it sounds simple. And it's anything but simple."


In their first sessions for this song, Karen Carpenter played the drums, which Alpert didn't like. Said the producer: "I thought it was a little light. And so I asked them to go back in the studio again, because Karen was playing drums. And they recorded it the second time and I still felt they were missing a little something on the groove, so I suggested very carefully to Karen that maybe Hal Blaine should come in and play drums on it."

Blaine replaced Karen on drums and they got the take they liked with Richard on piano, Joe Osborn on bass, and Karen singing.

Grover Washington - "Just The Two Of Us"



Grover Washington was a very respected Jazz saxophone player who died of a heart attack in 1999. Bill Withers is a songwriter and vocalist responsible for songs like "Lean On Me" and "Ain't No Sunshine." Withers sang lead on this, but it was credited to Washington and appeared on his album. Withers was friends with Ralph McDonald, a writer and producer who wrote this with his partner Bill Salter. Says Withers, "I'm a little snobbish about words, so they sent me this song and said 'We want to do this with Grover, would you consider singing it?' I said, 'Yeah, if you'll let me go in and try to dress these words up a little bit.'  Everybody that knows me is kind of used to me that way. I probably threw in the stuff like the crystal raindrops. The 'Just The Two Of Us' thing was already written. It was trying to put a tuxedo on it. I didn't like what was said leading up to 'Just The Two Of Us.'"


When Withers went in to record his vocals, it was the first time he met Washington. They were rarely together when they recorded this, and they never got to know each other very well. Withers admired Washington because Grover did the first cover version of any song he'd written - an instrumental version of "Ain't No Sunshine" that appeared on his first album. Since then, hundreds of artists have covered Withers' songs. (Read our interview with Bill Withers.)

Ray Charles - "Hit The Road Jack"



This was the second (and shortest, at an even two minutes) of Charles' three #1 hits.
The solo backing vocals were by Margie Hendricks, who was one of Ray's backup singers, The Raelettes. They were lovers for a time, but the song is not about their relationship. The continuing popularity of this song is evident by the many professional and semi-professional hockey teams playing the first few lines whenever a player is sent to the penalty box.

Fred, you can stay. Steve, you're OK. But Jack, you gotta go.
This kiss-off anthem was written by Ray's good friend Percy Mayfield, an R&B singer who was badly disfigured in a car accident soon after he started performing. Mayfield cut back his touring and made his mark as a prolific songwriter, with many of his compositions performed by Charles.
This was the winner of the 1961 Grammy for Best Male Rhythm and Blues Recording.

Frank Sinatra - "That's Life"



This very optimistic song was written by Dean Kay and Kelly Gordon. Kay became a successful music publisher, and Gordon made a mark as a producer. Sinatra had a lot of ups and downs in his personal and professional life, and this song was a great showcase for his spirit and resilience. The phrase "That's Life" is often used to convey disappointment, but here Sinatra sees all the good things that life brings. This was one of two Sinatra songs - the other being "Strangers in the Night" - prominently featured in the '80s comedy License to Drive. Les (Corey Haim) takes his crush (Heather Graham) out for a wild night in his grandpa's Cadillac, which has a Sinatra cassette stuck in the tape player. This song plays when Les and his friends frantically chase a drunk who steals the car for a joyride (and sings along to Sinatra's tune).

The "scowl" in Sinatra's voice was a result of producer Jimmy Bowen telling Sinatra, after the recording session, to get out of his car and back in the studio to re-record the vocal. This made Frank VERY angry, which is evident in the song. That was the exact "feel" that Bowen wanted.

Elvis Presley - Last Concert



Live 1977.  Elvis Aaron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), also known as Elvis, was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King". Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and relocated to Memphis, Tennessee with his family when he was 13 years old. His music career began there in 1954, recording at Sun Records with producer Sam Phillips, who wanted to bring the sound of African-American music to a wider audience. 

In 1955, drummer D. J. Fontana joined to complete the lineup of Presley's classic quartet and RCA Victor acquired his contract in a deal arranged by Colonel Tom Parker, who would manage him for more than two decades. Presley's first RCA single, "Heartbreak Hotel", was released in January 1956 and became a number-one hit in the United States. With a series of successful network television appearances and chart-topping records, he became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll. His energized interpretations of songs and sexually provocative performance style, combined with a singularly potent mix of influences across color lines during a transformative era in race relations, made him enormously popular—and controversial.

On Air Now

Keith Stephens
Keith Stephens
12:00am - 6:00am
Baltimore's Classic Hits

Facebook

A big thank you to our station sponsors!

Star Featured Documentaries

Visitor Polls

Which decade had the BEST music stars?
Add a Comment
(Fields are Optional)

Your email address is never published.

Concert Calendar

Brian Wilson-Greatest Hits Live!

The Theater at MGM National Harbor

101 MGM National Avenue
Oxon Hill, Maryland, 20745

Wed, Jan 22, 8:00 PM

Celine Dion

Royal Farms Arena

201 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, Maryland, 21201

Mon, Feb 24, 7:30 PM

Celine Dion

Capital One Arena

601 F Street NW
Washington, District of Columbia, 20004

Wed, Mar 11, 7:30 PM