Sunday, November 28, 2010

Would You Know A Blues Legend If You Saw One? I Didn't

Robert JohnsonCover of Robert JohnsonBy Les Brampton

Anyone passionate about the original blues, either guitar or piano, know the names of the original bluesmen by heart. They were the guys that started it all. None of them had to try to understand the blues, they were the blues! Names like Lightnin' Hopkins, Robert Johnson and Big Bill Broonzy come to mind.

It's easy to see how the legend surrounding Robert Johnson grew over the years. Two photographs exist, both very similar, and his bluesmen friends that survived into the 70s would talk about his famous rendezvous with Satan at the crossroads. I didn't meet Broonzy, although there are several pieces of film left for us to relish, all posted on YouTube.

Some years ago, I was contacted by a musician who worked in a band that supported Bill during his UK tour in the late 50s. He told me about a big man who drank too much, laughed most of the time and told colorful stories a lot of the time. His masterful guitar style was impossible to copy, and to this day, hardly anyone has managed to emulate Big Bill's swinging style.

In 1998, I lived in Indiana and was often thirsty for the sound of old-style blues. I heard that there was a bar where people played called 'Buck's Working Man's Pub' in a town about 40 miles away in the town of La Porte. At the end of my working day, I eagerly started the car and set off.

Given directions by the locals, I made my way down main street, turned left at the second corner past the town hall and crossed the railroad tracks to the wrong side of town. This is what I was looking for, I'd get to see the real blues. The bar wasn't up to much. I got myself a drink and made my way to the back room, following the sound of a loud Chicago-style blues band.

The place wasn't empty, and it wasn't full. Chicago blues wasn't what I was really interested in - I liked the old acoustic blues. An old fellow at my table told me the locals had arranged the band as it was the bar owner's birthday today. He didn't speak at all after that.

The band finished the number and the singer spoke into the microphone. "Happy Birthday, Pinetop" he shouted, and then "Ladies and gentlemen, Pinetop will now kindly play a his boogie piano for us." The old guy at my table rose and walked up to the front, sitting down in front of a grand piano. He played a slow boogie which became more and more complicated with new bar. My mouth dropped open as I realised I'd been sitting next to a real master, an original blues legend.

He played only a couple songs and then shuffled past me out to the bar. I never saw him again the rest of the night. With hindsight, I thought of the questions I should have asked him, but maybe it was for the best. It was the guy's birthday and he might have been bothered by a stranger's questions. Legends are just like us, you understand.

More and more, the bluesmen are dying out, to be replaced by modern heroes. Another time I drove clear across Indiana and Michigan to listen to a modern blues legend, who will remain nameless, because of what he said to me. Thrilled, I suggested that it was a wonderful way to live, to follow in the path of the old bluesmen - travelling around playing the blues.

"Not a bit of it" he replied "It's a pain and I'd rather be at home watching TV!"

We need to remind ourselves - legends are just people, after all.

Les Brampton
Blues guitar channel on YouTube
Doc Watson's guitar style

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How The Beatles Influenced Popular Culture and Music

The BeatlesCover of The BeatlesBy Bryce Alexander

Many fans would agree that the Beatles used their charms as a kind of magic to draw many fans to them. This charm is easily displayed as a sense of being normal boys - cheerful, lovable, and always ready to smile or share a joke with others. Perhaps their friendship and camaraderie made it easier for them to be friendly with the public, press and fans.

You can think of the members of the group like friends who like to hang out together and spending time tinkering with their musical instruments and making songs together out of fun. This kind of friendship fostered a deeper kind of understanding for each other, like a telepathic connection that they use in making music together or sharing a sense of humor. The public never really had a clue that they had troubles with their relationships with each other until they claimed so.

This had been a very effective method of constructing their image as a group and the good image lasted for a long time. The Beatles also gave people an impression that no matter how successful they are it never got into their head. In this way, they have maintained a friendly and humble appearance.

The band may have been as ambitious as their counterparts in the music industry during that time but they were very careful to conceal it. And it had served them well as they have established their charm and it maintained the magic that propelled them to the peak of their careers.

Even after the group disbanded in 1969, they have retained the most significant band title up to the present. The band is considered the best group with the most impact on society, music, and popular culture. Their legacy lives on as their music continually appeals to different generations.

Why the Beatles Became so Famous and Influential.

The Beatles impressed many fans with the natural talent that they exuded as a band. The songs they sing have evolved from teenage love stories to more serious themes that can be appreciated by both the young and adults. Their compositions are sophisticated and melodic and they have combined classical and rock and roll elements in their records. In this way, they connected the first and second half of the 20th century which was comprised of the onset of musical recordings and the dawn of the rock and roll genre.

There is an interesting historical view in explanation for the phenomenal success of the Beatles. The coming out of the group was a great timing because the 1960s was the best time for revolutionary changes. During the 1960s, technological advancements sprung up which amplified the musical production industry. Guitar amplifiers were manufactured and the quality and function of the equipments for studio recording improved and became more advanced.

This decade was also introduced to an expanded and more globalized mass media. The 1960s was also the coming-of-age generation as the society sought for its own identity. The technological advancements, the influence of mass media and social relevance - all of these elements influenced the beginnings of the band as well as the music they produced. The Beatles had used these influences and they became the most influential band of all time.

Bryce is the designer of the Absolute Pitch Simulator. Software to develop Perfect Pitch, which lets you step into the mind of someone with perfect pitch. You can find out more about it at: get perfect pitch

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30 Years Since John Lennon Was Assassinated!

John LennonCover of John LennonBy Billie Chainey

John Winston Lennon, October 09, 1940 - December 08, 1980.

Born in Liverpool, England, John was a member of the Beatles, a prolific songwriter, and also had a successful solo career. He was shot and killed as he entered his apartment building in New York City. He was 40.

It is hard to believe that it has been 30 years since one of the beacons of light that shined upon our consciousness and our world was extinguished. John Lennon touched the lives of so many people with his music, his strong views about peace, and stopping war. He was willing to expose all parts of himself, the good and the not so good. Yet, he always remained true to himself.

I was twelve years old when the Beatles came to America, and I was immediately drawn to the humor of John Lennon. He demonstrated his intelligence in any interview given. The music of the Beatles was magic at that time, and it certainly lit a fire under me that has not extinguished to this day.

I was fortunate to see the Beatles perform live three times. Fortunately I was close to the stage the last time I saw them, and it was indescribable. John was always the most outspoken, and, at one point in 1966, he was condemned in the United States because of stating that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. He was not saying that they were greater than Jesus but just that their popularity extended farther. It was the truth at that time.

From then on he received death threats and was told that he would be assassinated during their 1966 United States tour. This is one of the main reasons the Beatles stopped performing live.

Fame was a great pressure on John, and he looked for other avenues to explore having conquered the world. He discovered LSD and used it to open up his creativity. From there he discovered meditation and went to India to practice and learn from a master.

He met Yoko Ono, and they fell in love even though they were both married at the time. He felt Yoko was his soul mate, and they were together until the end of his life. They started a movement for peace and love. He gained new world recognition for his peace movement and his views against all wars. He expressed his views through his music and many people paid attention. His goal was to have people get along and follow the path of love and peace.

For a time John went into seclusion, but in 1980 he was making a comeback with a new album, the first in five years, and ready to get back into his many causes. Unfortunately there was a man who was jealous of John's fame and success and decided that he could obtain some fame by killing John Lennon. And on a cold December night he did the unthinkable.

I was driving in my car when I heard the announcement of his death on the radio; it was surreal. Was I having a nightmare? I kept changing the radio channels, and the news was the same that someone had murdered John in cold blood. How could John Lennon be killed so senselessly? The irony of his violent death shocked the world. This man, who had delivered so many messages of love and peace, had been taken out in such a violent manner; it was just unthinkable.

Rather than dwell on his murder I want to remember all that he did in his short 40 years. He definitely kept me aware of what was going on in the world through his music and his peaceful demonstrations. He gave a voice to the consciousness that so many were feeling and unable to find the words or ways to express it. John did.

This year holds so many memories of John because he would have turned 70 years old and 30 years since his death. Ironically he was killed on the birthday of Jim Morrison, singer, songwriter, and poet of The Doors, who if he would have lived would be 67 years old this year.

So many brilliant men have gone, but their words and music live on.

Each year new people discover John Lennon for the first time. In Havana, Cuba, they have a wonderful bronze statue of John Lennon sitting casually on a park bench as though he is observing those who pass by. Recently a teenager in the Dominican Republic asked me if I knew who John Lennon was. I just had to smile at that question.

Worldwide he is loved. His legacy will never be forgotten.

In My Life by the Beatles

"There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain

All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all."

Cherokee Billie offers help through the lens of clairvoyance, self-help, wisdom, philosophy, and spirituality. Cherokee Billie is the Author of "Heavenly Seduction" an best seller. In addition, Cherokee Billie is a Naturopathic Doctor (twenty years experience), Life Strategist, a Radio Personality, and an Ordained Minister leading people to a pathway to spiritual enlightenment:

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The Beatles Are Finally On iTunes

Cover of "The Beatles Mono Box Set"Cover of The Beatles Mono Box SetBy Johnny Moon

Background: Why The Beatles Haven't Been on iTunes

Apple Corps was formed by The Beatles in 1968. Apple Corps was actually involved in quite a few areas (films, publishing, and even retail) but of course it's main interest was (and is) music. When Apple Computer came around in the late 1970s, Apple Corps sued them over the use of the "Apple" name. A settlement was made in 1981 with the computer Apple paying the music Apple $80,000 and agreeing to not enter the music business.

There was another lawsuit in 1989 over the ability of computers to play back MIDI files. This time the computer company had to pay out $26.5 million to settle the case. Finally, there was another lawsuit in 2003 (this one over iPod, iTunes, etc.) This time Apple Corps lost and on February 5th of 2007 a settlement was reached to end the trademark dispute once and for all.

This trademark settlement lead people to believe that The Beatles music would be on the iTunes store soon, but it was not. Perhaps The Beatles people wanted to wait until the new remastered versions were completed?

November 16, 2010

As of November 16th of 2010 iTunes has The Beatles entire remastered stereo catalog available for download. One can either individually download their albums (such as 1965's Rubber Soul or 1969's Abbey Road) or download the entire remastered stereo catalog with a single click.

No Mono Mixes

What is not available on the iTunes Store are the original mono mixes. These are still only available as a part of The Beatles in Mono CD Box Set.

Great For iPod Users

The Beatles music being available at the iTunes Store is a great thing for Beatles fans who use iPods as it will make it easier for them to get their favorite songs onto their iPods.

CLICK HERE for The Beatles on iTunes.

The Beatles Mono Box Set is still the only way to listen to the original mono mixes of these famous recordings.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Vinyl Albums - 5 Most Sought After Ones!

Bob DylanCover of Bob DylanBy Justine Jordan

1. Freewheelin'
Released by American Bob Dylan in the spring of 1963 by Columbia Records. Eleven of the thirteen songs on this particular album are his original compositions.

2. Bringing It All Back Home is Bob Dylan's fifth album. It was released in the spring of 1965 by Columbia Records. It was the first of Dylan's long-playing albums to make the US Top 10 List! It even topped the UK charts that same year.time!

3. Highway 61 Revisited
Highway 61 Revisited is Dylan's sixth album. It was released in the summer of 1965 by Columbia Records. He stated he wouldn't be able to make a record better than this particular one.

4. Blonde on Blonde
This was an album that was thought of as being the first double album in rock music. It ended up being 2 LPs which was because of its length. Unfortunately, right after that, Dylan was involved in a motorcycle accident. Blonde on Blonde ended up ranking as the 9th Greatest Album of All Time in VH1 as well as in Rolling Stone Magazine!

5. John Wesley Harding
This was Bob Dylan's eighth album. It was released by Columbia Records in the winter of 1967. In the year 2003, The Rolling Stone Magazine ranked this song in the 301st place on the list of the 500 greatest albums of all time!

Should you come across a vinyl record album in mint condition, learn about its worth as soon as possible. Should you see any types of fingerprints on it; however search for professional record cleaners to remove the prints.

The SPIN-CLEAN Record Cleaner System has been in production in the U.S. since 1975. It's considered the World's best record washer! Google record washers pittsburgh or Watch The Demo at to see how it can improve your vinyl record collection.

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Origins of Beatles Songs - Or Are They?

The Beatles wave to fans after arriving at Ken...Image via WikipediaBy Paul Wimsett

There are so many myths about Beatles songs, the most famous is that Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is inspired by LSD. So spot the true story, below.

Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club was inspired by a bandleader called Major Mace (mace like pepper is a spice).

Ticket to Ride was inspired by a trip to Ryde in the Isle of Wight taken by Stuart Sutcliffe in the 1940s, which was told by John Lennon.

Revolution wasn't about war at all, it was the new flat desk Wurlitzer jukeboxes, which by their presence in pubs and discotheques, was said to revolutionise how we listen to music. 'Giving peace a chance' referred to not having music in pubs, a popular campaign at the time.

Hard Day's Night was named to due to confusion by Ringo about whether it was day or night.

The song Rain was in fact a coded reference to Lorraine Silver, a singer in the Northern Soul style.

In the Day in the Life the holes to fill the Albert Hall line referred to a particular bad concert Paul McCartney had seen as a child, when none of the orchestra were in tune.

Eleanor Rigby refers to Eleanor in Help, Eleanor Brogue.

The Land of Submarines referred to in Yellow Submarines refers to a forthcoming trip to Bolivia which the Beatles were looking forward to.

Hey Bulldog! was created at the death of Winston Churchill, Winston being John Lennon's middle name.

The song Come Together refers not to 'you' but a 'ewe' - noting a field where John Lennon used to meet his real mother which had a sheep in it.

Phew, making up these rumours is harder than it looks! The true one is the fourth one down. Lorraine Silver was a member of the Northern Soul singers and it was Eleanor Bron, not Brogue who may have inspired Eleanor Rigby. John Lennon never did drop Winston as a middle name, but writing a song about him is probably going too far.

Paul Wimsett is an eBay seller and has also self published work on Createspace and

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