Music Bank

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Aztec Camera

Posted on Mar 11, 2019 in 80s, Indie, New Wave

Aztec Camera was the brainchild of Roddy Frame, a Scottish songwriter and vocalist whose precocious talent — he was still in his teens when the band cut their acclaimed debut album, High Land, Hard Rain — earned the band a loyal cult following. With Frame’s knack for catchy, upbeat melodies and wordplay…

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Ray Charles

Posted on Mar 7, 2019 in 50s, 60s, Atlantic/Stax, BLUES, Country, JAZZ, Rhythm & Blues, ROCK/POP, SOUL

Ray Charles was the musician most responsible for developing soul music. Singers like Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson also did a great deal to pioneer the form, but Charles did even more to devise a new form of black pop by merging ’50s R&B with gospel-powered vocals, adding plenty of flavor from contemporary jazz, blues…

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Hank Williams

Posted on Mar 3, 2019 in 40s, 50s, Country, COUNTRY/FOLK, Singer/Songwriter

Hank Williams is the father of contemporary country music. He was a superstar by the age of 25; he was dead at the age of 29. In those four short years, he established the rules for all the country performers who followed him and, in the process, much of popular music. Hank wrote a body of songs that became popular classics…

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New York Dolls

Posted on Feb 25, 2019 in 70s, Glam Rock, ROCK/POP

The New York Dolls created punk rock before there was a term for it. Building on the Rolling Stones’ dirty rock & roll, Mick Jagger’s androgyny, girl group pop, the Stooges’ anarchic noise, and the glam rock of David Bowie and T. Rex, the New York Dolls created a new form of hard rock that presaged both punk rock and heavy metal…

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Edwyn Collins

Posted on Feb 21, 2019 in 90s, ALTERNATIVE, Singer/Songwriter

Best known for his tenure fronting the Scottish pop revivalists Orange Juice as well as his international solo hit “A Girl Like You,” singer Edwyn Collins was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1959. In 1976, he formed the Nu-Sonics, who resurfaced three years later as Orange Juice; the leading proponent of the Glasgow neo-pop scene, the band earned a devoted cult following but little commercial success, and by the early ’80s Collins was the only remaining founding member…

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The “5” Royales

Posted on Feb 16, 2019 in 50s, Doo-wop, Northern Soul, Rhythm & Blues, ROCK/POP

The “5” Royales were a relatively unheralded, but significant, link between early R&B and early soul in their combination of doo wop, jump blues, and gospel styles. Their commercial success was relatively modest — they had seven Top Ten R&B hits in the 1950s, most recorded in the span of little over a year between late 1952 and late 1953. A few of their singles would prove extremely popular in cover versions by other artists, though…

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Lucinda Williams

Posted on Feb 11, 2019 in Alt-country, Americana, Country Rock, COUNTRY/FOLK, Singer/Songwriter

The object of cult-ish adoration for years, singer/songwriter Lucinda Williams was universally hailed as a major talent by both critics and fellow musicians, but it took quite some time for her to parlay that respect into a measure of attention from the general public. Part of the reason was her legendary perfectionism: Williams released records only infrequently, often taking years to hone both the material and the recordings…

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Orange Juice

Posted on Feb 6, 2019 in 80s, ALTERNATIVE, Post-punk

The leaders of the Scottish neo-pop uprising Orange Juice formed in Glasgow in late 1976. Originally dubbed the Nu-Sonics, the group comprised vocalist/guitarist Edwyn Collins, guitarist James Kirk, bassist David McClymont, and drummer Steven Daly; following the formation of the Postcard label by Collins protégé Alan Horne, the quartet renamed itself Orange Juice in 1979…

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Bob Luman

Posted on Feb 1, 2019 in 50s, 60s, Country, ROCK/POP, Rockabilly

Bob Luman started out as a rockabilly performer, switched to country, and then in the late ’50s nearly ditched the music industry altogether; were it not for the interference of the Everly Brothers, Nashville would have lost a popular and talented performer to major-league baseball…

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Public Image Ltd

Posted on Jan 27, 2019 in 70s, ALTERNATIVE, Experimental, Post-punk

One of the first and most significant post-punk bands, Public Image Ltd (PiL) were originally a quartet led by singer John Lydon (formerly Johnny Rotten) and guitarist Keith Levene, who had been a member of the Clash in one of its early lineups. The band was filled out by bassist Jah Wobble (John Wordle) and drummer Jim Walker. It was formed in the wake of the 1978 breakup of Lydon’s former group, the Sex Pistols…

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