Music Bank

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William Bell

Posted on Oct 25, 2021 in 60s, Atlantic/Stax, Northern Soul, SOUL

A principal architect of the Stax/Volt sound, singer/composer William Bell remains best known for his classic “You Don’t Miss Your Water,” one of the quintessential soul records to emerge from the Memphis scene. Born William Yarbrough on July 16, 1939, he cut his teeth backing Rufus Thomas, and in 1957 recorded his first sides as a member of the Del Rios. After joining the Stax staff as a writer, Bell made his solo debut in 1961…

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Vern Gosdin

Posted on Oct 20, 2021 in Bluegrass, Country, COUNTRY/FOLK, Gospel, Singer/Songwriter

As country music swung back toward traditional styles in the 1980s, an inheritor of the soulful honky tonk style of Lefty Frizzell and Merle Haggard rose to the top of the business and notched hit after barroom hit. Sometimes he was known simply as “the Voice.” Born in Woodland, AL, Vern Gosdin idolized the Louvin Brothers and the Blue Sky Boys as a young man and sang in a gospel quartet called the Gosdin Brothers. When he was in his late teens, his family moved to Birmingham and began hosting The Gosdin Family Gospel Show…

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Fountains of Wayne

Posted on Oct 11, 2021 in 90s, ALTERNATIVE, Indie, Power pop

Although Fountains of Wayne didn’t enjoy mainstream attention until the release of “Stacy’s Mom” in 2003, the band had already established itself as one of America’s strongest power pop acts. Based in New Jersey, the group first appeared in 1996 with a mix of British-influenced pop songs, lo-fi production, and wry lyrics about dead-end jobs and biker boyfriends. Fountains of Wayne expanded their lineup and polished up their sound during the following years, eventually hitting gold with 2003’s Welcome Interstate Managers…

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Chuck Jackson

Posted on Oct 4, 2021 in 60s, Motown, Northern Soul, Rhythm & Blues, SOUL

He’s relatively forgotten today, and his brand of uptown soul is dismissed by the relatively vocal clique of critics who prefer their soul deep and down-home. But Chuck Jackson was a regular visitor to the R&B charts (and an occasional one to the pop listings) in the early ’60s with such early pop-soul concoctions as “I Don’t Want to Cry,” “Any Day Now,” and “Tell Him I’m Not Home.” His records were very much of a piece with New York pop/rock-soul production…

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The Gun Club

Posted on Sep 29, 2021 in 80s, ALTERNATIVE, Post-punk, Psychobilly

One of the most unusual bands to emerge from the Los Angeles punk rock scene of the late ’70s and early ’80s, the Gun Club took the musical and thematic influences of blues, merged them with the frenetic attack of punk, and conjured a sound that was aggressive, evocative, and emotionally complex without pretension. Led by guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Jeffrey Lee Pierce — the sole constant throughout the band’s history — the Gun Club went through significant stylistic evolutions during their 17-year life span…

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The Lotus Eaters

Posted on Sep 24, 2021 in 80s, ALTERNATIVE, New Wave

Liverpool, England’s the Lotus Eaters were mistakenly included in the New Romantic movement when they first appeared. However, although Peter Coyle (vocals), Jeremy Kelly (guitar), Mike Dempsey (bass), and Stephen Creese (drums) had the elegant attire and fashionable haircuts of New Romantic bands, their music was more understated and folksy than the synthesized Euro disco of Japan, Visage, and Duran Duran. The Lotus Eaters formed in 1982…

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The Connells

Posted on Sep 20, 2021 in 80s, Indie, Power pop, ROCK/POP

Raleigh, North Carolina-based jangle pop outfit the Connells formed in the spring of 1984. Fronted by guitarist Mike Connell and his brother, bassist David, the first incarnation of the group also featured vocalist Doug McMillan and drummer John Schultz, who was soon replaced by former Johnny Quest percussionist Peele Wimberley. In late 1984, the quartet recorded a four-song demo. After one of the tracks, “Darker Days,” was selected to appear on the North Carolina compilation More Mondo, the Connells’ ranks expanded with the addition of singer/guitarist George Huntley, who made his debut on a March 1985 session co-produced by Don Dixon…

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Suzi Quatro

Posted on Sep 16, 2021 in 70s, Glam Rock, ROCK/POP

Suzi Quatro was hardly the first Tough Girl in rock & roll but she codified a type of rock & roll woman who didn’t exist before she took the stage, one who looked as tough as the guys and wasn’t merely a singer but also an instrumentalist, the leader of the band who made the noise right along with the rest of the group. With her trademark leather jumpsuit and big bass guitar…

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The Shirts

Posted on Sep 12, 2021 in 70s, New Wave, ROCK/POP

This US pop rock act was formed from the ashes of the Lackeys and Schemers, who played several low-key gigs in the early 70s… All members provided songs either on their own or in partnership with other personnel… Other names that were suggested for the assembly included the Pants and the Sleeves. Shirts was the eventual choice, with the proviso that it should be pronounced ‘Shoits’ in a thick New York accent. Unsurprisingly, this tradition lapsed with time…

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Soft Cell

Posted on Sep 4, 2021 in 80s, ALTERNATIVE, Electronic, Indie, New Wave, Synthpop

Best known for their smash 1981 cover of Gloria Jones’ “Tainted Love,” which turned the pop-soul tune into a haunting electronic torch song, synth pop duo Soft Cell formed in England in the late ’70s. Also remembered as the first project of singer/songwriter Marc Almond, he and producer/multi-instrumentalist Dave Ball released four U.K. Top 20 albums together between 1981 and 1984 before pursuing separate music careers…

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