Music Bank

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Roy Orbison

Posted on Mar 1, 2021 in 60s, Rock 'n' Roll, ROCK/POP

Although he shared the same rockabilly roots as Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison went on to pioneer an entirely different brand of country/pop-based rock & roll in the early ’60s. What he lacked in charisma and photogenic looks, Orbison made up for in spades with his quavering operatic voice and melodramatic narratives of unrequited love and yearning. In the process, he established rock & roll archetypes of the underdog and the hopelessly romantic loser…

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Jacques Brel

Posted on Feb 25, 2021 in 50s, Singer/Songwriter

Singer/songwriter Jacques Brel created and performed a catalog of literate, thoughtful, and theatrical songs that brought him a large, devoted following in France. His audience eventually extended internationally, making him a major influence on English-speaking writers and performers including Leonard Cohen and David Bowie, while translations of his songs were recorded by a wide range of performers from the Kingston Trio to Frank Sinatra…

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Posted on Feb 21, 2021 in 70s, Glam Rock, ROCK/POP

In some ways, the Sweet epitomized all the tacky hubris and garish silliness of the early ’70s. Fusing bubblegum melodies with crunching, fuzzy guitars, the band looked like a heavy metal band, but were as tame as any pop group. It was a dichotomy that served them well, as they racked up a number of hits in both the U.K. and the U.S. Most of those songs were written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, a pair of British songwriters who had a way with silly, simple, and catchy hooks…

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The Watersons

Posted on Feb 17, 2021 in COUNTRY/FOLK, Traditional Folk

The Watersons were one of England’s premier singing families. Their early albums played an influential role in the revival of British folk music in the 1960s. British folklorist A.L. Lloyd recalled the group’s “hand-crafted harmonies, an immediately recognizable and uniquely distinctive group sound which is uninhibited, spontaneous seeming, and rich in texture” …

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Esther Phillips

Posted on Feb 12, 2021 in 50s, 60s, Atlantic/Stax, Northern Soul, Rhythm & Blues, SOUL

Esther Phillips was perhaps too versatile for her own good, at least commercially speaking; while she was adept at singing blues, early R&B, gritty soul, jazz, straight-up pop, disco, and even country, her record companies often lacked a clear idea of how to market her, which prevented her from reaching as wide an audience as she otherwise might have. An acquired taste for some, Phillips’ voice had an idiosyncratic, nasal quality that often earned comparisons to Nina Simone, although she herself counted Dinah Washington as a chief inspiration…

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Charles Aznavour

Posted on Feb 8, 2021 in ROCK/POP, Singer/Songwriter

A keystone in the modern chanson genre, French cabaret singer and songwriter Charles Aznavour entertained the world for close to 75 years. In the early ’50s, he often opened for Edith Piaf, and composed several songs for her, thus beginning a solid reputation as both a gifted writer and a unique song stylist. Aznavour had a special talent for writing and singing from unusual points of view, creating personal and compassionate character studies that expanded the emotional range of the typical pop ballad…

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The Bats

Posted on Feb 5, 2021 in 90s, Indie, ROCK/POP

Yet another outgrowth of the seminal Clean, the Bats are an institution on the New Zealand music scene, their melancholy jangle pop sound and infectious melodies consistently defining the Kiwi rock aesthetic at its very best. After forming in the early ’80s, the band would keep the same lineup as they progressed through more than 30 years together…

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Posted on Feb 1, 2021 in 90s, ALTERNATIVE, Grunge, Metal

Tad were arguably the heaviest of the major Seattle grunge bands, fashioning a loud, lumbering grind that – unlike many of their peers – was inspired far more by ’70s metal than punk, with a side portion of noise rock tossed in. Less tuneful and accessible than grunge’s biggest names, Tad’s music simply steamrolled over everything in its way, which likely contributed to their being the last homegrown band on Sub Pop’s grunge-era roster to snag a major-label deal…

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Roy Brown

Posted on Jan 28, 2021 in 50s, Jump Blues, Rhythm & Blues, Rock 'n' Roll

When you draw up a short list of the R&B pioneers who exerted a primary influence on the development of rock & roll, respectfully place singer Roy Brown’s name near its very top. His seminal 1947 DeLuxe Records waxing of “Good Rockin’ Tonight” was immediately ridden to the peak of the R&B charts … In addition, Brown’s melismatical pleading, gospel-steeped delivery impacted the vocal styles of … a plethora of important singers. Clearly, Roy Brown was an innovator – and from 1948-1951, an R&B star whose wild output directly presaged rock’s rise…

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Bob Fox

Posted on Jan 24, 2021 in Contemporary Folk, COUNTRY/FOLK, Traditional Folk

Bob Fox is an English folk guitarist and singer, specialising in traditional and contemporary songs of the north-east of England and in particular, the coal mining communities thereof. He is noted for his collaborations with Tom McConville, Stu Luckley, and for solo performances since 1982…

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