Songs With A Mardi Gras Theme

mardi-gras-maskIt’s carnival time here once again in the states and with the party atmosphere taking a stronghold down in New Orleans this week I thought I would put together a small list of essential Mardi Gras themed music, with a few surprises thrown in at the bottom of this post. Unlike most of the other song lists or play lists I’ve created over the years in this section, the title does not just have to include the word ‘Mardi Gras’. The songs and videos below just need to have a feel for the annual New Orleans celebration. Some are even instrumentals with the sounds of Cajun, Creole, Blues, Jazz and Zydeco or a fusion mix. This is a relatively small list compared to other themed song lists I’ve done previously but should still give a good sampling of music for this special annual event known as Mardi Gras. Enjoy!




Big Chief – Earl King

Carnival Time – Al Johnson

Fire On The Bayou – The Meters

Go To The Mardi Gras – Professor Longhair

Goin’ Back To New Orleans – Dr. John

Hey Pocky A-Way – The Meters

I Went To The Mardi Gras – Snooks Eaglin

La Danse De Mardi Gras (Mardi Gras Song) – Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys

Mardi Gras Day – Dr. John

Mardi Gras In New Orleans – Fats Domino

Mardi Gras In New Orleans – Professor Longhair

Mardi Gras Mambo – The Hawketts

Meet De Boys On The Battlefront – Wild Tchoupitoulas

Take Me To The Mardi Gras – Paul Simon

The Day After Mardi Gras – The Lakefront Loungers

The Second Line – Stop, Inc

When The Saints Go Marching In – Louis Armstrong

Who Dat At Da Mardi Gras – Jake Da Snake


************ BONUS ************

Enjoy a couple more off-the-wall sounds of Mardi Gras…. with a humorous twist…..

Ain’t No Place To Pee On Mardi Gras Day – Benny Grunch

Mardi Gras Funk!  (Parody of “Uptown Funk”) – Melissa Stevenson



Diggy Liggy Lo – Dou Kershaw (“The Rajun Cajun”)

Down At The Twist & Shout – Mary Chapin Carpenter

Jambalaya On The Bayou – John Fogerty (Blue Ridge Rangers)

When The Saints Go Marching In – Pelican 212

(an amazing family brass band that have appeared recently on national TV)


************ ENCORE ************

and here’s one more that sums up the unmistaken sounds of the season…………

New Orleans Creole / Cajun / Zydeco / Blues / Jazz Music of Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday / NOLA Saints



Impressive Young Singers From Around The World: TV & Video Performances

Sensational Young Singers Round The WorldThere have been some really good stand out vocal performances from young people from around the world that have made a positive impression in their local viewing area. Some may have even become minor celebrities in their home communities. But unless you’re a diehard Youtube follower, or they made national news coverage or widespread social media most people from others parts of the country (or world) would have no way of discovering their great voices without someone bringing it to your attention. That’s what my goal is here. Over the past several years I’ve enjoyed exploring videos from around the world of kids & young people who have given some really impressive performances. Most of the videos below are from the past 10 years or so, but I’ll also be including a few retro videos from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s of some of the future stars early in their careers. Many of the more recent performers are not necessarily recording stars, at least for now anyways. Please feel free to comment on your thoughts of these performances. There will undoubtedly be others out there that I’m not familiar with or aware of. Let me know below.

Impressive Young Singers From Around The World:

TV & Video Performances

Listings are arranged alphabetically by country of the young singers origin or longest residency (if known). I’m continually adding more videos to this post as time permits as well as when I discover more really good young talent. In reality, this list will never be complete as there is virtually no end in sight………. Enjoy!

A R G E N T I N A 

Pablo Ruiz (1988)


Vladimir Arzumanyan (2010)

Misha (2017)


Jordan Jansen (2009)

Straalen McCallum (2010)

Jack Vidgen (2011)

Jai Waetford (2013)

Paris Morgan (2013)

Robbie Anderson (2014)

Olivia Swinton (2014)

Molly Sneddon (2014)

Jasmine Dale (2014)

Ky Baldwin (2014)

Angus Ross (2014)

Angus Ross, Ky Baldwin & Robbie Anderson (2014)

Alexa Curtis (2014)

Ethan Karpathy (2014)

Justin Vasquez (2014)

Isabella Clarke (2017)


Luca Stangl (2017)

Luca Stangl (2017)


Ksenia Sitnik (2005)

Andrey Kunets (2006)

Alexey Zhigalkovic (2007)

Angelina Pipper (2011)

Nadezhda Misyakova (2014)


X!NK (2003)

Thor Salden (Thor) (2006)

Thor Salden (Thor) (2007)

Laura Omloop (2009)

Fabian Feyaerts (2012)

Josefien Derijcke (2015)

Nalu (2015)

Zita (2015)

Florence (2015)

Zita, Josefien & Precious (2015)

Leeloo Love (2016)


Jotta A  (Jose Antonio Viana) (2011)

Jotta A  (Jose Antonio Viana) (2011)

Enzo & Eder (2016)


Krisia Todorova (2014)

Krisia Todorova (2016)


The Moffats (1995)

The Moffats (1996)

Matt Errs (2012)

Johnny Orlando (2013)

Johnny Orlando (2013)

Johnny Orlando (2015)

Christian Lalama (2016)

Annabelle, Lee Anne & Rafaël Dolan-Bachand (2016)

Sandrine Lamontagne (2016)

Jadyn Rylee (2017)

"Beaches Of Tofino" ORIGINAL song by Jadyn Rylee (2017)

C H I L E 

Christell (2003)


Jeffrey Li & Celine Tam (2015)

Jeffrey Li (2015)


Adrián Londoño (2014)

David Santiago Pena (2014)

Matthew Moreno (2014)

Matthew Moreno (2015)

Juan Andres (2015)

Juan José Figueroa (2015)


Dino Jelusic (2003)

Nika Turkovic (2004)


Luca (2015)

Oliver (2016) 

Tobias (2016)

Rumle, Oliver & Nicolai (2016)


Santiago Acuna (2013) 


Noor Uthman (2013)


Lleucu “Leikki” Young (2014)

Aino Morko (2015)


Caroline Costa (2008)

Marina Dalmas (2011)

Edith Piaf (2014)

Léo Ristorto (2015)

Johan (2015)

Max & Mango (2015)

Nans (2016)

Leelou (2017)


Candy (2011)

Lizi Japaridze (Lizi Pop) (2014)

Mariam Mamadashvilli (2016)


The Mini-Beats (2000)

(Philip Lawall, Markus Attinger, Jonas Kenner & Andreas Schaupp)

Laura Kamhuber (2013)

Fabienne (2013)

Danyiom (2014)

Soufjan (2014)

Luca Schatz (2015)

Lukas Janisch (2016)

Iggy (2017)

Iggi, Ruben & Leon (2017)

Nils (2017)

G R E A T   B R I T A I N   ( E N G L A N D )

Jack Wild (1970)

Jack Wild (1970)

Declan Galbraith (2002)

Declan Galbraith (2007)

Joseph McManners (2005)

Joseph Manners (2005)

Connie Talbot (2007)

Connie Talbot (2009)

Charlie Green (2008)

Natalie Okri (2009)

Ronan Parke (2011)

Ronan Parke (2011)

Ronan Parke (2011)

Libera Boys Choir (2011)

Libera Boys Choir (2011)

Bars & Melody (Leondre Devries & Charlie Lenehan) (2014)

Henry Gallagher (2015)

Beau Dermott (2016)

Cruz Beckham (2016)

Jack Goodacre (2017)

Jack Goodacre (2017)

Jude Landeg (2017)

Jude, Tilly &  Jack (2017)

G R E A T  B R I T A I N   ( S C O T L A N D )  

Neil Reid (1971)

Lena Zavaroni  (1974)

Stuart Anderson Jr. (1992)

G R E A T  B R I T A I N  ( W A L E S )

Aled Jones (1985)

Charlotte Church (2000)

Shaheen Jafargholi (2009)

G R E E C E 

Niki Giannoulsou (2008)


Vishwaprasad Ganagi (2016)


Super7 (2013)

Rachel Farial (2016) 


The Kelly Family (1979)

The Wee Amigos (Ben Troy, Gerald Ahern & Simon Peters) (2011)

The Wee Amigos (Ben Troy, Gerald Ahern & Simon Peters) (2011)

Ben Troy (2011)

Gerald Ahern (2011)

Jack & Cormac (Jack Duff & Cormac Connell) (2013)

Gaelic (Irish) version of ‘The Cup Song’ (2013)

… about 600 students at Coláiste Lurgan in Conamara, Ireland got together with plastic cups to perform ‘When I’m Gone’ (also known as ‘The Cup Song’) and to give an unofficial attempt to set a world record for the largest group performance of the song.


Michel Cohen (2012)


Vincenzo Cantiello (2014)

Raffaele Papadia (2016)


Eman Bisha (2017)


Gaia Cauchi (2013)

Gianluca Cilia (2017)


Luis Miguel (1981)

Samantha Ríos (2015)

Ashley Acosta (2015)

Luis Angel (2017)

Santiago Ervey (2017)


Ralf Mackenbach (2009)

Donny (2012)

Jesse Pardon (2013)

Jarmo de Rek (2013)

Cas Van Leeuwen (2013)

Chelsea (2013)

Amira Willighagen (2013)

Bodi Zong Bij Zijn (2014)

Roeland Beelen (2014)

Ayoub Maach (2014)

Marijn (2015)

Britney (2015)

Jade & Senna Dorssers (2016)

Isabel (2016)

Jaco (2016)


Malin Reitan (2005)

Angelina Jordan (2014)

Angelina Jordan (2017)

Marcus & Martinus (2015)

Marcus & Martinus (2015)


Valeria Zapata (2014)


Jal Joshua (2009)

Jal Joshua (2009)

Angelico “Echo” Claridad (2014)

Lyca Gairanod (2014)

Jimboy (2014)

Gwyneth Dorado (2015)

Antonette Tismo (2016)

Ian Joseph (2016)

Justin Alva (2016)

P O L A N D 

Magda Fronczewska (1990)

R O M A N I A 

Noni Răzvan (2004)

Nicole Cherry (2013)


Street Magic (2005)

Street Magic (2005)

Tolmachevy Twins (2006)

Alexey Tsvetkov (2008)

Lesha Tsvetkov (2009)

Arsene Shavlyuk (2012)

Danil Gilev (2013)

Vitya Aniskin (2013)

Alain Ershov (2014)

Michael Smirnov (2015)

Georgi Dolgolenko (2015) 

Artem Kolesnikov, Julia Serenko, Marsel Sabirov, Xenia Ponomarenko (2016)

Benjamin Nurgaleev , Anastasia Dmitrachkova , Vsevolod Rudakov (2016)

Taisiya Podgornaya , Nonna Yeganyan , Dmitry Kondakov (2016)

Ksenia Ponomarenko (2016)

Said Mukhametzyanova , Camilla Kusova, Renata Tazetdinova (2015)

Hallelujah (beautifully performed in 3 languages, Russian, English & Arabic)


Filomena Litani (2015)

S O U T H   A F R I C A

Henno William (2015)

Henno William (2017)

S O U T H   K O R E A

Park Ye Eum (2013)

Yoon Si Young (2013)

Lee Eunsung (2013)


Diego Dominguez (2003)

Nico  (Nicolo Urbinati) (2004)

Maria Isabel (2007)

Abraham Mateo (2010)

Abraham Mateo & Caroline Costa (2012)

Adexe & Nau (2015)

Pedro Martin (2016)

Antonio & Paco (2017)


Zara Larsson (2008)

Zara Larsson (2008)


Çağla & Doğa Vardar (2014)


Anastasia Petrik (2010)

Anastasia Petrik (2012)

Ruslan Korshunov (2012)

Kyrylo Cherpita (2016)

Ivan Iastrebov (2016)

Taly Kuper (2016)

Aleksandra Myronenko (2016)

Maria Zakharova (2017)

Daneliya Tulyeshova (2017)

Sofia Lozina (2017)

Kain Rivers (aka Kyrylo Cherpita, aka Kirill Rogovets) (2017)

U N I T E D   S T A T E S

Tony DeFranco & The DeFranco Family (1973)

Shaun Cassidy (1977)

Leif Garrett (1978)

Kristy & Jimmy McNichol (1978)

Aaron Carter (1997)

Aaron Carter (1998)

Aaron Carter (2000)

Billy Gilman (2000)

Billy Gilman (2001)

Bianca Ryan (2006)

Taylor Ware (2006)

Joey Pearson (2006)

Joey Pearson (2006)

Greyson Chance (2010)

Jackie Evancho (2010)

Colton Jacobson (2011)

Aj Silva (2011)

Brewer Boys (2011)

Kaitlyn Maher (2012)

Sawyer Fredericks (2012)

Sawyer Fredericks (2012)

Carly Rose Sonenclar (2012)

Beatrice Miller (2012)

Reed Deming (2012)

Reed Deming (2013)

Griffin Tucker (2012)

Griffin Tucker (2014)

Stone Martin (2013)

MattyB  (Matthew David Morris) (2013)

MattyB & Carissa Adee (2014)

Carson Leuders (2014)

Carson Leuders (2014)

GregoryQ  (Gregory Quintana) (2015)

Isaiah Morgan (2016)

Pelican 212 (2016)

Grace Vanderwaal (2016)

Angelina Green (2017)

Celine Tam (2017)

Angelica Hale (2017)

Evie Clair (2017)

“STRANGER THINGS” kids performance at the EMMY AWARDS (2017)

featuring Millie Bobbie Brown, Gaten Matarazzo & Caleb Maclaughlin

“STRANGER THINGS” kids performance on the Late Show with James Corden (2017)

featuring Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb Maclaughlin & Noah Schnapp 


Daniela Ramos (2015)

Katherine Aponte (2016)



from BBC of a 2008 performance of highlights from the musical stage show “Oliver Twist” — a medley of 3 entertaining & popular songs…..

and one more….. Here are all 12 ‘Oliver’s’ singing “Electricity” from the BBC stage production of “Billy Elliot”


Remembering Music Artists Who Passed in 2012

As sure as each day fades into night and each night reveals a new day, sooner or later, we will all be faced with our own mortality. As we grow older and move from one stage of our life to the next, majority of us  have fond memories of people that made an impact on our day-to-day lives, parents, relatives, friends, teachers, counselors, coaches, role models, etc. on a personal level. Then we have those memorable icons who kept us  entertained through the media that we looked forward to seeing on our favorite TV shows, at the movies, on the radio, in the funny pages (comic books), in concert or on stage. As time passes and we all age, we begin loosing many of our childhood heroes and people we cared about or made us feel secure in our own special place.

The focus on this particular post will be on MUSIC ARTISTS of all genres. I will attempt to present to you many of my personal favorites that the world has lost during this calendar year. As you might expect, this post will be ongoing and updated as we unfortunately will lose more wonderful music artists through the end of 2012. I know there will be some that I leave out, maybe because I’m unaware of their passing, or because they were not known in America, or, in the case of a few, I personally did not like them or care for their music.

* There may also be a couple of other “non-artists” that were involved in some capacity with music that I have included here also such as band members, producers, writers, hosts (Don Cornelius), etc.

Enjoy the trip down memory lane and hopefully some of the artists listed will leave a soft spot in your heart or a tear in your eye.  

I’ll include one of their classics that they are best remembered for (as well as a personal favorite).

Deaths are listed in reverse chronological order from most recent (December) backward to the beginning of the year, January, 2012.



Updated once again as the curtain closes on 2012, with several more entries of those who passed during the past twelve months, those who entertained us through music and song…. that left us with memories of our youth, our past, the good times, the bad times, the happy, the sad



Fontella Bass – Age 72

July 3, 1940 – December 26, 2012 (from St. Louis, Missouri)

Ray Collins – Age 76

(Mothers of Invention)

November 19, 1936 – December 24, 2012 (from Pomona, California)

Mike Scaccia – Age 47

(Lead Guitar – Ministry)

June 14, 1965 – December 23, 2012 (from Babylon, New York)

Lee Dorman – Age 70

(Bass Guitar – Iron Butterfly, Captain Beyond)

September 15, 1942 – December 21, 2012 (from St. Louis, Missouri)

Jimmy McCracklin – Age 91

August 13, 1921 – December 20, 2012 (from St. Louis, Missouri)

Inez Andrews – Age 83

(Gospel Soloist / The Caravans)

April 14, 1929 – December 19, 2012 (from Birmingham, Alabama)

Pecker Dunne – Age 79

April 1, 1933 – December 19, 2012 (from Castlebar, Ireland)

Ravi Shankar – Age 92

April 7, 1920 – December 11, 2012 (from India)

Jenni Rivera – Age 43

July 2, 1969 – December 9, 2012 (from Long Beach, California)

Ed Cassidy – Age 89

(Drummer/Founder – Rising Sons, Spirit)

May 4, 1923 – December 6, 2012 (from Bakersfield, California)

Huw Lloyd-Langton – Age 61

(Guitarist – Hawkwind, Widowmaker)

February 6, 1951 – December 6, 2012  (from London, England)

Dave Brubeck – Age 91

December 6, 1920 – December 5, 2012  (from Concord, California)

Dee Harvey – Age 47

1965 – December 1, 2012  (from Memphis, Tennessee)


Frank Barsalona – Age 74

(Legendary Talent Agent/Pioneering Rock Promoter)

March 31, 1938 – November 22, 2012  (from Staten Island, New York)

Frank Barsalona

Peter Bennett – Age 77

(Legendary Music Promoter)

May 10, 1935 – November 22, 2012  (from The Bronx, New York)

Pete Bennett

Michael Dunford – Age 68

(Guitarist – Renaissance)

July 8, 1944 – November 20, 2012  (from Surrey, England)

Billy Scott – Age 70

(Billy Scott & the Prophets)

October 5, 1942 – November 17, 2012  (from Huntington, West Virginia)

Major Harris – Age 65

(The Delfonics, solo career)

 February 9, 1947 – November 9, 2012  (from Richmond, Virginia)


Terry Callier – Age 67


May 24, 1945 – October 27, 2012 (from Chicago, Illinois)

Pundits referred to his music as “jazz-folk” in the 1970’s. Callier was an unusual and singularly inspired singer-songwriter whose music defied such easy categorization. He was largely ignored by the U.S. record buying public, despite being well-respected among musicians and critics.


Hal David – Age 91


May 25, 1921 – September 1, 2012  (from Brooklyn, New York)

Hal David wrote words for, most notably, Burt Bacharach. Together, the two provided hits to Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, The Carpenters and others. Songs include, “The Look of Love,” “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” “(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me” and “Do You Know The Way To San Jose.”

Joe South – Age 72

February 28, 1940 – September 5, 2012 (from Atlanta, Georgia)

An American songwriter, singer, guitarist and record producer. Best known for his songwriting, South won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1970 for “Games People Play” and was again nominated for the award in 1972 for “Rose Garden”.

Dorothy McGuire – Age 84

(McGuire Sisters)

February 13, 1928 – September 7, 2012 (from Middletown, Ohio)

The McGuire Sisters were a singing trio in American popular music. The group was composed of three sisters: Christine McGuire (born July 30, 1926); Dorothy McGuire (February 13, 1928 – September 7, 2012); and Phyllis McGuire (born February 14, 1931). Among their most popular songs are “Sincerely” and “Sugartime”, both number one hits.

Rollin “Oscar” Sullivan – Age 93

(Lonzo and Oscar)

January 9, 1919 – September 7, 2012 (from Edmonton, Kentucky)

Andy Williams – Age 84

(December 3, 1927 – September 25, 2012 (from Wall Lake, Iowa)

A legendary American popular music singer. He recorded 44 albums in his career, 15 of which have been gold-certified and three of which have been platinum-certified.He was also nominated for six Grammy Awards. He hosted The Andy Williams Show, a television variety show, from 1962 to 1971, and numerous TV specials. The Andy Williams Show garnered three Emmy awards. The Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri, is named after the song he is most known for singing—Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini’s “Moon River”. He sold over 100 million records worldwide including 10.5 million certified units in the United States.


Jimmy Jones – Age 75

June 2, 1937 – August 2, 2012 (from Birmingham, Alabama)

Marvin Hamlisch – Age 68

June 2, 1944 – August 6, 2012 (from New York City, New York)

An American composer and conductor. Hamlisch was one of only twelve people to win Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. He is also one of only two people (along with Richard Rodgers) to have won those four prizes and a Pulitzer Prize.

Carl Davis – Age 77

(record producer)

September 19, 1934 – August 9, 2012 (from Chicago, Illinois)

An American record producer and music executive, who was particularly active in Chicago in the 1960s and 1970s. He was responsible for hit R&B records by Gene Chandler, Major Lance, Jackie Wilson, The Chi-Lites, Barbara Acklin, Tyrone Davis and others.


Scott McKenzie – Age 73

January 10, 1939 – August 18, 2012 (from Jacksonville, Florida)

An American singer and songwriter. He was best known for his 1967 hit single and generational anthem, “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)”.

Max Bygraves – Age 89

October 16, 1922 – August 31, 2012 (from London, England)

An English comedian, singer, actor and variety performer. He appeared on his own television shows, sometimes performing comedy sketches between songs. He made twenty Royal Variety Performance appearances and presented numerous programmes, including Family Fortunes.



Bob Babbitt – Age 74

(Bass Guitar/ The Funk Brothers, MFSB)

November 26, 1937 – July 16, 2012  (from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

He was a bassist in Motown Records’ studio band, the Funk Brothers, from 1966 through 1972, and also a member of MFSB for Philadelphia International Records. He played on hundreds of hits, including Steve Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” Edwin Starr’s “War” and Gladys Knight and the Pips’ “Midnight Train to Georgia.”

Jon Lord – Age 71

(Deep Purple)

June 9, 1941 – July 16, 2012  (from Leicester, England)

An English composer, pianist, and Hammond organ player known for his pioneering work in fusing rock with classical or baroque forms, especially with Deep Purple, as well as Whitesnake, Paice, Ashton & Lord, The Artwoods, and The Flower Pot Men. In 1968 Lord co-founded Deep Purple, a hard rock band of which he was regarded as the leader until 1970.

Kitty Wells – Age 92

“Queen of Country Music”

August 30, 1919 – July 16, 2012  (from Nashville, Tennessee)

Her 1952 hit recording, “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels”, made her the first female country singer to top the U.S. country charts, and turned her into the first female country star. Her Top 10 hits continued until the mid-1960s, inspiring a long list of female country singers who came to prominence in the 1960s. Wells ranks as the sixth most successful female vocalist in the history of Billboard’s country charts. In 1976, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 1991, she became the third country music artist and the eighth woman to receive the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Wells’ accomplishments earned her the nickname Queen of Country Music.


Herb Reed – Age 83

August 7, 1928 – June 4, 2012 (from Kansas City, Missouri)

An American musician, vocalist and founding member of The Platters, who were known for their hits during the 1950s and 1960s. Reed, who was the last surviving original member of the group, which he co-founded with four other musicians in 1953, is credited with creating The Platters’ name.

Bob Welch – Age 66

August 31, 1945 – June 7, 2012 (from Los Angeles, CA)

An American musician, who was member of Fleetwood Mac from 1971 to 1974. He had a successful solo career in the late 1970s. His singles included “Hot Love, Cold World,” “Ebony Eyes,” “Precious Love,” and his signature song, “Sentimental Lady

Graeme Bell – Age 97

September 7, 1914 – June 13, 2012 (from Victoria, Australia)

An Australian Dixieland and classical jazz pianist, composer and band leader


Marjorie “Marjie” Hymans – Age 91

August 9, 1920 – June 14, 2012 (from New York City, New York)

An American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, and arranger. She began her career as a vibraphonist in the 1940s, playing with Woody Herman (from 1944 to 1945), the Hip Chicks (1945), Mary Lou Williams (1946), Charlie Ventura (1946), George Shearing (from 1949 to 1950), and led her own groups, including a trio, which stayed together from 1945 to 1948, performing on 52nd Street in Manhattan



Doc Watson – Age 89

(Guitarist / ‘Roots Music’ Legend)

March 3, 1923 – May 29, 2012  (from Deep Gap, North Carolina)

Blind from nearly birth, Watson went on to become a legendary guitar picker, both fingerstyle and flatpicking. He won seven Grammy awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. When you think of traditional American music — folk, bluegrass, blues, country and gospel — think Doc.

Robin Gibb – Age 62

The Bee Gees

December 22, 1949 – May 20, 2012  (from Douglas, Isle of Man)

Of Brothers Gibb fame, Robin sang lead on many of the early Bee Gees hits, including “Massachusetts,” “I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You” and “I Started a Joke.” He has writing credits on “How Deep Is Your Love,” “Stayin’ Alive,” “Night Fever” and “Tragedy.”

Donna Summer – Age 63

(“Disco Queen”)

December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012  (from Boston, Massachusetts)

She became a disco queen, with racy hits such as “Love To Love You Baby,” “I Feel Love,” “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls,” eventually became a born-again Christian. But while her music was often controversial for its lyrical content, it was just as groundbreaking in the musical sphere, bringing electronic-based music to the people.

Donald “Duck” Dunn – Age 70

(Booker T & The MGs)

(Bass guitarist / session musician / record producer / songwriter)

November 24, 1941 – May 13, 2012  (from Memphis, Tennessee)

Teaming up with guitarist Steve Cropper, bassist “Duck” Dunn joined the house band at Stax Records, which became Booker T. and the MGs. Session work was extensive, including Otis Redding’s “Sitting On the Dock of the Bay” and Wilson Pickett’s “In the Midnight Hour.”

Adam “MCA” Yauch – Age 47

(Beastie Boys)

August 5, 1964 – May 4, 2012  (from Brooklyn, New York)


Levon Helm – Age 71

(The Band)

May 26, 1940 – April 19, 2012  (from Elaine, Arkansas)

Helm was a multi-instrumentalist known for singing and drumming with the Band on such hits as “The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down” and “Up On Cripple Creek.” He was a benevolent musician who won the first ever Grammy Award for Best Americana Album with Electric Dirt.

Dick Clark “America’s Oldest Teenager” – Age 82

(Legendary Producer, TV/Radio Personality, American Bandstand, American Music Awards, New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, as well as other TV series & game shows)

November 30, 1929 – April 18, 2012  (from Mount Vernon, New York)

Dick Clark became a cultural icon as he switched from radio to TV and hosted American Bandstand, which ran from 1957 to 1987. Started his own production company while hosting Often referred to as “America’s Oldest Teenager,” Clark also counted down New Year’s Eve every year on New Year’s Eve!


Earl Scruggs – Age 88

(Bluegrass Music Legend, Banjo)

January 6, 1924 – March 28, 2012  (from Flint Hill, North Carolina)

Banjo players the world over mourned the passing of this bluegrass music giant. He joined Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys in 1945 and popularized his three-finger picking style.

Ronnie Montrose – Age 64

(Montrose, Gamma)

November 29, 1947 – March 3, 2012 (from San Francisco, California)

An American rock guitarist, who led the bands Montrose (1973-77 & 1987) and Gamma (1979-83 & 2000) and also performed and did session work with a variety of musicians, including Van Morrison (1971–72), Herbie Hancock (1971), Beaver & Krause (1971), Boz Scaggs (1971), Edgar Winter (1972 & 1996), Gary Wright (1975), The Beau Brummels (1975), Dan Hartman (1976), Tony Williams (1978), The Neville Brothers (1987), Marc Bonilla (1991 & 1993), Sammy Hagar (1997), and Johnny Winter. The first Montrose album was often cited as “America’s answer to Led Zeppelin” and Ronnie Montrose was often referred to as one of the most influential guitarists in American hard rock.


Davy Jones – Age 66

(The Monkees)

December 20, 1945 – February 29, 2012 (from Manchester, Lancashire, England)

An English singer-songwriter, musician, actor and businessman best known as a member of the band The Monkees, and for starring in the TV series of the same name. Jones is considered one of the great teen idols of his era.

Whitney Houston – Age 48

(solo artist)

August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012 (from Newark, New Jersey)

The only artist to chart seven consecutive #1 Billboard Hot 100 hits, Whitney Houston was a force of nature who lost her battle with her inner demons. She starred in the hugely popular film The Bodyguard in 1992, which also featured the best-selling single by a female artist, “I Will Always Love You.”

Don Cornelius – Age 75

(Soul Train creator, producer & host)

September 27, 1936 – February 1, 2012 (from Chicago, Illinois)

Don Cornelius brought “Love, Peace and Soul” into the homes of average teenagers who watched his music program Soul Train religiously for its promotion of R&B and soul music performers such as James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Michael Jackson, among the many.


Etta James – Age 73

(Soul Singer)

January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012 (from Los Angeles, California)

Discovered by Johnny Otis when just a teenager, James was inducted into several Hall of Fames — Rock and Roll, Blues, Grammy — and was known for such hits as “Roll With Me, Henry,” “At Last” and “Tell Mama.”

Johnny Otis – Age 90

“The Godfather of Rhythm & Blues”

December 28, 1921 – January 17, 2012 (from Vallejo, California)

Commonly referred to as “The Godfather of Rhythm & Blues,” Otis was a singer, drummer, pianist, producer, songwriter whose credits included playing the memorable vibraphone part on Johnny Ace’s “Pledging My Love.” He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

Jimmy Castor – Age 71

(Jimmy Castor Bunch)

June 23, 1940 – January 16, 2012 (from Manhattan, New York)

Larry Reinhardt – Age 63

(Guitarist / Iron Butterfly & Captain Beyond)

July 7, 1948 – January 2, 2012 (from Florida)

An American rock guitarist who played with Iron Butterfly and Captain Beyond. At one time Reinhardt was known by the nicknames “El Rhino” and “Ryno”.


Fred Milano – Age 72

(The Belmonts)

August 26, 1939 – January 1, 2012 (from the Bronx, New York)

Voter Poll Results: 2010 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Winners

Well – Here, finally, for you curiosity seekers out there are the results/winners of the Voter Poll of which music artists you’d like to see in the next Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inauguration ceremonies held next winter (2010-2011). Of course this was simply a casual – non-scientific 😛 public opinion poll conducted on this site from October 1, 2009 through January 1, 2010.

There were 123 votes cast overall – not that shabby for my first attempt at conducting a web poll – Some of you maybe surprised by the final results – or not. Several nominees were tied with the same number of votes here also.

The induction process and qualifications for the Hall can be found at this LINK.

2010 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Poll


First Place Winner in Poll

1st – Rush (8 votes) 7%

2nd – Kiss (6 votes) 6%

3rd – Bon Jovi (5 votes) 5%

Neil Diamond (5 votes) 5%

4th – ABBA (4 votes) 4%

Alice Cooper (4 votes) 4%

Chicago (4 votes) 4%

Deep Purple (4 votes) 4%

Heart (4 votes) 4%

Journey (4 votes) 4%

Steve Miller Band (4 votes) 4%

5th – Beastie Boys (3 votes) 3%

Boston (3 votes) 3%

Def Leppard (3 votes) 3%

Depeche Mode (3 votes) 3%

Electric Light Orchestra (3 votes) 3%

Genesis (3 votes) 3%

Hall & Oates (3 votes) 3%

Iggy Pop & The Stooges (3 votes) 3%

Ozzy Osbourne (3 votes) 3%

Peter Paul & Mary (3 votes) 3%

The Cure (3 votes) 3%

Yes (3 votes) 3%

6th – Cheap Trick (2 votes) 2%

Chubby Checker (2 votes) 2%

Doobie Brothers (2 votes) 2%

Foreigner (2 votes) 2%

Iron Maiden (2 votes) 2%

Jethro Tull (2 votes) 2%

Neil Sedaka (2 votes) 2%

Red Hot Chili Peppers (2 votes) 2%

Styx (2 votes) 2%

The Moody Blues (2 votes) 2%

7th – Barry Manilow (1 vote) 1%

Connie Francis (1 vote) 1%

Dire Straits (1 vote) 1%

Duran Duran (1 vote) 1%

Kool & The Gang (1 vote) 1%

Motley Crue (1 vote) 1%

Paul Anka (1 vote) 1%

Stevie Ray Vaughn (1 vote) 1%

The Cars (1 vote) 1%

The Commodores (1 vote) 1%

The Kingston Trio (1 vote) 1%

Three Dog Night (1 vote) 1%

Tom Waits (1 vote) 1%

Tommy James & The Shondells (1 vote) 1%

War (1 vote) 1%

The following artists were listed in the poll but received no (0) votes:

Cher, Donovan, Harry Nilsson, Joe Satriani, The Hollies, The Spinners, Toots & The Maytals and Whitney Houston

Thanks to everyone who participated and voted in this poll.

Many more polls to come in the near future…

Resource Links:

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame - Cleveland, OH

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Roll Call – Who’s Next?

Here is an overview of the annual inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – specifically in the performers category – along with the latest nominations for 2010.

rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame-and-museum-lightsThe performers category is meant for the recording artists and bands that have “influence and significance to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.” Artists become eligible for Rock Hall induction consideration in this particular category 25 years after their first recording was released. In order to be inducted, an artist must be nominated by a committee that selects anywhere from nine to a dozen candidates. Ballots are sent to 500 “rock experts” who then evaluate the candidates and vote on who should be inducted. The performers that receive the highest number of votes and more than 50 percent of the vote are inducted.

The latest crop of inductees (listed at the bottom of this post) are expected to be announced in December, and the winners will be recognized at the 25th annual Rock Hall induction ceremony scheduled for March 15 in New York City.

Since the Rock Hall was instituted back in 1986, here are the performers who have been inducted, with a year-by-year run down. As of the 2009 crop, there are now 164 members of this elite club.  Links are provided to obtain more information about each artist as well as their discography.



Be sure to express your own opinion by voting in the  new POLL in the left column of this page (you may need to scroll down slightly to find it), and let me know who’d you think should be inducted into next years ROCK HALL OF FAME. I realize it’s very subjective (according to ones personal preferences) – But there’s no denying there are lots of deserving performers to choose from covering a wide genre range of music as well as time span. PLEASE VOTE for up to 5 choices or write in your own choice. This will stay open through the end of the year.





Learn more about each Hall of Fame member by clicking on their name. Each link will take you to the Wikipedia entry about that particular music artist. All listings are in chronological order by year of entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


























The 2010 nominees for the performers category were announced on September 23, 2009. Five inductees will be announced in January 2010, and will be inducted at a ceremony in New York on March 15.



Woodstock Turns 40: What Might Have Been

Woodstock_40_Years_Logo_With the 40th anniversary of Woodstock upon us this weekend,  August 15th through 17th (1969), it astounds me to think what might have been if all of the artists who were invited to perform actually showed up and played for this unprecedented and historical event. Some of the musicians and bands who declined or opted out of Woodstock simply did not think that a concert at a dairy farm in the middle of nowhere was destined to be a big deal. It’s interesting that many of the artists from that time have expressed the similar view that, before the festival, there Woodstock-album-coverwas little indication of the importance that this event would come to represent and symbolize. After all, it is said that  hindsight is 20/20. Amazingly enough, some had better things to do, some had better offers or were previously booked elsewhere, still some simply did not care to be around hippies, and still an other hated performing outdoors. Anyway, the reasons varied widely and here you can read and learn more about them. The following is a list of  many acts that told Woodstock festival promoters they had other plans or didn’t show up for various reasons ….. Enjoy, and consider “what might have been”


Beatles_1969_fieldsThe Beatles promoters had contacted John Lennon to discuss a Beatles performance at Woodstock. Lennon said that the Beatles would not play unless there was also a spot at the festival for Yoko Ono’s ‘Plastic Ono Band’. Supposedly, he was declined because of that. Now keep in mind that there was internal strife going on within the Beatles at this time and it had been almost 3 years since their last live performance. A more believable version of this story came out when Artie Kornfeld met with John Lennon. Lennon had expressed that he wanted to perform at Woodstock, but was in Canada at the time and was having a difficult time getting back into the United States due to “substance issues” as well as a man named Richard Nixon.

Led_Zeppelin_1969Led Zeppelin was asked to perform, but their manager, Peter Grant, decided that they would be “just another band on the bill“. Instead, they launched a hugely successful summer tour. On the weekend of Woodstock, Led Zeppelin played the Asbury Park Convention Hall in New Jersey, just a couple of hours south of the festival.

Doors_1969The Doors were one of the most powerful bands of that era and were invited to perform at as a potential act for the festival, but canceled at the last moment with speculation pointing towards Jim Morrison’s vocal dislike of performing at large outdoor venues. None-the-less, drummer John Densmore did still appear at the festival. He can be seen, in the film, on the side stage during Joe Cocker’s performance set.

Bob_Dylan_1969Bob Dylan was in the middle of negotiations for the upcoming festival but backed out when his son came down with an illness. He was also not very impressed with the increasing number of hippies accumulating outside of his house near the originally planned festival site. A couple of weeks later on August  31, 1969, Dylan went on to “top the bill” along with The Who and perform at the “Isle of Wight Festival” in the United Kingdom with an estimated  crowd of 300,000 in attendance. He would go on to repeat the performance a year later to a crowd of more than double that number.

Moody_Blues_1969The Moody Blues were actually advertised on the original ‘Wallkill’ poster as performers, but decided to back out after being booked in Paris on the exact same weekend. They also went on a couple of weeks later to perform at the Isle of Wight Festival over in England and repeated that performance the following year to an even larger crowd of over 600,000 in attendance.

Byrds_1969The Byrds were invited, but chose not to participate, figuring that Woodstock wouldn’t be any different from all the other music festivals that took place that summer. In addition, there were concerns about money. As bassist John York remembers… “We were flying to a gig and Roger [McGuinn] came up to us and said that a guy was putting on a festival in upstate New York. But at that point they weren’t paying all of the bands. He asked us if we wanted to do it and we said, ‘No’. We had no idea what it was going to be. We were burned out and tired of the festival scene. […] So all of us said, ‘No, we want a rest’ and missed the best festival of all.'”

Jeff_Beck_GroupThe Jeff Beck Group (featuring Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood, Nicky Hopkins) were booked to perform at ‘An Aquarian Exposition’ (aka ‘Woodstock’), but broke up only a week before the festival was to have begun. Beck broke up the band practically on the eve of what would have been their coup’ de gras – The ‘Woodstock Music Festival’ – at which they were scheduled to play. This is something that Beck now regrets.

Jethro_Tull_1969Jethro Tull decided to pass on the event after Ian Anderson had been reported as saying that he “didn’t want to spend [his] weekend in a field of unwashed hippies”. Another conjecture or theory is their belief that the event was “too big of a deal” and a large festival such as this may kill their career before it even got started. Although Jethro Tull did not perform, their music was still played over the public address system in between performances. In 1970, Jethro Tull went on to perform at the ‘Isle of Wight Festival’ in the United Kingdom along with over 50 other acts.

Procol_HarumProcol Harum (one of the earlier pioneers who helped contribute to the  dynamic fusion of psycheldelic rock with progressive rock) were invited but declined because the festival was taking place just as they had completed the end of a long tour. Also, band member Robin Trower was expecting the birth of his child at any moment. Their initial live debut on stage was as as the opener for Jimi Hendrix on tour back in 1967.

Iron_ButterflyIron Butterfly had been booked to play at Woodstock but ended up getting stranded at the airport. When their manager called the promoters of the concert, he explained their situation and asked for patience. However, the manager demanded that the Butterfly be flown in to the concert grounds by helicopter, whereupon they would “immediately” take the stage. After their set they would be paid and flown back to the airport. The manager was told that this would be taken into consideration, and he would be called back. In truth, his outrageous demands were never given a second thought. Bass guitarist, Lee Dorman later expressed regret at this unfortunate turn of events. He also felt that the band’s career may have gone further had they played the festival.

Zappa_Mothers-of-InventionFrank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention also received an invite. According to the United States broadcast television special, ‘Class of the 20th Century’,  Frank Zappa was quoted as saying “A lot of mud at Woodstock … We were invited to play there – we turned it down”.

Tommy-James-&-ShondellsTommy James and the Shondells also declined an invitation. Later on, lead singer Tommy James would later comment “We could have just kicked ourselves. We were in Hawaii, and my secretary called and said, ‘Yeah, listen, there’s this pig farmer in upstate New York that wants you to play in his field.’ That’ s how it was put to me. So we passed, and we realised what we’d missed a couple of days later.” (excerpt from the liner notes to the album, “Tommy James and the Shondells: Anthology”).

Joni-MitchellJoni Mitchell was originally slated to perform, but canceled at the urging of her manager to avoid missing a scheduled television appearance on The Dick Cavett Show. There appeared to be a potential for “logistical” problems about getting out of the festival grounds after her performance in time to appear on the TV talk show. It is also rumored that Mitchell was discouraged from performing at another festival, by her agent, after an appearance she made previously at the Atlantic City Pop Festival, after she encountered a particularly nasty crowd.

Free-the-bandFree, featuring lead vocal Paul Rodgers and lead guitarist, Paul Kossoff received an invite to perform and decided not to accept. They also ended up performing at the huge ‘Isle of Wight Festival’ a year later that drew nearly 600,000 people.

Spirit-1969Spirit were offered the spot right before Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock, but they were advised to turn it down and concentrate on a promotional tour for the release of their third album. Record company managers felt that the festival would not be significant enough, which at that time,  didn’t appear likely, and so they missed out on the massive international exposure that the festival and the subsequent film documentary generated. Remember what I said earlier about hindsight?

Lighthouse-the-bandLighthouse, the Canadian rock band from Toronto who just formed in 1968, was booked to play, but backed out for fear that Woodstock would be a bad scene. The band’s demo record was funded by none other than Richie Havens. One of the first Lighthouse concerts was at Carnegie Hall and in its first year, the band also played at Fillmore East, Fillmore West, Toronto, Boston and Atlantic City Pop Festivals, and the Monterey and Newport Jazz Festivals.

Its-A-Beautiful-DayIt’s A Beautiful Day, a band that emerged out of San Francisco’s “Summer of Love”, cancelled at the last minute. However, lead female vocal, Linda Baker LaFlamme, actually attended the Woodstock Festival and “had the honor to hangout backstage”, as she put it in her own words during an interview. She continued “Those days will never be forgotten by anyone who was there. My life was never the same after that experience.”

Mind Garage, somewhat unknown and just getting their start at the time – also perhaps the first ‘Christian Rock’ band, declined because they thought the festival would be “no big deal” and they, as well, had a higher paying gig elsewhere.

Arthur Lee and Love were another, lesser known, band that also declined the invitation. Mojo Magazine later indicated that inner tension and turmoil within the band was the reason that caused their absence at the Woodstock festival.

Original Newspaper Ad

Original Newspaper Ad (prior to changes)

Remembering Michael Jackson



August 29, 1958  –  June 25, 2009


michael_jackson1michael_jackson_waveThe Breaking Story

Michael suffered a cardiac arrest earlier this afternoon at his Holmby Hills home and paramedics were unable to revive him. Jackson had no pulse when paramedics arrived at the scene. They were unsuccessful  in their attempts to revive him.

In the immediate aftermath following the announcement of  Michael Jackson’s death — so many people rushed to the Internet for news updates and information that it practically stopped the entire World Wide Web in its tracks.

Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. – These were just a few of the scores of major web sites bombarded by a tidal wave of traffic. Most of these sites still worked, but the epic amount of traffic in numbers caused them all to move at a snail’s pace.

The last time the ‘net” had this kind of traffic was President Obama’s inauguration.

The sad irony of it all was that we also lost Farrah Fawcett earlier in the day and it has barely been 48 hours since we lost Ed McMahon. Farrah had been courageously struggling with cancer for some time and Ed had been in declining health for quite some time also. Both of them were icons of their time also, however the unexpectedness of Michael Jackson’s passing has overshadowed everything else. This is on such an international scope that the suddenness of it all and the world’s attention rivals the passing of Princess Diana, John Lennon & Elvis Presley.

Maybe now, Michael Joseph Jackson can finally get the stress relief and everlasting peace, comfort and solitude that he had been seeking for so long.