by Robert Wilkinson
January 19 is the birthday of 4 greats across entirely different musical styles, and one amazing electric Soul. Today we have some really great performance videos of the first four for your enjoyment.
We begin with a true legend, Phil Everly (January 19, 1939 – January 3, 2014). He was of course one half of the Everly Brothers, who set the vocal harmonization standard for 10,000 musicians who followed in their footsteps. They were the prototypical tight high harmony vocal duo who took infinitely catchy country and rock tunes, put their style on it, and produced some truly awesome and beautiful music.
The Everly Brothers influenced the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, the Bee Gees, and every other group that ever sang a melody line with “diatonic thirds” for the harmony lines. These “twin melodies” make for stunning vocal intertwining, and back when I was performing, we used them extensively in how we vocalized our songs. In fact, we covered “Bird Dog” and “When Will I Be Loved” trying to hit identical harmonies as the Everlys did.
Phil just died not long ago, so this birthday celebration is lifted from my recent tribute to the Everly Brothers. From the late 50s and early 60s, one of the best vocal duos in history, the Everly Brothers!
We’ll begin with a very strong live performance of one of their most dynamic rockers followed by one of their biggest hits, a song written by both Everly Brothers, performed live on American Bandstand in 1964! “Gone Gone Gone” and “Cathy’s Clown”)
Another great two-fer! The Everlys live cranking out “Bird Dog” and “Till I Kissed Her”
This looks to be the very first time they were on live television! Very young (Phil was 18!), more than a little nervous, this era was when rock and roll, rhythm and blues, rockabilly, and country all blended and created a new global era in music. From 1957, this was really live in the studio! Here are Don and Phil performing their first hit, a tune which went to #2, “Bye Bye Love”
Here’s a VERY early clip of the Everly Brothers performing the first record by them I ever owned, “Take A Message to Mary” (followed in the same clip by another rave up performance of “Bird Dog” with some amazingly tight harmonies and some strange horns in the background.)
Here’s a clip of the Everlys in a 1957 live performance on Ed Sullivan of one of their early hits. The horn arrangement seems way over-produced, but television could be like that back then. “Wake Up Little Susie”
Fast forward to 2004! Here they crank out a great version of “Wake Up Little Susie”
From 1960 on the Saturday Night Beech Nut Show, very live and taking it to new heights, the Everly Brothers performing the original “When Will I Be Loved”
Here's a television clip from 1960 featuring the Everly Brothers live doing the Buddy Holly smash, "That'll BE The Day"
From 1961, live on UK television backed by the original Crickets, here are the Everly Brothers doing their twin hits, “All I Have to Do is Dream” and “Cathy’s Clown,” the latter song written by both Don and Phil. (It’s been said this was the tour of the UK by the Everly Brothers that changed the way John Lennon and Paul McCartney harmonized.)
From 1962 on the Ed Sullivan Show while they were still in the Marines, here are Don and Phil in full Marine dress uniforms in a live performance of "Crying In The Rain."
Here's an audio-only studio version of their hit from their first album, "I Wonder If I Care As Much" Here's a great 9 minute clip of Alternate Takes 1 and 2, along with the song as it was finally released. "I wonder If I Care As Much."
From 1983, a long awaited event! Live in London, here’s the entire 1 hour + concert featuring the stunning harmonies of “The Everly Brothers Live at the Royal Albert Hall” (It starts with the very danceable Roy Orbison-penned “Claudette,” moves into “Walk Right Back,” and keeps going from there!)
To know more about how the Everly Brothers came to be amazing harmonists and rock and roll legends, here’s a great 43 minute documentary called The Life and Times of the Everly Brothers
We’ll close with yet two more performances by the Everly Brothers of the rocking “Gone Gone Gone.” Here the Everly Brothers sing on top of the studio instrumentation of their 1964 hit, “Gone Gone Gone”
And for the best version of this great tune, complete with a lot of dancers shakin’ it to the max, here are the Everly Brothers on Shindig in late 1964 cranking out one of their best performances of “Gone Gone Gone”
So though Phil’s great life and career are now done and gone, gone, gone, his awesome voice will last forever! Thanks for the memories. As I noted a while ago, I believe the angels just got a new choir director!!
On to Robert Palmer, an icon of “blue eyed Soul.” Robert Palmer (19 January 1949 – 26 September 2003) had an amazingly distinctive voice and mixed musical styles, combining soul, rock, pop, blues and jazz. He died way too young from a heart attack brought on by smoking. If any of you wonder where Robin Thicke gets his style and moves, check out Robert Palmer, especially the music video of “Simply Irresistible” or “Addicted to Love.”
Here are a few of his biggest!
From the Midnight Special in 1978, Robert live and very smoooooth! “Every Kind of People”
From 1979, a very young Robert in a groove on the Midnight Special cranking up his first smash hit! "Bad Case of Lovin’ You (Doctor Doctor)"
Also from 1979, Robert looking sharp getting us in a dance groove! “Bad Case of Lovin’ You (Doctor, Doctor)”
From 1983, a very young Robert live in Europe offering up his first hit “Sneaking Sally Through the Alley”
Here’s an early live performance on television of the very mellow “Riptide”
From 1985, also on the Midnight Special, Robert live in a an extremely grinding version of “Addicted to Love”
From 1986, an 8 part radio broadcast of his gig at San Diego State University! The set list is great!! Robert Palmer live at SDSU – interview and show
From 1987 on the AMA, Robert live offering up the danceable funk tune "I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On”
From Letterman in 1988, a very live, very electrifying performance of “Simply Irresistible”
From his time fronting Power Station, here’s a 1988 concert with Robert and Power Station performing “Some Like It Hot”
From 1991, live on the Arsenio Hall Television Show, 11+ minutes of Robert doing a great performance of Marvin Gaye’s biggest hit, “Mercy Mercy Me” (followed by “I Want You”)
From April 1997, here’s Robert and the Max Weinberg 7 on the Hard Rock Love special performing “Addicted to Love”
From his VH1 performance with the Max Weinberg 7, here’s Robert live belting out his smash hit “Simply Irresistible”
Here’s the original music video! Quite mythical, quite atypical, simply irresistible! "Simply Irresistible”
You’re still one of the classiest blue eyed Soul brothers ever to strut the stage! Robin Thicke, you should look so good!!
Dewey Bunnell (January 19, 1952) was one of the three singer-songwriters who came together as America, major soft rock hitmakers in the 70s. Dewey wrote some of their biggest! Today for his birthday, here are some of the better-known tunes composed by our birthday talent, all done live with the original band!
Thanks for the memories, Dewey! I caught the original America's last tour in 1976 at the 1st Sunday Break in Austin Texas, complete with palm trees on stage and chocolate milk backstage, one of the weirder requests I’ve ever heard of a band wanting in a contract!
And now we turn to the divine Janis Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970). A blues belter in the tradition of Big Mama Thornton, she was a hard-living, hard drinking Texas woman who found her way to California and made history. She was one of the big Three who died all at age 27 around the same time in history: Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison were the other two.
I was entranced by her voice from the beginning, and saw her in Austin in early 1970. By then her voice was shot, and it was easy to see she was beginning a death spiral. Oh well. Flaming stars burn out quickly. For your enjoyment, the powerful blues voice of Janis Joplin!!
First, live from the legendary Monterrey Pop Festival kicking off the 1967 Summer of Love, Janis and Big Brother doing the rave up from their first album “Combination of the Two”
Here’s a live 1968 performance in Germany with Big Brother and the Holding Company doing her first monster hit "Piece of My Heart”
From the legendary Monterey Pop Festival in the 1967 Summer of Love, an awesome live performance of one of her signature tunes, the powerful “Ball and Chain”
From the Summer of 1969, here’s all 10+ minutes of “Janis Joplin at Woodstock”
Live from Threadgill’s in Austin, 1970! “Me and Bobby McGee”
From 1970, a live audio-only a cappella version of "Mercedes Benz”
We’ll close today with a huge RIP birthday shout out to the Grateful Dead’s Dancing Bear himself, the man who turned on millions, Mister Augustus Owsley Stanley III (January 19, 1935 – March 12, 2011). Rather than reinvent the wheel, I’ll just link to the tribute I did for this singular force of nature back in 2011. It’s worth a few minutes of your time to acquaint yourself with this man, since he really did change the world very much for the better for countless people on every inhabited continent. For your consideration, The Aquarius Papers Tribute to the Dancing Bear, Owsley Stanley.
Happy Birthday to the one who is living, and happy RIP birthday to the deceased. Thanks for the memories, tunes, and turn ons!
© Copyright 2014 Robert Wilkinson