by Robert Wilkinson
Today’s the birthday of three great musical talents. They're all alive and well, and we've all heard at least one of their songs!
We’ll begin with singer, songwriter, and actor Paul Anka (July 30, 1941). A huge hitmaker from the 50s through the 70s, he gave us some of the most memorable songs in history!
His first hit, written about his babysitter! Here’s Paul in a live television performance from 1957, when he was just 16!! Welcome to the #1 chart topper, “Diana”
Live on video in 1963, here’s Paul belting out the first tune I ever heard him sing on a 45 back in 1959! Major torch song city here, so check it out! A lot of pathos…… “Crazy Love”
From Dick Clark’s Saturday Night Beech-Nut tv show in Nov 1959, here’s Paul giving up his #2 hit “Put Your Head On My Shoulder”
In a movie “live” performance from 1959, Paul agonizing out the period piece “It’s Time To Cry”
From Dick Clark’s Saturday Night Beech-Nut tv show in Feb 1960, here’s Paul in a live performance of his #2 hit “Puppy Love”
From way back when on b/w television, Paul live giving us his #1 hit “Lonely Boy”
Paul live in 1966 cranking out a medley of his hits! “Diana,” “Put Your Head On My Shoulder,” “Puppy Love,” “Lonely Boy,” “You Are My Destiny,” and “The Longest Day.”
Here’s a song he wrote that the Chairman of the Board made into a huge hit! Here’s Paul and Yo Frankie in a live performance of “My Way”
In a live performance from 1974, here’s Paul and Odia Coates giving us Paul’s #1 hit “You’re Having My Baby”
From Switzerland, here’s Paul live performing his 1975 #7 hit “Times of Your Life”
Here’s the hit he wrote for Buddy Holly that made the charts after Buddy died. “It Doesn’t Matter Any More”
From slighter later in Paul’s career, here’s a song he wrote for Tom Jones that Tom took to the top!! Here’s Tom Jones in a live 1971 performance of Paul’s #1 Cashbox hit ”She’s A Lady”
We’ll close this brief birthday tribute with a great one hour 26 minute live performance! From New Haven, CT, here’s “An Evening With Paul Anka”
For our encore, here’s a tune Paul wrote that became one of the most famous tunes in the world! For your remembrance and enjoyment, here’s The Johnny Carson Tonight Show Theme
Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond (July 30, 1946) was the bass player for Jethro Tull on the albums Aqualung, Thick As A Brick, A Passion Play, War Child, and Minstrel In The Gallery. Wow.
I saw Jethro Tull 5 times between 1969-1973, and since he joined Tull in 1971, I had the privilege of seeing Jeffrey stand out on the Aqualung and Thick As A Brick tours, and I can say it was one of the greatest stage shows of the times. Tull really was outstanding theater in those years! (The show in late 69 when Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac opened for Tull on the Stand Up tour was one of the most memorable concerts I’ve ever seen! I still have the imagery up front.)
From wiki: “Hammond narrated the surreal piece "The Story of the Hare Who Lost His Spectacles" on the album A Passion Play, and the related short film. He also received credit, along with Anderson and John Evan, for writing the piece.
Hammond was also credited with creating the "claghorn", a hybrid instrument. He took the mouthpiece and bell from a toy saxophone and attached them to the body of a flute. The result can be heard on the track "Dharma for One" on the album Living In The Past.
There’s not much live footage of Jethro Tull from that era, but I gave it my best shot!
Here are some snippets from the Thick As A Brick Tour in 1972! Jethro Tull Live in 1972
From 1973 at Madison Square Garden, Tull live “Passion Play”
For your enjoyment, the awesome studio album that shook the world from the first 6 notes! “Aqualung”
Though not as dramatic a statement, here’s the entire studio album “Thick As A Brick”
We’ll close this brief tribute with the 1974 album “Passion Play”
We now close with the legendary blues Master Buddy Guy (July 30, 1936). His unique style has influenced countless blues guitarists, including Jimmy Page, Eric, and Stevie Ray. Once a member of Muddy Water’s band and house guitarist for Chess Records in the 60s, his work with Junior Wells is legendary! Besides Muddy, he also backed Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Koko Taylor, and others, so this guy is one of the originals!
We'll begin with what may be one of the most historic collaborative meeting of musicians of all time! Buddy plays on 6 of the 16 tracks. From “Supershow,” subtitled “the last great jam of the 60s,” we have Buddy Guy AND Eric and Jack of Cream joining with Buddy Miles, Steven Stills, Roland Kirk, and others to create some legendary music! For your enjoyment, Supershow – The Last Great Jam of the 60s
If you want to cut straight to one of Buddy Guy’s performances, here’s Buddy Guy with Jack Bruce and Buddy Miles sending up Mary Had A Little Lamb" and "My Time After Awhile"
From 1968, 11 minutes of classic footage! Here’s Buddy Guy joined by the Fire God Jimi Hendrix in a video memory for the ages! Buddy Guy and Jimi Hendrix
From July 1989, here’s a 56 minute audio-only live performance! Buddy Guy and Stevie Ray Vaughan Live at the Legends Club 1989
Here’s a one hour 12 minute video where Buddy takes us to class! Buddy Guy - Teachin' The Blues
Classic footage! Here's Buddy with the equally legendary Junior Wells live at Montreux taking us to church with "Hoodoo Man" Here's the dynamic duo again, very live at a different gig, boogying down with "Trouble No More," and we'll close this trifecta with a 1971 video from PBS Soundstage of Buddy and Junior strutin' to "Little By Little"
To close this brief tribute, here’s a great one hour 16 minute very live video performance! This one is really good, so if you want the real deal, here it is!! Buddy Guy Live in Red Rocks 2013
You may be three entirely different types of music, but all of you have given me connectivity at some point in my life. Paul, thanks for the chills at 8 years old. Buddy, thanks for the hours you gave me with Junior Wells. Jeffrey, thanks for the concerts where you blew my mind! Thank you all!
© Copyright 2014 Robert Wilkinson