As you can imagine, I had a heckuva time selecting only one song - so I have laced this post with links where you can listen to / learn about any / all of the musicians / bands that strike your fancy.
Here goes … enjoy as you have the time to kick back and appreciate some amazing rock and roll - intertwined with some soul, blues and funk here and there.
Bon Jovi, hailing from Sayreville, New Jersey, started hitting the radio waves in 1983 - the same year the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was born - the same year I graduated from my nursing program.
So you can believe, I’m a Bon Jovi lover from way back… 33-years later, I couldn’t be more proud of the induction of this ‘Boy Band’ proper.
Jon Bon Jovi, lead singer and namesake of the band, has a heart as big as his hair-do from the 80s …! In the true spirit of giving back, Jon is notorious for his support of such organizations as the Special Olympics, the American Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity.
This song was my mental soundtrack after a particularly difficult break-up when I was the tender age of twenty - two … Shame on you, RL - now let’s all listen to some good old - fashioned hard rock, Bon Jovi style:
The Cars, featuring the distinctive vocal sounds of Ric Ocasek, came on the musical radar in 1976 - taking 41-years to be recognized by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame - wow :(
I was first introduced to this iconic band when assigned to the Music Department of F. W. Woolworth in my first paying job, from 1978 - 1983. BTW, retail rocks - a fabulous preparation for my work as a nurse and teacher over the years ;)
When Candy - O arrived in June, 1979, I fell head over heels in love with The Cars. I played this record each night I worked - at least once.
I selected a hauntingly sentimental rock song to share with you from this favorite album - to share the range of these musical machines, The Cars:
Dire Straits, under the fine vocals of Mark Knopfler, came on the scene in 1977.
In July, 1983, the album known as Alchemy was released - which kept me great company as I waited for the results of my RN State Boards.
It’s unbelievable that it took 40-years for this rock and roll blues band extraordinaire to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
My all-time favorite is from Alchemy, Shakespeare lover that I am:
The Moody Blues hailed from Birmingham, England in 1964, taking 53-years to be recognized by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. That’s a true crime… :(
This was my grade school band. To this day, the sound of a Moody Blues song transforms me back to years of innocence and wonder. Don’t get me wrong, Nights in White Satin was played at waaaay too many Friday night dances.
As such, I’ve chosen a selection from the 1972 album, Seventh Sojourn. Over the years, this has become my quintessential Moody Blues song:
Nina Simone was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon (1933 – 2003). This American singer, songwriter and pianist was also an activist in the Civil Rights Movement. Her sound had a broad range of musical styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel and pop.
Recorded more than 40 albums, mostly between 1958 and 1974, Nina’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame makes her only the 16th solo woman to be honored in the Performers category since the very first induction ceremony in 1986. I was surprised to learn that an overwhelming majority, 87 %, of the 220 inductees to date have been men, or bands led by men. Hmmmm…??!!
I’ve backtracked in following Simone’s music after becoming a blues lover in the 1990s. However, it was only until researching for this post that I heard her rendition of a song that makes my spine tingle: Wild Is the Wind (1966).
I have long loved David Bowie’s recorded version from his 1976 album Station to Station. I also learned that Bowie admired Simone’s style, and was inspired to record the song for his album.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe will be honored with an Early Influence Award at April’s ceremony. Tharpe, (1915-1973) was called the Godmother of Rock and Roll.
I had never heard this powerhouse of a voice with a heavy blues and gospel flavor. After listening to my first taste of Sister Rosetta, I know I have much catching up to do.
Tharpe has been likened to the Jimi Hendrix of her day with mind blowing, futuristic - sounding guitar skills.
Her music indeed influenced first generation rockers like Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. Johnny Cash called her his favorite singer. I was fascinated to learn that Tharpe was the first person to put a 14-year-old Richard Penniman, later known as Little Richard, on stage.
Take a listen and see what I mean - you’ll hear some crackling due to the age of this 1938 recording:
Hope you enjoyed this marusic edition even half as much as I enjoyed sharing with you - thanks for listening along with me…
May this holiday week be filled with peace, love and joy for you all.
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