Patsy Cline On the Verge of Superstardom

Patsy Cline was on the verge of breaking out to the mainstream. She made many chart topping Country hits and performed at the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, and the Mint Casino in Las Vegas. Aware of her growing crossover appeal, she also knew what direction she wanted her career to go: the Country star was revamping her fashion style, trading in her western stage costumes for elegant dresses and gold lame pants. Continue Reading

JJ Cale, A Musician’s Musician

 “I’d like to have the fortune, but I don’t care too much about the fame.”                                                                                                                 —JJ Cale Continue Reading

Shelby Lynne’s Stark Revelation

Revelation Road is a stark album with all instrumentations and vocals by Shelby Lynne. It was made in the confines of her home studio. Originally released in 2011, Revelation Road is one of the most singular and gripping albums so far this decade. Continue Reading

Bob Dylan Sings One for Bobby Vee

Bob Dylan paid tribute to Bobby Vee, the ‘60s pop star and a long-time resident of St. Cloud, during his St. Paul concert last Wednesday. “I used to live here, and then I left,” said Dylan. “I’ve shared the stage with everyone from Mick Jagger to Madonna, but the most beautiful person I’ve ever been… Continue Reading

How Chuck Berry Shaped the Music of the 1960s

One time, Brian Wilson hummed Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen.” A classic Berry lyric, the song is about a young girl who goes on Dick Clark’s  American Bandstand TV show, and—after a number of USA cities are listed—the hook of the song is “All the cats want to dance with Sweet Little Sixteen.” For Wilson,… Continue Reading

The Preeminence of The Coasters

When I was a very young, I remember a friend of my Dad’s named Ed once peppered me with questions about myself.  Ed had a young family himself and was easy around kids. He asked what my favorite song was. “’Charlie Brown‘,” I said. “Oh yes,” Ed said, and he sang a line of it: … Continue Reading

Kristofferson Stands with Cohen and Dylan

Kris Kristofferson made one self-motivated, headstrong life for himself as he zigzagged his own magnificent way to this first album in 1970: college rugby champion, Rhodes scholar, US Army Captain, helicopter pilot, hell raiser. Somewhere in there came along his burning desire to sing his songs.  So he headed for Nashville. Those were his days of… Continue Reading

Eric Burdon Holds His Head Up High

In the early days of the British invasion, I was into the Animals almost as much as the Stones. For one thing, the song that really put their name out there couldn’t have been stronger; “House of the Rising Sun” was unlike anything else up to that point in time: an old folk tune that rocked.… Continue Reading