Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vintage Photo: Family Picnic With Warner's On Tumbling Creek, Tazwell County, Virginia

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos, taken by my father, 60+ years ago.


"Family Picnic With Warner's On Tumbling Creek, Tazwell County, Virginia"
I believe that my father is in the back left, and my grandfather is 2nd from the right.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Vintage Photo: Cafe Along Pan-American Highway, Mexico

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos, taken by my father, 60+ years ago.


"Cafe Along Pan-American Highway, Mexico"

Friday, July 29, 2011

Vintage Photo: Sims Bayou, La Porte, Texas - runs beside Sperry's

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos, taken by my father, 60+ years ago.


"Sims Bayou, La Porte, Texas - runs beside Sperry's"
it appears that Sperry's house is near Sims Bayou, and Galveston Bay.

Music Birthdays - July 29

July 29th: Born on this day


Geddy Lee is 58!

Neal Doughty, keyboards, REO Speedwagon - 1946
Geddy Lee, bass, vocals, Rush - 1953
John Sykes, Guitar, in Lizzy, Whitesnake 1959
Simon Jones, bass, The Verve - 1972

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vintage Photo: Galeston Bay from Sperry's House

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos, taken by my father, 60+ years ago.


"Galeston Bay from Sperry's House"
it appears that Sperry's house is near Sims Bayou, and Galveston Bay.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vintage Photo: Sperry's House

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos, taken by my father, 60+ years ago.


"Sperry's House"
Based on another photo, it appears that Sperry's house is near Sims Bayou, and Galveston Bay.

RIP Leon Wilkeson

Leon Wilkeson, bass player for Lynyrd Skynyrd, passed away 7/27/2001.  Ten year ago today.  I was a huge Skynyrd fan in my teens, and a huge fan of Leon Wilkeson.  Guess I'll have to play "Travellin' Man" at some point today.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Orient, Washington Park

About 150 yards east of yesterday's photo: an old building in Washington Park, IL.  Google tells me that "Unknown Assassins" (spray painted on theboarded-up door) seems to reference a (presumably) defunct Chicago gang, along with the "logo" just to the right of it.   Not sure what it means 250 miles south of Chicago, though....  I think I'm happy to be ignorant. 

Vintage Photo: Swimming Pool, Hotel Shamrock, Houston, Texas

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos, taken by my father, 60+ years ago.


"Swimming Pool, Hotel Shamrock, Houston, Texas"

This provides a nice clue as to the age of the photos I've been posting all month, as the Hotel Shamrock was opened in 1949 and converted to the Shamrock Hilton in 1955.

Music Birthdays, 7/26

born this day:




Darlene Love, The Crystals - 1941
Dobie Gray, singer - 1942
Mick Jagger, vocals, The Rolling Stones - 1943
Roger Taylor, drums, vocals, Queen - 1949

Friday, July 22, 2011

Vintage Photos - Victoria On Bayou, Crabbing

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos, taken by my father, 60+ years ago.


"Victoria (maid) from boat landing on bayou; crabbing."

Music Birthdays, July 22

July 22nd: Born on this day




George Clinton, Parliament, Funkadelic - 1941
Bobby Sherman, singer - 1943
Ric Davis, vocalist and keyboardist with Supertramp - 1944
Don Henley, The Eagles, drums, vocals - 1947

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Vintage Photos - Mexican Inspection Station

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos, taken by my father, 60+ years ago.


"Mexican Inspection Station, approx 50 miles below Larado, Texas."

Music Birthdays - July 21

July 21st: Born on this day




Cat Stevens (Yusef Islam), singer, songwriter - 1947
Howie Epstein, bass, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - 1955 (died February 2003)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Vintage Photos - Forth Pike, Louisiana #3

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos, taken by my father, 60+ years ago.


"From Gun Enplacement, Fort Pike, Louisiana."

Top Of The Pops

July 20th: On this Day


In 1940, Billboard's first comprehensive record chart was published. The magazine had previously published best-seller lists submitted by the individual record companies, but the new chart combined the top sellers from all major labels. Their first number one song was ‘I'll Never Smile Again’ by Frank Sinatra and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.

Music Birthdays, July 20th

July 20th: Born on this day



John Lodge is 66!

John Lodge, bass, vocals, The Moody Blues - 1945
Kim Carnes, singer - 1945
Carlos Santana, guitar, Santana - 1947
Paul Cook, drums, Sex Pistols - 1956

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Vintage Photos - Forth Pike, Louisiana #2

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos, taken by my father, 60+ years ago.


"Fort Pike, Louisiana."

What Song Is It You Wanna Hear?


7/19/1952, Born on this day, Allen Collins, guitar, Lynyrd Skynyrd.  Allen Collins co-wrote quite a few Skynyrd songs, including Freebird.  IMHO, he was the second most important member of the band, behind singer / lyricist Ronnie Van Zant.  His solo album is quite good, too.

 
Allen died on 23rd January 1990, at the age of 37. He would've been 59.

Lynyrd Skynyrd songs co-written by Allen Collens (just from the 5 original studio albums):
  • Tuesday's Gone
  • Gimmie 3 Steps
  • Free Bird
  • The Ballad Of Curtis Loew
  • The Needle & The Spoon
  • I'm A Country Boy
  • On The Hunt
  • Every Mother's Son
  • Trust
  • Double Trouble
  • Roll Gypsie Roll
  • Searchin'
  • Cry For The Bad Man
  • All I Can Do Is Write About It
  • That Smell

Monday, July 18, 2011

Vintage Photos - New Orleans, LA

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos, taken by my father, 60+ years ago.


"Pirate's Alley, New Orleans La."

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What Are You Sinking About?

On the iPod today, songs with the word "Think" (or variations) in the title.  There's an awful lot, here's the fist 25.  How many do YOU know?

  • Think - James Brown
  • Think About Your Troubles - Harry Nilsson
  • Think For Yourself - Beatles
  • Think I Better Wait Till Tomorrow - King Harvest
  • Think I'm In Love - Eddie Money
  • Think Too Hard - The dBs
  • Thinkin' It Over - John Entwistle
  • Thinking About Leaving - Rodney Crowell
  • Thinking Of You - Loggons & Messina
  • Country Girl: Whiskey Boot Hill / Down, Down, Down / Cuntry Girl (I Think You're Pretty) - Neil Young
  • Darlin' Think - Steptoe
  • Do You Think It's Alright - The Who
  • Don't Think Twice - Gatemouth Brown
  • Every Time I Think Of You - The Babys
  • Exuce Me (I Think I've Got A Heartache) - Buck Owens
  • How Do You Think It Feels - Lou Reed
  • I Don't Think I Can Take It This Time - The End
  • I Don't Think You Know Me - Monkees
  • I Still Think About Ida Mae - Roy Buchanan
  • I Think I Love You - Partridge Family
  • I Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself - Elton John
  • I Think It's Gonna Last - Ace
  • I Think Of You - Renaisance
  • I Think She's Dumb - The Hank Band
  • I Think We're Alone Now - Tommy James & The Shondells
The title of the post is semi-random...

Fort Pike, Louisiana

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos

I'm guessing they were taken in the late 40's, sometime after my father returned from WWII, but before he graduated college and started his career....  If anybody can discern any clues from the photos, let me know!!



"Fort Pike, Louisiana"

Cardinals vs Pirates - 7/16

As of 7/16/2011


STL 50-44 0.532 ---
PIT  48-44 0.522 1.0

The Bucs were actually teid for first place after Friday night.  When was the last time they were in first after the All-Star break??

Just clarify, the Pirates are having their best season in 20 years.  How good is it?  Well, courtesy of mlb.com, here's the Pirates' record on 7/17 over the last 20 years, ranked by winning percentage:

PIT-2011 48-44  0.522   --- 
PIT-1999 45-45  0.500     2
PIT-1997 47-47  0.500     2
PIT-1994 43-47  0.478     4
PIT-1993 43-48  0.473     4.5
PIT-2005 41-47  0.466     5
PIT-2004 41-47  0.466     5
PIT-2002 44-50  0.468     5
PIT-1995 32-38  0.457     5
PIT-2008 44-51  0.463     5.5
PIT-2003 41-51  0.446     7
PIT-1998 43-53  0.448     7
PIT-2005 40-51  0.440     7.5
PIT-2009 39-50  0.438     7.5
PIT-1996 41-52  0.441     7.5
PIT-2007 40-53  0.430     8.5
PIT-2000 38-53  0.418     9.5
PIT-2001 35-57  0.380   13
PIT-2006 33-61  0.351   16
PIT-2010 31-59  0.344   16

Bass Birthdays - July 15th

Happy Birthday Geezer Butler
Geezer Butler (born Terence Michael Joseph Butler) was born July 17, 1949 in Birmingham, England.  Best known as bassist and lyricist of heavy metal band Black Sabbath.

also:  Born on this day: Mike Vale, bass, Tommy James and the Shondells - 1949

Music Passings, 7/17

44 years ago today (7/17/1967) American jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane died from liver cancer at Huntington Hospital in Long Island, New York, aged 40.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

New Orleans - Antoine's Restaurant

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos

Some of these photos show a little wear and tear.  Todays is one of the worst, with folds top and bottom.  These photos were found in a box, stacked and curled almost into tubes.  I've been trying to (carefiully) flatten them.


"Antoine's Restaurant St. Louis St. New Orleans La."

The photo titles are what is written on the backs of the prints, looks like good old fashioned fountain pen.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Monterrey, Mexico 04

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos

I'm guessing they were taken in the late 40's, sometime after my father returned from WWII, but before he graduated college and started his career....  If anybody can discern any clues from the photos, let me know!!



"Triumphal Arch, Monterrey, Mexico"


"Triumphal Arch,, Monterrey, Mexico"

Music Birthdays, July 15th

July 15th: Born on this day


Linda Ronstadt, singer - 1946
Artimus Pyle, drums, Lynyrd Skynyrd - 1948
Jeff Carlisli, 38 Special - 1952
Johnny Thunders, (John Genzale), guitar, vocals, The New York Dolls, - 1952 (died April 1991)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cafe Lafite, Bourbon St. New Orleans

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos

I'm guessing they were taken in the late 40's, sometime after my father returned from WWII, but before he graduated college and started his career....  If anybody can discern any clues from the photos, let me know!!  I think this is actually Cafe Lafitte


"Cafe Lafite, Bourbon St. New Orleans"

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Monterrey, Mexico 03

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos

I'm guessing they were taken in the late 40's, sometime after my father returned from WWII, but before he graduated college and started his career....  If anybody can discern any clues from the photos, let me know!!



"Residential Street, Monterrey, Mexico"

So Now We Know Who To Blame......

According to Thisdayinmusic.com:




July 13th, 1974, George McCrae started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Rock Your Baby', his only US No.1. Regarded by some as the first Disco No.1.
 - - - -
I'm not sure if I'd agree, I've generally considered Hues Corporation's 'Rock The Boat' to be pretty disco.  That was #1 the week before "Rock Your Baby".  But you could make an argument for TSOP by MFSB, which was #1 in April of 1974.  Or Perhaps even's "Love's Theme" by Love Unlimited Orchestra (Barry White) which was #1 in February 1974.

What do you think?

Music Birthdays, July 13

July 13th: Born on this day




Roger McGuinn, guitar, vocals, The Byrds - 1942
Stephen Jo Bladd, drums, The J Geils Band - 1942
Mark "The Animal" Mendoza, bassist Twisted Sister - 1955

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Monterrey, Mexico 02

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos

I'm guessing they were taken in the late 40's, sometime after my father returned from WWII, but before he graduated college and started his career....  If anybody can discern any clues from the photos, let me know!!



"The Bulls For The Bull Fights, Monterrey, Mexico"

Music Birthdays, June 12

July 12th: Born on this day




Christine McVie, keyboards, vocals Fleetwood Mac - 1943
John Wetton, bass, vocals, King Crimson, U.K. Uriah Heep, Roxy Music, Asia - 1949
Philip Taylor Kramer, bass guitar, Iron Butterfly. - 1952 (died February, 1995)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Monterrey, Mexico 01

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos

I'm guessing they were taken in the late 40's, sometime after my father returned from WWII, but before he graduated college and started his career....  If anybody can discern any clues from the photos, let me know!!



"Boy Selling Gardinias In Le Plaza, Monterrey, Mexico"

Music Birthdays, July 11

July 11th: Born on this day




Jeff Hana, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - 1949
Richie Sambora, guitar, Bon Jovi - 1959
Susanne Vega - 1959

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sabinas Hidalgo, Mexico - 02

Continuing the series of  Vintage Photos

I'm guessing they were taken in the late 40's, sometime after my father returned from WWII, but before he graduated college and started his career....  If anybody can discern any clues from the photos, let me know!!



"Street Scene, Sabinas Hidalgo, Mexico"

Sabinas Hidalgo is about 1/2 way between The US border and Monterrey.  About 250 miles from The Alamo.  Like the recent photo of Iaeger, WV, it doesn't really seem like a destination city.... 

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Cardinals vs Pirates

As of 7/9/2011

STL 48-42  0.527   ---
PIT  46-43  0.506  1.0
Bucs are assured of being above 0.500 at the All-Star break, first time since '92, I think.  Way cool!  But the Cards have Pujols back, annd he drilled a 2 run HR tonight.

It's looking like a fun show the rest of the summer!

Sabinas Hidalgo, Mexico - 01

New serires:  Vintage Photos
Several years ago, we came across a collection of old B and W photos.  Presumably taken by my father.  But this was well after he passed away, so we really don't know much about them.  I've had them for several years, and have finally gotten around to starting the scanning process...

I'm guessing they were taken in the late 40's, sometime after my father returned from WWII, but before he graduated college and started his career....  If anybody can discern any clues from the photos, let me know!!



"House, Sabinas Hidalgo, Mexico"

Sabinas Hidalgo is about 1/2 way between The US border and Monterrey.  About 250 miles from The Alamo.  Like the recent photo of Iaeger, WV, it doesn't really seem like a destination city....  more Hmmmmmm

Welch, West Virginia

Continuing the series: Vintage Photos These are a collection of old B and W photos, presumably taken by my father.  I'm guessing they were taken in the late 40's, sometime after he returned from WWII, but before he graduated college and started his career....  If anybody can discern any clues from the photos, let me know!!



"Welsh West Virginia"

Welch is about 12 miles east of Iager, also on the road between Bluefield and Kimball. 

Snake Farm, Route 11, Virgina

Continuing the series: Vintage Photos
These are a collection of old B and W photos, presumably taken by my father.  I'm guessing they were taken in the late 40's, sometime after he returned from WWII, but before he graduated college and started his career....  If anybody can discern any clues from the photos, let me know!!



"Snake Farm on Route 11, Virgina"

According to Google, Route 11 parallels I-81.  Of course, I-81 didn't exist when these photos were taken.  And through the joys of the internet, I've found it!  As noted on the flyer:  Two miles soth of Edinburg in the heart of the famed Shenandoah Valley of Virgina.

Friday, July 08, 2011

And The Hits Just Keep Getting Harder To Find....

Time for more wild and wacky fun with numbers, looking at trends in popular music!


Tuesday we looked at the trends of Novelty songs, showing a significant drop over the decades. Wednesday and Thursday, we looked at Instrumental artists, showing an even more dramatic drop in the number of instrumental songs.

So how about overall? How many songs have been reaching the top of the charts?

I tabulated the total number of sangs per year to crack the Top 10, then took a 10 year average to get some smoothing. See any trends?


Between 1960 and 1967 the number of Top 10 songs rose pretty steadily. Between 1966 and 1976 it was remarkably steady, between 100 and 106 Top 10 songs per year. There was a bit of decline starting in the mid / late 70’s into the 80;s (disco?), then a rebound to the “100-songs-per-year” level by the end of the decade. Then a steep and steady decline through the 90’s. And then bottoming out around 2001. Since 2001 the average has remained quite steady, between 56 and 60 Top 10 Songs per year.

The glaring thing? Over the past decade, the number of successful songs has been about 40% less that it was through the 60’s and 70’s.

Aren’t folks making good music? Is it just another sign that the music industry is leaning towards a general “same-ness”?? Fewer Instrumentals? Fewer “novelty” songs. Fewer songs making it to the top of the charts?.

No wonder popular music is struggling.

The Alamo - 04

New serires:  Vintage Photos
Several years ago, we came across a collection of old B and W photos.  Presumably taken by my father.  But this was well after he passed away, so we really don't know much about them.  I've had them for several years, and have finally gotten around to starting the scanning process...

I'm guessing they were taken in the late 40's, sometime after my father returned from WWII, but before he graduated college and started his career....  If anybody can discern any clues from the photos, let me know!!



"The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas"

There are several photos in the series from the Alamo.  I'll try and group them together.
July 8th: Born on this day



Jaimoe Johanson, drums, Allman Brothers Band - 1944
Toby Keith, country singer - 1961
Joan Osborne, singer, songwriter - 1963
Beck David Campbell, Beck - 1970

Thursday, July 07, 2011

The Alamo - 03

New serires:  Vintage Photos
Several years ago, we came across a collection of old B and W photos.  Presumably taken by my father.  But this was well after he passed away, so we really don't know much about them.  I've had them for several years, and have finally gotten around to starting the scanning process...

I'm guessing they were taken in the late 40's, sometime after my father returned from WWII, but before he graduated college and started his career....  If anybody can discern any clues from the photos, let me know!!



"The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas"

There are several photos in the series from the Alamo.  I'll try and group them together.

Whatever Happened To Instrumental Songs (Part 2)?

Yesterday we looked at Instrumental Songs, and trends through the years. While I thought the trend was pretty clear, there was a limitation in the data set. Looking at Artists defined as “Instrumental” adds some vocal songs by instrumental acts (example: “This Boy’s In Love With You” by Herb Alpert). It also overlooks instrumental songs by vocal acts (example: “Frankenstein” by Edgar Winter Group).  It also includes everything in the Hot 100, which is a rather broad sample.


So, how about another angle on the data?  With only moderate effort, I was able to tabulate the number of Instrumental songs to make the Top 10, by decade. And once again, the trend is crystal clear:


complied from data from:  http://song-database.com/


Instrumentals were a solid part of the music scene in the 50’s and 60’s, with 55 songs per year as significant hits (Top 10). The 70’s saw that number drop (almost) in half, to 28. By the 80’s the number had dropped almost 90% (to 6). Only 1 instrumental made the Top 10 in the 90’s, and none in the00’s. Doesn’t get much clearer than that.  What was once a significant part of the popular music scene is now missing.

So why?? Why no “Tequila”? No “Telstar”, or “Grazing In The Grass”? No “Frankenstein” or “Pick Up The Pieces”? Not even a “Chariots Of Fire” or “Miami Vice”. All those songs were not only Top 10’s, but chart Toppers.

I think it's a shame.  But them I'm just a grumpy old man.

Mucis Birthdays, July 7th

July 7th: Born on this day



Richard Starkey, (Ringo Starr), drums, vocals, Rory Storm, The Beatles - 1940
Warren Entner, Guitar, keyboards, vocals Grass Roots - 1944
Jim Rodford, bass, Argent - 1945
David Hodo, vocals, The Village People, - 1950
Mark White, bass, The Spin Doctors - 1962

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Whatever Happened to Instrumental Songs?

Yesterday we looked at trends in novelty songs over the past several decades....  Today, let's look at instrumentals:

 
Again, my perception is that there simply aren't as many instruments as there used to be.  So, what does the data say??  Note: This listing is songs by performers classified as "Instrumental". It is not actually instrumental songs. So, all Herb Alpert songs are included, even though at least 1 of his 39 wasn't instrumental. But I think the trends are still valid...

 

 

 

 

 
 
Wow.  I'd say the trend is even clearer than yesterday.  Almost 93% of the songs from Instramental artists were relaeased in the 50's 60s and 70's.  And there were 90x as many songs in the 60's as in the 70's.  Which brings me back to my original question:  Has popular music simply lost it’s diversity?  Or are the youths of today simply hung up on words?

 
And the top 10 instrumental artists, based on Song Database's ranking system?  See below, with their top hit, and number of Top 40's songs:
 

 
  1. Herb Alpert - Rise #1 in 1979, 19 Top 40 Hits
  2. Billy Vaughn - Melody Of Love #2 in '54, 13 Top 40 Hits
  3. Booker T. & The MG's - Green Onions, #3 in '62, 7 Top 40 Hits
  4. Bill Black's Combo - White Silver Sands #9 in '60, 8 Top 40 Hits
  5. Henry Mancini & His Orchestra - Love Theme fro Romeo & Juliet #1 in '69, 7 Top 40 hits
  6. Ventures - Walk Don't Run #2 in '60, 5 Top 40 Hits
  7. Kenny G - Songbird #4 in '87, 6 Top 40 Hits
  8. Floyd Cramer - Last Date #2 in '60, 4 Top 40 Hits
  9. Bert Kaempfert & His Orchestra - Wonderland By Night #1 in '61, 4 Top 40 Hits
  10. Ferrante & Teicher - Exodus #2 in '61, 5 Top 40 Hits



     

 
In an effort to be more accurate, I decided to look at actual songs.  Becasue of the sheer volume of data, and the format in which it is available, i"ll be looking at just the biggest hits.  Stay tunde to see how it compares.

The Alamo - 02

New serires:  Vintage Photos
Several years ago, we came across a collection of old B and W photos.  Presumably taken by my father.  But this was well after he passed away, so we really don't know much about them.  I've had them for several years, and have finally gotten around to starting the scanning process...

I'm guessing they were taken in the late 40's, sometime after my father returned from WWII, but before he graduated college and started his career....  If anybody can discern any clues from the photos, let me know!!



"The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas"

There are several photos in the series from the Alamo.  I'll try and group them together.