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Boston is Not Just a City

When you hear someone say Boston, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the state of Massachusetts. However, if you are a rock music fan you probably think of the band. The band however did originate in Boston, Massachusetts, and you can guess where they got the idea for naming their group. The most popular times for the group were in the 1970s and 1908s. Currently, the band is still recording and producing music. The last year they toured was in 2007, but continues to gain new fans, impress old ones, and make amazing rock music. Here is a look back at the history of Boston.

The founder of the group is Tom Scholz who wrote songs, produced the albums, and played the guitar and keyboard. The only other member of the band to be signed by Epic record and help create the albums was Brad Delp. Other members were brought on to tour and make up an entire group. The two men created a lot of the songs in Scholz basement where he saved up money from his job at Polaroid to make a studio. Current band members include: Tom Scholz, Jeff Neal, Michael Sweet, Gary Pihl, Tommy DeCarlo, and Kimberley Dahme. However, the band used to consist of different members during the 1970s and 1980s.

The first album was released in 1976 and was self titled after the band’s name Boston. Two years later in 1978, they released their second album called Don’t Look Back. This album topped the number one position on the Billboard music charts, and the first made it to number three. It would be almost ten years later before they released a third album which also made it to number one. The album was titled Third Stage. There was another eight year span before another album was made. It made it to the number one position like the other albums, and was called Walk On. It was released in 1994 and didn’t do as well as the others and topped the charts at position seven. For the rest of the 1990s, Boston didn’t release any more albums. It wasn’t until 2002 that a fifth was made and called Corporate America.

They are classified under the music genres rock and hard rock. You have probably heard them on Internet Radio or radio stations that play classic rock. Not only are they masters at rock music, but they also incorporate heavy metal and progressive rock into their music. One of their most popular songs, “More Than A Feeling,” really demonstrates how great the band is, what they sound like, and shows an amazing vocal range by Brad Delp. I hope that when you think of Boston, you think about the band and not the city.

About the Author: Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

Ed Roland and Collective Soul

All successful bands have a beginning and often somebody who leads the group into success. For Collective Soul that person was Ed Roland.

Like many musicians, Roland had to work his way up in the industry. He started off quite formally, studying songwriting and guitar at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He also worked as the lead engineer and producer at a studio before starting his own band in 1985 called The Eddie Band. This band later turned into Marching Two-Step and finally evolved into what we know today as Collective Soul.

Where did Roland come up with the name Collective Soul? It was said that he was reading Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and came across the phrase “collection of souls”. Although author Ayn Rand actually uses the phrase in a negative connotation, using the “collective soul” as a threat to the main character’s sense of individualism, Ed is quick to point out, “…we’re not preaching Ayn Rand, objectivism, egoism, or anything…we just dug the name…” and “it [the band's name] could’ve come out of a Motorcycle Magazine.”

The band was virtually unknown until 1993 with the song “Shine” which came from the album “Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid.” The song started off as an underground hit that college radio picked up. With this hit the band signed with Atlantic Records, boosting its mainstream status quickly.

“Shine” was followed with other US Rock Chart #1 hits including “December,” “Where The River Flows,” and “The World I Know”. The band had also gained widespread radio play across all mainstream formats, reaching beyond the conventional rock radio. Although Roland and his band were headliners and two of their albums had sold 5 million copies, the group was receiving little pay as the manager had claimed publishing rights. This caused a rift within the band, causing the group to split, cancel tour dates and face legal battles.

Times were tenuous as the group could not tour, record and weren’t even sure they could maintain ownership of the band name. While waiting for legal battles to settle, band members hid out in a cabin in Stockbridge, Georgia and began recording songs on their computer. One of these songs would be known as “Disciplined Breakdown”, a song that chronicled emotions and feelings the members were going through. The court case was eventually settled and both parties were not allowed to discuss the outcome.

Not letting the situation get him down, Roland continued to improve his skills as a writer and vocalist. His brother Dean also became a member of the band.

By 1999 the band came out with “Dosage”, the group’s fourth album. Singles such as “Run”, “Needs”, and “Tremble For My Beloved” also gained notable positions on the rock charts. With these chart increases, Collective Soul became the most played band on the radio in the 1990s. By 2000, the group’s albums weren’t seeing the same success but Roland saw success in his duet with Elton John singing “Perfect Day”.

Albums to follow the group’s roaring success of the 1990s included “7even Year Itch: Greatest Hits 1994-2001″, “El Music Group”, “Youth”, “From The Ground Up”, “Home”, and “Afterwords.” Songs that became hits included “Counting the Days”, “Better Now” and “How Do You Love”.

In 2009 the group released their eighth album, self-titled “Rabbit”. The single “Staring Down” and “Welcome All Again” helped boost the group back to the top of charts once again.

Roland said the single “Staring Down” was written about people not having to be in a dark place after a bad relationship – how one has to let go of that energy and leave themselves open to positive energy. On the same album is the song “Hymn For My Father”. Roland said he wrote the song about his father who had died four years prior and who taught him about music.

Originating from Stockbridge, Georgia, the group was honored by the state in 2009 by being inducted in to the Georgia Hall of Fame. The group is still actively writing and performing around the world.

Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

Music, Products and Commercialization

Buying rights to songs for the promotion of commercial products has become more and more popular. It is so common now that it is difficult to hear a song you used to enjoy for the sake of the song and not think of a product. And this is just what advertisers want to happen for you.

What songs are being used with what products? Can you recall any? Maybe it has become subliminal already for you as well. Here are a few songs and the companies that are using them:

• “Dream On” by Aerosmith – Buick
• “Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin – Cadilac
• “Beyond The Sea” by Bobby Darin – Carnival Cruises
• “Melissa” by The Allman Brothers – Cingular/AT&T Wireless
• “Happy Together” by The Turtles – Clinique
• “Coconut” by Harry Nilsson – Coca-Cola with Lime
• “Love Train” by The O’Jays – Coors
• “Ain’t That A Shame” by Fats Domino – Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper
• “You Sexy thing” by Hot Chocolate – Dr. Pepper
• “Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake Your Booty by KC and The Sunshine Band – Fidelity Investments

The list goes on. On the flip side of the coin, we also hear artists using brand names of products in their music. How about Janis Joplin’s song Mercedes Benz or Paul Simon singing about his Kodachrome. Today, if an artist is using a namebrand, you can be sure they have been paid to insert the product name into their song. Companies will go so far as to advertise for selling space in lyrics to advertisers.

What are some other products or trade names mentioned by artists? Here are a few:
• Cornflake Girl – Tori Amos
• Corona and Lime – Shwayze
• Little Red Corvette – Prince
• Life In Technicolor- Coldplay
• Poprocks and Rock – Green Day
• Volvo Driving Soccer Mom- Everclear
• My Adidas – Run DMC
• Maybellene – Chuck Berry
• Red Barchetta – Rush
• Louboutins – Jennifer Lopez

For a company to use an artist’s song they must purchase the music rights. Some companies will re-record a song as the rights are then cheaper. Re-recording the song leaves you recalling the song somewhere in your mind but maybe it just quite isn’t the same. Some companies that rerecorded songs make a parody of it. For instance Burger King remixed the song “I Am Woman” by Helen Reddy. Some companies just re-record music such as Buick with Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good”.

Music is not limited to selling products of course. There are many films and television shows that love to use music to either promote nostalgia or emphasize a feeling. How many of you can hear the Beatles song Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da and not think of the TV show Life Goes On? Likewise, many films and production companies make songs popular and mainstream after putting them into their movies or these companies even hire artists to write songs specifically for their productions. The movie Top Gun had composers write the song Danger Zone and then sought out artists to perform it. Originally they asked Bryan Adams then Toto, but ultimately they went with Kenny Loggins. The song went on to be on the Billboard Hot 100.

Advertisers want to invoke emotion as do film producers, so what better way than to use music. Likewise, artists want to strike emotional cords and sometimes that involves the products of our lives. Both can often go hand-in-hand whether we like it or not.

Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

American Idol History

A music show that has taken over every television in America is American Idol. It is a nationwide phenomenon that has everyone glued to their television for an hour a couple nights a week watching performers make their way into the entertainment industry. The auditions for the chance to perform on the American Idol stage are hilarious and memorable. Some people get their 15 minutes of fame for singing horribly or acting strangely on the audition portion of the show. On the other hand, there are very famous and successful artists that were made on the show like the first season winner Kelly Clarkson. Here is a look back at American Idol history.

The first season started eight years ago in 2002, and was created by Simon Fuller. The show was mirrored after the British version called Pop Idol which has the same concept. Simon Fuller created the show to be an interactive, reality, talent show. We are introduced to millions of singers who are narrowed down to the top ten, and then we fall in love and vote for our favorite singer who becomes the American Idol. The show has consistently stayed at a number one slot because millions of Americans participate and watch the show. The first episodes of the program feature the auditions to narrow down the millions of people who believe they are the best. The show travels to different cities around the nation and pick finalists from each to travel to Hollywood. Once there, the hundreds of finalists are narrowed down even further to 25 people and then down to 10.

The initial choice of who is going to be eligible as an American Idol is determined by the judges. It is a panel of people who are well known in the entertainment industry and have produced or recorded their own albums. The most well known yet least liked judge is Simon Cowell. Next to him on the panel are Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul. Later on there was a fourth judge added who is still on the show, and her name is Kara DioGuardi. The only judge who has left the show is Paula Abdul, and currently Simon has expressed interest in leaving the show as well. Season 9 features guest judges and will include Ellen DeGeneres on the panel. They give their input on song choice, voice tone, and overall performance. When the performers are narrowed down to the final ten, the audience now decides who stays or leaves by voting. The judges simply give their input to help the audience decide.

Season 9 is currently airing on television now. They are in the process of auditions. Seasons 1 through 8 had amazing singers and winners. American Idol winners you have probably heard on Internet Radio and in your car or television are Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, Jordin Sparks, David Cook, and Kris Allen. A lot of the finalists also go on to sign record deals and produce their albums as well. The show is fun to get involved with because you are part of the process of making someone a star. You get to know the singers and help them achieve their dreams to become a star, or in this case an American Idol.

About the Author: Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

Lynyrd Skynyrd is a Band, Not A Band Member

Those who were born after the 80s may have heard of Lynyrd Skynyrd or at least the songs Lynyrd Skynyrd is known for such as Free Bird or Sweet Home Alabama. But how many of these ‘youngsters’ realize Lynyrd Skynyrd is not a person in the band but the name of a band? And yet the name did come from a real person, Leonard Skinner the band member’s gym teacher who was known for strictly enforcing a high school’s policy against boys having long hair.

Lynyrd Skynard’s band members first came together in the summer of 1964 as a group of friends Ronnie Van Zant, Allen Collins and Gary Rossington, decided to start playing together. Biographies written about the band state that their early influences ranged from the Southern blues common in north Florida to the country standards Ronnie Van Zant said he heard on runs up the Atlantic seaboard in his father’s eighteen-wheeler. Ronnie claimed later that the band really modeled themselves after the first waves of the British rock invasion, “If you ask me, we’re closer to the classic British rock groups like Free than anything else.”

Originally calling themselves “The Noble Five”, in 1965, early practice sessions occurred in the carport of drummer Bob Burns’ parents. The band practiced where ever and whenever one of their mothers let them. The constant practice soon turned into a “learn as you earn” policy that resulted in the Noble Five’s first gig that December.

Slowly, the young group developed their musical talents and the gigs increased. With the increase of talent came more band name changes including the Wildcats, the Sons of Satan, Conqueror Worm, and the Pretty Ones. Van Zant said they used to change their name for the heck of it because nobody knew who they were. The longest lasting pre- Lynyrd Skynyrd name was One Percent.

As the band struggled in their early years, members continued to be influenced by upcoming British bands, even to the point where band members grew their hair long, something few did in the 60s. At the time, school dress code forbid boys hair to even touch their eyebrows or ears. The boys gym coach, Leonard Skinner, from Robert E Lee High School, was the biggest enforcer of this dress code. Van Zant and other band members who attended the high school would use Vasoline before school to slick back their hair to keep it out of their eyes and off their shoulders. Many of the teachers thought they had short hair, except Skinner. Band member Gary Rossington recalled, “All the teachers thought we had short hair, but then at gym you had to take a shower – it was mandatory.” Rossington said Skinner always came through the showers and if he caught you with your hair down touching year ears, he would kick you out or send you to the principal’s office. After having this occur dozens of times, Rossington said he quit school.

With this influence, later on the band would rename itself Leonard Skinner, which grew into Lynard Skynard, and then finally, Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Lynyrd Skynrd grew to be a household name by the 70s, especially after opening for The Who in 1973. In 1974 they featured their most popular single Sweet Home Alabama.

Following success, tragic events began to unfold. Both Collins and Rossington had serious car accidents over Labor Day weekend in 1976, forcing the band to cancel some concert dates. The accident inspired the song “That Smell”. The lyrics talk about the oak tree Rossington crashed into and Prince Charming is himself, drunk and stoned on Quaaludes.

Later, the most tragic of all events occurred. On October 20, 1977, when Lynyrd Skynyrd’s chartered plane ran out of fuel near the end of their flight from Greenville, South Carolina, pilots attempted an emergency landing on a small airstrip. The plane crashed in a forest in Gillsburg, Mississippi. Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray were all killed on impact; the other band members suffered serious injuries.

Lynyrd Skynyrd disbanded after the tragedy, reuniting just once to perform an instrumental version of “Free Bird” at Charlie Daniels’ Volunteer Jam in January 1979. Collins, Rossington, Powell and Pyle performed the song with Charlie Daniels and members of his band.

In 1987, Lynyrd Skynyrd reunited for a full-scale tour with crash survivors Gary Rossington, Billy Powell, Leon Wilkeson and Artimus Pyle and former guitarist Ed King.

The band Skynyrd went on with various replacement members and still perform today.

Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

The Many Faces of Chris Cornell

Whether you have listened to Rage Against the Machine, Soundgarden or Audioslave, it is possible you have heard the voice of lead singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell. While Cornell has performed in other bands he is primarily known for the above.

Chris Cornell had been performing, singing and writing music for many years but didn’t come to the forefront of the music industry until he started the band Soundgarden in 1984. Along with Alice in Chains, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam, Soundgarden became one of the most successful bands from Seattle’s emerging grunge scene in the early 1990s.

After leaving Soundgarden, Cornell joined the rock band Rage Against the Machine, a band that originally formed in 1991. Rage Against the Machine was known for its political lyrics. Labeled alternative rock to heavy metal, the band successfully continued until 2000. When the band broke up and recreated itself under the name Audioslave, minus band member Zack del la Rocha, Cornell became lead vocalist. Audioslave released their debut album in November of 2002 with hits such as Cochise, Like A Stone and Show Me How To Live.

While Rage Against the Machine lyrics were focused on being political, Cornell tried to tone it down when it came to writing for Audioslave. Cornell stated he did not want to become the new singer of Rage Against the Machine or any political band, but he would play benefits the other band members wanted to play. Despite his comment, Audioslave’s song Set It Off—was inspired by 1999′s WTO riots or better known as the Battle of Seattle. Cornell also wrote the anti-war song Sound of a Gun, and later Wide Awake, a song that was meant to be an attack on the Bush administration’s failure to act over the consequences of Hurricane Katrina.

The band was openly anti-Bush and against the Iraq War from the beginning; on March 17, 2003, only hours after President Bush announced plans to invade Iraq, the band performed live in Hollywood with messages reading “How many Iraqis per gallon?” and “Somewhere in Texas, a Village is Missing an Idiot”, scrolled across the stage. The music video for “Doesn’t Remind Me” was also critical of the Iraq war.

In 2002, Audioslave’s second album, Out of Exile, was released and debuted at number one on the U.S. charts. The album went on to achieve platinum status. It featured the singles “Out of Exile”, “Be Yourself”, “Your Time Has Come”, and “Doesn’t Remind Me”. Cornell admitted that the songs on the album were were the most personal songs he had ever written, emphasizing the positive changes in his life. Critics say the sound of the second album leaned less on guitar riffs than the first giving it more of a Soundgarden slash Rage Against the Machine flavor. Cornell’s voice stood out more in the album, possibly due to having quit smoking and drinking.

Audioslave later made history by performing in Havana, Cuba on May 6, 2005, becoming the first American rock group to perform in Cuba. The 26-song set concert was the longest the band had ever played.

Cornell continued writing and performing with the band, helping them release another album in early 2006 with the album Revelations. Cornell integrated 60s and 70s music as well as 70s funk and R&B to produce Revelations. Two of the songs, Shape of Things to Come and Wide Awake were featured in the 2006 film Miami Vice. Cornell followed this with another theme song You Know My Name, for the 2006 James Bond film, Casino Royale.

On February 15, 2007, Cornell officially announced his departure from Audioslave, stating, “Due to irresolvable personality conflicts as well as musical differences, I am permanently leaving the band Audioslave. I wish the other three members nothing but the best in all of their future endeavors.” Audioslave was officially disbanded.

Cornell continues to tour around the world with his eclectic and experimental lyrics and music.

Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

Part of the Club

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E This is a familiar tune for a lot of young adults ranging in age from their early 20s to early 30s. It is the anthem from the Mickey Mouse Club, a show that we grew up watching, singing, and dancing along with. Some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry have made their start on the Disney television show. There are a lot of very successful actors and musicians that wouldn’t be where they are today without the help of the big eared, talking mouse that is an International icon, Mickey Mouse. Here are some modern pop star icons that got their big break being a member of the new club.

The Mickey Mouse Club television show first made its debut in the mid 1950s with Annette Funicello as its starring club member. Walt Disney started the series as a way to earn money for the construction of his magical theme park. The show lasted for a few years that went off the air. The show was rereleased in the 1980s and was known as the All New Mickey Mouse Club and MMC in the 1990s.

One club member that is on every tabloid and magazine cover, not to mention has a lot of number one singles, is Britney Spears. Britney was on the show from ages 11 to 13. Soon after her run on the Mickey Mouse Club, she released her first album called “Baby One More Time.” She instantly launched her career into stardom, and a lot of fans from the Club supported her solo career. She has continued to remain on top of the Billboard charts, despite a period of time in which she went through a lot of personal issues.

Another female pop icon, and perhaps Britney Spears’ biggest competition, who made her start to fame is Christina Aguilera. She and Britney were on the same seasons of the Club. Disney asked her to record the song “Reflection” for the soundtrack Mulan which gave her the solidarity to obtain a record contract. She recorded the single soon after her career on the Mickey Mouse Club. Christina beat out Britney for the coveted award of best new artist. She is an international star and has sold almost 45 million records throughout the world.

Two guys that not only started out on the Mickey Mouse Club but also were a part of the sensation N’ Sync are JC Chasez and Justin Timberlake. Both guys were on the same season of the Mickey Mouse Club as Britney and Christina. N’Sync was a boy band that over took the world with their harmonic voices and incredible dance moves. Both Justin and JC both launched solo careers after their time with the band.

The Mickey Mouse Club is a common connection for all of these stars. It is where they all launched their careers and first met each other. Years after the show, Britney and Justin dated, JC and Justin were in a band together, and Christina went on tour with the band that Justin and JC were a part of.

About the Author: Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile. For more information please visit http://www.977music.com.

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  • About the Author:
    Jeff Bachmeier is owner of 977music.com, an online music and online radio station network providing live streaming Internet Radio channels with music from the 50’s thru Today. Users can also choose to create their own customized on demand playlist through their own social media profile.

    For more information please visit 977music.com.