With songs such as “Sunday Morning Coming Down” and “Help Me Make It Through The Night” KRiS KRiSTOFFERSON brought a literary quality to country at the dawn of the 1970′s that won new fans and set the standards for other writers. KRiSTOFFERSON’S own hit records, including “Why Me Lord” (1973) and films such as ALiCE DOESN’T LiVE HERE ANYMORE (1974) and A STAR iS BORN (1978) raised his profile even further.
Born in 1936 KRiSTOFFERSON is an American musician, actor, and writer. He is known for such hits as “Me and Bobby McGee” and “For the Good Times” – as well as for helping to launch the careers of SAMMi SMiTH, JANiS JOPLiN, JOHNNY CASH and JERRY LEE LEWiS by providing them with original music. KRiSTOFFERSON is the sole writer of most of his songs, and he has collaborated with various other figures of the NASHViLLE scene such as SHEL SiLVERSTEiN. On providing people hit records he has said: “The great thing about being a songwriter is you can hear your baby interpreted by so many people that have creative talents vocally that I don’t have.”
In 2004, he was inducted into the COUNTRY MUSiC HALL of FAME and in 2006 he recieved the Johnny Mercer Award from the SONGWRiTERS HALL of FAME.
Check out these images below and the youtube links for KRiSTOFFERSON’s music:
Below I’ve selected 10 of my favorite ROLLiNG STONE MAGAZiNE cover images – in no particular order. We’ve got CAT STEVENS, the epitome of the singer/songwriter/philanthropist, LiNDA RONSTADT’S famous bee-stung look, and PRiNCE’S ‘HoT ROCKS’ to boot – among others. Classics. Pouring over vintage R.STONE magazines is something I used to do all the time – hardly so anymore, but the influence of these images on our culture is undeniable, and they not only reflect the evolution of a magazine, but a record of our times.
THE GO-GO’S played a pivotal role in the history of rock and roll. They were the first all-female band to make it to the top of all the major charts with songs they wrote themselves. If you want to have a serious discussion about Women in Rock, you have to include THE GO-GO’S.
Originally formed in 1978 THE GO-GO’S initially consisted of BELiNDA CARLiSLE (vocals), JANE WiEDLiN (guitar, vocals), MARGOT OLAVARRiA (bass), and ELiSSA BELLO (drums). They were formed as a punk band and had roots in the L.A. punk community; and CARLiSLE had briefly been a member of punk-rock band THE GERMS.
The band started out playing at seminal punk rock venues and CHARLOTTE CAFFEY (lead guitar, keyboards) was added later in 1978, and in the summer of 1979, GiNA SCHOCK replaced BELLO on drums. With these line-up changes, the group began moving towards their now more-familiar power pop sound.
During late 1979, the band recorded a 5-song demo at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles, and in 1980 supported the British ska revival group MADNESS in both Los Angeles and England. THE GO-GO’S subsequently spent half of 1980 touring England, developing a sizable following and releasing the demo version of ‘We Got the Beat‘, which became a minor UK hit.
They signed to I.R.S. Records in April 1981. Their debut album, BEAUTY AND THE BEAT, was a surprise hit; it topped the U.S. charts for six weeks in 1982 and eventually received a triple platinum certification. The album was also a success outside the U.S. charting at #2 here in Canada, where it received a platinum certification, and #27 in Australia. In 2003, the album was ranked number 413 on ROLLiNG STONE magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. ‘Our Lips Are Sealed‘ and a new version of ‘We Got the Beat‘ were extremely popular singles in North America in early 1982. In this period THE GO-GO’S became America’s sweethearts, at least for a short period, and started building a fan base.In 1982 the group was nominated for a GRAMMY Award for Best New Artist.
The follow-up album VACATiONreceived mixed reviews and sold far less than BEAUTY AND THE BEAT. ‘Vacation’ was this albums major hit, but other singles released from the album were “Get Up and Go” and “He’s So Strange”, neither of which made it into the Top 40. Personally one of my favorite songs from VACATiON is ‘Beatnik Beach‘ – a beach bingo-esque song with a surfer chick twist. Of course THE GO-GO’S continued to tour and make music through much of the 1980′s, however, due to differences, as well as drug addiction issues for some band members - THE GO-GO’S disbanded in 1985.
ROD STEWART’S music has been a staple of mine for as long as I can remember; but in particular I have remained most in love with his earliest albums, including GASOLiNE ALLEY (1970), EVERY PiCTURE TELLS A STORY (1971) and NEVER A DULL MOMENT (1972). These albums as well as the work he did with THE FACES established a template for his unique solo sound; a heartfelt mixture of folk, rock and country blues, inclusive of a British working-class sensibility. Not only do these albums have that one of a kind raspy/boozy ROD sound, but they are filled with heavy mandolin and acoustic arrangements accompanied by RONNiE WOOD; all combining into music that few can match. The musicianship found on these albums is the stuff that had me fantasizing not only about ROD SREWART, ever the hottie in his dandyish style of grooming and dress, but furthermore what it would be like to make music that amazing.
‘Lost Paraguayos’, written by STEWART and RONNiE WOOD, is a stand out song among other early beauts like ‘Reason To Believe’, ‘You Wear It Well’ and ‘Mandolin Wind’. What separates these early recordings from the music he records today is that all of the musicianship and story-teller quality STEWART had all blended together magically, and stylistically he was able to blend folk, rock and country blues together in a very accessible manner. Much like his ‘Maggie May’, ‘Lost Paraguayos’ captures a funner side to his roughness, serving complimentary to his the ballads ‘Reason To Believe’ and ‘Mandolin Wind’. Check out a youtube link for a listen, as well enjoy these selected images.
By the time ROBERT REDFORD’S ORDiNARY PEOPLE came out in 1980, MARY TYLER MOORE had already established herself as a dynamic performer. I always loved MTM – that smile, the hair, and her effervescent energy. With THE DiCK VAN DYKE SHOW and THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, MARY proved she is a very funny woman who can share the laughs with an equally talented cast of people like DiCK VAN DYKE, BETTY WHiTE, ED ASNER, GAViN MaCLEOD etc. Clearly it was always easy to love MARY TYLER MOORE.
However, what makes MTM even more cool to me is that as adept as she was at comedy and sharing the laughter – she was also a formidable dramatic actress, and no other film displayed this talent as much as ORDiNARY PEOPLE – a film in which MTM was polar opposite to the smile and warmth that MARY TYLER MOORE exuded. ORDiNARY PEOPLE concerns the disintegration of an upper-middle class family in Lake Forest, Illinois, following the death of the older son in a boating accident. The screenplay by ALViN SARGENT was based upon the 1976 novel of the same same, by JUDiTH GUEST.
The film was a critical and commercial success, winning that year’s Academy Award for Best Picture, as well as nominations for TiMOTHY HUTTON and of course, MARY TYLER MOORE as Best Actress. Although she didn’t take the prize that year – she certainly proved herself as an actress with dimension.
Essentially, ORDiNARY PEOPLE is about The Jarretts; an upper-middle class family trying to return to normal life after the death of one teenage son and the attempted suicide of their surviving son, Conrad (TiMOTHY HUTTON). Conrad, who has recently returned home from a four-month stay in a psychiatric hospital, feels alienated from his friends and family and begins seeing a psychiatrist, Dr. Berger (JUDD HiRSCH). Berger learns that Conrad was involved in a sailing accident in which his older brother, Buck (whom everyone idolized), died. Conrad now has to deal with the post-traumatic stress disorder and survivor’s guilt. It’s not the lightweight stuff that was THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW. It’s heavy and hardly full of laughs.
Then you have Conrad’s father, Calvin (DONALD SUTHERLAND - who I love), awkwardly struggling to connect with his surviving son and wife. Conrad’s mother, Beth (MTM) struggles to comprehend her loss, maintain her composure, and focuses on what her family once was, and cannot be again. Beth appears to have loved her elder son more (though perhaps more what he represented?), and as a result has now grown cold toward Conrad. She is fixated with maintaining the appearance of perfection and normalcy. MTM is quite amazing in this sense – completely embodying Beth in this role – without even the slightest hint of the MTM we had all grown to know and love up until that point. Conrad works with Dr. Berger, and learns to try to deal with, rather than control his emotions. He starts dating Jeannine (ELiZABETH McGOVERN), and begins to regain a sense of optimism. He suffers a setback when he learns that Karen, a friend of his from the psychiatric hospital (DiNAH MANOFF – if anyone remembers her as Marty in GREASE, or T.v.’s EMPTY NEST) committed suicide. Conrad struggles to communicate and re-establish a normal relationship with his parents and schoolmates. He cannot seem to allow anyone, especially Beth, to get close – and it’s within these parts of ORDiNARY PEOPLE we are able to appreciate again just how MTM dominates the screen as a cold and unforgiving mother.
I will not spoil how ORDiNARY PEOPLE concludes, although many of you already know. I will say that it has always left an impression on me – in the best possible sense.
Today I salute not only a fantastic film, but an actress who epitomized her role. MTM wasn’t afraid to be cold – and to shed that which made her so lovable to instead play the part of a mother who couldn’t help but alienate her son – which is an aspect of the role that drew MTM to the film. Please check the following youtube links – for the ORDiNARY PEOPLE trailer as well as an in-depth interview with MTM herself where she reflects on her involvement with the film.
JOHN DENVER may have been an American country/folk star but he has always sounded like home to me – whatever ‘home’ means to a Canadian boy brought up in the prairies. Perhaps what I mean is that his unique blend of country and folk transcended what country and western music was in the traditional sense – and he simply made intimate music that often celebrated the little things in life, like home, family and love. And to put it in a rather silly way, JOHN DENVER is just the sort of guy I want to have along with me and my dog Karmah on my jaunts out on the dirt roads where I come from. He’d be down to earth, chill and laid back – hardly the tortured soul that was JAMES TAYLOR . I don’t need JAMES TAYLOR’S intensity – not in these crazy times. What I need is the optimism of DENVER – someone who can pull me back and say – “CC I know it’s tough – but hey, once we get back to the cottage we can make some grits and gravy, pull out the acoustic guitar – find our ROCKY MOUNTAiN HiGH… so to speak….” Sigh… oh who knows what I’m saying…
He had this home-spun feel, in music and his appearance: shaggy blond hair, embroidered shirts emblazoned with images commonly associated with the American West – and of course those ‘Granny’ glasses. He and his music were very unassuming, yet clearly embodied the things that were most important to his perspective – enjoying the simple things in life like the ‘sunshine on your shoulders’ – or ‘grandma’s feather bed’.
“Sunshine almost always makes me high,” DENVER sings. If only it were still that easy. Listening to DENVER causes a sort of nostalgia for a time long lost, which now seems as wonderful and foreign as the bygone time DENVER sings about on his first real hit, TAKE ME HOME, COUNTRY ROADS. “Life is old there,” he sings. “Older than the trees, younger than the mountains, blowing like the breeze.” All of these charms and qualities are what made DENVER unique.
Although DENVER undeniably achieved great success as a solo artist and entertainer, a lot of people wrote him off as lightweight, but he articulated a kind of optimism, and he brought acoustic music to the forefront, bridging folk, pop, and country in a fresh way…. People forget how huge he was worldwide.
For today I choose simply to share that acoustic optimism he brought – as well, his 1975 ROLLiNG STONE MAGAZiNE cover – as a salutation to the beacon of light he was!
Life has changed a lot for you since your PARTRiDGE FAMiLY/COME-ON-GET-HAPPY-hey-day, this I know. Yet my devotion to YOU certainly hasn’t! So you’re no longer TEEN BEAT’S poster child for what’s HiP & HOT RiGHT NOW – but listen, you’ll always remain my teenage dream! And I’m most certain America will always cherish you as much as I do so today I wanted to take a moment to really tell you just why I salute you as MY TEENAGE DREAM (that never came true) over say, the likes of your brother SHAWN CASSiDY or RALPH MACHiO.
I salute you because you are THE quintessential 1970′s dream boy : beautifully androgynous, hip and cool. You simultaneously embodied the kind of guy I not only wanted to be – but the guy I also wanted TO BE WiTH! No kidding! I used to sit and watch back-to-back episodes of BRADY BUNCH and THE PARTRiDGE FAMiLY – and although I did have dreams of hanging with MARSHA BRADY too (well… brushing her hair to be specific – she desperately needed variety!) or touring with your family, I would easily trade it all in for the chance to hang out with you. Perhaps lounging around on pillows upstairs in your groovy bedroom… I could have come over after school, maybe done some math homework or jammed on the guitar.. and your mom SHiRLEY PARTRiDGE could bring us up some lemonade or something… And just maybe I can stay over for dinner, we could chill and watch television with LAURiE, DANNY, CHRiS and TRACEY on a shag carpet before you walk me home three houses down the way…
Anyways see how you carry me away in to silly fantasies???? – sigh… I do so miss you. Your clothes were so far out and your hair so pretty… and your singing sets my heart a flutter.
But let’s not get it twisted – life has taken you elsewhere since then. So you’re not the CELEBRiTY APPRENTiCE and TEEN BEAT is not exactly banging on your door like they used to – but please remember that I will always be devoted to the DAViD CASSiDY that WAS. I’ll love you for the boyfriend I never had. My boy-next-door. With the bus, bell-bottoms and family values. Who knows – in alternate 1970′s life maybe I’m SUZiE QUATRO, I can really rock your world and we can finally live together in musical harmony. Meet me in my dreams!
iKE & TiNA TURNER were an American rock & roll and soul duo, made of the husband-and-wife team of iKE TURNER and TiNA TURNER in the 1960′s and 1970′s. They were and remain known for their wild and entertaining dance shows as well as their infamously volatile relationship that ended with TiNA divorcing iKE in 1978. They were also inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, for their significant contribution to rock & roll and soul music.
I’m going to say something that might not be the most popular point of view, but I’ve stood by the point for years. I’ve been a fan of both iKE & TiNA’S music as a duo and much of TiNA’s solo work after their divorce. It’s undeniable that TiNA went on to find stardom of her own with 1984′s PRiVATE DANCER. This album would sell 11 million copies worldwide, and included the biggest hit of TiNA’S career (WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WiTH iT). WHAT’S LOVE was TiNA’S first US #1 hit, a position iKE & TiNA TURNER never reached while recording together.
The thing for me is that if I’m on a road trip and I need some music to grab my attention – I will always opt for NUTBUSH CiTY LiMiTS or PROUD MARY before SiMPLY THE BEST. It’ll always be i WANT TO TAKE YOU HiGHER over WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER HERO. Why? What TiNA lacked in the 80′s (besides a good wig-maker) is the ability to pick the best songs. She also lost the grit that helps make a lot of her earlier recordings much more impressive to my ears. So call the terribly abusive relationship between iKE & TiNA what you will – she still made better music back when she was enduring it all with iKE TURNER. And for that iKE certainly deserves his props for having the creative vision to come up with some of souls most funky music. So for today I salute iKE & TiNA for their history in rock & roll music TOGETHER.