It always tickles me when I discover a surprising connection between two completely different types of musical artists. Johnny Tillotson, the subject of today’s post, has been entertaining fans for more than a half-century as a successful country/pop singer, but I think he’d be the first to agree that a lot of his early … More Connecting The Dots With Johnny Tillotson
A huge hit record from 1970 that has sometimes approached earworm status for me is a skiffle song called “In The Summertime” by Mungo Jerry. But even though I’ve heard it countless times in the last forty-plus years (and it’s probably going through your head right now) it has never occurred to me to find … More So Exactly What Is A Mungo Jerry?
In 1957, when 14-year-old Parisian Jean-Philippe Léo Smet first caught sight of Elvis Presley on the screen in the movie Loving You, it was the beginning of a transformation. Like a lot of European teens at the time he was intrigued by the new style of music represented by Presley, but in his case he … More Johnny Hallyday Was Known As The French Elvis
One of the most unappreciated rockabilly artists of the 1950s was Johnny Carroll, a talented and magnetic performer who was in many ways reminiscent of his friend, the much more successful Gene Vincent. In fact, Carroll’s surge of popularity later in his career was partly due to his appreciation for Vincent’s music, along with his … More The Redemption Of Johnny Carroll
Exactly six years ago today we spotlighted J.P. Richardson, better known as the Big Bopper, a DJ and songwriter-turned performer who had the misfortune to go down in the same 1959 plane crash that took the life of Buddy Holly. But just before that, he was instrumental in getting another rock and roller off to … More Johnny Preston Got A Boost From The Big Bopper
Yes folks, it’s time for another edition of Five Star Favs, the GMC Special Feature that has a pretty simple premise: it spotlights one of my tip-top, all time favorites. And a few of those might surprise you. For example, my infatuation with today’s featured song began about thirty years ago when I saw it … More Five-Star Favs: It All Began On MTV
We might seem to be in a bit of a rut by featuring yet another actor/singer, but the story of Bill Hayes is a lot different from that of a recent GMC subject, Eddie Albert. For one thing, in 1955 he charted a #1 hit record — “Ballad Of Davy Crockett” — and for another, … More What, Another Singing Actor?
If you’re a fan of guitar instrumentals from the early 1960s, you might remember a group known as the Tornados, a British combo that had a #1 record with “Telstar” in 1962. But we’re instead going to spotlight the Tornadoes, an American band that also had a couple of hits (although not as highly charted), … More The Tornadoes – Not The Tornados
I don’t think there’s any doubt that “Purple People Eater” is a song that qualifies for our Saluting Silly Songs feature. In case you don’t remember, it was a huge #1 record for singer/songwriter Sheb Wooley in 1958. But it’s also been sort of misunderstood through the years, because the question arose: was the alien … More Saluting Silly Songs – A Puzzle In Purple
In the early 1960s, the pop music flood that was the British Invasion included several bands that tried to present something a little different from what was being offered by the likes of the Beatles and Rolling Stones. One of the groups that seemed to be having a lot of fun was Freddy and the … More Freddie And The Dreamers – Dancin’ The Freddie