Special Sub-Topic: Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs (26-50)
|The song "Tracks of My Tears" was recorded by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Although Smokey was the main lyricist for this song, he states that it was his young guitar player who had the main hook and melody for the song, along with the music. Who was the guitar player in The Miracles?|
Marv Tarplin. "Tracks of My Tears" is a beautifully arranged song which was a favorite of Smokey's to sing live. The emotional reactions of the crowd during this song's performance really affected Robinson.
The people who have covered this song is a "who's who" of musical history. Aretha Franklin, Johnny Mathis, Linda Ronstadt, Gladys Knight and Dean Martin are just a few artists to enjoy success with this song.
Tarplin wasn't a one-hit wonder either. He helped in the writing of several songs recorded by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles including: "Point it Out", "I Like it Like That" and "Going to a Go-Go".
|The song "Hotel California" cracks the top 50 at number 49. The Eagles are one of the most successful musical acts in the history of popular music, and the musicians in the band are all accomplished musicians in their own right. Before The Eagles, most of the members enjoyed at least marginal success with other groups. Can you name the incorrect pairing of artist and group?|
Glenn Frey was in Pure Prairie League.. Glenn Frey was not in Pure Prairie League, but he and Don Henley were part of Linda Ronstadt's touring band before they decided to form The Eagles.
The song "Hotel California" has several interpretations by many people, bordering on strange to just plain unrealistic. According to the band, the song is simply about the excesses found in Los Angeles, including the indulgences experienced by the privileged. And for the record, a "colita" is a flower found in the desert. It is also known as antelope sage.
|The song at number 48 is the only song by Jimi Hendrix to crack the top 40 on the American Billboard Hot 100 charts? Can you name the song?|
All Along the Watchtower. Hendrix took "All Along the Watchtower", a song written and recorded by Bob Dylan, to number 20 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The other songs listed all charted, but none made it to the top 40. Because Dylan liked Hendrix's version so much, when the song was played by Dylan, he always mimicked Jimi's version. Hendirx had that much power over a song, he could even make the song's writer copy him.
Hendrix's version of the song appeared on the "Electric Ladyland" album, released in 1968. Dylan's version was released a year earlier on the "John Wesley Harding" album.
|Pick the incorrect statement concerning the song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" as recorded by Simon and Garfunkel on the album by the same name in 1970.|
The inspiration to this song was Paul Simon's decision to quit using heroin in the late 1960s.. This song has nothing to do with any drug reference, although with many songs of the era, people always want to attribute the song to drugs or drug use. The song was actually inspired by a gospel song titled "Mary Don't You Weep" which included the line "I'll be your bridge over deep water if you trust in me". Simon wrote this song as a show of friendship and support to his songwriting partner Art Garfunkel. In a cruel twist of irony, during the recording of this album, the duo fell on difficult times, and this would be the last studio album the pair would release.
|David Bowie's "Heroes" has been heralded as one of his most musically advanced songs of his career. With the likes of Brian Eno as co-writer and synthesizer player, how could one go wrong? Who also was a guest artist on this song, playing lead guitar?|
Robert Fripp of King Crimson. David Bowie wrote this song while trying to kick cocaine. He moved from Los Angeles to Berlin so he could get away from all the bad influence that was surrounding him. He rented a small apartment overlooking the Berlin Wall. One night he noticed a man and woman spending some intimate time together directly under a gun turret on the wall. He began imagining the scenarios in which two people would come together under these settings. It was these fantasies that eventually led to the writing of the song.
Bowie has performed this in many tributes and festivals over the years including: Live Aid 1985, the Freddie Mercury Tribute concert, the tribute for the police and firemen of New York after 9/11 and The Bridge Benefit Concert of 1996.
|The song at number 45 on the list just so happens to be the very first song released by Elvis to reach number one in the US on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. It's also the first song to give Elvis national exposure in America. Can you name the song?|
Heartbreak Hotel. The lyrics to "Heartbreak Hotel" were inspired by a suicide note found that simply read "I walk a lonely street". Tommy Durden, a Nashville song writer and steel guitar player, wrote the lyrics and Mae Boren Axton composed the music. Elvis received partial song writing credit based on a negotiation made by his manager as a favor for Elvis singing the song. This song was released in January of 1956 and was a major chart success, reaching the top of all five Billboard popular music charts and the Billboard country and western chart. The song nearly had a perfect run on the Billboard charts, but it only made number three on the R&B charts.
|Which artist performed "Georgia on My Mind" at Ray Charles' funeral in 2004?|
Willie Nelson. Ray Charles was the person responsible for introducing this Hoagy Carmichael tune to popular music audiences in 1960, but it was Willie Nelson who took the song to the country and western audience in 1978. Willie Nelson has included this as one of his signature songs and often plays it in live performances.
This was Ray's first US number one hit on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart. Charles would have two other singles to top that chart.
The story behind Ray Charles recording this song is that he was writing an album titled "The Genius Hits the Road". While riding in the back of his car, he was singing the song out loud, so his driver commented that since he was recording an album of song with places in the name, he should include that one. Charles recorded the song in New York in only four takes, and the rest is musical history.
|When Little Richard went into the studio to record what would become his first hit single in the USA, whose backing band did he use? The song was "Tutti Frutti", the year was 1955 and the studio was Cosimo Matassa's in New Orleans. |
Fats Domino. Robert "Bumps" Blackwell was sent a recording of Little Richard, and he knew that the artist could be a major force if the music was presented and produced in a particular manner. He invited Little Richard into the studio in September of 1955 and included Fats Domino's backing band to support him. After he heard Richard's version of "Tutti Frutti", which Richard was playing more out of frustration than anything else, he knew the song was destined to be a hit. He hired a songwriter named Dorothy LaBostrie to clean up the dirty lyrics to the song, and then the song was recorded. The song was released on Specialty Records where it reached number 17 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. It did reach number two on the US R&B singles chart.
|In the song "Waterloo Sunset" by The Kinks, what is the name of the two characters who meet at Waterloo Station every Friday night?|
Terry and Julie. Dave Davies once stated that the lyrics to this song were of emotional and personal importance to his brother Dave. He said that "It was like an extract from a diary nobody was allowed to read." Dave was very reluctant to share the lyrics with his brother and band because of the personal inflection they possessed. The "Waterloo" mentioned in the song is from the Waterloo Underground and the Waterloo Bridge. The Waterloo Bridge is a traffic and pedestrian bridge which crosses the Thames River. There is a spectacular view of London from this bridge when the day is clear and sunny.
|The Band's classic song "The Weight" was not a huge hit in the US according to their chart ranking. In fact, three cover versions of the song charted better in the US than their original. Whose version was the highest ranking single on the US Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart?|
Aretha Franklin. This song was extremely popular among fellow musicians due to the surrealistic lyrics and the unique melody structure. The Band took the song to number 63 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1968, but Aretha Franklin, who covered the song a year after the original release, managed to crack the top 20, reaching number 19 on the same chart. The Supremes and The Temptations coupled together to record this song and took it to number 46. Because of the song's popularity, several other acts, including those used as incorrect answers, have recorded or performed the song live. I'm particularly fond of The Black Crowes version that they sometimes perform in concerts.
|According to Martha and the Vandellas, in which city may they not be "Dancing in the Streets"?|
St. Louis. The cities mentioned in the lyrics to "Dancing in the Streets" are, in order: Chicago, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, DC (Washington DC), the Motor City (Detroit) and LA (Los Angeles). The song was written by producer William "Mickey" Stevenson and Marvin Gaye, along with a credit to Ivy Jo Hunter for music composition. After Kim Weston declined the song, they offered it to Martha Reeves, who had worked for Stevenson as a secretary. Her trio ended up recording and releasing the song and it became one of Motown's biggest hits.
|Which of the following statements is true concerning the Buddy Holly and the Crickets song "That'll Be the Day"?|
The song was inspired by a line in a John Wayne movie.. Buddy Holly and Jerry Allison (his drummer) had attended a viewing of "The Searchers", a popular John Wayne movie. Wayne's character used the phrase "That'll be the day" throughout the movie. The line struck a chord with the pair, and they soon wrote the song. The song was recorded in Norman Petty's studio located in Clovis, New Mexico. Petty received song writing credit for the use of his studio, although he had nothing to do with the song's writing. In 1979, Petty sold the catalog of Holly's music to Paul McCartney.
It has been rumored that the same movie which inspired this song also gave the UK pop group The Searchers their name.
|One of the most prominent uses of a female backing vocalist in any Rolling Stones' songs would have to be the performance in the song "Gimme Shelter". What is the name of the female singer who belted out the powerful lyrics "Oh, murder, it's just a shot away"?|
Merry Clayton. Sandy Denny sang on the Led Zeppelin song "Battle of Evermore". Ellen Foley sang with Meatloaf on "Paradise by the Dashboard Light". Demi Lovato would not have been able to provide these vocals as she wasn't born until 1992. She is a popular Disney singer who appeared in the "Camp Rock" movies.
Merry Clayton is an American gospel and R&B singer who was given the opportunity to perform this song with The Rolling Stones. She released a solo album featuring this song and has appeared on American television and in the movies.
"Gimme Shelter" is one of The Rolling Stones great songs which they regularly play in concerts. The song was also used as the title of the band's 1969 concert movie at Altamont where a fan was stabbed by members of The Hells Angels.
|"No Woman, No Cry" by Bob Marley featured a trio of back up singers including his wife Rita, Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths. The trio were known as the I-Threes. Marcia Griffiths later went on to release a solo song which would become famous in dance bars all over the world. Which novelty song did she sing which created an international dance sensation?|
Electric Boogie. Griffith's song "Electric Boogie" is the song which started The Electric Slide dance craze. The song originally came out in 1976, but it really took off when it was re-released in 1989. The song is the most successful song ever recorded by a female reggae star.
The Bob Marley tune was one of the first songs to put him in the public eye in America. The song first appeared on the "Natty Dread" album, released in 1975. The original song does not bear much resemblance to the more popular version which was released on the "Live!" album, recorded at the Lyceum Theatre in London.
|Many would argue that the song "One" is one of the finest in the massive collection of U2 songs. The song comes from the "Achtung Baby" album released in 1992. In 2005, which R&B singer recorded a version of the song as a duet with Bono, with the rest of the band supporting them?|
Mary J. Blige. The song "One" was released on the Blige album titled "Breakthrough". Blige first performed the song with the band during a New York concert, and then it sort of took on a life of its own in popularity and acclaim. The song was also performed as a duet to gain contributions to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
While the U2 version of the song may not be their highest charting effort (it only made number ten on the US Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart), it has been heralded as the finest song in their catalog. The song has been played in concert many times by the band, and often times the band is raising awareness to some societal cause or calamity.
|In which US city did Jim Morrison play his very last song live in concert? The song was number 35 on our list, "Light My Fire". |
New Orleans. There have been many interviews given by many people who claimed to have been at The Warehouse in New Orleans, LA on the night of December 12, 1970. The interviews claim that the show went off successfully, while others claim that Morrison suffered a complete breakdown on stage and the band had to swear off touring forever. I think over the years, this event has been sensationalized to the point that no one really knows exactly what happened.
Kerry Livgren, keyboard player for the prog rock band Kansas, was there, as they were the concert's opening act. His accounts were not nearly as negative as what has been written by remaining members of The Doors and others. He recalls that the show was a good one, and when they came to the last song, "Light My Fire", Morrison called up the Kansas members to join them on stage. In the end, no one really knows how this performance would have impacted the band's touring future. It was after this show that Morrison traveled to France where he passed away.
|The song "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" was played on the radio more than any other song during the 20th century, according to music publishing company BMI.|
t. BMI claims that during the 20th century, this song was the only song to be played in excess of eight million times. Three songs were played in excess of seven million times: "Yesterday" by The Beatles, "Stand By Me" by Ben E. King and "Never My Love" by The Association. BMI is the publishing agency which tracks and distributes artist royalties based on radio airplay, live performances, recorded performances (including the jukebox in your local tavern) and any other way that a song makes money. In 2009 alone, BMI collected over $900 million dollars for royalty distribution.
"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" is the soul standard by The Righteous Brothers. Phil Spector produced the song using his patented "Wall of Sound" recording technique. The song was a huge success, reaching number one in the US and UK.
|The song "River Deep-Mountain High" is often mentioned as one of the best produced singles ever. Phil Spector recruited the team of Ike and Tina Turner to record this song on his Philles Record label. The caveat was that he wanted Ike out of the studio, a concession that cost $20,000 to ensure. Which legendary country and western star played guitar on this track, adding to an impressive roster of session players?|
Glen Campbell. In addition to Campbell, the single also featured Leon Russel on keyboards, additional guitar from Barney Kessel and drums from Hal Blaine (both part of the famed session group The Wrecking Crew) and Carol Kaye on bass. For those who have never heard of Carol Kaye, I'll bet you've heard her bass work. She has played on an estimated 10,000 songs over 55 years as a highly sought out session player.
|The song "Sympathy for the Devil" is at number 32 on the list. The song is one of the best known songs recorded by The Rolling Stones. Which American band covered the song for inclusion on the soundtrack for the movie "Interview with a Vampire"?|
Guns 'N Roses. The Rolling Stones released this song on the "Beggars Banquet" album in December of 1968. The song was a successful song although it was never released as a single.
The song takes the point of view of Satan, a man "of wealth of taste" who has been around for some of the most hateful and brutal atrocities in world history. Pontius Pilate ordering the execution of Jesus, the killing of the Russian tsar Nicholas II and his family, the assassination of Robert and John Kennedy and the German invasions with the Blitzkrieg are all topics claimed by the song's narrator.
The song is most likely a result of Marianne Faithful giving Mick Jagger a book titled "The Master and Margarita", by Mikhail Bulgakov. In this book, Satan visits 1930s Russia and takes the form of a sort of magical gentlemen. The book, like the song, takes an account of the happenings during Satan's time on the earth.
|When the remaining members of Led Zeppelin played the song "Stairway to Heaven" at Live Aid in 1985 (in Philadelphia), which two drummers performed with the band?|
Phil Collins and Tony Thompson. Tony Thompson was the drummer for Chic (and he also played with Jimmy Page in The Firm) and Phil Collins was the drummer for Genesis. The band played three songs: "Stairway to Heaven", "Rock and Roll" and "Whole Lotta Love" during their performance.
The song "Stairway to Heaven" has been cited as the most requested song to be played on the radio. The song is a staple at funerals, weddings, high school proms and just about any event where a bit of recorded sentiment is needed.
The first time the band played the song live was in Belfast. The last time they performed it was in Berlin. The Berlin performance was Zeppelin's last concert. It also marked the longest performance of the song, at just over 15 minutes.
|Johnny Cash originally wrote the rough version of "I Walk the Line" while he was a member of the US Armed Forces. Which branch of the service did Johnny serve in?|
US Air Force. Johnny was a young man stationed in Germany when he started writing the songs which would become his first recording on Sun Records.
The song "I Walk the Line" was released on four separate occasions during Johnny's life. He first released it in April of 1956 on Sun Records as a single that would become his first US Country and Western hit. This version would also reach number 17 on the US Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. The second time he would release it was in 1964 when the album "I Walk the Line" would be made available. The third time was for the 1970 soundtrack to the movie titled "I Walk the Line", but this movie was not a Cash biography. The movie starred Gregory Peck. The final time it was released was in 1988 when he released the song on the "Classic Cash" album.
The song would become the title of the 2005 biopic "Walk the Line". The movie starred Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash. The movie was a great success making a profit of nearly $160 million for 20th Century Fox. Witherspoon even picked up a Best Actress Oscar for her striking performance as June Carter.
|The song "Help!" is the title track of the soundtrack to a movie by the same name. Released by The Beatles in 1965, the movie is about a young lady who is to be sacrificed in a cult ritual. When the cult members realize she is not wearing her sacrificial ring, they halt the sacrifice. It's when they notice that one of the Fab Four is wearing the ring that all sorts of comedy ensues. Which Beatle was found to be in possession of the sacrificial ring?|
Ringo. The movie was said to be inspired by "Duck Soup" by the Marx Brothers. The movie was pretty silly, and that can partly be attributed to the amount of marijuana the band was smoking. The claim was that they were smoking for breakfast, and then shooting scenes under the influence.
The song "Help!" was the fourth consecutive number one single in the US. The streak would end up being six consecutive number ones including: "I Feel Fine", "Eight Days a Week", "Ticket to Ride", "Help!", "Yesterday" and "We Can Work It Out".
|Otis Redding became the first American artist to have a posthumous number one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart with "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" in 1968. Three days after the release of the song, Redding was killed when the plane carrying him, his manager and members of his backing band crashed into a lake. In which state did this occur?|
Wisconsin. The plane crashed down into Lake Monona, a small lake located in Wisconsin. The small plane crash took the lives of everyone except for Ben Cauley, a member of Redding's backing band, The Bar Kays. Cauley was never sure how his life was spared while everyone else on board perished. Redding's body was discovered strapped in the co-pilot seat when the plane was finally pulled from the lake's water.
"(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" was Redding's most successful song, reaching number one on both the US Hot 100 and US Black Hot 100 Singles chart. The song also won two Grammy awards for Best R&B Song and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance.
|The song "Layla" is quite possibly one of the greatest love songs ever written. The original version was released by Derek and the Dominos in 1970. In 1992, Eric Clapton performed the song as part of the "MTV Unplugged" series. Who reproduced the famous piano solo at the end of this version of the song? |
Chuck Leavell of The Allman Brothers Band. When MTV asked Clapton to perform this song on the popular "Unplugged" program, Clapton decided to perform this song, along with some blues standards and the new song "Tears in Heaven". He recruited an all-star segment of artists and session musicians to accompany him. Chuck Leavell had played for The Rolling Stones and The Allman Brothers Band, so he was an obvious choice for the performance. In addition, Chuck has played for Gov't Mule, The Black Crowes and Train.
|The song "A Day in the Life" is a song that was included on the monumental "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album in 1967. A unique part of the song is the long, sustained piano chord at the end. The chord was played by four people, on three different pianos. One of the people credited with playing that chord is Mal Evans. Who was Mal Evans and what was his association with the band?|
Mal was The Beatles road manager.. Mal Evans was credited, along with John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Martin for taking part in the chord which closes out the album. The chord is an E-major chord and it was sustained for over 40 seconds using tricks of the studio. Because the faders had to be turned up so loud to capture the sound, there are various background noises audible, particularly if listening through headphones. Also at the end, there is a very high pitched sound recorded which is not audible to humans, but I'll bet your dog could hear it.
This song was never released as a single, therefore it never charted on either side of the Atlantic. The song remains one of the most influential and inspired by the band,
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