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Women of Rock

Women of Rock History Melissa Etheridge You can always count on me for a walk back in time in my blog and this topic will be no different. In order to trace the history of female Rock singers I will go back to some of the pioneers.  Let’s first start with some background on the Rock & Roll genre. What was once referred to as Rock & Roll was shortened to just Rock by the late 1960s and has continued to evolve. Some may want to separate it into two genres, but semantics can't change the history of this diverse genre. The Rock & Roll period also includes Blues, R&B, Country and Rockabilly styles, among others. So whether these artists find themselves in the subgenre of Hard Rock, Acid Rock, Pop Rock, Folk Rock or one of the many dozens of other sub-classifications, a little reminder of the history is what I'm starting with today. These early influencers are where some of our more recent great artists received inspiration, motivation and in some cases the educatio

What is a Cover Song?

  What is a Cover Song? Simply put: a cover song is a re-recording of an original song. And the original song has to have been recorded first and in most cases, released on some recognizable format be it vinyl, video or digital. It’s sometimes splitting hairs as there have been many songs that are written and recorded but not released by the record company. Said company may give that song to another artist who may release it first. Technically, there is no formal legal definition of a cover song, and one could even argue the first recording is now a cover song once it is released. I will talk more on that in a bit. Regardless, after a song is released it is now free game for anyone to obtain a mechanical licence and cover it. I gave an example in a previous blog where Bruce Springsteen blocked Bette Midler from releasing one of his songs, that’s because he had only performed it live and he nor anyone else had released it yet. Though as soon as it’s recorded, the artist would lose that

The Most Covered Pop Artists and Songs of All Time

The Most Covered Pop Artists and Songs of All Time There are three categories in today’s blog: 1. The most covered songs written by a single artist, 2. The most cover versions combined and 3. The most covered Pop songs.  These numbers are for artists that write and record their own songs. For more on songwriters, read my series I Write the Songs . The statistics come courtesy of Secondhandsongs.com and are verified via strict protocols. This website posts 'covers' submitted from around the globe and in many different languages, edited by very knowledgeable experts in music recording. There are other resources as cited but other than the odd personal anecdote or opinion, I'm using information and knowledge, not to mention YouTube posts that already exist. In addition, the numbers change daily, and I had originally written this blog in December 2019 so it’s been interesting to see the changes in less than a year. On the whole, the artists in each list stayed the same but

Isn't it Ironic

Isn't it Ironic? Sorry, I'm not talking about Alanis Morissette! But there are artists who have been eclipsed by their own songs. Many of them are amazing songwriters but, ironically, their chart-topping hits were written by someone else. As I pointed out in my series, I Write the Songs, many great songwriters are not well-known, yet their songs are easily recognized by most people. Today I will point out the contrasts in popularity for some singer/songwriters. When I say ironic, I mean that things turned out the opposite or in an unexpected way from what one might have expected. Willie Nelson Now everyone knows of Willie Nelson, and I've mentioned him quite a bit. He is one of the best songwriters in Country music but his first #1 song was " Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain " (1975), written by Fred Rose. Not only did Nelson not write it himself, it was a cover version that was first done by Roy Acuff . In fact, Nelson’s next five #1 songs: "If You've Got t

Music Icons, is it all just DNA?

  Music Icons, is it all just DNA? Some well-known recording artists come from families who have a strong musical background. It makes perfect sense, having the exposure and a bit of musical DNA most certainly helps. And how do the offspring of musical legends fair? In the inset photo I love the expression on Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour's daughter’s face: it looks to me like a classic "oh dad, just let me play!" But then he is not just any old Dad. Here is a song by father and daughter, David Gilmour with Romany Gilmour - Yes, I Have Ghosts .  Another example is Jakob Dylan. I don't need to explain who his father is and it is a stretch well beyond my imagination as to what it might be like for him to be in the family business.  Growing up with one or both of your parents as musical icons must be very difficult. I can imagine it’s hard to find a way to have your own life and career whether you stay in the world of music or not. At the same time, you have inherit

Record setting Records and Artists: R&B Charts

Record Breaking Records: R&B Charts I have touched on the R&B charts many times throughout my posts, however today I would like to lay out the history as well as point out some of the many milestones achieved by both songs and artists. Charts in the music business are very much about sales and making money. As interesting as we find them, they do not always represent the truly great artists and songs. Sometimes it takes time and reflection to arrive at not only the lasting opinions but the evidence to establish what was overlooked.  An example of an overlooked artist during his time is Chuck Berry. You may find this assertion surprising as almost everyone that listens to American music has at least heard his name and is able to recognize a song or two, though his only #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 was “My Ding-a-Ling” in 1972. Berry was among the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is widely cited as one of if not the most influential Rock and Roll artist