We’ve recently lost some very talented folks from the music industry.
David Bowie in January, the androgynous prince of Glam Rock who had us rocking out in the 70s and 80s
Merle Haggard in early April, the prince of hard-knock, Country & Western music who graced the airwaves over six decades
And Prince (Rogers Nelson), the androgynous prince of suggestive lyrics crossing nearly all genres of music
Bowie was born near London and grew up listening to American Jazz, Blues, R&B and Rock music. His first groups were Blues focused and never realized commercial or critical success. Through new management, Bowie reinvented himself in the mid-60s. After a few false starts he recorded Space Oddity and has never looked back.
This was originally released in 1976 as ChangesOne, which was in constant rotation on my turntable during college. It was expanded to include hits from the late 70s and early 80s and re-released in 1990. My favorite tracks; Fame and Golden Years.
Merle Haggard’s beginnings were humble and hard. He spent a lot of time on the wrong side of the law after his father died. However, he was able to turn it around. From 1966-1987 Merle posted 38 number one hits on the Country music charts while refining the twangy Bakersfield sound and establishing himself as C&W royalty!
Merle’s 4th studio album was released in 1967 and peaked at number one on the Country charts. It’s a great example of the classic Country sound. My favorite tracks; Branded Man and I Threw Away the Rose.
Prince grew up in the heartland. The son of musicians, he was composing songs at the age of 10. Prince was never satisfied with the status quo. He was constantly looking for ways to expand his music, composing lyrics that challenged conventions, creating or reinventing new sounds and crossing genres with nearly every new release. He was a multi-talented, award winning composer, arranger and musician and, as with Bowie and Haggard, he will be sadly missed.
This was exactly the right album for exactly the right time. The 80s gave us skinny ties, parachute pants and mullets. While the fashions weren’t long lasting, some of the music was. 1999 was the Funky, Poppy, Techno sensation that had everyone on the dance floor.
My favorite tracks; 1999, Little Red Corvette and Delirious.
The library has copies of all of these great releases so head on down to your local branch, pick up one or two!