Soul Train

Soul Train

Ever since its debut in 1952, fans of American pop music could tune in weekly to American Bandstand and keep themselves current on all of the latest artists and trends. But it would be almost two decades later before fans of rhythm and blues were given their own weekly outlet. They would forever owe their thanks to a Chicago DJ named Don Cornelius, the creator of Soul Train, for letting their voices be heard. Soul Train showcased all of the up-and-coming artists of the genre, put a spotlight on all the current dance moves, and, very quickly, became an enduring hit. Continue reading...

Stray Cats

Stray Cats

In the 80s, musical styles were exploring strange new territory, with the inclusion of synthesizers and drum machines adding a mechanical texture and giving a glimpse into the future. But one band in particular, decided to look back rather than forward, going to their roots to forge a retro sound that harkened back to a simpler time in music, the rockabilly era of Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran and the famous Sun sessions of Elvis Presley. With plenty of pomade in their hair, flipped up collars, and a simple instrumentation, The Stray Cats were a welcome blast from the past. Continue reading...

Styx

Styx

The emergence of “arena rock” in the late 70s, saw the rise of a number of bands that seemingly went from being completely unknown to filling stadiums overflowing with adoring fans. Perhaps one of the most successful in this genre was a group of five Chicago-based rockers who called themselves Styx. Talk about coming out swinging; the band would land four consecutive double platinum albums, the first band ever to do so, and quickly prove they were a force to be reckoned with. Continue reading...

Tears For Fears

Tears For Fears

There are some bands that are easy to categorize by genre, or even sub-genre – perhaps never more so than the early 80s. If you weren’t defined as “synth rock” or “new wave,” you were probably exploring “adult contemporary” or “pomp rock.” But for one particular band, Tears For Fears, definitions don’t come easy. They might have fallen into any of the aforementioned categories, or, perhaps they simply created their own. One thing is for certain; their original sound and songwriting skills made them on of the most successful and popular bands to emerge from the era. Continue reading...

The Archies

The Archies

One of the most noteworthy garage bands of the 1960s, The Archies showcased the fun side of adolescence with their sunny attitude and catchy pop tunes. They never performed live because, unfortunately, every band member suffered from acute cartoonitis, a condition that renders the afflicted brightly colored and two-dimensional. Archie, Jughead and the rest of the gang peddled their cotton candy sounds on The Archie Show, a Saturday morning cartoon which debuted in 1968. Continue reading...

The Police

The Police

Though displaying quasi-punk qualities, the Police was never a true punk band. Rather, they effortlessly mixed and matched elements of punk, ska, reggae and pop to create a very palatable rock sound that earned the three musicians numerous awards, worldwide fame and oodles upon oodles of money. Let's take a look back. Continue reading...

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Few “B” movies have ever enjoyed the cult-like following that continues to surround The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Released in 1975, part musical, part horror flick (with a good dose of retro science fiction thrown in), it is a film that might have been quickly forgotten had midnight theater audiences not embraced it with their hearts and made it their own. But they did - and for decades now, generations of young people have made a late-night viewing of the film a rite of passage, and in some cases, a lifestyle. Let's take a look back. Continue reading...

The Supremes

The Supremes

It is impossible to discuss the impact of girl groups on popular music without mention of The Supremes. They weren’t the first, but they enjoyed a popularity that put them firmly in a league of their own. With angelic harmonies backing the immense talent of lead vocalist Diana Ross, and accentuated by highly-polished choreography, their presence was felt by way of twelve #1 hits during their brief existence in the 60s. They would help to break down the barriers that African-American artists of the day faced and their immense popularity would catapult Diana Ross into super-stardom. Continue reading...

The Village People

The Village People

It's hard to fathom that someone actually sat around and pondered “Let’s take a Native-American chief, a police officer, a construction worker, a biker, a police officer and a soldier and place them on the same stage together to sing rousing disco songs.” French music producer, Jacques Morali, not only pondered that idea, he saw it to fruition. For he knew that there was nothing too outrageous in the world of disco, especially considering he had already seen plenty of men hanging around French dance clubs in various costumes. The time had come to bring this pageantry to the stage and it appeared in the form of The Village People. Continue reading...