You’d be amazed just how many rock stars were teachers, as Carlos Wilde still is, and has been for years now. Queen’s Brian May taught math(s) and science; Mark Knopfler taught English, as did fellow Geordie, Sting. Sheryl Crow and Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie were music teachers. Gene Simmons of Kiss taught sixth grade and Brian Ferry (another Geordie) taught art. And they’re just… Continue reading Has Carlos Wilde gone punk?
Top blues-inspired artwork, from a top blues-inspired artist. Since discovering a link between crude early blues lyrics and rude rugby songs, I’ve long championed the connection between old blues music and the rough-and-rumble game of rugby union. My book, America’s Gift, features a chapter on this connection. I also have two posts on dirty blues… Continue reading PAINTING THE BLUES.
Dave “I invented the big beat” Bartholomew 1918-2019. Born Davis Bartholomew in Louisiana in 1918, Dave helped write and record some of early rock ’n’ roll’s most enduring hits, including ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’ for Lloyd Price in 1952, ‘Ain’t That a Shame’ in 1955 and ‘Blueberry Hill’ in 1956 for Fats Domino, and ‘I Hear… Continue reading Rock ’n’ roll colossus signs off, aged a Hot 100.
I’ve just come across an amazing discovery. Researching my new book, ‘150 Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll’, I’ve found what I think just might be the very first prototype rock ‘n’ roll record. If you ignore the first nine seconds, that is. Composed by Charles ‘Cow Cow’ Davenport, it’s called “Cow Cow Blues” and sung… Continue reading Rock ‘n’ roll, from 1925.
‘Boogie Woogie Stomp’ bumped as America’s Gift’s earliest rock ‘n’ roll record. Below is a page from my blues history book, America’s Gift, showing the rocking blues I consider the six earliest prototype rock ‘n’ roll records. (The book features 20 in all.) I’d decided against putting Clarence ‘Pinetop’ Smith’s 1929 hit, ‘Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie’… Continue reading Boogie woogies don’t come earlier
And why we prefer blues to pop music. Because the title of this blog is Paul Merry Blues, it’s easy to assume blues is the only music I’m interested in. Nothing could be further from the truth. People have referred to me as Mr Bluesman, something I’m definitely not, though I did buy my first… Continue reading When blues stars were pop stars.