A dirty and nasty joke of John's that even he didn't much care for, "Mean Mr. Mustard" seemed an odd song to come out of the group's Indian spiritual retreat. It also seemed inappropriate for the rock n' roll concert that was to become†Let It Be. But it fit the sad and snarky Abbey Road like a charm. Read all about the history and recording of "Mean Mr. Mustard" in my latest Beatles fact sheet.
It's that time of year again, finally! Are you ready for the summer? Here's ten compilations that'll slake your thirst for surf, drag, shag, soul, pop, and almost any other summer smashes you might crave... compare prices, read the tracklistings, hear samples, and if you like, buy them for the lowest possible price. Start assembling your summer playlist right here!
She's always been known for playing her personal life close to the vest, but 71-year-old Aretha Franklin is obviously having some medical issues: she's been forced to cancel two upcoming shows on May 20 and 26. R&B star Janelle MonŠe has been called in to replace The Queen of Soul, or to attempt it, anyway, for her upcoming show with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, citing merely "doctor's recommendation for treatment." Connecticut's Foxwoods Resort Casino, meanwhile, told Reuters only that her upcoming show was "canceled for medical reasons." Ever since Aretha canceled an entire tour three years ago, rumors have run rampant about what her issues might be; the most popular suggestions are pancreatic cancer and lap-band weight loss surgery. Franklin is still scheduled for June performances in Canada and Michigan.
She deserves some special music on her special day, so open up this playlist of classic songs about mothers, motherly advice, and motherly love... an original playlist of songs for Mother's Day or any time you'd like to show Mom what she means to you. The mp3s on†this Mother's Day playlist are available right here!
It takes a certain amount of talent to spout nonsense that sounds beautiful, but with "Sun King," the Beatles also managed to do it in four languages, throw in a pun, some gorgeous harmonies, sound effects, a historical reference, a Fleetwood Mac homage, and a playful swipe at George. All in two and a half minutes, and for one of their "throwaway" songs, at that! Read all about the history and recording of "Sun King" in my latest Beatles fact sheet.
Even the most ardent fans of Jerry Lee Lewis probably never laid down bets he'd make it to 77, but the Killer's still going strong, with yet another new album on the way, a new spouse (wife #7!) and a new eatery/nightclub on Memphis' historic Beale Street. Jerry Lee Lewis' Cafť and Honky Tonk (310 Beale St.) is a living museum of Lewis' legend, one born in the city's famed Sun Studios, and as such features lots of memorabilia from the Killer's reign. Though he doesn't plan to play there very often, longtime manager J.W. Whitten has confirmed the occasional Jerry Lee performance. The menu prominently features Memphis barbecue, but there's also other Southern favorites from Lewis' North Louisiana upbringing. Just don't expect a cheesy malt shop; true to its name, the first club to bear the Lewis imprimatur bows to the piano pumper's past by recreating an authentic Southern honky-tonk atmosphere.
By the '60s, the rock and roll revolution had forever changed the course of popular music, but the Greatest Generation wasn't ready to give up the airwaves to the boomers just yet; rock was still kids' music, and†movie themes, big band ballads, and Europop were all still waiting to claim their rightful place on the charts. Check out the ten best and biggest pop instrumentals of the '60s here.
The world Don Draper once thrived in started to slip away from him in Season 5 of Mad Men -- both the cultural landscape he depended on being familiar with for his career, and the personal one he depended on for his own happiness. The music of Season 5 reflected the duality of that mid-'60s shift, keeping one foot in postwar pop while exploring the musical and social changes that troubled him.†Listen to the mp3s on this Mad Men Season 5 playlist and download them if you like!
He should have been one of the biggest stars of the 1950s and 1960s, but Smiley Lewis could never connect with pop audiences the way his closest stylistic competitor, Fats Domino, did. Yet his legacy of classic raw R&B, along with his amazingly powerful and expressive vocals, influenced everyone from Elvis to Aerosmith. Read all about the life, music, and career of Smiley Lewis in my latest profile.
For all their storied knowledge of pop and rock music, the Beatles usually didn't feature classical music as much more than chamber-pop window dressing. But this inscrutable Abbey Road standout takes its inspiration from Beethoven, adds a new instrument almost never heard before in rock, and, just to top it off, reinvents rock harmony for the stereo age. Read all about the history and recording of "Because" in my latest Beatles fact sheet.