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Showing posts from May, 2020

The Hardest Working Man In Show Business

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When Little Richard's career finally started to break he found himself in a bit of a conundrum. He was suddenly able to get booked in much bigger venues than before, but he already had contracts for months to play a series of smaller places. Remember this was a time before the internet, and rock and roll stars weren't even on tv all that often yet. So Richard hired an impersonator to play those smaller joints while he moved on to the bigger and better gigs. So for several months crowds watched an impersonator get introduced as "The hardest working man in show business, Little Richard". The impersonator liked this intro so much he kept it even after going back to performing under his own name, James Brown.

Joseph and Johnny

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Before becoming an icon in country music, Johnny Cash was a radio operator in the Air Force. Because of this position Johnny got an early claim to fame that has nothing to do with music. After intercepting a Russian transmission, he became the first American to learn about the death of Joseph Stalin.

A Salute To Sonny Curtis

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In rock there are names that are legend, so iconic that we can call them by either only their first name (Jimi, Elvis, Janis, Lemmy) or their last (Bowie, Jagger, Page, McCartney) and know exactly who they are. Then there are people who have had amazing careers and done spectacular things, but not quite reached the status of icon. For instance Bill Withers is one of the best song writers of the 20th century but it's not likely you'll see his face on a teenager's shirt any time soon. Then there are guys whose name you rarely hear, but when you look closer you find out they had careers that most can only dream of. Sonny Curtis is in this category. Sonny played with Buddy Holly early in his career, and even recorded with him in his early Decca days before he had fully developed the sound that made him famous. He was playing with Buddy when Buddy was opening for Elvis on an early tour. Sonny wasn't in the original Crickets, as Buddy put that band together after Sonny h