GTO Music




What is Western Swing?

Before rockabilly, country boogie, or the “Bakersfield Sound,” there was Western Swing, arguably the first attempt ever to mix black Americana and white Americana and get folks dancing to it. It worked, and in the process paved the way for the musical miscegenation that would later produce rock and roll itself. Learn all about Western Swing in this, my latest entry in the encyclopedia of oldies music.
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Back To School!

Songs about going to school, getting out of school, cutting up in class and falling in love at the dance… here are my picks for the best “school” related oldies of all time, just in time to get you (or your kids, or your grandkids) back in class! Check out my list of school-related golden oldies.
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10 Songs About Work

The tunes may be old, but the sentiments are as relevant as today’s headlines — the plight of the working man (and woman) hasn’t changed all that much since the days of Eisenhower, as these golden oldies will prove. Coal mine conditions, Dennis Kucinich’s Presidential campaign and the big lottery payoff… they’re all tied into my list. Just in time for Labor Day, here’s my list of songs about getting jobs, keeping them, and even trying to get out of them.
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I Thought They Were Black!

The ridiculous and tragic cultural lines keeping American society apart started to be erased the minute whites and blacks started listening to each others’ music — Elvis “sounded black,” to radio listeners, while Chuck Berry “sounded white.” But by the ’60s, a whole generation of suburban white kids had grown up in love with R&B, and the soul music they made was authentic enough to sound like they’d come by it naturally… and that was because they had. Get shocked by this list of “minor” white artists who many people have assumed were black. Next week: Black artists who crossed the color line coming the other way!
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The Beatles Songs: Run for Your Life

An offhand theft by John resulted in one of the Beatles’ most notorious songs, but even though Lennon himself grew to hate it, at least one other non-violent Beatle thought it was fantastic. And some Fab Fans have grown to love it because of its dark nature. Read more about “Run For Your Life” in my latest Beatles fact sheet.
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The Top Ten Oldies of 1963

Rock and roll may have been a man’s world in the early days, but the year 1963 belonged mostly to the girls — never was there a year so good to the “girl group” sound. And where were the boys, you ask? Surfing, mostly. But some were holed up in the garage, creating the sound of the mid-Sixties. The British Invasion would soon come along to change everything, but, as this list proves, in ‘63 rock was still about multipart harmonies, high romantic drama, catching a wave, and going up on the roof to get away from it all. Contains trivia, recording info, release info, and more.
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What Is Uptown Soul?

Uptown and/or Chicago Soul took adult contemporary arrangements and flamboyant pop drama to create a lush version of soul that any tortured romantic could enjoy. Read more about Uptown Soul, its biggest hits and artists, and its influence on music to come in my brand-new encyclopedia entry.
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Rock songwriting legends Lieber and Ashford pass away on same day

Two halves of two famous rock songwriting teamsLieber & Stoller and Ashford & Simpson — passed away late Monday. Jerry Lieber (top), who along with partner Mike Stoller defined rock songwriting in the 50s and 60s, died of natural causes at the age of 78 at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The Lieber/Stoller team brought the Coasters into pop with “Yakety Yak” and “Charlie Brown,” penned many of Elvis’ biggest hits, such as “Hound Dog” and “‘Jailhouse Rock,” and helped develop “Uptown Soul” by writing and producing the Drifters’ “There Goes My Baby” and “Under The Boardwalk” (as well as former lead Drifter Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me”). Their last hit was 1969’s Peggy Lee standard “Is That All There Is?”



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Spotlight on: Electric Light Orchestra

ELO were unique, even among 70s acts… a symphonic arena-rock band with a flair for pop ballads and disco. Yet they started out as chamber music and went through a prog phase before becoming a fixture on Top 40 and one of the decade’s biggest concert draws. Find out more about Electric Light Orchestra in this brand-new profile.
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The Beatles Songs: All My Loving

Believe it or not, this early Paul number wasn’t released as a single in the US or the UK, yet it’s as well known as many of the Beatles’ hits… maybe it’s because “All My Loving” headed up the mini-concert on Ed Sullivan that introduced the Fab Four to America. Find out all about “All My Loving” in my Beatles fact sheet.
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