Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Kingoftonga
Unquestionable Presence
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:50 pm

Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Kingoftonga » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:05 pm

I work at an academic library, and I received a mailing the other day about a new book entitled "Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings."

http://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Grea ... 0810882957

I went to Amazon to take a look, to see if there was a list that could be incorporate into AM. Instead, I found the opposite was true - the book had made its selections based on a number of lists, including this site! You can see in the Amazon preview that the editor used AM as a source.

Congratulations, Henrik! Did you know your list was being used for this?

User avatar
JimmyJazz
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 1292
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:28 am
Location: Arizona

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby JimmyJazz » Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:26 pm

That's a pretty cool honor! Although, skimming through it on Amazon, I'm pretty sure AM should be a heavily weighted list! Certainly more so than the RIAA list, which is a joke (the author even admits this), or Rolling Stone Top 500 songs. I have to admit that it is unfortunate that the book doesn't include that many European lists, and despite the author's insistence upon better representing world music, the lists that are included pretty much solidify America's position over every other country.

User avatar
Henrik
Site Admin
Posts: 4399
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:09 am
Location: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Henrik » Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:33 pm

:happy-partydance:
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

User avatar
Henrik
Site Admin
Posts: 4399
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:09 am
Location: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Henrik » Thu Oct 17, 2013 6:29 pm

I think there are sources used in the book that are not included at AM, but would be eligible. Any help to find these would be greatly appreciated!
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

o.m.
Let's Get It On
Posts: 221
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 8:56 am

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby o.m. » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:09 pm

Congratulations Henrik...Concerning the sources used for this encyclopedia, I just clicked on the Look Inside! and after the contents, there is a whole list of abbreviations with all the titles used... :music-rockon:
http://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Grea ... 0810882957

User avatar
Henrik
Site Admin
Posts: 4399
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:09 am
Location: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Henrik » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:37 pm

Yes, that's where I was looking too. I checked it a little further and the only list I am sure should be included is Time Out's "1000 songs to change your life", which will be a great addition. Great choices from most artists, however mixed with strange picks (e.g. Bob Dylan: Barbara Allen, Blue Moon, Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, Rainy Day Women, Shenandoah - and nothing else) and 27 recordings of "Gloomy Sunday"!!!
http://www.amazon.co.uk/1000-Songs-Change-Your-Guides/dp/1846700825

Most of the other lists not on AM are chart-based lists. However Details Magazine's "The 40 Records That Changed the World" sounds interesting. Anyone who's heard of it?
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

User avatar
JimmyJazz
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 1292
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:28 am
Location: Arizona

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby JimmyJazz » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:42 pm

I've been searching for that Detail Magazine list, but no luck so far.

Kingoftonga
Unquestionable Presence
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:50 pm

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Kingoftonga » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:08 pm

The author lists his email address at the end of the Introduction...maybe he'd be willing to share the Details list?

User avatar
Henrik
Site Admin
Posts: 4399
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:09 am
Location: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Henrik » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:27 pm

Kingoftonga wrote:The author lists his email address at the end of the Introduction...maybe he'd be willing to share the Details list?

That's great! Before I send the email, are there any other lists that I've missed that I should also ask about?
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

User avatar
JimmyJazz
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 1292
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:28 am
Location: Arizona

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby JimmyJazz » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:50 pm

There are all of those Smithsonian Box Sets. Admittedly, they are not technically lists, but to be included in them is in many ways something of a prestigious honor, and you might find some good stuff in them. Other than that, not much else I can think of.

User avatar
JimmyJazz
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 1292
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:28 am
Location: Arizona

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby JimmyJazz » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:41 pm

By the way, Henrik. The Today Show's website apparently has a Top 10 Rock Songs list, although when I click on the link I get nothing. If someone else could find it, that would be cool.

User avatar
JimmyJazz
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 1292
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:28 am
Location: Arizona

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby JimmyJazz » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:40 pm

Bumping this thread, because I'm curious: did the guy who wrote the book get back to you about that Details list, Henrik?

User avatar
Henrik
Site Admin
Posts: 4399
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:09 am
Location: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Henrik » Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:05 am

I totally forgot about this. I don't have time now either, so if someone else wants to write him that's fine with me.

If so, please don't just ask for the list, but also whether it is a critics' list and if it was compiled by several authors.
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

User avatar
JimmyJazz
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 1292
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:28 am
Location: Arizona

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby JimmyJazz » Fri Nov 29, 2013 6:27 pm

I decided to write to the guy myself Henrik, seeing as how no else here seems to want to do it. However, I tried to find his email address and I can't get it, largely because on Amazon later parts of the introduction are not showing. Any thoughts on how to remedy this?

User avatar
JimmyJazz
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 1292
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:28 am
Location: Arizona

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby JimmyJazz » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:16 am

Thread bump!

User avatar
Henrik
Site Admin
Posts: 4399
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:09 am
Location: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Henrik » Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:05 am

I don't know, I don't think I ever saw the email address. Kingoftonga!?
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

Merlo
Superunknown
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:12 pm

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Merlo » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:19 pm

Try stevejazz@gmail.com

I had a look at the preview. There's a lot of good work in this.

stevejazz
Are You Experienced?
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:57 am

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby stevejazz » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:12 pm

My name is Steve Sullivan, and I'm pleased to learn that the book i recently wrote for Scarecrow Press, "The Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings" (Volumes 1 and 2), has come up for discussion. Now that I've finally managed to access your outstanding group (with the help of your moderator), I hope to contribute to the discussion. I'm now working on Volume 3 of the encyclopedia, and Acclaimed Music will, once again, be an important part of the process.

stevejazz
Are You Experienced?
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:57 am

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby stevejazz » Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:47 am

Some folks may be interested in a breakdown of the performances covered in my book. Here is a breakdown of the 1,057 recordings by time period:

1889-1899: 15 song recordings
1900-1909: 34 songs
1910-1919: 30 songs
1920s: 113 songs
1930s: 98 songs
1940s: 109 songs
1950s: 152 songs
1960s: 202 songs
1970s: 109 songs
1980s: 83 songs
1990s: 58 songs
2000-2012: 54 songs

And here's a breakdown by musical genre; a few dozen songs were right on the borderline between genres, so they were counted for both, explaining why they add up to just over 1,100:

172 songs: Rock
157 songs: Jazz and ragtime
144 songs: Traditional pop and classic vocals
121 songs: Rhythm & blues / soul
120 songs: Pop (modern)
98 songs: Country and bluegrass
87 songs: Folk music
81 songs: Ethnic and world music
76 songs: Blues
44 songs: Gospel and religious
18 songs: Rap and hip-hop

Steve Sullivan

User avatar
Blanco
Rust Never Sleeps
Posts: 693
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:25 am
Location: Mexico City
Contact:

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Blanco » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:25 pm

Hi Steve! First of all, welcome to the forum. You'll find here a wide variety of users with great knowledge in music from all over the world and of all ages, so I'm sure you'll find here useful information, not only for your future books, but also for the hidden gems that there are here, both speaking of songs and albums, as well as the users who share them, and the extra information they give. I am also sure that we can learn a lot from you too, so I hope you can also participate in other forum topics. That would be great.

As for your book, it seems to be more than great, especially because it does not look like many other music publications, that perhaps as a marketing strategy, call their books "The greatest songs" or "the greatest albums" and things like that, instead of just "Great songs". seems to be a small detail, but I find it as a substantial data quality of the publication, especially since I do not live in a country whose official language is English. When I find a book that claims to have "The Greatest (something)", but it only contains results of English-speaking countries, causes me to doubt the credibility of the source. This does not happen if they do not add the "The". And as a writer, I even think that in this way one can even write more and more volumes in the long run, because one will always find more information about the great world of music. So, I promise to buy your book soon (I'm a bit poor lately, so I'll try to save money to buy it.)

And well, seeing the preview of your book, I found that you have included music from other parts of the world, which I think is great! But I have a question: Do you think that the information on the music of other countries change a lot if the language of your sources is english? I say this because in some other publications I have seen that the music coming from one country to another is not always the same music that is really appreciated in the original country. For example, I have seen that in the English speaking countries, Astor Piazzola is appreciated as the best Argentine musician. This maybe coincides with the fact that much of the discography of Piazzolla was composed in the United States. So does Ritchie Valens, whose "La Bamba" often appears on lists of the best songs of all time, although it is not necessary to speak Spanish to deduce that perhaps is not the best song written in this language; but appears on those lists because, despite being in Spanish, the song was written in the United States. I know that these cases are perhaps some of the biggest and most obvious examples, but I do my question because maybe the same can happen on a smaller scale.

Moving on, as you can realize, there is more movement in the forum on weekends than on weekdays. Still, I'm sure we're all very pleased that you have joined this site. I already said it, but I'll say it again: Welcome to the forum!

stevejazz
Are You Experienced?
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:57 am

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby stevejazz » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:50 pm

Thanks for the warm welcome, Blanco. There's no question that one's perceptions of international music depends to a large extent on one's point of origin. My preparation for the book included more than a year in which I focused most of my attention on ethnic and world music. My top priorities were areas of ethnic/world music that were directed at ethnic groups in the United States (such as recordings of Ukrainian, Greek, Polish, Hungarian, and Yiddish/klezmer music in the 1920s and '30s); music created by ethnic American artists (most notably Mexican-American, Cajun and zydeco performances); and varieties of world music that were highly influential in the United States, whether directly or indirectly (including calypso, Hawaiian, African, Brazilian, and of course reggae). The next volume of the book will include more selections from all these subgenres; I also plan to delve more deeply into some categories that are more briefly discussed in the current book, such as Turkish/Arabic and the music of India and Pakistan. Although my book has an American perspective, I wanted every reader to appreciate that there's a great big world of tremendous music out there that goes way beyond traditional Western styles.

Steve Sullivan

stevejazz
Are You Experienced?
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:57 am

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby stevejazz » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:52 pm

Oops--how could I forget to mention Cuban music and Latin jazz? Both are a big part of my book, and constitute some of the most exciting music of the 20th century.

User avatar
JimmyJazz
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 1292
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:28 am
Location: Arizona

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby JimmyJazz » Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:09 am

Welcome, Mr. Sullivan, to the Acclaimed Music Forums! I hope you enjoy your time on this wonderful forum! Just a quick question, one that may be taken into account on this site's database for the next songs update: any information about that Details list? Most importantly, the entire list and how it was compiled?

Best wishes! :greetings-waveyellow:

stevejazz
Are You Experienced?
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:57 am

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby stevejazz » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:44 pm

It was in the November 1998 issue of Details, entitled "The 40 Records That Shook the World," beginning on page 46 (running 8 pages in all). Author Will Hermes provides a long paragraph on each of the 40 selections (a mixture of singles and albums), ranging from Jimmie Rodgers' "Blue Yodel" (1928) and Don Azpiazu's "El Manisero" (The Peanut Vendor) in 1931 through Robert Johnson, Chuck Berry, James Brown, and up to Public Enemy and Nirvana. His choices and commentaries were excellent, and about 25 of them are represented in my book.

Steve Sullivan

User avatar
JimmyJazz
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 1292
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:28 am
Location: Arizona

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby JimmyJazz » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:02 pm

stevejazz wrote:It was in the November 1998 issue of Details, entitled "The 40 Records That Shook the World," beginning on page 46 (running 8 pages in all). Author Will Hermes provides a long paragraph on each of the 40 selections (a mixture of singles and albums), ranging from Jimmie Rodgers' "Blue Yodel" (1928) and Don Azpiazu's "El Manisero" (The Peanut Vendor) in 1931 through Robert Johnson, Chuck Berry, James Brown, and up to Public Enemy and Nirvana. His choices and commentaries were excellent, and about 25 of them are represented in my book.

Steve Sullivan


Interesting, this list should probably be eligible, correct, Henrik?

In any case, could you please post the entire list? We currently can't find it anywhere on the website, and it sounds like a nice addition to the site.

User avatar
Henrik
Site Admin
Posts: 4399
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:09 am
Location: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Henrik » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:00 am

Hi Steve and welcome to the forum! I am proud that AM is used as a source in your book, and now I'm proud to have your participation here in the forum as well.

The Details list is indeed probably eligible. I am quite hesitant to include lists from single authors unless there is a book dedicated to the list, but Will Hermes seems to be a rather wellknown and respected critic. If he did a write-up for each entry on the list I will include it. So if you want to post the list in the forum that would be great!
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

stevejazz
Are You Experienced?
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:57 am

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby stevejazz » Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:07 pm

OK, here's the Details list, in chronological order:

Blue Yodel (T for Texas) (1928) - Jimmie Rodgers
Anthology of American Folk Music (Harry Smith's 1952 compilation of mostly 1920s recordings)
El Manicero (The Peanut Vendor) (1931) - Don Azppiazu & His Havana Casino Orchestra
King of the Delta Blues Singers (1936-37 recordings, 1961 album) - Robert Johnson
Maybellene (1955) - Chuck Berry
Don't Be Cruel / Hound Dog (1956) - Elvis Presley
Lotte Lenya Sings Berlin Theatre Songs by Kurt Weill 91955 album)
Quiet Village (1959) - Martin Denny
Will You Love Me Tomorrow? (1960) - The Shirelles
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963)
Louie, Louie (1963) - The Kingsmen
Getz/Gilberto (1964 album) - Stan Getz, Joao & Astrud Gilberto
Mr. Tambourine Man (1965) - The Byrds
Good Vibrations (1966) - Beach Boys
Respect (1967) - Aretha Franklin
Sgt. Pepper (1967) - The Beatles
Cold Sweat (1967) - James Brown
The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)
Electric Ladyland (1968 album) - Jimi Hendrix Experience
Israelites (1969) - Desmond Dekker & the Aces
Bitches Brew (1969 album) - Miles Davis
Led Zeppelin II (1969)
Je t'aime...moi non plus (1969) - Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin
Abraxas (1970) - Santana
Neu! (1972) - Neu!
Burnin' (1973) - (Bob Marley &) The Wailers
Love to Love You, Baby (1975) - Donna Summer
Discreet Music (1975 album) - Brian Eno
King Tubby Meets the Modern Uptown (1976 album) - Augustus Pablo
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols (1977)
Trans-Europe Express (1977 album) - Kraftwerk
London Calling (1979) - The Clash
Rapper's Delight (1979) - Sugarhill Gang
Remain in Light (1980 album) - Talking Heads
Like a Virgin (1984) - Madonna
Strings of Life (1987) - Derrick May
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1989) - Public Enemy
3 Feet High and Rising (1989 album) - De la Soul
Nevermind (1991) - Nirvana

stevejazz
Are You Experienced?
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:57 am

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby stevejazz » Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:12 pm

Here are the all-time top 100 song recordings in my book, in chronological order. The titles in CAPS are my choices for the top 20 pop recordings ever:

The Grand Old Rag (Feb. 6, 1906) - Billy Murray
Maple Leaf Rag (March 1907) - Vess L. Ossman
Take Me Out to the Ball Game (Sept. 9, 1908) - Haydn Quartet
Casey Jones (March 11, 1910) - Billy Murray & American Quartet
Some of These Days (Feb. 24, 1911) - Sophie Tucker
Alexander’s Ragtime Band (May 23, 1911) - Collins & Harlan
Crazy Blues (Aug. 10, 1920) - Mamie Smith
Down Hearted Blues (Feb. 16, 1923) - Bessie Smith
RHAPSODY IN BLUE (JUNE 10, 1924) - GEORGE GERSHWIN WITH PAUL WHITEMAN & ORCHESTRA
ST. LOUIS BLUES (JAN. 14, 1925) - BESSIE SMITH
Blue Yodel (T for Texas) (Nov. 30, 1927) - Jimmie Rodgers
Dark Was the Night, Cold was the Ground (Dec. 3, 1927) - Blind Willie Johnson
The Man I Love (Dec. 8, 1927) - Marion Harris
Ol’ Man River (March 1, 1928) - Paul Robeson with Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra
WEST END BLUES (JUNE 28, 1928) - LOUIS ARMSTRONG
An American In Paris (Feb. 4, 1929) - Victor Symphony Orchestra
Christ Was Born on Christmas Morn (Aug. 28, 1929) - Cotton Top Mt. Sanctified Singers
The Coo Coo Bird (Oct. 23, 1929) - Clarence (Tom) Ashley
Last Kind Word Blues (March 1930) - Geeshie Wiley
Mood Indigo (Dec. 10, 1930) - Duke Ellington & His Cotton Club Orchestra
Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? (Oct. 25, 1932) - Bing Crosby
Can the Circle Be Unbroken (Bye and Bye) (May 6, 1935) - Carter Family
Cross Road Blues (Nov. 27, 1936) - Robert Johnson
Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing) (July 6, 1937) - Benny Goodman & His Orchestra
Begin the Beguine (July 24, 1938) - Artie Shaw & His Orchestra
Strange Fruit (Apr. 20, 1939) - Billie Holiday
OVER THE RAINBOW (SEPT. 9, 1939) - JUDY GARLAND
IN THE MOOD (OCT. 7, 1939) - GLENN MILLER & HIS ORCHESTRA
BODY AND SOUL (OCT. 11, 1939) - COLEMAN HAWKINS
Ko-Ko (March 6, 1940) - Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra
Star Dust (Oct. 7, 1940) - Artie Shaw & His Orchestra
Take the “A” Train (Feb. 15, 1941) - Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra
Stormy Weather (Dec. 15, 1941) - Lena Horne
WHITE CHRISTMAS (OCT. 3, 1942) - BING CROSBY
THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND (APR. 25, 1944) - WOODY GUTHRIE
Ko Ko (Nov. 26, 1945) - Charlie Parker’s Re-Boppers
The Christmas Song (Nov. 30, 1946 chart debut) - Nat “King” Cole
Wabash Cannon Ball (Jan. 28, 1947) - Roy Acuff
Call It Stormy Monday (Sept. 13, 1947) - T-Bone Walker
Parker’s Mood (Sept. 18, 1948) - Charlie Parker
Foggy Mountain Breakdown (Dec. 11, 1949) - Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs
How High the Moon (March 31, 1951) - Les Paul & Mary Ford
The Man That Got Away (June 4, 1954) - Judy Garland
(We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock (May 14, 1955) - Bill Haley & the Comets
Sixteen Tons (Nov. 12, 1955) - Tennessee Ernie Ford
I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Jan. 12, 1956) - Frank Sinatra
Heartbreak Hotel (March 3, 1956) - Elvis Presley
Smoke Stack Lightning (March 17, 1956) - Howlin’ Wolf
Who Do You Love (May 24, 1956) - Bo Diddley
I Walk the Line (June 9, 1956) - Johnny Cash
Round Midnight (Sept. 10, 1956) - Miles Davis
JOHNNY B. GOODE (APR. 28, 1958) - CHUCK BERRY
Giant Steps (May 5, 1959) - John Coltrane
Mary Don’t You Weep (May 12, 1959) - Swan Silvertones
WHAT’D I SAY? (JULY 13, 1959) - RAY CHARLES
Stand By Me (May 8, 1961) - Ben E. King
CRAZY (AUG. 13, 1961) - PATSY CLINE
Blowin’ In the Wind (June 29, 1963) - Peter, Paul & Mary
The House of the Rising Sun (Aug. 8, 1964) - The Animals
Dancing In the Street (Aug. 22, 1964) - Martha & the Vandellas
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (Dec. 12, 1964) - Righteous Brothers
My Girl (Jan. 16, 1965) - The Temptations
A CHANGE IS GONNA COME (JAN. 30, 1965) - SAM COOKE
LIKE A ROLLING STONE (JULY 24, 1965) - BOB DYLAN
Yesterday (Sept. 25, 1965) - The Beatles
The Sound of Silence (Nov. 20, 1965) - Simon & Garfunkel
RESPECT (APRIL 8, 1967) - ARETHA FRANKLIN
A Day In the Life (June 24, 1967) - The Beatles
Ode to Billie Joe (Aug. 5, 1967) - Bobbie Gentry
(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay (Jan. 27, 1968) - Otis Redding
Hey Jude (Sept. 14, 1968) - The Beatles
I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE (NOV. 30, 1968) - MARVIN GAYE
The Thrill Is Gone (Dec. 27, 1969) - B.B. King
Who’ll Stop the Rain? (Jan. 31, 1970) - Creedence Clearwater Revival
BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER (FEB. 7, 1970) - SIMON & GARFUNKEL
Layla (Nov. 21, 1970) - Derek & the Dominoes
Amazing Grace (Dec. 5, 1970) - Judy Collins
WHAT’S GOING ON (FEB. 20, 1971) - MARVIN GAYE
Won’t Get Fooled Again (July 17, 1971) - The Who
American Pie (Nov. 13, 1971) - Don McLean
Stairway to Heaven (Nov. 27, 1971) - Led Zeppelin
BORN TO RUN (SEPT. 13, 1975) - BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
Hotel California (Dec. 25, 1976) - The Eagles
Every Breath You Take (June 4, 1983) - The Police
When Doves Cry (June 2, 1984) - Prince & the Revolution
PRIDE (IN THE NAME OF LOVE) (OCT. 20, 1984) - U2
I Want to Know What Love Is (Dec. 8, 1984) - Foreigner
We Are the World (March 23, 1985) - U.S.A. for Africa
Smoking Gun (Feb. 7, 1987) - Robert Cray Band
Fast Car (June 4, 1988) - Tracy Chapman
Bamboleo (Dec. 17, 1988) - The Gipsy Kings
The Obvious Child (Dec. 15, 1990) - Paul Simon
Losing My Religion (March 30, 1991) - R.E.M.
Blind Willie McTell (Apr. 13, 1991) - Bob Dylan
SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT (OCT. 12, 1991) - NIRVANA
Streets of Philadelphia (Feb. 19, 1994) - Bruce Springsteen
Gangsta’s Paradise (Aug. 19, 1995) - Coolio featuring L.V.
Smoke Rings In the Dark (Aug. 14, 1999) - Gary Allan
Lose Yourself (Oct. 5, 2002) - Eminem
Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Nov. 27, 2004) - Green Day

Steve Sullivan

User avatar
Henrik
Site Admin
Posts: 4399
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:09 am
Location: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Henrik » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:49 pm

stevejazz wrote:OK, here's the Details list, in chronological order:

Blue Yodel (T for Texas) (1928) - Jimmie Rodgers
Anthology of American Folk Music (Harry Smith's 1952 compilation of mostly 1920s recordings)
El Manicero (The Peanut Vendor) (1931) - Don Azppiazu & His Havana Casino Orchestra
King of the Delta Blues Singers (1936-37 recordings, 1961 album) - Robert Johnson
Maybellene (1955) - Chuck Berry
Don't Be Cruel / Hound Dog (1956) - Elvis Presley
Lotte Lenya Sings Berlin Theatre Songs by Kurt Weill 91955 album)
Quiet Village (1959) - Martin Denny
Will You Love Me Tomorrow? (1960) - The Shirelles
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963)
Louie, Louie (1963) - The Kingsmen
Getz/Gilberto (1964 album) - Stan Getz, Joao & Astrud Gilberto
Mr. Tambourine Man (1965) - The Byrds
Good Vibrations (1966) - Beach Boys
Respect (1967) - Aretha Franklin
Sgt. Pepper (1967) - The Beatles
Cold Sweat (1967) - James Brown
The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)
Electric Ladyland (1968 album) - Jimi Hendrix Experience
Israelites (1969) - Desmond Dekker & the Aces
Bitches Brew (1969 album) - Miles Davis
Led Zeppelin II (1969)
Je t'aime...moi non plus (1969) - Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin
Abraxas (1970) - Santana
Neu! (1972) - Neu!
Burnin' (1973) - (Bob Marley &) The Wailers
Love to Love You, Baby (1975) - Donna Summer
Discreet Music (1975 album) - Brian Eno
King Tubby Meets the Modern Uptown (1976 album) - Augustus Pablo
Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols (1977)
Trans-Europe Express (1977 album) - Kraftwerk
London Calling (1979) - The Clash
Rapper's Delight (1979) - Sugarhill Gang
Remain in Light (1980 album) - Talking Heads
Like a Virgin (1984) - Madonna
Strings of Life (1987) - Derrick May
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1989) - Public Enemy
3 Feet High and Rising (1989 album) - De la Soul
Nevermind (1991) - Nirvana

Thanks Steve!

Could you please verify if these are songs or albums?

Quiet Village (1959) - Martin Denny
Mr. Tambourine Man (1965) - The Byrds
Sgt. Pepper (1967) - The Beatles
Cold Sweat (1967) - James Brown
Love to Love You, Baby (1975) - Donna Summer
London Calling (1979) - The Clash
Like a Virgin (1984) - Madonna
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

User avatar
Henrik
Site Admin
Posts: 4399
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:09 am
Location: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Henrik » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:51 pm

stevejazz wrote:Here are the all-time top 100 song recordings in my book, in chronological order. The titles in CAPS are my choices for the top 20 pop recordings ever:

The Grand Old Rag (Feb. 6, 1906) - Billy Murray
Maple Leaf Rag (March 1907) - Vess L. Ossman
Take Me Out to the Ball Game (Sept. 9, 1908) - Haydn Quartet
Casey Jones (March 11, 1910) - Billy Murray & American Quartet
Some of These Days (Feb. 24, 1911) - Sophie Tucker
Alexander’s Ragtime Band (May 23, 1911) - Collins & Harlan
Crazy Blues (Aug. 10, 1920) - Mamie Smith
Down Hearted Blues (Feb. 16, 1923) - Bessie Smith
RHAPSODY IN BLUE (JUNE 10, 1924) - GEORGE GERSHWIN WITH PAUL WHITEMAN & ORCHESTRA
ST. LOUIS BLUES (JAN. 14, 1925) - BESSIE SMITH
Blue Yodel (T for Texas) (Nov. 30, 1927) - Jimmie Rodgers
Dark Was the Night, Cold was the Ground (Dec. 3, 1927) - Blind Willie Johnson
The Man I Love (Dec. 8, 1927) - Marion Harris
Ol’ Man River (March 1, 1928) - Paul Robeson with Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra
WEST END BLUES (JUNE 28, 1928) - LOUIS ARMSTRONG
An American In Paris (Feb. 4, 1929) - Victor Symphony Orchestra
Christ Was Born on Christmas Morn (Aug. 28, 1929) - Cotton Top Mt. Sanctified Singers
The Coo Coo Bird (Oct. 23, 1929) - Clarence (Tom) Ashley
Last Kind Word Blues (March 1930) - Geeshie Wiley
Mood Indigo (Dec. 10, 1930) - Duke Ellington & His Cotton Club Orchestra
Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? (Oct. 25, 1932) - Bing Crosby
Can the Circle Be Unbroken (Bye and Bye) (May 6, 1935) - Carter Family
Cross Road Blues (Nov. 27, 1936) - Robert Johnson
Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing) (July 6, 1937) - Benny Goodman & His Orchestra
Begin the Beguine (July 24, 1938) - Artie Shaw & His Orchestra
Strange Fruit (Apr. 20, 1939) - Billie Holiday
OVER THE RAINBOW (SEPT. 9, 1939) - JUDY GARLAND
IN THE MOOD (OCT. 7, 1939) - GLENN MILLER & HIS ORCHESTRA
BODY AND SOUL (OCT. 11, 1939) - COLEMAN HAWKINS
Ko-Ko (March 6, 1940) - Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra
Star Dust (Oct. 7, 1940) - Artie Shaw & His Orchestra
Take the “A” Train (Feb. 15, 1941) - Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra
Stormy Weather (Dec. 15, 1941) - Lena Horne
WHITE CHRISTMAS (OCT. 3, 1942) - BING CROSBY
THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND (APR. 25, 1944) - WOODY GUTHRIE
Ko Ko (Nov. 26, 1945) - Charlie Parker’s Re-Boppers
The Christmas Song (Nov. 30, 1946 chart debut) - Nat “King” Cole
Wabash Cannon Ball (Jan. 28, 1947) - Roy Acuff
Call It Stormy Monday (Sept. 13, 1947) - T-Bone Walker
Parker’s Mood (Sept. 18, 1948) - Charlie Parker
Foggy Mountain Breakdown (Dec. 11, 1949) - Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs
How High the Moon (March 31, 1951) - Les Paul & Mary Ford
The Man That Got Away (June 4, 1954) - Judy Garland
(We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock (May 14, 1955) - Bill Haley & the Comets
Sixteen Tons (Nov. 12, 1955) - Tennessee Ernie Ford
I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Jan. 12, 1956) - Frank Sinatra
Heartbreak Hotel (March 3, 1956) - Elvis Presley
Smoke Stack Lightning (March 17, 1956) - Howlin’ Wolf
Who Do You Love (May 24, 1956) - Bo Diddley
I Walk the Line (June 9, 1956) - Johnny Cash
Round Midnight (Sept. 10, 1956) - Miles Davis
JOHNNY B. GOODE (APR. 28, 1958) - CHUCK BERRY
Giant Steps (May 5, 1959) - John Coltrane
Mary Don’t You Weep (May 12, 1959) - Swan Silvertones
WHAT’D I SAY? (JULY 13, 1959) - RAY CHARLES
Stand By Me (May 8, 1961) - Ben E. King
CRAZY (AUG. 13, 1961) - PATSY CLINE
Blowin’ In the Wind (June 29, 1963) - Peter, Paul & Mary
The House of the Rising Sun (Aug. 8, 1964) - The Animals
Dancing In the Street (Aug. 22, 1964) - Martha & the Vandellas
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (Dec. 12, 1964) - Righteous Brothers
My Girl (Jan. 16, 1965) - The Temptations
A CHANGE IS GONNA COME (JAN. 30, 1965) - SAM COOKE
LIKE A ROLLING STONE (JULY 24, 1965) - BOB DYLAN
Yesterday (Sept. 25, 1965) - The Beatles
The Sound of Silence (Nov. 20, 1965) - Simon & Garfunkel
RESPECT (APRIL 8, 1967) - ARETHA FRANKLIN
A Day In the Life (June 24, 1967) - The Beatles
Ode to Billie Joe (Aug. 5, 1967) - Bobbie Gentry
(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay (Jan. 27, 1968) - Otis Redding
Hey Jude (Sept. 14, 1968) - The Beatles
I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE (NOV. 30, 1968) - MARVIN GAYE
The Thrill Is Gone (Dec. 27, 1969) - B.B. King
Who’ll Stop the Rain? (Jan. 31, 1970) - Creedence Clearwater Revival
BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER (FEB. 7, 1970) - SIMON & GARFUNKEL
Layla (Nov. 21, 1970) - Derek & the Dominoes
Amazing Grace (Dec. 5, 1970) - Judy Collins
WHAT’S GOING ON (FEB. 20, 1971) - MARVIN GAYE
Won’t Get Fooled Again (July 17, 1971) - The Who
American Pie (Nov. 13, 1971) - Don McLean
Stairway to Heaven (Nov. 27, 1971) - Led Zeppelin
BORN TO RUN (SEPT. 13, 1975) - BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
Hotel California (Dec. 25, 1976) - The Eagles
Every Breath You Take (June 4, 1983) - The Police
When Doves Cry (June 2, 1984) - Prince & the Revolution
PRIDE (IN THE NAME OF LOVE) (OCT. 20, 1984) - U2
I Want to Know What Love Is (Dec. 8, 1984) - Foreigner
We Are the World (March 23, 1985) - U.S.A. for Africa
Smoking Gun (Feb. 7, 1987) - Robert Cray Band
Fast Car (June 4, 1988) - Tracy Chapman
Bamboleo (Dec. 17, 1988) - The Gipsy Kings
The Obvious Child (Dec. 15, 1990) - Paul Simon
Losing My Religion (March 30, 1991) - R.E.M.
Blind Willie McTell (Apr. 13, 1991) - Bob Dylan
SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT (OCT. 12, 1991) - NIRVANA
Streets of Philadelphia (Feb. 19, 1994) - Bruce Springsteen
Gangsta’s Paradise (Aug. 19, 1995) - Coolio featuring L.V.
Smoke Rings In the Dark (Aug. 14, 1999) - Gary Allan
Lose Yourself (Oct. 5, 2002) - Eminem
Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Nov. 27, 2004) - Green Day

Steve Sullivan

If I'm correct, this is the first playlist in your book. Are these songs considered greater than the rest? If so, by you or based on your sources?
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

stevejazz
Are You Experienced?
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:57 am

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby stevejazz » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:21 pm

Yes, the first Playlist in the book does indeed represent the top 100 songs, more or less, based in part on all the cited sources (Grammy Hall of Fame, National Recording Registry, NPR top 300, Dave Marsh, Rock Hall of Fame, Rolling Stone, etc. including Acclaimed Music), plus extensive rankings for neglected genres (jazz, blues, gospel, world music, etc.) and neglected eras (pre-1950, 1995 onward) using my own weighted point system. I say "more or less" because I wanted each Playlist to have a reasonable representation of songs from each time period and almost all musical genres. I didn't want to have, let's say, 40 of the 100 songs in a Playlist to be from a single 20-year period (like the '50s and '60s). So some '50s and '60s pop/rock/soul classics got nudged down one or two levels to make room for recordings from other time periods and genres. That's why "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag' and "Satisfaction" are in Playlist 2 rather than Playlist 1.

For example: Of the 100 song recordings in Playlist 3, perhaps 90 are considered (by me, using the above system) in the #201 through #300 area. The other ten might be a little bit higher (Playlist 2) or a little bit lower (Playlist 4) if I weren't making adjustments to get proper representation for each era and genre. But those adjustments are absolutely crucial, in my opinion, to provide a complete picture of pop music history. It would be ludicrous to have an all-time top 100 without any recordings from the pre-1920 era, or only one or two from that period. So the six songs in Playlist 1 from before 1920 absolutely belong in the top 100, from my perspective.

stevejazz
Are You Experienced?
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:57 am

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby stevejazz » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:24 pm

Quiet Village (1959) - Martin Denny
Mr. Tambourine Man (1965) - The Byrds
Sgt. Pepper (1967) - The Beatles
Cold Sweat (1967) - James Brown
Love to Love You, Baby (1975) - Donna Summer
London Calling (1979) - The Clash
Like a Virgin (1984) - Madonna

The above selections by Details are all singles, except for the "Sgt. Pepper' and "London Calling" albums.

Steve Sullivan

User avatar
Henrik
Site Admin
Posts: 4399
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:09 am
Location: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Henrik » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:03 am

Steve, I think I could actually add your top 20 songs to AM, since these are your personal choices and not based on information that is already included at AM. You don't mind this, do you? ;)

RHAPSODY IN BLUE (JUNE 10, 1924) - GEORGE GERSHWIN WITH PAUL WHITEMAN & ORCHESTRA
ST. LOUIS BLUES (JAN. 14, 1925) - BESSIE SMITH
WEST END BLUES (JUNE 28, 1928) - LOUIS ARMSTRONG
OVER THE RAINBOW (SEPT. 9, 1939) - JUDY GARLAND
IN THE MOOD (OCT. 7, 1939) - GLENN MILLER & HIS ORCHESTRA
BODY AND SOUL (OCT. 11, 1939) - COLEMAN HAWKINS
WHITE CHRISTMAS (OCT. 3, 1942) - BING CROSBY
THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND (APR. 25, 1944) - WOODY GUTHRIE
JOHNNY B. GOODE (APR. 28, 1958) - CHUCK BERRY
WHAT’D I SAY? (JULY 13, 1959) - RAY CHARLES
CRAZY (AUG. 13, 1961) - PATSY CLINE
A CHANGE IS GONNA COME (JAN. 30, 1965) - SAM COOKE
LIKE A ROLLING STONE (JULY 24, 1965) - BOB DYLAN
RESPECT (APRIL 8, 1967) - ARETHA FRANKLIN
I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE (NOV. 30, 1968) - MARVIN GAYE
BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER (FEB. 7, 1970) - SIMON & GARFUNKEL
WHAT’S GOING ON (FEB. 20, 1971) - MARVIN GAYE
BORN TO RUN (SEPT. 13, 1975) - BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
PRIDE (IN THE NAME OF LOVE) (OCT. 20, 1984) - U2
SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT (OCT. 12, 1991) - NIRVANA
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

stevejazz
Are You Experienced?
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:57 am

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby stevejazz » Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:14 am

You're perfectly free to add the complete list of 1,057 classic recordings, if you wish. Doing so would definitely bolster Acclaimed Music's already outstanding coverage, as the book includes many extraordinary recordings that might have escaped your notice until now, or that had previously been under-rated. Particularly in combination with the historical essays provided on all the selected performances, and the fact that it covers all time periods and musical genres like no previous book, I believe it provides one of the most comprehensive portraits of the great popular music of the past 120-plus years.

Steve Sullivan

User avatar
Henrik
Site Admin
Posts: 4399
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:09 am
Location: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Henrik » Wed Feb 12, 2014 7:22 am

stevejazz wrote:You're perfectly free to add the complete list of 1,057 classic recordings, if you wish. Doing so would definitely bolster Acclaimed Music's already outstanding coverage, as the book includes many extraordinary recordings that might have escaped your notice until now, or that had previously been under-rated. Particularly in combination with the historical essays provided on all the selected performances, and the fact that it covers all time periods and musical genres like no previous book, I believe it provides one of the most comprehensive portraits of the great popular music of the past 120-plus years.

Steve Sullivan

I agree fully that your full list would improve AM, because of your wide coverage of decades and genres, but still your list is mostly a meta-analysis of sources that I already use or are not eligible (not critics' lists). Therefore, I'm afraid I can not use it.
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

stevejazz
Are You Experienced?
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:57 am

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby stevejazz » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:30 pm

Hendrik, I'd appreciate it if you could explain the basis for which lists you do or don't use. I'm assuming that you include the songs honored in other books on other all-time classic recordings, such as those by Dave Marsh, Paul Williams, Tom Moon, Thomas Ryan's "American Hit Radio," Toby Creswell, "Heartaches by the Number," etc. I regard my book as following in that proud tradition, except that my book covers far more ground. The cited books all focus overwhelmingly on pop, rock, soul, and country songs from the '50s onward. My book "expands the playing field" to cover the entire history of recorded music from 1889 to 2012, and genres that are for the most part neglected by the other authors (ethnic/world music, gospel, folk, traditional pop, etc.)

Just to be clear: although I certainly do use my Classic Songs point system (drawing upon hundreds of other lists and honors) as an initial point of departure, that represents only part of the process that went into the song selection. The ten-plus years of research that went into this book, and the upcoming additional volumes of the encyclopedia, also thoroughly explored 120 years of music history in all genres. The critical analysis of hundreds of authors, not found in any published song list as such, played a crucial role in my song selections. And of course everything is filtered through my own musical perspective. The Gipsy Kings' "Bamboleo' and Gary Allan's "Smoke Rings in the Dark," for example, don't show up on other lists, but I feel strongly that they are two of the greatest song recordings of the past quarter-century, and therefore they both featured among the first 100 songs in the book.

The Acclaimed Music lists are terrific, but I've noted that they have the same limitation as most other published lists: relatively few pre-1950 songs (which, after all, constitute close to half of recording history), and relatively few selections from the neglected genres. Inclusion of the 1,057 songs featured in "The Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings, Volumes 1 and 2" would be a quick and easy way for you to fill these gaps, and automatically improve the coverage and quality of your rankings.

Obviously, it's your group, and your call. If you'd prefer to just focus overwhelmingly on pop, rock, soul, and country from the rock era, and largely skip over the rest of popular music history, that's certainly your prerogative. In that event, I'll bow out, and leave you to your discussions. But if you decide you'd like an "infusion of fresh blood" through the addition of songs in my book that you haven't previously included (or that have been relegated to secondary status), I'd be happy to help.

User avatar
JimmyJazz
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 1292
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:28 am
Location: Arizona

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby JimmyJazz » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:46 pm

stevejazz wrote:Hendrik, I'd appreciate it if you could explain the basis for which lists you do or don't use. I'm assuming that you include the songs honored in other books on other all-time classic recordings, such as those by Dave Marsh, Paul Williams, Tom Moon, Thomas Ryan's "American Hit Radio," Toby Creswell, "Heartaches by the Number," etc. I regard my book as following in that proud tradition, except that my book covers far more ground. The cited books all focus overwhelmingly on pop, rock, soul, and country songs from the '50s onward. My book "expands the playing field" to cover the entire history of recorded music from 1889 to 2012, and genres that are for the most part neglected by the other authors (ethnic/world music, gospel, folk, traditional pop, etc.)

Just to be clear: although I certainly do use my Classic Songs point system (drawing upon hundreds of other lists and honors) as an initial point of departure, that represents only part of the process that went into the song selection. The ten-plus years of research that went into this book, and the upcoming additional volumes of the encyclopedia, also thoroughly explored 120 years of music history in all genres. The critical analysis of hundreds of authors, not found in any published song list as such, played a crucial role in my song selections. And of course everything is filtered through my own musical perspective. The Gipsy Kings' "Bamboleo' and Gary Allan's "Smoke Rings in the Dark," for example, don't show up on other lists, but I feel strongly that they are two of the greatest song recordings of the past quarter-century, and therefore they both featured among the first 100 songs in the book.

The Acclaimed Music lists are terrific, but I've noted that they have the same limitation as most other published lists: relatively few pre-1950 songs (which, after all, constitute close to half of recording history), and relatively few selections from the neglected genres. Inclusion of the 1,057 songs featured in "The Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings, Volumes 1 and 2" would be a quick and easy way for you to fill these gaps, and automatically improve the coverage and quality of your rankings.

Obviously, it's your group, and your call. If you'd prefer to just focus overwhelmingly on pop, rock, soul, and country from the rock era, and largely skip over the rest of popular music history, that's certainly your prerogative. In that event, I'll bow out, and leave you to your discussions. But if you decide you'd like an "infusion of fresh blood" through the addition of songs in my book that you haven't previously included (or that have been relegated to secondary status), I'd be happy to help.


Mr. Sullivan, I think you are misunderstanding what Henrik was saying. He wasn't rejecting your list because of the types of songs it covers, he compliments your lists for it, and basically says, as I agree with him, that IF he could include the wider list, he would, so that pre-1950s songs are better represented. However, he will not include the list for the basic reason he stated, which is HOW it was compiled. There was no insult or personal rejection of the list on his part. Also, I'm sorry, but that last paragraph came off as being in a rather condescending and rude manner, in my opinion.

JR
Unquestionable Presence
Posts: 610
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:54 pm

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby JR » Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:21 am

Yes- the reason that the book itself wouldn't be eligible is because it's a compilation of information/lists from other sources- at least that's how I understand it?

If anything, we all would love to see more pre-1950- stuff added to the site, and appreciate when lists do pop up that include music from the early eras.

User avatar
Blanco
Rust Never Sleeps
Posts: 693
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:25 am
Location: Mexico City
Contact:

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Blanco » Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:26 am

I think Sullivan's book is not a collection of other sources per se, but rather used other sources for information and then used his own critical sense to create his selection. I guess it's impossible not to use other sources, especially if the list you are trying to create covers music from a foreign country. So, I think we should just deny the inclusion of a list if it is a statistical compilation, not a "reinterpretation", like this case.
And if not, maybe Sullivan could give us a list of only those songs that he believes merit inclusion, excluding other sources he has used.

stevejazz
Are You Experienced?
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:57 am

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby stevejazz » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:21 pm

I realize now that the misunderstanding came about because no one in the group has read the book (at least as far as I know). And, no doubt, i could have a better job of explaining what it's all about, for which i apologize. To help provide a better understanding of what the book is REALLY about (and the fact that it is not merely a "list" book, but a wide-ranging history of great song recordings), here is a representative entry, on Dick Dale's "Misirlou" (from 477 to 479 of the book):

(Footnotes, abbreviated "FN" with the number of the footnote, don't quite translate to the online format, so for clarity's sake I've added them directly underneath the cited text. That makes it look a little funny here, but it looks much better in the book, with with footnotes at the bottom of each page.)

Misirlou (1962) - Dick Dale & the Del-Tones
Deltone 5019 & REO Canada 8647 (both records released in July 1962) (FN 262); subsequently issued in March 1963 as Deltone 4939 (FN 263)
(FN 262: Deltone 5019 was first listed in Popular Recordaid for July-August 1962. It came out shortly after what may have been the first full rock treatment of Misirlou by Johnny & the Hurricanes on Big Top 3101 (initially listed that April). The Hurricanes, best known for Red River Rock, had the last of their 10 chart hits in late 1961.)
(FT 263: Capitol also issued it as an un-numbered 33 1/3 rpm, 7-inch promotional single with an open-ended interview for radio station use in 1963.)

The average listener’s reaction upon hearing guitar wizard Dick Dale for the first time is open-mouthed astonishment. Originally known as “King of the Surf Guitar" and years later (to alternative rock fans) as “The Sultan of Shred,” Dale for more than 40 years wielded his Fender Stratocaster like a lethal weapon, unleashing waves of electronic sound that seem at first to be on the edge of chaos but are in fact under the firm control of a master. Misirlou is his anthem.

Born Richard Monsour in Boston on May 4, 1937 to Lebanese and Polish parents, he taught himself how to play six-string guitar, left-handed and upside down. Moving to Orange County, California in 1954, he began performing locally under his new professional name. Legendary guitar maker Leo Fender’s factory happened to be nearby, and Dale worked closely with Fender to design new technology like reverb, the Showman, and Dual Showman amplifiers (with twin speakers in the one box).(FN 264) According to biographer Stephen McFarland, the “sounds of the surf inspired him to develop a guitar sound that was “fat, but with a little edge to it…He took risks with his music, pushing it to the limits,” just as he did with surfing. (FN 265) Following his debut single in 1960, Let’s Go Trippin’ in 1961 made Dale a nationally-known symbol of the surf guitar sound (although, peaking at #60 nationally, it would be his highest-charting record). (FN 266) That proved to be just a warmup.

(FN 264: Fender declared of these innovations: “When it can withstand Dick Dale’s barrage, then it’s ready for human consumption.”)
(FN 265: Surf Beat: The Dick Dale Story, p. 8.)
(FN 266: Deltone was a small label created by his father, Jim Monsour.)

Misirlou is rooted in the Lebanese and Middle Eastern music he heard at home as a child. It was composed by Nicholas Roubanis, and is of rembetika (Greek blues) origin. The first U.S. recording of the song was in July 1927 by Greek singer Tetos Demetriades on a 12-inch disc for Columbia; the record label confirms that it is the same song we know, by Roubanis. A dozen years later, three versions were recorded in 1939: (FN 267) two by Greek singers, and the other by Nicolas Matthey & His Gypsy Orchestra, for Decca. Jack Gottlieb reports that it was adapted into Spanish by Jose G. Pina, and into Yiddish by Chaim Tauber. (FN 268) Klezmer historian Henry Sapoznik writes that the tune became a longtime staple in Jewish music. According to Velvel Pasternak in his book Beyond Hava Nagila, the Bratislav Hasidic sect came to regard the song as a “holy nigun” (a “nigun” is a wordless song in Hasidic tradition). (FN 269)

(FN 267: Ethnic Music on Records, Vol. 3 , p. 1154. )
(FN 268: Gottlieb, Funny, It Doesn’t Sound Jewish, p. 188. Given this song’s Jewish connection, it seems appropriate that the B side of his first release on Capitol in 1963 would be Havah Nagilah.)
(FN 269: Beyond Hava Nagila: Hasidic Music in 3 Movements, p. 133-137. According to Pasternak’s research in Israel, the melody had been used in Bratslaver Hasidim religious musical celebrations since the turn of the 20th century. (Bratslav, sometimes spelled “Breslov,” is a branch of Hasidic Judaism dating back to about 1802 in Ukraine.) By the time of the Israel War of Independence in 1948, Misirlou had acquired “the status of `holiness’ and historicity.” If his findings are correct, this means that Nicholas Roubanis in the 1920s was adapting an already-traditional melody.)

It was in 1941 that Misirlou began crossing over to the American pop market. Billboard cited it as a “Possibility” for coin phonograph operators in its Aug. 16 and 23 issues (“Definitely something to watch…The song’s melancholy strains have a haunting quality that will make it stand out”), then a third time on October 18. (FN 270) The exotic stunner was recorded more than a half-dozen times by pop/jazz artists that year, including in July by Xavier Cugat, then by the orchestras of Harry James, Mitchell Ayres and Wayne King, Broadway performer Carol Bruce, and on September 5 by Woody Herman’s band. Herman sings the lyric in a slow, sultry ballad tempo, a tale of love in an exotic land, and it’s quite alluring: “You, Misirlou [pronounced `Miss-er-lou’], are a dream of delight in the night…Heaven will guide us, Allah will bless our love….Temple bells are calling across the sand / We’ll find our Kismet answering love’s command.” (FN 271) For ten consecutive months from August 1941-May 1942, Billboard reported it as one of the top-selling international/ethnic hits in various U.S. versions. (FN 272)

(FN 270: It was additionally cited in the Nov. 15, 1941 issue of Down Beat: “Here’s a weird new tune that ought to go places, if it catches on,” wrote Tom Herrick. He described it as a Spanish melody in minor key using a beguine rhythm; the published arrangement was by Henri Rene.)
(FN 271: There were also at least five more ethnic versions that year: two by Latin bands, one Greek, one by a Serbo-Croatian vocalist, and also by Jewish singer Seymour Rechtzeit, accompanied by the great klezmer clarinetist Dave Tarras and conducted by Abe Ellstein. Among other noteworthy versions were by the bands of Charlie Ventura and Herbie Fields (both 1946), and in 1955 by the R&B group the Cardinals (on the flip side of their smash The Door Is Still Open to My Heart).
(FN 272: 1942 issues particularly cited one by Greek artist Koroido Mousolini.)

During the next 20 years the tune remained continuously in print through a wide variety of renditions. One that seems pertinent to Dale is the August 1955 treatment by Ralph Marterie’s orchestra (Mercury 70760), because it’s dominated by an electric guitar soloist (uncredited) along with a somewhat Harry James-like trumpeter. The tempo is moderate, as opposed to the fury of Dale’s attack, but it’s a partial foreshadowing.

Wolf Marshall writes that the 1962 performance “was the first surf genre piece to feature the `wet’ sound of Fender’s reverb unit. Coupled with Dale’s furious upside-down Strat attack through the newly designed, and immediately overdrive, 100-watt Dual Showman stacks…it’s the definitive surf sound.” For generations of subsequent guitarists, this became the ultimate study in “tremolo picking”--intensely fast and constant alternating picking, known as “double picking.” The basic melody is played solely on one string. Its Middle Eastern quality, played on the “synthetic scale,” is haunting and exotic to Western ears--and incredibly exciting when played by Dale at a frenetic, pyrotechnic speed. (FN 273) The trumpet solo at mid-song has a distinctly Yiddish melodic flavor in the traditional “fraylick” style (a la Ziggy Elman in the 1939 Benny Goodman classic And the Angels Sing.) Both of Dale’s two 1962 45’s of Misirlou, on Deltone and REO Canada, featured Eight Till Midnight on the B side.

Several months after its release, the Dale record suddenly caught fire in southern California. One week after Dale’s Peppermint Man was listed in Billboard as a “regional breakout” in Los Angeles, the Jan. 12, 1963 issue accorded the same status for Misirlou in L.A. The latter issue gave the artist a feature story, reporting that Peppermint and Misirlou were the top two-ranking records on the Top 40 list for Hollywood’s Music City Stores, and his album Surfer’s Choice was second in local sales only to Vaughn Meader’s comedy smash The First Family. (FN 274) The Jan. 26 Billboard put him on page one: “A young lad named Dick Dale—whose records to date have only racked up local sales action—is creating so much excitement on the West Coast” that such major labels as RCA Victor, MGM and Warner Brothers were making offers as high as $500,000 for his services. The furor was due as much to his live performances as to his local record sales: “Reports are that his appearances are creating the same kind of excitement Elvis Presley did in the early stages of his career.” (FN 275)

(FN 273: Although the record is popularly associated with reverb, according to Dale this is incorrect. The tune was simply recorded with such a hard-pounding staccato that it sounded like reverb (McFarland, p. 15).
(FN 274: Jan. 12, 1963 Billboard, p. 3, “Dick Dale Rides Surf and Charts.” Two months later, a flexi-disk of the song was included within the March 16, 1963 Billboard (Blair, Illustrated History of Surf Music).
(FN 275: Jan. 26, 1963 Billboard, pages 1 & 8. Shortly thereafter, Dale did move from Del-Tone to Capitol Records (first release: King of the Surf Guitar), but only one of his Capitol releases would (briefly) reach the Hot 100.)

As it turned out, the Dale frenzy would not extend beyond southern California at the time, and he didn’t become the next Elvis, but no one who heard this record could ever forget it. Certainly not director Quentin Tarantino, who made it the magnificent opening theme to his 1994 film classic “Pulp Fiction,” first heard right after Amanda Plummer’s “Honey Bunny” yells, “this is a robbery.” That paved the way for new recordings, reissues, and hundreds more one-nighters by the ultimate guitar slinger.
(End of entry)

***********
I hope this selection provides a better understanding of what the book does, and corrects some faulty assumptions. As I indicated, it's a wide-ranging, in-depth history of great popular song recordings over the past 120-plus years based on thousands of published sources, all carefully footnoted, and filtered through my perspective as author. If anyone would like a few additional selections on different songs, I'd be happy to provide them on request.

User avatar
Blanco
Rust Never Sleeps
Posts: 693
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:25 am
Location: Mexico City
Contact:

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Blanco » Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:35 am

Awesome! Hey, do you think you can show us your selection of Latin or Spanish/Portuguese language songs? I have a feeling that you've done a very good selection.

User avatar
Henrik
Site Admin
Posts: 4399
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:09 am
Location: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Henrik » Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:33 pm

Thanks Steve for this sample from your book! Awesome presentation of an awesome song (Misirlou is my personal top 100 in fact)!

However, for inclusion at AM, it doesn't matter how - or how well - the entries are written. The crucial thing is how the songs were selected. I only include lists that are based on critics' own opinions. Not lists that are derived from other sources. If someone took your sources (in the abbreviations section) and compiled a list using some kind of point system, this would definitely not be eligible. It would only add information that I already have, mixed with some info that aren't eligible (sales info).

Here's the deal: My perception is still that you used your sources rather than your own ears to make your selection of 1,000 songs, even if you, among other things, have said that you filtered it all through your perspective on time and genres. But if you could convince me that it all boiled down to something close to your personal selection of the 1,000 greatest songs, then all is fine and I will happily include your book at AM. On the other hand, if you included some songs just because they appear in many of your sources, but you're not really a fan of them, then I'm afraid I can't include your book.

In any case, I hope you can appreciate my decision.
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

User avatar
Henrik
Site Admin
Posts: 4399
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:09 am
Location: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Henrik » Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:40 am

Steve, perhaps you feel that I'm working against you, but I really want to be on your side! It's a great book and you're even here in the forum to discuss it, so I hope that you will be able to convince me that the selections are primarily because you think they are worth an entry and not based on appearances in your mentioned sources.

Perhaps there is evidence in the songs below, as I have not often seen these songs being mentioned elsewhere and yet they made your playlist 1 (top 100).

Mary Don’t You Weep (May 12, 1959) - Swan Silvertones
Smoking Gun (Feb. 7, 1987) - Robert Cray Band
Smoke Rings In the Dark (Aug. 14, 1999) - Gary Allan

This while two of AM's top four songs, "Satisfaction" and "Good Vibrations", didn't make the top 100.
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

stevejazz
Are You Experienced?
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:57 am

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby stevejazz » Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:28 pm

Thanks, Hendrik. I think anyone examining the full list of 1,057 song recordings in the book will understand that in the majority of cases, the *primary* reason for their inclusion is my personal conviction that they stand among the greatest recordings in history, or at least the greatest representations of different time periods and/or key musical genres. I certainly did draw upon hundreds of sources to make sure I was taking into account the widest possible range of music. I didn't want to leave out anything that belonged in the book. But the song's quality and historic/musical significance, in my personal opinion as author, trumped everything else.

Unquestionably, when a song shows up strongly on classic-songs lists, *especially* the ones that I weigh most heavily (such as Grammy Hall of Fame, National Recording Registry, and NPR top 300), I gave it especially serious consideration. But the final call was always mine. If, in the final analysis, I simply felt that a song didn't belong in the book, then it didn't matter how many points is accumulated from other sources; it was left on the outside looking in. And the reverse is even more true. If I felt strongly that the song deserved inclusion, it made the book, regardless of whether I'm the only one who feels that way.

"Smoke Rings In the Dark" is certainly a good example. It doesn't show up on any other lists, but I definitely regard it as one of the all-time greatest country records, and one of the best in any genre during the past 20 years. Here is the song's entry in the book. As before, since the online format doesn't allow for footnotes, I've placed them here just under the cited text.

Smoke Rings In the Dark (1999) - Gary Allan (written by Rivers Rutherford & Houston Robert)
MCA 72109 Chart debut Aug. 14, 1999 (reached #12 C&W, 29 weeks; #76 pop)
Smoke Rings In the Dark is one of the most perfectly crafted country or pop songs of the past quarter-century. It’s an utterly compelling account of a dying romance, with razor-sharp lyrics: every word is chosen for maximum impact (loneliness that “burns as slow as whiskey”; “the night is like a dagger”), yet it flows with seeming effortlessness. Although the visual image of smoke rings has been used in popular songs back to the 1930s, never has that image been used more vividly; the wisps of smoke hanging briefly in the night air represent a once-flaming love fading into nothingness.

The song’s melody is gorgeous, and the arrangement impeccable. Listen to the slow, subtle but rich mix of guitars and bass at the introduction setting the tone for what will follow, the surging emotional underpinning of the fiddle on the final verse, and the soaring yet heartbreaking beauty of the chorus. Topping it all off is the powerful, achingly sad vocal by Gary Allan, whose gruff, expressive baritone is brought so far to the front that the listener feels the visceral impact of every word. This is a man who’s been pushed to the very brink by the strain of trying desperately to save a relationship, and the realization that it’s beyond saving. The sense of weariness and sudden solitude is profound. But there is no anger; no one is at fault. The tenderness he expresses at the end—“I’ll just touch your face and drift away, like smoke rings in the dark”--is the compassionate response of an adult who accepts that little tragedies are part of the mosaic of a life.

Born Gary Herzberg in Montebello, California on Dec. 5, 1967, Allan began his recording career in 1996, scoring his first hit a year later with Her Man. Modern-era traditionalist honky-tonk artists such as George Strait were among his inspirations, along with the Bakersfield-rooted sounds of Buck Owens (an early mentor), Merle Haggard and Dwight Yoakam. (FN 807) He’s had some other excellent songs, and bigger hits (Man to Man became his first C&W chart-topper in 2003, and his 2005 album Tough All Over demonstrated that he had become an accomplished songwriter as well as performer), but nothing that comes within a million miles of this sultry, thoughtful, and quite unforgettable classic.
(FN 807: The melancholy that permeates Yoakam’s 1993 hits Ain’t That Lonely Yet and A Thousand Miles from Nowhere serve as apt parallels to Allan’s ballad. But fine as those songs are, Smoke Rings goes to a much deeper place emotionally in lyric, melody, vocal, and arrangement.)

Smoke Rings was the final song recorded for the album. Allan: “My co-producer Mark Wright played it for me the day after it was written. All I heard was a guitar and a vocal. I instantly loved it. The lyrics conjure up great visuals and the melody is dreamlike…It almost has sort of a Roy Orbison vibe to it.” (FN 808) The number was recorded three weeks later. The album, Michael McCall has noted, has “a rawer and moodier sound than most country albums recorded in Nashville,” and this is emphatically true of the title track. (FN 809)

(FN 808: Sept. 14, 1999 Country Weekly, p. 46-47. Alanna Nash (Entertainment Weekly) praised the song’s “brooding intensity,”’ calling it “an interior monologue of love gone cold.” Richard Harrington (Washington Post) suggested a musical connection to Chris Isaak in the “embered-fire vocal” and trebly guitar. )
(FN 809: April-May 2000 Country Music feature on the artist. Allan declared: “I have a hard time liking real sappy songs…Country music is about stories, and I want to tell the bad stories as well as the good stories.”)

Co-produced by Tony Brown, the album’s personnel includes Jake Kelly (acoustic & electric guitars), Don Dugmore (acoustic & pedal-steel guitars), John Willis (acoustic guitar), Brent Rowan & Steve Gibson (electric guitars), Hank Singer (fiddle), Steve Nathan (keyboards), Michael Rhodes (bass), and Chad Cromwell (drums).

User avatar
Henrik
Site Admin
Posts: 4399
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:09 am
Location: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Henrik » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:07 pm

Thanks Steve! I was actually just exploring your book further and from what I saw I was getting more and more convinced that the selections were mainly personal. So, finally, I would be very happy to include your book! :happy-partydance:

Is the full list of songs available somewhere on the web? The full title index is included in the look inside feature at Amazon, but it is not combined with artist info for each song.
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

User avatar
Bruce
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 1232
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:36 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Bruce » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:19 am

stevejazz wrote:(We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock (May 14, 1955) - Bill Haley & the Comets
My Girl (Jan. 16, 1965) - The Temptations
A CHANGE IS GONNA COME (JAN. 30, 1965) - SAM COOKE


Steve where are these dates coming from?

Because "Rock Around The Clock" was recorded and first made the charts in 1954. "My Girl" was released in December of 1964, and the Sam Cooke song was first released on the "Ain't That Good News" album early in 1964, like February or March.

stevejazz wrote:The Sound of Silence (Nov. 20, 1965) - Simon & Garfunkel


The correct title is "The Sounds of Silence."

Image

User avatar
Henrik
Site Admin
Posts: 4399
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:09 am
Location: Älvsjö, Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Henrik » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:09 am

Henrik wrote:Thanks Steve! I was actually just exploring your book further and from what I saw I was getting more and more convinced that the selections were mainly personal. So, finally, I would be very happy to include your book! :happy-partydance:

Is the full list of songs available somewhere on the web? The full title index is included in the look inside feature at Amazon, but it is not combined with artist info for each song.

Actually, if you have an Excel spreadsheet with artist and song in separate columns, that would help me a lot.
Everyone you meet fights a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.

stevejazz
Are You Experienced?
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:57 am

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby stevejazz » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:33 am

Thanks very much, Hendrik. Very glad to hear it. I will post the remaining nine Playlists of the songs soon.

To answer the date question: For songs that were Billboard chart hit singles, I generally use the chart debut date. For "Rock Around the Clock," of course it did originally appear in 1954, but that was insignificant compared to its 1955 blockbuster chart run, so the latter is the date I used. (For jazz, blues, and other non-chart songs, I generally use the date of recording.)

Since "Mary, Don't You Weep" was mentioned earlier, here is that song essay. Again, I've placed the footnotes beneath the cited text:

Mary Don't You Weep (1959) - The Swan Silvertones
Recorded May 12, 1959 for the Vee-Jay album “Get Right“ (GOSP-#9)
Perhaps no other single gospel performance is more widely beloved than Mary Don’t You Weep. The mighty Swans got their start in 1938 when Claude Jeter, just out of high school in Kentucky and working in the coal mines across the border in West Virginia, organized the Four Harmony Kings. A few years later the group moved to Knoxville, Tennessee and, upon landing a regular radio show sponsored by Swans bakery, changed their name. Born in 1914 in Montgomery, Alabama, Jeter (unlike most gospel stars of his generation) grew up in comfortable surroundings; after his father (a lawyer) died when Claude was eight, his mother moved the family to Kentucky. Called “the master falsetto of the ages” by Anthony Heilbut, Jeter--who saved the falsetto for song climaxes and moments of high emotion, while using his natural (and beautiful) lyric tenor voice the rest of the time--would be cited in later years by stars such as Al Green as a key musical inspiration. (FN 467)

(FN 467: The pioneer in gospel falsetto singing on record was William Thatch of the Silver Leaf Quartette, a Norfolk, VA-based group whose two dozen issued sides from 1928-31 were widely influential.)

The group recorded close to 100 sides for the King label from 1946-51 (originally as “Swan’s Silvertone Singers,” which remained the name until it was changed in 1952), moved to Specialty in 1951, then to Vee-Jay four years later. When Louis Johnson (formerly of the Spiritualaires of Sumner, South Carolina) joined the group in 1955 as its “hard shouter,” writes Heilbut in The Gospel Sound, “Johnson’s voice, a gravelly tenor of great beauty, forced Jeter to color his falsetto,” adding a growl to his repertoire; that growling tenor became a major influence on R&B artists.

(FN 468) The rest of the group in 1959 consisted of John Myles (baritone), William “Pete” Conner (bass), Linwood Hargrove (guitar), and tenor Paul Owens, a brilliant arranger formerly with the Dixie Hummingbirds who (says Heilbut) “tightened the group’s harmonies” and modernized its rhythms starting in the mid-‘50s.

Mary Don’t You Weep originated almost a century earlier as a Negro spiritual, and had long been performed at a brisk jubilee tempo. Under the title Pharaoh’s Army, it was first cited in Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson’s article “Negro Spirituals” in the June 1867 Atlantic Monthly. (FN 469) E.C. Perrow’s “Songs and Rhymes from the South” in the Apr.-June 1913 Journal of American Folklore discussed it under the title Pharaoh’s Army Got Drownded as having been popular all over the South 15 or 20 years earlier; he had collected it in Tennessee in 1905. (FN 470) Newman I. White collected it in Alabama in 1915-16. (FN 471) The Fisk University Jubilee Singers recorded it at a medium tempo as O Mary Don’t You Weep, Don’t You Mourn on October 23, 1915 for Columbia. The next recording of the song was in February 1927 by the West Virginia Collegiate Institute Glee Club, an unaccompanied vocal group, under the title Oh! Mary Don’t You Weep for Brunswick. (FN 472)

(FN 469: Higginson was perhaps the first observer to note that most of the spirituals were inspired by the books about Moses in the Old Testament and the book of Revelation in the New. Shane White & Graham White, The Sounds of the Slaves (p. 116): “It was the Old Testament that spoke more directly to the slaves’ situation. Identifying deeply with the Israelites of old, they too, they had come to believe, were a chosen people, held captive in an oppressive Egypt (the slave system), waiting for a Moses figure to lead them across the River Jordan (the Mason-Dixon Line), into the Land of Canaan, the Promised Land (the North).” )
(FN 470: Journal of American Folklore, Vol. XXVI, p. 156.)
(FN 471: American Negro Folk-Songs, p. 58-59.)
(FN 472: In March 1929 a performance of the song in Augusta, GA by the Georgia Field Hands (a vocal quintet with banjo) was included in a Fox Movietone newsreel. Six years later, Huddie Ledbetter (Leadbelly) included it as part of a marathon session for the Library of Congress that also featured an early version of Midnight Special. (Blues and Gospel Records 1890-1943)

The Silvertones first recorded Mary on Aug. 3, 1958 live over the air at radio station WENW in Bessemer, Alabama, and then cut the studio version in Chicago nine months later. (FN 473) Owens and the group slowed it to a ballad pace, gave it a call-and-response structure, and allowed room for the expressive improvisation that makes the record especially powerful. Horace Clarence Boyer notes that Jeter sings both chorus and verse to 16 bars rather than the eight bars to which it had been sung as a spiritual. (FN 474)

(FN 473: The 1958 performance, a year in which the group made no studio recordings, was released as a single on Vee Jay 867; Louis Johnson was not a participant.)
(FN 474: How Sweet the Sound, p. 177-78.)

Heilbut writes that Mary Don’t You Weep “allows Jeter and Johnson to romp over beautifully wailed background choruses. While Johnson hollers `Mary' as if she were a naughty child, Jeter rushes in behind and beyond the beat, with wonderful interpolations.” (FN 475) The final section of the vamp belongs to Owens for increasingly intense cries of “Mary.“ One of the interjections, “I'll be a bridge over deep water if you trust in my name,” inspired Paul Simon's Bridge Over Troubled Water. As Jeter vamps over the group’s hand-clapping, he soars into falsetto, and he trades off cries with Johnson and Owens of “Mary!...I don’t believe she heard you!” It is Owens who delivers the so-called “vamp” following the verse, repeatedly singing the word “Mary.” Boyer: “The song reaches its climax after Owens has raised the pitch and volume several notches, creating a vocal frenzy.” Jeter quit the Swans in the mid-1960s to become a minister with the Church of Holiness Science in Detroit.
(FN 475: The Gospel Sound, p. 120.)
Dave Marsh, in The Heart of Rock & Soul, cited it as one of the all-time classic gospel performances. The Rolling Stone Album Guide called it “extraordinary on every level.” (FN 476)
(FN 476: Mark Coleman in 1992 edition, p. 687. )

User avatar
Bruce
Die Mensch Maschine
Posts: 1232
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:36 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby Bruce » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:27 am

stevejazz wrote:To answer the date question: For songs that were Billboard chart hit singles, I generally use the chart debut date. For "Rock Around the Clock," of course it did originally appear in 1954, but that was insignificant compared to its 1955 blockbuster chart run, so the latter is the date I used. (For jazz, blues, and other non-chart songs, I generally use the date of recording.)



There's no consistency there, Steve. You jump from chart debuts to release dates to recording dates, and even override your own rules on "Rock Around The Clock." What about Beatles records that debuted on the American charts in 1964 but were huge hits in the UK in 1963, or even 1962 in the case of "Love Me Do?"

Please don't tell me that you list things like "She Loves You" as 1964.

What about something like "Sincerely" by the Moonglows that debuted on the pop chart in March of 1955 but debuted on the R&B chart in early December of 1954?

Here at AM, and at any credible site, the standard is the year that the recording was first released.

The problem with recording dates is that there are loads of records where that information is not available.

stevejazz
Are You Experienced?
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:57 am

Re: Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings

Postby stevejazz » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:57 pm

Bruce, you're certainly entitled to your own approach to listing records; each to his own. As I indicated, in the book most pop, R&B, and country chart hits are listed according to their date of chart debut, because this reflects the date at which the vast majority of music lovers heard them. The record release date is intriguing to collectors, and I do indeed cite this information in the book for the many instances when a record didn't chart until much later, but is less significant for pop records than the chart debut. In the handful of cases like "Rock Around the Clock" where a record made very little impression in its first chart appearance but a huge impression upon reissue, it makes sense to use the latter date. (Another example would be the Shirlelles' "Dedicated to the One I Love." That didn't make this book, but will appear in the next volume. It reached #83 in 1959, and #3 in 1961; it will be listed as a 1961 record, while of course the 1959 release will be noted, just as the Haley record's 1954 original release was discussed in its entry.) For R&B and country records that made those charts before crossing over pop, I generally use the earlier date.

For jazz, blues, gospel, world music, folk, and other records that are clearly non-pop in focus, I generally use the recording date if this information is available (or a release date if the recording date isn't known). The exceptions are records that became significant pop hits, in which case the chart debut date is used, as above.

In any event, the primary date used is a trivial matter that affects nothing other than the chronological order in which the song appears. If a record had major separate chart runs, i cite both dates, and I list all recording dates when i have them.


Return to “Critics' lists”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 45 guests