Donna Loren was a fixture of the 1960’s. She was chosen as the Dr. Pepper girl after a nationwide search, and appeared in numerous TV commercials over a span of five years. She also starred in several Beach Party movies with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, including Beach Blanket Bingo, where she sang her signature song, “It Only Hurts When I Cry.”
Loren was a featured vocalist on the weekly music show, Shindig! and shared the stage with many popular artists of the Sixties. She was signed by Capitol Records and released several singles, was a guest star on manyl TV shows, like Batman, the Monkees and Gomer Pyle, and even designed her own clothes. She did all this before walking away from show business to raise a family in the late Sixties. Whew!
Jimmie Vaughan is an American legend. He’s spent almost 50 years playing his blues guitar, first with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, who hit big in the mid 80’s with songs like “Tuff Enuff,” “Wrap it Up” and ‘Powerful Stuff,” before teaming with his brother, Stevie Ray, right before his passing for the Vaughan Brothers album. Since then, he’s played with a who’s who of the blues world, while also releasing his own solo records.
All of that has culminated in The Jimmie Vaughan Story, coming soon from Last Music Company. The set includes 5 CD’s – covering everything Vaughan has done in a band and as a sideman, with a lot of the tracks previously unreleased. But, that’s just the beginning. The Deluxe Edition also features a vinyl LP of his Grammy-winning album Do You Get the Blues, two 45 singles, a full color magazine of Vaughan’s classic cars, along with the crown jewel of the set – a 240-page, hardcover book featuring a treasure trove of photos of Vaughan, his brother Stevie and family, as well as Vaughan’s musical compadres over the years, plus extensive interviews that help paint the most complete picture of a man who has never strayed from the blues.
Vaughan tells us about a lot of the unreleased material and where it came from, and how he helped form the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Plus, he talks about what led to his teaming with brother, Stevie Ray Vaughan, on their album Family Style.
Doug “Cosmo” Clifford played drums for legendary rockers Creedence Clearwater Revival, who’s time on top was brief, only about two years. During that span, they issued 11 million selling hit singles and six albums – unbelievable by today’s standards.
After the band disbanded, Clifford worked on a variety of projects, assembling various groups of musicians and recording albums…a lot of these have sat in his personal archives for years. Now that he’s retired from the road, Clifford has started delving into these tapes, which he calls Cosmo’s Vault.
The latest release is For All the Money in the World, a teaming between him and Steve Wright, who played bass for the Greg Kihn Band. Also part of the project were several guitarists, including none other than Joe Satriani on a few tracks, and former Allman Brother Band backup vocalist Keith England.
We chat the origins of the project and why it’s taken until now for it to get released. He also reminisces about his most memorable CCR recording session and his favorite deep cut.
Johnny Mathis created the blueprint for romantic singers, recording timeless classics like “Chances Are,” “Misty,” “The Twelfth of Never,” and “It’s Not For Me to Say.” Unlike some of his contemporaries, he’s never stopped touring or recording. This year marks his 65th year as a recording artist with Columbia Records, and to celebrate, he’s embarking on his 65 Years of Romance Tour.
We chat with him about what things he did to keep active while in quarantine. He also tells us what lengths he went to to be able to cook while on the road.
Foreigner is one of the biggest selling rock bands of all-time with over 80 million records sold worldwide, nine platinum albums and 14 Top 20 hits in the US. Their songs have become rock anthems – “Juke Box Hero,” “Hot Blooded,” “Cold as Ice,” and “Feels Like the First Time.” Yet, they also created the blueprint for the power ballad with songs like “Waiting For a Girl Like You” and “I Want to Know What Love Is.”
The band is celebrating its 45th anniversary with a tour that’s making a stop at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering on Tues August 17th, and to talk about it, we welcome bassist Jeff Pilson – who before his stint in Foreiginer was the bassist for Dokken and has also been an in-demand studio musician.
Pilson talks about what led to him becoming the bassist for Foreigner, what made him pick up the bass in the first place, and what his favorite Foreigner deep cut is.
Alex Chilton and the Hi Rhythm Section – Boogie Shoes – Live on Beale Street (Omnivore)
A hot set of classic soul, and…KC & the Sunshine Band? Yep.
Being from Memphis, Alex Chilton was certainly influenced by the incredible music coming out of that city. At the tender age of 15, he led the Box Tops to the #1 hit “The Letter,” then spent the early 1970’s in the under-appreciated power pop combo Big Star, before embarking on a solo career – doing whatever the hell he wanted. But, Chilton grew up in music and certainly could lead a band on command.
When fellow musician Fred Ford fell ill, a benefit was created in his honor and Chilton was tabbed because of his popularity to sell tickets. At the time, Chilton didn’t have a band, so he teamed with the legendary Hi Rhythm section, and without so much as a rehearsal, got up and just tore it up.
The KC & the Sunshine Band staple “Boogie Shoes” might seem like a snarky choice, but the band and Chilton totally pull it off. Less convincing is “Precious, Precious,” maybe because it was originally done by a woman? But, with Wilson Pickett’s “634-5789” things get back on track.
It’s funny to hear the talking between songs – Chilton literally says “let’s play Kansas City in C” and away they go. That’s the beauty of being surrounded by pros. The Memphis Horns really shine on this one, what a great trumpet solo. Again, remember there was absolutely no rehearsal here. “Lucille” features a fantastic sax break and then Chilton takes one on guitar.
The set closes with “Trying to Live My Life Without You” which was a Memphis tune recorded at the Hi Records studio. A fitting way to bring everything back to where it all began. —Tony Peters
The Rubinoos came out of Berkley, California in the early Seventies. Known for their melodic hooks and tight harmonies, the band charted with a cover of the Tommy James’ hit, “I Think We’re Alone Now,” and their own “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.” They also placed the title song in the teen classic Revenge of the Nerds. After a hiatus, the guys have actually been quite busy releasing a string of albums that have been well-received in the power pop community.
Before all of this, the Rubinoos were just a quartet of kids in high school, looking for a lucky break. The CBS Tapes, is a live, in-the-studio recording featuring the band’s high energy on 11 previously unheard tracks. The band runs though an eclectic set of songs, from the Beatles, the Meters, the Ventures and even the Archies, to several band originals.
We talk with guitarist Tommy Dunbar about what led to this archival release. Plus, the true story of how they got bananas thrown at them opening for Jefferson Starship!
Originally from Philadelphia, Wanderlust emerged in 1995 with a major label album called Prize, which garnered the rock radio hit “I Walked.” The band was working on album number two when they were unceremoniously dropped. In the years that followed, leader Scot Sax focused on writing songs, co-writing the Grammy-winning song “Like We Never Loved at All” for Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. He’s also become a much sought-after filmmaker, directing the documentary Platinum Rush.
During the pandemic, Sax was combing through his archives and stumbled across a DAT tape of acoustic demos he was working on during the band’s heyday. He decided to get his bandmates back together (at least virtually) and complete the album – taking his original vocals and guitars from 1996 and adding present day instrumentation over top. The result is All a View, an album that features the classic, melodic sound of Wanderlust, circa the mid-90’s, with a modern-day punch.
She’s had a Top Ten hit on the Pop charts, and she’s recorded several albums devoted to jug band, folk and pre-war blues – you can say that Maria Muldaur has had a unique musical journey. That Billboard hit, “Midnight at the Oasis,” garnered her a Grammy nomination and set her on a path as a solo artist.
She’s enjoyed a two-decade partnership with the Canadian label, Stony Plain Records, where she’s been able to delve deep into various strains of American roots music – every time coming up with something that draws on the past yet still sounds fresh.
Her 43rd album is called Let’s Get Happy Together, and it’s a collaboration with Tuba Skinny, a New Orleans street band that’s dedicated to classic music of the early 20th century.
We talk to Muldaur about the crazy story of hooking up with Tuba Skinny, plus, the fun task of finding songs from 100 years ago to do on this album. She also talks about what made her gravitate to roots music in the first place.
She had the voice, the look and the songs, but, for whatever reason, success eluded Evie Sands during her early years in the 1960’s. She recorded the original versions of songs that were hits for other people, like “Take Me For a Little While,” “I Can’t Let Go,” and “Angel of the Morning.” She finally had a hit of her own with “Anyway That You Want Me” in 1969.
Around that time, she began writing songs herself, having heavyweights like Barbra Streisand, Dionne Warwick and Gladys Knight perform her compositions.
Eventually, she built a career as an independent artist, writing, producing and releasing her own material. Now, she’s issued her first new full album in two decades called Get Out of Your Own Way.
We talk about how the global pandemic threw a wrench in the plans to release the new album. She tells us about her very first recording, “The Roll,” which she sang when she was only eleven years old. And, she also talks about the strange circumstances that clouded her early releases, and why they weren’t successful.