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Jazz Legend - Sonny Rollins
Category: Voices of Jazz
Tags: jazz legend sonny rollin word life production new quality entertainment featured blog

Theodore Walter Rollins was born on September 7, 1930 in New York City. He grew up in Harlem not far from the Savoy Ballroom, the Apollo Theatre, and the doorstep of his idol, Coleman Hawkins. After early discovery of Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong, he started out on alto saxophone, inspired by Louis Jordan. At the age of sixteen, he switched to tenor, trying to emulate Hawkins. He also fell under the spell of the musical revolution that surrounded him, Bebop.

He began to follow Charlie Parker, and soon came under the wing of Thelonious Monk, who became his musical mentor and guru. Living in Sugar Hill, his neighborhood musical peers included Jackie McLean, Kenny Drew and Art Taylor, but it was young Sonny who was first out of the pack, working and recording with Babs Gonzales, J.J. Johnson, Bud Powell and Miles Davis before he turned twenty.

“Of course, these people are there to be called on because I think I represent them in a way,” Rollins said recently of his peers and mentors. “They’re not here now so I feel like I’m sort of representing all of them, all of the guys. Remember, I’m one of the last guys left, as I’m constantly being told, so I feel a holy obligation sometimes to evoke these people.”

In the early fifties, he established a reputation first among musicians, then the public, as the most brash and creative young tenor on the scene, through his work with Miles, Monk, and the MJQ.

Miles Davis was an early Sonny Rollins fan and in his autobiography wrote that he “began to hang out with Sonny Rollins and his Sugar Hill Harlem crowd…anyway, Sonny had a big reputation among a lot of the younger musicians in Harlem. People loved Sonny Rollins up in Harlem and everywhere else. He was a legend, almost a god to a lot of the younger musicians. Some thought he was playing the saxophone on the level of Bird. I know one thing–he was close. He was an aggressive, innovative player who always had fresh musical ideas. I loved him back then as a player and he could also write hisbutt off…”

Sonny moved to Chicago for a few years to remove himself from the surrounding elements of negativity around the Jazz scene. He reemerged at the end of 1955 as a member of the Clifford Brown-Max Roach Quintet, with an even more authoritative presence. His trademarks became a caustic, often humorous style of melodic invention, a command of everything from the most arcane ballads to calypsos, and an overriding logic in his playing that found him hailed for models of thematic improvisation.

It was during this time that Sonny acquired a nickname,”Newk.” As Miles Davis explains in his autobiography: “Sonny had just got back from playing a gig out in Chicago. He knew Bird, and Bird really liked Sonny, or “Newk” as we called him, because he looked like the Brooklyn Dodgers’ pitcher Don Newcombe. One day, me and Sonny were in a cab…when the white cabdriver turned around and looked at Sonny and said, `Damn, you’re Don Newcombe!” Man, the guy was totally excited. I was amazed, because I hadn’t thought about it before. We just put that cabdriver on something terrible. Sonny started talking about what kind of pitches he was going to throw Stan Musial, the great hitter for the St. Louis Cardinals, that evening…”

Chuck UPright

In 1956, Sonny began recording the first of a series of landmark recordings issued under his own name: Valse Hot introduced the practice, now common, of playing bop in 3/4 meter; St. Thomasinitiated his explorations of calypso patterns; and Blue 7 was hailed by Gunther Schuller as demonstrating a new manner of “thematic improvisation,” in which the soloist develops motifs extracted from his theme. Way Out West (1957), Rollins’s first album using a trio of saxophone, double bass, and drums, offered a solution to his longstanding difficulties with incompatible pianists, and exemplified his witty ability to improvise on hackneyed material (Wagon Wheels, I’m an Old Cowhand). It Could Happen to You (also 1957) was the first in a long series of unaccompanied solo recordings, and The Freedom Suite (1958) foreshadowed the political stances taken in jazz in the 1960s. During the years 1956 to 1958 Rollins was widely regarded as the most talented and innovative tenor saxophonist in jazz.

Rollins’s first examples of the unaccompanied solo playing that would become a specialty also appeared in this period; yet the perpetually dissatisfied saxophonist questioned the acclaim his music was attracting, and between 1959 and late `61 withdrew from public performance.

Sonny remembers that he took his leave of absence from the scene because “I was getting very famous at the time and I felt I needed to brush up on various aspects of my craft. I felt I was getting too much, too soon, so I said, wait a minute, I’m going to do it my way. I wasn’t going to let people push me out there, so I could fall down. I wanted to get myself together, on my own. I used to practice on the Bridge, the Williamsburg Bridge because I was living on the Lower East Side at the time.”

sonnyonthebridgefixedWhen he returned to action in early `62, his first recording was appropriately titled The Bridge. By the mid 60’s, his live sets became grand, marathon stream-of-consciousness solos where he would call forth melodies from his encyclopedic knowledge of popular songs, including startling segues and sometimes barely visiting one theme before surging into dazzling variations upon the next. Rollins was brilliant, yet restless. The period between 1962 and `66 saw him returning to action and striking productive relationships with Jim Hall, Don Cherry, Paul Bley, and his idol Hawkins, yet he grew dissatisfied with the music business once again and started yet another sabbatical in `66. “I was getting into eastern religions,” he remembers. “I’ve always been my own man. I’ve always done, tried to do, what I wanted to do for myself. So these are things I wanted to do. I wanted to go on the Bridge. I wanted to get into religion. But also, the Jazz music business is always bad. It’s never good. So that led me to stop playing in public for a while, again. During the second sabbatical, I worked in Japan a little bit, and went to India after that and spent a lot of time in a monastery. I resurfaced in the early 70s, and made my first record in `72. I took some time off to get myself together and I think it’s a good thing for anybody to do.”

In 1972, with the encouragement and support of his wife Lucille, who had become his business manager, Rollins returned to performing and recording, signing with Milestone and releasing Next Album. (Working at first with Orrin Keepnews, Sonny was by the early ’80s producing his own Milestone sessions with Lucille.) His lengthy association with the Berkeley-based label produced two dozen albums in various settings – from his working groups to all-star ensembles (Tommy Flanagan, Jack DeJohnette, Stanley Clarke, Tony Williams); from a solo recital to tour recordings with the Milestone Jazzstars (Ron Carter, McCoy Tyner); in the studio and on the concert stage (Montreux, San Francisco, New York, Boston). Sonny was also the subject of a mid-’80s documentary by Robert Mugge entitled Saxophone Colossus; part of its soundtrack is available as G-Man.

He won his first performance Grammy for This Is What I Do (2000), and his second for 2004’s Without a Song (The 9/11 Concert), in the Best Jazz Instrumental Solo category (for “Why Was I Born”). In addition, Sonny received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 2004.

In June 2006 Rollins was inducted into the Academy of Achievement – and gave a solo performance – at the International Achievement Summit in Los Angeles. The event was hosted by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg and attended by world leaders as well as distinguished figures in the arts and sciences.

Rollins was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honor for Science and Art, First Class, in November 2009. The award is one of Austria’s highest honors, given to leading international figures for distinguished achievements. The only other American artists who have received this recognition are Frank Sinatra and Jessye Norman.

In 2010 on the eve of his 80th birthday, Sonny Rollins is one of 229 leaders in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, arts, business, and public affairs who have been elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A center for independent policy research, the Academy is among the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and celebrates the 230th anniversary of its founding this year.

In August 2010, Rollins was named the Edward MacDowell Medalist, the first jazz composer to be so honored. The Medal has been awarded annually since 1960 to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to his or her field.

Yet another major award was bestowed on Rollins on March 2, 2011, when he received the Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama in a White House ceremony. Rollins accepted the award, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence, “on behalf of the gods of our music.”

Sonny Rollins and President Barack Obama, White House, March 2, 2011d

Sonny Rollins and President Barack Obama, White House, March 2, 2011

Since 2006, Rollins has been releasing his music on his own label, Doxy Records. The first Doxy album was Sonny, Please, Rollins’s first studio recording since This Is What I Do. That was followed by the acclaimed Road Shows, vol. 1 (2008), the first in a planned series of recordings from Rollins’s audio archives.

Mr. Rollins released Road Shows, vol. 2 in the fall of 2011. In addition to material recorded in Sapporo and Tokyo, Japan during an October 2010 tour, the recording contains several tracks from Sonny’s September 2010 80th birthday concert in New York—including the historic and electrifying encounter with Ornette Coleman.

On December 3, 2011 Sonny Rollins was one of five 2011 Kennedy Center honorees, alongside actress Meryl Streep, singer Barbara Cook, singer/songwriter Neil Diamond and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.   Rollins said of the honor, “I am deeply appreciative of this great honor. In honoring me, the Kennedy Center honors jazz, America’s classical music. For that, I am very grateful.”

The saxophonist’s most recent CD is Road Shows, vol. 3 (Doxy/Okeh/Sony).  Rollins is currently time off from performing and planning to record again in 2015.

Source: Official Website

In honor of those we've lost-Let's celebrate the life of Howard Rollins Jr. Tags: howard rollins jr heat night soilders story honoring those lost word life feature blog

Howard Rollins Jr. was born on this date in 1950. He was an African American actor.

Born in Baltimore, Howard Ellsworth Rollins, Jr., was the youngest of four children born to Howard E. Rollins, Sr., a steelworker, and Ruth R. Rollins, a domestic worker. After high school, he attended Towson State College, MD, where he studied theater. In his early years, Rollins vaguely considered becoming a teacher. At 17, a friend convinced him to attend a casting call at a local Baltimore theater, where he won a role in "Of Mice and Men."

Rollins surprised himself with the talent he displayed. Of that experience, Rollins told the New York Times in 1981, "Things made sense to me for the first time in my life." In 1974, he moved to New York City to try to get his career off the ground in earnest.

The big break for Rollins came when director Milos Forman cast him as Coalhouse Walker, Jr., in the 1981 film "Ragtime," based on the best-selling novel by E.L. Doctorow. Set at the beginning of the twentieth century, "Ragtime" includes a powerful storyline about a talented Black pianist who is the victim of racism, demands justice from the legal system and receives none, and ultimately desperately turns to retaliation. Rollins won wide acclaim for his portrayal of Coalhouse Walker and ultimately was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1981.

In 1982, speaking to the Los Angeles Herald Examiner about the treatment of racism in "Ragtime," Rollins stated: "It's as valid today as it ever was. You have neo-Nazis resurging, you have the Klan attempting to resurrect its members. There's no huge difference between 1906 and 1982 if one really looks at it. That movie could be done today and called 'Nowtime.'"

Rollins' performance in "Ragtime" led to many film and television roles. In 1982, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the daytime serial "Another World." He also appeared in a TV production of Carson McCullers' "The Member of the Wedding," in the comedy series "Fridays," and as the late civil rights leader Medgar Evers in "For Us the Living: The Medgar Evers Story."

In 1984, he played the lead role of Captain Richard Davenport in "A Soldier's Story," a film drawn on the Pulitzer-Prize winning play written by Charles Fuller and originally produced in New York City in 1981 by the famed Negro Ensemble Company. Rollins starred as an Army lawyer sent from Washington, D.C., to investigate the murder of an African-American sergeant on a military base in the South, a murder which may have been committed by Ku Klux Klan members from the area. Captain Davenport's investigation takes a surprising turn and the results demonstrate the pernicious impact of racism on African Americans.

Beginning in 1988, Rollins starred with Carroll O'Connor in the TV series, "In the Heat of the Night," which was drawn on the 1967 film starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger. The series was first shot in a small town in Louisiana and then in a small town in Georgia. Although Rollins had grown up in Baltimore, he often felt uneasy and isolated in the Deep South. He frequently said that when he left the set, derogatory words were used in reference to Blacks. He did not find the environment welcoming or friendly, he found the work on the series to be formulaic, and he began to indulge in cocaine and alcohol. In 1988, while filming in Louisiana, he was arrested for possession of cocaine. Despite efforts at rehab, his problems continued and in the early 1990s, he served a 70-day jail sentence in Georgia for driving under the influence. Despite Carroll O'Connor's continued friendship and loyalty, Rollins was eventually written out of "In the Heat of the Night."

In his last years, Rollins made determined efforts to rebuild his career. He appeared in the TV series "New York Undercover" and "Remember WENN," in the PBS television film "Harambee," and in the theatrical film "Drunks."
Rollins' exceptional acting throughout his career helped to inspire subsequent generations of African American actors, playwrights, and filmmakers. Despite his troubles, he was cherished by his friends inside and outside the entertainment industry.

Howard Rollins died on December 9, 1996, of complications from lymphoma. He was 46 years old. On October 26, 2006, a statue of Rollins was unveiled in his native Baltimore at the Senator Theater. This statue is now part of the collection of the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum in Baltimore.

Reference:
Bob Lamm, interview with Howard Rollins,
Los Angeles Herald Examiner,
Dec. 18, 1982, p D2.

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Rolling Stones are the legends of legends Tags: rolling stones legends music hall fame word life production

Mick Jagger (vocals; born July 26, 1943); Keith Richards (guitar, vocals; born December 18, 1943); Ian Stewart (piano; born July 18, 1938, died December 12, 1985); Charlie Watts (drums; born June 2, 1941); Bill Wyman (bass; born October 24, 1936); Brian Jones (guitar, vocals; born February 28, 1942, died July 3, 1969); Mick Taylor (guitar; born January 17, 1949); Ron Wood (guitar, vocals; born June 1, 1947)

Little did the Rolling Stones know how apt their name – inspired by the title of a Muddy Waters song, “Rollin’ Stone” – would turn out to be. Formed in 1962, they hold the record for longevity as a rock and roll band. There have been hiatuses, especially in the 1980s, but never a breakup. Moreover, critical acclaim and popular consensus has accorded them the title of the “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” Throughout five decades of shifting tastes in popular music, the Stones have kept rolling, adapting to the latest styles without straying from their roots as a lean, sinuous rock and roll band with roots in electric blues. In all aspects, theirs has been a remarkable career.

The Rolling Stones’ origins date back to the boyhood friendship of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, forged in 1951. Their acquaintance was interrupted when both families moved in the mid-Fifties but got rekindled in October 1960, when the two ran into each other at a train station and Richards noticed the imported R&B albums Jagger was carrying under his arm. Jagger, a student at the London School of Economics, was a hardcore blues aficionado, while Richards’ interest leaned more toward Chuck Berry-style rock and roll. Richards soon joined Jagger’s group, Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys.

While making the rounds of London blues clubs, Jagger and Richards met guitarist Brian Jones, a member of Blues Incorporated (fronted by Alexis Korner, a key figure in the early London blues-rock scene). They had been knocked out by Jones’ slide-guitar work on his solo reading of Elmore James’ “Dust My Broom.” (Jones actually employed the pseudonym “Elmo Lewis.”) Soon, the trio of Jagger, Richards and Jones became roommates and musical collaborators.

Keith Richards has been clear about whose band it was in the beginning: “Brian was really fantastic, the first person I ever heard playing slide electric guitar,” Richards said in Stone Alone: The Story of a Rock ’n’ Roll Band, by bassist Bill Wyman. “Mick and I both thought he was incredible. He mentioned he was forming a band. He could have easily joined another group, but he wanted to form his own. The Rolling Stones was Brian’s baby.”

When Alexis Korner skipped one of his regular Marquee gigs to appear on a BBC radio show, Jagger, Jones and Richards seized the opportunity to debut their new group. And so it came to pass that the earliest version of the Rolling Stones – which also included bassist Dick Taylor (later a founding member and guitarist for the Pretty Things), drummer Mick Avory (a future member of the Kinks) and keyboardist Ian Stewart (the Stones’ lifelong road manager and adjunct member) – made their first public appearance on July 12, 1962.

The Rolling Stones landed an eight-month residency at the Crawdaddy Club, where they attracted a following of fans and fellow musicians. By that time, the group’s final lineup had been set, with founding members Jagger, Richards and Jones augmented by drummer Charlie Watts (a Blues Incorporated alumnus) and bassist Bill Wyman. They also took on a young manager-producer, Andrew Loog Oldham, who saw in the Stones a chance to exploit “the opposite to what the Beatles are doing.” Indeed, the Stones would come to epitomize the darker, bluesier and more boldly sexual side of rock and roll in a kind of ongoing counterpoint with the Beatles’ sunnier, more pop-oriented vistas.

In May 1963 the Rolling Stones signed to Decca Records and cut their first single. With a Chuck Berry-penned A side (“Come On”) and a Willie Dixon cover on the flip (“I Want to Be Loved”), this 45 set forth the rock/blues dichotomy whose eventual melding in the Jagger/Richards songwriting team would come to define the Stones’ sound and sensibility. Their second single, “I Wanna Be Your Man,” was provided to them by the Lennon/McCartney songwriting tandem, proving from the outset that there no hostilities existed between the Beatles and the Stones. However, a spirit of friendly competition would serve each band well throughout the Sixties. The first half of 1964 saw the Rolling Stones headline their first British tour (with the Ronettes) and release the single “Not Fade Away” (a powerfully retooled Buddy Holly cover) and their eponymous first album, retitled England’s Newest Hitmakers/The Rolling Stones for U.S. release.

The Rolling Stones’ commercial breakthrough came in mid-1964 with their swinging, country-blues rendition of the Valentinos' “It’s All Over Now” (written by Bobby Womack and Shirley Womack) which went to Number One on the British chart and just missed the U.S. Top 40. But it was in 1965 that the Stones discovered their own voice with the singles “The Last Time” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” The last of these, built around a compelling fuzztone guitar riff from Richards, is more than a standard; quite possibly it is the all-time greatest rock and roll song. It also captured the Stones’ surly, impolite attitude, which would bring them into disfavor with rock-hating elements in the establishment. Of course, that only made the group more appealing to those youthful listeners who found themselves estranged from the adult world.

Aftermath, released in April 1966, was the first Rolling Stones album to consist entirely of Jagger-Richards originals. Their hard-rocking British pop songs detailed battles between sexes, classes and generations. The contributions of Brian Jones, the one-time blues purist, were now key to the Stones’ more eclectic approach, as he colored the songs with embellishments on a variety of instruments including marimba ("Under My Thumb") and dulcimer ("Lady Jane"). The group’s subsequent singles further pushed the envelope of outrage, which the Stones were learning to work to their benefit. “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow” was a pounding rocker whose picture sleeve depicted the Stones in drag, while “Let’s Spend the Night Together” engendered controversy in the States for the bluntly sexual come-on of its title and lyrics.

At mid-decade, the three pre-eminent forces in popular music were the Beatles, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. They mutually influenced one another, and aspects of Dylan’s folk-rock and the Beatles’ similar turn in that direction with Rubber Soul were clearly evident on the Stones’ Between the Buttons, which appeared in 1967. It remains the group’s most baroque and understated recording. After the release of Flowers, an album that compiled stray tracks for the American market, the Stones unleashed the bombastic psychedelia of Their Satanic Majesties Request. It was the group’s portentous retort to the Beatles’ "Summer of Love" manifesto, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It also marked the last time that the Stones would blatantly shadow the Beatles in a stylistic sense.

The year 1967 was an eventful one for the Rolling Stones. Not only did they release three albums, but also they were beset with legal troubles stemming from a string of drug busts engineered by British authorities wanting to make an example of them. When the dust cleared, Jagger, Richards and Jones narrowly escaped draconian prison sentences. However, whereas the ordeal seemed to strengthen Jagger and Richards’ resolve, ongoing substance abuse was rapidly causing Jones’ physical and mental states to disintegrate. He was only marginally involved in sessions for Beggar’s Banquet, the Stones’ 1968 masterpiece, and his departure due to “musical differences” was announced on June 9, 1969. Less than a month later, Jones was found dead in his swimming pool, the official cause being given as “death by misadventure.”

His replacement was Mick Taylor, an alumnus of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, who made his debut with the Stones only days after Jones’ death at a free concert in London’s Hyde Park. With a crowd of more than 500,000, the enormous outdoor concert launched the Stones’ 1969 tour while also paying last respects to Jones. By this time, the Stones had returned to definitive, hard-hitting rock and roll. The string of muscular Stones classics from this period includes “Jumpin' Jack Flash,” “Street Fighting Man,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Honky Tonk Women,” “Gimme Shelter” and “Midnight Rambler.” The last two songs came from Let It Bleed, an album filled with violence, decadence and social cataclysm. Perhaps the all-time classic Stones album, Let It Bleed debuted on the U.S. charts at Number Three, behind the Beatles’ Abbey Road and Led Zeppelin II. While the counterculture foundered, the music scene remained unassailably strong as the Sixties drew to a close.

As the Beatles’ final chapters were being written, the Stones shifted into high gear. If the former group expressed the heady idealism of the pop Sixties, then the Stones, by contrast, were blues-steeped, hard-rocking realists. It was them to whom the baton passed at the close of the decade. The Rolling Stones staged a free concert at Altamont Speedway outside San Francisco on December 6, 1969, mere months after Woodstock. The episode literally and figuratively marked the end the Sixties. A violence-prone, drug-wracked, daylong nightmare for which Hell’s Angels provided security, Altamont was marred by the stabbing death of a concert attendee. The event, viewed in hindsight as an epitaph, was filmed and preserved in the unnerving documentary Gimme Shelter.

In 1970, the Stones launched their own record company, Rolling Stones Records, for which they signed a distribution deal with Atlantic Records. The initial releases on the new label were Sticky Fingers and its raunchy, rocking first single, “Brown Sugar.” With a cover designed by artist Andy Warhol that featured a working zipper, Sticky Fingers benefited from guitarist Taylor’s melodic touch, especially on “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” and “Moonlight Mile.” British designer John Pasche came up with the famous red “tongue” logo that remains a Stones icon to this day.

They followed this succinct, well-tuned work with a sprawling, raucous masterpiece: the double album Exile on Main St. At this point, the Stones’ had their fingers firmly on the pulse of the fractured mood of the early Seventies. Recorded in France, where they’d moved as British tax exiles, the album also reflected the group’s internal yin-yang in grainy aural black-and-white: bristling musical energy vs. heavy-lidded world-weariness, love of rock vs. loyalty to the blues, the downward pull of decadence vs. a dogged effort to capture the moment. They took this juggernaut on the road shortly after Exile’s release.

Subsequent albums – Goats Head Soup (1973), It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (1974) and Black and Blue (1976) – yielded solid individual songs but lacked their predecessors’ sustained brilliance. Various factors, including Richards’ drug problems and Taylor’s abrupt departure in 1974, contributed to an air of instability in the mid-Seventies. Even so, Jagger and Richards were now firmly bonded as the “Glimmer Twins” – a name that they used as their joint production credit on albums from It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll onward. Ron Wood, a member of the Faces and Rod Stewart’s frequent collaborator and accompanist, was chosen as Taylor’s replacement for the Stones’ 1975 tour. He became an official member by the time of Black and Blue, appearing on that album's cover (even though he’d only actually played on a few of its tracks). Wood’s selection made perfect sense, as he was a British rock and roller who fit in solidly alongside Richards.

Richards’ arrest in Toronto on drug charges, including heroin possession, didn’t stop them from playing their scheduled club dates at Toronto’s El Mocombo club, excerpts from which appeared on one side of the double album Love You Live. The fallout from the bust would be 18 months of legal limbo, as Richards faced up to seven years in prison if convicted. (He was ultimately ordered to perform a benefit concert for the blind as his sentence.) Richards beat his heroin addiction during this period, “closing down the laboratory,” in his words.

With Wood’s integration into the lineup, and driven by the insurgent challenge of punk-rock, the Stones rebounded in 1978 with Some Girls, their strongest effort since Exile On Main St. The cover and certain lyrics proved controversial, with the title track eliciting charges of sexism, and the songs paid heed to musical trends, including unmistakably Stonesy takes on disco ("Miss You") and punk-rock ("Shattered"). Some Girls remains among the group’s best-selling albums, having been certified six times platinum (6 million copies sold) by the RIAA.

The Eighties saw the Stones achieve their highest-charting album (Tattoo You, Number One for nine weeks in 1981) but also take the longest period between tours (eight years). They kicked off the decade with Emotional Rescue, which included straight-ahead rockers like “She Was Hot,” as well as curveballs like the falsetto-sung title track. Tattoo You, highlighted by the instant classics “Start Me Up” and “Waiting on a Friend,” remains among the most revered of all late-period Stones albums. Undercover, from 1983, took a more contemporary tack, especially on the outre, New Wavish single “Undercover of the Night.”

At mid-decade, Jagger launched a solo career with the release of She’s the Boss. A growing estrangement between Jagger and Richards culminated in a three-year lull after the release of Dirty Work (1986), during which another solo release from Jagger (Primitive Cool) and Richards’ own solo debut (Talk Is Cheap) were released. The standoff ended when Jagger and Richards resumed their working relationship during a 10-day songwriting retreat in Barbados, resulting in the creative resurgence of the Steel Wheels album and tour.

Bassist Bill Wyman, increasingly suffering from fear of flying, announced his retirement from the band after the Steel Wheels tour, in 1992. “I did everything but hold him at gunpoint,” said Richards of his efforts to keep him in the band.” After auditioning many musicians, the Stones picked Darryl Jones – who’d played with various jazz, funk and soul musicians – to take over on bass. The Stones released two albums of new music in the Nineties, Voodoo Lounge (for which they won a Grammy for Best Rock Album) and Bridges to Babylon. Between those albums, they re-recorded a batch of classic older songs in the then-popular “unplugged” format, released at mid-decade as Stripped. Their three tours during this busy decade were the best-attended and most lucrative live outings in rock history to that point in time.

In 2002, the Rolling Stones issued Forty Licks, a double-disc retrospective that appended four new tracks. Their 40th anniversary tour followed that same year. In 2005 came A Bigger Bang, their only studio album of new material in the decade. The Stones’ primary activity came on the touring front, as their two-year A Bigger Bang World Tour set a new record (more than $550 million) for concert grosses. Not even a serious head injury sustained by Richards during a fall from a coconut palm in Fiji could stop the juggernaut for long.

The Stones celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2012. They released yet another greatest-hits album, GRRR! The album included two new tracks, "Doom and Gloom" and "One More Shot." On October 25, they played a surprise show to about 600 people in Paris. In November 2012, the group played two shows at London's The 02 Arena, and in December, they performed at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the Prudential Center in New Jersey. The Stones were joined on stage by Mick Taylor and Bill Wyman for these gigs. The band also joined artists including the Who, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney for "12-12-12," the Concert for Sandy Relief at Madison Square Garden.

Through their five decades as a band, no one has yet stripped the Rolling Stones of their title as the World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band. In 2002, Keith Richards had this to say in USA Today about the group’s improbable longevity: “People thought it couldn’t be done. We never thought of trying it. We are just here. It’s a vague mission you can’t give up until you keel over.”

Source: The Rock Hall of Fame: http://rockhall.com/inductees/the-rolling-stones/bio/

Papa Was A Rolling Stone Soul Train Line Dance- Temptations Tags: papa rolling stone temptations movie word life production video week

Arguably Motown's longest-running and most consistent act, the Temptations were top-notch, and this single-disc Motown sampler offers plenty of proof of that, including the classic singles "Ain't Too Proud to Beg," "My Girl," "Just My Imagination," "(I Know) I'm Losing You," "Cloud Nine," "Psychedelic Shack," and their dramatic masterpiece, "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone." The songs were always solid, and in spite of the stylistic sea changes of the music industry, the Temptations adapted to the market, continually issuing timeless material, and not many groups could boast a succession of lead singers like David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, and Dennis Edwards or producers (and songwriters) like Smokey Robinson and Norman Whitfield. There are several Temptations collections available, but this one presents all the big radio hits, so for most listeners, it'll be just what the doctor ordered. Purchase Today

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