Tag Archives: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Stu Cook

Stu Cook

Woodstock alum

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee

April 25–Happy birthday!

Concentrate on Cook’s bass in “The Night Time Is the Right Time” from Green River by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Stu Cook
Stu Cook at Woodstock
          Stuart Alden Cook was born on April 25, 1945. His first instrument was the trumpet, but when he, John Fogerty, and Doug Clifford formed the Blue Velvets in high school, Cook switched to rhythm guitar.

          At a point he bought a bass and decided that was the instrument for him. In a 2014 interview in Bassplayer, Cook said, "I liked bass—you played one note at a time, and you got paid as much as everybody else!"

          Creedence Clearwater Revival's success was not an overnight one, but once it arrived the four members rode a tsunami of hits which included a performance at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969.

          Internal personnel issues arose and Creedence broke up in 1972. Stu Cook and Doug Clifford, friends since high school, formed a production company. They also joined the Don Harrison Band, which released two albums (1976, The Don Harrison Band  and Red Hot in 1977).

          The performance of Creedence's music had gone away. John Fogerty didn't perform the music until the end of the 1980s and his estranged brother Tom died in 1990. 
          Creedence Clearwater Revival was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993

Stu Cook

          In 1995 Stu Cook and Doug Clifford formed Creedence Clearwater Revisited and after a court battle regarding the name continued as such today, a testament to the power and popularity of the music.

          From AllMusic: Suffice it to say that these guys are singularly unlikely to ever be a major creative force (or even part of one) in rock music the way they were..., and the chance of anything new or fresh issuing forth from them is practically nil. But that's also true of Chuck Berry and a lot of other names bigger than Cook or Clifford, and CCRevisited does put on a good show, and crowds looking for good-time rock & roll music enjoy them, the same way that Rob Grill & the Grass Roots or whatever version of "Herman's Hermits" Peter Noone is fronting can pull 15,000 to an outdoor venue on a decent summer night. At least CCRevisited doesn't pretend to be anything more than what it is, even if they're not too much more than a flesh-and-blood jukebox." 
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Jac Holzman

Jac Holzman

Jac Holzman
Jac in younger days.

Follow the Music

Stefano Santucci, a childhood conker buddy and fellow vinyl collector, recommended that I read Follow the Music: The Life and High Times of Electra Records In The Great Years of American Pop Culture by Jac Holzman and Gavan Daws. He said that it was "...the cat's pajamas. Highly recommend how this guy Jac Holzman discovered and produced some of the most amazing bands and songwriters, but also found their proper producer and engineers to get their best stuff out...not only the proper sound, but also   elected the album art and logos."

Among Boomers, a common complaint regarding today's recordings is the size of liner notes while holding. Album covers we could read, but today font size (did anyone even know what the word "font" meant in the 60s?), if one actually purchases a "hard" copy of a recording and not simply downloads it) are lilliputian.

Elektra_Records_logo_2013

Jac Holzman

When I did read those covers, I always saw the name Jac Holzman on the back of my Elektra Records and gradually realized that Elektra Records was a company that could be depended upon to produce great music.

Holzman founded Elektra Records on October 10 1950 out of his St John's College (Maryland) dorm room. (Sounds like Crawdaddy! founder Paul Williams, eh?) Holzman had $300 bar mitzvah money, but needed $300 more.College friend and Navy vet Paul Rickholt put in his veterans bonus.  

To make the Elektra logo, Holzman turned two Ms on their side for the Es and used a K instead of a C. Voila. 
Jac Holzman
Holzman was before Sam Phillips's Memphis Studio.
Before Elvis.
Before Rocket 88. 
Before the Beatles were teenagers.
Elektra's first album was an album of German art poems set to music by John Gruen and sung by Georgiana Bannister. Holzman left St John's College and stepped into Greenwich Village's nascent folk scene. He recorded Josh White (folk blues), Jean Ritchie (Appalachian folk) and Theodore Bikel (Israeli folk).
He recorded Judy Collins and Tom Paxton.
Record companies need income and Jac Holzman was creative. He could support the fledgling folk artist because he also released a series of albums aimed at branches of the military and various other groups’ interests and hobbies.

Sound effects

According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame site: Another of Holzman’s inspirations was a series of sound effects records. The first volume was released in 1960. Numbering 13 in total, they sold well and were extremely popular with the movie industry and radio programmers. Never had such a gallery of sounds and noises, including a definitive car crash, been so painstakingly recorded. Moreover, they were highly profitable because there were no performers' royalties involved.

Another way he subsidized his Elektra label was by creating Nonesuch records in 1963. He made classical music available by licensing titles from overseas labels and marketing the records at a lower price than American labels selling the same titles.

As the music of the 60's evolved, so did Elektra. Acoustic folk continued to be part of the label, but electricity too.
butterfly_1__400x400The Incredible String Band. David Ackles,  Carly Simon. Harry Chapin. Bread. Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Love. The Doors. Clear Light. The MC5. The Stooges. Queen.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

John Densmore spoke at Jac Holzman's March 14, 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. Densmore said, "Without Jac Holzman, Jim Morrison's lyrics would not be on the tip of the world's tongue."
Jac Holzman
 Music continues to benefit from Holzman. Nowadays he is now Senior Technology Advisor to Warner Music Group as “a wide-ranging technology ‘scout’, exploring new digital developments and identifying possible partners.”

 

References:

Rock and roll Hall of Fame bio >>> R & R H o F

Derek Sivers site >>> Sivers

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Happy Anniversary!
January 23, 1986
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
1986 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees
By 1986, rock and roll was in its fourth decade and a Hall of Fame seemed appropriate.
Ahmet Ertegun, Atlantic Records' chairman, founded The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame . He had announced the Hall's creation in August 1985 (click for article >>> NYT article). To be eligible, the performers nominated could alive or dead, but they had to have been actively involved in music for at least 25 years.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

And so it was on this date that the first induction was held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

smaller r and r h of f

The first class consisted of:
  • John Hammond
  • Alan Freed
  • Sam Phillips
  • Elvis Presley
  • Buddy Holly
  • Chuck Berry
  • Fats Domino
  • James Brown
  • Jerry Lee Lewis
  • Jimmie Rogers
  • Jimmy Yancy
  • Ray Charles
  • Sam Cooke
  • The Everly Brothers
  • Robert Johnson
  • Little Richard
 The New York Times article described the event this way: By the end of the evening, the audience of 1,000 music-industry figures was rocking and rolling - shouting, cheering, standing on tables and chairs - while several inductees, and a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of rock stars who had helped present the awards - took over the stage for a roaring but surprisingly cohesive jam session. (click >>> NYT article)
It was quite a party with lots of musical collaborations such as the following Reelin' and Rockin'

It is important to note that three of the inductees were not musicians as such: John Hammond was an American record producer, civil rights activist and music critic from the 1930s to the early 1980s. In his service as a talent scout, Hammond became one of the most influential figures in 20th century popular music], DJ Alan Freed, and Sam Phillips (blog piece about Memphis Recording Service)

Happy anniversary to the Rock and Roll  Hall of Fame.
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