Musings On Music History: Happy Birthday To Us!

06.10: On this day in 2004, “The Genius of Soul”, Ray Charles passed away. He was 73. During his amazing life, he propelled R&B into the future, melding gospel with juke-joint lyrics and jazz rhythms, as well as taking pieces of country, rock, and blues along for the ride. Man, what a monumental talent and an amazing voice in the history of contemporary music. You don’t even need to see the movie “Ray” to appreciate this man. Just pick up The Genius Hits The Road (from whence “Georgia On My Mind” came) or his masterpiece Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, and you’ll understand the talent in his arrangements, production, playing and voice. Ray Charles is the man, no if, ands, or buts, and we sorely miss him still. However, today we celebrate not his passing but his life. What a life, indeed.

06.14: Hard Rock Cafe officially opened its doors in London on this day in 1971. Happy birthday to us! Some companies have a history that stays firmly in the past. We’re fortunate to have a legacy that permeates our present like a classic song, not with nostalgia, but as the reminder of a timeless foundation and simple beginnings. When you consider we have over 175 locations, which include restaurants, hotels, casinos, and live music venues, in 55 countries, it’s hard to believe that it all started so innocently: the search for a good burger. Read all about Hard Rock’s storied history by clicking here! [more]

06.14: Not only does Roxanne not have to put on the red light, but she’d be well advised not to. On this day in 2003, the Queen of England made Sting a Commander of the British Empire. What hath thou wrought, Queen Elizabeth II? Does this mean that Sting can now command the British Navy or that he can have people summarily executed? Or lead the troops in yoga? The latter would be much preferred to either of the other two.

06.16: File this one under pretty damn funny. The band Toto (Remember them? No? Hello? Africa? Awesome!) issued an apology to keyboardist David Paich after joking Paich would sit out their summer 2003 tour to get a sex change operation. Turns out Paich was really looking after a sick family member. Smooth move, other guys in Toto besides the beleaguered keyboardist guy.

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