Buddy Holly – RAVE ON - Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959), known professionally as Buddy Holly, was a singer-songwriter and a pioneer of rock and roll. Although his success lasted only a year and a half before his death in an airplane crash, Holly is described by critic Bruce Eder as "the single most influential creative force in early rock and roll." His works and innovations inspired and influenced contemporary and later musicians, notably The Beatles, Elvis Costello, The Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan, and exerted a profound influence on popular music. Holly was one of the inaugural inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
Ritchie Valens - LA BAMBA – Richard Steven Valenzuela (May 13, 1941 – February 3, 1959), known as Ritchie Valens, was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. A rock and roll pioneer and a forefather of the Chicano rock movement, Valens' recording career lasted only eight months. During this time, he had several hits, most notably "La Bamba", which was originally a Mexican folk song. Valens transformed the song into one with a rock rhythm and beat, and it became a hit in 1958, making Valens a pioneer of the Spanish-speaking rock and roll movement. On February 3, 1959, on what has become known as "The Day the Music Died", Valens died in a small-plane crash in Iowa, a tragedy that also claimed the lives of fellow musicians Buddy Holly and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, as well as pilot Roger Peterson. Valens was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
The Big Bopper - CHANTILLY LACE – Jiles Perry "J. P." Richardson, Jr. (October 24, 1930 – February 3, 1959), also commonly known as The Big Bopper, was an American musician and songwriter, whose big voice and exuberant personality made him an early rock and roll star. He is best known for his recording of "Chantilly Lace". On February 3, 1959, a day that has become known as The Day the Music Died (from Don McLean's song "American Pie"). Richardson was killed in a plane crash in Iowa, along with Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens and pilot Roger Peterson.
Otis Redding – (SITTIN’ ON) THE DOCK OF THE BAY - Otis Ray Redding, Jr. (September 9, 1941 – December 10, 1967) was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, arranger and talent scout. He is considered one of the greatest singers in popular music and a major artist in soul and rhythm and blues. His singing style was powerfully influential among soul artists of 1960s and helped exemplify the Stax Sound. Born and raised in Georgia, Redding left school at 15 to support his family, working with Little Richard's backing band, the Upsetters, and performing at talent shows for prize money. In 1958, he joined Johnny Jenkins' band, the Pinetoppers, and toured the Southern United States as driver and musician. An unscheduled appearance on a Stax recording session led to a contract and his first single, "These Arms of Mine", in 1962. Stax released Redding's debut album, Pain in My Heart, two years later. Initially popular mainly with African Americans, Redding later reached the broader American popular music audience. After appearing at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival Redding wrote and recorded the iconic "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" with Steve Cropper. The song became the first posthumous number-one record on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts after his death in a plane crash. Redding's premature death devastated Stax. Already on the verge of bankruptcy, the label soon discovered that Atlantic Records owned the rights to his entire catalog. Redding received many posthumous accolades, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He received the honorific "King of Soul". In addition to "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," "Respect" and "Try a Little Tenderness" are among his best known songs.
Rick Nelson – GARDEN PARTY - Eric Hilliard Nelson (May 8, 1940 – December 31, 1985) — known as Ricky Nelson — was an actor, musician and singer-songwriter. He starred alongside his family in the television series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952–66), as well as co-starring alongside John Wayne and Dean Martin in Howard Hawks's western feature film, Rio Bravo (1959). He placed 53 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1957 and 1973 including "Poor Little Fool" which holds the distinction of being the first #1 song on Billboard magazine's then-newly created Hot 100 chart.
In 1957, he recorded his first single, debuted as a singer on the television version of the sitcom, and released the #1 album entitled Ricky. In 1958, Nelson released his first #1 single, "Poor Little Fool", and in 1959 received a Golden Globe nomination for "Most Promising Male Newcomer" after starring in Rio Bravo. A few films followed, and when the television series was cancelled in 1966, Nelson made occasional appearances as a guest star on various television programs.Nelson was engaged to Helen Blair at the time of his death in an airplane crash on December 31, 1985.
Jim Croce – TIME IN A BOTTLE - James Joseph "Jim" Croce (January 10, 1943 – September 20, 1973) was an American singer-songwriter. Between 1966 and 1973, Croce released five studio albums and 11 singles. His singles "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and "Time in a Bottle" were both number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Croce was born in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 10, 1943, to James Albert and Flora Mary (Babucci) Croce, Italian Americans. Croce took a strong interest in music at a young age. At five, he learned to play his first song on the accordion, "Lady of Spain."
Croce attended Upper Darby High School in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. After graduating in 1960, he studied at Malvern Preparatory School for a year before enrolling at Villanova University, where he majored in psychology and minored in German. He graduated with a Bachelor degree in 1965. Croce was a member of the Villanova Singers and the Villanova Spires. In 1972, Croce signed to a three-record deal with ABC Records and released two albums, You Don't Mess Around with Jim and Life and Times. The singles "You Don't Mess Around with Jim", "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)", and "Time in a Bottle" (written for his then-unborn son, A. J. Croce) all received airplay. Croce's biggest single, "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown", hit No. 1 on the American charts in July 1973. That year, the Croces relocated to San Diego, California.
As his career picked up, Croce began touring the United States with including in large coffee houses, on college campuses, and at folk festivals. However, Croce's financial situation was still dire. The record company had fronted him the money to record the album, and much of the money the album earned went back to pay the advance. During his tours, Croce grew increasingly homesick, and decided to take a break from music and settle down with his wife and infant son after his Life and Times tour was completed. In a letter to his wife which arrived after his death, Croce stated his intention to quit music and stick to writing short stories and movie scripts as a career, and withdraw from public life. On Thursday, September 20, 1973, during Croce's Life and Times tour and the day before his ABC single "I Got a Name" was released, Croce, his guitar players Maury Muehleisen, and four others were killed when the chartered Beechcraft E18S they were traveling in crashed while taking off from the Natchitoches Regional Airport in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Others who died in the crash were charter pilot Robert N. Elliott, comedian George Stevens, manager and booking agent Kenneth D. Cortose, and road manager Dennis Rast. Croce had just completed a concert at Northwestern State University's Prather Coliseum in Natchitoches and was flying to Sherman, Texas, for a concert at Austin College. The plane crashed an hour after the end of the concert.
Eddie Cochran – ‘CMON EVERYBODY - Edward Raymond 'Eddie' Cochran (October 3, 1938 – April 17, 1960) was an American musician. Cochran's rockabilly songs, such as "C'mon Everybody", "Somethin' Else", and "Summertime Blues", captured teenage frustration and desire in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He experimented with multitrack recording and overdubbing even on his earliest singles, and was also able to play piano, bass and drums. His image as a sharply dressed and good-looking young man with a rebellious attitude epitomized the stance of the 50s rocker, and in death he achieved an iconic status. Cochran died aged 21 after a road accident, whilst travelling in a taxi in the town of Chippenham, Wiltshire, during his British tour in April 1960, having just performed at Bristol's Hippodrome theatre. Though his best-known songs were released during his lifetime, more of his songs were released posthumously. In 1987, Cochran was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His songs have been much covered by bands such as The Who, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Move, Dick Dale & his Del-Tones, Blue Cheer, Led Zeppelin, Rush, Humble Pie, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Teenage Head, Tiger Army, UFO, The White Stripes, the Stray Cats, and the Sex Pistols.
The Isley Brothers – SHOUT - The Isley Brothers are an American musical group originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, originally a vocal trio consisting of brothers O'Kelly Isley, Jr., Rudolph Isley and Ronald Isley. The group has been cited as having enjoyed one of the "longest, most influential, and most diverse careers in the pantheon of popular music". Alongside a fourth brother, Vernon, the group originally performed gospel music until Vernon's death a couple years after its original formation. After moving to the New York City area in the late 1950s, the group had modest chart successes during their early years, first coming to prominence in 1959 with their fourth single, "Shout", written by the three brothers. Initially a modest charted single, the song eventually sold over a million copies. Afterwards the group recorded modestly successful works for a variety of labels, including the top 20 single, "Twist & Shout" and the Motown single, "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)" before recording and issuing the Grammy Award-winning hit, "It's Your Thing" on their own label, T-Neck Records.
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – PRIDE AND JOY - Stephen "Stevie" Ray Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American guitarist, singer, songwriter and record producer. Often referred to by his initials, SRV, Vaughan revived blues rock and paved the way for many other artists. Vaughan was a founding member and leader of Double Trouble. With drummer Chris Layton and bassist Tommy Shannon, Vaughan ignited the blues revival of the 1980s. In a career spanning seven years, Vaughan and Double Trouble consistently sold out concerts while their albums frequently went gold. Vaughan was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, and briefly lived in Graham, Texas. The younger brother of Jimmie Vaughan, Stevie started playing guitar at the age of seven and soon after formed several bands that occasionally performed in local nightclubs. At age 17, he dropped out of high school and moved to Austin to pursue a career in music, joining groups such as Krackerjack, the Nightcrawlers, and the Cobras. In 1977, he formed Triple Threat Revue, a band that regularly performed around Austin and eventually evolved into Double Trouble. In 1982, Vaughan and Double Trouble performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, catching the attention of musicians David Bowie and Jackson Browne. Bowie asked Vaughan to play on his upcoming studio album Let's Dance and Browne offered the band free use of his personal studio in Los Angeles to record an album.
In March 1983, veteran record producer John Hammond Sr. of Epic Records signed Vaughan and Double Trouble and released their debut album, Texas Flood, in June of that year. While successfully touring, the group released the albums, Couldn't Stand the Weather (1984) and Soul to Soul (1985), the latter of which featured keyboardist Reese Wynans. Although his career had progressed successfully, Vaughan checked into a rehabilitation hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, to give up a cocaine and alcohol addiction and returned to touring with the band. In June 1989, they released In Step, which earned them a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Performance. On August 27, 1990, Vaughan died in a helicopter crash following a performance in East Troy, Wisconsin.
The Allman Brothers – DREAMS – The Allman Brothers Band is an American rock/blues band once based in Macon, Georgia. The band was formed in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1969 by brothers Duane Allman (slide guitar and lead guitar) and Gregg Allman (vocals, organ, songwriting), plus Dickey Betts (lead guitar, vocals, songwriting), Berry Oakley (bass guitar), Butch Trucks (drums), and Jai Johanny "Jaimoe" Johanson (drums). While the band has been called the principal architects of Southern rock, they also incorporate elements of blues, jazz, and country music, and their live shows have jam band-style improvisation and instrumentals.
The band achieved its artistic and commercial breakthrough in 1971 with the release of At Fillmore East, featuring extended renderings of their songs "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" and "Whipping Post" and often considered one of the best live albums ever made. George Kimball of Rolling Stone magazine hailed them as "the best damn rock and roll band this country has produced in the past five years." A few months later, group leader Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident. The group survived that and the death of bassist Oakley in another motorcycle accident a year later; with replacement members Chuck Leavell and Lamar Williams, the Allman Brothers Band achieved its peak commercial success in 1973 with the album Brothers and Sisters and the hit single "Ramblin' Man". Internal turmoil overtook the band soon after; the group dissolved in 1976, reformed briefly at the end of the decade with additional personnel changes, and dissolved again in 1982.
In 1989, the group reformed with some new members and has been recording and touring since. A series of personnel changes in the late 1990s was capped by the departure of Betts. The group found stability during the 2000s with bassist Oteil Burbridge and guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks (the nephew of their drummer), and became renowned for their month-long string of shows in New York City each spring. The band has been awarded eleven gold and five platinum albums between 1971 and 2005 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. Rolling Stone ranked them 52nd on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time in 2004
Lynyrd Skynyrd – TUESDAY’S GONE - Lynyrd Skynyrd is an American rock band best known for popularizing the southern hard-rock genre during the 1970s. Originally formed in 1964 as the The Noble Five in Jacksonville, Florida, the band rose to worldwide recognition on the basis of its driving live performances and signature tunes "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird". At the peak of their success, three members died in an airplane crash in 1977, putting an abrupt end to the band's most popular incarnation.
T. Rex – BANG A GONG (GET IT ON) - T. Rex were a British rock band, formed in 1967 by singer-songwriter and guitarist Marc Bolan. The band formed as Tyrannosaurus Rex, releasing four underground folk albums under the name. Tony Visconti (their producer for several albums) claimed in a documentary on the band that he had taken to using the abbreviated term "T. Rex" as a shorthand, something that initially irritated Bolan, who gradually came around to the idea and officially shortened the band's name to "T. Rex" at roughly the same time they started having big hits (shortly after going electric).
In the early to mid 1970s, the band reached huge success with fourteen top-20 UK glam rock hits: "Jeepster", "Get It On", "Ride a White Swan", "Solid Gold Easy Action", "Children of the Revolution", "Hot Love", "Telegram Sam", "20th Century Boy", "Debora", "Teenage Dream", "The Groover", "New York City", "I Love To Boogie" and "Metal Guru". During this period the band also released six UK top-30 albums, including Electric Warrior, which hit the top of the album charts.
In 1977, Bolan was killed in a car accident, and the band broke up.
Research provided by Wikipedia