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Happy 75th Birthday to Brian Johnson! Brian has been the lead singer of AC/DC since 1980, as well as a founding member of the 70’s British rock band Geordie. While his tenure with Geordie produced a few hits in the UK, Johnson gained wide-known recognition when he stepped up to replace Bon Scott as the frontman for AC/DC. Bon had left big shoes to fill, but Brian turned out to be a wonderful replacement. Within months of Brian joining AC/DC, the band would release their seventh studio album, Back in Black. The album was a massive success and sold over fifty million records placing it as the second best-selling album of all time. Brian was a perfect fit, sounding close to Bon Scott, but bringing his own grit and rasp to the sound of the band. His over forty year tenure with the band helped take them to new heights that only few others ever achieved.
Happy Birthday to Ray Charles! Ray is one of the most iconic and influential musicians in history, having pioneered the R&B genre. Due to his complete blindness by age seven, Ray had to learn to rely on his ears, teaching himself classical music by reading compositions in Braille. By 1960, Charles had his first of three No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 list with “Georgia On My Mind”. In addition to his titanic contributions to music, Ray’s staunch stance against segregation would cement him as a civil rights hero. Though Ray Charles completely lost his sight, he possessed the vision of a genius by combining gospel singing, blues, and jazz in a way that would forever change music.
Happy Birthday to the King of Blues, B.B. King! B.B. is one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, having heavily inspired many of his successors. He could make his guitar sing, encouraging many musicians to try to capture the same soulful emotion King’s playing was able to express. B.B. pioneered a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending, shimmering vibrato, and staccato picking that crowned him the single most important electric guitarist of the 20th century. He was a tireless performer, never going more than a few days without a concert. Although he passed in 2015, B.B. will always remain the King of Blues.
Some good news! 🎸✌️
Happy Birthday to Jimmy Reed! Jimmy played a mean blues guitar, and alternated between singing and playing harmonica. Reed started his career in Chicago after serving in the Navy during WWII, establishing himself as a popular blues musician by the 1950’s. His approachable style guided many of his successors in the music world, including Elvis, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, the Grateful Dead, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and many more. His song “Baby What You Want Me To Do” has been covered over thirty times. Inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, Reed left an indelible imprint on the world of Blues and Rock and Roll. If you’ve listened to any classic rock, odds are it was heavily influenced by Jimmy Reed.
Remembering Stevie Ray Vaughan – Stevie was the best of the best. His rhythm playing was impeccable, his solos were blinding fast yet dynamic, and his style was supreme. Vaughan played his Stratocaster with intention, every note perfectly placed, often playing behind his back just as well as he could in front. He wasn’t just a world class guitar player, Stevie was a complete frontman who stole the show in the 80’s with his charisma at the microphone. With the help of his bandmates in Double Trouble, Vaughan blazed a trail for the future of the blues. Stevie Ray will be forever remembered as one of the greatest blues guitarists.
Happy Birthday to Ginger Baker! Ginger was a founding member of Cream and also a member of supergroup Blind Faith. His drumming was noted for using two bass drums, as well as lengthy drum solos which were some of the earliest examples in classic rock. Baker’s collaborations with Eric Clapton lead to some of the best music out of the 60’s, in addition to a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
Wise words from The Sultan! HBD Mark! ✌️🎸
Happy 73d birthday to the great Mark Knopfler!
“I think kids learning from transcription books is fine, but I think the best way to learn music is from lots and lots of old records. It helps when you’re learning something new to have some sort of feel for what has come before. BB King wouldn’t play the way he played unless he’d heard Lonnie Johnson."
You have to start with American music in the ,20s. It would help if you knew about Irish and Celtic music as well. American music is essentially a nuclear fusion of blues and country. That's what the whole thing's about. Nothing else matters. You have to know the history of it, which doesn't involve listening to Otis Rush just once. It doesn't involve listening to Speckled Red once. It doesn't involve listening to Gid Tanner And The Skillet Lickers once. It doesn't involve listening to Bob Wills once. It's extremely foolish to have all these music schools create opportunities for talented kids to learn how to do technical things unbelievably well, when they don't understand where the hell it's coming from. Lots of people play music and don’t really hear it, which brings us to the subject of musical musicians and unmusical musicians. There are many impressive players who are far more technically adept than I am, for instance, but they're not hearing it, they're just doing it. Sticking stuff in the right boxes, depending on what the progression is.
Image: Rob Verhorst / Redferns
On August 10, 1984 the Red Hot Chili Peppers released their self-titled debut album. Credited as the one of the first albums to be in the funk metal genre, the album featured a mix of funk, hard rock, hip hop, and punk. While the Chili Peppers did not see the same success that their later albums would generate, their seminal album paved the way for them to become one of the most popular bands in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. The Chili Peppers would go on to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
When Willie Nelson speaks ... you LISTEN.
Today Mick Jagger celebrates his 79th birthday! Jagger, with the help of fellow members of the Rolling Stones, pioneered Rock n’ Roll throughout his six decade career. His songwriting partnership with Keith Richards is one of the most prosperous in history, helping lead Jagger to an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. Mick’s unique voice and stunning live performances cemented what it meant to be a frontman in a rock band and was a driving factor in the Stones’ prolific success. Happy Birthday Mick!
Remembering John Weldon "J. J." Cale (December 5, 1938 – July 26, 2013)
“Tulsa is kind of in the middle of the United States and rhythm and blues and blues came out of Mississippi and kind of filtered up there and jazz coming out of the north, Kansas City was a big jazz hotbed in the ‘50s and late ‘40s, and Western swing, which is kind of a Country guy’s impression of swing music of, say, Glenn Miller and those kind of guys. So it was kind of a melting pot in there," Cale said. "Then rock & roll hit about 1956 or ’54, I guess. And I decided that was my kind of music.”
“What my whole object was is not to really sell records. I was trying to sell songs," Cale said. "And instead of running around Nashville or New York or Los Angeles, knocking on people’s doors and trying to get them to cut my songs, we thought that making records would get the songs out there farther and it really did. So, my records really didn’t sell, but musicians started picking up on my sound and my songs and cutting my songs and that turned into a gold mine.”
Photo © Michael Putland
Happy 75th Birthday to Brian May! Brian is a guitarist and founding member of Queen. Considered a virtuoso among many publications as well as his peers, May’s unique contributions helped drive Queen to widespread success. Steve Vai said of Brians’s playing “When you break it down and when you look at it from a guitar player's point of view, it's unique, and nobody to this date could do what he does and make it sound like that. He is an iconic player. His tone, his choice of melody notes, he doesn't just do solos. His solos are melodies, and they're perfectly in place.” May is also known for playing a one of a kind guitar that he made out of an 18th century fireplace with his father when he was 16.
Happy Birthday to Artimus Pyle! In 1974, Artemis joined southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd as their second drummer. Pyle debuted on Skynyrd’s third album Nuthin’ Fancy and would remain for their next three albums with the original lineup. Artemis’ drumming brought more technical fills compared to his predecessor's simple but tight contributions, and led to a more developed sound for the albums he played on. After the infamous plane crash that took the lives of four members of Skynyrd and critically injured the rest, Artimus managed to navigate through a Mississippi swamp with torn cartilage in his chest to get help for the survivors. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006 with the other members of Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Happy Birthday to John Lee Johnson, better known as Jaimoe. Jaimoe is a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band. In 1969 he joined Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, guitarist Dickey Betts, bassist Berry Oakley, and fellow drummer Butch Trucks to form the iconic southern rock band. The two drummers, unusual at the time, added to the sound that the dual guitars provided making the Allman Brothers an act “you had to see live”. The Wall Street Journal said of Jaimoe, “His passion for jazz helped form the nascent Allman Brothers Band's improvisational approach, which incorporated blues, country and Western swing into a unique musical approach that nodded toward the Grateful Dead's West Coast explorations but never became as loosey-goosey”. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 with the other founding members of the Allman Brothers, and was listed as one of the 100 greatest drummers of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine.
June 27, 1970 – The newly formed Queen, billed at the time as Smile, played their first gig at Truro City Hall in Cornwall, England. The band, consisting of Freddie Mercury on vocals, Brian May on guitar, Mike Grose on bass, and drummer Roger Taylor, became one of the most recognizable rock bands of all time.
Happy 75th Birthday to Mick Fleetwood! Fleetwood is best known as the drummer, founding member, and leader of British rock band Fleetwood Mac. While Fleetwood Mac saw success in the 1960’s, including their UK number one hit “Albatros”, the band blossomed after the addition of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks in late 1974. 1975 saw the release of their self titled album “Fleetwood Mac” followed in 1977 by “Rumors”, which sold over 40 million copies becoming one of the best selling albums of all time. Though Nicks’ vocals and Buckingham’s guitar often take center stage, Mick’s simple instinctive drumming was the glue that kept Fleetwood Mac together for over five decades.
HBD Bob! Another trip around the sun! ✌️🎸
Happy Birthday Bob Dylan (born May 24th, 1941) Here pictured in studio in 1965
Red Leaf School of Music would like to extend a Happy Mothers Day to all rockin' moms. Thank you for your support! Keep on rockin'!
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Our Teachers offer instruction in a variety of styles, from traditional to modern. Styles include rock, pop, blues, folk, funk, country, jazz, and more. If you don't see your style here, call and we'll try to help you find a teacher that suits you.
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