Although it originated in Ireland, the tune and melody of "Londonderry Air" is known worldwide, its flowing cadence inextricably linked to Irish heritage. When English lawyer and songwriter Frederic Weatherly was introduced to the tune in 1913, he recast lyrics he'd previously penned to match the "Londonderry" melody, giving rise to "Danny Boy,"arguably the most celebrated version of the song.
For more than a century, the stirring folk ballad has been adapted by a diverse cast of performers, including various Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees. Here, we look at versions of "Danny Boy" by Sam Cooke, Johnny Cash, Jackie Wilson, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Eric Clapton.
Cooke cut a beautifully soul-infused version of "Danny Boy" for his 1958 self-titled debut album, adding a charismatic lilt to the arrangement.
Cash recorded a hauntingly solemn version of "Danny Boy" for his 1965 Columbia Records release Orange Blossom Special, an album that included various folk and country standards as interpreted by the incomparable Man in Black.
Wilson, who could effortlessly transition from rock to blues to soul, transformed "Danny Boy" – reportedly one of his mother's favorite songs – in ...
What happens when two musical giants collide, when two Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees defying genres and generations share the stage? On October 28, 1970 just that happened on Johnny Cash's TV variety show, when he welcomed "the great Louis Armstrong." Cash opened the introduction, remarking: "This country has given the world three original art forms – country music, jazz and Louis Armstrong."
Promoting his 1970 collection of country and western standards (fittingly titled Country & Western) and sporting an oversized cowboy hat, Armstrong sang "Crystal Chandeliers," the country classic originally sung by Charley Pride; and "Ramblin' Rose," a song made popular by Nat King Cole.
With the performance wrapped, Armstrong took a seat beside Cash, both musicians holding their instruments of choice: a trumpet and a guitar, respectively. "You've been at it a long time," Cash said to Armstrong. "I know that. We did a little research on some of your recordings; we find that on July 16, 1930, you played trumpet on a session with the late Jimmie Rodgers, the Father of Country Music. That was in Hollywood, right?"
Armstrong explained the ostensibly unlikely pairing: "We had a meeting one morning and Jimmie said, 'Man, I ...
“'I Walk the Line' was a hit in November of 1956, that’s about a year before I was born, so it really is a part of the world that I know. But that’s the way it seems with great songs and great artists. Their impact on people is such that you can’t imagine what the world would be like or sound like without them.”
That was Lyle Lovett describing the first Johnny Cash song he ever heard, when he inducted Cash at the 1992 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony (watch video of Lyle Lovett inducting Johnny Cash into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame).
“I Walk the Line” hit Number One on the country Billboard charts and crossed over into the pop Top 20. Nearly six decades after "I Walk the Line" – and more than a decade after his passing in 2003 at age 71 – new, never-before-heard material from The Man in Black is scheduled for release in Spring 2014.
Pictured (l-r): 1943 Martin acoustic guitar played by Johnny Cash during his Sun Records recording sessions from 1955 to 1958; c.1955 suit worn by Johnny Cash during his time with Sun Records ...
In 1960s Los Angeles, California, an elite group of studio session musicians came together and played on hits for the Beach Boys, the Byrds, Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley, Simon and Garfunkel, Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound," Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, Jan & Dean, the Monkees, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, 5th Dimension, Tijuana Brass and Johnny Rivers among others. From "Be My Baby" to "California Girls;" "Strangers in the Night" and "Mrs. Robinson;" "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'" and "Up, Up and Away;""Viva Las Vegas" to "Mr. Tambourine Man," the group dubbed "The Wrecking Crew" played on some of rock and roll's most-beloved songs. “The musicians really are the unsung heroes of all these hit records,” noted Nancy Sinatra. And now the world will know their story – if all goes to plan.
Watch + Listen: American singer, songwriter and record producer Jerry Fuller tells the story of how he wrote "Travelin' Man" for Sam Cooke, recorded it with Glen Campbell, and how the demo went in the garbage before finding its way to Ricky Nelson. (From The Wrecking Crew: The Untold Story of Rock & Roll Heroes)
Among the musicians in the "Crew" was guitarist Tommy ...
The Everly Brothers' sound borrowed from Appalachian folk, bluegrass and country to form a dreamy, innocent style of rock and roll. Over the decades – particuarly in the Fifties and Sixties – the Everlys’ close-harmony style influenced the likes of the Hollies, Simon and Garfunkel, the Byrds and the Beatles, with Paul McCartney noting “They were and still are the very best.” Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its inaugural year, 1986, the Everly Brothers are featured in the Museum's Cities and Sounds exhibit, in the Rave On section. There, visitors to the Museum will find the outfits worn by the brothers on the cover of The Fabulous Style of the Everly Brothers, as well as a 1963 Gibson Everly Brothers model featuring a split pick guard surrounding the sound hole that was meant to represent the brothers’ familial resemblance.
Watch + Listen: Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones "Silver Haired Daddy of Mine"
While best-known for such hits as "Cathy's Clown," "Bye Bye Love,""Wake Up Little Susie," and "All I Have to Do Is Dream," in 1958, Don and Phil Everly surprised fans when they shifted tack, paying homage to their Tennessee roots. On Songs ...
Tonight, Bill Janovitz will discuss his recent book Rocks Off: 50 Tracks That Tell the Story of The Rolling Stones at Cuyahoga Community College’s Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts in the Black Box Theater (adjacent to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Library and Archives, 2809 Woodland Avenue, Cleveland). The event is part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's 18th annual Music Masters series, honoring the music of the Rolling Stones. For the complete schedule of Music Masters events, including Saturday's Rolling Stones tribute concert, click here.
In Rocks Off, Janovitz – also singer, guitarist, and songwriter in the band Buffalo Tom – shares the story of the Rolling Stones as told through 50 of their most representative songs. Janovitz is also the author of Exile on Main Street (from the critically acclaimed 33 1/3 series) about the iconic Stones album.
In advance of tonight's event, Janovitz toured the Museum in Cleveland, including Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction. He sat down with the Rock Hall to discuss how he came up with Rocks Off concept, how he narrowed down the Rolling Stones' catalog to just 50 songs and why ...
The fans voted, and we listened: the Rolling Stones album to be highlighted during tonight's special listening party in the Museum's Foster Theater will be the group's 1971 classic recording Sticky Fingers. After asking fans to decide what Rolling Stones album the Rock Hall should highlight, the votes were tallied and Sticky Fingers rose to the top. Tonight, visitors can listen to the entire album through the Museum's state-of-the-art Foster Theater sound system and take part in an in-depth look at the record led by the Rock Hall's education department. Tune in to the live stream at 8 pm EST here! The Rock Hall will honor the Rolling Stones as the 2013 Music Masters during the week of October 21.
Released in 1971, Sticky Fingers captured the sound of the Rolling Stones' inimitable, insouciant style. The album was released less than a year after the group launched its own record label – aptly named 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.” Musically, the album showcased the band's versatility, from the country ...
Today, the United States Postal Service officially made available a new Johnny Cash stamp, honoring the American music legend and 1992 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee as part of the Postal Service's Music Icons series. The stamp features a portrait of Cash taken by famed photographer Frank Bez, who captured the image of "the Man in Black" during photo sessions for 1963's Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash.
Although present at the genesis of rock and roll as one of the earliest signings to Sam Phillips' Sun Records in 1955, Cash recorded for nearly three decades with Columbia Records, a fruitful period that produced an estimated 1,400 songs. Cash's 16th album, Ring of Fire did, in fact, feature some of his best material, and on the week of January 11, 1964, it became the Number One album on Billboard's new Country Album chart. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's collection features a number of Johnny Cash items in the Memphis section of the Museum's Cities and Sounds exhibit. Among the featured items are a suit worn by Cash and a 1943 Martin acoustic guitar he played ...