ZZ Top: “I Gotsta Get Paid” and “La Grange”

In 1994, ZZ Top was offered $1 million apiece by Gillette to shave their beards for a television commercial. The good news is that both lead guitarist Billy Gibbons and bass player Dusty Hill refused. The irony is that the only clean shaven person in the band is drummer Frank Beard.

Bob Marley and the Wailers

Marley is one of the most compelling and influential musical personalities and performers of the 20th century, and it's no exaggeration to say that The Wailers are The Beatles of Reggae. Check out "Stir it Up."

It's Really Hard Not to Like Courtney Barnett

Apparently, her fellow Australian musicians indeed are fond of her. Many made cameos in her video "Elevator Operator."

Louis Armstrong

There is no American musician more important than Armstrong. It's a combination of talent, where history put him and, above all, an indomitable spirit. Check out a duet with the great Danny Kaye.

He went in and out of style while he was alive, but Johnny Cash now is an icon. Streissguth, a professor at LeMoyne College, has written extensively about Cash and country music.

Valerie June Hockett was born in Tennessee, lived in Memphis and has relocated to Brooklyn. You are in for a treat if you aren't familiar with her.

The Many Worlds of Valerie June

'Hit the Road Jack,' which was written by Percy Mayfield, clocks in at about 2 minutes. That's not long--but enough to be one of Charles' three number ones.

Quite a Trip: Ray Charles Hits the Road in His Shortest Number One Hit
Leon Russell

In addition to writing great songs, Russell was a member of The Wrecking Crew and pivotal to Mad Dogs and Englishmen. Check out a long studio session video which also features the great JJ Cale.

Fifteen Great Musical Moments from Non-Musical Movies

It's ironic that a song often is pivotal in a movie that is not primarily about music. Check out some special moments

Ginger Baker: Great Drummer, Bad Guy

He, along with Keith Moon and a couple of others, defined the instrument for rock. To say Baker was not a beloved figure is an understatement, however.

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New Releases: Just Posted at TDMB

Let The Daily Music Break Help You
Find Great Music on the Internet

There is a lot of great music that you've missed!
Maybe it's too old. Perhaps it's too new.
Maybe it wasn't on your radar when you were younger.
Perhaps you did like it--but you've forgotten how great it is.

There is great music all around us on the Internet. The Daily Music Break will help you find it.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some music books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

Remaster Tracker

Remasters are great. Folks can renew and expand the music they've owned forever or jump into something new at a high level since these packages usual contain bonus tracks and other goodies.

These look like great remasters: Kraftwerk's Authobahn, John Coltrane's Giant Steps and an import from the legendary recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder.

Here are more featured remasters.

This Charlie Parker album features Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Bud Powell, Duke Jordan, John Lewis and Max Roach. Click here or on the image.


Kate Bush is remastering her entire catalog on vinyl and CD. Click here Click here or on the image.


Many consider "Beggars Banquet" to be The Rolling Stones' finest studio album (though others would vote for "Sticky Fingers"). This two-disc 50th anniversary remaster includes a vinyl record. Click here or on the image.