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This Day in Music: “Hail! Hail! Rock and Roll” Concerts Held

Tribute concerts honoring Chuck Berry’s sixtieth birthday — memorably commemorated in the great concert film “Hail! Hail! Rock and Roll” — were held at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis.

Wikipedia says that there were two concerts that day. Among the performers were host Keith Richards — who was responsible for the event — Linda Ronstadt, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Etta James, Johnnie Jonson, Bobby Keys and Julian Lennon.

Interviews in the movie (some archival) were conducted with Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and others. Taylor Hackford directed the film.

Berry’s birthday is October 18.

Wikipedia and This Day in Music are cited in this post.

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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 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.