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Tops on This Day in 1988: “Roll With It”

The invaluable site bobbobst.com tells us that the top song on this day in 1998 was Steve Winwoods “Roll With It.”

Here is more on Winwood, who rose to fame with the Spencer Davis Group, Traffic and Blind Faith:

Winwood burst into prominence in 1963 with the Spencer Davis Group and since that time his celebrated skills as a composer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist have developed an impressive catalog of popular music.

That extraordinary portfolio of music began at the age of fifteen as the driving force of the Spencer Davis Group. The group enjoyed a string of chart success by way of such enduring classics as “Keep On Running” “Gimme Some Lovin’” and “I’m A Man”. The international success of these singles bolstered Winwood’s confidence and strengthened his resolve to seek out new rhythmic possibilities.

In 1967, Winwood left the Spencer Davis Group and co-founded Traffic. Beloved for their eclectic style and superbly crafted songs, Traffic routinely defied convention to celebrate a host of perse sounds and influences. Landmark albums such as Mr. Fantasy and John Barleycorn Must Die confirmed their position as one of the most important British groups of the 1960’s and 1970’s. (Continue Reading…)

Winwood is touring with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Here is a review from a show in Portland last week.

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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 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.

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

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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.