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Andy Sullivan: Against the Grain

As you know, I like learning new music facts.  I also like passing those onto you.  For instance, as I learned on Sirius XM’s ‘60’s on 6: did you know the Beatles opened for Tommy Roe in 1962? Yes, Joh, Paul, George and Ringo.  Hey, every artist starts opening for someone.  AXS’ show Top Ten Revealed taught me that the late Tom Petty used to be a grave digger.  He drew on that past career for the video for his hit “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”.  

Herb Alpert is the A in A&M Records.  Learned that one on 80’s on 8.  They also taught me that the late Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton classic “Islands In The Stream” was actually written for the late Marvin Gaye.  I don’t know about you but I couldn’t imagine anyone other than Kenny and Dolly singing the song.  

When Carl Perkins played a dance on December 4, 1955, he noticed a couple dancing near the stage.  Between songs, he heard a forceful voice say “uh-uh, don’t step on my suedes”.  Thus, “Blue Suede Shoes” was born.  Carl Perkins and Elvis both recorded the song in 1956.  The originator, Perkins took the song to #2.  Elvis’ version peaked at #20.  

This song is always a subject of great debate.  Dolly Parton took her song “I Will Always Love You” to #1 twice: 1974 and 1982.  Dolly wrote it as a goodbye to Porter Wagoner.  The pair had split professionally.  Whitney Houston recorded the song in 1992 for her movie The Bodyguard, and also took it to #1. What you(or I) din’t know is that Elvis wanted to cover the song.  Dolly wanted credit.  The notoriously possessive Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis’ manager, didn’t want to surrender anything.  Therefore, Elvis didn’t cover the song.

I’ll end on this one.  “Time Is On My Side” is a Rolling Stones classic.  Did you know it was a cover? In early 1964, songwriter Jimmy Norton was enlisted by the arranger of the song, H.B. Barnum, to finish the lyrics just moments before Irna Thomas, who originally recorded the song, arrived.  Back then, it was common for songs to be covered within months of the original.  Thomas’ version peaked at #6 in the U.S for the Stones.  The song was included on Thomas’ greatest hits album and wasn’t a charted single.  


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