Every Tuesday and Thursday, former Warner Bros. Records executive and industry insider Stan Cornyn ruminates on the past, present, and future of the music business.
The hero of this short saga was named Lowell George.
During the 1970s, he struggled with his ever-changing band, a group who seemed always to have a different sound in mind than Lowell did.
Still, through it all until his early death, Lowell George made the records of a hero. Here’s how:
George had been a member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention, and before that a band known as The Factory, and before that in a band known as The Fraternity of Man (one hit: “Don’t Bogart Me” in the movie Easy Rider).
But even Frank Zappa had not been a good Mother for Lowell and his guitar. Zappa asked him to leave the Mothers based on Lowell’s writing the song “Willin’,” which Zappa believed to be about dope.
Still and all, Zappa willingly recommended signing Lowell George to Warner Bros. Records. And the label heard in Lowell that “music hero,” too. He was signed. With his band. Long term.
In late summer, 1970, Lowell George’s new band recorded its first album. He’d named the band Little Feat, based on drummer Jimmy Black’s observation of Lowell’s feet, which he noticed were “little.” Not a major background story there, but it’s true.
On this day, we are remembering Mary Travers from Peter, Paul and Mary. PPM took their record "Leaving On A Jet Plane" to the #1 spot in the US in 1970.
Joni Mitchell turns 70 today! The birthday girl sang about “Woodstock” a month or so after it happened in this clip from a 1969 Big Sur appearance...
Ray Charles proved that anything was possible when he began to carve out his very own place in music, as the first purveyor of Soul.
Rhino wishes Glenn Frey a very happy birthday! Here he is with his fellow Eagles performing “Take It Easy” during their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1998:
Welcome to the Daylight Savings edition of Dr. Rhino’s Picks! Despite being a loose concept in every sense of the word, this playlist whips a puma’s ass. It will also help you come to terms with the hour of daylight that has been recently torn from our grasp. So, let’s put some stank on it with the likes of Metallica, Peter, Paul and Mary, Tim Buckley and The Smiths. Courage!
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