Archive for August, 2010

Pure launches ‘Marshall amplifier’ DAB digital radio, EVOKE-1S Marshall

August 29, 2010

Visit our main website at: http://www.sh-boommagazine.com

Stacks of black Marshall amplifiers have dominated the stage at most rock concerts for nearly 50 years. Even Sixties rock fans who can’t actually remember the Sixties will surely remember The Who’s bassist John Entwistle having to make his Marshall Stack bigger and bigger so he could hear himself over Keith Moon’s drums!

Now, Pure has launched a unique radio which combines the audio features of its popular EVOKE-1S series with the iconic style of Marshall Amplification. It’s a revamp of Pure’s earlier and very successful Marshall-branded Evoke 1xt

The portable digital and FM radio looks like a mini version of the famous amplifier – complete with black vinyl wrap, Marshall carrying handle, brass effect front and authentic Marshall badge.

It has an input for an iPod or MP3 player, an auto-dimming easy-to-read text display, and the ability to pre-set 30 digital or FM radio stations for quick access. A matching S-1 speaker for stereo sound is also available.

And for true rock fans, the volume control even goes up to ‘11’ … a feature inspired by the famous scene from the cult movie This Is Spinal Tap!

The EVOKE-1S Marshall has a suggested retail price of £119.99 and is initially being sold exclusively through specialist music retailer HMV.

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Telling it like it was: Clay Cole’s “Sh-Boom! – The Explosion of Rock ‘N’ Roll, 1953-1968”

August 22, 2010

The name Clay Cole may not be too familiar to some Sh-Boom! Magazine readers in the UK and Europe, but anyone who grew up loving all those great US hits of the late 1950s and early 1960s owes him a debt of gratitude.

Many early US rock and pop artists might never have been heard in Europe had they not first been popularised on Clay Cole’s TV and radio shows in New York, and then gone on to achieve huge chart success across the United States.

In his new book Sh-Boom! – The Explosion of Rock ‘N’ Roll (1953-1968), New York television personality Clay Cole gives a compelling personal account of his years spent hosting his own Saturday night pop music television show, The Clay Cole Show.

But this is no typical showbiz autobiography. In a fast-paced, conversational and witty style, Cole combines highly personal recollections with a comprehensive and detailed history of rock ‘n’ roll itself. Packed with fascinating facts and funny anecdotes, it’s a behind-the-scenes look at the shaping of an era. It’s pop music history told from the inside out, by someone who was there at the beginning.

He was only 15 – and still at high school in Ohio – when, in 1953, he began presenting his own local teenage music TV show. By 1955, the music had evolved and he recalls: “I was, without fully becoming aware, now hosting a rock ‘n’ roll show”.

In 1957, he moved to New York City to try his luck, armed with “a 10 year plan” for success. In fact, it only took a few months for him to land a Saturday evening live TV show in Providence, Rhode Island.

By 1959, at the age of 21 (although the TV channel’s publicity department claimed he was only 19), he was hosting a major TV show in New York. He was the youngest host on US TV – and already challenging for the crown held by the legendary Alan Freed and Dick Clark.

When Alan Freed’s TV career was ended by the great music industry payola scandal of 1959, it proved to be a stroke of luck for Clay Cole. After less than two months on air, he now had a “clear reign” on New York television. “I was spotless … I was never offered, nor would I accept, payola,” he says.

The Clay Cole Show attracted all the big names of the day, including Bobby Darin, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Brenda Lee and Connie Francis (who later confessed she’d always had a secret crush on him).

With a good ear for a hit, Cole also became a champion of talented newcomers, such as Paul Anka, Neil Sedaka, Tony Orlando, Dionne Warwick, Neil Diamond, Bobby Vinton, the Four Seasons, and Dion. In 1960, he launched a nightclub tour and hired three teenage sisters as dancers. They would later become The Ronettes.

He was the first to introduce Chubby Checker performing ‘The Twist’. And the first to present the Rolling Stones in America. He also pioneered music video clips and go-go girls, and gave debuts to young stand-up comedians like Richard Pryor.

Cole also helped to break the colour barrier on US television. He was the first rock ‘n’ roll TV host to have a multi-racial audience and regularly featured soul and R&B artists such as Ray Charles, Little Anthony and The Imperials, Steve Wonder, The Supremes and Dionne Warwick – often in direct defiance of his TV bosses who warned him he was welcoming too many black artists onto the show.

A singer and dancer himself, he once sang on stage with the Four Seasons after being invited to “sing along” by his friend Frankie Valli. “I was so intimidated by their perfect harmonies,” says Cole, “I simply mouthed the words and snapped my fingers – to their great relief, I’m sure.”

Sh-Boom! – The Explosion of Rock ‘N’ Roll (1953-1968) covers Clay Cole’s “fifteen years of TV fame” – and explores every pop music phenomenon from rhythm and blues, cover records, rockabilly, folk-rock, teen idols, and girl groups … to the arrival of The Beatles, the British Invasion, the creation of the American boy band, and Flower Power.

It was the shift to acid rock and heavy metal that eventually prompted Clay Cole to walk away from his highly popular TV show in 1968, at the age of 30. He realised he’d become “a black-tie, tuxedo guy, adrift in a tie-dyed T-shirt world”. His final show featured Jerry Lewis, Paul Anka, and the Cowsills.

Over the 40 years since, he has been the writer, producer and director of over 3500 broadcast TV shows, including several award-winning programmes.

Sh-Boom!’ … great title for a song … great name (we think) for a music magazine for ‘baby boomers’ … and now a great title for an important book that doesn’t just chronicle the early beginnings of rock ‘n’ roll, it tells you how it felt to be there.

Sh-Boom! – The Explosion of Rock ‘N’ Roll (1953-1968) can be purchased from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. It is also available direct from the Clay Cole website at www.claycoleshow.com

UPDATE:  We are sad to report that Clay Cole died on December 18, 2010 at his home on Oak Island, N.C. He was 72. The cause was a heart attack, his brother Richard Rucker said. In addition to his brother, he is survived by another brother, James Rucker, and a sister, Tama Rucker. 

 

‘West Coast Seattle Boy’ to spearhead more deluxe Jimi Hendrix reissues in October

August 13, 2010

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Forty years after Jimi Hendrix’s untimely death, a brand new 4CD set titled West Coast Seattle Boy – a compilation of demos, alternate takes and previously unreleased recordings – will spearhead a second wave of deluxe Hendrix reissues this autumn.

Following a first round of reissues and rarities earlier this year, the Hendrix Estate and Sony Music have announced plans to release three new albums in October based on Hendrix’s Woodstock performance and tracks from his UK television and radio appearances.

The album titles are Jimi Hendrix: Blues; Jimi Hendrix Experience: BBC Sessions; and Jimi Hendrix: Live at Woodstock.

Jimi Hendrix: Blues is a collection of blues classics and originals which was first released in 1994. The new version will contain extra DVD material, including extended footage from Martin Scorsese’s tribute to Hendrix in his acclaimed documentary The Blues.

Jimi Hendrix Experience: BBC Sessions will include a previously unreleased performance of ‘Burning of the Midnight Lamp’ from a 1967 episode of Top of the Pops. The album will also come with a DVD containing some of Hendrix’s legendary BBC TV appearances, including his unscheduled version of Cream’s ‘Sunshine of Your Love’ on Happening For Lulu.

The West Coast Seattle Boy album will include a new Hendrix documentary by director Bob Smeaton.

The Live at Woodstock reissue will be an updated version of MCA’s 1999 release of Hendrix’s legendary Woodstock concert on 18 August, 1969.

There will also be a festive Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year EP which includes a medley of ‘Little Drummer Boy’, ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Auld Lang Syne’. It will be available on CD and as a seven-inch vinyl picture disc.

Sony Music’s series of deluxe Hendrix reissues began earlier this year with the release of Valleys of Neptune, a collection of unreleased Hendrix studio recordings that included the psychedelic title track.

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Elvis Presley “crown jewel” launched … ‘The Complete Elvis Masters’

August 8, 2010

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RCA/Legacy is continuing to commemorate what would have been Elvis Presley’s 75th birthday year with the launch of what it claims is “the definitive collection” of Elvis’s complete master recordings.

Described as the “crown jewel” of the Elvis 75 celebrations, The Complete Elvis Masters is a limited edition box-set that includes 30 CDs containing all 711 master recordings released during Elvis’s lifetime, mastered from the original analogue master tapes where available.

The record company says the collection has been “years in the making”, with each recording carefully restored to achieve the best-possible sound reproduction “without compromising the audio quality of the original master”.

Featuring over 35 hours of music, the collection also contains 103 additional rare recordings. It comes with a 240-page hardbound book featuring an annotated discography, original album artwork, rare and classic photos, a complete song index, and an essay by Peter Guralnick.

Launched in October 2010, The Complete Elvis Masters has a limited edition first run of 1000 numbered sets. Each set is housed in a custom-designed, individually numbered display case, complete with a ‘certificate of authenticity’.

Now for the bad news … this piece of music history will cost you over £570 (around US$890)!

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