Posts Tagged ‘The Fifties’

R&B legends Etta James and Johnny Otis die within days of each other

January 21, 2012

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Legendary R&B singer Etta James, best known for her versions of ‘At Last’, ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’ and Muddy Waters’ ‘I Just Want To Make Love To You’, died on 20 January 2012, aged 73. She had been undergoing treatment for leukaemia.

Coincidentally, the man who discovered her – bandleader Johnny Otis – died a few days earlier on 17 January 2012, aged 90. Dubbed the “godfather of rhythm and blues”, Otis was best known for his 1958 hit ‘Willie and the Hand Jive’.

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Classic hit songs and golden oldies from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s ‘speak the language of emotion’, say researchers

November 29, 2011

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Music is sometimes called ‘the language of emotion’ because it has an amazing power to influence people’s emotions and behaviour. It can affect and stimulate many different parts of the brain and body, and can reduce stress, aid relaxation, and alleviate depression.

In fact, scientists have found that a piece of music can become so closely associated with an event from a person’s life that hearing the music again evokes powerful memories of the original experience.

A recent study revealed that the memories triggered by music – such as classic hits and golden oldies from the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s – tend to involve relationships with past or present lovers, or experiences with family and friends.

Most significantly, though, the study found a substantial bias towards music evoking memories of happy events that can cheer us up during these worrying economic times.

In 2008, researchers at the University of Leeds conducted a Magical Memory Tour during which they asked people to record their memories of the Beatles in an online survey. The study set out to use people’s autobiographical memories of Beatles songs, albums, movies, concerts, and news events to show how music — particularly the music of the most influential band of the rock ‘n’ roll era — can be used to retrieve memories that have been all but forgotten.

Most people who took part in the survey fell within the 55 to 65 age range, having been teenagers in the 1960s when the Fab Four were still together. The song that cued the most memories among middle-aged people was ‘She Loves You’, while ‘Love Me Do’ cued the most memories among the over-60s.

The researchers found that the memories evoked by the Beatles songs were surprisingly detailed and provided diverse snapshot images of long-forgotten times and places.

For one 57-year-old man, for example, ‘She Loves You’ triggered a memory of the weather on the first night he heard the song at the age of 11; another man remembered lying in the grass at age seven and playing with his toy soldiers as ‘Penny Lane’ played on the radio.

Another interesting finding of the study, say the researchers, was that most retrieved memories occurred during people’s early teenage years. The songs we hear when we’re growing up, it seems, shape the story of our lives.

One definition of ‘memory’ is that it is a mental system that receives, stores, organises and recovers information from sensory input. According to the Leeds University researchers, the results of their Magical Memory Tour study implied that music has a powerful influence on the storage and retrieval of long-term memories in particular.

As Oliver Sacks, the noted British neuroscientist and author, puts it: “Music brings back the feeling of life when nothing else can.”

How important are ‘oldies’ songs to you? Let us know what you think by voting in our Sh-Boom! Poll HERE…

Which artist do you find most uplifting? Leave a comment below and let us know…

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Dennis Lotis profiled by British Pathé in 1958…

November 22, 2011

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Along with Lita Roza, Dickie Valentine and Jimmy Young, Dennis Lotis was one of the UK’s most successful singers and TV performers in the 1950s – having made his name as a vocalist with the Ted Heath Band.

Here’s a rare British Pathé newsreel profile of South African-born Lotis, filmed at the height of his fame in January 1958 …

DENNIS LOTIS – British Pathe.

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How important are ‘oldies’ songs to you? Vote in our poll below:

Which artist do you find most uplifting? Leave a comment below and let us know…

 

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New Rockabilly album features Carl Perkins, Johnny Burnette, Bill Haley, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis

October 10, 2011

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Rockabilly fans are being offered a ready-made library of classic Rockabilly recordings with the launch of a new compilation, Rebel Rock – The Essential Rockabilly Album, from Union Square Music.

The collection captures all of the raw excitement and good-time sounds of early rockabilly.

Rebel Rock – The Essential Rockabilly Album contains 50 tracks on two CDs and features legends like Carl Perkins, Johnny Burnette, Bill Haley, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Charlie Feathers.

WATCH A VIDEO AND READ THE FULL STORY HERE…

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We’d love to hear what you think in our ‘oldies music’ poll below:

Which artist do you find most uplifting? Leave a comment below and let us know…

Frankie Laine brings back 1950s memories

September 23, 2011

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Sony Music is marking the 60th anniversary of Frankie Laine signing to Columbia Records by releasing a 26-track collection of his best-known songs.

Laine, who died in 2007 at the age of 93, was the most successful artist in Britain in the 1950s.

Frankie Laine: Hits includes his 1953 single ‘I Believe’ (which topped the UK chart for a record 18 weeks), plus nostalgic classics like ‘Rawhide’, ‘Champion the Wonder Horse’, ‘Jezebel’, ‘Jealousy’, ‘High Noon’, ‘Answer Me’, and ‘Sixteen Tons’.

MORE STORIES LIKE THIS HERE

How important are ‘oldies’ songs to you? Vote in our poll below …

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Peggy Lee albums available digitally for first time

June 29, 2011

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EMI is releasing 22 of Peggy Lee’s classic albums as digital downloads for the first time. Some of the albums are currently out-of-print on CD.

  She recorded 592 tracks for Capitol Records between 1942 and 1952, and between 1957 and 1972.

  21 of the 22 albums are from her second stint at Capitol. They include I Like Men! (1959), I’m A Woman (1963), Is That All There Is? (1969) and a restored version of her final album Peggy Lee at Basin Street East: The Unreleased Show (1972).

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