Artists – A to K

Al Martino

Jasper Cini was born in 1927 and became a friend and disciple of Mario Lanza. Changing his name to Al Martino in the late 1940s when he started his career as a romantic Italian baritone, his breakthrough hit came with Here In My Heart (1952). The song had been originally intended for Lanza but the older man(…)

Al Stewart

Al Stewart began his songwriting career during his school days in Bournemouth. He was writing skiffle songs when he was 13 but also writing poems instead of doing prep. He played in a number of beat groups (including a spell backing Tony Blackburn before he became a disc jockey) and moved to London in February(…)

Al Wilson

Al Wilson was born in Meridian, Mississippi, in June 1939 and sang in a church choir and his own gospel quartet before moving to San Bernadino, California. After touring for four years with Johnny ‘Legs’ Harris & The Statesmen he joined a navy vocal group, and then The Jewels, who had a hit as The(…)

Alabama

Before Alabama, bands were usually relegated to a supporting role in country music – nearly every popular recording country artist was a vocalist, not a group.  Alabama was the group that made country bands popular again. Emerging in the late ’70s, the band had roots in both country and rock. In fact, many of their(…)

Alan Dale & The Houserockers

Australian singer Alan Dale had been a big band singer before moving over to the new Rock ‘n’ Roll in 1957. His popularity rose sharply, and his only real competition was Johnny O’Keefe. Dale and JOK had in fact been close friends before either became involved in the rock scene – Alan worked for a printer(…)

Alan Freed

The Disc Jockey widely believed to have first coined the phrase “rock ‘n’ roll” began life as a jazz trombonist with a band called Sultans Of Swing (it may have been them that Dire Straits were singing about many years later). Born in Pennsylvania in 1922, Freed began his DJ career at various Pennsylvania and Ohio radio(…)

Alan Price Set, The

Alan Price was born on 19 April 1941 in County Durham, England. From the age of eight he taught himself to play the piano and guitar, and began playing with local bands. His first significant band performed under a number of names – The Kansas City Five, The Kontours, The Pagans and finally, The Alan(…)

Alanis Morissette

A former child actress (You Can’t Do That On Television), Canadian Alanis Morissette transformed herself into a confessional alternative singer/songwriter Flea and Dave Navarro from Red Hot Chili Peppers added a bit of musical clout (and instant credibility) to Alanis Morissette’s breakthrough single, You Oughta Know, with some raucous bass and guitars. The track’s explicit nature also(…)

Alarm, The

After playing together for four years in Rhyl, Wales, first as a punk band called The Toilets, and then as a mod group called 17, the quartet of Mike Peters, Dave Sharp, Eddie MacDonald and Nigel Twist made a fresh start as The Alarm after Dexys Midnight Runners fired them as a support band on a(…)

Albert King

Born in 1923, Albert King had recorded a series of influential blues records for a variety of labels dating back to 1953, before he achieved pop stardom in the late Sixties as part of the innovative Stax roster. His first album for the Stax label, Born Under A Bad Sign (1967), combined his hard, unflashy guitar playing with the sleek sound(…)

Alberto y Lost Trios Paranoias

A lot of the humour from the Albertos’ was hit and miss, though they wrote good tunes – not the words, just the music. Not incredible, but good, although even their best – the admittedly hilarious Snuff Rock EP – was flawed. Les Prior died on 31 January 1980 from leukaemia and the group called it a day(…)

Alice Clark

When Brooklyn singer Alice Clark passed away at the age of 57 in 2004 she had no idea she was being regarded as one of soul’s great unsung talents by the 90s acid jazz fraternity. Her standing was confirmed in 2010 by Ace’s The Complete Studio Recordings 1968 – 1972, which was later reissued on sumptuous(…)

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

Long before there was an Iron Maiden or a Marilyn Manson, rebellious kids around the world thrilled to the macabre antics of Alice Cooper. Simply put, this pioneering rocker wrote the book on shock-rock by combining the creepy imagery of classic horror movies with a thunderous, energetic hard rock sound. He also brought this sonic spectacle to(…)

Alice In Chains

Formed in 1987, and originally a heavy metal band, Alice In Chains was one of the first Seattle bands to sign with a major label, which they did in 1990. They tempered their sound with a dark, brooding quality emblematic of the developing grunge scene which instantly broadened their appeal and earned them a Grammy nomination for Man(…)

Alien Sex Fiend

The tabloid idea of what Goths are supposed to look like, Alien Sex Fiend were the demented brain-spawn of flamboyant Batcave employee Nik Fiend (real name Nick Wade) and his nicely named wife, Mrs Fiend (Christine Wade). Formed in 1982 with a line-up featuring David James (guitar), Christine Wade (keyboards), and Johnny “Ha Ha” Freshwater(…)

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