Artists – V

Val Doonican

It would be a mistake to think that in 1968 everybody dressed like a hippie, smoked pot and listened to Cream. The average person in the street still dressed quite conservatively and had little interest in rock music. Val Doonican was the other side of the coin - a crooner with a natty line in(...)

Valadiers, The

There are many forgotten names in the early Motown catalogue. Who remembers Nick & The Jaguars, Eugene Remus, Popcorn & The Mohawks, Lee & The Leopards, Hattie Littles or The Valadiers nowadays? The Valadiers, however, are worthy of attention for being the first white group signed to Motown and even had a single released in the UK.(...)

Valentines, The

Australian group The Valentines formed in Perth (Western Australia) in mid-1966, bringing together members of three leading local beat groups: Bon Scott and Wyn Milson were from The Spektors, Vince Lovegrove, Ted Ward and John Cooksey from The Winztons, and Warwick Findlay from top West Australian band Ray Hoff & The Off Beats. A major(...)

Valentinos, The

The Valentinos sang mighty fine gospel - their 1961 version of Yield Not To Temptation is exquisite. But at the instigation of Sam Cooke, role model, producer, and SAR label owner, they switched to R&B and delivered future classics Lookin' For A Love and It's All Over Now. The first - a secular rewrite of Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray - broke(...)

Van Der Graaf Generator

One of the most intense and extreme groups of the 70s Prog Rock era, Van Der Graaf Generator were ever on the verge of collapse. Constant tensions were caused by trying to steer what drummer Guy Evans cheerfully calls the "impossible, unstable entity" into a marketable situation. Formed at Manchester University in 1967, VDGG used jazz, classical(...)

Van Halen

Van Halen was one of the most popular American hard rock/heavy metal bands to emerge in the 70's, primarily distinguished by the fleet fingers of guitarist Eddie Van Halen. Eddie and his brother Alex, who played the drums, were actually born in the Netherlands and moved to California as children. They formed the group in(...)

Van Morrison

Weaned on Hank Williams, Leadbelly and his father's blues and jazz records, Van Morrison became lead singer with Them in his teens. A gritty, R&B-influenced beat band, Them  had a hit in 1965 with Here Comes The Night, followed by one of rock's hardiest anthems, Gloria. After the band's demise, Morrison relocated to the USA where he recorded another enduring(...)

Vanilla Chainsaws

Formed in August 1986, Sydney band Vanilla Chainsaws released their debut single, T.S. (Was It Really Me) b/w Everything on the local Phantom label in August the following year. By 1988 drummer Peter Kelly had been replaced by Duilio Hernandez in time to record the mini-album Wine Dark Sea. The band toured America and the UK but by Christmas 1989,(...)

Vanilla Fudge

This New York group formed in 1965 as The Pigeons (originally The Electric Pigeons), changing their name to Vanilla Fudge in 1967. But as a group they lasted just four years. The band specialised in their own original arrangements of other people's songs. In 1967 they had a big hit with a slowed-down and funked-up(...)

Vanilla Ice

It's understandable why Robert Van Winkle chose not to use his real name when embarking upon a career in Rap music. A white rapper was a laughable enough concept at the beginning of the 1990s. But one with a name that made him sound like a Dutch investment banker was never going to be taken(...)

Vanity Fare

Vanity Fare formed at the end of 1967 from the ashes of Kent (UK) melodians The Avengers and became surprise hit-makers amidst the acid-fried rumble of late 60s Brit-rock. Signed to Larry Page’s Page One label, they went in search of material and settled on a cover of an American hit by The Sunrays, I(...)

Vapors, The

Led by vocalist/guitarist Dave Fenton, The Vapors were a short-lived new wave guitar group that is best remembered for the pop single Turning Japanese. Fenton formed the first version of The Vapors in 1978 (after years of strumming acoustic guitar in folk clubs), yet he was the only member to survive that line-up. In 1979, former Ellery Bops(...)

Vashti Bunyan

Now universally acclaimed as a classic, Vashti Bunyan's LP Just Another Diamond Day (1971) went unheralded for the better part of three decades until, in a sequence of events that still bewilders its creator, it was rapturously resurrected by an army of enthusiasts who weren't even born when it was released. Having abandoned art school in(...)

Velvelettes, The

The Velvelettes were formed by Bertha Barbee at Western Michigan University in the early 60s, with Cal (Carolyn) Gill ending up as the lead singer, although she was only 14-years-old and still in high school when she joined the group. With encouragement from Robert Bullock, one of Berry Gordy's nephews, they auditioned successfully for Motown(...)

Velvet Underground

Guitarist, singer and songwriter Lou Reed, whose sing-speak vocals and gripping narratives have come to define street-savvy rock & roll, loved rock & roll from an early age and even recorded a doo-wop single as a Long Island teenager in the late 1950s as a member of The Shades. By the early 60s he was also getting into(...)

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