Tales from the Atomic Age

Sopranos in the Sky

In the 1950s, coloratura vocalists were more open to the idea of working as background singers on pop recordings, surely considered a disastrous turn of events to a classical or opera purist. For every Yma Sumac (who famously claimed to be a Peruvian princess), an exotic singer unyielding in her pursuit of mainstream recognition, there were scores of uncredited sopranos who presumably preferred being in the background. In this implied downgrade of musical culture, the ... MORE ››

Top 100 Lists

The Doors

The Doors appear six times on the list of the Top 100 Psychedelic Hits 1966-1969 and "Light My Fire" is #1! Check out the hottest rockin' tracks of the late '60s ... MORE ››

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Featured Artist


Booker T. and the MG's

In his youth, Booker T. Jones practiced on a variety of different instruments (ukulele, clarinet, bass, oboe, saxophone, trombone), finally settling on the piano as his favorite. In church he took his playing to another level as an organist. In the early '60s the teenaged Booker played bass with a band headed by Gene (Bowlegs) Miller, a regular fixture in a number of Memphis nightclubs. While still in high school he formed his own Booker T. Washington Combo (named after the school) with two already-graduated friends, pianist David Porter (later a super-songwriting Stax-man) and Maurice White (still later the founder and frontman of Earth, Wind and Fire). Before graduating he began sitting in during evening recording sessions at Stax. Jim Stewart was impressed with the... MORE ››

Vinyl Attack Del Wood

Down Yonder
by Del Wood

Rapid-fire piano plunker Polly Adelaide Hendricks was one of a very limited group of women to have a hit record as a keyboard-playing solo act in an era where women outside the classical realm were singers and men largely controlled everything else, including the rewarding task of arranging and performing in bands and as individual musicians ... MORE ››