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Welcome to the A-Z Musical Tour of My Life! I have wanted to put something like this together for a long time now and the A-Z Challenge just seemed like the perfect opportunity. I’ve compiled stories, trivia, research, music videos and live concert footage on all the bands and musical artists who have been important to me over the years, especially during my youthful years in the 60s and 70s. At first glance, the posts may seem long – and some of them are due to the number of videos included – but it’s really laid out in a way that will enable you to scroll through and read, see or hear just what you want and then either move on to the next A-Zer or linger and listen to the great music that you’ll find here. By all means, bookmark my blog so you can come back! In addition to individual songs, there are some full albums here for those who may want to enjoy some music while they’re surfing or working. I hope you find that the stories are entertaining, the information educational and the trivia interesting. It would be a tremendous honor if you would bookmark the A-Z Musical Tour of My Life as a resource for great music and music information! Now, let’s get started with…
T is for Ted Nugent – I was a huge Nugent fan in my teens. Today I don’t much care for Ted Nugent, the man, but I still love many of his songs. I’ve seen him in concert twice, back in the 70s. Back in the 90s, he was here in Austin for the Austin Aqua Fest, which was a big annual music festival that is no more: he was so vulgar on stage that he was banned from ever performing at Aqua Fest ever again. My favorites Ted Nugent songs are:
Cat Scratch Fever – 1979 performance:
Free for All – my friend JoAnn and I used to air-guitar to this song all the time! Ah, High-school days… Here’s the studio version of the song:
Great White Buffalo – Nice video!!
Dog Eat Dog – Live At Walnut Creek Amphitheater, Raleigh, NC, 1995:
Stranglehold – Live performance (Motor City Mayhem) – video by Eagle Rock Entertainment
T is for Three Dog Night – an American rock band formed in 1968, the group registered 21 Billboard Top 40 hits -with three hitting number one – between 1969 and 1975. I always wondered how in the world the band came up with their name. Well, their Wikipedia page answered that: “The official commentary included in the CD set Celebrate: The Three Dog Night Story, 1964–1975 states that vocalist Danny Hutton’s girlfriend, actress June Fairchild (best known as the “Ajax Lady” from the Cheech and Chong movie Up In Smoke) suggested the name after reading a magazine article about indigenous Australians, in which it was explained that on cold nights they would customarily sleep in a hole in the ground while embracing a dingo (feral dog). On colder nights they would sleep with two dogs and, if the night was freezing, it was a “three dog night”.
Three Dog Night had a bunch of songs that I really liked. And so did millions of others, according to the numbers: “Three Dog Night earned 12 gold albums and recorded 21 consecutive Billboard Top 40 hits, seven of which went gold. Their first gold record was “One” (US #5), which had been written and recorded by Harry Nilsson. The group had three US #1 songs, each of which featured a different lead singer: “Mama Told Me Not to Come” (Cory Wells on lead), “Joy to the World” (Chuck Negron on lead); and “Black and White” (Danny Hutton on lead). Dunhill Records claimed that 40 million record albums were sold by the band during this time period.” Source: Wikipedia
Three Dog Night is still touring and recording, performing 80 concerts a year. Here are my favorites:
Eli’s Coming –
Liar – rare clip from 1970:
Celebrate – performance from 1975:
Never Been to Spain – there was no date or location for this performance video, but there is some great band commentary at the end, talking about songwriting:
Black and White – 1972 performance:
Mama Told Me Not to Come – 1970 performance:
Sure As I’m Sittin’ Here – “unknown show. From the Hard Labor tour in 1974, 15th song in the set. With the late Jack Ryland on bass guitar” (YouTube description)
One Man Band – photo montage video:
One – 1969 performance:
Joy to the World – not sure when this performance is from; 1971 perhaps? That’s when the song came out.
Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog – cute video: from Bloomingproud on YouTube: “”Joy To The World” – A fun animation I put together of Three Dog Night’s nonsensical #1 single that spent 6 weeks at the top of the pop charts in 1971.”
Are there any other Three Dog Night songs you would like to see here?
T is for Ten Years After – “Ten Years After is an English blues-rock band, most popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Between 1968 and 1973, Ten Years After scored eight Top 40 albums on the UK Albums Chart. In addition they had twelve albums enter the US Billboard 200, and are best known for tracks such as “I’m Going Home”, “Hear Me Calling”, “I’d Love to Change the World” and “Love Like a Man”.”
…On 17 August, the band performed a breakthrough American appearance at Woodstock; their rendition of “I’m Going Home” featuring Alvin Lee as lead singer, was featured in both the subsequent film and soundtrack album and catapulted them to star status. Source: Wikipedia
I’d Love to Change the World – This is the only song that I really like and one that is in my iTunes collection. The video from 1971, remastered audio:
T is for Triumph – “Triumph is a Canadian hard rock power trio that was popular in the late 1970s through the 1980s…The power trio, often compared to fellow Canadians Rush. The band’s musical style was hard rock and heavy metal although the band itself was reluctant to embrace this label. Moore once described Triumph as a cross between Emerson, Lake & Palmer and The Who.” Source: Wikipedia
Fight the Good Fight – here’s a studio version of the song set to a lyric video:
Lay It On the Line – I LOVE this song! Here’s the Official Music Video of a 1979 performance from Triumph Allied Forces YouTube channel:
Magic Power – from Triumph’s Greatest Hits, distributed by WMG:
Hold On – Official Music Video of a 1979 performance from Triumph Allied Forces YouTube channel:
T is for .38 Special (Thirty-eight Special) – 38 Special (also written .38 Special or Thirty-Eight Special) is an American rock band that was formed by neighborhood friends Don Barnes and Donnie Van Zant in 1974 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Source:Wikipedia)
I love .38 Special. I remember going to see a lot of bands who did covers of .38 Special so I have fond memories of dancing the nights away to all of the following songs:
Rockin’ Into the Night – Live in Denver, CO 1980:
Hold On Loosely – Music video by 38 Special performing Hold On Loosely. (C) 1981 A&M Records
Wild Eyed Southern Boy – Live in Denver, 1980:
Fantasy Girl – studio version audio (no video):
Caught Up in You –
T is for Traffic – Traffic is an English rock band, that often included Steve Winwood. There’s a complicated and convoluted history there and you can read more about it at the Traffic Wikipedia page.
My favorite music by them is on the critically acclaimed album John Barleycorn Must Die, released in 1970 and their 1971 album The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys. Although I really like the title track from their earlier album Mr. Fantasy.
Dear Mr. Fantasy – Live in Santa Monica, 1972, performing this 1967 title track hit:
Empty Pages – photo montage video of this song from the John Barleycorn Must Die album:
Glad/Freedom Rider – North Stage, Woodstock ’94 Saugerties, NY, US August 14, 1994
John Barleycorn Must Die – live performance at the Santa Monica Civic Center on 2/21/1972:
Low Spark of High Heeled Boys – photo-montage video to the title track of the 1971 album:
Light Up of Leave Me Alone – Great title! This song is from the Low Spark of High Heeled Boys album.
T is for Thin Lizzy –
The Boys are Back in Town – 1976 performance on BBC’s Great Guitar Heroes. The video has some neat facts about the band too.
Cowboy Song – Live at RockPalast:
Jailbreak – Excellent video, not only on quality, but this performance is at BBC’s recording studio for Top of the Pops. The beginning of the video shows a countdown of the Top 20 groups during that particular week in 1976. Interesting to see who was trending back then:
T is for Tom Petty – Tom Petty brings back lots of great memories from the 80s. Talk about prolific! Wow, I didn’t realize just how many Tom Petty songs I really dig until I started looking at all his hits. The Tom Petty Wikipedia page says about him: “an American musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer. He is best known as the lead vocalist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but is also known as a member and co-founder of the late 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys (under the pseudonyms of Charlie T. Wilbury, Jr. and Muddy Wilbury) and Mudcrutch.
He has recorded a number of hit singles with the Heartbreakers and as a solo artist, many of which remain heavily played on adult-contemporary and classic rock radio. His music has been classified as rock and roll, heartland rock and even stoner rock. His music, and notably his hits, have become popular among younger generations as he continues to host sold-out shows. Throughout his career, Petty has sold more than 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. In 2002, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” He has quite the illustrious career so be sure to check out the Wikipedia page, which details some of his history with the Traveling Wilburys, along with along with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne.
This is crazy, there’s 22 songs that I feel like posting here, but I won’t. Instead I’ll just post my very favorite Tom Petty songs (there’s only 11). J
Mary Jane’s Last Dance – Music video by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers performing Mary Jane’s Last Dance. (C) 1993 Geffen Records
I Need to Know – a 1978 performance on the Midnight Special:
Breakdown – studio version with lyric video
Jammin’ Me – Music video by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers performing Jammin’ Me. (C) 1987 Geffen Records:
Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around – Tom Petty with Stevie Nicks
Refugee – The official “Refugee” music video by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers from the album “Damn the Torpedoes,” recorded in 1979:
I Won’t Back Down – Music video by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers performing I Won’t Back Down. (C) 1989 Geffen Records:
Runnin’ Down a Dream – Music video by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers performing Runnin’ Down A Dream. (C) 1989 Geffen Records:
Into the Great Wide Open – Music video by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers performing Into The Great Wide Open. (C) 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc:
A Woman in Love (It’s Not Me) – Music video by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performing A Woman In Love (It’s Not Me). (C) 1981 Geffen Records:
Rebels – Music video by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers performing Rebels. YouTube view counts pre-VEVO: 173,065 (C) 1985 UMG Recordings, Inc
There were probably a dozen or more that I could’ve posted. I was considering Learnin’ to Fly, American Girl, Listen to Her Heart, Here Comes My Girl, Free Fallin’, Don’t Do Me Like That, Even the Losers, The Waiting, You Got Lucky, Don’t Come Around Here No More and Yer So Bad but that would’ve just been too much! What Tom Petty song videos would you have wanted to see? Which ones are you favorite?
T is for the Talking Heads– an American New Wave band formed in 1975 who remained active until 1991. How did they get their name? According to the Wikipedia article: “In a later interview, Weymouth recalled how the group chose the name Talking Heads: “A friend had found the name in the TV Guide, which explained the term used by TV studios to describe a head-and-shoulder shot of a person talking as ‘all content, no action.’ It fit.””
“Their first album, Talking Heads: 77, … was released soon afterwards [their single Love — Building on Fire]. The album received considerable acclaim and spawned what became the group’s first charted single, “Psycho Killer”. The song was released to the radio just months after the serial killer known as the Son of Sam was terrorizing New York City, prompting many to assume some eerie connection. However, it was later revealed that Byrne had written the song nearly four years earlier.”
Psycho Killer – 1978 performance:
Burnin’ Down the House – 1985:
“Their cover of Al Green’s Take Me to the River [from their More Songs About Food and Buildings album] broke Talking Heads into general public consciousness, and gave the band their first Billboard Top 30 hit.” Here’s the studio version of that hit:
And She Was –
Life During Wartime – live performance (date/location unknown):
Wild Wild Life – music video:
T is for Todd Rundgren – I’ve seen Todd Rundgren twice. Once back in the 80s so it would’ve been when he was with Utopia. We went to some mall in Canada somewhere. I don’t remember it being a long road trip so it was probably in Ontario or Niagara Falls, not far across the border.
Hello, It’s Me – The other time I saw Todd Rundgren was just a few years back, well, maybe more than a few years, at a cool little joint called La Zona Rosa here in Austin. He closed the show with this classic and as he’s singing “Hello, It’s Me” he’s shaking hands with people in the front row. I was one of those people in the front row so I got a handshake out of the deal. That was pretty cool.
I Saw the Light – photo-montage video:
We Gotta Get You a Woman – audio only video:
Can We Still Be Friends – 1978, from Warner Music Videos:
Bang the Drum All Day – Every time I hear this song, I think back to the day when I was working at Z102 radio (Austin) and our sales manager invited his team to take the day off and hang out at his house and pool. We drank margaritas and snacked and laughed all day and this song came on: it was our theme song for the day. Jon Meyer was a really decent man and I have many fond memories of him, God rest his soul. I’ll never forget the look on his face when I came back from a week-long vacation and went into his office to tell him that I was handing in my two-week resignation notice to go open a bar. Ha! He said, “You’re WHAT???!” I think it took a full minute for it to really sink in. But then he did the coolest thing: he passed around a memo at the station inviting everyone to my Going Away Party which was going to be held at my new bar! He told everyone to come out and puts lots of money into my cash register. And that they did! It was an incredible night. What a neat way to send me off, huh? I wish he were still around so I could tell him again how much I appreciated it…
T is for Toto – I always like to know how bands come to have their names. Here’s Toto’s story:
Once the band came together, David Paich began composing what would become the eponymous debut album, Toto. According to popular myth, at the first recording sessions, in order to distinguish their own demo tapes from other bands’ in the studio, Jeff Porcaro wrote the word “Toto” on them. In the early 1980s, band members told the press that the band was named after the dog in The Wizard of Oz. One popular rumor is that the name came from Bobby Kimball’s “true” last name, Toteaux. This rumor was in fact only a joke popularized by former bassist David Hungate. After the completion of the first album, the band and record were still unnamed. David Hungate, after viewing the name on the demo tapes, explained to the group that the word “Toto” in Latin translated to “all-encompassing.” Because the band members played on so many different records and many different musical genres, they adopted the name “Toto” as their own. (Source: Wikipedia)
Hold the Line – Music video by Toto performing Hold The Line. (C) 1990 SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT
Africa – I LOVE this song!
Did you ever happen to see the YouTube video of the two guys, Mike Masse and Jeff Hall, doing an acoustic cover of this song? I was absolutely blown away at how incredible these guys sound. What do you think? Check it out:
T is for the Turtles – The Turtles are an American rock band led by vocalists Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, later known as Flo and Eddie. The band became notable for several Top 40 hits beginning with their cover version of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe” in 1965. They scored their biggest and best-known hit in 1967 with the song “Happy Together”. Source: Wikipedia
Happy Together – 1967 TV performance
Elenore – performance at Kraft Music Hall, September 1968
And here is Elenore being performed 46 years later in 2014 (Happy Together Tour 2014, Coachella, 3/29/14):
T is for the Temptations
The Temptations are an American vocal group known for their success with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s. Known for their choreography, distinct harmonies, and flashy wardrobe, the group was highly influential to the evolution of R&B and soul music. Having sold tens of millions of albums, the Temptations are one of the most successful groups in music history. As of 2015, the Temptations continue to perform with one living original member, Otis Williams, still in the lineup. (Source: Wikipedia)
I remember watching the Temptations perform on American Bandstand, Soul Train and other TV shows. I always loved their synchronicity. Their music always moves me. Here are some of my favorite Temptations songs:
My Girl – 1965 performance:
Just My Imagination – 1971 performance:
Papa Was a Rolling Stone – This is probably my favorite Temptations song. Here is the full 12 minute version!
Ain’t Too Proud to Beg –
The Way You Do the Things You Do –
Get Ready –
I Wish It Would Rain –
Ball of Confusion –
I’m going to end my T’s with the most famous T of all:
T is for Tina Turner – The iconic Tina Turner! She is one of the most popular entertainers and is often referred to as the Queen of Rock ‘n Roll. Here are a few of my favorites:
What’s Love Got to Do with It –
Simply the Best – Live performance 2009:
We Don’t Need Another Hero – Official Music Video:
Private Dancer – Official Music Video:
Proud Mary –I’m ending with a few versions of my favorite Tina Turner song: I love this Ike & Tina performance (not sure of the year):
I must say, I would give just about anything to have legs like Tina! Man!! You know her legs are insured for millions of dollars, right?
Well, the letter T provided a lot of great music. Hope you enjoyed your visit here. Now tell me, what are your favorite T bands?