Rest in peace, Eric Weissberg: “Dueling Banjos” (1973)

Eric Weissberg, who had a huge hit in 1973 with the instrumental hit "Dueling Banjos," passed away Sunday at a senior care facility near Detroit after a long battle with dementia. He was 80. Weissberg was fascinated by the banjo after seeing Pete Seeger play it as a part of his folk act in the … Continue reading Rest in peace, Eric Weissberg: “Dueling Banjos” (1973)

Rest in peace, Manu Dibango: “Soul Makossa” (1973)

Word circulated today that Manu Dibango, best described as a jazz-funk saxophonist, passed away at the age of 86 as a result of COVID-19 infection. Dibango was a legend in his native Cameroon for his music, which went worldwide in 1973 with the release of "Soul Makossa." The tune made it up to #35 in … Continue reading Rest in peace, Manu Dibango: “Soul Makossa” (1973)

Rest in peace, Dr. John: “Right Place Wrong Time” (1973)

(Above: 1973's In the Right Place LP cover) Malcolm John Rebennack, better known as Dr. John, passed away today in New Orleans of a suspected heart attack. He was 77. Renneback's career started as a backup and session musician in the 1950s. He cut his teeth in New Orleans, working with luminaries such as Professor … Continue reading Rest in peace, Dr. John: “Right Place Wrong Time” (1973)

Take a local joker and teach him how to act: Bruce Springsteen, Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ (1973)

Forty-five years ago today - January 5, 1973 - the debut album of Bruce Springsteen was released. Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ didn't sell well, but caught the attention of critics. Creem magazine's Robert Christgau suggested that Springsteen had that same sort of "absurdist energy" that made Dylan a genius; in short, the "new Dylan" … Continue reading Take a local joker and teach him how to act: Bruce Springsteen, Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ (1973)

Happy 75th, Harry Chapin: “W*O*L*D” (1973)

(Above: There's a lot going on on this album cover.) Harry Chapin would have been 75 today. The singer-songwriter is probably best known to classic rock audiences (and classic rock DJs in need of bathroom breaks) for his epic "Taxi," which tells of a cabdriver's chance meeting with an ex-lover one evening. To pop audiences, … Continue reading Happy 75th, Harry Chapin: “W*O*L*D” (1973)

Tinkering with tape: Elton John, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” (1973)

(Above: 1970s technology - turning kids into radio stars all over the world) November 25, 1976 was Thanksgiving Day. As we almost always did, we went over the canal and around the forest preserve to get to my grandparents' house on the South Side of Chicago. Our ritual for the holiday was not unlike what … Continue reading Tinkering with tape: Elton John, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” (1973)

Happy birthday, Boss: Bruce Springsteen, “Growin’ Up” (1973)

Bruce Springsteen turns 67 today.  Proving without a doubt that age is merely a number, The Boss has been touring the last several months, continually breaking his own record for longest concert appearance.  His shows on this tour have been clocking in at over four hours.  I've seen him twice, and both times the shows … Continue reading Happy birthday, Boss: Bruce Springsteen, “Growin’ Up” (1973)

Welcome back: Steely Dan, “My Old School” (1973)

Above: Bard College, Annondale, NY. Above: Mary Idema Pew Library, GVSU, Allendale, MI. Donald Fagen and Walter Becker of Steely Dan attended Bard College in Annondale-on-Hudson, New York. I attended - and now teach at - Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. Aside from seemingly similar town names, the schools don't have a lot … Continue reading Welcome back: Steely Dan, “My Old School” (1973)