The sound of Phil Spector

An article in the Guardian recalls the genius of Phil Spector. It talks in detail about one of his famous songs, To Know Him Is To Love Him, which he recorded with the Teddy Bears. He played the guitar and sang the backing with Marshall Leib while Annette Kleibard sang the lead. They were classmates at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in December 1958.

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The poems of John Betjeman

John Betjeman

John Betjeman

Today is the birthday of Sir John Betjeman, a 20th century poet who actually wrote in verse. Not free verse but lines that rhymed.

Betjeman (August 28, 1906 – May 19, 1984) was popular in his time. His Collected Poems, published in 1958, has sold over two and a quarter million copies, according to

It doesn’t take a literary rocket scientist — or whatever brainy literature lovers are — to appreciate his poems. If you are occasionally wry, sardonic, wistful, nostalgic, fed up with progress and modernity, like a bit of open air and girls, you may enjoy some of his poems. [Read more...]

Roll over Beethoven! Chuck Berry and rock ‘n’ roll music

So what was so great about rock ‘n’ roll? It was teeny, it was silly, it was fun, It got your toes tapping and then you were up on your feet, swinging your hips, dancing and singing along, belting out the lyrics as fast as you could for rock ‘n’ roll was loud, rock ‘n’roll was fast, the guitars jangling, the drums pounding, and the singers singing like crazy.

It was music with a rush that put you into motion, animating you from your lips to your toes, music that got you reelin’ and rockin’ like Chuck Berry here. He could rock with the best — such as John Lennon. [Read more...]