Japan - Scott #3386c (2011)

A Month of Christmas: Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town & Christmas in Japan

Earlier this week, I wrote that my favorite rock Christmas song is the live version of “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” as performed by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band in 1975 and released as the B-side of a single in 1985. The song was written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie and was first sung on Eddie Cantor’s radio show in … Continue reading A Month of Christmas: Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town & Christmas in Japan

Clyde McPhatter

 Clyde Lensley McPhatter was born in the community of Hayti, in Durham, North Carolina on November 15, although the year is disputed. Some sources cite 1932. Author Colin Escott cites 1931, stating that “most biographies quote 1933 or 1934, although government documents cite the earlier year”. He would later become an American rhythm and blues, soul and rock and roll singer. He was one of … Continue reading Clyde McPhatter

John Lennon: Musician, Activist, Stamp Collector

English singer, songwriter, peace activist, and co-founder of the Beatles — the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music — John Winston Lennon was born on October 9, 1940,  in Liverpool, where he became involved in the skiffle craze as a teenager. He and fellow Beatles member Paul McCartney formed a much-celebrated songwriting partnership. Along with George Harrison and Ringo Starr, the group … Continue reading John Lennon: Musician, Activist, Stamp Collector

Batetela Drummers of Belgian Congo

The history and culture of the African continent has long fascinated me, particularly the 19th century colonial “Scramble for Africa.” This was due in equal parts to obtaining my mother’s childhood stamp collection when I was around 10 years old and my dad introducing me to the works of L. Rider Haggard at around the same time. Thus, my collections have always contained a fair … Continue reading Batetela Drummers of Belgian Congo

Johnny Cash, the Man in Black

American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author John R. Cash was born on February 26, 1932 in Kingsland, Arkansas. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide. Although primarily remembered as a country music icon, his genre-spanning songs and sound embraced rock and roll, rockabilly, blues, folk, and gospel. This crossover appeal won Cash the … Continue reading Johnny Cash, the Man in Black

The Day the Music Died

On February 3, 1959, rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, together with pilot Roger Peterson. The event later became known as “The Day the Music Died”, after singer-songwriter Don McLean referred to it as such in his song “American Pie” in 1971. The crash was not known … Continue reading The Day the Music Died