The Vinyl Dialogues Blog

Stories behind memorable albums of the 1970s as told by the artists

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And then along comes The Association again to transport us back to our youth

When I was a kid, my parents had an album collection, and one of the albums I absolutely wore out was “Insight Out” by The Association. It includes two of the band’s biggest hits, “Windy” and “Never My Love,” both still among my favorite songs of all-time

The Association — which includes original members Jim Yester and Jules Alexander — appeared July 26 at the Sellersville Theatre 1894, and the show took me back to when I was 8 years old, spinning vinyl at my parents house in central Illinois.

I was fortunate to interview Yester for a chapter in “The Vinyl Dialogues Volume IV: From Studio to Stylus” on the making of “Insight Out.” It was a thrill for me to hear Yester’s recollections of the making of that album. What follows is the story of that album, as told by Yester.

Ruthann Friedman was kind of like a … Read more

Stories from the front row with Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul

If you’ve got a favorite band who you’d like to see live, do yourself a favor and spend the money to sit in the front row. And if Stevie Van Zandt sticks a microphone in your face, make sure you know the words to the song he wants you to help sing.

Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul were at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA, Saturday, July 20. I had been carrying around a gift card from Christmas and was looking for the right concert on which to spend it. And I wanted to see Little Steven.

Front row tickets aren’t always affordable, but for this show, they were. Only $81.50, which is a bargain for a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. It seemed like the perfect way to treat myself with the gift card that was suddenly burning a hole in my wallet. I could hear … Read more

Mike DelGuidice and Big Shot bring the Billy Joel big time

From the very first song I heard Mike DelGuidice and his band Big Shot perform at last year’s Ambler Arts and Music Festival, my thought was, “Hey, this guy is pretty good. He really nails those Billy Joel songs.”

Well, that’s because DelGuidice and Big Shot have been performing Billy Joel’s music for nearly two decades. In fact, DelGuidice  is so good that in 2013, Joel hired him to be a backing vocalist and guitarist for Joel’s band. If you do an artist’s songs so well that the artist hires you to help him do his own songs, that’s pretty doggone good. 

But I didn’t know any of that the first time I heard DelGuidice and Big Shot. And I love those moments when I first discover an artist whose work I hadn’t previously known. I research the artist, listen to his/her stuff, become a fan and start to follow … Read more

Rock royalty David Crosby humble and fun in New Jersey show

David Crosby didn’t end his show Saturday night in Pennsauken, N.J., with a song he had written himself. He ended it with a Neil Young song written for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

“This is serious now. I’m gonna ask you to please sing really loud,” said Crosby to the large crowd attending the free concert at Cooper River Park for the kickoff event of the 2019 Camden County summer concert series. “This song is really important right now in America. It’s needs to get sung a whole lot really loud. Some people down there in D.C. need to hear it.”

Crosby — politically active throughout his career — and his Sky Trails Band then offered a spirited version of CSN&Y’s “Ohio,” a protest song and counterculture anthem about the Kent State shootings May 4, 1970. Four unarmed students were killed by Ohio National Guard soldiers during a campus protest … Read more

The backstory of making the ‘Groovin” album by The Young Rascals

Musicians work primarily on Friday and Saturday nights. And the women in their lives, well, they don’t like that too much.

That’s the way it was in the mid-1960s for Felix Cavaliere of the Young Rascals. By the end of 1966, the band’s self-titled debut album had reached No. 10 on the Cashbox album chart and No. 15 on the Billboard Top 200 albums charts. The record featured the group’s first No. 1 single, “Good Lovin’” and positioned the band to begin writing and recording more of their own material.

It made the Young Rascals in demand as well, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights, much to the dismay of their wives and girlfriends.

“That’s not exactly their cup of tea because, hey, you can understand when they say, ‘What do I do while you’re out there entertaining?’ So it’s a normal situation and any musician will tell you that … Read more

It’s easy to listen to Lionel Richie sing ‘Brick House’ and other hits all night long

There was a moment in the Lionel Richie concert Saturday night at the Hard Rock in Atlantic City, just as Lionel was finishing up the final verse of “Endless Love,” where there was a bit of a commotion in the front row.

A gent had gotten down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend while Lionel was singing the song. Now that’s some pretty romantic and memorable planning by that dude, and it didn’t go unnoticed by Lionel. After he finished the song, he stopped the show and made a big deal out of the moment, the happy couple was shown on the big concert screens, and it all seemed unscripted to me from my vantage point. Lionel seemed to not know about the proposal in advance and veteran performer that he is, he rolled it right into the show.

He dedicated the next song to the woman who … Read more

Mike and Micky: The Monkees are still magnificent

It was early 1967 The Monkees were frustrated. Sure, they had a successful television show — wildly more successful than anybody could have imagined at the time — and their first two albums, “The Monkees” and “More of the Monkees,” had reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 200 Albums chart.

But The Monkees — Mike Nesmith, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Davy Jones — weren’t being taken seriously as musicians and songwriters. And that was beginning to wear on them heavily.

So when it came time to make the third album, they went on strike, which was spearheaded by Nesmith.

“Mike had become very frustrated, and I don’t blame him because he had bought into this whole thing (The Monkees),” said Dolenz in a July 11, 2017, interview with The Vinyl Dialogues. “He was a singer-songwriter and he came into The Monkees with that in mind. I know … Read more

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