There’s a scream inside everyone of us at every moment. And every one of us has had the experience of listening to a record and feeling that scream take over. Release. Abandon. Let it all out. Rock and Roll for me is about Eros, not Logos, which is paradoxical since my job is putting the experience in words.
~Paul Williams (Author’s note)
One of our favorite authors here at JV is Paul Williams, and…. he did write about other stuff than Bob Dylan.
We all love lists, so I’ll try out a new series of posts honoring one of his lesser known books:
..the list is chronological, starting back before the beginning and going through the 50’s and the 60’s and the 70’s and the 80’s, and ending for the sake of convenience in 1991. So #1 is not supposed to be ‘better’ than #100. It just got in the line first.
My criteria are simple: the song has to have been released as a seven-inch 45 rpm single in the United States or Great Britain (Robert Johnson’s 78 rpm ten-inch is the exception that proved the rule), and it has be “rock and roll” according to my subjective evaluation…
~Paul Williams (Author’s note)
I like this town, it’s really great. They’ve put me in The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. This town is about music. It’s about the kind of music I like.
I used to go down every year for the remembrance of Elvis’ birthday. Memphis State College invited me to sit in the auditorium and speak to the people for one of those Elvis days.
Blackwell’s songwriting style is as identifiable as that of Willie Dixon or Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller. He helped formulate the musical vocabulary of rock & roll when the genre was barely breathing on its own.
~Bill Dahl (allmusic.com)
All Shook Up – Elvis Presley:
Great Balls Of Fire – Jerry Lee Lewis:
Also known as
February 16, 1931
Brooklyn, New York, United States
May 6, 2002 (aged 71)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
East Coast blues, rock and roll,R&B
Singer, pianist, songwriter
RCA, Groove, Atlantic
Otis Blackwell (February 16, 1931 – May 6, 2002) was an American songwriter, singer, and pianist, whose work significantly influenced rock and roll. His compositions include Little Willie John’s “Fever”, Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire” and “Breathless”, Elvis Presley’s “Don’t Be Cruel”, “All Shook Up” and “Return to Sender” (with Winfield Scott), and Jimmy Jones’ “Handy Man”. He should not be confused with another songwriter and producer Robert “Bumps” Blackwell.
Fever – Little Willie John:
Otis Blackwell was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1986
in 1991 into the National Academy of Popular Music’s Songwriters Hall of Fame
Blackwell’s crowning moment came in the late 1980s when the Black Rock Coalition, a prominent organization of black rock musicians, led by Vernon Reid, the lead guitarist of the band, Living Colour, held a tribute for him at the Prospect Park Bandshell in his native Brooklyn. Many prominent musicians and singers took part including Blackwell himself, who performed an assortment of his best songs, including “One Broken Heart for Sale,” “Black Trail,” “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Daddy Rolling Stone.”
Blackwell was named one of the 2010 recipients of Ahmet Ertegun Award in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This category encompasses those who primarily work behind the scenes in the music industry.