First of all, I had a nice rebound in traffic during October after the expected drop in September. Thanks to all for hanging in!

I’ve been doing this for about eight months now so I’m going to spend the next few weeks periodically doing something I probably should have done earlier, which is give some sort of outline of what I value most, “artistically” speaking. (It says so much more than one’s politics, religion or culinary habits.)

Figured I’d begin at the beginning, so here, more or less chronologically (that’s world chronology, not personal….I probably knew Cyndi Lauper before I knew Clyde McPhatter)….

MY TWENTY FAVORITE ROCK AND ROLL SINGERS (and five representative performances which also happen to be building blocks for a better world)…First a nice intro:

Brenda Lee “Break It To Me Gently” (Studio recording…with some nice pictures)

Then on to the list…

Clyde McPhatter (Dominoes, Drifters, solo)–Money Honey; Three Thirty Three; Treasure of Love; Without Love (There Is Nothing); A Lover’s Question

Elvis Presley (solo)–Good Rockin’ Tonight; Heartbreak Hotel; It Hurts Me; Long Black Limousine; Reach Out To Jesus

Tony Williams (Platters)–Only You (And You Alone); The Great Pretender; (You’ve Got) The Magic Touch; Smoke Gets In Your Eyes; Harbor Lights

Bobby “Blue” Bland (solo)–I Pity The Fool; Turn On Your Love Light; Queen For A Day; Two Steps From the Blues; Lead Me On

Sam Cooke (Soul Stirrers, solo)–Jesus Gave Me Water; Bring It On Home; Cupid; That’s Where It’s At; A Change Is Gonna’ Come

Brenda Lee (solo)–Sweet Nothings; Break It To Me Gently; Heart In Hand; Coming On Strong; Johnny One Time

Roy Orbison (solo)–Only The Lonely; Running Scared; Dream Baby; Blue Angel; Crying

Jerry Butler (Impressions, solo)–Your Precious Love; Make It Easy On Yourself; Moody Woman; Only The Strong Survive; Western Union Man

Frankie Valli (Four Seasons, solo)–Walk Like A Man; Rag Doll; Silence Is Golden; Girl Come Running; Fallen Angel

Gladys Knight (Pips, solo)–Neither One of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye); Midnight Train to Georgia; I’ve Got To Use My Imagination; Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me; On and On

Smokey Robinson (Miracles, solo)–What’s So Good About Goodbye; The Tracks of My Tears; The Love I Saw In You Was Just A Mirage; Sweet Harmony; Cruisin’)

Bob Dylan (solo)–Talking World War III Blues (live); Maggie’s Farm; Like A Rolling Stone; Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again; I Threw It All Away

Mary Weiss (Shangri-Las, solo)–Remember (Walkin’ In The Sand); Give Him a Great Big Kiss; Never Again; He Cried; Past, Present and Future

Aretha Franklin (solo)–I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You); Respect; (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman; I Say A Little Prayer; Rock Steady

Van Morrison (Them, solo)–Gloria; It’s All Over Now Baby Blue; Listen To The Lion; Almost Independence Day; Tupelo Honey

John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater Revival, solo)–Fortunate Son; Lodi; Green River; Run Through The Jungle; Sweet Hitch-Hiker

Al Green (solo)–Tired of Being Alone; I’m A Ram; Here I Am (Come and Take Me); Take Me To The River; Belle

Ronnie Van Zandt (Lynyrd Skynyrd)–Tuesday’s Gone; Sweet Home Alabama; The Ballad of Curtis Loew; Gimme Back My Bullets; What’s Your Name

Chrissie Hynde (Pretenders)–Precious; Mystery Achievement; My City Was Gone; Middle of The Road; I’ll Stand By You

Cyndi Lauper (Blue Angel, solo)–Money Changes Everything; Time After Time; All Through The Night; When Sally’s Pigeons Fly; I’m Gonna’ Be Strong (solo version)

First Alternate: Arlene Smith (Chantels)

(Feel free to list your own….this is the fun part of the job!)



  1. Otis Redding seems to be the biggest surprise absence.

    I’d also add Little Richard, Bruce Springsteen, Corin Tucker, and Pink. Not sure who’d I’d leave off of your fine list, though … I guess Tony Williams and Frankie Valli. Maybe Ronnie Van Zant …. basically I like all of your choices.

  2. I’m weird on Otis….I like him a lot and I’ve listened to him a lot but I’ve never sort of just had him in my head for weeks or months on end. Pink I’m just getting into (had a chance to listen to the live Cd incidentally though I haven’t watched the DVD yet…yes, oh yes, she can definitely sing in a way that is now extremely rare. Very much looking forward to further exploration). Never had a chance to listen to Tucker much so I’ll have to say that’s just an inexplicable gap on my part. Richard and Springsteen aren’t far off any list…I mean I could have gone a hundred and still have to leave somebody off! (The one I can’t believe is missing is Dusty Springfield…Believe me, if you asked me in the abstract if I would make a list of my twenty favorites and then said I would leave her off I would say no way!…Had to draw the impossible line somewhere.

  3. Are you on Spotify? I made up a Sleater-Kinney playlist for a friend who was new to the band. I could update it with stuff from her solo work since the band went on “hiatus” a few years ago.

  4. Or, if you just want an album, I’d suggest either Dig Me Out or The Woods from Sleater-Kinney, or Kill My Blues by The Corin Tucker Band. S-K is better, but if you just want a Corin fix, perhaps her solo albums are more useful. Sleater-Kinney has three powerhouse members, so Tucker doesn’t always dominate their music.

    Don’t know if you read Robert Christgau, but of Sleater-Kinney’s seven albums, Christgau gave out 5 A grades and 2 A- grades.

  5. I do read Christgau and I recalled that he gave them a lot of high grades so I’ll probably take your suggestions for starters. It’s always helpful to have a place to start…Spotify…that’s another concept for me to grasp (lol)..Thanks for letting me know about it though. I am ever so slowly becoming more tech savvy! Will keep your kind offer in mind if I get up to speed.

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