pop Archive

Kat Edmonson: Old Fashioned Dreamer

In the era before rock ‘n’ roll, pop music was for adults. And while adult pop continued as a force through the ’60s – witness the careers of Tom Jones, Johnny Mathis and Engelbert Humperdinck as well as Frank Sinatra’s continued run of top 40 hit singles – the category was largely moribund by the

Album Review: Eamon Ra — Meat Bones Chemicals Electricity

The album title telegraphs that Eamon Ra is something of an eccentric artist. That the LP comes packed with a magazine-sized lyric/comic book only serves to reinforce that impression. And then when one digs into the music itself (as one most assuredly should), the discovery is that this character belongs in that rarefied place wherein

30 Days Out, March 2020 #2: Sister Ivy, Graham Nash, Wham Bam Bowie Band, Eilen Jewell

UPDATE March 17: It looks as if all live shows are canceled for the foreseeable future. Please support these and other artists by buying their music online, viewing (and paying for) livestreams .. .whatever they may have on offer. We’re all in this together. Because of the worldwide challenge posed by the spread of the

Q&A with Freddy King Cole

The last name may sound familiar: Pianist and singer Freddy Cole is, in fact, the youngest brother of the late Nat “King” Cole, the jazz musician who scored more than 100 pop hits during his lifetime. But Freddy Cole — immortalized in the award-winning 2006 documentary film The Cole Nobody Knows — is no also-ran.

Take Some Old Songs and Make Them Newer: The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ at 50

In light of the fact that they’re the most popular rock act in the history of music, the Beatles’ catalog is more than a bit confusing. Though CD-era reissues were part of a concerted effort to realign and untangle things, the original release schedule of Beatles albums in the ’60s (and very early 1970s) is

Prog in Disguise: The Buggles’ ‘The Age of Plastic’ at 40

The late 1970s were an odd time for popular music. Today’s listeners know that punk made its mark in the middle ’70s, but it’s worth noting that from a commercial standpoint – especially in the U.S. – punk rock was a comparatively insignificant phenomenon. Instead, its effect was felt mostly in the ways in which

For Hawai’ian Trio Waipuna, Stories and Emotions Transcend Language

Among music fans living in mainland United States, there’s relatively little knowledge of Hawai’ian music. And what awareness there is centers largely around Don Ho’s “Tiny Bubbles” and Bing Crosby’s holiday classic “Mele Kalikimaka.” Those commercial smashes merely hint at the rich musical culture of the 50th state. One of the prime exponents of Hawai’ian

Album Review: Eleventyseven — Basic Glitches

What a difference a couple of decades can make. Eleventyseven got its start in Laurens, S.C. as a pop-punk band trafficking in Christian themes; one of its earliest shows took place when founding members Matt Langston and Caleb Satterfield were still in high school; that show was at a rally in support of sexual abstinence.

Come and Get It: Badfinger’s ‘Magic Christian Music’ at 50

With the benefit of a half century’s hindsight, it can be argued that despite massive creativity and talent, Badfinger was star-crossed nearly from its start. Though the British-Welsh band were protégés of the Beatles, that connection only got them so far. The vicissitudes of the record industry and other factors combined to blunt the potential

A Conversation with Johnny Mathis, the Voice of Romance

The following is a companion piece to my Johnny Mathis feature, found here. Johnny Mathis is one of the most popular singer to even pic up a mic. Starting with his third – and first #1 – hit single (“Chances Are” from 1957) and continuing well into the 1980s, the vocalist has been a regular