We have two birthdays to make note of this week. First a Canadian institution, Geddy Lee (Gary Lee Weinrib), the lead vocalist, bass player and keyboardist for one of Canada’s greatest bands, Rush. He celebrated his 68th birthday on July 29th. He initially joined Rush in 1968, and they began the trek to superstardom. The band is now the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, having been inducted in 2013. The song I have chosen is Tom Sawyer, one of their finest, and a great showcase for one of the finest voices in rock. Happy birthday Geddy.
The second celebration is for Paul Anka, a Canadian treasure and pioneer. Born on July 30, 1941, Paul is turning 80. An early international star, with hits like, “Put Your Head On My Shoulder”, “(You’re) Having My Baby” and many, many more. In addition to performing, he is also an accomplished songwriter. Among the songs he has written are, the Tonight Show Theme, the English lyrics for Frank Sinatra’s big hit “My Way” and “She’s A Lady”, a Tom Jones signature song. He also co-wrote “This Is It” along with Michael Jackson. Please enjoy another of his major hits “Diana” and wish him happy birthday.
Remember that great instrumental “Pipeline”, the one with the great opening riff that basically created a whole new form of guitar playing? Brian Carman of “The Chantays” played that way back in 1962. Brian passed away on March 1st, but will always be remembered for this path-finding sound.One of the true pioneers.
Tony Sheridan, an early Beatle (Ok the Beat Brothers), he is one of only 2 men (the other being Billy Preston) to be credited on a Beatle song, and the only person to sing lead on a Beatle single, passed away on February 16, 2013. All the stories have been told, so no point in rehashing them. Suffice to say that the Beatles first album was released as “My Bonnie” by Tony Sheridan and the Beatles. The band’s name was changed to Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers as the word Beatles sounded too much like the German word for penis. I wonder how they dealt with that as the Beatles became more and more famous.
He was an original rock & roll artist, but migrated to more of a jazz player as his career continued. He continued recording right up to 2008. Here is a sampling of his work.