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February 25, 1979 – The Sino-Vietnam War – For A Change, Not In The Frying Pan – But Iran . . . A strange sigh of relief coming from Capitol Hill.
February 25, 1979 – CBS Radio – The World This Week – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
With grossly inflated casualty and capture claims coming from both sides, the war between China and Vietnam was heating up, this week in February, 1979.
And with clucks of &#8220;this could be the start of World War 3&#8221; coming from Capitol Hill observers, one got the sense a sigh of relief was emanating from Washington that this was at least one war the U.S. wasn&#8217;t up to it&#8217;s eyeballs in, and not going to be in anytime in the near or distant future.
And with both sides playing hard-to-pin-down as to actual casualty reports, it was anyones guess how this was was going. But it was largely feared, at least by the Vietnamese, that a full-scale invasion of Vietnam from China was in the cards.
And the subject of the Sino-Vietnam War was forefront at The United Nations, as negotiations went into overdrive in an attempt to reach some settlement.
But our concerns were in other places, most notably in the Middle East, where the situation in Iran continued to spiral in ways that gave concern. The new regime was busy getting rid of remnants of the old regime and firing squads were working overtime, purging one batch of repression in favor of another.
Yassar Arafat flew into Tehran to open the PLO Embassy, which was formerly the Israeli Embassy. The inhabitants having vacated the premises during the first wave of flights out.
On the Domestic front – we were officially in a recession, and things weren&#8217;t getting any better with oil prices taking a big jump up. The coming sting at the pump would further add to domestic woes.
And so went that, and a lot of other news for the week that ended on this February 25th in 1979, as reported on CBS Radio&#8217;s The World This Week.

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March 17, 1975 – Starkly Bad News From South Vietnam – Burning Secret Papers – Onassis Laid To Rest. March 17, 1975 – NBC Nightly News – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
When Birth Control Was Illegal - 1961 - Past Daily Reference Room For those of you wondering the significance of the latest SCOTUS proposal/ruling on overturning Roe v. Wade and the issue of legal abortion in the U.S., looking at the history of what got us here and what we were like before that landmark decision changed women’s lives and why overturning it is such a complete disaster and a giant step back in the area of Women’s Rights. In 1961 it was illegal in most states to have access to Birth Control Pills. In some states it was even illegal to offer alternatives to pregnancy because contraception itself was considered illegal and the only form of contraception that was accepted was one that the Catholic Church approved: The Rhythm Method. Nothing which prevented pregnancy or protected a woman from becoming pregnant were available, save Condoms for men and the aforementioned Rhythm Method. Not a lot of choices. Abortions, of course, were illegal and were not even brought up as something to be considered a legal alternative in the early 1960s. Which was why many women either gave birth and offered for adoption or took a chance on a “backroom” abortion which was risky and came with a high percentage of fatalities to the mother. The laws, some dating as far back as the 1800’s were primitive and draconian at best. Many of the laws making contraception illegal were, for the most part, church sponsored and carried with them heavy moral baggage to go along with severe restrictions. This program, a discussion on the topic of Birth Control was in connection with the issue of the then-recent arrest of Dr. C. Lee Buxton and Estelle Griswold, a doctor and an activist who were placed under arrest for opening a Planned Parenthood clinic and offering Birth Control pills to young women for free in New Haven Connecticut, a state which cited a state law in 1879 banning any kind of contraception and placing under arrest anyone who tried. The irony of course, is that everyone on the panel is male and they couldn’t find anyone to actually support the law – on the one hand, it’s the same old problem while at the same time, illustrating that laws against contraception were wildly unpopular even in 1961. But in case you were wondering what the big deal Roe V. Wade is, just realize this was a hard-fought piece of legislation that was passed fifty years ago and the notion of going back to the days of outlawed contraception and birth control, punitive laws, back-room abortions, sky-rocketing abandoned and abused children is something no rational human being wants to visit again. Here is that episode of The Open Mind featuring Fowler B. Harper, professor of Law at Yale – James O’Gara, managing editor of Commonweal Magazine and Dr. Allen Guttmacher of Mt. Sinai Hospital and President-Elect of Planned Parenthood as broadcast on November 15, 1961.
Paul Butterfield Blues Band - in concert 1966 - Past Daily Backstage Pass. A classic concert this weekend from the legendary Paul Butterfield Blues Band, recorded live at The Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco on October 14, 1966. Butterfield was one of the major forces, taking the Chicago Blues genre to a broader (and whiter) audience in the early-mid 1960’s. His band featured a number of names who would go on to become prominent solo artists in their own right, namely Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. After early training as a classical flautist, Paul Butterfield developed an interest in blues harmonica. He explored the blues scene in his native Chicago, where he met Muddy Waters and other blues greats, who provided encouragement and opportunities for him to join in jam sessions. He soon began performing with fellow blues enthusiasts Nick Gravenites and Elvin Bishop. In 1963, he formed the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, which recorded several successful albums and was popular on the late-1960s concert and festival circuit, with performances at the Fillmore West, in San Francisco; the Fillmore East, in New York City; the Monterey Pop Festival; and Woodstock. The band was known for combining electric Chicago blues with a rock urgency and for their pioneering jazz fusion performances and recordings. After the breakup of the group in 1971, Butterfield continued to tour and record with the band Paul Butterfield’s Better Days, with his mentor Muddy Waters, and with members of the roots-rock group the Band. While still recording and performing, Butterfield died in 1987 at age 44 of an accidental drug overdose. Music critics have acknowledged his development of an original approach that places him among the best-known blues harp players. This 1966 concert features the classic lineup with Bloomfield, Bishop, Mark Nafatlin on keyboards, Jerome Arnold on Bass and Billy Davenport on drums. It was recorded around the time of the release of the milestone East-West album, and the set closes with that track, which sadly fades out about 3/4 of the way through, being a Magnum Opus among 60s performances and not enough tape on the original reel to accommodate it. Ah, history. But it’s a great concert nonetheless and a little touch of Down Home to toss into your weekend Mix. Enjoy.
March 8, 1942 -“Until Better Times . . . ” – Fall of Batavia – Advancing Despite All Efforts. – March 8, 1942 – News Of The World – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
March 30, 1942 – News From Darwin – Radio Australia And Putting On The Brave Face. March 30, 1942 – News and Commentary from Radio Australia – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Grandma's Ashes - In Session - 2020 - Past Daily Soundbooth: Rock Without Borders. Over to Paris for a brief stop-off and a set by Parisian trio Grandma’s Ashes, who have been variously described as Stoner-Prog, Stoner-Metal, Stoner-Goth – the operative word in all these descriptions is Stoner. They are, above all a power trio. Eva, Myriam and Edith found each other online and shared a love for Punk Rock and Noise. Eva, who plays bass and sings, freely admits she’s been inspired by Flea and Chris Squire from Yes while Myriam, whose dad is a Blues guitarist, latched on to Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy before discovering Frank Zappa. Together they neatly fit and have been playing for three years. Their debut ep, Fates came out in January of 2021, right in the middle of the Pandemic, so getting the momentum back on track has been not that much different than everyone else whose careers were temporarily put in limbo while everyone donned masks and social-distanced. But they’re wasting no time getting back up to speed. Touring primarily in France since February this year and going, it looks, until sometime in November – they’re covering a lot of ground. No word on whether or not they are heading across the Channel and playing any gigs in the UK and no word at all if there is anything planned for this continent any time in the future. Like a lot of overseas bands right now, the majority of their songs are in English without a trace of an accent, which has proven to be a wise step for a number of artists, especially trying to expand your fanbase and become more of a worldwide endeavor. A short set at just over 9 minutes – check them out. They have a Bandcamp page and The Fates is available on CD, download or Vinyl as well as their single Daddy Issues. Support them – and like their Facebook page! Play loud.
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May 19, 1942 - All (mostly) Quiet in South Pacific - New troops, new helmets arrive in Ireland - Battle of Kerch continues. May 19, 1942 – According to communiqués, today in the Southwest Pacific was a day of almost complete inactivity. The day before witness another assault on Port Moresby by Japanese bombers, and it was a grim reminder that the air assaults by the Japanese were far from weakened. This latest raid on Moresby was the heaviest since a similar assault on Darwin in February. The relative quiet in this area of the Pacific caused concern among that allies that it meant a calm before a storm. It was wait-and-see. The positive news was one of the high morale on the parts of American troops and pilots in the South Pacific and the performance of the new medium bombers, the B-25 and B-26.

Meanwhile – the latest installment of U.S. troops arrived in Belfast this day, sporting the new design steel helmet, phasing out the old, World War 1 style “doughboy” helmet. More than that, it represented a morale boost and a sign to the Axis that at some point another front would be opened up and perhaps sooner than expected. Deputy Prime Minister Clement Atlee, speaking during the War Debate in the House Of Commons, said their strength was increasing and their position improving to the point that a changeover from a Defensive to Offensive position was a sure thing – no predictions when, but it was coming. And the latest arrival of American troops solidified that.

From the Eastern Front came news that Marshall Timoshenko’s forces had advanced within 30-40 miles along the Kharkov front. The latest reports reaching London indicated German armored forces had been badly handled and as a result suffered heavy losses. The Russians were still resisting on the Kerch Peninsula, but it was thought that any attempt to build up hopes was unwise.

And that’s a small slice of what happened, this May 19, 1942 as reported by NBC’s News Of The World.
Nicholas Angelich With Tugan Sokhiev And The NHK Symphony In Concert - 2019 - Past Daily Mid-Week Concert. A tribute of sorts this week. With the shocking news of the sudden death of pianist Nicholas Angelich, I found this recent concert (2019) featuring Angelich with the NHK Symphony conducted by Tugan Sokhiev in music of Balakirev, Rachmaninov, Chopin and Tchaikovsky and wanted to play this to remind those who are not familiar of who we lost in April.

Beginning the concert with Balakirev’s Oriental Fantasy, followed by Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Pagnini and the Chopin Mazurka Number 40 in F minor as an encore. The concert concludes with a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony Number 4 in F minor. It was broadcast live from NHK Hall on October 18, 2019.

Nicholas began studying piano with his mother at age 5 and made his debut at 7 performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 21. At 13, he and his mother moved to Paris so that he could study at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique, where he won multiple prizes for piano and chamber music. His teachers included Aldo Ciccolini, Yvonne Loriod and Michel Béroff.

In 1994, Mr. Angelich won the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition and made his New York recital debut in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center the following year. In 2003, Leon Fleischer, one of his mentors, gave him the Young Talent Award at the Ruhr International Piano Festival in Germany. Mr. Angelich made his debut with the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur at Lincoln Center in May 2003, performing Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto.

Mr. Angelich, a committed chamber musician, was a frequent guest at the Verbier and Lugano festivals in Switzerland. He frequently collaborated with the violinist Renaud Capuçon and the cellist Gautier Capuçon, with whom he recorded the Brahms piano trios, violin sonatas and piano quartets for the Virgin Classics label.

Reviewing the trio’s performance at the Wigmore Hall in London, Martin Kettle wrote in The Guardian: “Though the French brothers provide the celebrity element, it is Angelich’s piano which is the constant in these varied programs. Angelich is a master Brahmsian.”

Mr. Angelich made eight recordings for Warner Classics, including Bach’s “Goldberg Variations,” a disc of Prokofiev, Brahms Piano Concertos with Paavo Jarvi and the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, and Beethoven’s fourth and fifth piano concertos on a historic Pleyel piano. His catalog also includes a recording of music by Baptiste Trotignon on the Naïve label.

In the 2018-19 season, Mr. Angelich began his first season as soloist-in-residence with the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montreal, working with the conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, a frequent collaborator who described him on Tuesday in the Montreal Gazette as “a generous soul and a pianist like no other.” Mr. Angelich was scheduled to close the orchestra’s 2021-22 season with two concerts in June.

Nicholas Angelich died on Monday April 18th in Paris, where he had lived since he was 13. He was 51.

The cause was degenerative lung failure, according to his manage
The Breeders - in concert - 2018 - Past Daily Soundbooth. The Breeders in concert – an excerpt from their 2018 appearance at Biggest Weekend in Belfast from BBC 6 Music.

Certainly one of my favorite American bands, The Breeders have always been a few cuts above what else has been going on. The writing is gritty, raw, intensely personal and deeply satisfying on a lot of levels and I confess to being a fan from their first album on.

There is something about this band that makes for compelling listening. Maybe it’s their point of view; the unvarnished glimpse of life on life’s terms – the uncanny resilience of the human spirit – laying everything out, exposed nerve-endings and all. I think that’s what’s attracted me to The Breeders (and the offshoots, side-projects and alumni) – the level of reality and clear vision is so much a part of their sound and their whole approach. Plus they’ve been a stepping off place to discoveries of sister bands; Throwing Muses, Belly, Kristen Hirsh, Fifty Foot Wave. It’s a whole sub-genre, one that’s quintessentially American.

Sadly, this is only an 8 minute snippet of the whole set, it’s all I have at the moment, but it’s memorable. It’s evocative and memorable, even for this short a sample .

If you’re not familiar – I would urge you to take the next 8 minutes and do nothing – just hit the Play button and listen. Nobody quite like them – and they certainly don’t prompt ambivalence.

Go exploring. You’ll thank me in the morning.
May 18, 1987 - Pentagon: "28 American Sailors Are Dead" - Aftermath of The USS Stark Incident. May 18, 1987 – News from the Persian Gulf and the aftermath of the attack on the USS Stark, a Navy Frigate that sustained considerable damage and the loss of 28 sailers. The USS Stark was part of the Middle East Task Force assigned to patrol off the Saudi Arabian coast near the Iran–Iraq War exclusion boundary. It was learned that two Exocet missiles were fired by an Iraqi jet and hit the ship. The first Exocet missile struck the port side of the ship near the bridge. Although it failed to detonate, rocket fuel ignited and caused a large fire that quickly spread throughout the ship’s post office, storeroom, and the critical combat operations center (where the ship’s weapons are controlled). The second Exocet also struck the port side, 30 seconds later. This missile detonated, leaving a 10 by 15 ft. hole in the frigate’s left side.

The Pentagon confirmed that, as of news time, 28 sailers were dead. In addition, six were injured seriously enough to require hospitalization. Next of kin were being contacted. The White House reported Iraq’s ambassador in Washington expressed regret and indicated Sadaam Hussein ordered a full investigation of the incident.

Meanwhile, in Fiji: Five days after a military coup, people are still wondering who’s in charge, and with good reason; the local radio was putting out conflicting statements – one from the Governor General saying the military coup was illegal and unconstitutional and at the same time a statement from the Rebel military leader that he had been sworn in by the Governor General as the head of the country.

And this day in South Korea marked the seventh anniversary of riots in Kwanju, scene of government crackdowns on dissent and seven years later the issues were strikingly similar. The decision by the nation’s ruling party to literally shut out opposition when a new President was slated to be selected later on in the year. Police were on the highest state of alert and arrested thousands of dissidents before the weekend in an attempt to diffuse the expected demonstrations. It didn’t work completely. The riots in Kwanju seven years earlier took over 200 lives and anger was still palpable.

And that’s a little of what happened, this May 18th in 1987 as reported by the CBS World News Roundup.
Eska - In Session - 1996 - Past Daily Soundbooth Over to Glasgow tonight for a BBC Radio 1 session by Eska for the Steve Lamacq program on May 20, 1996. Eska is a Scottish Indie band who got started in 1994. Until now most famous for the fact that old drummer and good friend Stuart Braithwaite left to start Mogwai, Glasgow’s most under-rated band are here with the goods to claim their crowns. Sure, they can master the slinky genre bending instrumental, but they are also adept at the dual vocal math-pop rock that has won them all that airplay and all those adoring fans. This record sounds less-straightforward and more inventive with each listen but you’ll never forget the first time that the catchy opening wriggle of “Goodbye To Victories” sucks you in. Colin Kearney contributes the finger-mashing heavy string riffage whilst Chris Mack brings in the frail heart-rending voice that spills over into his solo work as The James Orr Complex, the recent tour support for that Stuart guy’s band.

Marcelline Smith of Diskant has written a few words about the band at a recent gig, just to give you some idea if you aren’t familiar:

“Until now most famous for the fact that old drummer and good friend Stuart Braithwaite left to start Mogwai, Glasgow’s most under-rated band are here with the goods to claim their crowns. Sure, they can master the slinky genre bending instrumental, but they are also adept at the dual vocal math-pop rock that has won them all that airplay and all those adoring fans. This record sounds less-straightforward and more inventive with each listen but you’ll never forget the first time that the catchy opening wriggle of “Goodbye To Victories” sucks you in. Colin Kearney contributes the finger-mashing heavy string riffage whilst Chris Mack brings in the frail heart-rending voice that spills over into his solo work as The James Orr Complex, the recent tour support for that Stuart guy’s band”.

Have a listen and enjoy loud.
May 17, 1965 - The Johnson Doctrine - Dominican Republic and Operation Power Pack May 17, 1965 – Entering the third week of the civil war, which erupted in the Dominican Republic and President Johnson sending U.S. troops to aid in evacuating American nationals stranded in Santo Domingo and to act as peacekeepers along with an Inter-American peace force sent to restore some semblance of order.

The Dominican Civil War also known as the April Revolution took place between April 24, 1965, and September 3, 1965, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. It started when civilian and military supporters of the overthrown democratically-elected president Juan Bosch ousted the militarily-installed president Donald Reid Cabral from office. The second coup prompted General Elías Wessin y Wessin to organize elements of the military loyal to President Reid (“loyalists”), initiating an armed campaign against the so-called “constitutionalist” rebels. In riposte, the dissidents passed out Cristóbal carbines and machine guns to several thousand civilian sympathizers and adherents. Allegations of foreign communist support for the rebels led to a United States intervention in the conflict (codenamed Operation Power Pack), which later transformed into an Organization of American States occupation of the country by the Inter-American Peace Force.

In the early morning of April 27, 1,176 foreign civilians who had assembled in Hotel Embajador were airlifted to the Bajos de Haina naval facility, where they boarded USS Ruchamkin and USS Wood County, as well as the helicopters of HMM-264, which evacuated them from the island to USS Boxer and USS Raleigh. Later that day, 1,500 Loyalist troops, supported by armored cars and tanks, marched from the San Isidro Air Base, captured Duarte Bridge, and took position on the west bank of the Ozama River. A second force, consisting of 700 soldiers, left San Cristóbal and attacked the western suburbs of Santo Domingo. Rebels overran the Fortaleza Ozama police headquarters and took 700 prisoners. On April 28, armed civilians attacked the Villa Consuelo police station and executed all of the police officers who survived the initial skirmish. One US Marine battalion landed in Haina and later moved to Hotel Embajador, where it provided assistance in the upcoming airlifts. During the night, 684 civilians were airlifted to USS Boxer. One US Marine was killed by a rebel sniper during the operation.

On May 5, the OAS Peace Committee arrived in Santo Domingo, and a second definite ceasefire agreement was signed, which ended the main phase of the civil war. Under the Act of Santo Domingo, the OAS was tasked with overseeing the implementation of the peace deal as well as distributing food and medication through the capital. The treaties failed to prevent some violations such as small-scale firefights and sniper fire. A day later, OAS members established the Inter-American Peace Force (IAPF) with the goal of serving as a peacekeeping formation in the Dominican Republic.
May 16, 1990 - Death Came In Twos - Sammy Davis Jr. - Jim Henson. May 16, 1990 – Sadness compounded; Jim Henson and Sammy Davis Jr. – both legends in their own right, both irreplaceable figures in the world of Entertainment, gone within hours of each other.

News on the death of Jim Henson came first; bulletins at first and then confirmations and then full reports. Within an hour, as we were digesting the news of Jim Henson we heard about the death of Sammy Davis Jr. – again, first as a bulletin and then confirmations and full reports – when the top of the hour came and the network news was broadcast, it was almost a coin toss to see which one of these icons passings would be mentioned first. The fact of the matter was; they were both stunning losses. In the case of Sammy Davis Jr. the end was not sudden, it had been expected as Davis had been battling Throat Cancer for a few years. Henson was a shock – a brief illness and complications – nothing long and drawn out – but the shock and loss came swift.

If you were around for a while you were well familiar with both of these names – Sammy Davis Jr. had been a household personality and artist for years, decades even. Henson was familiar too, but many of us didn’t grow up with The Muppets, weren’t daily watchers of Sesame Street – but we all knew Kermit, Miss Piggy and all the others. Henson was more than a puppeteer, he breathed a unique and engaging life into these clumps of modeled material, gave them personalities we all knew and all felt a special kinship with. Funny sometimes, what an inanimate object can sometimes do.

The thing about icons and legends is that they become part of your life; your story growing up. They affect you in ways you often can’t put your finger on and appear when you least expect them. For both Jim Henson and Sammy Davis Jr., we thought they would always be around – always be with us to some degree; they were extended family.

On this day in 1990 it was sad, doubly sad – it was a day to stop and think about places and things and people and sounds. A lot of other news happened that day, but they blended into a wall of quiet mumbling as we looked back and May 16, 1990 became a day of reflection.

Here’s how it happened, as KNX and CBS Radio described it.
May 16, 1938 - "Radio Prague Calling . . ." - Dark Clouds Gathering. May 16, 1938 – It didn’t seem so ominous at the time, but news from Prague over the situation in Czechoslovakia was becoming one of concern throughout Europe. The issue of lands under Czech control which originally belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, were handed over to the newly established Czechoslovakia at the end of World War 1, as the result of the breakup of the Empire were now in dispute. Since the German population in the area was some 3 million Germans at the time, many felt the area should rightly go to Germany. As early as 1931, a movement was afoot to regain those contested lands, but it wasn’t until 1938 with Hitler making more overt claims that area, known as the Sudetenland, be returned to Germany, that the situation took on a more crisis tone than before. Observers in London noted the recent elections had passed without incident and perhaps a peaceful settlement could be reached.

With municipal elections over the day before, and the Sudeten-German Party of Konrad Henlein winning handily, demands for German control of those lands was now increasing. A meeting was called between Henlein and Prime Minister Hodza to discuss the situation, or as Radio Prague put it; “to inaugurate the informative conversations which are to serve the purposes of the immediate gratification and pacification of the political situation”.

On this day tensions were building, but no demands had been issued – and no reactions were forthcoming from allies who pledged to come to Czechoslovakia’s aid in, should the situation spiral out of control into a military one. Everyone was taking a “wait-and-see” approach.

Still, preparations were being made for what could be a military confrontation, and on this day it was a matter of diplomacy to try and calm the situation down.

Here is a news bulletin in English from Radio Prague, outlining the situation as it stood on this May 16, 1938.
Tower Of Power - Live In Atlanta - 1973 - Past Daily Soundbooth Tower of Power in concert tonight – recorded on July 2, 1973 at Richard’s Club in Atlanta and broadcast live.

Hard to imagine Tower of Power have been at it for 54 years. Just goes to show you can’t keep a good thing down, and by the looks (and sounds) of it, nobody’s slowing down any time soon either.

In the summer of 1968, tenor saxophonist/vocalist Emilio Castillo met Stephen “Doc” Kupka, who played baritone sax. Castillo had played in several bands, but Castillo’s father told his son to “hire that guy” after a home audition. Within months the group, then known as The Motowns, began playing various gigs around Oakland and Berkeley, their soul sound appealing to both minority and counterculture listeners.

Castillo wanted to play Bill Graham’s Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, but he realized he would never get in with a name like The Motowns. The band agreed on Tower of Power and the name stuck.

By 1970, the now renamed Tower of Power—now including trumpet/arranger Greg Adams, first trumpet Mic Gillette, first saxophone Skip Mesquite, Francis “Rocco” Prestia on bass, Willie Fulton on guitar, and drummer David Garibaldi—signed a recording contract with Bill Graham’s San Francisco Records and released their first album, East Bay Grease. Rufus Miller performed most of the lead vocals on this debut album. The group was first introduced to the San Francisco Bay area by radio station KSAN, which played a variety of artists such as Cold Blood, Eric Mercury, and Marvin Gaye.

Augmented by percussionist/conga/bongo player Brent Byars, Tower of Power was released from their San Francisco label contract and moved to Warner Bros. Records. Rick Stevens replaced Rufus Miller as lead singer on 1972’s Bump City, which gave the band their first national exposure. This album included the hit single “You’re Still a Young Man”, which peaked at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Stevens’ pinnacle vocal performance before leaving the band. Emilio Castillo, who co-wrote the tune with Stephen Kupka, told Songfacts that the song was based on a true story about him and a former girlfriend who was six years his senior.

Tower of Power, released in the spring of 1973, was the third album for the band. It featured soul singer Lenny Williams on lead vocals and Lenny Pickett on lead tenor saxophone. Bruce Conte replaced guitarist Willie Fulton and keyboardist Chester D.Thompson also joined the band during the recording of the album. The album spawned their most-successful single “So Very Hard to Go”. Although the single peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100, it landed in the Top 10 on the surveys of many West Coast Top 40 radio stations, hitting #1 on many of them. The album also charted two other singles on the Billboard Hot 100, “This Time It’s Real” and “What Is Hip?”

In case you missed them the first time around – hit the Play button and dive into 1973.
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