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The Guitarist Maestro Les Paul Record History(Sejarah Guitarist Nomor satu didunia Les Paul)



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The Vintage Skeeter Davis record History(Piring Hitam antik Skeeter Davis )

Frame One :

The Vintage Les Paul Record Found In Indonesia

(Dr Iwan suwandy Collections)

Capitol record,The Les paul and Mary Ford. Time to Dream(1957)

side one : how deep the ocean(irving berlin) and sweet and lovely(arnheim-tobias lamers)

side two : my silent love(Donna swerse-Edward Heyman) and I surrender dear (Harry Border-  Gordon Clifford)

please Indonesian collectors show their collections  thanks (Dr Iwan S)

Frame Two :

The Les Paul and Mary Ford History

1.Les Paul

Les Paul

Les Paul in a live show at Iridium Jazz Club in New York City, 2008.
Background information
Birth name Lester William Polsfuss[1]
Born June 9, 1915(1915-06-09)
Waukesha, Wisconsin,
United States
Died August 12, 2009(2009-08-12) (aged 94)
White Plains, New York,
United States[2]
Genres Jazz, Country, Blues
Occupations Innovator, Inventor, Musician, Songwriter
Instruments Guitar, Banjo, Harmonica
Years active 1928–2009
Notable instruments
Gibson Les Paul

Lester William Polsfuss (June 9, 1915 – August 13, 2009[3][4])—known as Les Paul—was an American jazz and country guitarist, songwriter and inventor. He was a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar which “made the sound of rock and roll possible”.[5] He is credited with many recording innovations. Although he was not the first to use the technique, his early experiments with overdubbing (also known as sound on sound),[6] delay effects such as tape delay, phasing effects and multitrack recording were among the first to attract widespread attention.[7]

His innovative talents extended into his playing style, including licks, trills, chording sequences, fretting techniques and timing, which set him apart from his contemporaries and inspired many guitarists of the present day.[8][9][10][11] He recorded with his wife Mary Ford in the 1950s, and they sold millions of records.

Among his many honours, Paul is one of a handful of artists with a permanent, stand-alone exhibit in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[12] He is prominently named by the music museum on its website as an “architect” and a “key inductee” along with Sam Phillips and Alan Freed.[13]




 Early life

Paul was born Lester William Polsfuss outside Milwaukee, in Waukesha, Wisconsin, to George and Evelyn (1888–1989) (née Stutz) Polsfus. His family was of German ancestry[14] and Paul’s mother was related to the founders of Milwaukee’s Valentin Blatz Brewing Company and the makers of the Stutz Bearcat automobile;[15] his parents divorced when he was a child.[16] The Prussian family name was first simplified by his mother to Polfuss before he took his stage name of Les Paul. He also used the nicknames Red Hot Red[17] and Rhubarb Red.[18]

While living in Wisconsin, he first became interested in music at age eight, when he began playing the harmonica. After an attempt at learning the banjo, he began to play the guitar. It was during this time that he invented a neck-worn harmonica holder, which allowed him to play the harmonica hands-free while accompanying himself on the guitar. Paul’s device is still manufactured using his basic design.[19] By age thirteen, Paul was performing semi-professionally as a country-music singer, guitarist and harmonica player. At age seventeen, Paul played with Rube Tronson’s Texas Cowboys, and soon after he dropped out of high school to join Wolverton’s Radio Band in St. Louis, Missouri, on KMOX.

 Early career

Paul migrated to Chicago in 1934, where he continued to perform on radio. His first two records were released in 1936. One was credited to “Rhubarb Red”, Paul’s hillbilly alter ego, and the other was as an accompanist for blues-artist Georgia White. It was during this time that he began playing jazz and adopted his stage name.[20]

Paul’s jazz-guitar style was strongly influenced by the music of Django Reinhardt, whom he greatly admired. Following World War II, Paul sought out and befriended Reinhardt. After Reinhardt’s death in 1953, Paul furnished his headstone.[citation needed] One of Paul’s prize possessions was a Selmer Maccaferri acoustic guitar given to him by Reinhardt’s widow.[17]

Paul formed a trio in 1937 with singer/rhythm guitarist Jim Atkins[21] (older half-brother of guitarist Chet Atkins) and bassist/percussionist Ernie “Darius” Newton. They left Chicago for New York in 1939, landing a featured spot with Fred Waring‘s Pennsylvanians radio show. Chet Atkins later wrote that his brother, home on a family visit, presented the younger Atkins with an expensive Gibson archtop guitar that had been given to Jim Atkins by Les Paul. Chet recalled that it was the first professional-quality instrument he ever owned.[22]

Paul was dissatisfied with acoustic-electric guitars and began experimenting at his apartment in Queens, NY with a few designs of his own. Famously, he created several versions of “The Log”, which was nothing more than a length of common 4×4 lumber with a bridge, guitar neck and pickup attached. For the sake of appearance, he attached the body of an Epiphone hollow-body guitar, sawn lengthwise with The Log in the middle. This solved his two main problems: feedback, as the acoustic body no longer resonated with the amplified sound, and sustain, as the energy of the strings was not dissipated in generating sound through the guitar body. These instruments were constantly being improved and modified over the years, and Paul continued to use them in his recordings long after the development of his eponymous Gibson model.

While experimenting in his apartment in 1940, Paul nearly succumbed to electrocution. During two years of recuperation, he relocated to Hollywood, supporting himself by producing radio music and forming a new trio. He was drafted into the US Army shortly after the beginning of World War II, where he served in the Armed Forces Network, backing such artists as Bing Crosby, the Andrews Sisters, and performing in his own right.[23]

As a last-minute replacement for Oscar Moore, Paul played with Nat King Cole and other artists in the inaugural Jazz at the Philharmonic concert in Los Angeles, California, on July 2, 1944. The recording, still available as Jazz at the Philharmonic- the first concert- shows Paul at the top of his game, both in his solid four to the bar comping in the style of Freddie Green and for the originality of his solo lines. Paul’s solo on ‘Blues’ is an astonishing tour de force and represents a memorable contest between himself and Nat ‘King’ Cole. Much later in his career, Paul declared that he had been the victor and that this had been conceded by Cole. His solo on Body and Soul is a fine demonstration both of his admiration for and emulation of the playing of Django Renhardt, as well as his development of some very original lines.

Also that year, Paul’s trio appeared on Bing Crosby‘s radio show. Crosby went on to sponsor Paul’s recording experiments. The two also recorded together several times, including a 1945 number-one hit, “It’s Been a Long, Long Time.” In addition to backing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters and other artists, Paul’s trio also recorded a few albums of their own on the Decca label in the late 1940s.

In January 1948, Paul shattered his right arm and elbow in a near-fatal automobile accident on an icy Route 66 just west of Drumright, Oklahoma. Mary Ford was driving the Buick convertible, which rolled several times down a creekbed; they were on their way back from Wisconsin to Los Angeles after performing at the opening of a restaurant owned by Paul’s father. Doctors at Oklahoma City’s Wesley Presbyterian Hospital told him that they could not rebuild his elbow so that he would regain movement; his arm would remain permanently in whatever position they placed it in. Their other option was amputation. Paul instructed surgeons, brought in from Los Angeles, to set his arm at an angle—just under 90 degrees—that would allow him to cradle and pick the guitar. It took him nearly a year and a half to recover.[24]

Guitar builder

The Gibson Les Paul, one of the world’s most popular electric guitars, was named after the man who invented it.

Paul’s innovative guitar, “The Log”, built after-hours in the Epiphone guitar factory in 1940, was one of the first solid-body electric guitars.[25] Adolph Rickenbacker had marketed a solid-body guitar in the 1930s and Leo Fender also independently created his own in 1946. Although Paul approached the Gibson Guitar Corporation with his idea of a solid body electric guitar, they showed no interest until Fender began marketing its Esquire and Telecaster models.

The arrangement persisted until 1961, when declining sales prompted Gibson to change the design without Paul’s knowledge, creating a much thinner, lighter and more aggressive-looking instrument with two cutaway “horns” instead of one. Paul said he first saw the “new” Gibson Les Paul in a music-store window, and disliked it. Although his contract required him to pose with the guitar, he said it was not “his” instrument and asked Gibson to remove his name from the headstock. Others claimed that Paul ended his endorsement contract with Gibson during his divorce to avoid having his wife get his endorsement money.[26] Gibson renamed the guitar “Gibson SG“, which stands for “Solid Guitar”, and it also became one of the company’s best sellers.

The original Gibson Les Paul-guitar design regained popularity when Eric Clapton began playing the instrument a few years later, although he also played an SG and an ES-335. Paul resumed his relationship with Gibson and endorsed the original Gibson Les Paul guitar from that point onwards[citation needed]. His personal Gibson Les Pauls were much modified by him—Paul always used his own self-wound pickups and customized methods of switching between pickups on his guitars[citation needed]. To this day, various models of Gibson Les Paul guitars are used all over the world by both novice and professional guitarists. A less-expensive version of the Gibson Les Paul guitar is also manufactured for Gibson’s lower-priced Epiphone brand.

On January 30, 1962, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued Paul a patent, Patent No. 3,018,680, for an “Electrical Music Instrument.”[27]

 Multitrack-recording innovations

In 1948, Capitol Records released a recording that had begun as an experiment in Paul’s garage, entitled “Lover (When You’re Near Me)”, which featured Paul playing eight different parts on electric guitar, some of them recorded at half-speed, hence “double-fast” when played back at normal speed for the master. (“Brazil”, similarly recorded, was the B-side.) This was the first time that Les Paul used multitracking in a recording (Paul had been shopping his multi-tracking technique, unsuccessfully, since the 30′s. Much to his dismay, Sidney Bechet used it in 1941 to play half a dozen instruments on “Sheik of Araby”). These recordings were made not with magnetic tape, but with acetate discs. Paul would record a track onto a disk, then record himself playing another part with the first. He built the multitrack recording with overlaid tracks, rather than parallel ones as he did later. By the time he had a result he was satisfied with, he had discarded some five hundred recording disks.

Paul even built his own disc-cutter assembly, based on automobile parts. He favored the flywheel from a Cadillac for its weight and flatness. Even in these early days, he used the acetate-disk setup to record parts at different speeds and with delay, resulting in his signature sound with echoes and birdsong-like guitar riffs. When he later began using magnetic tape, the major change was that he could take his recording rig on tour with him, even making episodes for his fifteen-minute radio show in his hotel room. He later worked with Ross Snyder in the design of the first eight-track recording deck (built for him by Ampex for his home studio.)[28]

Electronics engineer Jack Mullin had been assigned to a U.S. Army Signal Corps unit stationed in France during World War II. On a mission in Germany near the end of the war, he acquired and later shipped home a German Magnetophon (tape recorder) and fifty reels of I.G. Farben plastic recording tape. Back in the U.S., Mullin rebuilt and developed the machine with the intention of selling it to the film industry, and held a series of demonstrations which quickly became the talk of the American audio industry.

Within a short time, Crosby had hired Mullin to record and produce his radio shows and master his studio recordings on tape, and he invested US$50,000 in a Northern California electronics firm, Ampex. With Crosby’s backing, Mullin and Ampex created the Ampex Model 200, the world’s first commercially produced reel-to-reel audio tape recorder. Crosby gave Les Paul the second Model 200 to be produced. Using this machine, Paul placed an additional playback head, located before the conventional erase/record/playback heads. This allowed Paul to play along with a previously recorded track, both of which were mixed together on to a new track. This was a mono tape recorder with just one track across the entire width of quarter-inch tape; thus, the recording was “destructive” in the sense that the original recording was permanently replaced with the new, mixed recording.

Paul’s re-invention of the Ampex 200 inspired Ampex to develop two-track and three-track recorders, which allowed him to record as many tracks on one tape without erasing previous takes. These machines were the backbone of professional recording, radio and television studios in the 1950s and early 1960s. In 1954, Paul continued to develop this technology by commissioning Ampex to build the first eight-track tape recorder, at his expense. His design became known as “Sel-Sync” (Selective Synchronization), in which specially modified electronics could either record or play back from the record head, which was not optimized for playback but was acceptable for the purposes of recording an “overdub” (OD) in sync with the original recording. This is the core technology behind multitrack recording.[29]

 Les Paul & Mary Ford

Paul met country-western singer Colleen Summers in 1945. They began working together in 1948, at which time she adopted the stage name Mary Ford. They were married in 1949. The couple’s hits included “How High the Moon“, “Bye Bye Blues“, “The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise“, and “Vaya con Dios“. These songs featured Ford harmonizing with herself.

Like Crosby, Paul and Ford used the now-ubiquitous recording technique known as close miking,[citation needed] where the microphone is less than 6 inches (15 cm) from the singer’s mouth. This produces a more-intimate, less-reverberant sound than is heard when a singer is 1 foot (30 cm) or more from the microphone. When implemented using a cardioid-patterned microphone, it emphasizes low-frequency sounds in the voice due to a cardioid microphone’s proximity effect and can give a more relaxed feel because the performer isn’t working so hard. The result is a singing style which diverged strongly from unamplified theater-style singing, as might be heard in musical comedies of the 1930s and 1940s.

 Radio and television programs

Paul had hosted a fifteen-minute radio program, The Les Paul Show, on NBC radio in 1950, featuring his trio (himself, Ford and rhythm player Eddie Stapleton) and his electronics, recorded from their home and with gentle humor between Paul and Ford bridging musical selections, some of which had already been successful on records, some of which anticipated the couple’s recordings, and many of which presented re-interpretations of such jazz and pop selections as “In the Mood“, “Little Rock Getaway”, “Brazil” and “Tiger Rag“. Over ten of these shows survive among old-time radio collectors today.[30]

The show also appeared on television a few years later with the same format, but excluding the trio and retitled The Les Paul & Mary Ford Show (also known as Les Paul & Mary Ford at Home) with “Vaya Con Dios” as a theme song. Sponsored by Warner Lambert’s Listerine mouthwash, it was widely syndicated during 1954–1955, and was only five minutes (one or two songs) long on film, therefore used as a brief interlude or fill-in in programming schedules. Since Paul created the entire show himself, including audio and video, he maintained the original recordings and was in the process of restoring them to current quality standards up until his death.[31]

During his radio shows, Paul introduced the fictional “Les Paulverizer” device, which multiplies anything fed into it, like a guitar sound or a voice. Paul has stated that the idea was to explain to the audience how his single guitar could be multiplied to become a group of guitars. The device even became the subject of comedy, with Ford multiplying herself and her vacuum cleaner with it so she could finish the housework faster.

 Later career

Les Paul, May 2004.

In 1965, Paul went into semi-retirement, although he did return to the studio occasionally. He and Ford had divorced in December 1962, as she could no longer cope with the traveling lifestyle their act required of them.[citation needed] Paul’s most-recognizable recordings from then through the mid-1970s were an album for London Records/Phase 4 Stereo, Les Paul Now (1968), on which he updated some of his earlier hits; and, backed by some of Nashville‘s celebrated studio musicians, a meld of jazz and country improvisation with fellow guitar virtuoso Chet Atkins, Chester and Lester (1976), for RCA Victor.

By the late 1980s, Paul had returned to active live performance. In 2006, at age 90, he won two Grammys at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards for his album Les Paul & Friends: American Made World Played. He also performed every Monday night, accompanied by a trio which included guitarist Lou Pallo, bassist Paul Nowinksi (and later, Nicki Parrott) and pianist John Colianni, originally at Fat Tuesdays, and later at the Iridium Jazz Club on Broadway in the Times Square area of New York City.[32][33][34]

Composer Richard Stein (1909–1992) sued Paul for plagiarism, charging that Paul’s “Johnny (Is the Boy for Me)” was taken from Stein’s 1937 song “Sanie cu zurgălăi” (Romanian for “Sledge with Bells”). A 2000 cover version of “Johnny” by Belgian musical group Vaya Con Dios that credited Paul prompted another action by the Romanian Musical Performing and Mechanical Rights Society.[35]

For many years Les Paul would sometimes surprise radio hosts Steve King and Johnnie Putman with a call to the “Life After Dark Show” on WGN (AM) in Chicago. These calls would take place in the wee hours of Tuesday Morning following his show at the Iridium Jazz Club. Steve and Johnnie continue to honor Les on Tuesday Mornings at 2:35 AM with their segment “A Little More Les” drawing from around 30 hours of recorded conversations with Les.


On August 12, 2009,[3][4] Paul died of complications from pneumonia at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York.[36] His family and friends were by his side[37] Paul is survived by his four children and his companion Arlene Palmer.[38] His attorney told the media Paul had been “in and out of the hospital” because of illness.[39]

Upon learning of his death many artists and musicians paid tribute by publicly expressing their sorrow. After learning of Paul’s death, former Guns N’ Roses and current Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash called him “vibrant and full of positive energy.” U2 guitarist The Edge said, “His legacy as a musician and inventor will live on and his influence on rock and roll will never be forgotten.” [40][41][42]

On August 21, 2009, he was buried near Milwaukee in Waukesha, Wisconsin at Prairie Home Cemetery which indicated that his plot would be in an area where visitors can easily view it.[43][44] Like his funeral in New York on August 19, the burial was private, but earlier in the day a public memorial viewing of the closed casket was held in Milwaukee at Discovery World with 1,500 attendees who were offered free admission to the Les Paul House of Sound exhibit for the day.[45]

Awards and honors

Paul was initiated into the Gamma Delta chapter of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at the University of Miami in 1952.[46] He has earned the Presidential award from the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.[47][dead link]

In 1979, Paul and Ford’s 1951 recording of “How High the Moon” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[48] Paul received a Grammy Trustees Award for his lifetime achievements in 1983.

In 1988, Paul was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Jeff Beck, who said, “I’ve copied more licks from Les Paul than I’d like to admit.” In 1991, the Mix Foundation established an annual award in his name; the Les Paul Award which honors “individuals or institutions that have set the highest standards of excellence in the creative application of audio technology”.[49] In 2005, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his development of the solid-body electric guitar.[50] In 2006, Paul was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. He was named an honorary member of the Audio Engineering Society.[51] In 2007, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.[52]

A one-hour biographical documentary film The Wizard of Waukesha was shown at the Los Angeles International Film Exposition (FILMEX) March 4–21, 1980, and later on PBS television. A biographical, feature-length documentary titled Chasing Sound: Les Paul at 90 made its world première on May 9, 2007, at the Downer Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Paul appeared at the event and spoke briefly to the enthusiastic crowd. The film is distributed by Koch Entertainment and was broadcast on PBS on July 11, 2007, as part of its American Masters series[53][54] and was broadcast on October 17, 2008, on BBC Four as part of its Guitar Night. The première coincided with the final part of a three-part documentary by the BBC broadcast on BBC ONE The Story of the Guitar.

In June 2008, an exhibit showcasing his legacy and featuring items from his personal collection opened at Discovery World in Milwaukee.[55] The exhibit was facilitated by a group of local musicians under the name Partnership for the Arts and Creative Excellence (PACE).[56] Paul played a concert in Milwaukee to coincide with the opening of the exhibit.[57]

Paul’s hometown of Waukesha is planning a permanent exhibit to be called “The Les Paul experience.”[58]

In July 2005, a 90th-birthday tribute concert was held at Carnegie Hall in New York City. After performances by Steve Miller, Peter Frampton, Jose Feliciano and a number of other contemporary guitarists and vocalists, Paul was presented with a commemorative guitar from the Gibson Guitar Corporation.[59]

On November 15, 2008, he received the American Music Masters award through the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a tribute concert at the State Theater in Cleveland, Ohio. Among the many guest performers were Duane Eddy, Eric Carmen, Lonnie Mack, Jennifer Batten, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, Dennis Coffey, James Burton, Billy Gibbons, Lenny Kaye, Steve Lukather, Barbara Lynn, Katy Moffatt, Alannah Myles, Richie Sambora, The Ventures and Slash.

In February 2009, only months prior to his death, Les Paul sat down with Scott Vollweiler of Broken Records Magazine, in which would be one of Les Paul’s final interviews. His candid answers were direct and emotional. Broken Records Magazine had planned to run that cover feature the following month but due to delays was held until the summer. 3 days before the release, Les Paul died. The issue would be his final cover feature of his storied career.[60]

In August, 2009, Paul was named one of the ten best electric guitar players of all-time by Time magazine.[61]

Personal life

Les Paul with pianist John Colianni.

Paul married Virginia Webb in 1938. They had two children, Gene (Lester Jr.), born in 1941 and named after actor-songwriter Gene Lockhart, and Russell (Rusty), born 1944, before divorcing in 1949. Later that year, Paul and Mary Ford (born Iris Colleen Summers) were married. They adopted a girl, Colleen, in 1958 and their son Robert (Bobby) was born the following year. They had also lost a child, who was born prematurely and died only four days old. Les Paul and Mary Ford divorced in 1963.[62]

Paul was the godfather of rock guitarist Steve Miller of the Steve Miller Band, to whom Paul gave his first guitar lesson.[63] Miller’s father was best man at Paul’s 1949 wedding to Mary Ford.

Paul resided for many years in Mahwah, New Jersey.


 Hit Singles

Year Single Chart positions
Country UK
1945 “It’s Been a Long Long Time”(with Bing Crosby) 1      
1946 “Rumors Are Flying”(with Andrews Sisters) 4      
1948 “Lover” 21      
“Brazil” 22      
“What Is This Thing Called Love?” 11      
1950 “Nola” 9      
“Goofus” 21      
“Little Rock Getaway” 18      
“Tennessee Waltz” 6      
1951 “Jazz Me Blues” 23      
“Mockin’ Bird Hill”(gold record) 2   7  
“How High the Moon”(gold record) 1 2    
“Josephine” 12      
“I Wish I Had Never Seen Sunshine” 18      
“The World Is Waiting For the Sunrise”(gold record) 2      
“Whispering” 7      
“Just One More Chance” 5      
“Jingle Bells” 10      
1952 “Tiger Rag” 2      
“I’m Confessin’” 13      
“Carioca” 14      
“In the Good Old Summertime” 15      
“Smoke Rings” 14      
“Meet Mr. Callahan” 5      
“Take Me In Your Arms and Hold Me” 15      
“Lady of Spain” 8      
“My Baby’s Comin’ Home” 7      
1953 “Bye Bye Blues” 5      
“I’m Sittin’ On Top of the World” 10      
“Sleep” 21      
“Vaya Con Dios”(gold record) 1     7
“Johnny” 15      
“The Kangaroo” 25      
“Don’cha Hear Them Bells” 13      
1954 “I Really Don’t Want To Know” 11      
“I’m a Fool To Care” 6      
“Wither Thou Goest” 10      
“Manolino” 19      
1955 “Hummingbird” 7      
“Amukiriki” 38      
“Magic Melody” 96      
1956 “Texas Lady” 91      
“Moritat” 49      
“Nuevo Laredo” 91      
1957 “Cinco Robles” 35      
1958 “Put a Ring On My Finger” 32      
1961 “Jura” 37      
“It’s Been a Long Long Time” 105      


  • Feedback (1944)—compilation
  • Les Paul Trio (1946)—compilation
  • Hawaiian Paradise (1949)
  • The Hit Makers! (1950)
  • The New Sound (1950)
  • Les Paul’s New Sound, Volume 2 (1951)
  • Bye Bye Blues! (1952)
  • Gallopin’ Guitars (1952)—compilation
  • Les and Mary (1955)
  • Time to Dream (1957)
  • Lover’s Luau (1959)
  • The Hits of Les and Mary (1960)—compilation
  • Bouquet of Roses (1962)
  • Warm and Wonderful (1962)
  • Swingin’ South (1963)
  • Fabulous Les Paul and Mary Ford (1965)
  • Les Paul Now! (1968)
  • Guitar Tapestry
  • Lover
  • The Guitar Artistry of Les Paul (1971)
  • The World is Still Waiting for the Sunrise (1974)—compilation
  • The Best of Les Paul with Mary Ford (1974)—compilation
  • Chester and Lester (1976)—with Chet Atkins
  • Guitar Monsters (1977)—with Chet Atkins
  • Les Paul and Mary Ford (1978)—compilation
  • Multi Trackin’ (1979)
  • All-Time Greatest Hits (1983)—compilation
  • The Very Best of Les Paul with Mary Ford’
  • Famille Nombreuse (1992)—compilation
  • The World Is Waiting (1992)—compilation
  • The Best of the Capitol Masters: Selections From “The Legend and the Legacy” Box Set (1992)—compilation
  • All-Time Greatest Hits (1992)—compilation
  • Their All-Time Greatest Hits (1995)—compilation
  • Les Paul: The Legend and the Legacy (1996; a four-CD box set chronicling his years with Capitol Records)
  • 16 Most Requested Songs (1996)—compilation
  • The Complete Decca Trios—Plus (1936–1947) (1997)—compilation
  • California Melodies (2003)
  • Les Paul – The Legendary Fred Waring Broadcasts (2004)
  • Les Paul & Friends: American Made World Played (2005)
  • Les Paul And Friends: A Tribute To A Legend (2008)


  • It’s Been a Long, Long Time“—Bing Crosby & The Les Paul Trio (1945), #1 on Billboard Pop singles chart, 1 week, December 8
  • Rumors Are Flying“—Andrews Sisters & Les Paul (1946)
  • Guitar Boogie” (1947)
  • “Lover (When You’re Near Me)” (1948)
  • “Brazil” (1948)
  • What Is This Thing Called Love?” (1948)
  • “Nola” (1950)
  • “Goofus” (1950)
  • “Little Rock 69 Getaway” (1950/1951)
  • Tennessee Waltz“—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1950/1951)
  • “Mockingbird Hill”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1951)
  • “How High The Moon”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1951), #1, Billboard Pop singles chart, 9 weeks, April 21 – June 16; #1, Cashbox, 2 weeks
  • “I Wish I Had Never Seen Sunshine”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1951)
  • The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise“—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1951)
  • “Just One More Chance”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1951)
  • “Jazz Me Blues” (1951)
  • “Josephine” (1951)
  • “Whispering” (1951)
  • Jingle Bells” (1951)
  • Tiger Rag“—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1952)
  • “I’m Confessin’ (That I Love You)”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1952)
  • Carioca” (1952)
  • In the Good Old Summertime“—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1952)
  • “Smoke Rings”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1952)
  • “Meet Mister Callaghan” (1952)
  • “Take Me In Your Arms And Hold Me”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1952)
  • Lady of Spain” (1952)
  • “My Baby’s Coming Home”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1952)
  • Bye Bye Blues“—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1953)
  • “I’m Sitting On Top Of The World”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1953)
  • “Sleep” (Fred Waring‘s theme song) (1953)
  • “Vaya Con Dios”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1953), #1, Billboard Pop singles chart, 11 weeks, August 8 – October 3, November 7–14; #1, Cashbox, 5 weeks
  • “Johnny (Is The Boy For Me)”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1953)
  • “Don’cha Hear Them Bells”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1953), #13, Billboard; #32, Cashbox
  • “The Kangaroo” (1953), #23, Cashbox
  • “I Really Don’t Want To Know”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1954)
  • “I’m A Fool To Care”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1954)
  • “Whither Thou Goest”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1954)
  • “Mandolino”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1954)
  • “Song in Blue”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1954), #17, Cashbox
  • “Hummingbird”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1955)
  • “Amukiriki (The Lord Willing)”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1955)
  • “Magic Melody”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1955)
  • “Texas Lady”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1956)
  • “Moritat” (Theme from “Three Penny Opera”) (1956)
  • “Nuevo Laredo”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1956)
  • “Cinco Robles (Five Oaks)”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1957)
  • “Put A Ring On My Finger”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1958)
  • “Jura (I Swear I Love You)”—Les Paul & Mary Ford (1961)
  • “Love Sneakin’ Up On You”-Les Paul, Joss Stone & Sting (2005)

2.Mary Ford

Mary Ford and Les Paul at work recording during the late 1940s.

Mary Ford, also known as Iris Colleen Summers (July 7, 1924[1], El Monte, California – September 30, 1977, Arcadia, California), was an American vocalist and guitarist, comprising half of the husband-and-wife musical team Les Paul and Mary Ford. Between 1950 and 1954, the couple had 16 top-ten hits. In 1951 alone they sold six million records.

Early life

Born Iris Colleen Summers, Ford came from a musical family. Her father was a Nazarene minister. Her parents left Missouri, traveling cross-country while singing gospel music and preaching at revival meetings across America. They eventually settled in Southern California, where they were heard over Pasadena’s first Christian radio station. Her sisters and brothers were all musicians; Esther, Carol, Eva, Fletcher, jazz organist Bruce and film composer Bob Summers.

In the early 1940s Ford found work as a country music performer with Gene Autry and Jimmy Wakely. She appeared with Wakely in the PRC film I’m from Arkansas (1944) as a member of the Sunshine Girls trio. In 1945, Autry introduced her to guitarist Les Paul, and the two teamed in 1946. For billing purposes, Paul selected “Mary Ford” from a telephone directory so her name would be almost as short as his. With Paul she became one of the early practitioners of multi-tracking. Patti Page and Jane Turzy were other 1950s vocalists who used multi-tracking.

Radio and television

After their marriage on December 29, 1949, the couple appeared together on their NBC radio program, The Les Paul Show (1949–50), and they had a series of hit records for Capitol Records in the early 1950s, including “Tiger Rag“, “Vaya con Dios” (11 weeks at #1), “How High the Moon” (nine weeks at #1), “Bye Bye Blues” and “The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise“. These songs featured Mary harmonizing with herself, giving the vocals a very novel sound. Paul and Ford also used the now-ubiquitous recording technique known as close miking, where the microphone is less than six inches from the singer’s mouth. This produces a more intimate, less reverberant sound than when the singer is a foot or more from the microphone. It also emphasizes low-frequency sounds in the voice. The result was a singing style that diverged strongly from earlier styles, such as vocals in musical comedies of the 1930s and 1940s.

In 1952, their innovative sound was satirized by Stan Freberg in his recording of “The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise” (Capitol, F 2279).

In 1953, the couple began their television series, The Les Paul and Mary Ford at Home Show. In 1955, they gave a concert at Carnegie Hall, and the following year they performed for President Dwight Eisenhower at the White House. In 1961, they appeared on NBC’s Five Star Jubilee.


They faded from the charts in the late 1950s, and in 1962, Ford and Paul had a bitter divorce, ending their professional association. Living in Monrovia, California, she married an old friend from high school, Donald Hatfield, and she occasionally performed with her sisters and brother. Bassist Red Wootten, who married Mary’s sister Eva Summers, wrote his memories of playing at the Crescendo in Los Angeles with Mary, her sister Carol and her brother, Bob Summers:

My brother, Buddy Wootten, also a bassist, called me from Atlanta to tell me he had just finished working the Fox Theater with Les Paul and Mary Ford. Mary also told me this later. This was while I was holding forth with Woody Herman Orchestra. So, later when I had married her sister (Eva), we worked with her other sister and Bob Summers (her brother) on guitar (sounds like Les Paul too) and Mary’s other sister Carol. The gig was the Crescendo club right in the middle of Sunset Strip. A very hip joint!
Mary used a drummer added to Bob, Mary and myself on electric bass. We did almost all the Les Paul-Mary Ford recordings but with more heavy end on the bass. Les having used guitar on his bass tracks with Mary earlier. On all their recordings (as good as they were), I always missed that deep dark sound… Mary (bless her heart) recorded a few of my compositions (never released), but she did an excellent job as always. Mary divorced Les Paul and later married her old school friend from Monrovia, California, namely Don Hatfield, who owned a large construction company in California. He is still with us, and I see him occasionally. Doing great, but he misses Mary.
Bob Summers, my brother-in-law, has come into his own over the years too. Bob and I worked a lot on MGM records with the Mike Curb scene, early 1960s. He also was chief arranger for the Mike Curb Congregation, and they recorded some of my material, great too! Also Bob and I worked at Capitol Records for Ken Nelson and Cliffie Stone, passed recently. Too many country artists to even name nearly all of them: Hank Thompson, Wynn Stewart, Rose Maddox and others. Roy Lanham did one of his better albums at the Sound House, Merced, in El Monte (my old stamping grounds) and Mary Ford’s home place, 9840 Kale Street. Bruce Summers is still with us, a piano man whom I played with a few times; a real swinger too.[2]

Mary Ford came from a musical family, and after leaving Les Paul, she sometimes performed with her sisters, Carol, Eva and Esther. Seen here (l to r) are Carol and Eva Summers with Millie Pace. The guitarist who recorded with the Millie Pace Trio was Bob Summers, Mary Ford’s brother.

In Downey, California, Mary’s sister Esther Williams played the organ in The Village Restaurant. Esther’s daughter, Esther Colleen “Suzee” Williams, recalled one amusing incident at the restaurant in the years after Mary Ford and Les Paul had split up:

There was one singer that came in to sing with my mom. His name was Lou Monica. Well, Mary asked him to learn the song “Donkey Serenade.” It’s not an easy song to sing. However, Mr. Monica agreed, and after a couple of weeks he said he was ready. As he began to sing, the doors of the club opened wide, and in came Mary, dressed in black with a black gaucho hat, on top of a donkey! Mr. Monica never skipped a beat.[3]

Mary Ford died of complications from diabetes in Arcadia, California at the age of 53. She is buried at Forest Lawn-Covina Hills in Covina, California. Although her year of birth has been variously reported (1924, 1925, 1928), the year 1924 is engraved on her tombstone.[1]

Documentary film

Along with interviews, performance footage of the couple is featured in the musical documentary Chasing Sound: Les Paul at 90, directed by John Paulson (Johnny Mathis Live, An Evening with Chita Rivera). Distributed by Koch Entertainment, Chasing Sound premiered May 9, 2007 at the Downer Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, followed by the television premiere July 11, 2007 on PBS as part of its American Masters series.[4][5]


Hit singles


  • Hawaiian Paradise
  • The Hit Makers!
  • The New Sound
  • Les Paul’s New Sound with Mary Ford, Vol. 2 – Capitol Records SM-286 (originally released 1951), A Capitol Monophonic Re-issue
A01 In The Good Old Summer Time [2:06]
A02 I’m Confessin’ (That I Love You)[2:45]
A03 Three Little Words [1:53]
A04 The Lonesome Road [2:50]
A05 Carioca [2:20]
B01 I Can’t Give You Anything But Love [1:54]
B02 Just One More Chance [1:50]
B03 Don’Cha Hear Them Bells [1:55]
B04 The Moon Of Manakoora [2:45]
B05 Chicken Reel [2:05]
  • Bye Bye Blues!
  • Les and Mary
  • Time to Dream
  • Lover’s Luau
  • Warm and Wonderful
  • Bouquet of Roses
  • Swingin’ South
  • Fabulous Les Paul & Mary Ford

the end @ copy right dr Iwan Suwandy 2011

Sejarah Rekaman Musik lagu Bengawan Solo(The Bengawan solo song history)



                                                AT DR IWAN CYBERMUSEUM

                                          DI MUSEUM DUNIA MAYA DR IWAN S.




 *ill 001

                      *ill 001  LOGO MUSEUM DUNIA MAYA DR IWAN S.*ill 001

                                THE FIRST INDONESIAN CYBERMUSEUM



                                        PENDIRI DAN PENEMU IDE

                                                     THE FOUNDER

                                            Dr IWAN SUWANDY, MHA




                         WELCOME TO THE MAIN HALL OF FREEDOM               


                     Please Enter


              DMRC SHOWROOM

(Driwan Music Record Cybermuseum)



The Indonesian Song Begawan solo Music record History

(Sejarah rekaman Lagu Bengawan solo ciptaan Gesang  )


Gesang atau lengkapnya Gesang Martohartono (lahir di Surakarta, Jawa Tengah, 1 Oktober 1917 – meninggal di Surakarta, Jawa Tengah, 20 Mei 2010 pada umur 92 tahun) adalah seorang penyanyi dan pencipta lagu asal Indonesia. Dikenal sebagai “maestro keroncong Indonesia,” ia terkenal lewat lagu Bengawan Solo ciptaannya, yang terkenal di Asia, terutama di Indonesia dan Jepang. Lagu ‘Bengawan Solo’ ciptaannya telah diterjemahkan kedalam, setidaknya, 13 bahasa (termasuk bahasa Inggris, bahasa Tionghoa, dan bahasa Jepang)

Gesang tinggal di di Jalan Bedoyo Nomor 5 Kelurahan Kemlayan, Serengan, Solo bersama keponakan dan keluarganya, setelah sebelumnya tinggal di rumahnya Perumnas Palur pemberian Gubernur Jawa Tengah tahun 1980 selama 20 tahun. Ia telah berpisah dengan istrinya tahun 1962. Selepasnya, memilih untuk hidup sendiri. Ia tak mempunyai anak.

Gesang pada awalnya bukanlah seorang pencipta lagu. Dulu, ia hanya seorang penyanyi lagu-lagu keroncong untuk acara dan pesta kecil-kecilan saja di kota Solo. Ia juga pernah menciptakan beberapa lagu, seperti; Keroncong Roda Dunia, Keroncong si Piatu, dan Sapu Tangan, pada masa perang dunia II. Sayangnya, ketiga lagu ini kurang mendapat sambutan dari masyarakat.

Sebagai bentuk penghargaan atas jasanya terhadap perkembangan musik keroncong, pada tahun 1983 Jepang mendirikan Taman Gesang di dekat Bengawan Solo. Pengelolaan taman ini didanai oleh Dana Gesang, sebuah lembaga yang didirikan untuk Gesang di Jepang.

Tahun 2007, Gesdang dirawat di rumah sakit PKU Solo dan menjalani operasi prostat. Di Januari 2010, Gesang masuk rumah sakit kembali, tak lama kemudian Gesang pulang.

Selanjutnya, Gesang masuk rumah sakit Rabu 13 Mei karena gangguan pernafasan dan infeksi kandungan kemih. Minggu, 16 Mei Gesang masuk ICU RSU Solo karena mengalami penurunan tekanan darah. Selasa, 18 Mei Gesang digosipkan meninggal dunia, akan tetapi kabar tersebut ternyata salah.

Lagu-lagu ciptaan Gesang

* Bengawan Solo
* Jembatan Merah
* Pamitan (versi bahasa Indonesia dipopulerkan oleh Broery Pesulima)
* Caping Gunung
* Ali-ali
* Andheng-andheng
* Luntur
* Dongengan
* Saputangan
* Dunia Berdamai
* Si Piatu
* Nusul
* Nawala
* Roda Dunia
* Tembok Besar
* Seto Ohashi
* Pandanwangi
* Impenku
* Kalung Mutiara
* Pemuda Dewasa
* Borobudur
* Tirtonadi
* Sandhang Pangan
* Kacu-kacu

 Frame One :

The Bengawan Solo (Gesang) Record Collections(Dr Iwan Collections)

 1.Indonesian record


2)Sri Rejeki,Rudi Pirngadie  with His Tetap Segar Orchestra, Down The Riverside Of Indonesia In Krontjong Beat .

Side one : Sungai Deli, Sungai Tjiliwung, Tjitarum Disenja Raja,Ditepi Sungai Seraju,Bengawan Solo.


2. Foreign Countries Record

1) Japanese record

2) Suppraphon Ceskoslovakia Record(for the first time report by Dr iwan S,)

at this records also another indonesian song O laka Laka, goro-goro ne and gula gula santan , please the collectors who have this record  or another countries ‘s record please report ,thanks from Dr iwan)

 3).Other Countries Record

Frame Two: The Bengawan solo record label( Rekaman lagu Benagwan Solo,ditemukan melalui eksplorasi google)

1.Penyanyi Indonesia


2)Gordon Tobing

 2.Foreign Countries


the styler 


1) Rebecca Pan

Rebecca Pan Di-hua (潘迪華, 潘迪华; also Poon Tik-wah, Pan Wan Ching) is a Chinese actress and singer.

She was born in Shanghai. She moved to Hong Kong in 1949. Her singing career began in 1957. One of her songs, which she recorded when she was 18, is played briefly in In the Mood for Love — the English version of an Indonesian folk song, “Bengawan Solo“.

2) Francis Yip


Frances Yip

Frances Yip
Chinese name 葉麗儀 (Traditional)
Chinese name 叶丽仪 (Simplified)
Pinyin ye4 li4 yi2 (Mandarin)
Jyutping jip6 lai6 ji4 (Cantonese)
Ancestry [Southern Chinese from Guangzhou)
Origin Hong Kong
Born January 1, 1947 (1947-01-01) (age 64)
Central, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
Occupation Singer
Genre(s) Cantopop
Instrument(s) Singing
Voice type(s) Cathy Sharon (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Label(s) [EMI)
Years active 1969 - present
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Yip.

Frances Yip Lai-yee is a Hong Kong Cantopop singer. She is best known for performing many of the theme songs for television series produced by TVB in the 1980s and early 1990s.

born on 22 Oct 1947, Frances is of Hakka ancestry, Yip hit international fame with her signature tune, The Bund from the TVB drama of the same title. Before her success, she tributed songs in her earlier albums originally performed by singers such as Adam Cheng, Roman Tam and Jenny Tseng.

In her 41-year career, Yip has released more than 80 albums, mostly of songs in American English, Indonesian, Malay, Mexican Spanish, Japanese, Tagalog, Cantonese and Mandarin. She has performed on television, and in films, concerts and cabarets in more than 30 countries on five continents. Yip is fluent in both Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin) and English. She recently overcame breast cancer

3).Mona Fong


Mona Fong

Mona Fong Yat Wah
(Mona, Lady Shaw)
Chinese name 方逸華 (Traditional)
Chinese name 方逸华 (Simplified)
Pinyin fāng yì huá (Mandarin)
Jyutping fong1 jat6 waa6 (Cantonese)
Birth name Li Meng-Lan (李夢蘭)
Ancestry Guangdong
Origin  Hong Kong
Born 1934 (age 76–77)
Shanghai, Republic of China
Other name(s) 方夢華
Occupation general manager, production manager, film and television producer
Spouse(s) Run Run Shaw (1997-)
Parents Fong Man Lo

Mona Fong Yat Wah, Lady Shaw is a Hong Kong film and television producer and production manager. A Cantonese born in Shanghai, Mona achieved fame as one of the most popular nightclub singers and recording artists in Singapore and Hong Kong in the 1950s. She often sang English covers of top hits of the time. She is currently the Deputy Chairman and General Manager of Shaw Brothers Studio and Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB). She is also the second wife of renowned media mogul Sir Run Run Shaw.

To date, Fong has produced over a hundred films since 1977, the latest of which was Drunken Monkey in 2002.[1] Effective 1 January 2009, she was appointed General Manager of TVB.[2]

 4)The list of bengawan solo Record(Daftar Koleski Rekaman Musik Lagu Bengawan Solo)

Bengawan Solo Songs (83 music files)
01 lagukeroncong gesang bengawan solo

file type:mp3
02 gesang bengawan solo

file type:mp3
03 bengawan solo klantink

file type:mp3
04 putri ayu ft lius dan klanting bengawan solo

file type:mp3
05 keroncong bengawan solo

file type:mp3
06 tantowi yahya bengawan solo

file type:mp3
07 02 bengawan solo

file type:mp3
08 keroncong bengawan solo sundari soekotjonew

file type:mp3
09 01 hetty koes endang keroncong bengawan solo

file type:mp3
10 gesang bengawan solo

file type:mp3

 83 different bengawan solo songs.  Bengawan Solo’s latest album is In the Mood for Love (2000 Film) which is released on 2000-11-06 .


Frame Three:

The Composer Gesang and his Song Bengawan Solo History

1. The Song Bengawan solo


2)Hak cipta lagu Bengawan Solo

 GESANG MARTOHARTONO adalah seniman dunia yang lahir di Indonesia. Lagu-lagu ciptaan Gesang telah diterjemahkan ke berbagai bahasa di antaranya, Inggris, Mandarin dan Jepang. Untuk menghindari terjadinya pengklaiman karya dari negara lain, seperti pengklaiman lagu “Bengawan Solo” oleh beberapa warga Belanda baru-baru ini, perusahaan rekaman Penerbit Musik Partiwi (PMP) telah mengurus royalti lagu-lagu ciptaan Gesang yang berjumlah 44 judul lagu ke Direktorat Jendral HAKI Departemen Hukum dan Hak Asasi Manusia. Semua sertifikat paten lagu Gesang tersebut, sudah terbit sejak 25 September 2009.

Berdasarkan keterangan dari Andy Hutadjulu, General Manager PMP di Solo, lagu-lagu Gesang juga sempat dijiplak oleh negara Malaysia, “Tahun 1960 lalu, salah satu lagu ciptaan Gesang  yang sangat terkenal, yakni ‘Bengawan Solo’ pernah dijiplak oleh Malaysia dengan judul lagu ‘Main Cello’,” kata Andy Hutadjulu, Jumat, 21 Mei 2010.

“Irama, nada dan tempo lagu tersebut sama dengan lagu ‘Bengawan Solo’, hanya saja syair dan judulnya yang diubah,” kata Andy Hutadjulu, General Manager PMP di Solo, Jumat, 21 Mei 2010.

Andy mengungkapkan, polemik penjiplakan lagu karya Gesang  oleh  Malaysia baru selesai ketika Presiden Soekarno, kala itu turun tangan langsung.

Bung Karno sengaja mengundang pihak Malaysia di sebuah acara perlombaan olahraga di Senayan. “Di situ lagu Bengawan Solo dimainkan dan Gesang juga menyaksikannya langsung.”

Dengan melihat itu, Malaysia baru mengakui, kalau lagu itu adalah karya Gesang, musisi Indonesia,” kata Andy.

Lagu ciptaan Gesang lainnya yang berjudul ‘Sapu Tangan’ juga nyaris diklaim oleh Malaysia, untuk dijadikan lagu kebangsaan.

“Tetapi yang jadi ditiru sebagai lagu kebangsaan Malaysia akhirnya, lagu ‘Terang Bulan’,” katanya.

Setelah paten, diharapkan tak akan ada lagi klaim lagu-lagu Gesang.
Semua lagu itu sudah bersertifikat hak paten sebagai karya Gesang. Jadi secara hukum sudah diakui. “Jika ada pihak-pihak yang mengaku bahwa lagu Gesang itu merupakaan ciptaannya sudah tidak bisa, karena itu melanggar hukum,” ujar Andy.

Hingga saat ini, PMP sudah mengelola sebanyak 3.000 judul lagu dari sekitar 92 musisi. Lagu-lagu yang dikelola di bawah label PMP, di antaranya, lagu Bagimu Negeri karya Kusbini, Yen Ing Tawang Ana Lintang karya almarhum Andjar Any, Ampar-Ampar Pisang karya Hamiedhan A.C. dan lagu-lagu lain dari musisi Indonesia.

Sebelum meninggal, Gesang baru saja menerima royalti dari PMP, tanggal 5 Mei 2010. Royalti yang didapatkan oleh Gesang dari bulan Juli-Desember ada sekitar Rp 21.788.852.  [*]

Sumber: Viva News

Tulisan Terkait

2.The composer Gesang

1).Lagu Kroncong Bengawan solo ciptaan gesang,dinyanyikan oleh Waljinah


Waljinah is one the most famous and beloved Javanese traditional singers, especially for her song “Walang Kekek” which made her very popular among the javanese. She also has made some collaborations with top Indonesian artists such as Didi Kempot, Gesang, Titik Puspa and so on. Her voice is heard on the radio daily and she makes numerous television appearances. She has recorded over 1500 different songs, with a repertoire ranging from traditional singing with gamelan, popular songs, kroncong and various other styles. hear more from Waljinah at the fantastically eye popping Madrotter

Gesang Martohartono (born 1 October 1917) is a renowned Indonesian singer-songwriter from central Java, and composer of the song Bengawan Solo, a tune which has become famous throughout Indonesia, Japan and much of Asia, and which is almost synonymous with the kroncong style of Javanese music. He is most commonly known simply as Gesang.


2.The Biography of Gesang.


Latar belakang
Lahir 1 Oktober 1917
Templat:Bendera belanda Surakarta, Kasunanan Surakarta, Hindia Belanda
Meninggal 20 Mei 2010 (Umur 92 tahun)
Templat:Bendera indonesia Surakarta, Indonesia
Jenis Musik Keroncong
Pekerjaan Penyanyi
Pencipta lagu
Instrumen Vokal

Gesang atau lengkapnya Gesang Martohartono (lahir di Surakarta, Jawa Tengah, 1 Oktober 1917 – meninggal di Surakarta, Jawa Tengah, 20 Mei 2010 pada umur 92 tahun) adalah seorang penyanyi dan pencipta lagu asal Indonesia. Dikenal sebagai “maestro keroncong Indonesia,” ia terkenal lewat lagu Bengawan Solo ciptaannya, yang terkenal di Asia, terutama di Indonesia dan Jepang. Lagu ‘Bengawan Solo’ ciptaannya telah diterjemahkan kedalam, setidaknya, 13 bahasa (termasuk bahasa Inggris, bahasa Tionghoa, dan bahasa Jepang)

Daftar isi


 Lagu Bengawan Solo

Lagu ini diciptakan pada tahun 1940, ketika ia beusia 23 tahun. Gesang muda ketika itu sedang duduk di tepi Bengawan Solo, ia yang selalu kagum dengan sungai tersebut, terinspirasi untuk menciptakan sebuah lagu. Proses penciptaan lagu ini memakan waktu sekitar 6 bulan.

Lagu Bengawan Solo juga memiliki popularitas tersendiri di luar negeri, terutama di Jepang. Bengawan Solo sempat digunakan dalam salah satu film layar lebar Jepang.[1]


Gesang tinggal di di Jalan Bedoyo Nomor 5 Kelurahan Kemlayan, Serengan, Solo bersama keponakan dan keluarganya, setelah sebelumnya tinggal di rumahnya Perumnas Palur pemberian Gubernur Jawa Tengah tahun 1980 selama 20 tahun. Ia telah berpisah dengan istrinya tahun 1962. Selepasnya, memilih untuk hidup sendiri. Ia tak mempunyai anak.

Gesang pada awalnya bukanlah seorang pencipta lagu. Dulu, ia hanya seorang penyanyi lagu-lagu keroncong untuk acara dan pesta kecil-kecilan saja di kota Solo. Ia juga pernah menciptakan beberapa lagu, seperti; Keroncong Roda Dunia, Keroncong si Piatu, dan Sapu Tangan, pada masa perang dunia II. Sayangnya, ketiga lagu ini kurang mendapat sambutan dari masyarakat.

Sebagai bentuk penghargaan atas jasanya terhadap perkembangan musik keroncong, pada tahun 1983 Jepang mendirikan Taman Gesang di dekat Bengawan Solo. Pengelolaan taman ini didanai oleh Dana Gesang, sebuah lembaga yang didirikan untuk Gesang di Jepang.

Gesang sempat dikabarkan meninggal dunia pada tanggal 18 Mei 2010 setelah kesehatannya dilaporkan memburuk.[2]

Gesang dilarikan ke rumah sakit akibat kesehatannya menurun pada Rabu (19/05/2010). Selanjutnya, Gesang harus dirawat di ruang ICU sejak Minggu (16/5) karena kesehatannya terus menurun. Rumah sakit membentuk sebuah tim untuk menangani kesehatan yang terdiri dari lima dokter spesialis yang berbeda. Hingga akhirnya beliau meninggal pada hari Kamis (20/05/2010) Pukul 18:10 di Rumah Sakit PKU Muhammadiyah Surakarta.[3]

 Lagu-lagu ciptaan Gesang

  • Bengawan Solo
  • Jembatan Merah
  • Pamitan (versi bahasa Indonesia dipopulerkan oleh Broery Pesulima)
  • Caping Gunung
  • Ali-ali
  • Andheng-andheng
  • Luntur
  • Dongengan
  • Saputangan
  • Dunia Berdamai
  • Si Piatu
  • Nusul
  • Nawala
  • Roda Dunia
  • Tembok Besar
  • Seto Ohashi
  • Pandanwangi
  • Impenku
  • Kalung Mutiara
  • Pemuda Dewasa
  • Borobudur
  • Tirtonadi
  • Sandhang Pangan
  • Kacu-kacu

the end @ Copyright Dr Iwan Suwandy 2011

The Skeeter Davis Record History(Piring hitam antik Skeeter Davis)



                                                AT DR IWAN CYBERMUSEUM

                                          DI MUSEUM DUNIA MAYA DR IWAN S.




 *ill 001

                      *ill 001  LOGO MUSEUM DUNIA MAYA DR IWAN S.*ill 001

                                THE FIRST INDONESIAN CYBERMUSEUM



                                        PENDIRI DAN PENEMU IDE

                                                     THE FOUNDER

                                            Dr IWAN SUWANDY, MHA




                         WELCOME TO THE MAIN HALL OF FREEDOM               


                     Please Enter


              DMRC SHOWROOM

(Driwan Music Record Cybermuseum)



The Vintage Skeeter Davis record History(Piring Hitam antik Skeeter Davis )

Frame One :

The Vintage Skeeter Davis Record Found In Indonesia

(Dr Iwan suwandy Collections)

1)Skeeter Davis and Bobby Bare sing Tunes for two front cover(1965)

2)Skeeter Davis record cover

3)RCA record,Skeeter Davis sing Wkat Does It Take

please Indonesian collectors show their collections  thanks (Dr Iwan S)

Frame Two :

The Skeeter Davis and Bobby Bare History

1.Skeeter Davis

Skeeter Davis
Background information
Birth name Mary Frances Penick
Also known as Skeeter Davis
Born December 30, 1931(1931-12-30)
Dry Ridge, Kentucky, U.S.
Origin Dry Ridge, Kentucky
Died September 19, 2004(2004-09-19) (aged 72)
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
Genres country, pop,
Nashville sound
Occupations Singer, songwriter
Years active 1952–2004
Labels RCA Records
Mercury Records
Rounder Records
Fortune Records
Associated acts Chet Atkins, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Connie Smith, Bobby Bare, Dottie West, George Hamilton IV

Mary Frances Penick (December 30, 1931–September 19, 2004), better known as Skeeter Davis, was an American country music singer best known for crossover pop music songs of the early 1960s. She started out as part of The Davis Sisters in the early 1950s on Fortune Records, then RCA Records. In the late ’50s and early ’60s, she became a solo star. Her best-known hit was the song “The End of the World” in 1963.

One of the first women to achieve major stardom in the country music field as a solo vocalist, she was an acknowledged influence on Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton and was hailed as an “extraordinary country/pop singer” by The New York Times music critic Robert Palmer.[1]




 Early life

Davis was the first of seven children born to William and Punzie Penick, in Dry Ridge, Kentucky.[2] Because her grandfather thought that she had a lot of energy for a young child, he nicknamed Mary Frances “Skeeter” (slang for mosquito). In 1947, the Penick family moved to Erlanger, Kentucky, where Skeeter met Betty Jack Davis at Dixie Heights High School, becoming instant friends. They sang together through much of high school. They formed a group known as The Davis Sisters (although they were unrelated), and started singing on Detroit radio station WJR‘s program Barnyard Frolics. The duo also scored a regional hit with “Jealous Love”, released on Fortune Records. The pair released two more singles on Fortune, a small family owned label, before scoring a deal with RCA Records.

Rise to fame

RCA Records producer Steve Sholes liked The Davis Sisters’ harmonies and offered the duo a recording contract in 1953. Their most successful release was “I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know“, which spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the country charts in 1953,[3] as well as making the Top 20 on the pop charts. The record ranks No. 65 on the Top 100 Country Singles of All Time, according to Billboard historian Joel Whitburn.

While “I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know” was climbing the charts, The Davis Sisters were involved in a major car accident on August 1, 1953. The crash killed Betty Jack Davis and left Skeeter with severe injuries.[4] After the accident, Skeeter and Betty Jack’s sister Georgia continued as The Davis Sisters until 1956.[5]


Davis decided to go back into country music as a solo act. She hooked up again with RCA Records in 1958, this time working with guitarist and record producer Chet Atkins. That year, Davis recorded “Lost to a Geisha Girl”, which reached the country Top 15 and became her first solo hit. Atkins worked with Davis as a guitarist on all of these sessions. Atkins also multi-tracked Davis’ voice to resemble the sound of The Davis Sisters. This echo can be found on several of her early solo hits, such as “Lost to a Geisha Girl” and “Am I That Easy to Forget“. “Lost to a Geisha Girl” was an “answer song” to Hank Locklin‘s hit “Geisha Girl”.

Davis had a Top 5 country hit, “Set Him Free”, in 1959. That same year, she had another Top 20 hit called “Homebreaker”. She also joined the Grand Ole Opry that year, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for “Set Him Free”, becoming the first female country singer to be nominated for a Grammy.

From 1960 to 1962, Davis had hits with the songs “(I Can’t Help You) I’m Falling Too”, “My Last Date (With You)”, “Where I Ought to Be” and “Optimistic”. “(I Can’t Help You) I’m Falling Too” in 1960 was her first entrance as a solo onto the pop charts. The song went all the way to the Top 40, unheard of for a country singer at the time. In 1961, she scored a second pop hit with a lyric version (written by Skeeter) of Floyd Cramer‘s instrumental country pop smash “Last Date” called “My Last Date (With You)” which did even better making the Top 30 on the pop charts. Both of these songs did very well on the country charts, peaking at No. 2 and No. 5, respectively.

In 1963, Davis achieved her biggest success with country pop crossover hit “The End of the World”. The song just missed topping the country and pop charts that year; however, it did top the adult contemporary charts. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[6] “The End of the World” soon became Davis’ signature song. Davis achieved one other country-pop hit with the Carole King-penned “I Can’t Stay Mad At You”, which peaked at No. 7 on the pop charts and No. 2 on the Easy Listening chart in 1963[7]. She made several appearances on the pop music show American Bandstand in the early 1960s and a decade later was one of the first country artists to appear on The Midnight Special.

Davis received five Grammy Award nominations, including four for Best Female Country Vocal Performance: 1964 (“He Says the Same Things to Me”), 1964; (“Sunglasses”), 1965; (“What Does It Take”), 1967, and “One Tin Soldier“), 1972. Davis was also an accomplished songwriter, penning almost 70 songs and earning two BMI awards for “Set Him Free” and “My Last Date With You”, the latter also recorded by Ann-Margret, Pat Boone, Kay Starr, Joni James, and several others in addition to Davis’ original hit version. Conway Twitty wrote new lyrics for the instrumental in 1972 as “Lost Her Love (On Our Last Date), which reached No. 1 on the country chart as did Emmylou Harris‘s remake of Twitty’s version in 1983 retitled “Lost His Love (On Our Last Date)”. In the 1990s, Deborah Harry recorded a remake of Davis’ version featuring Michael Stipe, a long-time Davis fan.

Davis’ success continued after 1963. She followed in late 1963 with “I’m Saving My Love” and 1964′s Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now , an updated cover a 1956 hit by Patience and Prudence). Both made the Top 10 on the country charts and cracked the Billboard Top 50 pop charts, though the success of “Gonna Get” was likely hampered by another remake of the song by vocalist Tracey Dey simultaneously climbing the charts to peak slightly lower than Davis’ version. Later pop efforts, like “Let Me Get Close to You” in July of 1964, missed making the Hot 100, reflecting the changing nature of pop styles due to the ongoing British Invasion. But Davis continued a successful run on the country charts.

In 1965, she recorded a duet with Bobby Bare called “A Dear John Letter“, which just missed the country Top 10 and received light pop action. (The best-known version of the song had been recorded originally by Jean Shepard and Ferlin Husky in 1953.) Davis also recorded quite a few albums during this time. One was a tribute album entitled Skeeter Davis Sings Buddy Holly. In 1967, Davis had her first Top 10 hit in a while with “What Does It Take? (To Keep a Man Like You Satisfied)”. An album was also released by the same name, which featured the hit single. Davis only achieved two other major country hits the rest of the decade, “Fuel to the Flame” (written by Dolly Parton, whom Davis paid tribute to with an album called Skeeter Sings Dolly in 1972), and “There’s a Fool Born Every Minute”. Other singles were minor hits, but she released many albums.

 Decline and controversy

In 1970, Davis had another Top 10 hit with “I’m a Lover (Not a Fighter)” and another duet with Bobby Bare with “Your Husband, My Wife”. The following year, she had a hit with the autobiographical “Bus Fare To Kentucky”. Subsequently, however, her chart success began to fade. Singles such as “It’s Hard to Be a Woman” and “Love Takes a Lot of My Time” failed to crack the country Top 40. “One Tin Soldier” did not get much attention from country radio but was nominated for a Grammy as Best Female Country Vocal. In the 1970s, she began regularly touring foreign countries such as Barbados, Singapore, and Sweden, where she was among the most popular entertainers of any field. In 1973, she had a brief comeback with her Top 20 hit, “I Can’t Believe That It’s All Over”.

In 1973 during a performance at the Grand Ole Opry, Davis dedicated a gospel song to street evangelists arrested by Nashville police.[8] The country was highly divided during these last days of the Nixon administration, and The Grand Ole Opry, being owned by National Life and Accident Insurance Company, had conservative management. For her “political” commentary, Davis was barred from the Opry. In 1974, the show moved from 2,300-seat Ryman Auditorium to the new Grand Ole Opry House, a 4,400-seat auditorium.[9] With those additional seats to fill, losing the support of Davis’ fans was no longer painless, and may have been a factor in allowing her back after a 15-month exile. Despite losing other bookings during that period, Davis remained active by singing with a number of religious ministries. A brief stint on Mercury Records produced two single releases, including her last song to make the national charts, 1976′s “I Love Us”.

Personal life

Davis was married three times, first to Kenneth Depew. She later married WSM disc jockey Ralph Emery in 1960, divorcing in 1964. In 1985, Davis made a solid comeback with the album She Sings, They Play, with the band NRBQ. In 1987, she married NRBQ’s bassist Joey Spampinato. They were divorced in 1996.[10]

 Later years and death

Davis lived in Brentwood, Tennessee, from the early 1960s until the time of her death in 2004. Her autobiography, Bus Fare to Kentucky (named after a 1971 Davis hit), was published in 1993. In 1998 she wrote a children’s book, The Christmas Note, (with Cathie Pelletier) based on her childhood that received praise from a number of authors, including Lee Smith, Rebecca Wells, and Terry Kay.

Davis continued to perform frequently throughout much of the 1990s and into 2000. In 2001 she became incapacitated by the breast cancer that would claim her life. While Davis remained a member of the Grand Ole Opry until her death, she last appeared there in 2002. She died of breast cancer in a Nashville, Tennessee, hospice, at the age of 72, on September 19, 2004

Bobby Bare

Bobby Bare
Birth name Robert Joseph Bare
Born April 7, 1935 (1935-04-07) (age 75)
Origin Ironton, Ohio, USA
Genres Country
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1958 – Present
Labels RCA Records
Mercury Records
Columbia Records
Associated acts Skeeter Davis, Waylon Jennings
Website [1]

Robert Joseph (Bobby) Bare (born April 7, 1935 in Ironton, Ohio) is an American country music singer and songwriter. He is the father of Bobby Bare, Jr., also a musician.



 Early career

Bare had many failed attempts to sell his songs in the 1950s.[citation needed] He finally signed with Capitol Records and recorded a few rock and roll songs without much chart success.[citation needed] Just before he was drafted into the Army, he wrote a song called “The All American Boy” and did a demo for his friend, Bill Parsons, to learn and record. Instead of using the version Bill Parsons did later, the record company, Fraternity Records, decided to use the original demo done by Bobby Bare. The record reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, but they made an error: the singles’ labels all credited the artist as being “Bill Parsons.” [1][2]

 Career at RCA (1962–1970)

Bare’s big break in country music came when RCA RecordsChet Atkins signed him. The first song he released on the label was “Shame On Me” in 1962. His second RCA release, “Detroit City,” was his first top-ten Country single, reaching number six.[2] It also hit number 16 on the pop charts.[1] In 1964, he also received a Grammy Award for Best Country and Western Recording for the song Detroit City. Then a surge of hits followed, including “500 Miles Away from Home” (based on a traditional folk ballad written by Hedy West as “500 Miles”)[1] and Ian Tyson‘s “Four Strong Winds.” In 1965 he received two Grammy nominations for Best Country & Western Vocal Performance and Best Country & Western single for the song “Four Strong Wind”. In 1966, he received a Grammy Nomination for Best Country & Western Male Vocal Performance for his song “Talk Me Some Sense”. He also recorded with Skeeter Davis, Norma Jean and Liz Anderson. “The Game of Triangles”, a wife-husband-other woman drama that hit number five on the Billboard chart earned the trio a Grammy nomination. In 1968, he recorded an album with a group from England called The Hillsiders.[citation needed][3] In 1969, he had a Top 5 hit with Tom T. Hall‘s “(Margie’s At) The Lincoln Park Inn“.[2]

 Career at Mercury (1970–1972)

Bare moved to Mercury Records in 1970 and immediately scored a Top 3 hit with “How I Got To Memphis” and had two Top 10 hits from early Kris Kristofferson compositions, “Come Sundown” (1971) and “Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends,” (1971).[2] He also scored a #12 hit in 1972 with a version of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show’s pop hit “Sylvia’s Mother“, written by Shel Silverstein.

 Second career at RCA (1973–1977)

After a couple of years at Mercury, Bobby returned to RCA Records in 1973 and scored with Billy Joe Shaver‘s “Ride Me Down Easy” which nearly made the Top 10.

Bobby Bare started to release novelty songs recorded live with selected audiences. One such song, “Marie Laveau,” reached the number one position on the country chart in 1974; it was his only number one hit. This song was co-written by his friends Shel Silverstein and Baxter Taylor, who received a BMI Award for the song in 1975.

Silverstein penned other songs for Bare including a Grammy-nominated hit, “Daddy What If,” which he recorded with his five-year-old son, Bobby Bare, Jr. The song was an immediate success as well not only reaching #2 on the country charts but nearly reaching the Top 40 on the Pop charts. Bare’s album, “Lullabys, Legends and Lies” became his most commercially successful album and Bobby had a new audience with pop radio once again playing his songs and a new following with college kids. These two songs, however, would become Bobby’s last Top 10 hits. Bare later recorded a very successful album with his family, written mainly by Silverstein, called “Singin’ in The Kitchen.” It was nominated for best group category in Grammy Awards, but was declined by Bobby himself.[citation needed] He continued to record critically acclaimed albums and singles. His biggest hits during this time included “Alimony” (1975), “The Winner” (1976), and “Drop Kick Me Jesus (Through The Goalposts Of Life)” (the world’s only Christian-football waltz, and a 1976 Grammy nominee[citation needed]). In 1977 he recorded “Redneck Hippie Romance”[citation needed] and “Vegas” (a duet with his wife Jeannie).

Concept albums were nothing new for Bobby, In 1967, Bare came up with a concept album called “Bird Named Yesterday,” which was very successful.[citation needed] His most successful concept album is “Lullabys, Legends and Lies”. He also is the first to be given full control of his work and thus the very first Outlaw.[citation needed]

Career at Columbia Records (1978–1983)

Bobby signed with Columbia Records and continued to have hits like “Sleep Tight Good Night Man” a near Top 10 in 1978 and releasing critically acclaimed albums like “Bare” and “Sleeper Wherever I Fall”. In 1979, he started off Rosanne Cash‘s career in a big way by singing a duet with her called “No Memories Hangin’ Round” which went Top 20 for them. In 1980, he scored a near Top 10 with “Numbers” which came from his album “Down and Dirty” where Bare started to experiment with Southern rock and continued this with his next album “Drunk and Crazy”. In 1981, Bobby released an album entitled “As Is” which was produced by Rodney Crowell and returned Bobby back to his country roots with songs like “New Cut Road”. Bare was still doing well chartwise into the early 1980s. In 1983, he released a Top 30 duet with Lacy J. Dalton called “It’s A Dirty Job”. His last trip into the Top 30 came that summer with the novelty song “The Jogger”.

Film career

Bobby Bare was also given an opportunity to star in the movies. He acted in a Western with Troy Donahue, A Distant Trumpet, and a few episodes of the TV series No Time for Sergeants. He turned his back on Hollywood to pursue his career in country music.

 Later career in country music and today

From 1983 to 1988, Bobby hosted Bobby Bare and Friends on The Nashville Network which featured Bobby interviewing songwriters who sang their hit songs on the show.

In 1985, Bobby signed with EMI America Records where he scored 3 charted singles, but none of these reached the upper regions of the charts.

In 1998, he formed the band, Old Dogs, with his friends Jerry Reed, Mel Tillis and Waylon Jennings.

In 2005, he recorded a new album after over 20 years, called The Moon Was Blue, produced[4] by his son Bobby Bare, Jr., who is also a musician. He continues to tour today.

In nearly 50 years of making music, Bobby has made many firsts in country music. Bare is credited for introducing Waylon Jennings to RCA.[citation needed] He is also one of the first to record from many well- known song writers such as Jack Clement, Harlan Howard, Billy Joe Shaver, Mickey Newbury, Tom T. Hall, Shel Silverstein, Baxter Taylor and Kris Kristofferson.[citation needed]



Year Album Chart Positions Label
US Country US CAN Country
1963 “Detroit City” And Other Hits 9 119 RCA Victor
500 Miles Away from Home 9 133
1964 The Travelin’ Bare 14
1965 Tunes for Two (w/ Skeeter Davis) 8
Constant Sorrow
1966 The Best of Bobby Bare
Talk Me Some Sense 6
The Streets of Baltimore 7
This I Believe 17
1967 The Game of Triangles (w/ Norma Jean & Liz Anderson) 16
A Bird Named Yesterday 20
The English Country Side (w/ The Hillsliders) 29
1968 The Best of Bobby Bare – Volume 2 33
1969 (Margie’s At) The Lincoln Park Inn
(And Other Controversial Country Songs)
1970 Your Husband My Wife (w/ Skeeter Davis)
Real Thing
This Is Bare Country 37 Mercury
1971 Where Have All the Seasons Gone 44
I Need Some Good News Bad
1972 What Am I Gonna Do? 19
High and Dry
1973 I Hate Goodbyes / Ride Me Down Easy 31 RCA Victor
Bobby Bare Sings Lullabys, Legends and Lies 5
1974 Singin’ in the Kitchen (Bobby Bare and Family) 27
1975 Hard Time Hungrys 33
Cowboys and Daddys 21
1976 The Winner and Other Losers 18
1977 Me and McDill 27
1978 Bare 44 Columbia
Sleep Wherever I Fall
1980 Down & Dirty 21 4
Drunk & Crazy 47 17
1981 As Is 43
1982 Ain’t Got Nothin’ to Lose 29
1983 Drinkin’ from the Bottle
1998 Old Dogs (with Waylon Jennings, Jerry Reed, & Mel Tillis) 61 Warner Bros
2005 The Moon Was Blue Dualtone


Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country US US AC CAN Country CAN
1959 “The All-American Boy” (as Bill Parsons) 2 Detroit City
1962 “Shame on Me” 18 23
1963 Detroit City 6 16 4
“500 Miles Away from Home” 5 10 4 500 Miles Away From Home
1964 “Miller’s Cave” 4 33 The Best of Bobby Bare
“I Have Stayed Away Too Long” 47 94 single only
Four Strong Winds 3 60 40 The Best of Bobby Bare
1965 A Dear John Letter” (with Skeeter Davis) 11 114 Tunes for Two
“Times Are Gettin’ Hard” 30 Constant Sorrow
“It’s All Right” 7 122
Just to Satisfy You 31
“Talk Me Some Sense” 26 Talk Me Some Sense
1966 “In the Same Old Way” 34 131 single only
Streets of Baltimore 5 124 Streets of Baltimore
“The Game of Triangles” (with Liz Anderson and Norma Jean) 5 The Game of Triangles
“Homesick” 38
1967 “Charlestown Railroad Tavern” 16 The Best of Bobby Bare Vol. 2
“Come Kiss Me Love” 14
“The Piney Wood Hills” 15
1968 “Find Out What’s Happening” 15 5 English Country Side
“Little Bit Later on Down the Line” 14 7 Talk Me Some Sense
“Town That Broke My Heart” 16 21 single only
1969 (Margie’s At) The Lincoln Park Inn 4 7 Margie’s at the Lincoln Park Inn
“Which One Will It Be” 19 single only
God Bless America Again 16 This Is Bobby Bare
1970 “Your Husband, My Wife” (with Skeeter Davis) 22 Your Husband, My Wife
“How I Got to Memphis” 3 22 This Is Bare Country
“Come Sundown” 7 122 6
1971 “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends” 8 3 Where Have All the Seasons Gone
“Short and Sweet” 57 I Need Some Good News Bad
1972 “What Am I Gonna Do” 13 24 What Am I Gonna Do
Sylvia’s Mother 12 17
1973 “I Hate Goodbyes” 25 38 I Hate Goodbyes/Ride Me Down Easy
“Ride Me Down Easy” 11 4
“You Know Who” 30 13
1974 “Daddy, What If”A (with Bobby Bare, Jr.) 2 41 5 53 Lullabys, Legends and Lies
Marie Laveau 1 1
“Where’d I Come From” (with Bobby Bare, Jr. and “Mama”) 41 Singin’ in the Kitchen
1975 “Singin’ in the Kitchen” (with His Family) 29 43
“Back in Huntsville Again” 23 14 Hard Time Hungries
“Alimony” 18 38
“Cowboys and Daddys” 29 20 Cowboys and Daddys
1976 “The Winner” 13 The Winner and Other Losers
“Put a Little Lovin’ on Me” 23 23
“Drop Kick Me Jesus” 17 18
1977 “Vegas” (with Jeannie Bare) 30 The Essential Bobby Bare
“Look Who I’m Cheatin’ on Tonight” 21 10 Me and McDill
“Red-Neck Hippie Romance” 85 Single only
1978 “Too Many Nights Alone” 29 15 Bare
“Sleep Tight Good Night Man” 11 8
1979 “Healin’” 23 30 Sleep Wherever I Fall
“Till I Gain Control Again” 42 47 Single only
“No Memories Hangin’ Round” (with Rosanne Cash) 17 38 Bobby Bare: The Columbia Years
1980 “Numbers” 11 26 Down and Dirty
“Tequila Sheila” 31 64
“Food Blues” 41 63 Drunk and Crazy
“Willie Jones” 19 15
1981 “Learning to Live Again” 28 As Is
“Take Me as I Am (Or Let Me Go)” 28 34
“Dropping Out of Sight” 35
1982 “New Cut Road” 18 32
“If You Ain’t Got Nothin’ (You Got Nothin’ to Lose)” 31 31 Ain’t Got Nothin’ to Lose
“(I’m Not) A Candle in the Wind” 37
“Praise the Lord and Send Me the Money” 83
1983 “It’s a Dirty Job” (with Lacy J. Dalton) 30 Bobby Bare: The Columbia Years
“The Jogger” 29 19 Drinkin’ from the Bottle
“Diet Song” 69
1985 “When I Get Home” 53 51 Singles only
“Reno and Me” 76
1986 “Real Good” 67


 "Wait Until Tomorrow / Better Not Look Down - EMI America Records
  • A“Daddy, What If” also peaked at #19 on the RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks chart in Canada.

Guest singles

Year Single Artist US Country
1967 “Chet’s Tune” Some of Chet’s Friends 38
the end @ copyright Dr Iwan Suwandy 2011

The Bing Crosby Record Collections Found In Indonesia(piring hitam antik Bing Crosby idolanya Bing Slamet)



                                                AT DR IWAN CYBERMUSEUM

                                          DI MUSEUM DUNIA MAYA DR IWAN S.




 *ill 001

                      *ill 001  LOGO MUSEUM DUNIA MAYA DR IWAN S.*ill 001

                                THE FIRST INDONESIAN CYBERMUSEUM



                                        PENDIRI DAN PENEMU IDE

                                                     THE FOUNDER

                                            Dr IWAN SUWANDY, MHA




                         WELCOME TO THE MAIN HALL OF FREEDOM               


                     Please Enter


              DMRC SHOWROOM

(Driwan Music Record Cybermuseum)



The Vintage Bing Crosby record History(Piring Hitam antik Bing Crosby )

Frame One :

The Vintage Bing Crosby Record Found In Indonesia

(Dr Iwan suwandy Collections)

1)Brunswick record,Bing Crosby,Merry Christmas

2)Decca Record,Bing Crosby and Andrew sisters,Go West Young Man

please Indonesian collectors show their collections  thanks (Dr Iwan S)

Frame Two :

The Bing Crosby History

Bing Crosby

Crosby in Road to Singapore (1940)
Background information
Birth name Harry Lillis Crosby
Born May 3, 1903(1903-05-03)[1]
Tacoma, Washington, U.S.
Origin Spokane, Washington, U.S.
Died October 14, 1977(1977-10-14) (aged 74)
Madrid, Spain
Genres Traditional pop, Jazz, vocal[2]
Occupations Singer-songwriter actor
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1926–1977
Labels Brunswick, Decca, Reprise, RCA Victor, Verve, United Artists
Associated acts Bob Hope, Dixie Lee, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, The Rhythm Boys, Rosemary Clooney, David Bowie, Louis Armstrong

Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby (May 3, 1903 – October 14, 1977)[3] was an American singer and actor. Crosby’s trademark bass-baritone voice made him one of the best-selling recording artists of the 20th century, with over half a billion records in circulation.[4]

A multimedia star, from 1934 to 1954 Bing Crosby was a leader in record sales, radio ratings and motion picture grosses.[5] Crosby’s early career coincided with technical recording innovations; this allowed him to develop a laid-back, intimate singing style that influenced many of the popular male singers who followed him, including Perry Como,[6] Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin. Yank magazine recognized Crosby as the person who had done the most for American G.I. morale during World War II and, during his peak years, around 1948, polls declared him the “most admired man alive,” ahead of Jackie Robinson and Pope Pius XII.[7][8] Also in 1948, the Music Digest estimated that Crosby recordings filled more than half of the 80,000 weekly hours allocated to recorded radio music.[8]

Crosby exerted an important influence on the development of the postwar recording industry. In 1947, he invested $50,000 in the Ampex company, which built North America’s first commercial reel-to-reel tape recorder. Crosby then became the first performer to pre-record his radio shows and master his commercial recordings onto magnetic tape. He gave one of the first Ampex Model 200 recorders to his friend, musician Les Paul, which led directly to Paul’s invention of multitrack recording. Along with Frank Sinatra, Crosby was one of the principal backers behind the famous United Western Recorders studio complex in Los Angeles.[9]

During the “Golden Age of Radio,” performers often had to recreate their live shows a second time for the west coast time zone. Through the aegis of recording, Crosby constructed his radio programs with the same directorial tools and craftsmanship (editing, retaking, rehearsal, time shifting) being used in motion picture production. This became the industry standard.

Crosby won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Father Chuck O’Malley in the 1944 motion picture Going My Way, and was nominated for his reprise of in The Bells of St. Mary’s the next year, becoming the first of four actors to be nominated twice for playing the same character. In 1963, Crosby received the first Grammy Global Achievement Award.[10] Crosby is one of the 22 people to have three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.



Early life

Crosby was born in Tacoma, Washington, on May 3, 1903,[1] in a house his father built at 1112 North J Street.[11] In 1906, Crosby’s family moved to Spokane, Washington.[12] In 1913, Crosby’s father built a house at 508 E. Sharp Ave.[13] The house now sits on the campus of Bing’s alma mater Gonzaga University and formerly housed the Alumni Association.

He was the fourth of seven children: brothers Larry (1895–1975), Everett (1896–1966), Ted (1900–1973), Harry ‘Bing’ (1903–1977), and Bob (1913–1993); and two girls, Catherine (1904–1974) and Mary Rose (1906–1990). His parents, Harry Lincoln Crosby (1870–1950), an English-American bookkeeper, and Catherine Helen (known as Kate) Harrigan (1873–1964), who was a second generation Irish-American.[14] Bing’s paternal ancestors had emigrated to what would become the U.S. in the 17th century, and included Patience Brewster, the daughter of the Pilgrim leader and Mayflower passenger William Brewster, (c. 1567 – April 10, 1644).[15]

In 1910, six-year-old Harry Crosby was forever renamed. The Sunday edition of the Spokesman-Review published a feature called “The Bingville Bugle”.[16][17] Written by humorist Newton Newkirk, The Bingville Bugle was a parody of a hillbilly newsletter filled with gossipy tidbits, minstrel quips, creative spelling, and mock ads. A neighbor, 15-year-old Valentine Hobart, shared Crosby’s enthusiasm for “The Bugle” and noting Crosby’s laugh, took a liking to him and called him “Bingo from Bingville”. Eventually the last vowel was dropped and the nickname stuck.[18]

In 1917, Crosby took a summer job as property boy at Spokane’s “Auditorium,” where he witnessed some of the finest acts of the day, including Al Jolson, who held Crosby spellbound with his ad libbing and spoofs of Hawaiian songs. Crosby later described Jolson’s delivery as “electric”.[19]

Popular success


By 1926, Crosby had formed a vocal duo with partner Al Rinker. While singing at Los Angeles Metropolitan Theater, they caught the ear of Paul Whiteman,who was at that time America’s most famous bandleader. Hired for $150 a week, they made their debut on December 6, 1926 at the Tivoli Theatre (Chicago). Their first recording was “I’ve Got The Girl,” with Don Clark’s Orchestra, but the Columbia-issued record did them no vocal favors, as it was inadvertantly recorded at a speed slower than it should have been, which increased the singers’ pitch when played at 78 rpm.

Even as the Crosby and Rinker duo was increasing in popularity, Whiteman added a third member to the group. The threesome, now including pianist and aspiring songwriter Harry Barris, were dubbed “The Rhythm Boys“. They joined the Whiteman touring act, performing and recording with musicians Bix Beiderbecke, Jack Teagarden, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, and Eddie Lang and Hoagy Carmichael.

Crosby soon became the star attraction of the Rhythm Boys, and in 1928 had his first number one hit with the Whiteman orchestra, a jazz-influenced rendition of “Ol’ Man River“. However, Crosby’s reported taste for alcohol and his growing dissatisfaction with Whiteman led to the Rhythm Boys quitting to join the Gus Arnheim Orchestra. During his time with Arnheim, the other two Rhythm Boys were increasingly pushed to the background as the emphasis was on Crosby. Harry Barris wrote several of Crosby’s subsequent hits including “At Your Command,” “I Surrender Dear“, and “Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams. But the members of the band had a falling out and split, setting the stage for Crosby’s solo career.[20]

On September 2, 1931, Crosby made his solo radio debut.[21] By the end of the year, he’d signed with both Brunswick Records and CBS Radio. Doing a weekly 15 minute radio broadcast, Crosby quickly became a huge hit.[20] His songs “Out of Nowhere“, “Just One More Chance“, “At Your Command” and “I Found a Million Dollar Baby (in a Five and Ten Cent Store)” were all among the best selling songs of 1931.[20]

As the 1930s unfolded, Crosby became the leading singer in America. Ten of the top 50 songs for 1931 featured Crosby, either solo or with others. A so-called “Battle of the Baritones” with singing star Russ Columbo proved short-lived, replaced with the slogan “Bing Was King.” Crosby signed a long-term deal with Jack Kapp‘s new record company Decca, and starred in his first full-length feature, 1932′s The Big Broadcast, the first of 55 films in which he received top billing. He would appear in 79 pictures.

Around this time Crosby co-starred on radio with The Carl Fenton Orchestra on a popular CBS radio show. By 1936, he’d replaced his former boss, Paul Whiteman, as the host of NBC‘s Kraft Music Hall, the weekly radio program where he remained for the next ten years. “Where the Blue of the Night (Meets the Gold of the Day)“, which also showcased one of his then-trademark whistling interludes, became his theme song and signature tune.

Crosby’s much-imitated style helped take popular singing beyond the kind of “belting” associated with boisterous performers like Al Jolson, who had been obliged to reach the back seats in New York theatres without the aid of the microphone. As Henry Pleasants noted in The Great American Popular Singers, something new had entered American music, a style that might be called “singing in American,” with conversational ease. This new sound led to the popular epithet “crooner“.

Crosby made numerous live appearances before American troops fighting in the European Theater. He also learned how to pronounce German from written scripts, and would read propaganda broadcasts intended for the German forces. The nickname “Der Bingle” for him was understood to have become current among Crosby’s German listeners, and came to be used by his English-speaking fans. In a poll of U.S. troops at the close of World War II, Crosby topped the list as the person who had done the most for G.I. morale, ahead of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, General Dwight Eisenhower, and Bob Hope.

“White Christmas”

The biggest hit of Crosby’s career was his recording of Irving Berlin‘s “White Christmas“, which he introduced through a radio broadcast during the 1942 Christmas season, and the movie Holiday Inn. Crosby’s recording hit the charts on October 3, 1942, and rose to #1 on October 31, where it stayed for 11 weeks. A holiday perennial, the song was repeatedly re-released by Decca, charting another 16 times. It topped the charts again in 1945, and for a third time in January 1947. The song remains the best-selling single of all time.[20] According to Guinness World Records, Crosby’s recording of “White Christmas” has “sold over 100 million copies around the world, with at least 50 million sales as singles.”[22] Crosby’s recording was so popular that he was obliged to re-record it in 1947 using the same musicians and backup singers; the original 1942 master had become damaged due to its frequent use in pressing additional singles. Though the two versions are very similar, it is the 1947 recording which is most familiar today. Crosby was dismissive of his role in the song’s success, saying later that “a jackdaw with a cleft palate could have sung it successfully.”

Motion pictures

Crosby (1942) with golf balls for the Scrap Rubber Drive during World War II

With 1,077,900,000 movie tickets sold, Crosby is by that measure the third most popular actor of all time, behind Clark Gable and John Wayne.[23] The Quigley Publishing Company’s International Motion Picture Almanac lists Crosby in a tie for second on the “All Time Number One Stars List” with Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, and Burt Reynolds.[24] Crosby’s most popular film, White Christmas, grossed $30 million in 1954 ($245 million in current value).[25] Crosby won an Academy Award for Best Actor for Going My Way in 1944, and was nominated for the 1945 sequel, The Bells of Saint Mary’s. He received critical acclaim for his performance as an alcoholic entertainer in The Country Girl, and received his third Academy Award nomination. He co-starred with Bob Hope in seven Road to musical comedies between 1940 and 1962, cementing the two entertainers as an on-and-off duo, despite never officially declaring themselves a “team” in the sense that Laurel and Hardy or Martin and Lewis were teams. Appearing solo, Crosby and Hope frequently made note of the other, typically in a comically insulting fashion, during their various radio and film appearances.

Crosby with Bob Hope in Road to Bali (1952)

By the late 1950s, Crosby’s singing career had evolved into that of an avuncular elder statesman, and his albums Bing Sings Whilst Bregman Swings and Bing With A Beat sold reasonably well,[20] even in the rock ‘n roll era. In 1960, Crosby starred in High Time, a collegiate comedy with Fabian and Tuesday Weld that foretold the emerging gap between older Crosby fans and a new generation of films and music.[2


The Fireside Theater (1950) was Crosby's first television production. The series of 26-minute shows was filmed at Hal Roach Studios rather than performed live on the air. The "telefilms" were syndicated to individual television stations.

Crosby was a frequent guest on the musical variety shows of the 1950s and 1960s. He was especially closely associated with ABC's variety show The Hollywood Palace. He was the show's most frequent guest host, and appeared annually on its Christmas edition with his wife Kathryn and his younger children. In the early 1970s he made two famous late appearances on the Flip Wilson Show, singing duets with the comedian. Crosby's last TV appearance was a Christmas special filmed in London in September 1977 and aired just weeks after his death. It was on this special that Crosby recorded a duet of Little Drummer Boy with the flamboyant rock star David Bowie. It was first released as a single five years later, and has since become a staple of holiday radio, and the final popular hit of Crosby's career. At the end of the century, TV Guide listed the Crosby-Bowie duet as one of the 25 most memorable musical moments of 20th century television.

Bing Crosby Productions, affiliated with Desilu Studios and later CBS Television Studios, produced a number of television series, including Crosby's own unsuccessful ABC sitcom The Bing Crosby Show in the 1964–1965 season (with co-stars Beverly Garland and Frank McHugh). The company produced two ABC medical dramas, Ben Casey (1961–1966) and Breaking Point (1963–1964), the popular Hogan's Heroes (1965–1971) military comedy on CBS, as well as the lesser-known show Slattery's People (1964–1965).

singing style and vocal characteristics

Crosby was one of the first singers to exploit the intimacy of the microphone, rather than using the deep, loud "vaudeville style" associated with Al Jolson and others. Crosby's love and appreciation of jazz music helped bring the genre to a wider mainstream audience. Within the framework of the novelty singing style of The Rhythm Boys, Crosby bent notes and added off-tune phrasing, an approach that was firmly rooted in jazz. He'd already been introduced to Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith prior to his first appearance on record. Crosby and Armstrong would remain professionally friendly for decades, notably in the 1956 film High Society, where they sang the duet "Now You Has Jazz."

During the early portion of his solo career (about 1931-1934), Crosby's emotional, often pleading style of crooning was extremely popular. But Jack Kapp (manager of Brunswick and later Decca) talked Crosby into dropping many of his jazzier mannerisms, in favor of a straight-ahead clear vocal style.

Crosby also elaborated on a further idea of Al Jolson's: phrasing, or the art of making a song's lyric ring true. His success in doing so was influential. "I used to tell Sinatra over and over," said Tommy Dorsey, "there's only one singer you ought to listen to and his name is Crosby. All that matters to him is the words, and that's the only thing that ought to for you, too."

Vocal critic Henry Pleasants wrote:

"[While] the octave B flat to B flat in Bing’s voice at that time [1930s] is, to my ears, one of the loveliest I have heard in forty-five years of listening to baritones, both classical and popular, it dropped conspicuously in later years. From the mid-1950s, Bing was more comfortable in a bass range while maintaining a baritone quality, with the best octave being G to G, or even F to F. In a recording he made of ‘Dardanella‘ with Louis Armstrong in 1960, he attacks lightly and easily on a low E flat. This is lower than most opera basses care to venture, and they tend to sound as if they were in the cellar when they get there.”[26]

Career statistics

Crosby’s was among the most popular and successful musical acts of the 20th century. Although Billboard Magazine operated under different methodologies for the bulk of Crosby’s career, his chart numbers remain astonishing: 383 chart singles, including 41 #1 hits. Crosby had separate charting singles in every calendar year between 1931 and 1954; the annual re-release of White Christmas extended that streak to 1957. He had 24 separate popular singles in 1939 alone. Billboard’s statistician Joel Whitburn determined Crosby to be America’s most successful recording act of the 1930s, and again in the 1940s.

Crosby with Danny Kaye in White Christmas (1954)

For 15 years (1934, 1937, 1940, 1943–1954), Crosby was among the top 10 in box office drawing power, and for five of those years (1944–1948) he was tops in the world.[20] He sang four Academy Award-winning songs – “Sweet Leilani” (1937), “White Christmas” (1942), “Swinging on a Star” (1944), “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening” (1951) – and won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Going My Way (1944).

He collected 23 gold and platinum records, according to the book “Million Selling Records.” The Recording Industry Association of America did not institute its gold record certification program until 1958, by which point Crosby’s record sales were barely a blip; prior to that point, gold records are awarded by an artist’s own record company. Universal Music, current owner of Crosby’s Decca catalog, has never requested RIAA certification for any of his hit singles.

In 1962, Crosby was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been inducted into the halls of fame for both radio and popular music. In 2007 Crosby was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame, and in 2008 into the Western Music Hall of Fame.[27]


Mass media

Crosby’s radio career took a significant turn in 1945, when he clashed with NBC over his insistence that he be allowed to pre-record his radio shows. (The live production of radio shows was also reinforced by the musicians’ union and ASCAP, which wanted to ensure continued work for their members.) In On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, historian John Dunning wrote about German engineers having developed a tape recorder with a near-professional standard:

“[Crosby saw] an enormous advantage in prerecording his radio shows. The scheduling could now be done at the star’s convenience. He could do four shows a week, if he chose, and then take a month off. But the networks and sponsors were adamantly opposed. The public wouldn’t stand for ‘canned’ radio, the networks argued. There was something magic for listeners in the fact that what they were hearing was being performed, and heard everywhere, at that precise instant. Some of the best moments in comedy came when a line was blown and the star had to rely on wit to rescue a bad situation. Fred Allen, Jack Benny, Phil Harris, and, yes, Crosby were masters at this, and the networks weren’t about to give it up easily.”

Crosby’s insistence eventually factored into the further development of magnetic tape sound recording and the radio industry’s widespread adoption of it.[28][29][30] He used his clout, both professional and financial, to innovate new methods of reproducing audio of his performances. But NBC (and competitor CBS) were also insistent, refusing to air prerecorded radio programs. Crosby walked away from the network and stayed off the air for seven months, creating a legal battle with Kraft, his sponsor, that was settled out of court. Crosby returned to the air for the last 13 weeks of the 1945–1946 season.

The Mutual network, on the other hand, had pre-recorded some of its programs as early as the 1938 run of The Shadow with Orson Welles. And the new ABC network, which had been formed out of the sale of the old NBC Blue network in 1943 following a federal anti-trust action – was willing to join Mutual in breaking the tradition. ABC offered Crosby $30,000 per week to produce a recorded show every Wednesday that would be sponsored by Philco. He would also get an additional $40,000 from 400 independent stations for the rights to broadcast the 30-minute show, which was sent to them every Monday on three 16-inch lacquer/aluminum discs that played ten minutes per side at 33⅓ rpm.

Crosby wanted to change to recorded production for several reasons. The legend that has been most often told is that it would give him more time for his golf game. And he did record his first Philco program in August 1947 so he could enter the Jasper National Park Invitational Golf Tournament in September, just when the new radio season was to start. But golf was not the most important reason.

Though Crosby did want more time to tend his other business and leisure activities, he also sought better quality through recording, including being able to eliminate mistakes and control the timing of his show performances. Because his own Bing Crosby Enterprises produced the show, he could purchase the latest and best sound equipment and arrange the microphones his way; the logistics of mic placement had long been a hotly debated issue in every recording studio since the beginning of the electrical era. No longer would he have to wear the hated toupee on his head previously required by CBS and NBC for his live audience shows (he preferred a hat). He could also record short promotions for his latest investment, the world’s first frozen orange juice, sold under the brand name Minute Maid. This investment allowed Crosby to make more money by finding a loophole whereby the IRS couldn’t tax him at a 77% rate.[31]

The transcription method posed problems, however. The acetate surface coating of the aluminum discs was little better than the wax that Edison had used at the turn of the century, with the same limited dynamic range and frequency response.

But Murdo MacKenzie of Bing Crosby Enterprises had seen a demonstration of the German Magnetophon in June 1947—the same device that Jack Mullin had brought back from Radio Frankfurt, along with 50 reels of tape, at the end of the war. It was one of the magnetic tape recorders that BASF and AEG had built in Germany starting in 1935. The 6.5mm ferric-oxide-coated tape could record 20 minutes per reel of high-quality sound. Alexander M. Poniatoff ordered his Ampex company, which he’d founded in 1944, to manufacture an improved version of the Magnetophone.

Crosby hired Mullin to start recording his Philco Radio Time show on his German-made machine in August 1947, using the same 50 reels of I.G. Farben magnetic tape that Mullin had found at a radio station at Bad Nauheim near Frankfurt while working for the U.S. Army Signal Corps. The crucial advantage was editing. As Crosby wrote in his autobiography:

“By using tape, I could do a thirty-five or forty-minute show, then edit it down to the twenty-six or twenty-seven minutes the program ran. In that way, we could take out jokes, gags, or situations that didn’t play well and finish with only the prime meat of the show; the solid stuff that played big. We could also take out the songs that didn’t sound good. It gave us a chance to first try a recording of the songs in the afternoon without an audience, then another one in front of a studio audience. We’d dub the one that came off best into the final transcription. It gave us a chance to ad lib as much as we wanted, knowing that excess ad libbing could be sliced from the final product. If I made a mistake in singing a song or in the script, I could have some fun with it, then retain any of the fun that sounded amusing.”

Mullin’s 1976 memoir of these early days of experimental recording agrees with Crosby’s account:

“In the evening, Crosby did the whole show before an audience. If he muffed a song then, the audience loved it – thought it was very funny – but we would have to take out the show version and put in one of the rehearsal takes. Sometimes, if Crosby was having fun with a song and not really working at it, we had to make it up out of two or three parts. This ad lib way of working is commonplace in the recording studios today, but it was all new to us.”

Crosby invested US$50,000 in Ampex with an eye towards producing more machines. In 1948, the second season of Philco shows was taped with the new Ampex Model 200 tape recorder using the new Scotch 111 tape from the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (3M) company. Mullin explained how one new broadcasting technique was invented on the Crosby show with these machines:

“One time Bob Burns, the hillbilly comic, was on the show, and he threw in a few of his folksy farm stories, which of course were not in Bill Morrow’s script. Today they wouldn’t seem very off-color, but things were different on radio then. They got enormous laughs, which just went on and on. We couldn’t use the jokes, but Bill asked us to save the laughs. A couple of weeks later he had a show that wasn’t very funny, and he insisted that we put in the salvaged laughs. Thus the laugh-track was born.”

Crosby had launched the tape recorder revolution in America. In his 1950 film Mr. Music, Bing Crosby is seen singing into one of the new Ampex tape recorders that reproduced his voice better than anything else. Also quick to adopt tape recording was his friend Bob Hope.

Mullin continued to work for Crosby to develop a videotape recorder. Television production was mostly live in its early years, but Crosby wanted the same ability to record that he had achieved in radio. 1950′s The Fireside Theater, sponsored by Procter and Gamble, was his first television production. Mullin had not yet succeeded with videotape, so Crosby filmed the series of 26-minute shows at the Hal Roach Studios, and the “telefilms” were syndicated to individual television stations.

Crosby did not remain a television producer, but continued to finance the development of videotape. Bing Crosby Enterprises (BCE), gave the world’s first demonstration of videotape recording in Los Angeles on November 11, 1951. Developed by John T. Mullin and Wayne R. Johnson since 1950, the device aired what were described as “blurred and indistinct” images, using a modified Ampex 200 tape recorder and standard quarter-inch (6.3 mm) audio tape moving at 360 inches (9.1 m) per second.[32]

 Thoroughbred horse racing


Crosby was a fan of Thoroughbred horse racing and bought his first racehorse in 1935. In 1937, he became a founding partner of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and a member of its Board of Directors. Operating from the Del Mar Racetrack at Del Mar, California, the group included millionaire businessman Charles S. Howard, who owned a successful racing stable that included Seabiscuit. His son, Lindsay Howard, became one of Crosby’s closest friends; Crosby named his son Lindsay after him, and would purchase his 40-room Hillsborough estate from Lindsay in 1965.

Crosby and Lindsay Howard formed Binglin Stable to race and breed thoroughbred horses at a ranch in Moorpark in Ventura County, California. They also established the Binglin stock farm in Argentina, where they raced horses at Hipódromo de Palermo in Palermo, Buenos Aires. A number of Argentine-bred horses were purchased and shipped to race in the United States. On August 12, 1938, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club hosted a $25,000 winner-take-all match race won by Charles S. Howard’s Seabiscuit over Binglin’s horse Ligaroti. In 1943, Binglin’s horse Don Bingo won the Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.

The Binglin Stable partnership came to an end in 1953 as a result of a liquidation of assets by Crosby, who needed to raise enough funds to pay the hefty federal and state inheritance taxes on his deceased wife’s estate.[33] The Bing Crosby Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Del Mar Racetrack is named in his honor.

Crosby was also a co-owner of the British colt Meadow Court, with jockey Johnny Longden‘s friend Max Bell . Meadow Court won the 1965 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and the Irish Derby. In the Irish Derby’s winner’s circle at the Curragh, Crosby sang “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.”

Though Crosby’s stables had some success, he often joked about his horseracing failures as part of his radio appearances. “Crosby’s horse finally came in” became a running gag.

Crosby the sportsman

Crosby had an interest in sports. From 1946 until the end of his life, he was part-owner of baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates. Although he was passionate about his team, he was too nervous to watch the deciding Game 7 of that year’s World Series, choosing to go to Paris with Kathryn and listen to the game on the radio. But Crosby had the NBC telecast of the game recorded on kinescope. The game was one of the most famous in baseball history, capped off by Bill Mazeroski‘s walk-off home run. He apparently viewed the complete film just once, and then stored it in his wine cellar, where it remained undisturbed until it was discovered in December 2009.[34] The restored broadcast was shown on MLB Network in December 2010.

Crosby was also an avid golfer, and in 1978, he and Bob Hope were voted the Bob Jones Award, the highest honor given by the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship. He is a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame. Since 1937, the ‘Crosby Clambake’ as it was popularly known—now the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am—has been a leading event in the world of professional golf.

He conceived his tournament as a friendly little pro-am for his fellow members at Lakeside Golf Club and any stray touring pros who could use some pocket change. The first Clambake was played at Rancho Santa Fe C.C., in northern San Diego county, where Crosby was a member. He kicked in $3,000 of his own money for the purse, which led inaugural champion Sam Snead to ask if he might get his $700 in cash instead of a check. Snead’s suspicions notwithstanding, the tournament was a rollicking success, thanks to the participation of Lakeside’s membership, which was heavy in North Hollywood entertainment figures. The 1937 event set the precedent that the tournament was as much about partying as it was about golf.[35] But there is also a serious side. The tournament, revived on the Monterey Peninsula in 1947, has as of 2009 raised $93 million for local charities.[36]

Crosby first took up golf at 12 as a caddy, dropped it, and started again in 1930 with some fellow cast members in Hollywood during the filming of The King of Jazz. Crosby was accomplished at the sport, with a two handicap. He competed in both the British and U.S. Amateur championships, was a five-time club champion at Lakeside Golf Club in Hollywood, and once made a hole-in-one on the 16th at Cypress Point.

Personal life

Crosby was married twice, first to actress/nightclub singer Dixie Lee from 1930 until her death from ovarian cancer in 1952. They had four sons: Gary, twins Dennis and Phillip, and Lindsay. The 1947 film Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman is indirectly based on her life. After Dixie’s death, Crosby had relationships with actresses Inger Stevens and Grace Kelly before marrying the actress Kathryn Grant in 1957. They had three children: Harry (who played Bill in Friday the 13th), Mary (best known for portraying Kristin Shepard, the woman who shot J.R. Ewing on TV’s Dallas), and Nathaniel.

Kathryn converted to Catholicism in order to marry the singer. Crosby was also a Republican, and actively campaigned for Wendell Willkie in 1940, arguing that Franklin Roosevelt should serve only two terms. After Willkie lost, Crosby decreed that he would never again make any open political contributions.

Crosby reportedly overindulged in alcohol in his youth, and may have been dismissed from Paul Whiteman’s orchestra because of it, but he later got a handle on his drinking. Village Voice jazz critic and Crosby biographer Gary Giddins says that Louis Armstrong‘s influence on Crosby “extended to his love of marijuana.” Crosby smoked it during his early career when it was still legal, and “surprised interviewers” in the 1960s and 70s by advocating its decriminalization. According to Giddins, Crosby told his son Gary to stay away from alcohol (“It killed your mother”[37]) and suggested he smoke pot instead.[37] Gary said, “There were other times when marijuana was mentioned and he’d get a smile on his face.”[37] Gary thought his father’s pot smoking had influenced his easygoing style in his films. Crosby finally quit smoking his pipe following lung surgery in 1974.

After Crosby’s death, his eldest son, Gary, wrote a highly critical memoir, Going My Own Way, depicting his father as cold, remote, and both physically and psychologically abusive. Two of Crosby’s other sons, Lindsay and Dennis, sided with Gary’s claim and stated Crosby abused them as well.[38] Dennis also stated that Crosby would abuse Gary the most often.[38]

Gary Crosby wrote:

“We had to keep a close watch on our actions… When one of us left a sneaker or pair of underpants lying around, he had to tie the offending object on a string and wear it around his neck until he went off to bed that night. Dad called it “the Crosby lavalier.” At the time the humor of the name escaped me…
“Satchel Ass” or “Bucket Butt” or “My Fat-assed Kid.” That’s how he introduced me to his cronies when he dragged me along to the studio or racetrack… By the time I was ten or eleven he had stepped up his campaign by adding lickings to the regimen. Each Tuesday afternoon he weighed me in, and if the scale read more than it should have, he ordered me into his office and had me drop my trousers… I dropped my pants, pulled down my undershorts and bent over. Then he went at it with the belt dotted with metal studs he kept reserved for the occasion. Quite dispassionately, without the least display of emotion or loss of self-control, he whacked away until he drew the first drop of blood, and then he stopped. It normally took between twelve and fifteen strokes. As they came down I counted them off one by one and hoped I would bleed early…
When I saw Going My Way I was as moved as they were by the character he played. Father O’Malley handled that gang of young hooligans in his parish with such kindness and wisdom that I thought he was wonderful too. Instead of coming down hard on the kids and withdrawing his affection, he forgave them their misdeeds, took them to the ball game and picture show, taught them how to sing. By the last reel, the sheer persistence of his goodness had transformed even the worst of them into solid citizens. Then the lights came on and the movie was over. All the way back to the house I thought about the difference between the person up there on the screen and the one I knew at home.”[39]

It was revealed that Crosby’s will had established a blind trust, with none of the sons receiving an inheritance until they reached the age of 65.[40]

However, younger son Phillip vociferously disputed his brother Gary’s claims about their father. In an interview conducted in 1999 by the Globe, Phillip said:

“My dad was not the monster my lying brother said he was; he was strict, but my father never beat us black and blue, and my brother Gary was a vicious, no-good liar for saying so. I have nothing but fond memories of Dad, going to studios with him, family vacations at our cabin in Idaho, boating and fishing with him.
To my dying day, I’ll hate Gary for dragging Dad’s name through the mud. He wrote Going My Own Way out of greed. He wanted to make money and knew that humiliating our father and blackening his name was the only way he could do it. He knew it would generate a lot of publicity. That was the only way he could get his ugly, no-talent face on television and in the newspapers.
My dad was my hero. I loved him very much. He loved all of us too, including Gary. He was a great father.”[41]

Gary Crosby died in 1995 at the age of 62, and 69-year-old Phillip Crosby died in 2004.[42]

Lindsay and Dennis Crosby each committed suicide, shooting themselves with shotguns in 1989 and 1991, respectively. Nathaniel Crosby, Crosby’s youngest son from his second marriage, was a high-level golfer who won the U.S. Amateur at age 19 in 1981, at the time the youngest-ever winner of that event (a record later broken by Tiger Woods). Harry Crosby is an investment banker who occasionally makes singing appearances.

Widow Kathryn Crosby dabbled in local theater productions intermittently, and appeared in television tributes to her late husband. Denise Crosby, Dennis Crosby’s daughter, is also an actress and is known for her role as Tasha Yar on Star Trek: The Next Generation, and for the recurring role of the Romulan Sela (daughter of Tasha Yar) after her withdrawal from the series as a regular cast member. She also appeared in the film adaptation of Stephen King‘s novel Pet Sematary. In 2006, Crosby’s niece, Carolyn Schneider, published the laudatory book “Me and Uncle Bing.”

 Failing health and death

Crosby in 1977, by Allan Warren.

Following his recovery from a life-threatening fungal infection of his right lung in 1974, Crosby emerged from semi-retirement to produce multiple albums and concert tours. In March 1977, after videotaping a concert for CBS to commemorate his 50th anniversary in show business, Crosby backed off the stage and fell into an orchestra pit, rupturing a disc in his back and requiring a month in the hospital. His first performance after the accident was his last American concert, on August 16, 1977; when the power went out, he continued singing without amplification. In September, Crosby, his family, and singer Rosemary Clooney began a concert tour of England that included two weeks at the London Palladium. While in England, Crosby recorded his final album, Seasons, and his final TV Christmas special with guest David Bowie. His last concert was in The Brighton Centre four days before his death, with British entertainer Dame Gracie Fields in attendance. Crosby’s last photograph was taken with Fields.

At the conclusion of his work in England, Crosby flew alone to Spain to hunt and play golf. Shortly after 6 p.m. on October 14, Crosby died suddenly from a massive heart attack after a round of 18 holes of golf near Madrid where he and his Spanish golfing partner had just defeated their opponents. It is widely written that his last words were “That was a great game of golf, fellas.”[43] In Bob Hope’s Confessions of a Hooker: My Lifelong Love Affair With Golf, the comedian recounts hearing that Crosby had been advised by a physician in England to only play nine holes of golf due to his heart condition.


Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6769 Hollywood Blvd.

He is a member of the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in the radio division.[44]

The family launched an official website[45] on October 14, 2007, the 30th anniversary of Crosby’s death.

In his 1990 autobiography Don’t Shoot, It’s Only Me! Bob Hope wrote, “Dear old Bing. As we called him, the Economy-sized Sinatra. And what a voice. God I miss that voice. I can’t even turn on the radio around Christmastime without crying anymore.”[46]

Calypso musician Roaring Lion wrote a tribute song in 1939 entitled “Bing Crosby”, in which he wrote: “Bing has a way of singing with his very heart and soul / Which captivates the world / His millions of listeners never fail to rejoice / At his golden voice…”[47]


Crosby co-wrote lyrics to 15 songs. His composition “At Your Command” was no.1 for three weeks on the U.S. pop singles chart in 1931, beginning with the week of August 8, 1931. “I Don’t Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You” was his most successful composition, recorded by Duke Ellington, Linda Ronstadt, Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday, and Mildred Bailey, among others. The songs Crosby co-wrote are:

  1. “That’s Grandma” (1927), with Harry Barris and James Cavanaugh
  2. “From Monday On” (1928), with Harry Barris and recorded with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra featuring Bix Beiderbecke on cornet, no. 14 on US pop singles charts
  3. “What Price Lyrics?” (1928), with Harry Barris and Matty Malneck
  4. “At Your Command” (1931), with Harry Barris and Harry Tobias, US, no. 1 (3 weeks)
  5. “Where the Blue of the Night (Meets the Gold of the Day)” (1931), with Roy Turk and Fred Ahlert, US, no. 4; US, 1940 re-recording, no. 27
  6. I Don’t Stand a Ghost of a Chance with You” (1932), with Victor Young and Ned Washington, US, no. 5
  7. “My Woman” (1932), with Irving Wallman and Max Wartell
  8. “Love Me Tonight” (1932), with Victor Young and Ned Washington, US, no. 4
  9. “Waltzing in a Dream” (1932), with Victor Young and Ned Washington, US, no.6
  10. “I Would If I Could But I Can’t” (1933), with Mitchell Parish and Alan Grey
  11. “Where the Turf Meets the Surf” (1941)
  12. “Tenderfoot” (1953)
  13. “Domenica” (1961)
  14. “That’s What Life is All About” (1975), with Ken Barnes, Peter Dacre, and Les Reed, US, AC chart, no. 35; UK, no. 41
  15. “Sail Away to Norway” (1977)




  • The Radio Singers (1931, CBS), sponsored by Warner Brothers, 6 nights a week, 15 minutes.
  • The Cremo Singer (1931–1932, CBS), 6 nights a week, 15 minutes.
  • Unsponsored (1932, CBS), initially 3 nights a week, then twice a week, 15 minutes.
  • Chesterfield‘s Music that Satisfies (1933, CBS), broadcast two nights, 15 minutes.
  • Bing Crosby Entertains for Woodbury Soap (1933–1935, CBS), weekly, 30 minutes.
  • Kraft Music Hall (1935–1946, NBC), Thursday nights, 60 minutes until Jan. 1943, then 30 minutes.
  • Armed Forces Radio (1941–1945; World War II).
  • Philco Radio Time (1946–1949, ABC), 30 minutes weekly.
  • The Bing Crosby Chesterfield Show (1949–1952, CBS), 30 minutes weekly.
  • The Minute Maid Show (1949–1950, CBS), 15 minutes each weekday morning; Bing as disc jockey.
  • The General Electric Show (1952–1954, CBS), 30 minutes weekly.
  • The Bing Crosby Show (1954–1956, CBS), 15 minutes, 5 nights a week.
  • A Christmas Sing with Bing (1955–1962, CBS, VOA and AFRS), 1 hour each year, sponsored by the Insurance Company of North America.
  • The Ford Road Show (1957–1958, CBS), 5 minutes, 5 days a week.
  • The Bing Crosby – Rosemary Clooney Show (1958–1962, CBS), 20 minutes, 5 mornings a week, with Rosemary Clooney.

[edit] RIAA certification

Album RIAA[48]
Merry Christmas Gold
Bing sings 2x platinum
White Christmas 4x platinum

the end @ copyright Dr Iwan suwandy 2011

Sejarah Rekaman Musik Komposer Mus Mualim dengan Orkes ElShinta II Combo



                                                AT DR IWAN CYBERMUSEUM

                                          DI MUSEUM DUNIA MAYA DR IWAN S.




 *ill 001

                      *ill 001  LOGO MUSEUM DUNIA MAYA DR IWAN S.*ill 001

                                THE FIRST INDONESIAN CYBERMUSEUM



                                        PENDIRI DAN PENEMU IDE

                                                     THE FOUNDER

                                            Dr IWAN SUWANDY, MHA




                         WELCOME TO THE MAIN HALL OF FREEDOM               




              DMRC SHOWROOM 

Driwan Music Record Cybermuseum




 Sejarah rekaman Musik Indonesia  Mus Mualin dengan Orkes El Shinta II Combo

 Frame One :

The Mus Mualim with Elshinta Combo orchestra (Dr Iwan Collections, only one found,siapa yang memiliki piring hitam Mus Mualim lainnya harap bersedia ikut memamerkan koleksinya  di Driwancybermuseum -Dr Iwan S)

Dari Mas Yos, Lagu dalam tiga bahasa  Kasih Maaafkan Beta, my love forgive me and amore scusami



frame Two :

Mas Yos Bos Elshinta Inc History

Suyoso Karsono yang memimpin perusahaan rekaman Irama di Jakarta ternyata diam-diam tertarik pada Gumarang. Sebagai seorang pengusaha, orang yang dikenal dengan nama Mas Yos itu tahu bahwa irama yang dibawakan Gumarang bukan saja mampu menyajikan lagu-lagu Minang sesuai dengan aslinya, namun juga memiliki ramuan irama Latin yang amat disukai masyarakat.

Mas Yos memberikan bahan-bahannya dan saya tulis di berbagai surat kabar serta majalah Selecta dan Varia. Bahkan, harian Pedoman menulis Gumarang dalam tajuk rencananya.

Suryo Karsono alias Mas Yos adalah bos dari perusahan rekaman Elshinta.Bagaimanakah profile Mas Yos, mari kita lihat pada sampul piring hitam berjudul Dari Mas Yos Kasih Maafkan Beta ,berupa rekaman musik orkes eslhinta dbp Mus Mualim. dibawah ini :


 Frame Three :

The Mus Mualim with His Elshinta Combo Orchestra History

1.Pada pertengahan 1960, Titiek Puspa sempat menjadi penyanyi tetap pada Orkes Studio Jakarta. Saat itu Titiek Puspa banyak mendapat bimbingan dari Iskandar (pencipta lagu dan pemimpin orkes) dan Zainal Ardi (suaminya sendiri seorang announcer Radio Republik Indonesia Jakarta). Sebagai penyanyi yang mulai menanjak popularitasnya, Titiek belum menciptakan banyak lagu dalam albumnya, lagu-lagunya banyak diciptakan misalnya oleh Iskandar, Mus Mualim, ada juga Wedasmara.

2Mus Mualim dengan Orkes  Mus Mustapha

Album Si Hitam dari Titiek Puspa ini dirilis sekitar tahun 1963-1964, tatkala negara Republik Indonesia sedang berkonfrontasi dengan negara tetangga. Dalam album ini penyanyi legendaris Minah Gadis Dusun atau Kupu-Kupu Malam,  diiringi oleh Orkes Mus Mustafa dbp Mus Mualim.

  1. Si Hitam
  2. Aku Dan ASmara
  3. Bertemu Seorang ABRI
  4. Namamu Selalu
  5. Bersampan
  6. Bila Penen Tiba
  7. Jumpa Dan Jumpa Lagi
  8. Senyum Dan Senyum Lagi
  9. Sungaiku
  10. Tinggalkan
  11. Berkawan
  12. Sekian


Beautiful very rare album from MUS MUALIM and his ORKES MUS MUSTAFA… Ripped at 320kbps

3..Mus Mualim – Swing Jazz Dixie Pop

Judul Album : Swing Jazz Dixie Pop
Penyanyi : Various Artists
Tahun Produksi : 1982
Produser : Mus Mualim
Produksi : DD Records
MUS MUALIM adalah salahsatu musisi handal yang pernah dimiliki Indonesia. Namanya lekat dengan jenis musik Jazz dan teman-temannya seperti swing dan dixie. Tidak heran, ketika diminta untuk membuat kompilasi lagu-lagu pop yang sedang dan pernah hits, maka lagu-lagu pop mainstream pun diaransemen ulang dalam irama pop jazz, pop swing dan pop dixie. Andalan album ini adalah lagu CINTAKU TAK DAPAT DIBELI yang aslinya dibawakan oleh HERLIN WIDHASWARA, diaransemen oleh Mus dengan irama pop swing yang segar dan dibawakan oleh LOUISE HUTAURUK. Lagu-lagu lainnya antara lain HATI SEORANG KAWAN BARU yang sangat bagus dibawakan duet EUIS DARLIAH dan NOLA TILAAR, juga BUKIT BERBUNGA, HATI SELEMBUT SALJU dan BILA KAU SEORANG DIRI. Ada lagu kuat dari MAWI PURBA berjudul KAU KUCINTA, lagu ini terasa paling ‘pas’, barangkali karena ciptaan Titiek Puspa yang sudah sangat dikenal Mus Mualim. Memang tidak semua lagu enak diaransemen dalam irama seperti ini, tapi setidaknya ada upaya untuk tidak sekedar membuat cover version dari lagu yang sedang hits.
Track List
Hengky Firmansyah
Louise Hutauruk
A. Riyanto
Euis Darliah & Nola Tilaar
Yonas Pareira
Jayanthie Mandasari
Rinto Harahap
Nola Tilaar
Titiek Puspa
Mawi Purba
Mus Mualim
Rozali & Euis Darliah
Harry Toos
Euis Darliah
Rinto Harahap
Mawi Purba
Rinto Harahap
Helly Gaos
Kini kukatakan padamu lagi
Walau engkau telah mengerti
Hangatnya cintaku ini
Sepanas cemburu dihati

Jangan kau padamkan api cinta ini
Karena engkau salah mengerti
Kau duga cintaku ini
Dapat dibeli dengan emas murni

Sayang, kukatakan padamu lagi
Cintaku tak dapat dibeli
Walaupun aku harus mati

Sayang, cintaku tak dapat dibeli
Kutahu engkau telah mengerti
Walau apapun yang terjadi

the end @ Copyright Dr Iwan suwandy 2011

The Greece Music Record History(Rekaman Musik Junani)



                                                AT DR IWAN CYBERMUSEUM

                                          DI MUSEUM DUNIA MAYA DR IWAN S.




 *ill 001

                      *ill 001  LOGO MUSEUM DUNIA MAYA DR IWAN S.*ill 001

                                THE FIRST INDONESIAN CYBERMUSEUM



                                        PENDIRI DAN PENEMU IDE

                                                     THE FOUNDER

                                            Dr IWAN SUWANDY, MHA




                         WELCOME TO THE MAIN HALL OF FREEDOM               


                     Please Enter


              DMRC SHOWROOM

(Driwan Music Record Cybermuseum)



The Greece Music record History(Sejarah rekaman Musik Junani  ),

Frame One :

The Greece Music Record Found In Indonesia

1.  Before WWII

2.After WW II

1) Maria Callas

Maria Callas

Maria Callas

Maria Callas (Greek: Μαρία Κάλλας) (December 2, 1923 – September 16, 1977) was an American-born Greek soprano and one of the most renowned opera singers of the 20th century. She combined an impressive bel canto technique, a wide-ranging voice, and great dramatic gifts. An extremely versatile singer, her repertoire ranged from classical opera seria to the bel canto operas of Donizetti, Bellini and Rossini; further, to the works of Verdi and Puccini; and, in her early career, to the music dramas of Wagner. Her remarkable musical and dramatic talents led to her being hailed as La Divina.

Born in New York City and raised by an overbearing mother, she received her musical education in Greece and established her career in Italy. Forced to deal with the exigencies of wartime poverty and with myopia that left her nearly blind on stage, she endured struggles and scandal over the course of her career. She turned herself from a heavy woman into a svelte and glamorous one after a mid-career weight loss, which might have contributed to her vocal decline and the premature end of her career. The press exulted in publicizing Callas’s allegedly temperamental behavior, her supposed rivalry with Renata Tebaldi, and her love affair with Aristotle Onassis. Her dramatic life and personal tragedy have often overshadowed Callas the artist in the popular press. However, her artistic achievements were such that Leonard Bernstein called her “The Bible of opera”,[1] and her influence so enduring that, in 2006, Opera News wrote of her: “Nearly thirty years after her death, she’s still the definition of the diva as artist—and still one of classical music’s best-selling vocalists.”[2]




Early life

The apartment house in Athens where Callas lived 1937-45

Family life, childhood and move to Greece

According to her birth certificate, Maria Callas was born Sophia Cecelia Kalos[3] at Flower Hospital (now the Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center), at 1249 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, on December 2, 1923[4] to Greek parents George Kalogeropoulos and Evangelia “Litsa” (sometimes “Litza”) Dimitriadou, though she was christened Anna Maria Sofia Cecilia Kalogeropoulou – the genitive of the patronymic Kalogeropoulos – (Greek: Μαρία Άννα Σοφία Καικιλία Καλογεροπούλου). Callas’s father had shortened the surname Kalogeropoulos first to “Kalos” and subsequently to “Callas” in order to make it more manageable.[3]

George and Evangelia were an ill-matched couple from the beginning; he was easy-going and unambitious, with no interest in the arts, while his wife was vivacious, socially ambitious, and had held dreams of a life in the arts for herself.[3] The situation was aggravated by George’s philandering and was improved neither by the birth of a daughter named Yakinthi (later called Jackie) in 1917 nor the birth of a son named Vassilis in 1920. Vassilis’s death from meningitis in the summer of 1922 dealt another blow to the marriage. In 1923, after realizing that Evangelia was pregnant again, George made the unilateral decision to move his family to America, a decision which Yakinthi recalled was greeted with Evangelia “shouting hysterically” followed by George “slamming doors”.[3] The family left for America in July 1923 and settled in the Astoria neighborhood in the borough of Queens.

Evangelia was convinced that her third child would be a boy; her disappointment at the birth of another daughter was so great that she refused to even look at her new baby for four days.[3] Around age three, Maria’s musical talents began to manifest themselves, and after Evangelia discovered that her youngest daughter also had a voice, she began pressuring “Mary” to sing. Callas would later recall, “I was made to sing when I was only five, and I hated it.”[3] George was unhappy with his wife favoring their elder daughter as well as the pressure put upon young Mary to sing and perform.[5] The marriage continued to deteriorate and in 1937 Evangelia decided to return to Athens with her two daughters.[3]

Deteriorating relationship with mother

Callas’s relationship with Evangelia continued to erode during the years in Greece, and in the prime of her career, it became a matter of great public interest, especially after a 1956 cover story in Time magazine which focused on this relationship and later, by Evangelia’s book My Daughter – Maria Callas. In public, Callas blamed the strained relationship with Evangelia on her unhappy childhood spent singing and working at her mother’s insistence, saying,

My sister was slim and beautiful and friendly, and my mother always preferred her. I was the ugly duckling, fat and clumsy and unpopular. It is a cruel thing to make a child feel ugly and unwanted… I’ll never forgive her for taking my childhood away. During all the years I should have been playing and growing up, I was singing or making money. Everything I did for them was mostly good and everything they did to me was mostly bad.[6]

In 1957, she told Norman Ross, “Children should have a wonderful childhood. I have not had it – I wish I had.”[7] On the other hand, biographer Pestalis-Diomidis asserts that it was actually Evangelia’s hateful treatment of George in front of their young children which led to resentment and dislike on Callas’s part.[3] However, according to Callas’ husband and her close friend Giulietta Simionato, Callas related to them that her mother, who did not work, pressured her to “go out with various men”, mainly Italian and German soldiers, to bring home money and food during the Axis occupation of Greece during World War II. Simionato was convinced that Callas “managed to remain untouched”, but Callas never forgave Evangelia for what she perceived as a kind of prostitution forced on her by her mother.[3] In an attempt to patch things up with her mother, Callas took Evangelia along on her first visit to Mexico in 1950, but this only reawakened the old frictions and resentments, and after leaving Mexico, the two never met again.[8] After a series of angry and accusatory letters from Evangelia lambasting Callas’s father and husband, Callas ceased communication with her mother altogether.[8]


Callas received her musical education in Athens. Initially, her mother tried to enroll her at the prestigious Athens Conservatoire, without success. At the audition, her voice, still untrained, failed to impress, while the conservatoire’s director Filoktitis Oikonomidis refused to accept her without her satisfying the theoretic prerequisites (solfege). In the summer of 1937, her mother visited Maria Trivella at the younger Greek National Conservatoire, asking her to take Mary as a student for a modest fee. In 1957, Trivella recalled her impression of “Mary, a very plump young girl, wearing big glasses for her myopia”:

The tone of the voice was warm, lyrical, intense; it swirled and flared like a flame and filled the air with melodious reverberations like a carillon. It was by any standards an amazing phenomenon, or rather it was a great talent that needed control, technical training, and strict discipline in order to shine with all its brilliance.[3]

Trivella agreed to tutor Callas completely, waiving her tuition fees, but no sooner had Callas started her formal lessons and vocal exercises than Trivella began to feel that Mary was not a contralto, as she had been told, but a dramatic soprano. Subsequently, they began working on raising the tessitura of Mary’s voice and to lighten its timbre.[3] Trivella recalled Mary as “A model student. Fanatical, uncompromising, dedicated to her studies heart and soul. Her progress was phenomenal. She studied five or six hours a day. …Within six months, she was singing the most difficult arias in the international opera repertoire with the utmost musicality”.[3] On April 11, 1938, in her public debut, Callas ended the recital of Trivella’s class at the Parnassos music hall with a duet from Tosca.[3] Callas recalled that Trivella “had a French method, which was placing the voice in the nose, rather nasal… and I had the problem of not having low chest tones, which is essential in bel canto… And that’s where I learned my chest tones.”[9] However, when interviewed by Pierre Desgraupes on the French program L’Invitee Du Dimanche, Callas attributed the development of her chest voice not to Trivella, but to her next teacher, the well-known Spanish coloratura soprano Elvira de Hidalgo.[10]

Callas studied with Trivella for two years before her mother secured another audition at the Athens Conservatoire with de Hidalgo. Callas auditioned with “Ocean, Thou Mighty Monster.” De Hidalgo recalled hearing “tempestuous, extravagant cascades of sounds, as yet uncontrolled but full of drama and emotion”.[3] She agreed to take her as a pupil immediately, but Callas’s mother asked de Hidalgo to wait for a year, as Callas would be graduating from the National Conservatoire and could begin working. On April 2, 1939, Callas undertook the part of Santuzza in a student production of Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana at the Olympia Theater, and in the fall of the same year she enrolled at the Athens Conservatoire in Elvira de Hidalgo’s class.[3]

In 1968, Callas told Lord Harewood,

De Hildalgo had the real great training, maybe even the last real training of the real bel canto. As a young girl—thirteen years old—I was immediately thrown into her arms, meaning that I learned the secrets, the ways of this bel canto, which of course as you well know, is not just beautiful singing. It is a very hard training; it is a sort of a straight-jacket that you’re supposed to put on, whether you like it or not. You have to learn to read, to write, to form your sentences, how far you can go, fall, hurt yourself, put yourself back on your feet continuously. De Hidalgo had one method, which was the real bel canto way, where no matter how heavy a voice, it should always be kept light, it should always be worked on in a flexible way, never to weigh it down. It is a method of keeping the voice light and flexible and pushing the instrument into a certain zone where it might not be too large in sound, but penetrating. And teaching the scales, trills, all the bel canto embellishments, which is a whole vast language of its own.[9]

De Hidalgo would later recall Callas as “a phenomenon… She would listen to all my students, sopranos, mezzos, tenors… She could do it all.”[11] Callas herself said that she would go to “the conservatoire at 10 in the morning and leave with the last pupil … devouring music” for 10 hours a day. When asked by her teacher why she did this, her answer was that even “with the least talented pupil, he can teach you something that you, the most talented, might not be able to do.”[12]

 Early operatic career in Greece

Maria Callas with her teacher

After several appearances as a student, Callas began appearing in secondary roles at the Greek National Opera. De Hidalgo was instrumental in securing roles for her, allowing Callas to earn a small salary, which would help her and her family get through the difficult war years.[3]

Callas made her professional debut in February 1942 in the small role of Beatrice in Franz von Suppé‘s Boccaccio.[3] Soprano Galatea Amaxopoulous, who sang in the chorus, later recalled, “Even in rehearsal, Mary’s fantastic performing ability had been obvious, and from then on, the others started trying to find ways of preventing her from appearing.”[3] Fellow singer Maria Alkeou similarly recalled that the established sopranos Nafiska Galanou and Anna (Zozó) Remmoundou “used to stand in the wings while Mary was singing and make remarks about her, muttering, laughing, and point their fingers at her”.[3] Despite these hostilities, Callas managed to continue and made her debut in a leading role in August 1942 as Tosca, going on to sing the role of Marta in Eugen d’Albert‘s Tiefland at the Olympia Theater. Callas’s performance as Marta received glowing reviews. Critic Spanoudi declared Callas “an extremely dynamic artist possessing the rarest dramatic and musical gifts”, and Vangelis Mangliveras evaluated Callas’s performance for the weekly To Radiophonon:

The singer who took the part of Marta, that new star in the Greek firmament, with a matchless depth of feeling, gave a theatrical interpretation well up to the standard of a tragic actress. About her exceptional voice with its astonishing natural fluency, I do not wish to add anything to the words of Alexandra Lalaouni: ‘Kaloyeropoulou is one of those God-given talents that one can only marvel at.’[3]

Following these performances, even Callas’s detractors began to refer to her as “The God-Given”.[3] Some time later, watching Callas rehearse Beethoven‘s Fidelio, rival soprano Remoundou asked a colleague, “Could it be that there is something divine and we haven’t realized it?”[3] Following Tiefland, Callas sang the role of Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana again and followed it with O Protomastoras at the ancient Odeon of Herodes Atticus theater at the foot of the Acropolis.

During August and September 1944, Callas performed the role of Leonore in a Greek language production of Fidelio, again at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.[3] German critic Friedrich Herzog, who witnessed the performances, declared Leonore Callas’s “greatest triumph”:[3]

When Maria Kaloyeropoulou’s Leonore let her soprano soar out radiantly in the untrammeled jubilation of the duet, she rose to the most sublime heights…. Here she gave bud, blossom, and fruit to that harmony of sound that also ennobled the art of the prima donne.[3]

After the liberation of Greece, de Hidalgo advised Callas to establish herself in Italy. Callas proceeded to give a series of concerts around Greece, and then, against her teacher’s advice, she returned to America to see her father and to further pursue her career. When she left Greece on September 14, 1945, two months short of her 22nd birthday, Callas had given 56 performances in seven operas and had appeared in around 20 recitals.[3] Callas considered her Greek career as the foundation of her musical and dramatic upbringing, saying, “When I got to the big career, there were no surprises for me.”[13]

[edit] Main operatic career

After returning to the United States and reuniting with her father in September 1945, Callas made the round of auditions.[3] In December of that year, she auditioned for Edward Johnson, general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, and was favorably received: “Exceptional voice—ought to be heard very soon on stage”.[3] Callas maintained that the Met offered her Madama Butterfly and Fidelio, to be performed in Philadelphia and sung in English, both of which she declined, feeling she was too fat for Butterfly and did not like the idea of opera in English.[13] Although no written evidence of this offer exists in the Met’s records,[8] in a 1958 interview with The New York Post, Johnson corroborated Callas’s story: “We offered her a contract, but she didn’t like it—because of the contract, not because of the roles. She was right in turning it down—it was frankly a beginner’s contract.”[3]

Italy, Meneghini, and Serafin

The Villa in Sirmione where Callas lived with Giovanni Battista Meneghini between 1950 and 1959.

In 1946, Callas was engaged to re-open the opera house in Chicago as Turandot, but the company folded before opening. Basso Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, who also was to star in this opera, was aware that Tullio Serafin was looking for a dramatic soprano to cast as La Gioconda at the Arena di Verona. He would later recall the young Callas as being “amazing—so strong physically and spiritually; so certain of her future. I knew in a big outdoor theater like Verona’s, this girl, with her courage and huge voice, would make a tremendous impact.”[14] Subsequently he recommended Callas to retired tenor and impresario Giovanni Zenatello. During her audition, Zenatello became so excited that he jumped up and joined Callas in the Act 4 duet.[5] It was in this role that Callas made her Italian debut.

Upon her arrival in Verona, Callas met Giovanni Battista Meneghini, an older, wealthy industrialist, who began courting her. They married in 1949, and he assumed control of her career until 1959, when the marriage dissolved. It was Meneghini’s love and support that gave Callas the time needed to establish herself in Italy,[14] and throughout the prime of her career, she went by the name Maria Meneghini Callas.

After La Gioconda, Callas had no further offers, and when Serafin, looking for someone to sing Isolde, called on her, she told him that she already knew the score, even though she had looked at only the first act out of curiosity while at the conservatory.[13] She sight-read the opera’s second act for Serafin, who praised her for knowing the role so well, whereupon she admitted to having bluffed and having sight-read the music.[13] Even more impressed, Serafin immediately cast her in the role.[13] Serafin thereafter served as Callas’s mentor and supporter.

According to Lord Harewood, “Very few Italian conductors have had a more distinguished career than Tullio Serafin, and perhaps none, apart from Toscanini, more influence”.[12] In 1968, Callas would recall that working with Serafin was the “really lucky” opportunity of her career, because “he taught me that there must be an expression; that there must be a justification. He taught me the depth of music, the justification of music. That’s where I really really drank all I could from this man”.[9]

 I puritani and path to bel canto

The great turning point in Callas’s career occurred in Venice in 1949.[15] She was engaged to sing the role of Brünnhilde in Die Walküre at the Teatro la Fenice, when Margherita Carosio, who was engaged to sing Elvira in I puritani in the same theater, fell ill. Unable to find a replacement for Carosio, Maestro Serafin told Callas that she would be singing Elvira in six days; when Callas protested that she not only did not know the role, but also had three more Brünnhildes to sing, he told her “I guarantee that you can.”[12] In Michael Scott‘s words, “the notion of any one singer embracing music as divergent in its vocal demands as Wagner’s Brünnhilde and Bellini’s Elvira in the same career would have been cause enough for surprise; but to attempt to essay them both in the same season seemed like folie de grandeur“.[8] Before the performance actually took place, one incredulous critic would snort, “We hear that Serafin has agreed to conduct I puritani with a dramatic soprano… When can we expect a new edition of La traviata with [baritone] Gino Bechi‘s Violetta?”[8] After the performance, critics would write, “Even the most skeptical had to acknowledge the miracle that Maria Callas accomplished… the flexibility of her limpid, beautifully poised voice, and her splendid high notes. Her interpretation also has a humanity, warmth, and expressiveness that one would search for in vain in the fragile, pellucid coldness of other Elviras.”[16] Franco Zeffirelli recalled, “What she did in Venice was really incredible. You need to be familiar with opera to realize the enormity of her achievement. It was as if someone asked Birgit Nilsson, who is famous for her great Wagnerian voice, to substitute overnight for Beverly Sills, who is one of the great coloratura sopranos of our time.”[11]

Scott asserts that “Of all the many roles Callas undertook it is doubtful if any had a more far-reaching effect.”[8] This initial foray into the bel canto repertoire changed the course of Callas’s career and set her on a path leading to Lucia di Lammermoor, La traviata, Armida, La sonnambula, Il pirata, Il turco in Italia, Medea, and Anna Bolena and reawakened interest in the long-neglected operas of Cherubini, Bellini, Donizetti, and Rossini.[11][14] In the words of soprano Montserrat Caballé,

She opened a new door for us, for all the singers in the world, a door that had been closed. Behind it was sleeping not only great music but great idea of interpretation. She has given us the chance, those who follow her, to do things that were hardly possible before her. That I am compared with Callas is something I never dared to dream. It is not right. I am much smaller than Callas.[14]

As with I puritani, Callas also learned and performed Cherubini’s Medea, Giordano‘s Andrea Chénier, and Rossini’s Armida on a few days’ notice.[14][17] Throughout her career, Callas displayed her vocal versatility in recitals that combined dramatic soprano arias alongside coloratura pieces, including in a 1952 RAI recital in which she opened with Lady Macbeth’s “letter scene“, followed by the “Mad Scene” from Lucia di Lammermoor, then by Abigaile’s treacherous recitative and aria from Nabucco, finishing with the “Bell Song” from Lakmé capped by a ringing high E in alt (E6).[17]

 Important debuts

Although by 1951, Callas had sung at all the major theaters in Italy, she had not yet made her official debut at Italy’s most prestigious opera house, Teatro alla Scala in Milan. According to composer Gian-Carlo Menotti, Callas had substituted for Renata Tebaldi in the role of Aida in 1950, and La Scala’s general manager, Antonio Ghiringhelli, had taken an immediate dislike to Callas.[11] Menotti recalls that Ghiringhelli had promised him any singer he wanted for the premier of The Consul, but when he suggested Callas, Ghiringhelli said that he would never have Callas at La Scala except as a guest artist. However, as Callas’s fame grew, and especially after her great success in I vespri siciliani in Florence, Ghiringhelli had to relent: Callas made her official debut at La Scala in Verdi‘s I vespri siciliani on opening night in December 1951, and this theater became her artistic home throughout the 1950s.[11] La Scala mounted many new productions specially for Callas by directors such as Herbert von Karajan, Margherita Wallmann, Franco Zeffirelli, and most importantly, Luchino Visconti.[14] Visconti stated later that he began directing opera only because of Callas,[18] and he directed her in lavish new productions of La vestale, La traviata, La sonnambula, Anna Bolena, and Iphigénie en Tauride. Callas was notably instrumental in arranging Franco Corelli‘s debut at La Scala in 1954, where he sang Licinio in Spontini‘s La vestale opposite Callas’s Julia. The two had sung together for the first time the year previously in Rome in a production of Norma. Anthony Tommasini wrote that Corelli had “earned great respect from the fearsomely demanding Callas, who in Mr. Corelli finally had someone with whom she could act.”[19] The two collaborated several more times at La Scala, singing opposite each other in productions of Fedora (1956), Il pirata (1958) and Poliuto (1960). Their partnership continued throughout the rest of Callas’s career.[20]

Callas made her American debut in Chicago in 1954, and “with the Callas Norma, Lyric Opera of Chicago was born.”[21] Her Metropolitan Opera debut, opening the Met’s seventy-second season on October 29, 1956 was again with Norma,[22] but was preceded with an unflattering cover story in Time magazine which rehashed all of the Callas clichés, including her temper, her supposed rivalry with Renata Tebaldi, and especially her difficult relationship with her mother.[5][15] As she had done with Lyric Opera of Chicago, on November 21, 1958, Callas gave a concert to inaugurate what then was billed as the Dallas Civic Opera, and helped establish that company with her friends from Chicago, Lawrence Kelly and Maestro Nicola Rescigno.[23] She further solidified this company’s standing when, in 1958, she gave “a towering performance as Violetta in La Traviata and that same year, in her only American performances of Medea, gave an interpretation of the title role worthy of Euripides.”[24]

In 1958 a feud with Rudolf Bing led to Callas’s Metropolitan Opera contract being cancelled. Impresario Allen Oxenburg realised that this situation provided him with an opportunity to hire Callas for his own company, the American Opera Society, and he accordingly approached Callas with a contract to perform Imogene in Il pirata. She accepted and sang the role in a January 1959 performance that according to opera critic Allan Kozinn “quickly became legendary in operatic circles”.[25] Bing and Callas later reconciled their differences and she returned to the house in 1965 to sing the title role in two performances as Tosca opposite Franco Corelli as Cavaradossi for one performance (March 19, 1965) and Richard Tucker (March 25, 1965) with Tito Gobbi as Scarpia for her final performances at the Met.

In 1952, she made her London debut at the Royal Opera House in Norma with veteran mezzo soprano Ebe Stignani as Adalgisa, a performance which survives on record and also features the young Joan Sutherland in the small role of Clotilde.[17] Callas and the London public had what she herself called “a love affair”,[5] and she returned to the Royal Opera House in 1953, 1957, 1958, 1959, and 1964 to 1965.[14] It was at the Royal Opera House where, on July 5, 1965, Callas ended her stage career in the role of Tosca, in a production designed and mounted for her by Franco Zeffirelli and featuring her friend and colleague Tito Gobbi.[14]

Weight loss

In the early years of her career, Callas was a heavy and full-figured woman; in her own words, ” Heavy—one can say—yes I was; but I’m also a tall woman, 5′ 8½”, and I used to weigh no more than 200 pounds.”[13] Tito Gobbi relates that during a lunch break while recording Lucia in Florence, Serafin commented to Callas that she was eating too much and allowing her weight to become a problem. When she protested that she wasn’t so heavy, Gobbi suggested she should “put the matter to test” by stepping on the weighing machine outside the restaurant. The result was “somewhat dismaying, and she became rather silent.”[26] In 1968, Callas told Edward Downes that during her initial performances in Cherubini‘s Medea in May 1953, she realized that she needed a leaner face and figure to do dramatic justice to this as well as the other roles she was undertaking. She adds,

I was getting so heavy that even my vocalizing was getting heavy. I was tiring myself, I was perspiring too much, and I was really working too hard. And I wasn’t really well, as in health; I couldn’t move freely. And then I was tired of playing a game, for instance playing this beautiful young woman, and I was heavy and uncomfortable to move around. In any case, it was uncomfortable and I didn’t like it. So I felt now if I’m going to do things right—I’ve studied all my life to put things right musically, so why don’t I diet and put myself into a certain condition where I’m presentable.[13]

During 1953 and early 1954, she lost almost 80 pounds (36 kg), turning herself into what Maestro Rescigno called “possibly the most beautiful lady on the stage”.[11] Sir Rudolf Bing, who remembered Callas as being “monstrously fat” in 1951, stated that after the weight loss, Callas was an “astonishing, svelte, striking woman” who “showed none of the signs one usually finds in a fat woman who has lost weight: she looked as though she had been born to that slender and graceful figure, and had always moved with that elegance.”[27] Various rumors spread regarding her weight loss method; one had her swallowing a tapeworm, while Rome’s Pantanella Mills pasta company claimed she lost weight by eating their “physiologic pasta”, prompting Callas to file a lawsuit.[8] Callas stated that she lost the weight by eating a sensible low-calorie diet of mainly salads and chicken.[13]

Some believe that the loss of body mass made it more difficult for her to support her voice, triggering the vocal strain that became apparent later in the decade (see vocal decline), while others believed the weight loss effected a newfound softness and femininity in her voice, as well as a greater confidence as a person and performer.[14] Tito Gobbi said, “Now she was not only supremely gifted both musically and dramatically—she was a beauty too. And her awareness of this invested with fresh magic every role she undertook. What it eventually did to her vocal and nervous stamina I am not prepared to say. I only assert that she blossomed into an artist unique in her generation and outstanding in the whole range of vocal history.”[26]


The Callas Sound

Callas’s voice was and remains controversial; it bothered and disturbed as many as it thrilled and inspired.[14][17] Walter Legge stated that Callas possessed that most essential ingredient for a great singer: an instantly recognizable voice.[28] During “The Callas Debate”, Italian critic Rodolfo Celletti stated, “The timbre of Callas’s voice, considered purely as sound, was essentially ugly: it was a thin sound, which gave the impression of dryness, of aridity. It lacked those elements which, in a singer’s jargon, are described as velvet and varnish… yet I really believe that part of her appeal was precisely due to this fact. Why? Because for all its natural lack of varnish, velvet and richness, this voice could acquire such distinctive colours and timbres as to be unforgettable.”[29] However, in his review of Callas’s 1951 live recording of I vespri siciliani, Ira Siff writes, “Accepted wisdom tells us that Callas possessed, even early on, a flawed voice, unattractive by conventional standards — an instrument that signaled from the beginning vocal problems to come. Yet listen to her entrance in this performance and one encounters a rich, spinning sound, ravishing by any standard, capable of delicate dynamic nuance. High notes are free of wobble, chest tones unforced, and the middle register displays none of the “bottled” quality that became more and more pronounced as Callas matured.”[30]

Nicola Rossi-Lemeni relates that Callas’s mentor Tullio Serafin used to refer to her as “Una grande vociaccia”; he continues, “Vociaccia is a little bit pejorative—it means an ugly voice—but grande means a big voice, a great voice. A great ugly voice, in a way.”[31] Callas herself did not like the sound of her own voice; in one of her last interviews, answering whether or not she was able to listen to her own voice, she replies,

Yes, but I don’t like it. I have to do it, but I don’t like it at all because I don’t like the kind of voice I have. I really hate listening to myself! The first time I listened to a recording of my singing was when we were recording San Giovanni Battista by Stradella in a church in Perugia in 1949. They made me listen to the tape and I cried my eyes out. I wanted to stop everything, to give up singing… Also now even though I don’t like my voice, I’ve become able to accept it and to be detached and objective about it so I can say, “Oh, that was really well sung,” or “It was nearly perfect.”[32]

Maestro Carlo Maria Giulini has described the appeal of Callas’s voice:

It is very difficult to speak of the voice of Callas. Her voice was a very special instrument. Something happens sometimes with string instruments—violin, viola, cello—where the first moment you listen to the sound of this instrument, the first feeling is a bit strange sometimes. But after just a few minutes, when you get used to, when you become friends with this kind of sound, then the sound becomes a magical quality. This was Callas.[11]

Vocal category

Callas’s voice has been difficult to place in the modern vocal classification or fach system, especially since in her prime, her repertoire contained the heaviest dramatic soprano roles as well as roles usually undertaken by the highest, lightest and most agile coloratura sopranos. Regarding this versatility, Maestro Tullio Serafin said, “This woman can sing anything written for the female voice”.[5] Michael Scott argues that Callas’s voice was a natural high soprano,[8] and going by evidence of Callas’s early recordings, Rosa Ponselle likewise felt that “At that stage of its development, her voice was a pure but sizable dramatic coloratura––that is to say, a sizable coloratura voice with dramatic capabilities, not the other way around.”[33] On the other hand, music critic John Ardoin has argued that Callas was the reincarnation of the nineteenth century soprano sfogato or “unlimited soprano”, a throwback to Maria Malibran and Giuditta Pasta, for whom many of the famous bel canto operas were written. He avers that like Pasta and Malibran, Callas was a natural mezzo-soprano whose range was extended through training and willpower, resulting in a voice which “lacked the homogeneous color and evenness of scale once so prized in singing. There were unruly sections of their voices never fully under control. Many who heard Pasta, for example, remarked that her uppermost notes seemed produced by ventriloquism, a charge which would later be made against Callas”.[14] Ardoin points to the writings of Henry Fothergill Chorley about Pasta which bear an uncanny resemblance to descriptions of Callas:

“There was a portion of the scale which differed from the rest in quality and remained to the last ‘under a veil.’ …out of these uncouth materials she had to compose her instrument and then to give it flexibility. Her studies to acquire execution must have been tremendous; but the volubility and brilliancy, when acquired, gained a character of their own… There were a breadth, an expressiveness in her roulades, an evenness and solidity in her shake, which imparted to every passage a significance totally beyond the reach of lighter and more spontaneous singers… The best of her audience were held in thrall, without being able to analyze what made up the spell, what produced the effect–as soon as she opened her lips”.[14]

Callas herself appears to have been in agreement not only with Ardoin’s assertions that she started as a natural mezzo-soprano, but also saw the similarities between herself and Pasta and Malibran. In 1957, she described her early voice as: “The timbre was dark, almost black—when I think of it, I think of thick molasses”, and in 1968 she added, “They say I was not a true soprano, I was rather toward a mezzo”.[3] Regarding her ability to sing the heaviest as well as the lightest roles, she told James Fleetwood,

“It’s study; it’s Nature. I’m doing nothing special, you know. Even Lucia, Anna Bolena, Puritani, all these operas were created for one type of soprano, the type that sang Norma, Fidelio, which was Malibran of course. And a funny coincidence last year, I was singing Anna Bolena and Sonnambula, same months and the same distance of time as Giuditta Pasta had sung in the Nineteenth Century… So I’m really not doing anything extraordinary. You wouldn’t ask a pianist not to be able to play everything; he has to. This is Nature and also because I had a wonderful teacher, the old kind of teaching methods… I was a very heavy voice, that is my nature, a dark voice shall we call it, and I was always kept on the light side. She always trained me to keep my voice limber”.[34]

Vocal size and range

Callas’s range in performance (highest and lowest notes both shown in red): from F-sharp below the Middle C (green) to E-natural above the High C (blue)

Regarding the sheer size of Callas’s instrument, Celletti says, “Her voice was penetrating. The volume as such was average: neither small nor powerful. But the penetration, allied to this incisive quality (which bordered on the ugly because it frequently contained an element of harshness) ensured that her voice could be clearly heard anywhere in the auditorium.”[29] However, after her first performance of Medea in 1953, the critic for Musical Courier would write, “she displayed a vocal generosity that was scarecely believable for its amplitude and resilience.”[16] In a 1982 Opera News interview with Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge, Bonynge stated, “But before she slimmed down, I mean this was such a colossal voice. It just poured out of her, the way Flagstad‘s did… Callas had a huge voice. When she and Stignani sang Norma, at the bottom of the range you could barely tell who was who… Oh it was colossal. And she took the big sound right up to the top.”[35] In his book, Michael Scott makes the distinction that whereas Callas’s pre-1954 voice was a “dramatic soprano with an exceptional top”, after the weight loss, it became, as one Chicago critic described the voice in Lucia,[16] a “huge soprano leggiero”.[8]

In performance, Callas’s range was just short of three octaves, from F-sharp (F♯3) below middle C (C4) heard in “Arrigo! Ah parli ad un core” from I vespri siciliani to E-natural (E6) above high C (C6), heard in the aria “Mercè, dilette amiche” in the final act of the same opera, as well as in Rossini‘s Armida and Lakmés Bell Song. Whether or not Callas ever sang a high F-natural in performance has been open to debate. After her June 11, 1951 concert in Florence, Rock Ferris of Musical Courier said, “Her high E’s and F’s are taken full voice.”[16] Although no definite recording of Callas singing high F’s have surfaced, the presumed E-natural at the end of Rossini’s Armida—a poor-quality bootleg recording of uncertain pitch—has been referred to as a high F by Italian musicologists and critics Eugenio Gara and Rodolfo Celletti.[29] Callas expert Dr. Robert Seletsky, however, stated that since the finale of Armida is in the key of E, the final note could not have been an F, as it would have been dissonant. Author Eve Ruggieri has referred to the penultimate note in “Mercè, dilette amiche” from the 1951 Florence performances of I vespri siciliani as a high F;[36] however, this claim is refuted by John Ardoin‘s review of the live recording of the performance as well as by the review of the recording in Opera News, both of which refer to the note as a high E-natural.[17][30] In a 1969 French television interview with Pierre Desgraupes on the program L’invitée du dimanche, maestro Francesco Siciliani speaks of Callas’s voice going to a high F, but within the same program, Callas’s teacher, Elvira de Hidalgo, speaks of the voice soaring to a high E-natural, but does not mention a high F; meanwhile, Callas herself remains silent on the subject, neither agreeing nor disagreeing with either claim.[10]

Vocal registers

Callas’s voice was noted for its three distinct registers: Her low or chest register was extremely dark and almost baritonal in power, and she used this part of her voice for dramatic effect, often going into this register much higher on the scale than most sopranos.[28][29] Her middle register had a peculiar and highly personal sound—”part oboe, part clarinet”, as Claudia Cassidy described it[14]—and was noted for its veiled or “bottled” sound, as if she were singing into a jug.[28] Walter Legge attributed this sound to the “extraordinary formation of her upper palate, shaped like a Gothic arch, not the Romanesque arch of the normal mouth”.[28] The upper register was ample and bright, with an impressive extension above high C, which—in contrast to the light flute-like sound of the typical coloratura, “she would attack these notes with more vehemence and power—quite differently therefore, from the very delicate, cautious, ‘white’ approach of the light sopranos.”[29] Legge adds, “Even in the most difficult fioriture there were no musical or technical difficulties in this part of the voice which she could not execute with astonishing, unostentatious ease. Her chromatic runs, particularly downwards, were beautifully smooth and staccatos almost unfailingly accurate, even in the trickiest intervals. There is hardly a bar in the whole range of nineteenth century music for high soprano that seriously tested her powers.”[28] And as she demonstrated in the finale of La sonnambula on the commercial EMI set and the live recording from Cologne, she was able to execute a diminuendo on the stratospheric high E-flat, which Scott describes as “a feat unrivaled in the history of the gramophone.”[8]

Regarding Callas’s soft singing, Celletti says, “In these soft passages, Callas seemed to use another voice altogether, because it acquired a great sweetness. Whether in her florid singing or in her canto spianato, that is, in long held notes without ornamentation, her mezza-voce could achieve such moving sweetness that the sound seemed to come from on high. . . I don’t know, it seemed to come from the skylight of La Scala.”[29]

This combination of size, weight, range and agility was a source of amazement to Callas’s own contemporaries. One of the choristers present at her La Scala debut in I vespri siciliani recalled, “My God! She came on stage sounding like our deepest contralto, Cloe Elmo. And before the evening was over, she took a high E-flat. And it was twice as strong as Toti Dal Monte‘s!”[14] In the same vein, mezzo-soprano Giulietta Simionato said: “The first time we sang together was in Mexico in 1950, where she sang the top E-flat in the second-act finale of Aida. I can still remember the effect of that note in the opera house—it was like a star!”[37] For Italian soprano Renata Tebaldi, “the most fantastic thing was the possibility for her to sing the soprano coloratura with this big voice! This was something really special. Fantastic absolutely!”[11]

Callas’s vocal registers, however, were not seamlessly joined; Walter Legge writes, “Unfortunately, it was only in quick music, particularly descending scales, that she completely mastered the art of joining the three almost incompatible voices into one unified whole, but until about 1960, she disguised those audible gear changes with cunning skill.”[28] Rodolfo Celletti states,

In certain areas of her range her voice also possessed a guttural quality. This would occur in the most delicate and troublesome areas of a soprano’s voice—for instance where the lower and middle registers merge, between G and A. I would go so far as to say that here her voice had such resonances as to make one think at times of a ventriloquist. . .or else the voice could sound as though it were resonating in a rubber tube. There was another troublesome spot. . . between the middle and upper registers. Here, too, around the treble F and G, there was often something in the sound itself which was not quite right, as though the voice were not functioning properly.[29]

As to whether these troublesome spots were due to the nature of the voice itself or to technical deficiencies, Celletti says: “Even if, when passing from one register to another, Callas produced an unpleasant sound, the technique she used for these transitions was perfect.”[29] Musicologist and critic Fedele D’Amico adds, “Callas’s ‘faults’ were in the voice and not in the singer; they are so to speak, faults of departure but not of arrival. This is precisely Celletti’s distinction between the natural quality of the voice and the technique.”[29] In 2005, Ewa Podles said of Callas, “Maybe she had three voices, maybe she had three ranges, I don’t know — I am professional singer. Nothing disturbed me, nothing! I bought everything that she offered me. Why? Because all of her voices, her registers, she used how they should be used — just to tell us something!”[38]

Eugenio Gara states, “Much has been said about her voice, and no doubt the discussion will continue. Certainly no one could in honesty deny the harsh or “squashed” sounds, nor the wobble on the very high notes. These and others were precisely the accusations made at the time against Pasta and Malibran, two geniuses of song (as they were then called), sublime, yet imperfect. Both were brought to trial in their day. . . Yet few singers have made history in the annals of opera as these two did.”[29]


Callas’s own thoughts regarding music and singing can be found at Wikiquote.

 The musician

Though adored by many opera enthusiasts, Callas was a controversial artist. While Callas was the great singer often dismissed simply as an actress[39] she considered herself first and foremost “a musician, that is, the first instrument of the orchestra.”[9] Grace Bumbry states, “If I followed the musical score when she was singing, I would see every tempo marking, every dynamic marking, everything being adhered to, and at the same time, it was not antiseptic; it was something that was very beautiful and moving.” [40] Maestro Victor de Sabata confided to Walter Legge, “If the public could understand, as we do, how deeply and utterly musical Callas is, they would be stunned”,[28] and Maestro Tullio Serafin assessed Callas’s musicality as “extraordinary, almost frightening.”[41] Callas possessed an innate architectural sense of line-proportion[14] and an uncanny feel for timing and for what one of her colleagues described as “a sense of the rhythm within the rhythm”.[3]

Regarding Callas’s technical prowess, Celletti says, “We must not forget that she could tackle the whole gamut of ornamentation: staccato, trills, half-trills, gruppetti, scales, etc.”[29] D’Amico adds, “The essential virtue of Callas’s technique consists of supreme mastery of an extraordinarily rich range of tone colour (that is, the fusion of dynamic range and timbre). And such mastery means total freedom of choice in its use: not being a slave to one’s abilities, but rather, being able to use them at will as a means to an end.”[29] While reviewing the many recorded versions of “perhaps Verdi’s ultimate challenge”, the aria “D’amor sull’ali rosee” from Il Trovatore, Richard Dyer writes,

“Callas articulates all of the trills, and she binds them into the line more expressively than anyone else; they are not an ornament but a form of intensification. Part of the wonder in this performance is the chiaroscuro through her tone — the other side of not singing full-out all the way through. One of the vocal devices that create that chiaroscuro is a varying rate of vibrato; another is her portamento, the way she connects the voice from note to note, phrase to phrase, lifting and gliding. This is never a sloppy swoop, because its intention is as musically precise as it is in great string playing. In this aria, Callas uses more portamento, and in greater variety, than any other singer. . . Callas is not creating “effects”, as even her greatest rivals do. She sees the aria as a whole, “as if in an aerial view”, as Sviatoslav Richter‘s teacher observed of his most famous pupil; simultaneously, she is on earth, standing in the courtyard of the palace of Aliaferia, floating her voice to the tower where her lover lies imprisoned.”[42]

In addition to her musical skills, Callas had a particular gift for language and the use of language in music.[28] In recitatives, she always knew which word to emphasize and which syllable in that word to bring out.[14] Michael Scott notes, “If we listen attentively, we note how her perfect legato enables her to suggest by musical means even the exclamation marks and commas of the text.”[8] Technically, not only did she have the capacity to perform the most difficult florid music effortlessly, but also she had the ability to use each ornament as an expressive device rather than for mere fireworks.[38] Soprano Martina Arroyo states, “What interested me most was how she gave the runs and the cadenzas words. That always floored me. I always felt I heard her saying something – it was never just singing notes. That alone is an art.”[38] Walter Legge states that,

Most admirable of all her qualities, however, were her taste, elegance and deeply musical use of ornamentation in all its forms and complications, the weighting and length of every appoggiatura, the smooth incorporation of the turn in melodic lines, the accuracy and pacing of her trills, the seemingly inevitable timing of her portamentos, varying their curve with enchanting grace and meaning. There were innumerable exquisite felicities – minuscule portamentos from one note to its nearest neighbor, or over widespread intervals – and changes of color that were pure magic. In these aspects of bel canto she was supreme mistress of that art.[28]

 The actress

Regarding Callas’s acting ability, vocal coach Ira Siff remarked, “When I saw the final two Toscas she did in the old [Met], I felt like I was watching the actual story on which the opera had later been based.”[43] Callas was not, however, a realistic or verismo style actress:[8] her physical acting was merely “subsidiary to the heavy Kunst of developing the psychology of the roles under the supervision of the music, of singing the acting… Suffering, delight, humility, hubris, despair, rhapsody—all this was musically appointed, through her use of the voice flying the text upon the notes.”[39] Seconding this opinion, verismo specialist soprano Augusta Oltrabella said, “Despite what everyone says, [Callas] was an actress in the expression of the music, and not vice versa.”[44][45] Mathew Gurewitsch adds,

In fact the essence of her art was refinement. The term seems odd for a performer whose imagination and means of expression were so prodigious. She was eminently capable of the grand gesture; still, judging strictly from the evidence of her recordings, we know (and her few existing film clips confirm) that her power flowed not from excess but from unbroken concentration, unfaltering truth in the moment. It flowed also from irreproachable musicianship. People say that Callas would not hesitate to distort a vocal line for dramatic effect. In the throes of operatic passion plenty of singers snarl, growl, whine, and shriek. Callas was not one of them. She found all she needed in the notes.[46]

Ewa Podles likewise stated that “It’s enough to hear her, I’m positive! Because she could say everything only with her voice! I can imagine everything, I can see everything in front of my eye.”[38] Opera director Sandro Sequi, who witnessed many Callas performances close-up, states, “For me, she was extremely stylized and classic, yet at the same time, human—but humanity on a higher plane of existence, almost sublime. Realism was foreign to her, and that is why she was the greatest of opera singers. After all, opera is the least realistic of theater forms… She was wasted in verismo roles, even Tosca, no matter how brilliantly she could act such roles.”[14] Scott adds, “Early nineteenth-century opera… is not merely the antithesis of reality, it also requires highly stylized acting. Callas had the perfect face for it. Her big features matched its grandiloquence and spoke volumes from a distance.”[8]

In regard to Callas’s physical acting style, Nicola Rescigno states, “Maria had a way of even transforming her body for the exigencies of a role, which is a great triumph. In La traviata, everything would slope down; everything indicated sickness, fatigue, softness. Her arms would move as if they had no bones, like the great ballerinas. In Medea, everything was angular. She’d never make a soft gesture; even the walk she used was like a tiger’s walk.”[47] Sandro Sequi recalls, “She was never in a hurry. Everything was very paced, proportioned, classical, precise… She was extremely powerful but extremely stylized. Her gestures were not many… I don’t think she did more than 20 gestures in a performance. But she was capable of standing 10 minutes without moving a hand or finger, compelling everyone to look at her.”[14] Edward Downes recalled Callas watching and observing her colleagues with such intensity and concentration as to make it seem that the drama was all unfolding in her head.[13] Sir Rudolf Bing similarly recalled that in Il trovatore in Chicago, “it was Callas’ quiet listening, rather than Björling‘s singing that made the dramatic impact… He didn’t know what he was singing, but she knew.”[27]

Callas herself stated that, in Opera, Acting must be based on the Music, quoting Maestro Tullio Serafin‘s advice to her:

“When one wants to find a gesture, when you want to find how to act onstage, all you have to do is listen to the music. The composer has already seen to that. If you take the trouble to really listen with your Soul and with your Ears – and I say ‘Soul’ and ‘Ears’ because the Mind must work, but not too much also – you will find every gesture there.”[12]

 The artist

Callas’s most distinguishing quality was her ability to breathe life into the characters she portrayed,[14] or in the words of Matthew Gurewitsch, “Most mysterious among her many gifts, Callas had the genius to translate the minute particulars of a life into tone of voice.”[46] Italian critic Eugenio Gara adds:

Her secret is in her ability to transfer to the musical plane the suffering of the character she plays, the nostalgic longing for lost happiness, the anxious fluctuation between hope and despair, between pride and supplication, between irony and generosity, which in the end dissolve into a superhuman inner pain. The most diverse and opposite of sentiments, cruel deceptions, ambitious desires, burning tenderness, grievous sacrifices, all the torments of the heart, acquire in her singing that mysterious truth, I would like to say, that psychological sonority, which is the primary attraction of opera.[29]

Ethan Mordden writes, “It was a flawed voice. But then Callas sought to capture in her singing not just beauty but a whole humanity, and within her system, the flaws feed the feeling, the sour plangency and the strident defiance becoming aspects of the canto. They were literally defects of her voice; she bent them into advantages of her singing.”[39] Maestro Giulini believes, “If melodrama is the ideal unity of the trilogy of words, music, and action, it is impossible to imagine an artist in whom these three elements were more together than Callas.”[8] He recalls that during Callas’s performances of La traviata, “reality was onstage. What stood behind me, the audience, auditorium, La Scala itself, seemed artifice. Only that which transpired on stage was truth, life itself.”[14] Sir Rudolf Bing expressed similar sentiments:

Once one heard and saw Maria Callas—one can’t really distinguish it—in a part, it was very hard to enjoy any other artist, no matter how great, afterwards, because she imbued every part she sang and acted with such incredible personality and life. One move of her hand was more than another artist could do in a whole act.[11]

To Maestro Antonino Votto, Callas was

The last great artist. When you think this woman was nearly blind, and often sang standing a good 150 feet from the podium. But her sensitivity! Even if she could not see, she sensed the music and always came in exactly with my downbeat. When we rehearsed, she was so precise, already note-perfect… She was not just a singer, but a complete artist. It’s foolish to discuss her as a voice. She must be viewed totally—as a complex of music, drama, movement. There is no one like her today. She was an esthetic phenomenon.[14]

Callas-Tebaldi controversy

During the early 1950s, controversy arose regarding a supposed rivalry between Callas and Renata Tebaldi, an Italian lyrico spinto soprano renowned for the ravishing beauty of her voice.[14] The contrast between Callas’s often unconventional vocal qualities and Tebaldi’s classically beautiful sound resurrected an argument as old as opera itself, namely, beauty of sound versus the expressive use of sound.[14][29]

This “rivalry” reached a fever pitch in the mid-1950s, at times even engulfing the two women themselves, who were said by their more fanatical followers to have engaged in verbal barbs in each other’s direction. Tebaldi was quoted as saying, “I have one thing that Callas doesn’t have: a heart”[5] while Callas was quoted in Time magazine as saying that comparing her with Tebaldi was like “comparing champagne with cognac. No, with Coca Cola.”[48] However, witnesses to the interview stated that Callas only said “champagne with cognac”, and it was a bystander who quipped, “No, with Coca-Cola”, but the Time reporter attributed the latter comment to Callas.[5]

According to John Ardoin, however, these two singers should never have been compared.[14] Tebaldi was trained by Carmen Melis, a noted verismo specialist, and she was rooted in the early 20th century Italian school of singing just as firmly as Callas was rooted in 19th century bel canto.[14] Callas was a dramatic soprano, whereas Tebaldi considered herself essentially a lyric soprano. Callas and Tebaldi generally sang a different repertoire: in the early years of her career, Callas concentrated on the heavy dramatic soprano roles and later in her career on the bel canto repertoire, whereas Tebaldi concentrated on late Verdi and verismo roles, where her limited upper extension[29] and her lack of a florid technique were not issues.[14] They shared a few roles, including Tosca in Puccini’s opera and La Gioconda, which Tebaldi performed only late in her career.

The alleged rivalry aside, Callas made remarks appreciative of Tebaldi, and vice versa. During an interview with Norman Ross in Chicago, Callas said, “I admire Tebaldi’s tone; it’s beautiful—also some beautiful phrasing. Sometimes, I actually wish I had her voice.” Francis Robinson of the Met wrote of an incident in which Tebaldi asked him to recommend a recording of La Gioconda in order to help her learn the role. Being fully aware of the alleged rivalry, he recommended Zinka Milanov‘s version. A few days later, he went to visit Tebaldi, only to find her sitting by the speakers, listening intently to Callas’s recording. She then looked up at him and asked, “Why didn’t you tell me Maria’s was the best?”[49]

Callas visited Tebaldi after a performance of Adriana Lecouvreur at the Met in the late 1960s, and the two were reunited. In 1978, Tebaldi spoke warmly of her late colleague and summarized this rivalry:

This rivality was really building from the people of the newspapers and the fans. But I think it was very good for both of us, because the publicity was so big and it created a very big interest about me and Maria and was very good in the end. But I don’t know why they put this kind of rivality, because the voice was very different. She was really something unusual. And I remember that I was very young artist too, and I stayed near the radio every time that I know that there was something on radio by Maria.[11]

Vocal decline

Several singers have opined that the heavy roles undertaken in her early years damaged Callas’s voice.[44] The mezzo-soprano Giulietta Simionato, Callas’s close friend and frequent colleague, stated that she told Callas that she felt that the early heavy roles led to a weakness in the diaphragm and subsequent difficulty in controlling the upper register.[50]

Louise Caselotti, who worked with Callas in 1946 and 1947, prior to her Italian debut, felt that it was not the heavy roles that hurt Callas’s voice, but the lighter ones.[3] Several singers have suggested that the heavy use of Callas’s chest voice led to stridency and unsteadiness with the high notes.[44] In his book, Callas’s husband Meneghini wrote that Callas suffered an unusually early onset of menopause, which could have affected her voice. Soprano Carol Neblett once said, “A woman sings with her ovaries – you’re only as good as your hormones.”[39]

Critic Henry Pleasants has stated that it was a loss of physical strength and breath-support that led to Callas’s vocal problems, saying,

Singing, and especially opera singing, requires physical strength. Without it, the singer’s respiratory functions can no longer support the steady emissions of breath essential to sustaining the production of focused tone. The breath escapes, but it is no longer the power behind the tone, or is only partially and intermittently . The result is a breathy sound—tolerable but hardly beautiful—when the singer sings lightly, and a voice spread and squally when under pressure.[51]

In the same vein, Joan Sutherland, who heard Callas throughout the 1950s, said in a BBC interview,

[Hearing Callas in Norma in 1952] was a shock, a wonderful shock. You just got shivers up and down the spine. It was a bigger sound in those earlier performances, before she lost weight. I think she tried very hard to recreate the sort of “fatness” of the sound which she had when she was as fat as she was. But when she lost the weight, she couldn’t seem to sustain the great sound that she had made, and the body seemed to be too frail to support that sound that she was making. Oh, but it was oh so exciting. It was thrilling. I don’t think that anyone who heard Callas after 1955 really heard the Callas voice.[52]

Michael Scott has proposed that Callas’s loss of strength and breath support was directly caused by her rapid and progressive weight-loss,[8] something that was noted even in her prime. Of her 1958 recital in Chicago, Robert Detmer would write, “There were sounds fearfully uncontrolled, forced beyond the too-slim singer’s present capacity to support or sustain.”[16]

Photos and videos of Callas during her heavy era show a very upright posture with the shoulders relaxed and held back. On all videos of Callas from the period after her weight loss, “we watch… the constantly sinking, depressed chest and hear the resulting deterioration”.[53] This continual change in posture has been cited as visual proof of a progressive loss of breath support.[8][38]

Commercial and bootleg recordings of Callas from the late 1940s to 1953—the period during which she sang the heaviest dramatic soprano roles—show no decline in the fabric of the voice, no loss in volume and no unsteadiness or shrinkage in the upper register.[17] Of her December 1952 Lady Macbeth—coming after five years of singing the most strenuous dramatic soprano repertoire—Peter Dragadze would write for Opera, “Callas’s voice since last season has improved a great deal, the second passagio on the high B-Natural and C has now completely cleared, giving her an equally colored scale from top to bottom.”[14] And of her performance of Medea a year later, John Ardoin writes, “The performance displays Callas in as secure and free a voice as she will be found at any point in her career. The many top B’s have a brilliant ring, and she handles the treacherous tessitura like an eager thoroughbred.”[17]

In recordings from 1954 (immediately after her 80-pound weight loss) and thereafter, “not only would the instrument lose its warmth and become thin and acidulous, but the altitudinous passages would to her no longer come easily.”[8] It is also at this time that unsteady top notes first begin to appear.[17] Walter Legge, who produced nearly all of Callas’s EMI/Angel recordings, states that Callas “ran into a patch of vocal difficulties as early as 1954″: during the recording of La forza del destino, done immediately after the weight loss, the “wobble had become so pronounced” that he told Callas they “would have to give away seasickness pills with every side”.[28] When asked whether he felt the weight loss affected Callas’s voice, Richard Bonynge stated, “I don’t feel it, I know it did. I heard her Norma in 1953, before she lost all that weight, and then again afterward, and the difference was incredible. Even more incredible was that the critics didn’t write about it. When Callas was at her best vocally, she was fat, but she got only a quarter of the recognition that she got after she had become thin and was a great star.” [54]

There were others, however, who felt that the voice had benefitted from the weight loss. Of her performance of Norma in Chicago in 1954, Claudia Cassidy would write, “there is a slight unsteadiness in some of the sustained upper notes. but to me her voice is more beautiful in color, more even through the range, than it used to be”.[16] And at her performance of the same opera in London in 1957 (her first performance at Covent Garden after the weight loss), critics again felt her voice had changed for the better, that it had now supposedly become a more precise instrument, with a new focus.[16] Many of her most critically acclaimed appearances are from the period 1954–1958 (Norma, La Traviata, Sonnambula and Lucia of 1955, Anna Bolena of 1957, Medea of 1958, to name a few).

Callas’s close friend and colleague Tito Gobbi thought that her vocal problems all stemmed from her state of mind:

I don’t think anything happened to her voice. I think she only lost confidence. She was at the top of a career that a human being could desire, and she felt enormous responsibility. She was obliged to give her best every night, and maybe she felt she wasn’t [able] any more, and she lost confidence. I think this was the beginning of the end of this career.[11]

In support of Gobbi’s assertion, a bootleg recording of Callas rehearsing Beethoven‘s aria “Ah! Perfido” and parts of Verdi‘s La forza del destino shortly before her death shows her voice to be in much better shape than much of her 1960s recordings and far healthier than the 1970s concerts with Giuseppe Di Stefano.[17]

Soprano Renée Fleming has stated that videos of Callas in the late 1950s and early 1960s reveal a posture that betrays breath-support problems:

I have a theory about what caused her vocal decline, but it’s more from watching her sing than from listening. I really think it was her weight loss that was so dramatic and so quick. It’s not the weight loss per se… But if one uses the weight for support, and then it’s suddenly gone and one doesn’t develop another musculature for support, it can be very hard on the voice. And you can’t estimate the toll that emotional turmoil will take as well. I was told, by somebody who knew her well, that the way Callas held her arms to her solar plexus [allowed her] to push and create some kind of support. If she were a soubrette, it would never have been an issue. But she was singing the most difficult repertoire, the stuff that requires the most stamina, the most strength.[38]

Dramatic soprano Deborah Voigt, who lost 135 pounds after gastric bypass surgery, expressed similar thoughts concerning her own voice and body:

Much of what I did with my weight was very natural, vocally. Now I’ve got a different body—there’s not as much of me around. My diaphragm function, the way my throat feels, is not compromised in any way. But I do have to think about it more now. I have to remind myself to keep my ribs open. I have to remind myself, if my breath starts to stack. When I took a breath before, the weight would kick in and give it that extra Whhoomf! Now it doesn’t do that. If I don’t remember to get rid of the old air and re-engage the muscles, the breath starts stacking, and that’s when you can’t get your phrase, you crack high notes.[55]

Callas herself attributed her problems to a loss of confidence brought about by a loss of breath support, even though she does not make the connection between her weight and her breath support. In an April 1977 interview with journalist Philippe Caloni, she stated,

“My best recordings were made when I was skinny. and I say skinny, not slim, because I worked a lot and couldn’t gain weight back; I became even too skinny. . . I had my greatest successes–Lucia, Sonnambula, Medea, Anna Bolena–when I was skinny as a nail. Even for my first time here in Paris in 1958 when the show was broadcast through Eurovision, I was skinny. Really skinny.” [56]

And shortly before her death, Callas confided her own thoughts on her vocal problems to Peter Dragadze:

I never lost my voice, but I lost strength in my diaphragm. … Because of those organic complaints, I lost my courage and boldness. My vocal cords were and still are in excellent condition, but my ‘sound boxes’ have not been working well even though I have been to all the doctors. The result was that I overstrained my voice, and that caused it to wobble. (Gente, October 1, 1977)[3]

Whether Callas’s vocal decline was due to ill health, early menopause, over-use and abuse of her voice, loss of breath-support, loss of confidence, or weight loss will continue to be debated. Whatever the cause may have been, her singing career was effectively over by age 40, and even at the time of her death at age 53, according to Walter Legge, “she ought still to have been singing magnificently”.[28]

Scandals and later career

Maria Callas in a casual moment, 1960s

The latter half of Callas’s career was marked by a number of scandals. During performances of Madama Butterfly in Chicago, Callas was confronted by a process server who handed her papers about a lawsuit brought by Eddy Bagarozi, who claimed he was her agent. Callas was photographed with her mouth turned in a furious snarl. The photo was sent around the world and gave rise to the myth of Callas as a temperamental prima donna and a “Tigress”. In 1956, just before her debut at the Metropolitan Opera, Time ran a damaging cover story about Callas, with special attention paid to her difficult relationship with her mother and some unpleasant exchanges between the two.

In 1957, Callas was starring as Amina in La sonnambula at the Edinburgh International Festival with the forces of La Scala. Her contract was for four performances, but due to the great success of the series, La Scala decided to put on a fifth performance. Callas told the La Scala officials that she was physically exhausted and that she had already committed to a previous engagement, a party thrown for her by her friend Elsa Maxwell in Venice. Despite this, La Scala announced a fifth performance, with Callas billed as Amina. Callas refused to stay and went on to Venice. Despite the fact that she had fulfilled her contract, she was accused of walking out on La Scala and the festival. La Scala officials did not defend Callas or inform the press that the additional performance was not approved by Callas. Renata Scotto took over the part, which was the start of her international career.

In January 1958, Callas was to open the Rome Opera House season with Norma, with Italy’s president in attendance. The day before the opening night, Callas alerted the management that she was not well and that they should have a standby ready. She was told “No one can double Callas”.[11] After being treated by doctors, she felt better on the day of performance and decided to go ahead with the opera.[8] A survived bootleg recording of the first act reveals Callas sounding ill.[17] Feeling that her voice was slipping away, she felt that she could not complete the performance, and consequently, she cancelled after the first act. She was accused of walking out on the president of Italy in a fit of temperament, and pandemonium broke out. Press coverage aggravated the situation. A newsreel included file footage of Callas from 1955 sounding well, intimating the footage was of rehearsals for the Rome Norma, with the voiceover narration, “Here she is in rehearsal, sounding perfectly healthy”, followed by “If you want to hear Callas, don’t get all dressed up. Just go to a rehearsal; she usually stays to the end of those.”[57] The scandal became notorious as the “Rome Walkout”. Callas brought a lawsuit against the Rome Opera House, but by the time the case was settled thirteen years later and the Rome Opera was found to be at fault for having refused to provide an understudy,[39] Callas’s career was already over.

Callas’s relationship with La Scala had also started to become strained after the Edinburgh incident, and this effectively severed her major ties with her artistic home. Later in 1958, Callas and Rudolf Bing were in discussion about her season at the Met. She was scheduled to perform in Verdi’s La traviata and in Macbeth, two very different operas which almost require totally different singers. Callas and the Met could not reach an agreement, and before the opening of Medea in Dallas, Bing sent a telegram to Callas terminating her contract. Headlines of “Bing Fires Callas” appeared in newspapers around the world.[5] Maestro Nicola Rescigno later recalled, “That night, she came to the theater, looking like an empress: she wore an ermine thing that draped to the floor, and she had every piece of jewellery she ever owned. And she said, ‘You all know what’s happened. Tonight, for me, is a very difficult night, and I will need the help of every one of you.’ Well, she proceeded to give a performance [of Medea] that was historical.”[58]

Bing would later say that Callas was the most difficult artist he ever worked with, “because she was so much more intelligent. Other artists, you could get around. But Callas you could not get around. She knew exactly what she wanted, and why she wanted it.”[11] Despite this, Bing’s admiration for Callas never wavered, and in September 1959, he sneaked into La Scala in order to listen to Callas record La Gioconda for EMI.[5] Callas and Bing reconciled in the mid 1960s, and Callas returned to the Met for two performances of Tosca with her friend Tito Gobbi.

In her final years as a singer, she sang in Medea, Norma, and Tosca, most notably her Paris, New York, and London Toscas of January–February 1964, and her last performance on stage, on July 5, 1965, at Covent Garden. A television film of Act 2 of the Covent Garden Tosca of 1964 was broadcast in Britain on February 9, 1964, giving a rare view of Callas in performance and, specifically, of her on-stage collaboration with Tito Gobbi.

Maria Callas during her final tour in Amsterdam in 1973.

In 1969, the Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini cast Callas in her only non-operatic acting role, as the Greek mythological character of Medea, in his film by that name. The production was grueling, and according to the account in Ardoin’s Callas, the Art and the Life, Callas is said to have fainted after a day of strenuous running back and forth on a mudflat in the sun. The film was not a commercial success, but as Callas’s only film appearance, it documents her stage presence.

From October 1971 to March 1972, Callas gave a series of master classes at the Juilliard School in New York. These classes later formed the basis of Terrence McNally‘s 1995 play Master Class. Callas staged a series of joint recitals in Europe in 1973 and in the U.S., South Korea, and Japan in 1974 with the tenor Giuseppe Di Stefano. Critically, this was a musical disaster owing to both performers’ worn-out voices.[5] However, the tour was an enormous popular success. Audiences thronged to hear the two performers, who had so often appeared together in their prime. Her final public performance was on November 11, 1974, in Sapporo, Japan.

 Onassis and the final years

In 1957, while still married to husband Giovanni Battista Meneghini, Callas was introduced to Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis at a party given in her honour by Elsa Maxwell after a performance in Donizetti‘s Anna Bolena.[8] The affair that followed received much publicity in the popular press, and in November 1959, Callas left her husband. Michael Scott asserts that Onassis was not why Callas largely abandoned her career, but that he offered her a way out of a career that was made increasingly difficult by scandals and by vocal resources that were diminishing at an alarming rate.[8] Franco Zeffirelli, on the other hand, recalls asking Callas in 1963 why she had not practiced her singing, and Callas responding that “I have been trying to fulfill my life as a woman.”[11] According to one of her biographers, Callas and Onassis had a child, a boy, who died hours after he was born on March 30, 1960.[59] In his book about his wife, Meneghini states categorically that Maria Callas was unable to bear children.[60] As well, various sources dismiss Gage’s claim, as they note that the birth certificates Gage used to prove of this “secret child” were issued in 1998, twenty-one years after Callas’s death.[61] Still other sources claim that Callas had at least one abortion while involved with Onassis.[62] The relationship ended nine years later in 1968, when Onassis left Callas in favour of Jacqueline Kennedy. However, the Onassis family’s private secretary, Kiki, writes in her memoir that even while Aristotle was with Jackie, he frequently met up with Maria in Paris, where they resumed what had now become a clandestine affair.[59]

Callas spent her last years living largely in isolation in Paris and died at age 53 on September 16, 1977, of a myocardial infarction (heart attack). A funerary liturgy was held at Agios Stephanos (St. Stephen’s) Greek Orthodox Cathedral on rue Georges-Bizet, Paris, on September 20, 1977, and her ashes were interred at the Père Lachaise Cemetery. After being stolen and later recovered, they were scattered over the Aegean Sea, off the coast of Greece, according to her wish.

During a 1978 interview, upon being asked “Was it worth it to Maria Callas? She was a lonely, unhappy, often difficult woman,” music critic and Callas’s friend John Ardoin replied,

That is such a difficult question. There are times when certain people are blessed–and cursed–with an extraordinary gift, in which the gift is almost greater than the human being. Callas was one of these people. It was as if her own wishes, her life, her own happiness were all subservient to this incredible, incredible gift that she was given, this gift that reached out and taught us things about music that we knew very well, but showed us new things, things we never thought about, new possibilities. I think that is why singers admire her so. I think that’s why conductors admire her so. I know it’s why I admire her so. And she paid a tremendously difficult and expensive price for this career. I don’t think she always understood what she did or why she did it. She usually had a tremendous effect on audiences and on people. But it was not something she could always live with gracefully or happily. I once said to her “It must be a very enviable thing to be Maria Callas.” And she said, “No, it’s a very terrible thing to be Maria Callas, because it’s a question of trying to understand something you can never really understand.” She couldn’t really explain what she did. It was all done by instinct. It was something embedded deep within her.[63]


Portrait of Maria Callas painted by Oleg Karuvits in 2004.

In late 2004, opera and film director Franco Zeffirelli made what many consider a bizarre claim that Callas may have been murdered by her confidant, Greek pianist Vasso Devetzi, in order to gain control of Callas’s United States $9,000,000 estate. A more likely explanation is that Callas’s death was due to heart failure brought on by (possibly unintentional) overuse of Mandrax (methaqualone), a sleeping aid.

According to biographer Stelios Galatopoulos, Devetzi insinuated herself into Callas’s trust and acted virtually as her agent. This claim is corroborated by Iakintha (Jackie) Callas in her book Sisters,[64] wherein she asserts that Devetzi conned Maria out of control of half of her estate, while promising to establish the Maria Callas Foundation to provide scholarships for young singers. After hundreds of thousands of dollars had allegedly vanished, Devetzi finally did establish the foundation.

In 2002, filmmaker Zeffirelli produced and directed a film in Callas’s memory. Callas Forever was a highly fictionalized motion picture in which Callas was played by Fanny Ardant. It depicted the last months of Callas’s life, when she was seduced into the making of a movie of Carmen, lip-synching to her 1964 recording of that opera.

In 2007, Callas was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In the same year, she was voted the greatest soprano of all time by BBC Music Magazine.

The 30th anniversary of the death of Maria Callas was selected as main motif for a high value euro collectors’ coins; the €10 Greek Maria Callas commemorative coin, minted in 2007. Her image is shown in the obverse of the coin, while on the reverse the National Emblem of Greece with her signature is depicted.

On December 2, 2008, on the 85th anniversary of Callas’s birth, a group of Greek and Italian officials unveiled a plaque in her honor at Flower Hospital (now the Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center) where she was born. Made of Carrara marble and engraved in Italy, the plaque reads, “Maria Callas was born in this hospital on December 2, 1923. These halls heard for the first time the musical notes of her voice, a voice which has conquered the world. To this great interpreter of universal language of music, with gratitude.”[65]

Gus Van Sant‘s 2008 movie Milk features selected recordings of Callas’ rendition of Tosca, which, it is suggested, was an opera of which Harvey Milk was particularly fond. Similarly, Jonathan Demme‘s 1993 movie Philadelphia features a recording by Callas.

A number of musical artists including Linda Ronstadt, Patti Smith and Emmylou Harris have mentioned Callas as a great musical influence,[66][67] and some have paid tribute to Callas in their own music:

  • R.E.M. mention Callas in their song “E-Bow the Letter” from the album New Adventures in Hi-Fi.
  • Enigma named a song which featured samples of Callas’s voice, on their 1991 album MCMXC a.D., “Callas Went Away”.
  • Buffalo Tom‘s 2007 album Three Easy Pieces contains the song “C.C. and Callas”, which appears to be about songwriter Chris Colbourn’s reflections on Callas.
  • La Diva, on Celine Dion‘s 2007 French language album D’elles is about Maria Callas. The track samples the 1956 recording of La Boheme.
  • Singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright mentions Callas in his song “Beauty Mark”, from his album Rufus Wainwright. Rufus is known to be an opera fan, particularly passionate about Callas’s work. In an interview to the Spanish newspaper El País, he declared that one of the things anyone should do at least once in a lifetime was to listen to a Maria Callas album after a night out, if possible during sunrise. On Jonathan Ross’ Radio 2 show he stated that Lord Harewood’s interview of Callas is part of the inspiration for his opera Prima Donna.
  • Jason Mraz lists her performance of “O mio babbino caro” as a romantic musical influence for him.[68]
  • Ben Sollee mentions her in his song “Mute with a Bullhorn.”
  • Band Faithless sampled her voice on the intro to one of their songs on Reverence, “Drifting Away”.
  • The Mountain Goats mention Callas in their song “Horseradish Road” from the album The Coroner’s Gambit.

2) Folk song

Frame Two:

The Greece Music record History

Music of Greece

Music of Greece
General Topics
Ancient • Byzantine • Néo kýma • Polyphonic song
EntehnoFolkHip hopLaïkoPunkRock • Skiladiko
Specific Forms
Classical • Dimotika • Nisiotika • Rebetiko
Media and Performance
Music awards Arion AwardsMAD Video Music AwardsPop Corn Music Awards
Music charts Greek Albums ChartForeign Albums ChartSingles Chart
Music festivals Thessaloniki Song Festival
Music media DifonoMAD TV (MAD World, Blue) • MTV Greece
National anthem Hymn to Liberty
Regional Music
Related areas Cyprus
Regional styles Aegean IslandsArcadiaArgosCreteCycladesDodecanese Islands • Epirus • Ionian IslandsLesbosMacedoniaPeloponnesosThessalyThrace

The music of Greece is as diverse and celebrated as its history. Traditional Greek music pertains many similarities with Middle Eastern music, especially the music of Cyprus, with their modern popular music scenes remaining well-integrated. Music exists as a significant aspect of Hellenic culture, both within Greece and in the diaspora. Greek music is frequently played at parties and festivals, with children and adults both partaking in traditional Greek dancing.




 Greek music history

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History of Greece
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Greek music history extends far back into Ancient Greece, since music was a major part of ancient Greek theater. Later influences from the Roman Empire, Eastern Europe and the Byzantine Empire changed the form and style of Greek music. In the 19th century, opera composers, like Nikolaos Mantzaros (1795–1872), Spyridon Xyndas (1812–1896) and Spyridon Samaras (1861–1917) and symphonists, like Dimitris Lialios and Dionysios Rodotheatos revitalized Greek art music. However, the diverse history of art music in Greece, which extends from the Cretan Renaissance and reaches modern times, exceeds the aims of the present article, which is, in general, limited to the presentation of the musical forms that have become synonymous to ‘Greek music’ during the last few decades; that is, the ‘Greek song’ or the ‘song in Greek verse’.

 Ancient Greece

Man playing the aulos.

In ancient Greece, mixed-gender choruses performed for entertainment, celebration and spiritual reasons. Instruments included the double-reed aulos and the plucked string instrument, the lyre, especially the special kind called a kithara.

Music was an important part of education in ancient Greece, and boys were taught music starting at age six. Greek musical literacy created a flowering of development; Greek music theory included the Greek musical modes, eventually became the basis for Western religious music and classical music.

Greece in the Roman Empire

Due to Rome’s reverence for Greek culture, the Romans borrowed the Greek method[1] of ‘enchiriadic notation’ (marks which indicated the general shape of the tune but not the exact notes or rhythms) to record their music, if they used any notation at all.


Main article: Byzantine music

The tradition of eastern liturgical chant, encompassing the Greek-speaking world, developed in the Byzantine Empire from the establishment of its capital, Constantinople, in 330 until its fall in 1453. It is undeniably of composite origin, drawing on the artistic and technical productions of the classical Greek age, on Jewish music, and inspired by the monophonic vocal music that evolved in the early (Greek) Christian cities of Alexandria, Antioch and Ephesus (see also Early Christian music). In his lexicographical discussion of instruments, the Persian geographer Ibn Khurradadhbih (d. 911) cited the lūrā (bowed lyra) as a typical instrument of the Byzantines along with the urghun (organ), shilyani (probably a type of harp or lyre), and the salandj (probably a bagpipe).[2]

Greece during the Ottoman Empire

By the beginning of the 20th century, music-cafés (καφέ-σαντάν) were popular in Constantinople and Smyrna. There, small groups of musicians from Greek, Jewish, Armenian, and Roma backgrounds would sing and play improvised music.[3] The bands were typically led by a female vocalist, and included a violin and a sandoúri. The improvised songs typically exclaimed amán amán, which led to the name amanédhes or café-aman (καφέ-αμάν). Musicians of this period included Marika Papagika, Agapios Tomboulis, Rosa Eskenazi, Rita Abatzi, Georgia Mitaki (Μητάκη, not Μυτάκη), Marika Frantzeskopoulou, Marika Kanaropoulou. This period also brought in the Rebetiko movement, which featured in İzmir, and had local Smyrnaic, Byzantine, and Ottoman influences.

 Folk music

Main article: Greek folk music

Nikos Skalkottas, one of the most important Greek composers of 20th-century music. He drew his influences from both the classical repertoire and the Greek folk tradition.

Greek folk traditions are said to derive from the music played by ancient Greeks. There are said to be two musical movements in Greek folk music (παραδοσιακή μουσική): Acritic songs and Klephtic songs. Akritic music comes from the 9th century akrites, or border guards of the Byzantine Empire. Following the end of the Byzantine period, klephtic music arose before the Greek Revolution, developed among the kleftes, warriors who fought against the Ottoman Empire. Klephtic music is monophonic and uses no harmonic accompaniment.

 Paleá dhimotiká

Different types of Greek flutes in the Museum of Greek Folk Instruments, Athens.

Different types of Greek clarinets.

Paleá dhimotiká (Παλαιά δημοτικά “old traditional songs”, mainly from Peloponnese and Thessaly) are accompanied by clarinets, guitars, tambourines and violins, and include dance music forms like syrtó, kalamatianó, tsámiko and hasaposérviko, as well as vocal music like kléftiko. Many of the earliest recordings were done by Arvanites like Yiorgia Mittaki and Yiorgios Papasidheris. Instrumentalists include clarinet virtuosos like Petroloukas Halkias, Yiorgos Yevyelis and Yiannis Vassilopoulos, as well as oud and fiddle players like Nikos Saragoudas and Yiorgos Koros.

Greek folk music is found all throughout Greece, as well as among communities in countries like the United States, Canada and Australia. The island of Cyprus and several regions of Turkey are home to long-standing communities of ethnic Greeks with their own unique styles of music.


Nisiótika is a general term denoting folk songs from the Aegean Islands. Among the most popular types of them is Ikariótiko traghoúdhi “song from Ikaria”.


Ikariótikos is a traditional type of dance, and also the name of its accompanying type of singing, originating in the Aegean island of Ikaria. At first it was a very slow dance, but today Ikariotikos is a very quick dance. Some specialists say that the traditional Ikariotikos was slow and the quick “version” of it is in fact Ballos. Music and dancing are major forms of entertainment in Ikaria. Throughout the year Ikarians host baptisms, weddings, parties and religious festivals where one can listen and dance to live traditional Ikarian Music.

Modern Nisiótika

Singer Mariza Koch was largely responsible for the revival of interest in Nisiótika in the 70s and 80s.[4] During the 1990s and 2000s, artists such as Nikolas Hatzopoulos, Stella Konitopoulou, and the Mythos Band helped this music gain occasional mainstream popularity.

Cretan Music

Crete is an island which is a part of Greece. The lýra is the dominant folk instrument on the island; it is a three-stringed bowed instrument similar to the Byzantine Lyra. It is often accompanied by the Cretian lute (laoúto), which is similar to both an oud and a mandolin. Nikos Xylouris, Antonis Xylouris (or Psarantonis), Thanassis Skordalos, Kostas Moundakis, and Vasilis Skoulas are among the most renowned players of the lýra.


The “tabachaniotika” ([tabaxaˈɲotika]; sing.: tabachaniotiko – Greek: ταμπαχανιώτικο) songs are a Cretan urban musical repertory which belongs to the wide family of musics, like the rebetiko and music of the Café-aman, that merge Greek and Eastern music elements. This genre represents an outcome of the Cretan-Minor Asia’s Greek cultural syncretism in East Mediterranean Sea. It developed mainly after the immigration of Smyrna‘s refugees in 1922, as did the more widespread rebetiko.

Various conjectures are advanced to explain the meaning and origin of the term tabachaniotika. Kostas Papadakis believes that it comes from tabakaniotikes (*ταμπακανιώτικες), which may mean places where hashish (Greek: ταμπάκο ‘tobacco’) is smoked while music is performed, as was the case with the tekédes (τεκέδες; pl. of tekés) of Piraeus. But a quarter named Tabahana (Ταμπάχανα) existed in Smyrna—a name which has the Turkish root tabak: tanner; tabakhane: tannery. In Chaniá too, there was a quarter with the same name, where refugees from Smyrna lived after the 1922 diaspora. Tabachaniotiko was also the name of a song of the amanés genre, which was popular in Smyrna in the period before 1922, together with some other songs called Minóre, Bournovalió, Galatá, and Tzivaéri.[5] Compare the performance of Greek-Turkish ballos by a Greek ensemble in New York City in 1928, included in the online article on Mediterranean music in America by Karl Signell.

This detail might be critical for the history of Cretan tabachaniotika, since Cretans frequently had contacts with the people and music of Smyrna during the nineteenth century. Cretan musicians believe that the further development of Cretan tabachaniotika took place mainly after 1922, as a consequence of the refugees’ resettlement. The genre was popular until the 1950s.


Major features of the tabachaniotika songs are the following:

  • Dromoi (sing.: dromos – δρόμος), modal types designated by Turkish names, like rasti, houzam, hijaz, ousak, niaventi, and sabak.
  • Instrumental introduction before the song (taximi, pl.:, taximia), where the player explores the dromos.
  • Tsiftetéli rhythm, as in the Turkish “belly dance” music example heard in Signell’s article.
  • Musical instruments like bouzouki, boulgarí (μπουλγκαρί, the Cretan version of the Turkish bağlama, similar to the earliest forms of the bouzouki), and baglamás.
 Poetic text

The rebetiko and tabachaniotika often share the political verse, that is, fifteen syllable lines divided into two hemistichs – ημιστίχια (8+7), generally realized as couplets. In Crete such couplets are called mandinádes (μαντινάδες), as are extemporary texts sung to the music of dances, mainly the syrtós, and the kondyliés (οι κοντυλιές).

They focus mainly on the themes of existential grief and lost love, also common to the rebetiko. Songs making fun of Turks, narrative songs, and other songs in dialogue form also belong to this repertory.

Unlike rebetiko (which is described below), the tabachaniotika did not considered underground music and was only sung, not danced,[6] according to Nikolaos Sarimanolis, the last living performer of this repertory in Chaniá. Only a few musicians played the tabachaniotika, the most famous being the boulgarí (a mandolin like instrument) player Stelios “Phoustalieris” Foustalierakis (1911–1992) from Réthymnon. Stelios Foustalieris bought his first boulgarí in 1924. In 1979, he said that in Rethymnon, the boulgarí had been widespread during the 1920s; in every tavern one could find a boulgarí, and people played and sang lovesongs. He said the boulgarí was then the main accompanying instrument of the lyra, together with the mandola. The laouto began spreading in Rethymnon not before the 1930s. Foustalieris played for years as accompanist to the lyrist Antonis Kareklás (in feasts and weddings) and performed any kind of repertory (syrtós, pentozália, pidihtá (lit.: ‘jumping up songs’), kastriná, taxímia, kathistiká (lit.: ‘sitting-down songs’, i.e. music for listening, not for dancing), and even rebetiko[7]). Later, he began playing the boulgarí, as a melodic instrument, with the accompaniment of guitar or mandolin. He also played in a group with musicians (refugees from Asia Minor), who played the outi and sandouri. Foustalieris composed also many songs and recorded them in Rethymnon. In the period 1933–1937 he lived in Piraeus and played together with famous rebetes, like Markos Vamvarakis. He may be considered a musician who merged the musics of Crete, Asia Minor, and Piraeus.[8]

Notwithstanding the dearth of performers, tabachaniotika songs were widespread and could also be performed at domestic gatherings. Notable artists of this genre who were originally refugees from Asia Minor include the bouzouki player Nikolaos “Nikolis” Sarimanolis (Νικολής Σαριμανώλης; born in Nea Ephesos in 1919) as a member of a folk-group founded by Kostas Papadakis in Chaniá in 1945, Antonis Katinaris (also based in Chaniá), and the Rethymnon-based Mihalis Arabatzoglou and Nikos Gialidis.[9]

Cretan music in media

The Cretan music theme Zorba’s dance by Mikis Theodorakis (incorporating elements from the hasapiko dance) which appears in the Hollywood 1964 movie Zorba the Greek remains the most well-known Greek song abroad.

Modern Cretan music

The Cretan musical tradition in its pure form is followed today by several contemporary artists such as the Chainides, Loudovikos ton Anogion, and Yiannis Charoulis. Occasionally, it reaches mainstream popularity through the work of artists such as Etsi De and Manos Pyrovolakis who mix its original form with popular music.

Other folk traditions

An example of a pontian lyra.

Other major regional musical traditions of Greece include:

 Popular music

A classical three-course bouzouki.

Being largely unaffected by the developments of the European Renaissance due to the Ottoman rule (which lasted nearly four centuries), the first liberated Greeks were anxious to catch up with the rest of Europe. It was through the Ionian Islands (which were under the Italian rule and influence) that all the major advances of the European music were introduced to mainland Greeks. The songs of the Islands known as Heptanesian kantádhes (καντάδες ‘serenades‘; sing.: καντάδα) are based on the popular Italian music of the early 19th century. Kantádhes became the forerunners of the Greek modern song, influencing its development to a considerable degree. For the first part of the next century, several Greek composers continued to borrow elements from the Heptanesian style.

 Early popular songs

The most successful songs during the period 1870–1930 were the so-called Athenian serenades (Αθηναϊκές καντάδες), and the songs performed on stage (επιθεωρησιακά τραγούδια ‘theatrical revue songs’) in revues and operettas that were dominating Athens’ theatre scene.[10][11] Despite the fact that the Athenian songs were not autonomous artistic creations (in contrast with the serenades) and despite their original connection with mainly dramatic forms of Art, they eventually became hits as independent songs. Italian opera had a great influence on the musical aesthetics of the Modern Greeks.

After 1930, wavering among American and European musical influences as well as the Greek musical tradition, the Greek composers begin to write music using the tunes of the tango, the samba, and the waltz combined with melodies in the style of Athenian serenades’ repertory.


(1910s-1940s) (in these lists the term ‘artists’ mostly denotes ‘performers’ unless indicated otherwise)


Rebetiko emerged in the 1920s as the urban folk music of Greek society’s outcasts. The earliest rebetiko musicians—refugees, drug-users, criminals, and itinerants—were scorned by mainstream society. They sang heartrending tales of drug abuse, prison and violence, usually accompanied by the instrument called bouzouki (pl.: bouzoukia) (a sort of lute derived from the Byzantine tambourás and related to the Turkish saz).

In 1923, many ethnic Greeks from Asia Minor fled to Greece as a result of the second Greco-Turkish War. They settled in poor neighborhoods in Piraeus, Thessaloniki, and Athens. Many of these immigrants were highly educated, such as songwriter Vangelis Papazoglou, and Panagiotis Tountas, composer and leader of Odeon Records‘ Greek subsidiary, who are traditionally considered as the founders of the Smyrna School of Rebetiko.

A Turkish tradition that came along with the Greek migrants was the tekés (τεκές) ‘opium den’, or hashish dens. Groups of men would sit in a circle and smoke hashish from a hookah, and improvised music of various kinds. With the coming of the Metaxas dictatorship, rebetiko was repressed due to the uncompromising lyrics. Hashish dens and bouzoukia were banned. Many songs from this period were composed in prison, where musicians would devise instruments out of scavenged equipment.

After World War II, rebetiko became a “calmer” and more accessible form of music. Some of the earliest legends of Greek Oriental music, such as the quartet of Markos Vamvakaris, Artémis (pseudonym of Ανέστης or Ανέστος Δελιάς), Stratos Payioumtzis, and Batis came out of this music scene. Vamvakaris became perhaps the first renowned rebetiko musician after the beginning of his solo career.

Other popular rebetiko songwriters and singers of this period (1940s) include: Dimitris Gogos (better known as Bayandéras), Stelios Perpiniadis, Stratos Payioumtzis, Giannis Papaioannou, Giorgos Mouflouzelis, and Apostolos Hatzichristos.

The scene was soon popularized further by stars like Vassilis Tsitsanis. His song Συννεφιασμένη Κυριακή – Synnefiasméni Kyriakí became an anthem for the oppressed Greeks when it was composed in 1943, despite the fact that it was not recorded until 1948. He was followed by female singers like Marika Ninou, Ioanna Yiorgakopoulou, and Sotiria Bellou. In 1953, Manolis Chiotis added a fourth pair of strings to the bouzouki, which allowed it to be tuned tonally (Western tuning) and set the stage for the future ‘electrification‘ of rebetiko. This final era of rebetiko (mid 1940s-1953) also featured the emergence of night clubs (κέντρα διασκεδάσεως) as a means of popularizing music.

By the late 1950s, rebetiko had declined; it only survived in the form of Archontorebetiko (Αρχοντορεμπέτικο ‘posh rebetiko’), a refined style of rebetiko that was far more accepted by the upper class than the traditional form of the genre. The mainstream popularity of archontorebetiko paved the way for Éntekhno and Laïkó.

Rebetiko in its original form was revived during the Junta of 1967–1974, when the Regime of the Colonels banned it. After the end of the Junta, many revival groups (and solo artists) appeared. The most notable of them include Opisthodhromiki Kompania, Rembetiki Kompania, Agathonas Iakovidis, Ta Pedhia apo tin Patra, Dimitris Kontogiannis, Marió, and Babis Tsertos.


Drawing on rebetiko‘s westernization by Tsitsanis and Chiotis, Éntekhno arose in the late 1950s. Éntekhno (lit. meaning ‘art song‘) is orchestral music with elements from Greek folk rhythm and melody; its lyrical themes are often political or based on the work of famous Greek poets. As opposed to other forms of Greek urban folk music, éntekhno concerts would often take place outside a hall or a night club in the open air. Mikis Theodorakis and Manos Hadjidakis were the most popular early composers of éntekhno song cycles. Other significant Greek songwriters included Stavros Kouyoumtzis, Manos Loïzos, and Dimos Moutsis. Significant lyricists of this genre are Manos Eleftheriou, and poet Tasos Livaditis. By the 1960s, innovative albums helped éntekhno become close to mainstream, and also led to its appropriation by the film industry for use in soundtracks. A form of éntekhno which is even closer to Western Classical music was introduced during the late 1970s and 1980s by Thanos Mikroutsikos. (See the section ‘Other popular trends‘ below for further information on Néo kýma and Contemporary éntekhno.)





Laïkó (λαϊκό τραγούδι ‘song of the people’ or αστική λαϊκή μουσική ‘urban folk music’), also known today as classic laïkó (κλασικό/παλιό λαϊκό), was the mainstream popular music of Greece during the 50s and 60s. As it was the case with éntekhno, laïkó emerged after the popularization of rebetiko; but the musical style and lyrical themes of classic laïkó songs were far more orientalized and can be compared with Turkey’s fantezi songs. The influence of oriental music on laïkó can be most strongly seen in 1960s indoyíftika (ινδογύφτικα) ‘indian gypsy (songs)’ (or ινδοπρεπή ‘indian-like’), which can be described as filmi with Greek lyrics. Manolis Angelopoulos was the most popular indoyíftika performer, while pure laïkó (colloquially known as Mournful laïkó – Βαρύ (lit. ‘heavy’) λαϊκό) was dominated by superstars such as Stelios Kazantzidis and Stratos Dionysiou. The more cheerful version of laïkó, called elafró laïkó (ελαφρολαϊκό – elafrolaïkó ‘light laïkó’), was often used in musicals during the Golden Age of Greek cinema.

Among the most significant songwriters and lyricists of this category are considered Akis Panou, George Zambetas, Apostolos Kaldáras, Giorgos Mitsakis, Babis Bakális, Giannis Papaioannou, and Eftichia Papagianopoulos. Many artists have combined the traditions of éntekhno and laïkó with considerable success, such as the composers Mimis Plessas, Stavros Xarchakos, and Giorgos Mouzakis, and the lyricist Lefteris Papadopoulos.

During the same era, there was also another kind of soft music (ελαφρά μουσική, also called ελαφρό – elafró ‘soft (song)’, literally ‘light’) which became fashionable; it was represented by ensembles of singers/musicians such as the Katsamba Brothers duo, the Trio Kitara, the Trio Belcanto, and the Trio Athene. The genre’s sound was an imitation of the then contemporary Cuban and Mexican folk music[12] but also had elements from the early Athenian popular songs.

Laïkó in its original form eventually declined in popularity in the mid 1970s. Today, its tradition survives in the form of Éntekhno laïkó (Έντεχνο λαϊκό).




Classic laïkó


 Éntekhno laïkó

1970s-2000s (also known as Contemporary laïkó – Σύγχρονο λαϊκό τραγούδι)

Modern laïká

Main article: Laïka

Modern laïká or Laïká (not to be confused with the Laïkó genre) is currently Greece’s mainstream music.

Laïká songs usually take the form of a sentimental ballad, in which case rock, and folk instrumentation is used, but they may also be closer to Western dance pop music (the latter type of laïká songs is referred to as laïkο-pop – λαϊκο-πόπ).

The term modern laïká comes from the phrase μοντέρνα λαϊκά (τραγούδια) ‘modern songs of the people.’ Laïká emerged as a style in the early 1980s. An indispensable part of the laïká culture is the písta – πίστα (pl.: πίστες) ‘dance floor/venue’ (formerly known as λαϊκό πάλκο ‘folk palcoscenico, folk stage’), a specific type of night club (akin to the type of folk music club that exists in most Balkan countries) featuring live performances. Night clubs at which the DJs play only laïká are colloquially known as ellinádhika – ελληνάδικα. The main dances accompanying laïká are tsifteteli (on the table) τσιφτετέλι (πάνω σε τραπέζι)[13] (typically for women), zeibekiko ζεϊμπέκικο (typically for men), and hasapiko χασάπικο (typically for groups of two or three people holding each other’s shoulders).

Due to the considerable influence popular Greek music has from Turkey and the Middle East, there have been exchanges of musical themes, and several duets of Greek singers with singers from these areas during the 2000s; Greek singers like Sarbel have translated songs from Arabic to Greek that have become extremely popular. Also, with the latest Greek-Turkish relations warming, there have been written songs by composers from either of the two countries that are sung as a duet in both languages. A good example of a song crossing the three cultures is the song Anavis Foties by Despina Vandi which has been adapted into Arabic by Fadel Shaker (Dehket Al-Donya), and also has been adapted as a Turkish-Greek duet (entitled Aşka Yürek Gerek) performed by Mustafa Sandal, a popular singer from Turkey, and Greek singer Natalia Doussopoulos.

Renowned songwriters of modern laïká include Alekos Chrysovergis, Nikos Karvelas, Phoebus, Nikos Terzis, and the Pegasos duo (Antonis and Dimitris Paravomvolakis). Renowned lyricists include Giorgos Theofanous, Evi Droutsa, and Natalia Germanou.


In effect, there is no single name for modern laïká in the Greek language, but it is often formally referred to as σύγχρονο λαϊκό ([ˈsiŋxrono laiˈko]), a term which is however also used for denoting newly composed songs in the tradition of “proper” Laïkó; when ambiguity arises, σύγχρονο (‘contemporary’) λαϊκό or disparagingly λαϊκο-ποπ (‘folk-pop’, also in the sense of “westernized”) is used for the former, while γνήσιο (‘genuine’) or even καθαρόαιμο (‘pureblood’) λαϊκό is used for the latter. The choice of contrasting the notions of “westernized” and “genuine” may often be based on ideological and aesthetic grounds.[14]

Note: In this article, there has been employed a less charged terminology where the word Laïkó (short for παλιό λαϊκό) is reserved for the traditional genre of Greek urban folk music, while the word Laïká (short for μοντέρνα λαϊκά) is used as a technical term to denote the style of urban folk music originating in the 1980s.


Despite its immense popularity, the genre of modern laïká (especially laïkο-pop) has come under scrutiny for “featuring musical clichés, average singing voices and slogan-like lyrics” and for “being a hybrid, neither laïkó, nor pop”.[15]


Tsiftetéli is a type of music that was brought over by refugees from Asia Minor in the 1920s. It can be described as the Greek version of belly dance music. The Arabic and Turkish influence on this type of music is very clear, and adds to the cultural similarities Greeks have with the Middle East. Tsiftetéli is a very popular style of Modern Greek music, and notable modern laïká artists, such as Katy Garbi, Anna Vissi, Despina Vandi, Eleni Karousaki, and Giorgos Mazonakis, have frequently included it in their music.


Further information: Skiladiko

Skyládiko (or Skyládika) is the byname of the Greek variation of Arabesque and Balkan pop folk music.



 “Trash” singers

The general popularity of skyládiko in Greece is considered to be associated with the recent rise in popularity of several so-called “trash” or “decadent” (παρακμιακοί) singers such as Efi Thodi, Vera Labrou, and Stella Bezantakou, and with the 2007 music chart success of several tabloid talk show participants’ singles (see Nikos Katelis for further information).[16]

[edit] Balkan pop, skyládika, and laïká

Skyládiko is akin to the Serbian Turbo-folk and Bulgarian Chalga, since all of them feature the same sort of balkan folk melodies (including Romani and Arabesque influences) combined with dance music, and share a distinctive kitch aesthetic. The same thing cannot be said with equal certainty for modern laïká, since the stylistic origins of the latter are slightly more varied than the ones of skyládiko; laïká originates in classic laïkó ballad, pop ballad, dance pop, arabesque love songs, and tsiftetéli.

Other popular trends

Folk singer-songwriters (τραγουδοποιοί) first appeared in the 1960s after Dionysis Savvopoulos‘ 1966 breakthrough album Fortighó. Many of these musicians started out playing Néo kýma, “New wave” (not to be confused with New Wave rock), a mixture of éntekhno and chansons from France. Savvopoulos mixed American musicians like Bob Dylan and Frank Zappa with Macedonian folk music and politically incisive lyrics. In his wake came more folk-influenced performers like Arleta, Mariza Koch, and Kostas Hatzis. This short-lived music scene flourished in a specific type of boîte de nuit called bouát (μπουάτ).[17]

A notable musical trend in the 1970s (during the Junta of 1967–1974 and a few years after its end) was the rise in popularity of the topical songs (πολιτικό τραγούδι “political song”). Classic éntekhno composers associated with this movement include Mikis Theodorakis, Thanos Mikroutsikos, Giannis Markopoulos, and Manos Loïzos.[18]

Nikos Xydakis, one of Savvopoulos’ pupils, was among the people who revolutionized laïkó by using orientalized instrumentation. His most successful album was 1987′s Kondá sti Dhóxa miá Stigmí, recorded with Eleftheria Arvanitaki.

Thanasis Polykandriotis, laïkó composer and classically trained bouzouki player, became renowned for his mixture of rebetiko and orchestral music (as in his 1996 composition “Concert for Bouzouki and Orchestra No. 1″).

A popular trend since the late 1980s has been the fusion of éntekhno (urban folk ballads with artistic lyrics) with pop / soft rock music (έντεχνο ποπ-ροκ).[19] Moreover, certain composers, such as Dimitris Papadimitriou have been inspired by elements of the classic éntekhno tradition and written songs cycles for singers of contemporary éntekhno music, such as Fotini Darra. The most renowned contemporary éntekhno (σύγχρονο έντεχνο) lyricist is Lina Nikolakopoulou.

There are however other composers of instrumental and incidental music (including filmscores and music for the stage), whose work cannot be easily classified, such as Giannis Markopoulos, Stamatis Spanoudakis, Giannis Spanos, Giorgos Hatzinasios, Giorgos Tsangaris, Nikos Kypourgos, Nikos Mamangakis, Eleni Karaindrou, and Evanthia Remboutsika. Vangelis and Yanni were among the few Greek instrumental composers who became internationally renowned; their work however had little influence on the tradition of Greek instrumental music.

Regarding “purely western” pop music, even though it has always had a considerable amount of listeners supporting it throughout the history of the post 1960s Greek music, it has only very recently (late 2000s) reached the popularity of laïkó/laïká, and there is a tendency among many urban folk artists to turn to more pop-oriented sounds.[20]


The following classification is conventional and categories may occasionally overlap with each other. Each artist is entried under the genre designation that the Greek musical press usually classifies him or her.

Néo Kýma


 Contemporary éntekhno

1980s-2000s (partial overlap with contemporary laïkó and éntekhno pop)

 Éntekhno pop / rock


Classic pop
Further information: Thessaloniki Song Festival

1960s-1970s (songs from this period of Greek pop were mainly rock ballads and Italian-/French-style pop ballads)

Contemporary pop


Teen pop


[edit] Pop rock / Soft rock


Mainstream hip hop / Pop rap

1990s-2000s crews

 Independent music scenes

Since the late 1970s various independent scenes of “marginal” musical genres have appeared in Greece (mainly in Athens, Piraeus, and Thessaloniki). Most of them were short-lived and never gained mainstream popularity but the most prominent artists/bands of these scenes are critically acclaimed today and are considered among the pioneers of independent Greek music (each one in their own genre).


the end @ Copyright Dr Iwan Suwandy 2011

The Pat Boone Record History(Sejarah Piring Hitam Pat Boone)



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The Vintage Pat Boone  record History(Piring Hiatm antik Pat Boone ),

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The Vintage Pat Boone Record Found In Indonesia

(Dr Iwan suwandy Collections,

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Honor my copyright)


2) Pat Boone , The Lord prayer

3)Pat Boone, White Christmas

 4)Pat Boone, I will see you in my dream

Frame Two :

The Pat boone Record History

Pat Boone

Pat Boone

Pat Boone, performing in May 2007
Background information
Birth name Charles Eugene Boone
Born June 1, 1934 (1934-06-01) (age 76)
Jacksonville, Duval County
Florida, USA
Origin Nashville, Tennessee
Genres Christian, pop
Occupations Singer, songwriter, actor, motivational speaker, spokesman
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1954–present
Labels Dot Records,[1] Republic Records, Hip-O Records, The Gold Label, Oak Records, Eclipse Music Group, MCA
Associated acts Debby Boone

Pat Boone (born June 1, 1934) is an American singer, actor and writer who was a successful pop singer in the United States during the 1950s and early 1960s. He covered black artists’ songs (when part of the country was segregated) and sold more copies than his black counterparts. He sold over 45 million albums, had 38 Top 40 hits and starred in more than 12 Hollywood movies. Boone’s talent as a singer and actor, combined with his old-fashioned values, contributed to his popularity in the early rock and roll era. He continues to entertain and perform, and is also a motivational speaker, a television personality, a conservative political commentator and a Christian activist, writer and preacher.

Boone was successful in multiple ways. At the age of twenty-three, he began hosting a half-hour ABC variety television series, The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, which aired for 115 episodes on Thursday evenings from 1957–1960, following the popular sitcom, The Real McCoys, starring Walter Brennan. Many musical performers, including Edie Adams, Andy Williams, African American performers Pearl Bailey and Johnny Mathis, made at least one appearance on The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom. A prolific author, Boone had a No. 1 bestseller in the 1950s (Twixt Twelve and Twenty, Prentice-Hall). His cover versions of rhythm and blues hits had a noticeable effect on the development of the broad popularity of rock and roll. During his tours in the 1950s, Elvis Presley was one of his opening acts.[citation needed]

According to Billboard, Boone was the second biggest charting artist of the late 1950s, behind only Elvis Presley but ahead of Ricky Nelson and The Platters, and was ranked at No. 9—behind The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney but ahead of artists such as Aretha Franklin and The Beach Boys—in its listing of the Top 100 Top 40 Artists 1955-1995.[2]

In the 1960s, he focused on gospel music and is a member of the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Boone still holds the Billboard record for spending 220 consecutive weeks on the charts with more than one song.




Early life and career

Born Charles Eugene Boone in Jacksonville, Florida, Boone was reared primarily in Nashville, Tennessee, a place he still visits. His family moved to Nashville from Florida when Boone was two years old. He attended and graduated from David Lipscomb High School in Nashville in 1952. Boone grew up as a Christian in the Church of Christ, which sponsors Lipscomb University in Nashville.[3]

The handprints of Pat Boone in front of The Great Movie Ride at Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.

Boone has claimed to be a direct descendant of the American pioneer Daniel Boone.[4] He is also a cousin of two stars of western television series: the late Richard Boone of CBS’s Have Gun, Will Travel and Randy Boone, one of the co-stars of NBC‘s The Virginian and CBS’s Cimarron Strip.

In college, he primarily attended David Lipscomb College, later Lipscomb University, in Nashville. He graduated from Columbia University School of General Studies magna cum laude in 1958[5] and also attended North Texas State University, now known as the University of North Texas. During his college career, he was a member of Kappa Alpha Order.[citation needed]

He began recording in 1954 for Republic Records. His 1955 version of Fats Domino‘s “Ain’t That a Shame” was a hit. This set the stage for the early part of Boone’s career, which focused on covering R&B songs by black artists for a white American market.[6] Randy Wood, the owner of Dot, had issued an R & B single by the Griffin Brothers in 1951 called “Tra La La-a”—a different song than the later LaVern Baker one—and he was keen to put out another version after the original had failed. This became the B side of the first Boone single “Two Hearts Two Kisses”, originally by the Charms – whose “Hearts Of Stone” had been covered by the label’s Fontane Sisters. Once the Boone version was in the shops, it spawned more covers by the Crewcuts, Doris Day and Frank Sinatra. In the UK the song was covered by Lita Roza, a band singer with Ted Heath, and her version was in the shops first.[citation needed]

A No. 1 single in 1956 by Boone was not so much a cover as a revival of a then-seven year old song “I Almost Lost My Mind”, which had been covered at the time by another black star, Nat King Cole, from the original by Ivory Joe Hunter, who was to benefit from Boone’s hit version not only in royalties but in status as he was back in the news.[citation needed]

According to an opinion poll of high school students in 1957, the singer was nearly the “two-to-one favorite over Elvis Presley among boys and preferred almost three-to-one by girls…”[7]

Many of Boone’s hit singles were R&B covers by Black artists. These included: “Ain’t That a Shame” by Fats Domino; “Tutti Frutti” and “Long Tall Sally” by Little Richard;[1] “At My Front Door (Crazy Little Mama)” by the El Dorados; and the blues balladsI Almost Lost My Mind” by Ivory Joe Hunter, “I’ll be Home” by The Flamingos and “Don’t Forbid Me” by Charles Singleton. Boone also wrote the lyrics for the instrumental theme song for the movie Exodus, which lyrics he titled “This Land Is Mine.” (Ernest Gold had composed the music.)[8]

As a devout Christian, Boone refused songs and movie roles that he felt might compromise his standards—including a role with sex symbol Marilyn Monroe. In his first film, April Love, he refused to give co-star and love interest Shirley Jones an onscreen kiss, because the actress was married in real life.[citation needed]

He appeared as a regular performer on Arthur Godfrey and his Friends from 1955 through 1957, later hosted his own The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, on Thursday evenings. In the early 1960s, he began writing a series of self-help books for adolescents, including Twixt Twelve and Twenty. The British Invasion ended Boone’s career as a hitmaker, though he continued recording throughout the 1960s. In the 1970s, he switched to gospel and country, and he continued performing in other media as well. He is currently working as the disc jockey of a popular oldies radio show and runs his own record company which provides an outlet for new recordings by 1950s greats who can no longer find a place with the major labels.[citation needed]

In 1953, shortly before he turned 19, Boone married Shirley Lee Foley (b. April 24, 1934), daughter of country music great Red Foley and his wife, singer Judy Martin. They had four daughters: Cheryl Lynn, Linda Lee, Deborah Ann (better known as Debby), and Laura Gene. During the late 1950s, he made regular appearances on ABC-TV’s Ozark Jubilee, hosted by his father-in-law. In the 1960s and 1970s the Boone family toured as gospel singers and made gospel albums, such as The Pat Boone Family and The Family Who Prays.[citation needed]

In the early 1970s, Boone founded the record label Lion & Lamb Records. It featured artists such as Pat, The Pat Boone Family, Debby Boone, Dan Peek, DeGarmo & Key, and Dogwood.[9]

In 1978, Boone became the first target in the Federal Trade Commission‘s crackdown on false claim product endorsements by celebrities. He had appeared with his daughter Debby in a commercial to claim that all four of his daughters had found a preparation named Acne-Statin a “real help” in keeping their skin clear. The FTC filed a complaint against the manufacturer, contending that the product did not really keep skin free of blemishes. Boone eventually signed a consent order in which he promised not only to stop appearing in the ads but to pay about 2.5% of any money that the FTC or the courts might eventually order the manufacturer to refund to consumers. Boone said, through a lawyer, that his daughters actually did use Acne-Statin, and that he was “dismayed to learn that the product’s efficacy had not been scientifically established as he believed.”[10]


Pat Boone was raised in the Church of Christ.

In the 1960s, Boone’s marriage nearly came to an end. While he was living a double-life of alcohol and partying, Shirley had a revival of faith, through a charismatic encounter. She would eventually lead Pat and their daughters to awakenings of their own. At this time, they attended the Inglewood Church of Christ in Inglewood, California.

In the early 1970s, the Boones hosted Bible studies for celebrities such as Doris Day, Glenn Ford, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Priscilla Presley, at their Beverly Hills home. The family then began attending The Church On The Way in Van Nuys, California—a Foursquare Gospel congregation led by pastor Jack Hayford.[11]

 Recent career

In 1997, Boone released In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy, a collection of heavy metal covers. To promote the album, he appeared at the American Music Awards in black leather. He was then dismissed from “Gospel America,” a TV show on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. After making a special appearance on TBN with the president of the network, Paul Crouch, and his pastor, Jack Hayford, many fans accepted his explanation of the leather outfit being a “parody of himself”. Trinity Broadcasting then reinstated him, and “Gospel America” was brought back.[11]

In 2003, the Nashville Gospel Music Association recognized his gospel recording work by inducting him into its Gospel Music Hall of Fame. In September 2006, Boone released Pat Boone R&B Classics – We Are Family, featuring cover versions of 11 R&B hits, including the title track, plus “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag”, “Soul Man”, “Get Down Tonight”, “A Woman Needs Love”, and six other classics. In 2007, Boone was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame as well as the Christian Music Hall of Fame.[citation needed]

Boone and his wife, Shirley, live in Los Angeles. His one-time neighbor was Ozzy Osbourne and his family. A sound-alike of Boone’s cover of Osbourne’s song “Crazy Train” became the theme song for The Osbournes (Though the original Boone version appears on The Osbournes soundtrack). Osbourne once said that Boone “was the nicest bloke you could ever have as a neighbour and never complained once” about living next door to their less-than-traditional family.[citation needed]

On December 30, 2010, Glenn W. Milligan of Liquid Metal Holdings said the Pat Boone Family Theater would open in May 2011 in the former NASCAR Cafe at Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Boone will help select talent and perform occasionally. With 600 seats, the Boone Theater will be smaller than many of the resort’s attractions, but Milligan says this may be an advantage. Other performers will include illusionist Morgan Strebler, the 2011 Merlin Award winner.[12]


Since 1977, Boone has hosted the annual Pat Boone Golf Tournament in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a celebrity event in May that benefits Bethel Bible Village, a faith-based home for children of families in crisis.[citation needed] He is known to play golf frequently in Branson, Missouri.

According to the Nashville Gospel Music & Entertainment Examiner, Boone partnered with GOD TV in 2010 to provide foundational funding for a community development center in East Africa. The Pat Boone Family Life Center in Loiborsoit, Tanzania provides much needed health services and clean water through a deep water well. GOD TV CEO, Rory Alec said “We are privileged to partner with Pat and Shirley Boone to impact the everyday lives of several thousand Maasai people. Pat Boone is just as well known for his artistic talents as his Christian faith and the generosity of the Boone family has inspired us to reach further to help bring about transformation in Africa.”[13]

“Clean water, and with it small medical clinics and even basic primary and secondary schools, are literally life-changing developments, offering healthy lives and unthought-of futures to countless thousands who otherwise would live and die with no chance even to participate in the 21st century,” Boone wrote in an article about his trip to Africa, in WorldNetDaily.[14]


Boone campaigned for Ronald Reagan to become Governor of California in 1966 and 1970, and actively supported Reagan’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 1976. He was a vocal supporter of the Vietnam War. In 2006, Boone wrote an article for WorldNetDaily, in which he argued that Democrats and others who were against the president during the Iraq War could be questioned for their patriotism.[15] He was interviewed by Neil Cavuto on Fox News, where he expressed his outrage toward opponents of George W. Bush (in particular the Dixie Chicks). He said that their criticisms of the president showed they did not “respect their elders”.[16] Another article defended Mel Gibson after the actor was recorded making an antisemitic rant.[17]

In early 2007, Boone wrote two articles claiming that the theory of evolution is an “absurd,” “nonsensical” “bankrupt false religion”.[18][19] He later wrote an editorial in the form of a fairy tale where a young Prince Charming was seduced by a dwarf, got AIDS, and then overdosed.[20]

In the 2007 Kentucky gubernatorial election, Boone campaigned for incumbent Republican Ernie Fletcher with a prerecorded automated telephone message stating that the Democratic Party candidate Steve Beshear would support “every homosexual cause.” As part of the campaign, Boone asked, “Now do you want a governor who’d like Kentucky to be another San Francisco?”[21] More recently, he assisted the McCain 2008 presidential campaign by lending his voice to automated campaign phonecalls.

On December 6, 2008 Boone wrote an article for WorldNetDaily wherein he drew analogies between recent gay rights protests and recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. He reminded readers of hostage taking, exploding bombs systematic murder and chaotic conditions of carnage. In it, he asserted that marriage is a biblically ordained institution, which the government has no part in defining. He then stated that equal rights for women and blacks were not “obtained by threats and violent demonstrations and civil disruption” but rather through due process. He concluded by warning that unless they’re checked, the “hedonistic, irresponsible, blindly selfish goals and tactics of homegrown sexual jihadists will escalate into acts vile, violent and destructive”.[22]

On August 29, 2009, Boone wrote an article comparing liberals to cancer, describing them as “black filthy cells”.[23] In December 2009, Boone agreed to endorse the conservative U.S. congressional candidate John Wayne Tucker (R) for his campaign in Missouri’s 3rd Congressional District against incumbent Russ Carnahan (D) for the 2010 mid term elections.[24]

 As Chevrolet spokesman

Boone’s well-groomed, clean-cut, boyish image won him a long-term product endorsement contract from General Motors during the late 1950s, lasting through the 1960s. He succeeded Dinah Shore singing the praises of the GM product: “See the USA in your Chevrolet…drive your Chevrolet through the USA, America’s the greatest land of all!” GM had also sponsored The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom. In the 1989 documentary Roger & Me, Boone stated that he first was given a Corvette from the Chevrolet product line, but after he and wife started having children, at one child a year, GM supplied him with a station wagon as well. Boone, who has endorsed an indeterminate number of products and services over the course of his career, said that more people identified him with Chevrolet than any other product.[citation needed]

 Basketball interests

Boone was a basketball fan and had ownership interests in two teams. He owned a team in the Hollywood Studio League called the “Cooga Moogas.” The Cooga Moogas included Bill Cosby, Rafer Johnson, Gardner McKay, Don Murray, and Denny “Tarzan” Miller.[25]

With the founding of the American Basketball Association, Boone became the majority owner of the league’s team in Oakland, California on February 2, 1967.[25] The team was first named the Oakland Americans but was later renamed as the Oakland Oaks, the name under which it played from 1967 to 1969.[25] The Oaks won the 1969 ABA championship.[26]

Despite the Oaks’ success on the court, the team had severe financial problems. By August 1969 the Bank of America was threatening to foreclose on a $1.2 million loan to the Oaks,[27] and the team was sold to a group of businessmen in Washington, DC, and became the Washington Caps.[28]

In Terry Pluto’s book about the ABA, Loose Balls, Boone recounted his days as an owner and claimed that he had had a chance to buy into the then-expansion Dallas Mavericks of the NBA in 1981, but declined.[citation needed]



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The Vintage Elton John record (piring hitam antik Elton John)



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The Vintage Elton John  record History(Piring Hiatm antik Elton John ),

Frame One :

The Vintage Elton John Record Found In Indonesia

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Frame Two The Elton John record History

Elton John

Elton John in July 2008
Background information
Birth name Reginald Kenneth Dwight
Born 25 March 1947 (1947-03-25) (age 63)
Pinner, Middlesex, England
Genres Rock, glam rock, soft rock, R&B, pop rock
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter, record producer
Instruments Vocals, piano, keyboards
Years active 1964–present
Labels DJM, Uni, MCA, Geffen, Rocket/Island, Universal, Interscope, Mercury, UMG
Associated acts Bernie Taupin, Tim Rice
John Lennon, Kiki Dee, Billy Joel, George Michael, Eminem

Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight; 25 March 1947) is an English singer-songwriter, composer and pianist. He has worked with his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin since 1967; they have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date.

In his four-decade career John has sold more than 250 million records, making him one of the most successful artists of all time.[1] His single “Candle in the Wind 1997” has sold over 33 million copies worldwide, and is the best selling single in Billboard history.[2] He has more than 50 Top 40 hits, including seven consecutive No. 1 US albums, 56 Top 40 singles, 16 Top 10, four No. 2 hits, and nine No. 1 hits. He has won six Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Tony Award. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him Number 49 on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.[3]

John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.[4] He has been heavily involved in the fight against AIDS since the late 1980s,[5] and was knighted in 1998.[6] He entered into a civil partnership with David Furnish[7] on 21 December 2005 and continues to be a champion for LGBT social movements. In 2008, Billboard magazine ranked him as the most successful male solo artist on “The Billboard Hot 100 Top All-Time Artists” (third overall, behind only The Beatles and Madonna).

Biography and career

Early life

John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25 March 1947, the eldest child of Stanley and only child of Sheila Eileen (née Harris) Dwight[9][10][11] and was raised in Pinner, Middlesex in a council house of his maternal grandparents. His parents did not marry until he was 6 years old, when the family moved to a nearby semi-detached house.[12][13][14] He was educated at Pinner Wood Junior School, Reddiford School and Pinner County Grammar School, until age 17, when he left just prior to his A Level examinations to pursue a career in the music industry.[15][16][17]

When John began to seriously consider a career in music, his father, who served as a Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force, tried to steer him toward a more conventional career, such as banking.[15] John has stated that his wild stage costumes and performances were his way of letting go after such a restrictive childhood.[17] Both of John’s parents were musically inclined, his father having been a trumpet player with the Bob Millar Band, a semi-professional big band that played at military dances.[17] The Dwights were keen record buyers, exposing John to the popular singers and musicians of the day, and John remembers being immediately hooked on rock and roll when his mother brought home records by Elvis Presley and Bill Haley & His Comets in 1956.[15][16]

John started playing the piano at the age of 3, and within a year, his mother heard him picking out Winifred Atwell‘s “The Skater’s Waltz” by ear.[15][16] After performing at parties and family gatherings, at the age of 7 he took up formal piano lessons. He showed musical aptitude at school, including the ability to compose melodies, and gained some notoriety by playing like Jerry Lee Lewis at school functions. At the age of 11, he won a junior scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. According to one of his instructors, John promptly played back, like a “gramophone record”, a four-page piece by Handel that he heard for the first time.[16]

For the next five years he attended Saturday classes at the Academy in central London, and has stated that he enjoyed playing Chopin and Bach and singing in the choir during Saturday classes, but that he was not otherwise a diligent classical student.[16] “I kind of resented going to the Academy”, he says. “I was one of those children who could just about get away without practicing and still pass, scrape through the grades.”[16] He even claims that he would sometimes skip classes and just ride around on the Tube.[16] However, several instructors have testified that he was a “model student”, and during the last few years he was taking lessons from a private tutor in addition to his classes at the Academy.[16]

John’s mother, though also strict with her son, was more vivacious than her husband, and something of a free spirit. With Stanley Dwight uninterested in his son and often physically absent, John was raised primarily by his mother and maternal grandmother. When his father was home, the Dwights would have terrible arguments that greatly distressed their son.[16] John was 15 when they divorced. His mother then married a local painter, Fred Farebrother, a caring and supportive stepfather who John affectionately referred to as “Derf”, his first name in reverse.[16] They moved into flat No. 1A in an eight-unit apartment building called Frome Court, not far from both previous homes. It was there that John would write the songs that would launch his career as a rock star; he would live there until he had four albums simultaneously in the American Top 40.[18]

Pub pianist to staff songwriter (1962–1969)

See also: Bluesology

At the age of 15, with the help of his mother and stepfather, Reginald Dwight became a weekend pianist at a nearby pub, the Northwood Hills Hotel, playing Thursday to Sunday nights for £35 a week and tips.[19][20] Known simply as “Reggie”, he played a range of popular standards, including songs by Jim Reeves and Ray Charles, as well as songs he had written himself.[21][22] A stint with a short-lived group called the Corvettes rounded out his time.[16]

In 1964, Dwight and his friends formed a band called Bluesology. By day, he ran errands for a music publishing company; he divided his nights between solo gigs at a London hotel bar and working with Bluesology. By the mid-1960s, Bluesology was backing touring American soul and R&B musicians like The Isley Brothers, Major Lance, Billy Stewart, Doris Troy and Patti LaBelle and The Bluebelles. In 1966, the band became musician Long John Baldry‘s supporting band and played 16 times at The Marquee Club.[23]

After failing lead vocalist auditions for King Crimson and Gentle Giant, Dwight answered an advertisement in the New Musical Express placed by Ray Williams, then the A&R manager for Liberty Records.[24] At their first meeting, Williams gave Dwight a stack of lyrics written by Bernie Taupin, who had answered the same ad. Dwight wrote music for the lyrics, and then mailed it to Taupin, beginning a partnership that still continues[update]. In 1967, what would become the first Elton John/Bernie Taupin song, “Scarecrow”, was recorded; when the two first met, six months later, Dwight was going by the name “Elton John”, in homage to Bluesology saxophonist Elton Dean and Long John Baldry.[21]

The team of John and Taupin joined Dick James‘s DJM Records as staff songwriters in 1968, and over the next two years wrote material for various artists, like Roger Cook and Lulu.[25] Taupin would write a batch of lyrics in under an hour and give it to John, who would write music for them in half an hour, disposing of the lyrics if he couldn’t come up with anything quickly.[25] For two years, they wrote easy-listening tunes for James to peddle to singers. Their early output included a contender for the British entry for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1969, for Lulu, called “Can’t Go On (Living Without You)”. It came sixth of six songs. In 1969, John also provided piano for Roger Hodgson on his first ever musical recording.[26]

During this period, John was also a session musician for other artists including playing piano on The Hollies‘ “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” and singing backing vocals for The Scaffold.[27]

Debut album to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1969–1973)

On the advice of music publisher Steve Brown, John and Taupin started writing more complex songs for John to record for DJM. The first was the single “I’ve Been Loving You” (1968), produced by Caleb Quaye, former Bluesology guitarist. In 1969, with Quaye, drummer Roger Pope, and bassist Tony Murray, John recorded another single, “Lady Samantha“, and an album, Empty Sky.

For their follow-up album, Elton John, John and Taupin enlisted Gus Dudgeon as producer and Paul Buckmaster as musical arranger. Elton John was released in the April of 1970 on DJM Records/Pye Records in the UK and Uni Records in the USA, and established the formula for subsequent albums; gospel-chorded rockers and poignant ballads. The first single from the album, “Border Song“, made into the US Top 100, peaking at Number 92. The second single “Your Song” made the US Top Ten, peaking at number eight and becoming John’s first hit single as a singer. The album soon became his first hit album, reaching number four on the Billboard 200 album chart.[28]

Backed by ex-Spencer Davis Group drummer Nigel Olsson and bassist Dee Murray, John’s first American concert took place at The Troubadour in Los Angeles in August 1970, and was a success.[29]

The concept album Tumbleweed Connection was released in October 1970, and reached the Top Ten on the Billboard 200. The live album 17-11-70 (11-17-70 in the US) was recorded at a live show aired from A&R Studios on WABC-FM in New York City. Sales of the live album were heavily hit in the US when an east coast bootlegger released the performance several weeks before the official album, including all 60 minutes of the aircast, not just the 40 minutes selected by Dick James Music.[30]

Elton John in the Musikhalle Hamburg in March 1972

John and Taupin then wrote the soundtrack to the obscure film Friends and then the album Madman Across the Water, the latter reaching the Top Ten and producing the hit “Levon“, while the soundtrack album produced the hit “Friends”. In 1972, Davey Johnstone joined the Elton John Band on guitar and backing vocals. The band released Honky Chateau, which became John’s first American number 1 album, spending five weeks at the top of the charts and spawning the hit singles “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long, Long Time)” (which is often compared to David Bowie‘s “Space Oddity“) and “Honky Cat“.[31]

The pop album Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player came out at the start of 1973, and produced the hits “Crocodile Rock” and “Daniel“; the former became his first US Billboard Hot 100 number one hit.[32] Both the album and “Crocodile Rock” were the first album and single, respectively on the consolidated MCA Records label in the USA, replacing MCA’s other labels including Uni.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road gained instant critical acclaim and topped the chart on both sides of the Atlantic, remaining at Number 1 for two months.[33] It also temporarily established John as a glam rock star. It contained the number 1 hit “Bennie and the Jets“, along with the popular and praised “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road“, “Candle in the Wind“, “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting“, “Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” and “Grey Seal” (originally recorded and released in 1970 as the B-side to the UK-only single, “Rock and Roll Madonna”). There is also a VHS and DVD as part of the Classic Albums series, discussing the making, recording, and popularity of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” through concert and home video footage including interviews.

Rocket Records to 21 at 33 (1974–1979)

John formed his own MCA-distributed label Rocket Records and signed acts to it – notably Neil Sedaka (“Bad Blood”, on which he sang background vocals) and Kiki Dee – in which he took personal interest. Instead of releasing his own records on Rocket, he opted for $8 million offered by MCA. When the contract was signed in 1974, MCA reportedly took out a $25 million insurance policy on John’s life.[34]

In 1974 a collaboration with John Lennon took place, resulting in Elton John covering The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and Lennon’s “One Day at a Time”, and in return Elton John and band being featured on Lennon’s “Whatever Gets You thru the Night“. In what would be Lennon’s last live performance, the pair performed these two number 1 hits along with the Beatles classic “I Saw Her Standing There” at Madison Square Garden. Lennon made the rare stage appearance to keep the promise he made that he would appear on stage with Elton if “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night” became a number 1 single.[35]

Caribou was released in 1974, and although it reached number 1, it was widely considered[36] a lesser quality album. Reportedly recorded in a scant two weeks between live appearances, it featured “The Bitch Is Back[36] and John’s versatility in orchestral songs with “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me“.[36]

Pete Townshend of The Who asked John to play a character called the “Local Lad” in the film of the rock opera Tommy, and to perform a song named “Pinball Wizard“. Drawing on power chords, John’s version was recorded and used for the movie release in 1975 and the single came out in 1976 (1975 in the US). The song charted at number 7 in England. Bally subsequently released a “Captain Fantastic” pinball machine featuring an illustration of John in his movie guise.

Elton John performing live in 1975

In the 1975 autobiographical album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, John revealed his previously ambiguous personality, with Taupin’s lyrics describing their early days as struggling songwriters and musicians in London. The lyrics and accompanying photo booklet are infused with a specific sense of place and time that is otherwise rare in John’s music. “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” was the hit single from this album and captured an early turning point in John’s life.

The album’s release signalled the end of the Elton John Band, as an unhappy and overworked John dismissed Olsson and Murray, two people who had contributed much of the band’s signature sound and who had helped build his live following since the beginning. Johnstone and Ray Cooper were retained, Quaye and Roger Pope returned, and the new bassist was Kenny Passarelli; this rhythm section provided a heavier-sounding backbeat. James Newton-Howard joined to arrange in the studio and to play keyboards. John introduced the lineup before a crowd of 75,000 in London’s Wembley Stadium.

Rock-oriented Rock of the Westies entered the US albums chart at number 1 like Captain Fantastic, a previously unattained feat. Elton John’s stage wardrobe now included ostrich feathers, $5,000 spectacles that spelled his name in lights, and dressing up like the Statue of Liberty, Donald Duck, or Mozart among others at his concerts.[37][38]

To celebrate five years since he first appeared at the venue, in 1975 John played a two-night, four-show stand at The Troubadour. With seating limited to under 500 per show, the chance to purchase tickets was determined by a postcard lottery, with each winner allowed two tickets. Everyone who attended the performances received a hardbound “yearbook” of the band’s history. That year he also played piano on Kevin AyersSweet Deceiver, and was among the first and few white artists to appear on the black music series Soul Train on American television.[33]

In 1976, the live album Here and There in May, then the Blue Moves album in October, which contained the single “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word“, were released. His biggest success in 1976 was the “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart“, a duet with Kiki Dee that topped both the American and British charts. Finally, in an interview with Rolling Stone that year entitled “Elton’s Frank Talk”, John stated that he was bisexual.[39]

Besides being the most commercially successful period, 1970 – 1976 is also held in the most regard critically. Within only a three year span, between 1972-75 John saw seven consecutive albums reach Number 1 in the charts, which had not been accomplished before.[33] Of the six Elton John albums to make the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in Rolling Stone’in 2003, all are from this period, with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road ranked highest at number 91; similarly, the three Elton John albums given five stars by Allmusic (Tumbleweed Connection, Honky Château, and Captain Fantastic) are all from this period too.

During the same period, John made a guest appearance on the popular Morecambe and Wise Show on the BBC. The two comics spent the episode pointing him in the direction of everywhere except the stage in order to prevent him singing.[40]

In November 1977 John announced he was retiring from performing; Taupin began collaborating with others. Now only producing one album a year, John issued A Single Man in 1978, employing a new lyricist, Gary Osborne; the album produced no singles that made the Top 20 in the US but the two singles from the album released in the UK, Part-Time Love and Song for Guy, both made the Top 20 in the UK with the latter reaching the Top 5. In 1979, accompanied by Ray Cooper, John became the first Western pop star to tour the Soviet Union (as well as one of the first in Israel), then mounted a two-man comeback tour of the US in small halls. John returned to the singles chart with “Mama Can’t Buy You Love” (number 9, 1979), a song originally rejected in 1977 by MCA before being released, recorded in 1977 with Philadelphia soul producer Thom Bell.[41] Elton reported that Thom Bell was the first person to give him voice lessons; Bell encouraged John to sing in a lower register. A disco-influenced album, Victim of Love, was poorly received. In 1979, John and Taupin reunited. 21 at 33, released the following year, was a significant career boost, aided by his biggest hit in four years, “Little Jeannie” (number 3 US), although the lyrics were written by Gary Osborne.

The 80s:Too Low For Zero to Sleeping with the Past (1981–1989)

Elton performing at the National Stadium, Dublin 26 March 1979

His 1981 album, The Fox, was recorded in part during the same sessions as 21 at 33, and also included collaborations with Tom Robinson and Judie Tzuke. On 13 September 1980, John, with Olsson and Murray back in the Elton John Band, performed a free concert to an estimated 400,000 fans on The Great Lawn in Central Park in New York City. His 1982 hit “Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)“, came from his Jump Up! album, his second under a new US recording contract with Geffen Records.

He married his close friend and sound engineer, Renate Blauel on Valentine’s Day 1984 – the marriage lasted three years.[42] The Biography Channel Special detailed the loss of Elton’s voice in 1986 while on tour in Australia. Shortly thereafter he underwent throat surgery, which permanently altered his voice. Several non-cancerous polyps were removed from his vocal cords, resulting in a change in his singing voice.[43] In 1987 he won a libel case against The Sun which published allegations of sex with rent boys.[44]

With original band members Johnstone, Murray and Olsson together again, John was able to return to the charts with the 1983 hit album Too Low For Zero, which included “I’m Still Standing” and “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues“, the latter of which featured Stevie Wonder on harmonica and reached number 4 in the US, giving John his biggest hit there since “Little Jeannie”. He placed hits in the US Top Ten throughout the 1980s – “Little Jeannie” (number 3, 1980), “Sad Songs (Say So Much)” (number 5, 1984), “Nikita” boosted by a mini-movie pop video directed by Ken Russell (number 7, 1986), a live orchestral version of “Candle in the Wind” (number 6, 1987), and “I Don’t Wanna Go On With You Like That” (number 2, 1988). His highest-charting single was a collaboration with Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder on “That’s What Friends Are For” (number 1, 1985); credited as Dionne and Friends, the song raised funds for AIDS research. His albums continued to sell, but of the six released in the latter half of the 1980s, only Reg Strikes Back (number 16, 1988) placed in the Top 20 in the United States.

In 1985, Elton John was one of the many performers at Live Aid held at Wembley Stadium.[45] John played “Bennie and the Jets” and “Rocket Man”; then “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” with Kiki Dee for the first time in years; and introduced his friend George Michael, still then of Wham!, to sing “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”.[45] He enlisted Michael to sing backing vocals on his single “Wrap Her Up“, and also recruited teen idol Nik Kershaw as an instrumentalist on “Nikita”. John also recorded material with Millie Jackson in 1985. In 1986, he played the piano on two tracks on the heavy metal band Saxon’s album Rock the Nations.

In 1988, he performed five sold-out shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden,[46] giving him 26 for his career. Netting over $20 million, 2,000 items of John’s memorabilia were auctioned off at Sotheby’s in London.[47]

The 90s: “Sacrifice” to Aida (1990–1999)

In 1990, John would finally achieve his first UK number one hit on his own, with “Sacrifice” (coupled with “Healing Hands“) from the previous year’s album Sleeping with the Past; it would stay at the top spot for six weeks.[48] The following year, John’s “Basque” won the Grammy for Best Instrumental, and a guest concert appearance he had made on George Michael‘s cover of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” was released as a single and topped the charts in both the US and UK.[49]

In 1992 he released the US number 8 album The One, featuring the hit song “The One“.[50][51] John and Taupin then signed a music publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music for an estimated $39 million over 12 years, giving them the largest cash advance in music publishing history.[52] In April 1992, John appeared at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at Wembley Stadium, performing “The Show Must Go On” with the remaining members of Queen, and “Bohemian Rhapsody” with Axl Rose and Queen.[53] The following year, he released Duets, a collaboration with 15 artists including Tammy Wynette and RuPaul. This also included a new collaboration with Kiki Dee, entitled “True Love”, which reached the Top 10 of the UK charts, and a duet with Eric Clapton on “Runaway Train”, which also charted.[54]

Along with Tim Rice, Elton John wrote the songs for the 1994 Disney animated film The Lion King, which became the 3rd highest-grossing animated feature of all time.[55] At the 67th Academy Awards ceremony, The Lion King provided three of the five nominees for the Academy Award for Best Song, which John won with “Can You Feel the Love Tonight“.[56] Both that and “Circle of Life” became hit songs for John.[57][58] “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” would also win Elton John the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 37th Grammy Awards.[56] After the release of the The Lion King soundtrack, the album remained at the top of Billboard‘s charts for nine weeks. On 10 November 1999, the RIAA certified The Lion King “Diamond” for selling 15 million copies.[2]

In 1995 John released Made in England (number 3, 1995), which featured the single “Believe”.[59] Also, a compilation called Love Songs was released the following year.[60]

Early in 1997 John held a 50th birthday party, costumed as Louis XIV, for 500 friends. John also performed with the surviving members of Queen in Paris at the opening night (17 January 1997) of Le Presbytère N’a Rien Perdu De Son Charme Ni Le Jardin De Son Éclat, a work by French ballet legend Maurice Béjart which draws upon AIDS and the deaths of Freddie Mercury and the company’s principal dancer Jorge Donn. Later in 1997, two close friends died: designer Gianni Versace was murdered; Diana, Princess of Wales died in a Paris car crash on 31 August.[61]

In early September, John contacted his writing partner Bernie Taupin, asking him to revise the lyrics of his 1973 song “Candle in the Wind” to honour Diana, and Taupin rewrote the song accordingly.[62] On 6 September 1997, John performed “Candle in the Wind 1997” at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in Westminster Abbey.[63] The song became the fastest, and biggest-selling single of all time, eventually selling 5 million copies in the United Kingdom, 11 million in the US, and over 33 million worldwide,[2][64][65] with the proceeds of approximately £55 million going to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. It would win John the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 40th Grammy Awards ceremony in 1998.[65] John has publicly performed “Candle in the Wind 1997″ only once, at Diana’s funeral, vowing never to perform it again unless asked by Diana’s sons.[66]

In the musical theatre world, in addition to a 1998 adaptation of The Lion King for Broadway, John also composed music for a Disney production of Aida in 1999 with lyricist Tim Rice, for which they received the Tony Award for Best Original Score at the 54th Tony Awards,[67] and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album at the 43rd Grammy Awards.[68][69] The musical was given its world premiere in the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. It went on to Chicago and eventually Broadway. He also released a live compilation album called Elton John One Night Only – The Greatest Hits from the show he did at Madison Square Garden in New York City that same year.

2000 to present

Elton John performs at the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster, July 2008

In 2000, John and Tim Rice teamed again to create songs for DreamWorks‘ animated film The Road To El Dorado. Returning again to musical theatre, John composed music for a West End Theatre production of Billy Elliot the Musical in 2005 with playwright Lee Hall. John’s only theatrical project with Bernie Taupin so far is Lestat: The Musical, based on the Anne Rice vampire novels. However it was slammed by the critics and closed in May 2006 after 39 performances.[70]

John was named a Disney Legend for his numerous outstanding contributions to Disney’s films and theatrical works on 9 October 2006, by The Walt Disney Company.[71] In 2006 he told Rolling Stone magazine that he plans for his next record to be in the R&B/hip-hop genre. “I want to work with Pharrell {Williams}, Timbaland, Snoop {Dogg}, Kanye {West}, Eminem and just see what happens.”[72]

In March 2007 he performed at Madison Square Garden for a record breaking 60th time for his 60th birthday, the concert was broadcast live and a DVD recording was released as Elton 60 – Live at Madison Square Garden;[73] a greatest-hits compilation CD, Rocket Man – Number Ones, was released in 17 different versions worldwide, including a CD/DVD combo; and his back catalogue – almost 500 songs from 32 albums – became available for legal download.[74]

In a September 2008 interview with GQ magazine, John said: “I’m going on the road again with Billy Joel again next year,” referring to “Face to Face,” a series of concerts featuring both musicians. The tour began in March and will continue for at least two more years.[75]

In October 2003, John announced that he had signed an exclusive agreement to perform 75 shows over three years at Caesars Palace on the Las Vegas Strip. The show, entitled The Red Piano, was a multimedia concert featuring massive props and video montages created by David LaChapelle. Effectively, he and Celine Dion share performances at Caesars Palace throughout the year – while one performs, one rests. The first of these shows took place on 13 February 2004.[76] On 21 June 2008, he performed his 200th show in Caesars Palace. A DVD/CD package of The Red Piano was released through Best Buy in November 2008. A two year global tour was sandwiched between commitments in Las Vegas, Nevada, some of the venues of which were new to John. The Red Piano Tour closed in Las Vegas in April 2009.

Elton John performed a piano duet with Lady Gaga at the 52nd Grammy Awards.[77] On 6 June 2010, John performed at the fourth wedding of conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh for a reported US$1 million fee.[78] Eleven days later, and 17 years to the day after his last previous performance in Israel, he performed at the Ramat Gan Stadium; this was significant because of other than-recent cancellations by other performers in the fallout surrounding an Israeli raid on Gaza Flotilla the month before. In his introduction to that concert, Elton John noted he and other musicians should not “cherry-pick our conscience”, in reference to Elvis Costello, who was to have performed in Israel two weeks after Elton did, but cancelled in the wake of the aforementioned raid, citing his [Costello's] conscience.[79][80]

John’s latest studio album is entitled The Union and was released on 19 October 2010. John says his collaboration with American singer-songwriter and sideman Leon Russell marks a new chapter in his recording career, saying: “I don’t have to make pop records any more.”[81]



John has written with his song-writing partner Bernie Taupin since 1967 when he answered an advertisement for talent placed in the New Musical Express by Liberty records A&R man Ray Williams. The pair have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date.[82]

The 1991 film documentary Two Rooms described the writing style that John and Taupin use, which involves Taupin writing the lyrics on his own, and John then putting them to music, with the two never in the same room during the process.

Music style

John’s voice was originally a tenor, it is now a baritone.[16] His piano playing is influenced by classical and gospel music.[83] He used Paul Buckmaster to arrange the music on his studio albums during the 1970s.[84]

Personal life

In April 2009, the Sunday Times Rich List estimated John’s wealth to be £175 million ($265 million), and ranked him as the 322nd richest person in Britain.[85]

In a 1976 Rolling Stone interview, he talked about bisexuality, his belief that everyone is bisexual to a degree, and that his first sexual experience was with a woman, the secretary Linda Woodrow to whom he proposed, and who is mentioned in the song “Someone Saved My Life Tonight“.[86][87] John married German recording engineer Renate Blauel on Valentine’s Day, 1984, in Sydney, with some speculation that the marriage was a cover; when they divorced four years later John told Rolling Stone that he was “comfortable” being gay.[88]

He met his Canadian-born partner David Furnish, a former advertising executive and now filmmaker, in 1993. On 21 December 2005, they entered into a civil partnership. The night before the event, a host of his closest celebrity friends helped him celebrate his stag party at the cabaret nightclub Too2Much in London’s West End.[89] On the actual day, a low-key ceremony with their parents, photographer Sam Taylor-Wood and her husband Jay Jopling, and John and Furnish’s dog Arthur in attendance was held at the Windsor Guildhall, followed by a lavish party at their Berkshire mansion,[90] thought to have cost £1 million.[91] Many famous guests were invited, but were delayed just outside John’s Windsor household in a traffic jam of guests waiting to get inside.[92]

John has ten godchildren as of March 2006. They include David and Victoria Beckham‘s sons Brooklyn and Romeo, Sean Lennon, Elizabeth Hurley‘s son Damian Charles, and the daughter of Seymour Stein.[93][94][95]

In September 2009, while touring an AIDS orphanage in Ukraine (Makiivka), John stated he wanted to adopt one of the resident children, a 14 month old HIV positive boy named Lev.[96][97] However, Ukrainian Minister of Family, Youth and Sport Yuriy Pavlenko stated that under Ukrainian law John could not adopt Lev due to his age and marital status,[96][98] though John could adopt the baby if the Ukrainian Parliament adopted a separate special law on making him an adoptive parent of the child.[99] In December 2009 Furnish told BBC radio John was devastated that he wasn’t allowed to adopt Lev but that the couple were working to ensure Lev and his brother “have the best health care, education and family options available to them” and the couple would campaign for a change in Ukrainian law.[100]

Throughout his career, John has battled addictions to alcohol and cocaine. By 1975, the pressures of stardom began to take a serious toll on the musician. During “Elton Week” in Los Angeles that year, John suffered a drug overdose.[101] He also battled the eating disorder bulimia. In a CNN interview with Larry King in 2002, King asked if John knew of Diana, Princess of Wales’ eating disorder. John replied, “Yes, I did. We were both bulimic.”[102]

Aside from his main home, ‘Woodside’ at Old Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, John splits his time in his various residences in Atlanta, Nice, Holland Park in London; and Venice. John is an art collector, and is believed to have one of the largest private photography collections in the world.[103]

During the 2000 court case, in which John sued both his former manager John Reid, the CEO of Reid’s company and accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers, he admitted spending £30 million in just under two years – an average of £1.5 million a month, the High Court in London heard. The singer’s lavish lifestyle saw him spend more than £9.6m on property and £293,000 on flowers between January 1996 and September 1997. John accused the pair of being negligent, and PwC of failing in their duties. Mark Hapgood QC for defendants PwC suggested that John went “spending mad” following a £42 million deal with recording company Polygram in February 1996. When quizzed by Mr Hapgood about the £293,000 spent on flowers, John said, “Yes, I like flowers.” John stated that the terms of the contract, whereby John paid Reid 20% of his gross earnings, were agreed in Saint-Tropez in the summer of 1984 – but that he could not remember the exact occasion on which the deal was made.[104] After losing the case, he faced an £8 million bill for legal fees.

In June 2001 John sold 20 of his cars at Christie’s, saying he didn’t get the chance to drive them because he was out of the country so often.[105] The sale, which included a 1993 Jaguar XJ220, the most expensive at £234,750, and several Ferraris, Rolls-Royces, and Bentleys, raised nearly £2 million.[106]

In 2003, John sold the contents of his Holland Park home in a bid to create more room for his collection of contemporary art which includes many works of art by YBAs such as Sam Taylor-Wood and Tracy Emin. The auctioneer Sotheby’s catalogue had a list of more than 400 items, expected to fetch £800,000, including: Biedermeier furniture; early 16th- and 17th-century items, including an Edward Bower estimated at £20,000–£30,000, and two busts of Napoleon.[107]

A longtime tennis enthusiast, John wrote the song “Philadelphia Freedom” in tribute to longtime friend Billie Jean King and her World Team Tennis franchise of the same name. John and King also co-host an annual pro-am event to benefit AIDS charities, most notably John’s own Elton John AIDS Foundation, for which King is a chairperson. The fund was involved in The Reign, too.

John, who maintains a part-time residence in Atlanta, Georgia, became a fan of the Atlanta Braves baseball team when he moved there in 1991.[108]

Every year since 2004, he has opened a shop, selling his second hand clothes. Called “Elton’s Closet” the sale this year of 10,000 items was expected to raise $400,000[109]

John was an Honorary Chair of the Imperial Court of New York’s Annual Charity Coronation Ball, Night of A Thousand Gowns on 21 March 2009. Other Honorary Chairs for the evening’s charity event included Patti LuPone, Idina Menzel, John Cameron Mitchell, Joan Rivers and Dame Robin Strasser.[110]

John and partner David Furnish entered a civil partnership in 2005 after 12 years together. Their son Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John was born 25 December 2010 in California via a surrogate. Zachary weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces.[111][112]

Watford Football Club

John became chairman and director of Watford Football Club in 1976, appointing Graham Taylor as manager and investing large sums of money as the club rose three division into the First Division.[113] The pinnacle of the clubs’ success was finishing runners up in the First Division and reaching the FA Cup Final a year later. He sold the club to Jack Petchey in 1987, but remained their life-long president.[114] In 1997 he re-purchased the club from Petchey and once again became chairman. He stepped down in 2002 when the club needed a full-time chairman although he continued as president of the club.[114] Although no longer the majority shareholder, he stills holds a significant financial interest. In June 2005 he held a concert at Watford’s Vicarage Road ground, donating the funds to the club, and another concert in May 2010.[114] For a time he was also a part-owner of the Los Angeles Aztecs of the North American Soccer League.

AIDS Foundation

John has been associated with AIDS charities since the deaths of his friends Ryan White and Freddie Mercury, raising large amounts of money and using his public profile to raise awareness of the disease. For example, in 1986 he joined with Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder to record the single “That’s What Friends Are For“, with all profits being donated to the American Foundation for AIDS Research. The song won John and the others the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal (as well as Song of the Year for its writers, Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager). In April 1990, John performed “Skyline Pigeon” at the funeral of White, a teenage haemophiliac he had befriended.

John founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992 as a charity to fund programmes for HIV/AIDS prevention, for the elimination of prejudice and discrimination against HIV/AIDS-affected individuals, and for providing services to people living with or at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. This cause continues to be one of his personal passions. In early 2006, John donated the smaller of two bright-red Yamaha pianos from his Las Vegas, Nevada show to auction on eBay to raise public awareness and funds for the foundation.

To raise money for his AIDS charity, John hosts annually a glamorous White Tie & Tiara Ball, to which many famous celebrities are invited. On 28 June 2007, the 9th annual White Tie & Tiara Ball took place. The menu consisted of a truffle soufflé followed by Surf and Turf (filet mignon with Maine lobster tail) and a giant Knickerbocker glory ice cream. An auction followed the dinner held by Stephen Fry. A Rolls Royce ‘Phantom’ drophead coupe and a piece of Tracey Emin‘s artwork both raised £800,000 for the charity fund, with the total amount raised reaching £3.5 million.[115] Later on in the event, John sang “Delilah” with Tom Jones and “Big Spender” with Shirley Bassey.[116] Tickets for the Ball cost £1,000 a head. The event raised £4.6 million for his AIDS Foundation in 2006.[117]


On 1 April 2010, John joined Cyndi Lauper in the launch of her Give a Damn campaign to bring a wider awareness of discrimination of the LGBT community as part of her True Colors Fund.[118] In the advertisement, John states: “Imagine walking down the street and wondering if this is the day you’ll get beaten up, or even killed, simply because of who you are”.[118] The campaign is to bring straight people to stand up with the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered community and stop the discrimination. Other names included in the campaign are Whoopi Goldberg, Jason Mraz, Judith Light, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Kardashian, Clay Aiken, Sharon Osbourne, Kelly Osbourne, and Anna Paquin.[118]


John was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1994. He and Bernie Taupin had previously been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992. John was made a Commander of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1995.[119] For his charitable work, John was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on 24 February 1998. In October 1975, John became the 1,662nd person to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.[120]

He became a recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor in 2004, and a Disney Legends Award in 2006. In 2010, Elton John was awarded with the PRS for Music Heritage Award, which was erected, on The Namaste Lounge Pub in Watford, where Elton performed his first ever gig.[121]

Music awards include the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” from The Lion King (award shared with Tim Rice); the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song in 1994 for “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” from The Lion King (award shared with Tim Rice); and the Tony Award for Best Original Score in 2000 for Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida (award shared with Tim Rice)

John has six Grammy Awards:

  • 1987 – Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for “That’s What Friends Are For”, performed by Dionne Warwick & Friends (award shared with Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder)
  • 1991 – Best Instrumental Composition for “Basque”, performed by James Galway
  • 1994 – Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”
  • 1997 – Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Candle In The Wind” 1997
  • 1999 – Grammy Legend Award
  • 2000 – Best Musical Show Album for Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida (award shared with Tim Rice, Chris Mountain, Frank Filipetti, Guy Babylon, Paul Bogaev and Frank Filipetti)

the end @ copyright Dr Iwan Suwandy 2011

Nostalgia East Timor Cassete Record(Nostalgia Pita Kaset Timor Timur)



                                                AT DR IWAN CYBERMUSEUM

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                     Please Enter


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(Driwan Music Record Cybermuseum)



The East Timor Music record History(Sejarah rekaman Musik Timor Timur ),

Frame One :

The East Timor Music Cassete Record

1)Atika Record,Tony Pereira,Festu rame Tebes

side A :Festa Rame Tebes,Doben II,a Bia,Noi Mutin Furak,Klosan Feto Ran dan rai Kalang Malriring

Side B : Doben I,Keta Haluna Hau,Tuku Tuku Didin,Labarik Nain Tolu,Maun KIak dan Mai Falite.

2)Atika record,1984,Chico Gama,lagu-lagu Timor Timur Hadomi Ba Hau Hoto Ona

side A : Hatais Foun,Hakraik A Ang,Ba Hau NIa Moris,Hananu Rame Rame dan  Nonoi Onia Halo halo.

Side B : Lalika Kole,Oan Kiak,Dansa Haksolok,Dansa Rame Rame dan Dehan Los Mai

3)Atika record,1984,Zito Antonio ,timor Timur Labarik Lanu

side A: Labarik Lanu(zito Antonio Alves),Timor Oang buka Matenek(Zito a.A.),Tansa  Maromak (Zito),La Dansa Lakon(Zito) dan Laiha LIa Fuang(Zito)

Side B: Belu Lawai Nona(zito adne ster),NarangNarang Deit(Zito),We Lulik(Zito),Matan Bosok Teng(Zito) dan Oin Sa Liang Hadomi(Zito)

4)Utika Record,Ina Lou,Seleksi Lagu-lagu Daerah Timor Timur dalam Album(East Timor Folk Songs Album)

side A : Ina Lou,Labarik Nain Tolu Lao rai,Balada Fuik,Fitum Boat dan Hau Jura O Lafila. Side B : Hau Hakarek Surat ida,Uisuku Mean, Hau Salah Sa,Kabem La Koi, Keta Tanis Marna dan manu Kakarek.

Frame Two:

East Timor Music Record History(ggogle exploration)

1.Look the East timor collections (Koleksi Timor timor) in this blog search ‘Koleksi Timor Timor’.


2.Timor Timur Songs

Unce upon time in history, Timor Timur is part of indonesian territory. But after referendum in 1999, Timor Timur separated from Indonesia and declared as a new nation. That is Timor Leste.

Unce upon time in Indonesia, some Timor Timur musicians made and released pop-ethnic music album, such as album entitled Duni Ami: Lagu-lagu Timor Timur (Volume 3), composed by Pedro Vas, with vocalists Ros S. and Pedro Vas (produced by Atika record, 1988).

This album contains 12 songs, which categorized as ethnic-pop with Timor Timur language. The music sounded like traditional music from Spanish, or Indonesian keroncong, or OPM (Original Philippine Music). The question is after separated from Indonesia, who belongs to this culture? *

3.Timor (song)

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Song by Shakira from the album Oral Fixation Vol. 2
Released 2008
Recorded 2005
Genre Dance-pop
Length 3:32
Label Epic Records
Writer Shakira
Producer Shakira
Oral Fixation Vol. 2 track listing
“Hay Amores” Timor  

Timor” is a dance-pop song written, produced and performed by Colombian singer Shakira. It is the eleventh track on her second English language studio album, Oral Fixation Vol. 2. It is the twelfth track on the re-release of the album.




Song information

“Timor” is described as a protest song for its criticism of the judiciary system (“the system never fails, the good guys are in power and the bad guys are in jail”), the concept of democracy (“it’s alright just as long as we can vote, we live in a democracy and that’s what we promote”), the mass media (“it’s alright if the news says half the truth, hearing what we want is the secret of eternal youth”) and teenager alienation (“it’s alright if the planets split in three, ’cause I’ll keep selling records and you’ve got your MTV“).

The name of the song is a reference to East Timor, a very poor Asian country which on very seldom receives major attention from Western media. For 24 years beginning on December 7, 1975 Indonesia occupied former Portuguese colony of East Timor with the approval of the United States.

Similar effort

Other recording artists have occasionally featured songs about East Timor. Of some note, on the anniversary of the Santa Cruz massacre on November 12, 1995 U2′s Bono had penned the song “Love from a Short Distance” recorded on the album Love from a Short Distance (1996) along with many other artists.


“Timor” was retitled “It’s Alright” in the Indonesian version of Oral Fixation Vol. 2, because the East Timorese independence is still a highly controversial issue. The album cover was also changed there, as it was in other Muslim Nations.[citation needed]

 Critical response

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Allmusic reviewer, stated that “even when the album dives into pulsating neo-disco, it’s in the form of a protest song in the closer, “Timor”, which isn’t exactly by-the-numbers pop. And that’s a pretty good description of Oral Fixation Vol. 2 in general — it’s pop, but it’s unconventional”.[1]

Alexis Petridis, reviewer of The Guardian, stated in the newspaper that the song “answers the question of what Franz Ferdinand would sound like if they employed a children’s choir and antiquated “syn-drums” that bring to mind either Kelly Marie‘s disco hit “Feels Like I’m in Love”, or early 1980s cartoon Pigeon Street, depending on the listener’s age. Admittedly, this isn’t a question that anyone other than Shakira has spent much time pondering, but the result is bewildering and exhilarating. And you could happily apply the same adjectives to the whole of Oral Fixation Vol 2.”[2]

Michael Paoletta, reviewer of the Billboard magaine, stated that “this wonderful disc closes with jagged dance track “Timor”, a political call to arms that manages to recall Cyndi Lauper‘s “She Bop“.[3]


  • Lyrics and music: Shakira
  • Producer: Shakira
  • Executive producer: Rick Rubin
  • Co-producer: Lester Mendez for Living Stereo
  • Main vocals: Shakira
  • Background vocals: Shakira, Mario Inchausti
  • Choir: Church of the Epiphany Chamber Choir
  • Choir director: Patrick Dupré Quingley
  • Bass guitar: Chris Chaney
  • Keyboards: Lester Mendez, Pete Davis
  • Guitar: Lyle Workman, Tony Reyes
  • Programming: Pete Davis, Lester Mendez
  • Recording Engineers: Rob Jacobs, Kevin Killen
  • Mix Engineer: Gustavo Celis

the end @ copyright Dr Iwan Suwandy 2011

Penelitian Piring Hitam The Beatles Yang Ditemukan Di Indonesia(The Beatlles Found In Indonesia)




                                                AT DR IWAN CYBERMUSEUM

                                          DI MUSEUM DUNIA MAYA DR IWAN S.




 *ill 001

                      *ill 001  LOGO MUSEUM DUNIA MAYA DR IWAN S.*ill 001

                                THE FIRST INDONESIAN CYBERMUSEUM



                                        PENDIRI DAN PENEMU IDE

                                                     THE FOUNDER

                                            Dr IWAN SUWANDY, MHA




                         WELCOME TO THE MAIN HALL OF FREEDOM               




              DMRC SHOWROOM 

Driwan Music Record Cybermuseum




 Koleksi Piring Hitam Legendaris Dunia  nomor satu The Beatles.

 (The Legend Singers Record Label number one The beatles )

Frame One :


1.Saya mulai koleksi p1ringan hitam penyanyi legendaris sejak masih sekolah di SMA tahun 1959-1963 tetapi saat itu harganya masih tinggi serta masa era Bung Karno masih dilarang musik Rock ia mengatakan itu musik Ngak Ngik Ngok, penyanyi Indonesia yang meniru dipenjarakan. Oleh karena itu sangat sulit menemukan koleksi piring hitam penyanyi rocker di Indonesia era 1950-1965 .seperti the beatles era sebelum 1965.

I am starting collecting palyrecord plate during high sschool in 1959-1963, but the price high ,also during President Sukarno era, the rocker music were forbidden to play at radio and  the Indonesian singer who sing that song were put in jail.That is why very difficult to found the earliest rocker playrecord plate in Indonesialike tha beatles ers before 1965

2.Pada era Pak Harto 1966-1998 sudah mulai beredar tetapi dengan kemajuan teknologi piring hitam mulai ditinggalkan akibat muculnya pita kaset dan CD serta majunya internet sehingga banyak lagu-lagu dapat di tag di Internet.

During President suharto era 1966-1998 the rocker playrecord became exist,but in the advanced of technologi the playrecord plate were leaved because staring more practise playrecord like Cassett reel , CD and DVD also everybody could tag the music from Internet.

3. Pada tahun 1990-2000, saya mulai lebih aktif mengumpulkan pirang hitam penyanyi legendari dunia , dan tahun 2005 ketika membaca informasi tentang 100 artis Musik Terbesar sepanjang masa di Edisi Istimewa dalam bahasa Indonesia Majalah Rolling-Stone , barulah saya memperoleh informasi lengkap tentang penyanyi legendaris dunia tersebut dan beburu piringan hitam mereka jadi lebih serius sampai hampir lengkap koleksi tersebut kecuali beberapa penyanyi legendaris yang kurang begitu populer di Indonesia sangat sulit untuk memperoleh koleksi penyanyi tersebut.

Between the years 1990-2000, I had more active to build my  legendary singer playrecord collections and in 2005 I have a best info from The Rolling stone specuial edition magazine in Indonesia language, with this info I have understood about 100  legendary singers in the world and I had playrecord hunting more seriouslly at least my collections almost complete except the unpopuler singer in Indonesia.

4. Dalam rangka memenuhi permintaan para sahabat kolektor dan fans penyanyi legendaris, saya pamerkan koleksi saya terpisah menurut urutan penyanyi terbaik menurut pilihan majalah Rolling stone 2005.yang paling top adalah the Beatles

I have show my collections because many collectors asked me, the legendary singer playrecord  will show starting from the best singer due to Rolling Stone magaziene 2005, the top one  was The Beatles

5.Harap kolektor piring hitam The Beatles di Indonesia bersedia membantu saya dalam penelitian piring hitam Beatles jenis apa saja yang ditemukan di Indonesia, harap memberikan info lewat komentar lengkap dengan ilustrasinya,terima kasih banyak , info ini penting untuk sejarah rekam musik Indonesia karena piring hitam the beatles masa era Bung Karno dilarang diputar di RRI dan penjualan ditoko tiak ada informasinya .

Jakarta February 2011

Dr Iwan Suwandy

Frame One.:

The Beatles Record  Found In Indonesia

A. Dr iwan Collections

1. Record Cover Only

 1a)EMI Limited LP The Beatles

front cover



Side one

1b)Les beatles,Mono single

side 1: I want to hold your hand and It would be long

side 2: I wan to be your man and Till they was you

(who know this Record please tell me  via comment-Dr Iwan S)

2. Record Plate without Cover.

1)Parlophone,side one Revolution and side two Hey Jude

2)Parlophome, song Lady madonna and the Inner Light

3)Apple white,Dont let me Down and I will

4)Apple green, Obladi Oblada and Get Back

5)Apple Green,7 XCE,21296,song Get Back

B. Indonesian Collector by googles Explorations

(please Indonesian collectors help me to report their beatles collections with illustrations ,thanks Dr Iwan S)

1. Record Cover

1)The beatles,song film Help

2)The beatles,Rubber soul

3)The Beatles . Let It Be

4)The Beatles and Frank Ifield ,Jolly What

2.Record Plate

1) apple green, the beatles,song something

2)Parlophone,The Beatles,Song of film Help

Frame Three :

The Original Record Album notes

Frame Four :

The Beatles History

The Beatles
A square quartered into four head shots of young men with moptop haircuts. Clockwise from top left, one smiles jauntily towards his right, one faces forward excitedly with an opened mouth, one smiles with his left eye half closed as if blinking, and one looks up with his tongue stuck out slightly as if licking his lips. All four wear white shirts and dark coats.
The Beatles in 1964
John Lennon, Paul McCartney,
George Harrison, Ringo Starr
Background information
Origin Liverpool, England
Genres Rock, pop
Years active 1960 (1960)–1970 (1970)
Labels Parlophone, Capitol, Apple
Associated acts The Quarrymen
John Lennon
Paul McCartney
George Harrison
Ringo Starr
Past members
Stuart Sutcliffe
Pete Best

The Beatles were an English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960, and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music.[1] From 1962, the group consisted of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals). Rooted in skiffle and 1950s rock and roll, the group later worked in many genres ranging from pop ballads to psychedelic rock, often incorporating classical and other elements in innovative ways. The nature of their enormous popularity, which first emerged as the “Beatlemania” fad, transformed as their songwriting grew in sophistication. The group came to be perceived as the embodiment of progressive ideals, seeing their influence extend into the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s.

Initially with a five-piece line-up of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe (bass) and Pete Best (drums), The Beatles built their reputation in Liverpool and Hamburg clubs over a three-year period from 1960. Sutcliffe left the group in 1961, and Best was replaced by Starr the following year. Moulded into a professional outfit by music store owner Brian Epstein after he offered to act as the group’s manager, and with their musical potential enhanced by the creativity of producer George Martin, The Beatles achieved mainstream success in the United Kingdom in late 1962 with their first single, “Love Me Do“. Gaining international popularity over the course of the next year, they toured extensively until 1966, then retreated to the recording studio until their break-up in 1970. Each then found success in an independent musical career. Lennon was murdered outside his home in New York City in 1980, and Harrison died of cancer in 2001. McCartney and Starr remain active.

During their studio years, The Beatles produced what critics consider some of their finest material including the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), widely regarded as a masterpiece. Four decades after their break-up, The Beatles’ music continues to be popular. The Beatles are the best-selling band in the history of popular music.[2][3] They have had more number one albums on the UK charts, and held down the top spot longer, than any other musical act.[4] According to the RIAA, The Beatles have sold more albums in the United States than any other artist.[5] In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the all-time top-selling Hot 100 artists to celebrate the US singles chart’s fiftieth anniversary, with The Beatles at number one.[6] They have been honoured with 7 Grammy Awards,[7] and they have received 15 Ivor Novello Awards from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.[8] The Beatles were collectively included in Time magazine’s compilation of the 20th century’s 100 most influential people.[9]






Formation and early years (1957–1962)

Aged sixteen, singer and guitarist John Lennon formed the skiffle group The Quarrymen with some Liverpool schoolfriends in March 1957.[1] Fifteen-year-old Paul McCartney joined as a guitarist after he and Lennon met that July.[10] When McCartney in turn invited George Harrison to watch the group the following February, the fourteen-year-old joined as lead guitarist.[11][12] By 1960, Lennon’s schoolfriends had left the group, he had begun studies at the Liverpool College of Art and the three guitarists were playing rock and roll whenever they could get a drummer.[13] Joining on bass in January, Lennon’s fellow student Stuart Sutcliffe suggested changing the band name to “The Beetles” as a tribute to Buddy Holly and The Crickets, and they became “The Beatals” for the first few months of the year.[14][15] After trying other names including “Johnny and the Moondogs”, “Long John and The Beetles” and “The Silver Beatles”, the band finally became “The Beatles” in August.[16] The lack of a permanent drummer posed a problem when the group’s unofficial manager, Allan Williams, arranged a resident band booking for them in Hamburg, Germany.[17] Before the end of August they auditioned and hired drummer Pete Best,[18] and the five-piece band left for Hamburg four days later, contracted to fairground showman Bruno Koschmider for a 48-night residency. “Hamburg in those days did not have rock ‘n’ roll music clubs. It had strip clubs”, says biographer Philip Norman.

Bruno had the idea of bringing in rock groups to play in various clubs. They had this formula. It was a huge nonstop show, hour after hour, with a lot of people lurching in and the other lot lurching out. And the bands would play all the time to catch the passing traffic. In an American red-light district, they would call it nonstop striptease.Many of the bands that played in Hamburg were from Liverpool … It was an accident. Bruno went to London to look for bands. But he happened to meet a Liverpool entrepreneur in Soho, who was down in London by pure chance. And he arranged to send some bands over.[19]

Harrison, only 17 years old in August 1960, obtained permission to stay in Hamburg by lying to the German authorities about his age.[20] Initially placing The Beatles at the Indra Club, Koschmider moved them to the Kaiserkeller in October after the Indra was closed down due to noise complaints.[21] When they violated their contract by performing at the Top Ten Club, a rival venue, Koschmider reported the underage Harrison to the authorities, leading to his deportation in November.[22][23] McCartney and Best were arrested for arson a week later when they set fire to a condom nailed to a wall in their room; they too were deported.[24] Lennon returned to Liverpool in mid-December, while Sutcliffe remained in Hamburg with his new German fiancée, Astrid Kirchherr, for another month. Kirchherr took the first professional photos of the group and cut Sutcliffe’s hair in the German “exi” (existentialist) style of the time, a look later adopted by the other Beatles.[25][26]

During the next two years, the group were resident for further periods in Hamburg. They used Preludin both recreationally and to maintain their energy through all-night performances.[27] Sutcliffe decided to leave the band in early 1961 and resume his art studies in Germany, so McCartney took up bass.[26][28][29] German producer Bert Kaempfert contracted what was now a four-piece to act as Tony Sheridan‘s backing band on a series of recordings.[30] Credited to “Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers”, the single “My Bonnie“, recorded in June and released four months later, reached number 32 in the Musikmarkt chart.[31][32] The Beatles were also becoming more popular back home in Liverpool. During one of the band’s frequent appearances there at The Cavern Club, they encountered Brian Epstein, a local record store owner and music columnist.[33] When the band appointed Epstein manager in January 1962, Kaempfert agreed to release them from the German record contract. After Decca Records rejected the band with the comment “Guitar groups are on the way out, Mr. Epstein”, George Martin signed the group to EMI‘s Parlophone label.[33][34][35] News of a tragedy greeted them on their return to Hamburg in April.[36] Meeting them at the airport, a stricken Kirchherr told them of Sutcliffe’s death from a brain haemorrhage.[37]

A flight of stone steps leads from an asphalt car park up to the main entrance of a white two-story building. The ground floor has two sash windows, the first floor has three shorter sash windows. Two more windows are visible at basement level. The decorative stonework around the doors and windows is painted grey.

Abbey Road Studios main entrance

In Liverpool, the Merseybeat movement was gathering force. The band had its first recording session under Martin’s direction at EMI Studios in London in June 1962. Martin complained to Epstein about Best’s drumming and suggested the band use a session drummer in the studio.[38] Instead, Best was replaced by Ringo Starr. Starr, who left Rory Storm and the Hurricanes to join The Beatles, had already performed with them in Best’s occasional absence.[39] Martin still hired session drummer Andy White for one session.[40] White played on the single “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You“. Released in October, “Love Me Do” was a top twenty UK hit, peaking at number seventeen on the chart.[41] After a November studio session that yielded what would be their second single, “Please Please Me“, they made their TV debut with a live performance on the regional news programme People and Places.[42]

The band concluded their last Hamburg stint in December 1962.[19] By now it had become the pattern that all four members contributed vocals, although Starr’s restricted range meant he sang lead only rarely.[43] Lennon and McCartney had established a songwriting partnership; as the band’s success grew, their celebrated collaboration limited Harrison’s opportunities as lead vocalist.[44] Epstein, sensing The Beatles’ commercial potential, encouraged the group to adopt a professional attitude to performing. Lennon recalled the manager saying, “Look, if you really want to get in these bigger places, you’re going to have to change—stop eating on stage, stop swearing, stop smoking.”[45] Lennon said, “We used to dress how we liked, on and off stage. He’d tell us that jeans were not particularly smart and could we possibly manage to wear proper trousers, but he didn’t want us suddenly looking square. He’d let us have our own sense of individuality … it was a choice of making it or still eating chicken on stage.”[45]

Beatlemania and touring years (1963–1966)

UK popularity, Please Please Me and With The Beatles

In the wake of the moderate success of “Love Me Do”, “Please Please Me” met with a more emphatic reception, reaching number two in the UK singles chart after its January 1963 release. Martin originally intended to record the band’s debut LP live at The Cavern Club. Finding it had “the acoustic ambience of an oil tank”,[46] he elected to create a “live” album in one session at Abbey Road Studios. Ten songs were recorded for Please Please Me, accompanied on the album by the four tracks already released on the two singles.[46] Recalling how the band “rushed to deliver a debut album, bashing out Please Please Me in a day”, an Allmusic reviewer comments, “Decades after its release, the album still sounds fresh, precisely because of its intense origins.”[47] Lennon said little thought went into composition at the time; he and McCartney were “just writing songs à la Everly Brothers, à la Buddy Holly, pop songs with no more thought of them than that—to create a sound. And the words were almost irrelevant.”[48]

The Beatles’ drop-T logo

Released in March 1963, the album reached number one on the British chart. This began a run during which eleven of The Beatles’ twelve studio albums released in the United Kingdom through 1970 hit number one. The band’s third single, “From Me to You“, came out in April and was also a chart-topping hit. It began an almost unbroken run of seventeen British number one singles for the band, including all but one of those released over the next six years. On its release in August, the band’s fourth single, “She Loves You“, achieved the fastest sales of any record in the UK up to that time, selling three-quarters of a million copies in under four weeks.[49] It became their first single to sell a million copies, and remained the biggest-selling record in the UK until 1978 when it was topped by “Mull of Kintyre“, performed by McCartney and his post-Beatles band Wings.[50] The popularity of The Beatles’ music brought with it increasing press attention. They responded with a cheeky, irreverent attitude that defied what was expected of pop musicians and inspired even more interest.[51][52]

McCartney, Harrison, Swedish pop singer Lill-Babs and Lennon on the set of the Swedish television show Drop-In, 30 October 1963[53]

The Beatles’ iconic “drop-T” logo, based on an impromptu sketch by instrument retailer and designer Ivor Arbiter, also made its debut in 1963. The logo was first used on the front of Starr’s bass drum, which Epstein and Starr purchased from Arbiter’s London shop.[54][55] The band toured the UK three times in the first half of the year: a four-week tour that began in February preceded three-week tours in March and May–June. As their popularity spread, a frenzied adulation of the group took hold, dubbed “Beatlemania“. Although not billed as tour leaders, they overshadowed other acts including Tommy Roe, Chris Montez and Roy Orbison, US artists who had established great popularity in the UK.[56] Performances everywhere, both on tour and at many one-off shows across the UK, were greeted with riotous enthusiasm by screaming fans.[57] Police found it necessary to use high-pressure water hoses to control the crowds, and there were debates in Parliament concerning the thousands of police officers putting themselves at risk to protect the group.[58] In late October, a five-day tour of Sweden saw the band venture abroad for the first time since the Hamburg chapter.[59] Returning to the UK, they were greeted at Heathrow Airport in heavy rain by thousands of fans in “a scene similar to a shark-feeding frenzy”, attended by fifty journalists and photographers and a BBC Television camera crew.[60] The next day, The Beatles began yet another UK tour, scheduled for six weeks. By now, they were indisputably the headliners.[56]

Please Please Me was still topping the album chart. It maintained the position for thirty weeks, only to be displaced by With The Beatles which itself held the top spot for twenty-one weeks. Making much greater use of studio production techniques than its “live” predecessor, the album was recorded between July and October. With The Beatles is described by Allmusic as “a sequel of the highest order—one that betters the original by developing its own tone and adding depth.”[61][62] In a reversal of what had until then been standard practice, the album was released in late November ahead of the impending single “I Want to Hold Your Hand“, with the song excluded in order to maximize the single’s sales.[62] With The Beatles caught the attention of Times music critic William Mann, who went as far as to suggest that Lennon and McCartney were “the outstanding English composers of 1963″.[62] The newspaper published a series of articles in which Mann offered detailed analyses of The Beatles’ music, lending it respectability.[63] With The Beatles became the second album in UK chart history to sell a million copies, a figure previously reached only by the 1958 South Pacific soundtrack.[64]

The British Invasion

Sample of the single “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (1963) which cemented the band’s international success when it achieved enormous US popularity a few weeks before their debut in the country


Beatles’ releases in the United States were initially delayed for nearly a year when Capitol Records, EMI’s American subsidiary, declined to issue either “Please Please Me” or “From Me to You”.[65] Negotiations with independent US labels led to the release of some singles, but issues with royalties and derision of The Beatles’ “moptop” hairstyle posed further obstacles.[66][67] Once Capitol did start to issue the material, rather than releasing the LPs in their original configuration, they compiled distinct US albums from an assortment of the band’s recordings, and issued songs of their own choice as singles.[68] American chart success came suddenly after a CBS news broadcast about British Beatlemania triggered great demand, leading Capitol to rush-release “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in December 1963.[69] The band’s US debut was already scheduled to take place a few weeks later.

The Beatles are standing in front of a crowd of people at the bottom of an aeroplane staircase.

The Beatles arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport, 7 February 1964

When The Beatles left the United Kingdom on 7 February 1964, an estimated four thousand fans gathered at Heathrow, waving and screaming as the aircraft took off.[70] “I Want to Hold Your Hand” had sold 2.6 million copies in the US over the previous two weeks, but the group were still nervous about how they would be received.[71] At New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport they were greeted by another vociferous crowd, estimated at about three thousand people.[72] They gave their first live US television performance two days later on The Ed Sullivan Show, watched by approximately 74 million viewers—over 40 percent of the American population.[73][74] The next morning one newspaper wrote that The Beatles “could not carry a tune across the Atlantic”,[75] but a day later their first US concert saw Beatlemania erupt at Washington Coliseum.[76] Back in New York the following day, they met with another strong reception at Carnegie Hall. The band appeared on the weekly Ed Sullivan Show a second time, before returning to the UK on 22 February.[77] During the week of 4 April, The Beatles held twelve positions on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, including the top five.[78] That same week, a third American LP joined the two already in circulation; all three reached the first or second spot on the US album chart. The band’s popularity generated unprecedented interest in British music, and a number of other UK acts subsequently made their own American debuts, successfully touring over the next three years in what was termed the British Invasion.[79] The Beatles’ hairstyle, unusually long for the era and still mocked by many adults, was widely adopted and became an emblem of the burgeoning youth culture.[80]

Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and John Lennon playing guitars and wearing matching grey suits.

McCartney, Harrison and Lennon perform on Dutch television in 1964

The Beatles toured internationally in June. Staging thirty-two concerts over nineteen days in Denmark, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand, they were ardently received at every venue.[81][82] Starr was in hospital after a tonsillectomy for the first half of the tour, and Jimmie Nicol sat in on drums. In August they returned to the US, with a thirty-concert tour of twenty-three cities.[83] Generating intense interest once again, the month-long tour attracted between ten and twenty thousand fans to each thirty-minute performance in cities from San Francisco to New York. However, their music could hardly be heard.[83] On-stage amplification at the time was modest compared to modern-day equipment, and the band’s small Vox amplifiers struggled to compete with the volume of sound generated by screaming fans. Forced to accept that neither they nor their audiences could hear the details of their performance, the band grew increasingly bored with the routine of concert touring.[84]

At the end of the August tour they were introduced to Bob Dylan in New York at the instigation of journalist Al Aronowitz. Visiting the band in their hotel suite, Dylan introduced them to cannabis.[85] Music historian Jonathan Gould points out the musical and cultural significance of this meeting, before which the musicians’ respective fanbases were “perceived as inhabiting two separate subcultural worlds”: Dylan’s core audience of “college kids with artistic or intellectual leanings, a dawning political and social idealism, and a mildly bohemian style” contrasted with The Beatles’ core audience of “veritable ‘teenyboppers‘—kids in high school or grade school whose lives were totally wrapped up in the commercialized popular culture of television, radio, pop records, fan magazines, and teen fashion. They were seen as idolaters, not idealists.” Within six months of the meeting, “Lennon would be making records on which he openly imitated Dylan’s nasal drone, brittle strum, and introspective vocal persona.” Within a year, Dylan would “proceed, with the help of a five-piece group and a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, to shake the monkey of folk authenticity permanently off his back”; “the distinction between the folk and rock audiences would have nearly evaporated”; and The Beatles’ audience would be “showing signs of growing up”.[86]

A Hard Day’s Night, Beatles for Sale, Help! and Rubber Soul

Capitol Records’ lack of interest throughout 1963 had not gone unnoticed, and a competitor, United Artists Records, encouraged United Artists’ film division to offer The Beatles a motion picture contract in the hope that it would lead to a record deal.[87] Directed by Richard Lester, A Hard Day’s Night had the group’s involvement for six weeks in March–April 1964 as they played themselves in a boisterous mock-documentary of The Beatles’ phenomenon.[88] The film premiered in London and New York in July and August, respectively, and was an international success.[89] The Observer‘s reviewer, Penelope Gilliatt, noted that “the way The Beatles go on is just there, and that’s it. In an age that is clogged with self-explanation this makes them very welcome. It also makes them naturally comic.”[90] According to Allmusic, the accompanying soundtrack album, A Hard Day’s Night, saw The Beatles “truly coming into their own as a band. All of the disparate influences on their first two albums had coalesced into a bright, joyous, original sound, filled with ringing guitars.”[91] That “ringing guitar” sound was primarily the product of Harrison’s 12-string electric Rickenbacker, a prototype given him by the manufacturer, which made its debut on the record. Harrison’s ringing 12-string inspired Roger McGuinn, who obtained his own Rickenbacker and used it to craft the trademark sound of The Byrds.[92]

Beatles for Sale, the band’s fourth studio album, saw the emergence of a serious conflict between commercialism and creativity.[93] Recorded between August and October 1964, the album had been intended to continue the format established by A Hard Day’s Night which, unlike the band’s first two LPs, had contained no cover versions.[93] Acknowledging the challenge posed by constant international touring to the band’s songwriting efforts, Lennon admitted, “Material’s becoming a hell of a problem”. Six covers from their extensive repertoire were included on the album.[94][93] Released in early December, its eight self-penned numbers nevertheless stood out, demonstrating the growing maturity of the material produced by the Lennon-McCartney partnership.[93]

In April 1965, Lennon and Harrison’s dentist spiked their coffee with LSD while they were his guests for dinner.[95] The two later deliberately experimented with the drug, joined by Starr on one occasion.[96] McCartney was reluctant to try it, but eventually did so in 1966, and later became the first Beatle to discuss it publicly.[97] Controversy erupted in June 1965 when Elizabeth II appointed the four Beatles Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) after Prime Minister Harold Wilson nominated them for the award.[98] In protest—the honour was at that time primarily bestowed upon military veterans and civic leaders—some conservative MBE recipients returned their own insignia.[99]

The Beatles performing music in a field. In the foreground, the drums are played by Starr (only the top of is head is visible). Beyond him, the other three stand in a column with their guitars. In the rear, Harrison, head down, strikes a chord. In the front, Lennon smiles and gives a little wave toward camera, holding his pick. Between them, McCartney is jocularly about to choke Lennon.

The US trailer for Help! with (from the rear) Harrison, McCartney, Lennon and (largely obscured) Starr

The Beatles’ second film, Help!, again directed by Lester, was released in July. Described as “mainly a relentless spoof of Bond“,[100] it inspired a mixed response among both reviewers and the band. McCartney said, “Help! was great but it wasn’t our film—we were sort of guest stars. It was fun, but basically, as an idea for a film, it was a bit wrong.”[100] The soundtrack was dominated by Lennon, who was lead singer and songwriter on the majority of songs, including the two singles performed on it: “Help!” and “Ticket to Ride“.[101] The accompanying album, the group’s fifth studio LP, again contained a mix of original material and covers. Help! saw the band making increased use of vocal overdubs and incorporating classical instruments into their arrangements, notably the string quartet on the pop ballad “Yesterday“.[102] Composed by McCartney, “Yesterday” would inspire the most recorded cover versions of any song ever written.[103] The LP’s closing track, “Dizzy Miss Lizzy”, became the last cover the band would include on an album. With the exception of Let It Be‘s brief rendition of the traditional Liverpool folk song “Maggie Mae“, all of their subsequent albums would contain only self-penned material.[104]

On 15 August, The Beatles’ third US visit opened with the first major stadium concert in history when they performed before a crowd of 55,600 at Shea Stadium, New York.[105] A further nine successful concerts followed in other American cities. Towards the end of the tour the group were introduced to Elvis Presley, a foundational musical influence on the band, who invited them to his home.[106] Presley and the band set up guitars in his living room, jammed together, discussed the music business and exchanged anecdotes.[107] September saw the launch of an American Saturday morning cartoon series featuring The Beatles and echoing A Hard Day’s Night’s slapstick antics. Original episodes appeared for the next two years, and reruns aired through 1969.[108]

Sample of “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” from Rubber Soul (1965). The use of a sitar on this song saw the band “beginning to expand the conventional instrumental parameters of the rock group”.[109]


Rubber Soul, released in early December, was hailed by critics as another major step forward in the maturity and complexity of the band’s music.[109] Biographer and music critic Ian MacDonald observes that with Rubber Soul, The Beatles “recovered the sense of direction that had begun to elude them during the later stages of work on Beatles for Sale“.[110] After Help!’s foray into the world of classical music with flutes and strings, Rubber Soul’s introduction of a sitar on “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” marked a further progression outside the traditional boundaries of rock music. The album also saw Lennon and McCartney’s collaborative songwriting increasingly supplemented by distinct compositions from each (though they continued to share official credit). Their thematic reach was expanding as well, embracing more complex aspects of romance and other concerns.[109] As their lyrics grew more artful, fans began to study them for deeper meaning. There was speculation that “Norwegian Wood” might refer to cannabis.[111] In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine’s “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” ranked Rubber Soul at number five,[112] and the album is today described by Allmusic as “one of the classic folk rock records”.[1] According to both Lennon and McCartney, however, it was “just another album”.[113] Recording engineer Norman Smith saw clear signs of growing conflict within the group during the Rubber Soul sessions; Smith later said that “the clash between John and Paul was becoming obvious” and “as far as Paul was concerned, George could do no right.”[114]

Controversy, studio years and break-up (1966–1970)

Events leading up to final tour

In June 1966, Yesterday and Today—one of the compilation albums created by Capitol Records for the US market—caused an uproar with its cover, which portrayed the grinning Beatles dressed in butcher’s overalls, accompanied by raw meat and mutilated plastic baby dolls. A popular, though apocryphal, story was that this was meant as a satirical response to the way Capitol had “butchered” their albums.[115] Thousands of copies of the album had a new cover pasted over the original; an unpeeled “first-state” copy fetched $10,500 at a December 2005 auction.[116] During a tour of the Philippines the month after the Yesterday and Today furore, The Beatles unintentionally snubbed the nation’s first lady, Imelda Marcos, who had expected the group to attend a breakfast reception at the Presidential Palace.[117] When presented with the invitation, Epstein politely declined on behalf of the group, as it had never been his policy to accept such official invitations.[118] The group soon found that the Marcos regime was unaccustomed to taking “no” for an answer. The resulting riots endangered the group and they escaped the country with difficulty.[119]

Almost as soon as they returned home, they faced a fierce backlash from US religious and social conservatives (as well as the Ku Klux Klan) over a comment Lennon had made in a March interview with British reporter Maureen Cleave.[120] Lennon had offered his opinion that Christianity was dying and that The Beatles were “more popular than Jesus now”.[121][122] The comment went virtually unnoticed in England, but when US teenage fan magazine Datebook printed it five months later—on the eve of the group’s final US tour—it created a controversy in the American “Bible belt”.[123] South Africa also banned airplay of Beatles’ records, a prohibition that would last until 1971.[124] Epstein publicly criticised Datebook, saying they had taken Lennon’s words out of context,[125] and at a press conference Lennon pointed out, “If I’d said television was more popular than Jesus, I might have got away with it.” Lennon said he had only been referring to how other people saw The Beatles, but “if you want me to apologise, if that will make you happy, then okay, I’m sorry.”[125]

Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Sample of “Eleanor Rigby” from Revolver (1966). The album involves innovative compositional approaches, arrangements and recording techniques. This song prominently features classical strings as part of a novel musical style.


Rubber Soul had marked a major step forward; Revolver, released in August 1966 a week before the band’s final tour, marked another.[126] Pitchfork identifies it as “the sound of a band growing into supreme confidence” and “redefining what was expected from popular music.”[51] Described by Gould as “woven with motifs of circularity, reversal, and inversion”, Revolver featured sophisticated songwriting and a greatly expanded repertoire of musical styles ranging from innovative classical string arrangements to psychedelic rock.[126] Abandoning the group photograph that had become the norm, its cover—designed by Klaus Voormann, a friend of the band since their Hamburg days—was a “stark, arty, black-and-white collage that caricatured The Beatles in a pen-and-ink style beholden to Aubrey Beardsley.”[126] The album was preceded by the single “Paperback Writer“, backed by “Rain“. The Beatles shot short promo films for both songs, described as “among the first true music videos“,[127] which aired on Top of the Pops and The Ed Sullivan Show.[128][129]

Among Revolver‘s most experimental tracks was “Tomorrow Never Knows“, for whose lyrics Lennon drew from Timothy Leary‘s The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The song’s creation involved eight tape decks distributed about the recording studio building, each manned by an engineer or band member, who randomly varied the movement of a tape loop while Martin created a composite recording by sampling the incoming data.[130] McCartney’s “Eleanor Rigby” made prominent use of a string octet; it has been described as “a true hybrid, conforming to no recognizable style or genre of song.”[131] Harrison was developing as a songwriter, and three of his compositions earned a place on the record. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked Revolver as the third greatest album of all time.[112] On the US tour that followed, The Beatles played none of its songs.[132] The final show, at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, on 29 August, was their last commercial concert.[133] It marked the end of a four-year period dominated by touring that included over 1,400 concert appearances internationally.[134]

Sample of “Within You Without You” from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967). This raga rock song demonstrates the influence of Indian classical music on the band.

Sample of “Strawberry Fields Forever” (1967), recorded during the Sgt. Pepper sessions. Soon after hearing this psychedelic rock song, Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson abandoned his attempts to compete with the band.


Freed from the burden of touring, the band’s desire to experiment increased as they recorded Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, beginning in December 1966. Emerick recalled, “The Beatles insisted that everything on Sgt. Pepper had to be different. We had microphones right down in the bells of brass instruments and headphones turned into microphones attached to violins. We used giant primitive oscillators to vary the speed of instruments and vocals and we had tapes chopped to pieces and stuck together upside down and the wrong way round.”[135] Parts of “A Day in the Life” required a forty-piece orchestra.[135] Nearly seven hundred hours of studio time were devoted to the sessions. They first yielded the non-album double A-side single “Strawberry Fields Forever“/”Penny Lane” in February 1967; Sgt. Pepper followed in June. The musical complexity of the records, created using only four-track recording technology, astounded contemporary artists seeking to outdo The Beatles.[136] For Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson, in the midst of a personal crisis and struggling to complete the ambitious Smile, hearing “Strawberry Fields” was a crushing blow and he soon abandoned all attempts to compete.[137][138] Sgt. Pepper met with great critical acclaim. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it number one among its “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”[112] and it is widely regarded as a masterpiece.[139] Jonathan Gould describes it as

a rich, sustained, and overflowing work of collaborative genius whose bold ambition and startling originality dramatically enlarged the possibilities and raised the expectations of what the experience of listening to popular music on record could be. On the basis of this perception, Sgt. Pepper became the catalyst for an explosion of mass enthusiasm for album-formatted rock that would revolutionize both the aesthetics and the economics of the record business in ways that far outstripped the earlier pop explosions triggered by the Elvis phenomenon of 1956 and the Beatlemania phenomenon of 1963.[139]

Front cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, “probably the most famous album cover in popular musical history”[140]

Sgt. Pepper was the first major pop album to include its complete lyrics, which were printed on the back cover.[141] Those lyrics were the subject of intense analysis; fans speculated, for instance, that the “celebrated Mr K.” in “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” might in fact be the surrealist fiction writer Franz Kafka.[142] The American literary critic and professor of English Richard Poirier wrote an essay, “Learning from The Beatles”, in which he observed that his students were “listening to the group’s music with a degree of engagement that he, as a teacher of literature, could only envy.”[142] Poirier identified what he termed the “mixed allusiveness” of the material: “It’s unwise ever to assume that they’re doing only one thing or expressing themselves in only one style … one kind of feeling about a subject isn’t enough … any single induced feeling must often exist within the context of seemingly contradictory alternatives.”[142] McCartney said at the time, “We write songs. We know what we mean by them. But in a week someone else says something about it, and you can’t deny it … You put your own meaning at your own level to our songs”.[142] Sgt. Pepper‘s remarkably elaborate album cover also occasioned great interest and deep study.[143] The heavy moustaches worn by the band swiftly became a hallmark of hippie style.[144] Cultural historian Jonathan Harris describes their “brightly coloured parodies of military uniforms” as a knowingly “anti-authoritarian and anti-establishment” display.[145]

On 25 June, the band performed their newest single, “All You Need Is Love“, to TV viewers worldwide on Our World (International TV special), the first live global television link.[146] Appearing amid the Summer of Love, the song was adopted as a flower power anthem.[147][148] Two months later the group suffered a loss that threw their career into turmoil. After being introduced to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, they travelled to Bangor for his Transcendental Meditation retreat. During the retreat, Epstein’s assistant Peter Brown called to tell them Epstein had died.[149] The coroner ruled Epstein’s death an accidental overdose, but it was widely rumoured that a suicide note had been discovered among his possessions.[150] Epstein had been in a fragile emotional state, stressed by both personal issues and the state of his working relationship with The Beatles.[151] He worried that the band might not renew his management contract, due to expire in October, based on discontent with his supervision of business matters. There were particular concerns over Seltaeb, the company that handled Beatles merchandising rights in the United States.[150] Epstein’s death left the group disorientated and fearful about the future. Lennon said later, “I didn’t have any misconceptions about our ability to do anything other than play music and I was scared.”[152] He also looked back on Epstein’s death as marking the beginning of the end for the group: “I knew that we were in trouble then … I thought, We’ve fuckin’ had it now.”[153]

Magical Mystery Tour, White Album and Yellow Submarine

Magical Mystery Tour, the soundtrack to a forthcoming Beatles’ television film, appeared as a six-track double extended play disc (EP) in early December 1967.[154] In the United States, the six songs were issued on an identically titled LP that also included tracks from the band’s recent singles. Allmusic says of the US Magical Mystery Tour, “The psychedelic sound is very much in the vein of Sgt. Pepper, and even spacier in parts (especially the sound collages of ‘I Am the Walrus‘)”, and calls its five songs culled from the band’s 1967 singles “huge, glorious, and innovative”.[155] It set a new US record in its first three weeks for highest initial sales of any Capitol LP, and it is the one Capitol compilation later to be adopted in the band’s official canon of studio albums.[156] Aired on Boxing Day, the Magical Mystery Tour film, largely directed by McCartney, brought The Beatles their first major negative UK press. It was dismissed as “blatant rubbish” by the Daily Express, which described it as “a great deal of raw footage showing a group of people getting on, getting off, and riding on a bus”.[157] The Daily Mail called it “a colossal conceit”, while the Guardian labelled it “a kind of fantasy morality play about the grossness and warmth and stupidity of the audience”.[157] It fared so dismally that it was withheld from the US at the time.[158] In January, the group filmed a cameo for the animated movie Yellow Submarine, a fantasia featuring a cartoon version of The Beatles. The group’s only other involvement with the film was the contribution of several unreleased studio recordings. Released in June 1968, it was well received for its innovative visual style and humour in addition to its music. It would be seven months, however, before the film’s soundtrack album appeared.

The Beatles, wearing identical dark-grey button-down shirts. They are clean-shaven, except for Starr, who has a mustache. Lennon, wearing mutton chops, holds a folded telescope. All are smiling, except for McCartney, who looks pensive.

McCartney, Starr, Harrison and Lennon in the trailer for Yellow Submarine. Their cameo was filmed 25 January 1968, three weeks before they left for India.[159]

In the interim came The Beatles, a double LP popularly known as the White Album for its virtually featureless cover. Creative inspiration for the album came from an unexpected quarter when, with Epstein’s guiding presence gone, the group turned to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as their guru.[160] At his ashram in Rishikesh, India, a three-month “Guide Course” became one of their most creative periods, yielding a large number of songs including most of the thirty recorded for the album.[161] Starr left after ten days, likening it to Butlins, and McCartney eventually grew bored with the procedure and departed a month later.[162] For Lennon and Harrison, creativity turned to questioning when Yanni Alexis Mardas, the electronics technician dubbed Magic Alex, suggested that the Maharishi was attempting to manipulate the group.[160] After Mardas alleged that the Maharishi had made sexual advances to women attendees, Lennon was persuaded and left abruptly, taking the unconvinced Harrison and the remainder of the group’s entourage with him.[162] In his anger Lennon wrote a pointed song called “Maharishi”, but later modified it to avoid a legal suit, resulting in “Sexy Sadie“.[160] McCartney said, “We made a mistake. We thought there was more to him than there was.”[160]

Sample of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” from The Beatles (1968). A rock ballad among songs of a variety of other genres on the album.

Sample of “Helter Skelter” from The Beatles (1968). The album’s music ranges from the musique concrète composition “Revolution 9” to the “proto-metal roar” of this song.


During recording sessions for the album, which stretched from late May to mid-October 1968, relations among the band’s members grew openly divisive. Starr quit for a period, leaving McCartney to perform drums on several tracks.[163] Lennon’s romantic preoccupation with avant-garde artist Yoko Ono contributed to tension within the band and he lost interest in co-writing with McCartney.[164] Flouting the group’s well-established understanding that they would not take partners into the studio, Lennon insisted on bringing Ono, whom Harrison disliked anyway, to all of the sessions.[165] Increasingly contemptuous of McCartney’s creative input, he began to identify the latter’s compositions as “granny music”, dismissing “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” as “granny shit”.[166] Recalling the White Album sessions, Lennon gave a curiously foreshortened summing-up of the band’s history from that point on, saying, “It’s like if you took each track off it and made it all mine and all Paul’s… just me and a backing group, Paul and a backing group, and I enjoyed it. We broke up then.”[167] McCartney also recalled that the sessions marked the start of the break-up, saying, “Up to that point, the world was a problem, but we weren’t” which had always been “the best thing about The Beatles”.[168] Issued in November, the White Album was the band’s first Apple Records album release. The new label was a subsidiary of Apple Corps, formed by the group on their return from India, fulfilling a plan of Epstein’s to create a tax-effective business structure.[169] The record attracted more than two million advance orders, selling nearly four million copies in the US in little over a month, and its tracks dominated the playlists of US radio stations.[170] Despite its popularity, it did not receive flattering reviews at the time. According to Jonathan Gould,

The Beatles, known as the White Album for its radically minimalist cover. Conceived by pop artist Richard Hamilton, it has been interpreted as suggesting both a “clean slate”[171] and an ironic relationship with the avant-garde.[172]

The critical response… ranged from mixed to flat. In marked contrast to Sgt. Pepper, which had helped to establish an entire genre of literate rock criticism, the White Album inspired no critical writing of any note. Even the most sympathetic reviewers… clearly didn’t know what to make of this shapeless outpouring of songs. Newsweek’s Hubert Saal, citing the high proportion of parodies, accused the group of getting their tongues caught in their cheeks.[170]

General critical opinion eventually turned in favour of the White Album, and in 2003 Rolling Stone ranked it as the tenth greatest album of all time.[112] Pitchfork describes it as “large and sprawling, overflowing with ideas but also with indulgences, and filled with a hugely variable array of material … its failings are as essential to its character as its triumphs.”[173] Allmusic observes, “Clearly, The Beatles’ two main songwriting forces were no longer on the same page, but neither were George and Ringo”; yet “Lennon turns in two of his best ballads”, McCartney’s songs are “stunning”, Harrison is seen to have become “a songwriter who deserved wider exposure” and Starr’s composition is “a delight”.[174]

By now the interest in Beatles’ lyrics was taking a serious turn. When Lennon’s song “Revolution” had been released as a single in August ahead of the White Album, its messages seemed clear: “free your mind”, and “count me out” of any talk about destruction as a means to an end.[175] In a year characterized by student protests that stretched from Warsaw to Paris to Chicago, the response from the radical left was scathing.[176] However, the White Album version of the song, “Revolution 1″, added an extra word, “count me out … in“, implying a change of heart since the single’s release. The chronology was in fact reversed—the ambivalent album version was recorded first—but some felt that The Beatles were now saying that political violence might indeed be justifiable.[177]

The Yellow Submarine LP finally appeared in January 1969. It contained only four previously unreleased songs, along with the title track (already issued on Revolver), “All You Need Is Love” (already issued as a single and on the US Magical Mystery Tour LP) and seven instrumental pieces composed by Martin. Because of the paucity of new Beatles’ music, Allmusic suggests the album might be “inessential” but for Harrison’s “It’s All Too Much“, “the jewel of the new songs… resplendent in swirling Mellotron, larger-than-life percussion, and tidal waves of feedback guitar… a virtuoso excursion into otherwise hazy psychedelia”.[178]

Abbey Road, Let It Be and break-up

A terrace house with four floors and an attic. It is red brick, with a slate roof, and the ground floor rendered in imitation of stone and painted white. Each upper floor has four sash windows, divided into small panes. The door, with a canopy over it, occupies the place of the second window from the left on the ground floor.

Apple Corps building at 3 Savile Row, site of the Let It Be rooftop concert

Although Let It Be was the band’s final album release, most of it was recorded before Abbey Road. Initially titled Get Back, Let It Be originated from an idea Martin attributes to McCartney: to prepare new material and “perform it before a live audience for the very first time—on record and on film. In other words make a live album of new material, which no one had ever done before.”[179] In the event, much of the album’s content came from studio work, many hours of which were captured on film by director Michael Lindsay-Hogg. Martin said that rehearsals and recording for the project, which occupied much of January 1969, were “not at all a happy … experience. It was a time when relations between The Beatles were at their lowest ebb.”[179] Aggravated by both McCartney and Lennon, Harrison walked out for a week. He returned with keyboardist Billy Preston, who participated in the last ten days of sessions and was credited on the “Get Back” single—the only other musician to receive such acknowledgment on an official Beatles recording. The band members had reached an impasse on a concert location, rejecting among several concepts a boat at sea, the Tunisian desert and the Colosseum. Ultimately, the final live performance by The Beatles, accompanied by Preston, was filmed on the rooftop of the Apple Corps building at 3 Savile Row, London, on 30 January 1969.[179]

Engineer Glyn Johns worked for months assembling various iterations of a Get Back album, while the band turned to other concerns. Conflict arose regarding the appointment of a financial adviser, the need for which had become evident without Epstein to manage business affairs. Lennon, Harrison and Starr favoured Allen Klein, who had negotiated contracts for The Rolling Stones and other UK bands during the British Invasion. McCartney wanted John Eastman, brother of Linda Eastman, whom McCartney married on 12 March (eight days before Lennon and Ono wed).[180] Agreement could not be reached, so both were appointed, but further conflict ensued and financial opportunities were lost.[180]

Martin was surprised when McCartney contacted him and asked him to produce another album, as the Get Back sessions had been “a miserable experience” and he had “thought it was the end of the road for all of us… they were becoming unpleasant people—to themselves as well as to other people.”[181] Recording sessions for Abbey Road began in late February. Lennon rejected Martin’s proposed format of “a continuously moving piece of music”, and wanted his own and McCartney’s songs to occupy separate sides of the album.[181] The eventual format, with individually composed songs on the first side and the second largely comprising a medley, was McCartney’s suggested compromise.[181] On 4 July, while work on the album was in progress, the first solo single by a member of The Beatles appeared: Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance“, credited to the Plastic Ono Band. The completion of the Abbey Road track “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” on 20 August 1969 was the last time all four Beatles were together in the same studio. Lennon announced his departure to the rest of the group on 20 September, but agreed that no public announcement would be made until a number of legal matters were resolved.

Sample of “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” from Abbey Road (1969). The completion of this song on 20 August 1969 marked the last time all four Beatles were together in the same studio.

Problems listening to this file? See media help.

Released six days after Lennon’s declaration, Abbey Road sold four million copies within two months and topped the UK chart for eleven weeks.[182] Its second track, the ballad “Something“, was also issued as a single—the first and only song by Harrison to appear as a Beatles’ A side.[183] Abbey Road received mixed reviews, although the medley met with general acclaim.[184] Allmusic considers it “a fitting swan song for the group” containing “some of the greatest harmonies to be heard on any rock record”.[185] MacDonald calls it “erratic and often hollow”: “Had it not been for McCartney’s input as designer of the Long Medley… Abbey Road would lack the semblance of unity and coherence that makes it appear better than it is.”[186] Martin singled it out as his personal favourite of all the band’s albums; Lennon said it was “competent” but had “no life in it”, calling “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” “more of Paul’s granny music”.[187][188] Recording engineer Geoff Emerick noted that the replacement of the studio’s valve mixing console with a transistorized one produced a less punchy sound, leaving the group frustrated at the thinner tone and lack of impact.[189]

For the still uncompleted Get Back album, the final new Beatles’ song, Harrison’s “I Me Mine” was recorded on 3 January 1970. Lennon, in Denmark at the time, did not participate.[190] To complete the album, now retitled Let It Be, in March Klein gave the Get Back session tapes to American producer Phil Spector. Known for his Wall of Sound approach, Spector had recently produced Lennon’s solo single “Instant Karma!” In addition to remixing the Get Back material, Spector edited, spliced and overdubbed several of the recordings that had been intended as “live”. McCartney was unhappy with Spector’s treatment of the material and particularly dissatisfied with the producer’s orchestration of “The Long and Winding Road“, which involved a choir and thirty-four-piece instrumental ensemble. He unsuccessfully attempted to halt the release of Spector’s version.[191] McCartney publicly announced his departure from the band on 10 April, a week before the release of his first, self-titled solo album. Pre-release copies of McCartney’s record included a press statement with a self-written interview, explaining the end of his involvement with The Beatles and his hopes for the future.[192]

On 8 May, the Spector-produced Let It Be was released. The accompanying single, “The Long and Winding Road”, was the band’s last; it was released in the United States, but not Britain. The Let It Be documentary film followed later in the month; at the Academy Award ceremony the next year, it would win the Academy Award for Best Original Score.[193] The Sunday Telegraph called it “a very bad film and a touching one … about the breaking apart of this reassuring, geometrically perfect, once apparently ageless family of siblings.”[194] More than one reviewer commented that some of the Let It Be tracks sounded better in the film than on the album.[194] Observing that Let It Be is the “only Beatles album to occasion negative, even hostile reviews”, Allmusic describes it as “on the whole underrated… McCartney in particular offers several gems: the gospel-ish ‘Let It Be’, which has some of his best lyrics; ‘Get Back’, one of his hardest rockers; and the melodic ‘The Long and Winding Road’, ruined by Spector’s heavy-handed overdubs.”[195] McCartney filed a suit for the dissolution of The Beatles on 31 December 1970.[196] Legal disputes continued long after the band’s break-up, and the dissolution of the partnership did not take effect until 1975.[197][198]

After the break-up (1970–present)


Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr all released solo albums in 1970. Further albums followed from each, sometimes with the involvement of one or more of the others. Starr’s Ringo (1973) was the only album to include compositions and performances by all four, albeit on separate songs. With Starr’s collaboration, Harrison staged The Concert for Bangladesh in New York City in August 1971 with sitar maestro Ravi Shankar. Other than an unreleased jam session in 1974 (later bootlegged as A Toot and a Snore in ’74), Lennon and McCartney never recorded together again.[199]

Two double-LP sets of The Beatles’ greatest hits compiled by Allen Klein, 1962–1966 and 1967–1970, were released in 1973, at first under the Apple Records imprint.[200] Commonly known as the Red Album and Blue Album respectively, each earned a Multi-Platinum certification in the United States and a Platinum certification in the United Kingdom.[201][202] Between 1976 and 1982, EMI/Capitol released a wave of Beatles’ compilation albums without input from the band members. The only one to feature previously unreleased material was The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl (1977). The first officially issued concert recordings by the group, it contained selections from two shows The Beatles played during their 1964 and 1965 US tours. After the international release of the original British albums on CD in 1987, EMI deleted this latter group of compilations—including the Hollywood Bowl record—from its catalogue.[203]

The Beatles’ music and enduring fame were commercially exploited in various other ways, outside the band members’ creative control. All This and World War II (1976) was an unorthodox nonfiction film that combined World War II newsreel footage with covers of Beatles’ songs by two dozen major recording artists. The Broadway musical Beatlemania, a nostalgia revue featuring four musicians performing as The Beatles, opened in early 1977 and proved popular, spinning off five separate touring productions.[204][205] The Beatles tried and failed to block the 1977 release of Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962. The independently issued album compiled recordings made during the group’s Hamburg residency, taped on a basic recording machine with one microphone.[206][207] Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978), a musical film starring the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton, was a commercial failure and “artistic fiasco”.[208] In 1979, the band sued the producers of Beatlemania, settling for several million dollars in damages. “People were just thinking The Beatles were like public domain”, said Harrison. “You can’t just go around pilfering The Beatles’ material.”[205]


Lennon was shot and killed on 8 December 1980, in New York City. In a personal tribute, Harrison wrote new lyrics for “All Those Years Ago“, a song about his time with The Beatles recorded the month before Lennon’s death. With McCartney and his wife, Linda, contributing backing vocals, and Starr on drums, the song was overdubbed with the new lyrics and released as a single in May 1981.[209] McCartney’s own tribute, “Here Today”, appeared on his Tug of War album in April 1982. In 1987, Harrison’s Cloud Nine album included “When We Was Fab“, a song about the Beatlemania era.

The Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988, their first year of eligibility.[210] Harrison and Starr attended the ceremony along with Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, and his two sons, Julian and Sean. McCartney declined to attend, issuing a press release saying, “After 20 years, The Beatles still have some business differences which I had hoped would have been settled by now. Unfortunately, they haven’t been, so I would feel like a complete hypocrite waving and smiling with them at a fake reunion.”[211][212] The following year, EMI/Capitol settled a decade-long lawsuit by The Beatles concerning royalties, clearing the way to commercially package previously unreleased material.[213][214]


Live at the BBC, the first official release of previously unissued Beatles’ performances in 17 years, appeared in 1994. That same year McCartney, Harrison and Starr reunited for the Anthology project, the culmination of work begun in the late 1960s by Neil Aspinall.[215] Initially The Beatles’ road manager, and then their personal assistant, Aspinall began to gather material for a documentary after he became director of Apple Corps in 1968.[215] The Long and Winding Road, as Aspinall provisionally titled his Beatles history, was shelved, but as executive producer for the Anthology project Aspinall was able to complete his work.[215] Documenting the history of The Beatles in the band’s own words, the project saw the release of many previously unissued Beatles’ recordings; McCartney, Harrison and Starr also added new instrumental and vocal parts to two demo songs recorded by Lennon in the late 1970s.[216] During 1995 and 1996 the project yielded a five-part television series, an eight-volume video set and three two-CD box sets. The two songs based on Lennon demos, “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love“, were each released as singles.[215] The CD box sets featured artwork by Klaus Voormann, creator of the Revolver album cover in 1966. The releases were commercially successful and the television series was viewed by an estimated 400 million people worldwide.[215]


1, a compilation album of every Beatles’ number one British and American hit, was released on 13 November 2000. It became the fastest-selling album of all time, with 3.6 million sold in its first week and over 12 million in three weeks worldwide. It was a number one chart hit in at least 28 countries, including the UK and the US.[217] As of April 2009, it had sold 31 million copies globally, and is the highest selling album of the decade in the United States.[218][219]

Harrison died from lung cancer on 29 November 2001.[220][221] McCartney and Starr were among the musicians who performed at the Concert for George, organized by Eric Clapton and Harrison’s widow, Olivia. The tribute event took place at the Royal Albert Hall on the first anniversary of Harrison’s death. As well as songs he composed for The Beatles and his own solo career, the concert included a celebration of Indian classical music, Harrison’s interest in which had influenced the band.[222] In 2003, Let It Be… Naked, a reconceived version of the album with McCartney supervising production, was released to mixed reviews. One of the main differences with the original was the omission of the original string-arrangements. It was a top ten hit in both the UK and the US.

As a soundtrack for Cirque du Soleil‘s Las Vegas Beatles stage revue Love, George Martin and his son Giles remixed and blended 130 of the band’s recordings to create “a way of re-living the whole Beatles’ musical lifespan in a very condensed period”.[223] The show premiered in June 2006, and the Love album was released that November. Attending the show’s first anniversary, McCartney and Starr were interviewed on Larry King Live along with Ono and Olivia Harrison.[224] Also in 2007, reports circulated that McCartney was hoping to complete “Now and Then“, a third Lennon demo worked on during the Anthology sessions. It would be credited as a “Lennon/McCartney composition” with the addition of new verses, and feature a new drum track by Starr and archival recordings of Harrison playing guitar.[225]

Lawyers for The Beatles sued in March 2008 to prevent the distribution of unreleased recordings purportedly made during Starr’s first performance with the group at Hamburg’s The Star-Club in 1962.[226] In November, McCartney discussed his hope that “Carnival of Light“, a 14-minute experimental recording The Beatles made at Abbey Road Studios in 1967, would receive an official release.[227] McCartney headlined a charity concert on 4 April 2009 at Radio City Music Hall for the David Lynch Foundation with guest performers including Starr.[228] The Beatles: Rock Band, a music video game in the style of the Rock Band series, was released on 9 September 2009.[229] On the same day, remastered versions of the band’s twelve original studio albums, Magical Mystery Tour, and the compilation Past Masters were issued.[230]

Musical style and evolution

In Icons of Rock: An Encyclopedia of the Legends Who Changed Music Forever, Scott Schinder and Andy Schwartz sum up The Beatles’ musical evolution:

In their initial incarnation as cheerful, wisecracking moptops, the Fab Four revolutionized the sound, style, and attitude of popular music and opened rock and roll’s doors to a tidal wave of British rock acts. Their initial impact would have been enough to establish The Beatles as one of their era’s most influential cultural forces, but they didn’t stop there. Although their initial style was a highly original, irresistibly catchy synthesis of early American rock and roll and R&B, The Beatles spent the rest of the 1960s expanding rock’s stylistic frontiers, consistently staking out new musical territory on each release. The band’s increasingly sophisticated experimentation encompassed a variety of genres, including folk-rock, country, psychedelia, and baroque pop, without sacrificing the effortless mass appeal of their early work.[231]

In The Beatles as Musicians, Walter Everett points out Lennon and McCartney’s contrasting motivations and approaches to composition: “McCartney may be said to have constantly developed—as a means to entertain—a focused musical talent with an ear for counterpoint and other aspects of craft in the demonstration of a universally agreed-upon common language that he did much to enrich. Conversely, Lennon’s mature music is best appreciated as the daring product of a largely unconscious, searching but undisciplined artistic sensibility.”[232]

Ian MacDonald, comparing the two composers in Revolution in the Head, describes McCartney as “a natural melodist—a creator of tunes capable of existing apart from their harmony”. His melody lines are characterized as primarily “vertical”, employing wide, consonant intervals which express his “extrovert energy and optimism”. Conversely, Lennon’s “sedentary, ironic personality” is reflected in a “horizontal” approach featuring minimal, dissonant intervals and repetitive melodies which rely on their harmonic accompaniment for interest: “Basically a realist, he instinctively kept his melodies close to the rhythms and cadences of speech, colouring his lyrics with bluesy tone and harmony rather than creating tunes that made striking shapes of their own.”[233] MacDonald praises Harrison’s lead guitar work for the role his “characterful lines and textural colourings” play in supporting Lennon and McCartney’s parts, and describes Starr as “the father of modern pop/rock drumming… His faintly behind-the-beat style subtly propelled The Beatles, his tunings brought the bottom end into recorded drum sound, and his distinctly eccentric fills remain among the most memorable in pop music.”[234]


The band’s earliest influences include Elvis Presley, Little Richard and Chuck Berry, whose songs they covered more often than any other artist’s in performances throughout their career.[235] During their co-residency with Little Richard at the Star Club in Hamburg from April to May 1962, he advised them on the proper technique for performing his songs.[236] Of Presley, Lennon said, “Nothing really affected me until I heard Elvis. If there hadn’t been Elvis, there would not have been The Beatles”.[237] Other early influences include Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison[238] and the Everly Brothers.[239][240] The Beatles continued to absorb influences long after their initial success, often finding new musical and lyrical avenues by listening to their contemporaries, including Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, The Byrds and The Beach Boys, whose 1966 album Pet Sounds amazed and inspired McCartney.[241][242] Martin stated, “Without Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper wouldn’t have happened… Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds.”[243]


Two electric guitars, a light brown violin-shaped bass and a darker brown guitar, rest against a Vox amplifier.

A Höfner “violin” bass guitar and Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar, models played by McCartney and Harrison, respectively. The Vox AC30 amplifier behind them is the kind The Beatles used in concert.

Originating as a skiffle group,[244] The Beatles soon embraced 1950s rock and roll.[245] The band’s repertoire ultimately expanded to include a broad variety of pop music. Reflecting the range of styles they explored, Lennon said of Beatles for Sale, “You could call our new one a Beatles’ country-and-western LP”,[246] while Allmusic credits the band, and Rubber Soul in particular, as a major influence on the folk rock movement.[1] Beginning with the use of a string quartet on Help!‘s “Yesterday“, they also incorporated classical music elements. As Jonathan Gould points out however, it was not “even remotely the first pop record to make prominent use of strings—although it was the first Beatles’ recording to do so … it was rather that the more traditional sound of strings allowed for a fresh appreciation of their talent as composers by listeners who were otherwise allergic to the din of drums and electric guitars.”[247] The group applied strings to various effect. Of “She’s Leaving Home“, for instance, recorded for Sgt. Pepper, Gould writes that it “is cast in the mold of a sentimental Victorian ballad, its words and music filled with the clichés of musical melodrama.”[248]

The band’s stylistic range expanded in another direction in 1966 with the B-side to the “Paperback Writer” single: “Rain“, described by Martin Strong in The Great Rock Discography as “the first overtly psychedelic Beatles’ record”.[249] Other psychedelic numbers followed, such as “Tomorrow Never Knows” (actually recorded before “Rain”), “Strawberry Fields Forever“, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds“, and “I Am the Walrus“. The influence of Indian classical music was evident in songs such as Harrison’s “Love You To” and “Within You Without You“, whose intent, writes Gould, was “to replicate the raga form in miniature”.[250] Summing up the band’s musical evolution, music historian and pianist Michael Campbell identifies innovation as its most striking feature. He writes, “‘A Day in the Life‘ encapsulates the art and achievement of The Beatles as well as any single track can. It highlights key features of their music: the sound imagination, the persistence of tuneful melody, and the close coordination between words and music. It represents a new category of song—more sophisticated than pop, more accessible and down to earth than pop, and uniquely innovative. There literally had never before been a song—classical or vernacular—that had blended so many disparate elements so imaginatively.”[251] Music theorist Bruce Ellis Benson agrees: “Composers may be able to conceive new rhythms and chord progressions, but these are usually improvisations upon current rhythms and chord progressions. The Beatles … give us a wonderful example of how such far-ranging influences as Celtic music, rhythm and blues, and country and western could be put together in a new way.”[252]

In The Songwriting Secrets of The Beatles, Dominic Pedler also emphasizes the importance of the way they combined genres: “One of the greatest of The Beatles’ achievements was the songwriting juggling act they managed for most of their career. Far from moving sequentially from one genre to another (as is sometimes conveniently suggested) the group maintained in parallel their mastery of the traditional, catchy chart hit while simultaneously forging rock and dabbling with a wide range of peripheral influences from Country to vaudeville. One of these threads was their take on folk music, which would form such essential groundwork for their later collisions with Indian music and philosophy.”[253] As the personal relationships between the band members grew increasingly strained, their individual influences became more apparent. The minimalistic cover artwork for the White Album contrasted with the complexity and diversity of its music, which encompassed Lennon’s “Revolution 9“, whose musique concrète approach was influenced by Yoko Ono; Starr’s country song “Don’t Pass Me By“; Harrison’s rock ballad “While My Guitar Gently Weeps“; and the “proto-metal roar” of McCartney’s “Helter Skelter“.[174]

Contribution of George Martin

George Martin‘s close involvement with The Beatles in his role as producer made him one of the leading candidates for the informal title of “fifth Beatle“.[254] He brought his classical musical training to bear in various ways.[255] The string quartet accompaniment to “Yesterday” was his idea—the band members were initially unenthusiastic about the concept, but the result was a revelation to them.[256] Gould also describes how, “as Lennon and McCartney became progressively more ambitious in their songwriting, Martin began to function as an informal music teacher to them”. This, coupled with his willingness to experiment in response to their suggestions—such as adding “something baroque” to a particular recording—facilitated their creative development.[256] As well as scoring orchestral arrangements for Beatles’ recordings, Martin often performed, playing instruments including piano, organ and brass.[257]

Looking back on the making of Sgt. Pepper, Martin said, “‘Sergeant Pepper’ itself didn’t appear until halfway through making the album. It was Paul’s song, just an ordinary rock number and not particularly brilliant as songs go … Paul said, ‘Why don’t we make the album as though the Pepper band really existed, as though Sergeant Pepper was making the record? We’ll dub in effects and things.’ I loved the idea, and from that moment on it was as though Pepper had a life of its own.” Recalling how strongly the song contrasted with Lennon’s compositions, Martin spoke too of his own stabilizing influence:

Compared with Paul’s songs, all of which seemed to keep in some sort of touch with reality, John’s had a psychedelic, almost mystical quality … John’s imagery is one of the best things about his work—”tangerine trees”, “marmalade skies”, “cellophane flowers” … I always saw him as an aural Salvador Dalí, rather than some drug-ridden record artist. On the other hand, I would be stupid to pretend that drugs didn’t figure quite heavily in The Beatles’ lives at that time. At the same time they knew that I, in my schoolmasterly role, didn’t approve … Not only was I not into it myself, I couldn’t see the need for it; and there’s no doubt that, if I too had been on dope, Pepper would never have been the album it was.[258]

Harrison echoed Martin’s description of his stabilizing role: “I think we just grew through those years together, him as the straight man and us as the loonies; but he was always there for us to interpret our madness—we used to be slightly avant-garde on certain days of the week, and he would be there as the anchor person, to communicate that through the engineers and on to the tape.”[259]

In the studio

The Beatles made innovative use of technology, treating the studio as an instrument in itself. They urged experimentation by Martin and their recording engineers, regularly demanding that something new be tried because “it might just sound good”.[260] At the same time they constantly sought ways to put chance occurrences to creative use. Accidental guitar feedback, a resonating glass bottle, a tape loaded the wrong way round so that it played backwards—any of these might be incorporated into their music.[261] The Beatles’ desire to create new sounds on every new recording, combined with Martin’s arranging abilities and the studio expertise of EMI staff engineers such as Norman Smith, Ken Townsend and Geoff Emerick, all contributed significantly to their records from Rubber Soul and, especially, Revolver forward.[261] Along with studio tricks such as sound effects, unconventional microphone placements, tape loops, double tracking and vari-speed recording, The Beatles augmented their songs with instruments that were unconventional for rock music at the time. These included string and brass ensembles as well as Indian instruments such as the sitar in “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” and the swarmandal in “Strawberry Fields Forever“.[262] They also used early electronic instruments such as the Mellotron, with which McCartney supplied the flute voices on the “Strawberry Fields” intro,[263] and the clavioline, an electronic keyboard that created the unusual oboe-like sound on “Baby, You’re a Rich Man“.[264]


The Beatles’ influence on popular culture was—and remains—immense. Former Rolling Stone associate editor Robert Greenfield said, “People are still looking at Picasso … at artists who broke through the constraints of their time period to come up with something that was unique and original. In the form that they worked in, in the form of popular music, no one will ever be more revolutionary, more creative and more distinctive than The Beatles were.”[229] From the 1920s, the United States had dominated popular entertainment culture throughout much of the world, via Hollywood movies, jazz, the music of Broadway and Tin Pan Alley and, later, the rock and roll that first emerged in Memphis, Tennessee.[265] Drawing on their rock and roll roots, The Beatles not only triggered the British Invasion of the US, but themselves became a globally influential phenomenon.[266]

The Beatles’ musical innovations, as well as their commercial success, inspired musicians worldwide.[266] A large number of artists have acknowledged The Beatles as an influence or have had chart successes with covers of Beatles’ songs.[267] On radio, the arrival of The Beatles marked the beginning of a new era; program directors like Rick Sklar of New York’s WABC went as far as forbidding DJs from playing any “pre-Beatles” music.[268] The Beatles redefined the album as something more than just a few hits padded out with “filler“.[269] They were primary innovators of the music video.[270] The Shea Stadium date with which they opened their 1965 North American tour attracted what was then the largest audience in concert history and is seen as a “landmark event in the growth of the rock crowd.”[271] Emulation of their clothing and especially their hairstyles, which became a mark of rebellion, had a global impact on fashion.[80]

More broadly, The Beatles changed the way people listened to popular music and experienced its role in their lives.[272] From what began as the Beatlemania fad, the group grew to be perceived by their young fans across the industrialized world as the representatives, even the embodiment, of ideals associated with cultural transformation.[272] As icons of the 1960s counterculture, they became a catalyst for bohemianism and activism in various social and political arenas, fueling such movements as women’s liberation, gay Liberation and environmentalism.[272]

Awards and recognition

In 1965, Queen Elizabeth II appointed the four Beatles Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).[98] The Beatles film Let It Be (1970) won the 1971 Academy Award for Best Original Song Score.[193] The Beatles have received 7 Grammy Awards[7] and 15 Ivor Novello Awards.[8] They have been awarded 6 Diamond albums, as well as 24 Multi-Platinum albums, 39 Platinum albums and 45 Gold albums in the United States,[201][273] while in the UK they have 4 Multi-Platinum albums, 4 Platinum albums, 8 Gold albums and 1 Silver album.[202] The group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the all-time top-selling Hot 100 artists to celebrate the US singles chart’s fiftieth anniversary—the Beatles ranked number one.[6] In 2009, the Recording Industry Association of America certified that The Beatles have sold more albums in the US than any other artist.[5] The Beatles have had more number one albums, 15, on the UK charts and held down the top spot longer, 174 weeks, than any other musical act.[4] The Beatles were collectively included in Time magazine’s compilation of the 20th century’s 100 most influential people.[9]


Original UK LPs


CD releases


In 1987, EMI and Apple Corps released all of the Beatles’ studio albums on CD. With this release, the band’s catalogue was standardized throughout the world, establishing a canon composed of the twelve original studio albums as issued in the United Kingdom (listed above), as well as the US album version of Magical Mystery Tour (1967), which had been released as a shorter double EP in the UK.[274] All the remaining Beatles’ material from the singles and EPs which had not been issued on the original studio albums was gathered on the two-volume compilation Past Masters (1988).


The US album configurations from 1964–1965 were released as box sets in 2004 and 2006 (The Capitol Albums Volume 1 and Volume 2 respectively); these included both stereo and mono versions based on the mixes that were prepared for vinyl at the time of the music’s original American release.[275][276]

On 9 September 2009, the Beatles’ entire back catalogue was reissued following an extensive digital remastering process that lasted four years.[274] Stereo editions of all twelve original UK studio albums, along with Magical Mystery Tour and Past Masters, were released on compact disc both individually and as a box set. A second collection included all mono titles along with the original 1965 stereo mixes of Help! and Rubber Soul (The 1987 CD issues of these two albums were remixed by George Martin).[277] For a limited time, a brief video documentary about the remastering was included on each stereo CD.[278] In Mojo, Danny Eccleston wrote, “Ever since The Beatles first emerged on CD in 1987, there have been complaints about the sound”. In support of the opinion that the original vinyl had significant advantages over the early CDs in clarity and dynamism, he suggested, “Compare ‘Paperback Writer’/’Rain’ on crackly 45, with its weedy Past Masters CD version, and the case is closed.” Prior to the release of the 2009 remasters, Abbey Road Studios invited Mojo reviewers to hear a sample of the work, advising, “You’re in for a shock.” In his release-day review of the full product, Eccleston reported that “brilliantly, that’s still how it feels a month later.”[279]

Other digital formats

The Beatles were among the few major artists whose recorded catalogue was not available through online music services such as iTunes or Napster.[280] Residual disagreement stemming from Apple Corps’ dispute with Apple, Inc. (owners and creators of iTunes) over the use of the name “Apple” was partly responsible, although in November 2008, McCartney stated that the main obstacle was that EMI “want something we’re not prepared to give them.”[281] In March 2009, The Guardian reported that “the prospect of an independent, Beatles-specific digital music store” had been raised by Harrison’s son, Dhani, who said, “We’re losing money every day. … So what do you do? You have to have your own delivery system, or you have to do a good deal with [Apple, Inc. CEO] Steve Jobs. … [He] says that a download is worth 99 cents, and we disagree.”[282] On 30 October, reported that an online service, BlueBeat, was making available the entire Beatles’ catalogue, via both purchasable downloads and free streaming.[283] Neither EMI nor Apple Corps had authorized the distribution,[284] and within a week BlueBeat was legally barred from handling the band’s music.[285] In December 2009, the Beatles’ catalogue was officially released in FLAC and MP3 format in a limited edition of 30,000 USB flash drives.[286][287] On 16 November 2010, the official canon of thirteen studio albums, Past Masters, and the Red and Blue greatest-hits albums were made available on iTunes. A video recording of the band’s first US concert in 1964 was also made available for purchase as part of a digital “boxed set” of the catalogue and for free streaming through the end of 2010.[288]

Song catalogue

In 1963 Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr agreed to assign their song publishing rights to Northern Songs, a company created by music publisher Dick James.[289] Administered by his company Dick James Music, Northern Songs went public in 1965 with Lennon and McCartney each holding 15% of the company’s shares and James and the company’s chairman, Charles Silver, holding a controlling 37.5%. After a failed attempt by Lennon and McCartney to buy the company, James and Silver sold Northern Songs in 1969 to British TV company Associated Television (ATV), in which Lennon and McCartney received stock.[290] Briefly owned by Australian business magnate Robert Holmes à Court, ATV Music was sold in 1985 to Michael Jackson for a reported $47 million (trumping a joint bid by McCartney and Yoko Ono), giving him control over the publishing rights to more than 200 songs composed by Lennon and McCartney.[291]

Jackson and Sony merged their music publishing businesses in 1995,[291] becoming joint owners of most of the Lennon-McCartney songs recorded by the Beatles, although Lennon’s estate and McCartney still receive their respective shares of the royalties. Although the Jackson-Sony catalogue includes most of the Beatles’ greatest hits, some of their earliest songs were published by an EMI subsidiary, Ardmore & Beechwood, before Lennon and McCartney signed with James. McCartney acquired the publishing rights to “Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You” from Ardmore in the 1980s.[292] Harrison and Starr allowed their songwriting contracts with Northern Songs to lapse in 1968, signing with Apple Publishing instead. Harrison created Harrisongs, which still owns the rights to his post-1967 songs such as “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Something“, while Starr’s Startling Music holds the rights to his own post-1967 songs recorded by the Beatles, “Don’t Pass Me By” and “Octopus’s Garden“.[293

the end @ copyright Dr Iwan Suwandy 2011