Rest in peace, Mark Hollis: Talk Talk, “Life Is What You Make It” (1986)

Word circulated today that Mark Hollis, the leader of UK group Talk Talk, passed away at the age of 64. The band hit the music scene in 1981 but first saw chart success the following year with their eponymous first release. "Talk Talk" failed to chart in the US the first time around, but a … Continue reading Rest in peace, Mark Hollis: Talk Talk, “Life Is What You Make It” (1986)

New this week in ’69: February 22

It's the last new chart for February. What's going on 50 years ago today? February 22, 1969 Today marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of the final stage of the Tet Offensive. It will last until June 8 and figure prominently in President Nixon's decision to take the war into Cambodia. On Monday the … Continue reading New this week in ’69: February 22

Rest in peace, Peter Tork: The Monkees, “Words” (1968)

Peter Tork, best known for his work in the Monkees, has passed away at the age of 77. Tork had been diagnosed with cancer about ten years ago, and had beaten it for a long time, but succumbed to the disease yesterday. I'm reluctant to say "ex-Monkee Peter Tork" in a piece like this. For … Continue reading Rest in peace, Peter Tork: The Monkees, “Words” (1968)

New this week in ’69: February 15

(Above: The top debut of the week.) February 15, 1969 Yesterday Pope Paul VI issued a document called Mysterii Paschalis. One of the things that it did was remove names from the Roman calendar of saints. Among them was Valentine, even though we still celebrate the saint today. Five days from now President Nixon will … Continue reading New this week in ’69: February 15

Soul sounds: WGES-AM/Chicago Top 30 Tunes, February 1, 1962

(Above: The back of the WGES survey, complete with on-air lineup.) One of the great tragedies of history occurs any time we lose something we can't get back. Along the way to doing the research for my dissertation, I learned quickly that the efforts made to preserve popular culture aren't equal, and there's no better … Continue reading Soul sounds: WGES-AM/Chicago Top 30 Tunes, February 1, 1962