Country Music favorites making headlines and the rising stars to be watched in 2018

Country Music America’s next big music genre next to rock ‘n roll bringing the likes of Dolly Parton, Kenny Loggings, Bruce Springsteen, Shania Twain to name


5 Musical instruments that are used in a swing band

Toe-tapping swing Whenever a big band plays swing you are bound to get people dancing if not you will note that they cannot help but move


The best metal bands of the new Millennium

The heavy sounds of Metal There is a lot of metal genre's out there and some of it is quite an acquired tasted.  It also gets

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The Billboard most popular artists of 2018

The love of music

The Billboard is a popular American entertainment publication and the provider of the Billboard awards,
an award that honors artists in various genres, etc.
It is one of the magazines that every artist wants to get into and when they do they know they have been recognized.

The Billboard most popular artists of 2018

Born Alecia Beth Moore in 1979 she exploded onto the music scene in 1995 with her kick-ass rebel Pop-rock style. She has not stopped delighting her ever-growing fan base since. She is one of those artists that have managed to stay true to herself as she grew through her music to where she is still on top after a good twenty years of fame.

Taylor Swift
She is a truly gifted songwriter and singer. Her music is usually based on the life events, but her work gained her a country music record deal with Big Machine Records at the age of 14. Thus, making her one of the youngest artists to ever be signed by Sony/ATV.

Selena Gomez
As a young star, she rose to fame on Disney Channel as Alex Russo in the Wizards of Waverly Place. This did not stop her pursuing a music career as well as her and her band Selena Gomez and the Scene rose to the top-ten on the US Billboard in 2009.

The band continued to draw out top ten hits until she released her solo albums that have gone in at number one.

A group led by the vocal stylings and energetic zest of Brent Smith.

This group hails from Jacksonville, Florida and has released six studio albums selling over ten million records and more than eleven number one singles. Brent Smith, the lead singer and former of the band underwent some drastic health changes that reformed not only his life but the image of the band taking it to new heights.

The Chainsmokers
This American DJ Duo consisting of Andrew Tagget and Alex Pall rose to fame with their song #Selfie in 2014 which made the top twenty in a few countries across the globe.

From there they went on to release a debut album Bouquet which featured hits songs “Roses” and reached the top ten on the Billboard charts. Their song Closer reached number one on the charts and they won a Grammy Award for the Best Dance Recording.

Top 5 female artists of all times

The power of the female voice

Through the decades there have been many styles of music that have filtered through the various social mediums. In bygone era’s it was the haunting voices that held audiences captivated by their operatic vocals, through the swing eras right up until modern day times. Women’s voices have been likened to that of angels and sires.

Top 5 female artists of all times

#1 Barbara Streisand

21 - Top 5 female artists of all times
Barbara Streisand is not only one of the most gifted singers of all times, but she is also an incredible actress, director and producer. She is also one of the only personalities to be awarded all of the most highly regarded film and music awards. These awards are the Tony, Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Cable Ace, Golden Globe, National Endowment for the Arts and Peabody awards.  She was also awarded the Film Society of Lincoln Center Chaplin Award and the America film Institutes Lifetime Achievement honor.

Born 1942 in Brooklyn, New York she grew up in a middle-class family dreaming of becoming a star. Her career, however, far exceeded her dreams as Barbara has been deemed as one of the most successful personalities in show business.

#2 Tina Turner

22 - Top 5 female artists of all times
Tina Turner has rocked the stage and music scene for nearly fifty years with her distinct voice and high energy performances.At the age of 78, she still has the most incredible legs, contagious smile, timeless beauty and powerful vocals.

Her nicknames through the decades have said it all “The Queen of Rock ‘n Roll” and the “Burner” mixed with her unforgettable life story sets her legendary status.

Born in Nutbush, Tennessee in 1939 she bolstered her way through life never giving up against all odds.

#3 Dolly Parton

23 - Top 5 female artists of all times
The country legend who was born and raised on a run-down farm in Locust Ridge, Tennessee.  Dolly one of 12 children and was born in November of 1946.

Having to want to sing before she could talk Dolly was appearing on Knoxville TV at the age of 12 going on to appear at the Grand Ole Opry and recorded a small label album at 13.

At only 5-foot-tall she has the most powerful vocals that make her cast a giant shadow over those to follow.

#4 Janis Joplin

24 - Top 5 female artists of all times
Born in the oil refining town of Port Arthur, Texas where her father worked at a cannery she was an overweight teenager and loved folk music.

In 1967 she was noticed at the Monterey Pop Festival whilst singing with the “Big Brother and Holding company”.
It was while she was performing solo at Woodstock in 1969 when she really rose to fame.But her career was sadly ended and short-lived when she overdosed on heroin and died in October 1970.

#5 Ella Fitzgerald

25 - Top 5 female artists of all times
The First Lady of Song or the Queen of Jazz with a voice as pure of golden honey and impeccable diction.Born in Newport News, Virginia in 1996 she had a tumultuous youth but found her way into music after joining the Chick Webb Orchestra and went on tour with them to perform across the USA.

Bands who reunited after they had publicly split up

Band relationships

Just like any relationship people have altercations, they lose their ability to communicate with each other or they just do not get along.  These are all scenarios for a classical breakup and it is no different for bands or groups. There are artistic of personality differences or they just feel it is time to go their own way and so group split up. It has happened to the most obscure groups to the supergroups.

Bands who reunited after they had split up

Guns N’ Roses
This band that originated from Los Angeles formed in 1985 from which arose the legendary Axl Rose and Slash (Saul Hudson).

They produced hits such as “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, “Welcome to the Jungle” and “November Rain” they were a force that exploded onto the hard rock/heavy metal scene dominating most of the 1980’s.Due to some band members not getting along so well the band split up in July 1993 and remained that way until 2016 when Guns ‘N Roses reunited to do a surprise L.A. Club show tour.

The Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead formed in Palo Alto, California in 1965, this rock band was known for the rock experimentation, psychedelia and their unique electric style music.

1994 saw the band inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the group has sold over 35 million albums worldwide. In 1995 the lead band member Gerry Garcia who had suffered from diabetes died of a heart attack and the band split.  Some of its members still played at various gigs together but not the entire group until January 2015 when they did their Reunion tour.

The Who
This English rock band was founded in 1965 and gave us hits such as “Substitute”, “Happy Jack” and “Pinball Wizzard”. They split in 1982 when Pete Townsend decided he had enough of the touring although the band did on occasion appear together for various performances.

They got back together in 1989 for the “25th Anniversary Tour” and they seem split again only to resume normal touring in 1996 up until 2002 when the plans for their latest album were put on hold due to the death of John Entwistle.

The Police
The Police brought in a new era of New Wave, Reggae, Pop/Reggae Rock and post-punk.  Arising in 1977 this band burst onto the scene with their debut Album “Outlandos d’Amour”.  With lead singer the iconic Sting and one of their most famous songs “Message in a Bottle”.

They disbanded in 1986 and Sting went on to have a solo career until 2007 when the group got back together with the “Police Reunion Tour”.

9 Top selling albums in history

Decades of recording

There have been billions of recorded albums since the first recordings in the early 20th century.
Recorded albums were done as books that came with different “78rpm record”.  In 1948 the first vinyl LP (or long playing) records came out and they played 33 1/3 rpm. These went on to different media such as CD’s, MP3/MP4 and these days are mostly downloaded onto USB Flash drives or mobile devices.

9 Top selling albums in history

#1 Michael Jackson – Thriller Album
Sold 43.7 million copies worldwide, it was released in 1982 and falls in the genres of Pop, rock and R&B.
Record label was Epic Records and CBS
Produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson

#2 Meatloaf – Bat Out of Hell
Sold 43 million copies worldwide, it was released in 1975 and falls in the genres of Hard Rock, glam rock and heavy metal.
Record label was Cleveland International and Epic Records.
Produced by Todd Rundgren

#3 Eagles – Their Greatest Hits (1971 to 1975)
Sold 32.2 million copies worldwide, it was released in 1976 and falls in the genres of Country Rock.
Record label Asylum
Produced by Glyn Johns and Bill Szymczykpp

#4 Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV
Sold 29.0 million copies worldwide, it was released in 1971 and falls in the genre of Hard Rock, Heavy Metal and Folk Rock.
Record label was Atlantic Records
Produced by Jimmy Page

#5 Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet
Sold 28 million copies worldwide it was released in 1986 and falls in the genre of Hard Rock and Glam Metal.
Record label was Mercury and Vertigo
Produced by Bruce Fairbain

#6 Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
Sold 27.9 million records worldwide, it was released in 1977 and fall in the genres of Rock and Soft Rock
Record label was Warner Bros.
Produced by Fleetwood Mac, Ken Caillat and Richard Dashut

#7 AC/DC – Back in Black
Sold 26.1 million copies worldwide, it was released in 1980 and falls in the genres of Hard Rock.
Record label was Albert/Atlantic
Produced by Robert John Lange

#8 Pink Floyd – The Wall
Sold 24.2 million copies worldwide, it was released in 1973 and falls in the genres of Art Rock, Progressive Pop and Progressive Rock.
Record label was Harvest Records and Columbia Records
Produced by Bob Ezrin, David Gilmour, James Guthrie and Roger Walters.

#9 Bee Gees – Saturday Night Fever
Sold 21.6 million copies worldwide, it was released in 1977 and falls in the genres of Disco.
Record Label was RSO, Polydor and Reprise
Produced by Bill Oakes

info2 - 9 Top selling albums in history
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Members of the 27 club and their high-risk lifestyles

What is the 27 Club?

After the deaths of some popular celebrities due to means such as drug overdoses, homicide, car accidents or alcohol abuse it became a popular belief that death of celebrities was more common at the age of 27.  So, rose the cultural meme of the 27 Club which documented the death of various celebrities on or around the age of 27. Many of the people lived hectic lifestyles. Rock and roll lead to early deaths, and it’s a wonder if a healthy diet and visiting a chiropractor in pasadena may have been able to prevent complications.

Celebrities of the 27 Club

Brian Jones
Born in Gloucestershire, the UK in 1969 and was the original founder of the Rolling Stones.
Jones and Keith Richards developed a very unique style of guitar playing which was dubbed as “the ancient art of weaving”.

Jones came to odds with various band members and the band manager with whom he did not agree on the path he trying to push the band on.

After being asked to leave the band in June 1969 to be replaced by Mick Taylor Jones was found dead in his swimming pool, having drowned whilst being heavily drugged up.

Jimi Hendrix
Johnny Allen Hendrix, born in 1942 and probably one of the most well known American rock guitarists, songwriter and singers ever.  He has gone down in the Rock and Roll hall of fame as “arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music”.At the age of 15, he enlisted in the Army where he became a paratrooper and was granted an honorable discharge after a year.

Having moved to Tennessee to pursue a music career whereby he worked with some of the greats like Little Richard.  He earned himself a few number one songs and albums.

He died in 1970 at the age of 27 in Kensington, London UK from an accidental barbiturate death.

Jim Morrison
He was an acclaimed poet, singer, songwriter famed for being the lead singer of the legendary band the Doors.Regarded as one of the most iconic frontmen in rock music, Morrison was known for his poetic lyrics and wild performances.Durin his career, he recorded six studio albums with the doors before his death in 1971 at the age of 27.

He developed a dependency on alcohol which greatly affected his stage performances and was regularly seen to either collapse on stage.

He died in Paris the cause of which was unknown.

Although the band continued to record two more albums after the death of Jim Morrison but was never quite the same without its lead singer at the helm.  The group disbanded in 1973 with them being inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll hall of fame in 1993.

info3 - Members of the 27 club and their high-risk lifestyles
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The legend of Frank Sinatra still one of the most well-known and influential celebrities

Frank Sinatra
There is not a music lover out there who does not know his name, if you don’t – go look him up that is what Google is for! Trust us on this when you have read his bio and learned what songs are his you will go “Oh, right, of course, I know who he is!”

Frank Sinatra was Born December 12, 1915, he was a singer, songwriter and actor, he was also one of the most influential musical artists of the twenty-first century.
He started his career with a swing band featuring Tommy Dorsey and Harry James but his career never really took off until 1943. He signed a solo deal with Columbia Records where he released his first album “The Voice of Frank Sinatra”.

When his career stalled around the late 1950’s he took to the Las Vegas scene where he and a few other well-known artists performing the Vegas scene became known as the “Rat Pack”.
May the 14th of this year marks the 20th anniversary of his death.

Some best-known songs from Frank Sinatra

New York, New York
Perhaps his most famous of all songs, or at least on a par with the next one mentioned in our list. You can barely watch a movie filmed in or about New York without this song slipping into the soundtrack somewhere.

Originally written for the movie “New York, New York” produced by Martin Scorsese and first sang by Liza Minelli in 1977.  It was made famous by the stylings of Frank Sinatra forever being branded as his song which he released in April 1970.This song went on to the Grammy Hall of Fame, it was nominated for Record of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance award.

My Way
Another very popular and well-known song that seems to appear in a lot of movies, adverts and has had various pieces of it used in other songs by various artists.

This song was released by Frank Sinatra in 1969 it was written by Paul Anka, it made the UK Top 40 where it stayed for 75 weeks.

A Grammy Hall of Fame winner it was also nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and the Grammy Award For Best Pop Collaboration Vocals.

Fly Me to the Moon
This song was originally written by Bart Howard in 1954 and recorded by Kaye Ballard that same year.The most popular version of this song, however, was Frank Sinatra’s version which he recorded in 1964.

Country Music favorites making headlines and the rising stars to be watched in 2018

Country Music

America’s next big music genre next to rock ‘n roll bringing the likes of Dolly Parton, Kenny Loggings, Bruce Springsteen, Shania Twain to name a few.

Country music headliners of 2018

Devin Dawson
With his hit country song “All On Me” he made a name for himself on the Country and Western Scene.
Devin rose to fame when he and a friend (Louisa Wendorff) made a musical mash of Taylor Swift songs which were posted on Louisa’s YouTube channel.

All of me is his first hit song which was produced by Jay Joyce and which got him on contract to Warner Bros. Records.

Tegan Marie
When you have the backing of your teenage fan base behind you as this teenager does you know she is going to the top of the country music scene.This confident and extremely talented singer-songwriting teen has already stolen the hearts of the American country music fans and has been signed to Warner Brothers.

Her single Lucky Me is on the up on the country charts not bad for a fourteen-year-old.

Her new song “Meant to be” is currently topping the country charts.  A singer, songwriter who has written and produced songs sung by artists such as Eminem and Rihanna have won Grammy awards.She released her very own single in 2016, “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” and her “I’m Gonna show you crazy” featured in the DC Movie “The Suicide Squad”

Born in Brooklyn, New York this twenty-eight year is already reaching great heights in her career.

Brett Young
This College baseball pitcher from Orange County, California has come a long way since then.  His debut album was produced by Dann Huff and released through Big Machine Group record label to land at number two on the country chart.

His song Mercy was released in 2017 and is still a firm favorite in the States.

Carrie Underwood
Winner of American Idols fourth season to become America’s country and western sweetheart.
Her first song “Some Hearts” was released in 2005 after she had won American Idol and became the best selling solo debut album of a female artist.

Her current song released early this year/latter part of 2017 is “Cry Pretty”.

Jake Owen
This all-American country singer with his wide warm smile and voice to match his charm hails from Winter Haven in Florida.

He is currently signed to RCA Nashville which he has been since 2006. He recently released a tribute to John Mellencamp with his song “I was Jack (and you were Diane)” currently sits at number seventeen on the country charts.

info1 - Country Music favorites making headlines and the rising stars to be watched in 2018
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The best metal bands of the new Millennium

The heavy sounds of Metal

There is a lot of metal genre’s out there and some of it is quite an acquired tasted.  It also gets a rep of being Satanist music, so most people tend to not give it a try.  Things is, there are a lot of Christian metal bands that are quite good.  The dark metal, death metal or really heavy stuff you have to sift through as even that has some really great tracks.But if you find the right songs from the right bands and give it a go you are bound to get hooked.  This music takes you to a new level.  The deep bass and rifts, with gravelly deep male vocals (and yes, some woman have that deep vocal too) can take you to another place.

The trick to listening to metal is in your car on a really good sound system that lets the music touch go through you.
Please NOTE: Some of these songs do have explicit language.

The best metal bands

#1 Metallica

11 - The best metal bands of the new Millennium
Face it when you read heavy metal one of the first bands that ran through your mind was Metallica!
Not only did they hit the jackpot with their cool name but they have some really awesome tracks.
This band has been together since 1981 and even though there has been some ups and downs it is still going strong.

Their most famous song of all Enter Sandman is still one of the most played metal songs.
If that is a bit too heavy for you then try “The Unforgiven” or “Nothing else matters”.

#2 Disturbed

12 - The best metal bands of the new Millennium
Disturbed have been around since 1994 and hail from Chicago Illinois.
The deep resonant voice of Erich Awalt on vocals reaches many pitches from the grown of metal to pelting out their cover of Sounds of Silence.

They are well worth a google or Youtube look as they do have some really awesome tunes like “Down with the sickness” and “The Vengeful One

#3 Stone Sour

13 - The best metal bands of the new Millennium
Corey Taylor is a true music legend whose voice has many pitches as has his music.
From singer lead vocals of Slip Knot to doing the Soundtrack to Dave Grohl’s “Sound City” to forming Stone Sour and a great entertainer to boot.

Some of the top songs from  Stone Sour include “Through the Glass”, “Son #3

#4 Five Finger Death Punch

14 - The best metal bands of the new Millennium
From Las Vegas, Five Finger Death Punch has been around since 2005.  It has had its ups and downs as most bands do.

But if it is a great performance mixed with heavy rock metal this is the band. They do tend to have rather explicit lyrics.

Be warned they are quite addictive as there is nothing like pumping out “The Pride”, “Jekyll and Hyde” or “Wash it all away” whilst travelling down a motorway.

The swing sounds of the bands and voices of the 1930’s through 1940’s

The 1930’s to the 1940’s swing era

A time of glitz, glamour veering into the second world war.  Swing saw in a new era of music that led to into the 1950’s era of Rock ‘n Roll.

Swing still lives on today as big bands swing people onto dance floors at functions, weddings, etc.
Even Mickey Mouse and Friends swung to the sounds swing music as they boogied the across most television and movie screens.  It does not matter who you are swing starts to play and you are bopping!

Some of the swing music from big bands

#1 Benny Goodman – Sing, Sing Sing
You cannot listen to this song without wanting to move some part of your body.  You cannot help it as it bursts with all the magical instruments of a swing band led by a true master. Makes you want to get up and do a slide into some fancy footwork whilst snapping your fingers and keeping up with likes of Fred and Ginger. This song was first released in 1936, the music and lyrics by Loius Prima.

#2 Louis Armstrong – Mack the Knife
Born in the town of madrigals, this New Orleans trumpeter with his deep gravelly voice went on to become one of the kings of swings.  With a career spanning across five-decade, he swung, jazzed and serenaded the world.
One of his most famous early songs was Mack the Knife where he spellbinds you with his trumpet abilities smoothly transitioning into vocals.

The song was originally composed by Kurt Weill for the “Threepenny Opera” and premiered in Berlin at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm in 1928.

It was remastered by Louis Armstrong in 1956.

#3 Ray Charles – Mess Around
Release in 1953 this song is one is a great example of the magic piano can bring to swing especially when you have Ray Charles playing it.

A master of the piano even after being blinded and listed as a true musical genius singer, songwriter and pianist.

#4 Glenn Miller Orchestra – In the Mood
Probably one of the most famous big band swing songs of all times.  In the Mood is a number 1 hit swing song written and produced by Glen Miller it was recorded in the late 1930’.  It held the chart number one for thirteen weeks.

#5 Royal Crown Revue – Hey Pachuco
This song gets an honorable mention from a truly fun movie The Mask.It is also an incredible piece of swing from an amazing band formed in 1989 in Los Angeles.

This band has been credit as one of the major players in the swing revival movement.Hey Pachuco flows from an upbeat tempo, slowing it down a bit then into full swing – go on see if you can keep up!

#6 Big Bad Voodoo – Jumping Jack
This song will truly get you jumping with its classic heavy double bass upbeat swing. Also, a more recent band that is true to its swing roots.  Formed in 1994 from Big band records

5 Musical instruments that are used in a swing band

Toe-tapping swing

Whenever a big band plays swing you are bound to get people dancing if not you will note that they cannot help but move or tap to the sound.
Swing basically dominated the music scene during the 1930’s through to the 1940’s, aptly because of its swing type feeling.
Many notable musicians shone in the swing era such as Woody Herman, Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman and Shep Fields.

5 Musical instruments used in a swing band


1 - 5 Musical instruments that are used in a swing band
The major musical component of a swing band is its brass section and as such the trumpet plays an important part in this music style.
When played correctly they add an upbeat buzz to any kind of music.


2 - 5 Musical instruments that are used in a swing band
One of the best sax introductions is that of Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street released in 1978.
The sax is one of those instruments that in the hands of the right musician takes you away.

Double Bass

3 - 5 Musical instruments that are used in a swing band
Who doesn’t love the double base? It gives a soulful smooth ripple to classical music, the bass to swing and a foot-tapping deep resonance to songs like the Stray cat’s strut by The Stray cats released in 1981.


4 - 5 Musical instruments that are used in a swing band
No band is really complete without a set of drums.  This is the most basic of all the musical instruments but the most needed as it adds the backbone to any sound.


5 - 5 Musical instruments that are used in a swing band
These are one of the most versatile as they are able to produce all sorts of back up harmonies.  The keyboard was used more recent times than back when swing first came out.


6 - 5 Musical instruments that are used in a swing band
You need the good old trombone for that lower base sound to give the depth and make you want to slide!


7 - 5 Musical instruments that are used in a swing band
To give the quirky to dramatic effect to the backdrop of a good old swing track. An instrument that has been around for decades, it lends a haunting to classical, a perky honky-tonk for the bar room and a spunk to swing.