Stones blues tops! -- Mod Rod mighty naughty! -- Remembering Leon...

(Courtesy of Warner Bros. & Rhino Records)

11/13/1964 (54 years ago today) - Over in Merry Olde England, Decca Records releases The Rolling Stones cover of Willie Dixon's classic "Little Red Rooster"...as a single!!! Previously recorded by Howlin' Wolf and the fantastic Sam Cooke, The Stones' version positively oozes, one of the most slithery and demonic sounding records they ever made (for extra goosebump-inducing insurance, they also recorded the track at the legendary Chess Studios in Chicago) -- No way Jose was this going to score here in America, but over in the U.K. it went to No. 1, quite likely the only time a bona-fide blues song topped the British pop chart...

11/13/1976 (42 years ago today) - Rod Stewart gets his second U.S. No. 1 single on this date with "Tonight's The Night" {oh, you know what the first one was...} -- It stays in the top spot for eight consecutive weeks, despite being "banned" by many radio stations due to the song being about the seduction of a virgin! The whispers and moans on the track were provided by Rod's girlfriend at the time, actress Britt Ekland. I think we've pin-pointed the start of the artistic decline here...

11/13/2016 (Two years ago today) - Singer-songwriter-piano-man and band-leader extraordinaire, the real deal and multi-talented Leon Russell passed away on this date; he was 74 -- We know he was the de-facto man-in-charge of Joe Cocker's legendary "Mad Dogs And Englishmen", and he quite infamously stole the show at George Harrison's 1971 Concert For Bangladesh with his fiery performance mash-up of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Youngblood" -- It was Leon's talent as a composer though, that most of us take for granted, as many of his songs became classic hits for others: "Superstar" (written with Bonnie Bramlett) was a polished-to-perfection massive hit for The Carpenters; Joe Cocker's version of "Delta Lady" still resonates, as does the absolutely beautiful/career-defining take by George Benson on Leon's "This Masquerade"; and more than 100 acts(!) have recorded "A Song For You" which Leon always insisted he came up with in less than 10 minutes. We're gargantuan fans of "Leon Russell And the Shelter People" (1971) as near-perfect an LP of that time as anything else by anybody, and featuring (just maybe) the best cover ever of Dylan's "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall". A must-have album, really...

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"It's just the radio...", xoxo!