Tesla is an American rock band formed in Sacramento, California in late 1981 by bassist Brian Wheat and guitarist Frank Hannon Lead vocalist Jeff Keith, drummer Troy Luccketta, and guitarist Tommy Skeoch joined them by 1984. By 1986, the band had changed from its glam-derived sound to a ‘rootsier’ direction under a new name: Tesla. In 1996, the band disbanded, with members devoting themselves to solo projects. In 2000, they reformed, but Tommy Skeoch departed the band in 2006 and was replaced by Dave Rude. They have sold 14 million albums in the United States.
The Smithereens are an American rock band from Carteret, New Jersey, United States. The group formed in 1980 with members Pat DiNizio (vocals & guitar), Jim Babjak (guitar & vocals), Mike Mesaros (bass guitar & vocals), and Dennis Diken (drums & percussion). This original lineup continued until 2006, when Mesaros left the band and Severo Jornacion took over on bass guitar until Mesaros’ return in 2016 to present. DiNizio died in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, on December 12, 2017; the band has continued performing live shows as a trio (Babjak, Mesaros and Diken) with various guest vocalists.
The band are perhaps best known for a string of modest hits in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including “Only a Memory”, “A Girl Like You” and “Too Much Passion”. The Smithereens have collaborated with numerous musicians, both in the studio (Belinda Carlisle, Julian Lennon, Lou Reed, Suzanne Vega) and live (Graham Parker and The Kinks). The band’s name comes from a Yosemite Sam catchphrase, “Varmint, I’m a-gonna blow you to smithereens!”
Sam & Dave were an American soul and R&B duo who performed together from 1961 until 1981. The tenor (higher) voice was Sam Moore (born 1935) and the baritone/tenor (lower) voice was Dave Prater (1937–1988).
Sam & Dave are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. They are Grammy Award and multiple gold record award-winning artists. According to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Sam & Dave were the most successful soul duo and brought the sounds of the black gospel church to pop music with their call-and-response records. Recorded primarily at Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee, from 1965 through 1968, these included “Soul Man,” “Hold On, I’m Comin’,” “You Don’t Know Like I Know,” “I Thank You,” “When Something is Wrong with My Baby,” “Wrap It Up,” and many other Southern Soul classics. Except for Aretha Franklin, no soul act during Sam & Dave’s Stax years (1965–1968) had more consistent R&B chart success, including 10 consecutive top 20 singles and 3 consecutive top 10 LPs. Their crossover charts appeal (13 straight appearances and 2 top 10 singles) helped to pave the way for the acceptance of soul music by white pop audiences, and their song “Soul Man” was one of the first songs by a black group to top the pop charts using the word “soul,” helping define the genre. “Soul Man” was a number one Pop Hit (Cashbox: November 11, 1967) and has been recognized as one of the most influential songs of the past 50 years by the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Rolling Stone magazine, and RIAA Songs of the Century. “Soul Man” was featured as the soundtrack and title for a 1986 film and also a 1997–1998 television series, and Soul Men was a 2008 feature film.
Nicknamed “Double Dynamite,” “The Sultans of Sweat,” and “The Dynamic Duo” for their gritty, gospel-infused performances, Sam & Dave are considered one of the greatest live acts of the 1960s. Many subsequent musicians have named them as an influence, including Bruce Springsteen, Al Green, Tom Petty, Phil Collins, Michael Jackson, Elvis Costello, The Jam, Teddy Pendergrass, Billy Joel and Steve Winwood. The Blues Brothers, who helped create a resurgence of popularity for soul, R&B, and blues in the 1980s, were influenced by Sam & Dave – their biggest hit was a cover of “Soul Man,” and their act and stage show contained many homages to the duo.
Chicago is an American rock band formed in 1967 in Chicago, Illinois, calling themselves the Chicago Transit Authority in 1968 before shortening the name in 1969. The self-described “rock and roll band with horns” blended elements of classical music, jazz, R&B, and pop music. They began writing songs with politically charged lyrics, and later moved to a softer sound, generating several hit ballads. The group had a steady stream of hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In September 2008, Billboard ranked Chicago at number thirteen in a list of the top 100 artists of all time for Hot 100 singles chart success, and ranked them at number fifteen on the same list produced in October 2015. Billboard also ranked Chicago ninth on the list of the hundred greatest artists of all time in terms of Billboard 200 album chart success in October 2015. Chicago is one of the longest-running and most successful rock groups, and one of the world’s best-selling groups of all time, having sold more than 100 million records. In 1971, Chicago was the first rock act to sell out Carnegie Hall for a week.
To date, Chicago has sold over 40 million units in the U.S., with 23 gold, 18 platinum, and eight multi-platinum albums. They have had five consecutive number-one albums on the Billboard 200 and 20 top-ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1974 the group had seven albums, its entire catalog at the time, on the Billboard 200 simultaneously. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. In 2017, Peter Cetera, Robert Lamm, and James Pankow were elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame for their songwriting efforts as members of the music group.
Robert William Lamm (born October 13, 1944) is an American keyboardist, singer and songwriter best known as a founding member of the rock band Chicago. He wrote many of the band’s biggest hits, including “Questions 67 & 68”, “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”, “Beginnings”, “25 or 6 to 4”, “Saturday in the Park”, “Dialogue (Part I & II)” and “Harry Truman”. Lamm is one of three founding members (alongside James Pankow and Lee Loughnane) still performing with the group.
Daryl Hall & John Oates, often referred to as Hall & Oates, are an American pop rock duo formed in 1970 in Philadelphia. Daryl Hall is generally the lead vocalist; John Oates primarily plays electric guitar and provides backing vocals. The two write most of the songs they perform, separately or in collaboration. They achieved their greatest fame from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s with a fusion of rock and roll and rhythm and blues.
Hall and Oates have sold an estimated 40 million records, making them the best selling music duo in history. They are best known for their six No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100: “Rich Girl”, “Kiss on My List”, “Private Eyes”, “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)”, “Maneater”, and “Out of Touch”, as well as many other songs which charted in the Top 40 including the singles “You Make My Dreams”, “She’s Gone” and “Sara Smile”. In total, they had 34 chart hits on the US Billboard Hot 100, seven RIAA platinum albums, and six RIAA gold albums. Billboard magazine named them the most successful duo of the rock era, surpassing Simon & Garfunkel and The Everly Brothers. They have achieved moderate success in the United Kingdom with two UK top ten albums, spending a total of one-hundred and seventeen weeks in the UK top 75 album charts and eighty-four weeks in the top seventy-five of the UK Singles Chart.
In 2003, Hall and Oates were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Billboard magazine had Hall and Oates at No. 15 on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time and the No. 1 duo, while VH1 placed the duo as No. 99 on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2014. On September 2, 2016, they received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The duo never really liked to be referred to as “Hall & Oates.” In an interview with Esquire, Oates said, “There isn’t one album that says Hall and Oates. It’s always Daryl Hall and John Oates, from the very beginning. People never note that. The idea of ‘Hall and Oates,’ this two-headed monster, this thing, is not anything we’ve ever wanted or liked.”
Dixie Chicks are an American music group composed of founding members (and sisters) Martie Erwin Maguire and Emily Erwin Robison, and lead singer Natalie Maines. The band formed in 1989 in Dallas, Texas, and was originally composed of four women performing bluegrass and country music, busking and touring the bluegrass festival circuits and small venues for six years without attracting a major label. After the departure of one bandmate, the replacement of their lead singer, and a slight change in their repertoire, the Dixie Chicks soon achieved commercial success, beginning in 1998 with hit songs “There’s Your Trouble” and “Wide Open Spaces”.
As of 2015, the Dixie Chicks had won 13 Grammy Awards, including five in 2007 for Taking the Long Way—which received the Grammy Award for Album of the Year—and “Not Ready to Make Nice,” a single from that album. By December 2015, with 30.5 million certified albums sold, and sales of 27.5 million albums in the U.S. alone, they had become the top selling all-female band and biggest-selling country group in the U.S. during the Nielsen SoundScan era (1991–present).
On March 10, 2003, during a London concert, nine days before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, lead vocalist Maines told the audience: “We don’t want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States (George W. Bush) is from Texas,” which garnered a positive reaction from the British audience contrasting with the negative reaction, and ensuing boycotts, in the United States, where talk shows denounced the band, their albums were discarded in public protest and corporate broadcasting networks blacklisted them for the remainder of the Bush years. After a touring hiatus, they toured again in 2010, 2013 and 2016.
On June 26, 2019, The Dixie Chicks has confirmed that they are returning to music with a new studio album after a 13-year hiatus. They are expecting to record their first new studio album since 2006’s Taking the Long Way. They also feature on the song “Soon You’ll Get Better” from Taylor Swift’s seventh studio album Lover. On September 19, Maines confirmed the album is titled Gaslighter, and will be released in 2020.
Highway 101 was an American country music band founded in 1986 by Paulette Carlson (lead vocals), Jack Daniels (guitar), Curtis Stone (bass guitar, mandolin), and Scott “Cactus” Moser (drums). With Carlson as lead vocalist, the band recorded three albums for Warner Bros. Records Nashville and charted ten consecutive Top Ten hits on the Hot Country Songs chart, four of which went to Number One. After Carlson left in 1990 to pursue a solo career, the band recorded a fourth album for Warner with Nikki Nelson on lead vocals before exiting the label. One album each followed on Liberty, Intersound, and Free Falls Records under various lineups.