Saturday 9am: Feature Artist – Roy Orbison

We feature music from the NEW album remix with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Roy Kelton Orbison (April 23, 1936 – December 6, 1988) was an American singer-songwriter known for his distinctive, impassioned voice, complex song structures, and dark emotional ballads. The combination led many critics to describe his music as operatic, nicknaming him “the Caruso of Rock” and “the Big O”. While most male rock-and-roll performers in the 1950s and 1960s projected a defiant masculinity, many of Orbison’s songs instead conveyed vulnerability. His voice ranged from baritone to tenor, and music scholars have suggested that he had a three- or four-octave range. During performances, he was known for standing still and solitary, and for wearing black clothes, to match his dyed jet black hair and dark sunglasses, which lent an air of mystery to his persona.

Born in Texas, Orbison began singing in a rockabilly and country-and-western band in high school. He was signed by Sam Phillips, of Sun Records, in 1956, but his greatest success came with Monument Records. From 1960 to 1966, twenty-two of his singles reached the Billboard Top 40, and he wrote or co-wrote almost all that rose to the Top 10, including “Only the Lonely” (1960), “Running Scared” (1961), “Crying” (1961), “In Dreams” (1963), and “Oh, Pretty Woman” (1964). Soon afterward, Orbison was struck by a number of personal tragedies while his record sales declined. In the 1980s, he experienced a resurgence in popularity through the success of several cover versions of his songs, and in 1988, co-founded the Traveling Wilburys, a rock supergroup with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne. He died of a heart attack later that year, at the age of 52. One month later, his song “You Got It” (1989), co-written with Lynne and Petty, was released as a solo single and became his first to break the U.S. Top 10 in twenty-five years.

His honors include inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in the same year, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1989. Rolling Stone placed him at number 37 on their list of the “Greatest Artists of All Time” and number 13 on their list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time’. In 2002, Billboard magazine listed Orbison at number 74 in the Top 600 recording artists. – Wikipedia

Thursday 6pm: Feature Artist – Night Ranger

Night Ranger is an American rock band from San Francisco formed in 1979 that gained popularity during the 1980s with a series of albums and singles. The band’s first five albums sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and have sold 17 million albums total. The quintet is perhaps best known for the power ballad “Sister Christian”, which peaked at No. 5 in June 1984.

After their success waned in the late 1980s, the band split up in 1989 and its members pursued other musical endeavors, including group and solo efforts. Brad Gillis and Kelly Keagy teamed up with bassist Gary Moon and released an album without the other original band members in 1995, but the band soon reunited to release two new albums in the latter half of the decade. Despite the departure of original keyboardist Alan Fitzgerald and guitarist Jeff Watson, the band has continued to tour and remains very popular in Asian countries, particularly Japan. – Wikipedia

Tuesday 6pm: Feature Artist – Gerry Rafferty

Gerald Rafferty (16 April 1947 – 4 January 2011) was a Scottish singer-songwriter known for his solo hits “Baker Street”, “Right Down the Line” and “Night Owl”, as well as “Stuck in the Middle with You” recorded with the band Stealers Wheel.

Rafferty was born into a working-class family in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland. His mother taught him both Irish and Scottish folk songs as a boy; later, he was influenced by the music of The Beatles and Bob Dylan. He joined the folk-pop group The Humblebums in 1969. After they disbanded in 1971, he recorded his first solo album, Can I Have My Money Back? Rafferty and Joe Egan formed the group Stealers Wheel in 1972 and produced several hits, most notably “Stuck in the Middle with You” and “Star”. In 1978, he recorded his second solo album, City to City, which included “Baker Street”, his most popular song. – Wikipedia

Monday 7pm: Max 20th Century – 1956

Today we feature the music of 1956

January 26 – Buddy Holly’s first recording sessions for Decca Records take place in Nashville, Tennessee. Roy Orbison signs with Sun Records.
January 27 – Elvis Presley’s single “Heartbreak Hotel” / “I Was the One” is released. It goes on to be Elvis’s first #1 hit.
January 28 – Elvis Presley makes his national television debut on The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show.
March – The Coasters’ recording career begins, with “Turtle Dovin'”.
March 10 – Carl Perkins’ single “Blue Suede Shoes” enters the R&B charts, the first time a country music artist has made it on the R&B charts.
March 22 – Carl Perkins is injured in a car accident near Wilmington, Delaware, on his way to New York City to make an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. He spends several months in hospital.
March 24 – The first regularly scheduled nationally broadcast rock & roll show, Rock ‘n Roll Dance Party, with Alan Freed as host, premières on the CBS Radio Network.
March 26 – Colonel Tom Parker formally becomes Elvis Presley’s manager.
March 31 – Elvis Presley films a screen test for Paramount Pictures.
April 3 – Elvis Presley makes his first appearance on The Milton Berle Show.
April 6 – Paramount Pictures signs Elvis Presley to a three-picture deal.
May 2 – For the first time in Billboard magazine history, five singles appear in both the pop and R&B Top Ten charts. They are Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel” (#1 pop, #6 R&B), Carl Perkins’ “Blue Suede Shoes” (#4 pop, #3 R&B), Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally” (#9 pop, #1 R&B), the Platters’ “(You’ve Got) The Magic Touch” (#10 pop, #7 R&B) and Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers’ “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” (#7 pop, #4 R&B). Presley’s and Perkins’ singles also appeared on the country and western Top Ten chart at #1 and #2 respectively.
May 6 – Elvis Presley appears on the Milton Berle show.
In Paris, Heitor Villa-Lobos records his Bachiana Brasileira No. 9 with the strings of the Orchestre National de la Radiodiffusion Française, for EMI.
May 24 – First-ever Eurovision Song Contest from the Kursaal Theatre, Lugano, Switzerland. Seven countries participate, each with two songs. Switzerland is declared the winner, with Lys Assia singing “Refrain”.
June 3 – Fred Diodati replaces Al Alberts as lead singer of The Four Aces.
June 5 – Elvis Presley introduces his new single, “Hound Dog”, on The Milton Berle Show, scandalizing the audience with his suggestive hip movements.
July 9 – Dick Clark hosts American Bandstand for the first time
July 22 – The first UK Albums Chart is published, in Record Mirror; Frank Sinatra’s Songs for Swingin’ Lovers! tops it for the first two weeks.
Summer – John Lennon forms a skiffle group, The Quarrymen, with friends from Quarry Bank High School in Liverpool, England, originally Eric Griffiths and Pete Shotton.
September 9 – Elvis Presley appears on The Ed Sullivan Show.
November 5 – Nat King Cole becomes the first major black performer to host a variety show on national television, when The Nat King Cole Show is broadcast.
November 28 – Yoko Ono, recently divorced from Japanese composer Toshi Ichiyanagi, marries Anthony Cox.
December 4 – Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash record together at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. The sessions are later released under the name “the Million Dollar Quartet”
December 19 – Breaking the record for the highest number of concurrent singles by a single artist, Elvis Presley holds 9 positions on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Presley would hold the record until 1964 when the Beatles hold 14 positions on the chart. Gene Vincent signs a publishing contract with Bill Lowery. Cameo-Parkway Records is formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by Kal Mann and Bernie Lowe. – Wikipedia

In Memoriam: Yvonne Staples (1938 – 2018)

Yvonne Staples, whose baritone helped propel the Staple Singers to the top of the music charts and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, has died at home in South Shore at 80, according to Chicago’s Leak & Sons Funeral Home.

RadioMaxMusic will feature the music of the Staple Singers at 8pm ET

Ms. Staples performed on hits including “Respect Yourself,” “I’ll Take You There” and “Heavy Makes You Happy” with her sisters Mavis and Cleotha and their father, guitarist Roebuck “Pops” Staples.

She was born in Chicago to Pops and Oceola Staples, both with Mississippi roots. She started singing with Mavis and their brother Pervis in the 1940s at their uncle’s church.  For more on this story click here

The Staple Singers were an American gospel, soul and R&B singing group. Roebuck “Pops” Staples (1914–2000), the patriarch of the family, formed the group with his children Cleotha (1934–2013), Pervis (b. 1935), and Mavis (b. 1939). Yvonne (1936–2018) replaced her brother when he was drafted into the U.S. Army, and again in 1970. They are best known for their 1970s hits “Respect Yourself”, “I’ll Take You There”, “If You’re Ready (Come Go with Me)”, and “Let’s Do It Again”, which with one exception (“I’ll Take You There”) peaked on the Hot 100 within a week from Christmas Day. While the family name is Staples, the group used “Staple” commercially. – Wikipedia

Tuesday 6pm: Feature Artist – Skid Row

Skid Row is an American heavy metal band, formed in 1986 in Toms River, New Jersey. The group achieved commercial success in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with its first two albums Skid Row (1989) and Slave to the Grind (1991) certified multi-platinum, the latter of which reached number one on the Billboard 200. The band’s third album Subhuman Race (1995) was also critically acclaimed, but failed to repeat the success of its predecessors. During this period, the band consisted of bassist Rachel Bolan, guitarists Dave Sabo and Scotti Hill, drummer Rob Affuso, and frontman Sebastian Bach. The band had sold 20 million albums worldwide by the end of 1996.

After replacing Bach with Johnny Solinger and Affuso with Phil Varone in 1999, Skid Row released Thickskin (2003) and Revolutions per Minute (2006), both of which garnered mixed to negative reception. In April 2015, Skid Row announced that they had parted ways with Solinger, and replaced him with former TNT singer Tony Harnell. Eight months later, however, Harnell left the band. In 2017, ZP Theart (formerly of Dragonforce) was named the official lead singer after spending a year as a touring member of the group. – Wikipedia

Monday 8pm: Feature Artist – Toto

Toto are an American rock band formed in 1976 in Los Angeles. The band’s current lineup consists of Joseph Williams (lead vocals), David Paich (keyboards, vocals), Steve Porcaro (keyboards), Steve Lukather (guitars, vocals), plus touring members Lenny Castro (percussion), Warren Ham (saxophone), Shem von Schroeck (bass) and Shannon Forrest (drums). Toto is known for a musical style that combines elements of pop, rock, soul, funk, progressive rock, hard rock, R&B, blues, and jazz.

Paich and Jeff Porcaro had played together as session musicians on several albums and decided to form a band. David Hungate, Lukather, Steve Porcaro and Bobby Kimball were recruited before the first album release. The band enjoyed great commercial success in the late 1970s and 1980s, beginning with the band’s eponymous debut released in 1978. With the release of the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Toto IV (1982), Toto became one of the best-selling music groups of their era.

Widely known for the Top 5 hits “Hold the Line”, “Rosanna”, and “Africa”, the makeup of the group continues to evolve. Hungate left in 1982, followed by Kimball in 1984, but who rejoined the band in 1998 until 2008. Jeff Porcaro died in 1992 of a heart attack. Hungate rejoined Toto as a touring musician and later a band member. In 2008, Lukather announced his departure from the band, and the remaining band members later went their separate ways. In the summer of 2010, Toto reformed and went on a short European tour, with a new lineup, to benefit Mike Porcaro, who had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and was no longer an active member of the band. He died in 2015.

The band has released 17 studio albums, and has sold over 40 million records worldwide. The group was honored with several Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009. – Wikipedia