Rock And Roll Time Machine –
THE ORIGIN OF ROCK AND ROLL
Rock And Roll Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the late ’60s.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Rock And Roll Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
DANNY & THE JUNIORS – “Rock ‘n Roll Is Here To Stay” (1958)
Many of today’s rock music fans don’t look beyond the ‘70s (or possibly late ‘60s) when they think about the origins of rock and roll. The phrase was actually coined by a disc jockey named Alan Freed in the early ‘50s.
Looking back, the rock and roll of the ‘50s seems relatively tame compared to the numerous sub-genres that it has spawned today. But back in the day, it was a pretty radical shift from the musical eras that came before its inception.
In all honesty, I never thought that I’d be featuring any bands from the ‘50s on Hard Rock Daddy, but it just seemed appropriate at this moment.
Long before I became a rock music fan (which led me to hard rock and heavy metal), my introduction to music was the Doo Wop that provided the soundtrack to my parents’ youth.
While my mom would continue to discover and enjoy new music, my dad was always nostalgic for the Doo Wop era. Up until his untimely passing nearly two decades ago, Doo Wop was the only music that my dad listened to. With the anniversary of his passing coming up, I decided to use this edition of Rock And Roll Time Machine to share some of the songs that remind me of him.
One of my favorite songs of the Doo Wop era was “At The Hop” by Danny & The Juniors. The reason that I chose to feature my second favorite song by the band is because of its message (which still resonates to this day). “Rock n’ Roll Is Here To Stay” was released during a time when many were predicting its demise. Here we are 60 years later, and those same predictions are as popular as ever.
In whatever incarnation comes next, I agree with the sentiment of the song that brings me back in time to the back seat of our yellow Cadillac, riding home from New York City after visiting my grandmother. In a strange way, Hard Rock Daddy’s origin can be traced back to my dad and the Doo Wop music that he loved.
JIM CROCE – “Time In A Bottle” (1972)
Jim Croce’s “Time In A Bottle” is a beautiful love song with a sad vibe. For someone who has lost someone close to them, the opening lyrics can be both powerful and sorrowful…
“If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do…is to save everyday ‘til eternity passes away…just to spend them with you.”
We all take time for granted until we realize just how much of a commodity it really is. As much as this song saddens me, and makes me wish for more time with my dad, it also brings a smile to my face every time that I hear it because I envision my dad singing the wrong lyrics.
Though “saving” time in a bottle tugs on your heartstrings, my dad’s interpretation of the lyrics does something quite different. I still remember him singing the opening line…
“If I could ‘spend’ time in a bottle.”
Those old enough to remember this song will also remember the television show I Dream Of Jeannie. That’s what always came to mind whenever I heard this song after hearing my dad sing the wrong lyrics.
We always think that it’s the big moments that we’ll remember after a loss, but for me, it’s the little, seemingly meaningless moments that bring back the fondest memories.
TRIXTER – “Take The Long Way Home” (1994)
Cover songs in rock these days are everywhere, but it wasn’t until today that I discovered an under-the-radar 1994 album by Trixter that featured nothing but covers. The thing about music today is that we feel like YouTube is a library for every song ever written, or at the very least, the popular songs of each era.
After searching endlessly, I discovered that it is impossible to find a video for Supertramp’s “Take The Long Way Home.” The only available versions are by Supertramp’s lead vocalist (who wrote the song), Roger Hodgson. But here’s the thing…his versions surprisingly don’t capture the essence of the original.
Luckily, I stumbled upon Trixter’s cover when doing my research. It’s not quite as good as the original, but it is much closer to it than any of Hodgson’s versions that are available on YouTube.
So, why not just find another Supertramp song to feature? Because this one has meaning to me…
“Take The Long Way Home” was one of Supertramp’s biggest hits. It is featured on their most popular album, 1979’s Breakfast In America. At the time of its release, it was one of my favorite songs.
I was driving with my dad when I heard the distinct opening harmonica part of the song come on the radio. As I turned up the volume, as clear as day, I remember saying…
“I love this song… ‘Take The Long Way Home.’”
It was my dad’s turn to drive the carpool that day, and we had just dropped off one of my friends who lived up the block. He looked at me like I was crazy and asked how I wanted him to go home. Back then, if you didn’t own the album, it wouldn’t be out of the question to stay in the car to listen to a song, but there was no “long way” to go home from my friend’s house.
As my laughter subsided, I told my dad that “Take The Long Way Home” is the name of the song. He probably forgot the story right away, but it has stuck with me for nearly 40 years.
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