Category Archives: Music

What Are the Most Popular Music Genres?

atkins bookshelf musicIf you visit Wikipedia’s comprehensive list of music genres — containing more than 1,650 types! — you get a real understanding of the extremely wide range of musical tastes. Back in the day when brick-and-mortar record shops existed (remember the iconic Tower Records?), could you imagine navigating aisles dedicated to 1,650 music genres? It would be, of course, overwhelming. Fortunately, for music stores and online music services, most people’s preference for music gravitates toward about two dozen music genres. Curious to learn what type of music most people like to listen to, Last.fm, an online music discovery website analyzed the listening preferences of their subscribers over one year. Here is their list of the top ten most popular music genres:

1. Rock
2. Pop
3. Jazz
4. Ambient
5. Hip-hop
6. Hard Rock
7. Chillout
8. Blues
9. Rap
10. Trance

Read related posts: How Many Music Genres Exist?
How Much Do People Spend on Music?
Do Dogs Have a Music Preference?

For further reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_music_styles
Infographic Guide to Music by Graham Betts (2014)


Who Wrote the Song “The Christmas Guest”?

catkins-bookshelf-literature“The Christmas Guest” is a touching holiday song about Conrad, a humble shopkeeper whose acts of kindness highlight the importance of compassion and generosity. The song begins with Conrad relating to neighbors that Jesus came to him in a dream, saying that he would visit Conrad. It is implied that Conrad has recently faced some difficulty in his life — “his shop so meager and mean.” Throughout the day, three different people in need (a shabby beggar, an old woman, and a lost child) stumble upon his shop. Each time, Conrad invites them in and provides them with clothing, food, rest, and comfort. But as the day ends, and darkness comes over the village, Conrad laments why Christ has not visited as he promised; in prayer he asks: “What kept You from coming to call on me / For I wanted so much Your face to see.” Out of the silence comes a voice: “Lift up your head, for I kept My word / Three times My shadow crossed your floor / Three times I came to your lonely door / For I was the beggar with bruised, cold feet, / I was the woman you gave to eat, / And I was the child on the homeless street. / Three times I knocked and three times I came in, / And each time I found the warmth of a friend.” Jesus concludes: “Of all the gifts, love is the best, / And I was honored to be your Christmas Guest.”

The song has been covered by Johnny Cash (released in 1980), Reba McEntire (1987), and Grandpa Jones (2003), an old time country and gospel music singer. As you listen to its beautiful lyrics, you may wonder: who wrote “The Christmas Guest”? Excellent question. Let’s step back in time to arrive at the answer.

First, we need to go back 25 years to the year 1991. The song “The Christmas Guest” is a musical adaptation of the poem “The Story of the Christmas Guest” by American poet Helen Steiner Rice, who wrote religious and inspirational poetry, earning the unofficial title of “America’s beloved inspirational poet laureate.” The poem, inspired by the short story of a famous author, was included in Christmas Blessings, a collection of poems published in 1991.

Now we need to go back in time over a century to the late 1800s. Rice was inspired by Russian author Leo Tolstoy’s (1828-1910) masterful short story, “Where Love Is, God Is” (also translated as “Where Love Is, There God Is Also” or “Martin the Cobbler”) written in 1885. In Tolstoy’s story, the cobbler is named Martin (or Martuin) Avdeitch. The title of Tolstoy’s story is based on the Catholic hymn Ubi Caritas that contains the antiphonal response “Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibis est,” which translated from Latin means “Where true charity is, there is God.” Tolstoy’s story was translated from Russian to English by American writer and translator Nathan Haskell Dole in 1887.

Tolstoy, in turn, was inspired by the French folk tale “Le Pere Martin” (“Father Martin” in English) written by Ruben Saillens (1855-1942), a musician and pastor, considered one of the most influential Evangelical Protestants in France. Saillens sought to evangelize through his hymns and fables. The story “Le Pere Martin” is included in a collection of fables and allegories, titled Rectis et Allegories, published in 1888; however, it must have been written earlier and spread via oral tradition (pastors often repeated each others sermons), which is how Tolstoy must have heard it years earlier. However, Tolstoy does not merely translate Saillens’ story from French to Russian, he changes the story in significant ways in order to make it more poetic and compelling. Brigitte Hanhart retold the story in a children’s book titled Shoemaker Martin published in 1997.

At this point in our story, we must now go back thousands of years because Saillens’ allegory of the shoemaker was inspired by one of civilization’s oldest books — the Bible, specifically the New Testament. Let us turn to Matthew’s gospel, written about 70 A.D., specifically to Chapter 25 (Matthew 25:31-46) where Jesus discusses who will enter the Kingdom of Heaven using the Parable of the Judgment (or the Parable of the Sheep and Goats): “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed theeOr when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

May the Story of the Christmas Guest inspire compassion and generosity during this holiday season and beyond. Merry Christmas — and may God bless us, every one!

Share this post with someone you love…

For further reading: Why are Red and Green Associated with Christmas?
Who Invented the First Christmas Card?
Yes, Virginia There is a Santa Claus
Twas the Night Before Christmas
A Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life
Best Quotes from A Christmas Story
The Inspiration for Dickens’s A Christmas Carol
The Story Behind Scrooge
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Trivia
Mall Santas by the Numbers
The Atkins Bookshelf Literary Price Index: 2016

For further reading: O Christmas Three: Beloved Christmas Classics by O. Henry, Tolstoy, and Dickens (2010)
http://flyanglersonline.com/lighterside/poetscreek/part152.php

http://classiclit.about.com/od/christmasstoriesholiday/a/aa_papachr.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_Love_Is,_God_Is
https://archive.org/details/whereloveisther00dolegoog
http://rereadinglives.blogspot.com/2011/12/papa-panovs-specithal-christmas-by-leo.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruben_Saillens
https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Matthew-Chapter-25/
http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=8427


The Story Behind Shannon by Henry Gross

atkins bookshelf musicThis post is dedicated to our beloved family dog who “slipped the surly bonds to earth to touch the face of God.” He was noble, sweet, and the most loving Golden Retriever we have ever had. He lives eternally in our memories and our hearts.

Although Henry Gross is a talented American musician, one of the original guitarist for Sha Na Na during the late 60s and toured extensively for three decades as a solo artist promoting 15 albums, he is best remembered for his one big hit, “Shannon” from the album Release (1976). Shannon is a tender ballad about the death of a dog that is heavily influenced by the legendary Beach Boys sound. Since its release, a story — in reality, a musical urban myth — quickly developed to explain the song’s inspiration. The story goes something like this: Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys was suffering from depression, refusing to leave his bed. A family friend thought of providing Wilson with the best therapy — a canine companion. The friend gave Wilson an Irish Setter puppy. The puppy, which Wilson named Shannon, was just what the doctor had ordered; the puppy helped the singer come out of the depression, leave his self-imposed isolation, and venture outside. Wilson and Shannon loved to play on the shores of the Malibu beaches, dodging the waves, running around in the sand. Sadly, tragedy struck — one day while Shannon was swimming in the ocean, a strong tide carried her away; Wilson never saw her again. Understandably, he was heart broken, but worse — he sunk into a deep depression, returning to the safe harbor of his bed.

This is a very poignant story; however it is not the true story behind Shannon. On his website,  Gross (he calls himself the “one-hit wanderer”) dispels the urban myth; he explains, “When I was twenty-one years old, a wonderful girl came into my life by the name of Kathy Reinmann. As if having her in my life as a friend, a wife, and a friend again for the next twenty three years until she died of lung cancer in 1995 was not enough, she brought along with her a two-year-old Irish Setter named Shannon. She was an uncannily human dog whose ability to manipulate her human counterparts cannot be understated. I was touring around the country quite a lot in 1975 promoting an album called Henry Gross [the one with the yellow cover on A&M Records]. I had the pleasure of doing long strings of dates with The Beach Boys, a group whose music always inspired me, Carl Wilson, lead singer on ‘God Only Knows’ and ‘Good Vibrations,’ was warm and welcoming from the very first show I played with them. Carl invited me to his house in Los Angeles to spend a day talking guitars, cars and rock & roll. While he was preparing lunch his two Alaskan husky dogs reached up on the counter and inhaled our food. Carl was no nice he couldn’t stop apologizing but I told him, while admiring the military perfection of the raid executed by his huskies, that I had an Irish Setter at home named Shannon and had seen this act many times before! He was quite moved as he told me that he had an Irish Setter named Shannon that had been killed only recently when hit by a car. We spent the rest of the day jamming and driving around Carl’s world, which as a friend — and to be honest, a Beach Boy’s fanatic — was quite a thrill.”

“When I returned to New York City, where I lived,” Gross continues, “I began work on my second A&M album, Plug Into Something. A few weeks later, just as we were about to master the finished album I was sitting on my bed with Shannon strumming my guitar trying to write a song when I was disturbed by the loud bass sounds from the Latin music blasting from the apartment above me. Rather than complain I made an amazing discovery. If I tried to play records of my own choice I could drown out the intrusive bass sounds but was unable to concentrate. But I found that when I played an environments record called ‘The Ultimate Seashore’ I could drown out the bass and have a pleasing and relaxing background sound that didn’t interfere with my writing. In a matter of minutes with the ocean sounds guiding me, and my 1964 Gibson Hummingbird acoustic in my hands, my thoughts drifted to Carl, The Beach Boys and with a glance at my girl Shannon, the indescribable sadness that losing such a beloved partner in life must be. The song seemed to write itself taking no more than ten minutes and with almost no cross outs on the paper. I made a tape of it on my giant Sony cassette recorder and sent it off to Carl. I was hoping to stop the presses and record it for Plug Into Something which Carl had already sung on, adding background vocals to the opening song, One More Tomorrow, but it was too late. I had to wait for the next album to record it. I always wished I could have had Carl sing backgrounds on ‘Shannon’ but conflicting schedules dictated it wasn’t meant to be. I believed after it was recorded for my Release album, that it was destined to be a hit and lobbied hard for it to be the first single. You see, the man upstairs who had played the loud Latin music, beginning the entire chain of events, came down when he heard me playing mixes over and over to decide which I liked. However, rather than hearing the expected complaints, he said he loved the sound of the record and wanted to know where he could buy a copy. I reasoned if a salsa music fan who spoke little English loved the record through the ceiling, Shannon, Kathy and I had a hit on our hands. Fortunately, history and lady luck proved me right. And that is the true story of the song ‘Shannon.'”

Shannon by Henry Gross

Another day’s at end
Mama says she’s tired again
No one can even begin to tell her
I hardly know what to say
But maybe it’s better that way
If Pop-pa were here I’m sure he’d tell her
Shannon, is gone I heard
She’s drifting out to sea
She always loved to swim away
Maybe she’ll find an island with a shaded tree
Just like the one in our backyard
Mama tries hard to pretend
That things will get better again
Somehow she’s keepin’ it all inside her
But finally the tears fill our eyes
And I know that somewhere tonight
She knows how much we really miss her
Shannon, is gone I heard
She’s drifting out to sea
She always loved to swim away
Maybe she’ll find an island
With a shaded tree
Just like the one in our back yard
Ah, just like the one in our back yard
Ah….
Just like the one in our back yard

Read related posts: What is the Meaning of Auld Lang Syne?
The Story Behind Cats and the Cradle by Harry Chapin
The Story Behind Father and Son by Cat Stevens

The Meaning of I Dreamed a Dream
The Most Misinterpreted Songs

For further reading: http://www.henrygross.com/the-story-of-shannon/
http://forgottenhits60s.blogspot.com/2009/01/real-story-behind-henry-gross-hit.html


The Worst Songs of All Time

atkins bookshelf musicLists of the best songs of all time abound on the Internet. But what about those terribly annoying songs — songs you love to hate — that are the equivalent to the sound of fingernails across a blackboard? Don’t they deserve a list of their own? Thankfully, the editors of the New York Post believe they do. Recently, they gave their readers an opportunity to rank the worst songs of all time. Reviewing the list is like a stroll down memory lane, each song representing a memorable period of your life. In hindsight, of course, when you replay the song in your head (and believe me — you’ll know the melodies well), you will feel a wave of embarrassment wash over you when you secretly confess that you actually enjoyed listening or dancing to some of these songs. A bad song, like a really bad pun, evokes immediate groans and derision; some are even bad enough to make you “puke all over yourself” — to borrow one of Holden Caulfield’s favorite phrases. Taken together, these cringeworthy songs form the quintessential “island of misfit songs.” According to readers, here are the 20 worst songs of all time. Read at your own peril, since some are likely to become really annoying earworms:

Starship: “We Built This City”

USA for Africa: “We Are the World”

Barenaked Ladies: “One Week”

Bobby McFerrin: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”

Terry Jacks: “Seasons in the Sun”

Berlin: “Take My Breath Away”

Rick Dees and His Cast of Idiots: “Disco Duck”

Steve Miller Band: “The Joker”

Baha Men: “Who Let the Dogs Out”

Piko-Taro: “PPAP”

The Hues Corporation: “Rock the Boat”

Eddie Murphy: “Party All the Time”

Nena: “99 Luftballons”

The Beatles: “Hey Jude”

Bryan Adams: “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”

Men Without Hats: “The Safety Dance”

Los del Río: “Macarena”

Billy Ray Cyrus: “Achy Breaky Heart”

Europe: “The Final Countdown”

Desiigner: “Panda”

Read related posts: Top Ten Movie Songs
Top Ten Most Relaxing Songs

How Famous Singers Got Their Names
How Rock Bands Got Their Names

Origins of the Beatles Name
The Dark Side of the Moon Turns 40
Best Books for Music Lovers
How Many Music Genres Exist?
Greatest Songs of All Time
The Most Misinterpreted Songs
Song Titles That are Not Part of the Lyrics
What is the Longest Song Title?

For further reading: http://nypost.com/2016/11/04/these-are-the-20-worst-songs-of-all-time-according-to-our-readers/


Top Ten Most Relaxing Songs

atkins bookshelf musicAccording to a 2015 study by Stanford and Harvard Business Schools, health problems related to job stress (eg, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and decreased mental health) takes the lives of more than 120,000 Americans each year — more than the number of lives lost due to diabetes, influenza, or Alzheimers. The cost to the healthcare system? A staggering $180 billion per year.

So what can be done to reduce job-related stress? Short of climbing back into the womb, and immersing oneself in the most perfect environment of relaxation (weightlessness of amniotic fluid, warmth, and mother’s heartbeat), neuroscientists are prescribing a daily dose of super relaxing music. Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson and his colleagues at Mindlab International, a communication and brand research firm, conducted research to find out which songs had the greatest relaxing effect on participants. Subjects were connected to several sensors — measuring heart rate, rate of breathing, and blood pressure — and asked to solve challenging stress-producing puzzles while listening to music. One particular song, “Weightless” by Marconi Union, reduced the anxiety of participants by as much as 65%. Not surprisingly, Marconi Union worked with sound therapists to create a perfect blend of harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines to relax listeners, slowing down their heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of cortisol, a stress hormone.

So when you are feeling stressed at work, or at home, put on a pair of headphones and tune out, and tune in to the top ten most relaxing songs in the world:

1. Weightless by Marconi Union
2. Electra by Airstream
3. Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix) by DJ Shah
4. Watermark by Enya
5. Strawberry Swing by Coldplay
6. Please Don’t Go by Barcelona
7. Pure Shores by All Saints
8. Someone Like You by Adele
9. Canzonetta Sull’aria by Mozart
10. We Can Fly by Rue du Soleil (Café Del Mar)

Read related posts: Top Ten Movie Songs
How Famous Singers Got Their Names
How Rock Bands Got Their Names

Origins of the Beatles Name
The Dark Side of the Moon Turns 40
Best Books for Music Lovers
How Many Music Genres Exist?
Greatest Songs of All Time
The Most Misinterpreted Songs
Song Titles That are Not Part of the Lyrics
What is the Longest Song Title?

For further reading: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/02/the-alarming-long-term-consequences-of-workplace-stress/385397/
http://www.inc.com/melanie-curtin/neuroscience-says-listening-to-this-one-song-reduces-anxiety-by-up-to-65-percent.html


The Most Famous Song Lyrics

atkins bookshelf musicLike movies, songs provide a global shared experience, as people listen, dance, or sing to their favorite tunes. The greatest songs not only endure because of this shared experience, they also contribute to the English lexicon, providing words and phrases that evoke an era as well as succinctly express certain feelings, situations, or complex issues. Some song lyrics are so well known, that people use them who have never heard the original song. Consider these famous lyrics: “You can check out any time you like / But you can never leave” from Hotel California by The Eagles; “You can’t always get what you want / But if you try sometimes you might find /
You get what you need” from You Can’t Always Get What You Want by The Rolling Stones); or “Don’t it always seem to go / That you don’t know what you’ve got / ‘Til it’s gone / They paved paradise / And put up a parking lot” from Big Yellow Taxi by Jon Mitchell, to name just a few.  The editors of Sputnik Music got together and compiled a list of the “100 Greatest Song Lyrics.” Like any list it has some glaring omissions; nevertheless, below are the top 50 from that list (artist, album title, followed by lyric). What lyrics are they missing?

1. Neil Young, My My, Hey Hey: It’s better to burn out, than to fade away.

2. Bob Dylan, Blowin’ In The Wind: How many ears must one man have before he can hear people cry? Yes, and / how many deaths will it take ‘til he knows that too many people have died?

3. The Beatles, All You Need Is Love: All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.

4. John Cougar Mellencamp, Minutes To Memories: An honest man’s pillow is his peace of mind.

5. Bo Diddley; Creedance Clearwater Revival; Eric Clapton, Before You Accuse Me: Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself.

6. Bob Dylan, Its Alright, Ma: Bent out of shape from society’s pliers, cares not to come up any higher, but / rather get you down in the hole that he’s in.

7. Fleetwood Mac, Oh Well: Don’t ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to.

8. Semisonic, Album: Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

9. Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Suite: Judy Blue Eyes: Fear is the lock and laughter the key to your heart.

10. Frank Sinatra, My Way: For what is a man? What has he got? If not himself – Then he has naught. / To say the things he truly feels And not the words of one who kneels.

11. Bob Dylan, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall: Heard ten thousand whispering and nobody listening. Heard one person starve, / I heard many people laughing. Heard the song of a poet who died in the gutter.

12. Rush, The Pass: All of us get lost in the darkness, dreamers learn to steer by the stars.

13. Simon and Garfunkel, The Boxer: All lies and jest, still, a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

14. The Beatles, The End: And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

15. Woodie Guthrie, This Land Is Your Land: This land was made for you and me.

16. 2 Pac, Me Against The World: Even the genius asks questions.

17. Kool Moe Dee, Knowledge Is King: Evil feeds off a source of apathy, weak in the mind, and of course you have to be. Less than a man, more like a thing, no knowledge you’re nothing, knowledge is king.

18. Led Zeppelin, The Battle Of Evermore: The pain of war cannot exceed the woe of aftermath.

19. Wilco, Ashes Of American Flags: All my lies are always wishes.

20. Rush, Freewill: If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

21. Ramones, Got a Lot to Say: I got a lot to say, I got a lot to say, I got a lot to say. I can’t remember now, I can’t remember now, I can’t remember now.

22. mewithoutyou, Oh, Porcupine: And all I ever want to say for the rest of my life, Is how the light is GOD! / And through I’ve been mistaken on this or that point,That light is God.

23. Boston, Peace of Mind: I understand about indecision, but I don’t care if I get behind. People living in competition, all I want is to have my peace of mind.

24. Bob Dylan; The Byrds, My Back Pages: I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.

25. Simon and Garfunkel, El Condor Pasa: I’d rather be a hammer than a nail.

26. Anthrax, Schism: If we were blind and had no choice, would we hate each other by the tone of our voice?

27. Bob Seger, Feel Like a Number: Im not a number damnit. I’m a man.

28. Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here: We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl.

29. Crosby, Stills, and Nash; Jefferson Airplane, Wooden Ships: If you smile at me I will understand, cause that is something everybody everywhere does in the same language.

30. The Eagles, Desperado: Freedom, well, that’s just some people talking. Your prison is walking through this world all alone.

31. The Righteous Brothers, Rock and Roll Heaven: If you believe in forever, then life is just a one night stand. If there’s a rock and roll heaven, well, you know they got a hell of a band.

32. Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fortunate Son: It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no Senator’s son, son. It ain’t me, it ain’t me, I ain’t no fortunate one.

33. Misery Signals, In Summary Of What I Am: And all the great things that I will never do.

34. Janis Joplin, Me And Bobby McGee: Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. Nothing ain’t nothing, but it’s free.

35. U2, Zooropo: Get your head out of the mud, baby. Put flowers in the mud, baby.

36. Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A-Changin’: You better start swimming or sink like a stone, cause the times they are a-changing.

37. Eric Clapton, Tears in Heaven: Time can bring you down, time can bend your knees.

38. The Moody Blues, The Best Way To Travel: Thinking is the best way to travel.

39. Marvin Gaye, What’s Goin’ On: War is not the answer, because only love can conquer hate.

40. La Dispute, New Storms for Older Lovers: I guess love?s a funny thing, the way it fades away without a warning and when it’s gone oh it’s gone. It aint ever coming back.

41. Pink Floyd, Time: Then one day you find, ten years have got behind you. / No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

42. Bob Dylan, I and I: The swift don’t win the race. It goes to the worthy, who can divide the word of truth.

43. Simon and Garfunkel, The Sound of Silence: The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls.

44. The Rolling Stones, Far Away Eyes: The preacher said, you know you always have the Lord by your side. And I was so pleased to be informed of this that I ran twenty red-lights in his name.

45. Elvis Presley, Can’t Help Falling in Love: Take my hand, take my whole life too, but I can’t help falling in love with you.

46. Radiohead, There, There: Just because you feel it doesn’t mean it’s there.

47. Misery Signals, Ebb and Flow: In dreams, I’ll promise you’ll never be alone, how much I wish your voice could send me home.

48. The Who, Baba O’Riley (“Teenage Wasteland”): The exodus is here the happy ones are near, / let’s get together before we get much older.

49. The Yardbirds, Spoonful: It could be a spoonful of diamonds, could be a spoonful of gold. Just a little spoon of your precious love satisfies my soul.

50. Golden Earring, Twilight Zone: Where am I to go, now that I’ve gone too far?

Read related posts: Famous Love Quotes from the Movies
Most Famous Movie Quotations
Most Famous Movie Catchphrases

Best Academy Award Quotes
How Many Music Genres Exist?

For further reading: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/list.php?listid=61442


What is the 27 Club?

atkins bookshelf musicMost people are familiar with the old joke about the mortuary or graveyard: it’s so popular that people are dying to get in. Unfortunately, the 27 Club is no joke — people literally have to die to get in. Specifically, the 27 Club refers to the group of famous musicians that died at the young age of 27. When Kurt Cobain’s mother, Wendy O’Connor, learned of his death by suicide, she remarked: “Now he’s gone and joined that stupid club. I told him not to join that stupid club.”

Charles Cross, who wrote biographies of Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix, noted in an interview: “The number of musicians who died at 27 is truly remarkable by any standard. [Even though] humans die regularly at all ages, there is a statistical spike for musicians who die at 27.” As you can imagine, the cause of death at such an early age, is due mainly to drug overdose, alcohol abuse, suicide, or homicide. Here are famous musicians who died at 27.

Alexandre Levy: Composer, pianist and conductor
Louis Chauvin: Ragtime musician
Robert Johnson: Blues singer and musician
Nat Jaffe: Swing jazz pianist
Jesse Belvin: R&B singer, pianist, and songwriter
Rudy Lewis: Vocalist of the Drifters
Joe Henderson: R&B and gospel singer
Malcolm Hale: Original member and lead guitarist of Spanky and Our Gang
Dickie Pride: Rock n’ roll singer
Brian Jones: Rolling Stones founder, guitarist, and multi-instrumentalist
Alexandra: German schlager vocalist
Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson: Leader, singer, and primary composer of Canned Heat
Jimi Hendrix: Electric guitarist, singer, and songwriter for the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Band of Gypsys
Janis Joplin: Lead vocalist and songwriter for Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Kozmic Blues Band, and Full Tilt Boogie Band
Arlester “Dyke” Christian: Frontman, vocalist, and bassist of Dyke and the Blazers
Jim Morrison: Singer, lyricist, and leader of the Doors
Linda Jones: Soul singer
Leslie Harvey: Guitarist for Stone the Crows
Ron “Pigpen” McKernan: Founding member, keyboardist, and singer of the Grateful Dead
Roger Lee Durham: Singer and percussionist of Bloodstone
Wallace “Wally” Yohn: Organ player of Chase
Dave Alexander: Bassist for the Stooges
Pete Ham: Keyboardist, guitarist, and leader of Badfinger
Gary Thain: Former bassist of Uriah Heep and the Keef Hartley Band
Cecilia: Singer
Helmut Köllen: Bassist for Triumvirat
Chris Bell: Guitarist and singer-songwriter Big Star and solo
Zenon De Fleur: Guitarist for the Count Bishops
Jacob Miller: Reggae artist and lead singer for Inner Circle
D. Boon: Guitarist and lead singer of the Minutemen
Alexander Bashlachev: Poet, rock musician, and songwriter
Jean-Michel Basquiat: Painter, graffiti artist, and founder of Gray
Pete de Freitas: Drummer for Echo & the Bunnymen
Chris Austin: Singer for Reba McEntire
Joey Cigainero: Keyboardist for Reba McEntire
Dimitar Voev: Founder of New Generation
Mia Zapata: Lead singer of the Gits
Kurt Cobain: Founding member, guitarist, lead singer, and songwriter for Nirvana
Kristen Pfaff: Bass guitarist for Hole and Janitor Joe
Richey Edwards: Lyricist and guitarist for Manic Street Preachers
Stretch: Rapper
Fat Pat: American rapper and member of Screwed Up Click
Freaky Tah: American rapper and member of Lost Boyz
Kami: Drummer for Malice Mizer
Rodrigo Bueno: Cuarteto singer
Sean Patrick McCabe: Lead singer of Ink & Dagger
Maria Serrano Serrano: Background singer for Passion Fruit
Jeremy Michael Ward: Sound manipulator for Mars Volta and De Facto
Bryan Ottoson: Guitarist for American Head Charge
Valentín Elizalde: Singer
Amy Winehouse: Singer-songwriter
Richard Turner: Trumpet player
Nicole Bogner: Singer for Visions of Atlantis
Soroush “Looloosh” Farazmand: Guitarist for the Yellow Dogs
Slađa Guduraš: Pop singer and actress
Tomas Lowe: Bassist for Viola Beach
Thomas Fekete: Guitarist for Surfer Blood
Anton Yelchin: Actor, guitarist for The Hammerheads

Read related posts: How Famous Singers Got Their Names
How Rock Bands Got Their Names

Origins of the Beatles Name
The Dark Side of the Moon Turns 40
Best Books for Music Lovers
How Many Music Genres Exist?

For further reading: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/music/27-club-famous-musicians-died-age-27-article-1.2501832
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/27_Club


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