Dick Wagner RK and Muruga

As the news of the passing of Detroit's guitarist Dick Wagner sinks in...I thought I would rerun a post he wrote for me a few years ago....

Kimmer" my sweet friend....You asked me to give you a list of my favorite recordings from my past...and so I shall attempt to compile a basic top ten records that thrilled me upon first listening. These songs kicked my ass as a teenager. Warning...I'm older than you and your readers, so some of these may be barely remembered....

1. LONG TALL SALLY, Little Richard

A seminal Rock record with Little Richard at his most compelling. Deeply influenced my pathway into music.


On first listen, I could not believe what I'd just heard. The power, the intensity, the sound. Major influence.

3. STAGGER LEE, Lloyd Price

Man did this record rock! The story lyric was an example of humorous bloodletting blues. Too Cool.

4. ONLY YOU, The Platters

Made me recognize my own romantic heart. That voice felt like it was me seeking the always elusive love, just beyond reach. Young Love.

5 ONLY THE LONELY, Roy Orbison

Unrequited, the lonely heart breaks. Teenage angst. Loved it then, still do.

6. GONE, Ferlin Huskie

Another initiation into the broken romantic heart. Really a country record before I knew the difference. Mysterious, haunting, delicious vocals

7. Rawhide- Rumble Link Wray 1959

Two classic distorted guitar classic tunes. I couldn't stop listening and discovered the heart of Rock guitar. Totally Cool.


Mysterious, haunting, delicious vocals

9. SCHOOL DAYS, Chuck Berry

My introduction to lyrical, genius Rock music with great guitar riffs. Founding father of Rock.

10. DROWN IN MY OWN TEARS, Ray Charles

A fantastic introduction to the blues, Ray was live and the band was phenomenal. 1956 genius of Ray Charles Album

So there we go, Kim. What first pops to mind, among so so many others. Music was so rich and diverse during those 1950's. I really miss the emotion of the early records. Remember "OVER THE MOUNTAIN" by Johnny and Joe? A perfect dance so close kinda tune. Great times.

All my love,


Dick Wagner said...


Susie Michelson said...

Hiya Kim,

Thanks for posting these great tunes, and especially for taking the time to find each one on YouTube. YOU ARE A GEM!!!

Funny story about the song, "Sally Go Round the Roses." By complete coincidence, while the song was not well known universally, it was also one of my favorite childhood tunes. It was released in 1963. Fast forward to 1985, and I became great friends with writer, producer and keyboardist extraordinaire, Artie Butler. One night over dinner, he told us a few of his early music stories. He was still a teenager, when an older gentleman brought him a polka tune to record in the studio. Artie loved the song, but hated the polka arrangement. So he created an entirely new arrangement. He found three NYC chicks who could sing, made them the Jaynettes, and recorded this haunting record, SALLY GO ROUND THE ROSES. The song was Artie's first ever hit record. Artie went on to an amazing career. He played those INCREDIBLE UNFORGETTABLE KEYBOARDS on FEELIN' ALL RIGHT for Joe Cocker. Artie also produced IT'S A WONDERFUL WORLD for Louis Armstrong, and a lot of great hits for Dionne Warwick, Barry Manilow and others.

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