Posts Tagged ‘Before They Were Rock Stars’
Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in East Tupelo, Mississippi, the only son of Gladys and Vernon Presley. His twin, Jesse Garon, was stillborn. It was in the middle of the great depression and times were hard. Gladys worked at a garment factory and Vernon performed odd jobs. Vernon built a home on Old Saltillo Road for the new family. When he was eight, Elvis sometimes sang on a local radio broadcast called Saturday Jamboree that let the audience participate. At age ten his school teacher entered him in a children’s talent contest at the state fair where he sang “Old Shep” and later got a spanking from Gladys for going on a carnival ride. Gladys gave him his first guitar for his eleventh birthday. He wanted a rifle. Elvis occasionally performed for his classmates throughout junior high, but when his idol Mississippi Slim invited him to perform on his show, Elvis apparently had acute stage fright. He eventually got over it and the rest is history. Here are some remarkable images of The King as a wee prince.
Elvis with his parents, 1938
A very young Elvis Presley, 1939
Elvis, Age 6, 1942
With His Parents in 1943
Elvis and Gladys Presley
Elvis in the 7th Grade, Milam Junior High
In honor of Lullaby Renditions of Elvis Presley, out yesterday, it’s Elvis week on the blog. Stop by each day for fun stuff including a free Rockabye Baby Elvis coloring page, activities, and more!
Can’t get enough baby Elvis? Listen to an exclusive full-length sneak peek of “Love Me Tender” (lullaby style) here.
Oh, and by the way, we’re giving away five Lullaby Renditions of Black Sabbath CDs! Enter here.
In recent years Paula Abdul has been portrayed by the media as a scatter-brained judge on American Idol, which she recently left. But her launch to fame was anything but unfocused. She was born on June 19, 1962 in Los Angeles and while singing never played a big part in her youth, dancing did. She took dance lessons at an early age and was a cheerleader at Van Nuys High School. During her freshman year at California State University at Northridge she made the cheerleading squad for the Los Angeles Lakers. This next part is important and the reason why you need to move to Los Angeles if you want your kid to have a career in entertainment. After three months with the squad she became the head choreographer and was discovered by the Jacksons (as in the Jackson 5) at a game. She was hired to choreograph their “Torture” video and then their tour. She went on to choreograph videos for many artists including Janet Jackson. Abdul used her savings to cut a demo and while her voice didn’t compare to Whitney Houston, her dancing ability was what sold her. Forever Your Girl debuted in 1988 and eventually spent 10 weeks on top the Billboard 200 album chart. The lesson here to teach your children? Even if you’re not good at every aspect of performing you can still break in to the business by being great at one part of it, or at the very least, maybe meet the Jacksons at a basketball game.
Born in Canada 1984 in Belleville, Ontario, Avril’s mother recognized talent early in wee Avril. They performed a duet in the church choir when Avril was only two. At the age of five the family moved to Napanee, Ontario, which as anyone in the music industry knows is where you go to be discovered. Somehow it worked out. She was discovered by her first manager while singing country covers at a bookstore.
In 2000 she was signed to Arista Records as an artist, but when she was pitched songs to record she informed the label she wanted to write her own. Her debut album Let Go was released in 2002 and sold over sixteen million copies worldwide. Check out her hit “Sk8er Boi” from that album, but even catchier is her single “Girlfriend” from her third album The Best Damn Thing.
Watch out for that hair! Would you have thought that someone with a ‘do like that would end up selling over 100 million albums and winning 5 Grammy awards?
Mariah was born on March 27, 1970 on Long Island, New York (again, the hair), and if you’re wondering where the voice came from, her mother was an opera singer and vocal coach. She began singing at the age of three, attended Harborfields High School in Greenlawn, New York and spent a lot of time as a demo singer for local recording studios. Carey moved to New York City to chase her dreams and attended beauty school before becoming a back-up singer for Brenda K. Starr. Hard to believe with her voice that she would ever back someone else. In 1988 Mariah met Columbia Records Executive Tommy Mottola (through Brenda K. Starr) and her career was launched with her debut album, Mariah Carey, in 1990.
If you look back on all the success Mariah has had over her career, there is only one lesson to take away from all of it. You should have been an opera singer and taught your kids to sing when they were three years old.
Did you know that the Nine Inch Nails front man who wrote songs such as “Bite the Hand That Feeds” and “The Perfect Drug” was originally in a high school marching band? Yes, Trent Reznor, born Michael Trent Reznor had an interesting past before making the move to wearing mostly black and getting insanely jacked arms.
Reznor, who used his middle name because his father shared the same name, grew up in a Lutheran household in Mercer, PA until his parents divorced and he went to live with his grandparents. His grandmother pushed him into taking classical piano at age 5 and he showed a great interest in music.
When he hit high school, KISS and David Bowie became his main interests, though he’d go on to join his high school’s marching band and concert band. He played tuba and tenor saxophone. He also showed promise in theater, even having his classmates vote him “Best in Drama” after his roles as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar and the lead in The Music Man. Yes, Trent Reznor was the lead, singing “Seventy Six Trombones” in a school play.
Later, Reznor would head to Allegheny College and join a band called Option 30. Though he’d lose interest in the band quickly and leave college after a year to head to Cleveland. There he joined a band called The Urge and later another called The Exotic Birds.
Still trying to find his sound, Reznor played keys for Lucky Pierre, The Innocent, and Slam Bamboo before landing a job at Right Track Studios as a janitor. During off hours, the owner would allow Reznor to record some demos, which would later gain the attention of several labels and the rest is history.
Classic rock radio staples Pink Floyd have driven more than one young man to a life of collecting black light posters or playing “Wish You Were Here” for spare change, but few were probably aware that the soulful guitar impresario, David Gilmour, did a bit of busking himself before joining the band. Students of The Wall might also be surprised to know that Gilmour was an excellent student.
Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour started out going to school up the street from his future band mates, Roger Waters and Sid Barrett, at a place called the Perse School in Cambridge. Waters and Barrett attended a rival school, the Cambridgeshire High School for Boys. Gilmour spent most of his time studying modern languages to A-Level (which is British for nerd), and like the man he’d eventually replace, Barrett, he also spent his lunchtime learning to play the guitar. Wish I went to a school that had allowed us to take our recess with a guitar.
Gilmour eventually started playing in the band Joker’s Wild in 1962 until 1966 when he decided to busk around Spain and France with some friends, though he found little success. In a July 1992 interview, Gilmour stated that he actually ended up being treated for malnutrition in a hospital because of how badly remunerated his music was then. After bumming around a bit more, in 1967 Gilmour returned to England driving a van with fuel that had been stolen from a building site in France. This adventure kind of sounds like the British version of Road Trip, or something from an episode of Benny Hill, at least.
It wasn’t until December of 1967 that Nick Mason, Pink Floyd’s drummer, approached Gilmour about joining the band to make it a five piece. This was of course before Barrett would go mad and be replaced by Gilmour. But we all saw that one coming after hearing his song “Bike” for the first time. Want to hear more baby Floyd? Check out Lullaby Renditions of Pink Floyd!
Okay, this post from 11Points.com is a must see. Yearbook photos from Avril Lavigne, Gene Simmons, Steven Tyler, Jim Morrison, Prince, Tina Turner, Eminem, Marilyn Manson and more– all proving it’s a long way to the top if you want to rock & roll. Read the rest here.
In honor of our new arrival, Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Aerosmith, which came out yesterday, we prepared a new Before They Were Rock Stars quiz for all you rock lullaby trivia masters. This one focuses on The Bad Boys from Boston, when they were literally boys. Leave your answers in the comments and next week we’ll let you know if you were right!
TRUE or FALSE? Leave your answers in the comments:
- Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler was born Stephen Victor Tallarico in Boston, Mass.
- He got his nickname “Demon Of Screamin’” because he cried so loud when he was a baby.
- In his teens, Steven held a job in a bakery.
- Guitarist Joe Perry and Steven Tyler met at an ice cream parlor where young Joe was working.
- Before Aerosmith, Joe Perry was in a band with Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton called The Peanut Butter and Jam Band.
- Drummer Joey Kramer joined Aerosmith while he was still a teenager.
- Before he joined Aerosmith, guitarist Brad Whitford was in a band called Justin Thyme.
P.S. Listen to a sneak peek of our lullaby rendition of Dream On here. Did we mention that Steven Tyler wrote the liner notes for our album? Oh, maybe only a few million times? Sorry, but you’d be braggin’ too if the Demon of Screamin’ was singing your praises!
P.P.S. Try our Dream On Green Beans, a healthy baby food recipe created exclusively for Rockabye Baby! by excutive chef Jeff Parker.
It’s a long way to the top if you want to rock ‘n’ roll. Are these stories about AC/DC before they were rockstars TRUE or FALSE? Leave your answers in the comments!
- Australia’s AC/DC was founded by two Scottish brothers, Angus and Malcolm Young.
- There were nine siblings in the Young family.
- Angus began learning the guitar at five years old, practicing on a banjo he’d re-strung like a guitar.
- Angus’ sister Margaret suggested he wear a school boy uniform on stage, because he didn’t like school.
- Before the uniform became his trademark, Angus performed dressed as Spider Man and in a gorilla costume.
- Margaret also suggested the band’s name, which stands for Alternating Current/Direct Current, after she read it on their sister’s sewing machine.
Can’t get enough AC/DC? Check out Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of AC/DC.