Bob Dylan around the time of his first album in 1962.IN 1962, the musical landscape was very different.
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The Twist

As with every year, there are certain albums that helped shape the future of music more than others. Here are some of them.

Green Onions – Booker T & The MGs

WHILE the rock ‘n’ roll of fame inducted Booker T & The MGs in 1992, it’s a rare acknowledgement of the impact and importance of this oft-overlooked instrumental rhythm and blues combo. Beginning as a session band for Stax Records, the group backed Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, The Staple Singers, Albert King and many more on hundreds of recordings. They influenced The Beatles and Creedence Clearwater Revival, were one of the first racially integrated bands to make it big in the south (keyboardist Booker T Jones and drummer Al Jackson were black, guitarist Steve Cropper and bassist Duck Dunn were white), and they helped shape soul music, R&B and the Memphis sound. Their recording landmark is the 1962 album

Here’s a pretty cookin’ live version of

Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music – Ray Charles

IN 1962, country and western music was primarily the domain of white musicians, while it was mostly black artists playing soul, blues and R&B. The US was still a segregated country and Martin Luther King Jr was yet to make his “I Have A Dream” speech. Such a political, racial and musical climate helps make Ray Charles first studio album of 1962 (he made a sequel later that year) one of the greatest crossover albums of all time and arguably one of the most important records of all time. Charles, who had played in a “hillbilly band” in his youth, had recently signed a new contract with ABC-Paramount Records that featured an annual advance, higher royalties, a studio space, ownership of his masters and – best of all – creative control. He exercised the latter to do the unthinkable (his label were initially against the idea) by reimagining honkytonk standards, country ballads, and Nashville twangers into swinging and stylish big band tunes. Charles’ soulful voice is backed by tasty horn arrangements, sweet strings and a “supper-club choir” (as it’s described in

Here’s that big hit, sounded like country has never sounded before:

Bob Dylan – Bob Dylan

THE Bob Dylan legend (at least on record) begins here. After a year of working his way up through the ranks of New York’s burgeoning folk scene, the 20-year-old secured a record deal, but instead of recording the songs he’d been playing in the coffee houses and bars of Greenwich Village, Dylan ditched most of his set in search of the ideal tracklisting. Only two of the songs on his self-titled debut are his own –

This version of

Howlin’ Wolf – Howlin’ Wolf

CHESTER “Howlin’ Wolf” Burnett was something of a rarity among black blues singers of his age. He didn’t succumb to the temptations that dogged many of his peers, he acquired a fair recording contract, and his career and popularity rarely waned over three decades. It was this album – the follow-up to his debut

Of course,

Live! At The Village Vanguard and Coltrane – John Coltrane

COLTRANE was one of the most important figures in jazz; he was also perhaps the only one to be canonised (he was made a saint by the African Orthodox Church). After doing his apprenticeship with Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk – he learnt from the best – Coltrane emerged in 1960 to form his own group. By 1962 the line-up had settled into what is known as Coltrane’s Classic Quartet and they released two albums –

And here’s 23 minutes of Coltrane live in Germany, including with his take on

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