My major music acts are Elvis Presley, The Beatles, ABBA, ABBA Solo, Shania Twain, Little Big Town & Jim Colyer Songs. Each evolved from the one before it and created the one after it with the exception of Elvis Presley. He started everything. The Beatles took Elvis' rock n roll through the British Empire and turned it into art. They virtually invented the LP but failed when they tried to bring their wives into the group. Swedish ABBA did that! ABBA feminized rock music in the women's decade of the 1970s. They took disco across Europe and into the Third World. Shania Twain was the next wave. She and Mutt Lange were the third couple in ABBA. Shania performed their co-writes. She took the rock n roll of Elvis, the art of The Beatles and the feminism of ABBA to Nashville, a stronghold of male chauvinism. Just when I thought the circle was complete, Little Big Town added yet another chapter. Finally, my own songs surfaced on youtube.
..1 ELVIS PRESLEY
Elvis Presley is the father of modern music. Elvis' looks and movements drove girls wild! He scored 30 number ones. "Teddy Bear," "Too Much," "Treat Me Nice" & "One Night" were electric. Never before and not since has this kind of sexuality been captured in music. The army slowed Elvis down, and he turned to ballads like "It's Now Or Never."
Elvis Presley landed in Cold War America like an alien from another galaxy. No precedents! He came on TV sneering and snarling, occasionally breaking into a smile as if to laugh at himself. His body language exuded sex. He pointed to girls in the audience, looking them in the eye, bringing them to orgasm by raising an eyebrow. Some screamed! Some fainted!
I was 10 when Elvis hit. "Hound Dog" sent adrenaline rushing through me, and I started buying his records: "Jailhouse Rock," "Paralyzed," "I Beg Of You."
Elvis wanted to be a movie star more than he wanted to be a singer. He could act but never got beyond playing himself. King Creole is his best film, and its soundtrack is strong. Viva Las Vegas is the last movie that can be defended. Ann-Margret revealed that their affair lasted a year.
It was young Elvis who thrilled and shocked. He was good after donning the jump suits, but it was different. He played more than a thousand concerts across America. His final record was "Way Down," and it is one of my favorites.
I have sung Elvis songs karaoke. Women respond to "Teddy Bear" because it is non-threatening. Its lyrics are submissive. "Put a chain around my neck and lead me anywhere." Teddy bears are something they associate with childhood. Animals in general suggest sexuality. The intro gets right to the song: "Baby, let me be your lovin' teddy bear." The bridge comes early and is repeated. Repeated bridges were common in early Elvis. I was indifferent to this song until I discovered how it affects women.
Jerry Lee Lewis and Ricky Nelson were part of the Elvis era. Jerry Lee summed up the sex act with "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On," "Great Balls of Fire" & "Breathless." Ricky hit number one with "Travelin' Man."
..2 THE BEATLES
The Beatles were unchallenged in the 1960s. Every group imitated them! Musicians combed their hair and tried to stand and hold their guitars like John Lennon and Paul McCartney. I bought their albums as they came out. In a way, theirs were the first real albums. LPs up to that time consisted of one good song and 11 duds. With The Beatles, every song was good. "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" stands out because of its psychedelia. Beatle literature holds that Pepper was Paul's album. I disagree. John penned "A Day In The Life" and "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds."
The Beatles as a group were greater than the sum of its parts. Anytime a supergroup splinters, solo efforts tend to disappoint. Cause-driven Lennon had some decent songs. McCartney released album after album of garbage. George Harrison, adversely affected by Eastern religion, lost touch with reality.
Swedish ABBA was the first group not from the U.S. or Britain to chart pop/rock records consistently over a period of years. They sold 400 million records and had 9 number one singles in the U.K. Everyone knows the disco hits like "Dancing Queen" & "Take A Chance On Me," but ABBA's catalog is filled with songs that explore every conceivable style. Agnetha, Frida, Benny & Bjorn went on to successful solo careers. ABBA is in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.
..4 ABBA SOLO
Agnetha's solo albums were better than Frida's. In the long run, Benny and Bjorn's musicals hold up better than the girls' work. My CHESS paper is linked to the Wikipedia article. My summary of The Emigrants series is linked to Wikipedia's article about Vilhelm Moberg.
..5 SHANIA TWAIN
Shania was the best of her era on the strength of 3 albums: The Woman In Me, Come On Over & Up! She and her husband, Mutt Lange, wrote some amazing girl songs: "Any Man Of Mine," "That Don't Impress Me Much" & "Man! I Feel Like A Woman!" Up! showed an ABBA-like progression. Songs like "Nah!" elevated female themes to fine art. Michael and I saw Shania in Nashville. 2 hours of hits!
..6 LITTLE BIG TOWN
If ABBA were reincarnated as a country group, they would be Little Big Town. 2 guys, 2 girls. A blonde and a brunette. Sultry Karen Fairchild gets the radio hits. She is a great singer, nailing blue notes at the end of every line. Little Big Town albums run deep, and Kimberly, Jimi & Phillip have good songs as well. It took me a long time to discover this group, but I saw them in concert 3 times. "Pontoon" was their first number one. "Girl Crush" made them famous.
Kimberly sings high. Fairchild sings low. Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet contribute to the harmony that makes LBT special. They write much of their own material.
Luke Bryan was part of the LBT era, and I do "Country Girl (Shake It For Me)" "Move" & "I Don't Want This Night To End."
..7 JIM COLYER SONGS
I have written over 2000 songs counting the lyrics. I have recorded many singers and have over 230 tracks on youtube. I have worked with 35 women. The main ones are:
Pam Ingold - Pam and I recorded 8 songs in Louisville and southern Indiana. "He's Got Something That's Got Me" is worth taking farther.
Kymberly Bryson - I met Kymberly at BuckWild Saloon in Nashville and did a 10-song CD with her. At 5 foot 1, she would stand on the bar and blow the walls apart. She did "God Given Talent" and "Feel So Country."
Annie Bushmeyer - Annie came to Nashville from Quincy, Illinois. I gave here good songs: "Live My Dreams," "All Roads Lead To You," "Born To Sing," "I Looked Twice," "Hard Earned Love," & "Love Me Just A Little."
Victoria Eman - Victoria in the Netherlands has put her vocals on "I Promise" and "The Truth."
I wrote a book about ABBA, those peace-loving Swedes. After ABBA, I got into the musicals of Benny and Bjorn. I traveled to Stockholm and rented a room from a Swedish lady, who was married to an American who went to Sweden to avoid the draft. He committed suicide. Swedish winters are severe, and it is a depressing place, not unlike Germany. I have traveled enough to know that no matter where you go, your past is not far behind. Back in Nashville, I fought to get ABBA in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. I evolved, writing new songs and linking myself to Shania Twain. By now, my favorites were women. Shania and Mutt had strong European ties, she being from Canada and he being from South Africa. I cane full circle, home to country music and Little Big Town. LBT's music is different from the old country, but it is still country. I put my own tracks on youtube and became a strict lyricist. I penned "Honky Tonk Hollywood."