Oak Crest Talent Show 1961

We enjoy receiving blog comments and emails from readers who are as passionate about music and guitars as we are here at Tone Gems. Recently, Ray Clearwater – who incidentally publishes 25 Years of Sears Musical Instruments on CD – shared a old photograph of his 1961 Junior High talent show.

Clarence Clemens Passes at 69


Clarence Clemons, the great saxophone player synonymous with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band passed away today at age 69. He had suffered a massive stroke on June 12. He played with Springsteen and the band for 40 years, and was described by Springsteen as the soul of the band. He will be sorely missed.

Read more here in the The Rolling Stone.

Sgt. Pepper is 44 Years Old Today


The Beatles album Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released on this day in 1967, forever changing rock and roll, and music as a whole. Tracks like A Little Help from My FriendsLucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Lovely RitaWhen I’m Sixty-Four, Good Morning Good Morning, A Day in the Life, and the album’s title song, are now timeless classics. Listening to the album’s Side Two is an experience within itself, that must be enjoyed from beginning to end without interruption. The songs on Side Two were carefully woven together so that the music flowed seamlessly, and almost endlessly.

Rock music had reached a pinnacle. Mick Jagger once said in a radio interview, that after hearing a early pre-release tape of Sgt. Pepper’s on cassette, “We’re done! No one is going to top that.”

So enjoy the day, and spin the vinyl if you have it. Because somewhere in the universe (pun intended), that magnificent final E chord is still fading…!

Roger McGuinn and the Regency TR-1

Long before iPods, CD’s and Walkmans there was the transistor radio.

The advent of the transistor radio is integral to the history of rock and roll. The first transistor radio, the American-made Regency TR-1, arrived on the scene in 1954 about one year before the Sony transistor. In this video Roger McGuinn, founding member of The Byrds, tells how he received his first transistor radio and how it inspired him to become a musician. The rest of course is history, as The Byrds became one of the biggest groups of the 60′s and transformed rock music with their own style called folk-rock.

More info:

Regency TR-1 Transistor Radio History

Roger McGuinn’s Home Page

Roger McGuinn’s Transistor Radio Collection

Roger’s Transistor Radio Collection