Caitlin Vaughn Carlos
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“Pump It Up”: How Elvis Costello and the Attractions turned Punk into New Wave 
Written by Caitlin Vaughn Carlos      Rock and Roll is often associated with excess; and by the end of the seventies, this image was clearly in the air. Even the outsider, cool young artists of Stiff Records found themselves lured…
“Tell Mama”: How an escape to Fame studios Reignited Etta James
Written by Caitlin Vaughn Carlos In 1967, Etta James’s career was in a slump, as the legendary singer faced personal struggles. Looking for a hit and an escape for his struggling singer, away from the temptations of the city, Leonard…
Aretha at FAME: Where The Queen of Soul Found Her Voice
Written by Caitlin Vaughn Carlos  When Aretha Franklin entered Fame studios in 1967, she was undoubtedly a prodigious talent, but she hadn’t yet found the voice that would crown her the Queen of Soul.   While the sessions have gone…
“Mustang Sally” and Wilson Pickett at FAME Studios
Written by Caitlin Vaughn Carlos     In 1966, Wilson Pickett entered FAME studios in Muscle Shoals to record some of his most famous songs of all time, including the now legendary - “Mustang Sally.” Originally written by Pickett’s former Falcons…
Rewriting to Perfection: “Slave to the Rhythm”
In 1985, producer Stephen Lipson teamed up with  Bruce Woolley, Simon Darlow and Trevor Horn to create one of the decade’s most influential dance music tracks - “Slave to the Rhythm.” Originally intended for Frankie goes to Hollywood, the song…
How the Buggles Predicted the Future of Popular Music with “Video Killed the Radio Star”
At 12:01am on August 1, 1981 - MTV opened its debut broadcast with the perfectly titled “Video Killed the Radio Star.” Written several years earlier in 1978, Buggles co-founders Geoff Downes, and Trevor Horn, along with former bandmate Bruce Wooley…
Serenity Meets Pop: How Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” Set the Tone for Nineties Songwriting
Over the course of the 80s, British electronic music legends Depeche Mode led the forefront of the synthpop and industrial pop music scenes, catapulting the alternative sounds of these worlds into mainstream attention. At the decade’s end (and seemingly at…
From the Savoy to Studio 54: How Chic Transformed Dance Music with “Le Freak”
In 1977, the band Chic was a fast rising phenomenon. But that still wasn’t enough to grant Chic founders Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers access to one of the hottest New York clubs of the time - Studio 54. In…
The Rapid Rise of Electronic Music in the Wake of Punk’s Implosion: Gary Numan’s “Cars” 
The Rapid Rise of Electronic Music in the Wake of Punk’s Implosion: Gary Numan’s “Cars”    Written by Caitlin Vaughn Carlos    In the 1980s, the futuristic sounds of synthesizers and electronic instruments were everywhere, but only a few years…
Songs That Changed Music: Smoke On The Water
The Amazingly True Story of the Day Deep Purple Saw “Smoke on the Water”   Written by Caitlin Vaughn Carlos    With its dark, medieval-sounding chord progression, and perhaps one of the most famous song creation stories in rock history,…
“Good Times” and the Innovative Sounds of Dance Music in the Era of “Disco Sucks”
Disco may have been the hottest sound of the late seventies, but in the summer of 1979, it was facing a powerful backlash. In the midst of this tension, one of the genre’s most innovative groups, CHIC, released “Good Times” …
Classic Rock and Disco Grooves: “Another One Bites the Dust”
From its inception in the early seventies, Queen was known for its ability to transform itself and bring together diverse and eclectic soundworlds.  From glam rock to soul, rhythm and blues to opera - nothing seemed off limits. In 1980,…
“Sweet Dreams,” Endless Hooks and the Creative Power of Home Recording
In 1983, a new, almost entirely electronic sound, dominated the charts as Annie Lennox and David Steward’s Eurythmics broke into mainstream success with their experimental, and now iconic, hit track “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of These).” With a never-ending hook,…
How Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” Turned Baroque Pop into a Psychedelic Masterpiece.
In 1967, Procol Harum was still in the process of putting together it’s original line-up when it got the chance to record its first single, “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” Two weeks later, they had the number 1 hit in…
Non-Conformist Grooves: “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2”
Pink Floyd began their career as an experimental, psychedelic rock group of the late sixties, but by the seventies the band had shifted directions to progressive, conceptual art rock under the newly assumed leadership of Roger Waters. In 1979, Waters…
The Riveting Singularity of John Martyn’s Solid Air
By the early seventies, John Martyn had already begun to showcase his remarkable fusion of electronic and acoustic instrumentation, alongside captivating folk-rock songwriting. But it was his 1973 album Solid Air, which truly showcased the singular sound he had created,…
Sister Rosetta Tharpe: “The Godmother of Rock ‘n Roll”
Little Richard credits his own discovery to Sister Rosetta Tharpe, when in a 1945 show in Macon Georgia, she invited him up onstage. He called it “the best thing that ever happened to me.” For two decades before rock ‘n…