Tag: John Covach

Passion: Online learning that will shake your hips

Passion: Online learning that will shake your hips

July 20, 2015

After having taken several free rock ‘n’ roll music courses online, I’m here to testify that the best of the lot – and they’ve all been a blast – is “The Music of the Rolling Stones. The class, engagingly taught by University of Rochester professor John Covach, focuses on the music – as opposed to celebrity worship.

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(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, 50 years later: the song that almost never was

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, 50 years later: the song that almost never was

June 3, 2015

Fifty years ago, the Rolling Stones released their breakthrough single (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, which debuted in the US during the first week of June 1965. The band’s previous singles had done well enough stateside: the country-influenced Heart of Stone had risen to 19 on the charts in late 1964, and the gospel-tinged The Last Time had reached 9.

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Could a robot write the perfect pop song?

Could a robot write the perfect pop song?

May 15, 2015

If pop songs can so easily be written and then distributed into an unbreakable cycle of hits, can’t they also be reverse engineered and reproduced? Not if you want the song to find an audience, says John Covach, the director of the Institute for Popular Music at the University of Rochester.

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The technology that saved ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’

The technology that saved ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’

May 15, 2015

It’s been 50 years since The Rolling Stones released “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” The song’s iconic guitar riff—those three irresistibly fuzzy notes—came to Keith Richards in a dream. “On the road, he would use the little cassette machines with the batteries to put his song ideas on the cassette,” the music historian John Covach told me.

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Pop history’s pivotal moments: Has big data settled the debate?

Pop history’s pivotal moments: Has big data settled the debate?

May 6, 2015

We live in a world where big data is big news. It may come as no surprise, then, that scholars of data science have turned their attention to music.

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Behind the music: Conservatives and country music’s complex history

Behind the music: Conservatives and country music’s complex history

April 1, 2015

“There’s a very strong historical thing” that goes along with country music, says John Covach, a pop music historian and director of the Institute for Popular Music at the University of Rochester in New York.

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Do The Rolling Stones owe their success to their bad boy image?

Do The Rolling Stones owe their success to their bad boy image?

March 24, 2015

It may shock plenty of people to learn that one of the best examples of how marketing can make or break a career is the Rolling Stones, who wouldn’t be where they are today without the look and antics, despite how great the music is.

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50 years ago, the Rolling Stones’ first US hit evinced the band’s eclectic style

50 years ago, the Rolling Stones’ first US hit evinced the band’s eclectic style

March 13, 2015

At around the same time, the Rolling Stones were enjoying a number-three hit in the UK with “Not Fade Away,” as well as a number-one British EP. The Stones tried – but couldn’t immediately replicate – the Beatles’ stateside success, lagging behind by more than a year.

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Image is everything: Was marketing key to success of Rolling Stones?

Image is everything: Was marketing key to success of Rolling Stones?

March 12, 2015

For the past five decades the Rolling Stones have enjoyed tremendous success as the original bad boys of rock for their image based on sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. But what many people don’t realize is that this hasn’t always been the case for the group, according to John Covach, director of the Institute for Popular Music.

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Me, myself, and authenticity

Me, myself, and authenticity

February 25, 2015

The mainstream shift toward “I” and “me” in American pop music dates back at least half a century. The Beatles actually cut back on their use of first-person pronouns after earlier songs like “Ask Me Why,” “Love Me Do,” and “Please Please Me” in the early 1960s.

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