Tag: John Covach

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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Rock me, Maestro

Rock me, Maestro

February 2, 2015

Professional opportunities for classical and jazz musicians have declined precipitously in the past 20 years, but we still teach a curriculum focusing primarily on those traditions. I teach performance workshops for high-school rock musicians, many talented and accomplished, every summer. But they needn’t bother applying to America’s leading music programs.

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Marking 50 years since ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’

Marking 50 years since ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’

January 22, 2015

The University of Rochester’s Institute for Popular Music is getting ready to mark 50 years since The Rolling Stones released “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” We speak with director John Covach about the upcoming celebrations.

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A tribute to the Rolling Stones: celebrating 50 years of Satisfaction

A tribute to the Rolling Stones: celebrating 50 years of Satisfaction

January 8, 2015

The Institute for Popular Music (IPM) celebrates the 50th year of the Rolling Stone’s breakthrough hit, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” with a special concert January 24. This musical tribute coincides with the launch of a free online course on “The Music of The Rolling Stones.”

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The Elvis of our dreams

The Elvis of our dreams

January 7, 2015

It’s a funny thing how fame works sometimes. You’d think the best way for a pop artist to promote his or her music would be to do so in person. But it can happen sometimes that the best thing — from a strictly business point of view — is for the artist to be gone. This is precisely what has happened in the posthumous careers of Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley.

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Most hated Christmas songs: Retail workers fess up

Most hated Christmas songs: Retail workers fess up

December 23, 2014

Toronto holiday workers and popular music experts weigh in on why certain festive tunes get on our nerves. In a highly unscientific survey of employees at stores throughout downtown Toronto, the Star explored what festive songs have become the most annoying for people working long hours during the annual Christmas rush.

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