Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
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Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis all loved Sister Rosetta, a gospel singer who grew up performing in tent revivals and played guitar like she was possessed by the Holy Spirit. Her version of 'Rock Me' (1938) is often nominated as the first rock 'n' roll song.
If the Fat Man looked like the young Elvis, he might have had another nickname -- the King of Rock 'n' Roll. "Rock 'n' roll was here a long time before I came along," Elvis himself once said. "Let's face it -- I can't sing like Fats Domino can."
If you were looking for another name for rock 'n' roll, as John Lennon once said, "you might call it Chuck Berry." Other guitar slingers, notably Berry's Chess Records labelmate Bo Diddley, had styles of their own, but Berry's combination of masterly riffs and teenage storytelling made rock an art form. Roll over, Beethoven!
Two decades before Elton John and a half century before Lady Gaga, Richard Penniman was the flying saucer of rock 'n' roll -- a dazzling alien who came to pitch camp. When he sang "Awopbopaloobop, a lopbamboom," the kids knew exactly what he meant.
Supposedly the first musician to hire a young James Marshall Hendrix on a recording session, the founder and mastermind of the wildly creative Southern California flower-power band Love proved that the psychedelic '60s weren't just for white kids on San Francisco's Haight Street.
The ultimate guitar god set the tone for an entire era when he asked the loaded question "Are you experienced?" At the height of Black Power, he dropped his British bandmates in favor of African-Americans Billy Cox on bass and drummer Buddy Miles -- the Band of Gypsys.
Before George Clinton revived the Parliament name in 1974, the other half of the P-Funk universe released some of the most anarchic rock music this side of Frank Zappa. Eddie Hazel's insane soloing on the 10-minute title track of Funkadelic's 'Maggot Brain' album still stands as one of the most mind-blowing performances in rock history.
Billing themselves as "the first all-black rock band," members of this Detroit's band backed Motown star Edwin Starr on his own tough hits (including 'War') before signing as a self-contained act with Chess Records. Surviving members reunited a few years ago, just in time to see their old records sampled by Ja Rule and Kanye West.
Born to an Irishwoman and an Afro-Brazilian father, this hard-drinking Dublin guitarist was the anchor of the classic hard rock band Thin Lizzy ('The Boys Are Back in Town'). He also backed Johnny Thunders, alongside ex-Sex Pistols Steve Jones and Paul Cook, on the former New York Dolls guitarist's album 'So Alone.'
Married to Miles Davis, the former Betty Mabry turned the jazz master on to the music of Hendrix and Sly Stone. She named Miles's rock-fusion album 'Bitches Brew,' then cut several sides of her own with a young Neal Schon, later of Journey, on guitar. With songs such as 'Anti Love Song' and 'If I'm in Luck I Might Get Picked Up,' Ms. Davis rocked as hard as any three Stooges.
The Beastie Boys chose their name -- BBs -- as an homage to Bad Brains, who took their own name from a Ramones song. Washington, DC's one-of-a-kind hardcore-reggae fusion band has blown away more than one generation of musicians with its startling loud-soft dynamic.
When Prince Rogers Nelson, already a dance-music phenom, squeezed lightning from his guitar on the classic power ballad 'Purple Rain,' it was like Jimi never went away -- he only got a little shorter.
Currently on tour with fellow ska survivors the English Beat, the long-running L.A. mashup beat the Red Hot Chili Peppers to the intersection of Funk, Metal and Anything Goes. First of its mosh-pit kind, this band long ago earned the right to 'Party at Ground Zero.'
A key founder of the Black Rock Coalition, jaw-dropping guitarist Vernon Reid found the enduring lineup for his band when he met singer Corey Glover at a birthday party. When the group sang 'Elvis Is Dead,' they meant it on more than one level.
Son of the Bahamian actress who played Helen Willis on 'The Jeffersons,' Kravitz cut his debut album on his own terms, after several labels told him his music wasn't "black enough." The classic psychedelic-Beatles sound of 'Let Love Rule' launched the latter-day hippie to instant stardom.
Raised on folk and blues in his grandparents' California music store, the Grammy-winning roots rocker gave it up for classic rock when he joined the all-star band backing Will Ferrell on 'Free Bird' for Conan O'Brien's final 'Tonight Show' episode.
Titling his Rick Rubin-produced debut 'Amethyst Rock Star,' the slam poet went on to a fruitful collaboration with Nine Inch Nails's Trent Reznor, whose industrial sound heavily influenced the aggressive concept album 'The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!'
Tina Turner has "retired" from performing almost as often as she changes nylons. For almost 20 years now, BellRays frontwoman Lisa Kekaula has made rapt club audiences forget all about her mentor. When she testifies on 'Revolution Get Down,' it's Detroit 1968 all over again.
TV on the Radio
This Brooklyn product's 2008 album, 'Dear Science,' effectively swept the critics' polls as best album of the year. Singer Tunde Adebimpe covered Neil Young for his role in the film 'Rachel Getting Married'; big-bearded guitarist Kyp Malone recently released a solo album as Rain Machine.
"Real life is like clay," says Lindani Buthelezi, a founding member of this fantastically adventurous South African rock band. The critically acclaimed group treats its music -- a challenging collision of prog rock, New Wave, dub reggae and any other sound that strikes its fancy -- much the same way.