Friday, December 4, 2009

Southside Johnny

Let's give a special birthday shout-out today to Southside Johnny Lyon, who turns 60.

Southside Johnny was one of the lesser known members of the "New Jersey Sound" movement, with the most famous, of course, being Bruce Springsteen. Lyon grew up in Ocean Grove, N.J. and was acknowledged by no less than Jon Bon Jovi, another notable New Jersey performer, as his "reason for singing."

Lyon fronted the band, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, a favorite of mine from the 1970's. His first album, I Don't Want to Go Home, debuted in 1976 and achieved some commercial success. The band's 1978 album, Hearts of Stone, was voted one of the top 100 rock albums of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. That album was arranged and produced by Steven Van Zandt, better known as Little Steven in the E Street Band and later as Silvio Dante on The Sopranos.

Lyon continues to perform and members of his band have played roles in the Max Weinberg Seven, the house band for the Conan O'Brien Show and now The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.

Southside Johnny Lyon--Happy Birthday!

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