Age-net asks “where are they now” about some of the biggest stars from yesteryear
The 1960s and 1970s are often referred to as the golden age of music. They produced so many stars with real talent whose legacies still inspire music stars to this very day. Many of those stars sat back gracefully to enjoy retirement from the high life, from the endless tours and always being in the spotlight. But there are still some who continue to amaze and inspire, well into their seventies.
Dionne Warwick has now been delighting us with her music for over half a century. She is most well known for her hits ‘That’s What Friends Are For’, ‘I’ll Never Love Again’ and ‘Say a Little Prayer’. Her long musical career has been a seemingly never-ending stream of hits as a solo artist, as part of a duet and with her backing band. It is hard to believe that she is now 73 years old, but she isn’t showing any sign of starting to take it easy at all. Her talent continues to astound fans spanning three generations and she is still performing to huge crowds on a regular basis.
She released her latest album, ‘Feels So Good’, her 28th album to be recorded, rather fittingly on 28th October 2014. It includes collaborations with some of the biggest names in 21st Century pop music which just goes to show how she is still seen to be one of the best of her generation, even 50 years after she first set out in the music business. Amongst those appearing on the album are Ne-Yo, Cyndi Lauper (best known for her hit, ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’) and Ziggy Marley. She really is the definition of a living legend, with a fantastic career behind her and still many fantastic prospects ahead.
Jerry Lee Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis, aka The Killer, is best known for his ‘bad-boy’ rock and roll performances and his hits ‘Great Balls of Fire’ and ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’. He performed with all of the greats of his generation: Kid Rock, Bruce Springsteen and Elvis to name but a few. He has lived the real rock lifestyle, infamous for marrying his own second cousin who was only 13 at the time, setting fire to stages and hotel rooms, having 7 wives in total and nearly being killed by a heavy lifestyle of drink, drugs and constant partying. He represents the epitome of rock culture and the madness of life of the road. It’s somewhat of a miracle that he has made it to 79 years of age given the number of brushes with death he has had throughout his life. He is still going strong, but now leads a lifestyle which is considerably less wild.
He released his autobiography on 28th October 2014 which tells the story of his incredible life and gives detailed and personal accounts of elements of his story such as his rivalry with other stars of the era: Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley. It is completely filled with encounters with rock and roll icons throughout and reads like a ‘who’s who?’ of American rock music in the sixties and seventies.
Gladys Knight was born in 1944 and is an extremely talented American songwriter, businesswoman, and author. She won a total of four Grammys for her solo hits and the songs she wrote and performed with Gladys Knight and the Pips during the sixties and seventies. Her most famous song ‘I Heard it Through the Grapevine’ has been played and replayed across the entirety of the half century since its release, and other hits like ‘Friendship Train’ and ‘If I Were Your Woman’ will be remembered by all members of her generation. She has an unrivalled voice and a clear musical talent which continues to surprise to this very day.
Although Gladys has now turned 70, she shows no sign of hanging up her hat and retiring from the music business. She has just released a new album, ‘Where My Heart Belongs’, which is her 30th album to reach the top 40 R&B album chart. She has recently been involved in a campaign against the sexualisation of the music industry, with scantily-clad female singers revealing their bodies to sell albums and music videos dripping with sexual content to make more people download pop tracks.
Lulu is a singer and actress from Scotland who was extremely successful in the 1960s and who continues to grace our television screens to this very day. She is most famous for singing the title song for the James Bond film ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’. She is also one of the few acts to have won the Eurovision Song Contest for the United Kingdom. Her winning entry to the 1969 contest was the hit record ‘Boom Bang-a-Bang’ which is still often played.
She is still working hard in show business and often appears on charity fundraising competitions and TV panel shows. In August 2014 she sang her hit song ‘Shout’ to open the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
It has now been 40 years since Gloria Gaynor topped the charts with her hit single ‘I Will Survive’. It has been adopted as an anthem for strong women the world over and even girls who weren’t born when it was originally released know the lyrics to the letter. It still has whole bars and clubs screaming along at the top of their lungs and its message telling people to be resilient no matter what happens to them is a timeless one.
One of the things which made the record stand out amongst others was the lack of backing singers. The sheer power of Gaynor’s voice carried the whole track and even now, 40 years on, she continues to tour and to perform to sell-out crowds, holding the stage by herself. She is a strong and formidable woman with an incredible talent and she shows no sign of stopping or slowing down any time soon.