“Hits just keep on coming” haiku

December thirty
One of those days music’s born,
Reborn, many forms

Start with Bo Diddley
Born McComb, Mississippi
Raised in Chicago

Soon swapped violin
For guitar — Gospel music
For John Lee Hooker

First single a hit:
#1 with “Bo Diddley”
Flip side: “I’m a Man”

Co-wrote “Love Is Strange”
For Mickey and Sylvia
Lots of his own hits

Dig this bill: Bo, Everlys
And Little Richard

Opening same bill
Some big-lipped guy and a band
Called the Rolling Stones

Buddy Holly, Stones
Borrowed Bo’s beat, Tom Petty,
Others paid tribute

Opened for the Clash,
Played ’94 “Voodoo” gig
For a Stones broadcast

Two thousand seven
Said “I’m going to heaven”
Bo’s beat finally stopped

Who’s next? Del Shannon
Runaway hit “Runaway”
Instant #1

“Runaway’s” key sound?
The Musitron, invented
By his keyboardist

Never hit that mark
Again, though. His falsetto
Searching for the truth

Wrote other great songs
Peter and Gordon’s yearning
“I Go to Pieces”

Produced and arranged
Helped Bob Seger get this start
Back in Michigan

Others helped in turn
Dave Edmunds, TP, Jeff Lynne
Produced works by Del

But his music died
In the depths of depression
Del took his own life

Men born on this date
In 1937
Shaped folk and bluegrass

Paul Stookey a part
Of Peter, Paul & Mary
Folk music’s pop stars

His signature work
“The Wedding Song (There Is Love)”
Cleave to this classic

Paul was raised Buddhist
Became Christian, spread great love
Hard work, good causes

John Hartford was born
Of all places in New York
Where no bluegrass grows

But his family moved
To St. Louis, where his love
For rivers was born

Mark Twain with banjo
Fiddle, guitar, clog dancing
Music old and new

“Gentle on My Mind”
Another perfect song, hit
For him, Glen Campbell

Launched “Aereo-Plain”
Then helped Sam Bush and others
Make bluegrass “new grass”

John also revered
Appalachia and Ozarks
Old music, old hills

Loved riverboats, too
Had pilot’s license, used it
So many summers

Mystic current through
Everything John Hartford knew
And he tapped it well

Next up, two Monkees
Mike Nesmith and Davy Jones
Born three years apart

Ah, darling Davy
Child TV star, then trained
To be a jockey

But the stage beckoned
“Oliver’s” artful dodger
Made him a real star

Ed Sullivan Show
Had “Oliver’s” cast, same night
Of Beatles’ debut

Girls all went crazy
Davy knew what he wanted
Monkees made it true

Mike made Monkees too
But with a low-key approach
And wool stocking cap

Already written
For others, “Mary, Mary”
And “Different Drum”

The Pre-Fab Four did
His “You Just May Be the One,”
Some others he wrote

Glad when group ended
Went his own way and released
Some country-rock gems

“Some of Shelly’s Blues”
“Joanne” and “Propinquity”
The guy can write ’em

Other trivia:
Fortune from mom’s invention
Of Liquid Paper

Also born this date:
Poet Patti Smith, priestess
Of “Because the Night”

ELO’s Jeff Lynne
A master of melody
Sought in studios

ELO scored hits
Lynne wrote and sang great though I
Never loved that sound

To me his best work
Came later with Wilburys,
Harrison, Petty

Those many fine discs
Showed off talents, touch, flair for

Harmonic mystery
As the year wanes, the stars align
December thirty

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