Percy Sledge: He Sang ‘When A Man Loves a Woman’

Back in 1966, a soul singer named Percy Sledge scored a No. 1 hit with his first single, “When a Man Loves a Woman” — a plaintive ballad about obsessive, all-consuming passion and the heartbreak it inevitably inflicts. The Alabama native, who died April 14 at age 74 in Baton Rouge, La., managed to put himself in the soundtrack of countless ’60s boomer romances. Here are some facts about a hit that still resonates and the man who created it. …

Ray Manzarek: 5 Facts About the Doors’ Keyboardist

One day in August 1965, UCLA film graduate Ray Manzarek was walking along Venice Beach in Los Angeles when he had a chance meeting with an old college acquaintance named Jim Morrison. In a moment that would later be enshrined in the mythology of rock music, Manzarek asked Morrison what he’d been up to since he’d dropped out of school. Morrison told him that he’d been writing songs. Manzarek was intrigued. “Let’s hear ‘em,” he said. Morrison responded by kneeling, …

Reg Presley: 10 Facts About the Rocker Who Gave Us ‘Wild Thing’

You may not know Reg Presley’s name, or that of his rock band, the Troggs. But if you grew up in the mid-1960s and had an AM radio, you instantly would recognize the distinctive growl of his peculiarly half-spoken, half-singing vocal: Wild thing You make my heart sing You make everything Groovy “Wild Thing” – an earthy, thumping three-chord guitar ode to youthful lust, punctuated by an oddly erotic ocarina solo – soared to the very top of the Billboard …