Carl Perkins

Say the name “Carl Perkins,” and anyone (OK, anyone over a certain age) will say “Blue Suede Shoes.” Personally, if it were me, I’d rather be known for “Put Your Cat Clothes On.” I don’t even know what that means.

Carl Perkins AllMusic page

Byrds

I guess the Byrds figured, “The Beatles became superstars using a misspelled animal as their name, why don’t we try it?” I guess they also figured, “We had a hit with a song called Mr. Tambourine Man, why don’t we write another one called Mr. … um … Spaceman!” Apparently, originality was not the Byrds’s strong suit.

Byrds AllMusic page

Buddy Holly

Don McLean’s ridiculously long, atrociously awful hit “American Pie” was inspired by the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly (“the day the music died”). The good news for Buddy Holly: Being dead, he never had to listen to the song.

Buddy Holly AllMusic page

Bruce Springsteen

BROOOOOOOOOOOOCE!! Nope, I don’t get it. Maybe it would make more sense if I liked girls named Wendy—or girls at all, for that matter. Points for being dependably lefty, though.

Bruce Springsteen AllMusic page

British Invasion

This is basically all the dudes who weren’t the Beatles, Stones, Who, or Kinks. I’ll get to the ladies—who have their own special awesomeness—a little later.

British Invasion AllMusic page

Bob Marley

I never understood the connection between white frat boys and reggae until a fried of mine said, “weed.” Then I understood the connection perfectly.

Bob Marley AllMusic page

Bob Dylan

My favorite (only?) Bob Dylan memory is my mother and I watching him sing “Serve Somebody” on Saturday Night Live sometime around 1979. Which brings up the question, what was my conservative Catholic mother doing watching Saturday Night Live? And why did she let her 13-year-old son stay up to watch it with her?

Bob Dylan AllMusic page