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Music History Monday: July 9

Posted by Jeff Harris, July 9, 2012 03:35pm | Post a Comment
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Born on this day: July 9, 1946 - Bon Scott (born Ronald Belford Scott in Forfar, Scotland), the original lead singer of AC/DC. Happy Birthday to this rock vocal icon on what would have been his 66th Birthday!!


On this day in music history: July 9, 1955 - "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley and His Comets hits #1 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart for eight weeks. Recorded on April 12, 1954 at the Pythian Temple in New York City, the song will go largely unnoticed when it initially released in May of 1954 as the B-side of the single "Thirteen Women (And Only One Man In Town)". It is only after it is used for the opening title sequence to the film The Blackboard Jungle (starring Glenn Ford) nearly a year later that record finally takes off. The song will create a sensation around the world, causing teenagers to riot in the aisles of movie theaters. It will be regarded as a landmark in music history as the first number one single of the Rock Era. The record will also earn a place in the Guinness World Book Of Records for the largest selling rock and roll record of all time, with sales to be estimated at over 25 million copies sold worldwide. "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock" will be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1982.


On this day in music history: July 9, 1977 - "Undercover Angel" by Alan O'Day hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week. Written by O'Day, it is the lone top 10 hit for the LA-based songwriter/producer who has previously written hits for Helen Reddy ("Angie Baby") and The Righteous Brothers ("Rock & Roll Heaven"). O'Day will be the first artist signed to Pacific Records, a label specifically established by then Warner Bros Music president Ed Silvers, and distributed by Atlantic Records. The hit single version is produced by Steve Barri (The Grass Roots) and Michael Omartian (Christopher Cross, Donna Summer) after the initial session for the song (produced by veteran producer/engineer Tom Dowd) is scrapped as O'Day has vocal problems due to allergies. The song's unique vocal echo on the bridges is created by running a second tape machine (to create delay) and then manipulating the reels by hand, slightly speeding them up then slowing the down. "Undercover Angel" will actually be banned by some US radio stations when its lyrics are rumored to contain hidden sexually explicit references. In spite of this, the single will sell over a million copies and is certified Gold by the RIAA.


On this day in music history: July 9, 1983 - "Every Breath You Take" by The Police hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks. Written by Sting, it is the first single released from the bands' fifth album Synchronicity. Often misconstrued as a tender love song, the songs' ambiguous lyrics hide a much darker subtext about being obsessed with a former lover. Sting will write the song after divorcing his first wife, actress Frances Tomelty. Sessions for the song will be tense when Sting and drummer Stewart Copeland clash over Sting's perfectionism regarding the drum and percussion parts. The two will actually have a physical fight over the matter, causing engineer/co-producer Hugh Padgham to nearly walk off of the project. They will eventually settle their differences and complete the track. Released on May 20, 1983, the single is an immediate hit and deemed "an instant classic" by fans and critics alike. "Every Breath You Take" will win two Grammy Awards including Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal and Song Of The Year in 1984.


On this day in music history: July 9, 1988 - "The Flame" by Cheap Trick hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks, also peaking at #3 on the Mainstream Rock chart on the same date. Written by Bob Mitchell and Nick Graham, it will be the biggest hit for the veteran rock band. The song will be one of two brought to Cheap Trick by an Epic Records Vice President who will tell them, "both of these songs will be #1 hits. Choose one, and the other will go to Chicago."  Initially, the band isn't crazy about either song, but will agree to record "The Flame." The other song titled "Look Away" is recorded by Chicago and will also reach #1 later in 1988. "The Flame" not only become Cheap Trick's biggest single, but it is also be their first major hit in nearly a decade.


On this day in music history: July 9, 1988 - "Paradise" by Sade hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for one week, also peaking at #16 on the Hot 100 on July 16th. Written by Helen Folasade Adu, Stuart Matthewman, Andrew Hale, and Paul Spencer Denman, it is released as the first single from Sade's third album Stronger Than Pride. The band will actually begin writing the song while preparing to tour in support of their second album Promise in 1986. They will work on the song sporadically over the next year, finally completing it during the sessions for Stronger Than Pride, recording at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas. Upon its release, "Paradise" will quickly become a fan favorite and a staple of the bands' live performances.


Relevant Tags

Bon Scott (1), Ac/dc (7), Bill Haley (1), Alan O'day (1), Sting (2), The Police (6), Stewart Copeland (3), Cheap Trick (4), Chicago (13), Sade (8)