Music History Monday: November 5

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 5, 2012 11:30am | Post a Comment

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Born on this day: November 5, 1941 - Singer, songwriter, and actor Art Garfunkel (born Arthur Ira Garfunkel in Forest Hills, NY). Happy 71st Birthday Art!!

Born on this day: November 5, 1947 - Peter Noone (born Peter Blair Denis Bernard Noone in Davyhulme, Greater Manchester, UK), lead vocalist of Herman's Hermits. Happy 65th Birthday, Peter!!

Born on this day: November 5, 1957 - Mike Score (born Michael Score in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, UK), lead vocalist and keyboardist of A Flock of Seagulls. Happy 55th Birthday, Mike!!

On this day in music history: November 5, 1956 - The Nat King Cole Show makes its debut on the NBC television network. It will make history as the first nationally aired program to be hosted by an African American performer. The show will begin initially as a 15 minute program, which is then expanded to a half hour in July 1957. The show will feature many high profile guests (and personal friends of Cole's) including Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Harry Belafonte, Mel Tormé, and Eartha Kitt. These performers appeared on the show working for either industry scale or for no pay at all. During its run, the program will lack major product sponsorship with many potential sponsors fearing they will offend certain viewers not wanting to see black performers on television. In spite of generating constantly high ratings, the show will be canceled after only 13 months due to high operating costs.

On this day in music history: November 5, 1966 - “Last Train to Clarksville” by The Monkees hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week. Written and produced by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, it is the first number one single for "The Pre-Fab Four." Working as staff writers for music supervisor Don Kirshner's publishing company, Boyce and Hart will use The Beatles then-recent hit “Paperback Writer” as the initial inspiration for “Clarksville.” Bobby Hart will mistakenly believe that The Beatles were singing about a "last train." When he realizes that isn't correct, he'll still like the imagery enough to begin writing a song around it. The track is recorded RCA Victor Studio B in Hollywood on July 25, 1966. With The Monkees themselves spending as much as twelve hours a day filming the series,  the music tracks are cut with studio musicians (though band members Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork are both accomplished musicians) in order to make the recordings as quickly as possible. The group would then be brought into the studio to record their vocals. The single is released on August 16, 1966, one month before their top rated TV series debuts on NBC on September 12th. Entering the Hot 100 at #67 on September 10th, it will climb to the top of the chart nine weeks later. "Last Train to Clarksville" is the first of three chart topping singles (and six Top 10 singles) for The Monkees.

On this day in music history: November 5, 1971Madman Across The Water, the fourth album by Elton John is released. Produced by Gus Dudgeon, it is recorded at Trident Studios in London in, 1971. The album will take its title from a newspaper headline publishing a review of Elton's legendary breakthrough live performance at The Troubadour night club in West Hollywood. The album's title track is originally recorded during sessions for the previous album Tumbleweed Connection, but will be held back and re-recorded. The original version (featuring guitarist Mick Ronson) will be issued as a bonus track on the CD reissue of Madman. The album will also be the first to introduce guitarist Davey Johnstone to John's band (who is still working with Elton today). Another critical and commercial success for the prolific singer/songwriter, it will spin off the classics "Tiny Dancer" (#41 Pop), "Levon" (#24 Pop), and "Indian Sunset." The album cover artwork is an embroidery stitched on the back of a Levi's jean jacket by Janis Larkham, the wife of the album's art director David LarkhamMadman Across The Water will peak at #8 on the Billboard Top 200 and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: November 5, 1977 - "(Every Time I Turn Around) Back In Love Again" by L.T.D. hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for two weeks, also peaking at #4 on the Hot 100 on December 24th. Written by Len Ron Hanks and Zane Grey, it is the second chart topping single for the ten-piece R&B/Funk band fronted by lead vocalist Jeffrey Osborne. Producer Bobby Martin will bring songwriters Grey and Hanks to write material for the band. The songwriting duo were also proteges of R&B singer Jerry Butler, whom L.T.D. had worked with early in their career. Issued as the first single from the bands' fourth album, Something To Love, the track is recorded at Total Experience Studios (owned by producer Lonnie Simmons) in Los Angeles. "(Every Time I Turn Around) Back In Love Again)" will hit the top the R&B singles chart just one day shy of a year after they score their first R&B #1 with "Love Ballad." A&M Records will also release an extended remix of "Back In Love Again" as one of the first commercial 12" singles issued by the label.

On this day in music history: November 5, 1988 - "Any Love" by Luther Vandross hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for one week, also peaking at #44 on the Hot 100 on November 12th. Written and produced by Vandross and Marcus Miller, it is the fourth R&B chart topper for the New York-born singer, songwriter, and producer. The title track and first single to his sixth studio album Any Love, it is written during a period when the singer is feeling depressed about his personal life. Vandross will collaborate with long time bassist Marcus Miller on the song, with Miller will coming up with the chord changes and the songs' distinctive rhythm, to which Luther will compose the melody and lyrics. Considered to be one of Vandross' most personal and autobiographical songs, "Any Love" will quickly become a fan favorite and a highlight of his live concert performances. The success of the single will earn it a Grammy nomination for Best R&B song and help the album become Vandross' first to reach the top 10 on the Billboard Top 200 (peaking at #9), as well as top the R&B album chart.

Relevant Tags

Art Garfunkel (3), Peter Noone (1), Herman's Hermits (2), Mike Score (1), A Flock Of Seagulls (1), Nat King Cole (10), The Monkees (8), Elton John (12), L.t.d. (4), Luther Vandross (6)