Music History Monday: January 7

Posted by Jeff Harris, January 7, 2013 11:00am | Post a Comment

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Born on this day: January 7, 1948 - Singer/songwriter Kenny Loggins (born Kenneth Clark Loggins in Everett, WA).

Happy 65th Birthday, Kenny!!

On this day in music history: January 7, 1967 - "Tell It Like It Is" by Aaron Neville hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for five weeks, also peaking at #2 on the Hot 100 for one week on January 28th. Written by George Davis and Lee Diamond, it will be the biggest hit for the New Orleans-born vocalist. Recorded in 1965, Davis and Diamond will shop the track around to various record labels and are turned down by all of them. Over a year after that, they will start their own label, Par-Lo Records, and release it themselves. The record is an instant smash and will sell over a million copies within two months of its release However, Neville will see no real monetary reward from sales of the multi-million selling single. The owners of the Par-Lo record label will find themselves in dire financial straits when they find it nearly impossible to collect money from various independent distributors, leading them to file for bankruptcy. "Tell It Like It Is" will have enduring popularity over the years being covered by numerous artists including Otis Redding & Carla Thomas, Percy Sledge, Nina Simone, Andy Williams, and Heart whose version will return the song to the top 10 in early 1981, peaking at #8 on the Hot 100.


On this day in music history: January 7, 1971 - "Mama's Pearl" by The Jackson 5 is released. Written and produced by The Corporation, it is the fifth consecutive top five single for the five brothers from Gary, IN. issued as the second single from their third LP Third Album. The song is originally intended to be the follow up to "The Love You Save," but will initially be passed over in favor of "I'll Be There." Before it is released as a single, the group will re-record the lead and background vocals, improving upon the first version released on the album. The single will peak at #2 on both the Billboard R&B and Hot 100 on February 27th. Ironically, it will be held off the top of the pop charts by The Osmonds' "One Bad Apple," a song written for the Jacksons but is rejected by Motown as being "too juvenile."

On this day in music history: January 7, 1978 - "Ffun" by Con Funk Shun hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for two weeks, also peaking at #23 on the Hot 100 on February 18th. Written by Michael Cooper, it is the biggest hit for the R&B/Funk septet from Vallejo, CA. Cooper will write the song while the band is traveling to a gig in Little Rock, AR, recording his ideas on a portable four track tape recorder. The initial inspiration for the song will come after hearing Brick's recent crossover smash "Dazz" on the radio, using it as the structural template for "Ffun" including the songs' signature flute solo during the break. For the chorus, Cooper will also give a tongue in cheek nods to The Beach Boys surf classic "Fun, Fun, Fun," as well as the stuttering hook from Bachman Turner Overdrive's "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" when giving the song the title "Ffun" with a double "f". The band will work with producer Skip Scarborough (Earth, Wind & Fire, Bill Withers, Anita Baker), who will be instrumental in helping them fine tune the song and putting all of the elements in place. Released as the first single from their second Mercury album Secrets, it will be Con Funk Shun's biggest chart single on both the pop and R&B charts.

Relevant Tags

Kenny Loggins (7), Aaron Neville (1), The Jackson 5 (7), Con Funk Shun (1)