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Remembering Pop and R&B vocal icon Whitney Houston (born Whitney Elizabeth Houston in Newark, NJ) - August 9, 1963 - February 11, 2012.
Born on this day: February 11, 1941 - Brazilian jazz pianist and bandleader Sergio Mendes (born Sergio Santos Mendes in Niteroi, Brazil). Happy 72nd Birthday, Sergio!!
On this day in music history: February 11, 1963 - The Beatles record their debut album Please Please Me in Studio Two at Abbey Road in London. Following the huge success of their second single "Please Please Me," the band are given the green light to record a complete album. Acting quickly, producer George Martin will have them perform material that is a part of their current stage act. Working with engineer Norman Smith behind the board, it will be recorded for a cost of only £400 ($630.24 US) live to two-track tape with very few overdubs done after the fact. They will record eleven songs in the nine hours and forty-five minutes (between 10 am and 10:45 pm with a lunch break and two tea breaks in between) it takes to complete the album. The album's iconic cover photo (taken by photographer Angus McBean) is shot in the stairwell of EMI Records Manchester Square offices in London. This location is decided upon after the initial idea of photographing the band in front of the insect house at the London Zoo is vetoed by the owners of the zoo. Released on March 22nd, the album is an instant smash, holding down the top spot on the UK album chart for 30 weeks, until it is replaced by their second album "With The Beatles" in November of 1963. Please Please Me will go on to become one of the best selling albums in history.
On this day in music history: February 11, 1967 - More Of The Monkees, the second album by The Monkees hits #1 on the Billboard Top 200 for 18 weeks. Produced by Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart, Jeff Barry, Michael Nesmith, Neil Sedaka, Carole Bayer, and Jack Keller, it is recorded at RCA Victor Studio A and Western Recorders in Hollywood, American Studios in Studio City, and in Unknown Studio in New York City between June 25 - November 23, 1966. After the huge success of their self titled debut album and the single "Last Train To Clarksville," The Monkees label Colgems Records will quickly assemble and rush release their second album in the wake of the hugely successful single "I'm A Believer." The band will learn of the albums' release while they are on the road on a promotional tour. Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork are especially upset over the material selected by music supervisor Don Kirshner and clash with him over their musical direction, leading to his ouster. In spite of The Monkees unhappiness with the album, it will be even more successful than the first, bumping their debut LP from the top of the album chart. More Of The Monkees will be certified 5x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: February 11, 1968 - The Beatles record "Hey Bulldog" in Studio Three at Abbey Road in London. Written primarily by John Lennon (and completed with Paul McCartney in the studio), it is one of the last songs the band completes before departing London for Rishikesh, India to study Transcendental Meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. "Hey Bulldog" is slated for inclusion in the film and soundtrack for the animated feature Yellow Submarine. Cameras will be present during the session, providing a rare glimpse of the band at work in the studio. Though the footage will first surface as the promotional film for the single "Lady Madonna," which is recorded eight days before. "Hey Bulldog" will be significant in The Beatles career, as it is one of the last true songwriting collaborations between Lennon and McCartney.
On this day in music history: February 11, 1989 - "Straight Up" by Paula Abdul hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks. Written and produced by Elliot Wolff, it is the first chart topping single for Los Angeles born choreographer turned singer. After the tepid mainstream pop radio reception to the first two singles "Knocked Up" and "(It's Just ) The Way You Love Me", San Francisco radio station KMEL will begin playing "Straight Up" as an album cut. Overwhelmingly positive response from listeners will encourage Virgin Records to issue it as the third single from Abdul's debut album Forever Your Girl. Entering the Hot 100 at #79 on December 3, 1988, it will reach the top ten weeks later, becoming the first of four #1 singles from the album. "Straight Up" will be certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.