Music History Monday: March 4

Posted by Jeff Harris, March 4, 2013 11:00am | Post a Comment

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Born on this day: March 4, 1944 - Legendary R&B singer, songwriter, and musician Bobby Womack (born Robert Dwayne Womack in Cleveland, OH).

Happy 69th Birthday, Bobby!!


On this day in music history: March 4, 1967 - "Ruby Tuesday" by The Rolling Stones hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week. Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, it is the fourth chart-topping single for the British rock band. Richards will come up with initial idea for the song, writing it in a Los Angeles hotel room in early 1966 while the band are in the city recording tracks for their album Aftermath. The song is based on a groupie Richards knows and his then girlfriend, Linda Keith. Jagger will write most of the lyrics including the songs' chorus. The Stones will record "Ruby Tuesday" at Olympic Studios in London on November 8, 1966 with additional overdubs recorded on December 3rd. Guitarist Brian Jones will also play the recorder on the song, giving it its distinctive baroque sound. "Ruby" is originally released as the B-side of "Let's Spend The Night Together" in January of 1967. When American radio stations feel that the former song is "too suggestive" for airplay, DJ's will flip the single over and play "Ruby Tuesday" instead. Entering the Hot 100 at #78 on January 21, 1967, it will speed to the top of the chart six weeks later. Certified Gold in the US by the RIAA, "Ruby Tuesday" will be added to US LP pressings of The Rolling Stones' next album Between The Buttons when it is released on February 11th.

On this day in music history: March 4, 1978 - "Flash Light" by Parliament hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for three weeks, also peaking at #16 on the Hot 100 on April 22nd. Written by George Clinton, Bernie Worrell, and William "Bootsy" Collins, it is the first chart-topping single for the R&B/Funk band led by Clinton. Originally intended for Collins' band Bootsy's Rubber Band, Bootsy will cut a demo of the track. When Collins decides he doesn't like what he's recorded, he'll pass it on to Parliament. The track will be cut at United Sound Studios in Detroit, MI in the Spring of 1977. Highlighted by keyboardist Bernie Worrell's innovative use of the Mini Moog synthesizer, "Flash Light" will be issued the second single from Parliament's seventh album Funkentelechy Vs. The Placebo Syndrome in January of 1978. The song will also be released as extended promotional only 12" single clocking in at over ten and a half minutes, nearly doubling its original length. "Flash Light" will be an immediate smash on the R&B chart, and will also become Parliament's highest charting single on the pop singles chart, being certified Gold by the RIAA. Ironically, "Bootzilla" by Bootsy's Rubber Band will unseat "Flash Light" from #1 on March 25th.

On this day in music history: March 4, 1978 - "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water" by Andy Gibb hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. Written by Barry Gibb and Andy Gibb, it is the second consecutive chart topper for Manchester, UK born singer and songwriter. Written just prior to the sessions for his debut album Flowing Rivers, Gibb will write the song with his older brother Barry on the island of Bermuda while staying at the home of RSO Records founder and manager Robert Stigwood. The track is cut at Criteria Studios in Miami in early 1977, and features Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh, who happens to be recording in an adjoining studio. Once completed, the song is slated to be Andy Gibb's US debut single, but Stigwood will change his mind three days before it's due to be released, and "I Just Want To Be Your Everything" is issued instead. That single will top the charts for four weeks (non-consecutive) in July, August, and September of 1977, spending over six months on the Hot 100. "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water" will be released as the follow up in late September of 1977. Entering the Hot 100 at #89 on November 5, 1977, like its predecessor, it will take a slow and steady climb up the charts, reaching the top 17 weeks later. The week that "Water" tops the chart, it will reside over a unique top ten, with five of the top ten singles (including four of the top five chart positions) all co-written and produced by Barry Gibb: Andy at #1, The Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" holding at #2, Samantha Sang's "Emotion" at #4, The Bee Gees again at #5 with "Night Fever," and The Bee Gees yet again holding at #10 with "How Deep Is Your Love."

On this day in music history: March 4, 1983True, the third studio album by Spandau Ballet is released. Produced by Steve Jolley and Tony Swain, it is recorded at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, The Bahamas from October - November of 1982. Breaking away from New Wave/New Romantic sound of their first two albums, the British pop band will adapt a more "Blue Eyed Soul" sound with jazz and R&B influences throughout. The shift in musical styles will gain the band a huge worldwide following, becoming their breakthrough album in the US. It will spin off off four singles including "Gold" (#2 UK, #29 US Pop), and the title track (#1 UK Pop, #4 US Pop), which will be sampled numerous times including on PM Dawn's "Set Adrift On Memory Bliss" (#1 US Pop) in 1991. True will hit #1 on the UK album chart and #19 on the Billboard Top 200.

On this day in music history: March 4, 1989 - "Lost In Your Eyes" by Debbie Gibson hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks. Written and produced by Deborah Gibson, it is the second and final chart topping single for the Brooklyn-born/Long Island-raised singer, songwriter, and musician. Less than a year before, Gibson will make history earning a place in the Guinness' World Book of Records as the youngest artist in history to write and produce a #1 pop single, when "Foolish Beat" (the fourth single from her debut album Out of the Blue) tops the Hot 100 in June of 1988, two months shy of her 18th Birthday. Eight and a half months later, she'll do it again. While on extensive promotional tour to support her first album, Debbie Gibson will write the ballad "Lost In Your Eyes." It will be issued as the first single from her second album Electric Youth in January of 1989.  Entering  the Hot 100 at #42 on January 21st,  it will bolt to the top of the chart six weeks later. "Lost In Your Eyes" will be certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Relevant Tags

Bobby Womack (12), The Rolling Stones (19), Parliament (5), George Clinton (10), Andy Gibb (4), Barry Gibb (3), Spandau Ballet (1), Debbie Gibson (5)