Music History Monday: April 29

Posted by Jeff Harris, April 29, 2013 10:55am | Post a Comment

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Born on this day: April 29, 1899 - Composer, bandleader and pianist Duke Ellington (born Edward Kennedy Ellington in Washington DC). Happy Birthday to this jazz giant, born 114 years ago today. We ♥ you madly, Duke!!

Born on this day: April 29, 1922 - Jazz guitarist/harmonica virtuoso and whistler extraordinaire Toots Thielemans (born Jean-Baptiste Frederic Isidor, Baron Thielemans in Brussels, Belgium). Happy 91st Birthday, Toots!!

Born on this day: April 29, 1945 - Motown vocal legend Tammi Terrell (born Thomasina Winifred Montgomery in Philadelphia, PA). Happy Birthday to this "Sweetheart of Motown" on what would have been her 68th Birthday.

On this day in music history: April 29, 1968Ridin' High, the fifth studio album by Martha Reeves & The Vandellas is released. Produced by Richard Morris, it is recorded at Motown Studio A in Detroit from mid-1967 to early 1968. The album will be the group's first since the departure of producers William "Mickey" Stevenson and Holland-Dozier-Holland from Motown. Staff producer Richard Morris will fill the void, collaborating with songwriter/producer Sylvia Moy (Stevie Wonder). The pair will write the groups' last two top 40 pop hits "Honey Chile" (#5 R&B, #11 Pop) and "Love Bug Leave My Heart Alone" (#14 R&B, #25 Pop), with the album spinning off a third single "(We've Got) Honey Love" (#27 R&B, #57 Pop). The album will also mark the debut of Lois Reeves (Martha's younger sister), replacing longtime member Betty Kelly (1963-1968) from the group.  Ridin' High will peak at #167 on the Billboard Top 200.

On this day in music history: April 29, 1968The Temptations Wish It Would Rain, the sixth studio album by The Temptations is released. Produced by Norman Whitfield, William "Smokey" Robinson, and Henry Cosby, it is recorded at Motown Studio A in Detroit from mid-1967 - early 1968. It will be both the final Temptations album to include lead singer David Ruffin (who will be fired from the group and replaced by Dennis Edwards) and the last to feature Smokey Robinson writing and producing for the group. The album will spin off three singles including "I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)" (#1 R&B, #13 Pop) and "I Wish It Would Rain" (#1 R&B, #4 Pop). The Temptations Wish It Would Rain will spend three weeks at #1 on the Billboard R&B album chart and #13 on the Top 200.

On this day in music history: April 29, 1971L.A. Woman, the sixth studio album by The Doors is released. Produced by The Doors and Bruce Botnick, it is recorded at The Doors Workshop in Los Angeles from December 1970 - January 1971. After the departure of their producer Paul A. Rothchild (who left after having differences with the band over musical direction), The Doors and Botnick will handle the production duties on their sixth studio release. Unlike past albums, much of L.A. Woman will be recorded live with few overdubs. They will be augmented by bassist Jerry Scheff (who played with Elvis Presley) and rhythm guitarist Marc Benno (Leon Russell). It will be the bands' last album with lead singer Jim Morrison who will die three months after its release. The first press run of the LP will feature a die cut cover (with rounded corners similar to a photographic slide) with a portrait of the band printed on transparent yellow plastic. Subsequent repressings of the LP will be printed on standard cardboard stock without the diecutting and plastic window. It will spin off two singles including "Love Her Madly" (#11 Pop) and "Riders On The Storm" (#14 Pop). L.A. Woman will peak at #9 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: April 29, 1981Fair Warning, the fourth album by Van Halen is released. Produced by Ted Templeman, it is recorded at Sunset Sound in Hollywood from March - April 1981. After pushing their musical boundaries with their previous release, Women and Children First, guitarist and bandleader Eddie Van Halen will resolve to continue moving in that direction and for the first time it will publicly reveal a real divide within Van Halen over what path they should follow. Sessions will be tense when squabbling between lead singer David Lee Roth and guitarist Eddie Van Halen over musical direction will lead to the guitarist nearly quitting the band. The end result will be much darker and musically complex material than their previous three albums. At the time of its release, reaction to the finished result will be mixed, being the lowest selling album in Van Halen's catalog (in the Roth Era). In time fans will gravitate to it, regarding it as one of their best. Fair Warning will peak at #5 on the Billboard Top 200 and is certified 2x Platinum in the RIAA.

Relevant Tags

Duke Ellington (8), Toots Thielmans (1), Tammi Terrell (6), Martha Reeves & The Vandellas (1), The Temptations (8), The Doors (15), Van Halen (0)