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Born on this day: September 9, 1941 - R&B vocal icon Otis Redding (born Otis Ray Redding, Jr. in Dawson, GA). Happy Birthday to The Big "O" on what would have been his 72nd Birthday.
On this day in music history: September 9, 1967 - "Cold Sweat Pt. 1" by James Brown hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for three weeks, also peaking at #7 on the Hot 100 on August 26th. Written by Brown and Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis, it is the fifth R&B chart topper for the Hardest Working Man in Show Business. The song is originally written in 1962, but is re-recorded and given a dramatic re-arrangement after Brown hears "Funky Broadway," the recent hit single by Wilson Pickett. The track is recorded at King Studios in Cincinnati in May of 1967 and is the first session for engineer Ron Lenhoff who will become Brown's recording engineer for the next eight years, recording and mixing numerous hits for the Godfather of Soul. The extended workout runs over seven minutes in its entirety, but is edited and split into two parts for single release. "Cold Sweat" will mark a major turning point in the evolution of R&B music, being the first record to introduce the subgenre known as Funk. By putting more emphasis on the rhythmic aspects of the song, rather than the melody, it will be regarded as one of the most influential records ever released. Released as single in July, "Cold Sweat" will climb the R&B and pop charts quickly. Ironically, it will be replaced at the top of the R&B charts by Wilson Pickett's "Funky Broadway," the very song that inspired James Brown to create "Cold Sweat."
On this day in music history: September 9, 1969 - Jimi Hendrix will make his US television debut on The Dick Cavett Show. The musician was originally scheduled to appear on the program on the day after his appearance at Woodstock, but will oversleep and miss the taping. He will be re-scheduled a few weeks later and is interviewed by Cavett. He performs the songs "Machine Gun," "Hear My Train A Comin," and "Izabella." During the interview, Hendrix will reveal himself to be very intelligent, humble, and humorous. He will also give insight into what motivates him to create his music and his feelings on its spiritual aspects. Cavett will also ask Hendrix about his performance of "The Star Spangled Banner," which the public and press criticize as "unorthodox." Hendrix will reply "it's not orthodox, I thought it was beautifu,l" to which the audience will respond with applause. The complete interview and music performances will be released on DVD as Jimi Hendrix: The Dick Cavett Show in 2002.
Jimi Hendrix Interviewed by poetictouch
On this day in music history: September 9, 1971 - Imagine, the second solo album by John Lennon is released (UK release date is October 8th). Produced by John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Phil Spector, it is recorded at Ascot Sound Studios, Ascot, Surrey, UK; Abbey Road Studios in London; and The Record Plant in New York City from February 11 - 16 and June 23 - July 5, 1971. Recorded mostly at Lennon's Ascot estate Tittenhurst Park, the album also features musical support from former Beatle bandmate George Harrison, Klaus Voorman (bass), King Curtis (saxophone), Nicky Hopkins (keyboards), and Alan White, Jim Keltner, and Jim Gordon (drums). The album will go on to be one his most popular and critically acclaimed works, featuring Lennon classics such as "Gimme Some Truth," "Jealous Guy," "How Do You Sleep?" and "Crippled Inside." The latter two are directed squarely at Paul McCartney during a time when Lennon's relationship with him is at a low ebb following the break up of The Beatles. They are written in response to the songs "Too Many People," "3 Legs," and "Dear Boy" on McCartney's Ram. Also in a not-so-subtle additional dig at McCartney, the album will come with a postcard of Lennon holding a pig by the ears parodying the cover of the Ram album in which McCartney is holding a male sheep by the horns. The title track (#3 Pop) will become John Lennon's signature song and an anthem for the world peace movement. Imagine will hit #1 on the Billboard Top 200 for one week on October 30, 1971 and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA. The single of the title track will be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
On this day in music history: September 9, 1972 - "Back Stabbers" by The O'Jays hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for one week, also peaking at #3 on the Hot 100 on October 7th. Written by Leon Huff, Gene McFadden, and John Whitehead, it is the first R&B chart topper for the Canton, Ohio-based R&B vocal trio. Hired as staff writers at the newly former Philadelphia International Records, songwriters McFadden and Whitehead will come up with the song's narrative warning about male friends going behind their back to steal their girlfriends (or wives) from them. The songwriters will take inspiration in part from The Undisputed Truth's recent hit "Smiling Faces Sometimes" (#2 R&B, #3 Pop). Huff will come up with the music while all three are gathered around the piano. Initially, McFadden and Whitehead want to do the song with their own group The Epsilons, but producer Kenny Gamble will insist that it is perfect for The O'Jays. When the group hears the song for the first time, they don't like it. They will eventually come around and agree to record it. "Back Stabbers" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA, becoming the first million-selling single for Philadelphia International Records, driving sales of the accompanying album to Gold (later Platinum) status in the US.
On this day in music history: September 9, 1978 - "Beast of Burden" by The Rolling Stones is released. Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, it is issued as the second single from Some Girls. Recorded between October and December of 1977 at EMI Pathe Marconi Studios in Paris, France, the song is inspired by a riff Keith Richards writes when he returns to the band after narrowly escaping conviction from his drug arrest in Toronto, Canada earlier in 1977. Richards will later state that the song was his way of saying thank you to his band mate and songwriting partner for "shouldering the burden" of keeping the band going while he was abusing drugs. While the basic track of the song is being cut, Jagger will improvise most of the lyrics on the spot, embellishing lines Richards had already written including the chorus. Issued as the follow-up to the chart-topping "Miss You," "Beast of Burden" will quickly follow it up the charts. The US single will be released with a vintage photo of a lion sitting on top of a woman as it's cover. It is immediately withdrawn from the marketplace when Atlantic Records receives complains that the image is "offensive and sexist." Consequently, it instantly becomes a highly valuable and sought after collector's item. "Beast of Burden" will peak at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 11, 1978. The song will be covered a number of times over the years by different artists including Big Head Todd and The Monsters, The Kooks, The Nadas, and Bette Midler. Mick Jagger will appear in the music video for Midler's version when it is released in 1983.
On this day in music history: September 9, 1978 - "Holding On (When Love Is Gone)" by L.T.D. hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for two weeks, also peaking at #49 on the Hot 100 on September 30th. Written by Jeffrey Osborne and John T. McGhee, it is the third R&B chart-topper for the Greensboro, NC R&B/Funk band. The song will come about as a result of both Osborne and McGhee going through painful divorces at the time. The pair will collaborate on the song when guitarist McGhee gives Osborne a tape of him playing the songs chord changes. Osborne will write the lyrics and melody around the changes, helping craft it into a finished song. Like their previous album Something to Love, L.T.D. will cut the song at Gap Band producer Lonnie Simmons' Total Experience Studios in Los Angeles with their producer Bobby Martin (The Manhattans, The O'Jays, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes). Released as a single in June of 1978, it will quickly climb to the top of the R&B singles chart. The success of "Holding On (When Love Is Gone)" will drive sales of their fifth studio album Togetherness to Platinum status in the US.