Music History Monday: December 16

Posted by Jeff Harris, December 16, 2013 09:30am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to

Remembering dance music icon Sylvester (born Sylvester James in Los Angeles, CA) - September 6, 1947 - December 16, 1988.

On this day in music history: December 16, 1966 - "Hey Joe", the debut single by The Jimi Hendrix Experience is released (US release is on May 1, 1967). Written by Billy Roberts, the song tells the story of a man on the run after shooting his wife for her infidelity. A garage band standard, it is covered by numerous acts including The Leaves, The Byrds, Love, The Standells, and The Surfaris to name a few. Hendrix's version is recorded on October 23, 1966 at De Lane Lea Studios in London. The single is first offered to Decca Records in the UK who decline to release it. Polydor will pick it up for UK release (and Reprise in the US) and it will immediately hit the charts. "Hey Joe" will peak at #6 on the UK singles chart.

On this day in music history: December 16, 1972Across 110th Street - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is released. Produced by Bobby Womack, it is recorded at American Sound Studios in Memphis, TN from Spring - Fall 1972. Issued as the soundtrack to the blaxploitation crime drama starring Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto, and Antonio Fargas, it features a song score written and produced by Bobby Womack and is performed by Womack and his backing band Peace. It also features the instrumental score from the film written by J.J. Johnson. The title song will be issued as a single and will peak at #19 on the Billboard R&B singles chart and #56 on the Hot 100. It will also be featured in director Quentin Tarantino's film Jackie Brown in 1997 and in American Gangster in 2007. Across 110th Street - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack will peak at #6 on the Billboard R&B album chart and #50 on the Top 200.

On this day in music history: December 16, 1986Electric Cafe, the ninth studio album by Kraftwerk is released. Produced by Ralf Hutter and Florian Schneider, it is recorded at Kling Klang Studios in Dusseldorf, Germany from mid 1982 to late 1986. Issued as the long-awaited follow up to Computer World, it is the German technopop band's first new album in over five years (having only released the single "Tour De France" in late 1983). The entire first side consists of instrumentals and is their first to use all digital instruments (rather than analog synths). It will spin off two singles including "Musique Non Stop" and "The Telephone Call" (both #1 Billboard Dance chart). The album's title track will be used (in sped up form) as the theme music to the "Sprockets" sketch on Saturday Night Live featuring comedian Mike Myers. The album will be re-issued in 2009 under its original working title Techno-PopElectric Cafe will peak at #158 on the Billboard Top 200.

Relevant Tags

Music History Monday (82), Sylvester (5), Jimi Hendrix (21), The Jimi Hendrix Experience (2), Bobby Womack (12), Across 110th Street (1), Kraftwerk (13)