Music History Monday: January 13

Posted by Jeff Harris, January 13, 2014 12:12pm | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to

On this day in music history: January 13, 1962 - "The Twist" by Chubby Checker hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. Written by Hank Ballard, it is the biggest hit for the Philadelphia-born singer (real name Ernest Evans). The song and massively popular dance will find popularity initially with teenagers when it is first released in 1960, hitting number one for one week in September of that year. A little over a year later, the dance will find renewed popularity with adults, putting the record back on the pop singles chart. Re-entering the Hot 100 at #55 on November 13, 1961, it will climb to the top of the chart eight weeks later. "The Twist" will be the only single in Billboard chart history to top the pop chart twice in two entirely separate chart runs.

On this day in music history: January 13, 1964The Times They Are A-Changin', the third album by bob dylan the times they are a-changinBob Dylan is released. Produced by Tom Wilson, it is recorded at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City from August 6 - October 31, 1963. Right on the heels of the successful and acclaimed The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, the prolific songwriter and musician will return to the studio a few months later to record the follow up. The album is Dylan's first to feature all original material written by him. The songs are more serious and are starkly arranged featuring Dylan accompanied only by his own acoustic guitar and harmonica playing. The album will yield some of his best known and loved songs including "North Country Blues" and the anthemic title track. The Times They Are A-Changin' will peak at #20 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: January 13, 1973Aerosmith, the debut album by Aerosmith is released. Produced Adrian Barber, it is recorded at Intermedia Studios in Boston from mid - late 1972.  Formed in 1970, the Boston based band will be signed to Columbia shortly after label chief Clive Davis sees them perform at Max's Kansas City in New York. Though it will gain mostly positive reviews, the album will initially be a slow seller upon its release. It is not until the track "Dream On" is re-released as a single three years later in 1976 (#6 Pop) that it finally takes off, putting the band on the fast track to success. The tracks "Mama Kin" and a cover of Rufus Thomas' "Walking The Dog" will also garner significant airplay. Aerosmith will peak at #21 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: January 13, 1979 - "September" by Earth, Wind & Fire hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for one week, also peaking at #8 on the Hot 100 on February 10, 1979. Written by Al McKay, Maurice White, and Allee Willis, it is the sixth chart-topping single for the R&B/Funk band led by drummer and vocalist Maurice White. "September" is one of two new songs recorded for EW&F's first greatest hits album The Best Of Earth, Wind & Fire Volume 1. White and guitarist McKay will collaborate with lyricist Willis, who is recommended to them by one of the employees in EW&F's business office. Willis will go on to establish herself as a prominent songwriter, also co-writing three more hits for Earth, Wind & Fire including "Boogie Wonderland," "In The Stone," and "Sunday Morning." Over the next three decades, Willis will also co-write numerous other hit songs including Narada Michael Walden's "I Shoulda Loved Ya," Maxine Nightingale's "Lead Me On," The Pointer Sisters' "Neutron Dance," "I'll Be There For You (Theme From Friends)" for The Rembrandts, and "What Have I Done To Deserve This" with the Pet Shop Boys. "September" will also be Earth, Wind & Fire's first single released under White's newly established ARC (American Recording Corporation) imprint through Columbia Records. It will become one of band's best known and loved songs, being featured in films such as Soul Food, A Night At The Museum, and Dan In Real Life. "September" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: January 13, 1990 - "Rhythm Nation" by Janet Jackson hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for one week, also peaking at #2 for two weeks on the Hot 100 on January 6th. Written by Janet Jackson, James Harris III, Terry Lewis, and produced by Jam & Lewis, it is the seventh R&B chart-topper for the youngest member of the Jackson family. Released as the second single and title track from Jackson's fourth album, it is based around a sample of Sly & The Family Stone's funk classic "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)". The song lyrics express a positive message of racial unity and harmony and a cry against social injustice with the promise of a better world. Seven weeks after the single tops the R&B chart, Janet will embark on her first concert tour (The Rhythm Nation 1814 Tour), playing 100 dates in North America, 12 in Japan, and seven on the European continent. "Rhythm Nation" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Relevant Tags

Music History Monday (81), Chubby Checker (5), Bob Dylan (52), Aerosmith (8), Earth Wind & Fire (8), Janet Jackson (13)