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Born on this day: May 5, 1934 - R&B vocal legend Johnnie Taylor (born Johnnie Harrison Taylor in Crawfordsville, AR). Happy Birthday to this rhythm and blues great on would have been his 80th Birthday.
On this day in music history: May 5, 1962 - West Side Story - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack hits #1 on the Billboard Top 200 for 54 weeks (non-consecutive). Produced by Didier Deutsch, it is recorded at the United Artists Scoring Stage in Hollywood on August 9 - 10, 1960. Featuring songs written by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, it is the soundtrack for the film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical. The soundtrack album like the film itself will become an unprecedented success, with the album ascending to the top of the charts following the film's sweep of the Academy Awards, winning 10 of the 11 awards its nominated for. The West Side Story soundtrack will set a record for the longest run at #1 in the history of the Billboard pop album chart (unbroken to this day), spending a total of one year and two weeks at the top. The album will also spend a total of over five years on the Top 200 before falling off of the chart in 1967. It will win the Grammy Award for Best Sound Track Album or Recording of Original Cast From a Motion Picture or Television in 1962. West Side Story - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: May 5, 1973 - There Goes Rhymin' Simon, the third studio album by Paul Simon is released. Produced by Paul Simon, Phil Ramone, The Muscle Shoal Rhythm Section, Paul Samwell-Smith, and Roy Halee, it is recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL; Malaco Recording Studios in Jackson, MS; and Morgan Studios in Willesden, UK from mid 1972 - early 1973. Following the success of his first post-Simon & Garfunkel solo album Paul Simon, the prolific singer and songwriter will establish solid and productive working relationship with producer and engineer Phil Ramone. Simon will also collaborate with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section as well as the legendary gospel vocal group The Dixie Hummingbirds. Even more musically diverse than his previous effort, the album also features a number of top notch musicians and studio players including Cornell Dupree (guitar), Grady Tate (drums), Paul Griffin (piano), Airto Moriera (percussion), with horn and string arrangements written by Allen Toussaint, Quincy Jones, and Del Newman. Released to near universal praise and acclaim, it will spin off the hit singles "Kodachrome" and "Loves Me Like A Rock," both of which will peak at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. There Goes Rhymin' Simon will peak at #2 (behind George Harrison's "Living In The Material World") on the Billboard Top 200 album chart in July of 1973 and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: May 5, 1977 - Live: P-Funk Earth Tour, the sixth album by Parliament is released. Produced by George Clinton, it is recorded at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles on January 19, 1977 and the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland on January 21, 1977. Recorded to document the band's landmark P-Funk Earth Tour, the live album will perfectly capture the electric atmosphere of Parliament's brilliant concert show while they are out on the road in support of The Clones Of Dr. Funkenstein. Released as a 14 track 2-LP set, the album will feature live versions of material largely from the Mothership Connection and Clones LP's as well as material from Funkadelic. The original LP package will include an oversized poster of Clinton as Dr. Funkenstein and an iron-on t-shirt transfer with the slogan "Take Funk To Heaven in '77!" Live: P-Funk Earth Tour will peak at number six on the Billboard R&B album chart, number 29 on the Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: May 5, 1984 - "Hello" by Lionel Richie hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for three weeks. It will also top the Hot 100 for two weeks on May 12, 1984 and the Adult Contemporary chart for six weeks on April 7, 1984. Written by Richie, it is the fourth solo pop and second R&B chart-topper for the pop and R&B superstar. "Hello" is originally written during the sessions for Richie's debut album in 1982, but will be left uncompleted. Lionel's co-producer James Anthony Carmichael will rediscover the song when they begin work on the follow up album Can't Slow Down. Certain that it will be a hit, Carmichael will insist that Lionel finish writing the song and include it on the new album. Recorded at Ocean Way Studios in Los Angeles in the Spring of 1983, it will be one of the first songs completed for Can't Slow Down. The song's lyrical guitar solo will be performed by studio veteran Louie Shelton. Released as the third single from "Can't Slow Down" on February 13, 1984, it will be another runaway hit. The song will be further bolstered by a memorable music video directed by Bob Giraldi (Michael Jackson's "Beat It," Richie's "Running With The Night"), where Richie plays a college drama teacher who is secretly in love with a female student who is revealed to be blind by the end of the clip. The song will become one of Lionel Richie's most popular and often recorded songs, with cover versions by Luther Vandross, Shirley Bassey, and Paul Anka. The original version is featured in a number of films and television programs including The 40 Year Old Virgin, Shrek Forever After, and Family Guy. Richie will re-record the song with country vocalist Jennifer Nettles in 2012 for the duets album Tuskegee. "Hello" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: May 5, 1997 - Flaming Pie, the tenth solo album by Paul McCartney is released (US release is on May 20, 1997). Produced by McCartney, Jeff Lynne, and George Martin, it is recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London; Steve Miller's Home Studio in Sun Valley, ID; and The Mill Studios in Peasmarsh, East Sussex, UK on September 3 1992 and from February 22, 1995 - February 14, 1997. His first proper studio album since Off The Ground in 1993, McCartney will actually begin writing the songs that will become the Flaming Pie album as early as 1991. Two tracks (the acoustic based "Calico Skies" and "Great Day") will be recorded first in 1992 (pre-dating the release of Off The Ground), with the bulk of the recording being completed over a two year period between 1995 and 1997, working with producer Jeff Lynne (Electric Light Orchestra). The album title will come from a story told by John Lennon on the origins of The Beatles' name to the Liverpool music paper Mersey Beat in 1961. Released following the huge success of The Beatles "Anthology" project, it will be Paul McCartney's best selling and critically acclaimed album in many years. An accompanying home video documenting the making of the album titled Paul McCartney In The World Tonight will also be released. The album will receive a Grammy nomination for Album Of The Year. Flaming Pie will peak at number two on the Billboard Top 200 and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.