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Music History Monday: October 20

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 20, 2014 10:56am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

On this day in music history: October 20, 1962 - "Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. Written by Bobby Pickett and Leonard Capizzi, it will be the biggest hit for the singer and songwriter from Somerville, MA. The novelty classic will be recorded in the garage studio of producer/label owner Gary S. Paxton, and also features musician Leon Russell on piano. The record will be rejected by several labels before Paxton works out a distribution deal with London Records and releases it on his own Garpax label. The song is an immediate hit upon its release. Entering the Hot 100 at #72 on September 8, 1962, it will rocket to the top of the chart just six weeks later. On its initial release in the UK, the BBC will actually ban the record for being "too morbid," though it will later peak at #3 on its re-release in 1973. "Monster Mash" will also make chart history as the only single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 three separate times. After its first run in 1962, it will peak at #91 in September of 1970. The single will actually make the top 10 a second time, peaking at #10 in August of 1973. "Monster Mash" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 


On this day in music history: October 20, 1977 - A chartered plane carrying members of the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd and their crew crashes into a swamp near Gillsburg, MS. The band is on tour in support of its latest album Street Survivors, released just three days before. The Convair CV-300 plane is in route from Greenville, SC to Baton Rouge, LA when it runs out of fuel and crashes into a heavily wooded area. Lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, singer Cassie Gaines (Steve’s older sister), assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, and co-pilot William Gray are all killed on impact. The other members of the band and crew will all sustain serious injuries from the crash. Drummer Artimus Pyle and two members of the road crew will be able to climb from the wreckage and get help for the remaining survivors. The cause of the plane crash will be determined to have been caused by a malfunctioning ignition device on one of the engines and by pilot error when the pilots accidentally dump the remaining fuel instead of transferring it to the still working engine. After the accident, the band's label MCA Records will quickly withdraw the original cover artwork of Street Survivors, which shows the band surrounded by flames. The background will be airbrushed black on all subsequent repressings until it is reissued on CD when the original artwork is restored. Lynyrd Skynyrd will not perform again for ten years, until the surviving members reform the band in 1987, with Ronnie’s younger brother Johnny Van Zant taking over as lead vocalist.
 

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Music History Monday: October 13

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 13, 2014 10:33am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

On this day in music history: October 13, 1965 - "My Generation", the third single by The Who, is recorded. Written by Pete Townshend, he will take inspration from singer Mose Allison's song "Young Man Blues." The song's crowning touch will be provided by singer Roger Daltrey stuttering like a one of the band's mod fans on speed. Produced by Shel Talmy, the band will record the song at IBC Studios in London. Recorded on three track tape, the final mono master will feature a second guitar part overdubbed by Townshend (direct to tape while being mixed) that features the song's trademark feedback. Released in the UK on November 5, 1965 (US release date is November 20, 1965), the song is an instant smash in their home country peaking at #2. Though it will only peak at #74 in the US, it will go on to be one to be one of most influential rock singles of all time. "My Generation" is now part of the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, and was inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999. In 2002, "My Generation" will be mixed into true stereo for the first time from the original multi-track tape (though it is missing the additional guitar overdub from the mono mix), which has been in the possession of Shel Talmy, and appears on the Deluxe Edition of My Generation.
 

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Music History Monday: October 6

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 6, 2014 08:00am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

On this day in music history: October 6, 1969 - "Something" b/w "Come Together" by The Beatles is released (UK release date is on October 31, 1969). Written by George Harrison, John Lennon, and Paul McCartney, it is the 18th US chart-topper for the Fab Four. The lone single is issued from the band's recently released album Abbey Road. The ballad "Something" is written by George Harrison while the flipside "Come Together" is actually written by John Lennon but is credited to Lennon/McCartney. By the time the single reaches #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 29th, both sides will be listed at the top (w/ "Come Together" listed first) due to a change in chart policy. Billboard begins listing the A and B sides of a single receiving radio airplay and generating sales in the same chart position rather than separately. Initially, the two sides will debut on the chart separately with "Something" entering the Hot 100 at #20 and "Come Together" at #23 on October 18, 1969. "Come Together" will climb as high as #2 and "Something" at #3 before "Come Together" slips back to #7 and "Something" holds at #3. Billboard will then combine the airplay and sales chart information for both sides of the single, providing the momentum for both to ascend to number one. "Come Together/Something" is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Music History Monday: September 29

Posted by Jeff Harris, September 29, 2014 11:10am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

On this day in music history: September 29, 1958 - "It's In The Game" by Tommy Edwards hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks, also topping the Rhythm & Blues chart for three weeks (non-consecutive) on the same date.  Written by Charles Dawes and Carl Sigman, it is the biggest hit for the pop vocalist from Richmond, VA. "It's All In The Game" is originally written in 1911 as an instrumental titled "Melody in A Major" by Charles Dawes who would later serve as Vice President of the United States under President Calvin Coolidge. Songwriter Carl Sigman will write lyrics for the song in 1951 when Tommy Edwards first records it. Edwards original version will peak at #18 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart in the Fall of 1951. By 1958, Edwards has been without a major hits for nearly four years and his label MGM Records is on the verge of dropping him, but he has one final session to go on his contract. Edwards will re-record "It's All In The Game" with a new arrangement and in stereo, making it one of the first stereo 45's released by MGM Records. The new version is released in early August of 1958 and is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #40 on August 25, 1958, it will race to the top of the chart five weeks later. "It's All In The Game" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 


On this day in music history: September 29, 1973 - "Higher Ground" by Stevie Wonder hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for one week, also peaking at #4 on the Hot 100 on October 13, 1973. Written and produced by Stevie Wonder, it is the seventh R&B chart topper for the prolific musician and songwriter. Issued as the first single from his landmark Innervisions album, the song is on the charts while Wonder is recovering from a devastating car accident, which will leave him in a coma for four days. While still in a coma, Stevie's road manager Ira Tucker, Jr. will lean down and sing the melody to "Higher Ground" in his ear and Stevie will respond by moving fingers in time with song. Recorded at Mediasound Studios in New York City, "Higher Ground" will be a virtual "one man show" with Wonder playing all of the instruments and singing all of the vocals on the track, with co-producers Bob Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil programming the synthesizers. Red Hot Chili Peppers will score a hit with their cover version of "Higher Ground" when they record it for their 1989 album Mother's Milk, even name checking Stevie Wonder in their version.

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Music History Monday: September 22

Posted by Jeff Harris, September 22, 2014 10:16am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

Born on this day: September 22, 1958 - Rock legend Joan Jett (born Joan Marie Larkin in Wynnewood, PA) of The Runaways and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts. Happy 56th Birthday, Joan!
 


On this day in music history: September 22, 1969 - Sly & The Family Stone appear on the debut episode of the short lived TV series The Music Scene on the ABC television network. The band will perform a medley of their hits including "Everyday People," "Dance To The Music," "Hot Fun In The Summertime," "Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey," and "I Want To Take You Higher." The weekly show (hosted mostly by comedian David Steinberg) will run for only 17 episodes until January 12, 1970 when it is canceled.
 



On this day in music history: September 22, 1969The Band, the second album by The Band, is released. Produced by John Simon, it is recorded at 8841 Evanview Drive in West Hollywood from early - mid 1969. Issued as the follow up to their acclaimed debut Music From Big Pink, The Band will decide on a dramatic change of scenery to work on their next release. The album is recorded in a rented home in the Hollywood Hills owned by entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr.. The home's pool cabana will be converted into a recording studio for the duration of the sessions. It will yield a number of the band's classics including "Up On Cripple Creek" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." The LP cover, featuring a sepia photo of the band by photographer Elliot Landy, will become known as "The Brown Album" by fans for the brown colored border around the front and back of the album jacket. The Band will peak at number nine on the Billboard Top 200 and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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