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Music History Monday: March 9

Posted by Jeff Harris, March 9, 2015 11:12am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: March 9, 1948 - Singer, songwriter and former lead singer of L.T.D., Jeffrey Osborne (born Jeffrey Linton Osborne in Providence, RI). Happy 67th Birthday, Jeffrey!
 


On this day in music history: March 9, 1959 - "Venus" by Frankie Avalon hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks, also peaking at #10 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written by Ed Marshall, it is the biggest hit for the Philadelphia singer and actor born Francis Thomas Avallone. Frankie will first become involved with music at the age of 11 when his father buys him a trumpet from a pawn shop after seeing actor Kirk Douglas in the film Young Man With A Horn. The young Avallone will quickly master the instrument and begins playing professionally while still in his teens, even signing a recording contract to RCA subsidiary X Records in 1954 as a member of the band Rocco & The Saints. In 1957, Avallone's neighbor Bob Marcucci will start his own label Chancellor Records and sign Avallone. Angelicizing his name to Frankie Avalon, he will record two singles for Chancellor that will flop. For his third single, Marcucci and songwriter/co-producer Peter DeAngelis will write "Dede Dinah," having Avalon sing it in a nasally voice. It will quickly become a hit peaking at #7 in February of 1958, after he performs the song on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. For his sixth single, Avalon will record a song brought to him by songwriter Ed Marshall. Sure that it is a hit, the singer will call Marcucci over quickly to hear it. Three days later, they will record "Venus" at Beltone Studios in New York City in only nine takes. Released in late January of 1959, the single is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #99 on February 9, 1959, it will rocket to the top of the chart four weeks later. "Venus" will establish Frankie Avalon as one of the preeminent "teen idols" of the era, which will lead to a successful career in movies when he is paired with former Mouseketeer Annette Funicello during the '60s. Avalon's label boss Bob Marcucci's life story and the success he has with artists like Frankie Avalon and labelmate Fabian will become the basis of the 1980 film The Idolmaker. "Venus" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Music History Monday: March 2

Posted by Jeff Harris, March 2, 2015 10:48am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: March 2, 1950 - Singer and musician Karen Carpenter (born Karen Anne Carpenter in New Haven, CT). Happy Birthday to this pop vocal icon on what would have been her 65th Birthday.
 


On this day in music history: March 2, 1964 - The Beatles will begin work on their first film, A Hard Day's Night, with director Richard Lester at Marylebone Station in London (not Paddington Station as it is often misquoted). Produced by Walter Shenson and released through United Artists Pictures, the film is a semi-fictionalized day in the life of the band written by Alun Owen. Budgeted at a modest £200,000 ($500,000 by today's U.S. currency), the film is shot in black and white, and will break new ground in film-making with its innovative cinematography, editing, and use of music. During the six weeks of filming, other location shooting will take place in at Thornbury Playing Fields in Isleworth, Middlesex ("Can't Buy Me Love" sequence); Scala Theatre in Camden (theater performance scenes); West Ealing, London ("Ringo dropping his coat on puddles for a lady to step on" sequence); and the interiors are shot at Twickenham Studios in London. It will be a huge success, grossing over $6 million at the box office in its original theatrical run.
 

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Music History Monday: February 23

Posted by Jeff Harris, February 23, 2015 10:14am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: February 23, 1968The Dock Of The Bay, the sixth album by Otis Redding, is released. Produced by Steve Cropper, it is recorded at Stax Studios in Memphis from July 11, 1965 - December 8, 1967. The first posthumous release from the legendary R&B vocalist features tracks from his final recording sessions cut just two days before his death, combined with unreleased material that dates as far back as 1965. The album also includes the hugely successful title track "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay," which will become a posthumous number one single on the pop and R&B singles chart in March of 1968. The Dock Of The Bay will spend three weeks (non-consecutive) at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, peaking at number four on the Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 


On this day in music history: February 23, 1980 - "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. Written by Freddie Mercury, it is the first US chart-topper for the British rock band. The song will come to Mercury while taking a bath in his room at the Munich Hilton. Quickly getting out of the bath, he'll run to the piano and begins playing the chords, writing them down before he forgets them. The song will be recorded at Musicland Studios in Munich, Germany during sessions for The Game. Initially, the band's US label Elektra Records, who do not think that the Elvis Presley-inspired rocker will be a hit and don't want to release a single with no album accompany it immediately, will refuse to release it. But they will be forced to when US radio stations begin playing imported copies of the 45 and listener demand for the record becomes too great to ignore. Issued as a single more than seven months ahead of the album, it will become an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #58 on December 22, 1979, it will climb to the top of the chart nine weeks later. "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Music History Monday: February 16

Posted by Jeff Harris, February 16, 2015 07:30am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: February 16, 1935 - Singer, songwriter, and producer Sonny Bono (born Salvatore Phillip Bono in Detroit, MI). Happy Birthday to Sonny on what would have been his 80th Birthday.
 


Born on this day: February 16, 1952 - Singer, songwriter and musician James Ingram (born James Edward Ingram in Akron, OH). Happy 63rd Birthday, James!
 

Born on this day: February 16, 1958 - Rapper and actor Ice-T (born Tracy Lauren Marrow in Newark, NJ). Happy 56th Birthday, Ice!
 


On this day in music history: February 16, 1980 - "The Second Time Around" by Shalamar hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for one week, also peaking at #8 on the Hot 100 on March 22, 1980. Written by Leon Sylvers III and William Shelby, it's the biggest hit single for the Los Angeles-based R&B vocal trio. Co-writer and producer Sylvers will write the melody and bassline, while Shelby (a member of the band Lakeside) will write the chords in the verse section with both collaborating on the lyrics. The song will be the first to feature new lead singer Howard Hewett who  replaces previous lead vocalist Gerald Brown in the group. Released as the first single from the group's third album Big Fun, it will give the trio their most successful single in the US. The song's popularity will extend to the dance floor when it becomes a club smash by way of an extended mix that is released as a 12" single. This remixed version will also be added to revised copies of Big Fun, replacing the original single version featured on the first pressing, during the single's run on the charts. "The Second Time Around" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Music History Monday: February 9

Posted by Jeff Harris, February 9, 2015 10:00am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: February 9, 1942 - Legendary singer, songwriter, and musician Carole King (born Carol Klein in New York, NY). Happy 73rd Birthday, Carole!
 


On this day in music history: February 9, 1957 - "Too Much" by Elvis Presley hits #1 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart for three weeks, also peaking at #3 on the Rhythm & Blues and Hot Country Singles charts on the same date. Written by Lee Rosenberg and Bernard Weisman, it is the fifth chart-topping single for the Tupelo, MS born rock & roll singer. Presley will record "Too Much" on September 2, 1956 at Radio Recorders in Hollywood during the same round of sessions that produce his previous #1 single "Love Me Tender." The original version was recorded by co-writer Weisman two years earlier in 1954 and released on Republic Records. Presley will perform the song publicly for the first time on The Ed Sullivan Show on January 6, 1957. Released just two days before the Sullivan appearance on January 4, 1957, the single will take off immediately. "Too Much" will enter the Best Seller chart at #16 on January 19, 1957, rocketing to the top two weeks later. It is the first of four songs to top the charts for Presley in 1957, and it will spend a combined total of 25 weeks at number one during the year. This will be the second time Elvis achieves this remarkable chart feat, having held down the top spot on the pop chart for 25 weeks in 1956 as well. "Too Much" is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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