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Music History Monday: November 18

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 18, 2013 11:35am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: November 18, 1972 - "If You Don't Know Me By Now" by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for two weeks, also peaking at #3 on the Hot 100 on December 9, 1972. Written and produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, it is the first major hit for the Philadelphia vocal quintet. Lead singer Teddy Pendergrass will initially join The Blue Notes as their drummer, but will move front and center when Harold Melvin discovers that he can sing. Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes will be among the first acts signed to Gamble & Huff's Philadelphia International Records in 1971. "If You Don't Know Me By Now" is originally written for the Chicago-based R&B group The Dells, but will not recording it when they can't reach a deal with their record label. Instead, it is given to The Blue Notes and is released as their second single, becoming an immediate smash on both pop and R&B radio. "If You Don't Know Me By Now" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 


On this day in music history: November 18, 1974The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, the sixth album by Genesis is released. Produced by Genesis and John Burns, it is recorded at Island Mobile Studios in Wales, UK from August - October 1974. The 23-track double LP is a concept album centering around the character Rael and his surreal odyssey while searching for his brother John. The majority of the songs are written by the band with the exception of Peter Gabriel who is largely absent from the writing and rehearsal sessions due to his wife experiencing major complications while having their first child. When Gabriel returns, he'll insist on writing and in some cases re-writing lyrics to certain songs, which will create friction between band members during the recording sessions. It will become their most successful release to date in the US and is regarded as one of the best progressive rock albums of all time. It will also be the final album to feature original lead vocalist Peter Gabriel, who will leave the band following the subsequent tour in support of the record. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway will peak at #10 on the UK album chart, peaking at #41 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA. Check out the 7" single!
 

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Music History Monday: November 11

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 11, 2013 12:14pm | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: November 11, 1968 Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins by John Lennon and Yoko Ono is released (UK release date is on November 29, 1968). Produced by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, it is recorded at Kenwood Sun Room (John Lennon home studio) in Weybridge, Surrey, UK on May 19, 1968. The avant garde recording is the result of an all-night recording session consisting of tape loops combined with minimal instrumentation, sound effects, and ad-libbed dialogue between Lennon and Ono. The album will become infamous for its cover art which feature photos of the couple naked on both the front and back of the LP. This will stir up such great controversy that Apple Records' US distributor Capitol Records and UK distributor EMI will refuse to handle the album. Tetragrammaton Records will distribute it in the US, while Track Records will distribute it in the UK (limited to only 5,000 copies). Retailers outraged by the nudity on the cover will only agree to sell it if it is packaged in a brown paper bag. Though in one instance, 30,000 copies of the album are seized from a distributor in New Jersey. Treated more as a curiosity by fans, the album will be officially reissued in the US by Rykodisc in 1997. Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins will peak at #124 on the Billboard Top 200.

On this day in music history: November 11, 1975Gratitude, the seventh album by Earth, Wind & Fire is released. Produced by Maurice White, Charles Stepney, and Joe Wissert (live tracks), it is recorded in Chicago, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Atlanta, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC from late 1974 - mid 1975 (live tracks) and Hollywood Sound and Wally Heider Studios in Hollywood in June of 1975 (studio tracks). Following their huge breakthrough success with "That's The Way Of The World," Columbia Records will request another album from the band to be released in time for the 1975 Christmas holiday season. Not having enough time or new material written to record a brand new studio album, they begin recording their live shows. The finished album will be a two-LP set with three sides of live material and a fourth side with five new songs. It will spin off the hits "Sing A Song" (#1 R&B, #5 Pop) and "Can't Hide Love (#11 R&B, #39 Pop). The album will be regarded by many fans and critics as one of the best live recordings of all time. "Gratitude" will spend three weeks at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, six weeks (non-consecutive) on the R&B album chart, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Music History Monday: November 4

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 4, 2013 10:23am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: November 4, 1970The Man Who Sold The World, the third album by David Bowie is released. Produced by Tony Visconti, it is recorded at Trident Studios and Advision Studios in London from April 18 - May 22, 1970. Following his breakthrough success in the UK with the single and album Space Oddity in the Fall of 1969, David Bowie will return to the studio in the spring of 1970 to record the follow up. The album features musicians that form the nucleus of the Spiders From Mars Band, which include guitarist Mick Ronson and drummer Mick Woodmansey, and also marks the birth of the glam rock movement. The title track will become one of Bowie's best known and loved songs. It will be influential on numerous musicians including The Cure, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Gary Numan, Nine Inch Nails, and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana.Cobain will record a cover version on their MTV Unplugged in New York album in 1993. The Man Who Sold The Earth's original cover photo featuring Bowie wearing a dress will not be issued in the US, and is replaced with a cartoon drawing. The album will peak at #26 on the UK album chart and #105 on the Billboard Top 200.
 

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Music History Monday: October 28

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 28, 2013 12:12pm | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: October 28, 1964 - The T.A.M.I. Show (Teen Age Music International) is filmed in Santa Monica. Produced by Bill Sargeant and directed by Steve Binder (Elvis '68 Comeback Special), it is filmed over two days (October 28 - 29, 1964) at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. The concerts feature performances by The Barbarians, The Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Lesley Gore, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Gerry & The Pacemakers, and The Rolling Stones. The unquestionable highlight of the film is a showstopping performance by James Brown & The Famous Flames. Shot with Electronovision television cameras (a early predecessor to high definition television), the best footage from the two nights will be edited into the final film, which is released theatrically on December 29, 1964. The T.A.M.I. Show will be seen as a seminal event in Rock & Roll history, which will be further confirmed when it is named to The National Film Registry by the U.S. Library Of Congress in 2006. Rarely seen in complete form since its original release (with the exception of video tape bootlegs), Dick Clark Productions will acquire the rights to the film. After numerous delays, it will finally be restored and released in its entirety on DVD by Shout Factory in March of 2010.
 

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Music History Monday: October 21

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 21, 2013 11:05am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: October 21, 1957 - "Jailhouse Rock" by Elvis Presley hits #1 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart for seven weeks, also topping the Country singles chart for one week on December 2, 1957 and peaking at #2 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, it is the eighth chart topper for Presley in under a year and a half. Recorded as the title song from his third film, the track recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood on April 30, 1957. The song name checks a number of real people including musician Shifty Henry and the 1920's mobsters The Purple Gang. "Jailhouse Rock" is backed with the song "Treat Me Nice," which is also included in the film. It will peak at #18 on pop singles chart on October 28, 1957. The film will also open on the same date and top the box office charts simultaneously. Presley will also make history as being the only artist to ever dominate the top of the singles chart for 25 weeks during one calendar year. He will do it in both 1956 and 1957.
 


On this day in music history: October 21, 1967 - "To Sir With Love" by Lulu hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks. Written by Don Black and Mark London, it is the biggest hit for the Scottish-born singer and actress (born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie in Lennoxtown, Stirlingshire, Scotland). It is the theme song to the Sidney Poiter film about a teacher dealing with social and racial issues in a tough Secondary school in East London. Also co-starring in the film, Lulu will introduce her friend Mark London to the film's producers after they cannot find a suitable song for the main theme. London will write the music in just five minutes, with lyricist Don Black penning the lyrics the next day. When the single is released in the US, Epic Records will place "To Sir With Love" on B-side of "The Boat That I Row" (written by Neil Diamond). American radio DJ's will prefer the flipside and "Sir" will take off quickly. Entering the Hot 100 at #74 on September 9, 1967 it will race up the chart, hitting #1 six weeks later. Certified Gold in the US by the RIAA, "To Sir With Love" will be ranked the top single of 1967 as determined by Billboard Magazine.
 

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