On this day in music history: June 24, 1967 - Headquarters, the third studio album by The Monkees hits #1 on the Billboard Top 200 for one week. Produced by Chip Douglas (aka Douglas Farthing Hatlelid), it is recorded at RCA Music Center of the World Studios, Studio C from February 23 - March 22, 1967. By early 1967, The Monkees are at loggerheads with Screen Gems, the company responsible for producing their hit television series. Though highly successful, the band is unhappy (especially Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork who are both accomplished musicians) at having virtually no creative input or being allowed to play on their records. They will lobby for and win the right to play on their own records, which leads to the ouster of music supervisor Don Kirshner. The Monkees will lock themselves in the recording studio for four weeks while working on their third album. Writing a lion's share of the material included on the LP, many of the songs will be worked out while jamming together live in the studio. No singles will be released in the US, but it will spin off a major hit single in the UK with the Micky Dolenz-penned "Randy Scouse Git" (re-titled "Alternate Title") (#2 UK). The album will be another major success for the band, quickly rising to #1, but will be bumped from the top spot by The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band the following week, spending an additional 11 weeks in the runner up position. In time, it will be regarded as one of The Monkees best albums. Headquarters is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
Born on this day: June 17, 1943 - Singer, songwriter, producer and musician Barry Manilow (born Barry Alan Pincus in Brooklyn, NY). Happy 70th Birthday, Barry!
On this day in music history: June 17, 1978 - "Shadow Dancing" by Andy Gibb hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks. Written by Barry, Robin, Maurice, and Andy Gibb, it is the third consecutive chart topper for the singer and songwriter from The Isle of Man, UK. While his debut single "I Just Want To Be Your Everything" and the accompanying album Flowing Rivers are steadily climbing the charts in the US and abroad, singer Andy Gibb, with the assistance of his older brothers The Bee Gees will begin work on his second album. All four brothers will collaborate on the Shadow Dancing album while The Bee Gees are filming Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in L.A. in mid-1977. Recording will begin at Wally Heider Studios in Los Angeles with overdubs and final mixing completed at Criteria Studios in Miami. Released as a single in April of 1978, it will quickly become a smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #69 on April 15, 1978, it will rise to the top of the chart nine weeks later. Gibb, at only twenty years old, will become the first solo artist in history to have his first three singles reach #1 in the US, achieving this feat in just 11 months. "Shadow Dancing" is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA, selling over 2.5 million copies in the US alone, and will be ranked at the top single of 1978 by Billboard Magazine.
On this day in music history: June 10, 1972 - "The Candy Man" by Sammy Davis, Jr. hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks, also topping the Adult Contemporary chart for two weeks on May 20th. Written by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse, it is the biggest hit for the Harlem, NY-born singer, actor, and entertainer. The song is originally written for the film Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory in 1971. The original version of the song is sung by actor Aubrey Woods in the film. Entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr. will record "The Candy Man" shortly after the release of Willy Wonka and is included on his album Sammy Davis Jr. Now! The track is produced by MGM Records president Mike Curb, legendary producer/arranger Don Costa, and Michael Viner (Incredible Bongo Band). It also features background vocals by theMike Curb Congregation who had previously recorded it before Davis, but failed to chart with it. Entering the Hot 100 at #97 on March 11, 1972, it will climb to the top of the chart thirteen weeks later. "The Candy Man" will be certified Gold in the US by the RIAA, selling over two million copies in the US.
Born on this day: June 3, 1950 - Singer and songwriter Deniece Williams (born June Deniece Chandler in Gary, IN). Happy 63rd Birthday, Niecy!
Born on this day: June 3, 1942 - Singer, songwriter, and musician Curtis Mayfield (born Curtis Lee Mayfield in Chicago, IL). Happy Birthday to this R&B icon on what would have been his 71st Birthday. We love and miss you, Curtis!!
On this day in music history: June 3, 1972 - Obscured By Clouds, the seventh studio album by Pink Floyd is released. Produced by Pink Floyd, it is recorded at the Chateau d'Herouville, Herouville in Ile-de-France in February and March of 1972. The album features music (six tracks with vocals and four instrumentals) from the soundtrack of director Barbet Schroeder's film La Vallee (The Valley). It is the band's second collaboration with the French film director, having composed the music for his 1969 film More. Pink Floyd will record Clouds just prior to the sessions for their next studio album, The Dark Side Of The Moon, at Abbey Road Studios in London beginning in June. Working under a tight schedule, the band will complete recording of their film score in just two weeks of studio time, following Schroeder's rough cut of the film to create specific music cues and interludes. The albums' enigmatic cover art (designed by regular graphic collaborators Hipgnosis) features a deeply out of focus photo of a man sitting in a tree. Obscured By Clouds will peak at #6 on the UK album chart, #46 on the Billboard Top 200, and will be certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.