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Music History Monday: March 24

Posted by Jeff Harris, March 24, 2014 07:30am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: March 24, 1975Chicago VIII, the eighth album by Chicago is released. Produced by James William Guercio, it is recorded at the Caribou Ranch in Nederland, CO from August - September 1974. The band's eighth album in just six years, compounded by non-stop exhaustive touring will find them short of new material. Many of the new album's songs will be written in the studio during the sessions for VIII. The album will also be first to feature percussionist Laudir de Oliviera. It will spin off two singles including "Old Days" (#5 Pop) and "Harry Truman" (#13 Pop). The original LP package will come with an iron on decal of the album cover art and a poster. In 2002, the album will be remastered and feature two previously unreleased tracks recorded during the original sessions but were left off of the original release. Chicago VIII will spend two weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 


On this day in music history: March 24, 1979 - "Tragedy" by The Bee Gees hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. Written by Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb, it is the eighth US chart-topper for the three brothers from the Isle of Man. Recorded at Criteria Studios in Miami in the Spring of 1978, the song is written during a particularly prolific period for the brothers Gibb. "Tragedy" is written in mid-1977 while The Bee Gees are filming Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. During this time they also write "Too Much Heaven" and "Shadow Dancing." The song's climactic explosion sound effects are created by the engineer recording several overdubs of Barry Gibb cupping his hands over the microphone while making the explosion sound with his mouth, combined with keyboardist Blue Weaver playing random notes on the bottom end of the piano with the sounds being heavy processed in the mix. Issued as a single in late January of 1979,  prior to the release of their first post-Saturday Night Fever album Spirits Having Flown, it is another immediate hit. Entering the Hot 100 at #29 on February 10, 1979, it will streak to the top of the chart six weeks later. "Tragedy" is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA. 
 

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Music History Monday: March 17

Posted by Jeff Harris, March 17, 2014 09:30am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: March 17, 1919 - Jazz and pop music icon Nat King Cole (born Nathaniel Adams Coles in Montgomery, AL). Happy Birthday to this musical giant on what would have been his 95th Birthday. We'll always love you, Nat!
 


On this day in music history: March 17, 1958 - "Tequila" by The Champs hits #1 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart for five weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart for four weeks on March 31, 1958. Written by Danny Flores (credited to the pseudonym "Chuck Rio" on the record), it is the biggest hit for the instrumental quintet from Los Angeles. The song is result of an in-studio jam at the end of a recording session, inspired by a recent trip that musician Danny Flores takes to Tijuana, Mexico. Because he is signed to another record label at the time, Flores will use the name "Chuck Rio" to mask his real identity. Originally released on actor and country music star Gene Autry's Challenge record label in January 1958 as the B-side of "Train To Nowhere" to minimal response, a DJ in Cleveland begins playing "Tequila" instead and changes history. Entering the Billboard Best Sellers chart on March 3, 1958 at #23, it jumps to #12 , and then pole vaults right to number one the following week.  The single will also win the first Grammy Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording in 1959. "Tequila" will have a very long life after The Champs have faded from the charts. "Tequila" will be covered many times over the years by numerous artists, with the original recording being featured in many films including Pee Wee's Big Adventure, The Sandlot, and Cheech & Chong's Next Movie as well as television shows such as Happy Days. "Tequila" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA and is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2001.
 

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Music History Monday: March 10

Posted by Jeff Harris, March 10, 2014 09:15am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: March 10, 1903 - Jazz music icon Bix Beiderbecke (born Leon Bismark Beiderbecke in Davenport, IA). Happy Birthday to this legendary jazz cornetist, and one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century, born 111 years ago today, and taken far too young at the age of 28 on August 6, 1931.
 


On this day in music history: March 10, 1967I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You, the eleventh album by Aretha Franklin is released. Produced by Jerry Wexler, it is recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL and Atlantic Studios in New York City from January - February 1967. Following the immediate breakout success of the single "I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)," producer Jerry Wexler will call Franklin and the musicians she recorded with in Alabama to New York City in early February to quickly record an album to accompany it. Racing through a week's worth of  recording sessions, the album will be completed and prepared for release. A huge critical and commercial success upon its release, the album will provide Franklin with her long awaited commercial breakthrough, and will also establish her as a major force in the music industry. It will spin off two singles including "Respect" (#1 R&B and Pop) and the title track (#1 R&B, #9 Pop). I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You will spend 14 weeks at #1 (non-consecutive) on the Billboard R&B album chart, three weeks at #2 on the Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Music History Monday: March 3

Posted by Jeff Harris, March 3, 2014 10:00am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: March 3, 1972Music of My Mind, the fourteenth studio album by Stevie Wonder is released. Produced by Stevie Wonder, Bob Margouleff, and Malcolm Cecil, it is recorded Media Sound Studios and Electric Lady Studios in New York City, and Crystal Industries in Los Angeles from mid 1971 - early 1972. After recording for Motown since the age of 12, Stevie Wonder's contract with the label expires when he turns 21 years old on May 13, 1971. In spite of millions in record sales and earnings generated, he will find that there is only $1 million held in trust for him. Instead of renewing his contract with Motown, he'll move to New York and begin working with Bob Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil of Tonto's Expanding Head Band who will assist him in taking his music to the next level. Experimenting with synthesizers, Wonder will block book studio time and record for several months before re-emerging with a new sound and career direction. Having fielded several offers from rival record companies, he will re-sign with Motown Records but strictly on his own terms. He will negotiate a deal that gives him complete artistic control, his own music publishing company, and one of the highest royalty rates in the music business. Released as the first album under his new deal, Music of My Mind will be a major turning point for Stevie Wonder, beginning an era that will produce some of his most critically acclaimed and commercially successful work. Spinning off two singles including "Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You)" (#13 R&B, #33 Pop), and "Keep On Running" (#36 R&B, #90 Pop), Music Of My Mind will peak at #6 on the Billboard R&B album chart and #21 on the Top 200.
 

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Music History Monday: February 24

Posted by Jeff Harris, February 24, 2014 09:00am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: February 24, 1973 - "Killing Me Softly With His Song" by Roberta Flack hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks, also peaking at #2 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox, it is the second number one pop single for the North Carolina-born singer, songwriter, and musician. Originally recorded by singer Lori Leiberman, the song is inspired by a poem she writes after seeing singer Don McLean ("American Pie") perform at The Troubadour nightclub in West Hollywood. She'll show the poem to her friend, lyricist Norman Gimbel, who will craft them into finished lyrics. Flack will see a picture of Leiberman in a magazine article about her and the song while flying from LA to New York. After hearing Leiberman's version, Flack will decide that she wants to record it herself. Her belief in the song's hit potential will be confirmed when she performs it live for the first time. In September of 1972 while appearing as Marvin Gaye's opening act at the Greek Theater, she'll perform "Killing Me Softly" during her encore and the crowd's reaction will be wildly enthusiastic. After her set, Gaye will tell her not to perform the song again live until she records it. Once in the studio, she'll spend nearly three months fine tuning the song before feeling that it's ready for release. Released as a single in January of 1973, it is an instant smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #54 on January 27, 1973, it will rocket to the top of the chart four weeks later. "Killing Me Softly With His Song" will win three Grammy Awards, including Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female and her second consecutive win for Record Of The Year. Gimbel And Fox will also win the award for Song Of The Year. In 1996, The Fugees will revive "Killing Me Softly," reaching #2 (for three weeks) on the Billboard Airplay Chart on June 22, 1996, and winning two Grammy Awards for their album The Score. Flack's version of "Killing Me Softly With His Song" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA, and is inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

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