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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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Music History Monday: October 14

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 14, 2013 11:02am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: October 14, 1967 - "Soul Man" by Sam & Dave hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for seven weeks, also peaking at #2 for three weeks on the Hot 100 on November 4, 1967. Written and produced by Isaac Hayes and David Porter, it will be the biggest hit for the R&B vocal duo. Songwriter and producer Isaac Hayes will come up with the initial idea for the song while watching television coverage of the riots in Detroit in July of 1967 between the police and African American citizens. Hayes will notice that residents had marked homes and businesses with the word "soul" to signify that they were African American owned and therefore not destroyed by rioters. Collaborating with longtime songwriting partner David Porter, the two will write the lyrics together. The track is recorded at Stax Studios in Memphis and features instrumental backing by Booker T. & The MG's. With its message of overcoming personal struggles and rising above adverse conditions, the song will also become an anthem of the Civil Rights Movement. "Soul Man" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 


On this day in music history: October 14, 1972 - "Ben" by Michael Jackson hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week, also peaking at #5 on the R&B singles chart. Written by Don Black and Walter Scharf, it is the first solo number one for the young Motown superstar. Written as the title song to the sequel of the 1971 film Willard, Walter Scharf (Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory) will be hired to write a theme song for the film. Scharf will call lyricist Don Black ("To Sir With Love," "Born Free") and ask him to write the lyrics. When the song is completed, singer Donny Osmond will be asked to sing the song, but due to scheduling conflicts he is unavailable to record it. Black will suggest Michael Jackson, and Jackson (a lover of animals, also owning several pet rats at the time) will enthusiatically agree to record the song. Entering the Hot 100 at #85 on August 5, 1972,  it will climb to the top of the chart ten weeks later. 14-years-old at the time, it will make Jackson the third youngest artist in history to reach #1 on the US singles chart. "Ben" will also be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
 

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Music History Monday: October 7

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 7, 2013 11:14am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: October 7, 1963Little Deuce Coupe, the fourth album by The Beach The Beach BoysBoys, is released. Produced by Brian Wilson and Murry Wilson, it is recorded at Western Recorders in Hollywood in April 1962; January 31, 1963; June 12, 1963; and July 16, 1963. Following the release of the Capitol Records compilation album Shut Down, Coupe is produced as a companion piece, featuring more songs about hot rods and Southern California car culture. It is the first album by the band to be produced solely by Brian Wilson (except for two tracks) and marks the beginning of Wilson exerting more control over the production of their music. Regarded as one of the best of The Beach Boys' early albums, it is also the last to feature rhythm guitarist David Marks. Al Jardine will return to the band permanently (when he drops out of college) following Marks' departure after an argument with manager Murry Wilson. It will spin off several classics including "409" (#76 Pop), "Be True To Your School" (re-recorded for single release and mixed in mono) (#6 Pop), "Shut Down" (#23 Pop), and the title track (#15 Pop). Little Deuce Coupe will peak at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Music History Monday: September 30

Posted by Jeff Harris, September 30, 2013 11:55am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: September 30, 1943 - Singer and television host Marilyn McCoo (born in Jersey City, NJ). Happy 70th birthday to this very lovely and talented lady. ♥ you, Marilyn!
 


Born on this day: September 30, 1954 - Singer, songwriter, and musician extraordinaire Patrice Rushen (born Patrice Louise Rushen in Los Angeles, CA). Happy 59th birthday, Patrice! We love you, Baby Fingers!
 


On this day in music history: September 30, 1963Heat Wave, the second album by Martha & The Vandellas is released. Produced by Holland - Dozier - Holland and William "Mickey" Stevenson, it is recorded at Motown Studio A in Detroit from early - mid 1963. The album features the title track "(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave" (the groups' then current hit single), which is also their first Top 10 pop hit (#1 R&B, #4 Pop). The single will also earn a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group in 1964, making Martha & The Vandellas the first Motown act to be nominated for a Grammy Award. Much of the album includes several cover versions of recent hits including "If I Had A Hammer," "Then He Kissed Me," and "Mockingbird." It will also be the last album to feature original member Annette Beard, who will be replaced by Betty Kelly. Heat Wave will peak at #125 on the Billboard Top 200.
 

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Music History Monday: September 23

Posted by Jeff Harris, September 23, 2013 12:35pm | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: September 23, 1926 - Jazz music icon John Coltrane (born John William Coltrane in Hamlet, NC). Happy Birthday to this jazz giant on what would have been his 87th Birthday.
 


Born on this day: September 23, 1930 - "The Genius" Ray Charles (born Ray Charles Robinson in Albany, GA). Happy Birthday to this musical icon on what would have been his 83rd Birthday.
 


Born on this day: September 23, 1949 - Rock music icon Bruce Springsteen (born Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen in Long Branch, NJ). Happy 64th Birthday to the Boss!
 


On this day in music history: September 23, 1967 - “The Letter” by The Box Tops hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. Written by Wayne Carson Thompson, it is the debut single and biggest hit for the Memphis quintet fronted by lead singer Alex Chilton. Songwriter Thompson ("Always On My Mind") will be inspired to write "The Letter" when his father comes up with the lyric "give me a ticket for an aeroplane." Thompson will quickly write the rest of the lyrics and melody around that line. Once the song is complete, Thompson will take it to his friend, producer Chips Moman who also owns American Recording Studios in Memphis. Moman in turn will tell his songwriting partner Dan Penn about the song. Penn is working with a young rock band featuring a sixteen-year-old lead vocalist Alex Chilton. Penn will hear the song and decide that it is perfect for his young charges first release. Recorded in the spring of 1967, the band (with songwriter Thompson also playing guitar on the session) will cut the track in about eight hours, recording 30 takes to come up with the final master. For the final touch, Penn will overdub the sound of a airplane flying over toward the end of the song. When Moman objects to the addition, Penn will threaten to cut up the tape with a razor blade rather than remove the sound effect. Moman will allow it to remain on the finished record. At the time the band records the single, they do not have a name. One of the members will jokingly suggest that people “send in 50 cents and a box top” with their possible group name. From that, the band will be dubbed "The Box Tops." Released in July of 1967 on Bell Records' Mala imprint, “The Letter” will enter the Hot 100 at #85 on August 12, 1967, leaping to the top of the chart six weeks later. The song will be covered by a number of artists including The Arbors, The Ventures, and Don Fardon. Joe Cocker will have the second most successful recording of the song when his version hits #7 on the Hot 100 in June of 1970. The Box Tops' version of "The Letter" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 

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