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Music History Monday: July 8

Posted by Jeff Harris, July 8, 2013 02:30pm | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: July 8, 1950 - "Mona Lisa" by Nat King Cole hits #1 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart for eight weeks, also topping the Rhythm & Blues charts for four weeks on September 2nd. Written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston, the song is featured in the film Captain Carey, U.S.A. starring Alan Ladd. Arranged by Nelson Riddle and with instrumental backing by Les Baxter & His Orchestra, Cole's version of the song is featured on the film's soundtrack. "Mona Lisa" will win the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1951, quickly becoming a pop standard and is covered by numerous artists over the years, though Cole' version will be regarded as the definitive version. Nat King Cole's recording of "Mona Lisa" will be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1992.
 


On this day in music history: July 8, 1957 - "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear" by Elvis Presley hits #1 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart, also topping the Country & Western chart for one week on August 5th and the Rhythm & Blues chart for one week on September 2nd. Written by Kal Mann and Bernie Lowe, it is the rock & roll icon's seventh number one single in just under 15 months. Songwriters Mann and Lowe (co-founders of Philadelphia based Cameo-Parkway Records) will hear of a rumor started (no one is certain where or by whom) that Elvis Presley collected teddy bears, leading his fans to send him thousands of the cuddly toys. That will provide the inspiration for the pair to write the song for Presley's second film, Loving You. The track is recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood on January 24, 1957 with Presley's regular band including Scotty Moore (guitar), Bill Black (bass), D.J. Fontana (drums), and The Jordanaires (background vocals). Entering the Best Sellers chart at #23 on June 24, 1957, it will pole vault to the top of the chart two weeks later. "Teddy Bear" will quickly sell over two million copies in the US, and is the third of four chart topping singles for Elvis during 1957. Presley will become the only artist in history to hold the top spot on the pop singles chart for 25 weeks, which he will do consecutively in both 1956 and 1957.
 

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Music History Monday: July 1

Posted by Jeff Harris, July 1, 2013 11:19am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: July 1, 1945 - Singer and songwriter Debbie Harry of Blondie (born Deborah Ann Harry in Miami, FL). Happy 68th Birthday, Debbie!
 

Born on this day: July 1, 1951 - The B-52's lead singer and songwriter Fred Schneider (born Frederick William Schneider III in Newark, NJ). Happy 62nd Birthday, Fred!
 


Born on this day: July 1, 1960 - R&B vocal legend Evelyn "Champagne" King (born in the Bronx, NY). Happy 53rd Birthday, Evelyn! (See pictures from Evelyn's in-store at Amoeba SF!)
 

Born on this day: July 1, 1971 - Singer/rapper/songwriter and producer Missy Elliott (born Melissa Arnette Elliott in Portsmouth, VA). Happy 42nd Birthday, Missy!!
 

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Music History Monday: June 24

Posted by Jeff Harris, June 24, 2013 11:00am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: June 24, 1967Headquarters, 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.
 

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Music History Monday: June 17

Posted by Jeff Harris, June 17, 2013 12:30pm | Post a Comment

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

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.
 

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Music History Monday: June 10

Posted by Jeff Harris, June 10, 2013 10:03am | Post a Comment

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

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 the Mike 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.
 

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