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Music History Monday: May 21

Posted by Jeff Harris, May 21, 2012 05:40pm | Post a Comment
To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com

On this day in music history: May 21, 1955 - "Maybellene," the debut single by Chuck Berry is recorded. Cut at Universal Recording Studios in Chicago, Berry bases the tune on the traditional country song "Ida Red." Chess Records co-founder Leonard Chess feels the name is "too rural" sounding and suggests changing the title to "Maybellene." The song's then unusual hybrid of country & western and rhythm & blues supported by a big back beat along with its lyrical themes of fast cars and love gone wrong is instantly appealing to black and white audiences alike. Released in July, the single will be a huge hit right out of the gate, spending 11 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Rhythm & Blues chart and peaking at #5 on the Pop Best Sellers chart. "Maybellene" will go on to become one of the most influential songs in the history of rock & roll, inspiring dozens of cover versions with Berry's original recording being inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1988.


On this day in music history: May 21, 1963Recorded Live: The 12-Year Old Genius, the third album by (Little) Stevie Wonder is released. Produced by Berry Gordy, it is recorded at the Regal Theater in Chicago in June of 1962. Following the less than enthusiatic response to the young singer/musicians first two studio albums, Motown Records founder Gordy decides to capture Wonder in all of his excitement live on stage. One of the highlights of the performance is the song "Fingertips." Running at over six and a half minutes, it will be split into two parts for single release when it is issued in tandem with the album. DJ's will prefer Part II of the single, featuring the electrifying call and response between Stevie and the audience along with his virtuoso harmonica playing.  "Fingertips Pt. II" will hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks and six weeks on the R&B chart. The "Genius" album will hit #1 on the Top 200 on August 24th, making Wonder (at 13) the youngest artist in history to have a #1 album and single.

First hand Report: The Michael Jackson Memorial

Posted by Amoebite, July 9, 2009 02:13pm | Post a Comment
michael jackson wall

How was it?

It was good; sad, but it was great. I cried a lot. A LOT a lot. But it was great.

That's about all I can say when people ask how the Michael Jackson memorial went. I can't find the right words. I can't do it justice. All I can say is that I was very fortunate, I miss MJ, and I wish I could return the michael jacksonfavor to the Jackson family.

Being at the Staples Center Tuesday morning during the Michael Jackson memorial was unreal. My heart was consistently inconsistent -- skipping beats, then beating too fast in an attempt to catch up. I repeatedly caught myself staring at the people around me. Such an eclectic group of people, with only one common denominator: Michael Jackson. The same man responsible for my constant dancing, the same man that made me want to create things that weren't real, the same man that made me want to care about the world and people just a little bit more, and make it a better place as much as I can. Every single person there saw something in the same man. It truly is amazing, and he really is the greatest entertainer that ever lived, in the words of Berry Gordy. Music is THAT powerful, and when someone as passionate as Michael Jackson performs, it's unparalleled, and that is immediately recognized.

Tuesday morning started off as a chilly, cloudy, dark Los Angeles morning. The line of Michael fans wrapped through downtown and all had one common interest: paying respect. Thousands of fans gathered to honor their idol, hundreds of police officers gathered to maintain the crowds, hundreds of Staples Center employees got together to ensure everyone got the chance to participate in the tribute, news anchors and camera crews converged to document it, and dozens of his friends and family united in one place. Within an hour and a half of receiving Michael Jackson memorial 'programs', the ceremony michael jackson's casketbegan with the amazing Smokey Robinson followed by a very awkward 8 minutes of silence. It was during that time that I looked at the stage that I had been staring at for the past hour and finally realized that the white rug lined with brilliant flowers was for none other than the casket, and within seconds of figuring it out, it became real, and Michael Jackson's casket was in front of my eyes, in front of the world's eyes. I lost it. I obviously knew going in that it was a memorial, but I didn't expect to lose it like I did. It was a different sorrow than what I had been feeling for the 12 days prior; it was real. This truly was it, there was no middle man, no media to tell me that MJ isn't here. I could see it, and that was a huge truth to wrap my head around.

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Michael Jackson's Funeral - Tell em That Is Human Nature

Posted by Miss Ess, July 7, 2009 01:50pm | Post a Comment
I found myself more emotional than I expected watching Michael Jackson's funeral today.

michael jackson

Basically, Stevie Wonder's performance shredded me, with a combo of "I Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer"/"They Won't Go When I Go," one of his most powerful songs.

Watching the service made me think about nostalgia, and in spite of myself and my own feelings about the circus known as Michael Jackson, mainly reminded me of something I was surprised to have forgotten: the power of music to unite, to heal and to inspire. The service presented in some ways (and in some performances) portraits from a different time not only culturally, but also in the music industry, when music had that power to unite, to surprise and delight us on a grand scale.


I hadn't listened to Jackson that much, really, since the early 90s. I wouldn't call myself a huge fan of his music, but like everyone the world over, his music was nonetheless the soundtrack to my life. In my case, it was Thriller, then Bad and Dangerous, but his work stretched amichael jackson thrillerll the way back to "ABC," and though he had been much maligned over the last few decades, his music and its influence have both been undeniable and inescapable.

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