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Music History Monday: August 25

Posted by Jeff Harris, August 25, 2014 12:03am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: August 25, 1949 - Gene Simmons (born Chaim Weitz in Tirat Carmel, Haifa, Israel), bassist and vocalist of KISS. Happy 65th Birthday, Gene!
 



Born on this day: August 25, 1954 - Singer, songwriter, and musician Elvis Costello (born Declan Patrick MacManus in Paddington, London, UK). Happy 60th Birthday, Elvis!


Remembering singer and actress Aaliyah (born Aaliyah Dana Haughton in Brooklyn, NY), January 16, 1979 - August 25, 2001.
 


On this day in music history: August 25, 1975 - Born To Run, the third album by Bruce Springsteen is released. Produced by Bruce Springsteen, Mike Appel, and Jon Landau, it is recorded at 914 Sound Studios in Blauvelt, NY and The Record Plant in New York City from January 1974 - July 1975. After the poor initial sales of his first two albums, Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ and The Wild, The Innocent, And The E Street Shuffle, the critical third album will be Springsteen's last shot to prove his commercial viability or be dropped by his label Columbia Records. Springsteen and his band will spend over 14 months in the studio laboring over the album until he feels it is perfect. Even upon completion of the album, Springsteen will still be unsure and nervous about its chances in the commercial marketplace. His doubts will be quelled after he leaks an early version of the title track to rock radio. The positive response it receives will stoke demand for the album among the musician's loyal fanbase and will finally attract the attention of radio. Upon its release, Born To Run will be a commercial and artistic triumph for the New Jersey-born rocker, spinning off two singles including the title track (#23 Pop), with several other songs on the the album ("Thunder Road," Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out," "Backstreets," "She's The One") becoming rock radio staples and highlights of Springsteen's epic live concert performances. The album's iconic cover photo (taken by photographer Eric Meola), features Bruce holding his trademark '53 Fender Esquire while leaning on saxophonist Clarence Clemons shoulder. The picture is taken during a three hour long photo shoot and is selected out of 900 frames shot by the photographer. The cover will become most of the most imitated and parodied images in rock history. In 2005, the album will be reissued as a three disc box set to commemorate its 30th anniversary. It will include a remastered version of the original album and two DVDs. The first being an extensive documentary about the making of the landmark album titled "Wings For Wheels," which will win a Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video in 2007. The third disc is a complete and previously unreleased live concert filmed at the Hammersmith Odeon in London in November of 1975 and additional footage from a show filmed at Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles in May of 1973. Born To Run will peak at number three on the Billboard Top 200 and is certified 6x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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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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Music History Monday: September 16

Posted by Jeff Harris, September 16, 2013 11:55am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: September 16, 1963 - "She Loves You" by The Beatles is released in the US. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it is the band's third single to be released in the US. Lennon and McCartney will begin writing the song while The Beatles are touring the UK with fellow Liverpudlians Gerry & The Pacemakers and American star Roy Orbison in June of 1963. They will finish writing it over the next couple of days before recording it at Abbey Road Studios on July 1, 1963. The single's B-side, "I'll Get You," will also be recorded during the same session. The single is released by Philadelphia-based indie label Swan Records after it is offered to both Capitol and Vee Jay Records who both turn it down. At first, the single will receive only minimal exposure and fails to make the Billboard Hot 100. After the band breaks through with "I Want To Hold Your Hand" a few months later, Swan will reissue "She Loves You" in January of 1964 and it will re-enter the chart hitting #1 on the Hot 100 on March 21, 1964, becoming their second million-selling single in the US. Swan Records will also release the bands German language version of the song titled "Sie Liebt Dich" (recorded in Paris on January 29, 1964 during the same recording session for "Can't Buy Me Love" and the German version of "I Want To Hold Your Hand," titled "Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand") on May 21, 1964, following the chart topping success of the original version. However, it will sell poorly, peaking at #97 on the Hot 100 on June 27, 1964.
 

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New Documentary To Chronicle Boston's Garage Punk History

Posted by Billyjam, September 12, 2013 11:44am | Post a Comment

Boys From Nowhere: The Story of Boston's Garage Punk Uprising trailer 2013

The announcement over the past week via the above video trailer of an exciting sounding forthcoming documentary on the history of Boston garage / punk titled Boys From Nowhere: The Story of Boston's Garage Punk Uprising  got me thinking about all the great punk music that came out of Beantown - most of which I personally learned about via college radio and buying records like the compilation "This Is Boston Not LA." The documentary, that features the godfather of Boston punk (and punk in general) Jonathan Richman, looks like it will be really good and well worth seeing - especially for fans of music from this region. Below are a few live videos of three Boston bands featured in this new documentary. These include The Real Kids in 1982 live  on TV, the Nervous Eaters live in Cambridge, MA back in 1979 performing the songs "Degenerate" and "Loretta," and (from that same year) The Neighborhoods on a local Boston TV show when the pop hook driven band performed both "Prettiest Girl" and "No Place Like Home." For up to the minute updates on the documentary keep up on Facebook.


Nervous Eaters "Degenerate" & "Loretta" (Live, 1979)

Boston Actor/Rapper Slaine of La Coka Nostra Balances Active Hip-Hop And Movie Careers

Posted by Billyjam, January 10, 2013 11:11am | Post a Comment

Slaine "The Boston Project" sneak peak (will arrive in Amoeba in March, 2013)

More than any other popular musical genre hip-hop seems to be the one that artists frequently and effortlessly transition from music into acting. The long list of those hip-hop artists who have successfully done so includes (to name but a few) Ice Cube, Will Smith, Queen Latifah, 50 Cent, Mos Def/Yasiin Bey, Common, LL Cool J, Ice T, Ludacris, EminemSnoop Dogg, and of course the late great 2Pac/Tupac Shakur. Add to that list Slaine of rap super group La Coka Nostra. The Boston rapper, born George Carroll, is in the recently released Andrew Dominik directed film Killing Them Softly (starring Brad Pitt and James Gandolfini) and has also recently completed his second solo album, The Boston Project on Suburban Noize/Commonwealth Records, which will arrive in Amoeba Music in March, 2013.

Slaine considers his forthcoming album (the follow up to 2011's World With No Skies 2.0) his way of giving a little bit back to the city that he loves and that has given him so much over the years. He says that, "When most people think of Boston, hip-hop usually isn't the first thing that comes to mind, but the level of talent that is coming out of this city is insane. I wanted to create a record that highlights what this city has to offer musically and show how diverse the talent is. This record embodies something much larger than just a Slaine record." To further prove that point he enlisted many of Beantown's finest talents on the The Boston Project including Termanology, Reks, Esoteric, Ed O.G., Smoke Bulga, Lou Armstrong, Jaysaun, and Millyz along with Boston based producer Lu Balz.

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