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Music History Monday: November 17

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 17, 2014 10:14am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: November 17, 1962 - "Big Girls Don't Cry" by The Four Seasons hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart for three weeks on the same date. Written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio, it is the second consecutive chart-topping single for the New Jersey-based quartet fronted by singer Frankie Valli. The song's title is inspired by a line in the 1955 western Tennessee's Partner in which the actor John Payne slaps actress Rhonda Fleming in the face, and she replies, "Big girls don't cry." Like its predecessor "Sherry," it will storm the charts quickly. Entering the Hot 100 at #66 on October 20, 1962, it will zoom to the top of the chart just four weeks later. Twenty five years after its original release, the song will also be heard in the film and featured on the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing. "Big Girls Don't Cry" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 


On this day in music history: November 17, 1971 - Live-Evil, the 38th album by Miles Davis, is released. Produced by Teo Macero, it is recorded at The Cellar Door in Washington DC on December 19, 1970, and at Columbia Studio B from February - June 1970. The half live/half in-studio recorded double LP set consists of eight extended electric based jams featuring Davis supported by musicians such as Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Michael Henderson, Jack DeJohnette, Billy Cobham, Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland, Airto Moreira, and Keith Jarrett. Originally conceived as a continuation of the landmark Bitches Brew, it will differ greatly from its predecessor by incorporating more rock and funk elements. It will be well received upon its release and is considered a pioneering jazz/funk recording, as well as one of the cornerstones of Davis's "Electric Period." The album's distinctive cover art was created by artist Mati Klarwein, best known for cover art on Bitches Brew and Santana's Abraxas. Davis will tell Klarwein that he wants something representing "life" on the front cover, and something representing "evil" on the back. The front will feature a painting of a pregnant African woman, while the back features a grotesque looking amphibian like creature in a powered wig clutching its belly. The latter painting is inspired by a picture that the artist sees of infamous FBI director J. Edgar Hoover on the cover of Time Magazine. "Live-Evil" will peak at number 125 on the Billboard Top 200 and number four on the Jazz chart.
 

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Music History Monday: November 3

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 3, 2014 10:07am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: November 3, 1962 - "He's A Rebel" by The Crystals hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. Written by Gene Pitney, it is biggest hit for the New York-based girl group. The song is originally written for The Shirelles who will turn it down. Producer Phil Spector will hear the song and immediately want to record it with his group The Crystals. Spector soon discovers that Vikki Carr has already recorded it (with producer Snuff Garrett) and it is about to be released as a single. The Crystals are on tour at the time on the East Coast and are not available. Not wasting any time, Spector has Darlene Love & The Blossoms record it instead, but releases it under The Crystals name. Cut at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood with members of The Wrecking Crew, the single is rush released in late August of 1962. Entering the Hot 100 at #98 on September 8, 1962, The Crystals version will shoot to the top of the chart eight weeks later, while Vikki Carr's bubbles under at #115. Carr will not debut on the Hot 100 until September of 1967 with her breakthrough hit "It Must Be Him" (#3 Pop).
 

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Music History Monday: November 11

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 11, 2013 12:14pm | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: November 11, 1968 Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins by John Lennon and Yoko Ono is released (UK release date is on November 29, 1968). Produced by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, it is recorded at Kenwood Sun Room (John Lennon home studio) in Weybridge, Surrey, UK on May 19, 1968. The avant garde recording is the result of an all-night recording session consisting of tape loops combined with minimal instrumentation, sound effects, and ad-libbed dialogue between Lennon and Ono. The album will become infamous for its cover art which feature photos of the couple naked on both the front and back of the LP. This will stir up such great controversy that Apple Records' US distributor Capitol Records and UK distributor EMI will refuse to handle the album. Tetragrammaton Records will distribute it in the US, while Track Records will distribute it in the UK (limited to only 5,000 copies). Retailers outraged by the nudity on the cover will only agree to sell it if it is packaged in a brown paper bag. Though in one instance, 30,000 copies of the album are seized from a distributor in New Jersey. Treated more as a curiosity by fans, the album will be officially reissued in the US by Rykodisc in 1997. Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins will peak at #124 on the Billboard Top 200.

On this day in music history: November 11, 1975Gratitude, the seventh album by Earth, Wind & Fire is released. Produced by Maurice White, Charles Stepney, and Joe Wissert (live tracks), it is recorded in Chicago, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Atlanta, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC from late 1974 - mid 1975 (live tracks) and Hollywood Sound and Wally Heider Studios in Hollywood in June of 1975 (studio tracks). Following their huge breakthrough success with "That's The Way Of The World," Columbia Records will request another album from the band to be released in time for the 1975 Christmas holiday season. Not having enough time or new material written to record a brand new studio album, they begin recording their live shows. The finished album will be a two-LP set with three sides of live material and a fourth side with five new songs. It will spin off the hits "Sing A Song" (#1 R&B, #5 Pop) and "Can't Hide Love (#11 R&B, #39 Pop). The album will be regarded by many fans and critics as one of the best live recordings of all time. "Gratitude" will spend three weeks at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, six weeks (non-consecutive) on the R&B album chart, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Paloma Faith

Posted by Amoebite, July 10, 2013 11:53am | Post a Comment

Paloma

The amamazingly talented Paloma Faith recently visited Amoeba Hollywood to do a little shopping. Faith is known for her polished soulful vocal style and her outlandish stage show. Her exuberant personality and elegant aesthetic has led her to be cast in many film and TV roles. She sings, she performs and she acts! An all around talent who has great taste in music. While shopping at Amoeba, Paloma dug up some of her most favorite influences. She picked up the classic At Last! album by Etta James on vinyl, along with Nina Simone's Pastel Blues, also on vinyl. From '70s Chaka Khan to '80s Prince, Paloma Faith only digs for vinyl. She's a bonafide movie buff with eccentric tastes in directors. She took home Blue Velvet by David Lynch on DVD along with a copy of 2046 by director Won Kar-Wai.

She tells an awesome story about spending a weekend with Prince and performing on stage with Chaka Khan! Paloma also reveals that she owns the exact same record player as seen in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. She is serious about her vinyl! Watch this very entertaining episode of  What's In My Bag? with Paloma Faith.

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Music History Monday: October 15

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 15, 2012 08:30am | Post a Comment

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

Music History MondayOn this day in music history: October 15, 1957Elvis' Christmas Album by Elvis Presley is released. Produced by Steve Sholes, it is recorded at RCA Victor Studios in Nashville and Radio Recorders in Hollywood from January - September 1957.  Presley's first holiday album consists of eight Christmas songs and four gospel songs (the latter previously released as the EP Peace In The Valley). The LP's lavish original packaging is designed to look like a photo album and contains a photo booklet with publicity stills from Elvis' latest film Jailhouse Rock. Upon its release, the album will be the subject of some controversy when songwriter Irving Berlin, the composer of the classic "White Christmas," objects to Presley's recording of the song, going as far as requesting that radio stations ban it from airplay. Some others will feel that Elvis recording gospel songs is "sacrilegious." One disc jockey will actually be fired for playing the album on the air. In spite of all this, it will become a classic and a perennial holiday favorite over the years, being reissued every year. After its first year, the albums' artwork will be changed for the first of several times before the original album packaging is restored in 1985 as part of RCA's reissue program (some vinyl copies are pressed on red or green vinyl) to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Presley's birth. Elvis' Christmas Album will spend four weeks at #1 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart, and is certified 13x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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