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Music History Monday: March 23

Posted by Jeff Harris, March 23, 2015 07:36am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: March 23, 1953 - R&B vocal icon and songwriter Chaka Khan (born Yvette Marie Stevens in Chicago, IL). Happy 62nd Birthday, Chaka!
 


On this day in music history: March 23, 1963 - “Our Day Will Come” by Ruby & The Romantics hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week. Written by Bill Hilliard and Mort Garson, it is the biggest hit for the R&B vocal quintet fronted by lead singer Ruby Nash. Hilliard and Garson will submit their song to Kapp Records with the hopes of either Jack Jones or Julie London recording it. Label A&R man/producer Allen Stanton will choose Ruby & The Romantics, a R&B vocal group from Akron, OH to record it as their first release. Recorded in December of 1962, the track features legendary guitarists Kenny Burrell, Vinnie Bell (inventor of the Coral Electric Sitar), and Al Gorgoni (The Monkees, Carole King, The Four Seasons); bassist Russ Savaukus (Bob Dylan, Van Morrison); and drummer Gary Chester (The Shirelles, The Drifters, Dionne Warwick). Two versions of the song will be cut, one with a straight pop arrangement and one with a bossa nova arrangement. The latter is chosen for release and is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #79 on February 9, 1963, it will streak to the top of the chart just six weeks later. "Our Day Will Come" will be covered a number of times after Ruby & The Romantics success with the song by the likes of Frankie Valli, Cher, Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, Nancy Wilson, The Supremes, Isaac Hayes, and Amy Winehouse.

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Music History Monday: December 15

Posted by Jeff Harris, December 15, 2014 10:46am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: December 15, 1967The Who Sell Out, the third studio album by The Who, is released. Produced by Kit Lambert, it is recorded at Talentmasters Studios in New York City; IBC Studios, Pye Studios, De Lane Lea Studios, CBS Studios, and Kingsway Studios in London; and Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles from May - November of 1967. The band's third release is a concept album that includes songs interspersed with fake commercials and public service announcements, mimicking the British pirate radio station Radio London. The band will actually be sued by a number of companies whose real products are parodied on the album. It will spin off the classic "I Can See For Miles" (#10 UK, #9 US Pop). Original pressings of the album include a short instrumental cut in the runout groove. The first 1,000 copies of the original stereo and first 500 mono copies of the UK LP will come packaged with a psychedelic poster of a butterfly painted by artist Adrian George. The art had originally been intended for the album's cover, but is rejected. The rarity of these initial pressings have sold in recent years for more than $1,000 each or more on the collector's market. The album is reissued on CD in 1995 with ten additional bonus tracks including outtakes not included in the original release. It is reissued again in 2009 as a two CD Deluxe Edition featuring the original mono and stereo versions of the album, with 28 bonus tracks.The Who Sell Out will peak at number 13 on the UK album chart and number f48 on the Billboard Top 200.
 

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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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