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Music History Monday: July 14

Posted by Jeff Harris, July 14, 2014 08:05am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: July 14, 1967 - Bee Gees 1st, the US debut album by The Bee Gees, is released. Produced by Robert Stigwood and Ossie Byrne, it is recorded at IBC Studios in London from March 7 - April 14, 1967. Following their breakthrough success with their 12th single release "Spicks And Specks" (#3 AUS Pop) in Australia in late 1966, The brothers' father Hugh will send demo tapes of their work to Beatles manager Brian Epstein. Epstein will pass the tapes on to Robert Stigwood (Cream), who will invite the band to come to England in February of 1967 to audition for him. Impressed by what he hears, Stigwood will become the band's manager, with The Bee Gees moving to the UK. He will secure them recording contracts with Polydor Records in the UK and Atlantic Records subsidiary Atco in the US. The album is actually the third full-length release by the band, but is their first to be released internationally. It will spin off three singles including "New York Mining Disaster 1941" (#14 Pop) and "To Love Somebody" (#17 Pop), the latter of which is originally intended for Otis Redding. The album's cover is designed by artist/musician Klaus VoormanBee Gees 1st will peak at number seven on the Billboard Top 200.
 

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Music History Monday: January 13

Posted by Jeff Harris, January 13, 2014 12:12pm | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: January 13, 1962 - "The Twist" by Chubby Checker hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. Written by Hank Ballard, it is the biggest hit for the Philadelphia-born singer (real name Ernest Evans). The song and massively popular dance will find popularity initially with teenagers when it is first released in 1960, hitting number one for one week in September of that year. A little over a year later, the dance will find renewed popularity with adults, putting the record back on the pop singles chart. Re-entering the Hot 100 at #55 on November 13, 1961, it will climb to the top of the chart eight weeks later. "The Twist" will be the only single in Billboard chart history to top the pop chart twice in two entirely separate chart runs.
 


On this day in music history: January 13, 1964The Times They Are A-Changin', the third album by bob dylan the times they are a-changinBob Dylan is released. Produced by Tom Wilson, it is recorded at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City from August 6 - October 31, 1963. Right on the heels of the successful and acclaimed The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, the prolific songwriter and musician will return to the studio a few months later to record the follow up. The album is Dylan's first to feature all original material written by him. The songs are more serious and are starkly arranged featuring Dylan accompanied only by his own acoustic guitar and harmonica playing. The album will yield some of his best known and loved songs including "North Country Blues" and the anthemic title track. The Times They Are A-Changin' will peak at #20 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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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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Music History Monday: October 14

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 14, 2013 11:02am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: October 14, 1967 - "Soul Man" by Sam & Dave hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for seven weeks, also peaking at #2 for three weeks on the Hot 100 on November 4, 1967. Written and produced by Isaac Hayes and David Porter, it will be the biggest hit for the R&B vocal duo. Songwriter and producer Isaac Hayes will come up with the initial idea for the song while watching television coverage of the riots in Detroit in July of 1967 between the police and African American citizens. Hayes will notice that residents had marked homes and businesses with the word "soul" to signify that they were African American owned and therefore not destroyed by rioters. Collaborating with longtime songwriting partner David Porter, the two will write the lyrics together. The track is recorded at Stax Studios in Memphis and features instrumental backing by Booker T. & The MG's. With its message of overcoming personal struggles and rising above adverse conditions, the song will also become an anthem of the Civil Rights Movement. "Soul Man" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 


On this day in music history: October 14, 1972 - "Ben" by Michael Jackson hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week, also peaking at #5 on the R&B singles chart. Written by Don Black and Walter Scharf, it is the first solo number one for the young Motown superstar. Written as the title song to the sequel of the 1971 film Willard, Walter Scharf (Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory) will be hired to write a theme song for the film. Scharf will call lyricist Don Black ("To Sir With Love," "Born Free") and ask him to write the lyrics. When the song is completed, singer Donny Osmond will be asked to sing the song, but due to scheduling conflicts he is unavailable to record it. Black will suggest Michael Jackson, and Jackson (a lover of animals, also owning several pet rats at the time) will enthusiatically agree to record the song. Entering the Hot 100 at #85 on August 5, 1972,  it will climb to the top of the chart ten weeks later. 14-years-old at the time, it will make Jackson the third youngest artist in history to reach #1 on the US singles chart. "Ben" will also be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
 

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Music History Monday: September 30

Posted by Jeff Harris, September 30, 2013 11:55am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: September 30, 1943 - Singer and television host Marilyn McCoo (born in Jersey City, NJ). Happy 70th birthday to this very lovely and talented lady. ♥ you, Marilyn!
 


Born on this day: September 30, 1954 - Singer, songwriter, and musician extraordinaire Patrice Rushen (born Patrice Louise Rushen in Los Angeles, CA). Happy 59th birthday, Patrice! We love you, Baby Fingers!
 


On this day in music history: September 30, 1963Heat Wave, the second album by Martha & The Vandellas is released. Produced by Holland - Dozier - Holland and William "Mickey" Stevenson, it is recorded at Motown Studio A in Detroit from early - mid 1963. The album features the title track "(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave" (the groups' then current hit single), which is also their first Top 10 pop hit (#1 R&B, #4 Pop). The single will also earn a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group in 1964, making Martha & The Vandellas the first Motown act to be nominated for a Grammy Award. Much of the album includes several cover versions of recent hits including "If I Had A Hammer," "Then He Kissed Me," and "Mockingbird." It will also be the last album to feature original member Annette Beard, who will be replaced by Betty Kelly. Heat Wave will peak at #125 on the Billboard Top 200.
 

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