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Music History Monday: January 26

Posted by Jeff Harris, January 26, 2015 10:17am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: January 26, 1955 - Virtuoso rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen (born Edward Lodewijk Van Halen in Nijmegen, The Netherlands). Happy 60th birthday, Eddie!
 


On this day in music history: January 26, 1970Bridge Over Troubled Water, the fifth studio album by Simon & Garfunkel, is released. Produced by Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, and Roy Halee, it is recorded at Columbia Recording Studios in Los Angeles and New York City from November 1968 - November 1969. After a triumphant year in 1968 with the back to back successes of the soundtrack forThe Graduate and their fourth album Bookends, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel will begin work on what will be their final studio album in the Fall of 1968. Progress on the album will be slow at first with Simon having little new material written at the outset. Then work will be further hampered when Garfunkel leaves the sessions to work on his first film, director Mike Nichols’ Catch-22, spending eight months on location in Mexico. In the interim period, Simon will write the rest of the songs and recording will resume in the Fall of 1969. The ambitious breadth of material will push the boundaries of what the duo has done previously, and though the sessions are productive, there will also be tension between the old friends as relations between the two begin to break down. The two will argue over what is to be the twelfth track on the album. Simon prefers a song he’s written called “Cuba Si, Nixon No,” while Garfunkel favors a Bach chorale-influenced song called “Feuilles-O.” When they cannot resolve the argument, the album will be released with 11 tracks instead of 12. When Bridge is finally completed, it is released to near universal acclaim from both fans and critics alike. At the time of its release, it will be one of the biggest selling albums in the history of Columbia Records. It will spin off four singles including “The Boxer” (#7 Pop), “Cecilia” (#4 Pop), "El Condor Pasa" (#18 Pop), and the epic title track (#1 Pop). The album will also sweep the Grammy Awards in 1971, winning six including Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Album Of The Year. In March of 2011, Sony will release a 40th anniversary edition of the album which also includes two DVD's featuring the long unseen Songs Of America TV special (which previewed songs from the album before its release), and a documentary titled The Harmony Game. Bridge Over Troubled Water will spend ten weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200 and is certified 8x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Music History Monday: May 19

Posted by Jeff Harris, May 19, 2014 09:30am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: May 19, 1945 - Singer, songwriter and musician Pete Townshend (born Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend in Chiswick, London, UK. Happy 69th Birthday, Pete!
 


Born on this day: May 19, 1948 - Singer, songwriter, model, and actress Grace Jones (born in Spanish Town, Jamaica). Happy 66th Birthday, Grace!
 


Born on this day: May 19, 1951 - Ramones lead vocalist Joey Ramone (born Jeffry Ross Hyman in Forest Hills, NY). Happy Birthday to this punk rock icon on what would have been his 63rd Birthday.
 


On this day in music history: May 19, 1972Honky Chateau, the fifth studio album by Elton John is released. Produced by Gus Dudgeon, it is recorded at the Chateau d'Herouville in Herouville, France in January 1972. It will be the first full album to feature John recording with his road musicians bassist Dee Murray, drummer Nigel Olsson, and guitarist Davey Johnstone, setting the template for his most successful work during the 70's. The album will differ from his previous work as it is the first to not feature a string section since his debut release Empty Sky (though it will feature violin player Jean-Luc Ponty on two tracks). Chateau will also be the last Elton John album to be released on the Uni Records imprint in the US and Canada, as the label will be absorbed into MCA. It will spin off two singles including "Honky Cat" (#8 US Pop, #31 UK), and "Rocket Man" (#6 US Pop, #2 UK). Honky Château will spend five weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, peaking at number two on the UK album chart, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Music History Monday: November 5

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 5, 2012 11:30am | Post a Comment

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


Born on this day: November 5, 1941 - Singer, songwriter, and actor Art Garfunkel (born Arthur Ira Garfunkel in Forest Hills, NY). Happy 71st Birthday Art!!
 


Born on this day: November 5, 1947 - Peter Noone (born Peter Blair Denis Bernard Noone in Davyhulme, Greater Manchester, UK), lead vocalist of Herman's Hermits. Happy 65th Birthday, Peter!!
 



Born on this day: November 5, 1957 - Mike Score (born Michael Score in Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire, UK), lead vocalist and keyboardist of A Flock of Seagulls. Happy 55th Birthday, Mike!!




On this day in music history: November 5, 1956 - The Nat King Cole Show makes its debut on the NBC television network. It will make history as the first nationally aired program to be hosted by an African American performer. The show will begin initially as a 15 minute program, which is then expanded to a half hour in July 1957. The show will feature many high profile guests (and personal friends of Cole's) including Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Harry Belafonte, Mel Tormé, and Eartha Kitt. These performers appeared on the show working for either industry scale or for no pay at all. During its run, the program will lack major product sponsorship with many potential sponsors fearing they will offend certain viewers not wanting to see black performers on television. In spite of generating constantly high ratings, the show will be canceled after only 13 months due to high operating costs.
 

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Music History Monday: October 22

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 22, 2012 10:00am | Post a Comment

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

Music History MondayOn this day in music history: October 22, 1969Led Zeppelin II, the second album by Led Zeppelin is released. Produced by Jimmy Page, it is recorded at Olympic Studios and Morgan Studios in London; A&M Studios, Quantum Studios, Sunset Sound, Mirror Sound, and Mystic Studios in Los Angeles; A&R Studios, Juggy Sound, Groove Studios, and Mayfair Studios in New York City; "The Hut" in Vancouver, BC, Canada; and Ardent Studios in Memphis, TN from January - August 1969. Quickly following the success of their self-titled debut, the album is written on the road and recorded in numerous studios in the US and UK on days off between tour dates. Led Zeppelin II will quickly surpass their debut in sales, cementing the bands' musical reputation as well as establishing a template in which countless hard rock and heavy metal bands will follow. It will spin off several classics that become rock radio staples including "Heartbreaker," Ramble On," and "Whole Lotta Love" (#4 Pop), the latter of which is issued as a single. The initial US pressing of the LP mastered by Bob Ludwig will be problematic for some as loud and dynamic passages on the record will cause it to skip on cheaper turntables of the day, initiating sizeable returns. Atlantic will be forced to remaster the album (this time by George Marino), with the bass and high end significantly rolled off. These original "loud cut" pressings of II will become sought after by collectors over the years. Led Zeppelin II will spend 7 weeks at #1 (non-consecutive) on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 12x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Happy Birthday Alan Aldridge -- The Man with the Kaleidoscope Eyes

Posted by Eric Brightwell, June 1, 2012 04:00pm | Post a Comment
English artist Alan Aldridge

Today is the 69th birthday of English artist, graphic designer and illustrator, Alan Aldridge (click here to visit his site). His distinct airbrush work adorned numerous books and albums in the 1960s and '70s and helped define the aesthetic of the era -- equal parts whimsy and menace.
Alan Aldridge Painting Finale

Aldridge appeals to me, in part, due to the way he draws upon older artists from very different traditions. The grotesque, fantastical characters echo the febrile visions of Dutch Renaissance painter Hieronymus Bosch. The invasive, sometimes threatening vegetation reminds me of the vegetable portraits of Italian Mannerist Giuseppe Arcimboldo. The soft, velvety folds and textures of clothing remind me of French Neoclassicist Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres's almost single-minded focus on mastering the technique of depicting textiles.
 
As a young child, when I was first exposed to Aldridge, I hadn't yet heard of any of those artists. I don't remember ever even asking who Alan Aldridge was, but it was clear even that his particular synthesis of influences and ability to simultaneously captivate and repulse was immediately recognizable as the work of one artist, whatever work it adorned.

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