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Music History Monday: January 12

Posted by Jeff Harris, January 12, 2015 10:57am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: January 12, 1946 - Keyboardist and producer extraordinaire George Duke (born in San Rafael, CA). Happy Birthday to this brilliant artist on what would have been his 69th Birthday.
 


On this day in music history: January 12, 1939 - Pioneering vocal group The Ink Spots record "If I Didn't Care" at the Decca Recording Studio in New York City, NY. Written by Jack Lawrence, it is the first major hit record for the legendary vocal group. Formed in Indianapolis, IN in 1934 as The Four Riff Brothers, the group's original line up consists of Orville "Hoppy" Jones, Ivory "Deek" Watson, Jerry Daniels, and Charlie Fuqua. After the group perform at the Apollo Theater in Harlem the same year, their name will be changed to The 4 Ink Spots by legendary bandleader Paul Whiteman. The group will shorten their name to The Ink Spots and will record several singles for Victor Records, none of which will be commercially successful. A major turning point for the group will occur in 1936 with the departure of founding member Jerry Daniels, who is replaced by Bill Kenny as lead singer. Kenny's unique high tenor voice and vocal style will lift The Ink Spots to international stardom. The group will sign with Decca Records in late 1938, and will quickly see their fortunes turn around. "If I Didn't Care" will be among the first sides they cut for the label. After its release in February of 1939, it will become one of the biggest selling singles in the history of Decca Records, peaking at #2 on the Pop singles chart and selling over nineteen million copies worldwide, only being surpassed by Bing Crosby's "White Christmas." The Ink Spots distinctive vocal style will be hugely influential on rhythm & blues and Doo Wop vocal groups who will emerge in the coming decades. "If I Didn't Care" will have lasting popularity over several generations having been used in commercials, television, and period films including over the opening credits to The Shawshank Redemption in 1994. Comedian Redd Foxx will often quote the song on the sitcom Sanford & Son. The Ink Spots original recording of "If I Didn't Care" is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1987.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With Belgian Superstar Stromae

Posted by Amoebite, December 16, 2014 05:43pm | Post a Comment

Stromae

With influences ranging from rap to '90s Eurodance to Jacques Brel, genre-bending artist Stromae is a rising global star. Born Paul Van Haver to a Flemish mother and a Rwandan architect father who was killed in the 1994 Tutsi Genocide, Stromae grew up in Brussels with his four siblings. After struggling throughout Stromae Racine Carreehis school career, he began rapping under the stage name Opsmaestro in 2000 before reversing the syllables in the word "maestro" and changing his moniker to Stromae. In 2009, he was working as a trainee at a Belgian radio station when he gave his single "Alors on danse" to the music manager who played the track on air. A year later, Stromae burst onto the international scene with his debut album, Cheese. His 2013 release, Racine Carree, has gone platinum eight times in Belgium and has stayed strong at the #1 spot in album charts across Europe. With beats that get feet tapping, lyrics that tackle topics like AIDS and absent fathers, and a modern global aesthetic, Stromae is not the typical pop star. This fall, he collaborated with Lorde, Haim, Q-Tip and Pusha-T on a track for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay--Part I soundtrack.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With The Zombies

Posted by Amoebite, December 9, 2014 06:38pm | Post a Comment

Zombies

Legendary English rock group The Zombies formed in 1962 and were first signed by renowned label, Decca Records. The band's debut single, "She's Not There," peaked at #12 on the UK charts and hit #2 on the U.S. Billboard Chart. Due to the success of their single, The Zombies were subsequently sent overseas for a U.S. tour, where they were greeted by screaming teenage girls at their first television appearance on NBC's Hullabaloo.

Zombies Odessey and Oracle

In 1968, The Zombies recorded the cult favorite, Odessey and Oracle, and the single "Time of the Season" became a surprise hit despite the album's indifferent reception. To this day, the album remains a fan favorite and continues to top "best of" lists every year. Rolling Stone gave it a ranking of 100 on the magazine's list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Despite their initial break up right before Odessey And Oracle was released, The Zombies have reunited several times throughout their career. In 2014, the lineup features original members Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone, plus Tom Toomey, Jim Rodford, and Steve Rodford. After a busy year performing at the Austin Psych Festival and the San Francisco Stern Grove Festival, The Zombies are back in the studio recording a new album.

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Drac-factor: Ten Recording Artists with Definitive Dracula Appeal

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, October 19, 2014 11:30pm | Post a Comment
Dracula vampire elvis halloween costume
Halloween approach-eth and the pumpkin-spiced hype is unrelenting. What's more, a new vampire movie hit theaters this Fall -- Dracula Untold, a dark, Marvel-esque origin story starring Welsh hottie Luke Evans as Prince Vlad (the Impaler). While time will only tell if this particular incarnation of the Dracula legend is truly franchisable immortal, it got me thinking about recording artists who could suitably don Dracula's cloak. Stars that possess a kind of timeless magnetism, like Elvis Presley, pictured above -- you just know he'd be down to drink some blood. Or, similarly, stars who naturally exude a kind of Draculaic vibe, sharp-dressed with cheekbones to match. With this in mind, I've come up with a short list of ten living recording artists who possess a definitive undeadliness, or Drac-factor, as I reckon it. So cover your necks or succumb willingly, here come some Drac-tacular candidates for your consideration:
 
David Vanian the damned dracula vampire halloween young ones spooky goth punk rock band
Dave Vanian, lead singer and ever-present member of The Damned, has been serving that undead-and-loving it look since the band began in London in 1976. Vanian, a stage name that stems from a play on the word "Transylvanian", took his patent gothic chic looks to new heights when The Damned appeared as the spooky musical guest on an episode of The Young Ones to perform a song that may or may not be called "Nasty". It is worth noting that The Damned are distinguished as the first British punk band to release a single, an album, have an album hit the UK charts, and tour the United States. That said, if you don't have The Damned's 1977 debut LP Damned Damned Damned in your collection, surely some kind of vinyl vampire is coming for you i.e. I don't know how you can sleep at night. That's a buy or die record, folks.

Music History Monday: August 18

Posted by Jeff Harris, August 18, 2014 10:42am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: August 18, 1956 - "Don't Be Cruel/Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley hits #1 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart for 11 weeks. It is third chart-topping single for Presley. Penned by songwriter Otis Blackwell ("Great Balls Of Fire," "All Shook Up," "Return To Sender"), the track is recorded at RCA Studios in New York on July 2, 1956, with the master version being the 28th take. The single is released 11 days later on July 13th and is an immediate smash. Technically the B-side of the single, it will be listed along with "Hound Dog" beginning the week of August 11,1956 when it reaches #2, then topping the chart the following week. The double A-sided single's run at the top of the charts is unprecedented in the era. The record will remain unbroken until 1992 when "End Of The Road" by Boyz II Men holds the number one spot for 13 weeks. "Don't Be Cruel" is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA and is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2002.
 


On this day in music history: August 18, 1978Who Are You, the eighth studio album by The Who is released. Produced by The Who, Jon Astley, and Glyn Johns, it is recorded at Rampart Studios in Battersea, London; Olympic Studios and RAK Studios in St. John's Wood, London; and Pete Townshend's home studio in Going-on-Thames, London from October 1977 - April 1978. Issued three years after their last studio album The Who By Numbers, it will be the final album to feature original drummer Keith Moon, who will die of an accidental drug overdose just three weeks after its release. It will spin off two singles including "Trick Of The Light" and the title track (#14 Pop). In 1996, the album will be remixed and remastered (by Jon Astley), with the reissue containing five bonus tracks. Who Are You will peak at number two on the Billboard Top 200, number six on the UK album chart, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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