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Music History Monday: January 6

Posted by Jeff Harris, January 6, 2014 09:50am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: January 6, 1957 - Elvis Presley will make his third and final appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Due to the previous controversy generated by his movement on stage, Presley will only be shot from the waist up. The singer will perform "Hound Dog," "Love Me Tender," "Heartbreak Hotel," "Don't Be Cruel," "Too Much," and "(There'll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)." The appearance is a huge success and will be seen by over sixty million people, generating the single largest viewing audience in television history at that time. Only two days after this show airs, Presley will receive notice from the Memphis draft board that he is to be drafted into the United States Army.
 


On this day in music history: January 6, 1958 - The Gibson Guitar Company registers its design for flying vthe Flying V guitar with the US Patent Office. The unique instrument is designed by Gibson president Ted McCarty with the intention of adding a futuristic aspect to the companies image. During their original manufacturing run, the guitar's body and neck are constructed from African Korina wood and mahogany with either ebony or rosewood fretboards. Guitarists such as Albert King and Lonnie Mack will adapt to them immediately and will become closely associated with both artists. However, initial sales will be slow and they will be discontinued in 1959. When guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and Dave Davies of The Kinks begin playing them, it will renew interest in the Flying V and Gibson will reintroduce the guitar in 1967. The instrument will become a favorite of hard rock and heavy metal musicians during the 1970s and '80s. Original Flying V's made in 1958 and 1959 today are valued at between $200,000 and $250,000. To this day, the Flying V remains one of Gibson's most popular guitars.

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Music History Monday: October 21

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 21, 2013 11:05am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: October 21, 1957 - "Jailhouse Rock" by Elvis Presley hits #1 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart for seven weeks, also topping the Country singles chart for one week on December 2, 1957 and peaking at #2 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, it is the eighth chart topper for Presley in under a year and a half. Recorded as the title song from his third film, the track recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood on April 30, 1957. The song name checks a number of real people including musician Shifty Henry and the 1920's mobsters The Purple Gang. "Jailhouse Rock" is backed with the song "Treat Me Nice," which is also included in the film. It will peak at #18 on pop singles chart on October 28, 1957. The film will also open on the same date and top the box office charts simultaneously. Presley will also make history as being the only artist to ever dominate the top of the singles chart for 25 weeks during one calendar year. He will do it in both 1956 and 1957.
 


On this day in music history: October 21, 1967 - "To Sir With Love" by Lulu hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks. Written by Don Black and Mark London, it is the biggest hit for the Scottish-born singer and actress (born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie in Lennoxtown, Stirlingshire, Scotland). It is the theme song to the Sidney Poiter film about a teacher dealing with social and racial issues in a tough Secondary school in East London. Also co-starring in the film, Lulu will introduce her friend Mark London to the film's producers after they cannot find a suitable song for the main theme. London will write the music in just five minutes, with lyricist Don Black penning the lyrics the next day. When the single is released in the US, Epic Records will place "To Sir With Love" on B-side of "The Boat That I Row" (written by Neil Diamond). American radio DJ's will prefer the flipside and "Sir" will take off quickly. Entering the Hot 100 at #74 on September 9, 1967 it will race up the chart, hitting #1 six weeks later. Certified Gold in the US by the RIAA, "To Sir With Love" will be ranked the top single of 1967 as determined by Billboard Magazine.
 

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Music History Monday: July 8

Posted by Jeff Harris, July 8, 2013 02:30pm | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: July 8, 1950 - "Mona Lisa" by Nat King Cole hits #1 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart for eight weeks, also topping the Rhythm & Blues charts for four weeks on September 2nd. Written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston, the song is featured in the film Captain Carey, U.S.A. starring Alan Ladd. Arranged by Nelson Riddle and with instrumental backing by Les Baxter & His Orchestra, Cole's version of the song is featured on the film's soundtrack. "Mona Lisa" will win the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1951, quickly becoming a pop standard and is covered by numerous artists over the years, though Cole' version will be regarded as the definitive version. Nat King Cole's recording of "Mona Lisa" will be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1992.
 


On this day in music history: July 8, 1957 - "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear" by Elvis Presley hits #1 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart, also topping the Country & Western chart for one week on August 5th and the Rhythm & Blues chart for one week on September 2nd. Written by Kal Mann and Bernie Lowe, it is the rock & roll icon's seventh number one single in just under 15 months. Songwriters Mann and Lowe (co-founders of Philadelphia based Cameo-Parkway Records) will hear of a rumor started (no one is certain where or by whom) that Elvis Presley collected teddy bears, leading his fans to send him thousands of the cuddly toys. That will provide the inspiration for the pair to write the song for Presley's second film, Loving You. The track is recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood on January 24, 1957 with Presley's regular band including Scotty Moore (guitar), Bill Black (bass), D.J. Fontana (drums), and The Jordanaires (background vocals). Entering the Best Sellers chart at #23 on June 24, 1957, it will pole vault to the top of the chart two weeks later. "Teddy Bear" will quickly sell over two million copies in the US, and is the third of four chart topping singles for Elvis during 1957. Presley will become the only artist in history to hold the top spot on the pop singles chart for 25 weeks, which he will do consecutively in both 1956 and 1957.
 

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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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Music History Monday: October 1

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 1, 2012 02:10pm | Post a Comment
On this day in music history: October 1, 1961Blue Hawaii, the 14th album by Elvis Presley is released. Produced by Steve Sholes, it is recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood from March 21 - 23, 1961. Issued as the soundtrack to Presley's eighth film, the album is an enormous success. The songs will underscore its story and tropical Hawaiian locale, also including cover versions of traditional "Aloha 'Oe" and "The Hawaiian Wedding Song." The soundtrack will spin off the classic "Can't Help Falling In Love" (#2 Pop), which will become one of Presley's signature songs and a live performance staple as the closing song of his shows during the '70's. Blue Hawaii will spend 20 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and a total of 39 weeks in the Top 10, making it the second most successful movie soundtrack of the 1960's behind West Side Story. To date, the soundtrack has been certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.


On this day in music history: October 1, 1977 - "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band" by Meco hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. Written by John Williams, it will be the biggest hit for the classically trained musician from Johnsonburg, PA.  Musician and record producer Domenico "Meco" Monardo, impressed with composer/conductor Williams' score for the blockbuster film Star Wars, will re-arrange the entire score into a 15 minute long disco suite that is released on the album Star Wars And Other Galactic Funk (issued on Casablanca subsidiary Millennium Records). The track features a group of 75 musicians, including a number of first call studio players such as Steve Gadd, Will Lee, Marcus Miller, Anthony Jackson, Neil Jason, David Spinozza, John Tropea, Alan Rubin, Randy Brecker, Jon Faddis, Suzanne Ciani, and Gene Orloff. The main theme and "Cantina Band" are extracted from the extended track and edited down to 45 length. "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band" will be certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA for sales of over two million copies.

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