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Music History Monday: June 1

Posted by Jeff Harris, June 1, 2015 09:00am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: June 1, 1963 - "It's My Party" by Lesley Gore hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart for three weeks on June 15, 1963. Written by Walter Gold, John Gluck Jr., and Herb Weiner, it is the debut single and biggest hit for the then 17-year-old pop singer from Tenafly, NJ. The song is originally recorded by British pop singer Helen Shapiro in early 1963 and producer Quincy Jones selects it out of over two hundred demo recordings he gathers for consideration for Gore's debut single. Jones will quickly assemble musicians and cut the track at Bell Sound Studios in New York City. Right about the same time, producer Phil Spector will also hear the same demo recording and is planning to record it with The Crystals. Jones will beat Spector to the punch, having acetates cut and mailed to key DJ's around the country, with the song hitting the airwaves within days of it being recorded. An immediate smash out of the box, "It's My Party" will become an instant pop classic. Entering the Hot 100 at #60 on May 11, 1963, it will rocket to the top of the chart three weeks later. "It's My Party" is the first of four consecutive top five singles that Gore has over the next eight months.
 

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Music History Monday: December 8

Posted by Jeff Harris, December 8, 2014 10:57am | Post a Comment

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

Remembering music icon John Lennon (born John Winston Lennon in Liverpool, UK) - October 9, 1940 - December 8, 1980.
 


Born on this day: December 8, 1925 - Entertainer extraordinaire Sammy Davis, Jr. (born Samuel George Davis, Jr. in Harlem, New York City, NY). Happy Birthday to this entertainment icon on what would have been his 89th Birthday. We love you, Sammy!
 


Born on this day: December 8, 1943 - The Doors lead vocalist, lyricist, and poet Jim Morrison (born James Douglas Morrison in Melbourne, FL). Happy Birthday to "The Lizard King" on what would have been his 71st Birthday.
 


On this day in music history: December 8, 1973 - “If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me)” by The Staple Singers hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for three weeks, also peaking at #9 on the Hot 100 on December 22, 1973. Written by Homer Banks, Raymond Jackson, and Carl Hampton, it is the second R&B chart-topper for the Chicago-based family group fronted by lead singer Mavis Staples. The song is inspired when Banks, Jackson, and Hampton are hanging out at Stax Studios in Memphis and they decide to go to lunch at a local restaurant. Before heading over, Raymond Jackson will blurt out the line “If you’re ready, come go with me.” Carl Hampton will hear him say it and then reply that it sounds like a potential song title. The trio will return to the studio and quickly write the song, recording a demo within a day of completing it. Issued as the first single from the group’s 17 album Be What You Are, the track features members of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section including Jimmy Johnson (guitar), David Hood (bass), Roger Hawkins (drums), and Barry Beckett (keyboards). The group will record their vocals with the band live at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL in mid 1973. “If You’re Ready (Come Go With Me)” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 

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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: August 11

Posted by Jeff Harris, August 11, 2014 07:24am | Post a Comment

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


On this day in music history: August 11, 1966 - John Lennon holds a press conference at the Astor Towers in Chicago to apologize for remarks he had made in an interview published five months earlier. The original interview with journalist Maureen Cleave is published in the British newspaper The Evening Standard on March 4th. During the interview, Lennon will comment on religion and what he feels is the decline of Christianity in modern times. The comments will make little to no impact in Great Britain. On the eve of the band's fourth American Tour, US fan magazine Datebook will reprint Lennon’s comments out of context causing a furor in the US bible belt with radio stations banning the band's music, burning their records, and The Beatles themselves receiving death threats. After Lennon’s public apology, the uproar will eventually blow over. Though it will mark the beginning of the end of The Beatles days as a touring band. They will quietly and permanently withdraw from the road when they play their final live date at the end of the month at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
 


On this day in music history: August 11, 1969Barabajagal, the seventh album by Donovan is released. Produced by Mickie Most, it is recorded at Olympic Studios in London in May 1968 and American Recording Company in Los Angeles in November 1968 and May 1969. The album features musical backing by The Jeff Beck Group (on the title track) as well as background vocals from Graham Nash, Mike McGear (aka Michael McCartney), Rod Stewart, and Madeline Bell. It will spin off two singles including the double A-sided single "Atlantis/To Susan On The West Coast Waiting" (#7 Pop) and the title track (#36 Pop). The album will also mark the end of Donovan's long term collaboration with producer Mickie Most, with Most shifting his attention to his newly formed label RAK Records and signing artists such as Hot Chocolate, The Arrows, Smokie, and Suzi QuatroBarabajagal will peak at number 23 on the Billboard Top 200.
 

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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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