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Music History Monday: April 14

Posted by Jeff Harris, April 14, 2014 11:21am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: April 14, 1973 - "Masterpiece" by The Temptations hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for two weeks, also peaking at #7 on the Hot 100 on April 28, 1973. Written and produced by Norman Whitfield, it is the 11th R&B chart-topper for the veteran Motown vocal group. Songwriter and producer Norman Whitfield will give the song its title when he feels that all of the combined elements of the piece add up to a "masterpiece," though the word does not appear in the lyrics. Whitfield will write "Masterpiece" as a sequel to the Grammy-winning smash "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" (and the album All Directions), and features members of The Funk Brothers providing musical support and is arranged by Paul Riser. The single and album are recorded during a period where there is ever-mounting tension between the highly-strung producer and The Temptations, who are unhappy at having no say in the creative process and are being referred to by music critics as "the Norman Whitfield Choral Singers." "Masterpiece" will be edited down from its nearly 14 minute epic length down to under four and a half minutes for single release. Though the Tempts will top the R&B chart three more times with "Let Your Hair Down," "Happy People," and "Shakey Ground," in 1974 and 1975 respectively, "Masterpiece" will be will be the group's last top ten pop hit for 18 years. It returns to the upper reaches of the chart when they collaborate with Rod Stewart on "The Motown Song" peaking at #10 in September of 1991. "Masterpiece" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Music History Monday: March 31

Posted by Jeff Harris, March 31, 2014 11:04am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: March 31, 1935 - Musician and co-founder of A&M Records, Herb Alpert (born Herbert Alpert in Los Angeles, CA). Happy 79th Birthday, Herb!
 


On this day in music history: March 31, 1949 - RCA Victor Records releases the first commercially available 45 RPM record available for domestic sale. That first single is "Tekarkana Baby" by country music legend Eddy Arnold. Written by Fred Rose, Arnold's version of the song will top the Billboard Best Selling Retail Folk Records chart (existing prior to the Country & Western chart) for one week. The label will press the initial run of the single on clear green vinyl. RCA will develop the new format in response to Columbia Records introducing the 33 1/3 RPM long playing LP the previous year. Pressed on vinyl (or styrene, which is developed by Columbia) rather than the fragile shellac discs that 78's were manufactured from, the 7" discs will grow in popularity, eventually overtaking the 78 in sales by the mid 1950's and becoming the dominant physical single format until the end of the 1980's. Happy 65th Birthday to the 45!
 


On this day in music history: March 31, 1958 - "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry is released. Written by Chuck Berry in 1955, the semi autobiographical song will be partially inspired by his longtime piano player Johnnie Johnson, though pianist Lafayette Leake will play on the single and not Johnson. "Goode's" opening riff will be lifted from R&B pioneer Louis Jordan's 1946 hit "Ain't That Just Like A Woman." The track is recorded at Chess Studios in Chicago on January 6, 1958 and features Berry backed by musicians Willie Dixon (bass), Lafayette Leake (piano), and Fred Below (drums). Chuck Berry's version will peak at #2 on the Billboard R&B Best Sellers chart and #8 on the Pop Best Sellers chart in June of 1958. Regarded as one of the quintessential rock & roll songs, it will be covered numerous times over the years by dozens of artists. Berry's original version is included on the Voyager Golden Record (a gold plated titanium disc with messages and music recorded on it) attached to the Voyager spacecraft in 1977 representing rock & roll music. The song will also be featured in the film Back To The Future in 1985, where in a humorous plot twist Berry's fictional cousin Marvin Berry overhears the song being performed by actor Michael J. Fox (actually sung by Mark Campbell of Jack Mack & The Heart Attack) who calls his cousin to tell him he's just heard the "new sound" he's been looking for. The original single of "Johnny B. Goode" is backed with the Berry-penned "Around And Around," which will also become a rock & roll standard that is also widely covered, most notably by The Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, The Animals, and David Bowie. Chuck Berry's original recording of "Johnny B. Goode" is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999.
 

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode With KCRW's Garth Trinidad

Posted by Amoebite, February 19, 2014 01:12pm | Post a Comment

Garth Trinidad

He's got the magic voice for radio and the golden ears for spotting classic songs. Garth Trinidad is one of LA's favorite tastemakers. His musical sensibilities come highly recommended and have been influential in shaping the modern musical landscape of Los Angeles. Not only is he a voting member of the Recording Academy, his radio show was the basis for the Grammy category "Best Alternative Urban Performance." Utilizing DJ residencies, event production, music supervision, and journalism,
Trinidad has help to break artists such as Little Dragon and Janelle Monae. 

Paying his dues while studying art in college, Trinidad hustled his way to the mountain top of radio. After countless hours volunteering in the KCRW front office, cutting his teeth assisting host Liza Richardson, Trinidad was given his chance to shine. That was 20 years ago. Since then, Trinidad has amassed a loyal listener fan base, received many awards, and built an impressive resume along the way. In the early 2000s, Trinidad's show, Chocolate City, gained rave reviews and was voted Best Radio Program by LA Weekly several times. He has worked on hit TV shows and documentaries, including Entourage and Made In America. 

Amoeba's What's In My Bag? crew caught up with Garth Trinidad  during a recent vinyl dig. His first stop, the dollar vinyl bin! Garth gets nostalgic and finds a copy of Macho Man by The Village People. This record was the first LP his parents bought him! He follows that up with Rufus & Chaka Khan's Camouflage and Barry Manilow's Even Now. A connoirsseur of Jazz, Garth digs deep to find Horace Silver Quintet's Song For My Father and McCoy Tyner's Asante. There are plenty of other cool albums Garth picks up, including some big cuts by Kenny Loggins. Watch and enjoy!   

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Music History Monday: January 7

Posted by Jeff Harris, January 7, 2013 11:00am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: January 7, 1948 - Singer/songwriter Kenny Loggins (born Kenneth Clark Loggins in Everett, WA).

Happy 65th Birthday, Kenny!!
 


On this day in music history: January 7, 1967 - "Tell It Like It Is" by Aaron Neville hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for five weeks, also peaking at #2 on the Hot 100 for one week on January 28th. Written by George Davis and Lee Diamond, it will be the biggest hit for the New Orleans-born vocalist. Recorded in 1965, Davis and Diamond will shop the track around to various record labels and are turned down by all of them. Over a year after that, they will start their own label, Par-Lo Records, and release it themselves. The record is an instant smash and will sell over a million copies within two months of its release However, Neville will see no real monetary reward from sales of the multi-million selling single. The owners of the Par-Lo record label will find themselves in dire financial straits when they find it nearly impossible to collect money from various independent distributors, leading them to file for bankruptcy. "Tell It Like It Is" will have enduring popularity over the years being covered by numerous artists including Otis Redding & Carla Thomas, Percy Sledge, Nina Simone, Andy Williams, and Heart whose version will return the song to the top 10 in early 1981, peaking at #8 on the Hot 100.

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Who's Zoomin' Who? It's Aretha's "What A Fool Believes"

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, February 4, 2011 10:33am | Post a Comment
aretha franklin aretha 1980 kenny loggins michael mcdonald yacht rock hit cover song soul synth
I woke up with this song stuck in my head again this morning and so, accordingly, I attempt to exercise it here. Aretha Franklin's cover of Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald's classic yacht-rocker made popular by the Doobie Brothers is a manic slice of synth-indulgence that's, like many an Aretha song, dead catchy. Beware. Just give it thirty seconds of warming up and you'll be in the zone, the smoooooth R&B zone.

Aretha Franklin - "What A Fool Believes"


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