Amoeblog

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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Lana Del Rey and How Symbols are Sometimes More Important than their Meaning

Posted by Billyjam, March 14, 2012 10:45am | Post a Comment

In this fast paced online information age - with its non-stop constant overload of new facts (and fiction) been Tweeted and shared in some digital fashion every single micro-second of the day - it is often hard for individuals to get beyond that condensed 140 characters version of a particular story. But yet, based solely on that short (often editorialized) synopsis of a much longer in-depth story many will embrace that opinion put forth and jump on the bandwagon of popular thought on said topic. A case in point I believe was back in mid - late January when singer Lana Del Rey suddenly trended (around the time of fellow trending items as Rick Santorum and Jeremy Lin)  as one of the most talked about individuals of that week or so. The trend was all related to her reportedly bombing on Saturday Night Live during her January live concert performance on SNL.

However her presentation on SNL was is secondary though since most folks who joined in the public mud throwing at this new pop star did so without having seen the actual TV show. Some did (mostly after the fact and in edited form) but a great many of these self-appointed critics who joined in the cacophony of critique (haterism?) hadn't even seen her SN: bit at all.  But that didn't stop them from joining in and critiquing the artist for such things as appearing stiff and nervous and just standing still as she sang during her SNL performance. They also echoed the other criticisms leveled against the artist  to such as she came from a privileged background, or that she changed her name and her image in her makeover bid of becoming a pop star.

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(In which we return from where our roots are rooted.)

Posted by Job O Brother, January 3, 2012 11:59am | Post a Comment

nevada city
Home is where the hearth is. Downtown Nevada City, California.


The boyfriend and I have recently returned from frolicsome fun in my hometown of Nevada City, California. This year my most shiny of celebrations was neither Christmas nor New Years, but my sister Jacquie’s 50th birthday (for which I provided the cake, subsequently learning that Christmas day is a lousy time to buy baked goods).

Some highlights of the trip were…

Teaching my mother how to prepare absinthe. Who doesn’t love this quintessential Christmas pastime*? Equipped with a curvaceous reservoir glass and ornate, slotted spoon I enthusiastically gave a demonstration on how to prepare absinthe in both the traditional French method and the more dramatic (and efficient) Bohemian method. Both methods were merely informative, not practical, as my Mammy and me prefer our green fairy sans sucre.

absinthe poster
My Mom, enjoying her beverage
(artist's depiction)

Armed with our booze and one clove cigarette each, we sat in her English garden and contentedly sinned with some of Satan’s most pleasingly perfumed indulgences. Once we felt sweetly weak-in-the-knees it was time to make some pie. (Drinking and driving is a bad idea, but drinking and pie making is a sign of advanced evolution in a species. Word.)

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Trip to Hawai'i: Part 1

Posted by Job O Brother, July 7, 2011 01:10pm | Post a Comment

hula girl


Aloha, bitches! The boyfriend and I have just returned from a luxuriously lengthy leisure-time in Moku’āina o Hawai’i – specifically, the islands of Maui and Moloka’i. What will follow, over a course of weeks, is my travelogue. SPOILER ALERT: I survive to write this paragraph you’re reading.

hibiscus

Thursday. June 16, 2011.

Nothing makes me wistful for days gone by like traveling by plane. I’m old enough to remember a time when you could escape your reasonably comfortable seat for a small, smoking lounge and make small-talk with other passengers. Meals were included and expected, complimentary playing cards were practically forced on you, and bathrooms were more than one square inch larger than my skeleton.

Traveling by plane was a luxury, like taking a limo, pre-ordering a soufflé, or soaking in salt crystals made from blood diamonds. There was an implied dignity – it was something to look forward to: to be seated and be served.

airplane lounge
Before the terrorists won.

Cut to: me and my boyfriend frantically racing to gut our backpacks and pockets of anything shiny and throwing them in large, grey tubs – Will my lip balm set off the alarm? Better throw it in, just in case…; stripping ourselves of shoes and spectacles, praying to a God that doesn’t exist we aren’t targeted to be put through the x-ray, knowing we’d refuse and have to succumb to the most unfulfilling massage imaginable; finally making it to our gate to find the two flights before us have been delayed since dawn, so the terminal is as absolutely packed with weary bodies, looking like some alternative concentration camp where people actually gained weight.

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