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Music History Monday: April 27

Posted by Jeff Harris, April 27, 2015 10:52am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: April 27, 1947 - Singer, songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist Pete Ham (born Peter William Ham in Swansea, Wales, UK) of Badfinger. Happy Birthday to Pete on what would have been his 68th Birthday.
 


Born on this day: April 27, 1948 - Singer, songwriter, and keyboardist Kate Pierson (born Catherine Elizabeth Pierson in Weehawken, NJ) of The B-52's. Happy 67th Birthday, Kate!
 


Born on this day: April 27, 1959 - Singer Sheena Easton (born Sheena Shirley Orr in Bellshill, Scotland). Happy 56th Birthday, Sheena!
 


On this day in music history: April 27, 1968Dance To The Music, the second album by Sly & The Family Stone, is released. Produced by Sly Stone, it is recorded at CBS Studios in Los Angeles and New York City in September 1967. Issued just six months after their debut album, A Whole New Thing, the follow up will be less complex musically and more pop-oriented than its predecessor (at the insistence of then CBS Records head Clive Davis), it will establish the band as major and influential force in popular music. It will spin off a hit single with the title track, which becomes their first top 10 hit (#9 R&B, #8 Pop). Like their first album, Dance will be reissued in 1970 with different cover artwork and a new catalog number. The original cover will be restored when the album is remastered and reissued on CD in 1995. The album is remastered and reissued again in 2007 with six additional bonus tracks including the original mono 45 mixes of the title track and "Higher." Dance To The Music will peak number 11 on the Billboard R&B album chart and number 111 on the Top 200.
 

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Music History Monday: April 20

Posted by Jeff Harris, April 20, 2015 10:42am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: April 20, 1923 - Latin jazz and Salsa icon Tito Puente (born Ernesto Antonio Puente in New York, NY). Happy Birthday to this latin music icon on what would have been his 92nd Birthday. We love you, Tito!
 


Born on this day: April 20, 1951 - Legendary R&B singer, songwriter, and producer Luther Vandross (born Luther Ronzoni Vandross in New York, NY). Happy Birthday to this R&B music icon on what would have been his 64th Birthday.


Remembering the brilliant William "Benny" Benjamin (July 25, 1925 – April 20, 1969), drummer for the Motown Records' studio band The Funk Brothers

On this day in music history: April 20, 1970McCartney, the solo debut album by Paul McCartney, is released (UK release date is on April 17, 1970). Produced by Paul McCartney, it is recorded at 7 Cavendish Avenue and Abbey Road Studios in London, and Morgan Studios in Willesden, UK from late 1969 - March 1970. Following the recording of The Beatles' Abbey Road, Paul McCartney will work on his first solo release while The Beatles are in the process of breaking up. He books studio time under an assumed name and also records at home on a Studer 4-track recorder set up in his living room. The home recordings will be done without the benefit of a mixing board, with McCartney literally plugging microphones directly into the back of the tape machine Though no singles are issued from it, the album will be very successful with the track "Maybe I'm Amazed" becoming a major airplay hit. Eight days prior to the album's UK release, advance copies of the album will be received by the press. Inserted into the album is a short Q&A written by McCartney that in effect announces the break up of The Beatles publicly declares his departure from the band the next day on April 10, 1970. In June of 2011, a remastered version of the original album is reissued, including  a 2CD + 1 DVD archival boxed set, featuring previously unreleased material from the recording sessions. McCartney will spend three weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, number two on the UK album chart, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Music History Monday: April 13

Posted by Jeff Harris, April 13, 2015 10:00am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: April 13, 1940 - "In The Mood" by Glenn Miller & His Orchestra hits #1 on the Billboard Record Buying Guide (jukebox list existing prior to the Best Sellers chart) for 13 weeks. Written by Joe Garland, Glenn Miller, and Andy Razaf, the song is recorded on August 1, 1939 and is released on RCA Victor's Bluebird Records imprint. It will become not only one of the definitive records of the big band era, but one of the most influential musical works of the twentieth century. It will be one of the most widely covered songs of the era with versions also recorded by Xavier Cugat, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, The Andrew Sisters, and Artie Shaw, to more contemporary artists including Bette Midler and The Brian Setzer Orchestra. Glenn Miller's original recording of "In The Mood" is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1983.
 

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Music History Monday: March 30

Posted by Jeff Harris, March 30, 2015 07:05am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: March 30, 1945 - Rock guitar icon Eric Clapton (born Eric Patrick Clapton in Ripley, Surrey, UK). Happy 70th Birthday, Slowhand!
 


On this day in music history: March 30, 1963 - "He's So Fine" by The Chiffons hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart for four weeks on April 6, 1963. Written by Ronnie Mack, it is the debut single and biggest for the female R&B/Pop vocal quartet from New York City. Originally consisting of group members Judy Craig, Patricia Bennett, and Barbara Lee, The Chiffons are formed in 1960 while all are students at James Monroe High School in the Bronx. In 1962, the girls will meet songwriter Ronnie Mack who will become their manager and suggest that they add 14-year-old Sylvia Peterson to the group, making them a quartet. Mack will write "He's So Fine" for the group as their first single. While Mack tries to secure a record deal for The Chiffons, the song will attract the attention of music publisher Bright Tunes run by Phil Margo, Mitch Margo, Jay Siegal, and Hank Medress, better known as The Tokens ("The Lion Sleeps Tonight"). They love the song and offer to produce them, as they have a production deal for Capitol Records. Having already exhausted their production budget, The Tokens will take The Chiffons into a small demo studio to record "He's So Fine." After the track is completed, they will play it for Capitol Records president Voyle Gilmore, who will reject the song as being "too simple and too trite." The group will shop the song around and be rejected by more than a dozen record labels before it is picked up by Laurie Records in New York. Released in December of 1962, the song will initially get off to a slow start, but will eventually catch on. Entering the Hot 100 at #87 on February 23, 1963, it will leap to the top of the chart five weeks later. Sadly, songwriter Ronnie Mack will not have long to enjoy his newly found success. Shortly after the song reaches number one, he will be diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease and succumb to the illness just a few months later at the age of 23. The Chiffons will score further hits with the Carole King and Gerry Goffin penned "One Fine Day" (#5 Pop, #6 R&B) and "Sweet Talkin' Guy" (#10 Pop). "He's So Fine" will later become the subject of a lawsuit between Bright Tunes Publishing and former Beatle George Harrison when the publisher accuses him of plagiarizing "He's So Fine" for his number one single "My Sweet Lord." The lawsuit will drag on for years before it is finally settled. George Harrison's estate will purchase the publishing rights to "He's So Fine" and hold the copyright to this day. In a small bit of irony, The Chiffons will cover "My Sweet Lord" in the mid '70s, though it will not be a hit.
 

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Music History Monday: March 23

Posted by Jeff Harris, March 23, 2015 07:36am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: March 23, 1953 - R&B vocal icon and songwriter Chaka Khan (born Yvette Marie Stevens in Chicago, IL). Happy 62nd Birthday, Chaka!
 


On this day in music history: March 23, 1963 - “Our Day Will Come” by Ruby & The Romantics hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week. Written by Bill Hilliard and Mort Garson, it is the biggest hit for the R&B vocal quintet fronted by lead singer Ruby Nash. Hilliard and Garson will submit their song to Kapp Records with the hopes of either Jack Jones or Julie London recording it. Label A&R man/producer Allen Stanton will choose Ruby & The Romantics, a R&B vocal group from Akron, OH to record it as their first release. Recorded in December of 1962, the track features legendary guitarists Kenny Burrell, Vinnie Bell (inventor of the Coral Electric Sitar), and Al Gorgoni (The Monkees, Carole King, The Four Seasons); bassist Russ Savaukus (Bob Dylan, Van Morrison); and drummer Gary Chester (The Shirelles, The Drifters, Dionne Warwick). Two versions of the song will be cut, one with a straight pop arrangement and one with a bossa nova arrangement. The latter is chosen for release and is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #79 on February 9, 1963, it will streak to the top of the chart just six weeks later. "Our Day Will Come" will be covered a number of times after Ruby & The Romantics success with the song by the likes of Frankie Valli, Cher, Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, Nancy Wilson, The Supremes, Isaac Hayes, and Amy Winehouse.

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