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Music History Monday: September 29

Posted by Jeff Harris, September 29, 2014 11:10am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: September 29, 1958 - "It's In The Game" by Tommy Edwards hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks, also topping the Rhythm & Blues chart for three weeks (non-consecutive) on the same date.  Written by Charles Dawes and Carl Sigman, it is the biggest hit for the pop vocalist from Richmond, VA. "It's All In The Game" is originally written in 1911 as an instrumental titled "Melody in A Major" by Charles Dawes who would later serve as Vice President of the United States under President Calvin Coolidge. Songwriter Carl Sigman will write lyrics for the song in 1951 when Tommy Edwards first records it. Edwards original version will peak at #18 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart in the Fall of 1951. By 1958, Edwards has been without a major hits for nearly four years and his label MGM Records is on the verge of dropping him, but he has one final session to go on his contract. Edwards will re-record "It's All In The Game" with a new arrangement and in stereo, making it one of the first stereo 45's released by MGM Records. The new version is released in early August of 1958 and is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #40 on August 25, 1958, it will race to the top of the chart five weeks later. "It's All In The Game" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 


On this day in music history: September 29, 1973 - "Higher Ground" by Stevie Wonder hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for one week, also peaking at #4 on the Hot 100 on October 13, 1973. Written and produced by Stevie Wonder, it is the seventh R&B chart topper for the prolific musician and songwriter. Issued as the first single from his landmark Innervisions album, the song is on the charts while Wonder is recovering from a devastating car accident, which will leave him in a coma for four days. While still in a coma, Stevie's road manager Ira Tucker, Jr. will lean down and sing the melody to "Higher Ground" in his ear and Stevie will respond by moving fingers in time with song. Recorded at Mediasound Studios in New York City, "Higher Ground" will be a virtual "one man show" with Wonder playing all of the instruments and singing all of the vocals on the track, with co-producers Bob Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil programming the synthesizers. Red Hot Chili Peppers will score a hit with their cover version of "Higher Ground" when they record it for their 1989 album Mother's Milk, even name checking Stevie Wonder in their version.

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Music History Monday: September 8

Posted by Jeff Harris, September 8, 2014 10:34am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: September 8, 1970Third Album by The Jackson 5 is released. Produced by The Corporation and Hal Davis, it is recorded at The Sound Factory and Motown Recording Studio in Hollywood from April - September 1970. The group's third full-length album in just nine months, it contains original songs written by Motown staff writers as well as cover versions of hits by Simon & Garfunkel ("Bridge Over Troubled Water"), Shades Of Blue ("Oh How Happy"), and The Delfonics ("Ready Or Not (Here I Come)"). It will spin off two hit singles including their biggest hit "I'll Be There" (#1 Pop for five weeks and R&B for six weeks) and "Mama's Pearl" (#2 Pop & R&B), though the album version of "Mama" will feature alternate vocals from the hit single version (issued in January of 1971). It will become the group's second biggest selling album in the US, moving an estimated 4.6 million copies. Third Album will spend ten weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, peaking at number four on the Top 200.
 


On this day in music history: September 8, 1972All The Young Dudes, the fifth album by Mott The Hoople, is released. Produced by David Bowie, it is recorded at Olympic Studios and Trident Studios in London from May - July 1972. The band's fifth release marks a major turning point in their career. The struggling band will be on the verge of breaking up, when Bowie steps in and offers to produce them. Initially, he will offer them the song "Sufferagette City," which they will turn down. When he plays them "All The Young Dudes," they will enthusiastically accept it. It will spin off two singles including "One Of The Boys" (#96 Pop) and the title track (#37 Pop, #3 UK Pop), which will become an anthem. The album will be regarded as a classic of the Glam Rock movement of the early to mid '70s. "Dudes" will become the band's signature song, and is covered by numerous artists including Aerosmith, Judas Priest, and Ozzy Osbourne. Mott The Hoople's original recording will be featured in the films Clueless and Juno. Later there will be some speculation as to what record label owns the rights to the recording. Mott The Hoople had recorded for Island Records prior to signing with Columbia Records. The band may or may or may not have recorded either part or all of the album before changing labels. To this day, it is a matter that none of the band members are willing to discuss. All The Young Dudes will peak at number 89 on the Billboard Top 200.
 

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Music History Monday: June 9

Posted by Jeff Harris, June 9, 2014 11:15am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: June 9, 1958 - "The Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley hits #1 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart for six weeks. Written by Wooley, the novelty song will be the biggest hit for the Oklahoma born singer/actor. Wooley will audition for the head of MGM Records in early 1958, singing mostly ballads. At the auditions' conclusion, he will sing "The Purple People Eater" when the label president asks if he has any other material. Sensing its hit potential, he will sign the singer and rush him into the studio with producer/A&R man Neely Plumb (father of actress Eve Plumb, Jan Brady on The Brady Bunch). The song is quickly cut and released, becoming an immediate smash. Entering the Best Sellers chart at #7 on June 2, 1958, it will leap to the top of the chart the following week. "The Purple People Eater" will sell over two million copies. Following the success of the record, Sheb Wooley will star on then new TV series Rawhide with an up and coming new actor named Clint Eastwood. "The Purple People Eater" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 


On this day in music history: June 9, 1972 - Bruce Springsteen officially signs with Columbia Records. Having performed in bars and clubs in his native New Jersey for several years, the young bruce springsteensinger/songwriter will audition for legendary A&R man John Hammond whose previous discoveries include Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Charlie Christian, George Benson, Bob Dylan, and Aretha Franklin. Now under contract to Columbia, the label will put Springsteen in the studio in July to begin work on his debut album Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ. The first album will initially sell only 25,000 copies, with the follow up The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle not performing much better. Eventually, Springsteen's recording career will take off with his breakthrough album Born To Run in 1975. Over his four decade career, Bruce Springsteen will come to be regarded as one of the preeminent singer and songwriters of all time, selling over 120 million records worldwide, winning 20 Grammy Awards (to date), two Golden Globes, and an Academy Award.

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Music History Monday: May 19

Posted by Jeff Harris, May 19, 2014 09:30am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: May 19, 1945 - Singer, songwriter and musician Pete Townshend (born Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend in Chiswick, London, UK. Happy 69th Birthday, Pete!
 


Born on this day: May 19, 1948 - Singer, songwriter, model, and actress Grace Jones (born in Spanish Town, Jamaica). Happy 66th Birthday, Grace!
 


Born on this day: May 19, 1951 - Ramones lead vocalist Joey Ramone (born Jeffry Ross Hyman in Forest Hills, NY). Happy Birthday to this punk rock icon on what would have been his 63rd Birthday.
 


On this day in music history: May 19, 1972Honky Chateau, the fifth studio album by Elton John is released. Produced by Gus Dudgeon, it is recorded at the Chateau d'Herouville in Herouville, France in January 1972. It will be the first full album to feature John recording with his road musicians bassist Dee Murray, drummer Nigel Olsson, and guitarist Davey Johnstone, setting the template for his most successful work during the 70's. The album will differ from his previous work as it is the first to not feature a string section since his debut release Empty Sky (though it will feature violin player Jean-Luc Ponty on two tracks). Chateau will also be the last Elton John album to be released on the Uni Records imprint in the US and Canada, as the label will be absorbed into MCA. It will spin off two singles including "Honky Cat" (#8 US Pop, #31 UK), and "Rocket Man" (#6 US Pop, #2 UK). Honky Château will spend five weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, peaking at number two on the UK album chart, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Music History Monday: February 25

Posted by Jeff Harris, February 25, 2013 11:24am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: February 25, 1943 - The Beatles' lead guitarist, humanitarian, and philanthropist George Harrison (born at 12 Arnold Grove, Wavertree, Liverpool, UK). Happy Birthday to this rock music icon on what would have been his 70th Birthday. We love and miss you, George.

 

The Beatles - While My Guitar Gently Weeps (LOVE Version)

 

Beatles VeeJay Please Please MeOn this day in music history: February 25, 1963 - Vee Jay Records in Chicago, IL will release "Please Please Me" by The Beatles in the US. Issued with the catalog number VJ 498, it is their first American release. It will be licensed to the label after EMI Records owned Capitol Records refuses to release it, telling producer George Martin and manager Brian Epstein that the band "won't mean anything over here." The record will fare no better on Vee Jay initially, which is such a low priority that the initial pressings of the 45 misspell their name as "The Beattles." The original release of the single will sell just over 7,300 copies, mostly in the Chicago area where it receives airplay on WLS. Today those copies sell for over $3,500 in near mint condition.

 

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