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Music History Monday: December 1

Posted by Jeff Harris, December 1, 2014 11:25am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: December 1, 1957 - Buddy Holly & The Crickets make their national television debut on the Ed Sullivan Show on the CBS television network. The band will perform their recent number one hit "That'll Be The Day." The band will also perform Holly's first solo release "Peggy Sue" on the show. Also appearing on the same program will be Sam Cooke (making his national TV debut) performing "You Send Me," which will hit number one the following day, and The Rays performing "Silhouettes."
 


On this day in music history: December 1, 1958 - "To Know Him Is To Love Him" by The Teddy Bears hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three  weeks. Written and produced by Phil Spector, it is the biggest hit for the Los Angeles-based pop vocal trio. Written by a then 17-year-old Phil Spector, the title is inspired by a quote on his father's epitaph. The group, consisting of Spector and high school friends Marshall Leib and Annette Kleinbard (aka songwriter Carol Connors), will record the song at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood in July of 1958 at a cost of only $75. Released on LA-based indie label Doré Records (distributed by Era Records), it will quickly become a smash locally before spreading across the country. Entering the Hot 100 at #88 on September 22, 1958, it will climb to the top of the chart ten weeks later. The group will not remain together for long. Uncomfortable as a performer, Spector will prefer to work behind the scenes, quickly establishing himself as a top notch songwriter and cementing his legendary work as a producer during the '60s and '70s. Kleinbard will be sidelined from the music industry when she is involved in a serious car accident, requiring several surgeries while she recovers. Changing her name to Carol Connors, she will also carve out a formitable career as a songwriter, co-writing such hits as the Oscar nominated "Gonna Fly Now" from Rocky, "With You I'm Born Again" (for Billy Preston and Syreeta), and the '60's hot rod classic "Hey Little Cobra" (for The Rip Chords). A rock & roll classic, "To Know Him" will be covered numerous times over the years including a version by Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, and Dolly Parton that will hit number one on the Country chart in 1987. Singer Amy Winehouse will also cover the song, with her version appearing on the posthumously released compilation Amy Winehouse At The BBC in 2012. "To Know Him Is To Love Him" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 

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10 Record Store Day Releases to Look For on Black Friday

Posted by Billy Gil, November 17, 2014 12:09pm | Post a Comment

record store day black friday amoeba

Black Friday launches the holiday shopping season the day after Thanksgiving with lots of great deals. Instead of yanking someone by the hair off of that $10 barbecue set at Wal-Marts or whatever, you can come to Amoeba for a variety of deals on turntables, Blu-rays, gift certificates and more. Additionally, there will be nearly 140 Record Store Day exclusive Black Friday releases to choose from—see the whole list (.pdf) here. That’s a lot of records, bro/broette! Here are 10 that stood out to me.

David BowieSue (Or in a Season of Crime) 12”

david bowie sue or in a season of crime“Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)” is an unsettling new David Bowie track full of jazzy horns and creepy lyrics about a dissolving relationship that may end in murder. It’s backed on this 7” by another new Bowie song, “Tis a Pity She Was a Whore,” a fluctuating electro-rocker that shares its name with a play from the 1600s by John Ford. Both songs will also appear on the Bowie retrospective Nothing Has Changed, which came out today, but here’s your chance to get them separately from that. Hear both tracks in all their maddening glory below:

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10 Holiday Albums That Don't Suck

Posted by Billy Gil, December 12, 2013 10:38am | Post a Comment

10 Holiday Albums that don't suck

If you’re like me, most Christmas music makes you want to stab yourself in the eyeball with a sharpened candy cane. Luckily, since everyone and their mother has attempted a holiday album (I mean, most of them are X-mas-centric), there are some gems in the mix.

 

The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album/Christmas With the Beach Boys

beach boys christmas albumThe Beach Boys and Christmas music go together like Christmas and getting drunk. It’s an obvious choice, sure, but this album also wins because of the originals, which they put just as much effort into as their regular classics. “The Man With All the Toys” kicks enough ass to be listened to all year round.

 

 

A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector

a christmas gift for you phil spector cd amoebaSome would say the greatest Christmas album of all time, featuring classic productions by Phil Spector, with The Crystals, The Ronettes, Darlene Love and other Spector favorites. Every other version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” sucks compared to this one.

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Ellie Greenwich 1940 - 2009

Posted by Whitmore, August 28, 2009 11:20am | Post a Comment
Ellie Greenwich
Ellie Greenwich
, who penned dozens of classic songs in collaboration with producer Phil Spector and Jeff Barry for acts like The Ronettes, The Crystals, The Shangri-Las, Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans, The Jelly Beans and The Dixie Cups -- the “girl group” sound, died this week of a heart attack in New York’s St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital; she had been admitted for pneumonia a few days earlier. She was 68.
 
In her 50-year career, Greenwich, a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, was awarded some 25 gold and platinum discs. BMI Publishing lists more than 200 songs Greenwich wrote or co-wrote, including such classics as “Leader Of The Pack,” “Chapel of Love,” “River Deep, Mountain High,” “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” “Be My Baby,” “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Do Wah Diddy Diddy,” “Look of Love,” “Then He Kissed Me,” “I Can Hear Music,” and "Hanky Panky.”
 
Born Eleanor Louise Greenwich on Oct. 23, 1940 in Brooklyn, N.Y., she was 11 when she began studying accordion before switching to piano. As a teen she started her own group called The Jivettes. She got her first break as a songwriter working for Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who had written dozens of classic 1950’s rock tunes. Her first chart success was "This Is It" with the Jay and the Americans, which she co-wrote with Doc Pomus and Tony Powers.

Greenwich became part of the mythical Brill Building stable of songwriters where she teamed up with her husband Jeff Barry. Other Brill writers included Hal David and Burt Bacharach, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil plus the likes of Neil Sedaka, Neil Diamond and Paul Simon.
 
Greenwich and Barry also recorded a few sides as The Raindrops; their biggest hit was “The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget.” In 1964 alone, the two song writers were responsible for some 17 different singles reaching the Billboard Hot 100 chart. However the following year, 1965, she and Barry divorced, and Greenwich suffered a nervous breakdown.
 
She went on to produce songs for artists like Frank Sinatra, Dusty Springfield, The Definitive Rock Choral and Ella Fitzgerald, but she really hit her stride working with Neil Diamond, producing his early hits “Cherry Cherry,” “Solitary Man” and “Kentucky Woman.”  In 1968, Greenwich released her first solo album, Ellie Greenwich Composes, Produces and Sings, and included two charting singles, "Niki Hoeky" (a #1 hit in Japan) and "I Want You To Be My Baby."
 
In the 1980s she created a musical based on her life entitled Leader of the Pack, from the song co-written with her former husband Barry. The Broadway musical included many of her hits and told the story of her rise and fall. It scored several Tony and Grammy Award nominations.

This past week the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson was quoted by the L.A.Times, saying, “She was the greatest melody writer of all time.”

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Li'l Bit #9

Posted by Job O Brother, July 28, 2009 09:56am | Post a Comment
Hoo, boy. Who didn't see this coming?
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