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Music History Monday: February 18

Posted by Jeff Harris, February 18, 2013 10:45am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: February 18, 1956 - "Rock and Roll Waltz" by Kay Starr hits #1 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart for one week. Written by Dick Ware and Shorty Allen, it is recorded at RCA Victor Studios in New York City. The song will be the biggest hit for the Oklahoma pop vocalist born Katherine La Verne Starks. Starr will get her big break singing with the Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1939 when she is only 17 years old. Recently signed to RCA Victor after several years with Capitol Records, the head of A&R at RCA will present the song to the singer. At first she does not like it, feeling that it is more like a novelty record than the type of material she was used to performing. But she will consent to record it, completing it during a round of sessions at the label's New York recording studio. To her surprise, the record will be an immediate hit. Entering the Best Sellers chart at #21 on January 7, 1956, it will leap to the top six weeks later. "Rock and Roll Waltz" will sell over a million copies earning a Gold disc for Kay Starr. Starr will also become the first female vocalist of the rock era to have a number one single (also RCA Victor's first chart topper of the rock era), and is the first song to have the term "rock and roll" mentioned in it.
 


On this day in music history: February 18, 1967 - "Kind of a Drag" by The Buckinghams hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. Written Jim Holvay and Gary Beisber, it is the biggest single for the Chicago based pop band. Formed in 1965, they are originally known as The Pulsations, becoming regulars on a local Chicago music show called the All Time Hits Show. When someone on the program suggests that they change their name, they will change it to The Buckinghams. Signed by local label USA Records, the track is recorded at Chess Studios. Released in late 1966, the record will take off quickly. Entering the Hot 100 at #90 on December 31, 1966, it will shoot to the top of the chart seven weeks later. Shortly after the single tops the chart, the band will be quickly snatched up by Columbia Records and paired with producer James William Guercio (Chicago, Blood, Sweat & Tears). The Buckinghams will score four more top 20 hits while on Columbia including "Don't You Care" (#6 Pop), "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" (#5 Pop), and "Susan" (#11 Pop), though "Kind of a Drag" will remain their most successful single.
 

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The Art Of The Lp Cover- Dogs

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, January 13, 2013 09:35pm | Post a Comment

Prince Vs. Le Petit Prince

Posted by Billyjam, November 15, 2012 05:05am | Post a Comment


Prince,
whose unprecedented name change to an unpronounceable symbol back in the 90's that I wrote about here a couple of days ago, is back in the news this week. This news headline grabbing time the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince (1993-2000) is unhappy with the work of Prince fanboy/toy maker Troy Gua - the creator of the cute and clever  homage Tiny Artist and the Le Petit Prince project all of which he created a year ago. But, following a no-nonsense cease and desist order this week by the Purple One, tomorrow afternoon (Nov 16) at 6pm (Minneapolis time) Gua will legally have to erase all online content related to Le Petit Prince. On his Facebook wall this week the Seattle based Gua wrote of his musical hero's unexpected shutdown. "I simply do not wish to fight with my hero, and it is terribly disheartening to think that he may hold ill will towards me and this project" Troy Gua, who is a major Prince fan, blended his appreciation of his favorite artist with his appreciation of the puppetry of Thunderbirds creator / super-marionation pioneer Gerry Anderson.

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Prince's Love Symbol Moniker

Posted by Billyjam, November 13, 2012 07:32am | Post a Comment
As an artist the multi-talented Prince has always marched to his own beat. Of the many unique and unprecedented things he has done in his long and illustrious career was two decades ago when he changed his name a newly created symbol. 1993 was when he officially changed his name to that unpronounceable symbol that was dubbed "Love Symbol #2" since it coincided with the copyrighted title/symbol of the Prince and The New Power Generation's 1992 album of the same name/symbol (the symbol was engraved into the actual CD case in gold on the outside and silver on the inside of case cover).

As well as being the work of a tirelessly creative mind it was also Prince's way of getting a dig in at his record label (Warner Brothers) who he made it well known he was quite unhappy with. Disgruntled with his contract and wanting to get out of it, he was further aggravated when he discovered that he could not do so. However when he realized he could contractually change his name, this he did as a sort of revenge act. Prince used that symbol, which was a combination the symbols for female () and for male (), up until he finally got out of his Warner contract seven years later.

However the change from word to unheard of (and unpronounceable) symbol presented a headache for his label and a problem for many at the time including radio DJs, record store clerks, and journalists who did not have this unique character on their keyboard in their computer. Hence his label's publicity department sent out floppy disks (like the one pictured below) with a custom font of the unique symbol attached. However most journalists ignored using it altogether as it was troublesome for use in most computers at the time. Instead they called it "Love Symbol" or "Love Symbol #2" - as in the 1992 album that the symbol first appeared on.

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Music History Monday: October 8

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 8, 2012 10:53am | Post a Comment

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

Music History MondayOn this day in music history: October 8, 1957 - "Great Balls Of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis is recorded. Written by Otis Blackwell ("Don't Be Cruel," "All Shook Up," "Return To Sender," "Handy Man") under the pseudonym "Jack Hammer," it will be the biggest hit for the Louisiana born rock & roll musician nicknamed "The Killer." The single is recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis, TN and is featured in the film Jamboree. Released on November 11th, the single is an across the board smash, peaking at #2 on the Billboard Best Sellers, #1 on the Country, and #3 on the Rhythm & Blues charts. The song will be regarded as one of the most important and influential songs of the early rock era, also being covered by numerous artists over the years. Jerry Lee Lewis's original recording of "Great Balls Of Fire" will also be inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1998.

On this day in music history: October 8, 1964 - "She's A Woman" by The Beatles is recorded. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney (though primarily composed by McCartney), the song is recorded during the sessions for the band's next album Beatles For Sale at Abbey Road Studios in London. Featuring McCartney on lead vocals, the songs' vocal style is inspired by rock & roll pioneer Little Richard, one of the bands' earliest influences. The song will be issued as the B-side of the bands' next single "I Feel Fine" on November 23rd (UK date: Nov. 27th). Seven takes are recorded, but Take Six will be the released master version of the song. "She's A Woman" will peak at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 on December 26, 1964.

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