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Music History Monday: September 23

Posted by Jeff Harris, September 23, 2013 12:35pm | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: September 23, 1926 - Jazz music icon John Coltrane (born John William Coltrane in Hamlet, NC). Happy Birthday to this jazz giant on what would have been his 87th Birthday.
 


Born on this day: September 23, 1930 - "The Genius" Ray Charles (born Ray Charles Robinson in Albany, GA). Happy Birthday to this musical icon on what would have been his 83rd Birthday.
 


Born on this day: September 23, 1949 - Rock music icon Bruce Springsteen (born Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen in Long Branch, NJ). Happy 64th Birthday to the Boss!
 


On this day in music history: September 23, 1967 - “The Letter” by The Box Tops hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. Written by Wayne Carson Thompson, it is the debut single and biggest hit for the Memphis quintet fronted by lead singer Alex Chilton. Songwriter Thompson ("Always On My Mind") will be inspired to write "The Letter" when his father comes up with the lyric "give me a ticket for an aeroplane." Thompson will quickly write the rest of the lyrics and melody around that line. Once the song is complete, Thompson will take it to his friend, producer Chips Moman who also owns American Recording Studios in Memphis. Moman in turn will tell his songwriting partner Dan Penn about the song. Penn is working with a young rock band featuring a sixteen-year-old lead vocalist Alex Chilton. Penn will hear the song and decide that it is perfect for his young charges first release. Recorded in the spring of 1967, the band (with songwriter Thompson also playing guitar on the session) will cut the track in about eight hours, recording 30 takes to come up with the final master. For the final touch, Penn will overdub the sound of a airplane flying over toward the end of the song. When Moman objects to the addition, Penn will threaten to cut up the tape with a razor blade rather than remove the sound effect. Moman will allow it to remain on the finished record. At the time the band records the single, they do not have a name. One of the members will jokingly suggest that people “send in 50 cents and a box top” with their possible group name. From that, the band will be dubbed "The Box Tops." Released in July of 1967 on Bell Records' Mala imprint, “The Letter” will enter the Hot 100 at #85 on August 12, 1967, leaping to the top of the chart six weeks later. The song will be covered by a number of artists including The Arbors, The Ventures, and Don Fardon. Joe Cocker will have the second most successful recording of the song when his version hits #7 on the Hot 100 in June of 1970. The Box Tops' version of "The Letter" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 

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The Art Of The LP Cover- Playing Cards

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, July 22, 2012 02:10pm | Post a Comment


Favorite Sesame Street Collaborations

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, June 28, 2009 01:12am | Post a Comment
Johnny Cash W/ Oscar The Grouch- "Nasty Dan"


Celia Cruz- "Songo Song"


Stevie Wonder w/ Grover



Ray Charles w/ Bert & Ernie - "I Got A Song"


Los Lobos w/ Elmo - "Elmo & The Lavender Moon"

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music

Posted by Miss Ess, October 20, 2007 04:56pm | Post a Comment
Last night I watched some of the Johnny Cash Show DVDs, which just came out and from what I saw are completely fantastic! My favorite performance is by Mr. Ray Charles. He adds some soul to "Ring of Fire" and it's fantastic. Check it out here:


Isn't that amazing? I just wish people were still making TV talk shows as daring and intelligent as Johnny Cash's. At least we have the DVDs now to remind us how things were. Hopefully sometime very soon when I have watched the whole offering, I will have a more thorough review of The Johnny Cash Show!  I couldn't resist putting Ray up now though.

Ron Miller

Posted by Whitmore, July 28, 2007 08:50pm | Post a Comment

This week legendary Motown songwriter Ron Miller died at age 74.


The Associated Press obituary:

Songwriter Ron Miller, whose tunes included pop classics "Touch Me in the Morning" and "For Once in My Life," has died. Miller died Monday of cardiac arrest at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center after a long battle with emphysema and cancer, he was 74.

Miller got his professional start in the music business in the 1960s, when Motown founder Berry Gordy saw him perform at a piano bar and invited him to Detroit as one of the label's first songwriters and record producers. His songs have been recorded by many leading artists, including Judy Garland, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Ray Charles. "For Once in My Life," written with Orlando Murden, is one of the most recorded songs in history, with more than 270 versions, according to All Music Guide. A rendition by Tony Bennett and Stevie Wonder won a Grammy award this year. In 2005, Charles' and Gladys Knight's version of Miller's "Heaven Help Us All" picked up the best gospel performance Grammy.

Born in Chicago, Miller was a die-hard Cubs fan, who wrote his first sad song as a child about his beloved but hapless team, his daughter said. Before meeting Gordy at the piano bar, Miller made ends meet by selling washing machines and taking odd jobs. He served in the Marines, as well, and was stationed all over the world. Throughout the 1970s, Miller wrote the book and lyrics to many musicals, including "Daddy Goodness" and "Cherry," based on William Inge's "Bus Stop." Barbra Streisand recorded "I've Never Been A Woman Before," from the musical, for her "The Way We Were" album.

"My father will be reborn every time someone sings one of his songs," Lisa Dawn Miller said. "When they feel joy or sadness or any emotion, that will be my dad and his words." Miller is survived by his wife, Aurora Miller, and six children. Here is a list of some of his songs:

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