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Music History Monday: July 14

Posted by Jeff Harris, July 14, 2014 08:05am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: July 14, 1967 - Bee Gees 1st, the US debut album by The Bee Gees, is released. Produced by Robert Stigwood and Ossie Byrne, it is recorded at IBC Studios in London from March 7 - April 14, 1967. Following their breakthrough success with their 12th single release "Spicks And Specks" (#3 AUS Pop) in Australia in late 1966, The brothers' father Hugh will send demo tapes of their work to Beatles manager Brian Epstein. Epstein will pass the tapes on to Robert Stigwood (Cream), who will invite the band to come to England in February of 1967 to audition for him. Impressed by what he hears, Stigwood will become the band's manager, with The Bee Gees moving to the UK. He will secure them recording contracts with Polydor Records in the UK and Atlantic Records subsidiary Atco in the US. The album is actually the third full-length release by the band, but is their first to be released internationally. It will spin off three singles including "New York Mining Disaster 1941" (#14 Pop) and "To Love Somebody" (#17 Pop), the latter of which is originally intended for Otis Redding. The album's cover is designed by artist/musician Klaus VoormanBee Gees 1st will peak at number seven 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: March 24

Posted by Jeff Harris, March 24, 2014 07:30am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: March 24, 1975Chicago VIII, the eighth album by Chicago is released. Produced by James William Guercio, it is recorded at the Caribou Ranch in Nederland, CO from August - September 1974. The band's eighth album in just six years, compounded by non-stop exhaustive touring will find them short of new material. Many of the new album's songs will be written in the studio during the sessions for VIII. The album will also be first to feature percussionist Laudir de Oliviera. It will spin off two singles including "Old Days" (#5 Pop) and "Harry Truman" (#13 Pop). The original LP package will come with an iron on decal of the album cover art and a poster. In 2002, the album will be remastered and feature two previously unreleased tracks recorded during the original sessions but were left off of the original release. Chicago VIII will spend two weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 


On this day in music history: March 24, 1979 - "Tragedy" by The Bee Gees hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. Written by Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb, it is the eighth US chart-topper for the three brothers from the Isle of Man. Recorded at Criteria Studios in Miami in the Spring of 1978, the song is written during a particularly prolific period for the brothers Gibb. "Tragedy" is written in mid-1977 while The Bee Gees are filming Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. During this time they also write "Too Much Heaven" and "Shadow Dancing." The song's climactic explosion sound effects are created by the engineer recording several overdubs of Barry Gibb cupping his hands over the microphone while making the explosion sound with his mouth, combined with keyboardist Blue Weaver playing random notes on the bottom end of the piano with the sounds being heavy processed in the mix. Issued as a single in late January of 1979,  prior to the release of their first post-Saturday Night Fever album Spirits Having Flown, it is another immediate hit. Entering the Hot 100 at #29 on February 10, 1979, it will streak to the top of the chart six weeks later. "Tragedy" is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA. 
 

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Music History Monday: January 6

Posted by Jeff Harris, January 6, 2014 09:50am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: January 6, 1957 - Elvis Presley will make his third and final appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Due to the previous controversy generated by his movement on stage, Presley will only be shot from the waist up. The singer will perform "Hound Dog," "Love Me Tender," "Heartbreak Hotel," "Don't Be Cruel," "Too Much," and "(There'll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)." The appearance is a huge success and will be seen by over sixty million people, generating the single largest viewing audience in television history at that time. Only two days after this show airs, Presley will receive notice from the Memphis draft board that he is to be drafted into the United States Army.
 


On this day in music history: January 6, 1958 - The Gibson Guitar Company registers its design for flying vthe Flying V guitar with the US Patent Office. The unique instrument is designed by Gibson president Ted McCarty with the intention of adding a futuristic aspect to the companies image. During their original manufacturing run, the guitar's body and neck are constructed from African Korina wood and mahogany with either ebony or rosewood fretboards. Guitarists such as Albert King and Lonnie Mack will adapt to them immediately and will become closely associated with both artists. However, initial sales will be slow and they will be discontinued in 1959. When guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and Dave Davies of The Kinks begin playing them, it will renew interest in the Flying V and Gibson will reintroduce the guitar in 1967. The instrument will become a favorite of hard rock and heavy metal musicians during the 1970s and '80s. Original Flying V's made in 1958 and 1959 today are valued at between $200,000 and $250,000. To this day, the Flying V remains one of Gibson's most popular guitars.

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Music History Monday: March 18

Posted by Jeff Harris, March 18, 2013 10:22am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: March 18, 1941 - R&B vocal legend Wilson Pickett (born in Prattville, AL.) Happy Birthday to "The Wicked Pickett" on what would have been his 72nd Birthday.


Born on this day: March 18, 1963 - Singer/actress and former Miss America Vanessa Williams (born Vanessa Lynn Williams in Tarrytown, NY). Happy 50th Birthday, Vanessa!!


On this day in music history: March 18, 1967 - "Penny Lane" by The Beatles hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week. Written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon-McCartney), it is the 13th US number one single for the "Fab Four." The single is one of the first two songs (along with "Strawberry Fields Forever") to emerge from the sessions that will yield the band's landmark Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It is titled after a district near the Liverpool City Centre where Lennon had once lived as an art student. The idea for the song will come to McCartney in a dream. Recording sessions for the song will begin on December 29, 1966, with the final overdubs being recorded on January 17, 1967. Trumpet player David Mason will be hired to play the songs' signature piccolo trumpet solo after McCartney hears him playing the instrument during a television performance of Bach's 2nd Brandenburg Concerto. For both the US and UK releases of the single, it will come packaged with a picture sleeve that features a portrait of the band on the front with childhood photos of each member on the back. Released on February 13, 1967, it will enter the Hot 100 at #85 on February 25th, zooming to the top three weeks later. Surprisingly, the single will peak at #2 on the UK singles chart when it is held off the top by Engelbert Humperdinck's "Release Me." "Penny Lane" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA. After the singles' release, it will be included on the US version of Magical Mystery Tour in late 1967.
 

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