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Music History Monday: November 17

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 17, 2014 10:14am | Post a Comment

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On this day in music history: November 17, 1962 - "Big Girls Don't Cry" by The Four Seasons hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart for three weeks on the same date. Written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio, it is the second consecutive chart-topping single for the New Jersey-based quartet fronted by singer Frankie Valli. The song's title is inspired by a line in the 1955 western Tennessee's Partner in which the actor John Payne slaps actress Rhonda Fleming in the face, and she replies, "Big girls don't cry." Like its predecessor "Sherry," it will storm the charts quickly. Entering the Hot 100 at #66 on October 20, 1962, it will zoom to the top of the chart just four weeks later. Twenty five years after its original release, the song will also be heard in the film and featured on the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing. "Big Girls Don't Cry" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 


On this day in music history: November 17, 1971 - Live-Evil, the 38th album by Miles Davis, is released. Produced by Teo Macero, it is recorded at The Cellar Door in Washington DC on December 19, 1970, and at Columbia Studio B from February - June 1970. The half live/half in-studio recorded double LP set consists of eight extended electric based jams featuring Davis supported by musicians such as Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Michael Henderson, Jack DeJohnette, Billy Cobham, Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland, Airto Moreira, and Keith Jarrett. Originally conceived as a continuation of the landmark Bitches Brew, it will differ greatly from its predecessor by incorporating more rock and funk elements. It will be well received upon its release and is considered a pioneering jazz/funk recording, as well as one of the cornerstones of Davis's "Electric Period." The album's distinctive cover art was created by artist Mati Klarwein, best known for cover art on Bitches Brew and Santana's Abraxas. Davis will tell Klarwein that he wants something representing "life" on the front cover, and something representing "evil" on the back. The front will feature a painting of a pregnant African woman, while the back features a grotesque looking amphibian like creature in a powered wig clutching its belly. The latter painting is inspired by a picture that the artist sees of infamous FBI director J. Edgar Hoover on the cover of Time Magazine. "Live-Evil" will peak at number 125 on the Billboard Top 200 and number four on the Jazz chart.
 

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Music History Monday: August 12

Posted by Jeff Harris, August 12, 2013 12:55pm | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: August 12, 1968Cheap Thrills, the second album by Big Brother And The Holding Company is released. Produced by John Simon, it is recorded at Columbia Recording cheap thrills big brother & the holding company janis joplinStudios in New York City (studio tracks) and the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco (live tracks) from March - May of 1968. Following the band's breakthrough performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in June of 1967, they will be approached by Clive Davis, then the head Columbia Records, who is eager to sign them. At the time, Big Brother is signed to independent label Mainstream Records, who will release their self titled debut album in August of 1967. It will take several months for the band to be extricated from their Mainstream contract and sign with Columbia, which will take place in early 1968. Once freed from their prior obligations, they will be paired with producer John Simon (The Band), and they will begin work on their second album. The initial plan is to record Big Brother in concert, producing an album that captures the band's electric live performances. When the results are lackluster, they will record much of the album in Columbia's New York recording studio, with the closing track "Ball And Chain" being recorded at Winterland in San Francisco (though the original release will erroneously credit it being recorded at the Fillmore East in New York). Originally titled Sex, Dope, and Cheap Thrills, Columbia Records will refuse to release it with that title, and make the band revise it. The album's iconic cover art by underground artist Robert Crumb (Zap Comix) is first intended to appear on the back of the LP jacket with a photo of Janis Joplin on the front. Joplin is so enamored with Crumb's artwork that it will be put on the front instead. Anchored by the hit single "Piece Of My Heart" (#12 Pop), it will be major success. When Columbia originally issues the LP along with the standard stereo version, the label will press a very limited amount of the mono version (an estimated 3,000 - 5,000 copies only), before quickly deleting it, turning it into a highly priced and sought after collector's item. The mono version of the album will be reissued in November of 2012 as a limited edition 180g vinyl LP pressing. Cheap Thrills will spend eight weeks (non-consecutive) at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, and to date has been certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA.
 

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Music History Monday: July 16

Posted by Jeff Harris, July 16, 2012 05:40pm | Post a Comment
To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

Country music icon Kitty Wells (born Ellen Muriel Deason in Nashville, TN. August 30, 1919 - July 16, 2012) has died today. Farewell to The Queen Of Country Music.



Funk Brothers bassist Bob Babbitt (born Robert Kreiner in Pittsburgh, PA. November 26, 1937 - July 16, 2012) passed away today.For those of you who may not know this man's name or face, you will certainly know his outstanding work as a musician. Having been a part of Motown's legendary studio band The Funk Brothers from 1967 to 1972, he played on numerous hits such as Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me" and "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)," Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours," and other classics like Dennis Coffey's "Scorpio," The Capitols "Cool Jerk," Gladys Knight & The Pips' "If I Were Your Woman" and "Midnight Train To Georgia," The Shades Of Blue's "Oh How Happy," Edwin Starr's "Agent Double 'O Soul," The Parliaments "(I Wanna) Testify," The Spinners' "(They Just Can't Stop It) Games People Play" and "Rubberband Man," Gloria Gaynor's "Never Can Say Goodbye," The Main Ingredient's "Just Don't Want To Be Lonely," The Manhattans' "Kiss And Say Goodbye," Ray Goodman & Brown's "Special Lady," Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" and "Ready To Take A Chance Again," Deniece Williams' "Silly" and "It's Gonna Take A Miracle," and on and on. He will be missed.

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