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Born on this day: December 30, 1928 - Rhythm & Blues legend Bo Diddley (born Ellas Otha Bates in McComb, MS). Happy Birthday to Bo on what would have been his 85th Birthday.
Born on this day: December 30, 1939 - R&B vocalist Kim Weston (born Agatha Natalie Weston in Detroit, MI). Happy 74th Birthday to this Motown legend!
Born on this day: December 30, 1942 - Songwriter, musician, producer, music video pioneer, and former MonkeeMichael Nesmith (born Robert Michael Nesmith in Houston, TX). Happy 71st Birthday, Nez!
Born on this day: December 30, 1945 - Former Monkees vocalist Davy Jones (born David Thomas Jones in Manchester, UK). Happy Birthday to this pop music icon on what would have been his 68th Birthday. We miss you, Davy!
On this day in music history: December 2, 1967 - "Daydream Believer" by The Monkees hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. Written by John Stewart, it is the third (and final) #1 single for The Monkees. Though it is recorded during sessions for the band's fourth album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd., it will be released initially as a stand alone single. It will be included on their next full-length release The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees. Singer and songwriter John Stewart ("Gold") will write the song while he is still a member of the folk music band The Kingston Trio. The song will be brought to The Monkees by their producer Chip Douglas, assigning it to Davy Jones to sing. Initially Davy isn't fond of the song, unsure that it will be a hit. Any doubt about its hit potential will be quickly erased as soon as it's released. Entering the Hot 100 at #33 on November 18, 1967, it will shoot to the top of the chart only three weeks later. "Daydream Believer" will become a hit again in early 1980 when country/pop singer Anne Murray's version tops the Adult Contemporary chart, as well as peaking at #3 on the country chart and #12 on the Hot 100. The Monkees version of "Daydream Believer" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: June 24, 1967 - Headquarters, the third studio album by The Monkees hits #1 on the Billboard Top 200 for one week. Produced by Chip Douglas (aka Douglas Farthing Hatlelid), it is recorded at RCA Music Center of the World Studios, Studio C from February 23 - March 22, 1967. By early 1967, The Monkees are at loggerheads with Screen Gems, the company responsible for producing their hit television series. Though highly successful, the band is unhappy (especially Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork who are both accomplished musicians) at having virtually no creative input or being allowed to play on their records. They will lobby for and win the right to play on their own records, which leads to the ouster of music supervisor Don Kirshner. The Monkees will lock themselves in the recording studio for four weeks while working on their third album. Writing a lion's share of the material included on the LP, many of the songs will be worked out while jamming together live in the studio. No singles will be released in the US, but it will spin off a major hit single in the UK with the Micky Dolenz-penned "Randy Scouse Git" (re-titled "Alternate Title") (#2 UK). The album will be another major success for the band, quickly rising to #1, but will be bumped from the top spot by The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band the following week, spending an additional 11 weeks in the runner up position. In time, it will be regarded as one of The Monkees best albums. Headquarters is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
Born on this day: April 22, 1922 - Jazz music icon Charles Mingus (born Charles Mingus, Jr. in Nogales, AZ). Happy Birthday to this visionary genius on what would have been his 91st Birthday.
Born on this day: April 22, 1936 - Singer/songwriter/guitarist Glen Campbell (born Glen Travis Campbell in Delight, AR). Happy 77th Birthday, Glen!!
On this day in music history: April 22, 1968 - The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees, the fifth album by The Monkees is released. Produced by The Monkees and Chip Douglas, it is recorded at RCA Studios, Gold Star Studios and United/Western Studios in Hollywood, CA from Late 1967 - Early 1968. The bands' fifth release will see them beginning to go their separate ways with each producing their own tracks with studio musicians, rather than working as a unit as on the previous two albums. The album will also be the last from The Monkees to be issued with separate mono and stereo mixes, with the former containing unique mixes and being pressed in such small quantities that they will become collector's items. It will spin off two singles including "Daydream Believer" (#1 Pop) and "Valleri" (#3 Pop). The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees will peak at #3 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
Remembering Pop and R&B vocal icon Whitney Houston (born Whitney Elizabeth Houston in Newark, NJ) - August 9, 1963 - February 11, 2012.
Born on this day: February 11, 1941 - Brazilian jazz pianist and bandleader Sergio Mendes (born Sergio Santos Mendes in Niteroi, Brazil). Happy 72nd Birthday, Sergio!!
On this day in music history: February 11, 1963 - The Beatles record their debut album Please Please Me in Studio Two at Abbey Road in London. Following the huge success of their second single "Please Please Me," the band are given the green light to record a complete album. Acting quickly, producer George Martin will have them perform material that is a part of their current stage act. Working with engineer Norman Smith behind the board, it will be recorded for a cost of only £400 ($630.24 US) live to two-track tape with very few overdubs done after the fact. They will record eleven songs in the nine hours and forty-five minutes (between 10 am and 10:45 pm with a lunch break and two tea breaks in between) it takes to complete the album. The album's iconic cover photo (taken by photographer Angus McBean) is shot in the stairwell of EMI Records Manchester Square offices in London. This location is decided upon after the initial idea of photographing the band in front of the insect house at the London Zoo is vetoed by the owners of the zoo. Released on March 22nd, the album is an instant smash, holding down the top spot on the UK album chart for 30 weeks, until it is replaced by their second album "With The Beatles" in November of 1963. Please Please Me will go on to become one of the best selling albums in history.