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Music History Monday: June 16

Posted by Jeff Harris, June 16, 2014 11:02am | Post a Comment

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


Born on this day: June 16, 1942 - R&B vocal legend Eddie Levert (born Edward Levert in Bessemer, AL) of The O'Jays. Happy 72nd Birthday, Eddie! We love you!
 


Born on this day: June 16, 1971 - Rap music icon and actor 2Pac (born Tupac Amaru Shakur in East Harlem, NY). Happy Birthday to Tupac on what would have been his 43rd Birthday.
 


On this day in music history: June 16, 1979 - “Ring My Bell” by Anita Ward hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for five weeks, also topping the Hot 100 for two weeks on June 30, 1979. Written and produced by Frederick Knight, it is the biggest hit for the former school teacher turned singer from Memphis, TN. The song is originally written and intended for the then 13-year-old singer Stacy Lattisaw. When Lattisaw does not end up signing with Knight’s production company (signing with Atlantic Records instead), Knight will re-write the lyrics, originally about kids talking on the telephone, to something more suited for an adult singer. Anita Ward, a 22-year-old former school teacher will be given the song for her debut album. The track is cut at Malaco Studios in Jackson, MS and released on Knight’s Juana Records (distributed by Miami-based TK Records). The record will be remixed by famed New York club DJ Richie Rivera, which will turn it into a worldwide hit. “Ring My Bell” will sell over 2.5 million copies in the US alone.
 

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Music History Monday: February 17

Posted by Jeff Harris, February 17, 2014 09:30am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: February 17, 1962 - "Duke Of Earl" by Gene Chandler (Born Eugene Dixon) hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart for five weeks on the same date. Written by Bernice Williams, Eugene Dixon, and Earl Edwards, it is the biggest hit for the R&B vocalist. The song will originate as a vocal warm up exercise in the doo wop group The Dukays, in which Chandler and Edwards were both members. Entering the Hot 100 at #93 on January 13, 1962, it will leap to the top of the chart five weeks later. "Duke Of Earl" will become the first million selling single for Chicago-based independent label Vee-Jay Records. When Chandler performs the song live, he will often appear dressed in a black waist coat and tails with topped off with a matching black cape and top hat. The song will be covered numerous times over the years and will be sampled as the basis of Cypress Hill's "Hand On The Pump" in 1991. "Duke Of Earl" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 


On this day in music history: February 17, 1966 - The Beach Boys will begin recording the single "Good Vibrations" at United/Western Recorders in Hollywood. Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, inspiration for the song will have its origins in a conversation that Brian Wilson has with his mother Audree as a child, who will tell him that dogs will bark at some people and not at others because of the "vibrations" they sense coming from them. the initial recording session will have Wilson working with members of The Wrecking Crew cutting 26 takes of the instrumental track. Seventeen more sessions at three other recording studios will take place over the next six months as the song is refined. The end product will be generate over 90 hours of tape and cost an unprecedented $50,000. At the time of its October 1966 release, it will be the most expensive single ever recorded. First issued as a stand alone single, it is intended to be the cornerstone of the album Smile, which is originally scheduled for release in early 1967. However, Wilson's fragile emotional state, exacerbated by drug use and inner band conflict over the direction of the project will lead to the album being shelved until 2011. The Smile Sessions box set will include an alternate stereo mix of "Good Vibrations."
 

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Music History Monday: September 9

Posted by Jeff Harris, September 9, 2013 11:30am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: September 9, 1941 - R&B vocal icon Otis Redding (born Otis Ray Redding, Jr. in Dawson, GA). Happy Birthday to The Big "O" on what would have been his 72nd Birthday.
 


On this day in music history: September 9, 1967 - "Cold Sweat Pt. 1" by James Brown hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for three weeks, also peaking at #7 on the Hot 100 on August 26th. Written by Brown and Alfred "Pee Wee" Ellis, it is the fifth R&B chart topper for the Hardest Working Man in Show Business. The song is originally written in 1962, but is re-recorded and given a dramatic re-arrangement after Brown hears "Funky Broadway," the recent hit single by Wilson Pickett. The track is recorded at King Studios in Cincinnati in May of 1967 and is the first session for engineer Ron Lenhoff who will become Brown's recording engineer for the next eight years, recording and mixing numerous hits for the Godfather of Soul. The extended workout runs over seven minutes in its entirety, but is edited and split into two parts for single release. "Cold Sweat" will mark a major turning point in the evolution of R&B music, being the first record to introduce the subgenre known as Funk. By putting more emphasis on the rhythmic aspects of the song, rather than the melody, it will be regarded as one of the most influential records ever released. Released as single in July, "Cold Sweat" will climb the R&B and pop charts quickly. Ironically, it will be replaced at the top of the R&B charts by Wilson Pickett's "Funky Broadway," the very song that inspired James Brown to create "Cold Sweat."
 

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Music History Monday: May 27

Posted by Jeff Harris, May 27, 2013 09:45am | Post a Comment

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


Born on this day: May 27, 1957 - Punk and alternative music icon Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie & The Banshees and The Creatures (born Susan Janet Ballion in London, UK). Happy 56th birthday, Siouxsie!
 


On this day in music history: May 27, 1972 - "Oh Girl" by The Chi-Lites hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week, also topping the R&B singles chart for two weeks on June 3rd. Written and produced by Eugene Record, it is the biggest pop hit, and the second R&B chart topper for the Chicago based R&B quartet. Record will write and demo the song, then forget about it for a time. Producer and arranger Carl Davis will hear the demo and tell The Chi-Lites lead vocalist that he has a potential hit on his hands. Recorded at Universal Recording Studios in Chicago, the track is engineered by Bruce Swedien (Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones) and features Record playing bass and guitar on the track along with other members of Brunswick's regular rhythm section including Quinton Joseph (drums) and Tom Washington, aka "Tom Tom 84," (piano). Issued as a single on March 2, 1972, the song will receive a major boost when The Chi-Lites appear on comedian Flip Wilson's top rated comedy/variety program. At first the producers of the show will expect them to perform their recent hit "Have You Seen Her," but after hearing the brand new song, they'll change their minds and emphatically agree to the group's request to perform their new single for the first time on national television. Entering the Hot 100 at #80 on April 8, 1972, it will climb to the top of the chart seven weeks later, ending Roberta Flack's six week run at the top with "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." "Oh Girl" will be certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 

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