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Music History Monday: February 23

Posted by Jeff Harris, February 23, 2015 10:14am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: February 23, 1968The Dock Of The Bay, the sixth album by Otis Redding, is released. Produced by Steve Cropper, it is recorded at Stax Studios in Memphis from July 11, 1965 - December 8, 1967. The first posthumous release from the legendary R&B vocalist features tracks from his final recording sessions cut just two days before his death, combined with unreleased material that dates as far back as 1965. The album also includes the hugely successful title track "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay," which will become a posthumous number one single on the pop and R&B singles chart in March of 1968. The Dock Of The Bay will spend three weeks (non-consecutive) at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, peaking at number four on the Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 


On this day in music history: February 23, 1980 - "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. Written by Freddie Mercury, it is the first US chart-topper for the British rock band. The song will come to Mercury while taking a bath in his room at the Munich Hilton. Quickly getting out of the bath, he'll run to the piano and begins playing the chords, writing them down before he forgets them. The song will be recorded at Musicland Studios in Munich, Germany during sessions for The Game. Initially, the band's US label Elektra Records, who do not think that the Elvis Presley-inspired rocker will be a hit and don't want to release a single with no album accompany it immediately, will refuse to release it. But they will be forced to when US radio stations begin playing imported copies of the 45 and listener demand for the record becomes too great to ignore. Issued as a single more than seven months ahead of the album, it will become an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #58 on December 22, 1979, it will climb to the top of the chart nine weeks later. "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 

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From the Vault: Julia Holter

Posted by Billy Gil, August 29, 2013 05:18pm | Post a Comment

julia holter live at amoebaI interviewed performer Julia Holter a while back, last year when she played at Amoeba Hollywood upon the release of her album, Ekstasis. Now the CalArts-bred experimental pop artist is back with a new album, Loud City Song (available on CD or LP), and it’s one of the year’s best, combining cerebral electro-pop and neo-classical orchestration, with a piano-based, singer-songwriter heart. Read our conversation below about Joni Mitchell, TLC and the vastness of L.A. Make sure to check out Loud City Song and see photos from her performance here.

 

Me: Were you always able to sing growing up, and who were some of your singing idols?

Holter: I didn’t sing much until I was—well I sang in secret—and when I was like 15, I started listening to Joni Mitchell a lot, like her later stuff that’s really cool, not just the early, folk stuff, but the weirder stuff.

Me: Like her jazz records?

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Music History Monday: July 8

Posted by Jeff Harris, July 8, 2013 02:30pm | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: July 8, 1950 - "Mona Lisa" by Nat King Cole hits #1 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart for eight weeks, also topping the Rhythm & Blues charts for four weeks on September 2nd. Written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston, the song is featured in the film Captain Carey, U.S.A. starring Alan Ladd. Arranged by Nelson Riddle and with instrumental backing by Les Baxter & His Orchestra, Cole's version of the song is featured on the film's soundtrack. "Mona Lisa" will win the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1951, quickly becoming a pop standard and is covered by numerous artists over the years, though Cole' version will be regarded as the definitive version. Nat King Cole's recording of "Mona Lisa" will be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1992.
 


On this day in music history: July 8, 1957 - "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear" by Elvis Presley hits #1 on the Billboard Best Sellers chart, also topping the Country & Western chart for one week on August 5th and the Rhythm & Blues chart for one week on September 2nd. Written by Kal Mann and Bernie Lowe, it is the rock & roll icon's seventh number one single in just under 15 months. Songwriters Mann and Lowe (co-founders of Philadelphia based Cameo-Parkway Records) will hear of a rumor started (no one is certain where or by whom) that Elvis Presley collected teddy bears, leading his fans to send him thousands of the cuddly toys. That will provide the inspiration for the pair to write the song for Presley's second film, Loving You. The track is recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood on January 24, 1957 with Presley's regular band including Scotty Moore (guitar), Bill Black (bass), D.J. Fontana (drums), and The Jordanaires (background vocals). Entering the Best Sellers chart at #23 on June 24, 1957, it will pole vault to the top of the chart two weeks later. "Teddy Bear" will quickly sell over two million copies in the US, and is the third of four chart topping singles for Elvis during 1957. Presley will become the only artist in history to hold the top spot on the pop singles chart for 25 weeks, which he will do consecutively in both 1956 and 1957.
 

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The Art of the LP Cover- Hoop Earrings

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 5, 2011 01:45pm | Post a Comment

(In which we celebrate the birth of B.S.)

Posted by Job O Brother, March 2, 2009 04:31pm | Post a Comment
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"Say sma┼żák!"
Composer Bedřich Smetana

As all of you are undoubtedly already aware, today would have been the 185 birthday of Czech composer, Bedřich Smetana (pronounced Bedřich Smetana), had he not succumbed to a tenacious and ultimately fatal case of death.

I always love to hear how you, my faithful readers, celebrate Smetana’s Birthday, whether it be the traditional donning of feather headdresses and consumption of chocolate 'n' gunpowder cakes, or playing the challenging 8-mile Egg Toss, or simply drawing x’s all over your skin in blue ink while cowering in a corner, gnashing your teeth and rubbing sores with the delicious, homemade watermelon hard candies.
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In my family, we’ve replaced the expensive and messy tradition of drowning kittens in butterscotch with the more humane practice of snowing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This is not only kinder to animals, but ensures water-levels for the State of California remain drought-proof.

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AMOEBLOG RECIPE HOT-TIP

Making snow is not as hard as it sounds. Here’s what you will need: