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Music History Monday: June 22

Posted by Jeff Harris, June 22, 2015 09:36am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: June 22, 1948 - Singer, songwriter, producer, and musician Todd Rundgren (born Todd Harry Rundgren in Upper Darby, PA). Happy 67th Birthday, Todd!
 


Born on this day: June 22, 1947 - Turtles lead singer and one half the great background vocal duo Flo & Eddie, Howard Kaylan (born Howard Kaplan in New York, NY). Happy 68th Birthday, Howard!
 


Born on this day: June 22, 1953 - Singer and songwriter Cyndi Lauper (born Cynthia Ann Stephanie Lauper in Woodhaven, Queens, NY). Happy 62nd Birthday, Cyndi!
 


On this day in music history: June 22, 1968 - "This Guy's In Love With You" by Herb Alpert hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, it is the first chart-topping single for the co-founder of A&M Records. In early 1968, musician Herb Alpert will receive an offer from CBS to host his own network television special titled The Beat Of The Brass. Looking new material to perform on the program, Alpert will contact his friend, songwriter Burt Bacharach, and ask him if he has any old songs that haven't been recorded. Bacharach will find the lyrics and music to a song he and his lyricist partner Hal David wrote titled "This Guy's In Love With You." Alpert loves it and records it immediately. When The Beat Of The Brass special airs on CBS on April 22, 1968, the song will be featured in a segment where Alpert sings the song to his then wife Sharon on the beach in Malibu, CA. The day after the special airs, the CBS switchboard is flooded with thousands of calls from viewers asking where they can buy the record. A&M Records will rush release the single the following day. Entering The Hot 100 at #72 on May 18, 1968, it then streaks to the top of the chart five weeks later. The record is the first number one pop single for both A&M Records as a label, and for songwriters Bacharach and David, becoming one of their most performed and recorded songs. The success of "This Guy's In Love With You" will send the accompanying album The Beat Of The Brass to number one on the Billboard Top 200, becoming Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass' fifth and final chart-topping album. "This Guy's In Love With You" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Game Covers

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, June 6, 2010 09:20pm | Post a Comment

Todd is Godd: Rundgren tours his legendary album A Wizard, A True Star.

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, December 5, 2009 08:30am | Post a Comment
 todd rundgren a wizard a true star album cover tour 2009 san francisco live futurist rock concert
I have only ever twice before been fortunate enough to have enjoyed a live performance of an entire album from beginning to end. I'll never forget the dorky glee I felt once upon a time in 1990 hearing Geoff Tate of Queensryche ask his band mates a few songs into their show in support of their album Empire, "guys, shall we do Mindcrime?," only then to crush non-stop through their hour-long progressive rock-opera Operation: Mindcrime. Then there was the surprise and delight of hearing Joanna Newsom say during her show a couple of Christmases ago, "I'd like to perform my new album for you now," and just like that, her nearly hour long Ys magically unfurled its sails with everyone in attendance on board. However, Todd Rundgren's performance last Tuesday night of his stellar album A Wizard, A True Star at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco was a mess of fandom-fueled joy that I knew I was getting into and, to a certain extent, almost dreaded.
todd rundgren a wizard a true star awats tour fan art jacket embroidery needle craft
I mean, compared to the prior two experiences where my "being there when they unexpectedly played the album" aspect of the live performance became a highlight of each show, I wondered how will I look back on this --- a show where I know not only the set list beforehand, but also already anticipate the overall feeling that I get when listening to the album on my own terms. In other words, how could this show present anything but the record I love as a less-than-perfect rendition with low-lights glaring where the highlights would be (a lot like Todd's white-on-black hairdo actually). Maybe I was a little concerned as to Todd's ability to deliver, at age 61, his genre-smearing, progressive futuristic rock magnum opus of 1973 in a live, staged setting --- an album that has aged so well that Todd admits to caving in to fan demands for a tour when asked, "why this album," and "why now?" C'mon, who would go through all the trouble to embroider the back of their jacket with album art from a record that wasn't sent from Utopia itself? If the exemplary piece of fan craftage above (as seen at the show last Tuesday night) gives any indication, Rundgren's A Wizard, A True Star must be nothing less than the shit, impervious to crumbling under the constraints of staged presentation! Still there's more...
todd rundgren rocker style icon 1970's guitar god a wizard a true star tour 2009
I know now that I was wrong to doubt Rundgren's ability, regardless of age, to deliver anything but a jaw-dropping display of pure showmanship and theatricality. And I was wrong to expect the expected too. For one thing, I had no idea Todd was to be his own opening band. To everyone's surprise, Todd, flanked by three other dudes similarly clad in black on black and wearing black shades, took to the stage and, after announcing the world premiere of "Todd Rundgren's Johnson," played a robust set of Robert Johnson covers. Todd explained at one point that this particular cover band thing had something to do with either business or karmic obligations, probably both. In any case the set provided a means for a world class shredder like Rundgren to really strut his stuff and look effortlessly cool doing so. But that didn't last long, as Todd's taste for rotating guises in the second act, or rather the show we all came to see, had me wondering if Rundgren's "style icon" status has rendered him immune to aesthetic criticism or has been downright revoked.

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