Music History Monday: March 9

Posted by Jeff Harris, March 9, 2015 11:12am | Post a Comment

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Born on this day: March 9, 1948 - Singer, songwriter and former lead singer of L.T.D., Jeffrey Osborne (born Jeffrey Linton Osborne in Providence, RI). Happy 67th Birthday, Jeffrey!

On this day in music history: March 9, 1959 - "Venus" by Frankie Avalon hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks, also peaking at #10 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written by Ed Marshall, it is the biggest hit for the Philadelphia singer and actor born Francis Thomas Avallone. Frankie will first become involved with music at the age of 11 when his father buys him a trumpet from a pawn shop after seeing actor Kirk Douglas in the film Young Man With A Horn. The young Avallone will quickly master the instrument and begins playing professionally while still in his teens, even signing a recording contract to RCA subsidiary X Records in 1954 as a member of the band Rocco & The Saints. In 1957, Avallone's neighbor Bob Marcucci will start his own label Chancellor Records and sign Avallone. Angelicizing his name to Frankie Avalon, he will record two singles for Chancellor that will flop. For his third single, Marcucci and songwriter/co-producer Peter DeAngelis will write "Dede Dinah," having Avalon sing it in a nasally voice. It will quickly become a hit peaking at #7 in February of 1958, after he performs the song on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. For his sixth single, Avalon will record a song brought to him by songwriter Ed Marshall. Sure that it is a hit, the singer will call Marcucci over quickly to hear it. Three days later, they will record "Venus" at Beltone Studios in New York City in only nine takes. Released in late January of 1959, the single is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #99 on February 9, 1959, it will rocket to the top of the chart four weeks later. "Venus" will establish Frankie Avalon as one of the preeminent "teen idols" of the era, which will lead to a successful career in movies when he is paired with former Mouseketeer Annette Funicello during the '60s. Avalon's label boss Bob Marcucci's life story and the success he has with artists like Frankie Avalon and labelmate Fabian will become the basis of the 1980 film The Idolmaker. "Venus" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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20 Songs to Ring in the New Year

Posted by Billy Gil, January 1, 2015 09:40am | Post a Comment

20 songs to ring in the new year

HAPPY NEW YEAR Y’ALL! Here is a list of songs to ring in the new year. Some of it is happy and some of it is sad—just like your life will be in 2015! J/K IT WILL BE AWESOME.


Death Cab for Cutie – “The New Year” (from the album Transatlanticism)


U2 – “New Year’s Day” (from the album War)


Beach House – “New Year” (from the album Bloom)


Bing Crosby – “Let’s Start the New Year Right” (can be found on Bing Crosby: Christmas Album)

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Music History Monday: October 20

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 20, 2014 10:56am | Post a Comment

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On this day in music history: October 20, 1962 - "Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. Written by Bobby Pickett and Leonard Capizzi, it will be the biggest hit for the singer and songwriter from Somerville, MA. The novelty classic will be recorded in the garage studio of producer/label owner Gary S. Paxton, and also features musician Leon Russell on piano. The record will be rejected by several labels before Paxton works out a distribution deal with London Records and releases it on his own Garpax label. The song is an immediate hit upon its release. Entering the Hot 100 at #72 on September 8, 1962, it will rocket to the top of the chart just six weeks later. On its initial release in the UK, the BBC will actually ban the record for being "too morbid," though it will later peak at #3 on its re-release in 1973. "Monster Mash" will also make chart history as the only single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 three separate times. After its first run in 1962, it will peak at #91 in September of 1970. The single will actually make the top 10 a second time, peaking at #10 in August of 1973. "Monster Mash" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: October 20, 1977 - A chartered plane carrying members of the Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd and their crew crashes into a swamp near Gillsburg, MS. The band is on tour in support of its latest album Street Survivors, released just three days before. The Convair CV-300 plane is in route from Greenville, SC to Baton Rouge, LA when it runs out of fuel and crashes into a heavily wooded area. Lead singer Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, singer Cassie Gaines (Steve’s older sister), assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, and co-pilot William Gray are all killed on impact. The other members of the band and crew will all sustain serious injuries from the crash. Drummer Artimus Pyle and two members of the road crew will be able to climb from the wreckage and get help for the remaining survivors. The cause of the plane crash will be determined to have been caused by a malfunctioning ignition device on one of the engines and by pilot error when the pilots accidentally dump the remaining fuel instead of transferring it to the still working engine. After the accident, the band's label MCA Records will quickly withdraw the original cover artwork of Street Survivors, which shows the band surrounded by flames. The background will be airbrushed black on all subsequent repressings until it is reissued on CD when the original artwork is restored. Lynyrd Skynyrd will not perform again for ten years, until the surviving members reform the band in 1987, with Ronnie’s younger brother Johnny Van Zant taking over as lead vocalist.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Public Enemy's Chuck D on Politics, Hip-Hop & more - from a November 1992 Perspective

Posted by Billyjam, December 17, 2013 07:07am | Post a Comment

For this week's Hip-Hop History Amoeblog, I take it back to 21 years ago to early November of 1992 when I caught up with Chuck D of Public Enemy (PE) to chat with him on the state of politics. Since that interview (which I just uncovered again this past week) was never archived anywhere, I decided to share it here because its content is pretty engaging from a historical point of view. I also assembled a series of Public Enemy videos from their six-year career up to that point.  November 1992 was a time when the politically charged hip-hop crew was still riding high in popularity and public consciousness.

Tragically, even hip-hop heads don't realize that PE are still together as a group these days, touring, recording, and making meaningful statements. But back then, everyone knew and intently listened to what the group, -- whose previous year's album Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black, was still selling briskly and whose compilation of remixes and new tracks, Greatest Misses, had just been released seven weeks earlier -- had to say. Of course things would soon shift on the popular hip-hop landscape since, just a month later in mid December of 1992, former N.W.A. member Dr. Dre would release a game-changing album - The Chronic with the Snoop Doggy Dogg featured lead single "Nuthin' But A G Thang" - that would be highly instrumental in helping push popular rap away from the political arena and towards the gangsta/G-Funk/mob style of rap as the predominant force in popular hip-hop.

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Four Inch Focus- Ladies Of The Labels Pt 5

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, January 6, 2013 09:40pm | Post a Comment

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