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Music History Monday: October 20

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

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

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

Music History Monday: November 19

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 19, 2012 11:34am | Post a Comment

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

Music History MondayOn this day in music history: November 19, 1966 - "Knock On Wood" by Eddie Floyd hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for one week, also peaking at #28 on the Hot 100 on December 10th. Written by Eddie Floyd and Steve Cropper, It will be the biggest hit for Alabama-born soul singer. The song is actually recorded in the Summer of 1965 (with Booker T. & The MG's, Isaac Hayes on piano, and The Mar-Keys' horn section), but is held back from release by Stax Records president Jim Stewart when he believes that it is too similar to Wilson Pickett's "In The Midnight Hour." The record will actually experience resistance from radio upon its release, failing to receive any airplay initially. Stax Records' head Al Bell will hit upon the idea of Floyd performing live in an area where he has a strong fanbase. Washington DC will be city that is chosen. The ploy will work, with the single breaking on radio stations in the DC and Baltimore area. From there, the record will go national. Over the years, "Knock On Wood" will be covered by a number of artists Ike & Tina Turner, David Bowie, and Eric Clapton. Singer Amii Stewart's disco rendering of the song will become a worldwide hit, hitting #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April of 1979.
 

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Music History Monday: October 1

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 1, 2012 02:10pm | Post a Comment
On this day in music history: October 1, 1961Blue Hawaii, the 14th album by Elvis Presley is released. Produced by Steve Sholes, it is recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood from March 21 - 23, 1961. Issued as the soundtrack to Presley's eighth film, the album is an enormous success. The songs will underscore its story and tropical Hawaiian locale, also including cover versions of traditional "Aloha 'Oe" and "The Hawaiian Wedding Song." The soundtrack will spin off the classic "Can't Help Falling In Love" (#2 Pop), which will become one of Presley's signature songs and a live performance staple as the closing song of his shows during the '70's. Blue Hawaii will spend 20 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and a total of 39 weeks in the Top 10, making it the second most successful movie soundtrack of the 1960's behind West Side Story. To date, the soundtrack has been certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.


On this day in music history: October 1, 1977 - "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band" by Meco hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. Written by John Williams, it will be the biggest hit for the classically trained musician from Johnsonburg, PA.  Musician and record producer Domenico "Meco" Monardo, impressed with composer/conductor Williams' score for the blockbuster film Star Wars, will re-arrange the entire score into a 15 minute long disco suite that is released on the album Star Wars And Other Galactic Funk (issued on Casablanca subsidiary Millennium Records). The track features a group of 75 musicians, including a number of first call studio players such as Steve Gadd, Will Lee, Marcus Miller, Anthony Jackson, Neil Jason, David Spinozza, John Tropea, Alan Rubin, Randy Brecker, Jon Faddis, Suzanne Ciani, and Gene Orloff. The main theme and "Cantina Band" are extracted from the extended track and edited down to 45 length. "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band" will be certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA for sales of over two million copies.

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