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On 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.
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.
Rock music has way too many incredibly memorable guitar riffs to limit a best of list to just one hundred, but the 100 riffs that guitarist Alex Chadwick of The Chicago Music Exchange came up with for the above video performance ain't half bad, and it is a nice informal overview of the history of rock n' roll. Sure it's a subjective selection that includes a lot of mega hits of the genre, and no doubt every rock fan could come up with their own unique list of a hundred best guitar riffs. But I like what Alex has done: from his playing to his choices of riffs, and from how he segues from song to song, to how he plays it on his 1958 Fender Strat all in chronological order. Below is that list of songs and artists in order with the artist names that are blue highlighted linking back to the Amoeba Online Store. where you can find their respective music (CDs, LPs, DVDs) including (in near all cases) the song played by Alex.
1 "Mr. Sandman" Chet Atkins
3 "Words of Love" Buddy Holly
4 "Johnny B Goode" Chuck Berry
5 "Rumble" Link Wray
Titled "Transformation, Copyright, and the Right of Publicity in the Digital Age" the lecture promises to address issues surrounding the all important topic of fair use in this digital age where so information is freely passed around by so many. According to Dr. Alexander Sigman (Adjunct Professor of Digital Audio Technology and Digital Entrepreneurship), who is event organizer & instructor of the course associated with the lecture series. at Cogswell , "In copyright law, something is more likely to be fair use if it somehow "transforms" the original work. Similarly, in right of publicity cases, courts are increasingly looking to whether the depiction of a celebrity is somehow "transformative."" Sigman says that in his lecture Nazer will argue that this transformation test is applied in a way that threatens free speech in the digital age.