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Music History Monday: March 31

Posted by Jeff Harris, March 31, 2014 11:04am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: March 31, 1935 - Musician and co-founder of A&M Records, Herb Alpert (born Herbert Alpert in Los Angeles, CA). Happy 79th Birthday, Herb!
 


On this day in music history: March 31, 1949 - RCA Victor Records releases the first commercially available 45 RPM record available for domestic sale. That first single is "Tekarkana Baby" by country music legend Eddy Arnold. Written by Fred Rose, Arnold's version of the song will top the Billboard Best Selling Retail Folk Records chart (existing prior to the Country & Western chart) for one week. The label will press the initial run of the single on clear green vinyl. RCA will develop the new format in response to Columbia Records introducing the 33 1/3 RPM long playing LP the previous year. Pressed on vinyl (or styrene, which is developed by Columbia) rather than the fragile shellac discs that 78's were manufactured from, the 7" discs will grow in popularity, eventually overtaking the 78 in sales by the mid 1950's and becoming the dominant physical single format until the end of the 1980's. Happy 65th Birthday to the 45!
 


On this day in music history: March 31, 1958 - "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry is released. Written by Chuck Berry in 1955, the semi autobiographical song will be partially inspired by his longtime piano player Johnnie Johnson, though pianist Lafayette Leake will play on the single and not Johnson. "Goode's" opening riff will be lifted from R&B pioneer Louis Jordan's 1946 hit "Ain't That Just Like A Woman." The track is recorded at Chess Studios in Chicago on January 6, 1958 and features Berry backed by musicians Willie Dixon (bass), Lafayette Leake (piano), and Fred Below (drums). Chuck Berry's version will peak at #2 on the Billboard R&B Best Sellers chart and #8 on the Pop Best Sellers chart in June of 1958. Regarded as one of the quintessential rock & roll songs, it will be covered numerous times over the years by dozens of artists. Berry's original version is included on the Voyager Golden Record (a gold plated titanium disc with messages and music recorded on it) attached to the Voyager spacecraft in 1977 representing rock & roll music. The song will also be featured in the film Back To The Future in 1985, where in a humorous plot twist Berry's fictional cousin Marvin Berry overhears the song being performed by actor Michael J. Fox (actually sung by Mark Campbell of Jack Mack & The Heart Attack) who calls his cousin to tell him he's just heard the "new sound" he's been looking for. The original single of "Johnny B. Goode" is backed with the Berry-penned "Around And Around," which will also become a rock & roll standard that is also widely covered, most notably by The Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, The Animals, and David Bowie. Chuck Berry's original recording of "Johnny B. Goode" is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999.
 

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Linda McCartney's Somewhat Obscure Psychedelic Alien Invasion Hallucination

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, January 25, 2014 06:22pm | Post a Comment
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In 1978 Linda McCartney, then a member of husband Paul's Wings, teamed up with British animator and director Ian Emes (known for his work with Pink Floyd) to create the hauntingly hypnotic cartoon short The Oriental Nightfish (so named after the Linda-penned composition it accompanies). The song features Linda's lead vocals as well as her electric piano and moog synth stylings with Wings filling in the gaps, providing a little extra sonic lift.


 
 

Trippy as all hell, in the best way, Ian Emes revealed to the Birmingham Post in 2010 just how this totally far out project achieved full realization:
 
I got pissed off whisky and put the music on as loud as it would go, and lay on my back in the living room and let it wash over me. The whisky did indeed help, and I came up with this weird idea where alien forces enter this building where someone who looks like Linda McCartney plays a Gothic Expressionistic Wurlitzer. This blonde female is penetrated, got naked and inhabited by the alien force, then she's replicated, before becoming a comet that explodes. The film was a bit weird and scary and a little bit sexual. Yet it was later put on Paul McCartney's Rupert The Bear video for children. The kids who watched it years ago are now in their 20s, and they've set up an internet site called The Oriental Nightfish Haunted My Childhood. I guess it freaked them out and opened their imagination.
 
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Though the aforementioned site seems doomed to internet obscurity (if it even exists), the track "The Oriental Nightfish" is available on the studio/compilation album Wide Prairie released in 1998 following Linda McCartney's death earlier that year. The video for "The Oriental Nightfish" was made available on the VHS release of Rupert and the Frog Song -- a 1984 animated film based on the comic strip character Rupert Bear, written and produced by Paul McCartney -- a questionable placement given the not-so-vague sexual content of this short. There are some "import" vinyl collections out there that feature the song, one such release being the aptly titled Oriental Nightfish.

Music History Monday: May 27

Posted by Jeff Harris, May 27, 2013 09:45am | Post a Comment

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


Born on this day: May 27, 1957 - Punk and alternative music icon Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie & The Banshees and The Creatures (born Susan Janet Ballion in London, UK). Happy 56th birthday, Siouxsie!
 


On this day in music history: May 27, 1972 - "Oh Girl" by The Chi-Lites hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week, also topping the R&B singles chart for two weeks on June 3rd. Written and produced by Eugene Record, it is the biggest pop hit, and the second R&B chart topper for the Chicago based R&B quartet. Record will write and demo the song, then forget about it for a time. Producer and arranger Carl Davis will hear the demo and tell The Chi-Lites lead vocalist that he has a potential hit on his hands. Recorded at Universal Recording Studios in Chicago, the track is engineered by Bruce Swedien (Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones) and features Record playing bass and guitar on the track along with other members of Brunswick's regular rhythm section including Quinton Joseph (drums) and Tom Washington, aka "Tom Tom 84," (piano). Issued as a single on March 2, 1972, the song will receive a major boost when The Chi-Lites appear on comedian Flip Wilson's top rated comedy/variety program. At first the producers of the show will expect them to perform their recent hit "Have You Seen Her," but after hearing the brand new song, they'll change their minds and emphatically agree to the group's request to perform their new single for the first time on national television. Entering the Hot 100 at #80 on April 8, 1972, it will climb to the top of the chart seven weeks later, ending Roberta Flack's six week run at the top with "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." "Oh Girl" will be certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Music History Monday: May 20

Posted by Jeff Harris, May 20, 2013 11:00am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: May 20, 1967 - "Groovin'" by The Young Rascals hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks (non-consecutive), also peaking at #3 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written by Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati, it is the second chart topping single for the New York City-based blue eyed soul/pop rock quartet. For the band's sixth single release, they will venture into new musical territory. Taking an interest in Afro-Cuban music, keyboardist and lead vocalist Cavaliere along with percussionist Brigati will come up with a leisurely paced groove with that sound in mind, and begin crafting a song around it. Lyrically, it will be about how the only time the two busy musicians could spend with their respective girlfriends was on Sundays. When they get into the studio to cut the track, they will enlist the assistance of veteran studio bassist Chuck Rainey to play on the song. Once it's completed, the band will present the song to Atlantic Records, who at first are unsure of the song's commercial potential. Famed New York DJ Murray "The K" will convince the label to release song after he expresses his enthusiasm for it. Released on April 10, 1967, it is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #79 on April 22, 1967, it will rocket to the top of the chart just four weeks later. "Groovin'" will prove to have major staying power once it reaches the summit. After two weeks at the top, it will be bumped from the #1 spot by Aretha Franklin's "Respect" for two weeks, then it will return to the top for an additional two weeks. "Groovin'" will be certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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Wings Documentary ROCKSHOW, One Night Only at Balboa Theatre in SF!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 8, 2013 05:21pm | Post a Comment

paul mccartney wings rockshow san francisco Rockshow, the concert film featuring Paul McCartney and Wings taken from the 1975 - 1976 tour “Wings Over America,” screens one night only at San Francisco’s Balboa Theatre on Thursday, May 16th at 7:30pm.

Filmed at the enormous Kingdome in Seattle, Rockshow was not premiered until November of 1980 in New York, April of 1981 in London and, until now, never in San Francisco!

Don't miss your chance to see this special film! Get your tickets HERE!
 

 

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