Thursday, January 29, 2015

Rod McKuen Has Died...

Superb poet and songwriter Rod McKuen died January 21 in Beverly Hills, California at the age of 81. 
McKuen wrote over 1,500 songs for Barbra Streisand, Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis and Percy Faith, among others.  Among his famous songs was "Jean", nominated for an Academy Award, and the English reworking of a French song into "Seasons In The Sun", which Terry Jacks turned into a #1 song in 1974. 
 

This Date in Rock Music History: January 30



1956:  Elvis Presley recorded "Blue Suede Shoes" at the RCA studios in New York City for what would be his first album.
1958:  Buddy Holly, Paul Anka, Jerry Lee Lewis & others performed at Sydney Stadium in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on the first of a six-day tour down under.
1959:  Elvis Presley was in the U.S. Army by now, but his songs continued to do well.  The double-sided "One Night"/"I Got Stung" reached #1 in the U.K., his third #1 song.

1961:  We got our first listen of Gene Pitney on this date as his debut single, "(I Wanna') Love My Life Away" debuted on the chart.  He of course would give us many other songs over the next nine years including "Town Without Pity", "Only Love Can Break a Heart", "It Hurts To Be In Love" and "(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance".







1961:  Mary Wells also debuted on the chart for the first time on this date with her initial single "Bye Bye Baby".  She would go on to record four Top 10 hits in her career with her biggest of course being "My Guy".
1961:  The Miracles moved into the #1 position on the R&B chart with "Shop Around".








Downtown by Petula Clark on Grooveshark
1961:  The Shirelles topped the chart with a song written for them by Stanley, Idaho's Carole King ("Will You Love Me Tomorrow"), becoming the first all-female group to reach #1.  "Calcutta" by Lawrence Welk was second, with "Exodus" by Ferrante & Teicher third.
1964:  The Searchers were #1 in the U.K. with "Needles And Pins".
1965:  The lovable Dean Martin had a #1 Easy Listening hit with "You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You".  






             Topol ("If I Were A Rich Man") from the landmark movie 'Fiddler on the Roof'...

1965:  Beatles '65 could not be beaten as the top album.  The Supremes were the closest on this date with Where Did Our Love Go while the popular "Mary Poppins" Soundtrack was third.  Soundtracks, in fact, captured five of the Top 10 positions, with "My Fair Lady" fifth, "A Hard Day's Night" from the Beatles still #6 after 29 weeks, "Fiddler on the Roof" moving from 11-7 and the "Roustabout" Soundtrack from Elvis Presley #8.  The rest of the Top 10:  Beach Boys Concert at #4, People from Barbra Streisand and 12 x 5 from the Rolling Stones stuck at #10.







1965:  Roger Miller had the highest debut with a song he wrote while in the Idanha Hotel in Boise, Idaho--"King Of The Road".









1965:  The 4 Seasons had another winner rocketing up the charts--"Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby Goodbye)" moved from 61 to 29.








Downtown by Petula Clark on Grooveshark

1965:  "Downtown", one of The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era*, remained at #1 for Petula Clark.  It somehow held off "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers.  Shirley Ellis played "The Name Game" to perfection, while the Searchers slipped from their peak of #3 and Joe Tex reached the Top 10 with "Hold What You've Got".  The rest of the Top 10:  Marvin Gaye with "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You", Gary Lewis & the Playboys registered a 34-7 move for "This Diamond Ring", the Supremes were at 8 with "Come See About Me", Del Shannon and "Keep Searchin'" and the Kinks moved from 19-10 with "All Day And All Of The Night".
1967:  The Beatles filmed "Strawberry Fields Forever" in Knole Park in Sevenoaks, Kent, England as a promotional clip to promote the song.  The video was filmed in color for use in the United States (U.K. television only showed black and white.)  
1968:  Bobby Goldsboro recorded "Honey" at RCA Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.


1969:  The Beatles made their last public appearance as a group with their famous 42-minute concert  on a cold, bitter day on the roof of their Apple Offices at 3 Savile Row in London.  "Get Back" was filmed for the movie Let It Be.  
1973:  KISS made their live debut at Popcorn (The Coventry Club) in Queens, New York.  The group played for a crowd of under 10 people.








1970:  Edison Lighthouse began a five-week run at #1 in the U.K. with "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)".








"Take Me to the Pilot"--Many feel that early Elton John represented his most creative music...

1971:  All Things Must Pass remained #1 on the Album chart for George Harrison.  The solid Abraxas release from Santana was next, followed by the "Jesus Christ Superstar" Soundtrack, the Greatest Hits package from Sly & the Family Stone and the superb Pendulum from CCR.  The rest of the Top 10:  John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Elton John with his self-titled release, Stephen Stills moved to #8 with his first solo album, The Partridge Family Album was ninth and the Live Album from Grand Funk Railroad, as they were known back then, closed the group.






1971:  There were two new Top 10 songs--"I Hear You Knocking" by Dave Edmunds, which moved from 16-7 and "One Bad Apple" which rolled from 34 to 9 for the Osmonds.
1971:  "Groove Me" by King Floyd, one of The Top 100 R&B Songs of the 1970's*, remained at the #1 spot in that genre for a third week.







1972:  Paul McCartney wrote and recorded the protest song "Give Ireland Back To The Irish", after watching news coverage of Bloody Sunday in which 13 people in Northern Ireland protesting the treatment of Irish nationalists were killed by British paratroopers.  McCartney was so angry that he wrote the song in less than two hours, and recorded it two days later.
1974:  Bob Dylan returned to New York City for the first time in eight years with a show at Madison Square Garden.








1975:  The Bee Gees began recording "Jive Talkin'".












1978:  Barry Manilow released the single "Can't Smile Without You".










1978:  The Bee Gees released the single "Night Fever".
1982:  Barbra Streisand began seven weeks at the top of the U.K. Album chart with Love Songs.
1982:  Promising newcomer Juice Newton reached #1 on the Adult chart with "The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known".








I Can't Go For That (No Can Do) by Hall & Oates on Grooveshark
1982:  Hall & Oates took over the #1 spot on the R&B chart with "I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)".





1982:  Hall & Oates scored their 17th hit, their fourth #1 and their fourth consecutive Top 10 with "I Can't Go For That".  Foreigner had one of The Top #2 songs of the Rock Era* with "Waiting For A Girl Like You" (hard to believe that Billboard never placed it at #1 over Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" but that is what they chose to do...)  Foreigner was #2 for the 10th straight week.  "Centerfold" from the J. Geils Band was lurking while the previously mentioned "Physical" fell to 4.  Quarterflash was a newcomer on the move with "Harden My Heart" while the superb "Leather And Lace" by Stevie Nicks and Don Henley, #1 in many markets, was sixth.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Turn Your Love Around" by the great George Benson, Earth, Wind & Fire, who had one of The Top 20 R&B Songs of the 1980's* with "Let's Groove", was at #8 overall, Juice Newton was up with "The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known)" and "Hooked On Classics" by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra moved into the Top 10.
 
            "Spirits in the Material World" from 'Ghost in the Machine'...

1982:  You can't keep good albums down (or good groups).  Twice the album 4 by Foreigner had reached #1 only to have the "flavor of the month" topple it.  The group had recently returned to #1 for the third time and on this date that meant 10 weeks as the top album.  Escape by Journey was a strong second with Freeze Frame from the J. Geils Band third.  The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra hit upon a popular theme as the wonderful Hooked On Classics was fourth.  The rest of the Top 10:  Tattoo You from the Rolling Stones, Stevie Nicks remained sixth with Bella Donna, AC/DC slipped with For Those About to Rock We Salute You, Hall & Oates were at 8 with Private Eyes, the Police with their fourth album Ghost In the Machine and Memories, the compilation from Barbra Streisand, was #10.



1984:  Dan Fogelberg released the single "The Language Of Love".
1988:  It was revealed in court that Frankie Goes to Hollywood had not played on their hits "Relax" and "Two Tribes", the exact situation that Milli Vanilli had.  The court was told that top session musicians  were used to record the songs.
1988:  Tiffany's remake of the classic Tommy James & the Shondells song "I Think We're Alone Now" reached #1 in the U.K.
1988:  Keith Sweat pulled in a #1 on the R&B chart with "I Want Her".
1988:  "Everywhere" by Fleetwood Mac led the way on the Adult Contemporary chart.






                 Eric Carmen landed in the Top 10...

1988:  INXS reached #1 with one of their biggest hits from the sensational album Kick--"Need You Tonight".  Tiffany was one step away with "Could've Been" while the Bangles revived a great Simon & Garfunkel song ("Hazy Shade Of Winter").  Michael Jackson went downward with "The Way You Make Me Feel" but Expose had a great new song with "Seasons Change".  The rest of the Top 10:  Roger with "I Want To Be Your Man", George Harrison slipped with "Got My Mind Set On You", one of the great underrated talents, Eric Carmen, reached the Top 10 from the movie Dirty Dancing with his second Top 10 solo hit 'Hungry Eyes", Elton John's live version of "Candle In The Wind" was ninth and Taylor Dayne with "Tell It To My Heart".





1989:  The Bangles released the single "Eternal Flame".  (Note:  some websites claim it was released February 17, 11 days after it charted on the singles chart.  This is not possible, for a song cannot make the singles chart if it has not been released as a single.)









                   Dylan--one happy fellow...

1990:  Bob Dylan was named commander in France's Order of Arts and Letters by that country's Culture Ministry.












1991:  Wilson Phillips released the single "You're In Love".
1993:  "The Bodyguard" Soundtrack was #1 for an eighth week, but Breathless from Kenny G was closing.  Unplugged by Eric Clapton ranked third, followed by Some Gave All from Billy Ray Cyrus and The Chase by Garth Brooks.  









1992:  Whitney Houston was at the pinnacle of her career, remaining #1 for a ninth week on the R&B chart with "I Will Always Love You".
1993:  "I Will Always Love You" hit double digits at #1--Whitney was on top for a 10th week.  
1994:  Natalie Cole sang the national anthem of the United States at Super Bowl XXVIII at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.
1996:  Bob Thiele, record executive who produced albums by Quincy Jones and helped discover Buddy Holly, the McGuire Sisters and Jackie Wilson among others, died of kidney failure in Manhattan, New York at the age of 73.  (Note:  some websites lazily put New York City as the place of death.  According to the newspaper 'The New York Times', Thiele died in Manhattan.)






1998:  Elton John was dubbed a knight by British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
1999:  Britney Spears had the #1 song with "...Baby One More Time".
2005:  On the eve of his trial on molestation charges, Michael Jackson sent an online message to fans.  He described testimony to the grand jury as "disgusting and false" and asked for a fair trial.  He got one and was later found innocent of all charges.

2005:  The re-release of "It's Now Or Never" by Elvis Presley moved to #1 on the U.K. chart.
2005:  Push the Button by the Chemical Brothers was the #1 album in the U.K.
2010:  Michael Jackson and Bobby Darin were saluted with Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Grammys.




2011:  John Barry, five-time Academy Award-winning songwriter and composer (Born Free, The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa and Dances with Wolves), who also scored many of the first James Bond movies and numerous others, including Midnight Cowboy, Somewhere in Time, Body Heat and The Cotton Club, died of a heart attack at age 77 in Oyster Bay, New York.










2013:  Patty Andrews of the Andrews Sisters ("Rum And Coca-Cola" and "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (of Company B)"), who also worked with Bing Crosby and the Glenn Miller Orchestra, died in Northridge, California at the age of 94.  (Note:  some websites incorrectly list her place of death as Los Angeles; she died in Northridge, according to CNN, the newspaper 'The Los Angeles Times' and 'The Huffington Post.')






Born This Day:
1936:  Horst Jankowski ("A Walk In The Black Forest" from 1965) was born in Berlin, Germany; died of lung cancer in Radolfzell, Baden-W├╝rttembergon June 29, 1998.
1940:  Sandy Yaguda (real last name Deanne) of Jay & the Americans was born in Brooklyn, New York. (Note:  some websites claim that Sandy was born in January 31, but the correct date is January 30, according to the book 'Stars of David:  Rock'n'roll's Jewist Stories' by Scott R. Benarde and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.)
1941:  Joe Terranova of Danny & the Juniors ("At The Hop" from 1958)
1942:  Marty Balin, lead singer of Jefferson Starship and a solo artist, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio.
1943:  Sandy Deanne, founding member of Jay & the Americans
1946:  Jackie Ross ("Selfish One" from 1964) was born in St. Louis, Missouri.
1947:  Steve Marriott, lead singer with the Small Faces ("Itchykoo Park") and Humble Pie, was born in East Ham, Essex, England; died April 20, 1991 after consuming large amounts of alcohol, lighting a cigarette in bed and setting the house on fire. 
1949:  William King, trumpet player, guitarist and percussionist of the Commodores, was born in Birmingham, Alabama.

1951:  Phil Collins, drummer and lead singer of Genesis and a solo superstar, was born in London.  (Note:  websites list various places of birth, including Hounslow, England, London, and Chiswick, London.  According to the newspaper 'The Telegraph', Collins was born in Chiswick.  While Chiswick is now part of London; in 1951, at the time of Phil's birth, Chiswick was in the county of Middlesex, and his birth certificate would show that.) 
1951:  Mary Ross, lead singer of Quarterflash ("Harden My Heart" from 1981)
1952:  Steve Bartek of Oingo Boingo was born in Garfield Heights, Ohio.







1959:  Jody Watley, vocalist with Shalamar ("The Second Time Around") and a solo star, was born in Chicago, Illinois.

Five Best Songs: Jennifer Lopez

We listened to all of Jennifer Lopez's songs, and spotlight her Five Best*:
 
 
 
 
 
1.  Waiting For Tonight
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

2.  Love Don't Cost A Thing









3.  Ain't It Funny
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
4.  If You Had My Love










5.  Dance Again