Thursday, February 9, 2012

This Date in Rock Music History: February 9

1957:  A new star first appeared on the radio.  On this date, Johnny Mathis had his first hit "Wonderful!  Wonderful!" debut on the chart.
1957:  "Blue Monday" by Fats Domino was the top R&B song for a third week.
1959:  Frankie Avalon had to bow out of the ill-fated Winter Dance Party (that had already claimed the lives of Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper) due to pneumonia, replaced by Paul Anka and Fabian.
1959:  "Stagger Lee" by Lloyd Price moved to #1 on the R&B chart.

1959:  The Coasters had a big hit out as "Charlie Brown" moved from 69 to 29.
1959:  Lloyd Price jumped to #1 with "Stagger Lee".
1961:  The Beatles made their first appearance at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England under their new name.

1962:  Neil Sedaka recorded "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do".
1962:  Bobby Darin was a guest on the popular television show What's My Line(Note:  numerous websites state that Bobby Darin was a guest on the program on December 9, 1964.  The correct date is February 9, 1964, according to the official website for Bobby Darin.)1963:  "Two Lovers" by Mary Wells wrapped up a four-week run at #1 on the R&B chart.
1963:  The Rooftop Singers remained on top for a third week on the Easy Listening chart with "Walk Right In".

The 4 Seasons with one of the great sounds of the early 60's...

1963:  Paul & Paula had the new #1 song with "Hey Paula".  That meant someone had to fall and on this day it was the Rooftop Singers.  Bobby Vee's excellent "The Night Has A Thousand Eyes" remained third with "Loop De Loop" from Johnny Thunder next.  The rest of a great Top 10:  The 4 Seasons vaulted from 15 to 6 with one of their signature hits--"Walk Like A Man", Dion moved from 12-7 with "Ruby Baby", the Miracles climbed in with "You've Really Got A Hold On Me", the Cascades' great song "Rhythm Of The Rain" shot up from 19 to 9 and Steve Lawrence fell with "Go Away Little Girl".
1968:  Hal Cone, former manager of the Monkees, was found guilty of theft, forgery, receiving stolen property and conspiracy.
1971:  Bobby Darin had surgery in Los Angeles to replace a bad heart valve.  He survived this operation but would die later while undergoing another.
1972:  Bobby Darin starred on an episode of Night Gallery on NBC-TV.
1972:  Wings made their live debut at Nottingham University in England.  Brinsley Swartz opened the show.
1974:  A new act from Philadelphia first appeared on the chart and on the radio with their debut single release ("She's Gone").  It wouldn't become a hit until two years later when they re-released it.  They would go on to become one of The Top Duos of the Rock Era*--Hall & Oates.

1974:  "Waterloo" by Abba was chosen to represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest.  It of course won and helped launch them as one of the top international super acts of the Rock Era.
1974:  Anne Murray reached #1 on the Adult chart with "Love Song".
1974:  Eddie Kendricks had himself a #1 R&B song with "Boogie Down".

1974:  John Denver appeared to have his second big hit as "Sunshine On My Shoulders" moved from #77 to 51.
1974:  The beautiful "Love's Theme" by Love Unlimited Orchestra was the new #1 song, with Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were" dropping for now.
1975:  Cher debuted her television variety series with guests Elton John and Bette Midler.

1976:  Percy Faith, bandleader, composer and conductor who gave us "Theme From 'A Summer Place'", not only Record of the Year in 1961 and one of The Top 5 Instrumentals of the Rock Era* but also one of The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era*, died of cancer at age 67 in Encino, California.  (Note:  several websites, including '', falsely report his place of death as Los Angeles.  According to credible sources such as the newspaper 'The Los Angeles Times', Faith died in Encino.)

1980:  A great new group from Australia was introduced to us on this date as Air Supply first appeared on the chart and on the radio with their debut single--"Lost In Love".
1980:  "Rock With You" topped the R&B chart for Michael Jackson for a sixth week.
1980:  Dan Fogelberg scored a #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with one of The Top Love Songs of the Rock Era*--"Longer".

         Stevie Nicks on lead for Fleetwood Mac's "Sara"...

1980:  Michael Jackson had by far his biggest solo hit to date as "Rock With You" remained at #1 for a fourth week.  The Captain & Tennille would have to settle for #2 for a fourth week with "Do That To Me One More Time".  Kenny Rogers was still a solid #3 and many radio stations had "Coward Of The County" #1.  Smokey Robinson's biggest career solo hit "Cruisin'" was fourth with Queen holding their ground with "Crazy Little Thing Called Love".  The rest of the Top 10:  Teri DeSario with K.C. and "Yes, I'm Ready", Fleetwood Mac's "Sara"--it too was much higher in most markets, the Eagles remained at #8 with "The Long Run", Dan Fogelberg's breakthrough hit "Longer" moved from 17 to 9 and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers were content at #10 with "Don't Do Me Like That".

             The Eagles with one of 'The Top Album Tracks of the Rock Era'*--"In the City"...

1980:  Pink Floyd notched a fourth week at #1 on the Album chart with The Wall.  Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers finally had their breakthrough with Damn the Torpedoes and the Eagles' great album The Long Run was third.  Michael Jackson (Off the Wall), Kenny Rogers (Kenny) and Dan Fogelberg (Phoenix) held their ground.  The rest of the Top 10:  On the Radio-Greatest Hits-Volumes I & II from Donna Summer, the superb Tusk album by Fleetwood Mac, Bee Gees Greatest at #9 and Styx re-entered the Top 10 with Cornerstone.
1981:  Phil Collins released the album Face Value.

1981:  Bill Haley, whose song "Rock Around The Clock" not only officially started the Rock Era but remains one of The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era*, died of a heart attack at his home in Harlingen, Texas at age 56.

1985:  Howard Jones released the single "Things Can Only Get Better".
1985:  All signs pointed to a huge hit for Wham!  with "Careless Whisper" and it jumped to the top of the Adult Contemporary chart.

   The great Fogerty made a huge comeback with "The Old Man Down the Road".

1985:  Madonna rose to #1 on the Album chart with Like a Virgin.  Previous #1 Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen would greatly outlast Madonna's album in the long run.  Wham!  moved to 3 with Make It Big while Foreigner's Agent Provocateur locked on to the #4 spot.  The rest of the Top 10:  Prince with the Soundtrack to "Purple Rain", Chicago 17, New Edition with their self-titled album, Bryan Adams and Reckless, Tina Turners's great album Private Dancer was ninth after 35 weeks and former CCR leader John Fogerty was back with Centerfield, which jumped from 21 to 10 in its third week of release.

                        Ocean was back with another smash...

1985:  Foreigner's great song "I Want To Know What Love Is" was #1 for a second week.  Phillip Bailey from Earth, Wind & Fire teamed with Phil Collins for "Easy Lover" while Wham!  was third with "Careless Whisper".  Billy Ocean had another winner with "Loverboy" and Don Henley glided into the #5 position with "The Boys Of Summer".  The rest of a solid Top 10:  Chicago's "You're The Inspiration", Hall & Oates and "Method Of Modern Love", the Pointer Sisters reached #8 with "Neutron Dance", Madonna wasn't "Like a Virgin" and Prince dropped with "I Would Die 4 (sic) U (sic)".
1986:  Pete Townshend, lead guitarist of the Who, and Chrissie Hynde, lead singer of the Pretenders played a charity concert at Royal Albert Hall in London for victims of a volcanic eruption in Columbia.
1991:  Jesus Jones had the top album in the U.K.--Doubt.
1991:  C&C Music Factory climbed on top with "Gonna' Make You Sweat".  Surface fell after two weeks with "The First Time" while Whitney Houston moved from 8 to 3 with her latest--"All The Man That I Need".
1993:  Mick Jagger, lead singer of the Rolling Stones, released his solo album Wandering Spirit.

1998:  Garth Brooks donated all earnings from his album Sevens for a seven-day period to Oprah Winfrey's Angel Network.

2002:  The top selling albums in the world of 2001 were No Angel by Dido ($8.6m), Hybrid by Linkin Park ($8.5m), Survivor by Destiny's Child ($7.8m),  Hotshot from Shaggy ($7.2m) and Britney by Britney Spears ($7m too much).
2003:  Kelly Rowland had the #1 album in the U.K. with Simply Deep.
2004:  Diana Ross was convicted of driving under the influence in Tucson, Arizona and was ordered to spend two days in jail.

2005:  Roger Daltrey, lead singer of the Who, was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire at Buckingham Palace in London.
2005:  Tyrone Davis ("Turn Back The Hands Of Time" from 1970) died in Chicago, Illinois of a stroke at the age of 66.
2005:  The artist the Game had the #1 album with The Documentary while Tina Turner's compilation All the Best was second.
2010:  Bob Dylan, Smokey Robinson, John Cougar Mellencamp, Natalie Cole and Joan Baez performed for U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House for "A Celebration of Music from the Civil Rights Movement" during Black History Month.

Born This Day:

1925:  Bobby Lewis, who himself had another of the great early rock songs ("Tossin' And Turnin'" from 1961), was born in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Note:  several websites report that Day was born on either February 16 or February 17, and some say his birth year was 1927 or 1933.  The correct birthday is February 17, 1925, according to an interview Bobby gave in 2010.)


       Barry Mann with wife Cynthia Weil and Carole King...

1939:  Barry Mann, who along with wife Cynthia Weil wrote scores of great songs including "On Broadway" for the Drifters, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and "(You're My) Soul And Inspiration" by the Righteous Brothers, "Kicks" and "Hungry" for Paul Revere & the Raiders, "We've Gotta' Get Out Of This Place" by the Animals, "Walkin' In The Rain" by the Ronettes, and "Blame It On The Bossa Nova" by Eydie Gorme, and many more, was born in Brooklyn, New York.
1940:  Brian Bennett, drummer of the Shadows, was born in Palmers Green, North London.  (Note:  some websites report that he was born in Hampstead, England, or simply London.  Palmers Green is a suburb of London, and Bennette was born there, according to the 'BBC'.)

1942:  Stanley, Idaho's Carole King, star performer who gave us one of The Top 10 Albums of the Rock Era*--Tapestry and is one of the top songwriters of the Rock Era, was born in Brooklyn, New York.  (Note:  some websites report that Carole was born in Manhattan.  According to her official website, she was born in Brooklyn.)

1943:  Barbara Lewis ("Hello Stranger" from 1963) was born in South Lyon, Michigan.  (Note:  '' and other websites report that Barbara was born in South Lyon.  This is not the truth.  She was born in Salem, Michigan, and went to high school in South Lyon, according to the book 'Grit, Noise, & Revolution:  The Birth of Detroit Rock 'n' Roll' by David A. Carson.) 1947:  Major Harris of the Delfonics and a solo artist ("Love Won't Let Me Wait"), was born in Richmond, Virginia; died of congestive heart and lung failure in Richmond on November 9, 2012.
1951:  Dennis Thomas, alto saxophone player of Kool & the Gang, was born in Jersey City, New Jersey.
1960:  William "Holly" Johnson, bassist of Big in Japan and lead singer of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, was born in Liverpool, Merseyside, England.  (Note:  many websites claim he was born on February 19, and some list his birthplace as Khartoum, Sudan.  According to Johnson's official websites he was born February 9 in Liverpool.)
1966:  Rachel Bolan (real name James Southworth), songwriter and bassist of Skid Row, was born in Point Pleasant, New Jersey.

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