Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Top 100 R&B Songs of the 70's--#40-#31

Can we get even more soulful than we already have in the countdown?  With each song, the hits are even better on the R&B chart.  We're up to #40 now--let's get going!
                 #40--"Use Ta Be My Girl" by the O'Jays

Here's one of the top R&B acts of all-time, who charted on that chart with no less than 56 singles.  This is one of their biggest.
"Use Ta Be My Girl" reached #1 on May 27, 1978 and stayed there for five weeks.  Outside of "Close the Door", it didn't have a lot of great competition or it would have ranked higher.  This song went on to be a best-seller on the R&B chart for 21 weeks and sell a million copies.  It was nominated for Best R&B Song of the Year and the O'Jays were also nominated for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Group at the 1979 Grammy Awards.


        #39--"Spanish Harlem" by Aretha Franklin

This powerful song reached #1 on August 28, 1971 and held off all-challengers for three weeks.
"Spanish Harlem" featured Dr. John on keyboards.  It spent 13 weeks on the R&B chart and sold over a million records.  Its competition wasn't great but it did have to battle "Mercy Mercy Me" from Marvin Gaye. 

                         #38--"Good Times" by Chic

We're really getting into the big R&B hits of the decade.  R&B fans loved this song much more than the general public.  They made the song #1 for six weeks in July, August and September of 1979.
"Good Times" charted for 18 weeks and sold over a million copies.  What's more, it competed against songs like "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge, "Ring My Bell" from Anita Ward", Donna Summer's "Bad Girls" and Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough", amazing competition to rack up six weeks at the top.

#37--"Too Much, Too Little, Too Late" by Johnny Mathis & Deniece Williams

Mathis had of course been a favorite of the previous generation.  Deniece Williams was an up-and-coming star.  Their paring worked magic on the R&B chart.
The song reached #1 on April 15, 1978 and spent four weeks at the top.  "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late" spent 20 weeks on the chart and sold a million records.  It held another duo, Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, to two weeks at #1.

             #36--"Disco Lady" by Johnnie Taylor

Johnnie Taylor is next in our special at #36.  It's a #1 song from the summer of 1976 that spent 21 total weeks on the R&B chart and was the first single ever to be certified as platinum (two million units sold) by the Record Industry Association of America.  "Disco Lady" was nominated for Best R&B Song of the Year at the 1977 Grammy Awards and Taylor was nominated for Best R&B Male Vocal Performance.
This song spent six weeks at the top, beginning on  March 13, 1976, but there was little in the way of competition at the time.  Plus, the song has gotten virtually no airplay in the 36 years since.  It still has to be recognized by being a huge song at the time, just not where it would have been had it continued to be popular.

     #35--"Never Can Say Goodbye" by the Jackson 5

This song came about in the middle of a streak of six songs to reach either #1 or #2 on the R&B chart and another one in which they racked up 17 consecutive Top 10 R&B songs.
This song spent 13 weeks on the chart but did not go gold.  However, its stats would have been padded were it not for the fact that it was sandwiched in between great songs like "Just My Imagination" by the Temptations, "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye and the Honey Cone's "Want Ads".  And yet still found enough popularity to land at #1 for three weeks in May of 1971.  The song also earned a nomination for Best R&B Song of the Year at the 1972 Grammy Awards.  At #36 in Inside the Rock Era's list of The Top 100 R&B Songs of the 70's*, "Never Can Say Goodbye".

        #34--"Rock Your Baby" by George McCrae

The artist at #34 hails from West Palm Beach, Florida.  He accomplished the rare feat of having his first release go to #1 on the popular chart.  It was written by Harry Wayne Casey and George Finch of K.C. & the Sunshine Band.
McCrae also hit #1 on the R&B chart for two weeks in July of 1974.  The song spent 19 weeks on the chart.  The top songs out at the time were "Feel Like Makin' Love" by Roberta Flack and "Sideshow" from Blue Magic.  "Rock Your Baby" was nominated for Best R&B Song of the Year at the 1975 Grammy Awards; McCrae also earned a nomination for Best R&B Male Vocal Performance for the song.  

            #33--"Superstition" by Stevie Wonder

As mentioned previously, Stevie has the most songs that were among the most dominant R&B songs of the 70's-eight of them.
This song started out the year 1973 at #1 and remained there for three weeks.  It spent 17 weeks on the chart but did not go gold.  It took over from another R&B smash which we've already heard in The Top 100 R&B Songs of the 70's*--"Me and Mrs. Jones" and also warded off "Could It Be I'm Fallin' In Love" by the Spinners and "Love Train" from the O'Jays.  Wonder won Gammy Awards for Best R&B Song of the Year and Best R&B Male Vocal Performance for this song in 1974.  Stevie Wonder checks in at #33 with "Superstition".

                 #32--"Mercy Mercy Me" by Marvin Gaye

This legend from Washington, D.C. was one of the all-time greats by almost any measure.  He charted 63 times on the R&B chart.  
We've seen this song featured in Inside the Rock Era's Most Important Songs of the Rock Era*.  It's a powerful message and a timeless one too.  It spent 13 weeks on the chart and did not go gold.  But it did reach #1 for two weeks in August of 1971, competing against "Mr. Big Stuff" by Jean Knight and Aretha Franklin's "Spanish Harlem" so very good competition that kept it from more weeks at the top.

                   #31--"Me and Mrs. Jones" by Billy Paul

Let me just preface this by saying I detest the whole idea of this song.  But I have to rank it where it deserves to be ranked.  And that's all I will say about the matter.
Paul, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, released this song right out of the gate as his debut single.  He took over from Al Green's "You Ought To Be With Me" on December 9, 1972 and remained at #1 for four weeks.  Paul held on despite a strong challenge from Stevie Wonder's "Superstition".  It spent 18 weeks on the chart and sold over two million copies.  Paul won the Grammy for Best R&B Male Vocal Performance in 1973 and the song was nominated for Best R&B Song of the Year.  At #31, Billie Paul's "Me and Mrs. Jones".

This Date in Rock Music History: January 28

1956:  Elvis Presley appeared on national television for the first time on The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show on CBS, performing "Shake, Rattle And Roll," "Flip, Flop And Fly" and "I Got A Woman".  Comedian and Stage Show producer Jackie Gleason said afterward, "He can't last. I tell you flatly, he can't last."

1956:  The Platters controlled the R&B chart with the classic song "The Great Pretender", #1 for a fourth week.
1963:  Elvis Presley began working on the movie Fun In Acapulco at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California.
1963:  The Beatles performed at the Majestic Ballroom in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, England.

1965:  The Moody Blues reached #1 in the U.K. with "Go Now!".
1966:  Brian Poole and the Tremeloes broke up.
1966:  The Cavern Club in Liverpool, England, famous for hosting the Beatles in numerous appearances, closed its doors after running up huge debt.  Fortunately for history, it would reopen later.

1967:  Fans in London caught the Four Tops at the Royal Albert Hall.
1967:  Aaron Neville had what it took on the R&B chart, presiding over the rest for a fourth week with "Tell It Like It Is".
1967:  The Rolling Stones found a song that was popular as "Ruby Tuesday" moved from 78 to 43.  

                                               The Blues Magoos caught the train to the Top 10...

1967:  The Monkees held on to the top spot for a fifth week with "I'm A Believer".  Aaron Neville edged one step closer but he would peak at #2 with "Tell It Like It Is".  The Royal Guardsmen provided comic relief with "Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron" while the Seekers were up strong (7-4) with "Georgy Girl".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Words Of Love" from the Mamas and the Papas, the Four Tops remained at #6 with "Standing In The Shadows of Love", Boise, Idaho's Paul Revere  the Raiders were on their way down with "Good Thing", "Nashville Cats" from the Lovin' Spoonful, the Buckinghams moved from 15 to 9 with "Kind Of A Drag" and Blues Magoos reached the Top 10 with "(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet".
1968:  The Supremes and Tom Jones were on Sunday Night at the London Palladium on BBC-TV.
1968:  The troubles were just beginning for Jim Morrison, who was beginning to think he was more important than everyone else.  Morrison was arrested and charged with public drunkenness after harassing a security guard at an adult movie theater in Las Vegas, Nevada.
1969:  The Beatles continued working on "Get Back" and "Don't Let Me Down" for their next single release.
1971:  The Bee Gees recorded "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" at International Broadcasting Company Studios in London.

1974:  Paul McCartney & Wings released the single "Jet".
1976:  Chris Kenner ("Land Of 1,000 Dances") died at the age of 46 of a heart attack in New Orleans, Louisiana.
1977:  ABBA began a tour at the Ekeberghallen in Oslo, Norway.

1978:  A new heavy metal band with an amazing lead guitar player first caught our ears on this date.  It was a remake of the Kinks' biggest hit "You Really Got Me" but what was really impressive was the guitar solo that preceded the song called "Eruption" that clued us in that this was one of the best ever.  Van Halen debuted on the chart with their first single "You Really Got Me".

1978:  The Doobie Brothers were on the ABC-TV show What's Happening.
1978:  After a concert, a fan asks Ted Nugent to sign his arm.  With a bowie knife.  The weird Nugent does.  When you're a star, you're not supposed to be as big a nut as the fruitcakes out there.
1978:  Rumours by Fleetwood Mac finally hit #1 on the U.K. aAbum chart.
1978:  Billy Joel remained on top of the Adult chart with "Just the Way You Are".

                                   The incredible family talent included younger brother Andy...

1978:  Player snuck in amongst the giants and held on to #1 for a third week with "Baby Come Back".  People "got it" about Randy Newman's spoof "Short People" and it climbed to #2.  On Randy's heels, though, was the trio that was beginning to take the world by storm and for good reason.  The Bee Gees were producing outstanding, infectious music and "Stayin' Alive" rose from 10 to 3.  Rod Stewart was in the #4 position with "You're In My Heart" while "Slip Slidin' Away" by Paul Simon edged up.  The rest of the Top 10:  Queen with one of their biggest career hits--"We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions", the Bee Gees' previous #1 "How Deep Is Your Love", Styx's great song "Come Sail Away", Billy Joel reached the Top 10 for the first time in his career with "Just the Way You Are" and Andy Gibb moved up with "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water", giving the Gibb family three of the week's Top 10 songs.  
1980:  Adam and the Ants marched their separate ways.
1982:  Jackson Browne and wife Lynne became the parents of son Ryan Daniel Browne.

1983:  Billy Fury died at the age of 42 in a hospital in London after collapsing at his home from heart trouble.
1984:  Barry Manilow controlled the Adult Contemporary chart for a sixth week with "Read 'Em And Weep".
1984:  Genesis reached the Top 10 with "That's All!"
1984:  John Cougar Mellencamp hoisted another album into the Top 10 as Uh-Huh reached #9.

1985:  More than 40 artists got together, put egos aside, and recorded "We Are The World" at A&M Recording Studios in Los Angeles for the greater good of the world.  The song was co-written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.  Proceeds went towards worldwide hunger prevention and were focused on Africa.  
1988:  To promote their new album A Momentary Lapse of Reason, Pink Floyd floated a giant inflatable bed down the Thames River in London.  Yep, that qualifies.
1989:  Karyn White celebrated a third straight week at #1 on the R&B chart with "Superwoman".

                                    "Armageddon It" was helping Def Leppard make Rock Era history...

1989:  Phil Collins remained at #1 with "Two Hearts" but Sheriff challenged with "When I'm With You".  Def Leppard was enjoying historic success for a heavy metal act with "Armageddon It", Taylor Dayne took a dive with "Don't Rush Me" and White Lion was up to #5 with "When The Children Cry".  The big story, however, was former Los Angeles Lakers cheerleader Paula Abdul, who went "Straight Up" from 13-6.  The rest of the Top 10:  Bon Jovi with their big hit "Born To Be My Baby", Tone Loc and his "Wild Thing" while Tiffany moved "All This Time" to #10.
1989:  Fleetwood Mac had another #1 in them, as they placed "As Long As You Follow" at the top of the AC chart.

1990:  Aaron Neville had the honor of singing the U.S. national anthem at Super Bowl XXIV at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.
1991:  Gloria Estefan performed at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles, her first public appearance since a serious bus accident.

1992:  Richard Marx released one of the best songs of his career--"Hazard".
1992:  This was a treat for fans in Zurich, Switzerland.  Roxette was joined onstage by Frida Lyngstad for a performance of ABBA's "Money Money Money".
1995:  TLC was relentless in keeping the #1 spot on the R&B chart as "Creep" remained there for an eighth week.

1995:  People everywhere were beginning to realize what R&B fans already knew--"Creep" by TLC was a great song and finally it reached #1 overall.  This meant that for only the third week in the last 23, Boyz II Men didn't have the #1 song as "On Bended Knee" finally buckled.  Real McCoy remained in contention with "Another Night" while Bon Jovi had their 22nd hit and 11th Top 10 with "Always".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Take A Bow" from Madonna, Ini Kamoze was still at 6 with "Here Comes The Hotstepper", Des'ree moved from 12 to 7 with "You Gotta' Be", Blackstreet and "Before I Let You Go", yet another remake of "Sukiyaki", this time by 4 P.M. (For Positive Music) and "I'm the Only One" by Melissa Etheridge.
1996:  Cris Isaak appeared on Friends on NBC-TV.

1996:  Diana Ross was the featured halftime performer at Super Bowl XXX at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.
1997:  Pat Boone released an album of heavy metal songs which lost him his Christian television program.
1999:  Pat Boone started the Gold Records label, which would only sign artists 45 years of age and older.
2000:  Thomas "Beans" Bowles, saxophonist and bandleader, who played on Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On", "Heat Wave" by Martha & the Vandellas and "Baby Love" by the Supremes, died of prostate cancer at age 73.
2001:  The Backsteet Boys sang the national anthem at Super Bowl XXXV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa bay, Florida.  Ray Charles sang "America The Beautiful".
2001:  Shaggy prevailed at #1 with "It Wasn't Me".

                                              "Love Don't Cost a Thing"...

2001:  Jennifer Lopez was just beginning to become a superstar as J. Lo was #1 on the Album chart.
2003:  Kevin Conner, co-founder and vocalist of H-Town ("Knockin' Da' Boots" from 1993) was killed in a car crash in Houston, Texas at age 28.
2004:  The problems of James Brown were just beginning.  He was arrested and charged with domestic violence after pushing his wife to the floor during an argument at their home in South Carolina.
2004:  In today's Dangerous Inmates Run Rap Music episode, Turk of Cash Money was arrested in Memphis, Tennessee for attempted murder related to an incident in which two policemen were injured.
2005:  Ryan Vikedal, drummer with Nickelback for ten years, was fired, according to an interview Vikedal gave to the newspaper The Edmonton Sun.

2005:  Jim Capaldi, drummer with Traffic, who also worked with George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, died of stomach cancer in London at the age of 60.
2009:  Billy Powell, keyboardist of Lynyrd Skynyrd, died of a heart attack in Orange Park, Florida at age 56.  He had missed a doctor's appointment the previous day for which he was supposed to have his heart checked.
2014:  On the heels of the announcements that guitarists Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes were leaving the group, Duane Allman announced that the Allman Brothers would stop touring at the end of the year.
2014:  The members of Motley Crue signed a "Cessation of Tour" agreement which set a retirement for them after a final world tour ending in 2015.

Born This Day:

1929:  Mr. Acker Bilk (Bernard Bilk), who had the huge hit "Stranger On The Shore" in 1962, was born in Pensford, Somerset, England; died November 2, 2014 in Bath, Somerset, England.
1932:  Neil Levang, who played guitar, mandolin, violin and banjo for artists such as Elvis Presley, Neil Diamond, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin, Bobbi Gentry, and Frank Zappa, was born in Adams, North Dakota; died January 26, 2015 in Canyon Country, California.  (Note:  some websites report that Levang was born on January 3, but according to his mortuary, Eternal Valley Memorial Park in Newhall, California, he was born on January 28.)
1943:  Dick Taylor, guitarist for the Rolling Stones in their early years as well as for the Pretty Things, was born in Dartford, Kent, England.
1943:  Brian Keenan, drummer of the Chambers Brothers and Manfred Mann, was born in New York City; died October 5, 1985.
1944:  Marty Fried, drummer for the Cyrkle ("Red Rubber Ball"), was born in Neptune, New Jersey.  (Note:  some websites show his birthplace as Wayside, New Jersey.  Fried is now a bankruptcy lawyer and his law firm lists his birthplace as Neptune.)
1946:  Rick Allen, bassist for the Box Tops, was born in Little Rock, Arkansas.
1949:  Eddie Bayers, drummer for Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, was born in Patuxent, Maryland.
1951:  William Nelson, the original bassist of Funkadelic ("One Nation Under A Groove", was born in Plainfield, New Jersey.
1956:  Peter Schilling ("Major Tom (Coming Home)") was born in Stuttgart, Germany.
1959:  Dave Sharp, guitarist of the Alarm ("Strength" from 1988), was born in Salford, England. 
1963:  Dave Spitz, former lead guitarist of Anthrax and brother of Black Sabbath's Dan Spitz, was born in Rockland County, New York.

1968:  Sarah McLachlan was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
1968:  DJ Muggs (real name Lawrence Muggerud) was born in Queens, New York.
1968:  Rakim was born in Wyandanch, New York.

1977:  Joey Fatone, baritone of N' Sync, was born in Brooklyn, New York.
1976:  Raphael "Tweety" Brown of Next ("Too Close" from 1998) was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

1980:  Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys was born in Jamestown, New York.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Top 100 R&B Songs of the 70's--#50-#41

We're halfway home.  We've already heard great songs by the Spinners, Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Aretha many great songs.  The next 50 did even better on the R&B chart.
               #50--"Living for the City" by Stevie Wonder

Just ahead of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, one of the songs pushing for attention at the same time.  It reached #1 on the R&B chart in December of that year and also remained at the top for two weeks.
The song was on the R&B chart for 16 weeks and has done well in the years since, remaining strong in airplay.  "Living for the City" won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song of the Year in 1974.  Hard to believe this song still hasn't gone gold.  Motown might want to do another check of their records.

               #49--"Clean Up Woman" by Betty Wright

This Miami, Florida singer started out in the gospel group Echoes of Joy.  Wright was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1973 for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance.  What is unique about this song being all the way up at #49 is that it never reached #1. 

What it did do was land at #2 for eight solid weeks.  It spent a total of 16 weeks on the chart and sold over a million copies.  You will see some lists that strictly go by chart numbers, meaning that every #1 song in history is better than every #2 song  which is crazy.  Joel Whitburn's lists do this.  You will see others that don't even look at chart numbers, which is just as crazy.  The right chart will take them into account and give them proper weight. 
In this case, a number two song for eight weeks could be better than a lot of number one songs.  What you want to look at is competition; that is the deciding factor.  What kept this song out of #1 on the R&B chart?  "Have You Seen Her" by the Chi-Lites, "Family Affair" by Sly & the Family Stone and "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green.  While no one in their right mind can say that this song would beat out any of those because it couldn't top them at the time, all four of these songs help out the others.  And that earns Betty Wright a spot high in the countdown with "Clean Up Woman".

#48--"You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" by Lou Rawls

Lou charted 28 hits on the R&B genre from 1966-1987.  He never had a bigger one than this one in the summer of 1976.
"You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" spent an impressive 22 weeks on the chart and sold over a million copies.  Competing against "Something He Can Feel" from Aretha Franklin and "Getaway" by Earth, Wind & Fire, it still reached #1 in July.

#47--"You're the First, the Last, My Everything" by Barry White

I told you there would be more from Mr. White and he's not close to done.  This is a great song that topped the R&B chart in 1975.  In fact, Barry reached the Top 10 in that genre with each of his first nine releases.
This song hit #1 on the R&B chart on January 18, spent 17 weeks on the chart and sold over a million copies.  "Boogie On Reggae Woman" by Stevie Wonder and "Fire" from the Ohio Players, both of which we've already located places for in The Top 100*, were out at the same time.

                      #46--"Oh Girl" by the Chi-Lites

This Chicago, Illinois group began as the Hi-Lites in 1963.  They had 41 hits on the R&B chart through 1984.

This song was a smash in 1972, reaching #1 for two weeks.  It also spent 15 weeks on the chart but did not go gold.  It's biggest strength, besides the weeks at #1, was its competition--"In the Rain" from the Dramatics, "Lean On Me" by Bill Withers and "I'll Take You There" from the Staple Singer were all out jostling for position with "Oh Girl".

           #45--"Higher Ground" by Stevie Wonder

Here's another of those nine straight songs to reach the Top Three on the R&B chart for Stevie Wonder from 1973-1977.  It defines "cool".
By this time, Stevie had really elevated his sound to a new level.  This song spent 15 weeks on the R&B chart.  Although it only spent one week at #1, it was up against major competition.  It displaced the great Marvin Gaye song "Let's Get It On" at #1 on September 29, 1973 and was also up against "Keep On Truckin'" from Eddie Kendricks and "Midnight Train To Georgia".

              #44--"Have You Seen Her" by the Chi-Lites

The Chi-Lites place both of their smashes in this group from 50-41.  Like "Oh Girl", it too reached #1 for two weeks.


"Have You Seen Her" remained on the R&B chart for 12 weeks but did not go gold.  It had to compete against "Family Affair" and "Let's Stay Together", two of the biggest R&B songs of the decade. 

                #43--"Reunited" by Peaches & Herb

This song would rank higher overall in The Top 100 Songs of the 70's, but just considering R&B, it still did well.  Peaches & Herb did several songs in the 60's most notably "Close Your Eyes" from 1967.
This song in The Top 100*, however, features, um, a different Peaches--Linda Green, who joined with Herb Fame to record this great song.  It spent 17 weeks on the chart and went platinum.  "Reunited" went to #1 on April 28, 1979 and stayed there for four weeks.  Plus, it was nominated for a Grammy in 1980 for Best R&B Song of the Year.  Although it would rank higher considering the music audience as a whole, on the R&B chart, a lack of competition at the time limits its position.  Still, Peaches & Herb rank within The Top 50*.

       #42--"I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5

Gary, Indiana's pride and joy--the Jackson 5, whose members have given us so much great music, both with the group and as solo stars.  This was their debut release in late 1969.  It promptly advanced to #1 on January 10 for four weeks and spent 18 weeks on the R&B chart.  It did not go gold, however. 
 "I Want You Back" would have likely piled on more weeks at #1 if not for "Thank You" by Sly & the Family Stone, which was right behind it.  Although the songs "I Can't Get Next To You" by the Temptations, "Baby, I'm For Real" by the Originals and "Someday We'll Be Together" by Diana Ross & the Supremes were all part of the 60's, their competition still comes into play for this song and helped it to rank this high. 

                #41--"Shining Star" by Earth, Wind & Fire

We are up to #41, and here's one of five songs that superstar group Earth, Wind & Fire have in The Top 100*.  That's behind only Stevie Wonder who has eight and the Jackson 5 with seven.  
"Shining Star", the group's first #1, was on the R&B chart for 15 weeks and sold over a million copies.  Earth, Wind & Fire won a Grammy Award in 1976 for Best R&B Group Vocal Performance.  The song didn't have strong competition, limiting how high it can rank.  But it still places well into The Top 50* for the decade.

This Date in Rock Music History: January 27

1956:  One of the most historic days of the Rock Era--Elvis Presley released the single "Heartbreak Hotel".  RCA had just purchased Elvis's contract from Sun Records for $35,000.  It seems the investment paid off.
1958:  Little Richard entered Oakwood Theological College in Huntsville, Alabama, where he was ordained as a Seventh Day Adventist Minister.

1958:  For the fourth week, Danny & the Juniors held the #1 spot on the R&B chart with the classic "At The Hop".
1961:  Frank Sinatra played a benefit concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City for Martin Luther King.
1962:  The Beatles played at Aintree Institute in Aintree, Liverpool, England for the final time.
1962:  Elvis Presley remained at #1 for a third week on the Easy Listening chart with "Can't Help Falling In Love".

1962:  Joey Dee & the Starliters reached #1 with "Peppermint Twist", putting an end to Chubby Checker's second run at #1 for "The Twist", with the latter being the only song of the Rock Era to be #1--twice.  There were two new songs in the Top 10:  "The Wanderer" from Dion, which moved from 18-8 and "Baby It's You" by the Shirelles".

1964:  The Beatles re-released the single 'I Saw Her Standing There"  in the United States.  The group first released the song on July 22, 1963 to little fanfare.  This time, after "I Want To Hold Your Hand" was a huge hit, it caught on.

1964:  Another British group was about to hit the shores.  The Dave Clark Five released their first single--"Glad All Over".  (Note:  you will see some mentions of the release as 1963 or "late 1963".  This refers to its British release--the song was released and was a hit first in the DC5's native England.)

1964:  Louis Armstrong released the single "Hello Dolly!".
1967:  The Beatles signed a new nine-year contract with EMI Records.
1968:  The Bee Gees were in concert (along with Vanilla Fudge and Spanky and Our Gang) for the first time in the United States with two shows at the Anaheim Convention Center in California.

1968:  Many other people must have agreed with the sentiment, for the Temptations' new song "I Wish It Would Rain" moved from 45 to 15.
1968:  The Beatles had the top album with the Soundtrack to "Magical Mystery Tour", #1 for a fourth week. 
1970:  In keeping with John Lennon's belief and understanding of karma that he learned during the Beatles' spiritual studies in 1967, and the thought that there is an immediate reaction to what everyone does at each moment, he wrote and recorded "Instant Karma" all in one day at EMI Studios on Abbey Road in London.  (Note:  some websites incorrectly say that this occurred on January 26--it was the 27th, according to the books 'The Words and Music of John Lennon' by Ben Urish and Kenneth G. Bielen and 'Penny Laine's Anthology' by Terry Rowan, as well as numerous other credible sources.)
1971:  David Bowie's first trip to the United States revealed everything Americans needed to know--he wore dresses in Texas and Louisiana.
1973:  Timmy Thomas achieved a #1 R&B hit with "Why Can't We Live Together".

1973:  Carly Simon led the way on the Album chart for a third week with No Secrets.  War moved to second with The World Is a Ghetto.  Stanley, Idaho's Carole King was still strong with Rhymes & Reasons but the big mover (11-4) was Stevie Wonder's excellent Talking Book album.

1973:  Stevie Wonder garnered another #1 song with "Superstition".  Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" was down after three weeks while Elton John edged up to 3 with "Crocodile Rock".
1977:  The Clash signed a recording contract with CBS Records.

                    "Soul Man" from the Blues Brothers...

1979:  The Stranger established Billy Joel as a star.  With his new album 52nd Street reaching #1 on this date, we knew he had staying power.  Briefcase of Blues from the fun Blues Brothers project was second with previous #1 Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits, Volume 2 slipping to third.  Neil Diamond was up with You Don't Bring Me Flowers and Rod Stewart bounced from 12 to 5 with his new release--Blondes Have More Fun.  The rest of the Top 10:  The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. I, C'est Chic from Chic, Eric Clapton remained in the #8 spot with Backless, Barry Manilow entered the Top 10 with his Greatest Hits package and Double Vision from Foreigner was still #10.

       Nothing like Hot Chocolate in the winter..

1979:  Chic made it five weeks at #1 with "Le Freak" while previous #1 "Too Much Heaven" by the Bee Gees was still at #2.  "Y.M.C.A." by the Village People was one better than "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" from Rod Stewart.  Billy Joel's big hit "My Life" was now at #5.  The rest of a solid Top 10:  "A Little More Love" from Olivia Newton-John, Linda Ronstadt held on with "Ooh Baby Baby", Toto was now at #8 with their debut "Hold The Line", Hot Chocolate poured into the Top 10 with their great song "Every 1's A Winner" and Earth, Wind & Fire completed the list with "September". 

1980:  Def Leppard played the first of two nights at the Marquee Club in London.  Tickets were 2.00 British pounds, or about $3.40 apiece.

1984: Cyndi Lauper released the single "Time After Time".
1988:  Pink Floyd played the first of nine nights at the Entertainment Centre in Sydney, Australia.

1986:  Robert Palmer released the single "Addicted To Love".

1990:  The mayor of Gainesville, Florida declared it Tom Petty Day after their native son.
1990:  "Here We Are" by Gloria Estefan was the new #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, her fifth #1 in that genre.
1990:  Phil Collins had a hot album out, as ...But Seriously remained at #1 for a third week.  Paula Abdul was moving back up after 80 weeks of release with her blockbuster Forever Your Girl at #2.

1991:  Whitney Houston sang "The Star Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl XXXV.
1993:  Warner Brothers Records released rapper Ice-T from his contract because of "creative differences".  They could have made that decision when he auditioned and they found out that he could not sing but only talk annoyingly.
1996:  Babylon Zoo had the top U.K. song with "Spaceman", which sold 420,000 copies in six days.
1996:  Oasis debuted at #21 with "Wonderwall".

1996:  It was the collaboration of the Rock Era no doubt, and Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men remained at #1 for the ninth straight week with "One Sweet Day".  Since September 30, 1995, Carey had been in the #1 position all but one week (November 25).  That included the first eight weeks for her solo hit "Fantasy" and now nine with "One Sweet Day".  The all-time record was 20 out of 22 by Boyz II Men in 1994-1995, but no one in the history of the Rock Era had ever been #1 in 17 of 18 weeks.   

1997:  The Verve Pipe released the single "The Freshman".
1998:  James Brown was charged with possession of marijuana and unlawful use of a firearm.

2002:  Enrique Iglesias topped the U.K. chart with "Hero".
2002:  Alan Jackson's great album Drive was #1.
2004:  Faith Evans was charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana in Hapeville, Georgia.  (Note:  some websites report the arrest occurred in Atlanta; it was in Hapeville, a suburb of Atlanta, according to the newspaper 'The Atlanta Journal-Constitution' and 'MTV'.)
2005:  R.E.M. had to cancel a concert for the first time in 10 years but this one was the fault of border guards.  The group was supposed to play in St. Petersburg, Russsia but guards held their crew and gear at the Estonian/Russia border.
2005:  In today's edition of Dangerous Inmates Run Rap Music, rappers Master P (real name Percy Robert Miller) and brother Silkk the Shocker  (real name Vyshonne King Miller) were arrested on felony gun charges in Los Angeles after police found guns in their leased car that had no license plate.  Rappers have fancy names for themselves but don't let that fool you--underneath all the crap, they're really just regular lowlifes.

2006:  Gene McFadden, singer-songwriter ("Back Stabbers" for the O'Jays in 1972 and, with John Whitehead, had the hit "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now") and producer, died of complications from cancer at age 57.

2014:  Pete Seeger, a beacon of freedom and legendary folk singer, died in his sleep at the age of 94 in New York City.

Born This Day:

1919:  Singer-songwriter and producer Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., who created the Chipmunks and released solo records under the name of David Seville, was born in Fresno, California; died of a heart attack in Beverly Hills, California January 16, 1972.
1925:  Blues singer-songwriter Doc Pomus, who co-wrote "Save The Last Dance For Me" and "This Magic Moment" for the Drifters, was born in Brooklyn, New York; died March 14, 1991 in New York City.  (Note:  some websites claim Pomus was born in New York City, others in Harlem.  He was born in Brooklyn, according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 'Independent Magazine', 'MTV' and ''.)

1930:  Bobby Bland (54 R&B hits including "That's The Way Love Is" from 1963) was born in Rosemark, Tennessee; died June 23, 2013 in Germantown, Tennessee.  (Note:  some websites say Bland died in Memphis--according to the newspaper 'The New York Times', Bland died at his home in Germantown.)
1931:  Rudi Maugeri of the Crew Cuts; died May 7, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada after battling pancreatic cancer.
1937:  Buddy Emmons, steel guitarist who played for the Carpenters, Linda Ronstadt, the Everly Brothers, Ray Charles, Judy Collins, Roger Miller, John Sebastian, George Strait, Willie Nelson, Duane Eddy, Nancy Sinatra, Gram Parsons, and J.J. Cale among others, was born in Mishawaka, Indiana; died July 29, 2015 in Hermitage, Tennessee at age 78.  (Note:  some websites claim Emmons died July 21, and some say he died in Mishawaka, Indiana.  According to 'Billboard' and the newspaper 'The New York Times', Emmons died on July 29 in Hermitage.)
1944:  Nick Mason, drummer of Pink Floyd, was born in Edgbaston, Birmingham, England
1946:  Nedra Talley of the Ronettes was born in New York City.
1951:  Seth Justman, keyboardist of the J. Geils Band, was born in Washington, D.C.
1951:  Brian Downey, drummer and founder of Thin Lizzy, was born in Dublin, Ireland.
1957:  Janick Robert Gers, lead guitarist of Iron Maiden, was born in Hartlepool, England.
1961:  Gillian Gilbert, keyboardist for New Order ("Blue Monday" from 1983), was born in Manchester, England.  (Note:  some websites claim Gilbert was born in Macclesfield, England; she was born in Manchester, then moved to the nearby town of Macclesfield, according to '' and credible sources.)
1968:  Mike Patton, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer of Faith No More, was born in Eureka, California.
1974:  Mark Owen of Take That was born in Oldham, Lancashire, England.