Thursday, April 19, 2012

This Date in Rock Music History: April 20

1957:  "I'm Walkin'" from Fats Domino was #1 for a sixth week on the R&B chart.
1959:  Goldband Records released "Puppy Love" by 13-year-old Dolly Parton, a song she had recorded when she was 11.
1959:  The Fleetwoods topped the Singles chart with "Come Softly To Me".

1960:  Elvis Presley arrived by train in Hollywood, California to film G.I. Blues.

1963:  Rick Nelson married Kris Harmon in Los Angeles.
1963:  Andy Williams remained at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Can't Get Used To Losing You".

                  One of PPM's biggest career hits...
1963:  The Chiffons spent a fourth week at #1 with "He's So Fine".  Andy Williams was in the runner-up position with "Can't Get Used To Losing You".  Little Peggy March had song #3 with "I Will Follow Him", Peter, Paul & Mary came in at #4 with "Puff The Magic Dragon" and Jackie Wilson had #5 with "Baby Workout".  
1966:  The Beatles worked on "And Your Bird Can Sing" and "Taxman" at EMI Studios in London for their upcoming album Revolver(Note:  some websites say the songs were recorded at Abbey Road Studios.  Music news is about an exact point in time; it is a snapshot of what exactly happened at a moment in history.  In 1966, the Beatles recorded at EMI Studios in London.  The studios were not named Abbey Road until 1970, a year after the Beatles named their album Abbey Road.)
1968:  Deep Purple made their concert debut at the Vestpoppen Parkskolen Club in TÃ¥strup, Denmark.
1968:  Apple Music (the Beatles' company) took out advertisements asking for tapes from unknown artists to release records on the Apple label.  (Note:  some websites report that the advertisement appeared in 'Billboard' and 'New Musical Express' magazines on April 19.  This is false.  Both magazines were printed on Saturdays, which in 1968 fell on April 20.)  
1968:  Aretha Franklin enjoyed a third straight week at #1 on the R&B chart with "(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone".


1968:  Paul Mauriat's "Love Is Blue" was #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for the 10th week in a row.


1968:  Bobby Goldsboro remained at #1 for the second of five weeks with "Honey", with Gary Puckett & the Union Gap at #2 with "Young Girl" and the Box Tops rising to #3 with "Cry Like A Baby".  The rest of the Top Ten:  "Lady Madonna" from the Beatles, "(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone" by Aretha Franklin at #5, Otis Redding fell to #6 with his former #1 "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay", Georgie Fame had #7 with "The Ballad Of Bonnie and Clyde", Sly & the Family Stone moved from 14-8 with "Dance To the Music", James Brown entered the Top 10 with "I Got the Feelin'" and Manfred Mann had #10 with "Mighty Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo)".
1969:  Session drummer Benny Benjamin died of a stroke.  Benjamin performed on many hits including singles by the Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, the Temptations and Marvin Gaye.

1970:  Creedence Clearwater Revival released one of many classic double-sided hits:  "Up Around The Bend"...

                 and "Run Through The Jungle".

1970:  The Five Stairsteps released the single "O-o-h Child".

1974:  Steely Dan released the single "Rikki, Don't Lose That Number".
1974:  John Denver's Greatest Hits moved into the #1 slot on the Album chart, replacing Band On the Run by Paul McCartney & Wings.  Chicago VII was a huge gainer, rising from 12-3.  Shinin' On from Grand Funk moved into the Top 10.

1974:  One of the great instrumentals of the Rock Era was "TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia)" and it reached #1 on this date for MFSB featuring the Three Degrees.  "Bennie And The Jets" fell to #2 for Elton John, Blue Swede's former #1 "Hooked On A Feeling" was #3 and Gladys Knight & the Pips rose to #4 with "Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me".  The remainder of the Top Ten:  "Come And Get Your Love" by Redbone, Ringo Starr at #6 with "Oh My My", John Denver's former #1 "Sunshine On My Shoulders" was down to #7, Grand Funk moved from 17-8 with their cover of "The Loco-Motion", Sister Janet Mead slipped from 4-9 with "The Lord's Prayer" and Jim Croce had # posthumous top ten with "I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song".
1981:  John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas was given a sentence of five years in prison after pleading guilty to drug possession charges.  After he got out of jail, Phillips toured the United States telling people about the dangers of taking drugs.


                                        "Hang On to Your Love" from Sade...

1985:  Phil Collins enjoyed another week at #1 on the Album chart with No Jacket Required.  Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen reached #2 in its 44th week on the chart, with the soundtrack to Beverly Hills Cop owning #3.  The rest of the Top Ten Albums:  Centerfield from John Fogerty, Tina Turner's comeback Private Dancer remaining at #5, Madonna with Like a Virgin at 6, Wham's #7 album Make It Big, Wheels Are Turnin' from REO Speedwagon was #8, the album We Are the World debuted at #9 and Sade had a winner at #10 with Diamond Life.
1985:  "We Are The World" reached #1 on the U.K. Singles chart.
1985:  "We Are The World" was also #1 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart.

                                            Simple Minds had a big hit ...

1985:  And USA for Africa made it a sweep, remaining #1 on the Singles chart.  Madonna closed with "Crazy For You" and the Commodores' "Nightshift" edged up to #3.  The rest of the Top Ten:  Phil Collins at #4 with "One More Night", DeBarge had #5 with "Rhythm Of The Night", Bruce Springsteen remained at #6 with "I'm On Fire", Animotion had a big hit on their hands with "Obsession", Simple Minds had their first Top 10 with "Don't You (Forget About Me)" at #8, Murray Head reached the list with "One Night In Bangkok" and Diana Ross held at #10 with "Missing You", a song about the late Marvin Gaye.
1991:  Steve Marriott of Small Faces and Humble Pie died in a fire at his Arkesden, Essex, England home.
1991:  Mariah Carey's debut album was unshakable as the #1 album, spending an eighth week at the top.
1991:  Wilson Phillips remained at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for the fourth week in a row with "You're In Love".

                                     Roxette was back with another big hit...

1991:  "You're In Love" also topped the Singles chart, but Amy Grant was gaining ground with "Baby Baby".  Londonbeat fell to #3 with "I've Been Thinking About You", while Tara Kemp was at #4 with "Hold You Tight" and Sweden's Roxette held on to #5 with "Joyride".
1992"  Elton John, Roger Daltrey, George Michael, Seal, Robert Plant, Annie Lennox, Axl Rose and Slash of Guns 'N Roses, Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, David Bowie, Mick Ronson, Paul Young, Joe Elliott and Phil Collen performed at "A Concert For Life" in Wembley Stadium in London as a tribute to Freddie Mercury of Queen and for AIDS awareness.

1993:  Janet Jackson released the single "That's The Way Love Goes".
1993:  Aerosmith released Get a Grip on Geffen Records.

1994:  Barbra Streisand resumed touring for the first time in 28 years with her first stop at the Wembley Arena in London.
1995:  Oasis and the Verve performed at the Bataclan Club in Paris, France.
1996:  Mark Morrison reached #1 in the U.K. with "Return Of The Mack".
1996:  Tickets went on sale for the KISS reunion tour.

                   Alanis had another top ten from 'Jagged Little Pill'...
1996:  Celine Dion was #1 for the fifth week out of six eventually with "Because You Loved Me".  Mariah Carey could not top her with the #2 "Always Be My Baby".  Tony Rich Project remained at #3 with their great song "Nobody Knows", Alanis Morissette had #4 with "Ironic" and R. Kelly remained at 5 with "Down Low (Nobody Has To Know)".
1996:  Alanis Morissette's landmark album Jagged Little Pill was #1 for the ninth week.  Falling Into You, the new Celine Dion release, was second followed by The Score from the Fugees.
1997:  The Chemical Brothers topped the U.K. Album chart with Dig Your Own Hole.

1997:  Michael Jackson was on hand for the unveiling of a wax statue of himself at the Grevin Museum of Wax in Paris, France.
1999:  The Rolling Stones finished off their No Security tour at San Jose Arena in San Jose, California.
2000:  Robert Plant was at Disney's Theater of the Stars in Orlando, Florida to leave his hand prints in the sidewalk outside the theater.
2001:  A memorial concert for Steve Marriott of Faces (who died on this date in 1991) was held at the London Astoria with Peter Frampton, Midge Ure, Chris Farlowe and Humble Pie.

2003:  Godsmack reached #1 on the Album chart with Faceless.
2004:  Billy Corgan, formerly with Smashing Pumpkins, made his solo debut at the Metro Club in Chicago.
2005:  Mariah Carey moved to #1 on the Album chart with The Emancipation of Mimi.

Born This Day:
1939:  Johnny Tillotson (nine Top 10 hits including "Poetry In Motion") was born in Jacksonville, Florida.
1945:  Jimmy Winston, organist for Small Faces, was born in Stratford, London.
1947:  Bjorn Skifs of Blue Swede ("Hooked On A Feeling") was born in Vansbro, Sweden.
1948:  Craig Frost, keyboardist of Grand Funk Railroad and Bob Seger's Silver Bullet Band, was born in Flint, Michigan.
         We miss you, Luther...

1951:  Luther Vandross was born in Manhattan; died July 1, 2005 in Edison, New Jersey at the age of 54 two years after a major stroke.  (Note:  some websites claim Vandross was born in New York City.  According to numerous reputable sources, he was born at Bellevue Hospital, which is located in Manhattan.)
1967:  Mike Portnoy, co-founder, backing vocalist, drummer and co-producer of Dream Theater, was born in Long Beach, New York. 
1971:  Mikey Welsh, bass guitarist of Weezer, was born in Syracuse, New York; died from drugs in Chicago, Illinois on October 8, 2011.
1972:  Stephen Marley of Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers and son of Bob Marley, was born in Wilmington, Delaware.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

This Date in Rock Music History: April 19

1956: Elvis Presley performed at the Civic Center Music Hall in the Municipal Auditorium in Oklahoma City, Texas.
1956: Clyde McPhatter of the Drifters was released from the U.S. Armed Forces.

1961:  Bobby Lewis released the single "Tossin' And Turnin'" on Beltone Records.  (Note:  one website claims the single was released April 30.  "Tossin' And Turnin'" debuted on the Singles chart on April 24, 1961.  It is physically impossible for a song to be included on the Singles chart if it has not yet been released as a single.)

1961:  Ricky Nelson released the single "Travelin' Man" on Imperial Records.
1965: The movie Teenage Command Performance, featuring the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, the Supremes, the Four Tops, James Brown and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles opened in London.


1965: The Beatles released the single "Ticket To Ride" in the United States on Capitol records.
1969: Smile, the group that would later become Queen, appeared at the Revolution Club in London.

1969:  The Isley Brothers took over the top spot on the R&B chart with "It's Your Thing".

1969: "Galveston" by Glen Campbell spent a fourth out of six weeks at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
1969:  Blood, Sweat & Tears remained at #1 on the Album chart with their self-titled album.


                                        Steppenwolf's third and final Top 10 song... 

 1969:  "Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In", one of The Top 20 Songs of the Rock Era* by the 5th Dimension, was #1 for the second out of six consecutive weeks. Blood, Sweat & Tears would have to settle for #2 because of the competition with "You've Made Me So Very Happy". The rest of the Top 10: The Isley Brothers at #3 with "It's Your Thing", Jerry Butler had #4 with "Only The Strong Survive", Tommy Roe was at 5 with his former #1 "Dizzy", Glen Campbell dropped to 6 with "Galveston", the Cowsills moved "Hair" up to #7, Edwin Starr had song #8 with "Twenty-Five Miles", the Zombies were at position #9 with "Time Of The Season" and Steppenwolf hopped into the Top 10 with "Rock Me".

1970:  Blues Image released the single "Ride Captain Ride".  (Note:  one website claims the song entered the charts on May 3--nope, it entered the charts on May 8. 
1974: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the State Theater in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Only 250 people attended.

1975: Elton John fired bassist Dee Murray and drummer Nigel Olsson.  Bad move.  Elton brought them both back in 1980.
1975: The Stylistics had the #1 album in the U.K. with The Best Of the Stylistics. 
1975: The Captain & Tennille had their first single debut on the chart on this date with "Love Will Keep Us Together".
 1975: Tony Orlando & Dawn had the #1 Adult Contemporary song with "He Don't Love You (Like I Love You).
1975: Led Zeppelin remained at #1 on the Album chart for the fifth week with Physical Graffiti.

                                           Ben E. King with his great new song...

1975: Elton John ruled the charts with "Philadelphia Freedom", followed by B.J. Thomas at #2 with (Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song", Minnie Riperton's "Lovin' You" and Ringo Starr at #4 with "No No Song". The rest of the Top Ten: "He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)" by Tony Orlando & Dawn moving from 23-5, Ben E King getting a Top 10 song with "Supernatural Thing", Sammy Johns' "Chevy Van" at #7, Barry White coming in at 8 with "What Am I Gonna' Do With You", Hot Chocolate with their first top ten "Emma" and Freddy Fender's "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" at #10.

1980: R.E.M. performed for the first time as a group at the 11:11 Koffee Club in Athens, Georgia before 150 people.
1980: Air Supply was #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for the fourth out of six weeks with "Lost In Love".


1980: Blondie began a six week run at #1 with "Call Me" from An American Gigolo. Pink Floyd was displaced and dropped to #2 with "Another Brick In The Wall", Christopher Cross's debut "Ride Like The Wind" had reached #3 and Billy Preston & Syreeta's "With You I'm Born Again" moved up to #4. The rest of the Top 10: "Special Lady" from Ray, Goodman & Brown, Air Supply's first hit "Lost In Love" moved from 12-6, Bob Seger entered the top ten with "Fire Lake", the Eagles rose to #8 with "I Can't Tell You Why", the Spinners were at #9 with "Working My Way Back To You/Forgive Me Girl" and Michael Jackson remained at #10 with "Off The Wall".

1981:  Joey Scarbury released the single "Theme From 'Greatest American Hero (Believe It Or Not)".  No really, he really did.

1982:  .38 Special released the single "Caught Up In You".


1986: George Michael reached #1 in the U.K. with "A Different Corner". He became only the second person (Stevie Wonder was the first) to reach #1 with a song that was written, sung, played, arranged and produced by the same person.
1986:  "Kiss" by Prince was the #1 R&B song for a third week.
1986: Whitney Houston dominated the Album chart, spending a ninth week (out of 14) at #1 with her self-titled debut.
 1986: "Overjoyed" by Stevie Wonder spent a second week atop the Adult Contemporary chart.

1988: Sonny Bono was inaugurated as Mayor of Palm Springs.
1993: Saxophonist Steve Douglas, who played on "Da Doo Ron Ron" by the Crystals and  the Ronettes' "Be My Baby", was warming up with Ry Cooder in a recording studio in Hollywood, California, when he collapsed and died at the age of 54 from heart failure.
1997:  "Un-Break My Heart" by Toni Braxton tied the 35-year-old Rock Era record held by Chubby Checker's "The Twist", as it remained in the Top 10 for a 25th week.

                                      Newcomers Savage Garden...

1997:  Puff Daddy & Mase had the top song for a fifth week with "Can't Nobody Hold Me Down".  Jewel moved to challenge with the superior song, "You Were Meant for Me" while the Spice Girls were at 3 with "Wannabe".  Other notable songs in the Top 10:  Monica with "For You I Will" at #4, Celine Dion's remake of the Eric Carmen song "All By Myself", Savage Garden with their first Top 10 "I Want You" at #6, Toni Braxton's former #1 "Un-Break My Heart" was still in the Top 10 after 26 weeks of release (25 of them in the Top 10) and Babyface had a hit with one he kept for himself, "Every Time I Close My Eyes".
2002: Layne Staley of Alice and Chains was found dead in his apartment in Seattle, Washington.  The official date of death was determined to be April 5 from heroin and cocaine.

Born This Day:

1928: Alexis Korner, who, if you followed this blog's story about the British Rock Family Tree, you know was a major force behind the birth of rock and roll in Britain as a member of Blues Incorporated, was born in Paris, France; he died of lung cancer in London January 1, 1984.

1942:  Larry Ramos, singer and guitarist with the Association and a member of the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, was born in Waimea, Hawai'i; died April 30, 2014 of metastatic melanoma in Clarkston, Washington.

1942: Alan Price, keyboardist with the Animals, was born in Fatfield, County Durham, England.  (Note:  some websites say Price was born in Fatfield, Washington, County Durham, England, or Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, England.  Price was born in the village of Fatfield, in County Durham.  The borough of Washington was not created until 1964, 22 years after Price was born, and the county of Tyne and Wear was not created until 1974, 32 years after Price was born.  Thus, it is impossible that Price could have been born in Washington (a city not yet created) or in Tyne and Wear (a county not yet created.) 
1943: Eve Graham, singer with the New Seekers ("I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing"), was born in Auchterarder, Perth and Kinross, Scotland.
1944: Bernie Worrell, a founding member and keyboardist for Parliament and Funkadelic, was born in Long Branch, New Jersey.
1947: Mark Volman, a founding member of the Turtles and a member of Mothers of Invention, who also worked with Bruce Springsteen and T. Rex, was born in Los Angeles.
1953: Rod Morgenstein, drummer of Winger, was born in New York City.

The #23 Guitarist of the Rock Era: Angus Young

There are many elements to be considered in evaluating guitarists.  One of them is akin to the old tree in the forest question:  If a guitarist plays and there is no one around, do they really make a sound?  Well, #23 makes a sound alright!

#23:  Angus Young, AC/DC
43 years as an active guitarist

Angus McKinnon Young was born March 31, 1955 in Glasgow, Scotland.  He is the co-founder, songwriter and lead guitarist for AC/DC.  Young is famous for his energetic performances and schoolboy uniform on stage.  

Angus and his family moved to Sydney, Australia in 1963.  Young first became interested in music after hearing Little Richard.  He credits his brother Malcolm as being an influence, as well as Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, the Kinks and Freddie King.His first instrument was the banjo, which he re-strung with six strings.  

His mother soon bought him an acoustic guitar, which he began playing.  Angus took to the guitar, and bought his first Gibson SG circa 1970 from a second-hand shop.  He went to Ashfield Boys High School in Sydney.  Young played in a local group called Kantuckee.  That band soon split and reformed under the name Tantrum. 

Young was just 18 when he and older brother Malcolm formed AC/DC in 1973 with Angus on lead, Malcolm on rhythm, Colin Burgess on drums, Larry Van Kriedt on bass and Dave Evans on vocals.  Angus tried several stage costumes, such as Spider-Man, Zorro, a gorilla, and a parody of Superman he called Super-Ang, before deciding on his schoolboy look. 

Burgess was fired and the band went through several bassists and drummers.  The group looked for the right lead singer, also, until Bon Scott, then with the group Fraternity, joined.  AC/DC performed at a massive school holiday concert that helped launch their career and led to the group being signed to the EMI-distributed Albert Productions in Australia and New Zealand.

Scott replaced Dave Evans as lead singer in 1974 and the band quickly went into the studio to record the album High Voltage.  The lineup was Scott, the Youngs, bassist Mark Evans and Phil Rudd on drums.  High Voltage was only released in Australia and their second album, T.N.T. was released only in Australia and New Zealand.  AC/DC appeared regularly on Molly Meldrum's Countdown on ABC-TV and soon the group was one of the most popular in Australia.

The success on Molly Meldrum's Countdown was nothing compared to what the group would soon experience.  AC/DC signed an international recording contract with Atlantic Records in 1976 and toured throughout Europe.  They received considerable exposure, opening for Styx, Aerosmith, Kiss, Cheap Trick, Blue Oyster Cult and Black Sabbath.

The group's third album, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap was the first to be released internationally, although it did not catch on until later.  In 1977, Mark Evans was fired after the recording of Let There Be Rock because of personal differences with Angus.  Cliff Williams replaced Evans in the lineup and the group released Powerage in 1978. 

For their next album, famed producer Robert "Mutt" Lange was brought in.  Highway to Hell in 1979 was AC/DC's breakthrough; it was their first album to reach the Top 100, and in fact peaked at #17.  The album thrust AC/DC into the upper tier of heavy metal acts.  It featured loud, simple riffs and powerful backbeats.  The album featured the non-apologetic title track and "Touch Too Much", "Get It Hot", "Girls Got Rhythm" and "Walk All Over You".

Now that they were known, AC/DC set out to record a follow-up, but on February 19, 1980, Bon Scott passed out after a night of heavy drinking in London.  He died the next morning of acute alcohol poisoning and the lead singer who had finally given the group the sound they wanted was gone.

Replacing a guy like Scott, who fit in perfectly with the AC/DC sound, was not an enviable task.  But the group hit a home run with their hire of Brian Johnson.  In fact, AC/DC did not miss a beat.  Johnson, it turns out, was a guy that Bon Scott had thought was a great rock and roll singer and the group sought him out after Scott's death.

The group resumed songwriting for their new album, then began recording at Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas.  Once again, Lange produced the album and Back in Black was released in 1980.  The LP became not only AC/DC's biggest album of their career but one of The Top 10 Albums of the Rock Era*, according to Inside the Rock Era.  To achieve an album of that quality in light of Scott's death is all the more amazing.

Back in Black contained the title track and "You Shook Me All Night Long" as singles.  Neither made the Top 10, but those two, as well as others on the album, are among The Top Unknown/Underrated Songs of the Rock Era*.  Back in Black reached platinum status three months after release, and by 2007, it was the second highest-selling album in the world with 45 million copies sold worldwide.   

In 1981, AC/DC released the album For Those About to Rock We Salute You.  The explosive title track and "Let's Get It Up" both reached the Top 15 in the U.K.  The group was nominated for an American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Band.  In 1983, AC/DC made the mistake of dropping Lange as their producer and it showed, as they never reached their top performances again.

Alcoholism and drug use led to further deterioration.  Phil Rudd and Malcolm Young got into a fight and Rudd was fired within hours afterward.  Simon Wright was brought in to replace him on drums in the summer of 1983.  Flick of the Switch was released in 1983  and Fly on the Wall in 1985.  Both were unsuccessful and ripped by critics.

In 1986, AC/DC released the soundtrack to the movie Maximum Overdrive, called Who Made Who, which included older songs as well as newer ones such as the title track "Who Made Who".  The album Blow Up Your Video was recorded in France and released in 1988.  It was nominated for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance at the Grammys.

After a tour, Wright left the group and was replaced by Chris Slade.  AC/DC's next release, Razors Edge, did better than any album since For Those About To Rock...  Razors Edge included "Thunderstruck", one of their best songs, which peaked at #5 on the much-smaller segment of the population, the Mainstream Rock chart.  "Thunderstruck" was nominated for Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Video at the MTV Video Music Awards.  "Moneytalks" peaked at #23 overall, becoming one of the group's biggest hits. 

AC/DC was nominated at the Grammys for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance for the album in 1991 and for "Moneytalks" in 1992.  Several concerts on the subsequent tour were recorded for the release of the album Live.  AC/DC headlined the Monsters of Rock show.  The following year, the group recorded "Big Gun" for the movie Last Action Hero, and it reached #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart.

In 1994, Angus and Malcolm invited Rudd to several jam sessions and he was eventually rehired to replace Rudd. The group released Ballbreaker in 1995 and Stiff Upper Lip in 2000.  Stiff Upper Lip reached #1 in five countries but hit just #7 in the United States.  The title track was a #1 song on the small segment known as "Mainstream Rock".  

AC/DC signed a long-term deal with Sony Music in 2002, then appeared with the Rolling Stones and Rush at the Canadian Rocks for Toronto concert before 500,000 people.

In 2007, AC/DC released the triple DVD Plug Me In, which featured seven hours of footage.  AC/DC released their first studio album in eight years in 2008, called Black Ice.  The album debuted at #1 in 29 countries and has been certified Multi-Platinum in eight.  The group supported the album with an 18-month world tour that encompassed 108 cities in 28 countries and included an audience of over five million people.  AC/DC was nominated for "Rock N Roll Train" for Best Rock Performance by a Group at the Grammy Awards and Black Ice also earned a nomination for Best Rock Album.

In 2010, AC/DC released the soundtrack for the movie Iron Man 2 and headlined the Download Festival at Donington Park and after six previous nominations, the group won their first Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance for the song "War Machine".

Young has used Gibson SG's throughout his long career.  He has also used a modified version of the SG that Jaydee guitars made called the Jaydee SG.  This guitar featured signature lightning bolt inlays on the fretboard.  Seeing this, Gibson then proceeded to make a custom SG for Angus featuring the same lightning bolt inlays.  It features a pickup designed by Young (the Angus Young Signature Humbucker) in the bridge and a '57 Classic Humbucker in the neck.

Young has been faithful to Marshall amplifiers throughout has career, from the JTM45 to JTM50s and JMP50s to the multiple stacks of custom JMP100's that are used live.  Young uses the reissued version of the 1959 Marshall amplifiers and BX 4x12 cabinets loaded with Celestion G12M "Greenbacks".

Young has never used a lot of effects, preferring to hone his sound with his natural ability.  He began using the Schaffer-Vega Diversity System in 1977 as a compressor and a booster in his signal. 

Angus plays a blues style in both the minor and major pentatonic twelve-bar blues.  The twelve-bar blues is the root of all blues music.  A pentatonic scale is a musical scale based on five notes per octave, in contrast to the normal seven-note scale (a heptatonic scale).  Young also blends in elements of Scottish folk in his guitar playing and he ultilizes one-handed pull-off arpeggios (where several notes in a chord are played in sequence rather than together).  And he plays with great emotion and energy.  

There are many styles of guitarists represented among The Top 100*; you have those that can sit on a chair onstage and play with a stone cold expression on their face, and then you have an entertainer like Angus Young.  He not only plays wild solos but he is a show himself.  He jumps all over the stage, he runs back and forth in front of the crowd.  He has climbed on the back of another group member and played an extended improvised solo while smoke came out of a satchel on his back.  He often does the "duck walk" made famous by Chuck Berry, and occasionally he throws himself into a spasm, kicking, shaking, and spinning in circles, all the while playing the guitar.  Yes, Angus Young is a great entertainer!

The Recording Industry Association of America now shows AC/DC as the fifth-best-selling band in the Rock Era and the ninth-best-selling artist, having sold over 200 million records.  In 1988, the group was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Assocation's Hall of Fame.  In 2000, the municipality of Leganes in Spain named a street Calle de AC/DC in honor of the group.  The following year, Melbourne, Australia renamed a street as ACDC Lane.  AC/DC were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on March 10, 2003.  In 2006, Kerrang! magazine gave their Legend Award to AC/DC, calling them "one of the most important and influential rock bands in history." 

The wild Angus Young has proven with a career that has spanned 43 years that he is at the forefront of guitarists.  He plays incredible riffs and solos, is just as good live if not better, and is one of the best showmen the music business has ever seen.  Angus ranks #23 for the Rock Era*...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

This Date in Rock Music History: April 18

1956:  Elvis Presley performed in two concerts at the Fairgrounds Pavilion in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
1960:  Percy Faith spent a ninth week at #1 with the classic instrumental "The Theme From 'A Summer Place'".  The Brothers Four had #2 with "Greenfields", Paul Anka was at #3 with "Puppy Love", Brenda Lee moved to #4 with "Sweet Nothin's" and Johnny Horton was moving up with "Sink The Bismark".

1964:  The Beatles appeared on the television show The Morecambe and Wise Show in the U.K., performing "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "All My Loving" and "This Boy".  They also took part in comedy sketches with the hosts of the show.
1964:  Meet the Beatles!  was #1 on the Album chart for the 10th week.  Introducing...The Beatles was #2 with Al Hirt's Honey in the Horn third.

1964:  The Beatles had #1 and #2 on the chart with "Can't Buy Me Love" and "Twist And Shout", respectively.  Terry Stafford remained at #3 with Suspicion while Louis Armstrong had a surprise hit with "Hello, Dolly!".  The rest of the Top Ten:  "Do You Want To Know A Secret" by the Beatles, which moved from 14-5, "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)" by Betty Everett at #6, "Glad All Over" from the Dave Clark Five at #7, "She Loves You" by the Beatles dropping to #8, "Don't Let The Rain Come Down" by the Serendipity Singers and Jan & Dean steered into the Top 10 with "Dead Man's Curve".

1964:  Louis Armstrong spent a fourth out of nine consecutive weeks at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Hello, Dolly!"
1968:  Pink Floyd played the first of two nights at the Piper Club in Rome, Italy.

1969:  Lulu married Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees at Gerrards Cross in Buckinhamshire, England.
1970:  Santana headlined a show for the first of two concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London that also included Taj Mahal and It's A Beautiful Day.
1970:  Steel Mill, with leader Bruce Springsteen, appeared at the Main Gym at Ocean County College in New Jersey.  Tickets were $2.
1970:  "ABC" by the Jackson 5 was the #1 R&B song for a third week. 

                                                  Edison Lighthouse... 

  1970:  "Let It Be" spent a second week at #1 for the Beatles, followed closely by "ABC" from the Jackson 5 and "Spirit In The Sky" by Norman Greenbaum.  The remainder of the Top Ten--"Instant Karma" by John Ono Lennon at #4, "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)" by Edison Lighthouse, the classic former #1 "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel at #6, "Come And Get It" from Badfinger, the Friends of Distinction at #8 with "Love Or Let Me Be Lonely", the Guess Who moving from 15-9 with "American Woman" and the Supremes at #10 with "Up The Ladder To The Roof".
1970:  "Let It Be" also was #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

                                      "So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright"...

  1970:  The number one album for the seventh week in a row (out of an eventual 10) was Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel.
1971:  The Jackson 5, Bill Cosby and Danny Thomas were guests on Diana Ross's television special Diana on ABC.
1972:  The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards were at #1 in the U.K. with "Amazing Grace".
1973:  The Neil Young movie Journey Through the Past debuted at the Dallas Film Festival.
1981:  Yes announced they were splitting up after 13 years.  They would reunite two years later and score their biggest hit in 1984 with "Owner Of A Lonely Heart".

1981:  Smokey Robinson remained at #1 on the R&B chart for a third week with "Being with You".
1981:  "Kiss On My List" by Hall & Oates topped the charts once again with the former #1 "Rapture" from Blondie at #2 and Sheena Easton's first hit "Morning Train coming in at #3.  The rest of the Top Ten had Grover Washington Jr. with Bill Withers on vocals on the song "Just The Two Of Us" at #4, John Lennon falling to #5 with "Woman", Juice Newton's first hit "Angel Of The Morning" moving from 12-6, Steve Winwood's big comeback song "While You See A Chance" at #7, Smokey Robinson's "Being With You" moving from 14-8, Styx at 9 with "The Best Of Times" and the Police remaining at #10 with "Don't Stand So Close To Me".

          Juice reached the top of the AC chart...

1981:  "Angel Of The Morning" by Juice Newton was #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for a second week.

                    "Red Barchetta", one of the top tracks on Rush's new album...

  1981:  REO Speedwagon scored the first #1 album of their career with Hi Infidelity.  Styx slipped with Paradise Theater, creating the opening.  Steve Winwood was third with Arc of a Diver, swapping spots with Rush's Moving Pictures, while the great Winelight album from Grover Washington, Jr. was #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  Face Dances, the new Who album, the Police remained in the #7 position with Zenyatta Mondatta, Eric Clapton edged up with Another Ticket, Double Fantasy from the late John Lennon and "The Jazz Singer" Soundtrack from Neil Diamond remained at #10.
1984:  Michael Jackson went in for surgery in a Los Angeles hospital after his hair caught on fire during the filming of his Pepsi commercial on January 27.
1985:  Wham! became the first Western group to release an album (Make It Big) in China.
1987:  U2 played the second of five concerts at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on their Joshua Tree tour.

                         Crowded House had a hot song with this one...

1987:  Aretha Franklin and George Michael teamed for a #1 song "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)".  Starship's former #1 "Nothing's Gonna' Stop Us Now" was at 2 with the great Crowded House song "Don't Dream It's Over" moving into the #3 slot.  Prince had #4 with "Sign 'O' The Times" and Lou Gramm's "Midnight Blue" was at #5.

1987:  Starship owned #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Nothing's Gonna' Stop Us Now".

1988:  Holland/Dozier/Holland (Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland), responsible for dozens of Motown hits, were inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame.  The famous trio wrote "Baby Love", "Stop!  In The Name Of Love", "Where Did Our Love Go", "Back In My Arms Again", "I Hear A Symphony","Come See About Me", "My World Is Empty Without You", "I Hear A Symphony", "You Keep Me Hangin' On", "Love Is Here And Now You're Gone", "Reflections", and "You Can't Hurry Love" for the Supremes, "I Can't Help Myself", "Bernadette", and "Reach Out I'll Be There" for the Four Tops, "Heat Wave" for Martha and the Vandellas, and many, many others.
1992:  "Tears In Heaven" by Eric Clapton reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
1992:  Def Leppard debuted at #1 on the Album chart with Adrenalize.
1992:  Annie Lennox had the #1 album in the U.K. with Diva.
1995:  Tony McCarroll received a phone call telling him he was being fired as drummer of Oasis.  

1996:  Bernard Edwards, bassist and producer of Chic, died at age 43 of pneumonia in a Tokyo hotel room during a tour of Japan.  Edwards also produced for Diana Ross, Rod Stewart, Air Supply, ABC, Sister Sledge, Power Station, Johnny Mathis and Debbie Harry.
1998:  The "Titanic" Soundtrack was a gigantic hit, remaining at #1 on the Album chart for the 13th week.
2003:  KiSS and Aerosmith announced a concert tour together.

2003:  A star was unveiled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Etta James.
2004:  Guns N' Roses had the #1 U.K. album with their Greatest Hits package.
2004:  Jessica Simpson, Gladys Knight, Cyndi Lauper, Debbie Harry of Blondie, Patti Labelle, Ashanti, Kylie Minogue and Joss Stone starred in VH1's Divas Live at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
2005:  Reebok pulled a television ad featuring 50 Cent after a mother whose son was shot dead complained that the ad glamorized gun crime.  What is truly sad is that Reebok had no clue that they shouldn't be featuring the rapper in an ad in the first place.
2006:  Sir Elton John donated clothes to a specially created shop, Elton's Closet, at the Rockefeller Center in New York City for a five-day sale that brought in $700,000 for Elton's AIDS charity.

2009:  The Black Eyed Peas began a run of 12 weeks at the top with "Boom Boom Pow".  Hmmm...wonder how it would have done against "Light My Fire", "American Pie", "Stairway To Heaven", "Ode To Billie Joe", or "Hey Jude".  Would it have even made the Top 10 in earlier days?

2011:  The Top Five songs--Katy Perry's "E.T.", Rihanna at #2 with "S&M", the Black Eyed Peas had #3 with "Just Can't Get Enough", Cee-Lo Green was at #4 with "Forget You" and Lady Gaga had song #5 "Born This Way".

Dick Clark, the famous host of American Bandstand, creator of the American Music Awards, and host for Rockin' New Year's Eve for many years, died of a massive heart attack in Santa Monica, California at age 82 after entering a hospital the night before for an outpatient procedure.  (Note:  some websites claim Clark died in Los Angeles, but the correct place of death is Santa Monica, according to the newspaper 'The New York Times'.)

Born This Day:
1901:  Al Lewis, songwriter of "Blueberry Hill", was born in New York City; died April 4, 1967 in New York City.
1935:  Paul Rothchild, producer of albums such as L.A. Woman for the Doors and Pearl for Janis Joplin, was born in Brooklyn, New York; died of lung cancer in Los Angeles March 30, 1995. 
1939:  Glen D. Hardin, pianist, songwriter and arranger of Elvis Presley, John Denver and Ricky Nelson among others and a member of the Crickets after Buddy Holly died, was born in Wellington, Texas.  (Note:  several websites report that Hardin was born in Hollis, Oklahoma.  Unfortunately, there are no credible sources for either place, but our best research indicates Hardin was born in Wellington.)
1942:  Mike Vickers, guitarist, flautist and saxophonist of Manfred Mann, was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England.

1946:  Skip Spence, guitarist of Quicksilver Messenger Service, a founding member of Moby Grape and a drummer for Jefferson Starship on one album, was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada; died of lung cancer in Santa Cruz, California April 16, 1999.
1946:  Lennie Baker, saxophonist with Danny & the Juniors and vocalist and saxophone player of Sha Na Na, was born in Whitman, Massachusetts.  (Note:  some websites report that Lenny Baker of Sha Na Na was born on this date.  There was no such member of the group; the correct spelling of his name is Lennie.)
1958:  Les Pattinson, bassist and co-songwriter of Echo and the Bunnymen ("The Cutter"), was born in  Ormskirk, Lancashire, England.  (Note:  ' and a few other websites report that Pattinson was born in Ormskirk, Merseyside, England.  Ormskirk is not included in the county of Merseyside--it is in Lancashire.  Even if it were, the county of Merseyside was not created until April 1, 1974, long after Pattinson was born.)
1962:  Shirley Holliman, backing vocalist of Wham!, was born in Bushey, Hertfordshire, England.  (Note:  some websites report Holliman was born in Bushey Heath, Hertfordshire, England.  '' reports that Holliman was born in Watford.  Bushey Heath is a neighborhood, not a city, and will never be listed on an official birth certificate.  According to 'OVGuide', Holliman was born on a council estate in Bushey, a town near Watford.) 
1970:  Greg Eklund, drummer for Everclear, was born in Jacksonville, Florida.
1974:  Mark Tremonti, lead guitarist of Creed, was born in Detroit, Michigan.