Saturday, July 7, 2012

This Date in Rock Music History: July 8

1954:  Sam Phillips, Elvis Presley's manager, gave Memphis D.J. Dewey Phillips of WHBQ Radio a copy of Presley's "That's All Right (Mama)" for his radio show and Presley appeared on Phillips' show.  Phillips that night became the first DJ to play an Elvis Presley song.  (Note:  several websites claim Phillips played the song on July 6 or 7.  According to the newspaper 'The Knoxville Journal', the official Graceland website and the book 'Turn It Up!  American Radio Tales 1946-1996' by Bob Shannon, the correct date is July 8.)
1958:  The soundtrack to Oklahoma! became the first album to be certified Gold by the Recording Industry of America (RIAA).

1959:  Santo and Johnny released the single "Sleep Walk" on Trinity Records.  (Note:  one naive website claims the song was released as a single in August.  "Sleep Walk" debuted on the Singles chart on July 27.  It is physically impossible for a song to be included on the Singles chart if it has not been released as a single.)
1960:  Jimmy Jones had the #1 U.K. hit with "Good Timin'".
1963:  Freddie & the Dreamers recorded "I'm Telling You Now".

1964:  The Elvis Presley movie Viva Las Vegas, generally regarded as one of his best, was #8 in the United States.
1965:  The Hollies' "I'm Alive" returned to #1 in the U.K.
1967:  How's this for a combo?  Jimi Hendrix opened on a national tour at the Jacksonville Coliseum in Jacksonville, Florida for the Monkees.

1967:  Another look back at one of the top years in the Rock Era.  "Windy" by the Association remained at #1 but the Music Explosion was challenging with "Little Bit O' Soul".  Frankie Valli's solo hit "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" (he was still in the 4 Seasons) was at #3 and Scott McKenzie remained at 4 with "San Francisco".  The rest of a dynamite Top 10:  Petula Clark's "Don't Sleep In The Subway", "Come On Down To My Boat" from Every Mother's Son, the 5th Dimension's magical "Up-Up And Away" moving from 12-7, the Grass Roots at #8 with "Let's Live For Today", the Young Rascals were on their way down with their classic #1 "Groovin'" and Johnny Rivers joined the group at #10 with "The Tracks Of My Tears".

1967:  One of The Top R&B Songs of the Rock Era*, "Respect" from Aretha Franklin, spent its eighth week at the top on this date. 

1967:  Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which had debuted at #8 two weeks before, completed the climb up the Top 200 Albums by reaching #1 for the Beatles one week later and on this date, made it two weeks in a row.  That was nothing--the Beatles would go on to record 15 weeks at the top.  Headquarters from their rival the Monkees was hanging in there at #2.  Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass remained at 3 with Sounds Like.

1968:  Steppenwolf released the single "Born To Be Wild" on Dunhill Records.
1968:  Pink Floyd opened their 20-date tour of North America at the Kinetic Playground in Chicago, Illinois.
1969:  Marianne Faithfull was found in a coma after a drug overdose.
1970:  The Everly Brothers Show began on ABC-TV as a summer television series.

1972:  The Who released the single "Join Together" in the United States.  It had been released June 16 in the U.K.

1972:  "Lean On Me" hit #1 for Bill Withers, with a message we could all take to heart.  Billy Preston's "Outa-Space", one of The Top 100 Instrumentals of the Rock Era*, was up to #2 and the former #1 "Song Sung Blue" from Neil Diamond was down to 3.  Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose came in fourth with "Too Late To Turn Back Now" followed by the former #1 from Sammy Davis, Jr.--"The Candy Man".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Troglodyte" from the Jimmy Castor Bunch, "Rocket Man" by Elton John, Vegas star Wayne Newton got in on the action with "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast", America remained at 9 with "I Need You" and Luther Ingram's still not right with "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right".
1972:  Neil Diamond's "Song Sung Blue" remained at #1 on the Adult chart for a fifth week.
1973:  Mott the Hoople appeared at Royal Albert Hall in London, where the crowd rioted and two boxes in the prestigious venue were damaged.  The Hall temporarily banned rock concerts and issued the group with a fine.
1978:  Lionel Richie & the Commodores were moving on up with "Three Times a Lady"--49 to 26 on this date.

1978:  Teddy Pendergrass owned the top R&B hit with "Close The Door".
1978:  Roberta Flack took over at #1 on the AC chart with "If Ever I See You Again".

1978:  Maybe it was the weather (or being out of school) but summer music sounded better.  Andy Gibb was just beginning a long stay at #1 with "Shadow Dancing" while Gerry Rafferty was camped out at #2 for a fourth week with the classic "Baker Street".  ABBA had #3 with "Take A Chance On Me".  The O'Jays edged up to 4 with "Use Ta Be My Girl" and Bob Seger had #5--"Still The Same".  The rest of the Top 10:  Rod Stewart sound alike Bonnie Tyler with "It's A Heartache", the Stones rolled up from 14-7 with "Miss You", Peter Brown with "Dance With Me", Heatwave had folks dancing with "The Groove Line" at #9 and Carly Simon's 13th hit and fifth Top 10--"You Belong To Me" was at #10.

1978:  Gerry Rafferty dislodged Saturday Night Fever from #1 on the Album chart after an unprecedented 24 consecutive weeks (with the album City To City).  Natural High from the Commodores was third, followed by Some Girls by the Rolling Stones and Stranger in Town from Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band.  The rest of the Top 10:  Darkness on the Edge of Town by Bruce Springsteen, Andy Gibb's Shadow Dancing, Feels So Good from Chuck Mangione at #8, the Soundtrack to "Grease" at #9 and Carly Simon's Boys in the Trees completing the list.
1979:  The B-52's gave their first concert in the U.K. at the Lyceum Ballroom in London.

1981:  Tom Petty released the single with Stevie Nicks--"Stop Draggin' My Heart Around".
1984:  Bono of U2 and Van Morrison joined Bob Dylan on stage at Wembley Stadium in London, with the three singing "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue".
1987:  U2 performed at Vorst National in Brussels, Belgium.

1989:  The Fine Young Cannibals made it two #1's out of the gate as the follow-up to "She Drives Me Crazy", "Good Thing" hit #1. 
1992:  Garth Brooks and wife Sandy celebrated their new daughter, Taylor Mayne Pearl.

1995:  It didn't even take a music professional to tell where this song was heading.  "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal moved from 54 to 32 on this date.
1995:  Michael Jackson continued the ever-increasing practice of debuting at #1 on the Album chart with HIStory:  Past, Present and Future-Book I.

1995:  "Waterfalls", one of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era* from TLC, climbed from 7 to the top on this date.  Monica was stuck at #2 with "Don't Take It Personal (just one of dem days)". 

1996:  The Spice Girls released their debut single "Wannabe" in Great Britain.  It would not be released in North America until six months later.

1997:  Jewel released the single "Foolish Games".
1998:  The estate for Roy Orbison filed a $12 million royalty suit against Sony Music.
2000:  Iron Maiden had to cancel several dates of a European tour after guitarist Janick Gers fell off stage during a concert in Mannheim, Germany.
2001:  Coldplay and Beck performed on the final night of the T in the Park Festival in Balado, Scotland.

2001:  Alicia Keys reached #1 on the Album chart with her superb Songs in A Minor.
2003:  Nickelback began filming the video to "Someday" in their hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  It was a two-day project finished July 9.
2003:  An article in the Wall Street Journal emphasized the similarity between lyrics on Bob Dylan's 2001 album Love and Theft and the Japanese book Confessions of a Yakuza.  Author Dr. Junichi Saga claims never to have heard of Dylan.  Better not tell Bob that--don't think his ego could take it.
2004:  Scott Weiland, formerly with Stone Temple Pilots and then with Velvet Revolver, was given three years probation after being convicted of a DUI in a Los Angeles court.
2004:  Mark Purseglove was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in jail for bootlegging famous recordings by the Beatles, Pink Floyd and others.

2005:  Soul great and great guy Luther Vandross was laid to rest following a funeral service at New York's Riverside Church.  Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Usher and Patti LaBelle were among those in attendance. 
2006:  Nelly Furtado owned the #1 album with Loose.
2007:  The Chemical Brothers topped the U.K. Album chart with We Are the Night.
2015:  Ernie Maresca, who co-wrote "The Wanderer" and "Runaround Sue" for Dion, died at his home in Pompano Beach, Florida at age 76.

Born This Day:
1935:  Steve Lawrence (Sidney Liebowitz) was born in Brooklyn, New York.
1944:  Jai Johanny Johanson, drummer and one of the founding members of the Allman Brothers Band, was born in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  (Note:  some websites insist Jaimoe, as he was known, was born in Gulfport, Mississippi.  According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he was born in Ocean Springs.)
1961:  Andy Fletcher, co-founder and master of synthesizers for Depeche Mode, was born in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England.  (Note:  some websites report he was born July 6, and others say August 8.  According to the book 'Stripped:  Depeche Mode' by Jonathan Miller, Andy was born on July 8 in Nottingham.) 
1961:  Graham Jones, guitarist for Haircut 100 ("Love Plus One"), was born in Bridlington, East Yorkshire.  (Note:  some naive websites claim Jones was born in the county of East Riding of Yorkshire.  The county was not named that until 1974, 13 years after Jones was born, and you will never see East Riding of Yorkshire listed as Graham's County of Birth on his official birth certificate.) 

1962:  Joan Osborne was born in Anchorage, Kentucky.
1970:  Beck (Beck David Campbell) was born in Los Angeles.
1985:  Jamie Cook, guitarist, songwriter and a founding member of the Arctic Monkeys, was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England.

Hits List: Prince

One of the most durable stars that found their initial success in the 80's is the Purple One.  He's endured through the years as one of the biggest stars of the Rock Era.  Here is the complete Hits List for Prince:

1978:  "Soft and Wet" (#92, #12 R&B)
           "Just as Long as We're Together" (#91 R&B)
1979:  "I Wanna' Be Your Lover" (#11, #1 R&B)
1980:  "Why You Wanna' Treat Me So Bad?" (#13 R&B)
           "Still Waiting" (#65 R&B)
           "Sexy Dancer"
           "Uptown" (#5 R&B)
           "Dirty Mind" (#65 R&B)

1981:  "Do It All Night"
           "Gotta' Stop (Messin' About)"
           "Controversy" (#70, #3 R&B, #15 Australia, #28 Netherlands)
           "Let's Work" (#9 R&B)
1982:  "Sexuality" (#88 Australia)
           "Do Me, Baby"
           "1999" (#12, #4 R&B, #25 U.K., #6 Canada, #2 Australia, #4 New Zealand, #14 Netherlands)--underrated.

1983:  "Little Red Corvette" (#6, #15 R&B, #54 U.K., #5 Canada, #8 Australia, #12 New Zealand)
           "Delirious" (#8, #18 R&B, #27 Canada, #33 New Zealand)
           "Let's Pretend We're Married" (#52, #55 R&B)

1984:  "When Doves Cry" (#1, #1 R&B, #4 U.K., #1 Canada, #1 Australia, #2 New Zealand, #6 Netherlands)
           "Let's Go Crazy" (#1, #1 R&B, #2 Canada, #10 Australia, #13 New Zealand, #11 Netherlands))
           "Purple Rain" (#2, #4 R&B, #8 U.K., #3 Canada, #41 Australia, #16 New Zealand, #1 Netherlands))
           "I Would Die 4 (sic) U (sic)" (#8, #11 R&B, #58 U.K., #12 Canada, #96 Australia, #7 Netherlands)
1985:  "Take Me with U (sic)" (#25, #40 R&B)
           "Raspberry Beret" (#2, #3 R&B, #25 U.K., #8 Canada, #13 Australia, #2 New Zealand, #23 Netherlands))
           "Pop Life" (#7, #8 R&B, #25 U.K., #8 Canada, #13 Australia, #2 New Zealand)
           "America" (#46, #35 R&B)
           "Paisley Park" (#18 U.K., #38 Australia, #26 New Zealand, #40 Netherlands)

1986:  "Kiss" (#1, #1 R&B, #6 U.K., #4 Canada, #2 Australia, #2 New Zealand, #3 Netherlands))
           "Mountains" (#23, #15 R&B, #45 U.K., #45 Australia, #37 New Zealand, #16 Netherlands)
           "Anotherloverholenyohead" (#63, #18 R&B, #36 U.K., #36 New Zealand)
           "Girls & Boys" (#11 U.K., #12 Netherlands)
1987:  "Sign o' the Times" (#3, #1 R&B, #10 U.K., #5 Canada, #29 Australia, #4 New Zealand, #7 Netherlands)
           "If I Was Your Girlfriend" (#67, #12 R&B, #20 U.K., #48 New Zealand, #17 Netherlands)
           "U (sic) Got the Look" (with Sheena Easton) (#2, #11 R&B, #11 U.K., #22 Canada, #90 Australia, #8 New Zealand, #11 Netherlands)
           "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" (#10, #14 R&B, #29 U.K., #33 Canada, #9 New Zealand, #30 Netherlands)
1988:  "Hot Thing" (#63, #14 R&B)
           "Alphabet St." (#8, #3 R&B, #9 U.K., #14 Canada, #26 Australia, #1 New Zealand, #3 Netherlands)
           "Glam Slam" (#44 R&B, #29 U.K., #12 New Zealand, #9 Netherlands)
           "I Wish U (sic) Heaven" (#18 R&B, #24 U.K., #24 New Zealand, #20 Netherlands)

1989:  "Batdance" (#1, #1 R&B, #2 U.K., #1 Canada, #2 Australia, #1 New Zealand, #4 Netherlands)
           "Partyman" (#18, #5 R&B, #14 U.K., #31 Canada, #38 Australia, #16 New Zealand, #16 Netherlands)
           "The Arms of Orion" (with Sheena Easton" (#36, #27 U.K., #44 New Zealand, #13 Netherlands)
           "Scandalous!" (#5 R&B", #21 Netherlands)
1990:  "The Future" (#9 Netherlands)
           "Thieves in the Temple" (#6, #1 R&B, #7 U.K., #5 Canada, #16 Australia, #5 New Zealand, #8 Netherlands)
           "New Power Generation" (#64, #27 R&B, #26 U.K., #18 Netherlands)
1991:  "Gett Off" (#21, #6 R&B, #4 U.K., #25 Canada, #8 Australia, #13 New Zealand, #3 Netherlands)
             "Cream" (#1, #15 U.K., #2 Canada, #2 Australia, #5 New Zealand, #7 Netherlands)
             "Insatiable" (#77, #3 R&B)
             "Diamonds and Pearls" (#3, #1 R&B, #25 U.K., #5 Canada, #13 Australia, #8 New Zealand, #15 Netherlands)
1992:   "Money Don't Matter 2 (sic) Night" (#23, #14 R&B, #19 U.K., #19 Canada, #18 Australia, #20 New Zealand, #9 Netherlands)
           "Thunder" (#28 U.K.)
           "Sexy MF" (#66, #76 R&B, #4 U.K., #11 Canada, #5 Australia, #6 New Zealand, #4 Netherlands)
           "My Name Is Prince" (#36, #25 R&B, #7 U.K., #5, Canada, #9 Australia, #7 New Zealand, #8 Netherlands)
           "7" (#7, #61 R&B, #27 U.K., #3 Canada, #25 Australia, #12 New Zealand, #34 Netherlands)
           "Damn U (sic)" (#32 R&B)

1993:  "The Morning Papers" (#44, #68 R&B, #52 U.K., #8 Canada, #39 Netherlands)
           "Pink Cashmere" (#50, #14 R&B, #7 Canada)
           "Peach" (#14 U.K., #28 Australia, #15 New Zealand, #8 Netherlands)
           "Nothing Compares 2 U" (#62 R&B)
           "Controversy" (re-issue--#5 U.K.)
1994:  "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" (#3, #2 R&B, #1 U.K., #6 Canada, #1 Australia, #1 New Zealand, #1 Netherlands)
            "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World" (Staxowax)
            "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World"             
            "Love sign" (with Nona Gaye" (#72, #32 R&B)
            "Shhh" (#62 R&B)
            "Letitgo" (#31, #10 R&B, #30 U.K., #20 Canada, #22 Australia, #24 New Zealand, #14 Netherlands)
            "Space" (#71 R&B)
1995:  "Purple Medley" (#84, #74 R&B, #33 U.K., #40 Australia, #30 Netherlands)
           "I Hate U (sic)" (#12, #3 R&B, #20 U.K., #25 Canada, #33 Australia, #22 New Zealand, #18 Netherlands)
           "Gold" (#88, #92 U.K., #10 U.K., #39 Canada, #25 Netherlands)
1996:  "Dinner with Delores" (#36 U.K.)
           "Betcha' by Golly Wow!" (#31, #10 R&B, #11 U.K., #9 Canada, #18 Australia, #24 New Zealand, #42 Netherlands)
1997:  "The Holy River" (#58, #19 U.K., #31 Canada, #63 Netherlands)
           "Somebody's Somebody" (#15 R&B, #19 U.K.)
1998:  "1999" (#40, #45 R&B, #10 U.K., #31 Netherlands)

1999:  "Extraordinary"
           "The Greatest Romance Ever Sold" (#63, #23 R&B, #65 U.K., #71 Netherlands)
           "1999" (re-issue) (#56, #40 U.K.)
2000:  "Man O' War"
2001:  "U (Sic) Make My Sun Shine" (with Angie Stone) (#59)
           "When Will We Be Paid?" (With Audio Stepchild)
           "She Loves Me 4 Me"
2004:  "Musicology" (#44 R&B, #29 Australia, #32 New Zealand, #32 Netherlands)
           "Call My Name" (#75, #27 R&B)
           "Cinnamon Girl" (#43 U.K., #34 Netherlands)
2005:  "S.S.T."
           "Te Amo Corazon" (#67 R&B)

2006:  "Beautiful, Loved and Blessed" (with Tamar Davis)
           "Black Sweat" (#60, #82 R&B, #43 U.K., #29 Netherlands)
           "Fury" (#60 U.K., #72 Netherlands)
           "Satisfied" (#70 R&B)
2007:  "Guitar" (#81, U.K., #13 Netherlands)
           "Chelsea Rodgers"
           "The One U (sic) Wanna' C (sic)"
           "Future Baby Mama" (#39 R&B)
           "Dance 4 (sic) Me"
           "Purple Rain" (re-entry--#62 U.K.)
           "Better With Time" (#78 R&B)

That's 52 hits, 22 of those going Top 10, with five #1's for Prince.

Hits List: Bobby Vinton

While at Duquesne University, Bobby Vinton became proficient on the piano, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, drums and oboe.  His hometown of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania named both Bobby Vinton Boulevard and the shorter adjoining Bobby Vinton Drive after their native son.  Here is the complete Hits List for Vinton:

1962:  "Roses Are Red (My Love)" (#1, #1 Easy Listening, #15 U.K., #1 Norway)
           "Rain Rain Go Away" (#12, #4 EL)
           "I Love You the Way You Are" (#38)
1963:  "Trouble Is My Middle Name" (#33, #7 EL)
           "Let's Kiss and Make Up" (#38, #10 EL)
           "Over the Mountain (Across the Sea)" (#21, #8 EL)
           "Blue on Blue" (#3, #2 EL)
           "Blue Velvet" (#1, #1 EL)

1964:  "There!  I've Said It Again" (#1, #1 EL, #34 U.K.)
           "My Heart Belongs to Only You" (#9, #2 EL)
           "Tell Me Why" (#13, #3 EL)
           "Clinging Vine" (#17, #2 EL)
           "Mr. Lonely" (#1, #3 EL)
           "The Bell That Couldn't Jingle" (#23)
           "Dearest Santa" (#8)
1965:  "Long Lonely Nights" (#17, #5 EL)
           "L-O-N-E-L-Y" (#22, #7 EL)
           "Theme from 'Harlow' (Lonely Girl)" (#61, #16 EL)
           "What Color (Is a Man)" (#38)
1966:  "Satin Pillows" (#23)
           "Petticoat White (Summer Sky Blue)" (#81)
           "Dum-De-Da" (#40, #24 EL)
           "Tears" (#59, #27 EL)
1967:  "Coming Home Soldier" (#11)
           "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" (#66)
           "Red Roses for Mom" (#95)
           "Please Love Me Forever" (#6, #39 EL)

1968:  "Just as Much as Ever" (#24, #10 EL)
           "Take Good Care of My Baby" (#33, #14 EL)
           "Halfway to Paradise" (#23, #8 EL)
           "I Love How You Love Me" (#9, #2 EL)
1969:  "To Know You Is to Love You" (#34, #8 EL)
           "The Days of Sand and Shovels" (#34, #11 EL)
1970:  "No Arms Can Ever Hold You" (#93, #8 EL)
           "Why Don't They Understand" (#23 EL)
           "My Elusive Dreams" (#46, #7 EL)
1971:  "I'll Make You My Baby" (#30 EL)
1972:  "Ev'ry Day of My Life" (#24, #2 EL)
           "Sealed with a Kiss" (#19, #2 EL)
           "But I Do" (#82, #27 EL)
1973:  "Hurt" (#40 EL)

1974:  "My Melody of Love" (#3, #1 EL)
1975:  "Beer Barrel Polka" (#33, #5 EL)
           "Dick and Jane"
           "Wooden Heart" (#58, #23 EL)
           "Midnight Show" (#23 EL)

1976:  "Save Your Kisses for Me" (#75)
           "Moonlight Serenade" (#97, #15 EL)
           "Nobody But Me" (#34 EL)
1977:  "Only Love Can Break a Heart" (#99, #44 EL)
           "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" (#43 EL)
1978:  "Summerlove, Sensation" (#44 EL)
1979:  "Disco Polka (Pennsylvania Polka)" (#47 Adult Contemporary)
1980:  "Make Believe It's Your First Time" (#78, #17 AC)
1981:  "Let Me Love You Goodbye" (#45 AC)
1983:  "You Are Love"
1984:  "Bed of Roses"
1989:  "The Last Rose"
           "It's Been One of Those Days"
           "Please Tell Her That I Said Hello"
1990:  "Blue Velvet"
           "Roses Are Red (My Love)" (re-issue)

The Top Adult Contemporary Artists of the 1980's: #40 to #31

We're over halfway and the artists in this range are a level above the ones we have heard before, as far as the 80's are concerned.

Up next, the performer who was once a next-door neighbor of Diana Ross:

40.    Smokey Robinson

The silky smooth Smokey Robinson is one of the giants of the Rock Era.  He was the founder and lead singer of the Miracles from 1955 through 1972 when he became the vice president of Motown Records.
In 1955, Robinson formed the band that would become the Miracles with childhood friend Ronald White and schoolmate Pete Moore.  After accepting the lofty position at Motown, Smokey soon returned to performing.
In 1981, he had a big hit with the Gold record "Being with You".  In 1983, he sang a duet with Barbara Mitchell--"Blame It on Love", that also hit the Top 5.    

In 1987, Smokey made a comeback with the album One Heartbeat.  It was his biggest album to date, selling half a million copies.  It spawned to smash hits for Smokey, the #1 "Just to See Her" and the #2 "One Heartbeat".  Robinson also hit #4 with Kenny G on the song "We've Saved the Best for Last" and had minor AC hits with "What's Too Much" and "Love Don't Give No Reason".  Motown was sold in 1988 and Smokey left the company in 1990. 
In 1987, Robinson was inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  In 1989, he was voted to the Songwriter's Hall of Fame.  In 1991, Robinson was honored at the Soul Train Music Awards with the Heritage Awards.  In 1993, Smokey was awarded a medal at the National Medal of Arts.  In 2006, Robinson received an honorary Doctorate of Music from Howard University and later in the year was a Kennedy Center honoree.  In 2009, the Miracles received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Smokey received an honorary doctorate degree from the Berklee College of Music.

The next artist is a British group with roots in progressive rock:

39.    Genesis

This group formed in 1967 and first began to achieve worldwide success in the late 1970's.  The album Duke in 1980 was a transition from their 1970's progressive rock sound to the 1980's.  Genesis then released Abacab in 1981 and their self-titled album in 1983.  The latter earned the group a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and "Second Home by the Sea" earned a nomination for Best Rock Instrumental.

Genesis scored their biggest AC hit to that point in 1983 with "That's All", and also enjoyed the minor hit "Taking It All Too Hard", which reached #11.  

Then in 1986, the group released their best album, Invisible Touch.  The title track reached #3, "Throwing It All Away" hit #1 for the group, then two more Adult Contemporary hits followed:  "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" and "In Too Deep", which reached #1 for three weeks in 1987.  Genesis hired Peter Fluck and Roger Law to work on the video for "Land of Confusion".  It's a commentary on the Cold War in which puppet representations of Genesis members Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford are featured.  

"Land of Confusion" was nominated for Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards and won a Grammy for Best Concept Music Video.  "Brazilian" from Invisible Touch earned a nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.  In 1987, Genesis was nominated for Favorite Rock Group at the American Music Awards.  On the subsequent tour, Genesis became the first group to play four sold out shows at Wembley Stadium in London.

Genesis are among the top 30 top-selling recording artists of all-time, with worldwide sales pegged at 150 million.  They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

At #38, the biggest-selling instrumental musician of the modern era, with worldwide sales over 75 million:

38.    Kenny G

Kenny G began playing saxophone in 1966 at the age of 10 after seeing a performance on The Ed Sullivan Show.  Kenny signed with Arista Records in 1982 and enjoyed great success beginning with his second album, G Force.  That album achieved Platinum status, as did Gravity, the follow-up.  

Duotones sold five million in the United States alone and gave him two smashes--"Songbird", which hit #3, and the #2 "Don't Make Me Wait for Love", a duet with Lenny Williams, original lead singer of Tower of Power.  

Kenny followed that up with the album Silhouette in 1988, which contained the #2 smash title song, as well as "We've Saved the Best for Last" with Smokey Robinson and the #5 "Going Home".  The G-man thus closed the decade with five consecutive Top 5 AC hits.

Breathless in 1992 became the #1 instrumental album in history with over 15 million copies worldwide.  Kenny smashed another record when his first holiday album, Miracles, sold over 13 million, becoming the top-selling Christmas album of all-time. 

In 1997, Kenny G earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest note ever played on a saxophone.  Kenny held an E-flat for 45 minutes and 47 seconds.  

Kenny has collaborated with a multitude of artists, including Whitney Houston, Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, Steve Miller, Michael Bolton, Smokey Robinson, George Benson, Andrea Bocelli, Toni Braxton, Natalie Cole, Peabo Bryson, Aaron Neville and Lee Ritenour.

The #37 Adult Contemporary Artist of the 1980's* set a Rock Era record by having each of his first seven singles hit the Top 5 overall:

37.  Richard Marx

Richard began singing commercial jingles at the age of 5 that written by his father, Dick Marx.  Richard was 17 when a tape of his songs found its way into the hands of Lionel Richie.  Richie encouraged the young singer to move to Los Angeles, which he did after graduation.  Marx ended up singing background vocals on Richie's first two albums, including the hits "You Are", "Running with the Night" and "All Night Long".  

Marx's experience with Richie and his enthusiasm landed him several jobs in those early days, singing for Madonna, Whitney Houston and Luther Vandross, and eventually as a songwriter.  Richard was singing for Kenny Rogers in 1984 when he overheard Rogers say he needed a new song.  Within days, Marx presented Kenny with a demo of "Crazy", which Rogers turned into a Top 5 AC song.  Marx also wrote another big hit for Kenny, "What About Me?", which he did with James Ingram and Kim Carnes.  Soon after that, Marx began working with producer David Foster and writing songs for Chicago and Freddie Jackson.

Meanwhile, Marx continued to work towards his own recording contract.  His demo tape was rejected by every label in Hollywood, until finally, Bruce Lundvall of EMI had the proper ears to know that Marx was a sure star in the music business.

Richard's considerable experience in the music business, not to mention his likability, paid off when it came time to record his debut album.  Joe Walsh, Randy Meisner and Timothy B. Schmidt, all once members of the Eagles, agreed to help out.  The album sold nearly four million copies in the United States alone.  Marx began a world tour opening for REO Speedwagon, but soon was headlining his own shows.  Richard enjoyed the #2 hit "Endless Summer Nights", the #3 "Hold On to the Nights" and a minor AC hit with "Should've Known Better".  Richard was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance-Male for "Don't Mean Nothing".

Marx had gained acclaim and acceptance with his debut; his second album launched him as a superstar.  Repeat Offender hit #1 in 1989 and went Triple Platinum within a few months--it is now over five million in sales.  "Satisfied", the Platinum "Right Here Waiting", which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, "Children of the Night" and "Angelia" were all huge hits.  "Right Here Waiting" went Platinum and topped the AC chart for six weeks while "Angelia" was #2.  "Children of the Night", which was a hit in 1990 and too late to be counted for this decade, was written in support of the Los Angeles-based charity of the same name that provides assistance for runaways.  All royalties from the song were donated to Children of the Night.

Marx went on another extensive tour of the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia. 
Marx later wrote "Dance With My Father" for Luther Vandross, which won Grammy Awards for Song of the Year, Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Album.

The next act in our salute to the great Adult Contemporary artists of the 80's used to be backing musicians for Boz Scaggs before striking out on their own:

36.    Toto

David Paich and Jeff Porcaro were highly demanded session musicians before beginning Toto.  David Hungate, Steve Lukather, Steve Porcaro and Bobby Kimball were brought in for the group's debut in 1978.  The members of Toto have played on many of The Top 100 Albums of the Rock Era*, and were regulars on albums by Steely Dan, Sonny & Cher, Seals & Crofts and Boz Scaggs prior to forming the group in Los Angeles.  Toto had a minor hit with "99" in 1980.

But it was their fourth album that drew attention and made Toto one of the top acts of their time.  Toto IV was a worldwide success story, introducing the band to new legions of fans.  The group hit #1 with "I Won't Hold You Back" and scored Gold records with both "Africa" (#5 AC) and "Rosanna".  The hard-working group had finally been rewarded with a monster album and a boatload of six Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, Producer of the Year and Record of the Year ("Rosanna").  Toto toured throughout 1982 in support of their classic album.

Hungate left the band following the album and Mike Porcaro replaced him on bass.  Lead singer Kimball was fired in 1984 when drugs destroyed his relationship with the band.  Fergie Frederiksen was hired as the new lead singer and Toto recorded Isolation.  Isolation went Gold and the group went on another tour in 1985.

Frederiksen didn't last long and after an audition, Joseph Williams was selected to take over as lead vocalist.

Fahrenheit featured several guest musicians, including jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, Don Henley of the Eagles and Michael McDonald.  Despite the #1 AC hit "I'll Be Over You", the album did not generate great interest and Steve Porcaro left the group to pursue a career in film and television scoring.  In 1988, Toto released the album The Seventh One, which contained the #7 AC hit "Without Your Love" and the #9 "Pamela".

Toto has sold over 35 million albums and were inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2009.

The #35 Adult Contemporary Artist of the 1980's* is another from the Bay Area, legendary for producing super artists of the Rock Era:

35.    Huey Lewis & the News

Singer/harmonica player Huey Lewis and keyboardist Sean Hopper were part of the jazz-funk group Clover, which recorded several albums in the 70's.  Clover's main competitors in the Bay Area jazz-funk scene were Soundhole, which included drummer Bill Gibson, guitarist and saxophonist Johnny Colla and bassist Mario Cipollina.  After securing a contract with Phonogram Records in 1978, Lewis united his former bandmate and three of his rivals to start a new group, Huey Lewis & the American Express.

In 1979, guitarist Chris Hayes was brought into the lineup and a major deal with Chrysalis Records was signed.  American Express complained about the name, and the group changed to Huey Lewis & the News.

The group released their self-titled debut album in 1980 but was largely ignored.  But the single "Do You Believe in Love" in 1982 fueled their second album, Picture This.  "Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do" and the underrated "Workin' for a Livin'" proved to the public that the group had something special.

  If there was any doubt, Sports in 1984 erased all of that.  The album became one of the monster hits of that year and one of The Top 100 Albums of the Rock Era*, eventually selling over 10 million copies in the United States alone.  Huey & the News diligently toured extensively to promote it, and several tracks received heavy MTV airplay, which at the time stood for "Music Television".  They did better on the overall popular chart, but still scored two Top 10's in the AC genre with "The Power of Love" and "If This is It".  The group won an MTV Music Award for Best Music Video, Long Form, for  "The Heart of Rock & Roll".  That song was nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammys.  Despite this, Adult Contemporary radio initially ignored the phenomenon, except for "If This Is It", which made Top 5 on the AC chart, despite being one of the worst of five singles from the album.

Huey Lewis & the News recorded a song for the great movie Back to the Future in 1985, "The Power of Love".  It became a #6 AC hit and was nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards and for Best Original Song from a Motion Picture at the Academy Awards.  They also were a part of U.S.A. for Africa and the song "We Are the World".  

The album Fore!  in 1986 became another #1 album and in this genre, was more successful than Sports.  Another way to take that was that AC radio realized it blew it on Sports and on Huey Lewis & the News and finally embraced them.  Fore!  contained five AC hits, and doesn't even include "Naturally", one of The Top Unknown/Underrated Songs of the Rock Era*.  "Stuck with You" went to #1 for three weeks, "Doing It All for My Baby" was a #2 song, and "Jacob's Ladder", "Hip to Be Square" and "I Know What I Like" were all minor hits from Fore!, which was certified Triple Platinum.  Huey Lewis & the News received a British Award for Best International Group at the end of the year.

The 1987 album Small World was generally a disappointment after two blockbuster albums, but it did spawn the #2 Adult Contemporary song "Perfect World" and the minor hit "Small World".  

Huey Lewis & the News have sold over 30 million records worldwide.  All of the group's releases between 1982 and 1991 have been certified Gold, Platinum or Multi-Platinum.

You should have noticed a huge pickup in the quantity and quality of 80's successes.  That's why these artists are ranked higher, and we keep getting better as we move to #1. At #34, this durable band that has now been putting out great music for over 40 years:

34.    Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac was formed in London in 1967 and went through numerous personnel changes before they found the right combination.  Their self-titled release in 1975, Rumours in 1977 and Tusk in 1979 established them as one of the top acts in the world.  Their continued success in the 80's solidified them as one of the top acts of all-time.

One of The Top Music Videos of All-Time...

Original guitarist Peter Green played on the highly underrated track "Brown Eyes" on Tusk, with the album's success spilling over into 1980.  The album sold four million copies and would have sold much more had it been promoted properly.  Fleetwood Mac did their part, touring for 18 months in the United States, Germany, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Japan, France and the Netherlands.  

After solo albums from both Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham, the group returned to a more conventional sound on the 1982 album Mirage.  Mirage was certified Double Platinum and contained two Top 10's in Adult Contemporary--"Gypsy" and "Hold Me" and the #11 song "Love in Store".  Fleetwood Mac headlined the US Festival and did a brief tour of the U.S.

Fleetwood Mac then went on hiatus, with members pursuing their own projects.  In 1987, the group recorded Tango in the Night, which started off as a solo album by Buckingham before becoming a project of the group.  The album became their biggest-selling since Tusk, selling over three million copies.  It found great favor with AC fans, giving Fleetwood Mac a #1 song of four weeks ("Little Lies"), a #1 for three weeks ("Everywhere") as well as minor hits "Seven Wonders" and "Big Love".

Buckingham left after Tango in the Night, with guitarists Billy Burnette and Rick Vito added to the group.  Fleetwood Mac released their Greatest Hits album in 1988 that included two new songs, notably "As Long as You Follow", which gave Mac another #1 AC hit.  The Greatest Hits album has now gone over eight million in sales.

Fleetwood Mac recorded Behind the Mask just prior to the end of the decade.  The album did go Gold, but was far from the quality of albums the group had done with Buckingham.
Fleetwood Mac has now sold over 45 million albums in the United States alone and are near 100 million worldwide.  Though their main success was in the 70's, the group continues to have an enduring presence to this day.

Our next featured AC artist has the middle name Folasade, which means honour confers your crown:

33.    Sade

Sade was born in Nigeria, but moved to London with her English-born mother at age four.  She studied at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.  While in college, Sade joined a soul group, Pride.  She was mostly a backup singer for the group, but her solo on the song "Smooth Operator" attracted the attention of record companies and in 1983, she signed a solo contract with Epic Records, taking three members of the band with her.

Sade's debut album Diamond Life was a huge success, winning the Brit Award for Best British Album.  "Smooth Operator" was an across-the-board smash, hitting #1 in 1985, and "Your Love is King" reached #8.  
AC improperly ignored another gem on the album--"Hang On to Your Love".  Sade won the Best New Artist Grammy for her debut.

Promise was released on the heels of Diamond Life, and it continued the momentum of this talented singer.  "The Sweetest Taboo" became her second #1 song, "Never As Good as the First Time" reached #6, and again, another deserving song was ignored by AC radio--"Is It a Crime".  Promise has now gone over four times Platinum in sales.

Stronger Than Pride is another solid album from Sade in 1988, with sales now over three million.  It contains the smash "Paradise" as well as the minor AC hit "Nothing Can Come Between Us".

No female solo artist from Great Britain has ever been more successful.  Sade has sold over 110 million albums worldwide.

At #32, one of the most diverse performers the world has ever known.

32.    Linda Ronstadt 

Ronstadt grew up in a family full of music and tradition.  She has said that everything she has recorded in her remarkable career--rock & roll, ballads, jazz, R&B, gospel, opera, country and mariachi--is all music she heard her family sing or heard played on the radio by the time she was 10.

By 14, Ronstadt had formed a folk trio with her brother Peter and sister Suzy.  The family act recorded in Tucson, Arizona under the name the New Union Ramblers.  In 1964, after a semester at college, Linda decided to move to Los Angeles.  She visited a friend from Tucson, Bobby Kimmel, in Los Angeles, who had begun writing folk-rock songs with guitarist Kenny Edwards.  The three of them formed the group the Stone Poneys in 1966.  

After brief success with the Poneys ("Different Drum"), Linda went solo, touring with the Doors, Neil Young and Jackson Browne.  She went on to become one of The Top Female Artists of the Rock Era*.  She had a long string of successes in the 70's, becoming one of the first females to enjoy consistent Platinum album success and the first-ever to sell out concerts in arenas and stadiums.  By 1979, Ronstadt had achieved eight Gold, six Platinum and four Multi-Platinum albums, an unprecedented feat at the time.

But Linda didn't let up in the 80's.  If anything, she broadened her appeal by showing her tremendous diversity.  In 1980, she recorded her seventh consecutive Platinum album (Mad Love), extending her own Rock Era record of Platinum success.  It was shocking how a gal who used to sing country music could pull off the endeavor of creating a New Wave album.  Ronstadt was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine for a record-setting sixth time.  She set yet another record when Mad Love entered the album chart in the Top Five.  

Of course, New Wave, which took place in one of the most creative times in the Rock Era and revitalized music, was not geared for Adult Contemporary radio.  Nevertheless she achieved minor success with her remakes of "Hurt So Bad" (by Little Anthony & the Imperials) and "I Can't Let Go" (by the Hollies).  The album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Female. 
In the summer, Ronstadt began rehearsing for the first of several leads in Broadway musicals.  She starred opposite Kevin Kline in Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance.  The production was a major hit for nearly two years and Ronstadt co-starred with Kline and Angela Lansbury in the 1983 movie of the operetta.  Linda received a Golden Globe nomination for her role in the movie, a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical and The Pirates of Penzance won several Tonys.

After that, Ronstadt starred in La Boheme and later in the decade in the musical adaption of her album Canciones De Mi Padre--A Romantic Evening In Old Mexico.
In 1982, Ronstadt released the album Get Closer, and though it broke her string of Platinum albums (the only one between 1975 and 1990 to not be certified as a million-seller), she scored the #7 AC song "Easy for You to Say".  Ronstadt earned two Grammy nominations for the album--Best Rock Female Vocal Performance and Best Pop Female Vocal Performance.  
In 1983, Ronstadt collaborated with 62-year-old conductor Nelson Riddle.  The two began an original approach to reviving the Great American Songbook, recording a trilogy of highly successful jazz albums.  What's New in 1983 has sold 3.7 million copies, Lush Life in 1984 is closing in on 2 million in sales and For Sentimental Reasons in 1986 is over one million.  This series of albums gave Ronstadt her greatest success on the AC chart in the decade.  Her remake of the Bing Crosby song "What's New" reached #5, her cover of the Frank Sinatra hit "I've Got a Crush on You" reached #7 and her remake of the Dinah Shore song "Skylark" reached #12. 

 Ronstadt had mastered another style of music, and to do it right after recording an album of New Wave music was not only groundbreaking but amazing.  Linda received another Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for What's New.  Time magazine called it "one of the Gutsiest, most unorthodox and unexpected albums of the year."  In 1984, Ronstadt and Riddle performed the songs live throughout concert halls in the United States, Australia and Japan.

In 1986, Ronstadt, Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris completed a project begun in 1978 but put on the back burner for almost ten years.  The album Trio drew raves from the critics and became a Top 10 album.  Trio sold over three million copies, won a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and was nominated for Album of the Year.  Later in the year, Ronstadt sang harmony on Paul Simon's critically-acclaimed masterpiece, Graceland, on the track "Under African Skies". 
At the conclusion of the year, Ronstadt teamed with James Ingram for one of her biggest career hits, "Somewhere Out There".  The song was featured in the movie An American Tail and went to #4 on the AC chart, selling over a million copies.  The song was nominated for several Grammys, winning for Song of the Year, and also receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Song from a Motion Picture.

In 1987, Linda released Canciones de Mi Padre, an album of mariachi and traditional Mexican folk songs.  Ronstadt had strong roots in the music, and the album not only increased her following but won her a Grammy for Best Mexican-American Performance.  The album sold over 2 million copies, the biggest-selling non-English album in U.S. music history.  The musical adaptation of the album was a big hit, earning Ronstadt an Emmy Award for Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.
In 1989, Ronstadt released a more mainstream album that was wildly successful on the AC chart.  Most of the success spilled over into the 90's, thus being too late for the purposes of The Top Adult Contemporary Artists of the 1980's* Cry Like A Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind became one of Linda's top career albums.  It was her tenth Top 10 album, sold over 3 million copies and received numerous Grammy nominations.  Ronstadt enlisted the help of Aaron Neville on the album, and the two hit #1 for five weeks with the Gold record "Don't Know Much", a remake of the great Bill Medley song.  The song earned Ronstadt & Neville Grammys in two successive years for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.

In her career, the fabulous Ronstadt has earned 11 Grammys, an Emmy Award, numerous Gold, Platinum and Multi-Platinum albums and nominations from the Academy Awards, the Tonys and the Golden Globes.  She has set the bar high as the definitive interpreter of songs and the ability to reinvent herself.  Ronstadt is widely recognized as a star of the highest magnitude and one of the greatest female performers of all-time.  She has sold in excess of 100 million albums worldwide.

The #31 AC Artist of the 1980's* once backed Sheena Easton on tour but later in the decade, formed his own band and made his own mark:

#31.  Bruce Hornsby & the Range

Bruce Hornsby graduated from James Blair High School in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he played on the basketball team.  He then studied music at the University of Richmond, Berklee College of Music and the University of Miami.  Together with older brother Bobby, Bruce played at fraternity parties at the University of Virginia. 
After graduating from Miami in 1977, Bruce returned to Williamsburg and played in local clubs and bars.  In 1980, he and younger brother John moved to Los Angeles and spent three years writing for 20th Century Fox.  Bruce also worked as a session musician, touring with Sheena Easton before moving back to Virginia. 
In 1984, he formed Bruce Hornsby and the Range, who signed a recording contract with RCA in 1985.  On their debut album, Hornsby & the Range had a minor hit with "Every Little Kiss", which peaked at #37 on the AC chart.  The second single was the classic "The Way It Is", which hit #1 for two weeks.  The song features Hornsby on piano and described aspects of the American Civil Rights movement and institutional racism.  The group followed that up with another #1, "Mandolin Rain", which paved the way for the re-release of "Every Little Kiss", and this time AC Music Directors saw the light and the song reached #3.  Hornsby & the Range won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist.  
The group had an amazing follow up album, Scenes from the Southside, that included the #1 song "The Valley Road", in which Hornsby exhibits his amazing piano skills, and "Look Out Any Window".  Radio failed to uncover another of the best songs on the album in "The Road Not Taken".  Nevertheless, Bruce & the Range finished the decade with five consecutive Top 10 songs.

In 1988, Hornsby first appeared on stage with the Grateful Dead, something he would continue to do until the band's dissolution.  In the late 80's, Hornsby worked as a producer and backing musician, producing a comeback album for Leon Russell.  In 1989, Hornsby co-wrote and played piano on Don Henley's hit "The End of the Innocence".  

Hornsby has won three Grammy Awards in his career and remains a popular concert draw.

We have 30 artists left to feature--be sure to check in for those in the next three days.