Saturday, December 8, 2012

This Date in Rock Music History: December 9

1957:  Smooth Sam Cooke remained at #1 on the R&B chart for a third week with "You Send Me".
1961:  The Beatles paid their dues at the Palais Ballroom in Aldershot, England before 18 people, as the show had not been promoted well by Sam Leach.  Leach thought he had booked the group in London, but Aldershot was a small military town 37 miles from London.  Leach had paid the local newspaper with a check, but they only took cash for new customers and Leach hadn't provided them any contact number.  To add insult to injury, a neighbor called the police, and when the group emerged from the Ballroom, they were told to "leave town and never return".  With nowhere to go, the Beatles drove to London and played a set at the Blue Gardenia Club in Soho in the early morning hours.  All this difficulty, and they still became the most successful music act the world has ever known. 
1961:  The Marvelettes maintained their hold on the R&B chart for the fifth straight week with "Please Mr. Postman".
1961:  Jimmy Dean remained at #1 on the Easy Listening chart for a seventh week with "Big Bad John".


1962:  Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles, took George Martin, future producer of the group, to the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England to see the group perform.
1962:  The Supremes released their debut album Meet the Supremes(Note:  some websites claim that the release was in 1963, or even March 9 of 1961.  According to the 'BBC' and other credible sources, the correct date of release is December 9, 1962.)
1963:  Rolf Harris ("Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport") was a guest on To Tell the Truth on CBS-TV.

1964:  The Kinks released the single "All Day And All Of The Night".

1964:  "I Feel Fine" by the Beatles exceeded one million in sales in the U.K. in just its second week.
1965:  The Christmas classic A Charlie Brown Christmas first aired on CBS-TV.
1967:  Jim Morrison was arrested onstage in New Haven, Connecticut and charged with breach of peace and resisting arrest.
1967:  The Beatles topped the U.K. chart with "Hello Goodbye".

                 "I Say a Little Prayer" was #4 on this date, and it's gotten better since then...

1967:  The Monkees prevailed for the second week at #1 with "Daydream Believer" with the Cowsills ("The Rain, The Park & Other Things") and Strawberry Alarm Clock ("Incense And Peppermints") remaining at #2 and #3, respectively.  Dionne Warwick's new song "I Say A Little Prayer" was up to 4 while Gladys Knight & the Pips were at 5 with "I Heard It Through The Grapevine".  The rest of the Top 10:  One of the top songs of the year, "To Sir With Love" was sixth, followed by the new Top 10 for Smokey Robinson & the Miracles--"I Second That Emotion", the Beatles flew past everyone from 45 to 8 with "Hello Goodbye", Diana Ross & the Supremes notched their eighth consecutive Top 10 (and 14th out of their last 15 releases) with "In And Out of Love" and Victor Lundberg's "An Open Letter To My Teenage Son" came in #10.

1968:  Tommy James & the Shondells released the single "Crimson And Clover".
1968:  The Supremes and the Temptations combined for the television special TCB (Takin' Care of Business) on NBC.
1972:  Pete Townshend, guitarist of the Who, was a narrator for the orchestral performance of Tommy at the Rainbow Theatre in London that starred Roger Daltrey, Richie Havens, Steve Winwood and actor Peter Sellers and featured the London Symphony Orchestra.
1972:  "Clair" reached #1 on the Adult chart for Gilbert O'Sullivan.

1972:  The solid album Seventh Sojourn by the Moody Blues rose from #5 to #1.  All Directions by the Temptations was #2 followed by the new album from Stanley, Idaho's Carole King, Rhymes & Reasons.  Cat Stevens' former #1 Catch Bull At Four tumbled to 4 and Yes also stumbled with Close to the Edge.  The rest of the Top 10:  The "Superfly" Soundtrack, Phoenix by Grand Funk Railroad at #7, Santana remained at #8 with Caravanserai, Al Green entered the Top 10 with I'm Still In Love With You and newcomers Seals & Crofts saw their album Summer Breeze move from 13-10.
1972:  A new song was captivating music lovers--"You're So Vain" by Carly Simon moved from #99 to #60 on this date.

                  America had another Top 10 hit...

1972:  One of The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era*--"I Am Woman" by Helen Reddy, moved into the #1 spot, passing "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" by the Temptations.  Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes lurked nearby with "If You Don't Know Me By Now" and Johnny Nash's smash "I Can See Clearly Now" was still at #4.  The rest of a good Top 10:  "You Ought To Be With Me" by Al Green, Billy Paul with "Me And Mrs. Jones", Albert Hammond moved to 7 with "It Never Rains In Southern California", America at #8 with "Ventura Highway", Gilbert O'Sullivan found the Top 10 with "Clair" and the great soul group the Stylistics reached the list with "I'm Stone In Love With You".

1974:  George Harrison released the first album on his new record label Dark Horse--Dark Horse.

1974:  Grand Funk released the single "Some Kind Of Wonderful".

Lady by Styx on Grooveshark
1974:  Styx re-released the single "Lady" (it had originally been released in 1972.)
1974:  John Lennon was a guest in the booth during a National Football League game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football on ABC television. 
1976:  John Lennon bought a painting by Renoir for half a million dollars.
1977:  The Carpenters hosted the special The Carpenters At Christmas on ABC-TV.
1978:  Boney M reached #1 in the U.K. with their remake of the 1957 Harry Belafonte song "Mary's Boy Child".

1978:  Al Stewart made it five weeks at #1 on the Adult chart with "Time Passages".
1978:  Newcomer Nicolette Larson moved from 76 to 51 with "Lotta' Love".

1978:  Chic moved into the #1 position after just seven weeks with their great song "Le Freak".  Donna Summer's former #1 "MacArthur Park" refused to move while the previous #1--"You Don't Bring Me Flowers" by Barbra Streisand & Neil Diamond, lost its petals and fell to #3.  Canada's Gino Vannelli was up to #4 with his biggest hit "I Just Wanna' Stop".  The rest of the Top 10:  Ambrosia with "How Much I Feel", newcomer Alicia Bridges and "I Love The Nightlife (Disco 'Round)", Al Stewart at #7 with "Time Passages", Billy Joel edged up with "My Life", Dr. Hook had a hot song with "Sharing The Night Together" and Andy Gibb was one of the hottest artists ever out of the gate, registering his fifth consecutive Top 10 song to begin his career--"(Our Love) Don't Throw It All Away".
1981:  Sonny Til, lead singer of the Orioles, who helped create doo-wop music, died at the age of 53 from heart failure complicated by diabetes.
1984:  The Jacksons performed for the final time at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.
1988:  Michael Jackson's Bad tour was in full swing and on this night he began a nine-night run at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan.
1989:  It was such a bad time in music that a fake band, Milli Vanilli, had the #1 album Girl You Know It's True.  Among the albums that weren't strong enough to top the fake band:  Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814, Hangin' Tough by New Kids on the Block, Steel Wheels by the Rolling Stones, Pump by Aerosmith and Dr. Feelgood by Motley Crue.
1989:  Luther Vandross added quality to the scene with "Here and Now", #1 on the R&B chart for a second week.

1989:  Billy Joel reached #1 for the third time in his career with his 11th Top 10 and 33rd career hit--"We Didn't Start The Fire".  Phil Collins moved up to challenge with "Another Day In Paradise" while Milli Vanilli's "Blame It On The Rain" dropped from #1.  Paula Abdul was at 4 with "(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me" and Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville were at #5 with "Don't Know Much".  The rest of the Top 10:  Soul II Soul with "Back To Life (However Do You Want Me)", Richard Marx slipped with "Angelia", Taylor Dayne achieved her fifth consecutive Top 10 to begin her career "With Every Beat Of My Heart", the B-52's were moving out with "Love Shack" and Technotronic moved from 16-10 with "Pump Up The Jam".
1991:  Guns N' Roses played the first of three concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
1992:  Bill Wyman, bassist of the Rolling Stones, quit the group after 30 years.
1994:  James Brown filed for divorce from his wife.
1995:  The Beatles song "Free As A Bird", the group's first new song in 25 years, debuted on a six-hour documentary on ABC featuring the group.

Not the Doctor by Alanis Morissette on Grooveshark   
 "Not The Doctor", one of the great tracks on 'Jagged Little Pill'...

1995:  The impressive Anthology 1 by the Beatles debuted at #1 on the Album chart.  Fresh Horses by Garth Brooks also easily sailed past what competition there was to debut at #2.  Those sent Daydream, the new album by Mariah Carey, down to #3 after just eight weeks.  Christmas in the Aire (sic) by Mannheim Steamroller moved from 10 to 4, the "Waiting to Exhale" Soundtrack was #5 and Alanis Morissette was at #6 with Jagged Little Pill.  The rest of the Top 10:  R. Kelly tumbled to #7 with his self-titled album, Cracked Rear View from Hootie & the Blowfish was still at 8 after 72 weeks, the Smashing Pumpkins were down with Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and Alan Jackson was down to 10 after just five weeks with The Greatest Hits Collection.
1995:  Whitney Houston topped the R&B chart for a third week with "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)".
1998:  Nicole Appleton walked out of the BBC television show Later, saying she had quit the group.
2000:  U2 performed "Beautiful Day" and "Elevation" in their first-ever appearance on Saturday Night Live on NBC-TV.
2001:  Usher rose to the top of the chart with "U (sic) Got It Bad".
2003:  The road manager of Great White was indicted for involuntary manslaughter for a February fire at a Great White concert in Rhode Island.
2006:  Freddie Marsden of Gerry and the Pacemakers died of lung cancer in Southport, England at the age of 66.
2006:  Georgia Gibbs ("Dance With Me Henry") died from complications of leukemia in Manhatta, New York at age 87.
2008:  Toni Tennille of the Captain & Tennille cracked a femur, needing three titanium screws to repair her hip.

Born This Day:
1932:  Sam Strain, originally with Little Anthony & the Imperials and later a member of the O'Jays when William Powell left
1932:  Donald Byrd, trumpet player with the Blackbyrds ("Walking In Rhythm" from 1975), who also worked with Lionel Hampton, Cannonball Adderly, Thelonius Monk and Herbie Hancock, among others, was born in Detroit, Michigan; died February 4, 2013 in Dover, Delaware.
1932:  Junior Wells, blues singer and harmonica player who worked with Carlos Santana, Van Morrison and Bonnie Raitt and toured with the Rolling Stones in 1970, was born in Memphis, Tennessee; died January 15, 1998 in Chicago, Illinois after being in a coma from a heart attack the previous fall.
1943:  Kenny Vance, singer and original member of Jay & the Americans, who also was music director for the movies Animal House and Eddie and the Cruisers and the popular television show Saturday Night Live beginning in 1980, was born in New York City.  (Note:  some websites claim that Vance was born in Brooklyn, but according to United Press International, was born in New York City.)  
1944:  Shirley Brickley of Orlons ("The Wah Wahtusi") was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; died October 13, 1977 when she was murdered by an intruder in her home in Philadelphia.
1946:  Dennis Dunaway, bass guitarist with Alice Cooper, was born in Cottage Grove, Oregon.  (Note:  many websites list his birth year as 1948; it was 1946, according to the 'BBC' and other reputable sources.)
1950:  Joan Armatrading was born in Basseterre, St. Kitts. 
1954:  Jack Sonni, guitarist with Dire Straits, was born in Indiana, Pennsylvania.
1955:  Randy Murray, a member of Bachman-Turner Overdrive from 1991 to 2005

1957:  Donny Osmond, young singer of the Osmonds and a solo star, was born in Ogden, Utah.
1958:  Nick Seymour, bassist of Crowded House ("Don't Dream It's Over"), was born in Benalla, Victoria, Australia.
1968:  Brian Bell, songwriter and rhythm guitarist of Weezer, was born in Iowa City, Iowa.  (Note:  several sources claim Bell was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, but according to the book 'Musicians That Changed Sound:  Profiles of Four Musicians That Changed The Industry' by Jennifer Warner and Lora Greene, Bell was born in Iowa City and then moved to Knoxville with his family.)

1969:  Jakob Dylan of the Wallflowers ("One Headlight"), and son of Bob Dylan, was born in New York City.
1970:  Zak Foley of EMF ("Unbelievable" from 1990), was born in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England; died January 3, 2002 at age 31 when he collapsed in Camden, London from a cocktail of drink and drugs and was dead when police arrived.  (Note:  several websites report his death as December 31, 2001 or January 2, 2002, but 'MTV' and 'Billboard" both reported that he died on Thursday, January 3, 2002.)  
1972:  Tre Cool (real name Frank Edwin Wright III), drummer of Green Day who joined in 1990, was born in Frankfurt, Germany.

The Best 150 Christmas Songs of All-Time: December 8


"Ring Christmas Bells"
by Ray Conniff & the Singers

We've already heard "Carol of the Bells" in our special.  Minna Louise Hohman wrote an alternate version that includes more Nativity-based lyrics.  When you hear that version, the song is called "Ring Christmas Bells".

And who better than the group that may as well have called themselves the Christmas Singers for it is Christmas songs that they excelled at and they did it better than just about 
"The Prayer"
by Celine Dion & Andrea Bocelli

This is one of the newest songs to make The Best 150 Christmas Songs of All-Time.  It was written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager, Albert Testa and Tony Renis.  It was featured on Celine Dion's album These Are Special Times and was also included in the move Quest for Camelot in 1999.  The song won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song in 1999 and for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with vocals in 2000.
"A Marshmallow World"
by Johnny Mathis

This song was written by Carl Sigman and Peter DeRose in 1949.  Bing Crosby had the first hit with it but when Mathis included it on his Sounds of Christmas album in 1963 it became the most popular version.
"The First Noel"
by Kenny G

Here we have a traditional carol, generally thought to be from the 18th century.  The word Noel is from the French word meaning "Birthday".  The song was first published in 1823 in Carols Ancient and Modern, edited by William B. Sandys and arranged, edited and with extra lyrics added by Davies Gilbert.

Kenny G included it on Faith:  A Holiday album and his special touch generated interest enough to include it in this special.
"Winter Wonderland"
by Aretha Franklin

A young Aretha recorded an exciting and passionate version of this song in 1964.  It was good enough to make The Best 150*.
"Silent Night"
by Perry Como

This was on the album Perry Como Sings Christmas.  Como's reverent tone is not lost on listeners and is the reason for its great appeal.

Friday, December 7, 2012

This Date in Rock Music History: December 8

1958:  A new artist was introduced that would continue to hit the charts for the next 30 years.  Neil Sedaka debuted with his first career single "The Diary".
1958:  "A Lover's Question" by Clyde McPhatter was the #1 song on the R&B chart.
1960:  Fabian visited Elvis Presley at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.

1962:  A new talent appeared on the scene on this date as Dionne Warwick debuted on the chart with her first single--"Don't Make Me Over".
1962:  "All Alone Am I' by Brenda Lee spent a fifth week at #1 on the Easy Listening chart.

                         Elvis continued to be #2...

1962:  The 4 Seasons owned the #1 song for the fourth week with "Big Girls Don't Cry".  Elvis Presley's "Return To Sender" had been runner-up every one of those weeks while Marcie Blane was stuck at 3 with "Bobby's Girl". The Orlons moved up to #4 with "Don't Hang Up" and Dee Dee Sharp coasted up with "Ride!".  The rest of the Top 10:  Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass with their classic "The Lonely Bull", an even bigger instrumental from the Tornadoes--"Telstar", came blasting into the Top 10 (13-7), Chubby Checker told of "Limbo Rock", Brenda Lee was on her way down with "All Alone Am I" and Little Esther Phillips cracked the list with "Release Me".
1963:  Frank Sinatra's son, Frank Sinatra Jr. was kidnapped.

1965:  The Mamas and the Papas released their first career single, and it was a big one--"California Dreamin'".
1965:  The Rolling Stones finally finished recording "19th Nervous Breakdown" after six days at RCA Studios in Hollywood, California.
1965:  The Spencer Davis Group appeared at the Top Rank in Southampton, England.

1965:  "Day Tripper" by the Beatles pulled off a rare feat by debuting at #1 in the U.K.
1966:  Paul McCartney overdubbed his lead vocal for "When I'm Sixty-Four" at Abbey Road Studios in London.  The Beatles then worked on a new John Lennon song--"Strawberry Fields Forever".  
1967:  The Beatles released the album Magical Mystery Tour in the United States.
1967:  The Rolling Stones released the album Their Satanic Majesties Request (Note:  some websites list the date of release as December 20, but it was the 8th, according to the newspaper 'The Examiner' and other credible sources.)
1967:  Traffic released the album Mr. Fantasy.

1969:  Joe South released this single--"Walk A Mile In My Shoes".

1968:  Graham Nash announced the formation of supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash.
1969:  Jimi Hendrix testified that he had "outgrown drugs" at his trial for possession of hashish and heroin in the Toronto, Ontario, Canada Supreme Court.  He was found not guilty.
1970:  Jim Morrison, lead singer of the Doors, recorded an album of spoken words from his poetry.  Following Morrison's death the following July, the surviving members of the group composed music to the poetry and released it as the album An American Prayer.

                      Chicago was #1 in many markets...

1973:  The Carpenters remained perched at the pinnacle with "Top Of The World", although Elton John was #1 in several markets with "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road".  Charlie Rich's search for "The Most Beautiful Girl" took him from 10 to 3, Chicago's great "Just You 'N' Me" was up to 4 and Ringo Starr's former #1 "Photograph" was now at 5.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Space Race" from Billy Preston, Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes inched up with "The Love I Lost", Todd Rundgren found the Top 10 with "Hello It's Me", Eddie Kendricks was at 9 with "Keep On Truckin'" and Helen Reddy joined the group with "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)".

1973:  Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John topped the Album chart for a fifth week.

1975:  Neil Sedaka released the single "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do", a slower version of his 1962 hit of the same name.
1975:  Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue played a benefit at Madison Square Garden in New York City for Hurricane Carter, the boxer unjustly jailed for murder who is featured in Dylan's song "Hurricane".  Carter phoned in and his voice was patched into the Garden.
1975:  Gary Thain, bassist of Uriah Heap, died of drugs at the age of 28 in London.

1976:  John Denver was a guest on the Carpenters' television special on ABC.
1977:  The Paul Simon Special aired on NBC-TV with former partner Art Garfunkel joining Paul. 
1979:  Rod Stewart had his seventh #1 album in the U.K. with his Greatest Hits.
1979:  J.D. Souther prevailed at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for a fourth week with the great song "You're Only Lonely".
1979:  It was a long climb up for Styx, and although they had recorded several better songs in the past, it was "Babe" that officially gave them their first #1.  

          "Sisters of the Moon" helped make 'Tusk' one of Fleetwood Mac's best albums.

1979:  Nothing could beat The Long Run, the great last album by the Eagles before they split the next year.  It held on to #1 for a sixth week.  On the Radio -Greatest Hits - Volumes I & II by Donna Summer was second while Cornerstone from Styx came in #3.  Stevie Wonder had the #4 album with Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants.  The rest of the Top 10:  The phenomenal In Through the Out Door by Led Zeppelin, Bee Gees Greatest was up to #6, Barbra Streisand slid up one with Wet, Tusk, the incredibly underrated album from Fleetwood Mac, was #8, Rise from Herb Alpert was #9 and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers finally had their breakthrough album with Damn the Torpedoes.

1980:  John Lennon autographed an album for a man in the morning.  At 10:50 that night, as John and wife Yoko returned to their apartment in The Dakota, New York City, the man came back and shot Lennon four times in the back.  Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival at 11:07 at Roosevelt Hospital in New York.

1982:  Marty Robbins ("El Paso") died at the age of 57 from heart failure after cardiac surgery in Nashville, Tennessee.
1983:  Abbacadabra, the first musical based on ABBA's hits, opened at Lyric Hammersmith Theatre in London.
1984:  Patrick Cavanaugh, one-time manager of the Coasters, was convicted of first degree murder of group member Buster Wilson.
1984:  Ashford & Simpson ruled the R&B chart for the second week with "Solid".

1984:  Hall & Oates were as hot as anyone at the time, collecting their 25th hit, with an amazing 14 of those reaching the Top 10, and sixth #1--"Out of Touch".  It was the duo's 11th Top 10 out of their last 12 releases.  
1984:  Lionel Richie remained at the top of the AC chart for a fourth week with "Penny Lover".

        Madonna's "Love Don't Live Here Anymore", a top track on Like a Virgin...

1984:  Purple Rain logged a 21st week at #1 on the Album chart for Prince, making it the fourth-longest running #1 in the Rock Era.  It was a tremendous Top 10--Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen was still at #2 after 25 weeks, while a determined Tina Turner was third with Private Dancer.  Volume One from the Honeydrippers remained in the #4 position while Big Bam Boom by Hall & Oates was #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  "The Woman in Red" Soundtrack, Lionel Richie was at #7 after 57 weeks with Can't Slow Down, Sports, the monumental album from Huey Lewis & the News, was #8 after 62 weeks, Arena by Duran Duran was  a new entry while Madonna catapulted from 70 to 10 with Like a Virgin.

1990:  A newcomer first appeared on the chart on this date with the song "Where Does My Heart Beat Now".  She would become one of the biggest stars the world has ever known.  Celine Dion debuted with her first career single.
1990:  Bette Midler had the biggest hit of her career as "From A Distance" held on to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for the sixth straight week.

1990:  Stevie B turned in a vocal performance for the ages with "Because I Love You (The Postman Song)", which moved into the #1 spot on this date.  Whitney Houston took a back seat with "I'm Your Baby Tonight" and Bette Midler was third with "From A Distance".  Poison had #4 with "Something To Believe In" while Mariah Carey's great #1 "Love Takes Time" fell to #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Groove Is In The Heart" by Deee-Lite, Wilson Phillips and "Impulsive" at #7, UB40 with "The Way You Do The Things You Do", D.N.A. with Suzanne Vega moved into the Top 10 with "Tom's Diner" and Madonna scored her 24th career hit with "Justify My Love", amazingly her 21st to reach the Top 10.
1994:  Antonio Carlos Jobim, who wrote "Desafinado" and many other songs, died in Manhattan of heart failure at age 67.
1995:  Courtney Love was interviewed by Barbra Walters on ABC-TV.  Love said she wished she had done "eight thousand million things" differently to prevent husband Kurt Cobain's death.
1995:  Four months after founder Jerry Garcia's death, the surviving members of the Grateful Dead announced they were quitting.
1998:  The FBI opened its file of 1,300 pages on Frank Sinatra to the public.
1998:  Bruce Springsteen announced that he would tour again with the E Street Band for the first time in a decade.
1999: Prince was on Today on NBC-TV.
2000:  A plaque was placed outside John Lennon's childhood home in Liverpool, England to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his death.

2000:  Sting was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6834 Hollywood Boulevard.
2002:  Baz Luhrmann's musical La Boheme opened on Broadway in New York City.
2003:  In today's Rappers Have No Clue segment, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of activist Rosa Parks, saying she could sue OutKast for using her name as the title of a song without her permission.
2003:  Ozzy Osbourne fractured a collarbone, six ribs and one of the vertebrae in his neck in an all-terrain vehicle accident on his estate in Buckinghamshire, England.

2003:  The album Back In Black by AC/DC was certified by the Record Industry Association of America as the second-best-selling album in the world (42 million units) behind Thriller by Michael Jackson, which to that point had sold 56 million.  (Note:  several websites claim this happened on December 11, but the first reports of the event occurring are on December 8, 2003.)

2004:  Usher won 11 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada, including Artist of the Year and Hot 100 Single of the Year for "Yeah!".  Alicia Keys captured seven awards while Stevie Wonder received the Century Award.
2004:  In today's Dangerous Inmates Run Rap Music, DMX pleaded guilty to DUI and reckless endangerment in criminal court in Queens, New York, after being arrested at Kennedy International Airport for trying to break into a car.
2004:  Elite guitarist Dimebag Darrell of Pantera, who was playing with Damageplan in Columbus Ohio, was shot to death as a gunman jumped on stage and shot him as well as two others. 

Born This Day:

1925:  Sammy Davis, Jr.was born in Harlem, New York; died of cancer from smoking on May 16, 1990 in Beverly Hills, California.

1939:  Jerry Butler, lead singer of the Impressions and a solo star, was born in Sunflower, Mississippi.
1942:  Bobby Elliott, drummer of the Hollies, was born in Burnley, England.  (Note:  some websites claim his birth year was 1941, but according to the band's official website, Bobby was born in 1942.)

1943:  Jim Morrison, lead singer of the Doors, was born in Melbourne, Florida; died July 3, 1971 from drugs.

1944:  Mike Botts, drummer of Bread, who also recorded and toured with Linda Ronstadt, Karla Bonoff, Andrew Gold, Dan Fogelberg and Richard Carpenter, was born in Oakland, California; died December 9, 2005, one day after his 61st birthday, in Burbank, California of colon cancer.

1944:  Bertie Higgins ("Key Largo from 1982) was born in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
1944:  George Baker (real name Johannes Bouwens) of the George Baker Selection was born in Hoorn, North Holland, the Netherlands.
1946:  Graham Knight, bass guitarist with Marmalade ("Reflections Of My Life") from 1969, was born in Glasgow, Scotland.

1947:  Gregg Allman, vocalist, organist, and a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, was born in Nashville, Tennessee.
1947:  Geoff Daking, drummer of Blues Magoos ("We Ain't Got Nothin' Yet"), was born in Wilmington, Delaware.

1950:  Dan Hartman of the Edgar Winter Group and later a solo star ("I Can Dream About You" and "Instant Replay") was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; died March 22, 1994 of an AIDS-related brain tumor in Westport, Connecticut.
1956:  Warren Cuccurullo, a guitarist for Frank Zappa, Missing Persons ("Destination Unknown") and longtime member of Duran Duran, was born in Brooklyn, New York.

1957:  Phil Collen, the great co-lead guitarist of Def Leppard, was born in Hackney, London.
1959:  Paul Rutherford of Frankie Goes to Hollywood was born in Liverpool, England.

1962:  Marty Friedman, elite lead and rhythm guitarist with Megadeth, was born in Laurel, Maryland.  (Note:  '' and some other websites claim that Marty was born in Washington D.C.; this is at odds with the Laurel Historical Society's web page, which reports that Friedman was born in Laurel.)

1966:  Sinead O'Connor ("Nothing Compares To You") was born in  Glenageary, County Dublin, Ireland.
1972:  Ryan Newell, lead guitarist of Sister Hazel ("All For You")
1973:  Corey Taylor, guitarist and lead singer of Slipknot, was born in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Best 150 Christmas Songs of All-Time, December 7

Welcome to Day Seven of The Best 150 Christmas Songs of All-Time*:
"We Wish You a Merry Christmas"
by the Weavers

This popular caroling song is from the West Country of England from the sixteenth century.  The song got its origin from the English tradition whereby wealthy people of the community gave Christmas treats to carolers on Christmas Eve.

This song stands out from other versions due to the unique musical delivery of the words.
"Sleigh Ride"
by the New Christy Minstrels
This version of the popular song is from Christmas with the Christies from 1966.  The enthusiastic and cheerful adaption and unique presentation (there is no other version like it!) gets the Minstrels a spot in The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time*.  Many people think it is the best version.
"Oh Holy Night"
by Celine Dion
Celine Dion gives a rousing rendition of perhaps the most faithful and reverent of all the Christmas songs.

"Ding Dong Merrily on High"
by Roger Whitaker
George Ratcliffe Woodward wrote the lyrics, first published in 1924 in his The Cambridge Carol-Book:  Being Fifty-two Songs for Christmas, Easter, and Other Seasons.  Charles Wood put music to the words in The Cambridge Carol Book, borrowing from the dance tune "le branle de l'Official", from the dance book Orchesographie by Jehan Tabourot (1519-1593).  

Whittaker's interpretation of the light, airy, almost magical sound of bells stays true to the dance origins of the song.
"Mistletoe and Holly"
by Frank Sinatra
This song was written in 1957 by Hank Sanicola, Sinatra and Doc Stanford and appeared on Frank's first full-length Christmas album A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra.  Sinatra's version is by far the most popular.
"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"
by Andy Williams
This great song was written by Edward Pola and George Wylie.  It was recorded for the album The Andy Williams Christmas Album and was selected as the theme song for Christmas Seals in both 1968 and 1976.  Since its release, the song has received more airplay each year and, although other versions have been recorded, Williams essentially "owns" the song.  To me, it's not Christmas unless I hear this song.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

This Date in Rock Music History: December 7

1958: George Harrison joined the Quarrymen, named after John Lennon's school. The group also included Paul McCartney, Len Garry and John Lowe.  (Note:  most websites show this date as February 6, however, David Bedford, in his book 'The Fab one Hundred and Four', contradicts this date.  Bedford points out that guitarist Eric Griffiths left the group because he was being replaced by Harrison.  In new research conducted by Bedford, he shows the Merchant Navy records of Griffiths, who joined his first ship on February 11.  Obviously, one doesn't just hop aboard a ship right after deciding to join the Navy.  In fact, Eric qualified as an officer cadet in January, 1958, meaning that in order to complete his training, he would have had to sign up for the Merchant Navy no later than mid-December, 1957.  All sources agree that Harrison joined the Quarrymen following an audition at Wilson Hall in Liverpool.  Records showed that the Quarrymen played the venue on December 7, after which time Griffiths quit music and joined the Navy.)   
1959:  J.P. Richardson ("The Big Bopper"), who had the big hit "Chantilly Lace" and died in the tragic plane crash on February 3, was buried in Beaumont, Texas.
1959:  "Smokie - Part 2" by Bill Black's Combo raced up from 98 to 65.
1959:  "Mack The Knife" by Bobby Darin, which had spent six weeks at #1 before falling from its perch, had since returned and this week added a third additional week to that total.  

1960:  Neil Sedaka released the single "Calendar Girl".  (Note:  many websites erroneously report the date of release as December 19.  It is physically impossible for a record company to print 45's, mail them to radio stations, have the radio stations add the song to their playlist, then call the trade magazines, and have the trade magazines print that the song debuted on the chart, all in the same day--"Calendar Girl" debuted on the chart on December 19.)


1962:  The Rolling Stones held an audition for bass players at the World's End pub in Chelsea, London.  Bill Wyman got the job partially because he had lots of equipment the group could use.
1963:  The Beatles performed at the Empire Theatre in London in the afternoon, and filmed at the Odeon Theatre that night for the BBC television show Jukebox Jury.
1963:  The #1 album in the U.K. was With the Beatles.
1963:  "Dominique" was the new #1 on the Easy Listening chart by The Singing Nun.

1963:  One of the big hits on this day was "Popsicles And Icicles", which moved from 63 to 32 for the Murmaids.

               The Raiders' version of "Louie Louie"...

1963:  The Singing Nun took over at #1 with "Dominique".  Dale & Grace dropped with "I'm Leaving It Up To You" but Tommy Roe was a man on the move with "Everybody".  The Kingsmen moved from 23-4 with "Louie Louie" but it was Paul Revere & the Raiders that had the better version of the song. The rest of the Top 10:  Lesley Gore and "She's A Fool", Jimmy Gilmer & the Fireballs with their smash "Sugar Shack", the Caravelles jumped from 19-7 with "You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry", the Beach Boys had spirit at #8--"Be True To Your School", the Village Stompers tumbled with "Washington Square" and "Walking The Dog" from Rufus Thomas was 10th.

1965:  The Righteous Brothers released the single "(You're My) Soul And Inspiration".
1964:  Brian Wilson, the genius behind the Beach Boys, married Marilyn Rovell in Los Angeles.  

1966:  Nancy Sinatra appeared on the television special Frank Sinatra:  A Man & His Music Part II on CBS.

1967:  The Beatles opened their Apple Records Boutique on Baker Street in London.
1968:  Eric Burdon announced that the Animals would break up following their December 22 concert at Newcastle City Hall in England.
1968:  The White Album by the Beatles was #1 in the U.K.
1968:  Cheap Thrills by Big Brother & the Holding Company posted a sixth week at #1 on the Album chart.
1968:  Mary Hopkin had one of the great early adult songs with "Those Were The Days", which remained at #1 for a sixth week.

       The Classics IV take us back to 1968 with "Stormy"...

1968:  "Love Child", one of The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era* by the Supremes, was #1 again.  the Beatles were still at #2 after spending nine weeks at the top with "Hey Jude".  Stevie Wonder made a bid with "For Once In My Life" while Marvin Gaye climbed up from 16 to 4 with "I Heard It Through The Grapevine".  The rest of the Top 10:  Johnnie Taylor with "Who's Making Love", Steppenwolf's journey on the "Magic Carpet Ride" was ending, Dion was at 7 with "Abraham, Martin And John", Glen Campbell's great "Wichita Lineman" remained at #8, we got to hear the great voice of Dennis Yost and the Classics IV with "Stormy" and Mary Hopkin's #2 smash "Those Were The Days" was #10.
1971:  Genesis and Roxy Music were in concert at the Hobbits Garden in Wimbledon, England.

1973:  Paul McCartney & Wings released the album Band on the Run in the U.K.
1973:  Clifford Davis, the manager of Fleetwood Mac, announced that he owned the rights to the group's name and assembled a second Fleetwood Mac to tour the country, essentially ripping off unsuspecting fans.  After a lengthy court battle, the original members won the right to force the second group to rename themselves.
1974:  Barry White scored his first #1 in the U.K. with "You're The First, The Last, My Everything".
1974:  Helen Reddy reached #1 on the Adult chart with "Angie Baby".

1974:  Carl Douglas chopped a path to #1 with "Kung Fu Fighting", sending fellow newcomer Billy Swan in a dive with "I Can Help".  In retrospect, hard to believe the Three Degrees did not land a #1 with "When Will I See You Again". B.T. Express chugged along with "Do It ('Til You're Satisfied)" and Harry Chapin had a smash with "Cat's In The Cradle".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Angie Baby", one of Helen Reddy's biggest, Bobby Vinton with his comeback "My Melody Of Love", BTO were at #8 although they were #1 in most markets with "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet", Al Green sauntered into the Top 10 with "Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy)" and Barry White moved from 17-10 with "You're The First, The Last, My Everything".

1976:  The Eagles released the single "New Kid In Town".
1984:  Vince Neil of Motley Crue crashed his car in Redondo Beach, California, killing his passenger Nick Dingley.  Neil was found guilty of vehicular manslaughter.
1985:  Lionel Richie was on a roll--four consecutive #1 Adult Contemporary songs and eight out of nine for his solo career as he slided into the #1 spot with "Say You, Say Me".

1985:  Mr. Mister impressed enough to land a #1 song with "Broken Wings".  
1986:  Huey Lewis and the News sang the United States national anthem, singing A Capella prior to the National Football League game between San Francisco and the New York Jets at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.
1987:  Richard Taylor of the Manhattans ("Shining Star" from 1980) died at the age of 47 in Kansas City, Kansas.

1990:  Dee Clark ("Raindrops") died of a heart attack at age 52 in Smyrna, Georgia.
1991:  Elton John & George Michael had the top U.K. song with the live version of "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me".
1991:  Two weeks after the death of lead singer Freddie Mercury, Queen's Greatest Hits II was the #1 album in the U.K.
1991:  Amy Grant made it two straight weeks at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "That's What Love Is For".

    "I Can't Dance" helps propel Genesis into the Top 10...

1991:  U2 debuted at #1 on the Album chart with their solid follow up to The Joshua Tree--Achtung Baby.  That put a halt on Garth Brooks' album Ropin' the Wind after eight weeks at the top--though amazingly, he would be back for much more.  Too Legit to Quit by Hammer was the third best with Nirvana's Nevermind fourth.  The rest of the Top 10:  Michael Bolton's outstanding Time, Love & Tenderness, Guns N' Roses with Use Your Illusion II was still around, Metallica by Metallica was #7, Genesis checked in with We Can't Dance while Mariah Carey wasn't going away as her second album Emotions re-entered the Top 10.

1991:  Michael Jackson's 32nd career hit "Black Or White" took over at #1 on this date.  Incredibly, 22 of those were Top 10 songs with 12 going all the way to #1.  Counting his work with his brothers, Michael was now up to 58 hits, 32 Top 10's and 16 #1 songs.  Michael Bolton had #2--"When A Man Loves A Woman", PM Dawn's previous #1 "Set Adrift On Memory Bliss" was third followed by "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday" from Boyz II Men.  Color Me Badd had #5--"All 4 Love" while Paula Abdul rose up to 6 with "Blowing Kisses In The Wind".  The rest of the Top 10:  Prince and "Cream", an amazing new talent, Mariah Carey had another stunning song, "Can't Let Go", which rose from 17 to 8, Amy Grant made the Top 10 with "That's What Love Is For" and "O.P.P." by Naughty By Nature was #10.

1996:  Tragic Kingdom, the breakthrough album for No Doubt, was still #3 after 47 weeks of release.

1996:  Toni Braxton's amazing song "Un-Break My Heart" took over at #1.  Barbra Streisand's 42nd and final career hit was the only new Top 10 song--a duet with Bryan Adams called "I Finally Found Someone".

1999:  The Eagles were honored by the Recording Industry Association of America with the Best-Selling Album of the Century--Eagles' Greatest Hits 1971-1975(Note:  many websites state the date of the honor was November 9 or 10.  The correct date, according to 'CNN', was December 7.  Where those websites fell into the trap, we believe, was in following the RIAA certification on November 10.  That certification of the Eagles album was for 26 million, which put it in a tie with Michael Jackson's 'Thriller', which was certified at 26 million on October 30.  The RIAA did not present the Best-Selling Album of the Century until December 7.)

2003:  Mary J. Blige married producer Kendu Isaacs in a ceremony at her home in Bergen County, New Jersey.
2003:  Whitney Houston called police to her home in Alpharetta, Georgia, alleging then-husband Bobby Brown hit her in the face.  The loser was charged with battery three days later.

2003:  James Brown received a Lifetime Achievement award at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
2003:  Outkast rose to #1 with "Hey Ya".
2004:  The Stereophonics announced they brought in Javier Weyler to take the place of drummer Stuart Cable.
2004:  Three artists garnered the lion's share of Grammy Award nominations.  Kanye West got 10 while Alicia Keys and Usher received eight each.  Better give them all to West or he might get upset.  He is, after all, a college dropout.
2005:  It was by this time tough for one artist to put together a great album so on this date, the compilation Now 20, which included songs from the Pussycat Dolls, Missy Elliott and others, was #1.
2008:  Take That owned the top U.K. album with The Circus.

Born This Day:

1942:  Harry Chapin was born in Greenwich Village, New York; died on July 16, 1981 when a tractor trailer crashed into the car he was driving on the Long Island Expressway.  (Note:  some websites claim Harry was born in Brooklyn, but according to the official website for The Harry Chapin Foundation as well as the book 'The Greatest Rock Discography' by Martin Charles Strong, Chapin was born in Greenwich Village, New York.)
1948:  Michael Andre Lewis (Mandre), keyboardist who played for the Who, Diana Ross, Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye, Sly & the Family Stone and Frank Zappa, was born in Omaha, Nebraska; died January 31, 2012 in Shreveport, Louisiana at the age of 63.

1949:  Tom Waits was born in Pomona, California.
1958:  Tim Butler, songwriter, bass guitarist and co-founder of the Psychedelic Furs, was born in Teddington, Middlesex, England.
1963:  Barbara Weathers, lead singer of Atlantic Starr ("Always"), was born in Greensboro, North Carolina.
1974:  Nicole Appleton of All Saints was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
1987:  Aaron Carter was born in Tampa, Florida.