Saturday, December 22, 2012

This Date in Rock Music History: December 23

1957:  The Champs recorded "Tequila" in three takes at Gold Star Recording Studio in Hollywood, California.
1957:  A new act appeared on the chart for the first time by the name of Tom & Jerry with the song "Hey Schoolgirl".  They have now sold over 105 million albums, but they really didn't take off until they changed their name to Simon & Garfunkel.
1957:  Sam Cooke once again was #1 on the R&B chart for a fifth week with "You Send Me".
1959:  Chuck Berry was arrested in St. Louis, Missouri for transporting a minor (14 year-old girl) across state lines for an immoral purpose. 
1959:  The Drifters recorded "This Magic Moment".

1961:  The Marvelettes posted their sixth week at #1 on the R&B chart with "Please Mr. Postman".

1961:  Jimmy Dean had the top Easy Listening song for an incredible ninth week with "Big Bad John".

1962:  Bob Dylan did a show at the King and Queen Pub in London.

You Don't Own Me by Lesley Gore on Grooveshark
1963:  Lesley Gore released the single "You Don't Own Me".  (Note:  some women's websites incorrectly report the single was released in 1964.  It was a hit in 1964; it was released in December, 1963--in fact, the song debuted on the chart on December 28, 1963.  It is physically impossible for a song to be released after it charts.)
1964:  Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys suffered a nervous breakdown while flying from Los Angeles to Houston.  As a result, Wilson stopped touring with the group.  (Note:  'Rolling Stone' reports that this occurred in 1965, but this is yet another instance of the magazine being wrong.  As confirmed by the newspaper 'The Examiner', the Vocal Hall of Fame, as well as numerous other reputable sources, the breakdown occurred in 1964.)

1964:  The Beach Boys made their first appearance on the popular television show Shindig!, performing "Little Saint Nick", "Dance, Dance, Dance", "Johnny B. Goode" and "Monster Mash". 
1966:  Ready, Steady Go!  aired for the final time on BBC-TV in the U.K. with the Who as guests.

             "Love Me Two Times" from 'Strange Days'...

1967:  For the fourth week, the Monkees were at the top of the Album chart with Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.  Diana Ross and the Supremes were still at #2 after hitting #1 with their Greatest Hits package and the Beatles were still third after 27 weeks.  The Doors remained in the #4 spot with Strange Days and the Mamas and the Papas held on to 5 with Farewell to the First Golden Era.  The rest of the Top 10:    the Soundtrack to "Doctor Zhivago" after 93 weeks and the Soundtrack to "The Sound of Music" after 145 weeks, Are You Experienced?  by the Jimi Hendrix Experience took a turn for the worse, the self-titled Vanilla Fudge at #9 and Dionne Warwick dropped in with Dionne Warwick's Golden Hits, Part One.
1967:  The Lemon Pipers moved from 68 to 33 with "Green Tambourine".

        Gary Puckett--One of the great voices of the Rock Era...

1967:  The Monkees were at #1 for the fourth week with "Daydream Believer".  Gladys Knight & the Pips remained second with their version of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine", the Beatles at #3 with "Hello Goodbye" and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles following with "I Second That Emotion".  The rest of the Top 10:  Gary Puckett from Twin Falls, Idaho with the Union Gap on a hot song--"Woman, Woman", which rose from 12 to 5, the Cowsills and their smash "The Rain, The Park & Other Things", "Boogaloo Down Broadway" from the Fantastic Johnny C at #7, Strawberry Alarm Clock with their former #1 "Incense And Peppermints", Cher's "You Better Sit Down Kids" and Dionne Warwick closed the list with "I Say A Little Prayer".

1968:  The Doors released the single "Touch Me".  (Note:  some websites incorrectly report the song was released in 1969.  It debuted on the chart on December 28, 1968, so it is therefore physically impossible for radio stations to report playing the 45 before it is released.)
1969:  Elton John and Bernie Taupin began writing songs together.  And history was about to be made.
1972:  The John Lennon movie Imagine debuted on national television.
1972:  Grand Funk Railroad played at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

              Legends: The amazing Moodies....

1972:  The Moody Blues had another big album with Seventh Soujourn, #1 for a third week.  Stanley, Idaho's Carole King remained at #2 with Rhymes & Reasons while Jethro Tull's new album Living in the Past moved up to battle the top two. Catch Bull At Four from Cat Stevens held on with the Temptations album All Directions on this date pointing downward.  The rest of the Top 10:  Al Green's I'm Still In Love with You, Seals & Crofts were up with Summer Breeze, the new James Taylor--One Man Dog ran up from 16 to 8, Yes was headed in the opposite direction with Close to the Edge and Caravanserai from Santana remained at #10.
1972:  Bette Midler charted for the first time with her debut single "Do You Want To Dance".

You're So Vain by Carly Simon on Grooveshark
1972:  You didn't have to be smart to know where this song was heading--"You're So Vain" from Carly Simon up from 37 to 9 on this date.
1977:  Cat Stevens converted to Islam and changed his name to Yusef Islam.
1978:  "Le Freak" was the top R&B song for the fourth consecutive week from Chic.

     One of the tightest bands of the Rock Era--Toto....

1978:  Chic and "Le Freak" was the new #1 song, holding off "Too Much Heaven" from the Bee Gees and toppling the previous #1 "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" from Barbra Streisand & Neil Diamond.  Toto reached the Top 10 for the first time with "Hold The Line".

    "Fantasy", one of the great songs on EWF's compilation...

1978:  Billy Joel had become a superstar and 52nd Street was #1 for a sixth week on the Album chart.  The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Volume 1 moved from 19-9.
1989:  Phil Collins moved to #1 with "Another Day In Paradise".  
1989:  "Another Day In Paradise" by Phil Collins was #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for the fourth week.

1992:  Eddie Hazel, great guitarist with Funkadelic, died at the age of 42 in Plainfield, New Jersey from internal bleeding and liver failure.
1995:  Whitney Houston had the upper hand on the R&B chart for a fifth week with "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)".
1995:  Anthology 1 by the Beatles was the #1 album for the third straight week.

   Deep Blue Something landed a Top 10 song that borrowed from Audrey Hepburn...

1995:  Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men were a dominant #1 for a fourth week with "One Sweet Day".  Whitney Houston was #2 for the fourth week with "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)", Coolio's former #1 "Gangsta's Paradise" was still #4, TLC moved up to 5 with "Diggin' On You", Mariah Carey's former #1 "Fantasy" was sixth, Deep Blue Something moved up with "Breakfast At Tiffany's", the Goo Goo Dolls placed "Name" at #9 and the Beatles debuted at #10, 25 years after they broke up, with "Free As A Bird".
2006:  Ciara had the top album with Ciara:  The Evolution.
2007:  The Police were named the top touring act of the year, with their Reunion tour earning $132 million.  Extending into the next year, the tour finished #4 in the decade with over $362 million.
2008:  Clint Ballard Jr., who wrote "Game Of Love" for Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, "You're No Good" for Linda Ronstadt and songs recorded by artists such as the Hollies, the Zombies, Ricky Nelson, Jan & Dean and Frankie Avalon, died at the age of 77 in Denton, Texas.
2013:  Ricky Lawson, drummer who worked with Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Lionel Richie, Phil Collins, Toto, Steely Dan, Bette Midler,  Eric Clapton, Quincy Jones, George Benson, Babyface, Al Jarreau, Sheila E. and George Duke, died following a brain aneurism in Long Beach, California at the age of 59.

Born This Day:
1935:  Little Esther Phillips was born in Galveston, Texas; died August 7, 1984 at UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California from liver failure due to drugs.  (Note:  some websites report Phillips died in Carson, California, which is a little humorous.  The UCLA Medical Center is on Carson Street in Torrance; it is not its own town.)
1935:  Johnny Kidd of Johnny Kidd & the Pirates was born in Willesden, North London; died October 7, 1966 in a car crash in Bury, Lancashire, England while on tour in Manchester.
1940:  Jorma Kaukonen, guitarist with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, was born in Washington, D.C.
1940:  Eugene Record of the Chi-Lites ("Have You Seen Her") was born in Chicago, Illinois; died July 22, 2005 in Chicago after a long battle with cancer.
1940:  Tim Hardin, folk artist who wrote "If I Were A Carpenter" (Four Tops and others) and "Reason To Believe" (Rod Stewart), was born in Eugene, Oregon; died from drugs in Los Angeles on December 29, 1980, six days after his 40th birthday.
1942:  Declan Cluskey of the Bachelors ("Diane") was born in Dublin, Ireland.
1945:  Ron Bushy, drummer of Iron Butterfly, was born in Washington, D.C.  (Note:  numerous websites report his birthday as September 23; however, the only credible websites that list his birthday ('United Press International', the 'BBC', and '', show that Ron was born on December 23.)

1946:  Robbie Dupree ("Steal Away" and "Hot Rod Hearts" fom 1980) was born in Brooklyn, New York.  (Note:  '' lists his birth year as 1947, but since they are the only website that shows that and there is no corroborating source, we believe that to be a misprint.)
1946:  Luther Grosvenor, guitarist of Spooky Tooth, Stealer's Wheel and Mott the Hoople who later changed his name to Ariel Bender, and who later was a solo artist, was born in Evesham, Worcestershire, England.
1949:  Adrian Belew, guitarist and singer who worked with David Bowie and King Crimson, was born in Covington, Kentucky.
1951:  Johnny Contardo, lead singer of Sha Na Na and star of the Broadway musical Grease, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.

1956:  Dave Murray, elite guitarist and songwriter with Iron Maiden, was born in Edmonton, London.

1964:  Eddie Vedder, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of Pearl Jam, was born in Evanston, Illinois.
1974:  Montsho Eshe of Arrested Development

The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time: December 22

"When My Heart Finds Christmas"
by Harry Connick, Jr.

This is the title song (written by Connick) from his album of 1993, which was the top-selling Christmas album of the year (748,000 copies).  It has now gone triple platinum.
"Linus and Lucy"
by Vince Guaraldi

Guaraldi wrote this song in 1964 about the fictional characters Linus and Lucy Van Pelt in the Charles Schultz classic comic strip Peanuts, and it was included on the album Jazz Impressions of a Boy Named Charlie Brown.  The song was introduced in the premiere of A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965.  Although it is an instrumental not specifically about Christmas, because of its association with the Charlie Brown special, it has become synonymous with Christmas.  In fact, it's tough to hear this song and not think of the Peanuts characters dancing in their lovable way. 

"We Wish You the Merriest"
by Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby & Fred Waring

Les Brown wrote this song that was included on the popular 1964 album 12 Songs of Christmas.  To have not only Frank Sinatra but Bing Crosby both wishing you the merriest has to mean that you're pretty special.
"Silver Bells"
by Anne Murray

This can be found on the album entitled Anne Murray's Christmas Album.  Since it came out, it has received great airplay year after year.  
"Sleigh Ride"
by the Ray Conniff Singers

There are some great versions of "Sleigh Ride", including the New Christy Minstrels, the Ronettes .  This version really makes you want to go on the sleigh ride.  
"Here We Come A-Caroling/We Wish You a Merry Christmas"
by Perry Como

Como is just one of those talents that sounds awesome on every thing he does.  Here's one of six that Perry has in The Top 150* to wrap up today's half dozen.

Friday, December 21, 2012

This Date in Rock Music History: December 22

1956:  Elvis Presley finished the year with 17 hit songs, a Rock Era record that would stay until the magical year of 1964, when the Beatles had 30.
1958:  The creation of David Seville, the Chipmunks, made one of the biggest leaps to #1 of the Rock Era (10-1) with "The Chipmunk Song".  The Platters moved strongly to #2 with "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes".  
1962:  Bob Dylan performed at the Singer's Club Christmas Party in London.
1962:  "Stranger On The Shore" by Mr. Acker Bilk dropped off the U.K. chart after 55 weeks, a Rock Era record for longevity at the time.

1962:  One of The Top 10 Instrumentals of the Rock Era* (The great "Telstar" by the Tornadoes, which was a tribute to the satellite) flew to #1.  
1963:  The documentary The Beatles Come to Town premiered in British cinemas.
1963:  The Beatles performed at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool.

1965:  Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs performed on the television show Where the Action Is.
1967:  The Who, Eric Burdon & the Animals, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Pink Floyd and 1984 (with guitarist Brian May) appeared at the all-night festival Christmas On Earth Continued at The Olympia in London.
1967:  During Pink Floyd's performance for Christmas on Earth Continued, lead singer Syd Barrett gave a frozen stare at the audience throughout the show.  It was Barrett's last major show with the group.
1969:  While staying in Canada, John Lennon met with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and discussed drug abuse with John Munro, the Minister of Health.

1972:  Led Zeppelin performed at Alexandra Palace in London.
1973:  Elton John moved to #1 on the U.K. Album chart with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.
1973:  Helen Reddy continued to top the Adult chart for a fourth week with "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)".

                    Roger Daltrey's amazing performance on "Love, Reign O'er Me"...

1973:  Elton John's first big album was a blockbuster--Goodbye Yellow Brick Road spent a seventh week at #1.  The Joker from the Steve Miller Band moved to 2 with Ringo from Ringo Starr and the "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" Soundtrack behind them.  Quadrophenia by the Who was #5 while the new Carpenters compilation The Singles 1969-1973 moved up a couple of spots.  The rest of the Top 10:  back-to-back albums by the late Jim Croce--You Don't Mess Around with Jim and Life and Times, both over 40 weeks on the chart, Mind Games from John Lennon and Gladys Knight & the Pips moved to #10 with Imagination.

1978:  Kenney Jones of Faces was hired as the new drummer for the Who, replacing the late Keith Moon, who had died a couple of months earlier.
1978:  The stage version of Harry Nilson's The Point premiered in London starring Davy Jones and Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees.
1979:  The Pretenders performed at the Marquee Club in London.

1979:  Rupert Holmes had the new #1 song with "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)".  K.C and the Sunshine Band edged up with "Please Don't Go", while "Babe" by Styx moved behind both of those.  "Send One Your Love", the new Stevie Wonder, was up to #4 while the Commodores' #2 smash "Still" was now fifth.  The rest of the Top 10:  The Captain & Tennille with "Do That to Me One More Time", J.D. Souther's "You're Only Lonely", Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer had "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)", Kool & the Gang entered the Top 10 with "Ladies' Night" and Supertramp was at 10 with the great song "Take The Long Way Home".

1980:  We were introduced to a fiery singer with an amazing voice backed by great guitar licks.  Pat Benatar's first career single debuted on the chart on this date--"Heartbreaker".
1980:  Linda Ronstadt debuted on Broadway in the Gilbert & Sullivan production of The Pirates of Penzance at the Uris Theatre.  (Note:  several websites claim she debuted on Broadway on August 21--not possible, since Ronstadt was starring in the same play in New York City's Central Park, according to the book 'Linda Ronstadt:  A Life In Music' by Peter Lewry, and since the play did not open on Broadway until December 22, according to the official website for 'Playbill'.)
1984:  Madonna went to #1 for the first time with "Like A Virgin".

                                        Chicago's biggest album in years...

1984:  Prince achieved a 22nd week at #1 on the Album chart with Purple Rain.  That was enough for the fourth-most of the Rock Era.  Bruce Springsteen had the #2 album (Born In the U.S.A.) for the 17th consecutive week, Madonna edged up with Like a Virgin and Tina Turner swapped places with Private Dancer.  The rest of the Top 10:  Duran Duran's newest Arena at #5, Big Bam Boom from Hall & Oates, the Honeydrippers slipped with Volume One, Stevie Wonder remained at #8 with "The Woman In Red" Soundtrack, Chicago landed in the Top 10 for the 12th time in 17 album releases with Chicago 17 and the durable Can't Slow Down by Lionel Richie was still in the Top 10 after 59 weeks.
1987:  Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue was pronounced dead on arrival in an ambulance after his heart stopped beating for two minutes due to heroin.  He was given two shots of adrenaline in his chest and was brought back to life.
1988:  The Smiths played their last concert at Wolverhampton Civic Hall in England.
   The newest of the "supergroups", Damn Yankees had this one and only big hit.

1990:  Stevie B had a smash hit with "Because I Love You (The Postman Song)", #1 for a third week.  Madonna moved to #2 with incredibly her 21st Top 10 song out of 24 released, "Justify My Love".    Bette Midler's "From A Distance" was third, followed by "Impulsive" from Wilson Phillips and "Tom's Diner" by D.N.A. with Suzanne Vega.  The rest of the Top 10:  Damn Yankees with "High Enough", Whitney Houston's former #1 "I'm Your Baby Tonight", "Freedom" from George Michael, UB40 dropped with their remake of The Way You Do The Things You Do" and Ralph Tresvant found the Top 10 with "Sensitivity".
1991:  Gregg Allman made his acting debut in the movie Rush.
1993:  Frida Lyngstad of ABBA sang an A cappella version of "Dancing Queen" for the Queen of Sweden on her 50th birthday at the Opera House in Stockholm.
2002:  Joe Strummer, co-founder lead singer of the Clash, died of heart failure at the age of 50 in his hometown of Broomfield, England.
2002:  Girls Aloud topped the U.K. chart with "Sound Of The Underground".
2006:  Dennis Linde, songwriter who penned "Burning Love" for Elvis Presley", died from a rare lung disease at age 63 in Nashville, Tennessee.
2007:  Joe Ames of the Ames Brothers ("The Naughty Lady Of Shady Lane") died of a heart attack at his home in Eltville am Rhein, Germany at the age of 86.
2009:  Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith, announced he was going to rehabilitation to handle his use of painkillers.
2009:  The FBI released 333 pages of documents they had concerning Michael Jackson between 1992 to 2005.  The files contained results of their investigations into alleged inappropriate involvement between Jackson and an underage male (of which they found nothing), as well as fears that Jackson may have been a target of terrorists.
2010:  The British government designated the pedestrian crosswalk outside Abbey Road studios in London, made famous for its use on the cover of the Abbey Road album by the Beatles, as a site of national importance.

2014:  Joe Cocker, who gave us such songs as "You Are You Beautiful", "Up Where We Belong" (with Jennifer Warnes), and "With A Little Help From My Friends", has died at the age of 70 after a battle with lung cancer in Crawford, Colorado.

Born This Day:
1939:  James Gurley, guitar player of Big Brother & the Holding Company, was born in Detroit, Michigan; died of a heart attack at his home in Palm Desert, California on December 20, 2009, two days shy of his 70th birthday.
1944:  Barry Jenkins, drummer of the Animals, was born in Leicester, England.

1946:  Rick Nielsen, elite guitarist, backing vocalist and primary songwriter of Cheap Trick, was born in Rockford, Illinois.

1949:  Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees and twin brother of Robin, was born in Douglas, Isle of Man; died in a hospital in Miami Beach, Florida from complications of a twisted intestine on January 12, 2003.

1949:  Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees was born in Douglas, Isle of Man; died in London on May 20, 2012 of kidney failure.

1989:  Jordin Sparks, who, at the age of 17 became the youngest-ever winner of American Idol, was born in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Top Christmas Songs of All-Time, Part Five

Here is a summary of the songs featured so far in our special, including links to the first four groups of 24 songs:

December 17:

"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
by the Carpenters

"Please Come Home for Christmas"
by Charles Brown

"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
by Darlene Love

"Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"
by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

"Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!"
by Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme

"Jingle Bells"
by the Ray Conniff Singers

"It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas"
by Perry Como

"It Came Upon a Midnight Clear"
by Anne Murray

"Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You"
by Billy Squier

"Pretty Paper"
by Roy Orbison

"Christmas Time Is Here"
by Diana Krall

"Do You Hear What I Hear"
by Carrie Underwood

"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"
by Amy Grant

"Frosty the Snowman"
by Jimmy Durante


by the Impressions

"Silver and Gold"
by Burl Ives

"We Wish You a Merry Christmas"
by Kenny G

"A Marshmallow World"
by Dean Martin

"Joy to the World"
by Mariah Carey

"Winter Wonderland"
by Darlene Love

"Oh Little Town of Bethlehem"
by Sarah McLauchlin

"Jingle Bell Rock"
by Hall & Oates

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
by Gene Autry

"Oh Holy Night"
by Martina McBride

The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time: December 21

We still have 30 more songs in Inside the Rock Era's presentation of The Top 150 Christmas Songs of All-Time*.  Some of the absolute best are still to come!
"Happy Holidays"
by Andy Williams

This is one of two songs that Irving Berlin wrote among the Top 150*.  He wrote it in 1942 and it was featured in the movie Holiday Inn.  Although Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme's version is also included in this feature, Andy's version is by far the best.
"Let It Snow!  Let It Snow!  Let It Snow!"
by Dean Martin

Who better to give a seductive, martini-hour version of this classic than the swingingest member of the Rat Pack?  To really pull this off, you have to be a charmer.  Is there anyone that doesn't think Dean would have used a line like this?   

"I'll Be Home for Christmas"
by the Carpenters

No question Karen has one of the best Christmas songs that will likely ever be heard.  She's very reflective and her interpretation fits the tone of the song.  Many people think she was an angel sent to us for a brief time.  Great arrangement, as usual, by Richard on this one.
"We Need a Little Christmas"
by the New Christy Minstrels

A lot of people think this is the Ray Conniff Singers but it's the Minstrels at their best.  Since they came out in the early 1960's, the New Christy Minstrels launched the careers of Kenny Rogers, Gene Clark (of the Byrds), Kim Carnes and Barry McGuire.  Rogers and Carnes were together in the group in 1966.  McGuire was the group's director and arranger beginning in 1963.  
"Feliz Navidad"
by Jose Feliciano

This is one of the Top 25 most-played Christmas songs and has been for quite a while.  Feliciano wrote it himself in 1970 and it was featured on the album of the same name.  Today, people of all languages and nationalities love it for its great sound, sincerity and festive tone.

"Silent Night"
by Barbra Streisand

Many people believe this to be the best version of this song, out of the thousands that are out there.  Barbra also has another song featured in The Top 150*.  We'll leave you today with this reverent, amazing performance of "Silent Night".

Thursday, December 20, 2012

This Date in Rock Music History: December 21

1959:  The new single called "The Little Drummer Boy" by the Harry Simeone Chorale moved from 99 to 47.
                                 Marty Robbins' classic...

1959:  "Heartaches By The Number" by Guy Mitchell was #1 for a second week but it was the #3 song, which jumped all the way from 11, that was creating all the talk.  "El Paso" from Marty Robbins was that song.  Other new Top 10 songs--"Way Down Yonder In New Orleans" from Freddie Cannon at #5, "Among My Souvenirs" by Connie Francis and Fabian's "Hound Dog Man".
1960:  Elvis Presley was inducted into the Los Angeles Indian Tribal Council Creek by Indian Chief Wah-Nee-Ota in conjunction with the premiere of his movie Flaming Star.
1963:  The Beatles did their first Christmas show at the Gaumont Theatre in Bradford, England.
1963:  "Dominique" by the Singing Nun was #1 for a third week on the Easy Listening chart, which in 1979 became the Adult Contemporary chart.
1963:  People were flocking to see a gal with a message, and Joan Baez entered the Top 10 on the Album chart with Joan Baez In Concert.
1963:  The Singing Nun also achieved a third week at #1 overall with "Dominique".  The only new Top 10 for the week was "Popsicles And Icicles" by the Murmaids.
1964:  Charlie Watts, drummer of the Rolling Stones, published Ode to a High Flying Bird, a picture book tribute to Charlie Parker.

1965:  Shirley Bassey released the single "Goldfinger", the theme for the new James Bond movie. 
1966:  The Who played at The Upper Cut in Newham, England near London.

1967:  The Beatles had a costume party at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London to celebrate the showing of their movie Magical Mystery Tour on the BBC.
1968:  The newly-formed trio Crosby, Stills and Nash performed together for the first time.
1968:  Janis Joplin appeared as a solo performer at the Stax/Volt Yuletide Thing at Mid South Coliseum in Memphis, Tennessee.  

                     Hendrix with his last studio album...

1968:  Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell took over at #1 on the Album chart, completing a meteoric rise from 16 to 4 to 1.  Pretty impressive, especially considering Glen held off The White Album, the new release from the Beatles, which rose from 11 to 2 in its second week.  Cheap Thrills from Big Brother & the Holding Company fell from #1 with Feliciano!  from Jose Feliciano #4.  The rest of the Top 10:  The Second from Steppenwolf, Judy Collins rose from 31 to 6 with Wildflowers, jumping Electric Ladyland from the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Glen Campbell's back catalog began to sell as Gentle On My Mind rose to #8 after 43 weeks, Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda-Da Vida was #9 and Time Peace, the Rascals' Greatest Hits package, grabbed the final spot.
1968:  "Wichita Lineman" held on to #1 for a second week on the Adult chart for Glen Campbell.
1968:  A new talent first appeared on the chart on this day, although it would be seven long years before he made it big. Bob Seger debuted with his first career single "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man".
1968:  Tommy James & the Shondells were quickly becoming one of the 60's biggest acts and on this date, they jumped from 85 to 39 with "Crimson And Clover".

1968:  Marvin Gaye notched a second week at #1 with "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" although the song was so great that CCR and Gladys Knight & the Pips also had excellent versions.  "Love Child" by the Supremes was second with Stevie Wonder at #3 with "For Once In My Life".  Dion remained at the #4 spot with "Abraham, Martin And John" and Glen Campbell reached #5 with "Wichita Lineman".  The rest of an excellent Top 10:  "Stormy" from the Classics IV, Johnnie Taylor was in there with "Who's Making Love", bright newcomer Judy Collins reached the Top 10 with "Both Sides Now", "I Love How You Love Me" from Bobby Vinton was #9 and Steppenwolf was still flying with "Magic Carpet Ride".
1969:  Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Canned Heat shared a bill at Balboa Stadium in San Diego, California.
1969:  Diana Ross appeared with the Supremes for the final time on The Ed Sullivan Show, singing "Someday We'll Be Together".

1970:  Gordon Lightfoot released his first career single--"If You Could Read My Mind".
1970:  Elvis Presley visited U.S. President Richard Nixon at the White House to volunteer his services towards fighting the country's drug problems.
1970:  "Hey Old Man" by the Festfolk Quartet peaked at #5 in Sweden.  We know the Festfolk Quartet better now by their later name of ABBA.
1971:  Martha & the Vandellas broke up after playing at the Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan.
1971:  Charlie Fuqua, founding member of the Ink Spots, died at the age of 61 in New Haven, Connecticut.
1974:  Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin joined Bad Company on stage at the Rainbow Theatre in London.
1974:  He was the man of the moment.  Elton John continued to own the #1 album with his Greatest Hits package, now #1 for five weeks.  

1974:  Two of America's greatest groups, Chicago and the Beach Boys, teamed up for one great song--"Wishing You Were Here" reached #1 on the Adult chart.

1974:  Grand Funk's new song "Some Kind Of Wonderful" was rocking up the chart from 67 to 38.

1974:  Today was the day that the classic "Cat's In The Cradle", which is without question one of The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era* by Harry Chapin, reached #1.  
1976:  Barry Manilow on Broadway opened for a two-week run in New York City.
1978:  Rod Stewart settled out of court with drummer Mickey Waller, who had claimed he was not paid royalties for his work on Stewart's album Smiler.

Jump by Van Halen on Grooveshark
1983:  Van Halen released the single "Jump".
1985:  Bruce Springsteen's album Born in the U.S.A. passed Thriller by Michael Jackson for the second-most weeks in the Top 10 of the album chart with 79 weeks.  The Rock Era record is still the Soundtrack to "The Sound of Music", which remained a top-seller for 109 weeks.
1985:  Heart's comeback was complete as their self-titled release completed its 24-week climb to #1 on the Album chart.  
1985:  "Say You, Say Me" by Lionel Richie was #1 for a third week on the Adult Contemporary chart.

                                Newcomers Simple Minds ...
1985:  Richie also moved to #1 overall with "Say You, Say Me" in a pretty good Top 10.  Mr. Mister was toppled with "Broken Wings" while Eddie Murphy had the surprising hit "Party All The Time".  Simple Minds had one of their biggest with "Alive & Kicking" and the former #1 "Separate Lives" from Phil Collins & Marilyn Martin was #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Election Day" from Arcadia, the great new song "I Miss You" from Klymaxx, Dionne & Friends (Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Stevie Wonder & Gladys Knight) moved from 14 to 8 with "That's What Friends Are For", John Cougar Mellencamp scored another Top 10 with "Small Town" and ZZ Top fell with their "Sleeping Bag".
1987:  John Spencer, original member with No Doubt, committed suicide at the tender age of 18.  So young and na├»ve.
1989:  Santana and his wife celebrated the birth of daughter Angelica Faith.
1991:  "Bohemian Rhapsody"/"These Are The Days Of Our Lives", a single released following the death of Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury, took over at #1 in the U.K. 
1991:  "I Love Your Smile" by Shanice was the new #1 on the R&B chart.

             The unmistakable harmonies of the Boyz...

1991:  Michael Jackson had his 15th Top 10 hit in his last 17 releases with "Black Or White" and it was his 12th solo #1.  Boyz II Men had a solid hit with "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday".  Color Me Badd was on fire as well with "All 4 Love" and PM Dawn only slipped slightly with "Set Adrift On Memory Bliss".  Michael Bolton's former #1 "When A Man Loves A Woman", the remake of Percy Sledge's classic, was fifth with another winner from Mariah Carey--"Can't Let Go" #6.

     An unforgettable tribute sparked Natalie's album...

1991:  Some of the best albums of the 1990's were in here:  Dangerous by Michael Jackson spent a second week at #1 but Ropin' the Wind from Garth Brooks, a former #1, wasn't going away.  Too Legit to Quit from Hammer moved to 3, switching places with U2's Achtung Baby.  Michael Bolton moved up to 5 after 33 weeks with Time, Love & Tenderness and Nirvana's landmark Nevermind was #6.  The rest of the Top 10:  Unforgettable With Love from Natalie Cole moved from 13 to 7, Cooleyhighharmony from Boyz II Men, Metallica with their debut and Use Your Illusion II by Guns N' Roses slipped to #10.

Keep Coming Back by Richard Marx on Grooveshark
1991:  Richard Marx rose to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with help from Luther Vandross with the great song "Keep Coming Back".
1994:  Mike Love and Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys settled a dispute out-of-court over authorship of 35 of the group's songs, with Love receiving $5 million.
1996:  "Knockin' On Heaven's Door", the cover version of Bob Dylan's song written by Ted Christopher of Dunblane, Scotland, rose to #1 in the U.K.  Christopher wrote a new verse in memory of the children and teacher killed in the Dunblane massacre and the song features brothers and sisters of the victims singing the chorus with Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler on guitar.

Dont speak by Gwen Stefani on Grooveshark
1996:  Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt took over the #1 spot on the Album chart, just ahead of the great Falling Into You album from Celine Dion.  Alanis Morissette continued to amaze with Jagged Little Pill, moving back into the Top 10 after 78 weeks of release.
2003:  Ruben Studdard had the top album with Soulful.
2005:  Mutya Buena announced she was leaving the group the Sugababes.
2005:  The Human Rights Watch reported that the so-called "muzak" of Eminem and Dr. Dre was used to torture detainees at a CIA prison near Afghanistan.  I'll tell you anything, but please turn off that God-awful crap!

Born This Day:
1934:  Hank Crawford, who played saxophone for Ray Charles and Ike Turner, was born in Memphis, Tennessee; died in Memphis from complications of a stroke suffered in 2000 on January 29, 2009.

1940:  Frank Zappa was born in Baltimore, Maryland; died of prostate cancer in Los Angeles on December 4, 1993.
1940:  Ray Hildebrand of Paul & Paula was born in Joshua, Texas.
1951:  Kevin Scott MacDonald, guitarist of the Cutting Crew ("I Just Died In Your Arms").
1942:  Carla Thomas ("Gee Whiz" from 1960), who also recorded several duets with Otis Redding, was born in Memphis, Tennessee.
1943:  Gwen McCrae, solo artist ("Rockin' Chair" from 1975) and wife of her manager George ("Rock Your Baby" from 1975) was born in Pensacola, Florida.

1943:  Albert Lee, famous session guitar player, was born in Lingen, Herefordshire, England.  (Note:  some websites report his place of birth as Leominster, England; according to both the 'BBC' and the newspaper 'The Telegraph', Lee was born in Lingen.)

1946:  Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys was born in Hawthorne, California; died February 6, 1998 of brain and lung cancer in Los Angeles.
1948:  Barry Gordon ("Nuttin' For Christmas") was born in Brookline, Massachusetts.

1951:  Nick Gilder of Sweeney Todd and later a solo artist ("Hot Child In The City" from 1978) was born in London.
1953:  Betty Wright ("Clean Up Woman" from 1971) was born in Miami, Florida.
1971:  Brett Scallions, lead singer of Fuel, was born in Brownsville, Tennessee.

The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time, Part Four

Here is a recap of the songs featured so far in our annual feature of The Best Christmas Songs of All-Time* (click on the link for each date to view those six songs):

December 13
"The 12 Days of Christmas"
by the Ray Conniff Singers

"Hark the Herald Angels Sing"
by Amy Grant

"Please Come Home for Christmas"
by the Eagles

"The Little Drummer Boy"
by Perry Como

"My Favorite Things"
by the Supremes"

Do You Hear What I Hear"
by Whitney Houston

"Christmas Eve Sarajevo" 
by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra

"Where Are You Christmas?"
by Faith Hill

"Jingle Bells"
by Brian Setzer Orchestra

"I'll Be Home for Christmas"
by Elvis Presley

"Sleigh Ride"
by the Boston Pops

"Joy to the World"
by Anne Murray

"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
by Judy Garland

"I Heard the Bells"
by Three Irish Tenors

"Happy Xmas" (War Is Over)"
by John Lennon

"Silver Bells"
by the Supremes

"The Christmas Waltz"
by Frank Sinatra

"Silent Night"
by Josh Groban

"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
by Ella Fitzgerald

"Santa Claus & His Old Lady"
by Cheech & Chong

"All I Want for Christmas"
by Vince Vance & the Valients

"What Child Is This"
by Charlotte Church

"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"
by Bing Crosby

"We Need a Little Christmas"
by Johnny Mathis