Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year! This Date In Rock Music History: January 1

1955:  Elvis Presley performed at Eagles Hall in Houston, Texas.
1956:  "Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley & the Comets returned to #1 in the U.K.
1957:  Love the title--A new rock & roll show, Cool for Cats, premiered on BBC television in the U.K.
1959:  Elvis Presley wrecked his BMW while driving on the Autobahn in Germany.
1962:  The Beatles auditioned for Decca Records, playing 15 songs for the A&R man.  He declined to sign them, opting instead to sign the Tremeloes.  Bad career move for the A&R man.

1964:  The Beach Boys recorded "Fun Fun Fun" at United Western Recorders in Hollywood, California.
1964:  The first Top of the Pops show aired on BBC television in the U.K. from an old church hall in Manchester, England.  DJ Jimmy Saville introduced the show, featuring the Dave Clark Five ("Glad All Over") the Rolling Stones ("I Wanna' Be Your Man") and the Hollies ("Stay").  The first song played was "I Only Want To Be With You" by Dusty Springfield.  Other groups featured on film were the Beatles ("I Want To Hold Your Hand"), Cliff Richard and the Shadows, Gene Pitney and Freddie & the Dreamers.  
1965:  The Yardbirds, featuring a young guitarist named Eric Clapton, were in concert for two shows at the Odeon Cinema in Hammersmith, London.
1965:  James Brown logged a sixth week at #1 on the R&B chart with "I Got You (I Feel Good)".
1966:  Whipped Cream & Other Delights by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass was #1 on the Album chart for a sixth week.  The album had already been on the chart for 34 weeks, quite a bit back then.  Again, you want to look at achievements within context and the fact that it dominated for that time is impressive.  In fact, the group was second only to the Beatles for album sales in the 1960's.

1966:  Simon & Garfunkel's breakthrough song "The Sound Of Silence" became their first #1.  Look out from behind, though, as the Beatles jumped from 11 to 2 in only their third week with "We Can Work It Out".
1966:  Ricky Nelson filmed the final episode of The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet.

1967:  Gary Lewis of Gary Lewis & the Playboys and Jerry's son, was drafted into the United States Army.
1967:  The Grateful Dead and Big Brother & the Holding Company performed at the New Year's Wail/Whale in Panhandle Park in San Francisco, California.
1967:  The Doors made their television debut on KTLA-TV Channel 5 in Los Angeles, performing "Break On Through".
1967:  Sonny and Cher were barred from the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California, because they supported the people who rioted on Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.
1968:  For the first time in history, LP sales outpaced sales of singles with 192 million units sold.
1971:  To celebrate the Beatles' ten years in the music business, Radio Luxembourg played seven continuous hours of Beatles music.
1972:  Three Dog Night became the first rock band to be included in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.

"Rock and Roll" from 'Led Zeppelin IV'...

1972:  Stanley, Idaho's Carole King made it two straight #1 albums in a row as she followed up the epic Tapestry with Music.  Led Zeppelin IV was second with Cat Stevens moving up to #3 with Teaser and the Firecat.  Chicago At Carnegie Hall edged up and Grand Funk Railroad reached #5 with E Pluribus Funk.  The rest of the Top 10:  The previous #1 There's a Riot Goin' On from Sly & the Family Stone, Don McLean at #7 with American Pie, Santana III was eighth, Tapestry from King was #9 after 39 weeks and All In the Family from the landmark television show of the same name was #10.
1972:  Three Dog Night started the New Year with the new Adult #1--"An Old Fashioned Love Song".
1972:  With one smash hit at the top, Three Dog Night continued the momentum, as "Never Been tT Spain" moved from #81 to #43 in its second week on the chart.

                                                 Jonathan Edwards with "Sunshine"...

1972:  Melanie continued to have the right formula with "Brand New Key" at #1.  Don McLean closed to #2 with "American Pie" while Sly & the Family Stone's former #1 "Family Affair" and "An Old Fashioned Love Song" by Three Dog Night trailed.  The rest of the Top 10:  Michael Jackson and "Got To Be There", the Chi-Lites remained in the #6 spot with "Have You Seen Her", Dennis Coffey & the Detroit Guitar Band reached #7 with "Scorpio", Jonathan Edwards moved to #8 with "Sunshine", David Cassidy's remake of "Cherish" was #9 and fellow teen idol Donny Osmond was at #10 with "Hey Girl/I Knew You When".  
1976:  Robert Plant, lead singer of Led Zeppelin, walked for the first time without assistance after his August, 1975 crash in Greece.

1977:  The Roxy reopened as a punk club in London with the Clash performing.
1977:  Genesis performed at the newly renovated Rainbow Theatre in London.
1977:  Wings flew over the U.K. chart with "Mull Of Kintyre", a song that would go on to be #1 for nine weeks.

1978:  The Little River Band released the single "Lady".
1979:  Bruce Springsteen's cheek was ripped open when some dunce in the crowd in Richfield, Ohio threw a lighted firecracker on stage.
1980:  Rush released their seventh studio album--Permanent Waves.

1980:  Cliff Richard became the third rock act (following the Beatles and Elton John) to receive an MBE from the Queen of England.

1982:  ABBA, who did a grand total of one tour in North America, performed for the final time in Stockholm, Sweden.

1984:  Alexis Korner, whose band Blues Incorporated was a linchpin in the British Rock Family Tree, as chronicled on Inside the Rock Era, died from lung cancer in London at the age of 55.  Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Jack Bruce and Manfred Mann are just a few of the musicians who played with Korner in Blues Incorporated.
1985:  Kylie Minogue appeared on television in the premiere of the Australian soap opera The Henderson Kids.  (Note:  some websites insist Minogue appeared on the show in 1989.  'The Henderson Kids' only ran two seasons, 1985 and 1986.)
1985:  Although they have since strayed far, far, far away, VH-1 premiered as an adult contemporary video channel.

1987:  The Cutting Crew released the single "(I Just) Died in Your Arms".
1988:  Prince played a charity concert after midnight in aid of the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless at his Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, Minnesota.
1990:  In one of the shrewder moves of the Rock Era, Polygram purchased the rights to the ABBA catalog.

1991:  Buck Ram, songwriter ("Only You" for the Platters) and producer for both the Platters and Penguins, died at the age of 73 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hero by Mariah Carey on Grooveshark
1994:  One of Mariah Carey's last great songs, "Hero", was #1 for a second week while former #1 "Again" by Janet Jackson was second.  Ace of Base remained third with "All That She Wants" while the new collaboration between Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams & Sting--"All For Love" moved to #4.  Meat Loaf was still at #5 with "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" and Toni Braxton climbed up to 6 with "Breathe Again".  Another good song in the Top 10 was Michael Bolton's "Said I Loved You...But I Lied".
2002:  After messing up "friend" George Harrison's marriage and then dumping Harrison's wife, Eric Clapton married 25-year-old Melia McEnery in a secret ceremony at the 15th Century St. Mary Magdalene Church in Ripley, Surrey, England.
2002:  Gavin Rossdale of Bush proposed to Gwen Stefani of No Doubt.  Apparently, no doubt that she would say "Yes".

Fallin' by Alicia Keys on Grooveshark
2002:  Alicia Keys captured five Grammy Awards for her amazing album Songs in A Minor.
2002:  Dido's Life for Rent finished 2001 as the top-selling album in the U.K.
2011:  Chuck Berry collapsed on stage at Congress Theater in Chicago, Illinois.  He was helped off stage, only to return 15 minutes later.  Berry was then forced off almost immediately.  The 84 year-old then re-emerged to tell fans he wasn't able to continue.

2013:  Patti Page ("Tennessee Waltz") died in Encinitas, California at the age of 85.

Born This Day:

1942:  Country Joe McDonald was born in Washington, D.C.  (Note:  several websites, including some prominent music ones, incorrectly say that Country Joe was born in El Monte, California.  According to the official website for Joe, he was born in Washington, D.C., then moved with his family to El Monte.)
1942:  Billy Francis (William Francis Jr.), keyboardist with Dr. Hook, was born in Ocean Springs, Mississippi; died May 23, 2010 in Seymour, Missouri.
1946:  Boz Burrell of Bad Company was born in Holbeach, Lincolnshire, England; died September 21, 2006 of a heart attack at his home in Spain.  (Note:  'Allmusic.com' reports that Burrell was born August 1; that is in conflict with two respected newspapers--'The Los Angeles Times' and 'The Independent', which both say that Boz was born January 1.)
1950:  Morgan Fisher, keyboardist of Mott the Hoople and later a producer, was born in Mayfair, London.
1952:  Andy Johns, noted producer and engineer, who worked with the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell, Van Halen, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, the Steve Miller Band, Jethro Tull, Free, Cinderella, Ten Years After, Humble Pie and Joe Satriani, was born in Leatherhead, Surrey, England; died April 7, 2013 at the age of 71 in Los Angeles from complications of a stomach ulcer.  (Note:  some websites claim Johns was born in Epsom, Surrey, England, but 'The New York Times" reported that he was born in Leatherhead.)
1958:  Michael Penn, singer/songwriter ("No Myth") and brother of Sean, was born in New York City.
1958:  Joseph Saddler (Grandmaster Flash) was born in Bridgetown, West Indies

The Top 10 Songs of 2013

Another year has flown by, and, as is our annual tradition, Inside The Rock Era stops the clock and analyzes all the numbers to determine the Top 10 songs of the year.  Honorable Mention to Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble", "Cruise" by the Florida Georgia Line and "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragon. 

But these songs were the clear Top 10 of 2013, and we feature them below:


"Wake Me Up"

Justin Timberlake

Phillip Phillips

Can't Hold Us Back
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Katy Perry


"Hey Ho"

"When I Was Your Man"
Bruno Mars

"Locked Out of Heaven"
Bruno Mars

"Just Give Me a Reason"

Anita Baker, The #60 Female Artist of the Rock Era

Anita Baker was born in Toledo Ohio.  At the age of two, her mother abandoned her, and Anita was raised by a foster family in Detroit.  When Baker was twelve, her foster parents died and her foster sister raised her afterwards.  When Anita was 16, she began singing R&B at nightclubs in Detroit.  After her first appearance, bandleader David Washington invited her to join his funk group, Chapter 8.

Baker joined the group in 1975, going on a frantic touring schedule which resulted in a recording contract with Ariola Records in 1979.  The group's self-titled release was released, but after Arista Records took over the label, they dropped Chapter 8 from its roster, convinced the lead singer, Baker, didn't have "star potential".

Baker returned to Detroit, working as a waitress and as a receptionist of a law firm.  In 1982, Otis Smith, a former associate of Ariola, called Baker and convinced her to begin a solo career on his Beverly Glen label.  Baker released her debut album, The Songstress, in 1983.  "Angel" reached the Top 5 on the R&B chart.  

But Baker wasn't happy, complaining she hadn't received any royalties for her work.  The matter had to be resolved in court, with Baker winning the right to pursue another recording contract.  She signed with Elektra in 1985, and began work on her next album.  

The following year, Baker released a masterpiece of an album called Rapture.  It made her a beloved superstar.  While the initial single, "Watch Your Step" was unsuccessful, "Sweet Love" caught on in a big way.  It landed at #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart, #3 R&B and #8 overall in the U.S. and peaked at #10 in Ireland.  

"Sweet Love" captured the Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Song, and the album was honored with a Grammy for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance.  Three other hit singles helped the album become a huge seller.  "Caught Up In The Rapture" was extremely underrated (#37 overall), but adults recognized the great song, helping it hit #9 on the AC chart.

Adults once again showed better taste with Anita's other singles from the album.  Baker hit #6 AC and #8 on the R&B chart with the great song "Same Ole Love (365 Days A Year)", another highly underrated song on the "popular" charts at #44.

Baker had another huge hit with "No One In The World", despite Billboard's insistence that it wasn't a "popular" song.  It peaked at #5 on the R&B chart and #9 on the Adult Contemporary chart.  

In 1987, Baker collaborated with the Winans on the song "Ain't No Need To Worry", which earned Baker a third Grammy, this time for Best Soul Gospel Performance by a Duo, Group, Choir or Chorus.  

Baker's sophomore release also contained two other great tracks that are among The Top Unknown/Underrated Songs of the Rock Era*.  This is "You Bring Me Joy".

Baker toured extensively to promote the album, and by 1988, Rapture had sold over eight million copies worldwide, five million in the United States alone.  This is Baker's great song "Mystery".

Baker proved with her next release that she was not a fleeting star but one of enduring success.  The album Giving You the Best That I Got was a #1 album and sold over five million copies worldwide, three million in the U.S.  The title song hit #1 on both the AC and R&B charts and peaked at #3 overall.  It earned Grammy Awards for Best Rhythm & Blues Song and Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female, and was nominated for both Song of the Year and Record of the Year.

"Just Because" shot up to #1 on the R&B chart, #4 Adult Contemporary and reached #14 overall.  It earned Baker another Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female.

"Lead Me Into Love" became another Top 10 R&B hit.  

In 1990, Baker became more involved in songwriting and production, and she began introducing jazz elements into her sound.  The result was the album Compositions, and the Grammy Awards honored the entire LP with the award for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance.  The single "Talk To Me" became Anita's seventh Top 10 Adult Contemporary hit in five years.

"Soul Inspiration" just missed the Top 10 on the AC chart at #11.

Compositions went Gold, but after a third straight tour, Baker took a break and focused on her family.  This decision won her considerable respect from her fans.

After appearing on Frank Sinatra's Duets album, Baker returned with the album Rhythm of Love in 1994.  While "Body and Soul" peaked at #36, Anita was nominated for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance.  

Baker was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that year.  "I Apologize" won Baker her eighth Grammy Award (once again for Best R&B Female Vocal Performance), and helped the album sell two million copies (it was also nominated for Best R&B Album), giving Baker her fourth consecutive Platinum album.  

Baker toured extensively to promote the album, but, unsatisfied with Elektra's end of the deal, transferred to Atlantic Records in 1996.  She combined with James Ingram for the song "When You Love Someone", which was nominated for a Grammy for Best Collaboration with Vocals.  But Baker's studio recordings from the period were ruined by random popping noises from inferior recording equipment.  Baker filed a lawsuit, and she was let go from Atlantic without any material being released.  

Reaction from her fans at concerts inspired Baker to sign a new recording deal with Blue Note Records.  In 2004, Anita released the album My Everything.  Despite a ten-year absence from the charts, My Everything reached #4 on the album chart and went Gold.  "You're My Everything"  helped Baker earn the 14th and 15th Grammy nominations of her fabulous career for Best R&B Traditional Vocal Performance and Best R&B Album.

Baker released the album Christmas Fantasy in 2005 and earned a Grammy nomination for the song "Christmas Time Is Here".  In 2006, Baker sang the National Anthem at the World Series, and did it again in 2012. 

In 2012, Baker released her cover of the Tyrese hit "Lately".  She appeared at the Grammys, where "Lately" was nominated for Best Traditional R&B Performance.  

Anita  received the Legend Award from the Soul Train Music Awards in 2010.  Seventeen Grammy nominations, eight Grammy Awards, and a catalog teeming with great tracks have made Anita Baker one of the greatest female singers the world has known.  She has sold 12 million albums in the U.S. alone, and has scored 11 Popular hits and 25 Adult Contemporary hits, with 12 reaching the Top 10 and two number one songs.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Top Track" Fleetwood Mac's "Storms"

Stevie Nicks has written some great songs, and she wrote this one for the Tusk album in 1979:

This Date in Rock Music History: December 31

1955:  It's unusual for an artist's debut single to be a Christmas song, but on this date, a new group appeared on the chart for the first time with their version of "White Christmas", the first single for the Drifters.
1956:  Elvis Presley promoted Wink Martindale's upcoming charity concert on Wink's local television special in Memphis, Tennessee.
1961:  The Pendletons played under their their now more familiar name of the Beach Boys for the first time at a memorial concert for Ritchie Valens in Long Beach, California.

1961:  Janis Joplin performed for the first time at the Halfway House in Beaumont, Texas.
1962:  John and Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas married.
1966:  "That's Life" by Frank Sinatra was the new #1 song on the Easy Listening chart.
1966:  Petula Clark had one of the hottest songs out as "Color My World" jumped from 69 to 38.

1966:  The Monkees took the Neil Diamond song "I'm a Believer" to #1 in just their fourth week on the chart.  "Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron" moved from 7-2 in its third week.  That meant an end to the #1 reign of "Winchester Cathedral" by the New Vaudeville Band while Frank Sinatra placed "That's Life" one spot ahead of daughter Nancy's "Sugar Town".  The rest of the Top 10:  The #2 smash "Mellow Yellow" from Donovan, Aaron Neville jumped from 14 to 7 with "Tell It Like It Is", the Temptations were at #8 with "(I Know) I'm Losing You", Stevie Wonder and "A Place In The Sun" while Boise, Idaho's Paul Revere & the Raiders moved from 27 to 10 with "Good Thing".
1967:  Bert Berns, songwriter ("Twist And Shout" for the Beatles, "Hang On Sloopy" for the McCoys, "Piece Of My Heart" for Big Brother & the Holding Company), producer (Drifters ("Under The Boardwalk"), owner of Bang Records (which included Neil Diamond early in his career) and Shout Records, who helped convince Van Morrison to go solo, died of a heart attack in New York City at age 38.
1968:  Vanilla Fudge and the new group Led Zeppelin combined for a New Year's Eve show in Portland, Oregon.

1969:  The BBC in the U.K. named John Lennon the Man of the Decade.

1971:  David Clayton-Thomas, lead singer of Blood, Sweat & Tears, performed with the group for the last time until their brief reunion four years later.  (Note:  some websites claim that this concert was on December 27--according to the newspaper 'Independent Press-Telegram', the show was on New Year's Eve, December 31.)
1972:  The first Rockin' New Year's Eve was televised on ABC with Dick Clark.  The guests were Three Dog Night, Al Green and Blood, Sweat & Tears.
1973:  Having only recorded three songs for an album using only household objects, the creativity ended and Pink Floyd decided to record Wish You Were Here with traditional instruments.

1975:  Elvis Presley set a world record by earning $800,000 for his concert at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan, that drew over 60,000 fans.
1976:  The Cars performed for the first time at Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
1977:  Earth, Wind & Fire controlled the R&B chart for a seventh week with "Serpentine Fire".
1977:  The Bee Gees held on to #1 on the Adult chart with "How Deep Is Your Love" for the sixth straight week.
1978:  In Europe, they hold on to tradition and preserve their heritage.  In the U.S., the tradition is gone forever.  On this date the famous Winterland Theater in San Francisco closed following a farewell show by the Grateful Dead and the Blues Brothers.
1979:  Jefferson Starship did a show at the X nightclub in San Francisco, California that was broadcast worldwide on radio.
1982:  Steve Van Zandt of the E Street Band married Maureen Santora in New York City.  Bruce Springsteen was the best man.  But wait, there's more...Little Richard, who presided over the ceremony, sang a duet with Percy Slege on "When A Man Loves a Woman" at the reception. 
1982:  Max's Kansas City club in New York City, whose performers included Bruce Springsteen and Devo, shut its doors.

1984:  Rick Allen, drummer of Def Leppard, lost his left arm in a tragic car accident near Sheffield, England.  His seat belt became undone, and his arm was severed as he was sent through the sunroof.  Doctors were able to reattach the arm at first, but it had to be amputated.  Rick bravely soldiered on, and through a specially constructed drum set, was able to play drums within three months of the accident.  Allen continues as drummer of the group to this day. 

1985:  Rick Nelson and six others died in an airplane crash near DeKalb, Texas on their way to a New Year's Eve concert in Dallas.
1991:  Guns N' Roses performed at a New Year's Eve show at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Florida.
1993:  Barbra Streisand performed her first paid concert in 22 years at the MGM in Las Vegas, Nevada.
1994:  TLC owned the #1 R&B song for a fourth week with "Creep".

1994:  Boyz II Men returned to #1 for a third week with "On Bended Knee".  With their smash "I'll Make Love To You" earlier in the year, that gave the group 17 weeks at #1 for the year.

1996:  Paul McCartney was named on the New Year's Eve Honours List of Queen Elizabeth II to be knighted.   McCartney became Sir Paul on March 11 of 1997.  (Note:  many websites make the mistake of reporting that McCartney was knighted on this date--as mentioned above, it was announced on this date that McCartney would be knighted; the ceremony took place March 11.)
1997:  Floyd Cramer ("Last Date") died of lung cancer in Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 64.
2002:  In today's episode of Dangerous Inmates Run Rap Music, 50 Cent was arrested and charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
2002:  Kevin MacMichael, guitarist with Cutting Crew "(I Just) Died In Your Arms"), died at age 51 of lung cancer in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
2003:  The Strokes and Kings of Leon played a New Year's Eve show at Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, Nevada.
2003:  Elton John, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi and Kiss performed on Dick Clark's 32nd annual New Year's Rockin' Eve.  Newlyweds Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey helped Clark count down to the New Year in New York City's Time Square.
2003:  Natalie Imbruglia ("Torn") married Daniel Johns of Silverchair at Thala Beach Lodge in Queensland, Australia.
2003:  Ray Davies of the Kinks and Eric Clapton were made Commanders of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II of England.
2003:  OutKast had the #1 album with Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.

2007:  Roger Daltrey, lead singer of the Who, received the honor of Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to music and charity work.
2009:  Famed composer Burt Bacharach underwent back surgery in Los Angeles.

Born This Day:
1920:  Rex Allen ("Don't Go Near The Indians" from 1962) was born in Wilcox, Arizona; died December 17, 1999 in Tucson, Arizona, when he suffered a massive coronary and collapsed in his driveway.  Allen sustained additional injuries when his caretaker accidentally ran over him.

1942:  Andy Summers, guitarist of the Police and solo artist, was born in Poulton-Le-Fylde, Lancashire, England.

1943:  John Denver (real name Henry John Deutschendorf) was born in Roswell, New Mexico; died October 12, 1997 when his light plane he was flying crashed into the Pacific Ocean near Monterey, California.
1943:  Pete Quaife, founding member and bassist of the Kinks, was born in Tavistock, Devon, England; died June 10, 2010 from kidney failure in Copenhagen, Denmark.

1947:  Burton Cummings, lead singer, keyboardist and songwriter of the Guess Who and a solo artist ("Stand Tall" from 1976) was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

1948:  Donna Summer (real name LaDonna Adriene Gaines) was born in Boston, Massachusetts; died of lung cancer May 17, 2012 in Naples, Florida.
1951:  Tom Hamilton, bassist of Aerosmith, was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
1951:  Fermin Goytisolo, percussionist with K.C. and the Sunshine Band, was born in Havana, Cuba.
1959:  Paul Westerberg, songwriter, lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the Replacements, was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
1963:  Scott Ian Rosenfeld, rhythm guitarist and the only remaining founding member of Anthrax, was born in Queens, New York.
1972:  Joe McIntyre of New Kids on the Block was born in Needham, Massachusetts.

Up Next in The Top Female Artists

A much-loved artist with a great voice who could really "turn up the heat" on the ballads.  We will salute and listen to her story and music tomorrow on Inside The Rock Era!

The Top 100 Female Artists of the Rock Era*: #61-70

There has been a definite rise in talent over the last ten artists featured, and there's another big uptick coming.  Here is a recap of the ten great female artists featured recently (Click on each link below to be taken to their featured page in the special):

#70:  Sarah McLachlan

#69:  Ciara

#68:  Avril Lavigne

#67:  Monica

#66:  Tracy Chapman

#65:  Ashanti

#64:  Dusty Springfield

#63:  Shakira

#62:  Bette Midler

#61:  Adele

Adele, The #61 Female Artist of the Rock Era

To give you some idea of the quality of The Top 100*, we have a woman who just won tons of hardware at the Grammys not long ago, the #1 song of last year, and the best she can hope for is #61.

Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was born in London.  Her father walked out when she was two, leaving her 20-year-old mother to raise her by herself.  Adele began singing at age four, citing the Spice Girls as a major influence.  When she was nine, Adele and her mother moved to Brighton.  

They moved back to London two years later, and Adele graduated from the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology in Croydon in 2006.    She was offered a recording contract from XL Recordings after a friend posted her demo on Myspace in 2006.  Adele hired Jonathan Dickins as her manager and she recorded her first song, "Hometown Glory", when she was 16.

Adele's debut album, 19, was released in 2008 and debuted at #1 in the U.K.  Adele was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Hometown Glory", even though it had received little airplay.  Adele's follow-up was "Chasing Pavements", a #1 song in Norway, a #2 in the U.K. for four weeks, #7 in Ireland and #9 in the Netherlands. 

Adele won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist, and she also won the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for "Chasing Pavements".    It was also nominated in the prestigious categories of Record of the Year and Song of the Year.  

Adele performed at the Keep a Child Alive Black Ball in London and New York City.   British Prime Minister Gordon Brown sent a thank-you letter to Adele that stated "with the troubles that the country's in financially, you're a light at the end of the tunnel."  The Bob Dylan song "Make You Feel My Love" reached #3 in the Netherlands, #4 in the U.K. and #5 in Ireland.

Adele set out on a world tour in 2008-09.  Her career got a boost when she performed on Saturday Night Live in 2008.  The program received the best ratings in 14 years when it was watched by over 17 million people.  That helped introduce her to the United States, and as a result, the album jumped 35 places to #11 the next week.  19 went Double Platinum in the United States and sold over 7 million copies worldwide.

On the strength of that album, Adele signed with Columbia Records to release her records in the United States.  Her second album, appropriately titled 21, her age at the time, was released in 2011.  She released "Rolling In The Deep" as the first single, and was set to make history.

"Rolling In The Deep" was #1 for seven weeks in the U.S., was also #1 in Canada, Germany and Switzerland, and it won both Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the Grammys.

21 reached #1 in 26 countries.  Adele cleaned up at the Grammys, equaling Beyonce's record for most Grammy Awards won by a female in one night with six.  She won Album of the Year and also won three American Music Awards--Favorite Pop/Rock Album, Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist and Favorite Adult Contemporary Artist.  The single "Someone Like You" also hit #1 for five weeks in the United States and topped the chart in the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and Ireland. 

The album held on to #1 for more weeks (23) than any album since 1985 and 21 is the longest-running #1 album by a female in history, topping Whitney Houston's record with "The Bodyguard" Soundtrack.  Billboard named Adele the Artist of the Year, 21 the Album of the Year and "Rolling In The Deep" the Song of the Year, making Adele the first female ever to win all three categories.

"Set Fire To The Rain" extended Adele's streak to three straight #1 songs, and she won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance.

Adele became the first female artist to have three singles in the Top 10 at the same time when her three releases from 21 were all ranked there simultaneously.  She also became the first person ever to have a #1 album and three #1 singles on the charts at the same time, and the first British female artist to ever have three career #1 songs.  

Sales of four million copies in the U.K. have made 21 the fifth-biggest selling album of all-time in the U.K.  In Australia, the album has been #1 for 30 weeks, the second longest-running #1 in that country's history.  21 has now been certified Diamond in the United States (over 10 million units) and has sold over 28 million copies worldwide, the top album of the 21st century so far.

Adele sold out her North America tour in 2011, but in October, was forced to cancel two other tours because of a vocal cord hemorrhage.  She underwent laser microsurgery during the first week of November.  A recording of her tour, Live at the Royal Albert Hall, sold 96,000 copies its first week, the highest selling music DVD in four years.  

After her successful surgery, Adele made her live comeback at the 2012 Grammy Awards.  She wrote and recorded "Skyfall", the theme to the James Bond movie.  It reached #1 in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Ireland, #2 in the U.K. and New Zealand and #8 in the United States.  "Skyfall" has sold over two million copies worldwide.  

Adele won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for "Skyfall". 

Adele has strongly opposed the sexualized music industry, making reference to stunts performed by Madonna, Katy Perry, and Madonna.  Finally.  Somebody said it.  Frankly, most are pretty sick of it.

In 2013, Prince Charles presented Adele by making her a Member of the Order of the British Empire.

Longtime music fans such as me or you might see the #61 ranking for Adele and surmise that it is on potential.  Not so, for her potential is limitless.  It so happens that Adele has sold more albums in the U.S. alone (11) than ever female artist ranked behind her except two:  Sarah McLachlan and Melissa Etheridge.  She has won more major music awards (12) than all ranked below her, and more than many ranked ahead of her.  And her time spent at #1 already in her short career (14 weeks) is more weeks than the five female artists ranked directly below her have combined.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

This Date in Rock Music History: December 30

1957:  Sam Cooke's "You Send Me" finished the year as the #1 R&B song, where it had been for six weeks.  
1957:  The top album was Elvis' Christmas Album, which many radio stations banned from airplay because they didn't think a rock and roll artist should play Christmas music.

1961:  The Marvelettes registered a seventh week at #1 on the R&B chart with "Please Mr. Postman".
1961:  "Big Bad John" by Jimmy Dean continued to dominate the Easy Listening chart for a 10th consecutive week.

1962:  The Chiffons released the single "He's So Fine".  (Note:  some websites report the date of release as February 18, 1963.  According to the book 'The Beatles Encyclopedia:  Everything Fab Four' by Kenneth Womack, the song was released in December, 1962.
1962:  Bob Dylan filmed "Blowin' In The Wind" and "Ballad Of The Gilding Swan" for the BBC television play Madhouse on Castle Street.
1962:  Brenda Lee's home in Brentwood, Tennessee was completely destroyed by fire.
1965:  The Who, the Hollies, the Kinks, Gerry & the Pacemakers, Manfred Mann, and Georgie Fame performed on the popular television show Shindig!

                "A Day in the Life" from 'Sgt. Pepper's'...

1967:  The Monkees album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd. had been #1 but it was the Beatles' new album Magical Mystery Tour that was making all the noise, rising from #157 to #4 (no typo).  In between, Diana Ross and the Supremes Greatest Hits was still #2 while Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles remained third.  The Rolling Stones bounced from 29 to 5 in their second week with Their Satanic Majesties Request.  The rest of the Top 10:  Two more soundtracks, "Doctor Zhivago" at #6 and "The Sound of Music" at #7 after 146 weeks, Farewell to the First Golden Era by the Mamas & Papas, the Doors slipped to #9 with Strange Days and Dionne Warwick's Golden Hits, Part One was in the #10 position.

1967:  Eric Burdon & the Animals had one of the hottest songs as "Monterey" moved from 64 to 32.

Love Is Blue by Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra on Grooveshark
1967:  The #1 Instrumental of the Rock Era*--"Love Is Blue" was released as a single by Paul Mauriat.

1967:  The Beatles had their 51st hit, 25th Top 10 song in four years and 15th #1 with "Hello Goodbye".  Gladys Knight & the Pips couldn't advance with "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" while the Monkees were finally topped with "Daydream Believer".  Smokey Robinson & the Miracles remained fourth with "I Second That Emotion" and Gary Puckett from Twin Falls, Idaho & The Union Gap were at #5 with "Woman, Woman".  The rest of the Top 10:  John Fred & His Playboy Band moved from 11-6 with "Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)", Aretha Franklin raced up to #7 with "Chain Of Fools", newcomers the American Breed entered the Top 10 with "Bend Me, Shape Me", the Fantastic Johnny dropped with "Boogaloo Down Broadway" and Joe Tex moved from 15 to 10 with "Skinny Legs And All".
1968:  Led Zeppelin performed at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, opening for Vanilla Fudge.

1968:  The Turtles released the single "You Showed Me".
1968:  During the filming of the Monkees television special 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee, Peter Tork made it clear that he was leaving the group.  Tork officially left the group after the project was complete, buying out his contract which left him broke.  (Note:  some websites say this date was "early 1969" or even December 30, 1969.  According to the newspapers 'The Tucson Citizen' and 'The Mirror", Tork left in December, 1968.  The Monkees performed as a trio on tour throughout 1969.)

1969:  Santana released the single "Evil Ways".
1970:  A very sad day in the Rock Era.  The members of this group began as great friends and fun-loving people, but on this day, Paul McCartney sued the other three Beatles to dissolve the partnership and gain control of his interest in the group.
1972:  Bruce Springsteen opened for Sha Na Na and Brownsville Station at the Ohio Theatre in Columbus, Ohio.

1972:  Bread moved to #1 on the Adult chart with "Sweet Surrender".
1972:  Seventh Sojourn by the Moody Blues was #1 on the Album chart for a fourth week.

1972:  Kenny Loggins & Jim Messina cracked the Top 10 with "Your Mama Don't Dance".
1978:  Al Stewart continued to top the Adult chart for the eighth week with "Time Passages".
1978:  The #1 R&B song had been there five weeks--Chic and "Le Freak".
1979:  Emerson, Lake & Palmer broke up.
1989:  Krist Novoselic of Nirvana married Shelli Dilley.

1989:  "Another Day In Paradise" by Phil Collins was the #1 Adult Contemporary song for a fifth week.
1991:  Bruce Springsteen and wife Patti Scialfa celebrated the birth of daughter Jessica Rae.
1995:  Clarence Satchell of the Ohio Players ("Love Rollercoaster" from 1975) died after suffering a brain aneurysm at age 55.
1995:  "Waiting To Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" by Whitney Houston blew past the competition for a fifth straight week at #1 on the R&B chart.


Forever by Mariah Carey on Grooveshark  
            "Forever" from Carey's album 'Daydream'...

1995:  Daydream moved into the #1 spot on the Album chart for Mariah Carey, bumping Anthology 1 by the Beatles.  Mannheim Steamroller was in the spirit of the season with Christmas in the Aire while the Soundtrack to "Waiting to Exhale" was fourth and Garth Brooks slipped with Fresh Horses.  The rest of the Top 10:  Cracked Rear View moved back up after 75 weeks for Hootie & the Blowfish, Alanis Morissette was at #7 with Jagged Little Pill, Alan Jackson stayed at 8 with The Greatest Hits Collection, the Smashing Pumpkins remained at #9 with Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and TLC was still at #10 after 57 weeks with CrazySexyCool.

1998:  Johnny Moore, tenor with the Drifters, died of respiratory failure in Los Angeles at the age of 64.
1999:  George Harrison and his wife were attacked in their home during a robbery.  Although Harrison was stabbed four times in the chest, he and his wife were able to subdue the assailant until the police arrived.

Nickelback - How You Remind Me by Nickelback on Grooveshark
2001:  Nickelback reached #1 with "How You Remind Me".
2003:  In today's episode of Inmates Run Rap Music, police in Georgia served a warrant for the arrest of Juvenile, who reneged on child support payments for his six-month-old daughter.  What a loser.

Born This Day:

1928:  Bo Diddley (real name Elias Bates McDaniel), R&B vocalist, guitarist and songwriter, was born in McComb, Mississippi; died June 2, 2008 of heart failure in Archer, Florida.

1931:  Skeeter Davis ("The End Of The World") was born in Dry Ridge, Kentucky; died of breast cancer on September 19, 2004 in Nashville, Tennessee.
1934:  Del Shannon (real name Charles Westover) was born in Coopersville, Michigan; shot himself while taking the anti-depression drug Prozac in Santa Clarita, California on February 8, 1990.  (Note:  several websites claim Shannon was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but according to the prominent newspapers 'The New York Times' and 'The Chicago Tribune', as well as the Rock Hall of Fame, Shannon was born in Coopersville.)

1937  Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul & Mary and also a solo artist ("The Wedding Song"), was born in Baltimore, Maryland.
1937:  John Hartford, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter ("Gentle On My Mind" for Glen Campbell), was born in New York City; died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma after struggling with the disease for years on June 4, 2001 in Nashville, Tennessee. 
1939:  Kim Weston, singer who teamed with Marvin Gaye for songs like "It Takes Two", was born in Detroit, Michigan.
1939:  Felix Pappalardi, songwriter, vocalist and bassist of Mountain, and a producer for Cream, was born in The Bronx, New York; was shot and killed by his wife (who was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide) on  April 17, 1983.
1940:  Kenny Pentifallo, drummer of Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes

1942:  Michael Nesmith, guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist with the Monkees and also a songwriter and producer, was born in Houston, Texas.  His 1977 video show Popclips was purchased by Warner Brothers and developed into what we used to know as MTV.
1942:  Robert Quine, elite guitarist for Lou Reed, Marianne Faithfull and Tom Waits among others, was born in Akron, Ohio; died when he committed suicide in New York City on May 31, 2004.

1945:  Davy Jones, lead singer of the Monkees, was born in Openshaw, Manchester, England.

1946:  Patti Smith ("Because The Night" from 1978) was born in Chicago, Illinois.

1947:  Jeff Lynne, lead singer, guitarist, songwriter, arranger and producer of the Move, Electric Light Orchestra and later the Traveling Wilburys, was born in Shard End, Birmingham, England.
1951:  Chris Jasper, keyboardist with the Isley Brothers, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1959:  Tracey Ullman, comedian and singer ("They Don't Know" from 1984), was born in Slough, Buckinghamshire (now in Berkshire), England.
1978:  Tyrese was born in Los Angeles.