Saturday, November 30, 2013

This Date in Rock Music History: December 1

1956:  The rock & roll movie Shake, Rattle and Rock opened in theaters.  (Note:  there are several websites which call the movie 'Shake, Rattle and Roll' (presumably after the Bill Haley song of the same name).  There was no such movie in the 50's; there was a film series of the 90's called 'Shake, Rattle and Roll'.  The movie that opened on this date was a comedy called Shake, Rattle and Rock, according to 'Turner Classic Movies' and other authoritative sites.)
1956:  "Blueberry Hill" by Fats Domino was the #1 R&B song for the seventh week.
1957:  Buddy Holly & the Crickets, Sam Cooke and the Rays made their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show.  Holly & the Crickets performed "That'll Be the Day" and "Peggy Sue" while Sam Cooke sang "You Send Me".
1958:  "Topsy II" by Cozy Cole spent a sixth week at #1 on the R&B chart.

1958:  The Teddy Bears had the #1 song with "To Know Him Is To Love Him".
1960:  Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee married.
1961:  Brian Epstein met with Decca Records to discuss a deal for a hot new band he was interested in called the Beatles.  This led to Decca A&R man Mike Smith going to the Cavern in Liverpool to hear the group, and an audition by a nervous young group of musicians with Decca on January 1, 1962.  In one of the classic music blunders of all-time, Decca turned the group down after their audition in favor of Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, telling Epstein, "The Beatles have no future in show business."  (Note:  several websites report that Epstein was the Beatles' manager when he met with Decca for the first time.  This is not true--after being impressed by the group at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, Epstein worked feverishly behind the scenes to follow his instincts that the group could be a landmark act before beginning serious negotiations with the group.  The Beatles did not form a loose managerial agreement with Epstein to hire him as their manager until after a meeting on December 10, and signed a management contract to this effect on January 24, 1962, according to the book 'Read the Beatles:  Classic and New Writings on the Beatles' by June Skinner Sawyers and numerous credible sources.)
1961:  While Epstein was working on his vision, the Beatles did their usual lunchtime show at the Cavern Club in Liverpool and headlined a six-act Big Beat Session at the Tower Ballroom, New Brighton in Wallasey, England.  The Ballroom was named after a tower that had since been torn down, but, at 567 feet, was Britain's tallest building when it was built in 1900.  This was the third time the Beatles had performed in the Ballroom.
1962:  Brenda Lee registered a fourth week at #1 on the Easy Listening chart with "All Alone Am I".
    I write "I'm Sorry" but my letter keeps coming back...

1962:  The 4 Seasons held on to #1 for a third week with "Big Girls Don't Cry".  Elvis Presley had one of the top #2 songs of the Rock Era with "Return To Sender".  Marcie Blane was up to 3 with "Bobby's Girl" while Chubby Checker edged up with "Limbo Rock".  The rest of the Top 10:  "All Alone Am I" from Brenda Lee, "Don't Hang Up" from Orlons at #6, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass moved from 11-7 with their great instrumental "The Lonely Bull", "Ride!" from Dee Dee Sharp, the Crystals slipped with their big hit "He's A Rebel" and Neil Sedaka was down to 10 with "Next Door To An Angel".

1965:  The Zombies released the single "Tell Her No".
1964:  The Who played the first of 22 straight nights at the Marquee Club in London.
1965:  The Rolling Stones were at the PNE Agrodome in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on their second American tour.
1966:  Jimi Hendrix signed a management deal with Yameta, a company owned by managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp of the Who.

1966:  Tom Jones found himself at #1 in the U.K. with his version of "Green, Green Grass of Home".
1967:  Ringo Starr flew to Rome, Italy to begin filming the movie Candy.
1967:  Jimmie Rodgers ("Honeycomb" in 1957) was found with a fractured skull on the San Diego Freeway in California after he was stopped by an off-duty policeman.  The policeman's account was the he stopped Rodgers after his driving was erratic, and then Rodgers fell and hit his head when he got out of the car.  Rodgers survived, but had no memory of how he suffered the injuries.
1968:  Janis Joplin performed with Big Brother & the Holding Company for the final time at a Dog Family benefit show in San Francisco, California.

1972:  The Eagles released the single "Peaceful Easy Feeling".
1973:  Helen Reddy took over at #1 on the Adult chart with "Leave Me Alone (Ruby Red Dress)".

1973:  The Carpenters had their 10th Top 10 song out of 12 releases and this one--"Top Of The World" became their second #1.  Ringo Starr slipped with "Photograph", Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" moved from 9-3 and Billy Preston was at 4 with "Space Race".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Keep On Truckin'" from Eddie Kendricks, Chicago's great song "Just You 'N' Me" was #6, switching spots with "Midnight Train To Georgia" from Gladys Knight & the Pips, Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes were up with "The Love I Lost", the DeFranco Family came in ninth with "Heartbeat - It's A Lovebeat" and Charlie Rich had #10--"The Most Beautiful Girl".

  The incredible "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding"...

1973:  Elton John continued to pace the album chart for the fourth week with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

1978:  The Doobie Brothers released the album Minute by Minute.
1979:  For the third straight week, J.D. Souther was on top the Adult Contemporary chart with "You're Only Lonely".

1979:  "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles moved from 65 to 44 on this date.
1979:  "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" by Rupert Holmes entered the Top 10.

       The Eagles tell it like it is, sad but true...

1979:  The Eagles were flying high, perched on top of the Album chart for the fifth week with their great album The Long RunOn the Radio-Greatest Hits-Volumes I & II by Donna Summer moved to #2 while former #1 In Through the Out Door by Led Zeppelin was still at #3.  Tusk from Fleetwood Mac remained fourth with Stevie Wonder taking position #5--Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants.  The rest of the Top 10:  Rise from Herb Alpert, Styx's Cornerstone after peaking at #2, Wet from Barbra Streisand, Barry Manilow remained at #9 with One Voice and the double-album Bee Gees Greatest was #10.

1980:  Dan Fogelberg released the single "Same Old Lang Syne".

1980:  U2 opened for the Talking Heads at the Hammersmith Palais in London.
1982:  A very famous day in the Rock Era as Michael Jackson released the album Thriller.

1984:  Ashford & Simpson moved into the #1 slot on the R&B chart with "Solid".
1984:  Lionel Richie's "Penny Lover" was the new #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

1984:  The "Purple Rain" Soundtrack by Prince tied More of the Monkees for the fourth-most weeks at #1 on the Album chart to that time with 18.  Born in the U.S.A. from Bruce Springsteen continued to challenge with Private Dancer from Tina Turner third and Volume One by the Honeydrippers peaking at #4.  The rest of the Top 10:  Big Bam Boom from Hall & Oates, "The Woman in Red" Soundtrack at #6, Can't Slow Down by Lionel Richie not doing so, in fact up 1 after 56 weeks, Sports from Huey Lewis & the News still hot after 61 weeks, Suddenly from Billy Ocean at #9 and Chicago moved into the Top 10 with Chicago 17.

1986:  Lee Dorsey ("Ya Ya") died of emphysema in New Orleans, Louisiana at the age of 61.
1988:  Steve Winwood and his wife celebrated the birth of daughter Elizabeth Dawn.
1989:  Sly Stone (of Sly & the Family Stone) was sentenced to 55 days in county jail for driving under the influence of cocaine.

                  "Something to Save", one of the great tracks on 'Listen without Prejudice'...

1990:  To the Extreme by Vanilla Ice was #1 for the fourth week with the previous #1 Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em from MC Hammer still second.  Mariah Carey's debut was third followed by The Rhythm of the Saints from Paul Simon and Whitney Houston was up from 22-5 with I'm Your Baby Tonight.  The rest of the Top 10:  Recycler from ZZ Top, The Razors Edge by AC/DC dropping to #7, Wilson Phillips still hanging around after 34 weeks, Bette Midler at #9 with Some People's Lives and the classic George Michael album Listen Without Prejudice at #10.
1990:  Whitney Houston owned the top R&B song--"I'm Your Baby Tonight".

1990:  Whitney Houston was on fire with her eighth #1 and 11th Top 10 song out of just 15 releases.  "I'm Your Baby Tonight" took over from Mariah Carey's "Love Takes Time".  Stevie B was coming up fast with "Because I Love You (The Postman Song)".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Groove Is In The Heart" by Deee-Lite, Bette Midler had #5--"From A Distance", Poison was stuck on 6 with "Something To Believe In", Alias dropped after peaking at 2 with "More Than Words Can Say", UB40 moved into the Top 10 with their remake of "The Way You Do The Things You Do", Wilson Phillips had yet another smash from their debut album, moving from 15-8 with "Impulsive" and Tony!  Toni!  Tone!  fell with "Feels Good".
1990:  Bette Midler remained at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for the fifth consecutive week with "From A Distance".
1994:  In today's episode of Dangerous Inmates Run Rap Music, we go to a courtroom where Tupac Shakur was convicted of sexually abusing a woman in a hotel room.  He was later sentenced to 1 1/2 to 4 1/2 years in prison.  Woo Hoo!
1995:  An auction of Frank Sinatra's possessions netted over $2 million.
1996:  Irving Gordon, songwriter who wrote "Unforgettable" for Nat King Cole, died of cancer in Los Angeles at the age of 81.

1997:  Kenny G set a new world record when he held a note on his saxophone for 45 minutes and 47 seconds and J&R Music World in New York City.
1999:  Krist Novoselic of Nivana and Kim Thayil, elite guitarist of Soundgarden had a concert in Seattle, Washington to protest the World Trade Organization summit there.
1999:  A bonus segment of Dangerous Inmates Run Rap Music:  Jay-Z stabbed a man at a party at the Kit Kat Klub in Manhattan, New York. Remind me not to invite him or anyone associated with him to any of my parties.  Jay-Z was sentenced to three years.
2003:  Not one, two, but three episodes of Dangerous Inmates Run Rap Music on this date (which pretty much proves the point).  Police in Fontana, California issued a warrant for rapper and producer DJ Quik, who was wanted in connection with an assault on his sister.
2004:  Marianne Faithfull collapsed from chronic exhaustion and suffered a seizure in Milan, Italy, forcing cancellation of the remaining dates of her European tour.
2004:  U2 debuted at #1 on the Album chart with How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.

Born This Day:
1930:  Matt Monro ("Walk Away" from 1964) was born in Shoreditch, London; died February 7, 1985 of liver cancer in London.
1933:  Lou Rawls was born in Chicago, Illinois; died January 6, 2006 in Los Angeles, California of lung and brain cancer.  (Note:  several websites claim Rawls was born in 1935.  When in doubt, check the tombstone, which clearly shows that Lou was born in 1933.)
1934:  Billy Paul ("Me and Mrs. Jones") was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1938:  Sandy Nelson, who gave us the great instrumental "Let There Be Drums", was born in Santa Monica, California.
1944:  Eric Bloom, lead singer of Blue Oyster Cult, was born in Brooklyn, New York.  (Note:  some websites claim that Bloom was born in New York City.  According to Dean Guitars, which Bloom endorses, and census records, Eric was born in Brooklyn.)
1944:  John Densmore, drummer of the Doors, was born in Los Angeles.

1945:  Bette Midler was born in Honolulu, Hawai'i.

1946:  Gilbert O'Sullivan was born in Waterford, Ireland.
1963:  Sam Reid, keyboardist and founding member of Glass Tiger ("Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone"), was born in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.
1971:  Greg Upchurch, drummer for Puddle of Mudd who joined 3 Doors Down in 2005, was born in Bayou Cane, Louisiana.

1977:  Brad Delson, lead guitarist of Linkin Park, was born in Agoura Hills, California.

The Top 100 Female Artists of the Rock Era: #100 to #91

In this first phase of the special, you'll notice the artists have 2, 3, 4 and 5 big hits.  And remember, weight is given to how the songs stand up to the test of time.  To even make the Top 100*, you need that many good hits.  The farther we go, the more it will be necessary to have 4, 5 and 6 big hits.  And inside the Top 25 or so, the great Female Artists of the Rock Era* have 15 and 20 great songs.

With today's featured artist at #91, Deniece Williams, we've presented the first 10.  Here they are:

#100:  Belinda Carlisle

#99:  Shangri-Las

#98:  Bonnie Tyler

#97:  Taylor Dayne

#96:  Michelle Branch

#95:  Shirelles

#94:  Jackie DeShannon

#93:  Mary Wells

#92:  Melissa Manchester

#91:  Deniece Williams

Deniece Williams, The #91 Female Artist of the Rock Era*

While attending Morgan State University in the hopes of becoming a registered nurse and anesthetist, Williams performed at a Baltimore club, Casino Royal. She gave up her academic aspirations and pursued a musical career. In the 1970's, Williams became a backup singer for Stevie Wonder. In 1975, Deniece signed a recording contract with Columbia Records, teaming up with producers Maurice White (of Earth, Wind & Fire) and Charles Stepney.

Williams' debut album This Is Niecy in 1976 contained the single "Free", which was #25 overall and #2 on the Black Singles chart in the United States and #1 in the U.K.

Williams paired with Johnny Mathis for the duet "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late", which was an across-the-board smash, hitting #1 on the Adult Contemporary, Hot 100 and Black Singles charts.

"Silly" reached the Top 10 on the R&B Chart in 1981.

Producer Thom Bell helped Williams reach #1 on the R&B chart and #10 overall with "It's Gonna' Take A Miracle".

In 1984, Williams released the album Let's Hear It for the Boy, with the title song becoming a #1 smash that was featured in the movie Footloose.  Her four-octave voice is on full display.

"Let's Hear It For The Boy" turned out to be the final big hit in Williams' career. She joined with friends Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire, Billy Davis and Marilyn McCoo to present a gospel show at the popular Los Angeles club The Roxy. After that, both Bailey and Williams decided to pursue careers in Christian music.

Williams recorded the song "They Say" with Christian artist Sandi Patti and won a Grammy for it. Williams also won a Grammy that same year for Best Female Soul Gospel Performance with her song "I Surrender All", then repeated the award the following year with the song "I Believe In You".

From 1996-2004, Williams had her own BBC radio show in the U.K., featuring new gospel and inspirational music. In 1999, her album This Is My Song won her another Grammy for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album.

Williams scored four hits in her career, but two of them, "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late" and "Let's Hear It For The Boy", went #1.  

Friday, November 29, 2013

This Date in Rock Music History: November 30

1954:  Nat King Cole played the first of six nights at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York.

1960:  The Shirelles re-released the single "Dedicated To The One I Love".  (Note:  some websites claim the single was released in December of 1961.  It was first released in April of 1959, then re-released after "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" became a hit.  The second time, it debuted on the chart on December 26, 1960, so it is physically impossible for the song to chart in 1960 and then not be released until 1961.) 

1960:  The Beatles performed for the final time at the Kaiserkeller in Hamburg, Germany, wrapping up a 56-night run.
1963:  "She Loves You" returned to #1 on the U.K. chart. 
1963:  With the Beatles, was #1 on the Album chart in the U.K. on this date.  (Note:  several websites erroneously say that the album was the first million-seller in the U.K.  Not true.  The Soundtrack to "South Pacific" achieved that feat this month, while 'With the Beatles" did not reach one million until 1965.)

Downtown by Petula Clark on Grooveshark
1965:  Petula Clark released the single "Downtown".

1965:  Lou Christie released the single "Lightnin' Strikes".
1968:  Cheap Thrills by Big Brother & the Holding Company took over as the #1 album.
1968:  Mary Hopkin ruled the Easy Listening chart for a fifth week with "Those Were The Days".
1969:  Simon & Garfunkel's television special Songs of America was broadcast.
1969:  Here's a show for you:  King Crimson, Iron Butterfly, Ten Years After, the Band, Janis Joplin, Steppenwolf, the Moody Blues and the Rolling Stones in concert at the International Raceway Festival in West Palm Beach, Florida.
1969:  The Monkees appeared in what would be their final live performance in 15 years at the Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.
I Hear You Knocking by Dave Edmunds on Grooveshark
1970:  Dave Edmunds released the single "I Hear You Knocking".

Let's Stay Together by Al Green on Grooveshark
1971:  Al Green released the single "Let's Stay Together".  (Note:  one website reports the release as 1972--the song debuted on both the R&B and Popular charts on December 4, making it physically impossible for the song to be released after it charted.)
1974:  Neil Sedaka's big comeback hit "Laughter In Rhe Rain" remained on top of the Adult chart for a second week.

When Will I See You Again by The Three Degrees on Grooveshark
      The Three Degrees with their Supremesesque smash...

1974:  Billy Swan enjoyed a second week at #1 with "I Can Help" but newcomer Carl Douglas moved to challenge with "Kung Fu Fighting".  The Three Degrees were up from 8 to 3 with "When Will I See You Again".  B.T. Express backtracked with "Do It ('Til You're Satisfied)" and Neil Diamond ("Longfellow Serenade") and Carl Carlton ("Everlasting Love") held on to their positions.  The rest of the Top 10:  "My Melody Of Love" by Bobby Vinton, Bachman-Turner Overdrive  scored their first Top 10 hit, and it appeared to be a big one, as "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" rocketed up from 34 to 8, Harry Chapin edged up with "Cat's In The Cradle" and Helen Reddy achieved her 10th career hit and fifth Top 10 with "Angie Baby".

                   The title track from Not Fragile...

1974:  Elton John's Greatest Hits moved from #47 to #1 on the Album chart.  That bumped the Rolling Stones album It's Only Rock 'N Roll from the top after just one week.  BTO's breakthrough Not Fragile was third with Walls and Bridges from John Lennon moving to 4.

1977:  The Atlanta Rhythm Section released the single "So In To You".


1980:  Pink Floyd released the double album The Wall.
1982:  Bassist Ron McGovney played for the final time with Metallica at the Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco, California.
1985:  Wham!  had the #1 song in the U.K. with "I'm Your Man".
1985:  "Separate Lives" stood alone on the Adult Contemporary chart for a third week for Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin.

                         New group Mr. Mister...

1985:  Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin had the #1 song with "Separate Lives".  Starship flew down after two weeks with "We Built This City" while Mr. Mister was up to #3 with "Broken Wings".  Glenn Frey's "You Belong To The City" dropped after peaking at #2, Heart remained the same with "Never" and the Thompson Twins peaked at #6 with "Lay Your Hands On Me".  The rest of the Top 10:  Aretha Franklin with "Who's Zoomin' Who", Arcadia sung about "Election Day", Eddie Murphy had a hit with "Party All The Time" and ZZ Top hopped out of their "Sleeping Bag" to move from 14-10. 
1991:  Rob Pilatus of Milli Vanilli attempted suicide at the Mondrain Hotel in Los Angeles.
1991:  Dangerous by Michael Jackson topped the U.K. Album chart.
        Remembering this great one from Paula...

1991:  PM Dawn collected their second #1 song with "Set Adrift On Memory Bliss", moving Michael Bolton out of the top spot with "When A Man Loves A Woman".  Michael Jackson ripped up the chart from 35 to 3 with "Black Or White", Boyz II Men were a fixture with "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday", Prince's "Cream" dropped to #5 and Paula Abdul had the #6 song--"Blowing Kisses In The Wind".  The rest of the Top 10:  Color Me Badd moved from 21-7 with "All 4 Love", Naughty By Nature had "O.P.P.", Natural Selection entered the list with "Do Anything" and Bryan Adams dropped with his big hit "Can't Stop This Thing We Started".
1991:  Amy Grant had the new #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart--her great song "That's What Love Is For".

1991:  Garth Brooks' monumental album Ropin' the Wind was #1 for the eighth week.  MC Hammer had #2--Too Legit to Quit.  Other albums of note--Genesis debuted at #4 with We Can't Dance, Nevermind from Nirvana slipped to #5 after just eight weeks, the self-titled Metallica was #7, Time, Love & Tenderness from Michael Bolton entered the Top 10 and Garth Brooks fever was running high as his previous album No Fences entered the Top 10 after 63 weeks of release.
1994:  Tupac Shakur was shot five times during a robbery outside a recording studio in New York City, the day before the verdict in his sexual abuse trial.

        "Don't Speak"--the great track on Tragic Kingdom...

1996:  The good albums on the chart were Tragic Kingdom from No Doubt, which was #3 after 46 weeks, Celine Dion had #4--Falling Into You, Toni Braxton's Secrets entered the Top 10 with Secrets and the Best of Volume 1 from Van Halen was #10.
1996:  Barbra Streisand and Bryan Adams hooked up for a fast-rising song--"I Finally Found Someone", up from 28 to 11.
1996:  Blackstreet remained at #1 for a fifth week with "No Diggity", holding off Toni Braxton's "Un-Break My Heart" for now.
1999:  Don "Sugarcane" Harris, guitarist who worked with Little Richard, John Mayall and Frank Zappa, was found dead in his apartment from drugs in Los Angeles at the age of 61.  (Note:  some websites show his death as November 27, but 'The Guardian" newspaper, as well as the book 'Rock Obituaries:  Knocking on Heaven's Door' by Nick Talevski, show that Don's death was November 30.) 
2003:  Joey Ramone Place (the corner of Bowery and 2nd Street) was named in New York City for the musician from the Ramones.
2005:  System of a Down held the #1 spot on the Album chart with Hypnotize.

2006:  Cheffins auctioneers in Cambridge, England sold the final belongings of Syd Barrett, once with Pink Floyd.  The two-day sale raised a grand total of $233,786.
2008:  Take That achieved a #1 song in the U.K. with "Greatest Day".

Born This Day:
1914:  Allan Sherman ("Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" from 1963) was born in Chicago, Illinois; died of emphysema at his home in West Hollywood, California on November 20, 1973.  (Note:  several websites show his death as November 21, but the Hillside Memorial Park, where Sherman is buried, shows his death as November 20.)

1929:  Dick Clark, longtime host of American Bandstand, was born in Mount Vernon, New York; died of a heart attack in Santa Monica, California on April 18, 2012.
1937:  Luther Ingram ("[If Loving You is Wrong] I Don't Want to Be Right") was born in Jackson, Tennessee; died of heart failure in Belleville, Illinois on March 19, 2007.  (Note:  some websites place his birth year as 1937, but 'USA Today' reports that it was 1944.)
1937:  Frank Ifield ("I Remember You" from 1962) was born in Coundon, Coventry, England.
1943:  Leo Lyons, bassist of Ten Years After ("I'd Love To Change The World"), was born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England.

1944:  Rob Grill, singer, songwriter and bassist of the Grass Roots, was born in Los Angeles; died July 11, 2011 in a hospital in Orlando, Florida after sustaining a head injury several weeks before from falling after suffering a stroke in Lake County, Florida.  

1945:  Roger Glover, songwriter, producer, bassist and keyboardist of Deep Purple, was born in Brecon, Wales.

1954:  June Pointer of the Pointer Sisters, was born in Oakland, California; died April 11, 2006 in Los Angeles after suffering a stroke in February and being diagnosed with cancer shortly before her death.
1953:  David Sancious, keyboard player and guitarist and an early member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, was born in Long Branch, New Jersey.  (Note:  some websites mistakenly say his birthplace was Asbury Park, New Jersey; David's official website shows that he was born in Long Branch.)
1954:  George McArdle, bass guitarist of the Little River Band, was born in Melbourne, Australia. 

1955:  Billy Idol was born in Stanmore, Middlesex, England.
1957:  John Ashton, founding member and guitarist of the Psychedelic Furs, was born in Forest Gate, London.
1958:  Stacey Q ("Two Of Hearts" from 1985) was born in Fullerton, California. 
1965:  Paul Wheeler, guitarist of Icehouse

1968:  Des'ree ("You Gotta' Be") was born in London.

1973:  John Moyer, bassist of Disturbed, was born in El Paso, Texas.
1978:  Clay Aiken was born in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Melissa Manchester, The #92 Female Artist of the Rock Era*

Musical talent runs in the Manchester family--her father played bassoon for the New York Metropolitan Opera.  Melissa began singing at an early age, learning the piano and harpsichord at the Manhattan School of Music, singing commercial jingles at age 15 and becoming a staff writer for Chappell Music while attending the Manhattan High School of Performing Arts.

Manchester studied songwriting at New York University with Paul Simon.  It was her performance on the Manhattan club scene that attracted the attention of Barry Manilow and Bette Midler, who hired Melissa as one of Midler's backup singers in 1971.  Manchester co-wrote many of the songs on her debut album, Home to Myself (released in 1973), with Carole Bayer Sager.
Two years later, Manchester scored her first Top 10 song with "Midnight Blue", a #1 song on the Adult chart.

Melissa's follow-up, "Just Too Many People", became a #2 Easy Listening smash, #30 overall.

The following year, Manchester released the album Better Days and Happy Endings, which contained the #3 Adult song "Just You And I".

In 1978, Melissa teamed with Kenny Loggins to co-write "Whenever I Call You Friend", a song Loggins sang with Stevie Nicks.  Manchester also guest-starred on the CBS soap opera Search for Tomorrow.  The following year, she scored a huge hit with a song that would go on to be nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance.  It peaked at #10.

Manchester's 1979 song "Theme From 'Ice Castles' (Through The Eyes Of Love)" was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song from a Motion Picture.  She also recorded a song that was underrated, only reaching #39:

Manchester released her self-titled album in 1979.  The lead single was another underrated song, reaching only #26 on the Adult Contemporary chart and #39 overall:

"Fire In The Morning", while only reaching #32, performed much better on the Adult Contemporary chart, hitting #8 there:

1982 saw the release of Manchester's biggest career hit.  "You Should Hear How She Talks About You" landed at #5 and won the Grammy for Best Female Vocalist:

Surprisingly, Manchester wouldn't score another Top 40 hit after this, but she did achieve success on the more popular Adult Contemporary format.  

Manchester continued to record through 2004, appeared on the soap opera General Hospital and in 1991, sang the U.S. National Anthem prior to Game 6 of the World Series.  Manchester received the Governor's Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences for her contributions to the music & recording arts.

Manchester had seven Top 40 hits, with three Top 10 songs, but on the Adult chart, she scored 18 hits, with eight of those making the Top 10.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

This Date in Rock Music History: November 29

1959:  Bobby Darin won Best New Artist and Record of the Year for "Mack the Knife" at the Grammy Awards. 

1963:  The Beatles released the single "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in England.  For the first time in history, there were one million advance orders.
1964:  Paul McCartney and John Lennon were introduced to two members of the Miracles at the restaurant The Crazy Elephant in London.
1965:  The Soundtrack to "The Sound of Music" was #1 on the U.K. Album chart, followed by the Soundtrack to "Mary Poppins".  The "Help!" Soundtrack by the Beatles was third, Bob Dylan held #4 with Highway 61 Revisited and the Rolling Stones were at #5 with Out of Our Heads.
1966:  The Beatles continued to work on recording "Strawberry Fields Forever", with two more takes at EMI's studios on Abbey Road.  The group later remade the song, but the first minute of their final take on this day was remixed and incorporated into the finished product. 

1967:  Bob Dylan completed work on the album John Wesley Harding.  He brought in Pete Drake to play light pedal steel guitar and recorded the final two songs for the album--"I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" and "Down Along The Cove".
1968:  John Lennon released his first solo album Unfinished Music.

            "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", one of the great tracks on The White Album...

1968:  The Beatles sold 1.5 million copies of The White Album in the U.K. in its first week of release.
1969:  "Baby, I'm For Real" by the Originals topped the R&B chart for a fourth week.
1969:  Led Zeppelin shot up from 91 to 45 with "Whole Lotta' Love".

    R.B. Greaves with his bit hit "Take a Letter Maria"...

1969:  The double-sided smash "Come Together"/"Something" by the Beatles, rose from #7 to #1.  Blood, Sweat & Tears closed with "And When I Die", the previous #1 from the 5th Dimension--"Wedding Bell Blues" departed from the top spot and R.B. Greaves, after peaking at #2 with "Take A Letter Maria", was fourth.  New group Steam reached #5 with "(Na Na Hey Hey) Kiss Him Goodbye".  The rest of the Top 10:  The Flying Machine with "Smile A Little Smile For Me", Peter, Paul & Mary was up from 12-7 with their 20th and final career hit, Steve Wonder couldn't budge with "Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday", CCR had a double-sided smash of their own, "Down On The Corner"/"Fortunate Son", that moved from 21 to 9 and Three Dog Night crashed into the Top 10, advancing from 18-10 with their great song "Eli's Coming".

Blues Part II, one of the reasons the BS & T debut was stunning...

1969:  The new Beatles album Abbey Road was #1 for a fifth week.  The self-titled Blood, Sweat & Tears moved back into the Top 10 after 44 weeks of release.

Anticipation by Carly Simon on Grooveshark
1971:  Carly Simon released the single "Anticipation".
1975:  Simon & Garfunkel had the #1 Adult song for a second week with "My Little Town".
1975:  Red Octopus became the first #1 album for Jefferson Starship.  

1975:  Former Temptation David Ruffin had a great new song--"Walk Away From Love", which moved from 60 to 37.

     One of several One Hit Wonders of the 70's--"Sky High"...

1975:  The Silver Convention moved up to #1 with "Fly, Robin, Fly", displacing "That's The Way (I Like It)" by K.C. and the Sunshine Band.  Elton John scored his 13th Top 10 and seventh in a row with "Island Girl", while the Captain & Tennille were up to #4 with their follow-up to the #1 "Love Will Keep Us Together"--"The Way I Want To Touch You".  The rest of the Top 10:  The Staple Singers with "Let's Do It Again", newcomer Jigsaw at #6 with "Sky High", War's "Low Rider", Natalie Cole with her first hit "This Will Be", the resurgent Bee Gees had a new Top 10 with "Nights On Broadway" while the 4 Seasons dipped to 10 with "Who Loves You".
1976:  Jerry Lee Lewis accidentally shot his bass guitarist, Norman "Butch" Owens, twice in the chest while aiming at a soda bottle.  Lewis was charged with shooting a firearm within city limits.
Track 03 by Thunder Island on Grooveshark
1977:  Jay Ferguson released the single "Thunder Island".

1980:  ABBA scored yet another #1 in the U.K. with "Super Trouper", the group's 25th hit on that chart.
1980:  Stevie Wonder remained atop the R&B chart for the fifth straight week with "Master Blaster (Jammin')", his 13th #1 R&B song.

I'm Gonna Follow You by Pat Benatar on Grooveshark
"I'm Gonna' Follow You"... Pat was her best on 'Crimes of Passion'...

1980:  The River by Bruce Springsteen was #1 on the Album chart for a fourth week.  Guilty by Barbra Streisand remained second after reaching the top while Kenny Rogers' Greatest Hits was third.  Stevie Wonder's Hotter Than July preceded The Game by Queen.  The rest of the Top 10:  AC/DC moved to #6 with their new album Back in Black, Pat Benatar's sensational Crimes of Passion was #7, followed by Diana from Diana Ross, One Step Closer from the Doobie Brothers and the Jacksons were stuck at 10 with Triumph.
1980:  "Lady" by Kenny Rogers was the #1 Adult Contemporary song for a third straight week.

1980:  Kenny Rogers continued to set the pace with "Lady".  Barbra Streisand was still at 2 after owning the previous #1--"Woman In Love".  Donna Summer peaked at 3 with "The Wanderer" while Queen was still at #4 with "Another One Bites The Dust", although several stations had it #1 by now.  Diana Ross had her 25th solo hit and 58th career hit counting her work with the Supremes.

1984:  Band Aid released the single "Do They Know It's Christmas", with proceeds going for famine relief in Africa.

"Wanted Dead or Alive", the classic track from 'Slippery When Wet'...

1986:  Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band Live/1975-1985 was the #1 album while Third Stage by Boston was done.  Slippery When Wet by Bon Jovi logged a sixth week at #2 after one week at #1.  Fore!  from Huey Lewis & the News took fourth.  The rest of the Top 10:  Dancing on the Ceiling from Lionel Richie, the landmark Graceland album from Paul Simon at #6, True Colors by Cyndi Lauper, Whiplash Smile from Billy Idol, Tina Turner's new album Break Every Rule dropped to #9 and Bruce Hornsby & the Range moved up from 18-10 in their 24th week with The Way It Is.
At This Moment by Billy Vera & The Beaters on Grooveshark
1986:  Billy Vera & the Beaters had a monster hit as "At This Moment" moved from 69 to 50.

1986:  The first Top 10 for Bon Jovi also became their first #1--"You Give Love A Bad Name".  The Human League dropped with "Human" while Madonna peaked at 3 with "True Blue".  Sun Valley, Idaho's Peter Cetera teamed with Amy Grant for a big hit--"The Next Time I Fall".  The rest of the Top 10:  Huey Lewis & the News continued their successful ways with "Hip To Be Square", Cameo's "Word Up" peaked at 6, the former #1 "Amanda" by Boston was down, newcomer Bruce Hornsby & the Range was up to #8 with "The Way it Is", Lionel Richie had song #9 with "Love Will Conquer All" and the Bangles sped into the Top 10 with "Walk Like An Egyptian".
1995:  Sammy Hagar married Kari Karte in San Francisco, California.
1997:  "Perfect Day", a song recorded by Elton John, Bono, David Bowie, Tom Jones and others to raise money for the U.K. charity Children in Need, rose to #1 on that chart.
1997:  Celine Dion's Let's Talk About Love was the #1 album in the U.K.

1997:  Higher Ground from Barbra Streisand debuted as the #1 album, her eighth #1 and 25th Top 10.  The best of the other new entries in the Top 10 was Yourself or Someone Like You from Matchbox 20.

         The great Chumbawamba song "Tub Thumping"...

1997:  Elton John held on to #1 for the eighth straight week with "Candle In The Wind 1997".  Usher would have to settle for having one of the top #2 songs of the Rock Era as "You Make Me Wanna..." was runner-up for a sixth week.  "How Do I Live" from LeAnn Rimes was behind them, Somethin' for the People moved up to #4 with "My Love Is The Shhh!" and LSG maintained with "My Body".  The rest of the Top 10:  Newcomers Chumbawamba and "Tubthumping", Robyn moved from 13-7 with "Show Me Love", Boyz II Men were down with "4 Seasons Of Loneliness", Allure with 112 dropped with "All Cried Out" and Mase remained at 10 with "Feel So Good".

2001:  George Harrison, the youngest and quiet guitarist for the Beatles, a ground-breaking solo artist and later in his career a member of the Traveling Wilburys, died of small lung cancer at his home in Hollywood Hills, California.
2003:  Beyonce, Bono of U2, Peter Gabriel, the Eurythmics, the Corrs, Jimmy Cliff and the surviving members of Queen performed at a concert at Greenpoint Stadium to raise awareness of AIDS in Cape Town, South Africa.
2005:  In today's Inmates Run Rap Music segment, DMX was sentenced to seven days in jail for driving with a suspended license.  Duh.  There's a reason they call it "suspended".
2006:  The High School Musical:  The Concert Tour kicked off in San Diego, California.
2007:  Artismus Pyle, former drummer of Lynyrd Skynyrd and a convicted sex offender, was arrested for not registering a new permanent address.  Pyle had pleaded guilty to charges of attempted capital sexual battery by an adult on a victim younger than 12 and being principal to lewd and lascivious behavior on a child younger than 16.
2009:  Susan Boyle had the best-selling debut album in the history of the U.K. when I Dreamed a Dream sold 410,000 copies and went to #1.  (Note:  some websites claim it was the best-selling debut ever, but the Beatles recorded several albums that sold far, far more copies in their first weeks.)  
2009:  Boyle also had the #1 album in the U.S., setting a first-week sales record for a female debut album with 701,000 copies sold.
2013:  Dick Dodd, lead singer and drummer with the Standells ("Dirty Water"), died in Fountain Valley, California of cancer at the age of 58.

Born This Day:
1917:  Merle Travis, who invented the first solid body electric guitar and wrote "Sixteen Tons" for Tennessee Ernie Ford, was born in Rosewood, Kentucky; died of a heart attack in Tahlequah, Oklahoma on October 20, 1983.
1933:  John Mayall, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist of the Bluesbreakers, one of the strongest roots in the British Family Tree, was born in Macclesfield, England.
1938:  Bobbi Martin ("For The Love Of Him" from 1970) was born in Brooklyn, New York; died of cancer on May 2, 2000 in Baltimore, Maryland.
1939:  Meco Monardo, musician and producer ("Theme From 'Star Wars'" from 1977) was born in Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania.

1940:  Denny Doherty of the Mamas & Papas was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; died January 19, 2007 at his home in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada from a second abdominal aneurysm.   

1940:  Chuck Mangione ("Feels So Good" from 1978) was born in Rochester, New York.
1941:  Jody Miller ("Queen Of The House" from 1965) was born in Phoenix, Arizona.

1944:  Felix Cavaliere, one of the great singers of the Rock Era and organist with the Young Rascals and later a solo artist ("Only The Lonely Heart Sees"), was born in Pelham, New York.

1947:  Ronnie Montrose, guitarist of Deep Purple, the Edgar Winter Group and Montrose, was born in San Francisco, California; shot himself in Brisbane, California at the age of 64 on March 3, 2012.

1951:  Barry Goudreau, guitarist of Boston, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.
1951:  Roger Troutman of Zapp was born in Hamilton, Ohio.
1958:  Michael Dempsey, bass guitarist of the Cure, was born in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe).
1968:  Jonathan Knight of New Kids on the Block was born in Worcester, Massachusetts.
1979:  The Game (real name Jayceon Terrell Taylor)  was born in Los Angeles.  Sorry, Los Angeles.