Saturday, December 21, 2013

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 150 Christmas Songs of All-Time, Day Twenty-One

Are you getting excited yet?  Of course Christmas is about a lot more than trees and presents and hopefully some of these songs address that for you.  Enjoy six more in our annual festive salute to Christmas!

Sarah McLachlan, The #70 Female Artist of the Rock Era

Sarah McLachlan was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  She took voice lessons as a child, and studied classical piano and guitar.  While at Queen Elizabeth High School, she sang lead for a band called the October Game.  After the group's first show opening for Moev, McLachlan was offered a recording contract with Nettwerk Records.  McLachlan finished high school and studied for a year at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design before finally signing with Nettwerk.

McLachlan recorded her debut album Touch in 1988.  It received favorable critical response, and the 1991 album Solace was her breakthrough in her native Canada.  McLachlan released the singles "The Path of Thorns (Terms)" and "Into the Fire" from the album.

In 1993, Sarah released the album Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album.  The single "Hold On" climbed into the Top 15 in Canada and received airplay in the United States as well.

In 1996, frustrated by concert promoters and radio stations who refused to feature female artists back-to-back (Trust me, this really did happen), McLachlan booked her own tour with Paula Cole, and the following year founded the Lilith Fair Tour, a showcase for the world's top female artists.  The Fair continued in 1997 and 1998 and has now been brought back.  It has introduced numerous female artists to music fans. 

In 1997, McLachlan released Surfacing, which made her a household name.  "Building a Mystery" was #1 in Canada and a much underrated #13 in the United States.  Sarah won a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and Surfacing was nominated for Best Pop Album. 

McLachlan also won four Juno Awards, including Song of the Year and Songwriter of the Year for "Building A Mystery" and Album of the Year.  "Sweet Surrender" was the follow-up.

"Adia" gave McLachlan her second Top 10 song, landing at #3 in both the U.S. and Canada.  It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Surfacing has now sold over 16 million copies worldwide.  A major reason for the surge in sales came from this song, "Angel", which reached #9.  "Angel" was included in the great movie City of Angels starring Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage.  McLachlan won a Billboard Music Award for Top Adult Contemporary Track.  The album went to #1 and sold over four million copies.

McLachlan also won a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental for "Last Dance".

In 1999, Sarah was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada.  McLachlan released the live album Mirrorball.  She released a live version of "I Will Remember You", which was a big Adult Contemporary hit, and earned Sarah another Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.  Mirrorball was nominated for Best Pop Album, while the song "Possession" was nominated for Best Female Rock
Vocal Performance.

Sarah received another Grammy nomination when her song with Sheryl Crow ("The Difficult Kind") was nominated for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.  She recorded the Randy Newman song "When She Loved Me" for the movie Toy Story 2.  The song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song.

McLachlan co-wrote and sang on the Delerium song "Silence".  She then took a break to give birth to her daughter, India, in 2002.   The next year, Sarah released the album Afterglow, which contained the single "Fallen" that reached #12.  It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, while Afterglow was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album.

In 2006, McLachlan, released the Christmas album Wintersong.  The album included a cover of Joni Mitchell's "River", which reached #8 on the AC chart.

Wintersong has now gone Platinum, just part of McLachlan's  40 million worldwide sales.  Wintersong was nominated for a Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album and a Juno for Pop Album of the Year.

Also that year, McLachlan recorded "Ordinary Miracle" for the movie Charlotte's Web.  She performed the song during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, in front of three billion television viewers.

McLaughlin's single "One Dream" was the official theme song of the Winter Olympics.

McLachlan has been recognized for her work with Lilith Fair, earning the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Visionary Award in 1998 for advancing the careers of women in music.  In 1999, Sarah was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of her successful recording career, her role in Lilith Fair, and the charitable donations she made to women's shelters across Canada.  In 2001, she was inducted to the Order of British Columbia.

In 2011, McLachlan received an honorary degree from Simon Fraser University.  Kiwanis International awarded her the 2013 Kiwanis International World Service Medial to recognize her for founding the Sarah McLachlan School of Music, a free music school for at-risk youth in Vancouver.

Sarah has a new album planned for release in the Spring of 2014.

McLachlan has now sold over 16.5 million albums in the U.S. alone, and 40 million worldwide.  She has scored 10 hits, with two reaching the Top 10 overall, but on the more dominate Adult Contemporary chart, she has achieved 13 hits, with seven of those going Top 10, and one #1 song.

Friday, December 20, 2013

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.

Another Canadian is Next in The Top Female Artists

We heard Nelly Furtado at #72 just yesterday, and another big star from Canada is coming your way tomorrow.

The Top 100 Female Artists of the Rock Era: The Last Ten

The Top 150 Christmas Songs of All-Time, Part Five

The Top 150 Christmas Songs of All-Time*: Day Twenty

As you wake up this morning, wake up to great Christmas music by clicking on this link:

Missy Elliott, The #71 Female Artist of the Rock Era

Although we don't rate the songs, we go by what the public wants, and many of today's youth like this next artist.  Women of today, listen up!  Contrary to the message she sings/raps about in her songs, women are worth infinitely more and can accomplish much more in their lives than shaking their *** and their bodies are not near the asset that their minds can be.

Melissa Elliott was born in Portsmouth, Virginia.  At the age of four, she had aspirations of being a performer.  As her father was a U.S. Marine, the family moved to Jacksonville, North Carolina for a time.  Elliott's family atmosphere was characterized by domestic violence, and her mother and Melissa finally escaped when Melissa was fourteen.  

In the early 1990's, Elliott formed the group Fayze and recorded demo tracks with producer Timothy Mosley (who later became known as Timbaland).  They found a backer in Jodeci member and producer DeVante Swing when they sang Jodeci songs A cappella backstage after one of the group's concerts.  Devante signed the group to his Swing Mob label, renamed them Sista, and Elliott and her group moved to New York City.

The more than 20 members of the Swing Mob, among them future stars like Ginuwine, lived in a two-story house in New York and often worked both for Jodeci and their own projects.  Elliott contributed songwriting to the final two Jodeci albums, while Timbaland and DeVante co-produced the Sista album 4 (sic) All the Sistas Around da (sic) World in 1994.  The album was never released, but one of the songs, "It's Alright" found its way to the Soundtrack to "Dangerous Minds".  

By the end of 1995, the members of the Swing Mob dispersed, but Elliott, Timbaland, Ginuwine and Playa remained together and collaborated on each other's projects in the years to come.  Elliott and Timbaland, wrote songs and produced for SWV, Aaliyah (including "If Your Girl Only Knew" and 702.  

Elliott and Timbaland continued to churn out songs for Destiny's Child, Total and Nicole Wray.  Meanwhile, Elliott began her career as a vocalist rapping on MC Lyte's "Cold Rock A Party".  The song reached #1 in New Zealand, #6 in Sweden, #11 in the U.S. and #15 in the U.K.

The next year, Elliott collaborated with Lil' Kim, Da Brat, Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes and Angie Martinez for the song "Not Tonight", which hit #4 in New Zealand, #6 in the U.S. and #11 in the U.K.

Elliott's session work led to a recording contract with East West Records in which she could start her own label, The Goldmind, Inc.  

Elliott released her debut album Supa Dupa Fly in 1997, produced by Timbaland, who helped Missy out on all her solo releases.  Four singles were released, but the one that caught on was "Sock It 2 (sic) Me", which hit #5 in New Zealand and #12 in the United States.

The album went Platinum and was nominated for Best Rap Album at the Grammy Awards, while Missy won the Billboard Award for Best New Artist.  The track "Ladies Night" (with Lil' Kim, Da Brat and Angie Martinez) was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Performance, as was Missy's song 'The Rain".  The latter was also nominated for Best Rap Video at the MTV Video Music Awards.  

Elliott continued to write and produce for artists such as Whitney Houston, Total, and Spice Girl Melanie Brown's debut solo single "I Want You Back".  Elliott enjoyed a #5 U.S. hit with Nicole and Mocha on "Make It Hot":

Missy returned to the charts with Total on the #7 song "Trippin' (sic)":

  Missy's next album, Da (sic) Real World in 1999, sold 1.5 million albums in the U.S. and three million worldwide.  "Hot Boyz" was the only single to catch on, reaching #5 in the United States and #18 in the U.K.

Elliott released the album Miss E...So Addictive in 2001.  The first single, "Get Ur (sic) Freak On", became one of her biggest hits.  It peaked at #4 in the U.K., #7 in the U.S. and #9 in the Netherlands, won the Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance and was nominated for another for Best R&B Song:

"One Minute Man" with Ludacris was a minor hit, reaching #10 in the U.K. and #15 in the United States, while the video for the song was nominated for Best Dance Video and Best Hip-Hop Video at the MTV Video Music Awards.

"4 (sic) My People" was a popular video in the U.S. but didn't receive a lot of radio airplay.  That was not the case in the Netherlands (#2), Belgium (#3) and the U.K. (#5)

Also that year, Elliott co-produced the remake of the great Labelle song "Lady Marmalade" for Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil' Kim and Mya, which became a #1 smash all over again.

Elliott once again lent her vocals on another hit, this time for Tweet, on the song "Oops (Oh My)", which reached #5 in the U.K. and #7 in the U.S.

Elliott released her fourth album, Under Construction, in 2002.  "Work It" became her biggest career hit, reaching #2 in the United States, #3 in New Zealand and #6 in the U.K. and Australia.  The accompanying video was nominated for eight MTV Video Music Awards (including Best Female Video), and captured awards for Video of the Year and Best Hip Hop Video.

  Under Construction was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Rap Album at the Grammys and Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album at the American Music Awards.  Elliott received another Grammy Award for Best Female Rap Solo Performance (for "Scream Ska Itchin' (sic)") and was nominated for Best Short Form Music Video for "The Knoc" (with Dr. Dre).  "Gossip Folks" gave Missy her only album with more than one big hit on it, landing at #8 in the U.S. and #9 in the U.K.

After five unsuccessful solo singles and an album that eventually sold over one million copies (This Is Not a Test!), Elliott starred in the movie Honey.  In 2004, Missy combined with Ciara for the smash hit "1, 2 Step".  The song peaked at #2 in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand and #3 in Ireland and the U.K.  It also won an ASCAP Pop Award for Most Performed Song.

Later in the year, the Elliott magic worked again for Christina Aguilera, who combined with Missy on the single "Car Wash".  The song reached #2 in Australia, New Zealand and Belgium, #3 in the Netherlands, #4 in the U.K. and #5 in Ireland and Switzerland, and was nominated for Favorite Remake at the People's Choice Awards.

Although she hadn't enjoyed a solo hit in several tries, Elliott returned with the album The Cookbook in 2005.  The losing streak was ended by "Lose Control", was a #2 smash in New Zealand and #3 in the U.S.  The song won the Grammy for Best Short Form Video and was nominated for Best Rap Song.  It won Elliott two more MTV Video Music Awards for Best Dance Video and Best Hip Hop Video. 

The Cookbook went Gold, and was nominated at the Grammys for Best Rap Album, and Elliott was also nominated along with Ciara for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.  Elliott was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance for "We Run This".  Elliott captured the Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Female Artist at the American Music Awards.  After "Lose Control", however, Elliott hasn't found the Top 15 in her last seven tries.  She did combine with Keyshia Cole and Lil' Kim in 2007 for the hit "Let It Go", which peaked at #7 in 2007.

Elliott is nominated for three World Music Awards (Best Female Artist, Best Live Act and Best Entertainer).  The awards will be announced this Sunday.

Elliott has won five Grammy Awards and sold over 30 million records in the United States alone.  She has enjoyed 11 Top 10 hits as either a solo artist or in collaborations with other artists. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

This Date in Rock Music History: December 20

1957: Elvis Presley received his draft notice from the United States Army.
1958:  John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison appeared as The Quarrymen at the wedding reception of Harrison's older brother Harry.  The reception was at the Harrison family home at 25 Upton Green, Speke, Liverpool.
1962: The Osmond Brothers made their television debut on The Andy Williams Show on NBC.
1966:  Otis Redding was in concert at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco.

1967: Singer Ian Anderson formed Jethro Tull with bassist Glenn Cornick in Blackpool, England.  No, there is no one named Jethro Tull in the group; the name is from an 18th century inventor of farming tools. 
1967:  The Beatles recorded harmonies and bells for the song "When I'm Sixty-Four".
1967:  Joan Baez was sentenced to 45 days in prison for her role in anti-war demonstrations.
1969:  The Rolling Stones reached #1 on the U.K. album chart with Let It Bleed.
1969:  Before she left the Supremes, Diana Ross gave us this great song--"Someday We'll Be Together", #1 for a third week on the R&B chart.  The other Supremes did not appear on the song--it was all Ross.
1969:  For the third week, "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" was #1 on the Adult chart.

1969:  The Shocking Blue were startling listeners with their amazing new song "Venus", up from #77 to #31.

        Diamond with one of his great early hits...

1969:  "Leaving On A Jet Plane", the final hit for Peter, Paul & Mary, rose to #1.  Diana Ross & the Supremes were closing with "Someday We'll Be Together" in a dynamite Top 10.  CCR had a single so good it generated two hits--"Down On The Corner"/"Fortunate Son" was up to 3 while the previous #1 from Steam--"(Na Na Hey Hey) Kiss Him Goodbye" was #4.  B.J. Thomas was up from 9 to 5 with his new song "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" and the Beatles had a double-sided hit with "Come Together"/"Something".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday" from Stevie Wonder, R. B. Greaves dictated the #8 hit "Take A Letter Maria", Neil Diamond scored his fourth Top 10 and 15th hit with "Holly Holy" and Blood, Sweat & Tears dropped with "And When I Die".
            "Long Time Gone" from CSN's debut...

1969:  The #1 album was Abbey Road by the Beatles, just as it had been for the previous seven weeks.  Led Zeppelin II was a distant second with Tom Jones Live In Las Vegas right behind them.  CCR remained fourth with Green River while Let It Bleed from the Rolling Stones moved from #29 to #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  Puzzle People by the Temptations, the self-titled Santana, Blood, Sweat & Tears moved back up with their amazing debut that had now been out for 47 weeks, the initial release from Crosby, Stills & Nash was #9 and the Soundtrack to "Easy Rider" remained 10th.
1971:  The Rolling Stones released their first compilation album Hot Rocks 1964-1971.

1972:  The O'Jays released the single "Love Train".


1972:  Led Zeppelin performed at the Brighton Dome in England.

1973:  Bobby Darin died at the age of 37 while undergoing seven hours of open-heart surgery.

1975: Elite guitarist Joe Walsh joined the Eagles, replacing original member Bernie Leadon, who left for a solo career.
1975:  There were all sorts of wild rumors going on about "Love Rollercoaster", and the Ohio Players rode the publicity to #1 on the R&B chart.
1975:  Though he had achieved success as the lead singer of the Raspberries, Eric Carmen debuted as a solo artist on this date with his first single "All By Myself".
1975:  Neil Sedaka had gone 12 years without a Top 10 hit, and now he was bidding for his third in the last two years as "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" moved from 79 to 59.
The Bee Gees didn't know it but they were becoming one of the biggest acts in Rock history...

1975:  KC and the Sunshine Band reached #1 for the second time in their young careers with "That's the Way (I Like It)".  The Staple Singers couldn't budge with "Let's Do It Again" while the Silver Convention descended with "Fly, Robin, Fly".  The Bay City Rollers were an outfit on the move with "Saturday Night", the Ohio Players were causing a stir with "Love Rollercoaster" and Diana Ross reached #6 with her new song "Theme From 'Mahogany' (Do You Know Where You're Going To)".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Sky High" from Jigsaw, finally falling after 17 weeks, Barry Manilow collected his third Top 10 in four attempts with "I Write The Songs", Sweet was up to #9 with "Fox On The Run" and the Bee Gees' great new song "Nights On Broadway" was #10.

1975:  Chicago IX, the group's Greatest Hits package, remained at #1 on the Album chart but Earth, Wind & Fire were up from 7 to 2 with Gratitude.  History/America's Greatest Hits moved to #3 with the self-titled KC and the Sunshine Band fourth.  The rest of the Top 10:  Red Octopus from Jefferson Starship, Still Crazy After All These Years by Paul Simon at #6, Elton John slipped to 7 with Rock of the Westies, Windsong from John Denver was #8, Joni Mitchell climbed from 26 to 9 with The Hissing of Summer Lawns and Grover Washington, Jr. found the Top 10 with Feels So Good.

1977:  Fleetwood Mac released the single "Go Your Own Way".
1980:  Twelve days after his death, John Lennon's "(Just Like) Starting Over" was #1 in the U.K.

1980:  Leo Sayer had his biggest hit since "When I Need You" as "More Than I Can Say" rose to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
1980:  Delbert McClinton had the fastest-rising song around--"Giving It Up for Your Love" moved from #69 to #38.

                        Air Supply had another smash....

1980:  Kenny Rogers had the #1 song for a sixth week with "Lady".  The only new entry in the Top 10 was "Every Woman In The World", the third consecutive Top 10 for Air Supply.
1981:  The play Dreamgirls, based on the Supremes, opened on Broadway in New York City.  (Note:  some websites say the date of opening was December 2, but the official playbill site shows the correct date as December 20.)
1986:  Newcomers Bon Jovi were up from 83 to 56 with "Livin' On A Prayer".

1986:  The Bangles reached the pinnacle with "Walk Like An Egyptian", one of The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era*.  Bruce Hornsby & the Range surrendered with "The Way It Is" while Wang Chung partied up to #3 with "Everybody Have Fun Tonight".  Duran Duran were up to 4 with their latest--"Notorious" and Gregory Abbott had a big hit with "Shake You Down".  The rest of the Top 10:  Billy Idol's "To Be A Lover", Huey Lewis & the News slipped to 7 with "Hip to Be Square", Robbie Nevil moved from 14 to 8 with "C'est La Vie", Ben E. King was up to #9 with his big hit from 1960--"Stand By Me" (re-released from the movie of the same name) and Sun Valley, Idaho's Peter Cetera dropped with his former #1 with Amy Grant--"The Next Time I Fall".

1997:  "Candle In The Wind 1997" from Elton John passed both Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life" and "Physical" from Olivia Newton-John with its 11th week at #1.  That enabled EJ to tie "Un-Break My Heart" from Toni Braxton, "I Swear" by All-4-One and "I'll Be Missing You" from Puff Daddy, Faith Evans and 112.  
2004: In today's episode of Dangerous Inmates Run Rap Music, a man was shot and another wounded at a party for Ja Rule in Peoria, Illinois. If this is what happens when they're happy, you don't want to have anything to do with them when they live their normal life as losers.
2008:  Circus by Britney Spears was the #1 album.

Born This Day:
1944:  Bobby Colomby, drummer of Blood, Sweat & Tears, was born in New York City.

1945:  Peter Criss, drummer of Kiss, was born in Brooklyn, New York.

1948:  Alan Parsons, engineer for the Beatles, musician, producer (Abbey Road and Let It Be for the Beatles and Dark Side of the Moon for Pink Floyd) and the leader of the Alan Parsons Project, was born in London.
1948:  Steven Wright, singer with the Easybeats ("Friday On My Mind") was born in Leeds, England.
1956:  Anita Ward ("Ring My Bell") was born in Memphis, Tennessee.
1956:  Guy Babylon, keyboardist with the Elton John Band, was born in New Windsor, Maryland; died September 2, 2009 of a heart attack while swimming in his pool in Thousand Oaks, California.  (Note:  some websites report he died in Los Angeles; according to the newspaper 'The Baltimore Sun', Babylon died in Thousand Oaks.)
1962:  Ray Coburn, keyboardist and songwriter with Honeymoon Suite ("New Girl Now")
1966:  Chris Robinson, lead singer of the Black Crowes, was born in Marietta, Georgia.  (Note:  some websites list his birthplace as Atlanta; according to the newspaper 'The Augusta Chronicle', Robinson was born in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta.)
1990:  JoJo was born in Brattleboro, Vermont.