Saturday, February 22, 2014

This Date in Rock Music History: February 23

1959:  Lloyd Price logged a third week at #1 on the R&B chart with "Stagger Lee".

1959:  "Stagger Lee" by Lloyd Price made it to a third week at #1 on the Singles chart.  "Donna" from the late Ritchie Valens was next with "16 Candles" from the Crests down a spot.
1963:  "Hey Paula" by Paul & Paula took over at #1 on the R&B chart.  
1963:  The Rooftop Singers stayed up there for the fifth week on the Easy Listening chart with "Walk Right In".  

          The Cascades with the memorable "Rhythm of the Rain"...

1963:  Paul & Paula remained at #1 for a third consecutive week with "Hey Paula".  Dion moved to challenge with "Ruby Baby" while the Four Seasons held steady with "Walk Like A Man".  The Rooftop Singers said to just "Walk Right In" while the great Cascades song "Rhythm Of The Rain" was at #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  "From A Jack To A King" by Ned Miller, Bobby Darin entered the Top 10 with "You're The Reason I'm Living", Eydie Gorme blasted from 18 to 8 with "Blame It On The Bossa Nova", the Miracles' latest--"You've Really Got A Hold On Me" and the Rebels' instrumental "Wild Weekend" was #10.  

1964:  The Dave Clark Five, featuring Clark as one of the great drummers early in the Rock Era, released the single "Bits And Pieces".
1964:  The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show for a third time.  The show had actually been recorded on February 9, the date of their first appearance, in front of a different audience, then broadcast on February 23.
1970:  The 5th Dimension were guest stars on It Takes a Thief on ABC-TV.
1970:  Ringo Starr was a guest star on the popular television show Laugh-In on NBC, his first solo television appearance.
1972:  Elvis Presley and wife Priscilla separated.
1974:  Planet Waves by Bob Dylan was #1 for a second week on the Album chart, just ahead of John Denver's Greatest Hits.  Two new albums joined the Top 10:  The amazing Court and Spark from Joni Mitchell and Carly Simon moved from 16-7 with Hotcakes.  
1974:  Eddie Kendricks had it all going on with the #1 R&B song for the third week--"Boogie Down".


1978:  Three hallmark winners at the Grammys that are all some of the best of all-time in their categories:  Album of the Year--to Rumours by Fleetwood Mac.
1978:  The Eagles won Record of the Year for "Hotel California".

1978:  Best Pop Vocal Performance went to the Bee Gees for "How Deep Is Your Love".
1979:  Dire Straits began their first tour of North America at the Paradise Club in Boston, Massachusetts.
1980:  A new rock group first appeared on the charts, although most of us wouldn't get to know them until later.  Survivor debuted with their first single--"Somewhere In America".
1980:  "Give It All You Got" from Chuck Mangione, the theme of the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, was the new #1 song on the Adult Contemporary chart.  

1980:  "Special Lady" by Ray, Goodman & Brown was the new #1 on the R&B chart.  
1980:  Officially, Queen scored their first #1 song with "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", although anyone with sense reported "Bohemian Rhapsody" as a #1 song in 1976. 

1981:  Rick Springfield released the single "Jessie's Girl".

Rosanna by Toto on Grooveshark
1983:  Toto deservedly dominated the Grammy Awards with six trophies, including Record of the Year ("Rosanna") and Album of the Year (Toto IV).
1985:  "Missing You", the Diana Ross tribute to the late Marvin Gaye, hit #1 on the R&B chart.  
1986:  MTV, which used to stand for "Music Television", aired 22 hours of the Monkees television episodes to celebrate the group's 20th anniversary.  (Note:  several websites report that this marathon occurred on February 22.  The correct date is February 23, according to the newspaper 'The Chicago Tribune' and 'Billboard' magazine.)
1985:  Like a Virgin was #1 on the Album chart for Madonna.
1985:  "Careless Whisper" from Wham!  was #1 on the AC chart for the third straight week.
1988:  Michael Jackson was in concert at the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri.
1989:  Isaac Hayes was thrown in jail in Atlanta, Georgia for owing $346,300 in child support and alimony.

1991:  C&C Music Factory reached #1 on the R&B chart with "Gonna' Make You Sweat".

1991:  Whitney Houston amazingly had her ninth career #1 in 14 releases with "All the Man That I Need".  C&C Music Factory politely gave way with "Gonna' Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)".  Timmy T remained third with "One More Try" and Mariah Carey hit #4 with "Someday".  The rest of a good Top 10:  Celine Dion with "Where Does My Heart Beat Now", Surface dropped with "The First Time", Chris Isaak moved into the Top 10 with "Wicked Game", Keith Sweat and "I'll Give All My Love To You", INXS with the excellent "Disappear" and Warrant moved to #10 with "I Saw Red".

1993:  Little Richard received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy.
1995:  Melvin Franklin of the Temptations died of heart failure at the age of 52 in Los Angeles.
1999:  Paul Arthurs, guitarist of Oasis, was arrested and
thrown in jail in London for drunk and disorderly conduct.

1999:  Garth Brooks attended spring training camp as a non-roster player with the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball.  The Padres' organization agreed to donate to the Touch 'Em All Foundation in lieu of a salary for Brooks.  
2000:  In today's episode of Dangerous Inmates Run Rap Music, Sean "Puffy" Combs was indicted on charges of bribing a witness.  In Combs' trial for a nightclub shooting in New York City on December 27, 1999, the Manhattan District Attorney's office learned that Combs offered money and jewelry to his driver if the driver would claim ownership of the gun that police recovered from Combs' car.

2000:  Santana received a record-tying eight Grammy Awards, tying the mark set by Michael Jackson.
2001:  Frankie Avalon appeared on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch on ABC-TV.
2002:  LeAnn Rimes, 19, married dancer Dean Sheremet, 21.


2002:  The Bee Gees gave their last concert at the Love and Hope Ball in Miami Beach, Florida.
2003:  Howie Epstein, bassist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, who also worked with Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Nicks, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins and Del Shannon, died from drugs at age 47 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

2003:  Norah Jones captured five Grammy Awards for her superb album Come Away With Me--Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance ("Dont' Know Why"), Album of the Year, Best New Artist and Best Pop Vocal Album. 


2003:  John Mayer won the Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal for "Your Body Is A Wonderland" at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
2003:  Sheryl Crow took the prize for Best Female Rock Vocal for "Steve McQueen" at the Grammys.

2003:  Simon & Garfunkel appeared together for the first time in 10 years to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammys.
2003:  Howie Epstein, bassist of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, died from drugs at age 47 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  (Note:  several websites report that Epstein died on February 24.  More credible sources, such as the newspapers 'The New York Times' and 'The Los Angeles Times', state that he died on Sunday, February 23.)
2004:  Not the way to win friends and influence people.  Wes Scantlin of Puddle of Mudd was arrested in Toledo, Ohio when he halted a concert after just four songs, saying he was too loaded to perform.  Scantlin then wouldn't leave the stage for half an hour, lacing the crowd with profanity.  Thanks for reminding me why I'm not a fan of theirs.
2006:  The surviving members of Alice in Chains announced they would reform for a series of concerts.
2007:  Donnie Brooks ("Mission Bell" from 1960) died of congestive heart failure in Panorama City, California at the age of 71.

2010:  England made Abbey Road studios in London a Grade II listed building, which protected it forever from any plans to radically alter it.

2015:  Marlene Barrow-Tate, one of the studio stars of Motown for many years, died at the age of 73. 

Marlene Barrow was a member of the Andantes, which sang backing vocals on many memorable songs such as "Love Child" by the Supremes, "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye, "Reach Out, I'll Be There", "Bernadette", "Baby I Need Your Loving", "Standing In The Shadows Of Love" and "It's The Same Old Song" by the Four Tops, "My Guy" by Mary Wells', "Higher And Higher" by Jackie Wilson, and "Jimmy Mack" by Martha & the Vandellas, just to name a few.  Barrow-Tate also sang backing vocals for Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, the Marvelettes, Jimmy Ruffin, Edwin Starr, and Brenda Holloway.

Barrow-Tate also filled in for Florence Ballard at concerts by the Supremes.  The Andantes were inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame in 2014.

Born This Day:
1944:  Johnny Winter of the Edgar Winter Group was born in Beaumont, Texas; died July 16, 2014 in Zurich, Switzerland.
1944:  Mike Maxfield, songwriter and guitarist of Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas, was born in Manchester, England.
1946:  Rusty Young, pedal steel guitar player of Buffalo Springfield and Poco
1949:  Terry Comer, bass guitarist of Ace ("How Long" from 1975), was born in Burnley, Lancashire, England.
1950:  Steven Priest, founding member and bassist of Sweet, was born in Hayes, Middlesex, England.
1952:  Brad Whitford, rhythm guitarist of Aerosmith, was born in Winchester, Massachusetts.

1955:  Howard Jones was born in Southampton, England.

1962:  Michael Wilton, elite guitarist of Queensryche, was born in San Francisco, California.
1967:  Chris Vrenna, drummer of Nine Inch Nails, Grammy award-winning producer and engineer who worked with U2, the Smashing Pumpkins, David Bowie, and more, was born in Erie, Pennsylvania.
1971:  Jeff Beres, bassist of Sister Hazel ("All for You")
1973:  Lasse Johansson, keyboardist and guitarist of the Cardigans ("Lovefool") was born in Huskvarna, Sweden.

Up Next on Inside The Rock Era...

The #1 female group of the Rock Era, whose 12 #1 songs were a longstanding record for female artists for decades.  We'll celebrate their music tomorrow as The #6 Female Artist of the Rock Era*!

Olivia Newton-John, The #7 Female Artist of the Rock Era*

Olivia Newton-John was born in Cambridge, England.  When Olivia was five, she moved with her family to Melbourne, Australia.  Newton-John formed an all-girl group, Sol Four, when she was fourteen--the group performed often in a coffee shop which was owned by her brother-in-law.  Soon, Olivia became a regular on local radio and television shows, including The Happy Show and Go Show, meeting future producer John Farrar and future duet partner Pat Carroll on the latter. 

Newton-John won a talent contest on the television show Sing, Sing, Sing, and won a trip to Britain.  There, she recorded the single "Till You Say You'll Be Mine" on Decca Records in 1966.  She was homesick for Australia, but improved when Carroll also moved to the U.K.  Pat and Olivia formed a duo and performed in European nightclubs.

When Carroll went back to Australia, Newton-John joined the group Toomorrow (correct spelling), formed by producer Don Kirshner.  The group starred in a science fiction musical and recorded the accompanying soundtrack album, but neither venture was successful and Toomorrow split up.

In 1971, Newton-John released her debut solo album If Not For You.  The Bob Dylan-penned title track became a #1 Adult hit and much underrated #25 Popular hit in the United States, and #3 in Canada and #7 in Australia.

"Banks Of The Ohio" became a Top 10 hit in the U.K. and #1 in Australia, as Olivia was already building up a fan base in Britain, having been named Best British Female Vocalist two years in a row by the magazine Record Mirror.  Newton-John appeared often on Cliff Richard's weekly television show and starred with him in the television movie The Case.

The follow-up album, Olivia, was a flop, but in 1973, she released her third album Let Me Be There.  The title song was a multi-format hit, reaching #3 on the Adult chart, #7 on the Country chart and #6 overall, while reaching #2 in Canada and #11 in Australia. 

Newton-John won a Grammy Award for Best Country Female Vocal Performance and American Music Awards for Favorite Female Pop/Rock Artist, Favorite Female Country Artist and Favorite Country Album.  She also picked up a Billboard Music Award for Top Pop Singles Artist (Female).

Let Me Be There became Olivia's first Gold album.  She represented the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 and recorded six songs which were voted on by the British public.  It was the same Eurovision contest in which ABBA famously won with "Waterloo".  

Newton-John included all six songs on her new album on EMI Records, Long Live Love.  In the United States, however, the six Eurovision songs were replaced by four country-oriented songs, and released as the album If You Love Me, Let Me Know.  It was a shrewd move, for the U.S. album far performed its counterpart (Long Live Love only reached #40 in the U.K., while the latter was a #1 album in both the United States and Canada.)  

The title song was another across-the-board winner, achieving #2 status on both the Easy Listening and Country charts and #5 overall in the United States, a #1 Adult, Country and #3 Popular hit in Canada, and #1 in Australia.

Newton-John had been moderately successful to this point.  Her next release floored the public and made her a star.  "I Honestly Love You" topped the Adult charts for three weeks, was her first overall #1, swept all three major charts in Canada, and went all the way in Australia as well.  Newton-John and Barbra Streisand shared the People's Choice Award for Favorite Female Musical Performer. 

Olivia came home with Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, and an American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Single, and won a Billboard Award for Top Pop Albums Artist (Female).

Newton-John moved to the United States in preparation for her next album.  In 1975, she released Have You Never Been Mellow.  The title song, written by Farrar, became another monster hit for Olivia, #1 on both the Adult and Popular charts and #3 Country in the U.S., gave her a second consecutive Triple #1 (Adult, Country, and Pop) in Canada, and #7 in New Zealand and #10 in Australia.  Newton-John was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

It was rare for anyone to be popular with the three main audiences that make up the music market, but Newton-John excelled at it.  "Please Mr. Please" hit #1 on the Adult chart for three weeks, #5 Country, and #3 overall in the United States, and scored another Triple #1 in Canada, and a #7 hit in New Zealand.

Olivia won American Music Awards for Favorite Female Pop/Rock Artist, Favorite Pop/Rock Album ("Pop" of course stands for Popular, and Rock has been the dominant Popular music format since the Rock Era began.), and Favorite Female Country Artist.  She was also nominated for Favorite Country Album.  Newton-John also came home with the Billboard Award for Top Adult Contemporary Artist.

Olivia scored her third Gold album with Have You Never Been Mellow, then quickly achieved a fourth with Clearly Love later in the year.  The single "Something Better To Do" gave Newton-John her fourth consecutive #1 Adult hit (#1 for three weeks) and #13 overall.

Olivia won the American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist for the third consecutive year.  The next single, "Let It Shine", made it five straight #1 Adult hits, and six overall, and Newton-John now had seven consecutive Top 3 Adult smashes.

Newton-John also joined another Country Rock superstar, John Denver, on the song "Fly Away", which gave Olivia the unique opportunity to replace herself at #1 on the Adult chart (it peaked at #13 overall in both the United States and Canada.)

Newton-John continued her amazing roll with the Gold album Come on Over in 1976.  The title song topped the Adult chart again and was #23 overall in the U.S., achieved similar numbers in Canada, and went to #3 in New Zealand.

Olivia was nominated for Favorite Female Musical Performer at the People's Choice Awards.  She zoomed into the studio to record the album Don't Stop Believin' later in the year.  The title song gave her an incredible seventh straight #1 Adult hit.

Newton-John struck Gold with her sixth consecutive RIAA certified album.  The single "Every Face Tells A Story" did well on the Adult chart in both Canada (#5) and the U.S. (#6).

The fourth single from Don't Stop Believin', "Sam", returned Olivia to the top of the Adult charts in the United States and Canada.  It was already Newton-John's ninth career #1 among Adults, which of course constitute most of the world.

In 1976, Olivia hosted her first television special in the U.S., A Special Olivia Newton-John.  When her 1977 album Making a Good Thing Better broke her streak of Gold albums, Olivia and Farrar decided to change courses in her career.  At this point, Newton-John already had a place in The Top 100 Female Artists* wrapped up, but it was this shift in direction that propelled her well inside the Top 10*.

First, the record company released Olivia Newton-John's Greatest Hits, which became her first Platinum album and was a good "stopping point" for a compilation.

Then, Olivia landed the role of a lifetime when she starred opposite John Travolta in the blockbuster movie Grease in 1978.  She was offered the role of Sandy by producer Allan Carr at a dinner party at Helen Reddy's home.   She previewed some of the songs from the soundtrack in her network television special, Olivia, which featured guests ABBA and Andy Gibb.

Both the movie and the accompanying soundtrack album became not only two of the biggest hits of the year, but of all-time.  The soundtrack spent 12 weeks at #1 on the Album chart, and has now sold over 28 million copies (sixth best-selling soundtrack ever), while the movie was second only to the classic Jaws during its release and is now over $188 million in the United States and over $395 million worldwide.

Newton-John and Travolta paired for the album's first single, "You're The One That I Want", a #1 smash in every major country in the world.

The song became one of the biggest hits of the year, and is one of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*.  Olivia followed that up with the ballad "Hopelessly Devoted To You", yet another member of The Top 500 Songs* club.  It went to #1 in Canada, #2 in Australia, #3 in the U.S. and #6 in New Zealand, and was nominated for Best Original Song at the Academy Awards.  Olivia also was nominated for a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Olivia became the second female (after Linda Ronstadt in 1977) to have two songs in the Top 5 simultaneously when John & Olivia's "Summer Nights" reached #5 on the heels of her previous hit.  The duet hit #1 in the U.K., #3 in New Zealand, #4 in Germany and Canada and #6 in Australia.

Newton-John captured a People's Choice Award for Favorite Actress, another for Favorite Female Musical Performer, and she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award as Best Actress in a Musical.  Olivia was nominated once again for Favorite Female Pop/Rock Artist at the American Music Awards.  The "Grease" Soundtrack won the American Music Award for Favorite Album, and the Billboard Award for Top Soundtrack.  Grease would later win Billboard Music Awards for Top Pop Catalog Album in both 1997 and 1998.  The "Grease" Soundtrack was also nominated at the Grammy Awards for Album of the Year.

Just as the character Sandy had transformed from a goody-goody image to the spandex-clad girl at the end of the movie, Olivia transformed herself from a "mellow, Country Rock singer" to a rock performer.  It was an amazing career move.  Her next studio album, Totally Hot, became her first album to go Top 10 since 1975. 

"A Little More Love" peaked at #3 in the U.S., #4 in the U.K., #5 in Canada, #7 in New Zealand and #9 in Australia.

Newton-John just missed on collecting her fourth American Music Award in the Favorite Female Pop/Rock Artist (she would do that later), but still earned her 12th American Music Award nomination.  She followed that up with "Deeper Than The Night", a #4 Adult song that was a bit underrated at #11 overall.

In 1979, Newton-John was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II.  Olivia performed at the Music for UNICEF Concert in 1979 for the International Year of the Child, in which proceeds went to help children around the world.

Newton-John joined Andy Gibb for the single "I Can't Help It", a #8 Adult Contemporary hit that reached #12 overall.

Olivia then starred in Hollywood Nights, her third television special.  Later, she starred in another movie musical, Xanadu, with Gene Kelly.  The film didn't do well, but its soundtrack did, going Double Platinum and producing five hits.    "Magic" became one of Olivia's biggest career hits, topping all challengers for four weeks in the U.S. and also going #1 for five weeks on the AC chart, and reaching #1 in Canada and #4 in Australia and New Zealand.  Olivia scored another Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.  

The next single, "Xanadu", done with the Electric Light Orchestra, was a #1 hit in the U.K. and Germany, hit #2 on the AC chart and #8 overall in the United States, and reached #2 in Australia, #6 in Canada, and #8 in New Zealand.

Olivia then collaborated with long-time friend Cliff Richard for the Adult Contemporary smash "Suddenly" (#4), which was an underrated #20 overall.

"Suspended In Time" was another Newton-John contribution to Xanadu that was not released as a single but probably should have been.

Olivia contributed another great song to the movie--"Dancin" with the Tubes.

In 1981, Olivia was back with the album Physical.  The title song became one of the longest-running #1 songs of the Rock Era at ten weeks, and became something of a theme to an aerobics movement, and headbands became a fashion accessory outside the gym after the music video.  At the time, "Physical" tied the Rock Era record held by Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life".  Besides the Popular chart, Newton-John landed on the R&B chart for the only time in her career at #28, and reached #1 in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, #4 in Germany and #7 in the U.K.

Newton-John received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  "Physical" sold over two million copies and helped the album go Double Platinum. 

Olivia won her 10th American Music Award for Favorite Female Pop/Rock Artist, and she captured Billboard Music Awards for Top Pop Singles Artist, Top Pop Singles Artist (Female), and Top Pop Single for "Physical".  She was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.  

Newton-John released the follow-up single, "Make A Move On Me", which became a #5 overall and #6 Adult Contemporary hit in 1982, and was #4 in Canada and #8 in Australia.

Newton-John recorded a video album that earned her a fourth Grammy Award and was aired on ABC in the special, Let's Get Physical.  Newton-John's surge in popularity led to an international tour, and the release of the Double-Platinum album Olivia's Greatest Hits Vol. 2.  She scored another hit with a new song from that album, "Heart Attack", which shot up to #2 in Canada and #3 in the United States.  Olivia earned another Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

The tour was filmed for the HBO Olivia in Concert television special in 1983, which earned Newton-John another Grammy nomination for Best Long Form Music Video.

Olivia and Travolta joined again for the movie Two of a Kind.  Although their movie wasn't successful this time, the soundtrack was, selling over one million copies.  The soundtrack contained another Newton-John hit, "Twist Of Fate", which reached #4 in Canada and Australia, and reached #5 in the U.S.  Olivia was recognized with a 12th Grammy nomination, this time in the Best Short Form Music Video category.

The Newton-John & Travolta duet from the movie, "Take A Chance", was a #3 smash on the Adult Contemporary chart.  It would be her last major hit.

Newton-John starred in two Christmas movies on television, A Mother for Christmas in 1990 and A Christmas Romance in 1994, both ratings winners.

Olivia and Pat Carroll (Farrar) founded the store Koala Blue, originally exclusively for Australian imports, but that later included a chain of women's clothing boutiques.  The store was initially successful, but eventually had to close in 1992.  Newton-John and Farrar later licensed the brand name for a line of Australian-produced wines, confections, and bed and bath products.

Olivia married Matt Lattanzi in December, 1984.  The couple had met four years earlier while filming the movie Xanadu.  Their daughter, Chloe, who today is also a singer, was born in 1986.  The couple was divorced in 1995.

Newton-John released the album Soul Kiss in 1985.  The title song only reached #20.  After a three-year break following the birth of Chloe, Olivia returned with the album The Rumour in 1988.  Unfortunately, although the album was praised by critics for dealing with issues such as AIDS, the environment, and single-parent households, Olivia didn't fit in in a music world obsessed with teen queens Tiffany and Debbie Gibson.

Newton-John attempted a comeback in 1992.  She released a great compilation, Back to Basics - The Essential Collection 1971-1992, and planned her first tour in ten years.  Shortly after the album's release, however, Olivia was diagnosed with breast cancer, forcing her to cancel all her plans.  She fully recovered, and became a lifelong advocate for breast cancer research and other health issues.  Today, she is a part owner of the Gaia Retreat and Spa in Byron Bay, Australia. 

Olivia has released 10 albums since, including several Christmas albums.  

Throughout her career, Newton-John has held many humanitarian causes close to her heart. She served as goodwill ambassador to the United Nations Environment Program and as national spokesperson for the Children's Health Environmental Coalition after the death of her daughter's best friend at the age of four from a rare childhood cancer.

Olivia's cancer diagnosis affected the type of music she recorded.  In 1994, she released Gaia:  One Woman's Journey about her ordeal.  It was the first album on which Newton-John wrote all the songs.  Proceeds from her 2005 album Stronger Than Before benefited breast cancer research.

In 1998, Olivia received the Cadillac Concept to the World Humanitarian Award for breast cancer research.  The following year, the Red Cross honored her with its Humanitarian Award for breast cancer and environmental charity work, and she received the Woman of the 21st Century Award from the Women's Guild of Cedar-Sinai Hospital. 

In 2000, Newton-John received the Ermenegildo Zegna International Environmental Award from the Environmental Media Association for "increasing public awareness of environmental problems", and the Green Globe Arts and Nature Award from the Rainforest Alliance for her "contribution to the preservation of rainforests".  Olivia and John Farnham performed "Dare To Dream" at the opening ceremony of the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney.

In 2006, Olivia was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) for "service to the entertainment industry as a singer and actor and to the community through organizations supporting breast cancer treatment, education, training and research, and the environment".  Newton-John also received a Humanitarian Award from Decatur Memorial Hospital in Illinois for her breast cancer awareness work.

In 2007, Newton-John received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American-Australian Association and a Valor Award from the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia for raising funds for cancer research.

In 2008, Newton-John raised money to build the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne, Australia.  She led a three-week, 228 kilometer walk along the Great Wall of China, joined by various celebrities and cancer survivors throughout.  She also received the Marianne Williamson Founder's Award from Project Angel Food for her commitment to breast cancer awareness.    

Olivia released the concert DVD, Olivia Newton-John and the Sydney Symphony:  Live at the Sydney Opera House, as well as the CD Olivia's Live Hits in 2008.

In June, Newton-John married John Easterling, founder and president of Amazon Herb Company.

Olivia has appeared in sitcoms such as Murphy Brown, Glee, Bette, and Ned and Stacey.  In 2011, Newton-John starred in the comedy A Few Best Men

Newton-John continues to tour.  In 2012, she did a tour of Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.  Last year, she toured Australia, the U.K. and the United States.

In 2012, Olivia was given the National Trust of Australia Award, and named a National Living Treasure of Australia.

With more than 100 million albums sold, Newton-John's successes include four Grammy Awards, numerous Country Music, American Music, and People's Choice Awards, 10 #1 hits including "Physical," which topped the charts for 10 consecutive weeks and was listed in Billboard magazine's Top 100 Songs of All Time; and over 15 Top 10 singles.

At one time, Olivia was as high as #3 in this ranking and was still #4 until a trio of phenomenon's (Madonna, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston) landed on the scene in the latter half of the 20th century.  But her amazing talent, versatility and ability to jump from genre to genre without missing a beat have ensured Newton-John a spot in the all-time Top 10 for many years.

Friday, February 21, 2014

This Date in Rock Music History: February 22

  Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis Presley on Grooveshark
1956:  A handsome singer with a great voice first was heard on the radio this week as he debuted on the chart with his first single--Elvis Presley and "Heartbreak Hotel".  And history was made.
1958:  The movie The Big Beat, an Alan Freed project starring Fats Domino, the Diamonds and the Del-Vikings, debuted in Detroit, Michigan.
1960:  Dinah Washington & Brook Benton were at #1 on the R&B chart for a third week with "Baby (You've Got What It Takes)", on the way to having one of The Top R&B Songs of All-Time*.
1960:  Percy Faith had a relatively brief climb to #1 (seven weeks) with "The Theme from 'A Summer Place'".
1962:  Elvis reigned on the U.K. chart with the double-sided "Rock-A-Hula Baby"/"Can't Help Falling In Love".
1963:  The Beatles began the Northern Music Publishing Company with Dick James.  However, the initial deal maintained that James and his partner, Charles Silver, always had one more share than John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and manager Brian Epstein combined.  This fact would have a devastating effect on Lennon and McCartney in later years. 
1963:  "Please Please Me" by the Beatles achieved #1 in the U.K.
1964:  Meet the Beatles!  was #1 on the Album chart for the second week while Introducing...the Beatles moved from 22 to 3.
1964:  The song that really got the Beach Boys' careers kick started--"Fun, Fun, Fun", moved from #69 to #27.
                   The Four Seasons were one of the pre-Beatles acts that stayed strong...

1964:  "I Want To Hold Your Hand" by the Beatles spent a fourth week at #1 with "She Loves You" by the Beatles second.  The Four Seasons moved impressively from 11 to 3 with their latest--"Dawn (Go Away)".  Lesley Gore's #2 smash "You Don't Own Me" was behind that trio while the instrumental "Java" from Al Hirt was up to #6.  The rest of the Top 10:  Major Lance with "Um" five times, the Rip Chords and "Hey Little Cobra", the Rivieras warmed up as "California Sun" moved from 14-8, the Tams had "What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am" and Diane Renay moved from 21 to 10 with "Navy Blue".

1965:  The Beatles flew to the Bahamas to begin filming their second movie, Help!  (Note:  Several websites report that the group began filming on this date.  The truth is that the Beatles flew there on February 22, and began filming at New Providence Island in the Bahamas on February 23, according to the book 'The Beatles Diary Volume 1:  The Beatles Years' by Barry Miles.)   
1967:  The Beatles recorded the piano chord for "A Day In The Life" at EMI Studios on Abbey Road in London.  John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Mal Evans, road manager of the group, all simultaneously played an E major chord on separate pianos, hitting the chord as hard as possible.  As the sound diminished, faders were increased, to the point that at the end of the chord, the studio air conditioners can be heard.  It took nine takes to achieve the desired sound.  Take seven was the longest at 59 seconds, but take nine was judged to be the best.  Producer George Martin then used three overdubs to thicken the sound. 
1968:  Genesis released their first single "The Silent Sun".
1969:  The Beatles began recording the album Abbey Road with the track "I Want You (She's So Heavy)".
1969:  Sly & the Family Stone took over at #1 on the R&B chart with "Everyday People".

      Harrison's great song highlights 'The White Album'.

1969:  For the eighth week in a row, The White Album by the Beatles was #1.  Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell was second on this day with the Soundtrack to "Yellow Submarine" third.  TCB from Diana Ross & the Supremes with the Temptations fell while the Greatest Hits by the Association was #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  the great self-titled Blood, Sweat & Tears, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida from Iron Butterfly, Elvis by Elvis Presley, Crimson & Clover from Tommy James & the Shondells entered the Top 10 and another one from Diana Ross & the Supremes & the Temptations, called Diana Ross & the Supremes Join the Temptations, was #10.

1969:  "Proud Mary" by CCR moved from 21 to 9 on this date.

1971:  Three Dog Night released the single "Joy To The World".

1971:  George Harrison released the single "What is Life".
1974:  Alvin Lee performed a solo concert at the Rainbow Theatre in London.
1975:  "Nightingale" by Stanley, Idaho's Carole King was the new #1 Adult song.
1975:  AWB by the Average White Band was the new #1 album with Bob Dylan's excellent Blood on the Tracks moving up to challenge.  Former #1 Heart Like a Wheel from Linda Ronstadt was third, followed by Miles of Aisles and Jethro Tull's War Child.  The rest of the Top 10:  B.T. Express with Do It ('Til You're Satisfied), Elton John's 1969 album Empty Sky became a Top 10 album six years later, what with Elton's huge mid-70's success, Rufusized by Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan, Barry Manilow II was #9 and Grand Funk edged up with All the Girls in the World Beware!!!

Lady Marmalade by Patti LaBelle on Grooveshark
1975:  "Lady Marmalade" was the toast of the town as Labelle reached #1 on the R&B chart.
1975:  B.J. Thomas had a lot on his mind, and succinct titles weren't part of it.  His new song "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" moved from #81 to #44.  

                           Grand Funk had a great sound with this one...

1975:  The Average White Band received more good news as their single "Pick Up The Pieces" went to #1.  The Eagles were ready to make their move with "Best Of My Love" while Grand Funk's great song "Some Kind Of Wonderful" moved to #3.  The Doobie Brothers were next with "Black Water" and Olivia Newton-John proved she was for real as "Have You Never Been Mellow" vaulted from 18 to 5.  The rest of the Top 10:  America's "Lonely People", Frankie Valli was up to #7 with "My Eyes Adored You", former #1 "You're No Good" by Linda Ronstadt tumbled, John Lennon's "#9 Dream" was, um, #9 and Stanley, Idaho's Carole King took "Nightingale" to #10.

1976:  Florence Ballard of the Supremes died of cardiac arrest from a blood clot of one of her coronary arteries at the age of 32 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Note:  some websites erroneously report her death as February 21.  According to the books 'Motown:  The Golden Years:  More than 100 Rare Photographs' by Bill Dahl and 'The Encyclopedia of Sixties Cool:  A Celebration of the Grooviest People' by Chris Strodder, Ballard entered Mt. Carmel Mercy Hospital in Detroit on February 21, and died the next morning.)  



1978:  The members of the Police appeared as blondes in a commercial for Wrigley's chewing gum and decided to keep their new looks.
1979:  Journey entered into a sponsorship with Budweiser.
1980:  Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow appeared at The Royal Highland Exhibition Hall in Edinburgh, Scotland.
1986:  "Sara" by Starship took over as the #1 Adult Contemporary song.


1986:  Two new acts both reached the Top 10 on this date.  The Dream Academy was at #7 with "Life In A Northern Town" while Mike + the Mechanics placed "Silent Running" at #8.
1988:  Stevie Wonder received the 1998 MusiCares Person of the Year award.
1989:  In one of the biggest blunders ever by the Grammy Awards, they included a Heavy Metal category and then gave the Grammy to Jethro Tull.  Do the Grammy people even have a clue what music is?
1989:  Tracy Chapman won the Grammy for Best New Artist.

1989:  Bobby McFerrin won Record and Song of the year for "Don't Worry, Be Happy" at the Grammys.
1992:  TLC appeared on the radio for the first time as their debut single "Ain't 2 (sic) Proud 2 (sic) Beg" first appeared on the charts.
1992:  Paul Young reached #1 on the AC chart with "What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted".
1992:  Shakespear's Sister took over at #1 for an eight-week run at the top with "Stay".
1992:  It was obvious by now that Garth Brooks had himself a classic, with the #1 album for the 13th week--Ropin' the Wind.  


1993:  Radiohead released their debut album--Pablo Honey.
1993:  Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of Iron Maiden, announced he was leaving the band to pursue a solo career. He returned in 1999.

1994:  Papa John Creach, the violinist with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, died of heart failure in Los Angeles at age 76.
1997:  Blur's self-titled album topped the U.K. chart.
 1997:  No Doubt had the #1 U.K. song--"Don't Speak".
1997:  "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls reached #1 after just five weeks.  That ended an 11-week run at the top for Toni Braxton's "Un-Break My Heart", tied for the seventh-longest stint in the Rock Era.

                 "Love Thing" helped the Spice Girls make a splash.

1997:  Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt returned to #1 on the Album chart for the ninth week.  Other albums of note:  Secrets from Toni Braxton was #3, Celine Dion was still at #5 after 48 weeks with Falling Into You, newcomers the Spice Girls debuted at #6 with their first album Spice and Jewel was headed back up after 52 weeks with the sensational Pieces of You.
1999:  And the Beat Goes On..., the story of Sonny & Cher, premiered on ABC-TV.
2000:  Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton and Lauryn Hill were among the people gathered at a church in Los Angeles to honor Curtis Mayfield, the late singer-songwriter who died in December.
2001:  The Beatles were the top money-earners of 2000, bringing in $50 million.  This despite the fact that they hadn't been together for 30 years.


2002:  Little Richard received an NCAACP Image Award.
2004:  Bobby Vinton collapsed onstage while performing at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  He recovered backstage and refused hospitalization.
2005:  After lead singer Josh Homme was found coughing up blood in his hotel room in Paris, France, Queens of the Stone Age canceled their European tour.  Homme was suffering from a serious lung infection.

2005:  Brian "Head" Welch, founding member of Korn, left the group.
2006:  Sheryl Crow had minimally invasive surgery in Los Angeles after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
2008:  Jaheim had the #1 album with Ghetto Classics.
2009:  Earth, Wind & Fire performed at the White House in Washington, D.C. for a dinner of United States Governors.
2010:  Sam Moore of Sam & Dave ("Soul Man") received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

2011:  Adele released the album 21 in the United States.  The singer and album would go on to revitalize rock and bring it out of years of mediocrity.

2011:  The Monkees announced that Michael Nesmith has rejoined the group and they were getting back together for a tour in honor of the group's 45th anniversary.

2012:  The Spice Girls reunited for a spectacular performance at the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Born This Day:
1923:  Norman "Hurricane" Smith, engineer of all the EMI studio recordings by the Beatles until 1965 and an artist ("Oh Babe, What Would You Say" in 1972), was born in Edmonton, Middlesex; died March 3, 2008 in East Sussex, England.

1927:  Guy Mitchell (real name Albert Cernik), who had one of the biggest hits early in the Rock Era ("Singing The Blues" from 1955), was born in Detroit, Michigan; died July 1, 1999 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Note:  several websites report that Mitchell was born on February 27, but according to 'The BBC', the newspaper 'The Guardian', and the books 'Encyclopedia of Music in the 20th Century' by Lol Henderson and Lee Stacey and 'The Dude Martin Band Story' by Jim Goggin, he was born on February 22.  Some websites say he died on July 2.  The official website for Mitchell, the newspaper 'The Los Angeles Times' and the two books listed above also confirm that Mitchell died on July 1)
1936:  Ernie K. Doe ("Mother-In-Law") was born in New Orleans, Louisiana; died of kidney and liver failure after years of alcoholism on July 5, 2001 in New Orleans.
1938:  Bobby Hendricks, a lead singer of the Drifters, was born in Columbus, Ohio.
1943:  Mick Green, guitarist of Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, was born in Matlock, Derbyshire, England; died January 11, 2010 of heart failure in Essex.
1943:  Louise Lopez of Odyssey ("Native New Yorker"
1945:  Oliver ("Jean" and "Good Morning Starshine") was born in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina; died from lung cancer February 12, 2000 in Shreveport, Louisiana.
1953:  John Sparks, guitarist of Dr. Feelgood
1973:  Scott Phillips, co-founder and drummer of Creed, was born in Valdosta, Georgia.

1974:  James Blunt ("You're Beautiful" from 2006) was born in Tidworth, Wiltshire, England.
1979:  Tom Higgenson, vocalist and guitarist of the Plain White T's