Saturday, July 19, 2014

This Date in Rock Music History: July 20

1954:  Elvis Presley, with Scotty Moore and Bill Black as the Blue Moon Boys, gave his first concert in the flat bed of a truck in Memphis, Tennessee.

1959:  Lloyd Price scored another week at #1 on the R&B chart, his fourth, with "Personality".
1963:  The Beatles performed at the Ritz Ballroom in Rhyl, North Wales.
1963:  The Rolling Stones got down at the Wisbech Corn Exchange in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England.

1963:  The Essex had the top R&B song with "Easier Said Than Done". 
1965:  Bob Dylan released the single "Like A Rolling Stone". Bob's still a little hesitant about having his music played on this new thing we call the Internet, so we'll honor his request about not having his song played.
1965:  Frank Sinatra left his handprints in front of Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood to promote his new film Von Ryan's Express, which opened the following day. 
1968:  Jane Asher announced that Paul McCartney broke off their engagement.

                           Mason Williams was going somewhere in a hurry on the chart...

1968:  "Grazing In The Grass" by Hugh Masekela became the new #1 song.  Gary Puckett (from Twin Falls, Idaho) and the Union Gap rose to #2 with their latest "Lady Willpower" while the Rolling Stones remained at 3 with "Jumpin' Jack Flash".  Herb Alpert fell from #1 with "This Guy's In Love With You".  The rest of the Top 10:  Cliff Nobles & Company fell from 2-5 with "The Horse", the 5th Dimension with "Stoned Soul Picnic", Donovan was the first of three strong movers (12-7) with "Hurdy Gurdy Man", Mason Williams moved from 29 to 8 with "Classical Gas", the Doors climbed from 22-9 with "Hello, I Love You" and the Cowsills remained at 10 with "Indian Lake".  Three instrumentals are part of the Top 10 on this date; it is one of the only times in the Rock Era that this occurred.
1969:  Roy Hamilton, one of several artists who had a hit with "Unchained Melody", died after suffering a stroke at the age of 40 in New Rochelle, New York.
1970:  The Carpenters were guest bachelor and bachelorette on the ABC television show The  Dating Game.

1971:  The Carpenters premiered their NBC television summer series Make Your Own Kind of Music, with guests Herb Alpert and Mark Lindsay, the lead singer of Paul Revere & the Raiders from Boise, Idaho.
1974:  Drummer Joey Ramone became the lead singer for the Ramones.
1974:  The Doobie Brothers, Van Morrison and the Allman Brothers performed at the Knebworth Festival at Knebworth Park (on the grounds of the Knebworth House) in Knebworth, Hertfordshire, England (about 29 miles (47 kilometers) north of London).
1974:  George McCrae and Rufus were on American 

1974:  John Denver captured the #1 spot on the Adult Contemporary chart for the third week with "Annie's Song". 


1974:  George McCrae remained at the #1 slot with "Rock Your Baby", a song that would go on to sell 11 million copies--the top-selling song of the 70's!  "Annie's Song" by John Denver was #2 while the Righteous Brothers made their move (10-3) with "Rock And Roll Heaven", their 19th hit and sixth Top 10.  Elton John was up to 4 with "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me".  The rest of the Top 10:  "On And On" from Gladys Knight & the Pips, Steely Dan had a winner with "Rikki Don't Lose That Number", up 13 to 7, Anne Murray remained at 8 with "You Won't See Me", the Hollies were at 9 with "The Air That I Breathe" and Olivia Newton-John reached the Top 10 for the second time in her career with "If You Love Me 
(Let Me Know)".
1975:  The Rolling Stones were in concert at Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins, Colorado, where Elton John joined them onstage.  (Note:  several websites erroneously say the concert was in Denver, Colorado, and some say it was on July 19, but it was in Fort Collins on July 20, according to the newspaper 'The Fort Collins Coloradoan'.)
1975:  Steven Van Zandt performed in concert for the first time as one of the members of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band at the Palace Theatre in Providence, Rhode Island.
1976:  The Eagles were at Olympic Stadium in Detroit, Michigan.
1977:  Gary Kellgren, famous engineer, drowned in a swimming pool at age 38 in Hollywood, California.  Kellgren worked on Jimi Hendrix's album Electric Ladyland, albums by John Lennon, George Harrison and Barbra Streisand, and was the operator of the Record Plant studio in Los Angeles.

1979:  ELO released what would turn out to be the biggest hit of their career--"Don't Bring Me Down".   ELO purchased advertisements in several trade papers dedicating the release of "Don't Bring Me Down" to the NASA space station Skylab, which re-entered the Earth's atmosphere over Australia and the Indian Ocean on July 11.   (Note:  some websites report that the group released the song on July 21.  While there are no credible sources for either date, it is highly likely and makes the most sense that the group timed the advertisements to run the day that the single was released to radio stations.)

1979:  Herb Alpert released the single "Rise".
1985:  DeBarge completed the climb to #1 on the AC chart with "Who's  Holding Donna Now".

1985:  Songs from the Big Chair by Tears for Fears was #1 again on the Album chart with No Jacket Required from Phil Collins still at #2.  Bryan Adams was at #3 in his 35th week with the great album Reckless.  Prince & the Revolution held down #4 with Around the World in a Day and Bruce Springsteen's album Born in the U.S.A. was at #5 after 57 weeks.  The rest of the Top 10:  The Soundtrack to "Beverly Hills Cop", The Power Station at 7 with their self-titled album, Madonna was at #8 with Like a Virgin, the Eurythmics found their album Be Yourself Tonight at #9 and Ratt finished the list with Invasion of Your Privacy. 
1986:  Carlos Santana played a concert with the original members of his band on his 39th birthday. 
1987:  Prince completed work on his third movie, Sign O' the Times in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 
1990:  Madonna played at Wembley Stadium in
London, the first of three nights at Wembley.

                                              "Right Now" from Van Halen...

1991:  Van Halen remained at #1 on the Album chart with For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge but Natalie Cole was challenging with Unforgettable with Love.  Skid Row fell with Slave to the Grind and Paula Abdul was at 4 with Spellbound.  The rest of the Top 10:  Gonna' Make You Sweat from C + C Music Factory, Luck of the Draw by Bonnie Raitt, the Soundtrack to "Robin Hood:  Prince of Thieves" debuted at #7, R.E.M. was at #8 with their album Out of Time, EFIL4ZAGGIN by N.W.A. was #9 and Garth Brooks was still in the Top 10 after 44 weeks with No Fences.

1991:  EMF reached #1 in their 15th week of release with "Unbelievable". 
1991:  Paula Abdul made it four weeks in a row at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Rush Rush".
1996:  Kim Thayil of Soundgarden was arrested for assault. 
1996:  Gary Barlow had the #1 song in the U.K. with "Forever Love". 
1999:  The Rolling Stones reported an income of $337 million for two years of touring. 
2005:  R. Kelly had the top album with TP.3 Reloaded. 
2015:  Wayne Carson, songwriter of 2 of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*--"The Letter" by the Box Tops and "Always On My Mind" by Willie Nelson, died Monday at the age of 72.  Carson also produced, and played piano, guitar, bass, and percussion.  In addition to the two monster hits listed above, he wrote "Soul Deep" for the Box Tops and also worked with Brenda Lee, Glen Campbell, Alabama, B.J. Thomas, the Pet Shop Boys, and Ike & Tina Turner, just to name a few.

Born This Day:
1933:  Buddy Knox ("Party Doll" in 1957) was born in Happy, Texas; died February 14, 1999 of lung cancer in Bremerton, Washington.

 Dennis Yost
1943:  Dennis Yost, the great lead singer of the Classics IV, was born in Detroit, Michigan; died December 7, 2008 of respiratory failure (had been hospitalized since December of
2006 with a brain injury). 

1945:  John Lodge, bassist, singer and songwriter for the Moody Blues, was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England.  (Note:  some websites claim Lodge was born in Erdington, Birmingham, England.  Erdington is a suburb of Birmingham, but Lodge states that he was born in Birmingham on his official website.  In 1945, when John was born, Birmingham was part of the county of Warwickshire.) 

1946:  Kim Carnes was born in Los Angeles.

1947:  Carlos Santana was born in Autl├ín de Navarro, Mexico.
1952:  Jay Jay French, guitarist of Twisted Sister, was born in New York City.
1956:  Paul Cook, drummer of the Sex Pistols and later producer of Bananarama, was born in London.
1957:  Merlina DeFranco, drummer with the DeFranco Family
1958:  Michael MacNeil, keyboardist and songwriter of Simple Minds, was born in Isle of Barra, Scotland.
1962:  Dig Wayne (real name Timothy Ball) of the JoBoxers, was born in Cambridge, Ohio. 
1964:  Chris Cornell, lead singer for Soundgarden and Audioslave, was born in Seattle, Washington.
1966:  Stone Gossard, rhythm guitarist of Pearl Jam, was born in Seattle, Washington.
1972:  Vitamin C (real name Colleen Ann Fitzpatrick), who had the hit "Graduation (Friends Forever)", was born in Old Bridge Township, New Jersey.
1978:  Elliott Yamin, former "American Idol" contestant ("Wait For You"), was born in Los Angeles .

The Grand Finale...

Of course the hot item on the website right now is The Top 200 Songs of the 60's*, which today presented songs from #20 to #11.  Don't miss that, and be sure to catch up on previous segments while the videos are still active.  As we always do, we will present a handy guide with links to all 20 segments when the special is complete.

Classic Summer Songs: "Close To You" from the Carpenters

The Carpenters gave us one of the greatest songs of the Rock Era--if you were around that year, you know it dominated the Summer of 1970:

The Top 200 Songs of the 60's*: #20-11

Inside The Rock Era is celebrating the sensational music of the 60's, a music special we started on July 1.  We have presented ten songs per day for your enjoyment, and we're nearly finished.  We have some incredible classics lined up for you, numbers 20 through 11*. 



Until 1969, it was tough for George Harrison to get a word in edgewise, literally.  John Lennon and Paul McCartney's compositions dominated the group's albums, but Harrison turned in a gem here.  George wrote it in a studio room while the Beatles were recording The White Album.  The original lyrics were adapted from the title of a song by fellow Apple Records artist James Taylor entitled "Something In The Way She Moves", and used as filler while Harrison worked on the melody.  The second line "Attracts me like no other lover" was the last to be written.   

The Beatles recorded "Something" at London's EMI Studios.  Harrison sang lead and played lead guitar, while McCartney played bass and sang backing vocals,  Lennon played piano and rhythm guitar, Ringo Starr was on drums, Billy Preston played organ,  and George Martin was responsible for the strings arrangement.
Before the song was edited for release, it contained a long instrumental at the end.  "Something" was released as a double "A"-sided single with "Come Together".    Martin also produced the song, which has now gone Double-Platinum.
"Something" was the song that put the Beatles over the top, eclipsing Elvis Presley's record of 17 #1's in the Rock Era.  The Beatles would score two more after this for a total of 20.  "Something" earned time at the top against "Wedding Bell Blues", "Sugar, Sugar", "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head", "I Can't Get Next To You", "Honky Tonk Women", "Come Together", "Everybody's Talkin'", "Leaving On A Jet Plane", "Suspicious Minds", and "Someday We'll Be Together".

  Frank Sinatra called "Something" "the greatest love song ever written".  In 1999, BMI announced that "Something" was the 17th-most performed song of the 20th century, with five million performances.  There are more than 150 cover versions of "Something", the second-most Beatles song after "Yesterday".  But there's only one version in The Top 200 Songs of the 60's*.


"Can't Help Falling In Love"
Elvis Presley


Song #19* is based on the melody of the French song "Plaisir D'Amour" by Jean Paul Egide Martine.  George Weiss adapted the melody, wrote English lyrics, and presented it to Elvis Presley, who recorded it for his movie Blue Hawai'i.
Veteran session drummer Hal Blaine played on the track.  Jordan Lumsden produced the song for release on RCA Victor Records.  "Can't Help Falling In Love" only reached #2, but it had major competition:  "The Twist", "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", "Big Bad John", "Runaround Sue", "Hey!  Baby", and the Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman".  Not only that, but the "Blue Hawai'i" Soundtrack dominated the album charts, hanging on for 20 weeks at #1, a record until 1977 when Fleetwood Mac's landmark album Rumours broke it.  Had Billboard understood the importance of album sales back then, Elvis's song would have been a long-running #1 song.
Weiss also wrote "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" for the Tokens, "What A Wonderful World" for Louis Armstrong, and several musicals, including Mr. Wonderful in 1956.



"Love Is Blue"
Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra


This song written by Andre Popp and Pierre Cour was recorded by Paul Mauriat and His Orchestra in 1967.  Mauriat also produced the song for release on Phillips Records.

"Love Is Blue" sold over one million copies and reached #1 for five weeks, second longest of the Rock Era for an instrumental.  It's competition was anything but run of the mill--"(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay", "Daydream Believer", "Lady Madonna", "Hello Goodbye", "Scarborough Fair" and Bobby Goldsboro's "Honey".  "Love Is Blue" also topped the Easy Listening chart for 11 weeks, and was the record holder in that genre for 25 years. 

"Love Is Blue" is not responsible for huge album sales, but it has been played over four million times on the radio since its release. 


"In The Year 2525"
Zager & Evans

Rick Evans of this duo wrote "In The Year 2525"  in 1964, and Zager & Evans released this song on a small regional label (Truth Records) in 1968.  Zager and Evans both sang and played guitar, with Mark Dalton on bass and Dave Trupp playing drums. 

The song broke out of Texas, and when it did, RCA Records picked it up for distribution nationwide.  "In The Year 2525" was one of the longest-running #1 songs of the 60's, reigning for six weeks.  It did so against stellar competition from "Aquarius", "Get Back", "Honky Tonk Women", "Sugar, Sugar", "Crystal Blue Persuasion", "Bad Moon Rising", "Spinning Wheel", "My Cherie Amour", "One" from Three Dog Night, "Sweet Caroline", and "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town".

Dismissed by critics (who could never in their wildest dreams write a song that would still be relevant 45 years later), "In The Year 2525" sold four million copies within a year, and has now topped ten million.
"In The Year 2525" now has been covered at least 60 times in several languages.

"To Sir With Love"

Don Black and Mark London wrote this smash.  Black told the Sunday Times:

It's one of the very, very few songs that I've worked on where I've written the words first.  Normally, I may give the composer a title or suggest a couple of lines, but I don't like to write the whole lyric first.  If you write the lyric first, you tend to ramble.  You want the structure there to work against .

Lulu starred in the movie of the same name with Sidney Poitier.  Director James Clavell had seen Lulu open for the Beach Boys in concert and was impressed with her.  At first, Lulu had a small part, but her role expanded and she sang the theme song in the movie.
Mickie Most produced the song for release on Epic Records.  "To Sir With Love" sold one million copies quickly, and it has now gone over four million worldwide.  The song topped the charts for five weeks in one of the best times in music:  the Summer of 1967, going against great songs like "Ode To Billie Joe", "Light My Fire", "Hello Goodbye", "The Letter", "All You Need Is Love", "Never My Love", "Daydream Believer", "Incense And Peppermints" and "Reflections".


Young Rascals

After realizing that they could only see their girlfriends on Sunday afternoons because of their busy schedules, Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati wrote this song.  As Cavaliere told Seth Swirsky, director of the documentary Beatles Stories:

 I met this young girl and I just fell head over heels in love.  I was so gone that this joyous, wonderful emotion came into the music. Groovin' was part of that experience.  If you look at the story line, it's very simple: we're groovin' on a Sunday afternoon because Friday and Saturdays are when musicians work.  The simplicity of it is that Sundays you could be with your loved one.  And the beauty of is this joyous bliss that at that time I equated with a person, but that's the beauty of music - when it's an example of what you do it lasts forever.  You're in love forever because of that moment in time that you captured, and that's what was happening with Groovin'.

Cavaliere sang lead on "Groovin'".  Chuck Rainey played a great bass line, and Michael Weinstein played harmonica on the single version.  The Rascals produced the song as well.
When the Rascals completed work on "Groovin'", the executives at Atlantic Records didn't like it.  But influential disc jockey Murray the K heard it and intuitively knew it was a #1 song.  Murray went into Atlantic Records president Jerry Wexler's office and demanded it be released.
Wexler did, and he should thank his lucky stars that he had such good advice.  "Groovin'" went to #1 for four weeks against great competition from "Happy Together", "Respect", "Penny Lane", "Windy", "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", and "For What It's Worth". 
"Groovin'" is not only a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, but also a member of the Grammy Hall of Fame.  It only has just over one million in albums sold, but it has been played on the radio five million times.  



Keyboardist Terry Kirkman wrote "Cherish" and the Association began recording it.  Mike Whelan, who had been in an earlier group with members of the Association, began performing it as well with his new group, the New Christy Minstrels.  The Minstrels also released it as a single before the Association did. 
Session musicians played most of the instruments on the song.  Curt Boettcher produced "Cherish" for release on Valiant Records.
#"Cherish" was a #1 smash for three weeks, and it is the competition and the ability to stand the test of time (five million airplays) that are the greatest strengths of "Cherish".  It went head-on against great competition such as "Summer In The City", "You Can't Hurry Love", "Reach Out I'll Be There", "Sunny", "96 Tears", "Wild Thing", "Bus Stop", "Sunshine Superman", "Last Train To Clarksville", "Yellow Submarine", and "Eleanor Rigby".  "Cherish" went Gold and helped sell 2.5 million albums.


"The House Of The Rising Sun"

The origin of this song is unclear, but we know it has deep roots, and is one of the most-performed songs of all-time.  Some people say it is based on the tradition of broadside ballads such as "The Unfortunate Rake" in the 18th century, and that English emigrants brought the song with them to America, where it was later adapted to its New Orleans setting.  Alan Price of the Animals has said that the song was originally a sixteenth-century English folk song about a Soho brothel.  The oldest-known recordings of this version are by Texas Alexander in the 1920's and by Clarence "Tom" Ashley and Gwen Foster in 1934.  Ashley said he had learned the song from his grandfather, Enouch Ashley. 
Because no one can claim ownership as to the writing of the song, it can be recorded and sold by anyone royalty free. 
Eric Burdon said that he first heard the song in a Newcastle, England club sung by folk singer Johnny Handle.  The Animals were on a tour with Chuck Berry and began performing the song.  It received tremendous response, so the Animals eventually dropped into a small recording studio in London to cut the record.  They recorded it in one take, as they had spent several years perfecting the song live.  Hilton Valentine is responsible for the memorable guitar part.  And then you have Price's organ part, which cements the song's place in history.  Mickie Most produced the song for Columbia Graphophone Records in the U.K. and MGM in the United States. 
Burdon, who gave the iconic performance on vocals, said:

"House Of The Rising Sun" is a song that I was just fated to.  It was made for me and I was made for it.  It was a great song for the Chuck Berry tour because it was a way of reaching the audience without copying Chuck Berry.  It was a great trick and it worked.  It actually wasn't only a great trick, it was a great recording.  The best aspect of it, I've been told, is that Bob Dylan, who was angry at first, turned into a rocker.  Dylan went electric in the shadow of the Animals classic "House Of The Rising Sun". 

"The House Of The Rising Sun" went to #1 in the United States, the U.K., Canada, Finland, and Sweden.  It was the first song since 1962 by a British group that reached #1 in America that was not written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.  It sold over one million copies. 
"The House Of The Rising Sun" had solid competition:  "I Get Around", "A Hard Day's Night", "Oh, Pretty Woman", "Where Did Our Love Go", "And I Love Her", and "Do Wah Diddy Diddy".  It remains a radio favorite to this day, having now logged over six million airplays.

Music critic Dave Marsh called "The House Of The Rising Sun" "the first folk-rock hit", with the sound of the record "as if they'd connected the ancient tune to a live wire."  Writer Ralph McLean of the BBC said that the song was "a revolutionary single".  Barry York in his book The House of Worship describes Burdon's lead vocal:  "as deep and gravelly as the north-east English coal town of Newcastle that spawned him."

"The House Of The Rising Sun" is included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.  When the RIAA published their Songs of the Century list in 1999, "The House Of The Rising Sun" was ranked #240.  In 1999, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.  A 2005 poll in Great Britain ranked the song #4 among listeners there. 


"Ode To Billie Joe"
Bobby Gentry

And we're up to this classic.

After graduating from high school, Bobby Gentry went to UCLA.  Meanwhile, she sent a demo tape of this song to Capitol Records.  It was just her voice and an acoustic guitar, but Capitol was impressed and signed her to a recording contract.

Yes, there really is a Tallahatchie Bridge--it's in Money, Mississippi.  As for the story, Gentry made it up, purposely leaving out details, and in so doing, composed an enduring classic.

Gentry recorded the song at the Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, essentially recreating her demo tape.  Arranger Jimmie Haskell added two cellos and four violins and to the great credit of producer Kelly Gordon, that was it, for the song's great appeal is its storytelling. 
"Ode To Billie Joe" shot up to #1 against great songs like "The Letter", "Windy", "Light My Fire", "To Sir With Love", "Never My Love", "All You Need Is Love", "A Whiter Shade Of Pale", and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You".  It's hard to believe that there could be a time in music when all those songs were out at the same time.  Yet it really did happen.  Bobby Gentry's classic stayed at the top for four weeks and sold over one million copies.

"Ode To Billie Joe" was one of the most-honored songs of its time, receiving eight Grammy Award nominations and winning three.  Gentry captured Best New Artist, Best Vocal Performance, Female, Best Contemporary Female Solo Vocal Performance, and Best Arrangement Accompanying a Vocalist or Instrumentalist.

One music fan sums up the delight of listening to this song:

This is a wonderful song and a masterpiece of storytelling.  Must be one of the most melancholy songs ever.  Simple guitar and deadpan voice utterly brilliant.  The unanswered questions , the half formed characters, the detached bits of dialogue, the heat, the work, religion , the bridge and two deaths...or is it three?

The mournful background particular beginning and no particular life in the 50s/60s Delta...just going on, a monotone, flat.  The haunting ambivalence of this song is its true brilliance.  Obviously the interpretation of the rather simple (on the surface) lyrics keeps people thinking and pondering and arguing decades after its many songs can say that?

A movie based on the song (also titled Ode to Billy Joe) was released in 1976.


"The Sound Of Silence"
Simon & Garfunkel

Paul Simon had just graduated from college, and was just starting out as a songwriter, as an aspiring artist, when he presented this song to producer Tom Wilson at Columbia Records.  At the time, Paul was hoping to get a publishing deal.  Wilson had ideas of presenting it to a group, but Simon wanted Wilson to see how it would sound with two singers, so he and Art Garfunkel sang it.  Wilson and the brass at Columbia were so impressed with the sound that he signed them to a recording contract on the spot.  Simon explained to NPR:

"It was just when I was coming out of college.  My job was to take the songs that this huge publishing company owned and go around to record companies and see if any of their artists wanted to record the songs.  I worked for them for about six months and never got a song placed, but I did give them a couple of my songs because I felt so guilty about taking their money.  Then I got into an argument with them and said, "Look, I quit, and I'm not giving you my new song."  And the song that I had just written was "The Sound Of Silence."  I thought, 'I'll just publish it myself,' and from that point on I owned my own songs, so that was a lucky argument.

Simon continued:

I think about songs that it's not just what the words say but what the melody says and what the sound says.  My thinking is that if you don't have the right melody, it really doesn't matter what you have to say, people don't hear it.  They only are available to hear when the sound entrances and makes people open to the thought.  Really the key to '"The Sound Of Silence" is the simplicity of the melody and the words, which are youthful alienation.  It's a young lyric, but not bad for a 21-year-old.  It's not a sophisticated thought, but a thought that I gathered from some college reading material or something.  It wasn't something that I was experiencing at some deep, profound level - nobody's listening to me, nobody's listening to anyone - it was a post-adolescent angst, but it had some level of truth to it and it resonated with millions of people.  Largely because it had a simple and singable melody.

So Simon and Garfunkel went into the studio, with the first recording an acoustic version that they placed on their debut album, Wednesday Morning, 3 AM.  It's sales?  About 2,000.  When the album sold so poorly, Simon and Garfunkel split up.  But Wilson, unbeknownst to the duo, overdubbed the song with electric instruments and released that version as a single.  Al Gorgoni and Vinnie Bell played guitar, Joe Mack played bass and Buddy Salzman was on drums.  The pair was shocked to hear the song; Simon at the time was in England, while Garfunkel was in college.  Had it not been for this strange twist of fate, the great music we now know of from this duo would not have been heard.
"The Sound Of Silence" was one of the songs that Simon & Garfunkel performed in the folk clubs of Greenwich Village in New York City.  In 1968, director Mike Nichols used the song in the movie The Graduate, and also hired the duo to write "Mrs. Robinson", "Scarborough Fair" and "April Come She Will" for the film.
"The Sound Of Silence" sold over one million singles and went to #1 for two weeks in the midst of heavy competition ("Yesterday", "Turn!  Turn!  Turn!", "We Can Work It Out", "Day Tripper", "Barbara Ann", and "I Hear A Symphony").  But its timeless value and appeal are evident in album sales of 19.5 million for albums that include the song, and radio airplay now exceeding five million.  When you rank songs and you get close to a "top 10", you look for a song which has everything going for it.  This has it--popularity at the time of release, good single sales, great album sales and great airplay.
One insightful music fan had this to say about the song:  

Whenever I hear this song I get good reminders of the the way we live and carry out our daily lives.  Just as one would get a panoramic view from a mountain top, this song: "The Sound Of Silence" in a pensive manner opens up and penetrates the hearts and minds of listeners thereby giving us a broader scope things that happens around us.  Failure to communicate with each other is the shaping of a destructive end and remaining silent on burning and troubling issues is equally destructive, dangerous and weighty as the title of the song itself.
The songs you just heard, especially the last few, were strong contenders for the Top 10--there isn't much difference between those and The #10 Song*.  The ten we have selected are the ones we believe have the most overall strength, with all factors considered.  And Inside The Rock Era will unveil them to you tomorrow--don't miss it!

Friday, July 18, 2014

This Date in Rock Music History: July 19

Elvis Presley That's All Right Original 45 Record
1954:  Elvis Presley released his first single on Sun Records--"That's All Right".
1957:  Bobby Darin, Andy Williams, Chuck Berry and Frankie Lymon performed on Alan Freed's television show The Big Beat on ABC.
1958:  Manager George Treadwell fired all of the original Drifters and inserted the Five Crowns in their place.
1960:  Brian Hyland sang "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" on the popular television show American Bandstand

1963:  Frank Ifield enjoyed another #1 in the U.K. with "Confessin'".
1964:  The Rolling Stones performed at the Hippodrome in Brighton, England.

1965:  The Beatles released the single "Help" in the United States.
1966:  Frank Sinatra, age 50, married Mia Farrow, 21 years old.  Hey, she was legal.
1967:  Elvis Presley began work on his 27th movie, Speedway co-starring Nancy Sinatra, at the MGM Soundstage in Hollywood, California.
1967:  The Beatles charted at #1 in the U.K. with "All You Need Is Love".
1968:  Bo Diddley performed at the Hippodrome in San Diego, California.
1969:  The Spencer Davis Group broke up.

1969:  "Marrakesh Express" by Crosby, Stills & Nash debuted on the chart.

1969:  The Soundtrack to "Hair" was #1 on the Album chart in its 51st week while another soundtrack--"Romeo & Juliet" was #2.  Blood, Sweat & Tears had the #3 album, followed by The Age of Aquarius from the 5th Dimension.  The rest of the Top 10:  This is Tom Jones, A Warm Shade of Ivory by Henry Mancini & His Orchestra, Tommy from the Who at #7, Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline coming in at #8, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly at #9 and the debut from Crosby, Stills & Nash entered the Top 10 in its fourth week of release.
1969:  Jr. Walker & the All-Stars landed at #1 on the R&B chart with "What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)".
1969:  Henry Mancini's "Love Theme From 'Romeo & Juliet' was number one on the Easy Listening chart for a sixth week.
1972:  Drummer Bill Bruford left Yes to join King Crimson.

1973:  Paul Simon released the single "Loves Me Like A Rock".

1973:  Clarence White, guitarist of the Byrds, was laid to rest.  White had been killed by a drunk driver at the age of 29.
1974:  The Eagles headlined the Ozark Mountain Festival at the Missouri County Fairgrounds in Sedalia, Missouri.  It was probably one of the Top 10 Festivals in history, with over 350,000 people attending.  Among the acts performing over the three days were Aerosmith, Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, America, REO Speedwagon, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Boz Scaggs,  Joe Walsh, Blue Oyster Cult, the Charlie Daniels Band, the Marshall Tucker Band, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Spirit, and the Souther Hillman Furay Band.  
1975:  The Bay City Rollers were on top in the U.K. with "Give A Little Love".
1975:  The Isley Brothers owned the #1 R&B hit with "Fight the Power Part 1".
1975:  Olivia Newton-John's "Please Mr. Please" was the #1 Adult Contemporary song.

                                      10cc made a big move on the chart...

1975:  Wings scored at #1 with "Listen to What the Man Said".  Van McCoy remained at 2 with "The Hustle" while the British group 10cc moved from 10-3 with "I'm Not in Love".  The Eagles were racing up as well with "One of These Nights" and Olivia Newton-John moved "Please Mr. Please to #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Magic" from Pilot, Frankie Valli at position #7 with "Swearin' To God", the Captain & Tennille took a tumble with their former #1 "Love Will Keep Us Together", the Bee Gees had their 22nd hit and fifth Top 10 with "Jive Talkin'" and Gwen McCrae's "Rockin' Chair" was at #10.
1976:  Deep Purple split up.

1979:  Michael Jackson released the first single from his new solo album Off the Wall--"Don't Stop ('Til You Get Enough)".
1980:  An art exhibit featuring paintings from Joni Mitchell, John Mayall, Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones and Commander Cody opened at Vorpal Gallery in Laguna Beach, California.
1980:  Queen had the top U.K. album with The Game.

                                             Jermaine had a Top 10 of his own...

1980:  Billy Joel earned his first Gold single--"It's Still Rock And Roll To Me", which also hit #1 on this date.  "Coming Up" from Paul McCartney & Wings slipped to #2 and Elton John had hit #29 with "Little Jeannie".  The Spinners' "Cupid/I've Loved You For A Long Time" was fourth followed by the Manhattans, which rose up from 11 to 5 with the great song "Shining Star".  The rest of the Top 10:  Robbie Dupree's "Steal Away", "Magic" from Olivia, Bette Midler's "The Rose"
at #8, Jermaine Jackson with "Let's Get Serious" and Pure Prairie League at 10 with "Let Me Love You Tonight".
1980:  David Bowie made his theatrical debut as the title character in The Elephant Man at the Denver Center of Performing Arts in Denver, Colorado. 
1980:  Olivia Newton-John rejoiced as "Magic" was the #1 Adult Contemporary hit.
1981:  Odessa, Texas celebrated "Roy Orbison Day", giving Orbison keys to the city.
1986:  The Timex Social Club had the #1 R&B song with "Rumors".

1982:  Monday was the day for new single releases to radio stations and on this day, John Cougar (Mellencamp) released the follow-up to "Hurts So Good"--"Jack & Diane".

1986:  Patti LaBelle registered her only #1 album in Winner in You, toppling Janet Jackson's Control after two weeks.  So from Peter Gabriel, the Soundtrack to "Top Gun" and Invisible Touch by Genesis followed.  The rest of the Top 10:  Billy Ocean's Love Zone, the self-titled Whitney Houston, Like a Rock from Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, The Other Side of Life by the Moody Blues at #9 and 5150 from Van Halen.

1986:  Genesis reached #1 with "Invisible Touch" and former Genesis member Peter Gabriel had #2--"Sledgehammer".  Janet Jackson's "Nasty" held down position #3 while Kenny Loggins was at 4 with "Danger Zone".

1986:  Peter Cetera moved into the #1 slot on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Glory Of Love".
1987:  Bruce Springsteen performed in East Germany in front of 300,000 people.
1989:  James Brown was switched to a medium security cell after $40,000 in cash and checks was discovered in his minimum security cell.
1990 - Vikki Carr opened the ceremonies for dedication of the The Nixon Library. She sang in front of four Presidents, President Nixon, President Ford, President Reagan and President Bush, all which she had performed for at the White House during their terms. Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig and Gene Autry were also present. 

1991:  A wax effigy of Gloria Estefan was presented at the Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park, California.

1993:  Billy Joel released the single "River Of Dreams".
1995:  George Nichopoulos, former doctor for Elvis Presley, lost his medical license 19 years after it made any difference to Presley, for being "too liberal" when prescribing addictive drugs.
1997:  Oasis reached #1 on the U.K. chart with "D'You Know What I Mean".
2001:  Soul and gospel singer Judy Clay, who sang with the Sweet Inspirations and worked with Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, Billy Vera and William Bell, died at the age of 62 in Fayetteville, North Carolina, two weeks after suffering severe injuries in a car accident.
2001:  In today's episode of "Inmates Run Rap Music", Russell Jones, rapper of Wu Tang Clan, was sentenced to 2-4 years behind bars for drug possession.
2005:  James Blunt led the way in the U.K. with "You're Beautiful".
2006:  Thom Yorke debuted at #2 with his solo album The Eraser.
2008:  In today's episode of "Inmates Run Rap Music", DMX was arrested at a mall in Phoenix, Arizona for giving a false name to get out of paying for hospital expenses.  (Note:  some websites, which got their information from a story in the newspaper 'The Los Angeles Times', report that DMX was arrested July 20, 2008.  The common person understands that newspapers report events that happened the previous day, but even if the website owners did not know this, the story says that DMX was arrested Saturday.  Saturday in 2008 was on July 19.) 

Born This Day:
1937:  George Hamilton IV ("A Rose And A Baby Ruth" from 1956) was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
1941:  Vicki Carr ("It Must Be Him") was born in El Paso, Texas.
1944:  George Frayne IV (Commander Cody), who sang and played piano in Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen ("Hot Rod Lincoln") was born in Boise, Idaho.
1946:  Alan Gorrie, guitarist, keyboardist and vocalist of the Average White Band ("Pick Up The Pieces" from 1975), was born in Perth, Scotland.

1947:  Bernie Leadon of the Eagles was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

1947:  Brian May, elite guitarist of Queen, was born in Twickenham, England.  (Note:  some websites claim May was born in Twickenham, England.  According to the book 'The Queen Chronology:  The Recording & Release History of Queen' by Patrick Lemieux and Adam Unger, Brian was born in Hampton, Middlesex, England.

1948:  Keith Godchaux, keyboardist of Grateful Dead, was born in San Francisco; died in a car crash in Marin County, California July 23, 1979.  ('Billboard' reports that Godchaux was born in San Francisco, California, 'The American Book of the Dead' by Oliver Trager states that Keith was born in Concord, California, and the book 'The Grateful Dead FAQ:  All That's Left to Know About the Greatest Jam Band...' by Tony Sclafani shows him born in Seattle, Washington.  Our best research indicates that Keith was born in Seattle and moved to Concord, California with his family.)  

1952:  Allen Collins, elite guitarist of Lynyrd Skynyrd and later the Rossington-Collins Band, was born in Jacksonville, Florida; died July 23, 1990 in Jacksonville at the age of 37 from chronic pneumonia resulting from a 1986 alcohol-related car accident in which his girlfriend was killed and Collins was paralyzed from the waist down.
1960:  Kevin Haskins of Love & Rockets was born in Northampton, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom.