Saturday, October 11, 2014

This Date in Rock Music History: October 12

1957:  Buddy Holly & the Crickets, the Drifters and Chuck Berry were in concert at the Mission Beach Ballroom in San Diego, California.
1962:  The Beatles opened for Little Richard with Billy J. Kramer also appearing at the Tower Ballroom in Wallasey, Merseyside, England. 
1963:  For the sixth consecutive week, "Blue Velvet" by Bobby Vinton topped the chart.
1963:  Jimmy Gilmer & the Fireballs first moved into the #1 slot on this date with "Sugar Shack".  
1964:  The 45 "I Feel Fine" by the Beatles had 750,000 advance orders in the U.K. alone.
1965:  The Beatles recorded "This Bird Has Flown", later renamed "Norwegian Wood", with George Harrison on sitar for the first time.  They also recorded "Run for Your Life" in five takes.  Both tracks were recorded at Abbey Road studios and would appear on the Rubber Soul album.
1966:  The Jimi Hendrix Experience was formed in London, with Hendrix, Noel Redding and Mitch Miller combining their talents.
1966:  Sammy Davis, Jr. did a cameo appearance on the popular television series Batman.
1967:  The Doors were in concert at the Surf Club in Nantasket Beach, Massachusetts.
1968:  The Hollies had the top U.K. album with their Greatest Hits package.

1968:  Cheap Thrills by Big Brother & the Holding Company moved into the #1 position on the Album chart.  Waiting for the Sun from the Doors dropped and Feliciano! by Jose Feliciano was #3.  The Rascals were at #4 with Time Peace, their Greatest Hits album, and Glen Campbell moved up to #5 with Gentle On My Mind.  The rest of the Top 10:  In-A-Gadda-Da Vida by Iron Butterfly, containing the memorable title track, Realization by Johnny Rivers, The Time Has Come by the Chambers Brothers moved from 13 to 8, Crown of Creation by Jefferson Airplane entered the Top 10 and the self-titled Steppenwolf was #10.
1968:  "The Fool On The Hill", the remake by Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66, spent a sixth week at #1 on the Easy Listening chart.

1968:  A song that sounds every bit as good today as it did when it moved from #54 to #18--"Those Were The Days" by Mary Hopkin.

      Another of those great 60's groups--the Grass Roots...

1968:  The count had reached three for weeks at #1 for "Hey Jude" by the Beatles.  Jeannie C. Riley was a distant second with "Harper Valley P.T.A." and "Fire" from the Crazy World of Arthur Brown was third.  O.C. Smith remained at 4 with "Little Green Apples".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Girl Watcher" from the O'Kaysions, the Grass Roots had their biggest song move from 17 to 6--"Midnight Confessions", the Vogues climbed into the Top 10 with "My Special Angel", the Bee Gees were at 8 with "I've Gotta' Get A Message To You", Gary Puckett from Twin Falls, Idaho & the Union Gap moved from 25-9 with "Over You" and Clarence Carter dropped with "Slip Away".
1969:  Russ Gibb, a Detroit, Michigan DJ received a call alerting him that if you play the song "Strawberry Fields Forever", at the very end you hear the words "I buried Paul."  This started a worldwide rumor that Paul McCartney was dead.

1970:  Badfinger released the single "No Matter What" on Apple Records.  (Note:  one naive website claims the song was released November 6.  "No Matter What" debuted on the Singles chart on October 17.  It is physically impossible for a song to be included on the Singles chart if it has not been released as a single.)

1970:  The 5th Dimension released the single "One Less Bell To Answer".
1970:  Promoter Bill Graham auctioned off rock memorabilia, including a guitar that was smashed by Pete Townshend, at the Fillmore East in New York City to benefit peace campaigns.
1971:  Gene Vincent ("A Town Without Pity") died of a perforated ulcer in Newhall, California at age 36.
1974:  The Bay City Rollers' album Rollin' topped the U.K. chart.

   The First Class had this winner from the great year of 1974...

1974:  Olivia Newton-John remained at #1 with "I Honestly Love You".  Billy Preston waited behind with "Nothing From Nothing" while Dionne Warwick & the Spinners came in third with "Then Came You", the First Class was at 4 with "Beach Baby" and Stevie Wonder held strong at #5 with "You Haven't Done Nothin'".  The rest of the Top 10:  Cat Stevens and "Another Saturday Night", Elton John's 15th career hit was on fire--"The Bitch Is Back", which moved from 18 to 7, Blue Swede's remake of the Association classic "Never My Love", "Earache My Eye" by Cheech & Chong was #9 and Bad Company's first big hit was "Can't Get Enough".
1975:  The Eagles performed at the University of Indiana in Bloomington, Indiana.
1975:  The group Faces played their final concert at Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York.

1976:  Helen Reddy posted her eighth #1 song and 12th consecutive Top 5 song on the Easy Listening chart with "I Can't Hear You No More".
1978:  Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark debuted at Eric's in Liverpool, England.
1978:  Sid Vicious, bassist and singer with the Sex Pistols, was arrested for the murder of his girlfriend Nancy Spungen.  Vicious died of drugs before his murder trial began.
1979:  The Human League played their last live performance with their original lineup in London.
1979:  Fleetwood Mac released their great double album Tusk.
1982:  The Clash opened for the Who on the first of two nights at Shea Stadium in New York City.

1983:  Don Henley released the single "Dirty Laundry".

1983:  The Carpenters received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1985:  Ricky Wilson of the B-52's died from AIDS at age 32.
1985:  Jennifer Rush owned the #1 song in the U.K. with "The Power of Love".  Celine Dion would enjoy one of her biggest career hits with a remake and Air Supply covered the song as well.
1991:  Metallica kicked off a tour at the Oakland-Alameda County Stadium in Oakland, California.  (Note:  several websites falsely say the tour began September 29 in Peoria, Illinois.  Metallica played in Peoria, but it was October 29, and the tour started 17 days before their Peoria date in Oakland.)
1991:  Simply Red topped the U.K. Album chart with Stars, which would be the top seller in both 1991 and 1992 and go on to spend 134 weeks on the chart.
1991:  Some good albums in here--Use Your Illusion II was #1 with Use Your Illusion I #2, both by Guns N' Roses.  Garth Brooks remained at 3 with one of The Top 15 Albums of the Rock Era*, Ropin' the Wind, Mariah Carey's Emotions was #4 and Metallica's debut remained fifth.  The rest of the Top 10: Bryan Adams debuted at #6 with Waking Up the Neighbours, Natalie Cole was on the way down--Unforgettable With Love, "The Commitments" Soundtrack came in at position #8, Bonnie Raitt remained at #9 with Luck of the Draw and Boyz II Men climbed into the Top 10 with Cooleyhighharmoney.

        Color Me Badd with their huge hit "I Adore Mi Amor"...

1991:  "Emotions" became Mariah Carey's fifth consecutive #1 song to begin her career.  "Good Vibrations" from Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch was #2.  Natural Selection's "Do Anything", Color Me Badd with "I Adore Mi Amor" and Karyn White's "Romantic" trailed.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Something To Talk About" by Bonnie Raitt at #6, Extreme's follow-up to "More Than Words"--"Hole Hearted" was #7, Firehouse slowed things down with "Love Of A Lifetime", Boyz II Men were on their way down with "Motownphilly" and Aaron Neville's remake of the Main Ingredient hit "Everybody Plays The Fool" was at #10.
1992:  Ray Conniff, famous band leader and arranger of the Ray Conniff Singers ("Somewhere My Love" and some of the greatest Christmas arrangements ever recorded) died at the age of 85 in Escondido, California after falling and hitting his head.
1994:  On the first night of a planned 15-show series at Earls Court in London, Pink Floyd had to cancel the show.  Less than a minute after they began playing, a scaffolding stand holding 1,200 fans collapsed, throwing people 20 feet to the ground.  96 people were injured and another 36 needed hospital treatment.
1996:  The Chemical Brothers topped the U.K. chart with "Setting Sun".

1996:  Falling Into You by Celine Dion was #1 for the second week on the Album chart.
1996:  "Macarena" spent an 11th week at #1 for Los Del Rio and amazingly, Donna Lewis logged week eight at #2--one of the top #2 songs of the Rock Era.

1997:  Beloved John Denver died at the age of 53 when his small plane crashed into Monterey Bay, California.
1999:  Adrian Young, drummer of No Doubt, proposed to his girlfriend before the group's encore for a show in San Francisco, California.

1999:  The Isle of Man issued six postage stamps honoring the Bee Gees.
2003:  Jose Feliciano sang the U.S. national anthem before a World Series game for the first time in 35 years.  In 1968, Feliciano's slow-moving version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" led some to call for Feliciano to be deported.
2005:  Live Aid co-founder Midge Ure received an honorary degree from the University of Abertay in Dundee, England.
2008:  Dig Out Your Soul, the final studio album from Oasis, rose to #1 in the U.K.
2009:  Dickie Peterson, lead singer and bass guitarist with Blue Cheer ("Summertime Blues") died of cancer in Erkelenz, Germany, at age 63.

Born This Day:
1935:  Sam Moore of the duo Sam & Dave was born in Miami, Florida.

1942:  Melvin Franklin, one of the original members of the great Temptations and the guy with the amazing bass voice, was born in Montgomery, Alabama; died of a brain seizure February 23, 1995 in Los Angeles.
1948:  Rick Parfitt, guitarist for Status Quo, was born in Woking, Susrrey, England.
1955:  Pat DiNizio, lead singer and songwriter of the Smithereens, was born in Scotch Plains, New Jersey.
1966:  Brian Kennedy, an Irish singer who worked with Van Morrison, was born in Belfast, Ireland.
1969:  Martie Maguire, national fiddling champion and multi-instrumentalist of the Dixie Chicks was born in York, Pennsylvania.
1969:  Garfield Bright of Shai

More Misinformation on the Web...

In researching births, deaths, and information about artists and musicians in the Rock Era, you find a lot of contradicting information.  There are many sites that regurgitate that misinformation, and that only makes things worse.  I mentioned several months back that we were undergoing the daunting task of finding all the errors on existing websites, many of which are the so-called "respectable and professional sites".  We are about halfway done with that, but please be patient as we correct all the mistakes of others.

One such topic of misinformation is the birth of Keith Knudsen, a drummer with the Doobie Brothers.  The poor soul has died, and still there is misinformation about when he was born.   Numerous websites incorrectly show Keith's date of birth as October 18, and many show his birth as being in Ames, Iowa.  According to "The LeMars Sentinel' newspaper and '', and the tombstone pictured below, Keith was born on February 18 in LeMars.) 

We at Inside The Rock Era hope that finally the conflicting information regarding the date of Keith's birth, like Keith, can be put to rest.

Tomorrow on The Top 100 Artists of the Seventies*

We hope you're enjoying this great music special, where you get to hear your favorite artists all in one place, with a full feature for each of The Top 100 Artists of the Seventies* including their greatest songs of the decade.

Tomorrow, the first of the Beatles to be heard from in the special...

KISS, The #90 Artist of the Seventies*

KISS had their origin in the New York City group Wicked Lester, led by co-founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley.  Wicked Lester recorded one album, which never saw the light of day.  Simmons and Stanley subsequently left Wicked Lester to form a new group.

In 1972,  the two saw an ad from drummer Peter Criss, who was looking to join a band.  Criss successfully auditioned, and the trio set out to play Hard Rock.  They also began wearing makeup and various outfits.  Later in the year, the trio tried to obtain a recording contract with Epic Records, but were turned down.  

A few months later, the group added lead guitarist Ace Frehley, and KISS was born.  Stanley played rhythm guitar, Simmons was on vocals and bass, and all four members sang. 

The group found a formula for success:  black and white face painting, outrageous stage outfits, and elaborate live shows, complete with fire breathing, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits and pyrotechnics.  Additionally, the members began to adopt their own personas:  Stanley was known as Starchild ("the starry-eyed lover"), Spaceman Ace Frehley (for his love of science fiction), Simmons the Demon (for his cynicism and dark humor), and Catman Criss (reflecting in his belief that he had nine lives because of a rough childhood).

KISS made their debut of the iconic makeup designs on March 9-10 of 1973 at The Daisy in Amityville, New York.  The group hired Bill Aucoin as their manager, with the condition that he get them signed to a recording contract within two weeks.  This Aucoin accomplished, and KISS became the first artist to sign with Neil Bogart's new label, Casablanca Records. 

KISS opened for Blue Oyster Cult on New Year's Eve at the Academy of Music, an occasion marked by Simmons accidentally setting his hair on fire for the first of what would be several times while performing his firebreathing stunt for the first time.

KISS released their self-titled album and began their first tour.  But the album had sold just 75,000 copies after all their efforts, so the group recorded a second album, Hotter Than Hell.  But that album stalled at #100.

With both the group and the record label losing money, Bogart cut short their tour, and personally produced the next album, Dressed To Kill, in 1975.  It was a much better effort, and gave KISS their signature song, "Rock And Roll All Nite". 

The group was also quickly gaining a reputation for being a solid live act, with their crazy makeup and outfits, pyrotechnics, and special effects.  But Casablanca was about to go bankrupt, and KISS would lose their recording contract if they didn't deliver something successful. 

The group turned to their strength, their live performances, to create it.  Alive! was their first live album, and one of the highlights was the live version of "Rock And Roll All Nite", competed with a guitar solo not present in the original.

Another highlight of the album is the track "Black Diamond".

A strong case can be made that the Alive! album saved Casablanca Records, the label that would in a few years make Donna Summer famous.  KISS then teamed up with producer Bob Ezrin, whose previous work included producing Alice Cooper.  Ezrin brought in an orchestra and choir in an ambitious endeavor on the album Destroyer.  The single "Detroit Rock City" became popular with KISS fans, but the general public did not like it.  

Destroyer sold well at first, but began to fade without the lack of a hit ("Shout It Out Loud" and "Flaming Youth" also fizzled).  Then, radio stations began playing "Beth", which was the flip side of the single "Detroit Rock City".  "Beth" is the song that gave KISS credibility, rising to #7 to become one of their biggest career hits, and carrying the album on its back to Platinum status by the end of the year as well as increasing concert revenues.  "Beth" won a People's Choice Award for Favorite New Song.  Destroyer has since gone Double Platinum.

KISS released the album Rock And Roll Over later in the year, which went Platinum shortly after its release.  The single "Hard Luck Woman" peaked at #15.  

"Calling Dr. Love" also stalled at #15 in the U.S., but rose to #2 in Canada.

KISS released the album Love Gun in 1977, which contained the hit "Christine Sixteen". 

"Christine Sixteen" peaked at #25, and the title song only made it to #61, so KISS released another live album, Alive II later in the year.  As the first live album did, it sparked a resurgence in the group's sales, sending both Love Gun and Alive II past Platinum status.  In fact, Alive II has now gone Double Platinum.

Between 1976 and 1978, KISS earned $17.7 million in recording royalties and music publishing, as their back catalog caught fire.  The live version of "Shout It Out Loud" was much better than its studio predecessor. 

In 1977, KISS made their first appearance in a comic book, appearing in Howard the Duck.  The group released the greatest hits compilation Double Platinum, which contained several remixed versions of their hits, and a reworked version of a song on their debut album entitled "Strutter '78".  The song did not chart, but is one of The Top Unknown/Underrated Songs of the Rock Era*

Double Platinum didn't quite live up to its name, but it has gone Platinum.  But it was merchandising that fueled KISS's profits during this period.  Memorabilia included two Marvel comic books, a pinball machine, KISS dolls, "Kiss Your Face Makeup" kits, Halloween masks and board games.  Membership in the KISS Army, the group's fan club, now topped six figures.  From 1977 to 1979, sales of KISS merchandise topped $100 million.

Manager Aucoin wanted to take KISS to higher heights, and came up with a two-part strategy.  First, all four members recorded solo albums, that were released on the same day and marketed as KISS albums.  It was the first time in history that all members of a group released solo albums at the same time.  Frehley's was the most successful of the four, thanks to the hit song "New York Groove".

The second part of Aucoin's strategy was for the group to appear in a movie that would make them appear as superheroes.  The project underwent several rewrites, and members of KISS became annoyed by the process.  The finished product, KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park, debuted on NBC in 1978.  While it was scorched by critics, the movie was one of the highest-watched television films of the year.  After many further changes, Attack of the Phantoms opened in theaters.  It was an artistic failure, causing a rift between Aucoin and members of the band. 

KISS released the album Dynasty in 1979, featuring the Disco Rock song "I Was Made For Lovin' You".  Anton Fig filled in for Criss on drums for most of the album, as Peter was recovering from a serious automobile accident.  "I Was Made For Lovin' You" reached #1 in Canada, #2 in Germany and Australia, but only #11 in the U.S., making it another Top Unknown/Underrated Song of the Rock Era*.

"I Was Made For Lovin' You" helped KISS score another Platinum album with Dynasty.  However, many of their early fans had outgrown them, and many of the fans at the group's concerts were adolescents in KISS makeup.  Criss, meanwhile, had serious alcohol issues, leading to rising tensions in the band.  Criss's performance on December 16, 1979 was his final one before leaving the group in 1980.  He was later replaced by Eric Carr. 

KISS continued to enjoy success on the road, and reunited with Criss in 1996.  The group sold 10 million albums in the Seventies.  In 2014, KISS was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 15 years after becoming eligible.  

Friday, October 10, 2014

This Date In Rock Music History: October 11

1955:  Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and a new star by the name of Elvis Presley began an eleven-concert swing through the South with a stop in Abilene, Texas.
1960:  The audience at the Village Vanguard was introduced to a promising new singer in her stage debut.  Aretha Franklin sang at the club in New York City.
1961:  The Highwaymen had the top U.K. song with "Michael".

1963:  The Beatles were awarded their first gold record for "She Loves You".
1964:  The Who were at Wolsey Hall in Cheshunt, England.
1967:  John Lennon and Yoko Ono opened their joint art exhibition at Lisson Gallery in London.
1968:  The Beatles were there at Abbey Road studios as six saxophonists recorded their parts for the track "Savoy Truffle".  George Harrison mixed the sound by using distortion.
1969:  For the fourth straight week, Oliver's "Jean" topped the Easy Listening chart.
1969:  Tommy James & the Shondells rotated up from 82 to 52 with "Ball of Fire".

                                CCR was red-hot

1969:  The Archies had the #1 song for the fourth straight week with "Sugar, Sugar", the #1 bubblegum song of the Rock Era.  Oliver remained steady with "Jean" and Bobby Sherman didn't budge with "Little Woman".  The Temptations edged up to #4 with "I Can't Get Next To You" and Sly & the Family Stone was up nicely (9-5) with "Hot Fun In The Summertime".  The rest of the Top 10:  Nilsson's "Everybody's Talkin'", Three Dog Night with "Easy To Be Hard", the Rolling Stones fell with "Honky Tonk Women", Gary Puckett from Twin Falls, Idaho, and the Union Gap had their fifth Top 10 in six releases with "This Girl Is a Woman Now" and CCR had #10--"Green River". 
1974:  John Denver had the #1 song in the U.K. with "Annie's Song".
1975:  Art Garfunkel climbed to #1 on the Easy Listening chart with "I Only Have Eyes for You".
Ronstadt had her second Top 10 album

1975:  Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd spent a second and final week at #1 on the album chart.  Windsong by John Denver was #2 with Bruce Springsteen's Born To Run trailing.  The great One of These Nights album by the Eagles sat in the fourth position while the Allman Brothers Band had #5--Win, Lose or Draw.  The rest of the Top 10:  Red Octopus by Jefferson Starship was moving back up, Janis Ian's Between the Lines was #7, the Spinners maintained at 8 with Pick of the Litter, Linda Ronstadt was up from 63 to 9 in the second week on the chart for Prisoner In Disguise and Jethro Tull joined the party with Minstrel in the Gallery.
1975:  Natalie Cole was #1 again for the second week on the R&B chart with "This Will Be".
1975:  Elton John debuted at #49 with "Island Girl".
1975:  Olivia Newton-John moved from 52 to 19 with "Something Better To Do".
   John Denver with half of his double-sided 1975 smash

1975:  Neil Sedaka and Elton John had the #1 song with "Bad Blood".  John Denver's double-sided "Calypso"/"I'm Sorry" was second with David Bowie's "Fame" tumbling to #3.  Dickie Goodman's novelty song "Mr. Jaws" was fourth, but Jefferson Starship moved from 22-5 with "Miracles".  The rest of the Top 10:  Sweet and "Ballroom Blitz", Orleans nudged up with "Dance With Me", Helen Reddy's "Ain't No Way To Treat a Lady", Austin Roberts had song #9 with "Rocky" and the Eagles had their third straight Top 10 with "Lyin Eyes", which jumped up from 18-10.
1977:  Kansas released the top album of their career, Point of Know Return.
1980:  The Police reached #1 in the U.K. with the album Zenyatta Mondatta.
1980:  Barbra Streisand had the new #1 song on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Woman In Love", one of the Top AC songs of the 1980's.
1983:  Lionel Richie released his great second album Can't Slow Down.
1986:  "True Blue" a tribute by Madonna to then husband Sean Penn, who liked to use the expression, was #1 in the U.K.
1986:  Wang Chung was on the move (82 to 57) with "Everybody Have Fun Tonight".
1986:  Janet Jackson reached #1 for the first time of her career with "When I Think of You".  Canada's Glass Tiger moved to #2 with "Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)" and Stacey Q unbelievably reached #3 with "Two of Hearts".  Genesis moved from 7 to 4 with their great song "Throwing It All Away" and Tina Turner continued her comeback with "Typical Male".  The rest of the Top 10:  Huey Lewis & the News slipped with their former #1 "Stuck With You", Don Johnson moved into the Top 10 with "Heartbeat", Gloria Loring & Carl Anderson fell with "Friends And Lovers", Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors" moved from 14 to 9 and Daryl Hall's solo hit "Dreamtime" was #10.
1986:  The #1 Adult Contemporary song was "Throwing It All Away" from Genesis.
1990:  Nirvana debuted their new drummer Dave Grohl for a show at the North Shore Surf Club in Olympia, Washington.
1997:  Boyz II Men debuted at #1 on the Album chart with Evolution.

1997:  Chumbawamba's great song "Tubthumping" was one of the hottest-moving songs, jumping from 35 to 21 on this date.

1997:  Elton John debuted at #1 with "Candle in the Wind".  Boyz II Men dropped after one week at the top with "4 Seasons of Loneliness" and LeAnn Rimes had song #3--"How Do I Live".  Usher was on his way down with "You Make Me Wanna...".  The rest of the Top 10:  Mariah Carey's "Honey", the Backstreet Boys and "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)", newcomers Third Eye Blind remained the same with "Semi-Charmed Life", the Notorious B.I.G. with Puff Daddy & Mase with "Mo Money Mo Problems", Jewel was up with "Foolish Games"/"You Were Meant for Me" and the Spice Girls dropped with "2 Become 1".
1998:  Ringo Starr and wife Barbara Bach entered a rehabilitation center in Tucson, Arizona to be treated for alcoholism.  Bravo for taking the right step.
2003:  In today's episode of Inmates Run Rap Music, Sonny Spoon was arrested in Macon, Georgia for possession of marijuana, ecstasy and cocaine.
2004:  Bruce Springsteen, R.E.M., Pearl Jam and the Dixie Chicks concluded their Vote for Change tour at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C.
2005:  Rod Stewart received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

2006:  Evanescence ruled the Album chart with The Open Door.
2009:  Barbra Streisand became the first artist of the Rock Era to achieve a #1 album in five different decades.  Her newest release Love is the Answer became the ninth #1 of her career.

Born This Day:
1946:  Daryl Hohl, who became better known as Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Note:  some websites report his birthday as November 10, but according to 'Billboard' and other reputable sources, it was October 11.)
1946:  Gary Mallaber, drummer with the Steve Miller Band, was born in Buffalo, New York.
1950:  Andrew Woolfolk, saxophone player for Earth, Wind & fire, was born in San Antonio, Texas.
1957:  Chris Joyce, drummer of Simply Red, was born in Manchester, England.
1957:  Blair Cunningham, drummer for Paul McCartney and Haircut One Hundred ("Love Plus One" from 1982) was born in Memphis, Tennessee. 
1962:  Scott Johnson, guitarist  of Gin Blossoms 
1971:  Lana Michele Moorer (MC Lyte) was born in Brooklyn, New York.

Featured Tomorrow on Inside The Rock Era...

A group whose costumes and makeup actually led to alter egos, and they didn't reveal their true identities until many years later.

Their hard rockin' sound will be featured tomorrow as The #90 Artist of the Seventies*!

Van Halen with the fewest views so far in The Top Artists of the Seventies*

Inside The Rock Era has featured the first ten artists in our major music special, The Top 100 Artists of the Seventies*.  Out of the ten artists thus far, Van Halen at #96 has the fewest views.  They were more of a force in the 80's to be view, but they did explode onto the scene with a great debut album, and are worth checking out.

Perhaps the band has lost a lot of fans over the years and that explains the low interest in their music, lower than England Dan & John Ford Coley, lower than Neil Sedaka, lower than Kansas, and in fact, lower than all of the other nine artists played thus far.  Things like this don't affect any of our ratings, but it is interesting nonetheless.  The low interest in Van Halen may indicate that their sales are about to take a big dip.

Here is the link to their story, as Van Halen ranks #96*:

Kansas, The #91 Artist of the Seventies*

In 1969, vocalist Lynn Meredith, keyboardists Don Montre and Dan Wright, and Kerry Livgren (guitars, keyboards, and synthesizers) were part of the Topeka, Kansas group The Reasons Why.  The following year, they merged with members of another Topeka act, a progressive rock group called White Clover (bassist Dave Hope, saxophonist Larry Baker and drummer Phil Ehart, among others) , and changed their name to Kansas. 

In 1971, Ehart, Hope, and the other former members of White Clover left to reform that group.  Ehart was replaced by Zeke Lowe and then Brad Shulz.  Rod Mikinski became the new bassist, with John Bolton joining the group on saxophone and flute.

In 1972, Ehart returned from England and, together with Hope, reformed White Clover with Steve Walsh (vocals, keyboards, synthesizers, and percussion), Robby Steinhardt (vocals, violin, viola, and cello) and guitarist Rich Williams.  The following year, they enticed Livgren to leave the second incarnation of Kansas, and that group subsequently folded. 

When White Clover earned a recording contract with Don Kirshner's record label, they adopted the Kansas name.  Kansas released their self-titled debut album in 1974.  Right away, fans could tell this was a unique group, with its complex, symphonic arrangements.  Kansas developed a cult following thanks to Kirshner's promotion skills and heaving touring.  The group released two follow-up albums (Song for America and Masque), however, to little fanfare. 
In 1976, Kansas released the album Leftoverture.  The single "Carry On Wayward Son" became their breakthrough hit.  It peaked at #11 in the United States, and reached #2 in Canada.  The song sold over one million copies and helped Leftoverture sell five million, making it one of The Top Unknown/Underrated Songs of the Rock Era*

The group was on its way, and the follow-up album, Point of Know Return, did not disappoint.  Kansas released the title song as the opening single, and its peak of #28 makes it another of The Top Unknown/Underrated Songs of the Rock Era*.  

Next came the release that would become the band's signature song, a ballad entitled "Dust In The Wind".  It was an across-the-board smash, landing at #6 on both the Adult Contemporary and Popular charts, and receiving considerable airplay from album-oriented rock stations as well.  "Dust In The Wind" has now been certified Double Platinum for selling two million copies.

Point of Know Return raced up to #4 on the Album chart and sold over four million copies.  A track on the album was sometimes misinterpreted as being about Jesus Christ, although Livgren, the songwriter of "Portrait", later reworked the song to be about Christ as the song "Portrait II".  Originally, members of Kansas said it was about Albert Einstein.  "Portrait" is one of The Top Tracks of the Rock Era*

Kansas became part of the "arena rock" scene, selling out the largest venues available at the time.  They were a major headlining act with a reputation for faithfully producing the songs on stage that they had recorded in the studio.  In 1978, they released the double live album Two for the Show, which featured recordings from concerts in 1977 and '78.

Kansas was named UNICEF Deputy Ambassadors of Goodwill in 1978.  The following year, they released the album Monolith.  The #23 song "People Of The South Wind" refers to the 'Kanza' (Kaw) native Americans, after whom the state and the band are named.  Monolith failed to generate the sales of its two predecessors, but eventually went Platinum.     

Kansas's work in the decade was rewarded with album sales of 16.5 million copies.  Creative differences led to the split of Kansas shortly afterwards, but they did reform again in 1986.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

This Date in Rock Music History: October 10

1959:  We all have career choices to make.  On this date, Ken Brown decided to leave the Quarrymen, leaving John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison to fend for themselves.  (Don't worry about them; they were going to be fine...)  The group had played at the popular Casbah Coffee Club in Liverpool, England in a show that Brown was unable to perform due to a heavy cold.  McCartney felt that Brown should not get a share of the performance fee since he did not perform.  Lennon and Harrison sided with McCartney and so Brown quit the group.  
1959:  Brenda Lee was hospitalized with a thyroid deficiency in Nashville, Tennessee.
1963:  The Rolling Stones, the Everly Brothers, Little Richard and Bo Diddley performed at the Gaumont in Wolverhampton, England.
1964:  The Beatles were in concert with two shows at De Montfort Hall in Leicester, England.
1964:  Brian Epstein signed a contract to manage the New Christy Minstrels, which would in the next few years include Kenny Rogers, Kim Carnes and Barry McGuire among its members.

1964:  Manfred Mann grabbed the #1 position with "Do Wah Diddy Diddy".  Martha & the Vandellas moved up to challenge with "Dancing In The Street" while the previous #1 "Oh Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison was #3.  Gale Garnett was up to 4 with "We'll Sing In The Sunshine" but a hot song from J. Frank Wilson & the Cavaliers ("Last Kiss") was up from 9-5.  The rest of the Top 10:  The Shangri-Las had song #6--"Remember ("Walkin' In The Sand)", Chad & Jeremy moved to #7 with "A Summer Song", Gene Pitney's "It Hurts To Be In Love", the Beach Boys scored another Top 10 with "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)" and Betty Everett and Jerry Butler reached the list with "Let It Be Me".
1965:  The Supremes made their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.  Petula Clark was also on the show that night.

1966:  Simon and Garfunkel released the classic album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme.

1966:  The Seekers released the great song "Georgy Girl".
1966:  Roger Williams remained at #1 on the Easy Listening chart with "Born Free".

1966:  The Beach Boys released the most expensive 45 ever produced--the elaborate "Good Vibrations".
1970:  Pink Floyd released the album Atom Heart Mother(Note:  some websites report the release as October 5, but according to the official Pink Floyd website, it was October 10.
1970:  Black Sabbath went to #1 on the U.K. Album chart with Paranoid.

1970:  A new duo took over at #1 on the Easy Listening chart--"We've Only Just Begun" was the name of their follow-up to their first hit "Close To You" from the Carpenters.
1970:  The Jackson 5 moved to #1 on the R&B chart with their first release--"I'll Be There".

1970:  Neil Diamond sipped his way to #1 with "Cracklin' Rosie" but the Jackson 5 were hot in pursuit with "I'll Be There".  "Candida" moved to #3 for Dawn while the previous #1 from Diana Ross--"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" came in fourth.  Newcomer Free was up from 10 to 5 with "All Right Now".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Julie, Do Ya Love Me" by Bobby Sherman, CCR's double sided "Lookin' Out My Back Door"/"Long As I Can See the Light", Sugarloaf had their song "Green-Eyed Lady" in the Top 10, the Carpenters moved from 18-9 with "We've Only Just Begun" and Rare Earth was at 10 with "(I Know) I'm Losing You".

1970:  CCR set the pace on the Album chart for the eighth straight week with Cosmo's Factory.  Mad Dogs & Englishmen by Joe Cocker was second with the Moody Blues making a healthy move (7-3) for their album A Question of Balance.  The "Woodstock" Soundtrack dropped to 4 and the Third Album from the Jackson 5 catapulted from 12 to 5.  The rest of the Top 10:  Tommy from the Who, Chicago II, Abraxas debuted at #8 for Santana, After the Gold Rush by Neil Young and James Taylor first hit it big with the album Sweet Baby James.

1977:  Paul Simon released the song "Slip Slidin' Away".

1979:  It was "Fleetwood Mac Day" in Los Angeles as the supergroup was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1980:  The funeral for departed drummer John Bonham of Led Zeppelin took place at the Rushock Parish Church in Worcestershire, England.  Bonham was found dead at the age of 32 at the home of guitarist Jimmy Page, a victim of asphyxiation after excessive vodka consumption.  Among the 250 mourners were Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Denny Laine (of Wings), Carl Palmer (of Emerson, Lake & Palmer), and Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, and Bev Bevan of the Electric Light Orchestra.
1981:  A bright talent first appeared on the national scene as Luther Vandross debuted on the chart with his first single--"Never Too Much".
1981:  The Police patrolled the U.K. album chart from their view on top with Ghost in the Machine.
1981:  The Four Tops were spinning as their song "When She Was My Girl" was the #1 Adult Contemporary song.
1981:  Christopher Cross held on to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)".

1981:  "Endless Love" from Diana Ross & Lionel Richie was #1 for the ninth week, 12th longest in the Rock Era.  Christopher Cross was poised with "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" and "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" by Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers was a solid #3.  Journey remained the same with "Who's Crying Now" while Sheena Easton returned to the Top 10 with an 11-5 jump--"For Your Eyes Only".  The rest of the Top 10:  Eddie Rabbitt taking it "Step By Step", the Rolling Stones moved to #7 with "Start Me Up", Hall & Oates joined the group with "Private Eyes", Foreigner's 10th hit "Urgent" was on its way down while ELO held on with "Hold On Tight".

1983:  John Cougar Mellencamp released the single "Crumblin' Down", the first single release to include his last name.

1983:  Culture Club released the single "Church of the Poison Mind".
1983:  Wham! began a tour at the Capitol Center in Aberdeen, Scotland.
1987:  A new star first appeared on the chart as Taylor Dayne debuted with her first single "Tell It To My Heart".
1987:  Fleetwood Mac took over the top spot on the AC chart with "Little Lies".

1987:  Whitesnake had been duly patient and was rewarded with the #1 song "Here I Go Again".  

1987:  Bad by Michael Jackson was #1 for the third straight week, heading off Whitesnake and Whitney by Whitney Houston.  La Bamba from Los Lobos remained at 4 and Hysteria by Def Leppard was just getting started.  The rest of the Top 10:  The Lonesome Jubilee from John Cougar Mellencamp, the Soundtrack to "Dirty Dancing" jumped from 12 to 7, A Momentary Lapse of Reason from Pink Floyd entered the Top 10, The Joshua Tree by U2 was #9 and Heart's Bad Animals slipped to #10.
1988:  U2 released the live album Rattle and Hum.
1992:  Slash of Guns N' Roses married Renee Suran in Marina Del Rey, California.
1992:  R.E.M. landed at #1 on the U.K. Album chart with Automatic for the People.
1992:  Don Henley & Patty Smyth had the #1 AC song for the fourth straight week with "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough".
1998:  The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill resumed its spot as the #1 album, now four weeks total for Hill.
1999:  The estate of Elvis Presley donated items for a charity auction at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.  A cigar box belonging to Presley sold for $25,000 a wristwatch brought in 25 grand, an autographed baseball fetched $19,000 and Elvis's 1956 Lincoln Continental sold for $250,000.
1999:  Christina Aguilera owned the top U.K. song with "Genie in a Bottle".
2001:  Trouble at the Paradise?  Dennis DeYoung of Styx sued the rest of the band for going on tour without him.

2004:  Robbie Williams had the top U.K. song with "Radio", his sixth #1 on that chart.
2004:  R.E.M. owned the top album in the U.K. with Around the Sun.
2007:  Art Todd, who enjoyed the hit "Chanson D'Amour" with wife Dotty, died at age 93 of congestive heart failure in Honolulu, Hawai'i.
2009:  Stephen Gately of Boyzone died at the age of 33 due to a pulmonary oedema – an accumulation of fluid on the lungs --  at his vacation home in Port d'Andratx, Majorca, Spain.
2010:  Solomon Burke ("Got to Get You Off My Mind" from 1965) died of natural causes on a plane that had just landed at Amsterdam International Airport from Los Angeles.

Born This Day:

1914:  Ivory Joe Hunter ("Since I Met You Baby" from 1956), who is estimated to have written over 7,000 songs, was born in Kirbyville, Texas; died November 8, 1974 of lung cancer in Memphis, Tennessee.
1934:  Jules Chaikin, trumpeter who worked with Chicago, the Carpenters, Kenny Rogers, Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, Jefferson Airplane, the Turtles, Paul Anka, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Johnny Mathis and Burt Bacharach, conductor for the Grammy Awards and the Greek Theater in Los Angeles, who also played music for the movie Star Wars, was born in Brooklyn, New York; died of heart failure November 23, 2012 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

1940:  Anita Humes of Essex ("Easier Said Than Done") was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; died of natural causes on May 30, 2010.
1945:  Jerry Lacroix, saxophonist of Blood, Sweat & Tears, was born in Alexandria, Louisiana; died in a hospital in Lufkin, Texas.
1945:  Alan Cartwright, bassist with Procol Harum, was born in London.
1953:  Midge Ure of Ultravox and writer of the Live Aid Song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" was born in Cambuslang, Scotland.

1955:  David Lee Roth, the on again off again lead singer of Van Halen and a brief solo star, was born in Bloomington, Indiana.
1960:  Eric Martin, singer with Mr. Big ("To Be With You") was born in Long Island, New York.  (Note:  some websites report his birthplace as San Francisco, California.  Martin was born in Long Island, and later moved to San Francisco.)
1961:  Martin Kemp, bass guitarist of Spandau Ballet ("True" from 1983) was born in London, England.
1967:  Mike Malinin, drummer of the Goo Goo Dolls, was born in Washington, D.C.
1972:  Vincent Tattanelli, drummer of Nine Days, was born in Brooklyn, New York.

1979:  Mya was born in Washington, D.C.