Saturday, December 13, 2014

This Date in Rock Music History: December 14

1956:  Bill Haley starred in the movie Don't Knock the Rock which opened in theaters (it had premiered December 12 in New York City.)
1959:  The Kingston Trio took over at #1 on the Album chart with Here We Go Again!".
1962:  Bill Wyman made his live debut with the Rollin' Stones (as they were known back then) at the Ricky Tick Club in the Star and Garter Hotel in Windsor, England.

       "Maria" from the classic movie 'West Side Story'...

1962:  The Singing Nun was #1 on the Album chart again with In the Wind from Peter, Paul & Mary leading three albums by the amazing trio in the Top 10.  The Second Barbra Streisand Album was third followed by Trini Lopez at PJ's and Elvis' Golden Records, Volume 3 by Elvis Presley.  The rest of the Top 10:  The landmark Ingredients in a Recipe for Soul by Ray Charles, the self-titled Peter, Paul and Mary at #7 after 86 weeks, Surfer Girl moved from 13-8 for the Beach Boys, the incredible Soundtrack to "West Side Story" was #9 after 112 weeks of release and (Moving) by Peter, Paul & Mary was 10th.
1963:  Dinah Washington, who dominated the R&B charts with 34 Top 10 hits from 1944-1961, died in Detroit, Michigan from drugs at age 39.

1963:  "I Want To Hold Your Hand" by the Beatles rose to #1 in the U.K., knocking "She Loves You", also by the Beatles, out of the top spot  The Beatles became the first act to replace themselves at #1.

1964:  Petula Clark released the single "Downtown".
1966:  Elvis Presley's movie Spinout premiered in theaters.
1966:  Chad & Jeremy were guest stars on the popular television show Batman on ABC.
1967:  Brian Jones, guitarist of the Rolling Stones, collapsed and was admitted to a hospital in London.

This classic by the Chambers Brothers propelled them to the Top 10.

1968:  Cheap Thrills by Big Brother & the Holding Company remained atop the Album chart.  Feliciano!  by Jose Feliciano continued to be runner-up and Electric Ladyland from the Jimi Hendrix Experience was third.  Glen Campbell moved from 16 to 4 with Wichita Lineman.  The rest of the Top 10:  The Second by Steppenwolf, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly edged up to 6, Time Peace/The Rascals' Greatest Hits was #7, Wheels of Fire from Cream, Gentle On My Mind by Glen Campbell came in ninth and The Time Has Come by the Chambers Brothers dropped to #10.
1968:  Marvin Gaye celebrated the new R&B #1 with "I Heard It Through The Grapevine".
1968:  The great song "Wichita Lineman" took over at #1 on the Adult chart for Glen Campbell.

1968:  Marvin Gaye moved to the #1 position with his version of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine".  Diana Ross & the Supremes yielded with "Love Child" and Stevie Wonder was stuck at 3 with "For Once In My Life".  Dion's great song "Abraham, Martin And John" moved from 7 to 4.  The rest of a solid Top 10:  "Who's Making Love" from Johnnie Taylor, the Beatles' record-breaking "Hey Jude", Glen Campbell edged up with "Wichita Lineman", the Classics IV were at 8 with "Stormy", Bobby Vinton entered the list with his 32nd hit but only 8th Top 10--"I Love How You Love Me" while Steppenwolf was descending with "Magic Carpet Ride".
1972:  Ringo Starr's movie about Marc Bolan of T. Rex--Born to Boogie, also starring Elton John, debuted in London.
1974:  David Crosby and Graham Nash played a fundraiser for the United Farm Workers in San Francisco, California.
1974:  The Three Degrees had the adult chart measured and moved their song "When Will I See You Again" to #1.

1974:  Elton John was red-hot as his remake of "Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds" rose from 36-9.  Paul McCartney, one of the writers of that song, had the other new Top 10 with his double-sided "Junior's Farm"/"Sally G".

BTO arrived on the scene with 'Not Fragile', which included "Rock Is My Life and This Is My Song".

1974:  Elton John remained at #1 on the Album chart with his Greatest Hits album for the third week.  It's Only Rock 'N Roll from the Rolling Stones was stuck on 2 and Not Fragile by BTO came in third.
1976:  Led Zeppelin began rehearsing for their first tour of the United States in two years.  However, due to the death of Robert Plant's son, the tour was cut short after a couple of months, and the band remained out of the public light for several more years.

1980:  Yoko Ono, John Lennon's widow, asked for a 10-minute silent vigil around the world for the beloved star who had been shot to death six days earlier.  Over 100,000 people crammed Central Park in New York City to pay tribute.
1981:  The Police played the first of three nights at Wembley Arena in London.

Shame on the Moon by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet on Grooveshark
1982:  Bob Seger released his great single "Shame On The Moon".
1985:  James Taylor married actress Kathryn Walker in New York City.
1985:  Whitney Houston scored her first #1 in the U.K. with "Saving All My Love For You".

  Streisand does an amazing job with "Somewhere" from her 'Broadway' Album...

1985:  Two new albums debuted in the Top 10.  Barbra Streisand moved from 13-7 with The Broadway Album while Rush entered the list with Power Windows.
1986:  Elton John recorded a live version of "Candle In The Wind" with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in Australia.
1991:  Amy Grant registered week #3 at the top of the Adult Contemporary chart with "That's What Love Is For".

1991:  Michael Jackson debuted at #1 on the Album chart with Dangerous.  Former #1 Ropin' the Wind by Garth Brooks, however, continued at #2 while the previous #1, Achtung Baby by U2, dropped to 3 in its second week.  Too Legit to Quit by Hammer was behind them with Michael Bolton's Time, Love & Tenderness, Nevermind from Nirvana, Use Your Illusion II by Guns N' Roses, the self-titled Metallica debut, Cooleyhighharmony by Boyz II Men moved from 13-9 and Mariah Carey chalked up another week in the Top 10 for her second album Emotions.

1992:  Arrested Development released the single "Mr. Wendal".
1995:  U.S. President Bill Clinton had classified documents released that revealed that the FBI had indeed spied on John Lennon and his antiwar activities during the Nixon Administration in an attempt to have Lennon deported, just as Lennon had claimed.
1995:  The television special Frank Sinatra:  80 Years My Way was shown on ABC.
1996:  One of The Top Songs of the 90's--"Un-Break My Heart" by Toni Braxton continued at #1.

1997:  Kurt Winter, guitarist and songwriter of the Guess Who, died of kidney failure at the age of 51. (Note:  '' and other websites report that Kurt died on December 13.  This is incorrect, according to the book 'Rock Obituaries - Knocking On Heaven's Door' by Nick Talevski, as well as the 'BBC' and other reputable sources.  Winter died December 14.)
1998:  Billy Preston pleaded guilty to insurance fraud in a Los Angeles court and agreed to testify against six other defendants.
1999:  Paul McCartney returned to the place where it all started, playing a show before 300 at the cramped Cavern Club in Liverpool.  It was the first time he had performed there since 1963.
2003:  Dido had the #1 album in the U.K. with Life for Rent.
2003:  Alicia Keys had the top U.S. album with The Diary of Alicia Keys.
2004:  Thousands of mourners attended a memorial for the late Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell in Arlington, Texas.  Eddie Van Halen and Zakk Wylde were among the attendees.
2005:  Andy Bell of Erasure announced he was HIV-positive. (Note:  some websites claim this date was December 17, but it was on December 14, according to 'People' magazine and 'MTV'.
2005:  Jimmy Page, guitar legend from Led Zeppelin, was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his work with street children from Brazil.
2006:  Ahmet Ertegun, president of Atlantic Records, died at age 83 in a hospital in New York City after being in a coma from injuries suffered in a fall over a month earlier.
2010:  Barbra Streisand was inducted into the California Hall of Fame in Sacramento.

Born This Day:  
1911:  Spike Jones ("All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" was born in Long Beach, California); died from emphysema from years of heavy smoking on May 1, 1965 in Beverly Hills, California.

1932:  Charlie Rich ("The Most Beautiful Girl" and "Behind Closed Doors" from 1973) was born in Colt, Arkansas; died of a pulmonary embolism July 25, 1995 in Hammond, Louisiana.
1937:  Warren Ryanes of the Monotones was born in Newark, New Jersey; died June 16, 1982.
1938:  Gary Usher, songwriter ("In My Room" with the Beach Boys) and producer who worked with the Byrds, was born in Los Angeles; died of cancer in Los Angeles May 25, 1990.
 1943:  Frank Allen, bassist for the Searchers, was born in Hayes, West London, England.
1946:  Joyce Vincent-Wilson of the group Dawn was born in Detroit, Michigan.
1946:  Jackie McAuley, keyboardist of Them ("Gloria"), was born in Coleraine, Northern Ireland.
1947:  Patty Duke, actress who had a hit with "Don't Just Stand There" in 1965, was born in Queens, New York.  (Note:  some websites state that Duke was born in Elmhurst--Elmhurst is a neighborhood, not a city.)
1949:  Cliff Williams, bass guitarist for AC/DC, was born in Romford, Essex, England.
1975:  Brian Dalyrimple of Soul for Real ("Candy Rain" from 1995)

"Error Rate" in this range of the special...

We've mentioned that, because of the degree to which one places weight on any one factor in evaluating The Top Artists of the 70's, there is an error rate, and that, were you to put more weight on a different factor, the artist would be either below or above where Inside The Rock Era places them.

In the lower portion of the special, the error rate was much higher; in other words, several artists were very close in total points.  In this range, however, it shrinks considerably, to a mere plus or minus three.  Which means Pink Floyd, which we have at #27, could be as high as 24 or as low as 30.  From this point on, the rankings will be more and more accurate.

The music and artists continue to get better--we know you won't want to miss a minute of these next 26 artists.

While listening to the surreal music of Pink Floyd...

We mentioned earlier that ELO was the #5 British group of the decade.  It so happens that three British acts are back-to-back in The Top 100 Artists of the Seventies*.  Pink Floyd is the second of that three, and tomorrow, yet another British band.

They have one of the longest histories of any act in the Rock Era, and were certainly near the top of the 60's.  They continued that success into the 70's and beyond, and you'll want to be front and center on Inside The Rock Era for their great music tomorrow!

Calendar Correction

A "heads up" to disc jockeys who prepare their shows a week in advance:

Many websites incorrectly say that  on December 16, 2005, Ashlee Simpson collapsed in an elevator after performing in the MTV Japan Cool Christmas concert at Pacifico Yokohama and was rushed to the hospital.

This is not the correct date.  According to both Billboard and MTV, the correct date is December 15, 2005.

The Top Christmas Songs of All-Time: December 13

While you're enjoying The Top 100 Artists of the Seventies*, don't forget our Christmas special:

Pink Floyd, The #27 Artist of the Seventies*

Guitarist Roger Waters and drummer Nick Mason met while studying architecture at the London Polytechnic in England.  They began playing in the band Sheilagh, and another architecture student, Richard Wright, joined the group later that year.  Waters switched to bass in 1964, and the group underwent several other name changes before deciding on the Tea Set. 

The other members gradually left the group, and in 1965, the band was the resident band at the Countdown Club, where they played three sets of ninety minutes each.  Syd Barrett took over on lead guitar and also sang lead vocals in mid-1965.  When the band found out their was another group called the Tea Set, they changed their name again to the Pink Floyd Sound. 

The group landed a gig at the prestigious Marquee Club in 1966, where Peter Jenner caught their act.  Jenner was so impressed that he became their manager, and suggested they drop the "Sound" from their name and be known simply as Pink Floyd. 

The group began attracting a fan base at the UFO Club in London.  They recorded some songs at Sound Techniques in 1967, and three days later, Pink Floyd signed a recording contract with EMI.  The first two singles received significant airplay in the U.K., but success was mostly contained there.  By 1967, there were vast changes in Barrett's behavior, as he was regularly using LSD. 

Pink Floyd had to cancel concert dates as a result, then they went on their first tour of the United States.  On appearances on The Dick Clark Show and The Pat Boone Show, Barrett did not respond to questions and merely stared off into space.  He also did not move his lips when it came time to mime their performance.

The group canceled the rest of their U.S. dates and went home.  By the end of the year, Pink Floyd brought in guitarist David Gilmour, for they could no longer count on Barrett.  Within a few months, Barrett was out of the group completely.

But Jenner, who felt Barrett was the genius of the group, quit as manager, soon replaced by Steve O'Rourke.

Pink Floyd released three more albums in the decade, gradually increasing their exposure and sales outside of Great Britain.

In 1970, Pink Floyd released the album Atom Heart Mother, a #55 album in the United States that sold 500,000 copies.  We feature the elaborate title song.

For their next album, they tried several unproductive experiments, spending long periods working on basic sounds and trying to create music from a variety of household objects.  Finally late in 1971, the group released the album Meddle.  Although it sold at a mediocre level at the time in the U.S. (#70 on the Album chart), future Pink Floyd fans, wanting to hear what else the group had, bought the album to push it past two million in sales.  The top track on the album is "Echoes".

Pink Floyd released "One Of These Days" as a single, but it failed to even make the Top 100.

Obscured by Clouds in 1972 also went Gold, giving the group three consecutive albums that went over 500,000.  

At this point, all nine Pink Floyd singles flopped in four six of the seven continents other than Europe, and after their first two releases, even their native U.K. fans didn't buy them up.  So the group set out to record their next album, without which they would have been ranked no higher than #86 in The Top 100 Artists of the Seventies*.  In fact, it by itself spurred sales of the entire catalog, so it's probably safe to say that without it, the group probably would not have been in The Top 100* at all.  That album elevated Pink Floyd all the way to #27*.  That's an incredible amount of weight for one album!
Money by P.F. on Grooveshark
The group recorded the album at Abbey Road Studios in London with staff engineer Alan Parsons.  The Dark Side of the Moon was one of the early concept albums of the Rock Era, with the title being an allusion to lunacy.  The single "Money" became one of the group's biggest hits at #13. 

The group featured the music on their U.S. tour.  One of the great album tracks of all-time is "Us And Them".
The Dark Side of the Moon was never a huge-seller at any one time; it was only #1 for one week in the U.S., and only #2 in the U.K.  Rather, it was consistent, hanging around and hanging around on the album charts, until it spent over fourteen consecutive years as one of "the top 200".  Another great track on the album is "Time". 

Clare Torry did an amazing job with guest vocals on this stellar track--"The Great Gig In The Sky".

Today, the album has sold over 15 million copies in the United States to rank #21 all-time, and it is over 40 million worldwide.  We also want to feature "Speak To Me"/"Breathe"/"On The Run".

The success of the album made Pink Floyd members rich.  They bought huge houses in the country, and the album gave them bargaining power in signing a new recording contract with Columbia Records.  "Brain Damage" leads into "Eclipse" on The Dark Side of the Moon

After a monumental album like that, the pressure was on to duplicate it, an impossible task.  In fact, they wouldn't come up with an album even close to it until late 1979, with most of The Wall's airplay and sales coming after the end of the decade, the cutoff for this rating period.  What they did do is release the album Wish You Were Here.  The title song, while never a hit, received a good amount of airplay, and is one of the group's all-time best efforts.

Waters organized the songs to describe what he felt about the absence of former member Syd Barrett.  The album rose to #1 in both the U.K. and the U.S.  Another solid track on the album is "Shine On You Crazy Diamond".

Wish You Were Here has now gone over six million in sales, again with a good portion of that coming as music fans in future decades discovered The Dark Side of the Moon.  "Have A Cigar" is another featured track.

In 1976, Pink Floyd purchased a group of church halls and converted the building into a recording studio.  They recorded the album Animals in this new studio.  Waters loosely based the album theme on George Orwell's novel Animal Farm, with lyrics describing different classes of society as dogs, pigs, and sheep.  While Waters had ideas flowing, according to the other group members, he deliberately kept Gilmour's songwriting efforts down.

"Dogs" is one of the lead tracks from the album.

Animals made it to #2 on the Album chart in the U.K. and #3 in the U.S.  We will also feature "Sheep" in this salute.

Pink Floyd played the new material on the accompanying tour, their first playing large stadiums.  The size of the crowds made the members nervous; Waters arrived at each venue alone and left immediately afterwards.  In Montreal, Quebec, Canada, one group of enthusiastic fans in the front row bothered Waters so much that he spat on them.

Wright left Pink Floyd in 1979 prior to another of Pink Floyd's greatest albums, The Wall, in 1980, but rejoined the group later.   The band recorded and toured through 1994.  Pink Floyd were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

Pink Floyd had just one hit in the Seventies, "Money" at #13.  They sold 29.5 million albums in the decade.    

Friday, December 12, 2014

This Date in Rock Music History: December 13

1961:  The movie The Young Ones, starring Cliff Richard, premiered in London.
1961:  Mike Smith of Decca Records saw the Beatles perform at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England.
1962:  Elvis Presley had his 13th #1 song in the U.K. with "Return To Sender".
Foxey Lady by Jimi Hendrix on Grooveshark
1966:  Jimi Hendrix recorded "Foxey Lady".
1966:  Hendrix made his television debut on Ready Steady Go!  on ITV in the U.K.
1969:  The Supremes' great song "Someday We'll Be Together" took over at #1 on the R&B chart.

1969:  "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" by B.J. Thomas zoomed to #1 on the Adult chart.  
1969:  B.J. Thomas moved into the Top 10 overall with "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head".
1969:  Abbey Road was one of the great albums of the Rock Era to this point and on this date, the Beatles made it seven weeks at #1.  
1970:  Dave Edmunds topped the U.K. chart with "I Hear You Knocking".

1971:  Climax re-released the great 45 "Precious And Few", one of The Top Love Songs of the Rock Era*.  The song was originally released on Carousel Records in July, but a cease and desist order by the owner of an already established Carousel Records forced the company to rename themselves Rocky Road Records and release the Climax single on that label.
1974:  George Harrison had lunch at the White House with U.S. President Gerald Ford.
1975:  Barry Manilow was on a roll and "I Write The Songs" was the new #1 song on the Adult chart.

Street Kids by Elton John on Grooveshark       
                       "Street Kids", from 'Rock of the Westies'...

1975:  Chicago IX, the group's Greatest Hits package, rose to #1 on the Album chart.  Red Octopus by Jefferson Starship was still hanging around and Rock of the Westies by Elton John reversed course and headed back up.  Windsong from John Denver was third with the self-titled debut by K.C. and the Sunshine Band #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  Paul Simon slipped with Still Crazy After All These Years, Gratitude jumped from 98 to 7 for Earth, Wind & Fire, History/America's Greatest Hits was #8, Alive!  by Kiss edged up and Save Me from the Silver Convention cracked the Top 10.
1975:  A song on the move for C.W. McCall--"Convoy", up from #82 to #29 on this date.

The Brothers Gibb were well underway in their "second career"...

1975:  The Silver Convention were holding steady at #1 for a third week with "Fly, Robin, Fly".  Right behind them, the Staple Singers ("Let's Do It Again") and Jigsaw's "Sky High".  K.C. and the Sunshine Band fell down with "That's The Way (I Like It)" while newcomers the Bay City Rollers were up to 5 with "Saturday Night".  The rest of the Top 10:  The Ohio Players burst onto the scene with "Love Rollercoaster", the Bee Gees were up to 7 with their great song "Nights On Broadway", Diana Ross jumped from 19 to 8 with the song from the movie in which she starred in--"Theme From 'Mahogany' (Do You Know Where You're Going To)", Simon & Garfunkel scored their 17th hit with "My Little Town" and Sweet crawled into the list with "Fox On The Run".
1980:  Stevie Wonder was doing fine on the R&B chart, as "Master Blaster (Jammin')" was #1 for a seventh week.
1980:  Kenny Rogers' Greatest Hits was the new #1 album as he was certainly as hot as anyone at the time.
1980:  Newcomer Christopher Cross took over at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Never Be The Same".

                     Pat reached the Top 10 for the first time...

1980:  Kenny Rogers remained at the top for the fifth week with "Lady".  Leo Sayer had his biggest career hit with "More Than I Can Say" while Queen, by now #1 in most markets, was third with "Another One Bites The Dust".  The late John Lennon moved up with "(Just Like) Starting Over" and Stevie Wonder maintained at 5 with "Master Blaster".  The rest of the Top 10:  Neil Diamond with "Love On The Rocks", Bruce Springsteen found himself at #7 with "Hungry Heart", Barbra Streisand was at #8 with "Woman In Love" and also moved from 14-9 with her duet "Guilty" with Barry Gibb and Pat Benatar reached the Top 10 for the first time with "Hit Me With Your Best Shot".

1982:  The Stray Cats released the single "Stray Cat Strut".
1983:  During Robert Plant's solo concert at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, former Led Zeppelin mate Jimmy Page joined him to perform the old Roy Head song "Treat Her Right".
1985:  Phil Collins was a guest star on the television show Miami Vice.

The Way It Is by Bruce Hornsby & The Range on Grooveshark     
            "The Way It Is", ahh but don't you believe them!

1986:  The Way It Is" moved to #1 for newcomer Bruce Hornsby & the Range.  The Bangles were within striking distance with "Walk Like An Egyptian".  Huey Lewis & the News peaked at 3 with "Hip To Be Square" and Sun Valley, Idaho's Peter Cetera slipped from #1 with "The Next Time I Fall", his duet with Amy Grant.  The rest of the Top 10:  Wang Chung was "chungin'" with "Everybody Have Fun Tonight", Bon Jovi's former #1 "You Give Love A Bad Name", Billy Idol moved up three with "To Be A Lover", "Notorious" entered the list for Duran Duran, Gregory Abbott had a big hit with "Shake You Down", which moved from 15 to 9 and Ben E. King amazingly came back to the Top 10 25 years after he originally was there with "Stand By Me", spurred by the movie of the same name.

1986:  Bruce Hornsby & the Range were at #1 again on the Adult Contemporary chart with "The Way It Is".

1991:  Mariah Carey released the single "Someday".
1991:  John Denver hosted the special John Denver's Montana Christmas Skies on CBS.

1994:  Enigma released the single "Return To Innocence".
1994:  Prince was on The Late Show with David Letterman.
1996:  The great movie Jerry Maguire, which starred Glenn Frey, opened in theatres.

   The Girls were red-hot with "Spice Up Your Life"...

1997:  Spiceworld, the Spice Girls' follow-up album, moved into the Top 10.

1997:  Elton John's tribute to the late Princess Diana from England ("Candle In The Wind 1997") was now at 10 weeks at #1.  At this point, only seven songs in the Rock Era had stayed at the top longer.  And Elton was not done.  
1999:  BMI announced that the most-performed song of the century (and it isn't even close) was "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling".
2000:  Melody Maker magazine announced it was shutting down after 74 years.

2000:  Sir Paul McCartney signed copies of his new book Paul McCartney Paintings at Waterstone's in Piccadilly, London.
2000:  Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, Aerosmith and Queen were announced as the new inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
2002:  Zal Yanovsky of the Lovin' Spoonful died of a heart attack in Kingston, Ontario, Canada at the age of 57.
2003:  Lauryn Hill doesn't know how to act like the polite guest.  During a performance at the Vatican, Hill read a statement criticizing the Catholic Church for harboring pedophilic priests.  "There is no acceptable explanation for defending the church," she said.
2007:  Joe Cocker received an Officer of the Order of the British Empire medal from Queen Elizabeth of England at Buckingham Palace.

Born This Day:

1933:  Lou Adler, founder of Dunhill Records, producer of the Mamas & Papas, Johnny Rivers, the Grass Roots, Carole King and Barry McGuire and the famous Monterey Pop Festival of 1967 and manager of Jan & Dean, was born in Chicago, Illinois.


1948:  Jeff "Skunk" Baxter of Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers, was born in Washington, D.C.

1948:  Ted Nugent was born in Redford, Michigan.  (Note:  Nugent's official website lists that he was born in Detroit, but he doesn't realize that Redford, a suburb of Detroit where he was born, is actually a town.)
1948:  Tony Gomez, organist of the Foundations ("Build Me Up Buttercup") was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka.  (Note:  several websites show Tony's birth year as 1940; in fact, some list it as both 1940 and 1948!  According to 'The Encyclopedia of Popular Music' by Colin Larkin', Gomez was born in 1948.)

1949:  Randy Owen, guitarist and lead singer of Alabama, was born in Fort Payne, Alabama.

1949:  Tom Verlaine, elite guitarist of the group Television, was born in Wilmington, Delaware.  (Note:  some websites show his birthplace as Morristown, New Jersey, or Mt. Morris, New Jersey.  According to the book 'The Rough Guide to Rock' by Peter Buckley, Tom was born in Wilmington.)
1950:  Davy O'List of Roxy Music and the Nice was born in Chiswick, West London.
1953:  Berton Averre, guitarist of the Knack, was born in Van Nuys, California.
1970:  Daniel Patrick Lohner, who played bass, guitar and keyboards with Nine Inch Nails, was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. 
1974:  Nick McCarthy, rhythm guitarist and keyboardist of Franz Ferdinand, was born in Blackpool, England.

1975:  Tom DeLonge, guitarist and a lead vocalist of Blink-182, was born in Poway, California.
1981:  Amy Lynn Lee, lead singer of Evanescence, was born in Riverside, California.

1989:  Taylor Swift was born in Reading, Pennsylvania.  (Note:  some websites show her birthplace as Wyomissing, Pennsylvania.  According to Taylor's official website, she was born in Reading, and moved with her family to Wyomissing when she was nine years old.)

The Top Christmas Songs of All-Time: December 12

Electric Light Orchestra, The #28 Artist of the Seventies*

Roy Wood, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter with the Move in Birmingham, England, wanted to form a new group that would feature violins, cellos, horns and woodwinds to create popular songs with classical orchestration.   Jeff Lynne, leader of another group in Birmingham, The Idle Race, became interested in the concept and, when Carl Wayne left the Move in 1970, Lynne replaced him.  Drummer Bev Bevan, Bill Hunt (horns, keyboards) and Steve Woolam (violin) joined them to work on the project.  The new band was to become known as the Electric Light Orchestra, but to help get them off the ground, two more albums were released as the Move.

Electric Light Orchestra finished recording their self-titled album (entitled No Answer in the U.S.), which they released in 1971.  The single "10538 Overture" was a #5 hit in France and #9 in the U.K. 

ELO performed for the first time on April 16, 1972 at the Greyhound Pub in Croydon, England with a lineup that also included Wilfred Gibson on violin, Andy Craig, Mike Edwards, Hugh McDowell on cello, and bassist Richard Tandy.  Wood and Lynne, however, began to disagree on the direction of the group, so Wood left the group after the first album.  Wood took McDowell and Hunt with him to form the group Wizzard.  Tandy began playing keyboards in replacement of Hunt, with ELO adding Mike de Albuquerque on bass and vocals, and Mike Edwards and Colin Walker on cello.

This was the lineup in place for the 1972 Reading Festival.  In 1973, the group released the album Electric Light Orchestra II.  The single "Roll Over Beethoven" was the first song by the group to receive widespread airplay--it reached #6 in the U.K. but only #42 in the United States.  Looks like some people in the U.S. dropped the ball on this one, as it is one of The Top Unknown/Underrated Songs of the Rock Era*.

While recording their next album, the group let Gibson go, and Walker left as well.  The group hired Mik Kaminski to play violin.  Later in the year, ELO followed with the release On the Third Day.  The group released the single "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle", which peaked at #22 in the U.K.  Nevertheless, it is another solid track.

McDowell returned to the group for a tour of the United States.  In 1974, the Electric Light Orchestra released the album Eldorado.  The great song "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" rose to #5 in France and #9 in the U.S.

Eldorado went Gold, a first for the group, and the ball was rolling.  After the album, bassist and vocalist Kelly Groucutt replaced de Albuquerque and Melvyn Gale took over from Edwards on cello.  ELO appeared on The Midnight Special four times (1973, 1975, 1976 & 1977), more than any other group in the show's history.

In 1975, ELO released the album Face the Music.  The single "Evil Woman" went all the way to #2 in France, #6 in Canada, and #10 in the United States, the U.K., and Ireland.

The group toured to promote the album, playing 68 dates in 76 days.  ELO pulled another hit from Face the Music, as "Strange Magic" hit #10 in France and #14 in the U.S.  This enabled the album to go Gold.

The band released the compilation album OlĂ© ELO, which also was certified Gold.  In 1976, the Electric Light Orchestra released the album A New World Record.  The single "Livin' Thing" roared to #2 in Australia, #3 in Austria, #4 in the U.K. and the Netherlands, #5 in Germany, #6 in Ireland, # 8 in Canada, and #9 in France.  The United States was the only country in the world that didn't put "Livin' Thing" in the Top 10 at #13, making it another Top Unknown/Underrated Song of the Rock Era*.

A New World Record proved to be one of the best albums of the group's career, selling over one million copies.  "Do Ya" was a re-recording of a song the Move had done, and, at #24, another underrated song. 

The single "Telephone Line" rose to #7 in the U.S., #8 in the U.K., #9 in Canada, and #10 in Australia.

The single "Rockaria!" was only released in selected countries, and given the inefficient program directors in the U.S. at the time, that seems logical.  It of course became another hit for ELO--#7 in Austria, #9 in the U.K. and #10 in Australia. 

A New World Record became a #1 album in Australia and Sweden, and #5 in the U.S.  Had program directors and Billboard magazine paid more attention to the album sales, they would have recognized that A New World Record had quality written all over it.  This is a great track from the album--"Tightrope".

In 1977, ELO released the album Out of the Blue, which also went Platinum.  The single "Turn To Stone" hit #1 in Canada, #9 in France, and #13 in the United States.

A subsequent tour of 92 shows featured an enormous set and a giant space ship with fog machines and a laser display.  ELO played before 80,000 people at Cleveland Stadium in Ohio.  The group also played eight sold-out nights at Wembley Arena in London, a record to that point.  The tour was the highest-grossing tour in history up to that time.  The single "Mr. Blue Sky" went to #6 in the U.K. and #8 in the Netherlands, and is a fan favorite.

The song "Wild West Hero" is another top song on the album--#6 in the U.K. and #9 in Ireland.

The single "Sweet Talkin' Woman" rose to #6 in the U.K., Canada, and Ireland, and #17 in the United States, yet another Top Unknown/Underrated Song of the Rock Era*.

The Electric Light Orchestra released the album ELO's Greatest Hits in 1979, and the album has now topped four million in sales.

In 1979, ELO released the album Discovery.  "Shine A Little Love" was the lead single, going to #1 in Canada, #2 in France, #4 in Ireland, #6 in the U.K., and #7 in the United States. 

Discovery has now topped two million in sales.  "Don't Bring Me Down" become one of ELO's biggest career international hits--#2 in Canada and Austria, #3 in the U.K., #4 in the U.S., #5 in Germany and the Netherlands, and #6 in Australia and Ireland.

The third single, "Confusion" hit #5 in Austria and the Netherlands, and #6 in Germany and France.
Last Train To London by ELO on Grooveshark
ELO pulled another hit from Discovery, "Last Train To London".  It got as high as #3 in France but only a very underrated #39 in the United States.

The group continued with great success into the 80's, essentially disbanding in 1986.  They reformed shortly afterwards with different combinations, and the classic lineup reformed in 2000 to release one final studio album in 2001.

ELO sold over 9.5 million albums in the decade.  They scored 18 hits, with five reaching the Top 10.