Saturday, December 27, 2014

This Date in Rock Music History: December 28

1959:  "Teen Angel" by Mark Dinning moved from #100 to #50.
1960:  The movie Where the Boys Are, starring Connie Francis, premiered in the Gateway Theatre in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Radio City Music Hall in New York City.  (Note:  some websites claim the premiere was on December 31, but according to the newspaper 'The Sun-Sentinel', the simultaneous premieres were on December 28.)
1963:  The Singing Nun wrapped up a four-week stay at #1 on the Easy Listening chart with "Dominique".
1963:  "Dominique" was #1 for a fourth week overall.  Bobby Vinton provided the closest competition with "There!  I've Said It Again".
1963:  The Soundtrack to "West Side Story" re-entered the Top 10 in its 114th week of release.

1968:  Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Jeff Beck and the Pretty Things appeared at the Flight to Lowlands Paradise II festival at the Margriethal-Jaarbeurs in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
1968:  In essentially what was a precursor to Woodstock, Three Dog Night, Joni Mitchell, the Turtles, Fleetwood Mac, Marvin Gaye, the Grass Roots, Chuck Berry, Steppenwolf, the Box Tops, Canned Heat, Jr. Walker and the Allstars, Procol Harum, Iron Butterfly, the McCoys, the Grateful Dead, Blues Image, Procol Harum, Jose Feliciano, Richie Havens, Country Joe and the Fish, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and others performed at the Miami Pop Festival at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida.
1968:  The Rolling Stones debuted at #3 in the U.K. with their album Beggar's Banquet.

1968:  Marvin Gaye ruled the R&B chart for a third week with "I Heard It Through The Grapevine".
1968:  Glen Campbell scored a third week at #1 on the Adult chart with "Wichita Lineman".
1968:  The Beatles reached #1 with The White Album after just three weeks.  Wichita Lineman from Glen Campbell was second with Cheap Thrills from Big Brother & the Holding Company in third.

1968:  Marvin Gaye had the biggest hit of his career with "I Heard It Through The Grapevine", #1 for a third week.  The Temptations climbed into the Top 10 with "Cloud Nine".
1969:  Detroit, Michigan declared it "Temptations Day".
1974:  Stevie Wonder registered his 11th #1 song on the R&B chart, and fifth out of his last seven releases, with "Boogie On Reggae Woman".
1974:  Barry Manilow rose to #1 on the Adult chart with his first single, "Mandy".

1974:  Helen Reddy owned the new #1 with "Angie Baby".  Elton John moved to challenge with his remake of the Beatles' song "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds".  Barry White was up to 3 with "You're The First, The Last, My Everything", Carl Douglas surrendered to #4 with "Kung Fu Fighting" and the previous #1 "Cat's In The Cradle" from Harry Chapin was fifth.  The rest of an excellent Top 10:  Paul McCartney & Wings with their double-sided "Junior's Farm"/"Sally G", the Three Degrees with "When Will I See You Again", Neil Sedaka was back with his first Top 10 in 12 years--"Laughter In The Rain", Ringo Starr bounced up from 14 with "Only You" and Stevie Wonder collected his 36th hit and his sixth Top 10 in his last seven releases with "Boogie On Reggae Woman".

The group Jethro Tull was up to #2...

1974:  Elton John's Greatest Hits was the #1 album for the fifth week with War Child from Jethro Tull #2 and Neil Diamond's Serenade #3.  Harry Chapin moved to #4 with Verities & Balderdash while John Denver edged up with Back Home Again.  The rest of the Top 10:  Fire from the Ohio Players, the Rolling Stones fell hard with It's Only Rock 'N Roll, Loggins & Messina were at #8 with Mother Lode, Helen Reddy's Free and Easy stopped off at #9 and Ringo Starr entered the Top 10 with Goodnight Vienna.
1979:  At the third of Paul McCartney's concerts in London to benefit the country of Kampuchea, the Who and the Pretenders joined him.

1983:  Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys drowned while diving near his boat in the harbor of Marina del Ray, California.

"Minutes to Memories", one of the best songs you've never heard (unless you've been a regular visitor on this blog!

1985:  The "Miami Vice" Soundtrack moved back up to #1 on the Album chart, taking over from the self-titled Heart.  John Cougar Mellencamp remained in the #3 spot with his great album Scarecrow while Barbra Streisand was up to #4 with The Broadway Album.  Knee Deep in the Hoopla from Starship and Songs from the Big Chair by newcomers Tears for Fears each entered the Top 10.

1985:  Lionel Richie remained at the top of the Adult Contemporary chart for a fourth week with "Say You, Say Me".  Incredibly, Richie had hit #1 with four straight songs and nine out of 10 since he left the Commodores.  More impressively, Lionel had accumulated 20 weeks at #1 on the Adult chart in his last four releases and 41 weeks in a five-year period.
1988:  Nirvana performed at the Hollywood Underground in Seattle, Washington.
1991:  The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam and Nirvana combined for a show at Pat O'Brien Pavilion in Del Mar, California.
1992:  Paul Simon and Edie Brickell celebrated the birth of Adrian Edward Simon.
1993:  Shania Twain married her producer, Robert "Mutt" Lange.
1993:  The Spice Girls achieved their third #1 song in the U.K. with "2 Become 1".
   In most other times, R. Kelly would have a #1 song...

1996:  Toni Braxton dominated the competition with a fourth week at #1 with "Un-Break My Heart".  R. Kelly was second with "I Believe I Can Fly" while En Vogue closed to #3 with "Don't Let Go (Love)".
2004:  Bono of U2 was the guest editor on BBC Radio 4's news program Today.

2005:  Mary J. Blige debuted at #1 on the Album chart with The Breakthrough.

Born This Day--Birthdays of Rock Era Personalities:
1914:  Roebuck "Pops" Staples, songwriter, guitarist and singer with the Staples Singers ("Respect Yourself"), was born in Winona, Mississippi; died December 19, 2000 after suffering a concussion from a fall in his home in Chicago, Illinois.
1921:  Johnny Otis ("Willie And The Hand Jive" from 1958), composer, arranger, singer, drummer and percussionist, talent scout and producer, was born in Vallejo, California; died of natural causes at the age of 90 in Los Angeles.
1932:  Dorsey Burnette, brother of Johnny and father of Billy Burnette, and who wrote songs for Jerry Lee Lewis, Rick Nelson and others, was born in Memphis, Tennessee; died August 19, 1979 of a massive coronary in Canoga Park, California.
1938:  Charles Neville of Joey Dee & the Starlighters and the Neville Brothers, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana.
1938:  Gene Thomas (real name Gene Thomasson) of Gene & Debbe ("Playboy") was born in Palestine, Texas; died August 26, 2012 of lung cancer in Fredericksburg, Texas.

1946:  Edgar Winter, famous multi-instrumentalist and leader of the Edgar Winter Group, and young brother of Johnny, was born in Beaumont, Texas.
1947:  Dick Diamonde (real name Dingeman Ariaan Henry van der Sluijs), bass guitarist of the Easybeats ("Friday On My Mind") was born in Hilversum, the Netherlands.

1950:  Alex Chilton, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of the Box Tops and later a producer, was born in Memphis, Tennessee; died of a heart attack March 17, 2010.
1954:  David Jaymes, bassist of Modern Romance, was born in Woodford, Essex, England.  (Note:  some websites say that the Modern Romance musician was David Jaynes--that is false.  David Jaynes was a quarterback in football; David Jaymes was the bassist in Modern Romance.  Some websites show his birthday as November 28--reputable sites report that his date of birth was December 28, and in the book 'The Great Indie Discovery' by Martin Charles Strong, Strong confirms that James was born on December 28.)

1978:  John Legend (real name John Stephens), solo artist and session vocalist and musician, was born in Springfield Ohio.

While remembering Manilow's great music of the decade...

Ahead of Barry is a man who accomplished an amazing feat with a brand new group, while capping an historic sweep by his former group.

That story and more musical highlights of the decade tomorrow on Inside The Rock Era!

Barry Manilow, The #13 Artist of the Seventies*

Barry Pincus adopted his mother's maiden name of Manilow at the time of his bar mitzvah.  He graduated from Eastern District High School in Brooklyn, New York in 1961.  He then enrolled in the famous Juilliard performing arts school, working at CBS to pay expenses.  Manilow met Bro Herrod, a director at CBS, who asked him to arrange some songs for a musical adaptation of The Drunkard.  Manilow instead wrote an entire original score, and Herrod used Manilow's work in the Off Broadway musical, which enjoyed an eight-year run at New York's 13th Street Theatre.  Manilow also worked as a pianist, producer and arranger during this time.

He also began to write jingles for commercials, including some of the most famous of the period ("Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there..." for State Farm Insurance, "I am stuck on Band-Aid, 'cause Band-Aid's stuck on me!" for Band-Aid, and "Meet The Swinger" for Polaroid Cameras, and sang "You Deserve A Break Today" for McDonalds, and on jingles for Dr. Pepper and Kentucky Fried Chicken ("Finger-Lickin' Good")).  Manilow earned two Clio Awards in 1976 for his work for Tab and Band-Aid.

Manilow became the musical director for the WCBS-TV series Callback, which premiered in 1968.  He then conducted and arranged for Ed Sullivan's production company, arranging a new theme song for The Late Show.  Manilow and Jeanne Lucas performed for two years at New York's Upstairs at the Downstairs club.

Manilow then joined a group of musicians known as Featherbed, who were produced and arranged by Tony Orlando.  Three songs all flopped, however, and the group was short-lived.  Manilow continued to accompany artists on the piano for auditions and performances, and one person who saw him was Bette Midler.  Midler asked Barry if he would accompany her on piano at the Continental Baths, which he did.  She also had Manilow produce her first two albums, The Divine Miss M in 1972 and Bette Midler in 1973.  Manilow was Bette's musical director on tour and worked with her through 1975.

Barry then recorded his self-titled debut album, which was released in 1973 on Bell Records.  When the former head of Columbia Records, Clive Davis, took over Bell Records, and reorganized smaller labels under Arista Records,  many artists were dropped, but Davis was impressed by Manilow after seeing him open for Dionne Warwick.  The first album contained a promising song, "Could It Be Magic", which Manilow based on Frederic Chopin's "Prelude in C Minor, Opus 28, Number 20".  Donna Summer's disco version received play in clubs, but Manilow's album went nowhere.

In 1974, Barry released the album Barry Manilow II.  A song originally called "Brandy" was changed to "Mandy" at the insistence of Davis, because there was already a song called "Brandy" by Looking Glass.  The million-selling "Mandy" became Manilow's breakthrough hit, leaping to #1 on both the Popular and Adult charts in the U.S. and Canada, and #11 in the U.K.

"It's A Miracle" stopped short of the Top 10 at #12, but went to #1 on the Adult chart.  "It's A Miracle" and "Mandy" helped Manilow II reach #9 on the Album chart and go Double Platinum.

Following the success of Manilow II, his first album was re-mixed and re-issued on Arista as Barry Manilow I, and the single "Could It Be Magic" was released as well.  This time, the song rose to #4 on the Adult chart and #6 overall, and propelled Manilow's first album to Platinum status. (You get the full version on Inside The Rock Era--no shortcut edits here...)

Barry's appearance in 1975 on American Bandstand started a great friendship with Dick Clark, who subsequently invited him on his Dick Clark New Year's Rockin' Eve shows, on American Bandstand, and American Music Awards performances as well.

In 1975, Manilow released the album Tryin' to Get the Feeling, which soared to #5 on the Album chart and has now gone over three million in sales.  The leadoff single "I Write The Songs" gave Barry his second #1 song on the Popular chart and his third chart-topper among adults in the United States and hit #3 in Canada.  It sold over one million copies.


The single "Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again" also became a #1 Adult song and peaked at #10 overall.


Manilow also provided clues on the album of the appeal he would have throughout his career with audiences.  We feature the great but unreleased song "New York City Rhythm".


Manilow paid tribute to his friend Dick Clark's American Bandstand with the track "Bandstand Boogie".  Frank Sinatra was quoted in the 70's praising Manilow by saying "He's next." 


The following year, Barry released the album This One's for You, which also went Triple Platinum, and became his third straight Top 10 album.  The title song gave Manilow a third straight #1 on the Adult chart and fifth of his career.


The excellent "Weekend In New England" gave Manilow yet another #1 among adults that also reached #10 in the U.S. and #7 in Canada.


Manilow scored another smash with "Looks Like We Made It", #1 Adult (his fifth straight) and #1 Popular in the U.S., #4 in Canada, and his third career Gold single.


Manilow by now had become an outstanding live performer, and his album Barry Manilow Live! went to #1 on the Album chart and sold over four million copies.  The single "Daybreak" reached #7 on the Adult chart, but only #23 overall.

Manilow won an American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist.  The Barry Manilow Special aired on ABC-TV with an audience of 37 million people.  It was nominated for four Emmy Awards, and won a statue for Outstanding Comedy-Variety or Music Special.  Barry won a special Tony Award for his Barry Manilow on BroadwayThe Second Barry Manilow Special in 1978, with guest Ray Charles, was also nominated for four Emmys.

In 1978, Manilow released another solid album, Even Now, which gave him three Triple Platinum albums in a row.  At a peak of #3, Even Now was the biggest album of his career.  The single "Can't Smile Without You" not only returned Manilow to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart; it became one of The Top 20 Adult Songs of the 70's*.  The song peaked at #3 overall in the United States and #9 in Canada, and sold over one million copies.


Manilow won the American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist for a second straight year. The title song was Manilow's ninth #1 on the Adult chart.


Manilow gave us something unexpected with his next single, a different sound than what most were used to.  Of course, Manilow fans already long before knew what he was capable of.  "Copacabana (At The Copa)" reached #6 on the Adult chart and #8 overall in the U.S., and #3 in Canada.  It too went Gold. 

Manilow won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Male Vocal Performance.   "Copacabana" would later become a musical television movie, which Manilow starred in, as well as three musical plays.

Also in 1978, five Manilow albums were among the best-sellers, a feat equaled only by the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, Herb Alpert, and Johnny Mathis.  Manilow's Greatest Hits package was one of those, going all the way to #7 and selling three million copies. 

Manilow was called upon to provide the theme song for the hilarious movie Foul Play, with Goldie Hawn, Dudley Moore, and Chevy Chase.  At #11, it's a bit underrated, although it did go to #5 on the AC chart--"Ready To Take A Chance Again".  The great song was nominated for Best Original Song from a Motion Picture at the Academy Awards.


A remake of "Somewhere In The Night" achieved a #4 ranking on the Adult chart and #9 on the Popular chart.

In 1979, one of the concerts from Manilow's sold-out performances at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles aired on HBO, the first pay-television show to become a threat to network shows in the ratings.

Manilow released the album One Voice, his fifth consecutive album to sell at least two million copies.  The single "Ships" sailed to #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart and rose to #9 overall.


Barry captured a third consecutive American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist. The follow-up single "When I Wanted You" gave Barry his first Adult #1 since "Even Now".

ABC-TV aired The Third Barry Manilow Special, with John Denver as guest.  The show was nominated for two Emmy Awards, and won for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography.

Manilow wrote, arranged, and produced the best album of Dionne Warwick's career, Dionne

Manilow continued to enjoy tremendous success in the 80's, with numerous hits, and his album 2:00 A.M. Paradise CafĂ© in 1984 became one of his best.  Barry's 10-night run at Radio City Music Hall in New York City set a box-office record of nearly $2 million, making Manilow the top draw in the then 52-year history of the venue.  In the last 10-20 years, Manilow has enjoyed a revival with a change in direction, and wildly popular shows in Las Vegas, Nevada. 
In addition to Barry's Greatest Hits album in 1978 that sold three million, later compilations that collectively sold eight million contained material primarily from the 70's, and those sales are also factored into the rankings.

In 2002, Manilow was inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame.  In 2009, he received an Honorary Award from the Clio Awards for his great work in commercial jingles prior to his career as a solo artist.

Manilow sold over 23.5 million albums containing his Seventies material, which ranks 13th in the decade.  He posted 15 hits, with 9 of those going to the Top 10 and three #1 songs.  Barry was one of the dominant performers among adults, registering 17 hits, with an incredible 16 of those reaching the Top 10 and ten #1's.  In looking at The Top 5000 Songs of the Rock Era*, Manilow's 70's material ranks 6th among performers of the decade. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

This Date in Rock Music History: December 27

1960:  The Miracles made their television debut singing "Shop Around" on American Bandstand (Note:  numerous websites report that the group made their debut on the popular show on February 27, 1960, but this is inaccurate.  "Shop Around" was not released nationally until October 15, making the February 27 date impossible.  Jack Ryan, in his book 'Recollections, the Detroit Year:  The Motown Sound by the People who Made It', The Official R&B Music Hall of Fame, and '' all confirm that the correct date is December 27, and that not only did the Miracles make their debut on the show, but they were the first Motown act to appear on 'American Bandstand'.)
1960:  The Beatles played to a welcome home crowd at the Litherland Town Hall in Liverpool after performing as the resident band in Hamburg, Germany.  Bassist Stuart Sutcliffe stayed in Germany for the winter.  It was after this performance, when they were cheered loudly for the first time, that the Beatles realized that they were good.
1963:  The Animals debuted on the radio on the BBC show Saturday Club.  This would soon lead to a record contract with Columbia.
1963:  The London Times named John Lennon and Paul McCartney "The Outstanding Composers of 1963", saying they are "the greatest composers since Beethoven".  This was uncanny observation and foresight by the newspaper, considering the two were just starting out.
1964:  The Who performed at the Ealing Club in London.
1964:  The Supremes made their first of 16 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show(Note:  some websites state that the group made 20 appearances.  The group did 16 shows; the other 4 were reruns, according to the official website for 'The Ed Sullivan Show'.)
1967:  Bob Dylan released the album John Wesley Harding.
1967:  The Doors performed on The Jonathon Winters Show on CBS television.

Led Zeppelin put out a great album and people were taking notice...

1969:  Led Zeppelin II was the new #1 album, displacing Abbey Road by the Beatles after eight weeks.  Let It Bleed from the Rolling Stones was third with Tom Jones Live in Las Vegas in pursuit.  The rest of the Top 10:  WIlly and the Poorboys from CCR moved from 11-5, Was Captured Live at the Forum from Three Dog Night at #6, Green River by CCR at #7, the self-titled debut from Blood, Sweat & Tears, the debut by Crosby, Stills & Nash and Puzzle People by the Temptations slipped to #10.
1969:  Diana Ross & the Supremes continued to hold on to #1 on the R&B chart for a third week with "Someday We'll Be Together". 
1969:  B.J. Thomas logged a third week at #1 on the Adult chart with "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head".

          CCR dominated the airwaves in the late 60's.

1969:  Diana Ross & the Supremes climbed to #1 with "Someday We'll Be Together", the group's final #1 song.  Peter, Paul & Mary dropped down with "Leaving On A Jet Plane", B.J. Thomas was up to 3 with "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head", CCR's double-sided smash "Down On The Corner"/"Fortunate Son" was fourth and Steam's former #1 "(Na Na Hey Hey) Kiss Him Goodbye" dropped to #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Holly Holy" from Neil Diamond, the Beatles with "Come Together"/"Something", the Jackson 5 moved from 17-8 with "I Want You Back", skipping over Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta' Love", which did manage to get to #9, and R.B. Greaves was at #10 with "Take A Letter Maria".
1970:  The play Hello Dolly! closed after 2,844 performances on Broadway in New York City.
1971:  The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour began as a regular series on CBS-TV.  Up until this time, it had been a summer replacement show.

1975:  Queen rose to #1 on the Album chart with A Night at the Opera.

                 America was golden in the 70's...

1975:  Chicago IX - Chicago's Greatest Hits was #1 on the Album chart for the third week.  Gratitude from Earth, Wind & Fire was second with History/America's Greatest Hits remaining at #3.
1975:  "Love Rollercoaster" by the Ohio Players was the #1 R&B song.

1975:  The Staple Singers climbed the final rung of the ladder to #1 with "Let's Do It Again".  The Bay City Rollers weren't going away with "Saturday Night" while "That's the Way (I Like It)" by K.C. and the Sunshine Band dropped to make room.  The Ohio Players had by far their biggest hit with "Love Rollercoaster".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Theme From 'Mahogany' (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" from Diana Ross, Barry Manilow's "I Write the Songs" was up to 6, C.W. McCall drove up from 14 with "Convoy", Sweet was in the #8 position with "Fox On The Run", Silver Convention and "Fly, Robin, Fly" and the O'Jays scored a Top 10 with "I Love Music".

1977:  Rose Royce released their new single "I Wanna' Get Next To You".
1978:  Bob Luman ("Let's Think About Living" from 1960) died from pneumonia in Nashville, Tennessee at age 41.
1979:  Paul McCartney, the Clash and Ian Dury played in the second of four concerts organized by McCartney to benefit Kampuchea.

             Before he left us, he gave us this great song...

1980:  Double Fantasy by John Lennon moved from 11 to 1 on the Album chart with Guilty by Barbra Streisand second.  Stevie Wonder remained at #3 with Hotter Than July and AC/DC stayed fourth with Back In Black.  Pat Benatar remained at #5 with Crimes of Passion and the Eagles Live was sixth.  The rest of the Top 10:  Kenny Rogers' Greatest Hits, Zenyatta Mondatta from the Police at #8, "The Jazz Singer" Soundtrack by Neil Diamond at #9 at Steely Dan found the Top 10 with Gaucho.
1980:  Leo Sayer moved to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "More Than I Can Say". 

1980:  One of the fastest-rising songs was "Same Old Lang Syne", Dan Fogelberg's great release that rose from 59 to 37.
1980:  Just 19 days after his death, John Lennon's song "(Just Like) Starting Over" went to #1. 
1983:  Walter Scott, lead singer of Bob Kuban & the In-Men ("The Cheater" from 1966) was seen alive for the last time.  His body was found floating face down in a cistern on April 10, 1987, the victim of a murder.
1985:  Metallica finished work on the album Master of Puppets.
1985:  Simon Le Bon, lead singer of Duran Duran, married Yasmin Parvanah in Oxford, England.
                 Do you know what a Wang Chung is?

1986:  The Bangles held off all challengers to score a second week at #1 with "Walk Like An Egyptian", one of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*.  Wang Chung moved up with "Everybody Have Fun Tonight", while Double Duran was third with "Notorious".  Newcomer Gregory Abbott wanted to "Shake You Down", while Bruce Hornsby & the Range's "The Way It Is", was fifth.  The rest of the Top 10:  "C'est La Vie" from Robbie Nevil, Janet Jackson exploded into the Top 10 with "Control", Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band's remake of "War" was #8, Ben E. King remained at #9 and the Pretenders moved to 10 with "Don't Get Me Wrong".

Sign by Ace of Base on Grooveshark
1993:  Ace of Base released "The Sign".
1997:  Mark Morrison was arrested outside the Pink Coconut night club in Derby, England for threatening a police officer.
1997:  The Spice Girls ruled the U.K. chart with "Too Much".
1997:  For the third straight week, Garth Brooks held down #1 on the Album chart with Sevens.

1997:  Elton John registered his 12th week at #1 with his tribute to the late Princess Diana of England ("Candle In The Wind 1997").  There were just five songs in the Rock Era that had more--"One Sweet Day" from Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men (16 weeks), "Macarena" by Los Del Rio, "I'll Make Love to You" by Boyz II Men and "I Will Always Love You" from Whitney Houston (14 each) and "End Of The Road" by Boyz II Men (13 weeks).  Elton wasn't done just yet.  LeAnn Rimes was still at #2 with "How Do I Live", Usher was backed up at 3 with "You Make Me Wanna'..." and Janet (Jackson) moved from 9 to 4 with "Together Again".  Savage Garden had the only new Top 10 with "Truly Madly Deeply".
1998:  It's been a few days since we ran an episode of Dangerous Inmates Run Rap Music but now that Christmas is over, their exploits of course continued.  Busta Rhymes (real name is Trevor Smith) was arrested for criminal possession of a loaded, unregistered pistol in his car.
2003:  Dick St. John of Dick & Dee Dee ("Thou Shalt Not Steal") died in Pacific Palisades, California at age 60 from injuries resulting from a fall off a ladder.
2004:  Hank Garland, guitarist who played for Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison among others, died from a staph infection in Orange Park, Florida at the age of 74.
2008:  Delaney Bramlett, a member of Delaney & Bonnie who worked with George Harrison, John Lennon, the Everly Brothers, Eric Clapton and Janis Joplin, died at age 69 in Los Angeles after gall bladder surgery.
2008:  Taylor Swift led the way on the Album chart with Fearless.

Born This Day:

1931:  Scotty Moore, elite guitarist who helped Elvis Presley define rock & roll in its early years, was born in Gadsden, Tennessee.
1941:  Mike Pinder, founding member and keyboardist of the Moody Blues, was born in Erdington, Birmingham, England.
1941:  Leslie Maguire of Gerry & the Pacmakers was born in Wallasey, Cheshire, England.
1943:  Peter Sinfield, lyricist and co-founder of King Crimson and an accomplished songwriter for other artists:  Celine Dion, Cher, Cliff Richard and others, was born in Fulham, London.

1944:  Mick Jones, great guitarist and songwriter with Spooky Tooth, co-founder of Foreigner and a producer, was born in Somerton, Somerset, England.  (Note:  websites claim all kinds of birthplaces for Jones, and some get him confused with the Mick Jones of Clash.  '' claims he was born in Brixton, London.  Other cities listed are Portsmouth and Horsell.  In an interview with the newspaper 'The Portsmouth News', Jones stated he was born in Somerset but since he had family in Portsmouth, spent a good deal of time there.  Foreigner formed in Brixton, but Jones was not born there.  The newspaper 'The Daily Mail' confirms that Jones was born in Somerton)
1948:  Larry Byrom, songwriter and guitarist of Stepenwolf and later for Kenny Rogers, was born in Huntsville, Alabama.
1950:  Terry Bozzio of Captain Beefheart and Missing Persons was born in San Francisco, California.
1951:  Karla Bonoff, backup vocalist for Linda Ronstadt, solo artist ("Personally" from 1981) and songwriter, was born in Santa Monica, California.

1952:  David Knopfler, singer, songwriter, rhythm guitarist, pianist and co-founder of Dire Straits with his brother Mark, was born in Glasgow, Scotland.
1972:  Matt Slocum, lead guitarist, songwriter, pianist and cellist of Sixpence None the Richer ("Kiss Me") 

While giving Earth, Wind & Fire respect...

The artist at lofty position #13 proved the depth of versatility of his songwriting in the decades following the 70's, and he still packs them in night after night, year after year, in Las Vegas.

His story and incredible array of songs in the 70's coming tomorrow on Inside The Rock Era!

Earth, Wind & Fire, The #14 Artist of the Seventies*

In 1969, Maurice White, session drummer for Chess Records, joined Wade Flemons and Don Whitehead to write songs in the Chicago, Illinois area.  The three eventually earned a recording contract with Capitol Records, calling themselves the Salty Peppers.  The group received some regional airplay, but White soon moved to Los Angeles.

White, singer Sherry Scott, percussionist Yackov Ben Israel, and bassist Verdine White (Maurice's younger brother) formed a new group, and a demo tape led to a recording contract with Warner Brothers Records.  The name Earth, Wind & Fire was chosen using the primary elemental quality of Fire and seasonal qualities of Earth and Air in Maurice's astrological sign, Sagittarius. 

White held additional auditions, and the group hired guitarist Michael Beale, Chester Washington on reeds, Leslie Drayton on trumpet, Alex Thomas on trombone, and electric pianist Wade Flemons.

In 1971, Earth, Wind & Fire released their self-titled debut album. 

Later in the year, the group followed with another album, The Need of Love.  The title song, sung by Sherry Scott, became the group's first Top 40 R&B hit.  Earth, Wind & Fire became popular among the college crowd, but despite this, the group broke up after just six months. 

The only holdovers were Maurice and Verdine White.  In 1972, White rebuilt the group with Jessica Cleaves, formerly with the Friends of Distinction, on vocals, Ronnie Laws (flute and saxophone), Roland Bautista on rhythm guitar, keyboardist Larry Dunn, Ralph Johnson on percussion, and vocalist Philip Bailey.

The new lineup hired managers Bob Cavallo and Joe Ruffalo, and Earth, Wind, & Fire opened for John Sebastian, another client of Cavallo's.  Clive Davis, president of Columbia Records, saw the group perform at the Rockefeller Center in New York City, and wisely bought their contract from Warner Brothers.  Earth, Wind & Fire released the album Last Days and Time in 1972.

The following year, the band released the album Head to the Sky.  They enjoyed minor hits with the songs "Evil" and "Keep Your Head to the Sky".  "Evil", especially, is representative of some of their best work.

Afterwards, Cleaves, Bautista, and Laws left the group, and saxophonist Andrew Woolfolk, rhythm guitarists Al McKay and Johnny Graham came aboard. 

Fred White, another brother of Maurice, joined the group on drums so that Maurice could share lead vocals with Bailey.  Earth, Wind & Fire recorded the album Open Our Eyes at Caribou Ranch Studio in Colorado, an LP they released in 1974.  The single "Mighty Mighty" reached the Top 30 and the album eventually went Platinum.  "Devotion" is a solid track on the album.

The group played at the California Jam in April in front of 200,000, then collaborated with Ramsey Lewis on his album Sun Goddess.  The following year, producer Sig Shore invited Earth, Wind & Fire to record music for the soundtrack of a new film he was working on that portrayed the dark side of the recording industry.  The members of the group also starred in the film as "The Group".

The members of Earth, Wind & Fire didn't believe in the movie, so they released the Soundtrack to "That's the Way of the World" prior to the release of the movie.  It was the group's breakthrough release, going to #1 for three weeks on the Album chart.  The single "Shining Star" also topped both the R&B & the Popular chart.

"Shining Star" won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.  The amazing title song, which stopped at #12 at the time, is not only one of The Most Important Songs of the Rock Era*, but among the all-time best of The Top Unknown/Underrated Songs*.

Earth, Wind & Fire won an American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Band, Duo or Group, and they were also nominated for Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo or Group and Favorite Soul/R&B Album.  The soundtrack has now sold over three million copies in the U.S. alone.  Phillip Bailey shines on the Top Track* "Reasons".

"Happy Feelin'" is another "reason" the album did so well.

"See The Light" is another tasty song.

The success of the album enabled Earth, Wind & Fire to hire a horn section, known as the Phenix Horns:  Don Myrick on saxophone, Louis Satterfield on trombone, and trumpeters Rahmlee Davis and Michael Harris.  Columbia wanted another album, so EWF recorded new material in the studio, that was mixed with mostly live material from the group's tours in 1974 and 1975, for the double album Gratitude

Gratitude rose to #1 on the Album chart for three weeks and has now gone over the three-million mark in sales.  The single "Sing A Song" landed at #1 on the R&B chart and #5 overall.

The title song from the album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, and the single "Can't Hide Love" was also nominated for Best Arrangement with Voices.

Earth, Wind & Fire then headed out on tour, opening for Santana.  Also, Maurice formed the company Kalimba Productions, and signed artists such as Ramsey Lewis, Deniece Williams, and the Emotions.  White scheduled the Phenix Horns and other members of Earth, Wind & Fire for sessions with these artists, and included his clients on tour with Earth, Wind & Fire. 

In 1976, Maurice stepped in as producer of the band's album Spirit.  The lead single, "Getaway", gave the group another #1 on the R&B chart and a #12 Popular song.  

Earth, Wind & Fire once again won the American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Band, Duo or Group, and were nominated for three additional awards:  Favorite Pop/Rock Band, Duo or Group, and Favorite Soul/R&B Album for both Spirit and That's The Way of the World, which was nominated for a second year in a row.  Spirit went to #2 on the Album chart and was certified Double Platinum by the RIAA.  "Saturday Nite" was another Top 5 R&B smash.

The title song is another great track.

Live shows by Earth, Wind & Fire took on a new dimension, with the help of magician Doug Henning and his young assistant, David Copperfield.  Concerts included pyrotechnics, laser lights, flying pyramids, levitating guitarists, and a finale in which the entire group ascended a pyramid, the disappeared from sight.  Earth, Wind & Fire had definitely elevated their game.

The group captured a third consecutive American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Band, Duo or Group.  In 1977, the group released the album All 'N All.  Earth, Wind & Fire's fourth #1 R&B song, "Serpentine Fire", charted at #13 overall.   

The album sold over three million copies in the U.S. alone, and earned EWF the Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.  The great song "Fantasy" rose to #7 in the Netherlands, and a very underrated #32 in the U.S.

EWF made it four years in a row as the Favorite Soul/R&B Band, Duo or Group at the American Music Awards; they were also nominated for Favorite Soul/R&B Album.  The track "Runnin" captured the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Performance.  The group cranked up the funk on "Jupiter".

"Love's Holiday" is another fan favorite.

In 1978, Earth, Wind & Fire contributed a remake of the Beatles' "Got To Get You Into My Life" for the movie Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band.  It was included on the band's Greatest Hits package, and reached #1 R&B and #9 overall.  "Got To Get You Into My Life" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, and EWF once again was nominated for Favorite Soul/R&B Band, Duo or Group at the American Music Awards.

Earth, Wind & Fire launched their own record label, The American Recording Company, and built their own recording studio in Los Angeles.  The Greatest Hits album peaked at #6 on the Album chart and has now sold over five million copies.  "September" was another new release on the album, running to #1 on the R&B chart and #8 overall in the United States, and #3 in the U.K.

In 1979, Earth, Wind & Fire performed at the Music For UNICEF Concert, then toured Europe and Japan.  EWF then released the album I Am, which went to #3 on the Album chart and sold over two million copies.  The single "Boogie Wonderland" (with the Emotions) jumped to #2 on the R&B chart and #6 overall in the United States, and achieved #4 in the U.K. and the Netherlands, #6 in Australia, and #7 in New Zealand.  "Boogie Wonderland" won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Disco Performance.

The ballad "After The Love Has Gone" peaked at #2 on both the R&B and Popular charts and was #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart in the U.S., and hit #4 in the U.K.  EWF won the Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for their outstanding job.

Earth, Wind & Fire won another American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B Band, Duo or Group, their fifth win in six years.  The group also earned the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, and they were nominated for Record of the Year (both for "After The Love Has Gone").  "Star" is another great song on the album.

In 1995, the band earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  EWF were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

Also that year, Earth, Wind & Fire were invited to a White House state dinner hosted by U.S. President Bill Clinton in honor of His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, and Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem.  The King was so impressed that he invited EWF to perform in Morocco for his 37th birthday later in the year.

In 2002, this incredible group received the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Heritage Award, and in 2003, Earth, Wind & Fire were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.  The following year, the group received the Signature Governor's Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.  In 2004, the great song "That's The Way Of The World" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.  Three years later, "Shining Star" was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

In 2008, Maurice and Verdine White, Phillip Bailey, and Ralph Johnson received honorary degrees from the Arts and Media College at Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois, and Maurice White and Philip Bailey received honorary doctorate degrees from the famous Berklee College of Music.  Later in the year, Earth, Wind & Fire performed at the opening ceremony of the 2008 U.S. Tennis Open.  In 2009, the group performed at the Governors' Dinner at the White House at the request of U.S. President Barack Obama.

In 2010, Maurice and Verdine White, Phillip Bailey, Larry Dunn, and Al McKay were inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame.  The following year, Earth, Wind & Fire received the Legend Award at the Soul Train Awards.  The group released the album Now, Then & Forever, their first album in eight years, in 2013.

EWF sold over 21 million albums in the Seventies, and scored 21 hits in the decade, with six Top 10 songs, one great #1, and countless memories.