Saturday, February 21, 2015

This Date in Rock Music History: February 22

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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