Saturday, May 16, 2015

This Date in Rock Music History: May 17

1958:  "Jerry Lee Lewis Day" was held in Lewis's hometown of Ferriday, Louisiana.
1963:  Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul & Mary and Pete Seeger performed at the first Monterey Folk Festival, held over three days in Monterey, California.
1967:  The Bob Dylan documentary Don't Look Back, reliving Dylan's 1965 British tour, premiered at the Presidio Theater in San Francisco, California.
1968:  The Monkees performed at the Lagoon Patio Gardens, a venue inside the famous amusement park, for about 5,000 fans.  (Note:  Several websites report that the Monkees appeared at Olympia Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah, on May 21, 1968.  There was not and never has been an Olympia Stadium in that city.  There was an Olympia Stadium in Detroit, Michigan, and the Monkees performed there on January 14, 1968.  The group did perform in Salt Lake City in 1968, though, but the information badly damages the credibility of the websites.  According to the official website for the Monkees, they performed in Salt Lake City May 17 at the Lagoon Patio Gardens.)

1969:  The Soundtrack to "Hair" had a hold on #1 on the Album chart for the fourth straight week.  Blood, Sweat & Tears was #2, Glen Campbell's Galveston was #3 and Nashville Skyline from Bob Dylan captured spot #4.  The rest of the Top 10:  Donovan's Greatest Hits, Cloud Nine by the Temptations was #6, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, featuring the song of the same name by Iron Butterfly, was #7, Creedence Clearwater Revival had #8 with Bayou Country, Help Yourself by Tom Jones fell to 9 and the debut from Led Zeppelin entered the Top 10.

                   A great time to be alive, listening to "Aquarius" by the great 5th Dimension...

1969:  "Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In" by 5th Dimension was once again the #1 song on the Adult Contemporary chart.
1969:  "Aquarius" remained as the #1 song in the land for a sixth week, making it one of The Top 20 Songs of the Rock Era* to that point.  "Hair" by the Cowsills was #2 while the Beatles climbed from 10 to 3 with "Get Back".  "It's Your Thing" from the Isley Brothers was song #4 and the great One-Hit Wonder* song from Mercy--"Love (Can Make You Happy)" moved from 11 to 5.  The rest of the Top 10:  The great instrumental "Hawai'i Five-O" from the television show of the same name by the Ventures was #6, Simon & Garfunkel climbed to #7 with their classic "The Boxer", Donovan's probing song "Atlantis" was #8, Ray Stevens kept things light at #9 with "Gitarzan" and the Guess Who reached the Top 10 with "These Eyes".
1971:  The popular musical Godspell debuted in New York City, off-Broadway at first, at the Cherry Lane Theatre, before hitting Broadway five years later.  (Note:  several websites report that 'Godspell' debuted on May 13.  The official date of opening is May 17, 1971, according to the magazines 'Billboard' and 'Atlantic'.)
1974:  Frankie Avalon hosted The Midnight Special on NBC-TV, featuring Sam & Dave, Fabian and Shirley & Lee.
1974:  Elton John performed "Candle In The Wind" and "Rocket Man" in his television special Say Goodbye to Norma Jean and Other Things on ABC.
1975:  Dumb ol' Mick Jagger.  Put his hand through a window at Gosman's Dock restaurant in Montauk, New York.  Required 20 stitches.  (Note:  some websites say the restaurant is in Long Island, New York.  Long Island is not a city but rather the name of an island.  Gosman's Dock is located in Montauk, New York.)  
1975:  "Rainy Day People" reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for Canada's Gordon Lightfoot.

                  Earth, Wind & Fire were one of the great groups of all-time...

1975:  That's the Way of the World,  the Soundtrack to the movie from Earth, Wind & Fire, reached #1 on the chart as Chicago VIII dropped to #2.  The Soundtrack to "Tommy" was #3, followed by Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti and Bad Company's Straight Shooter.  The rest of the Top 10:  Have You Never Been Mellow from Olivia Newton-John, the Soundtrack to "Funny Lady" at #7, An Evening with John Denver, the singer's live album at #8, Welcome To My Nightmare from Alice Cooper was #9 and Hearts from America was #10.

                             The Ozarks enjoyed their biggest hit "Jackie Blue"...

1975:  It was a pretty solid Top 10--"He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)" by Tony Orlando & Dawn was #1 for a third week, Freddy Fender had #2 "Before The Next Teardrop Falls" and "Jackie Blue", the great Ozark Mountain Daredevils song, was #3.  Earth, Wind & Fire moved up to 4 with "Shining Star" and the Carpenters hit the Top Five with "Only Yesterday".  The rest of the Top 10:  The Blackbyrds were at 6 with "Walking In Rhythm", "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" by John Denver moved from 14-7, Ace featuring great lead singer Paul Carrack moved into the Top 10 with "How Long", Paul Anka's "I Don't Like To Sleep Alone" was at #9 and the former #1 with the long title "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" by B.J. Thomas was #10.
1978:  The Carpenters television special Space Encounters aired on ABC.
1978:  Andy Gibb and ABBA were the guests on Olivia Newton-John's special Olivia on ABC-TV.
1978:  Thank God It's Friday, the movie starring Donna Summer, premiered in Los Angeles.
1980:  Paul and Linda McCartney were the guests on the television show Saturday Night Live.
1980:  The Soundtrack to "Urban Cowboy", one of the best soundtrack albums of the rock era, was released.
1980:  "Let's Get Serious" by Jermaine Jackson reached #1 on the R&B chart.

1980:  "The Rose", the title song from the movie in which she starred in, was #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for Bette Midler.
1980:  Against the Wind, the great Bob Seger album, was #1.  Pink Floyd was stuck at 2 with The Wall, while Glass Houses by Billy Joel and Mad Love by Linda Ronstadt maintained their positions for a fifth week.    

                              Christopher Cross's first single was well received...

1980:  "Call Me" from Blondie remained #1 for the fifth week and it wasn't done yet.  "Ride Like The Wind" by Christopher Cross would have to settle for being one of the top #2 songs in history.  Air Supply had #3 with "Lost In Love" while "Funkytown" from Lipps, Inc. moved from 19 to 4.  The rest of the Top 10:  "With You I'm Born Again" from Billy Preston & Syreeta was #5, "Sexy Eyes" by Dr. Hook held down #6, Billy Joel remained at 7 with "You May Be Right", "Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer" by Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes edged up to #8, "Another Brick In The Wall" by Pink Floyd fell to #9 and Ambrosia had a huge hit on their hands at #10 with "Biggest Part Of Me".

1986:  Genesis released the single "Invisible Touch".
1986:  "On My Own" from Michael McDonald and Patti Labelle, was #1 on the R&B chart, where it would spend four weeks at the top.
1986:  "Greatest Love Of All" by Whitney Houston was once again #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
1986:  Incredibly, Whitney Houston climbed back to #1 on the Album chart in its 60th week of release.  

1986:  The smash "Greatest Love Of All", which reached #1 on this date, was largely the reason for the resurgence in the Whitney Houston album.
1987:  Tom Petty's home in Encino, California was consumed by a fire, causing a million dollars in damage.
1989:  Jack Hall, guitarist of Wet Willie, died.
1992:  Lawrence Welk died of pneumonia in Santa Monica, California at the age of 89.
1993:  Barry Manilow was on the CBS-TV show Murphy Brown.
1995:  Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Little Richard played in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, their first time together on stage.  (Note:  some websites report the concert took place in Sheffield, London.  The concert wasn't in two locations.  Sheffield is not in the county of London, but rather in South Yorkshire.  In fact, the two cities are 167 miles apart.  The three rock pioneers appeared in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.)
1999:  Bruce Fairbairn died at the age of 49 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  He produced albums by Aerosmith, Bon Jovi and Krokus.

                                         Hands off our name!

1999:  No Doubt filed a lawsuit against a clothing manufacturer with the same name, claiming the company violated No Doubt's copyright service mark.
2000:  The Eagles had a similar claim against the "Hotel California" restaurant in Dallas, Texas, claiming trademark violations.
2002:  Little Johnny Taylor ("Part Time Love" from 1963) died of a heart attack at the age of 59 in Conway, Arkansas.
2003:  Radiohead performed at the Olympia in Dublin, Ireland.  Guitarist The Edge of U2 was among the fans in the audience.
2005:  Kylie Minogue was diagnosed with breast cancer.
2008:  Bob Flick of the Brothers Four ("Greenfields" hit #2 for four weeks in 1960) married actress Loni Anderson.  

2010:  Songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who wrote "Hound Dog", "Jailhouse Rock", "Love Me", "Don't" and many others for Elvis Presley, "Kansas City" for Wilbert Harrison and "Charlie Brown" for the Coasters, were given the Outstanding Achievement Award for Musical Collaborators by the National Association of Recording Merchandisers in Chicago, Illinois.

2012:  Donna Summer, whose amazing voice helped her score 33 hits, including 14 Top 10's and five #1 songs, died at the age of 63 after a battle with lung cancer in Naples, Florida.

Born This Day:
1941:  Malcolm Hale, lead guitarist of Spanky & Our Gang, was born in Butte, Montana; died October 30, 1968 of carbon monoxide poisoning due to a faulty heating system in his home in Chicago, Illinois.
1944:  Jesse Winchester ("Say What" from 1981), whose songs have been recorded by the Everly Brothers, Anne Murray, Wilson Pickett, Patti Page, Reba McEntire, Joan Baez, Jimmy Buffett, Fairport Convention, Emmylou Harris and Elvis Costello, was born in Shreveport, Louisiana; died April 11, 2014 of cancer in Charlottesville, Virginia.
1949:  Bill Bruford, drummer and founding member of Yes, who later joined King Crimson, was born in Sevenoaks, Kent, England.
1949:  Keith (James Barry Keefer, who had the hit "98.6" in 1967) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1952:  Roy Adams, current drummer of the Climax Blues Band, was born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England.
1958:  Paul Di'Anno, singer with Iron Maiden, was born in Chingford, London, England.  (Note:  some websites claim Paul was born in West Ham, London.  According to the book 'Iron Maiden:  The Ultimate Unauthorized History of the Beast' by Neil Daniels, Di'Anno was born in Chingford, London.

1961:  Enya (Eithne Ni Bhraonain) was born in Donegal, Ireland.
1963:  Page McConnell, songwriter and keyboardist of Phish, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1965:  Trent Reznor, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist of Nine Inch Nails, was born in Mercer, Pennsylvania.
1970:  Jordan Knight of New Kids on the Block was born in Worcester, Massachusetts.  (Note:  '' claims Knight was born in Boston, Massachusetts, but 'MTV' and other credible sources state that he was born in Worcester.)
1973:  Josh Homme, guitarist, songwriter and founding member for Queens of the Stone Age, was born in Joshua Tree, California.
1974:  Andrea Corr of the Corrs was born in Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland.

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "Miracles" from Jefferson Starship

Many changes have occurred since the last time we presented The Top 500 Songs*.  Here's another song that has been ranked in the elite list until recently.  It is right on the cusp, and just misses making the list.  Jefferson Starship...

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "Ramblin' Man" from the Allman Brothers

Here's the career best from this great Southern Rock band...

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "I'm Your Angel", from Celine Dion & R. Kelly

Here's a song that was ever so close to making The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*.  Celine Dion & R. Kelly teamed up for this one...

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: Neil Diamond with "Love On The Rocks"

Get ready for the biggest and best music spectacular of your life, The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era (1955-2015)*, celebrating the 60th birthday of the Rock Era!

It kicks off Thursday, May 21 on Inside The Rock Era!

For the past month, we have been featuring some of the great songs just outside the list, which includes this great song by Neil Diamond, who made a big comeback in 1980 with his appearance and songs in the movie The Jazz Singer...

Friday, May 15, 2015

This Date in Rock Music History: May 16

1960:  The city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania celebrated proclaimed it "Jimmy Clanton Week".
1960:  Elvis Presley held on to #1 for a fourth week with "Stuck On You".

1964:  This great group formed in 1962 in Manchester, England.  They went on the record 23 hits and are one of The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era*.  On this date, the Hollies first debuted on the chart with their debut single--"Just One Look".  (Note:  some websites report that the group formed in "autumn" of 1962, while others claim they formed in December.  Although unfortunately no credible sources exist for their exact founding, the Hollies debuted at the Oasis Club in December of 1962, so it is doubtful they started a band the month they made their live debut.) 

1964:  "My Guy" by Mary Wells was the new #1 song.  "Hello, Dolly!" by Louis Armstrong fell to #2 after just one week at the top while the Beatles were closing fast with "Love Me Do", which moved from 12 to 3.  The Dave Clark Five had #4 with "Bits And Pieces while the Beatles fell to #5 with "Do You Want To Know a Secret".
1965:  Petula Clark performed on The Ed Sullivan Show on CBS-TV.  (Note:  numerous websites falsely claim that the Beach Boys appeared on the show.  The group was scheduled to appear, but canceled, according to ''.)

1966:  The Beach Boys released their landmark Pet Sounds album.
1968:  Tony Joe White recorded the song 'Polk Salad Annie". at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.  (Note:  one website claims White recorded the song in 1969--it was released in 1968, making that impossible.)
1969:  Jack Cassady of Jefferson Airplane was arrested at the Royal Orleans Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana for possession of marijuana.
1969:  Pete Townshend of the Who was arrested onstage after mistakenly kicking a New York police officer.
1970:  The Moments enjoyed their moment as "Love On A Two-Way Street" hit #1 on the R&B chart.

                                  "Cecelia", one of the bad girls of the Rock Era. 

1970:  The Guess Who's double sided hit "American Woman"/"No Sugar Tonight" remained at #1 for another week with the Jackson 5's former #1 "ABC" holding strong at #2.  The Ides of March had a huge hit with "Vehicle" while the Beatles' former #1 "Let It Be" was now at #4.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Cecilia" from Simon & Garfunkel moved from 14 to 5, Norman Greenbaum slipped to 6 with "Spirit In The Sky", funnyman Ray Steven's serious song "Everything Is Beautiful" was at #7, Tyrone Davis edged up one with "Turn Back The Hands Of Time", CCR had a huge double-sided hit of their own with a 13-9 jump for "Up Around The Bend"/"Run Through The Jungle" and the Marmalade remained at #10 with "Reflections Of My Life".

                                   CSNY dislodged a classic from the top...

1970:  Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel finally relinquished its spot at #1 on the Album chart after 10 weeks, falling to #2.  The winner was the great Deja Vu by Crosby Stills, Nash & Young.  McCartney, Paul's first solo release, went from 14-3 with Hey Jude from the Beatles at 4 and Band of Gypsys (sp) by Jimi Hendrix coming in fifth.  The rest of the Top 10:  Chicago II at #6, Steppenwolf 'Live', It Ain't Easy from Three Dog Night moving from 18 to 8, the Guess Who at 9 with American Woman and Bobby Sherman scored a Top 10 album with Here Comes Bobby.

1970:  Randy Bachman left the Guess Who after a show at the Fillmore East in New York City.  He would soon form the highly-successful Bachman-Turner Overdrive.
1970:  Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane was arrested for marijuana possession and for contributing to the delinquency of minors in Bloomington, Minnesota.  (What the heck was going on May 16?  May be a good day to stay inside..)
1975:  Chuck Berry hosted a retro tribute on The Midnight Special with taped performances by the Drifters, Lesley Gore, the Angels, and Danny & the Juniors.
1980:  Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn of the Buggles joined Yes after the exit of Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman.
1980:  Dr. George Nichopoulos was indicted on 14 counts of overprescribing drugs to Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and 12 other patients in Memphis, Tennessee.

1983:  Michael Jackson performed the moonwalk for the first time before a live audience in the television special Motown 25:  Yesterday, Today and Forever.
1984:  Prince released the single "When Doves Cry".
1987:  "Just To See Her" from Smokey Robinson was atop the Adult Contemporary chart.
1987:  "Always" by Atlantic Starr was the new #1 R&B song.

1987:  U2 scored a #1 song "With Or Without You", jumping over "Looking For A New Love".  The biggest move within the Top 10 came from Atlantic Starr, which moved from 17 to 10 with "Always".
1987:  David Crosby married Jan Dance in Los Angeles, California.  Stephen Stills gave the bride away.  Graham Nash also renewed vows with his wife Susan.

1988:  Richard Marx released the single "Hold On To The Nights".
1990:  Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets and singles "Rainbow Connection" and "Rubber Duckie", died of pneumonia at age 53 in New York City.

1990:  Sammy Davis, Jr. died at the age of 64 from throat cancer in Beverly Hills, California.
1992:  Genesis took over the #1 position on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Hold On My Heart".  It would remain there for five weeks.

1992:  En Vogue's great song "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna' Get It)" topped the R&B chart.
1992:  No Fences from Garth Brooks moved from 15 to 7 on the Album chart.  Adrenalize from Def Leppard was #1 for a fifth consecutive week.
1993:  Marv Johnson died of a stroke at age 54 in Columbia, South Carolina.  Johnson helped get the Tamla Motown label off the ground in 1959 with "Come To Me".
1998:  Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones fell again, this time off a chair in his Connecticut home, injuring his ribs and chest.  The Stones had to cancel concert dates.
1999:  Diana Ross and Brandy starred in the television movie Double Platinum on ABC.
2000:  Pearl Jam released the album Binaural on Epic Records.
2000:  "The Artist" announced that he was reclaiming the name "Prince" after his contract with Warner-Chappell had expired.  The superstar had actually lost the rights to that name through the previous contract (which is why he rebelled by calling himself the "unpronounceable symbol".
2002:  Cher was a guest star on the television show Will & Grace on NBC.
2003:  The post office in Frank Sinatra's hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey was named after him.
2003:  Soul great Barry White suffered a stroke while undergoing dialysis treatment in Los Angeles for kidney failure.
2004:  Usher's "Burn" took over the #1 spot from his own "Yeah!".

2004:  Carlos Santana, Alicia Keys and Andrea Bocelli performed at the We are the Future concert at the Circus Maximus in Rome, Italy.  Circus Maximus was the first and largest chariot racing and entertainment facility that dates back to the second century before Christ and was built to hold 250,000 people.  The show, organized by Quincy Jones, benefited child care centers in Africa and the Middle East.
2007:  Parma, Italy named streets after Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.
2012:  Chuck Brown ("Bustin' Loose"), died May 16, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland at age 75 from multiple organ failures.

Born This Day:

1932:  Drummer Isaac "Redd" Holt, who gave us two of rock's great instrumentals ("Soulful Strut" with Young-Holt Unlimited and "The In Crowd" with the Ramsey Lewis trio), was born in Rosedale, Mississippi.
1933:  Corinthian "Kripp" Johnson, tenor for the Del-Vikings ("Come Go With Me"), was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts; died of cancer June 25, 1990 in Pontiac, Michigan.
1945:  Nicky Chinn, songwriter extraordinaire and producer with Mike Chapman, was born in London.  Chinn and Chapman wrote "Kiss You All Over" for Exile,  "Little Willy" and "Ballroom Blitz" for Sweet, "Better Be Good To Me" for Tina Turner, "Mickey" for Toni Basil, "Heart And Soul" for Huey Lewis & the News, "Stumblin' In" for Suzi Quatro & Chris Norman, and many others.
1946:  Drummer Billy Cobham, who played for James Brown and Peter Gabriel, was born in  Colón, Panama.  (Many websites, including '', lazily report that Cobham was born in Panama.  According to Billy's official website, he was born in Colón.

1946:  Elite guitarist Robert Fripp of King Crimson was born in Wimborne, Dorset, England.  (Note:  some websites lazily report that Fripp was born in Dorset, England.  Dorset is a county, but the city that Fripp was born in is Wimborne, according to the book 'Legends of Rock Guitar:  The Essential Reference of Rock's Greatest Guitarists' by Pete Prown and Harvey P. Newquist.)
1946:  Roger Earl, drummer of Savoy Brown and Foghat, was born in London.
1947:  Darrell Sweet, drummer for Nazareth, was born in Bournemouth, Hampshire, England; died of a heart attack April 30, 1999 in New Albany, Indiana.  (Note:  some websites naively say that Sweet was born in Bournemouth, Dorset, England.  While Bournemouth is now in the county of Dorset, the city was a part of Hampshire until 1974.  Since Sweet was born in 1947, you will never see Dorset listed on his official birth certificate.)
1964:  Boyd Tinsley, violinist and mandolinist of the Dave Matthews Band, was born in Charlottesville, Virginia.
1965:  Krist Novoselic, bassist with Nirvana, was born in Compton, California.

1966:  Janet Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana.
1968:  Ralph Tresvant of the New Edition and later a solo star, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Note:  some websites report that Tresvant was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts.  Roxbury was once a town, but it hasn't been since 1868, when it was annexed by Boston.  It is now a neighborhood in Boston, and neighborhoods are never listed on official birth certificates.)
1974:  Sonny Sandoval, singer with P.O.D., was born in San Diego, California.  (Note:  some websites report Sandoval was born in San Ysidro, California.  San Ysidro was annexed by San Diego in 1957, long before Sandoval's birth.  In 1974, San Ysidro was not a city, but rather a district within the city of San Diego.)

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: Rikki Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca"

As part of our special Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*, enjoy this huge #1 song from Rikki Martin...

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: Steve Winwood, with "The Finer Things"

Rock Era listeners loved the positive message of this song, and it continues to hold up well.  Steve Winwood just misses The Top 500* for the last 60 years with this great song...

B.B. King Has Died

Legendary blues guitarist B.B. King died yesterday at age 89 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  King announced two weeks ago that he was in home hospice care after suffering from dehydration.

King brought blues to the mainstream, and dominated the blues scene for six decades, influencing hundreds of artists from Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan to Sheryl Crow and John Mayer.  And B.B. never rested on his laurels--even after establishing himself as a music icon, he continued to collaborate with other artists and perform well into his 80s.

King was a 15-time Grammy Award winner who was nominated 30 times.  He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammy Awards, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and also received a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "The Glory Of Love" from Peter Cetera

We hope you have enjoyed Inside The Rock Era's special Prelude*, as we lead up to the magnificent Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era* on May 21.

We have just a few days left, in which time you'll hear the rest of the songs just outside The Top 500*.  If it isn't featured in our Prelude*, the song either was one of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*, or it isn't even close.  But this one is from Peter Cetera...

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: "Poor Side Of Town" by Johnny Rivers

You won't want to miss a song in our presentation of The Top 500*, beginning next Thursday, May 21 on Inside The Rock Era.

Over the past month, we have been featuring some of the great songs just outside the list.  Enjoy this great #1 from Johnny Rivers...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

This Date in Rock Music History: May 15

1957: Chuck Berry recorded "Rock & Roll Music" at the Chess Studios in Chicago, Illinois. (Note: some websites report that he recorded the song on either May 6 or May 21, but according to the book 'Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings' by Steve Sullivan, Berry recorded the song on May 15.) 

1961:  "Runaway" by Del Shannon charted a fourth week at #1.  Ernie K-Doe was second with "Mother-In-Law" while Gene McDaniels held steady with "A Hundred Pounds Of Clay".  Linda Scott remained in the #4 position with "I've Told Every Little Star".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Daddy's Home" by Shep & the Limelites, Brenda Lee with "You Can Depend On Me", former #1 "Blue Moon" by the Marcels, Ricky Nelson jumped from 18 to 8 with "Travelin' Man", the Shirelles were back with "Mama Said" and Adam Wade with "Take Good Care Of Her".
1963:  Ray Charles won Best R&B Recording at the Grammies with "I Can't Stop Loving You".

1965:  You won't find too many more days more important to music than this one.  Rare is it that two artists of this caliber both debuted on the chart with the first singles of their careers.  It was indeed a magical time in music, in fact a Renaissance in our lifetime.  This Scottish artist would give us thought-provoking music for 10 years, enjoying 17 hits.  On this date, his first single debuted on the chart.  It was "Catch The Wind" from Donovan...

1965:  This folk rock act gave us some great songs, recording 16 hits in just six years, including one of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*.  After their split, many of the members went on to great success as they went their separate ways, and their influence was felt far and wide.  On this date, the Byrds debuted on the chart with their first single--"Mr. Tambourine Man".
1965:  The Rolling Stones and Chuck Berry taped performances for the television show Hollywood A Go-Go(Note:  some websites claim the show was May 16.  The Stones and Berry taped the show on May 15, and it was broadcast on May 22, according to ''.)

                                        The Hermits had two of the Top 10...

1965:  Herman's Hermits remained at #1 with "Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter" for a third week.  Gary Lewis & the Playboys were stuck at 2 with "Count Me In", the Beatles held at 3 with "Ticket To Ride" and the Seekers had the #4 song--"I'll Never Find Another You".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Silhouettes" from Herman's Hermits was #5, the Beach Boys got a 21-6 jump from "Help Me Rhonda", Petula Clark had song #7 with "I Know A Place" and there were three new songs in the Top 10--"I'll Be Doggone" from Marvin Gaye, "Just Once In My Life" by the Righteous Brothers at #9 and "Wooly Bully", the classic from Sam the Sham & the Pharoahs at #10.
1967:  Paul McCartney went to the Bag O' Nails club in London, where he met Linda Eastman, who would be Linda McCartney before long.

1970:  The Carpenters released their second album Close to You.
1971:  The Cannes Film Festival in France showed two short films by John Lennon.
1971:  "Knock Three Times" from Tony Orlando & Dawn was the #1 song in the U.K.
1971:  The new release by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young--4 Way Street, took just four weeks to reach #1 on the Album chart.
1971:  The Jackson 5 achieved a third week at #1 on the R&B chart with "Never Can Say Goodbye".

1971:  Lobo hit #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Me And You And A Dog Named Boo".

                                                    Neil Diamond's big hit...

1971:  Three Dog Night made it five weeks at #1 with "Joy To The World".  It was the supergroup's ninth hit and fifth Top 10 song.  The Jackson 5 were next with "Never Can Say Goodbye", Ocean followed with "Put Your Hand In The Hand" and Bread edged up with "If".  The rest of the Top 10:  Lobo moved impressively from 10-5 with "Me And You And A Dog Named Boo", the Rolling Stones were up to 6 with "Brown Sugar", Aretha Franklin's version of the Simon & Garfunkel classic, "Bridge Over Troubled Water", was #7, the Bells with "Stay Awhile", Neil Diamond was on the way down with "I Am...I Said" and Daddy Dewdrop dropped with "Chick-A-Boom".
1973:  The Pointer Sisters were off and running, making their live debut at the Troubadour in Los Angeles.
1974:  Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones released a solo album Monkey Grip.
1975:  Fleetwood Mac appeared in El Paso, Texas with a new lineup:  Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie and their two newest members--Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.

                            "Tequila Sunrise", one of the Eagles' great early hits...

1976:  The Rolling Stones, which had debuted at #8 with their album Black and Blue one week earlier, hit #1.  Wings at the Speed of Sound from Paul McCartney & company held on to #2 with Frampton Comes Alive! by Peter Frampton third.  Led Zeppelin's Presence fell from the top after a brief stay.  The rest of the Top 10:  I Want You from Marvin Gaye, the Eagles with Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, Fleetwood Mac's self-titled release, Eargasm from Johnnie Taylor, the Doobie Brothers were up from 15 to 9 with Takin' It to the Streets and Brass Construction found the Top 10 with their self-titled album.
1976:  Diana Ross's great song, "Love Hangover", ruled the roost on the R&B chart.

1976:  You can look far and wide--you won't find too many better summer songs than this one. The hottest new song belong to Brothers Johnson, who moved from 72 to 47 with their new release, "I'll Be Good To You".

1977:  Heart released the single "Barracuda".

                                      "The Voice" helped ensure a successful return...

1981:  The Moody Blues released their comeback album Long Distance Voyager on Decca Records.
1982:  Deniece Williams reached #1 on the R&B chart with "It's Gonna' Take A Miracle".
1982:  Newly formed Asia hit #1 on the Album chart with their self-titled project.
1982:  Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder reached #1 for the first of five weeks with "Ebony And Ivory".
1984:  Nils Lofgren took over for "Miami" Steve Van Zandt in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.

1993:  Janet Jackson completed one of the fastest rises to #1 in the Rock Era when "That's the Way Love Goes" went from #14 to 2 to 1 in three weeks.  
1994:  Sting and Nancy Wilson of Heart received honorary music doctorate degrees from the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
1995:  Scott Weiland of the Stone Temple Pilots was arrested for trying to buy drugs in a motel parking lot in Pasadena, California.
1995:  R.E.M. resumed their Monster tour at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California after Bill Berry recovered from an aneurysm.  (Note:  some websites claim the tour resumed in San Francisco, but the Shoreline Amphitheatre is in Mountain View, not San Francisco.  The newspaper 'The Examiner' confirms that the show was in Mountain View)

1998:  Sonny and Cher received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
2000:  Bob Dylan received Sweden's Polar Music Prize in Stockholm.

Born This Day:
1937:  Trini Lopez ("If I Had A Hammer" in 1963) was born in Dallas, Texas.

1947: Graeham Goble, singer-songwriter, guitarist, and a founding member of Little River Band and later a record producer, was born in Adelaide, Australia.

1948: Brian Eno, keyboardist and synthesizer player with Roxy Music and record producer with U2, the Talking Heads, and others, was born in Woodbridge, Suffolk, England.
1948:  Gary Thain, bassist of Uriah Heap, was born in Christchurch, New Zealand; died from drugs in London December 8, 1975.
1951:  Dennis Frederiksen, lead singer of Angel, LeRoux and later of Toto, was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan; died January 18, 2014 of liver cancer in Mound, Minnesota.
1953: Mike Oldfield, the artist behind the haunting "Tubular Bells", the theme used in the great movie The Exorcist, was born in Reading, Berkshire, England.

1970:  Prince Be (Attrell Cordes) of P.M. Dawn was born in Jersey City, New Jersey.
1982: Jessica Sutta of the Pussycat Dolls was born in Miami, Florida.

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: OutKast with "The Way You Move"

In just one week, Inside The Rock Era unveils the brand new Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*, an up-to-the-minute ranking of the best songs of the last 60 years.  On May 21, we will showcase songs #500-491, and will showcase ten songs per day until July 9, when we will present The Top 10 Songs of the Rock Era*.  We timed our special to coincide with the 60th birthday of the Rock Era.  July 9, 1955 was the day that Bill Haley & the Comets' "Rock Around The Clock" became the first rock & roll song to reach #1, kicking off one of the most amazing and longest-lasting musical eras in history.

This song didn't miss the list by much...

Calendar* Correction: Recording of Little Stevie Wonder's "Fingertips"

Some websites claim that Stevie Wonder recorded "Fingertips" live at the Regal Theater in Chicago, Illinois on May 21, 1962.  

All of that is true except the date.  Little Stevie Wonder, as he was then known, recorded a nearly seven-minute version of  "Fingertips" before an audience at the Regal in Chicago during a tour of the Motown Revue, but the performance was in June.  While one website says the show was on June 1, there is no one to corroborate that date, but Stevie's official website reports that the show was indeed in June, and the newspaper Seattle Post-Intelligencer confirms that the show was not on May 21, but in June .

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: the Who, with "Won't Get Fooled Again"

We are now just one week away from the premiere of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*.  There's only one place in the world to catch it and properly celebrate the 60th birthday of the Rock Era, and that is right here on Inside The Rock Era.

This song missed the list, and although it wasn't close, we want to feature it in our Prelude*.  Frankly, the song has neither the airplay or sales to substantiate a ranking in the all-time Top 500*.  We believe it's a great song, but if it isn't played by radio stations or by Rock Era fans as much as the elite 500, one cannot justify including it in such a ranking...

Sixty Years Ago....

"Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley & the Comets entered the charts on May 14, 1955, thanks to the popularity of the song in the movie Blackboard Jungle.  The group had released the single as a B-side the year earlier, but after being featured in the opening credits of the movie, surged in popularity.

Less than two months later, on July 9, 1955, "Rock Around The Clock" became the first rock & roll song to reach #1, ushering in the Rock Era. 

Prelude to The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*: Elton John's "Someone Saved My Life Tonight"

Our trademarked mathematical formula that helps compute The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era* reveals a wealth of fascinating information.  For instance, although the songs that we have been featuring in our Prelude* missed making the list, many were very close, to the point that certifications for airplay and sales to another level are all it would take for them to be included in The Top 500* and displace another song.  Because competition is a critical factor, sometimes if another song released at the same time is certified as having sold another million singles or albums, that would be enough to get one of these songs in the elite list.

Here's one of those, but we suspect that the song's length kept it from being played by program directors without foresight...

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

This Date in Rock Music History: May 14

                                         The top group of the 50's was born...

1956:  The self-titled album by the Platters was released on Mercury Records.
1956:  Buddy Holly's doctor gave him contact lenses for his 20/800 eyesight (didn't know they were around back then!), but Buddy could not get used to them, so his trademark glasses remained.
1959:  Cliff Richard starred in his first movie, Serious Charges.
1963:  The Beatles performed at the Rink Ballroom in Sunderland, England.
1965:  The Rolling Stones, Boise, Idaho's Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Byrds and the Beau Brummels appeared at the Civic Auditorium in San Francisco.

1966:  Apparently lots of people could identify with this song--the Lovin' Spoonful rose from 65 to 25 with "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?"
1966:  Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass owned not only the #1 album (for a fifth week) with Going Places, but the #2 album as well, Whipped Cream & Other Delights.

1968:  Paul McCartney and John Lennon appeared on The Tonight Show, which was guest hosted by Joe Garagiola.
1968:  The Rascals recorded "People Got To Be Free".
1969:  Lead singer Dennis Yost and bassist Wally Eaton of Classics IV were seriously hurt in a car crash near Atlanta, Georgia.  Eaton was never able to tour with the group after that. 
1969:  Drummer Martin Lamble of Fairport Convention were killed in a car crash in London while returning from a concert in Birmingham.   Jeanne Franklin, girlfriend of guitarist Richard Thompson, was also killed in the crash.
1976:  Former Yardbirds member Keith Relf was electrocuted by his son's electric guitar at his home in London at the age of 33.
1977:  The Talking Heads performed at the Rock Garden in London.  Brian Eno was in the audience and eventually became their producer.
1977:  For the third week, Marvin Gaye held on to #1 on the R&B chart with "Got to Give It Up".

1977:  Leo Sayer had a #1 song with "When I Need You".  "Sir Duke" by Stevie Wonder waited its turn with the classic "Hotel California" dropping to #3.  Glen Campbell's "Southern Nights" came in next followed by "Couldn't Get It Right" from the Climax Blues Band.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Right Time Of The Night" from Jennifer Warnes, the Atlanta Rhythm Section with "So In To You", "I'm Your Boogie Man" from KC and the Sunshine Band at #8, Marvin Gaye with "Got To Give It Up" and Rose Royce had a great song entering the top 10--"I Wanna' Get Next To You".
1977:  The Eagles held off Rumors for a seventh week at #1 on the Album chart with Hotel California.

1983:  They first sang together in a group called the Tourists from 1977-1980.  They formed a duo and on this date, the Eurythmics debuted on the chart with their first single.  They were a handful of artists to go all the way to #1 with their debut.  They had 15 hits in the 1980's, but none bigger than their first--"Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)".

1983:  There aren't too many times in the Rock Era when two amazing acts debuted on the chart for the first time simultaneously.  This artist started out as the lead singer of a group called Blackjack in the late 1970's.  On this date, his first career single debuted on the chart.  He has had a tremendous career to this day, and he is one of The Top Adult Contemporary Artists of the 1990's and one of The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era*.  His first single, which only reached #82 (a bit underrated), was "Fool's Game", by Michael Bolton.

                                     Thomas Dolby blinded us with science...

1983:  "Beat It" spent a third week at #1 for Michael Jackson.  David Bowie's "Let's Dance" was #2, followed by "Jeopardy" from the Greg Kihn Band, "Overkill" by Men At Work and Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me With Science".  The rest of the Top 10:  The former #1 from Dexys Midnight Runners, "Come On Eileen", took position #6, Irene Cara had a monster hit moving from 13-7--"Flashdance", Prince moved to #8 with "Little Red Corvette", Laura Branigan entered the Top 10 with "Solitaire" and After the Fire hung on to #10 with "Der Kommissar".
1983:  Thriller by Michael Jackson was #1 for a 12th week on the Album chart.

1984:  Tina Turner released her comeback single, "What's Love Got to Do With It".  (Note:  some naïve website owners claim Turner released the song June 4.  "What's Love Got To Do With It" debuted on the Singles chart on May 19--it is physically impossible for a song to be included on the Singles chart if it has not yet been released as a single.)

1985:  Michael Jackson was given a humanitarian award from United States President Ronald Reagan at the White House.
1987:  Frank Sinatra condemned apartheid in South Africa.
1988:  Atlantic Records celebrated their 40th anniversary with a nearly-non stop 13 hour concert at Madison Squard Garden in New York City.  The former surviving members of Led Zeppelin reunited with John Bonham's son, Jason on drums.
1988:  Al B. Sure enjoyed a third week at #1 on the R&B chart with "Nite And Day".
1988:  Foreigner reached #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "I Don't Want to Live Without You".  
    Johnny Hates Jazz--one of the great One-Hit Wonders

1988:  Gloria Estefan had a #1 with "Anything For You".  Johnny Hates Jazz had one of the top songs ever to peak at #2--"Shattered Dreams", while "Wishing Well" from Terence Trent D'Arby was at #3, George Michael's great song "One More Try" rose from 14 to 4 and Natalie Cole's cover of "Pink Cadillac" remained at #5.

1988:  Faith by George Michael regained the #1 spot on the Album chart ten weeks after it had fallen from the top.  The Soundtrack to "Dirty Dancing" slipped to second.
1992:  KISS released the album Revenge, featuring new drummer Eric Singer.
1993:  Duran Duran performed at Tower Records in Los Angeles in a show broadcast live to Tokyo, London and Sydney.  (Note:  some websites claim the show was May 15.  Incorrect--according to the newspaper 'The Los Angeles Times' and an article in 'Billboard' magazine dated May 22, the show was May 14.)
1993:  It was time to pick up some music history at an auction at Christies in London.  The acoustic guitar that Elvis used in his first recordings in 1954 was up for bid and it sold for £130,285 ($152,000).  Four costumes worn by KISS sold for  £20,000 ($35,385).
1994:  After four weeks at #1 and four weeks at #2, "The Sign" by Ace of Base had now climbed back up to the top and remained there for another week.   
1998:  George Michael pleaded "no contest" to committing a lewd act in a park restroom.

1998:  Frank Sinatra died at the age of 82 of a heart attack in Los Angeles.
2004:  Chris Martin of Coldplay and his wife, actress Gwyneth Paltrow, became the parents of a baby girl in London.
2006:  The Red Hot Chili Peppers reached #1 on the U.K. Album chart with Stadium Arcadium.
2007:  Bobby Darin was inducted into the Las Vegas Walk of Stars posthumously on what have been his 71st birthday.
2008:  Metallica kicked off a tour at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, California.

Born This Day:
1928:  Will "Dub" Jones, singer of the Coasters, was born in Shreveport, Louisiana; died January 16, 2000 in Long Beach, California from the effects of diabetes.
1932:  Bob Johnston, who produced the albums Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme and Sounds of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel and Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde for Bob Dylan, died August 14 in Nashville, Tennessee.  Johnston also produced for Aretha Franklin, the Byrds, Johnny Cash, Patti Page, and Leonard Cohen, among others. 
1936:  Bobby Darin (Walden Robert Cassato) was born in the Bronx, New York; died December 20, 1973 at the age of 37 after not taking medication for his heart and developing blood poisoning in Los Angeles.
1936:  Charlie Gracie ("Butterfly") was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1943:  Derek Leckenby, guitarist of Herman's Hermits, was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England; died June 4, 1994 of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  (Note:  several websites naively say that Leckenby was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England.  Leeds did not become part of the county of the county of West Yorkshire until 1974, long after Leckenby was born.  In 1943, Leeds was part of the county West Riding of Yorkshire.)

1943:  Jack Bruce, bassist for Cream, was born in Bishopbriggs, Scotland.  (Note:  some websites claim Bruce was born in Glasgow, Scotland.  According to the newspapers 'The Herald Scotland' and 'The Express", Bruce was born in Bishopbriggs.)
1944:  Troy Shondell (real name Gary Shelton), who had the Top 10 hit "This Time" in 1961, was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
1946:  Gene Cornish, guitarist and harmonica player of the Young Rascals, was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
1947:  Al Ciner, guitarist of the American Breed ("Bend Me, Shape Me" from 1967") and later a member of Three Dog Night, was born in Chicago, Illinois.
1952:  David Byrne, guitarist of the Talking Heads, was born in Dumbarton, Scotland.
1952:  Tom Cochrane, lead singer of Red Rider and a solo artist, was born in Lynn Lake, Manitoba, Canada.
1953:  John Rutsey, drummer of Rush, was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada; died May 11, 2008 in his sleep of an apparent heart attack resulting from complications of diabetes in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
1960:  Shelley Preston of Bucks Fizz, was born in Hillingdon, Middlesex, England.  (Note:  some websites naively report that Preston was born in Hillingdon, London.  While Hillingdon, a Borough of London, is today located in the county of Greater London, Hillingdon was part of the county of Middlesex until 1974.  Preston was born long before there was such a thing as the county of London.)
1962:  Ian Astbury, songwriter and lead vocalist of the Cult, was born in Heswall, Merseyside, England.  (Note:  '' and 'Billboard' magazine naively and lazily say Astbury was born in the county of Merseyside, and some websites follow suit and say he was born in Heswall, Merseyside.  Astbury was born in the town of Heswall.  Heswall is today located in the county of Merseyside, but until 1974, Heswall was in the county of Cheshire.  That is long after Astbury was born, and thus you will never see the county of Merseyside listed on Ian's official birth certificate.)

1963:  C.C. DeVille (real name  Bruce Anthony Johannesson), elite guitarist of Poison, was born in Brooklyn, New York.
1966:  Mike Inez, bass guitarist of Alice in Chains, was born in San Francisco, California.  (Note:  some websites report that Inez was born in San Fernando.  According to 'Time' magazine, he was born in San Francisco.)
1966:  Fabrice Morvan of Milli Vanilli was born in Paris, France.  (Note:  some websites report that he was born in Guadeloupe.  According to Morvan's official website, he was born in Paris.)
1966:  Raphael Saadiq, bassist and vocalist of Tony!  Toni!  Tone!, was born in Oakland, California.
1969:  Danny Wood of New Kids on the Block, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.
1973:  Natalie Appleton of All Saints, was born in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

1973:  Shanice (Lorraine Wilson-Knox) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1976:  Hunter Burgan, bass guitarist of AFI, was born in Long Beach, California.  (Note:  some websites claim Burgan was born in Grass Valley, California.  According to the AFI official website, Burgan was born in Long Beach and grew up in Grass Valley.)