Wednesday, February 24, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: February 25

1956:  One of the great R&B records of all-time--"The Great Pretender" by the Platters, remained at #1 for the eighth week on that chart.

1957:  Buddy Holly and the Crickets re-recorded "That'll Be the Day" with producer Norman Petty at Petty's studio in Clovis, New Mexico.  A previous version was recorded July 22, 1956 (released as the "B" side to the single "Rock Around With Ollie Vee") but this new one was the one they would release as their first single.   
1961:  "Elvis Presley Day" was declared in Memphis and Governor Buford Ellington also proclaimed it "Elvis Presley Day" in the state of Tennessee as Elvis performed for the first time since being honorably discharged from the United States Army.  A luncheon was given in Presley's honor, and Presley performed two charity shows at Ellis Auditorium in Memphis.

1963:  The Chantay's released the single "Pipeline", one of The Top 100 Instrumentals of the Rock Era*.
1964:  The Beatles recorded their next single "Can't Buy Me Love", as well as the flip side--"You Can't Do That" and began working on 'And I Love Her" and "I Should Have Known Better" at Abbey Road Studios in London.  The group had already taped much of "Can't Buy Me Love" on January 29 in Paris, so the group added vocal and guitar overdubs in London.  The Beatles recorded nine takes of "You Can't Do That", and worked on the other two songs, both of which were redone the next day. 
1965:  The Rolling Stones performed "The Last Time" on the BBC television show Ready!  Steady!  Go!
1965:  The Seekers reached #1 in the U.K. with "I'll Never Find Another You".

                    The Raiders' "The Great Airplane Strike"...

1967:  The Monkees' second album, More of the Monkees, was starting out just as their self-titled debut album had, as for the third week, it was #1.  In fact, their debut sat at #2.  S.R.O. by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass was third with the Soundtrack to "Doctor Zhivago" fourth.  The rest of the Top 10:  The Temptations Greatest Hits, That's Life from Frank Sinatra, the durable Soundtrack to "The Sound of Music" was #7 after 102 weeks of release, Winchester Cathedral from the New Vaudeville Band, Whipped Cream & Other Delights re-entered the Top 10 after 94 weeks by Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass and Boise, Idaho's Paul Revere & the Raiders had #10--The Spirit of '67.
1971:  One of the hottest new songs on this date was "A Horse With No Name", the first career hit for America. It moved from #84 to #47.
1974:  Grand Funk released their version of "The Loco-motion".  (Note:  some websites claim the song was released in May.  Grand Funk debuted on the Singles chart with "The Loco-motion" on March 9, 1974.  It is physically impossible for a song to be ranked on the Singles chart if it has not been released as a single.)

1974:  MFSB (which stood for Mother, Father, Sister, Brother) released the single "TSOP".

1978:  The great soul song "It's You That I Need" from Enchantment was #1 on the R&B chart.

1978:  Eddie Money first appeared on the charts with his first single--"Baby Hold On".

1978:  Jefferson Starship declared Earth Day! with the release of their new album Earth.
1978:  Paul Simon, James Taylor & Art Garfunkel remained in the top spot on the Adult chart with "(What A) Wonderful World".

                    "Deacon Blues" helped 'Aja' reach the Top 10.

1978:  The album that knocked Fleetwood Mac's Rumours out of #1 after a then-record 31 weeks--the Soundtrack to "Saturday Night Fever" remained at #1 for a sixth week.  The Stranger by Billy Joel was a solid but distant second with Queen's News of the World third.  All 'N All by Earth, Wind & Fire remained in the #4 spot with Rod Stewart fifth with Foot Loose & Fancy Free.  The rest of the Top 10:  Styx's worst release out of its last three albums (still good) but best-selling The Grand Illusion, Running On Empty from Jackson Browne, Eric Clapton entered the Top 10 with Slowhand, Randy Newman's Little Criminals and the excellent Aja from Steely Dan was #10. 

1978:  The Bee Gees remained at #1 with "Stayin' Alive" for the fourth week.  They owned three of the Top 10 songs, a feat only accomplished by two other acts in the Rock Era--the Beatles in 1961 and Adele in 2012.  The Bee Gees' single "Night Fever" moved from 17 to 8 while their former #1--"How Deep Is Your Love", remained at #10.  
1980:  Bob Seger released the excellent album Against the Wind(Note:  several websites incorrectly place the date of release as February 27.  Usually, an artist's official website would be the authority, but in this case, we believe the February 5 date of release shown on Seger's website is a misprint, and should read February 25.  The album came hot on the heels of 'Night Moves' and 'Stranger in Town', and received immediate airplay, and debuted on the Album chart on March 15.) 

1981:  Christopher Cross won Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Record of the Year for "Sailing" and Best New Artist at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
1981:  Bob Seger won Best Rock Male Performance at the Grammys for his Against the Wind album.

1981:  Pat Benatar won Best Rock Female Performance with her album Crimes of Passion.
1984:  A new rock & roll band from New Jersey first appeared on the charts as their debut single "Runaway" was first heard on radio.  They would become quite well known to us as Bon Jovi.
1984:  Christopher Cross held on to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for the fourth consecutive week with "Think Of Laura".

1984:  Van Halen landed the new #1 song with "Jump", knocking Culture Club's "Karma Chameleon" out of the top spot.  Newcomer Nena was at 3 with "99 Luftballons" and Cyndi Lauper's first hit--"Girls Just Want to Have Fun" moved from 9 to 4.  The rest of the Top 10:  Michael Jackson with "Thriller", Kool and the Gang dropped down with "Joanna", the posthumous release from John Lennon--"Nobody Told Me", Shannon's "Let The Music Play", the Police moved to #9 with "Wrapped Around Your Finger" and Billy Joel slid in with "An Innocent Man".

      "My City Was Gone" from the incredible album 'Learning to Crawl'.

1984:  Thriller by Michael Jackson was the #1 album for the 30th week.  One more would tie Rumours by Fleetwood Mac as the longest-running #1 of the Rock Era.  Culture Club was somehow #2 with Colour By Numbers while Van Halen remained third with MCMLXXXIV and Lionel Richie's Can't Slow Down at #4.  The Pretenders' excellent LP Learning to Crawl came in at #5, jumping Billy Joel's An Innocent Man.  The rest of the Top 10:  The former #1 Synchronicity by the Police, Duran Duran with Seven and the Ragged Tiger, Yes came in ninth with 90125 and the new John Cougar Mellencamp album Uh-Huh reached the Top 10.

1985:  Sade released the single "Smooth Operator".  (Note:  some websites erroneously report the date of the release as March 2, the date the song debuted on the Singles chart.  It is physically impossible for a song to be released as a single, be listened to and added by radio stations to their playlists, reported by the radio stations to the trade papers, and then printed and published by the trade papers, all on the same day.)

1985:  Madonna released the single "Crazy for You".
1987:  Frank Sinatra guest starred on Magnum P.I. on CBS-TV.

             Roy Orbison sang "Rattled" for the Traveling Wilburys...

1989:  Listeners chose Bobby Brown to have the #1 album with Don't Be Cruel.  One has to wonder if they're having second thoughts now.  Guns N' Roses remained second with Appetite for Destruction while the superb Volume One from the Traveling Wilburys was #3.  Another great album that got lost in the shuffle--Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars from Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians captured the #4 spot.  The rest of the Top 10:  Debbie Gibson with her debut Electric Youth, GN'R Lies from Guns N' Roses, the incredible Hysteria by Def Leppard, now in its 80th week, Paula Abdul entered the Top 10 with Forever Your Girl, in its 32nd week and the Bon Jovi album New Jersey was on its way down.
1989:  "The Living Years" was the new #1 song on the Adult Contemporary chart for Mike + the Mechanics.

                                Easton hit the Top 10 one final time...

1989:  Paula Abdul held on to #1 with "Straight Up" for the third week.  Debbie Gibson was one spot away with "Lost In Your Eyes" with Tone Loc third with "Wild Thing".  Sheena Easton's seventh and final Top 10 song ("The Lover In Me") was fourth while Bon Jovi dropped with "Born To Be My Baby".  The rest of the Top 10:  "She Wants To Dance With Me" by Rick Astley, New Kids on the Block had "You Got It (The Right Stuff)", Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians remained in the #8 position with "What I Am", Mike + the Mechanics moved from 16 to 9 with "The Living Years" and "Walking Away" by Information Society dropped to #10.

1992:  Jimi Hendrix was posthumously honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys.

1992:  James Brown received the Lifetime Achievement award at the Grammys.
1993:  Toy Caldwell, guitarist and co- founder of the Marshall Tucker Band and brother of bassist and co-founder Tommy Caldwell, died of respiratory failure in Moore, South Carolina at age 45.  (Note:  some websites mistakenly list Spartanburg, South Carolina as Caldwell's place of death.  The news report where they got their information was in the Spartanburg newspaper, but in that report, as well as in the account printed by 'The New York Times', the Spartanburg paper says that Caldwell died at his home in Moore.)

1995:  Frank Sinatra sang before a live audience for the final time at a private party for 1,200 guests on the closing night of the Frank Sinatra Desert Classic golf tournament.  His final song was "The Best Is Yet To Come".
1995:  "Baby" by Brandy topped the R&B chart for a third week.

                        "Ode to My Family" by the Cranberries...

1995:  The Hits by Garth Brooks was #1 on the Album chart for the seventh week.  II by Boyz II Men moved up to challenge with Van Halen's Balance dropping.  Dookie from Green Day was still #4 after 53 weeks with the comeback album Hell Freezes Over by the Eagles #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  CrazySexyCool from TLC, Hootie & the Blowfish entered the Top 10 with Cracked Rear View, the great album Vitalogy from Pearl Jam, the Cranberries moved up with No Need to Argue and Smash came in at #10 for the Offspring.
1995:  Madonna had her 11th #1 song with "Take a Bow".

1998:  Bob Dylan won three Grammy awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, including Album of the Year for Time Out of Mind.

1998:  Bo Diddley received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys.
1998:  Roy Orbison also received the Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously from the Grammys.  You were 10 years late, Grammys.
2002:  Dave Matthews purchased 1,261 acres from the University of Virginia Foundation, aiming to conserve trees and promote organic farming on the land.

2003:  Billy Joel was named the MusiCares Person of the Year in Los Angeles.
2003:  Paul McCartney and his band performed at the 50th birthday of fan Wendy Whitworth in San Diego, California.  McCartney was paid $1 million to do the show and, being the classy guy he is, Sir Paul donated his fee to the Adopt-a-Minefield charity.

2003:  Gary Rossington, elite guitarist and a founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, had to have emergency heart bypass surgery in a Atlanta, Georgia area hospital after a routine screening found him to be suffering from coronary artery disease.  (Note:  numerous websites incorrectly report that the surgery was February 27.  The 'Billboard' magazine article was February 27, but as they plainly state in it, the surgery was on Tuesday, which in 2003 fell on February 25.  The newspapers 'USA Today' and 'The Los Angeles Times' confirm that the surgery took place on February 25.)
2004:  A.C. Reed, blues songwriter, saxophonist, vocalist and bandleader, died at the age of 77 from cancer in Chicago, Illinois.
2005:  Edward Patten of Gladys Knight & the Pips, died in a hospital in Livonia, Michigan at age 65 after suffering a stroke two days before.  (Note:  some websites falsely report that Edward died in Detroit, Michigan.  He died at St. Mary's Mercy Hospital in Livonia, according to the newspaper 'The Chicago Tribune'.)

2009:  United States President Barack Obama honored Stevie Wonder with the highest award for popular music in America, the Library of Congress' Gershwin prize, at a White House ceremony.  (Note:  several websites mistakenly place the date of the ceremony as February 22 or February 23.  The truth is that newspaper reports saying that Wonder would be honored on February 25 at the White House were published on February 22nd and 23rd.  President Obama honored Wonder on February 25, according to the official White House website, the newspapers 'The Washington Times' and 'The Chicago Tribune', 'CBS News', and 'PBS Television'.)
2010:  Marie Osmond's teenage son Michael Blosil was found dead on the ground below an apartment balcony in Los Angeles after committing suicide.
2011:  Rick Coonce, drummer of the Grass Roots, died of heart failure at the age of 65.
2012:  Red Holloway, who played sax and harmonica for B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Billie Holliday, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry and George Benson, died from complications of kidney failure at the age of 84 in Morro Bay, California.
2013:  Dan Toler, guitarist with the Allman Brothers Band, died at age 64 after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease).  (Note:  several websites, including '' and 'Country Music Television', report that Toler died in Sarasota, Florida.  This is incorrect.  Toler died in hospice care in Bradenton, according to the newspapers 'The Sarasota Patch' and 'The Bradenton Herald'.)

Born This Day:
1932:  Faron Young ("Hello Walls" from 1961) was born in Shreveport, Louisiana; committed suicide in Nashville, Tennessee on December 10, 1996.
1943:  George Harrison, the youngest and "The Quiet One" in the Beatles, a superstar solo performer and also member of the Traveling Wilburys, was born in Liverpool, Merseyside, England; died November 29, 2001 of lung cancer in Beverly Hills, California.
1947:  David Stensen, bassist of the Grass Roots, was born in San Bruno, California.
1957:  Stuart Wood, rhythm and bass guitarist of the Bay City Rollers, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland.
1957:  Dennis Diken, drummer, percussionist, vocalist and co-founder of the Smithereens, was born in Belleville, New Jersey.
1959:  Mike Peters, lead singer of the Alarm, was born in Prestatyn, Wales.

1971:  Daniel Powter ("Bad Day") was born in Vernon, British Columbia, Canada.  (Note:  some websites report that Powter was born in Vancouver, British Columbia.  While there are no credible sources for either place, our best information indicates that he was born in Vernon.) 
1973:  Justin Jeffre of 98 Degrees was born in Mount Clemons, Michigan.

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