Thursday, December 22, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: December 23

1957:  The Champs recorded "Tequila" in three takes at Gold Star Recording Studio in Hollywood, California.
1957:  A new act appeared on the chart for the first time by the name of Tom & Jerry with the song "Hey Schoolgirl".  They have now sold over 105 million albums, but they really didn't take off until they changed their name to Simon & Garfunkel.
1957:  Sam Cooke once again was #1 on the R&B chart for a fifth week with "You Send Me".
1959:  Chuck Berry was arrested in St. Louis, Missouri for transporting a minor (14 year-old girl) across state lines for an immoral purpose. 
1959:  The Drifters recorded "This Magic Moment".

1961:  The Marvelettes posted their sixth week at #1 on the R&B chart with "Please Mr. Postman".

1961:  Jimmy Dean had the top Easy Listening song for an incredible ninth week with "Big Bad John".

1962:  Bob Dylan did a show at the King and Queen Pub in London.

You Don't Own Me by Lesley Gore on Grooveshark
1963:  Lesley Gore released the single "You Don't Own Me".  (Note:  some women's websites incorrectly report the single was released in 1964.  It was a hit in 1964; it was released in December, 1963--in fact, the song debuted on the chart on December 28, 1963.  It is physically impossible for a song to be released after it charts.)
1964:  Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys suffered a nervous breakdown while flying from Los Angeles to Houston.  As a result, Wilson stopped touring with the group.  (Note:  'Rolling Stone' reports that this occurred in 1965, but this is yet another instance of the magazine being wrong.  As confirmed by the newspaper 'The Examiner', the Vocal Hall of Fame, as well as numerous other reputable sources, the breakdown occurred in 1964.)

1964:  The Beach Boys made their first appearance on the popular television show Shindig!, performing "Little Saint Nick", "Dance, Dance, Dance", "Johnny B. Goode" and "Monster Mash". 
1966:  Ready, Steady Go!  aired for the final time on BBC-TV in the U.K. with the Who as guests.

             "Love Me Two Times" from 'Strange Days'...

1967:  For the fourth week, the Monkees were at the top of the Album chart with Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.  Diana Ross and the Supremes were still at #2 after hitting #1 with their Greatest Hits package and the Beatles were still third after 27 weeks.  The Doors remained in the #4 spot with Strange Days and the Mamas and the Papas held on to 5 with Farewell to the First Golden Era.  The rest of the Top 10:    the Soundtrack to "Doctor Zhivago" after 93 weeks and the Soundtrack to "The Sound of Music" after 145 weeks, Are You Experienced?  by the Jimi Hendrix Experience took a turn for the worse, the self-titled Vanilla Fudge at #9 and Dionne Warwick dropped in with Dionne Warwick's Golden Hits, Part One.
1967:  The Lemon Pipers moved from 68 to 33 with "Green Tambourine".

        Gary Puckett--One of the great voices of the Rock Era...

1967:  The Monkees were at #1 for the fourth week with "Daydream Believer".  Gladys Knight & the Pips remained second with their version of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine", the Beatles at #3 with "Hello Goodbye" and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles following with "I Second That Emotion".  The rest of the Top 10:  Gary Puckett from Twin Falls, Idaho with the Union Gap on a hot song--"Woman, Woman", which rose from 12 to 5, the Cowsills and their smash "The Rain, The Park & Other Things", "Boogaloo Down Broadway" from the Fantastic Johnny C at #7, Strawberry Alarm Clock with their former #1 "Incense And Peppermints", Cher's "You Better Sit Down Kids" and Dionne Warwick closed the list with "I Say A Little Prayer".

1968:  The Doors released the single "Touch Me".  (Note:  some websites incorrectly report the song was released in 1969.  It debuted on the chart on December 28, 1968, so it is therefore physically impossible for radio stations to report playing the 45 before it is released.)
1969:  Elton John and Bernie Taupin began writing songs together.  And history was about to be made.
1972:  The John Lennon movie Imagine debuted on national television.
1972:  Grand Funk Railroad played at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

              Legends: The amazing Moodies....

1972:  The Moody Blues had another big album with Seventh Soujourn, #1 for a third week.  Stanley, Idaho's Carole King remained at #2 with Rhymes & Reasons while Jethro Tull's new album Living in the Past moved up to battle the top two. Catch Bull At Four from Cat Stevens held on with the Temptations album All Directions on this date pointing downward.  The rest of the Top 10:  Al Green's I'm Still In Love with You, Seals & Crofts were up with Summer Breeze, the new James Taylor--One Man Dog ran up from 16 to 8, Yes was headed in the opposite direction with Close to the Edge and Caravanserai from Santana remained at #10.
1972:  Bette Midler charted for the first time with her debut single "Do You Want To Dance".

1972:  You didn't have to be smart to know where this song was heading--"You're So Vain" from Carly Simon up from 37 to 9 on this date.
1977:  Cat Stevens converted to Islam and changed his name to Yusef Islam.
1978:  "Le Freak" was the top R&B song for the fourth consecutive week from Chic.

     One of the tightest bands of the Rock Era--Toto....

1978:  Chic and "Le Freak" was the new #1 song, holding off "Too Much Heaven" from the Bee Gees and toppling the previous #1 "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" from Barbra Streisand & Neil Diamond.  Toto reached the Top 10 for the first time with "Hold The Line".

    "Fantasy", one of the great songs on EWF's compilation...

1978:  Billy Joel had become a superstar and 52nd Street was #1 for a sixth week on the Album chart.  The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Volume 1 moved from 19-9.
1989:  Phil Collins moved to #1 with "Another Day In Paradise".  
1989:  "Another Day In Paradise" by Phil Collins was #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for the fourth week.

1992:  Eddie Hazel, great guitarist with Funkadelic, died at the age of 42 in Plainfield, New Jersey from internal bleeding and liver failure.
1995:  Whitney Houston had the upper hand on the R&B chart for a fifth week with "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)".
1995:  Anthology 1 by the Beatles was the #1 album for the third straight week.

   Deep Blue Something landed a Top 10 song that borrowed from Audrey Hepburn...

1995:  Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men were a dominant #1 for a fourth week with "One Sweet Day".  Whitney Houston was #2 for the fourth week with "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)", Coolio's former #1 "Gangsta's Paradise" was still #4, TLC moved up to 5 with "Diggin' On You", Mariah Carey's former #1 "Fantasy" was sixth, Deep Blue Something moved up with "Breakfast At Tiffany's", the Goo Goo Dolls placed "Name" at #9 and the Beatles debuted at #10, 25 years after they broke up, with "Free As A Bird".
2006:  Ciara had the top album with Ciara:  The Evolution.
2007:  The Police were named the top touring act of the year, with their Reunion tour earning $132 million.  Extending into the next year, the tour finished #4 in the decade with over $362 million.
2008:  Clint Ballard Jr., who wrote "Game Of Love" for Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, "You're No Good" for Linda Ronstadt and songs recorded by artists such as the Hollies, the Zombies, Ricky Nelson, Jan & Dean and Frankie Avalon, died at the age of 77 in Denton, Texas.
2013:  Ricky Lawson, drummer who worked with Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Lionel Richie, Phil Collins, Toto, Steely Dan, Bette Midler,  Eric Clapton, Quincy Jones, George Benson, Babyface, Al Jarreau, Sheila E. and George Duke, died following a brain aneurism in Long Beach, California at the age of 59.

Born This Day:
1923:  Milt Okun, producer of many acts including John Denver and Peter, Paul and Mary, owner of Cherry Hill Music Publishing Company and founder of the Los Angeles Opera, was born in Brooklyn, New York; died November 15 in Beverly Hills, California.
1935:  Little Esther Phillips was born in Galveston, Texas; died August 7, 1984 at UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California from liver failure due to drugs.  (Note:  some websites report Phillips died in Carson, California, which is a little humorous.  The UCLA Medical Center is on Carson Street in Torrance; it is not its own town.)
1935:  Johnny Kidd of Johnny Kidd & the Pirates was born in Willesden, North London; died October 7, 1966 in a car crash in Bury, Lancashire, England while on tour in Manchester.

1940:  Jorma Kaukonen, guitarist with Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, was born in Washington, D.C.
1940:  Eugene Record of the Chi-Lites ("Have You Seen Her") was born in Chicago, Illinois; died July 22, 2005 in Chicago after a long battle with cancer.
1940:  Tim Hardin, folk artist who wrote "If I Were A Carpenter" (Four Tops and others) and "Reason To Believe" (Rod Stewart), was born in Eugene, Oregon; died from drugs in Los Angeles on December 29, 1980, six days after his 40th birthday.
1942:  Declan Cluskey of the Bachelors ("Diane") was born in Dublin, Ireland.
1945:  Ron Bushy, drummer of Iron Butterfly, was born in Washington, D.C.  (Note:  numerous websites report his birthday as September 23; however, the only credible websites that list his birthday ('United Press International', the 'BBC', and '', show that Ron was born on December 23.)

1946:  Robbie Dupree ("Steal Away" and "Hot Rod Hearts" fom 1980) was born in Brooklyn, New York.  (Note:  '' lists his birth year as 1947, but since they are the only website that shows that and there is no corroborating source, we believe that to be a misprint.)
1946:  Luther Grosvenor, guitarist of Spooky Tooth, Stealer's Wheel and Mott the Hoople who later changed his name to Ariel Bender, and who later was a solo artist, was born in Evesham, Worcestershire, England.
1949:  Adrian Belew, guitarist and singer who worked with David Bowie and King Crimson, was born in Covington, Kentucky.
1951:  Johnny Contardo, lead singer of Sha Na Na and star of the Broadway musical Grease, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.

1956:  Dave Murray, elite guitarist and songwriter with Iron Maiden, was born in Edmonton, London.

1964:  Eddie Vedder, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of Pearl Jam, was born in Evanston, Illinois.
1974:  Montsho Eshe of Arrested Development

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