Saturday, February 18, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: February 19

1956:  Elvis Presley performed three shows (2, 5 and 8 p.m.) at the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory in Tampa, Florida.
1957:  Tab Hunter topped the U.K. chart with "Young Love", one of the great songs early in the Rock Era.
1958:  Carl Perkins left Sun Records to sign a deal with Columbia.

Friday, February 17, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: February 18

1956:  The Platters ruled the R&B chart for the seventh week with "The Great Pretender".
1959:  Elvis Presley performed after hours at the Lido Club in Paris, France while on leave from the United States Army.
1962:  While on leave from training in the United States Marines, the Everly Brothers appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, in full uniform and cropped hair, singing "Crying In The Rain".

1963:  Peter, Paul & Mary released the single "Puff (The Magic Dragon)".  (Note:  several websites naively state the single was released on March 16.  "Puff" debuted on the Singles chart on March 16.  It is physically impossible for a record company to release a single to radio stations, have the song listened to and added to radio station playlists, reported by the radio station to the trade papers, and have the trade papers printed and published, all in the same day.  There are no reputable sources that state the exact day of release, but our best research uncovered a February 15, 1963 'Billboard' magazine that revealed that Peter, Paul & Mary would release "Puff (The Magic Dragon)" as their next single.)
1965:  The Beatles recorded two new songs--"You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" and "Tell Me What You See" at Abbey Road studios in London.
1965:  The Kinks topped the U.K. chart with "Tired Of Waiting For You".
1967:  Ed Ames had the #1 Easy Listening song for the third week with "My Cup Runneth Over".
1968:  Boise, Idaho's Paul Revere & the Raiders had the highest debut of the week, "Ups And Downs", at #77.

          The Spencer Davis Group gave us this great song...

1968:  The Buckinghams had the new #1 song with "Kind Of A Drag", ending seven weeks at the top for the Monkees' "I'm A Believer".  The Rolling Stones edged up with "Ruby Tuesday" while the former #2 smash "Georgy Girl" by the Seekers fell this week.  The rest of the Top 10:  "(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet" by Blues Magoos, the Supremes were back with "Love Is Here And Now You're Gone", Keith remained steady at "98.6", Aaron Neville and "Tell It Like It Is", Sonny & Cher were at #9 with "The Beat Goes On" and the Spencer Davis Group rolled up from 17 to 10 with "Gimme' Some Lovin'".

1968:  Pink Floyd fired frontman Syd Barrett.  After being released from a psychiatric hospital, Barrett went into seclusion.  (Note:  many websites claim Gilmour replaced Barrett on this date.  Not true.  Gilmour had already joined the band in December, 1967 as a fifth member, according to the book 'Pink Floyd- The Music and the Mystery' by Andy Mabbett.  Peter Buckley, in his book 'The Rough Guide to Rock' said that Gilmour joined in "early 1968".  In any case, Gilmour was already a member of the group by this time, as you can tell from the January, 1968 photo above.  What happened on this date was the firing of Barrett.) 
1969:  The Jimi Hendrix Experience were in concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
1969:  Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees and Lulu ("To Sir With Love") were married at St. James' Church in Gerrard's Cross, England in front of over 3,000 guests.  
1974:  KISS released their self-titled debut album on Casablanca Records.
1974:  Yes performed at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

        The Trammps' "Disco Inferno" helped fuel 'Saturday Night Fever'...

1978:  The Soundtrack to "Saturday Night Fever" was the #1 album for a fifth week.  The Stranger from Billy Joel moved to challenge while Queen's News of the World was third.  Earth, Wind & Fire were at #4 with All 'N All and Rod Stewart dropped with Foot Loose & Fancy Free.  The rest of the Top 10:  Neil Diamond's I'm Glad You're Here With Me Tonight, Styx and The Grand Illusion, Jackson Browne edged up to #8 with Running On Empty, Randy Newman placed ninth with Little Criminals and Fleetwood Mac's Rumours was still in the Top 10 after 52 weeks.
1978:  Working off of two consecutive number ones, the Bee Gees positioned themselves well with another single--"Night Fever" moving from 32 to 17.

                           Dan Hill had himself a Top 5 song...

1978:  "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees stayed at #1 for the third week.  The group had spent six of the last nine weeks at #1 counting their previous #1 "How Deep Is Your Love".  Brother Andy Gibb was now #2 with "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water", Billy Joel moved to #3 with "Just The Way You Are" and Queen's "We Are The Champions" remained fourth.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Sometimes When We Touch" by Dan Hill, Samantha Sang and the Bee Gees were up to 6 with "Emotion", Chic and "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)", Randy Newman dropped with "Short People", the former #1 "Baby Come Back" by Player and the Bee Gees were still at 10 after 22 weeks with their earlier #1 "How Deep Is Your Love".

1980:  Bob Seger released the single "Fire Lake".
1984:  Christopher Cross controlled the Adult Contemporary chart for a third week with "Think Of Laura".

                            Newcomer Cyndi Lauper...

1984:  Culture Club remained at #1 with "Karma Chameleon".  "Jump" by Van Halen was #2 in an awesome Top 10.  Kool & the Gang were down with "Joanna", newcomer Nena's "99 Luftballoons" elevated from 12 to 4 and the Romantics were at #5 after 20 weeks with their biggest hit "Talking In Your Sleep".  The rest of the Top 10:  "That's All!"  from Genesis, Michael Jackson moved from 20 to 7 with "Thriller", Yes and "Owner Of A Lonely Heart", the first hit ever from Cyndi Lauper--"Girls Just Want To Have Fun" and Shannon entered the list with "Let the Music Play".
1984:  Thriller by Michael Jackson was #1 on the Album chart for the 29th week, just two shy of the Rock Era record set in 1977 by Fleetwood Mac's Rumours.

1985:  Simple Minds released the single "Don't You (Forget About Me)".  (Note:  some websites erroneously report the date of release as February 20.  The song debuted on the Singles chart on February 23, and the deadline for new releases to make the chart each week is Tuesday.  Tuesday in 1985 fell on February 18.)

1985:  Don Henley released the single "All She Wants To Do Is Dance".

1989: Sheriff grabbed the #1 spot on the AC chart with the great song "When I'm With You". 1989:  The Fine Young Cannibals owned the #1 album in the U.K. with The Raw and the Cooked.
1992:  Vince Neil, lead singer of Motley Crue for 11 years, quit the band.
1993:  Patrick Waite, founder of Musical Youth ("Pass The Dutchie" from 1982) died at age 24 of a hereditary heart condition.
1995:  Newcomers Hootie & the Blowfish scored their first Top 10 song as "Hold My Hand" reached #10.
1995:  TLC had the #1 song for a fourth week with "Creep".
2001:  James Taylor married his longtime girlfriend Caroline "Kim" Smedvig at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Boston, Massachusetts.
2001:  Joe and Mystikal had the #1 song with "Stutter".
2006:  The Rolling Stones gave a free concert at Copacabana Beach in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil before one million people.
2007:  Norah Jones went to #1 on the Album chart with Not Too Late, her third consecutive #1.
2008:  Carpenters fans objected to plans to have the duo's former family home in Downey, California bulldozed.  The current owners said they objected to fans looking in the windows and leaving floral tributes.  You know what?  If you didn't want that, you shouldn't have bought the house.  Duh.  The United States does a horrible job of preserving history.
2012:  Otis "Damon" Harris, who joined the Temptations in 1971 at age 21 when original lead singer Eddie Kendricks left, died of prostate cancer at the age of 62 in a Baltimore hospice.

Born This Day:
1934:  Skip Battin, singer-songwriter and bassist of the Byrds, the New Riders of the Purple Sage and the Flying Burrito Brothers, was born in Gallipolis, Ohio; died July 6, 2003 from complications associated with Alzheimer's in Salem, Oregon.  (Note:  some websites list his birthplace as Gallipolis, West Virginia.  There isn't a Gallipolis in West Virginia--there is a Gallipolis Ferry, but Battin wasn't born there.  He was born in Ohio, according to the newspaper 'The Los Angeles Times'.)
1939:  Bobby Hart (real name Robert Harshman), singer-songwriter with Tommy Boyce ("I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight" from 1968), who also wrote "Last Train To Clarksville" and "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone" for the Monkees, was born in Phoenix, Arizona.
1941:  Irma Thomas ("Wish Someone Would Care" from 1964) was born in Ponchatoula, Louisiana.
1941:  Herman Santiago of Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
1943:  Denny Zager of Zager & Evans ("In The Year 2525" from 1969) was born in Wymore, Nebraska.  (Note:  some websites list his birthday as February 15, 1944, but according to the official website for Zager Guitars, he was born in 1943.)
1947:  Dennis DeYoung, lead singer and keyboardist with Styx, was born in Chicago, Illinois.

1948:  Keith Knudsen, songwriter and drummer of the Doobie Brothers, was born in LeMars, Iowa; died February 8, 2005 of pneumonia.  (Note:  numerous websites incorrectly show Keith's date of birth as October 18, some show it as November 3, and many show his birth as being in Ames, Iowa.  According to "The LeMars Sentinel' newspaper and '', and the tombstone pictured above, Keith was born on February 18 in LeMars.)

1952:  Juice Newton was born in Virginia Beach, New Jersey.  (Note:  some websites claim she was born in Lakehurst, New Jersey--she was born in Virginia Beach, according to the newspaper 'The Los Angeles Times'.)
1953:  Robbie Bachman, drummer of BTO, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
1953:  Derek Pellicci, co-founder and drummer of the Little River Band, was born in London.
1954:  John Travolta, movie superstar who teamed with Olivia Newton-John for the #1 song "You're the One That I Want" as well as the big hit "Summer Nights" and was also a solo artist ("Let Her In") was born in Englewood, New Jersey.
1965:  Dr. Dre (real name Andre Young) was born in Compton, California.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: February 17

1955:  Little Richard sent his first audition tape to Specialty Records.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: February 16

1953:  "Venus" was the name of Frankie Avalon's newest, and it rose from #99 to #53 on this date.
1959:  The Fleetwoods released the single "Come Softly To Me".

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: February 15

1958: The Dick Clark Show premiered on ABC-TV, with guests Pat Boone, Connie Francis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Ray.
1959:  Bobby Vee performed his first professional concert (as the "Winter Dance Party" was unpaid), traveling with the Shadows to earn $15 each.

Monday, February 13, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: February 14

1961:  The Beatles performed at the Cassanova Club in Liverpool, England and were captured on film for the first time.  (Note:  you will see numerous websites misspell the name of the club.  The correct spelling is with two "s's", as shown in the poster above, the Liverpool newspaper 'The Echo", and the books 'The Beatles Diary Volume 1:  The Beatles Years' by Barry Miles,  'Beatlemania:  Technology, Business, and Teen Culture in Cold War America' by AndrĂ© Millard, and 'The Beatles' Gigs:  Every Beatles' Gig from 1957 to 1970' by Robert G. Anstey.  The club was started by Brian Casser, who named it after his group Cass & the Cassanovas.)
1966:  Neil Diamond recorded the songs "Cherry Cherry" and "Solitary Man.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

This Date in Rock Music History: February 13

1961:  Frank Sinatra started his own recording company, Reprise Records.
1961:  The instrumental "Calcutta" by Lawrence Welk was the new #1 song, passing up "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" by the Shirelles.  The Miracles teamed up for the #3 song--"Shop Around", while Neil Sedaka was fourth with "Calendar Girl" and Ferrante & Teicher's big hit "Exodus" was on its way down.
1961:  The Miracles remained at #1 on the R&B chart for the fifth consecutive week with "Shop Around".
1962:  Don and Phil Everly graduated from boot camp in the Marine Corps and Don married Venetia Stevenson.
1965:  Jr. Walker & the All-Stars debuted on the chart and on the radio with their first single--"Shotgun".
1965:  The Temptations remained at #1 on the R&B chart for a third week with "My Girl".

Shirley Bassey with one of the top Bond theme songs ever.

1965:  Beatles '65 by the Beatles was the #1 album for the sixth week.  There were two new albums in the Top 10:  The "Goldfinger" Soundtrack and You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling by the Righteous Brothers.
1965:  Roger Miller vaulted to #1 on the Easy Listening chart with one of the Top 100 Songs of All-Time in Adult Music*--"King Of The Road".
1965:  Little Anthony & the Imperials had a big hit with "Hurt So Bad".

1965:  The Righteous Brothers were #1 again with "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling".  Former #1 "Downtown" from Petula Clark still hung on to #2 and "This Diamond Ring" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys edged up.  Shirley Ellis lost a spot with "The Name Game" and the great new Temptations song "My Girl" was up to #5.
1966:  The Beatles were nominated for ten Grammy Awards.  The group was nominated for Album of the Year (Help!), Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Vocal Performance, Male, Best Contemporary Single, and Best Arrangement Accompanying a Vocalist or Instrumentalist  ("Yesterday"), Best Performance by a Vocal Group and Best Contemporary Performance by a Group, Vocal or Instrumental ("Help!), and Best Original Score, Motion Picture or TV Show (Help!)
1966:  The Rolling Stones appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.

1967:  The Four Tops released the single "Bernadette".  (Note:  some websites erroneously peg the date as February 16.  "Bernadette" debuted on the Singles chart on February 18.  Because of the time involved, the deadline for a radio station to report to the trade papers is on Tuesday of each week.  Any song added after Tuesday will not be reported until the following week.  Since February 16 fell on a Thursday in 1967, it is physically impossible for "Bernadette" to have been released, and then debut in the printed version of Billboard two days later.)
1970:  Black Sabbath released their first album in the U.K.

1971:  Diana Ross & the Supremes, the Jackson 5, and Mungo Jerry were in concert at the Grand Theater in Gary, Indiana.
1971:  We first heard of this artist this week and Cat Stevens debuted on the chart with his first single--"Wild World".
1971:  Bobby Goldsboro and "Watching Scotty Grow" remained at #1 on the Adult chart for a sixth week.

     Chicago was on the way to superstardom...

1971:  George Harrison remained #1 on the Album chart for a seventh week with All Things Must Pass.  The Soundtrack to "Jesus Christ Superstar" remained a strong second with the new Chicago album, Chicago III, moving from 8 to 3.  Santana's breakthrough album Abraxas was fourth after 19 weeks while Elton John rose with Tumbleweed Connection.  The rest of the Top 10:  Pendulum from CCR, the Greatest Hits by Sly & the Family Stone, the Soundtrack to "Love Story" entered the Top 10, the album Pearl by the recently departed Janis Joplin moved from 14-9 in its third week and the self-titled Elton John was on its way down.
1971:  The Carpenters had a great 1970 and they picked up the new year right where they left off.  Their latest, "For All We Know", moved from #87 to #39 on this date.

1971:  The Osmonds accomplished the rare feat of hitting #1 with their first song--"One Bad Apple".  That knocked Dawn off the top with "Knock Three Times".  Lynn Anderson was going to be a force with "Rose Garden" and Dave Edmunds was up to #4 with "I Hear You Knocking".

1972:  The Stylistics released the single "Betcha' By Golly Wow".
1975:  Jefferson Starship recorded the song "Miracles" at Wally Heider Studios in San Francisco, California.
1978:  Dire Straits began recording their amazing debut album at Basing Street Studios in London.  (Note:  some websites claim the group began recording on February 14.  While there are no credible sources for either date, through our best research in England, we believe the correct date is February 13.)
1978:  The city of Los Angeles declared today "Al Green Day".

1978:  Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway teamed up to release the single "The Closer I Get To You".

1981:  Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd passed Highlights from "The Phantom of the Opera" for third place in the longest-running albums of the Rock Era with 402 weeks on the Album chart.  Pink Floyd at this point was behind only Johnny Mathis with his Greatest Hits album with 490 weeks and the "My Fair Lady" Soundtrack with 480 weeks.  Dark Side of the Moon would eventually run away from them all with 741 weeks.

1982:  "We Got The Beat" moved from #64 to #31 for the Go-Go's.
1982:  Dan Fogelberg held off all challengers for a second week at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Leader Of The Band".
1983:  Marvin Gaye sang the national anthem at the NBA All-Star game at the Forum in Inglewood, California.

1984:  Two of the greatest songs of the Rock Era were released on the same day.  Phil Collins released the single "Against All Odds".

1984:  Lionel Richie released the single "Hello".


1988:  Michael Jackson bought a ranch in Santa Ynez, California that he named "Neverland".
1988:  Keith Sweat's work paid off as "I Want Her" remained at #1 for the third week on the R&B chart.

1988:  There were two new songs in the Top 10:  "Don't Shed A Tear" from Paul Carrack and "She's Like The Wind" by Patrick Swayze and Wendy Fraser.

1988:  Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine were one of the top new talents and they took over at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with the great song "Can't Stay Away From You".
1993:  The Cult had the #1 album in the U.K. with Pure Cult.
1993:  "The Bodyguard" Soundtrack logged a 10th week at #1 on the U.S. Album chart.
1993:  Whitney Houston continued to set the bar high on the R&B chart with an 11th week at #1 for "I Will Always Love You".
1993:  Whitney Houston dominated again with a 12th week at #1 with "I Will Always Love You", one short of the all-time record at the time held by Boyz II Men with "End Of The Road".

1999:  Miss Toni Fisher ("The Big Hurt") died of a heart attack at the age of 67 in Salt Lake City, Utah.  (Note:  some sources say she died in Los Angeles, while others say she died in Hyrum, Utah.  Both are wrong.  According to her obituary, Toni, who lived in Hyrum, died at the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City.

1999:  Monica moved to #1 with "Angel Of Mine".
2002:  Jennifer Lopez grabbed the #1 spot on the Album chart with Jo To The L-o!  The Remixes.
2004:  In today's edition of Dangerous Inmates Run Rap Music, Loon (as in Loony Tunes), an associate of P. Diddy, was arrested with two other men in the stabbing of a security guard outsight a nightclub in Los Angeles.  

2004:  Led Zeppelin received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys.  Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham (John's son) were on hand to receive the honor.  Lead singer Robert Plant was on tour promoting his current solo album.
2005:  This is what the awards shows do.  They waited until Ray Charles died, then gave him eight posthumous Grammys for his final album Genius Loves Company, including Album and Record of the Year.

2005:  Maroon 5 won the Grammy for Best New Artist at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
2005:  U2 scored their sixth #1 song in the U.K. with "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own".
2005:  Keane owned the top album in the U.K. with Hopes and Fears.
2007:  Robbie Williams checked into a rehabilitation center to deal with an addiction to prescription drugs. 
2007:  Excess.  Rod Stewart was paid $1 million to perform at billionaire Steve Schwarzman's 60th birthday party at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City.
2010:  Dale Hawkins ("Susie-Q" from 1957) died of colon cancer at the age of 73 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Born This Day:
1919:  "Tennessee" Ernie Ford ("Sixteen Tons") was born in Bristol, Tennessee; died October 17, 1991 of liver disease in Reston, Virginia.

1920:  Boudleaux Bryant, who along with his wife Felice wrote many Everly Brothers songs, including "All I Have To Do Is Dream", "Wake Up Little Susie" and "Bye Bye Love", was born in Shellman, Georgia; died June 25, 1987 of cancer in Knoxville, Tennessee.  (Note:  some websites report that Bryant died on June 26, but 'The New York Times' states that he died on Thursday, which in 1987 fell on June 25.  Several websites report that Bryant died in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, but according to 'The New York Times', Boudleaux was a resident of Gatlinburg, but died at the Baptist Hospital in Knoxville.)
1930:  Dorothy McGuire of the McGuire Sisters ("Sincerely"), not to be confused with actress Dorothy McGuire, was born in Middletown, Ohio Omaha, Nebraska; died September 13, 2001 of cardiac arrest from complications of Parkinson's disease in Paradise Valley, Arizona.  (Note:  websites who list Dorothy's birthplace as Omaha, Nebraska indeed have her confused with the actress of the same name.  The singer Dorothy McGuire was born in Middletown, according to 'The New York Times' and the book 'Music of the Postwar Era' by Don Tyler.)

1942:  Peter Tork (real name Peter Halsten Thorkelston), keyboardist and bassist of the Monkees, was born in Washington, D.C.

1943:  Bill Szymczyk, producer who discovered the James Gang, produced several of the Eagles' best albums, including Hotel California and The Long Run, and also worked with the J. Geils Band and Wishbone Ash, was born in Muskegon, Michigan.
1944:  Rebop Kwaku Baah, percussionist of Traffic and Wings Konongo, Ghana; died of a cerebral hemorrhage January 12, 1983 during a performance in Stockholm, Sweden.  (Note:  many websites claim Baah was born in Lagos, Nigeria.  Unfortunately, there are no credible sources for either location, but our best research shows he was born in Ghana.)
1945:  King Floyd ("Groove Me" from 1970, one of The Top 100 R&B Songs of the 1970's*) was born in New Orleans, Louisiana; died March 6, 2006 from complications of a stroke and diabetes.

1950:  Peter Gabriel of Genesis and a solo star, was born in Chobham, Surrey, England.  (Note:  '" claims that Gabriel was born in London, but they are wrong as usual.  The correct birthplace is Chobham, Surrey, England, according to United Press International, as well as the book 'Without Frontiers:  The Life & Music of Peter Gabriel' by Daryl Easlea.)

1952:  Ed Gagliardi, original bassist of Foreigner, was born in New York City; died of cancer May 11, 2014.
1956:  Peter Hook (real name Peter Woodhead), bassist of New Order ("Blue Monday" from 1983), was born in Broughton, Salford, England. 
1961:  Les Warner, drummer with the Cult, was born in Fulham, London.
1966:  Freedom Williams of C&C Music Factory ("Gonna' Make You Sweat" and "Things That Make You Go Hmmm...") was born in Brooklyn, New York.
1972:  Robert Todd Harrell, bassist of 3 Doors Down, was born in Escatawpa, Mississippi.

1974:  Robbie Williams, lead singer of Take That and a solo superstar, was born in Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire, England.

Al Jarreau Has Died

I remember someone once saying about Al Jarreau, "You could fit an entire orchestra in his throat."  

Al died today in Los Angeles, two weeks after being hospitalized for exhaustion two weeks ago.  Following advice of his doctors, he canceled his tour dates and retired from touring.  Jarreau was hospitalized for the same reason on 2010.

Al did not start his professional career until he was 30.  He earned a master's degree in psychology from the University of Iowa and worked in clubs around San Francisco with George Duke.  Jarreau scored a #6 Adult hit with "We're In This Love Together".

His follow-up was largely ignored, and that's a shame, for it is one of The Top Unknown/Underrated Songs of the Rock Era*.

If you were a fan of Adult Contemporary music in 1983, you'll remember that this great song was a #2 smash for three weeks.  If you weren't an adult back then, discover this song right now.

Jarreau enjoyed a #1 AC smash with this song in 1987, "Moonlighting", the theme to the television show which starred Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd.

Jarreau was 76.