Saturday, February 24, 2018

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.

Friday, February 23, 2018

This Date in Rock Music History: February 24

1956:  Police in Cleveland, Ohio invoked a 1931 ordinance barring people under the age of 18 from dancing in public unless accompanied by an adult.  
1958:  For the fourth week the Silhouettes shadowed the #1 spot on the R&B chart with "Get A Job".  
1960:  Carl Dobkins, Jr., dressed in full military attire live from Fort Dix in New Jersey, where he was serving in the national guard, appeared on The Perry Como Show on NBC-TV.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

This Date in Rock Music History: February 23

1959:  Lloyd Price logged a third week at #1 on the R&B chart with "Stagger Lee".

1959:  "Stagger Lee" by Lloyd Price made it to a third week at #1 on the Singles chart.  "Donna" from the late Ritchie Valens was next with "16 Candles" from the Crests down a spot.
1963:  "Hey Paula" by Paul & Paula took over at #1 on the R&B chart.  
1963:  The Rooftop Singers stayed up there for the fifth week on the Easy Listening chart with "Walk Right In".  

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

This Date in Rock Music History: February 22

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

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

This Date in Rock Music History: February 21

1952:  Jerry Lee Lewis married his first wife at the age of 17.
1958:  The first Flying V guitar, by Gibson, was shipped from a factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
1961:  The hard-working Beatles performed three concerts in one day, their usual lunchtime gig at the Cavern Club, then at the Cassanova Club later that evening before a final show at Litherland Town Hall in Liverpool, England.
1964:  The Echoes, a new group from New York City, recruited an unknown piano player named Billy Joel.  Joel had seen the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, and was inspired to start a rock & roll career and find a band.  (Note:  Joel's website and WINS Radio in New York City list the year as 1963, but of course the Beatles' debut appearance was in February of 1964, and Billy himself confirmed to 'Billboard' in an interview that he joined the Echoes in 1964.)


1966:  The Rascals released the single "Good Lovin'".

1966:  The Lovin' Spoonful released the single "Daydream".

1966:  The Beatles released the single "Nowhere Man".
1968:  McGraw-Hill publishing company outbid eight other competitors for the rights in the United States to Hunter Davies' authorized biography of the Beatles.  McGraw-Hill paid $150,000.

1970:  The Jackson 5 made their television debut on American Bandstand.
1970:  Simon & Garfunkel rose to #1 in the U.K. with their album Bridge Over Troubled Water.  The album went to #1 eight different times and spent a total of 41 weeks at the top.
1970:  Dionne Warwick had one of her biggest career hits with "I'll Never Fall In Love Again", which remained at #1 on the Adult chart for a third week.
1970:  Sly & the Family Stone made it three weeks at #1 on the R&B chart with "Thank You".

1970:  Elvis Presley had been recording for 15 years and on this date, "Kentucky Rain" was one of the hottest songs, moving from 96 to 40.

   And "Travelin' Band" sounds as good now as it did in 1970...

1970:  Sly & the Family Stone remained on top with "Thank You".  Eddie Holman was a surprising second with "Hey There Lonely Girl" while Simon & Garfunkel moved from 13 to 3 in just their third week with "Bridge Over Troubled Water".  The former #1 "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5 was now fourth with CCR's great double-sided hit "Travelin' Band"/"Who'll Stop The Rain" moving from 9 to 5.  The rest of an excellent Top 10:  "No Time" from the Guess Who, B.J. Thomas and his #1 classic "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head", the Temptations remained in the #8 position with "Psychedelic Shack", the Shocking Blue's former #1 "Venus" and Brook Benton headed into the Top 10 with "Rainy Night In Georgia".
1970:  Led Zeppelin II was the top album for the sixth week, but former #1 Abbey Road by the Beatles had good staying power, remaining second.  The top new entry in the Top 10 was Chicago II, which moved from 44 to 9 in its second week.

  1973:  The Edgar Winter Group released the single "Frankenstein".

        Fleetwood Mac had kicked it up a notch for this album...

1976:  Desire by Bob Dylan was #1 for a third week on the Album chart, holding off Still Crazy After All These Years by Paul Simon, although Paul's was the better album.  Gratitude from Earth, Wind & Fire held on to third with Station to Station by David Bowie another pretender to the crown.  Chicago IX, the group's Greatest Hits package, was at #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  Peter Frampton's solo release Frampton Comes Alive! was on fire, moving from 22-6, the self-titled Fleetwood Mac, which had fallen off the chart on October 4, was back with a vengeance, moving from 15-7, ELO's new release Face the Music, Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan and Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes moved into the Top 10 with Wake Up Everybody.
1976:  The Four Seasons had the top U.K. song with "December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)".
1976:  Art Garfunkel scored a #1 on the Adult chart this week with "Break Away".
1976:  Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan moved to #1 on the R&B chart with their sweet song "Sweet Thing".

                           ELO with one of their biggest hits...

1976:  Paul Simon told of all the ways people took the easy way out with "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover", the #1 song for a third week.  Rhythm Heritage was a factor with "Theme From 'S.W.A.T.'" and Hot Chocolate was a steady third with "You Sexy Thing".  Donna Summer's "Love To Love You Baby" was next, followed by another hormone-driven song, "Love Machine" from the Miracles.  The rest of the Top 10:  Barry Manilow and "I Wrote The Songs", Eric Carmen vaulted from 14 to 7 with his first solo hit "All By Myself", Neil Sedaka was back with "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do", the Eagles' latest smash "Take It To The Limit", one of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*, moved into the Top 10 and ELO remained at #10 with "Evil Woman".

1977:  The Eagles released the single "Hotel California" (Please click on "Skip Ad" after five seconds...)  (Note:  some websites naively list March 12 as the release date.  "Hotel California" debuted on the Singles chart on February 26.  It is physically impossible for a song to debut on the Singles chart if it has not been released as a single.)
1977:  Neil Diamond's live concert television special aired on NBC.

1978:  Johnny Mathis & Deniece Williams released the single "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late".
1980:  Janet Vogel of the Skyliners ("Since I Don't Have You") committed suicide at age 37.
1980:  Fleetwood Mac began a 16-show tour of Australia and New Zealand at the Entertainment Centre in Perth.  The group had kicked off their worldwide Tusk tour on October 26, 1979 at the Minidome in Pocatello, Idaho.
1981:  Prince appeared on Saturday Night Live on NBC.
1981:  Phil Collins debuted at #1 on the U.K. Album chart with Face Value.
1981:  Ronnie Milsap crossed over for a great #1 Adult Contemporary song--"Smoky Mountain Rain".

             She don't remember the Queen of Soul? You've got to be kidding!

1981:  Dolly Parton completed the climb to #1 with "9 To 5".  Eddie Rabbitt was one step away with "I Love A Rainy Night" while former #1 "Celebration" by Kool & the Gang was now third and John Lennon's posthumous release "Woman" was #4.  The rest of the Top 10:  Blondie with "The Tide Is High", REO Speedwagon's "Keep On Loving You", Styx entered the Top 10 with "The Best Of Times", Delbert McClinton with "Giving It Up For Your Love", Dan Fogelberg moved in to #9 with "Same Old Lang Syne" and Steely Dan remained in the #10 spot with "Hey Nineteen".

                                        "Tough Guys"...

1981:  REO Speedwagon, which had toiled for ten years with little success, finally was rewarded as Hi Infidelity became the #1 album.  Double Fantasy from John Lennon dropped while "The Jazz Singer" Soundtrack  by Neil Diamond remained in the #3 spot.  Pat Benatar's excellent Crimes of Passion was fourth with Styx rising a spot with Paradise Theater.  The rest of the Top 10:  the Police with Zenyatta Mondatta, Blondie's Autoamerican, Kenny Rogers' Greatest Hits captured the #8 position, AC/DC was at #9 after 27 weeks with Back In Black and Stevie Wonder closed the list with Hotter Than July.

1982:  Murray "the K" Kaufman, the disc jockey who is believed to have been the first DJ in America to play a Beatles song and who promoted the Beatles' first tour, died of cancer in Los Angeles at age 60.
1986:  Pat Boone was a guest star on The Fall Guy on ABC-TV.
1987:  Sylvester Stone (of Sly & the Family Stone) was thrown in jail on drug charges.
1987:  Bobby Rydell and Fabian appeared on The Facts of Life on NBC-TV.
1987:  Ben E. King had the new #1 song in the U.K. as "Stand By Me", which was featured in the movie of the same name, was re-released.
1987:  Lionel Richie, one of the most successful Adult Contemporary artists of all-time, remained at #1 for the third straight week with "Ballerina Girl".

1987:  The Bangles were off and running with "Walking Down Your Street"--their latest moved from 95 to 71.

                                   "Wanted Dead or Alive"...

1987:  Bon Jovi held off everyone for a seventh week at #1 on the Album chart with their breakthrough album Slippery When WetThe Way It Is from Bruce Hornsby & the Range at 4, Different Light at #5 after 56 weeks for the Bangles, Invisible Touch from Genesis at #7 and Fore!  by Huey Lewis & the News at #10 were other noteworthy albums.
1990:  Bonnie Raitt was the winner of four awards at the Grammys, including Album of the Year for Nick of Time.
1990:  In yet another blunder by the Grammy Awards, Milli Vanilli won the Best New Artist award.  It was later admitted that they were not the vocalists on the album, and their award was vacated.  (Note:  several websites report that the duo won the award on February 22.  The Grammy Awards were presented on February 21, according to the newspaper 'The New York Times'.)

1995:  Joan Osborne released the single "One Of Us".

1995:  Bruce Springsteen performed live with the E Street Band for the first time in seven years at the Tramps nightclub in New York City.
1998:  Celine Dion owned the #1 U.K. song with "My Heart Goes On", which became the world's best-selling single of the year.

                            Rob Thomas and Matchbox 20 with "' A.M.'...

1998:  Yield by Pearl Jam debuted at #2 on the Album chart.  Matchbox 20 (#6) was still in the Top 10 after 49 weeks with Yourself or Someone Like You, Savage Garden (#8) was hanging in there after 43 weeks and Will Smith entered the Top 10 with Big Wilie Style.

2001:  U2 captured Grammys for Record and Song of the Year with "Beautiful Day".
2003:  Ringo Starr started the record label Pumkinhead (correct spelling), geared towards new artists.
2004:  Charlotte Church turned 18, thus gaining control of a trust fund of her earnings that had reached $30 million.

2009:  The Fray had the #1 album with their self-titled debut.
2012:  Fun. released the album Some Nights.

Born This Day:
1933:  Nina Simone (real name Eunice Waymon) was born in Tryon, North Carolina; died of cancer in Carry le Rouet, France on April 21, 2003.
1938:  Bobby Charles ("See You Later, Alligator") was born in Abbeville, Louisiana; died January 14, 2010.

1943:  David Geffen, music industry executive, founder of Asylum Records who signed the Eagles, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne and also founder of his own Geffen Records who signed Donna Summer, Aerosmith, Toni Braxton, Mary J. Blige, Enya, Guns N' Roses, Don Henley and Sonic Youth, was born in Brooklyn, New York.  (Note:  some websites list his birthplace as Borough Park, New York, others as New York City.  Borough Park is the name of a neighborhood--neighborhoods are not official places of birth.  Geffen was born in Brooklyn, according to 'CNN'.)
1946:  Paul Newton, original bassist of Uriah Heap, was born in Andover, Hampshire, England.
1949:  Jerry Harrison, songwriter, keyboardist and guitarist of the Talking Heads, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
1951:  Vince Welnick, keyboardist of the Tubes and the Grateful Dead, was born in Phoenix, Arizona; committed suicide in Forestville, California on June 2, 2006 after battling depression for 10 years.  (Note:  some websites list his birthday as February 22--it was February 21, according to his official website.)
1956:  Lester Hunt, songwriter and guitarist who joined the Climax Blues Band in 1985, was born in Stretford, Manchester, England.
1958:  Mary Chapin-Carpenter was born in Princeton, New Jersey.
1961:  Ranking Roger (real name Roger Charlery), vocalist of the Beat, General Public and the Fine Young Cannibals, was born in Birmingham, England.  
1967:  Michael Ward, guitarist of the Wallflowers, was born in Los Angeles.
1969:  James Dean Bradfield, lead guitarist and lead singer of the Manic Street Preachers, was born in Pontypool, Wales.
1970:  Eric Wilson, bassist of Sublime, was born in Long Beach, California.  (Note:  some websites list his birthday as February 22, and others say he was born in 1969.  There are no credible sources for any date, but our best research indicates he was born on February 21, 1970.)

1986:  Charlotte Church was born in Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales.
1989:  Corbin Bleu of High School Musical was born in Brooklyn, New York.

Monday, February 19, 2018

This Date in Rock Music History: February 20

1949:  Ricky Nelson joined his parents, Ozzie and Harriet, on their radio show, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.
1958:  Buddy Holly released his self-titled album on Coral Records, which included "Peggy Sue" and "Rave On".
1958:  Buddy Holly & the Crickets, the Everly Brothers, Bill Haley & the Comets, Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmie Rodgers opened up the Big Gold Record Stars Tour in Florida.
1963:  The Beatles drove all night from Liverpool to London to perform "Love Me Do" and "Please Please Me" on the live lunchtime BBC radio show Parade of the Pops, an appearance that lasted just over four minutes.  They then drove 160 miles for a concert that night at the Swimming Baths in Doncaster, Yorkshire.
1964:  The Beach Boys recorded "Don't Worry Baby".  (Note:  some websites report that the song was recorded on January 7.  Although recording for the album 'Shut Down Volume Two' began January 1-10, the group recorded "Don't Worry Baby" in the final sessions for the album on February 20, according to the book 'The Beach Boys:  The Definitive Diary of America's Greatest Band, on Stage and in the Studio' by Keith Badman.)
1964:  The Bachelors scored a #1 U.K. hit with "Diane".
1965:  One of The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era* first appeared on the radio as the Moody Blues debuted on the chart with their first career single--"Go Now".

Sunday, February 18, 2018

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.