July 30, 1988 - Steve Winwood started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Roll With It’, a No.53 hit in the UK. It topped the Billboard adult contemporary chart for two weeks, and also spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard mainstream rock chart. In addition, the song reached No. 30 on the R&B chart.
It was written by Winwood and songwriter Will Jennings. Publishing rights organization BMI later had Motown songwriters Holland-Dozier-Holland credited with co-writing the song due to its resemblance to “(I’m a) Roadrunner” by Junior Walker.
The song “Roll With It” was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 1989, Record of the Year and Best Male Pop Vocal performance. The album Roll with It was also nominated as Album of the Year.
#stevewinwood #thisdayinmusic #1988 #1980s #hollanddozierholland
July 30, 1977 - The Bee Gees younger brother Andy Gibb started a three-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘I Just Wanna Be Your Everything’, his first of three US No.1’s, it peaked at No.26 in the UK.
The song, and “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water”, were written by Barry Gibb in Bermuda, with Andy credited as co-writer on the latter. It was recorded in October 1976, the sessions was produced mainly by Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson and with Barry on this track and “(Love Is) Thicker than Water”, Galuten also played keyboards and piano. Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh contributed guitar on this song. The track is a fairly dramatic love song, with the singer declaring his unending passion and stating that without her, he would die.
The song spent a cumulative four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song first reached the top of the chart on July 30 for the first of three consecutive weeks. Then, The Emotions went to No. 1 with “Best of My Love” on August 20 for the first of four straight weeks. However, the song maintained strong popularity, remaining in the Top 10 before returning to No. 1 for one final week on September 17. “Everything” then fell out of the top spot for good, being replaced once again by “Best of My Love.” The song enjoyed one of the longest Top 40 runs in the Billboard Hot 100 to that time; its 23-week run spanned from the end of May through the end of October. The song also appeared on the Soul Singles Chart, peaking at number 19.
It was ranked number 22 on Billboard’s 50th anniversary All Time Top 100 list.
#andygibb #thisdayinmusic #1970s #disco #barrygibb
July 30, 1966 - The Troggs started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Wild Thing’. The song was written by New York City-born songwriter Chip Taylor. Originally recorded by American band The Wild Ones in 1965.
Because of a distribution dispute, The Troggs’ single was available on two competing labels: Atco and Fontana. Because both pressings were taken from the identical master recording, Billboard combined the sales for both releases, making it the only single to simultaneously reach No. 1 for two companies.
As performed by The Troggs, “Wild Thing” is ranked No. 261 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
#thetroggs #thisdayinmusic #1960s #1966
July 29, 1967 - The Doors started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Light My Fire’. It was the group’s first US No.1.
It re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968 following the success of Jose Feliciano’s version of the song (which peaked at No.3 on the Billboard chart), peaking at No.87. The single was certified gold by the RIAA in 1967, representing sales of one million units. It only reached No.49 on the UK chart. It was re-issued in 1991 when it made No.7 in the UK.
The song was largely written by Robby Krieger and credited to the entire band. The song originated as an unfinished Robby Krieger composition, which the other band members then expanded upon. Ray Manzarek said that the distinctive organ intro was inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach’s Two and Three Part Inventions. Although the album version was just over seven minutes long, it was widely requested for radio play, so a single version was edited to under three minutes with nearly all the instrumental break removed for airplay on AM radio.
The band appeared on various TV shows, such as American Bandstand, miming to a playback of the single. However, “Light My Fire” was performed live by The Doors on The Ed Sullivan Show broadcast on September 17, 1967. The Doors were asked by producer Bob Precht, Sullivan’s son-in-law, to change the line “girl, we couldn’t get much higher”, as the sponsors were uncomfortable with the possible reference to drug-taking. The band agreed to do so, and did a rehearsal using the amended lyrics, “girl, we couldn’t get much better”; however, during the live performance, the band’s lead singer Jim Morrison sang the original lyric. Ed Sullivan did not shake Morrison’s hand as he left the stage. The band had been negotiating a multi-episode deal with the producers; however, after breaking the agreement not to perform the line, they were informed they would never do the Sullivan show again. Morrison’s response was “We just ‘did’ Sullivan.”
#thedoors #thisdayinmusic #1967 #1960s #jimmorrison #RobbyKrieger #RayManzarek #JohnDensmore
July 29, 1978 - The film soundtrack to Grease, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, went to No.1 on the US album chart.
The song “You’re the One That I Want” was a US and UK No.1 for stars John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. To date, the album has sold over 30 million copies worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling soundtrack albums of all time.
The soundtrack was released in April 14, 1978, two months ahead of the film’s release. The cover gives credit to, and features, the two stars of the film—John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John—although they only appear on seven of the 24 tracks. The remainder of the album is sung by various cast members and Sha Na Na, a group who performed many of the 1950s numbers in the film. The title track was recorded by Frankie Valli, who had no other connection with the film.
The most successful songs from the soundtrack were written specifically for the film. They included the Billboard number-one hits “Grease”, “You’re the One That I Want” and the number-three, Academy Award-nominated “Hopelessly Devoted to You”. In the UK, the album proved even more successful where “You’re the One That I Want” reached No.1 for nine weeks, “Summer Nights” reached No.1 for seven weeks, while “Grease”, “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and “Sandy” all became top three hits. The soundtrack album replacing The Rolling Stones’ Some Girls at No.1 in the Billboard Top 200 Album chart. In the UK, it remained at the top of the charts for 13 consecutive weeks. As of 2011, “You’re the One That I Want” and “Summer Nights” are still among the 20 best-selling singles of all time in the UK at Nos.6 and 19 respectively.
Peter Frampton played guitar on “Grease”. Two of the bass players who recorded on the Grease soundtrack were (at different times) members of Toto. One of these, David Hungate, also performed on Olivia Newton-John’s album Totally Hot with Toto guitarist Steve Lukather. Other musicians on the soundtrack have previously worked with Elton John, Steely Dan, Bee Gees and others.
#Grease #thisdayinmusic #1978 #1970s #soundtrack #johntravolta #olivianewtonjohn #frankievalli #barrygibb #jimjacobs #warrencasey #johnfarrar #shanana
July 29, 1972 - Gilbert O’Sullivan started a five week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Alone Again, (Naturally)’. His only US No.1, the follow up ‘Clair’ peaked at No.2. In Casey Kasem’s American ‘Top 40 of the 1970s’, “Alone Again (Naturally)” ranked as the fifth most-popular song of the decade (Debby Boone’s “You Light Up My Life” was No.1). “Alone Again (Naturally)” also spent six weeks at No.1 on the Easy Listening chart. The track reached No.3 in the UK Singles Chart.
It is an introspective ballad, starting with the singer telling of his plans to commit suicide after being left at the altar, and then telling about the death of his parents. O’Sullivan has said that the song is not autobiographical, as he did not know his father (who died when O’Sullivan was 11) very well, and that his father had mistreated his mother. His mother was not dead at the time that his song was written.
In 1982 O’Sullivan took his former manager Gordon Mills to court over his original contract, ultimately winning back the master tapes to his recordings as well as the copyrights to his songs.
Nine years later in 1991, O’Sullivan went to court again to sue the rapper Biz Markie. The landmark 1991 copyright case Grand Upright Music, Ltd. v. Warner Bros. Records Inc. centered on rapper Biz Markie’s unauthorized use of a sample from “Alone Again (Naturally)”. Biz Markie used an unauthorized sample from this song in his track “Alone Again,” which appeared on Markie’s third album, I Need A Haircut. The judge made a landmark ruling in O’Sullivan’s favor that the rapper’s unauthorized sample was in fact theft. From this point on, artists had to clear samples or be subject to costly lawsuits.
#gilbertosullivan #thisdayinmusic #1972 #1970s #softrock
July 29, 1974 - Mamas And The Papas singer Cass Elliot died in her sleep from a heart attack after playing a sold out show in London, England.
At the height of her solo career in 1974, Elliot performed two weeks of sold-out concerts at the London Palladium. She telephoned Michelle Phillips after the final concert on July 28, elated that she had received standing ovations each night. She then retired for the evening, and died in her sleep at age 32. Sources state her death was due to a heart attack. Elliot died in a London flat, No. 12 at 9 Curzon Place, Shepherd Market, Mayfair, which was on loan from singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson. Four years later, The Who’s drummer Keith Moon died in the same flat at the same age. Elliot was buried in Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.
An oft-repeated urban legend claims that Elliot choked to death on a ham sandwich. The story, which spread soon after the discovery of her body, was based on speculation in the initial media coverage. Although an autopsy had not yet been performed, police told reporters that a partially eaten sandwich found in her room might have been to blame. Despite the post-mortem examination finding that Elliot had died of a heart attack and no food was found in her windpipe, the false story that she choked on a sandwich has persisted in the decades following her death. In fact, Elliot had lost 80 pounds (36 kg) in the eight months before her death by fasting four days a week. Her fatal heart attack was most likely related to this extreme weight loss measure that weakened her heart.
Her only solo hit was ‘Dream a Little Dream of Me,’ which also featured the rest of The Mamas and The Papas. Had also been a member of The Mugwumps.
#casselliot #thisdayinmusic #1974 #1970s #mamacass #themamasandthepapas #mamasandthepapas #rip #restinpeace #themugwumps
July 28, 1992 - Mary J. Blige released her debut album, What’s The 411?. Blige had recorded an impromptu cover of Anita Baker’s “Caught Up in the Rapture” at a recording booth in the Galleria Mall in White Plains, New York. Her mother’s boyfriend at the time later played the cassette for Jeff Redd, a recording artist and A&R runner for Uptown Records. Redd sent it to the president and CEO of the label, Andre Harrell. Harrell met with Blige, performed the song for him and she was signed to the label.
Blige began working with record producer Puff Daddy. He became the executive producer and produced a majority of the album. The album contains elements of hip hop soul and new jack swing, The music was described as “revelatory on a frequent basis”. Blige was noted for having a tough girl persona and streetwise lyrics, which gave the album a gritty undertone and a realism missing from much of the devotional love songs ruling the charts at that time.
What’s the 411? peaked at number six on the Billboard 200 and topped the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album eventually sold 3.4 million copies and was certified three times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album spawned six singles, including You Remind Me Reminisce and Real Love.
It received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who noted Blige’s strong, soulful voice. She was also praised for combining hip hop and soul music, subsequently earning her the title “Queen of Hip Hop Soul”. Havelock Nelson of Entertainment Weekly wrote: Blige bends her gospel-bred pipes around streetwise collages consisting of hard drumbeats, rugged rap samples, and hazy synthesizer lines. The most accomplished fusions of soul values and hip-hop to date.
Blige’s combination of vocals over a hip hop beat became influential in R&B. She has been credited for creating the hybrid genre hip hop soul, as well as pioneering what became neo soul. Along with Puff Daddy, Blige attributed to the sample-heavy sound that reinvigorated urban radio, which became a blueprint for nineties hip-hop and R&B.
#maryjblige #thisdayinmusic #1992 #1990s #uptownrecords #hiphopsoul #rnb #puffdaddy #diddy #seancombs #andreharrell
July 28, 1992 - EPMD solidify their position as one of hip-hop’s traditional groups with the release of their fourth studio album, Business Never Personal. Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith proved their commercial and artistic viability on this album. Backed by funky beats, innovative nods to the Zapp/Roger Troutman catalogue, and their no-nonsense rhymes, EPMD stuck to pure hip-hop in every sense. Their trademark shined throughout the 11-track offering, which had plenty here to keep fans head-bobbing.
The album is considered the duo’s third classic by fans and critics. The record was given a rating of 4.5 mics out of 5 in The Source. The lead single, “Crossover”, became its biggest success, nearly reaching the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100. Ironically, the song was about keeping it real and not crossing over to the mainstream, but became EPMD’s biggest mainstream success. The duo cut “Head Banger” with Redman and K-Solo was also a hit in 1992. The album was certified Gold in sales by the RIAA on October 13, 1992. The single “Crossover” was certified Gold on November 16, 1992.
Members Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith began having money troubles during recording, which led to a 1992 robbery of Smith’s home. The perpetrators claimed that Erick Sermon paid them to do the deed, causing the group to break up soon after this release. They each released two solo albums between 1993 and 1996, then reunited as a duo in 1997. On a personal note: I remember the video shoot for “Head Banger” (directed by Marcus Rayboy). We shot it in a condemned playground building downtown along the FDR Drive. At the time it was going to be the last video shoot ever for EPMD. Erick, Parrish and K-Solo all smashed their verses. For me though, this song belongs to Redman. All night I watched these guys perform the song and every time, Redman just SHUT SHIT DOWN with his verse. I was mesmerized watching Reggie tear into his rhyme. With a tissue up his nose, afro-pick sticking out from underneath his skully, baseball bat in hand and rhyming in the clean-up spot, Reggie cleared the damn bases! A Hip Hop Grand Slam!!
July 27, 1976 - Tina Turner filed for divorce from her husband Ike, ending their violent 16-year marriage and musical partnership.
In the final divorce decree, Tina took responsibility for missed concert dates as well as an IRS lien while also being allowed to retain use of her stage name as a means to find work as a performer. Following the divorce, Turner had corrective surgery on her nasal septum, injured due to Ike’s frequent hitting. Later, Turner dismissed popular notions that she was a “victim” of Ike Turner’s abuse stating she had argued with producers of her loosely-based biopic What’s Love Got to Do with It over her depiction in the film. Friends and relatives of Ike Turner said he never fully got over their divorce.
In 1960, Ike wrote “A Fool in Love”, originally for Kings of Rhythm lead vocalist Art Lassiter. When Lassiter failed to show up to the studio to record the song, Ike asked Anna (Tina) to sing a dummy vocal, with the intention of erasing her vocals and adding Lassiter’s at a later date. Although some felt that the demo with Anna’s voice was “high pitched” and “screechy”, the song received decent airtime in St. Louis. Local St. Louis deejay Dave Dixon convinced Ike to send the tape to Juggy Murray, president of R&B label, Sue Records. Upon hearing the song, Murray was impressed with Anna’s vocals, later stating that her vocals “sounded like screaming dirt… it was a funky sound.” Murray bought the track and paid Ike a $25,000 advance for recording and publishing rights. Murray also convinced Turner to make Anna “the star of the show”. It was at this point that Ike Turner renamed Anna Mae Bullock “Tina”, because the name rhymed with his favorite television character, Sheena. It has also been said that the renaming of Anna Mae Bullock was intended to keep her from running off and making a name for herself. Ike Turner felt that, if Anna Mae Bullock left him, he could replace her with another singer and have her perform as Tina. Ike later admitted that another reason for the name change was to discourage one of Tina’s former lovers from returning to her.
#tinaturner #iketurner #thisdayinmusic #1976 #1970s #singer #songwriter
July 27, 1985 - Paul Young went to No.1 on the US singles chart with his version of the Daryl Hall song ‘Every Time You Go Away’. It remains his only number-one hit and was one of two top 10 hits he had on the U.S. pop singles chart. It also topped the U.S. adult contemporary chart for two weeks. The song peaked at No. 4 in the UK, Young’s home country. The song won Best British Video at the 1986 Brit Awards.
The original appeared on Hall & Oates’s 1980 album, Voices, although it was not released as a single. Hall & Oates also recorded it for their 1985 concert album Live at the Apollo.
#paulyoung #thisdayinmusic #1985 #1980s #hallandoates #darylhall
July 27, 1991 - Bryan Adams started a seven week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘(Everything I Do), I Do It For You’. It is a soft rock power ballad performed by Canadian rock singer Bryan Adams and co-written with Michael Kamen and Robert John “Mutt” Lange, featured on the soundtrack album from the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and on Adams’ sixth studio solo album Waking Up the Neighbours. It was an enormous chart success internationally, particularly in the United Kingdom, where it spent sixteen consecutive weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart, the longest in British chart history.
It sold more than 15 million copies worldwide, making it Adams’ most successful song and one of the best-selling singles of all time.
Adams, Kamen and Lange won a Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television at the Grammy Awards of 1992, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song but lost to “Beauty & the Beast”.
#bryanadams #thisdayinmusic #1991 #1990s #soundtrack #robinhoodprinceofthieves #muttlange #michaelkamen