| Johnnie Ray revived Just Walkin in
the Rain in 1956 and turned
it into a huge hit. The song was originally recorded in 1953 by The
Prisonaires, an R&B group made up of five inmates from the Tennessee
State Penitentiary. The members were transported under guard to Sam
Phillips Sun Studios for the recording session.
| Jerry Lee Lewis recorded his biggest hit,
Great Balls of Fire, in 1957. The song was his follow-up to the six million
seller, Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On.
| Eddie Cochran recorded the rocker,
Cmon Everybody in 1958. It would be his last top 40 hit. Summertime Blues
was currently on the American charts and became his best known song.
Artists like Blue Cheer and The Who have also had success with
Cochrans rock anthem.
| As To Know Him is to Love Him was climbing
the charts on its way to number 1 in 1958, Billboard Magazine featured The Teddy Bears
in an article. An interview with member and song arranger, Phil
Spector, netted the revelation that Spector was studying to become a
court reporter. Unfortunately, it took 45 years to realize this dream, when
Spector had to report to court on murder charges.
| Move over Johnny Mathis. In 1959, Bobby Darin became the
youngest performer to headline at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. Darin
had released his biggest album that year, Thats All, which
included the smash hits, Mack the Knife and Beyond the Sea. He
would receive two Grammys for his efforts: Record of the Year and Best New
| Frank Ifield preceded the official British
Invasion when he took the Jimmy Dorsey track, I Remember You, to
number 5 in 1962. The original
version was a hit twenty years before, and was from the film, The Fleets
In. Ifield became the first artist in the U.K. to have three consecutive
number 1 hits, with I Remember You, Love Sick Blues and a cover
of The Wayward Wind.
| Johnny Kidd was killed in 1966 in a car crash in Manchester,
England, at the age of 26. Kidd and his band, The Pirates, first
made the U.K. charts in 1959, with Please Dont Touch, and again
the following year with You Got What It Takes, Restless and the
number 1 song, Shakin All Over. By the time the official British
Invasion hit, Johnny Kidd and The Pirates had faded with Kidd
finally leaving the group in 1966. But before Kidd died, in 1965,
The Guess Who / Chad Allan and The Expressions would take their version
of Shakin All Over into the top 40 in the U.S. And many years
later, Billy Idol recorded a great live version of the track. You can
find it on the Collectors page.
| Never My Love rose to its peak position of
number 2 in the U.S. in 1967.
The Associations recording was the first version to become a hit.
It was followed by covers from The 5th Dimension in 1971 and
Blue Swede in 1974. The tune was listed as the second most played song
in the 20th century, by the BMI music publishing group, with over 7
million plays. Youve Lost That Lovin Feeling was tops with
over 8 million plays of versions by The Righteous Brothers, Hall and
Oates, Dionne Warwick and others.
, Yesterday was third, followed by Stand By Me
(Ben E. King) and Cant Take My Eyes Off of You
(Frankie Valli, The Lettermen).
| The last album recorded by
, Abbey Road, entered the U.K. charts this week in 1969 at number 1. It is their best selling
album, with fans buying over 11 million copies in the U.S. alone. The first
side of the record was compiled in the traditional way, to keep John Lennon
happy, while side two featured a mini rock-opera with song snippets
combined into a long arrangement. The idea was developed by Paul McCartney
and George Martin, who wanted the entire album done like that.
Her Majesty was originally placed between Sun King and
Polythene Pam, but upon playback, Sir Paul requested that it be
removed. So engineer, John Kurlander, chopped out the appropriate piece and
tacked it on at the end of the reel (engineers were instructed to never throw
anything away). Before the next session a demo was made from the tape, with
Her Majesty unknowingly stuck on the end, and when the group heard it,
they decided to leave it there. Her Majesty became the first
hidden track on an album. This practice is very popular on
the CD format of today.
| Gene Vincent died of a perforated ulcer in
1971. He played his classic hit,
Be-Bop-A-Lula in the movie, The Girl Cant Help It. Also appearing
in the 1956 feature film were Fats Domino, The Platters,
Little Richard, Duane Eddy and other artists.
| Elvis Presley divorced Priscilla in
1973 after less than six and a
half years of marriage and twelve years together. They met when she was 14
while Elvis was stationed in Germany. Daughter, Lisa Marie was
5½ years old at the time of the permanent break-up, and The
Kings current single was the forgettable, Raised On
| Olivia Newton-John topped the U.S. albums
chart for the first time in 1974.
If You Love Me, Let Me Know contained the hit title track as well as her
first number 1 single, I Honestly Love You. It was around this time that
Newton-John moved from country flavoured songs into pop music. She kept
the hits coming into the mid-1980s, sharing several with John Travolta,
Andy Gibb, ELO and Cliff Richard.
| The first Saturday Night Live aired this week in
1975, with Dan Aykroyd,
John Belushi, Chevy Chase and Gilda Radner. Aykroyd and
Belushi would later form The Blues Brothers, and many years after
Belushis death, brother Jim, Aykroyd and John Goodman would
pick up where they left off playing live shows. Unfortunately, Jim was unable
to appear in the movie, Blues Brothers 2000, with Aykroyd and
| Neil Young went under the knife in 1975 to have some throat surgery. An
unwanted growth was removed from his vocal chords a few weeks before the
release of his Zuma album. The LP contained the classic Young
track, Cortez the Killer, which would set the tone for Like a
Hurricane recorded two years later.
| Steve Hackett announced that he was leaving
Genesis in 1977 for a solo
career. He had been experiencing the George Harrison blues, not being
allowed enough input within the band. In fact, Hackett had already
released one solo album, Voyage of the Acolyte, in 1975, between The
Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and A Trick of the Tail. His first album
after the permanent split was Please Dont Touch.
| Steven Tyler and Joe Perry were
injured in 1978 in Philadelphia
when a fan threw a cherry bomb on stage. Their recording of
, Come Together, was climbing the charts at the time,
which came about six months after the release of their successful, Draw the
Line album. They would have to wait almost 10 years for their next
| Fleetwood Mac received a star on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1979.
It was also declared Fleetwood Mac Day in Los Angeles. The group had
released the Tusk album, and its title track featuring the USC Trojan
Marching Band (recorded live at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles), was making its
way into the top 10. Other singles from the double album eventually included
Sara, Not That Funny, Think About Me and Sisters of the
Moon. The album made it to number 1 in the U.S., but peaked at number 4 in
| It wasnt quite what director Harold Ramis
requested, but it was good enough to hit number 7 in 1980. Im Alright was the second top 10 solo
hit for Kenny Loggins, following Whenever I Call You Friend from
1978. Ramis actually wanted Pink Floyd to contribute to his new movie,
Caddyshack, starring Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Ted Knight and Rodney
Dangerfield. Instead, we heard Loggins begin a successful run of songs
written for movie soundtracks. He would later add Footloose, Danger
Zone (Top Gun), Meet Me Half Way (Over the Top) and Nobodys
Fool (Caddyshack II) to his list of soundtrack hits.
| Billy Joel hit number 57 in the U.K. in
1981 with his live album,
Songs in the Attic. It was the very first live LP recorded digitally,
and eventually made it to number 8 in the U.S. All of the songs were taken from
albums released before his smash, The Stranger. Songs in the Attic
is probably his best album, and contains such nuggets as Streetlife
Serenader, Say Goodbye to Hollywood, Captain Jack and
Ive Loved These Days.
| You Know What to Do by Carly Simon
stalled at number 83 in the U.S. in 1983. It was taken from the very underrated album,
Hello Big Man. Simons last top 10 hit had been Jesse
from 1980, and she would have to wait until 1987 to return to the top 20,
with Coming Around Again, after changing record labels. If you can find
Hello Big Man, its worth picking up.
| Love Bites by Def Leppard was number
1 in 1988. The song was the
fourth of six songs from the Hysteria album to enter the top 20, and was
their only number 1. Other singles included Animal, Hysteria,
Pour Some Sugar On Me, Armageddon It and
| James Taylor played to a soldout house in
1994, at the Civic Center in
Pensacola, Florida, just days after two of his albums from the 1980s,
Thats Why Im Here and Never Die Young, were both
certified platinum. Taylor was promoting his live album, James Taylor
Live, released the previous year. It was available in several formats,
first as a double CD package, then as a condensed single album and then the
single CD version was spread over two discs with CD Extra (multimedia)
| Peter Frampton released the long awaited
follow-up to his record-setting live album, when Frampton Comes Alive II
was issued in 1995. It was a
solid effort, built on songs like Lying, Waiting for Your Love,
Im In You, Cant Take That Away, More Ways Than One
and Off the Hook. Frampton Comes Alive II was far better than
his lacklustre live album five years later, Live in
| Elton John continued his public war of
words with Keith Richards in 1997, when he said that Richards is so
pathetic, poor thing. Its like a monkey with arthritis, trying to go on
stage and look young. This was the reply to The Rolling Stones
comment a few weeks earlier that Elton was reduced to writing
songs for dead blondes, after the incredible success of Candle in the
Wind 1997. It was the third time the song had been released as a single in
| It began back in 1917 when Charlie Chaplin
purchased the lot and turned it into a movie studio the following year. Years
later, in 1966 to be exact, Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss bought the
site and turned it into their A&M Records (A = Alpert and
M = Moss) headquarters and recording studios. But in 1999 this week, after the Universal Music
Group took over ownership, the A&M Studios were closed down. A&M
artists like Peter Frampton, The Carpenters, Chuck
Mangione, The Police and Styx had recorded there, but so did
outside groups like Yes, Chicago and Black
| Sony Music released one of the most ambitious
collections in music history in 1999
when Soundtrack for a Century was made available. The 26 CD set
spanned 100 years of music, and contained 547 songs, by such diverse artists as
Aerosmith, Bob Dylan, Ethel Merman, Johnny Horton,
Celine Dion, Will Smith, The Dixie Chicks, Al
Jolson, Louis Armstrong, Robert Johnson, Billie
Holiday, Tony Bennett, Simon and Garfunkel and many, many
others. Sony Music calls it The Greatest Story Ever Heard.
Separate, double CD sets taken from the collection were also made
|Al Martino (1927), Kevin Godley (10cc, 1945) and John Cougar Mellencamp
(1951) had their first
|Hamish Stuart (Average White Band) started
some Soul Searching in 1949.
|John Winston Lennon (1940), John Entwistle (The Who, 1944), Jackson Browne (1948) and Sean Ono Lennon (1975) first experienced Instant
|Midge Ure (1953) and David Lee Roth (1955) were born into Damn Good families.
|When it came to the deliveries of Dottie West
(1932) and Daryl Hall
(1948), the doctor Did It
in a Minute.
|Sam Moore (Sam & Dave, 1935) and Luciano Pavarotti
(1935) were each born a
|Paul Simon (1941), Sammy Hagar (1947) and John Ford Coley (1948) arrived Late in the Evening.
|Johnny Kidd died in a car accident in 1966.
||Barrie Wilson of Procol Harum died in
1990 after months in a coma. He
was only 43.
|Edith Piaf died in 1963 at the age of 47. Bruce Palmer (Buffalo
Springfield) died of a heart attack in 2004. He was 58.
|Gene Vincent died in 1971 from an ulcer hemorrhage. John Denver died in
a plane crash in 1997.
|Shirley Brickley of The Orlons was shot to
death in 1977. She was