Author: BEHIND THE GROOVES: a music blog by Jeff Harris

On this day in music history: May 22, 1976 – &…

On this day in music history: May 22, 1976 – “Silly Love Songs” by Wings hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 5 weeks (non-consecutive), also topping the Adult Contemporary chart for 1 week on May 29, 1976. Written and produced by Paul McCartney, it is the fifth solo chart topper for the former Beatle. McCartney writes the song in response to critics who often chide him, feeling that his solo work is “lightweight” in comparison to his Beatles era material. Released on April 1, 1976, it is issued as the first single from Wings’ fifth studio album “Wings At The Speed Of Sound”, becoming an instant smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #58 on April 10, 1976, it leaps to the top of the singles chart just six weeks later. After one week on top, it is temporarily bumped from the top spot by Diana Ross’ “Love Hangover” for two weeks on May 29, 1976. The single then rebounds and returns to the top for four more weeks on June 12, 1976. McCartney re-records “Silly Love Songs” in a dramatically revamped version for the film “Give My Regards To Broad Street” in 1984, that features Brothers Johnson bassist Louis Johnson on bass. “Silly Love Songs” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: May 22, 1975 – “…

On this day in music history: May 22, 1975 – “Adventures In Paradise”, the third album by Minnie Riperton is released. Produced by Stewart Levine, Minnie Riperton and Richard Rudolph, it is recorded at Wally Heider 3 Studios in Los Angeles, CA from January – March 1975. Just as she is experiencing the breakthrough success of her second album “Perfect Angel” and the single “Lovin’ You” headed toward number one, Minnie Riperton begins working on the follow up album. With Stevie Wonder being pre-occupied with work on his magnum opus “Songs In The Key Of Life”, he is not able to co-produce with Riperton and her husband, musician Richard Rudolph. Instead, they work with Crusaders producer Stewart Levine on the new project. In between, Minnie meets singer and songwriter Leon Ware, while both are working on Quincy Jones’ “Mellow Madness” album. Hitting it off immediately, Ware, Riperton and Rudolph write three songs together for Minnie’s new album. Co-producer Levine assembles an outstanding team of first call musicians to play on the sessions including Crusaders keyboardist Joe Sample, saxophonist Tom Scott, Jim Gordon (drums), Dean Parks, Larry Carlton (guitar), Jim Horn (saxophone), and Dorothy Ashby (harp). Released right on the heels of “Perfect Angel”, the jazzy, soulful, and sensual album becomes a favorite of Riperton’s fans, though it is less commercially successful than its predecessor. It spins off two singles including the classic “Inside My Love” (#26 R&B, #76 Pop), which meets with resistance from numerous radio stations feeling that it is “too suggestive” for daytime radio play. “Paradise” becomes a cult classic and highly sought after album in later years when A Tribe Called Quest samples the track “Baby This Love I Have” as the basis of their iconic single “Check The Rhime” in 1991. Minnie’s original version of “Inside My Love” is featured on the soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino’s film “Jackie Brown” in 1997, while R&B singer Chante Moore covers the song for the “New York Undercover” soundtrack two years earlier in 1995. R&B vocalist Trina Broussard also covers “Inside” for the “Love Jones” soundtrack in 1997. Timbaland also samples “Baby This Love” for Aaliyah’s song “Heartbroken” in 1996. Shortly after the album is released, a TV spot recreating the cover shot is filmed. Using a different lion than the one used previously, it jumps on Riperton, but she is unhurt in the incident. “Adventures In Paradise” peaks at number five on the Billboard R&B album chart, and number eighteen on the Top 200.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: May 22, 1965 – &…

On this day in music history: May 22, 1965 – “I’ll Be Doggone” by Marvin Gaye hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #8 on the Hot 100 on May 15, 1965. Written by William “Smokey” Robinson, Warren “Pete” Moore and Marv Tarplin, it is the first R&B chart topper for Motown superstar. After working mostly with Mickey Stevenson or Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier, Marvin Gaye is paired with Smokey Robinson for the first time in early 1965. Miracles guitarist Marv Tarplin comes up with the basic structure of the song including its hook, while Robinson and Moore write the lyrics. The track is cut at Motown’s Studio A in Detroit on January 21, 1965, and features The Funk Brothers playing on the rhythm track. Gaye record his vocals four days after the initial tracking session on January 25, 1965, with The Miracles themselves providing the background vocals along with Motown’s in-house background vocal group The Andantes. The strings, provided by members of the Detroit Symphony are overdubbed on January 29, 1965. Released on February 26, 1965, it quickly rises up the R&B and pop singles charts. “I’ll Be Doggone” is Marvin Gaye’s first million selling single and the first of thirteen R&B chart toppers he has over the next eighteen years.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: May 22, 1965 – &…

On this day in music history: May 22, 1965 – “Ticket To Ride” by The Beatles hits #1 on the Hot 100 for 1 week. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it is the eighth number one single in the US for “The Fab Four”. Written primarily by John Lennon, the song carries a dual meaning. In part, it is a play on the phrase “ticket to Ryde”, meaning a British Railways ticket to the town of Ryde on the Isle Of Wight in England. Lennon also makes it a sly reference to The Beatles days of performing in Hamburg, Germany. In this case, the “tickets” being cards carried by prostitutes indicating they had been given a clean bill of health, with “ride or riding” being a euphemism for sexual intercourse. The track is recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London on February 15, 1965, and features Paul McCartney playing lead guitar on a Beatles single for the first time. McCartney is also instrumental in arranging the songs unique rhythm pattern, suggesting it to Ringo Starr. Released on April 9, 1965, it is the first release from the bands second film “Help!”, set to be released in July. However, when the record is released in the US, Capitol Records erroneously lists on the label that the song is from the film “Eight Arms To Hold You” which is the original working title of the film while it is in production. The single is also backed with the initially non-LP B-side “Yes It Is”, recorded the day after “Ride” on February 16, 1965. The song is added to the US album “Beatles VI” in June of 1965, though in the UK it does not surface on an album until the release of the compilation “Love Songs” in 1977. Entering the Hot 100 at #59 on April 24, 1965, “Ticket To Ride” streaks to the top of the chart four weeks later. “Ticket To Ride” is covered by The Carpenters on their 1969 debut album “Offering”, and becomes their first chart single.  The album is re-titled “Ticket To Ride” in late 1970 after the group makes their breakthrough with the single “(They Long To Be) Close To You”. The original Capitol US 45 release is reissued in 2011 as part of a promotion through retail chain Target, in tandem with the remastered reissue of the compilation “Beatles 1”. The limited edition box contains a replica of the 45 and picture sleeve, and a T-shirt.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: May 22, 1961 – &…

On this day in music history: May 22, 1961 – “Mother-In-Law” by Ernie K. Doe hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also topping the R&B singles chart for 5 weeks on April 24, 1961. Written and produced by Allen Toussaint, it is the biggest hit for the New Orleans born and raised singer. Doe (real name Ernest Kador, Jr.) actually rescues the song from the trash after Toussaint throws it away, feeling that it isn’t any good. The song is especially relatable to the singer since he is having problems with his own mother in law at the time. “Mother-In-Law” features fellow New Orleans R&B singer Benny Spellman (“Fortune Teller”, “Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)”) singing the deep bass vocals on the track, and Allen Toussaint playing piano. Entering the Hot 100 at #55 on March 27, 1961, it climbs to the top of the chart eight weeks later. “Mother-In-Law” is Ernie K. Doe’s only major hit, only scoring one more chart entry with “Popeye Joe” (#99 Pop) in January of 1962.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: May 22, 1958 – M…

On this day in music history: May 22, 1958 – Musician Jerry Lee Lewis arrives in London to play a twenty seven date tour of the UK. While meeting the press at Heathrow Airport, a reporter from The Daily Mail asks a young girl with the entourage who she is, and replies “I’m Myra, Jerry’s wife”. The girl in question is Myra Gale Brown, the daughter of Lewis’ bass player Jay Brown. Not only do the press find out that Myra is Lewis’ thirteen year old first cousin (once removed), but that when the then twenty two year old musician had married her five months earlier (in December of 1957), while he was still legally married to his second wife. A immediate media firestorm erupts as a result of this discovery. When Lewis tries to continue the tour, his concerts are greeted with sparse attendance, and by boos and catcalls from the people who do show up. After less than a week, the remainder of the tour is cancelled and Lewis returns home to the US. By this time, news about the British media’s discovery has spread to the US press. Jerry Lee Lewis is almost completely blacklisted by American radio and television as a result of the news. Overnight, Lewis goes from playing top venues commanding up to $10,000 a night, to playing small clubs and bars for as little as $250 a night. The musician’s career never fully recovers from the scandal. Lewis and Brown have two children, a son (Steve Allen) and a daughter (Phoebe Allen). Their son drowns in the family swimming pool in in 1962 at the age of three. Jerry and Myra remain married for thirteen years before divorcing in December of 1970.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

Born on this day: May 21, 1972 – Rap music leg…

Born on this day: May 21, 1972 – Rap music legend The Notorious B.I.G. (born Christopher George Latore Wallace in New York City, NY). Happy Birthday to this Hip Hop icon on what would have been his 47th Birthday.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: May 21, 1988 – &…

On this day in music history: May 21, 1988 – “Mercedes Boy” by Pebbles hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #2 on the Hot 100 on July 9, 1988. Written by Pebbles, it is the second consecutive R&B chart topper from the Oakland, CA born and raised singer (birth name: Perri Arnette McKissack). Having previously worked as a background singer (as a teenager) for Bay Area based bands Con Funk Shun and Bill Summers & Summers Heat, Pebbles gets her big break as a solo artist when KSOL program director Marvin Robinson introduces the singer to MCA Records black music executives Jheryl Busby and Louil Silas, Jr, who immediately sign her to the label. Pebbles writes the song about a guy that she meets and falls in love with while in high school. Both are dating other people at the time, and maintain only a platonic friendship. Referring to him as her “Mercedes Boy” comes from the fact that both of them own and drive the German luxury automobile. However, the two will not get together until five years after first meeting each other. Once she is signed to MCA, Gap Band lead vocalist Charlie Wilson is paired with Pebbles to produce “Mercedes Boy”. Issued as the follow up to her debut smash “Girlfriend” (#1 R&B, #5 Pop) in April of 1988, “Mercedes Boy” follows a similar trajectory up the pop and R&B singles charts. The success of the single drives her debut album “Pebbles” to Platinum status in the US.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: May 21, 1983 – &…

On this day in music history: May 21, 1983 – “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also topping the Club Play chart for 2 weeks on April 30, 1983, and peaking at #14 on the R&B singles chart on May 28, 1983. Written by David Bowie, it is the second US chart topper for the British rock icon. Newly signed to a worldwide record deal with EMI Records in 1982 worth over $10 million, David Bowie collaborates with musician Nile Rodgers of Chic on his first album with the label. Before the recording sessions begin, Bowie plays Rodgers a number of new songs he has written including one titled “Let’s Dance”. Originally written on a 12-string acoustic guitar, Bowie’s original arrangement bares almost no resemblance to what it becomes. Rodgers takes the folk-rock acoustic based song, and transforms it into a funky, uptempo dance rock song. Recorded at The Power Station in New York City in December of 1982, “Let’s Dance” along with the rest of the accompanying album is recorded in under three weeks. “Dance” features most of the core rhythm section of Chic including Tony Thompson (drums), Rob Sabino (keyboards), Sammy Figueroa (percussion) and Rodgers himself (guitar) as well as Carmine Rojas (bass), and a then little known blues guitarist named Stevie Ray Vaughan providing the stinging lead guitar on the track. The title track from David Bowie’s fifteenth studio album, it is released in March of 1983 and is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #59 on March 26, 1983, it  climbs to the top of the chart eight weeks later. The single also tops the chart in the UK, becoming his third chart topper in his home country. “Dance” not only become Bowie’s biggest single and album, but also introduces him to a new audience, winning him a new generation of fans. The song is accompanied by a music video directed by long time collaborator David Mallet, shot in Sydney, Australia in early 1983. To commemorate the thirty fifth anniversary, the original demo recording of “Let’s Dance” is released digitally on January 8, 2018, Bowie’s 71st birthday. The complete version along with a live recording from the “Serious Moonlight Tour”, is released as a limited edition 12" single for Record Store Day on April 21, 2018. “Let’s Dance” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: May 21, 1982 – &…

On this day in music history: May 21, 1982 – “Jeffrey Osborne”, the debut solo album by Jeffrey Osborne is released. Produced by George Duke, it is recorded at Le Gonks West Studios in West Hollywood, CA, Westlake Audio in Los Angeles, CA, A&M Studios in Hollywood, CA, George Massenburg Studios in West Los Angeles, CA and Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA from November 1981 – March 1982. After spending ten years as the drummer, then lead singer of R&B/Funk band L.T.D., Jeffrey Osborne leaves the band in late 1980 for a solo career. Remaining with A&M Records, the singer takes his time selecting the right producer for his first solo album. Osborne chooses to work with musician George Duke, who surrounds the singer with an exemplary group of the best studio musicians in L.A. including Brothers Johnson bassist Louis Johnson, former Average White Band drummer Steve Ferrone, Larry Graham, Abraham Laboriel (bass), David T. Walker, Charles Fearing, Michael Sembello (guitar), George Duke, John Barnes (keyboards), Jerry Hey, Gary Grant, Lou McCreary, Larry Williams (horns), Lynn Davis (background vocals) and Paulinho Da Costa (percussion). Osborne also writes or co-writes eight of the albums ten songs. The sessions are highly productive, marking the beginning of a successful collaboration between Jeffrey Osborne and George Duke, which lasts over the course of four albums. Osborne’s debut release spins off three singles including “I Really Don’t Need No Light” (#3 R&B, #39 Pop), “On The Wings Of Love” (#13 R&B, #29 Pop) and “Eenie Meenie” (#76 Pop). “Jeffrey Osborne” peaks at number three on the Billboard R&B album chart, and number forty nine on the Top 200.