Category: 60’s

Born on this day: July 17, 1928 – Jazz pianist…

Born on this day: July 17, 1928 – Jazz pianist and composer Vince Guaraldi (born Vincent Anthony Guaraldi in San Francisco, CA). Happy Birthday to this jazz music icon on what would have been his 91st 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: July 17, 1968 – …

On this day in music history: July 17, 1968 – The Beatles third film “Yellow Submarine” has its world premiere at the London Pavillion Theater in London. Directed by George Dunning and written by Lee Minoff, Al Brodax, Jack Mendelsohn, and Erich Segal (“Love Story”), the animated feature is a joint venture between King Features Syndicate, United Artists Pictures and The Beatles company Apple Corps. The band contribute four new songs to the films soundtrack (in addition to eleven previously released songs) is not released until January of 1969. The films US release does not take place until November 13, 1968. “Yellow Submarine” is well received upon its release, and is regarded as a classic today. When The Beatles company Apple Corps regains ownership of “Yellow Submarine”, the film undergoes a major restoration in 1999 and is released on DVD for the first time. It is digitally enhanced and receives further restoration work before it is reissued a second time on DVD, and on Blu-Ray for the first time in 2012. To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the film is re-released for a brief theatrical run in various major cities. Apple Records also releases a limited edition 7″ picture disc of “Yellow Submarine” b/w “Eleanor Rigby” on July 6, 2018.

On this day in music history: July 17, 1967 – …

On this day in music history: July 17, 1967 – “With A Lot O’ Soul”, the fifth studio album by The Temptations is released. Produced by Norman Whitfield, Smokey Robinson, Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Frank Wilson and Ivy Jo Hunter, it is recorded at Motown Studio A in Detroit, MI from Fall 1966 – Spring 1967. Released during the period when the legendary Motown vocal group is reaching the peak of their commercial success, the album is the most successful of the groups’ “Classic 5” era line up. It spins off four hit singles including the top 10 hits “(I Know) I’m Losing You (#1 R&B, #8 Pop), "All I Need (#2 R&B, #8 Pop), ”(Loneliness Made Me Realize) It’s You That I Need" (#3 R&B, #14 Pop), and “You’re My Everything” (#3 R&B, #6 Pop). Over the years, outtakes from the sessions that produce this album surface on compilations such as The Temptations “Emperors Of Soul” box set in 1994, and “Lost and Found: You’ve Got To Earn It (1962-1968)” in 1999. The album is remastered and reissued in 1998 with the original cover artwork restored. “With A Lot O’ Soul” spends one week at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, and peaking at number seven 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: July 16, 1966 – …

On this day in music history: July 16, 1966 – The legendary rock band Cream officially forms in London, UK. Drummer Ginger Baker asks guitarist Eric Clapton to join his new group after seeing him play with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Clapton agrees to join only if Baker hires his former band mate bassist Jack Bruce. Baker and Bruce were known to have had a very volatile relationship, having had on stage fist fights (in their previous band Powerhouse) with Baker even pulling a knife on Bruce, which drives him out of that band. The two put their differences aside when they realize the immediate chemistry between the three when they play together. The band play their first gig thirteen days later at The Twisted Wheel in Manchester. Within a couple of weeks, Cream enter the recording studio to begin work on their debut album “Fresh Cream” which is released in December of 1966 in the UK, and January of 1967 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: July 16, 1966 – …

On this day in music history: July 16, 1966 – “Hanky Panky" by Tommy James & The Shondells hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, it is the first chart topping single for the Michigan based garage rock band fronted by lead singer Tommy James. The song is originally recorded in 1963 by songwriters Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich under the name The Raindrops, writing it in only twenty minutes when they need a B-side for another song they’ve recorded. The song is also recorded by the girl group The Summits on Harmon Records in late 1963. Tommy James and his band record their own version of the song the same year, and is released on Snap Records in the bands hometown of Niles, MI in February of 1964. The record becomes a minor regional hit in Michigan and the surrounding area before it is forgotten about. In late 1965, DJ “Mad Mike" Metro at WZUM in Pittsburgh, PA rediscovers the nearly two year old record and begins playing it on air, regenerating interest in the song. Someone bootlegs over 80,000 copies of the single and begin selling it in local record stores. With the original Shondells having broken up, James travels to Pittsburgh, to make appearances to promote the record. While there, he finds the local band The Raconteurs, who are hired to become the new Shondells. The buzz created by the sudden revival of the single encourages James to sell the master to Roulette Records, who pick it up for national release. Entering the Hot 100 at #78 on June 4, 1966, it rockets to the top of the chart six weeks later, succeeding The Beatles’ “Paperback Writer”. “Hanky Panky” is the first of seven top ten and thirteen top 40 singles that the band enjoys over the next three and a half years. The song is later featured in the film and soundtrack for “Forrest Gump” in 1994. “Hanky Panky" 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: July 15, 1967 – …

On this day in music history: July 15, 1967 – “I Was Made To Love Her” by Stevie Wonder hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 4 weeks (non-consecutive), also peaking at #2 on the Hot 100 on July 29, 1967. Written by Henry Cosby, Lula Mae Hardaway, Sylvia Moy and Stevie Wonder, it is the third R&B chart topper for the then seventeen year old Motown star. Staff producer and songwriter Sylvia Moy comes up with the initial idea for the song, drawing upon her own family background while growing up in Arkansas. Moy collaborates with producer/songwriter Henry “Hank” Cosby along with Stevie Wonder and his mother Lula who also contributes lyrics and melody lines to the song. The track is cut at Motown Studio A in Detroit on March 11, 1967 with The Funk Brothers providing the instrumental backing. The strings (played by members of the Detroit Symphony) are added on March 21, 1967 with Wonder recording his lead vocal on March 30, 1967. The background vocals are recorded on March 31, 1967. Released in May of 1967 after a number of mid charting singles on the pop charts, it fully restores Wonder to commercial prominence, becoming his first million selling single since “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” a year and a half before. “I Was Made To Love Her” is also covered numerous times by various artists including The Beach Boys, Boyz II Men, The Jackson 5, and Michael McDonald. Chaka Khan and Whitney Houston record their own versions as “I Was Made To Love Him” in 1978 and 1998 respectively.

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: July 14, 1967 – …

On this day in music history: July 14, 1967 – “Bee Gees 1st”, the US debut album by the Bee Gees is released. Produced by Robert Stigwood and Ossie Byrne, it is recorded at IBC Studios in London from March 7 – April 14, 1967. Following their breakthrough success with their twelfth single release “Spicks And Specks” (#3 AUS Pop) in Australia in late 1966, The brothers father Hugh sends demo tapes of their work to The Beatles manager Brian Epstein. Epstein passes the tapes on to Robert Stigwood (Cream), who invite the band to come to England in February of 1967 to audition for him. Impressed by what he hears, Stigwood becomes the bands manager, with the Bee Gees moving back to their native UK. He secures them recording contracts with Polydor Records in the UK and Atlantic Records subsidiary Atco in the US. The album is actually the third full length release by the band, but is their first to be released internationally. It spins off three singles including “New York Mining Disaster 1941” (#14 Pop), and “To Love Somebody” (#17 Pop) the latter of which is originally intended for Otis Redding. The albums’ cover is designed by artist and musician Klaus Voorman. The album is remastered and reissued in 2006 as a two CD set featuring the original mono and stereo mixes, along with unreleased tracks from the sessions and early takes. “Bee Gees 1st” peaks at number seven on the Billboard 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: July 13, 1964 – …

On this day in music history: July 13, 1964 – “Because” by The Dave Clark Five is released. Written by Dave Clark, it is the eighth single release for the pop/rock band from Tottenham, London, UK. Breaking through in the US at the beginning of 1964, The Dave Clark Five score four million selling singles in a row during the first half of the year. After successive up tempo hits, the band decide to try something different to diversify their sound. Drummer and bandleader Dave Clark pens the ballad “Because”, with the specific intent of it becoming a single. Complimented with beautiful chord changes and highlighted by the band’s flawless harmony vocals, it is a stand out from the beginning. Recorded during the same period as “Can’t You See That She’s Mine”, it is first released in the UK as the B-side of “Can’t You See” in May of 1964. The DC5’s British label EMI Records talk Dave out of making “Because” an A-side, since it diverts from the band’s highly successful up tempo singles. When both songs end up receiving airplay and with “Because” uneligible to chart on the UK singles chart, “Can’t You See That She’s Mine” barely cracks the UK top ten (#10 UK). Vowing not to let it happen again, Clark tells their US label Epic Records that “Because” must be issued as an A-side. Initially, the US label executives try to dissuade the musician from putting out the gentle romantic ballad. They tell him, “You’ve got 48 hours to reconsider, and this will ruin your career”. As an independent producer, Dave Clark has firm control over the band’s music, including determining what songs are issued as singles. “Because” is released as the musician intended, and instead of being a flop as predicted by Epic, it becomes their highest charting single to date. Entering the Billboard Hot 100 at #60 on August 1, 1964, it rockets up the chart rapidly, peaking at #3 six weeks later on September 12, 1964. “Because” becomes one of The Dave Clark Five’s most popular and beloved songs. The song is covered by The Supremes, Ray Conniff, and by Julian Lennon on the soundtrack to Dave Clark’s musical “Time” in 1985.

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: July 12, 1965 – …

On this day in music history: July 12, 1965 – “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers is released. Written by Hy Zaret and Alex North, it is the eleventh single release for the pop/blue eyed soul vocal duo from Los Angeles, CA. Written in 1955 by lyricist Hy Zaret and film score composer Alex North (“A Streetcar Named Desire”, “The Rainmaker”, “Spartacus”) for the prison drama “Unchained”, the original version of “Unchained Melody” is sung by Todd Duncan in the film. It becomes an instant hit, through numerous cover versions cut after “Unchained” is released. Les Baxter, Al Hibbler and Roy Hamilton all score major hits with their renditions in 1955. Fast forward a decade later, The Righteous Brothers  are in the middle of a major hit streak, begun that February when “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” hits number one. While working the follow up album, Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield agree to record “Unchained Melody” for the new record. In spite of singing together as a duo, they mutually agree to record one solo vocal each per album. They flip a coin to decide who will sing it with Hatfield winning the coin toss. Using Roy Hamilton’s epic version as the template for theirs, the track is recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood, CA, with members of The Wrecking Crew on March 2, 1965. Though producer Phil Spector is co-credited on the released record, “Melody” is produced by Bill Medley alone. “Unchained Melody” is initially released as the B-side of “Hung On You”, written by Spector, Carole King and Gerry Goffin. DJ’s response to “Hung On You” is lukewarm and the song stalls at #47 on the Hot 100. Flipping the single, radio begins playing “Unchained Melody” instead and rockets up charts. Entering the Hot 100 at #72 July 17, 1965, it peaks at #4 on August 28, 1965. An instant classic, it becomes one The Righteous Brothers most popular songs. “Unchained Melody” becomes a surprise hit again, twenty five years after its original release when it is prominently featured in the box office smash “Ghost” in 1990. Verve Records re-releases the original version due to overwhelming popular demand, but only as a 7" vinyl single in the US, in an effort to encourage to fans to purchase a newly compiled Greatest Hits package released on CD. In the wake of the songs sudden resurgence in popularity, The Righteous Brothers release a newly re-recorded version of “Unchained Melody” on Curb Records. Filling the gap left by Verve not releasing a cassette or CD single of the original recording, the Curb version competes with the original, with the cover peaking at #19 on the Hot 100, turning Platinum and receiving a Grammy nomination in 1991. In spite of the original recording not being made widely available as a single, it still wins the chart race, peaking at #13 on the Hot 100 on October 20, 1990. The Righteous Brothers’ 1965 recording of “Unchained Melody” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2000.

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: July 12, 1965 – …

On this day in music history: July 12, 1965 – “It Ain’t Me Babe” by The Turtles is released. Written by Bob Dylan, it is the debut single release for the pop/rock band from Los Angeles, CA. Originally formed in early 1965 its members are attending Westchester High School in L.A., the band consists of Howard Kaylan (nee Kaplan) (lead vocals), Mark Volman (background vocals), Al Nichol (lead guitar, keyboards), Chuck Portz (bass), Don Murray (drums) and Jim Tucker (guitar). Initially a surf rock band calling themselves The Crossfires, they quickly develop a following. While playing their weekly gig at The Revelaire club in Redondo Beach co-owned by KFWB and KEWB DJ Reb Foster, The Crossfires are approached by two entrepreneurs and ask if they want to make a record. Jumping at the chance, the band change their the sound from surf rock to folk rock, influenced by fellow L.A. contemporaries The Byrds who have helped popularize the genre. The band also change their name to The Tyrtles, as a play on the spelling of The Byrds, but quickly amend it to the regular spelling “The Turtles”. While searching for songs to record at their first session, Kaylan hits upon the idea of covering Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe”. A track from Dylan’s fourth album “Another Side Of Bob Dylan”, released the previous year, and with The Byrds then racing up the charts with their first big hit, a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man”, The Turtles create their own arrangement of “Babe”. Recorded at United Recording Studios in Hollywood, CA in June of 1965, the single is released just a few weeks later by White Whale Records. “It Ain’t Me Babe” becomes a smash on local radio in Los Angeles, and quickly hits nationally. Entering the Hot 100 at #76 on August 7, 1965, it peaks at #8 on September 18, 1965, launching The Turtles career, and becoming the first of five top ten, and nine top 40 hits the band have over the next four years.

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