On this day in music history: June 9, 1990 – “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also topping the Adult Contemporary chart for 1 week on May 26, 1990. Written by Glen Ballard, Chynna Phillips and Carnie Wilson, it is the first chart topping single for the pop vocal trio from Los Angeles, CA. Friends since early childhood, the members of Wilson Phillips are the daughters of pop music royalty. Chynna Phillips is the daughter of John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & The Papas, and Carnie and Wendy Wilson are the daughters of Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson. The girls grow up singing together, but don’t become serious about it until they are in their late teens. They form a group with Mama Cass Elliott’s daughter Owen, but when they find that the vocal blend between them doesn’t mesh, Elliott leaves the group and they are reduced to a trio once again. In the late 80’s, they meet record producer Richard Perry (Nilsson, The Pointer Sisters), a longtime friend of Chynna’s mother Michelle. He hears the girls sing and offer to record them. But when he wants to have them sing poppy dance oriented material, they turn down the offer to work with him. Still believing in their potential, Perry introduces them to songwriter and producer Glen Ballard, best known for co-writing “Man In The Mirror” for Michael Jackson and “All I Need” for Jack Wagner. Ballard and the girls hit it off immediately and begin writing songs. They cut a four song demo which includes the song “Hold On”. Initially Warner Bros shows interest in Wilson Phillips, but when the girls feel that the circumstances aren’t right, they instead sign with the newly formed SBK Records, founded by label and music publishing executives Charles Koppelman and Martin Bandier. Released as the first single from their self-titled debut album in March of 1990, “Hold On” takes off quickly. Entering the Hot 100 at #74 on March 17, 1990, it climbs to the top of the chart twelve weeks later. The single earns the group four Grammy nominations for Best New Artist, Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group, Song Of The Year, and Album Of The Year in 1991. Wilson Phillips perform “Hold On” in the 2011 comedy “Bridesmaids”. “Hold On” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
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