Today in Music History July 31

1955 Elvis Presley plays 3 shows in Tampa FL to a crowd of 14,000.  A riot broke out after fans took him up on his joking offer to see him backstage after the show, chasing him into his dressing room and tearing off his clothes.  A photo from the show was used as the cover of his first RCA album in 1956.

Elvis Presley Special Edition FTD CD

 

1958 So You Say Its Your Birthday! Bill Berry, drummer for the pioneering American alt rock band R.E.M. Berry suffered a brain aneurysm on stage in 1995 that was successfully treated, and quit the band in 1997 only after getting his bandmates’ commitment to continue the band without him.

Image result for bill berry rem

 

1968, Tommy James and The Shondells go to #1 on the UK charts with the garage rock classic ‘Mony Mony‘. The title was inspired after Tommy James, stuck for a title for his new song, went to the terrace of his Manhattan apartment and looked out and saw the “M.O.N.Y.” sign atop the Mutual of New York Building across the way.

 

2012 Bruce Springsteen, playing the Helsinki Olympiastadionin Finland at the European finale of his Wrecking Ball tour, plays his longest show ever, clocking in at 33 songs and 4 hours and 6 minutes (and that doesn’t include a 5 song acoustic pre-set before the E St. Band comes on!)  That’s right kiddies, 4 hours plus!  That’s why he’s called the Boss. For more on the show, check out this review.

 

Sources: This Day in Music.com, Wikipedia, ElvisPresleyPhotos.com, Backstreets.com

Today in Music History July 30

1954 Elvis Presley, in his first live concert appearance, appears on the show Hillbilly Hoedown, opening for Slim Whitman.  According to reports, Elvis was so nervous that he stood on the balls of his feet and shook his leg in time to the music.  After he came offstage, he wanted to know why the audience was yelling at him.  They were reacting to the leg shaking, and a signature move was born.

July 30, 1954 advertisement in the Memphis Press Scimitar

1955, Johnny Cash begins recording ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ at Sun Recording Studio in Memphis.  The song was inspired by a movie about the prison that Cash had seen while serving in the US Air Force in West Germany.

 

1966, The Troggs cover of ‘Wild Thing’ starts a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart.  Interestingly, the same song had been released by an American band, The Wild Ones, a year earlier but failed to make the charts.

 

2003 Sam Phillips, the founder of Sun Records and Sun Recording Studio, dies of respiratory failure in Memphis, Tennessee. Phillips discovered Elvis Presley, and worked with other legends of rock and roll, including Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, as well as Ike Turner and blues legend B.B. King.

Image result for sam phillips

 
Source: This Day in Music.com, Wikipedia, YouTube, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Elvis Presley Music

 

 

Worst songs ever _mikes list

Ok we’ll start with the admission that we can be snobs when it comes to music. With that in mind , Paul and I decided to compile a list of some of the worst songs ever .  I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder so our apologies if we offend anyone. Feel free to offer additions (or defenses) if you choose.  Mike’s requirements for his list:

  • the song needs to have been at least a modest hit
  • done by an established artist (people who should know better)
  • no 1 off novelty songs
  • extra credit for bad songs from artists who’ve done otherwise good work
  • no Christmas songs. That’s a special list we’ll do in December

 

I start with a twofer because these two bands are the same band.  The level of “look how sensitive I am” is staggering. Creed is sensitive in the “I’m spiritual but not religious” kind of way.  Nickelback  is sensitive in a “high school jock who just got high for the first time” kind of way.

 

 

This bit of lyrical magic should explain the inclusion of this hit should explain its inclusion

           “And I try

        oh my God,

 do I try!

Try all the time

in this institution”

Starship is like a great TV show where they kill off your favorite characters, the main writer quits and the Network CEO’s screwup nephew gets to write, direct and star in an episode.   80’s Schlock at its best

Special mention for bad duets. Incredible because this one includes two first ballot rock and roll Hall of Famers.

*Extra credit for this lyric video which tells us who is singing which lyrics (because no-one can tell the difference between their voices) and manages to spell Michael wrong  EVERY SINGLE TIME.

The first song I thought of when started to make this list. Exemplifies everything about what was ,ummm ,  not so good about a lot of 80s music.

 

If music video is supposed to bring the artist’s vision from audio to the visual world, I’d hate to see what else was going on in Dennis DeYoung’s brain when he wrote this song for Styx.

 

I. CAN’T. EVEN.

Where to start. 80s pseudo- metal hair bands could fill this list but I’ll choose this representative gem from Warrant. The lyrics, if you choose to pay attention, have what I think is supposed to be sexual innuendo ( as envisioned by horny 9th grade boys)

 

In the “I can’t , I won’t and you can’t ” category we have…..

 

I’m riding Paul’s coattails on this one with the Grammy screw ups…….. but uggh….. this one annoys me.

Chris Cross won best new artist  in 1981 at the Grammys over the Pretenders, Best Album, over The Wall by Pink Floyd, Billy Joel and Frank Sinatra, Best Record over New York, New York by Sinatra

*(oh and by the way , the Clash released London Calling that year. “Why theGrammys Suck” , could be a future column. Stay tuned.)

 

Billy RayCyrus should be on this list if only for owning some responsibility for popularizing the mullet.