1944 Today is the birthday of Bobbie Gentry, US singer and songwriter, whose song ‘Ode to Billie Joe‘ came out of nowhere in 1967 and knocked the Beatles (All You Need is Love) out of the #1 spot on the US singles chart. She was one of the first female country artists to compose and produce her own material. ‘Ode to Billie Joe’s Southern gothic story line left listeners with a mystery – what was thrown off the Tallahatchie Bridge and who was with Billie Joe. The song was Gentry’s only hit. For more on the song and the artist, check out this Rolling Stone story.
1974 Paul McCartney‘s post-Beatles group Wings started a seven-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with Band On The Run. The two singles off the album, ‘Jet’, and ‘Band on the Run’ helped the album become one of the top selling albums of 1974.
1976 Bruce Springsteen sued his manager Mike Appel for fraud and breach of trust in a attempt to get out of his contract with Appel’s Laurel Canyon Ltd. Appel in turn counter sued Springsteen, leading a judge to issue an injunction against Springsteen being able to record. Coming on the heels of the success of Born to Run, this was potentially disastrous for Springsteen’s career. The case dragged on for over 10 months, resulting the year after in an out of court settlement giving Springsteen control of his recordings and career. But Springsteen’s next album, Darkness on the Edge of Town, wasn’t released until 1978, and showcased a much different writing style than Born to Run. Gone were the sweeping musical and lyrical epics, replaced with tighter, sparer, grittier character portraits.
Sources: This Day in Music.com; Wikipedia.
The West Coast Feed are a Seattle band who describe themselves as swagger rock/soul at the intersection of Memphis, Muscle Shoals, and New Orleans. Guitars, bass, drums, horns, and a violin. This is their debut single. Keep an eye out for them.
An old one but pretty apropos for the times we live in.
1943 So You Say Its Your Birthday!: Mick Jagger, lead singer of The Rolling Stones. The man, the entertainer, the legend, the rock god.
1975 Van McCoy and the Soul City go to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘The Hustle’, one of several massive disco hits during this time period
1986, Peter Gabriel goes to No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Sledgehammer’,. off his massively successful album So. Almost as well known is the video for the song, which is the most played music video in the history of MTV.
raw, rootsy straight ahead rock and roll. No artificial flavoring.
Jade Bird is a 20 year old British artist whose songs fit squarely in the Americana genre. This new song doesn’t quite fit that genre, but is great nonetheless.
1958 So You Say Its Your Birthday: Thurston Moore, American singer and guitarist with the noise rock band Sonic Youth. Moore is known for his innovative guitar techniques, including unorthodox guitar tunings and guitar preparing techniques.
1960 ‘Only the Lonely,’ Roy Orbison’s first hit, reachs No.2 on the US singles chart. The song had been offered to both The Everly Brothers and Elvis Presley, who both turned it down, so Orbison recorded it himself. The clip below is from the classic A Black and White Night concert – see if you can spot all the music legends in Roy’s backing band.
1965 Bob Dylan headlines the The Newport Folk Festival and plays a plugged in set with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band that includes his new song ‘Like a Rolling Stone.’ Reaction was mixed with some folk music fans outraged while others in the audience cheered. One writer noted that he had “electrified one half of his audience, and electrocuted the other”. The moment signifies Dylan’s movement away from folk and toward more rock influences.
1980 AC/DC release Back In Black, their tribute Bon Scott, their former lead singer who had died in February of 1980. Brian Johnson stepped into the lead vocalist role, and the album went on to become the second highest selling album of all time.
Sources: This Day in Music.com, Wikipedia, HistoryPod.com