Saturday, March 26, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: March 27

1958: CBS announced the invention of stereophonic records.  The new discs could be played on existing record players, but when played on new stereo players, the listener could hear a much richer and fuller sound.

1961:  Every once in a while, OK, once in a "Blue Moon", a song comes around as good as this one--the Marcels jumped from 21 to 6 on this date.
964:  The Beatles owned the top six positions on the Australian Pop chart.
1965:  Jr. Walker & the All-Stars were at the top of the R&B chart for a third week with "Shotgun".
1965:  Roger Miller dominated the Adult chart for the seventh week with "King Of The Road".

1965:  Petula Clark shouted "I Know a Place" and she was in a hurry to get there, vaulting from #94 to #50.

1965:  The Supremes landed their fourth #1 song in the U.S. with "Stop!  In The Name of Love".
1966:  On a tour of the U.K., Roy Orbison fell off a motorcycle, fracturing his foot.  Orbison had to play the remaining dates while sitting on a stool.
1967:  The Young Rascals recorded "Groovin'".

Top Track: "Sunday Bloody Sunday" by U2

We go back to 1983 long before U2 became superstars  This song is featured on their album War:

Friday, March 25, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: March 26

1955:  Johnny Ace was still cooking with the #1 R&B song--"Pledging My Love" was there for a ninth week.
1956:  Elvis Presley had a screen test for the first of three days at Paramount Studios in Hollywood.  Presley performed two scenes from The Rainmaker(Note:  several websites report that the test was on April 1.  They're fooling you.  According to the books 'Elvis Presley:  194 Success Facts -Everything you Need to Know about Elvis Presley' by Helen French and 'Elvis Presley:  The King of Rock 'n' Roll' by Jean-Pierre Hornbach, as well as numerous other credible sources, Presley did his screen tests on March 26-28.) 

1956: Kay Starr had the #1 song in both the United States and the U.K. with "Rock And Roll Waltz".
1957: Ricky Nelson recorded his first songs.
1960: The television special Welcome Home Elvis, hosted by Frank Sinatra, was recorded at Miami Beach, Florida. Elvis Presley had recently been discharged from active duty in the United States Army. Presley and Sinatra sang duets of "Love Me Tender" and "Witchcraft". 

1961: The Beatles performed at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England, before driving to Hamburg, Germany to begin a second residency.

Clarifying the Rock Era Record for Longest-Held Note for a Hit Song

On the song "Woman In Love" by Barbra Streisand, Barbra holds a note for 11.1 seconds while singing the line:  "I stumble and fall/but I give you it all" (holding the word "all" for that duration). In an edition of American Top 40 in 1980, it was said that this was the longest unaltered note held by a soloist in a #1 song.  

However, this was corrected a few weeks later as at the time, "All Out Of Love" by Air Supply (16.2 seconds on the final note)

and "Dim All The Lights" by Donna Summer (16 seconds) had longer notes held.

But Streisand in fact held the record at this time for her singing on a duet with Summer, "Enough Is Enough (No More Tears)", holding the note "tears" at about the 1:44 mark for 16.3 seconds.  

In the Wikipedia article on "Woman In Love", it was claimed that "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers was another #1 song in which Withers held a note longer than Streisand.  "Lovely Day" was not near a #1 song; it peaked at #30 in 1978, so I went in and edited that page to correct that error.  

Withers did hold the record at the time for the longest-held note for a Billboard Hot 100 song.  Several times during the song, Withers held the note "day" for 10 seconds, but at about the 3:05 mark, Withers held the note "day" for 18.3 seconds.

All records for #1 songs, Top 10 songs and Hot 100 songs were shattered by Freddy Curci, lead singer of Sheriff on "When I'm With You", originally released in 1983 and re-released in 1988.  It was in that latter year that the song went to #1.  Curci began the last note "you" at the 3:19 mark before settling on the final note at 3:26, which he held for 19.4 seconds before the end of the song.

Some people claim that Axl Rose holds the mark for the song "Don't Cry".  While Rose does indeed hold guttural sounds for about 28 seconds on the final word of "cry" in the song, he only holds the same note for 7.7 seconds.

Ed Ames, on the song "My Cup Runneth Over" was no doubt one of the leaders before the singers mentioned above.  Beginning at the :45 mark, Ames held the note "love" for 11.2 seconds.  Ames repeats the note at the 1:20 mark, this time exceeding the length by holding the note for 11.5 seconds.  Then at the 2:19 mark, he holds the same note for 14.9 seconds.

Some people claim that Whitney Houston broke the record for her all-time classic "I Will Always Love You".  She holds the last word "you" for 11.6 seconds, but that time includes three separate notes.

Jeff Buckley, for his song "Hallelujah", begins the word "hallelujah" at 6:09 and holds the note "lu" for 21.70 seconds, but only 17.85 seconds are for one sustained note.  All told, Buckley sings the word for 24 seconds.

Cyndi Lauper holds the note "end" at the 3:30 mark of "All Through The Night" for 12 seconds.  Lauper, at the 4:28 mark of "Money Changes Everything" holds the last note of "money" for 10.5 seconds.

Ethel Merman, in the duet "Anything You Can Do", sings the word "I" at the 1:45 mark for 9.25 seconds.

It should be noted that these records reflect notes held in hit songs.  Several opera singers have held notes longer in performances, and several other artists have done so on record (Streisand in fact has achieved several of these feats for other songs on her albums).  The records referred to above are for Popular songs--ones to make Hot 100.

Streisand, on her song "On My Way To You" in 1988, holds the final note on "you" for 22.84 seconds.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: March 25

1955:  The movie Blackboard Jungle, which introduced us to the song "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley & the Comets, opened in theaters on March 25, 1955, according to many sources, including IMDB and CNN.
1956:  Alan Freed’s three-day Rock ‘n’ Roll Show in Hartford, Connecticut ended badly, as police arrested 11 teenagers and closed the theater.
1958:  After being sworn in as Private 53310761 the previous day, Elvis Presley received the regulation short back and sides haircut from army barber James Peterson.

1958:  Buddy Holly performed at the Gaumont Theatre in Hammersmith, London, the final date of what turned out to be his only tour of the U.K.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: March 24

1956:  Les Baxter had the #1 song with "Poor People Of Paris".

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: March 23

1959:  Brook Benton had the #1 song on the R&B chart with "It's Just A Matter Of Time".
1959:  "Venus" by Frankie Avalon spent a third week at #1.  
1961:  Elvis Presley recorded "Can't Help Falling In Love" at Radio Recorders in Hollywood, California.
1961:  Elvis Presley scored his seventh #1 in the U.K. with "Wooden Heart".
1963:  Ruby and the Romantics reached #1 on the R&B chart with "Our Day Will Come".  

Monday, March 21, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: March 22

1956:  Carl Perkins broke four ribs and a shoulder when the car he was traveling in was involved in an accident that sadly claimed the life of his brother Jay.

1957:  Elvis Presley released the single "All Shook Up".

Featured Unknown/Underrated Song*: "Lead Me On" from Amy Grant

She would later become a big star, but long before that mass popularity, Amy Grant released this great song:

Sunday, March 20, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: March 21

1952:  Alan Freed staged the Moondog Coronation Ball, billed as "the first-ever rock & roll stage show", at the Cleveland Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.  Acts included the Dominoes and Tiny Grimes.
1956:  Elvis Presley performed at the 4,000-seat YMCA Gymnasium in Lexington, North Carolina.  Tickets were $1 for general admission and $1.50 for reserved.
1957:  Elvis Presley, his father Vernon, and his mother Gladys, signed an official real estate contract to purchase the Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee.  The official date of sale was several days later.
1960:  Dinah Washington & Brook Benton had the top R&B song for the sixth week with "Baby (You've Got What It Takes)".
1960:  Percy Faith had a lock on #1 for the fifth week with "The Theme From 'A Summer Place'".