Saturday, May 21, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: May 22

1958:  Jerry Lee Lewis married his 13-year-old cousin, Myra.  

Ricky Nelson had a smash...(and another one entering the Top 10!)

1961:  "Mother-In-Law" moved to #1 for Ernie K-Doe, replacing the classic "Runaway" from Del Shannon.  "Daddy's Home from Shep & the Limelites was #3 followed by "A Hundred Pounds Of Clay" by Gene McDaniels and Ricky Nelson's "Travelin' Man".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Mama Said" from the Shirelles at #6, "Running Scared", up from 16 to 7 for Roy Orbison, "Breakin' In A Brand New Broken Heart" by Connie Francis, Ricky Nelson moving from 15 to 9 with "Hello Mary Lou" and Linda Scott's "I've Told Every Little Star".
1965:  The Who performed at the Astoria Ballroom in Rawtenstall, Lancashire, England
1965:  Marvin Gaye's "I'll Be Doggone" topped the R&B chart.
1965:  "Crying In The Chapel" was a huge hit for Elvis Presley on the Adult chart.  It moved to the top slot on this date and stayed there for 7 weeks.

Details of our Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era* Book

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Celebrate the 60th birthday of the Rock Era with The Top 500 Songs from 1955-2015!

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More Songs from the 1986 Prelude*

In addition to songs outside The Top 100 for 1986*, we have included some of our "suggestions".  Some of those might be better than songs ranked in The Top 100*.

Anita Baker (from the album Rapture)

If She Knew What She Wants

When The Heart Rules The Mind

All The Things She Said
Simple Minds

Funny How Time Flies
Janet Jackson (from the album Control)

Live Is Life

Love Is Forever
Billy Ocean

Huey Lewis & the News (from the album Fore)

The Prelude* Leads Up To The Top 100 Songs of 1986*

As graduates in 1986 know, the 30-year class reunion is coming up this summer.  Inside The Rock Era will continue our series of presentations with The Top 100 Songs of 1986* next week.  We like to also feature songs outside The Top 100*, and our Prelude* continues:

Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes
Paul Simon (from Graceland)

In The Shape Of A Heart
Jackson Browne

The Future's So Bright, I Gotta' Wear Shades
Timbuk 3

Justice And Independence '85
John Cougar Mellencamp (from the album Scarecrow)

Sade (from the album Promise)

Dan Seals


Friday, May 20, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: May 21

1963:  The Beatles recorded five songs for the BBC radio show Saturday Club and six for Steppin' Out before a live audience at the Playhouse Theatre in London.
1964:  The Drifters recorded "Under The Boardwalk".  Johnny Moore was called upon to sing lead after Rudy Lewis had died the night before.
1965:  The Four Tops appeared on the U.K. television show Ready Steady Goes Live!
1966:  Mel Carter's "Band of Gold" was #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
1966:  A hot new song was moving up the chart.  It was called "Paint It Black" from the Rolling Stones.

More Songs from The 1986 Prelude*

We're getting ready to present The Top 100 Songs of 1986* in time for your 30-year Class Reunion this summer.  Although these songs didn't make the list, as we mentioned yesterday, there are plenty of good songs to feature:

Morning Desire
Kenny Rogers

The Love Parade
Dream Academy

What About Love
'Til Tuesday

Love Walks In
Van Halen

Don Johnson

Return Post
Bangles (from the album Different Light)

Sanctify Yourself
Simple Minds

Love Is The Seventh Wave

Is It Love
Mr. Mister

Opportunities (Let's Make Lot's Of Money)
Pet Shop Boys

Thursday, May 19, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: May 20

1954:  The landmark single "Rock Around The Clock" was released by Bill Haley & the Comets.  The song wouldn't officially begin the Rock Era until it reached #1 a year later after being featured in the movie The Blackboard Jungle and re-released.

1957:  16-year-old Paul Anka, who had won a trip to New York City, stayed with some Canadian friends known as the Rover Boys.  The Rover Boys were already signed to ABC Records, and suggested Paul go see Don Costa at ABC.  He audtioned for Costa with "Diana", a song he had written about a girl in Canada.  Costa signed Anka to a recording contract and had him record the song at the ABC-Paramount Studios in Manhattan.  (Note:  some websites report that Anka recorded the song on May 21.  Although there are no credible sources for either date, our best research indicates that Anka recorded the song May 20.  Some websites report that Anka recorded the song at Capitol Recording Studios in New York City, and some say he recorded it at Don Costa Studio.  While Costa was the man who signed him to a contract and produced him, there is no record of him owning a recording studio in Manhattan, and, since Anka signed the contract with ABC-Paramount and released "Diana" on ABC-Paramount Records, it seems unlikely that he would record the song at a recording studio for Capitol Records.)
1957:  Frank Sinatra recorded "Witchcraft".
1957:  Andy Williams had the #1 U.K. song with "Butterfly".

More Songs from the 1986 Prelude*

Here are 10 more songs that didn't make The Top 100 for the year* but are worthy of featuring for the "memory-jogging" connection.  For those on 30-Year Class Reunion Committees, some of these can serve as background music for your activities.  If you want specific recommendations on songs to feature for your Class Reunion dance, we would be happy to help.  Make a reply to this post!

Not Like You

The dreamy harmonies of this group conjured up comparisons to the Mamas and the Papas, the Byrds and the Beatles.  This is one of several Bangles tracks we'll feature from their great album Different Light.

I Wanna' Be A Cowboy
Boys Don't Cry

I Know What I Know
Paul Simon (from Graceland)

John Cougar Mellencamp

On The Western Skyline
Bruce Hornsby and the Range

Little Rock
Reba McEntire

Beat's So Lonely
Charlie Sexton

Caravan Of Love
Isley Jasper Isley

Digging Your Scene
Blow Monkeys

Emotion In Motion
Ric Ocasek

The Top 100 Songs of 1986*: The Prelude Begins!

It was evident in the book The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era* that the decline of the Rock Era began roughly around 1986.  However, while the number of "great" songs have not been the same ever since, there were still plenty of "very good" songs in '86.  You'll see that throughout the countdown.

Our subjective view is that there are approximately 91 "Top 100 of the year" worthy songs that were singles.  We humbly suggest that there are several Top Tracks* or underrated songs that actually are better than some of those towards the bottom of The Top 100 ranking.  You may know some of them and see if you don't agree.  Perhaps the inclusion of our personal picks will create a groundswell and they will pass other songs ahead of them!  We will mix those songs in with others in the Prelude*, which features those songs just outside The Top 100*.  When you add in our suggestions, there are quite a few songs worthy of featuring.  Enjoy!

James Taylor

Freedom Overspill
Steve Winwood

For America
Jackson Browne

Van Halen

Secret Separation

Heaven In Your Eyes

ZZ Top

(Forever) Live And Die
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

Diggin' Up Bones
Randy Travis

With the weakness of Rock music in subsequent years, Country music began to sound more "mainstream" than Mainstream music and began to assert itself.  Although Garth Brooks became the quintessential example of this a few years later, the trend really beginning with Randy Travis.

I Can't Wait
Stevie Nicks

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: May 19

1958:  Peggy Lee recorded the great song "Fever" at the famous Capitol Tower Studios in Hollywood, California.
1958:  Bobby Darin released the single "Splish Splash".  (Note:  some naive websites report the song was recorded June 21.  It is impossible for a song to have been released if it has not been recorded.  According to notes from the official website for Bobby Darin, the song was recorded on April 10 and released May 19.)

Fantastic Featured Unknown/Underrated Song*: "Defenders Of The Flag" from Bruce Hornsby & the Range

If you don't own the album Scenes from the Southside, you're missing one of the best in your collection.  Amazing album, and this hidden gem is one of the highlights:

Defenders Of The Flag
Bruce Hornsby & the Range

Written by Bruce and John Hornsby

It's coming any day now said the captain
It's coming any day now cried the priest
The people in high places may defend you
But son you better hope they keep the peace

Can't you hear them calling
Can't you see them shine
The city halls are falling
The defenders drink their wine
And when the party's over
Their stomachs start to sag
Defenders, defenders of the flag

The congregation's waiting at the altar
They can't find the preacher anywhere
They found him with the new girl from the choir
Where they store the boxes of the book of prayer

If these guys are the good ones
I don't want to know the bad
You wonder how it happened
They just picked it up from dad
Faded old glory hanging like a rag
Defenders, defenders of the flag

The flag is flying high over the courthouse
The wheels of justice never stood a chance
The judge is down at Charlie's on his lunch hour
Checking out the picture show from France

Carrying a fifth of whiskey
In a dirty paper bag
Threw the ball to home
But they always missed the tag
Faded old glory hanging like a rag
Defenders, defenders of the flag

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: May 18

1959: This artist changed the name at the suggestion of Dick Clark's wife Bobbie because he resembled a teenage Fats Domino.  He scored 35 hits over three decades, but on this date, Chubby Checker debuted on the chart for the first time with "The Class", in which he did imitations of Fats Domino, Elvis Presley, the Coasters, Cozy Cole and the Chipmunks.

The Top 100 Songs of 1976*: Checklist

Here are handy links to all 10 segments of The Top 100 Songs of 1976*:











Monday, May 16, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: May 17

1958:  "Jerry Lee Lewis Day" was held in Lewis's hometown of Ferriday, Louisiana.

1963:  Jan & Dean released the single "Surf City".  And off we went.
1963:  Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul & Mary and Pete Seeger performed at the first Monterey Folk Festival, held over three days in Monterey, California.

 1965:  Johnny Rivers released the single "Seventh Son".
1967:  The Bob Dylan documentary Don't Look Back, reliving Dylan's 1965 British tour, premiered at the Presidio Theater in San Francisco, California.
1968:  The Monkees performed at the Lagoon Patio Gardens, a venue inside the famous amusement park, for about 5,000 fans.  (Note:  Several websites report that the Monkees appeared at Olympia Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah, on May 21, 1968.  There was not and never has been an Olympia Stadium in that city.  There was an Olympia Stadium in Detroit, Michigan, and the Monkees performed there on January 14, 1968.  The group did perform in Salt Lake City in 1968, though, but the information badly damages the credibility of the websites.  According to the official website for the Monkees, they performed in Salt Lake City May 17 at the Lagoon Patio Gardens.)

1969:  The Soundtrack to "Hair" had a hold on #1 on the Album chart for the fourth straight week.  Blood, Sweat & Tears was #2, Glen Campbell's Galveston was #3 and Nashville Skyline from Bob Dylan captured spot #4.  The rest of the Top 10:  Donovan's Greatest Hits, Cloud Nine by the Temptations was #6, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, featuring the song of the same name by Iron Butterfly, was #7, Creedence Clearwater Revival had #8 with Bayou Country, Help Yourself by Tom Jones fell to 9 and the debut from Led Zeppelin entered the Top 10.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: May 16

1960:  The city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania celebrated proclaimed it "Jimmy Clanton Week".
1960:  Elvis Presley held on to #1 for a fourth week with "Stuck On You".

1964:  This great group formed in 1962 in Manchester, England.  They went on the record 23 hits and are one of The Top 100 Artists of the Rock Era*.  On this date, the Hollies first debuted on the chart with their debut single--"Just One Look".  (Note:  some websites report that the group formed in "autumn" of 1962, while others claim they formed in December.  Although unfortunately no credible sources exist for their exact founding, the Hollies debuted at the Oasis Club in December of 1962, so it is doubtful they started a band the month they made their live debut.) 

Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers Hospitalized

Lead singer Anthony Kiedis, 53, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers is in the hospital from complications of intestinal flu.

The group took the stage for a sold-out show in Irvine, California but regrettably announced that the show was canceled.  The group will have to cancel other shows on the current tour until Kiedis is back on his feet.

Up next in our countdown of yearly top songs, the next landmark class reunion year--1986

We hope you are enjoying our look, both backward and presently, at The Top Songs of 1966 and 1976.  For the 30-year class reunion of 1986 graduates, that year is on deck.  Watch for it soon, exclusively on Inside The Rock Era!

The Top 100 Songs of 1976*: #10-1

In 1976, All the President's Men and Rocky were two of the best movies of the year, NBC broadcast the classic movie Gone With the Wind and achieved record-breaking ratings.  

The Cincinnati Reds destroyed the New York Yankees 4 games to 0 to win the World Series.  The Soviet professional hockey team won their fourth straight gold medal at the Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria, a streak that would end in 1980.  In figure skating at the games, 19-year-old Dorothy Hamill of the United States and John Curry of Britain captured gold. 

In music, these 10 songs have proven to be the strongest from 1976 over the last 40 years: