Sunday, July 9, 2017


In Music History

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2012Soul singer Linda "Kay Kay" Greenwade (of Kay Kay and the Rays) dies at age 56 after a long period of ill health, including diabetes and a brain tumor.
2011Matt Bellamy of Muse and his fiancé Kate Hudson welcome a baby boy. Hudson had a boy with Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson seven years earlier.
2009In an article published in The Guardian, "Hallelujah" writer Leonard Cohen admits the song is overplayed. "I think it's a good song, but I think too many people sing it," he says.
2006Milan B. Williams (keyboardist for The Commodores) dies of cancer at age 58.
2003Buzzcocks play Madison Square Garden for the first time ever in their career, opening for Pearl Jam.
2001During an appearance on MTV's TRL, four of the Backstreet Boys announce their Black & Blue tour will be put on hold so their fifth member, AJ McLean, can enter rehab to treat alcoholism and depression. 
1999Mick Jagger's common-law marriage to actress/supermodel Jerry Hall, conducted in Haiti back in 1990, is annulled.
1995Hootie & the Blowfish play the first-ever concert at the Meadows Music Theater in Hartford, Connecticut, drawing a crowd of 17,000.
1977Alan O'Day's "Undercover Angel" hits #1. It will hold the position for one week.
1975Jack White (lead singer, guitarist for The White Stripes) is born John Anthony Gillis in Detroit, Michigan. He takes the name "White" when he marries his bandmate, Meg White.
1969The Beatles start recording "Maxwell's Silver Hammer."
1969John Lennon makes his solo debut on the UK charts with "Give Peace A Chance."
1968The Beatles release "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-da."
1964Courtney Love (of Hole) is born Courtney Michelle Harrison in San Francisco, California.
1959Jim Kerr (lead singer for Simple Minds) is born in Toryglen, Glasgow, Scotland.
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Rock Around The Clock Becomes The First #1 Rock Song

Bill Haley & His Comets' "Rock Around The Clock" becomes the first Rock song to hit #1 on the Billboard Pop chart, where it stays for eight weeks. The song was originally released as a the B-side of "Thirteen Women," but became a massive hit after it appeared in the film Blackboard Jungle.
When "Rock Around The Clock" quietly entered the charts in 1954, it was only a minor hit for Bill Haley & His Comets, who had their first chart entry the year before with "Crazy Man, Crazy" (the first rock record in chart history) and would soon gain national acclaim with their cover of Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle And Roll." But New York publisher Jimmy Myers, who penned the song with Philadelphia songwriter Max Freedman under the pseudonym Jimmy DeKnight, wasn't willing to give up on "Rock Around The Clock."

Myers and Freedman had an instinct about Haley. The Michigan-born singer who started his career as a singing yodeler for a country act was making his mark on R&B covers by adding a western swing element, retaining an edge that would otherwise be dulled when salacious blues lyrics were sanitized for white audiences. For teens growing up on a steady diet of traditional pop, the likes of the Comets and, later, Elvis Presley, would cause pandemonium. But not so fast. Haley was signed to a label owned by Dave Miller, who happened to hate Myers. If he wanted to record the song, he'd have to wait until his contract with Miller expired. He did, and "Rock Around The Clock" was recorded at his first session as a Decca artist. 

When it failed to make an impression on the charts, Myers started shopping the song around Hollywood, where MGM was preparing to release Blackboard Jungle. Starring Glenn Ford, the film is about an English teacher struggling to keep his delinquent students, including Sidney Poitier in a breakout role, in line at an inner-city school. With "Rock Around The Clock" spinning over the opening credits, the movie launches the rock and roll era and sends the single to the top of the Billboard charts. 

Haley's comet will fade with the rise of Elvis, but his name will forever be synonymous with rock and roll's seminal hit. The song will represent the era as the original theme to Happy Days, a '50s nostalgia sitcom that makes its debut in 1974 and gives the single another chart run at #39

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