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psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
778
1,368
Dave's Song of the Day

Mercury Poisoning – Graham Parker

Friday song of the day: Today’s song was a giant middle finger to the singer’s previous record label.



English singer Graham Parker and his band The Rumor had recorded three albums for Mercury Records, and Parker was not at all happy with Mercury’s efforts to promote his music. He felt that the executives at Mercury did not understand his music and that their lack of marketing support for his records was holding him back. When it came time to record his fourth studio album, Parker’s manager Dave Robinson suggested that he record an entire album of “hate songs” about Mercury.

Parker didn’t do that and recorded the brilliant Squeezing Out Sparks album. [Note: Squeezing Out Sparks was credited to just Graham Parker on the album cover, but the label inside gave credit as “Graham Parker and The Rumour.”] He was in the process of parting ways with Mercury, but they still held distribution rights in the UK and some of Europe, but Arista Records was his new label in the United States, and Vertigo records held the rights in other territories.

While he didn’t make Squeezing Out Sparks a hate album against Mercury as Robinson had suggested, he did record one anti-Mercury song during the sessions, called Mercury Poisoning. Mercury Poisoning refers to Mercury as geriatric, and a dinorsaur with a small brain, among numerous other insults. In the end the song was not used on the album, by Parker’s own choice. He felt that it just didn’t fit in with the rest of the album. He explained, “Sometimes some of the little throwaway things that take a few minutes to write, you just don’t think that they really have the integrity. I mean, Mercury Poisoning is a bit of fun and all that, but I didn’t think it had the integrity to be on Squeezing Out Sparks.”

He did plan to use the song as a B-side to one of his singles, however. Arista Records released the song as a promo for radio stations in February 1979, but pressure from Mercury prevented using it as the B-side to the album’s first single, Protection, as was Parker’s original plan. In the end, Mercury’s efforts to bury the song had the opposite effect, and Mercury Poisoning became one of Parker’s more well-known songs. It was used as the B-side of a few other later singles and was a high point of Parker’s live shows. It has appeared on two live Graham Parker albums, and when Squeezing Out Sparks was reissued in 2001, the album included two bonus tracks, one of which was the original 1979 recording of Mercury Poisoning.

View: https://youtu.be/OZWgadswjmk


Live

View: https://youtu.be/ZABjqYgPuOI


Tomorrow: You feel you’re not wanted anywhere
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
778
1,368
Dave's Song of the Day

Ben – Michael Jackson

Saturday song of the day: Today’s song was written for a horror film about rats.




In late 1971, Michael Jackson had been a star for several years, even though he was still only thirteen years old. He had had numerous hits as the centerpiece of The Jackson Five, and he had just recently had a #4 hit with his first solo single Got to Be There. In November 1971 he recorded the theme song for the film Ben, the planned sequel to 1971’s surprise hit Willard. Originally, the song was offered to Donny Osmond, but he was on tour and could not record the song at the time, so the film’s producers signed Jackson to record it instead.

Willard told the story of a disturbed man – the titular Willard – who trained a swarm of rats and used them to get revenge on his enemies. At the end of that film, Willard tries to poison the rats, but their leader Ben alerts the other rats to the danger and they kill Willard. For the sequel, Ben leads the swarm of rats through several violent encounters, but along the way befriends a young boy. That is the inspiration for the theme song, which makes no mention of the horror aspects of the movie but tells of the friendship between the boy and Ben.

The movie was released in late June 1972, and Michael Jackson’s recording of Ben was released as a single a few weeks later, on July 12th. It was a big hit, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Ben was the first of Michael Jackson’s twelve solo #1 hits. (He had four #1 hits with the Jackson 5, one other as a duet with Paul McCartney, and another as part of the USA for Africa ensemble, for a total of eighteen singles that topped the Hot 100.)

View: https://youtu.be/YaB7d5GvNCc


Trailer for the film Ben, 1972

View: https://youtu.be/Iq8i3jP5glU


Tomorrow: Before the clouds appeared and took away my sunshine
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
778
1,368
Dave's Song of the Day

Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again – The Fortunes

Sunday song of the day: The band that recorded today’s song sang a few of the top commercial jingles of the 1960s.




English group The Fortunes had a #7 hit with You’ve Got Your Troubles in 1965. Their follow-up, Here It Comes Again, made it to #27 that same year. After that they didn’t break the Top 40 in the United States for a while. The Fortunes were still routinely heard during this time, although the listeners did not know it was them.

It seems the Coca-Cola company liked their singing, and had the group record a version of the music for their Things Go Better with Coke ad campaigns. After that campaign ended, The Fortunes also sang the replacement jingle, It’s the Real Thing. Thus, for a good chunk of the 1960’s audiences watching a Coke commercial often heard The Fortunes. In 1971, Coke replaced that ad campaign with the new jingle I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing. Coca-Cola ended their business relationship with The Fortunes at this time, and The New Seekers sang on the new ad campaign.

That same year, The Fortunes once again broke into the U.S. Top 40 with Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again. This song told of a man who was sad and missing his girl, likening his tears to rain. Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again was the band’s final hit in the United States, placing at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

View: https://youtu.be/ZbLDH3Os8HU


It’s the Real Thing Coke Commercial

View: https://youtu.be/Ob7lVWufwA8


Tomorrow: Wind and go down
 

Grateful Dude

TMMAC Addict
May 30, 2016
6,151
9,291
Dave's Song of the Day

Drift Away – Dobie Gray

Thursday song of the day: Today’s song was written as a country song but later became a huge hit for a soul singer.




Mentor Williams had a long career as a country music songwriter and record producer. He was the younger brother of famed songwriter and actor Paul Williams, and longtime domestic partner of country music superstar Lynn Anderson. One of his most famous songs was Drift Away, written as a country song about the healing powers of music in the early 1970s. Drift Away was first recorded by John Henry Kurtz and appeared on his 1972 album Reunion. It did not chart.

Shortly thereafter, soul singer Dobie Gray recorded a cover version. It was released in February 1973 and was a huge hit, selling over a million copies and rising to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Drift Away was Gray’s biggest hit and has since become regarded as a classic.

After Dobie Gray’s record became a hit, The Rolling Stones recorded a version during the sessions for their 1974 album It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll. It ended up not being used on the album and remained unreleased, although bootleg copies later emerged.

The song returned to the Top 10 in 2003, when Uncle Kracker released a version. His cover featured Dobie Gray on backing vocals and joining Uncle Kracker for a duet on the final verse, over 30 years after Gray’s hit recording. It placed at #1 on the Adult Contemporary Chart and #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Dobie Gray died in December 2011, and Mentor Williams passed away in November 2016.

Dobie Gray, 1973

View: https://youtu.be/OnDu1HHOo78


John Henry Kurtz, 1972

View: https://youtu.be/sxJv8C8uZ_0


The Rolling Stones, 1974 (unreleased)

View: https://youtu.be/tey6tjsq9Vo


Uncle Kracker (Featuring Dobie Gray), 2003

View: https://youtu.be/A69BertdSt4


Tomorrow: The company is crippling me
here’s another great version of this song. Tom Rush is great.

View: https://youtu.be/czwMye5KRCs
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
778
1,368
Dave's Song of the Day

Boom Shack-A-Lack – Apache Indian

Monday song of the day: Today’s song is an odd mixture of reggae and Indian influences.




English musician Steven Kapur grew up in an area of Birmingham that included a large percentage of both Asian and Jamaican immigrants. If Indian ancestry himself, Kapur developed a love for the reggae music of his Jamaican neighbors. Eventually, he became a reggae DJ, songwriter, and performer using the stage name Apache Indian. From these beginnings he fused Jamaican reggae and dancehall with the bhangra music of his Indian roots and helped create a new style dubbed Bhangramuffin.

He recorded his first single, Move Over India, in 1990, and eventually had several hits in the United Kingdom. His most well-known song was released in 1993 on his Nuff Vibes EP. The song was Boom Shack A-Lak and was a fairly nonsensical song about a dance. Released in August 1993, it climbed to #5 on the UK singles chart, and was also a hit in Canada and several European countries. It did not chart in the United States, but it was used in the soundtracks of several movies, such as Dumb and Dumber, Biodome, and Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. It was also featured in a UK ad for Lynx Body Spray (The product known in the US as Axe body spray is called Lynx in the UK) that had an appearance by Jennifer Aniston.

View: https://youtu.be/eC2Y000YwrM


Jennifer Aniston Lynx Commercial

View: https://youtu.be/8B-uFxiUXIc


Tomorrow: When something gets in my way I go round it.
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
778
1,368
Dave's Song of the Day

I’ve Got the Music in Me – The Kiki Dee Band

Tuesday song of the day: Today’s song was the first US hit for a singer who had been active in England for over a decade.




Pauline Matthews had been working in the music business in England since the early 1960s. Sometimes she worked as a backup singer for other artists like Dusty Springfield, and sometimes she performed on her own, using the stage name Kiki Dee. She released her first single in 1963, and continued recording singles and the occasional album with little commercial success.

This changed in 1973, when she signed to Elton John’s new record label, The Rocket Record Company. With the influence Elton had, she was able to reach more ears, and her 1973 single Amoureuse went to #13 on the UK singles chart. She remained unknown in the United States until the following year, when fronting the Kiki Dee Band, she released I’ve Got the Music in Me, an upbeat song about overcoming obstacles. It did not do quite as well in her native England as the previous single but was still a hit at #19. The big difference was that the song finally cracked the US market for her, placing at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100.

It was also the only hit for The Kiki Dee Band in the US, although Kiki herself was part of a huge record in 1976. Elton John planned to record a duet with Dusty Springfield, but when Dusty was suffering from an illness and couldn’t record, Kiki Dee filled in. The song was Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, and it went to #1 on the Hot 100, selling over a million records in both the UK and the United States.

View: https://youtu.be/ahUUQ1SQ0nY


Tomorrow: Too many teardrops for one heart to be crying
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
778
1,368
Dave's Song of the Day

96 Tears – ? and the Mysterians

Wednesday song of the day: According to legend, the number in the title of today’s song was going to be 69, but the band changed it because they thought 69 might get the song banned from radio.




In the early 1960s, a trio of Hispanic teenagers in Michigan decided to form a band. They were Larry Borjas on guitar, Robert Martinez on drums, and Bobby Balderrama on lead guitar. Eventually, they added Rudy Martinez as a singer and Frank Rodriguez on keyboards. These additions solidified their sound and they went from playing local shows to being signed to a small record label to record a single. Rudy used the stage name ? (pronounced and often spelled as “Question Mark” to avoid confusion when used in written material) and the group was named the Mysterians after a 1957 science fiction film.

Along the way, Borjas and Robert Martinez left to serve in the army, and replacements were added. For their first record, ? and the Mysterians came up with 96 Tears, a song about a lover who has been dumped seeking to get revenge on the former girlfriend and make her cry. The song originated when Question Mark was improvising some lyrics to go along with some music they were playing. Bobby Balderrama recounted his version of the song’s genesis in an interview:

“One day, Frank started playing a little organ riff, and we really liked it a lot. I kinda came up with the chord riff, and every time we practiced, we recorded everything. At first it didn’t have words. Then Question Mark said he had words for it, but I thought he was just singing off the top of his head. I thought he was just improvising.

How we came up with the name 96 Tears, see, when we were putting the song together, Question Mark was singing, ‘Too Many Teardrops,’ and I think we wanted to call it that, but then our drummer said, ‘Let’s call it 69 Tears!’

And we said, ‘Well, it’s a real catchy name, but we don’t think that they’ll say that on the radio; it’s too dirty.’

Even though I was only 14 when we were recorded the song and 15 when it came out, I knew what 69 meant. The Rolling Stones almost got banned for doing the same thing on The Ed Sullivan Show when they sang, Let’s Spend the Night Together, the censors at the Ed Sullivan Show thought that line was too dirty, so they had to change it to ‘Let’s Spend Some Time Together.’

So the drummer said, ‘Let’s turn the numbers around!’

I said, ‘What do you mean?’

And he said, ‘Let’s call it 96 Tears, you know?’

All of a sudden there were light bulbs and stuff, and we said, ‘YEAH, THAT’S IT!’

So that’s how we came up with the name.

Question Mark himself disputes this version, saying that the number 96 had a special significance for him, and that he had always intended the song to be 96 Tears. Regardless, what they came up with was an incredibly catchy song, driven by an insistent keyboard beat.

The single was recorded in 1966 on the small Pa-Go-Go label. Only 500 copies were printed at first. Once it became a local hit, the record was published on the larger Cameo Records label so that it could be distributed nationwide.

96 Tears went from local hit to a huge national and international hit, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is now recognized as one of the first garage-rock hits and is considered an early precursor to punk rock.

? and the Mysterians had one other hit, a 1966 follow-up to 96 Tears, the # 22 charting I Need Somebody. They haven’t cracked the Top 40 since. Despite this, over fifty years later Question Mark and most of the original band members continue to tour and perform.


View: https://youtu.be/sjCMLU3Zil0



Tomorrow: There’s a better home a-waiting
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
778
1,368
Dave's Song of the Day

Can the Circle Be Unbroken (Bye and Bye) – The Carter Family

Thursday song of the day: Today’s song is a classic of country and gospel music that was based on an earlier hymn.




n 1935 A.P. Carter – who had founded the Carter Family musical act with his wife Sara, his brother Ezra, and Ezra’s wife “Mother” Maybelle in 1927 – wrote a song based on a hymn from 1907. The hymn was Will the Circle Be Unbroken? which was written in 1907 by Ada Habershon and Charles Gabriel. It concerned mourning and the hope for a better existence in Heaven after death.

In A.P. Carter’s reworking of the hymn, he changed the lyrics to specifically reflect the death of the singer’s mother, but while expressing a sense of loss, kept the original hope for a peaceful afterlife. Carter used the title Can the Circle Be Unbroken (By and By) for his song. [Although the original recording of the song released by Banner Records had the title listed as Can the Circle Be Unbroken (Bye and Bye)] The Carter Family recorded the song and it was a hit record. In the years since, it has become one of the greatest classics of early 20th Century country music. In 1998, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

The song has been covered over 200 times, by artists including Pat Boone, Andy Griffith, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and numerous others. Almost all of the covers reverted to the original title of the hymn that the song was based upon, Will the Circle Be Unbroken? (Most often without the question mark.) The connection with the Carters lived on for many years, with the Carter Family themselves performing the song for decades, and later generations of the Carters continuing the tradition. In particular, June Carter – the daughter of Ezra and the great Mother Maybelle Carter – made it one of her signature songs when she embarked on her own singing career. This continued when June married Johnny Cash, and on into their children, the grandchildren of Ezra and Maybelle.

The Carter Family, 1935

View: https://youtu.be/gN015uKnbQ8


June Carter Cash, Johnny Cash, Carlene Carter, and other family members

View: https://youtu.be/JLFbUbmH7To


Bob Dylan, 1961 (Bootleg)

View: https://youtu.be/tztK8XF9MLg


Tomorrow: Well, my temperature is rising
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
778
1,368
Dave's Song of the Day

Gimme Some Lovin’ – The Spencer Davis Group

Friday song of the day: Today’s song was mostly written by a 17-year-old.




In 1963, guitar player Spencer Davis happened to see 14-year-old Steve Winwood and his older brother Muff Winwood performing in a bar. Steve played the organ and sang, while Muff played the bass. Davis and the Winwood brothers formed a band, along with drummer Pete York. Initially, they were called The Rhythm and Blues Quartet, but later they changed their name to The Spencer Davis Group. This was not because Davis was the leader of the band, however. In reality, young Steve Winwood was the main songwriter and musical driving force, but they named the band after Spencer Davis because the other members hated doing publicity. Muff Winwood explains, “Spencer was the only one who enjoyed doing interviews, so I pointed out that if we called it the Spencer Davis Group, the rest of us could stay in bed and let him do them.”

They signed to a record label in 1964 and had a few minor hits in the UK, and then in late 1965 and early 1966 broke through with two consecutive UK #1 hits, Keep on Running and Somebody Help Me. Neither cracked the Top 40 in the US, however.

Later in 1966, they released the record that established them in the United States. That song was Gimme Some Lovin’, a song about a fun dance party. The song originated after the record company wanted another single to release and the band sat down to come up with ideas. As told by Muff Winwood, “We started to mess about with riffs, and it must have been eleven o’clock in the morning. We hadn’t been there half an hour, and this idea just came. We thought, bloody hell, this sounds really good. We fitted it all together and by about twelve o’clock, we had the whole song. Steve had been singing ‘Gimme, gimme some loving’ – you know, just yelling anything, so we decided to call it that. We worked out the middle eight and then went to a cafe that’s still on the corner down the road. Blackwell came to see how we were going on, to find our equipment set up and us not there, and he storms into the cafe, absolutely screaming, ‘How can you do this?’ he screams. ‘Don’t worry,’ we said. We were all really confident. We took him back, and said, ‘how’s this for half an hour’s work,’ and we knocked off Gimme Some Lovin’ and he couldn’t believe it. We cut it the following day and everything about it worked. That very night we played a North London club and tried it out on the public. It went down a storm. We knew we had another No. 1.”

As it turned out, the record only went to #2 on the UK singles chart. Despite not making it to #1, it is by far the group’s signature song. Unlike the earlier UK #1 hits, Gimme Some Lovin’ broke through in the United States and several other countries. It peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, and over the years has become to be considered a classic of mid-1960s music.

While it was a collaborative effort, in the UK the writing is credited solely to Steve Winwood. Writing credit in the US is shared by Steve Winwood, Muff Winwood, and Spencer Davis. The actual records also differ in the UK and the US. Different takes were used as the basis for the records in the two countries. There are a few lyrical differences, and the UK version has a slightly slower tempo, while the US version is a bit faster and has a brighter sound.

The Spencer Davis Group broke up the next year, as Steve Winwood left to form Traffic. After success with that band and later Blind Faith with Eric Clapton, he went on to a long solo career. Over the years, Spencer Davis has reformed the Spencer Davis Group a few times, without the Winwood brothers’ participation.

US version

View: https://youtu.be/W_ykpby0yag


UK version

View: https://youtu.be/ko3m0NBbq1o


Tomorrow: I am your possession
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
778
1,368
Dave's Song of the Day

Obsession – Animotion

Saturday song of the day: Today’s song is about a stalker.




Michael Des Barres and Holly Knight had written several songs together previously, but in 1983 they teamed up to record one of their songs together for the first and only time. The song was Obsession, which was inspired by Michael’s recent effort to overcome heroin addiction. The took the concept of obsession, but instead of being about an obsession with the drug, they translated it over to an unhealthy fixation on another person. The song starts with the impression that it’s about someone with a simple crush on a woman, but as the song progresses it becomes more apparent that the guy is a dangerous stalker.

Des Barres and Knight recorded the song in a matter befitting its subject matter. The music was subdued, and Des Barres spoke rather than sang his lines, with Holly Knight’s sung lyrics offering a little relief. The record was released as a single, but it did not chart at all. It was also used as background music in the film A Night in Heaven, but that didn’t help sales much, if at all.

Then the group Animotion recorded a cover version of the song the next year for their debut album. The 1984 Animotion version had the music more in the forefront, and the interplay between the two singers, Astrid Plane and Bill Wadhams was less creepy than the original version. The arrangement was lighter, enough so that most listeners likely didn’t catch the stalker storyline of the song. In addition, the music video for the Animotion version made Obsession seem almost light-hearted, with Plane and Wadhams dressed as various famous lovers.

Animotion released Obsession as a single in November 1984, and in early 1985 it peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was the group’s biggest hit, although they had a #9 song in 1989 with Room to Move, but three of the founding members – including Plane and Wadhams – had left the band by then.

Animotion, 1984

View: https://youtu.be/hIs5StN8J-0


Michael Des Barres & Holly Knight, 1983

View: https://youtu.be/NK0Y9YOALz4


Tomorrow: Never knew the meaning of a heartache
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
778
1,368
Dave's Song of the Day

Stand Tall – Burton Cummings

Sunday song of the day: Today’s song was written after the singer’s girlfriend left him.




Burton Cummings was the lead singer and keyboardist of The Guess Who, and one of the main songwriters of that band along with Randy Bachman. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Canadian band had numerous hits, including two that reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, American Woman and No Sugar Tonight.

Bachman left the band in 1970, and The Guess Who continued with a few personnel changes until 1975, when it broke up. At that point, Cummings decided to pursue a solo career. Not long after, his longtime girlfriend left him for another man. That provided the inspiration for Cummings to write Stand Tall, a song about dealing with the heartbreak of a lost love.

Stand Tall was included on his first solo album, Burton Cummings, and released as a single in October 1976. It was a #4 hit single in Canada and did particularly well on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart, placing at #2. Stand Tall peaked at #10 on the overall Billboard Hot 100 chart, making it Cummings’ biggest solo hit. While he had several more hits in Canada, he only cracked the U.S. Top 40 one more time, with 1981’s You Saved My Soul, at #37.

Cummings continued his solo career up through today, and has occasionally re-formed The Guess Who for tours, as well as periodically joining Randy Bachman in The Bachman-Cummings Band.

Audio

View: https://youtu.be/tchwsQ7egco


Video

View: https://youtu.be/M0Wd8rGWbA0


Tomorrow: Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
778
1,368
Dave's Song of the Day

For What It’s Worth (Stop, Hey What’s That Sound) – The Buffalo Springfield

Monday song of the day: Today’s song was inspired by the reaction to a curfew that Los Angeles put in place due to noise and congestion from several music venues on the Sunset Strip.




Buffalo Springfield (often referred to as The Buffalo Springfield) was a short-lived band that is better known for some of its members who went on to long and successful careers. The band included Steven Stills, Neil Young, Richie Furay, and Jim Messina, among other musicians. The band formed in 1966 and broke up in 1968. During those three years, Buffalo Springfield released three studio albums and nine singles.

After the band dissolved, Steven Stills went on to form Crosby, Stills & Nash, Furay and Messina formed the band Poco, and of course Neil Young has had an iconic solo career (as well as occasionally working with Stills again in the expanded Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.)

Buffalo Springfield had already recorded their first album and were awaiting its release when the city of Los Angeles instituted a 10 PM curfew for the Sunset Strip area. Several clubs featuring live music had made the area a gathering point for hippies and other young people, which created problems with noise from the clubs, traffic congestion, and of course abuse of drugs and alcohol. The patrons of the clubs saw this as an infringement of their rights, and on Saturday, November 12th, 1966 a protest was held. The protest devolved into a small-scale riot, with several people arrested.

The unrest inspired Steven Stills to write a song, which ended up being called For What It’s Worth (Stop, Hey What’s That Sound), although the parenthetical part of the title is generally left off. The song affirms that there is often reason to protest, but acknowledges that it often ends up with the two different sides talking past each other without ever resolving anything, as indicated in the lyrics “Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong” and “Mostly say ‘Hooray for our side.’”

Many of Buffalo Springfield’s songs were collaborative efforts, but Steven Still wrote For What It’s Worth entirely on his own. After hearing about the riots. Stills said it took him about 15 minutes to write the song. The band recorded the record on December 5th, just a few weeks after the Sunset Strip Riots that inspired it. Coincidentally, the band’s first album was released that same day.

For What It’s Worth was released as a non-album single on December 23rd, 1966 and quickly became Buffalo Springfield’s only Top 40 hit, reaching #7 on the Billboard Hot 100. While it was recorded too late to be on their first album, since it was a hit, it was added to later pressings of the album, starting in March 1967.

Although it was only in existence for a short time and had only one hit, because For What It’s Worth became remembered as emblematic of the 1960s, and combined with what the band’s members accomplished later in their careers, Buffalo Springfield was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

View: https://youtu.be/80_39eAx3z8


Tomorrow: You got to pick ‘em up just to say hello
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
778
1,368
Dave's Song of the Day

Short People – Randy Newman

Tuesday song of the day: Some people took today’s song literally.




Singer-songwriter Randy Newman has had a long history of writing satirical songs. In 1977, one of these songs became his only hit as a performer. The song was Short People, and it showed how stupid prejudice is by having the singer make outrageous statements about how he disliked short people. It claimed that they had “dirty little minds”, “nasty little feet”, and told “great big lies.” The singer concluded that they had no reason to live.

Most of the audience got the joke, and the song was a novelty hit, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Unfortunately, a vocal minority didn’t understand that Newman was making fun of bigotry and thought that the song was seriously spreading hatred of short people. A few people made threats against Newman, and a Maryland legislator planned to introduce a bill to ban it from radio play, until the state’s Attorney General informed him such a bill would be in violation of the First Amendment.

Newman was a bit surprised by the number of people who took the song seriously, saying “I had no idea that there was any sensitivity, I mean, that anyone could believe that anyone was as crazy as that character. To have that kind of animus against short people, and then to sing it and put it all in song and have a philosophy on it.”

While Short People was his only Top 40 hit, Randy Newman has had a long and successful career. Since the 1980s he has written music for films, and has been nominated for twenty-two Academy Awards, winning two for Best Original Song.

View: https://youtu.be/v8UVBgUd9GE



Tomorrow: I packed some clothes and I walked out
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
778
1,368
Dave's Song of the Day

Take a Letter Maria – R. B. Greaves

Wednesday song of the day: Today’s song is about a man separating from his wife.




Singer R. B. Greaves released his first single in 1969. It was a song he wrote himself, titled Take a Letter Maria, sung in the persona of a businessman talking to his secretary after he finds his wife cheating on him. He asks the secretary to write a letter to his wife and his lawyer to start divorce proceeding, and it is implied that since he has now left his wife, he and the secretary might start a relationship.

The song was an immediate hit, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and selling 2.5 million records. Greave’s next single after Take a Letter Maria was a minor hit at #27, but after that he never broke the Top 40 again.

View: https://youtu.be/DSbXNjsLdRM


Tomorrow: Love is a losing game
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
778
1,368
Dave's Song of the Day

Why Do Fools Fall in Love – The Teenagers Featuring Frankie Lymon

Thursday song of the day: Today’s song was inspired by a neighbor’s love letters.




A high school singing group that called themselves The Premiers were practicing in an apartment building in Harlem when a neighbor showed them some love letters he had received. One included the line “Why do birds sing so gay?” and they incorporated it into a song. Later the song became Why Do Fools Fall in Love, with the original line about birds repeated twice in the lyrics.

The Premiers auditioned for George Goldner and he signed them to his record label. They recorded Why Do Fools Fall in Love in November 1955, under the new name of The Teenagers. Thirteen-year-old Frankie Lymon sang lead on the record. Goldner released the record on January 10th, 1956 without telling the group, which first learned that the song was out when they heard a classmate singing it.

Why Do Fools Fall in Love was a hit, climbing to #1 on the U.S. R&B chart and #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. A cover version by The Diamonds was released just two months after the original, and that too hit the charts, peaking at #12. Another cover became a hit many years later when Diana Ross recorded the song in 1981, with her version placing at #7 on the Hot 100.

The record was initially credited to The Teenagers Featuring Frankie Lymon, but with young Frankie being the breakout star of the group, the label changed the name to the more familiar form of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers by 1957. The group had a few more hits in 1956 and early 1957, but the focus on Lymon led to animosity within the group and by September 1957 Frankie left the Teenagers for a solo career. The Teenagers continued with a new lead singer, and Frankie Lymon became a solo act, but neither repeated their initial successes. Lymon had a troubled life, eventually marrying three women, without ever divorcing any of them. He died of a heroin overdose in 1968 at the age of just 25 years old.

Lymon’s complicated marital status created legal troubles in 1981 when the Diana Ross version of Why Do Fools Fall in Love earned Lymon’s estate new royalties, since he was credited as one of the songwriters. All three of his widows claimed that they were entitled to the record’s earnings as the legitimate beneficiary of his estate. Eventually a court decided the complex issue in 1989, awarding his earnings to his third wife.

The Teenagers Featuring Frankie Lymon, 1956

View: https://youtu.be/f1wlRYERCw0


The Diamonds, 1956

View: https://youtu.be/pnORR0_R4g0


Diana Ross, 1981

View: https://youtu.be/5RVWSSSLZN8



Tomorrow: I see your thoughts