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psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
953
1,517
Dave's Song of the Day

Love is Strange – Mickey and Sylvia

Thursday song of the day: Today’s song is credited to the actual writer’s wife.




Yesterday, I mentioned that The Sugarhill Gang was put together by record executive Sylvia Robinson. Before she was a record executive, Sylvia was a recording artist, best known as part of Mickey and Sylvia, who had a hit in the 1950s with Love is Strange.

The song was written by Bo Diddley, who was also the first to record it. When he wrote the song, he was in the midst of a legal battle with his record company, so instead of crediting himself as the songwriter, he used the name of his wife at the time, Ethel Smith. Diddley recorded his version in May 1956, but the recording was not released until it was included in a box set in 2007.

Although Bo Diddley didn’t release his version of Love is Strange, he did perform the song in live shows. The duo of Mickey Baker and Sylvia Vanderpool (who later became Sylvia Robinson) happened to attend one of his shows and liked the song. As Mickey and Sylvia, they recorded a version in October 1956. The Mickey and Sylvia version of Love is Strange famously featured the addition of a spoken word section before the song starts, with the two holding a silly conversation before entering into the song. Their record was released in November 1956 and climbed to #1 on the Billboard R&B chart, as well as #11 on the overall Hot 100. In 1987 it was prominently featured in the film Dirty Dancing, and in 2004 was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The singing team of Mickey and Sylvia disbanded in 1958, although they reunited a few times in the early 60s. Sylvia went on to a solo career, with a #3 hit in 1973 with Pillow Talk, and of course after that had a second career running record labels.

Mickey and Sylvia, 1956

View: https://youtu.be/5mvN05MSa48


Bo Diddley, 1956 (not released until 2007)

View: https://youtu.be/VS_f3s5VZeg


Tomorrow: Up your house and gone again
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
953
1,517
Dave's Song of the Day

Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley

Friday song of the day: Today’s song was originally titled Uncle John, but the performer changed the title to his own stage name before recording it.




here are not all that many songs in which both the artist and the song have the same name, especially those by well-known artists. There is Bad Company by Bad Company (which was Song of the Day for October 23rd, 2020 here: Bad Company – Bad Company ), Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath, Rammstein by Rammstein, and several others, including today’s Bo Diddley by Bo Diddley.

In the early stages of his musical career, Ellas McDaniel picked up the nickname “Bo Diddly”, and was soon better known by that than his real name. When he signed to the Chess Records subsidiary Checker Records, one of the Chess brothers added an e to the stage name, and he became Bo Diddley.

His first record was based on the old lullaby Hush Little Baby, with the song’s protagonist telling of the things that he’s going to get for his baby, although in this version the implication is that baby is being used as a euphemism for girlfriend instead of an actual infant. Musically, it made heavy use of the “hambone” or “Juba” beat. Bo used the rhythm in so many of his songs that it soon became known as the “Bo Diddley Beat.”

When he first wrote the song, McDaniel titled it Uncle John, but before he recorded it, he changed the title to Bo Diddley, beginning a gimmick in which Diddley was a character in many of his own songs. The record was released in April 1955 and soon became very popular. It climbed the R&B chart and made it to #1, although it did not chart on the mainstream Billboard Hot 100.

In 1956, Buddy Holly recorded a cover version, although it was not released until 1963, several years after Holly’s death. In all, Bo Diddley has been covered over 50 times, by artists including Bob Seger, Warren Zevon, and George Thorogood.

Bo Diddley, 1955

View: https://youtu.be/WJLy-Fnedy8


Buddy Holly, 1956 (but released in 1963)

View: https://youtu.be/FzYsrIJvDNE


George Thorogood and the Destroyers, 2011

View: https://youtu.be/nJD8nkw4rzs


Tomorrow: She’s got me so blind I can’t see
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
953
1,517
Dave's Song of the Day

Black Magic Woman – Fleetwood Mac

Saturday song of the day: Today’s song did not chart in the United States when released by the original artists, but a cover version was a big hit.




Most Americans know Black Magic Woman as a signature song for Santana. That was not the original version, however. While Santana the Santana version hit #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1970, an early pre-Stevie Nicks version of Fleetwood Mac originated the song in 1968.

Black Magic Woman was written by Fleetwood Mac member Peter Green and was released as a single in March 1968. The record didn’t make a dent at all on the US charts, but it did place at #37 on the UK Singles Chart.

In 1970, Santana released a cover version of the song on their album Abraxas. Their version featured a more Latin flavor and highlighted band leader Carlos Santana’s guitar work. It became the band’s biggest hit, and a staple of their live shows.

Fleetwood Mac, 1968

View: https://youtu.be/VbKREkuDh3s


Santana, 1970

View: https://youtu.be/9wT1s96JIb0


Tomorrow: I gave you all I had to give
 
Dec 15, 2018
3,125
4,673
I went down a serious John Frusciante rabbit hole after hearing “The Past Recedes”. I looked into his releases between 2004-05 and they are all incredible.
Shadows Collide with People- great
Inside the Emptiness- great
Curtains- great
The Will to Death- great

Here’s a couple to wet your whistle. It’s definitely worth the listen.

View: https://youtu.be/9mGwIRfjU24


View: https://youtu.be/McH-5snJ32E


View: https://youtu.be/a0Waw1WdCj8


All his stuff is on Amazon if you wanna give it a go.
 

Hauler

I knew all the rules but the rules did not know me
Feb 3, 2016
30,286
41,491
I went down a serious John Frusciante rabbit hole after hearing “The Past Recedes”. I looked into his releases between 2004-05 and they are all incredible.
Shadows Collide with People- great
Inside the Emptiness- great
Curtains- great
The Will to Death- great

Here’s a couple to wet your whistle. It’s definitely worth the listen.

View: https://youtu.be/9mGwIRfjU24


View: https://youtu.be/McH-5snJ32E


View: https://youtu.be/a0Waw1WdCj8


All his stuff is on Amazon if you wanna give it a go.
You can def hear some RHCP in there.
 
Dec 15, 2018
3,125
4,673
You can def hear some RHCP in there.
It sounds like he does all his harmonies himself, so there’s definitely some RHCP in there but without Keidis. So it’s better.
I’m pretty hot and cold on RHCP, never really cared for Keidis. Most of their stuff I like is because of Frusciante. Kind of odd it took me 15 years to discover these albums.
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
953
1,517
Dave's Song of the Day

Sky High – Jigsaw

Sunday song of the day: Today’s song was on the charts in Japan for three years.



Jigsaw was an English group of the 1970s that had several hits in Europe. In 1975 they recorded the song Sky High as the theme song for the George Lazenby spy/martial arts film The Man from Hong Kong (also known as The Dragon Flies). The film came and went with little notice, but the song became a hit, first in Europe and Asia, and eventually in the United States. It was especially popular in Japan, where it hit #1 and remained on the charts for three years. In the United States it peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In all, Sky High sold over 13 million records internationally.

View: https://youtu.be/avhYvgvT5I8


Tomorrow: Let’s ride to the liquor store
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
953
1,517
Dave's Song of the Day

Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of…) – Lou Bega

Monday song of the day: Today’s song became the subject of a seven-year long lawsuit.




German singer Lou Bega released his first album, A Little Bit of Mambo in 1999. Included was the song Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of…). This song was inspired by the 1950 instrumental Mambo No. 5 by Perez Prado, a Cuban bandleader and composer who was known as “The King of Mambo.” As can be imagined, Prado wrote a lot of mambo tunes, and occasionally he just numbered them instead of giving them distinctive titles. Thus Mambo No. 5.

Lou Bega built his song around the Prado instrumental, and even sampled part of the almost 50-year-old original. Taking the modernized music, Bega then added lyrics, telling of a night out partying, and especially the women he meets along the way.

Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of…) was a huge international hit, reaching #1 in many countries, especially in Europe. In the United States it placed at #1 on the Mainstream Top 40, Rhythmic, and Top 40 Tracks charts, and #3 on the overall Billboard Hot 100. The recording sold over 3.3 million records in the United States, along with 1.5 million in France, 1.5 million in Germany, and over 1 million in the UK.

Being such a big hit that was based on a previous work, the estate of the late Perez Prado wanted a cut of the profits and sued Bega for copyright infringement. Bega’s lawyers claimed that since he had written all of the lyrics and only used short riffs from the Prado original – and that under German law individual riffs could not be copyrighted – this made Bega the sole songwriter and that the Prado estate should have no share in the record’s profits. After seven years in the German legal system, the court ruled in Prado’s favor, granting songwriting credit and part of the revenue from the song.

Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of…), Lou Bega, 1999

View: https://youtu.be/RUBvqz3ozv8


Video

View: https://youtu.be/EK_LN3XEcnw


Mambo No. 5, Perez Prado, 1950

View: https://youtu.be/th-lOuXlmdQ


Tomorrow: Really somethin’ when they join in jumpin’
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
953
1,517
Dave's Song of the Day

Bristol Stomp – The Dovells

Tuesday song of the day: Today’s song is about a local dance craze in the Philadelphia area.




The early 1960s had a lot of songs about dances, including the Stroll, the Mashed Potato, the Swim, the Watusi, the Loco-motion, and of course the biggest of all, the Twist. One such dance came from the Philadelphia suburb of Bristol, Pennsylvania, and was called the Stomp. It originated at dances at the Good Will Hose Company in Bristol and caught the attention of Kal Mann and Dave Appell, two executives at the Cameo-Parkway Record Company who also happened to be songwriters.

They wrote a fast-paced song about the Stomp, titling it Bristol Stomp to include the place where the dance began. The singing group The Dovells were selected to record the song. The Dovells were an a cappella doo-wop group, so the backing music for the record was provided by the record company’s house band. Bristol Stomp was released in August 1961 and went from a local phenomenon to a nationwide hit, climbing all the way to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, being kept out of the top spot by the classic Runaround Sue by Dion.

In 1962, two years after having a massive hit with The Twist, Chubby Checker starred in a film called Don’t Knock the Twist. Among other musical acts in the film, The Dovells performed Bristol Stomp. While the Dovells performed the song in the movie, the soundtrack album included a cover version by Chubby Checker, with him singing lead and The Dovells providing backing vocals.

The Dovells, 1961

View: https://youtu.be/p962x7k61Kg


The Dovells in Don’t Knock the Twist, 1962

View: https://youtu.be/XCOB5-E4P6Y


Chubby Checker (backed by The Dovells), 1962

View: https://youtu.be/yj0U1MtxDtA


Tomorrow: I look to you and I see nothing
 
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psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
953
1,517
Dave's Song of the Day

Fade Into You – Mazzy Star

Wednesday song of the day: On its surface, today’s song is about falling in love with someone who does not love you in return.




Mazzy Star was a band from Southern California that was popular in the 1990s. They released their second album, So Tonight That I Might See, in October 1993. Included on the album was the song Fade Into You, in which the singer told of loving someone who did not love her back, and indeed was not even aware that she loved him.

The music for Fade Into You was written by Mazzy Star’s guitarist David Roback, while singer Hope Sandoval wrote the lyrics. Although the song was very highly regarded by critics, with many naming it as one of the better songs of the 1990s, it was not a huge hit. The single placed at #3 on the Alternative Airplay chart but managed to rise only to #44 on the overall Billboard Hot 100.

Mazzy Star recorded one more album before breaking up in 1997, and Fade Into You was their only single to break into the Hot 100. The band reunited in 2012 and released a fourth and final album in 2013. David Roback died of cancer in February, 2020, so presumably the band has ended.

View: https://youtu.be/ImKY6TZEyrI



Tomorrow: A lotta men didn’t, a lotta men died
 

psychicdeath

Member
Jan 21, 2015
953
1,517
Dave's Song of the Day

Sixteen Tons – Tennessee Ernie Ford

Thursday song of the day: Today’s song was inspired by stories of coal mining that the songwriter’s father had told him




Country singer and songwriter Merle Travis came from a family of Kentucky coal miners. In 1946 he wrote a song based on the lives of coal miners, centering particularly on the practices of mining companies that kept the workers indebted to them. One such method was the company owning the only general store in town, which would offer credit to company employees to buy necessities. Additionally, miners could get advances in “scrip” which were coins or notes that could only be spent at the company store. In this way, mining company employees would often become so in debt to the company that they could go years without actually being paid, with the company keeping their wages and putting it against the debt that they had accumulated. Naturally, this created a cycle where the miners had to continue borrowing from the company to survive, and the debt was rarely if ever paid off

Merle’s father had often told him, “I can’t afford to die. I owe my soul to the company store.” His father’s joke made it into the lyrics of Sixteen Tons, altered slightly to “St. Peter don’t you call me, ‘cause I can’t go/I owe my soul to the company store.” The title Sixteen Tons refers to the amount of coal the miner character of the song dug in a day of work. Travis recorded the song in August 1946 for his first album Folk Songs of the Hills, but the record was not released until July 1947. The Merle Travis original contained a spoken interlude where he explained the company store concept. His album did not sell very well, but was very popular with other musicians, and has since become considered a classic.

One of the musicians who took notice was Ernest Jennings Ford, better known by the stage name Tennessee Ernie Ford. He recorded a cover of Sixteen Tons in 1955. Ford was a country artist, but also had mainstream appeal. Earlier in 1955 he had a #4 country hit with The Ballad of Davy Crockett, which also placed at #5 on the pop chart. (Billboard did not consolidate their airplay and sales charts into the Billboard Hot 100 until 1958.) Unlike the Merle Travis original, Ford’s version did not include the spoken word section, and instead of being backed by an acoustic guitar, Ernie kept the beat by snapping his fingers and the main musical accompaniment was provided by, of all things, a clarinet. Somehow it worked, and paired with Ernie’s baritone, made the song much darker that the Merle Travis version.

Tennessee Ernie Ford’s cover of Sixteen Tons was a huge hit. It quickly rose to the #1 spot on the Country chart, and was a crossover hit as well at #1 on the Pop chart. It soon became Ford’s signature song and established him as a big star, paving the way for his own TV show on NBC. The Ford Show [Since Ernie’s name was Ford, the Ford Motor Company saw an opportunity and sponsored his show. While he was no relation to the automotive Fords, it allowed the show’s title to refer to the sponsor as well as the star.] ran from 1956 to 1961, and even afterward, he was a frequent guest on other variety shows through the 1960s and 1970s.

Over 180 other artists have covered Sixteen Tons in the years since it came a hit for Ernie Ford. These include versions by B.B. King, Stevie Wonder, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, and many others. Even Chevy Chase recorded a version in 1980. My own introduction to the song came in the early 1960s when I was still a young child. Jimmy Dean (yeah, the sausage guy) recorded a version on his 1961 album Big Bad John and Other Fabulous Songs and Tales. [his big hit Big Bad John from that album was song of the day for September 1st, 2014 here: Big Bad John – Jimmy Dean ] My parents had the album, so I heard it a lot in the early 1960s before I was even of kindergarten age. I didn’t hear the Tennessee Ernie Ford hit until a few years later, and the Merle Travis original until considerably later.

Tennessee Ernie Ford, 1955

View: https://youtu.be/BSvORvIjZiU


Merle Travis, 1947

View: https://youtu.be/3I15_KUsOzs


Jimmy Dean, 1961

View: https://youtu.be/GNND6jEb3uU


Tomorrow: Danger is double, pleasures are few
 
Dec 15, 2018
3,125
4,673
Dave's Song of the Day

Fade Into You – Mazzy Star

Wednesday song of the day: On its surface, today’s song is about falling in love with someone who does not love you in return.




Mazzy Star was a band from Southern California that was popular in the 1990s. They released their second album, So Tonight That I Might See, in October 1993. Included on the album was the song Fade Into You, in which the singer told of loving someone who did not love her back, and indeed was not even aware that she loved him.

The music for Fade Into You was written by Mazzy Star’s guitarist David Roback, while singer Hope Sandoval wrote the lyrics. Although the song was very highly regarded by critics, with many naming it as one of the better songs of the 1990s, it was not a huge hit. The single placed at #3 on the Alternative Airplay chart but managed to rise only to #44 on the overall Billboard Hot 100.

Mazzy Star recorded one more album before breaking up in 1997, and Fade Into You was their only single to break into the Hot 100. The band reunited in 2012 and released a fourth and final album in 2013. David Roback died of cancer in February, 2020, so presumably the band has ended.

View: https://youtu.be/ImKY6TZEyrI



Tomorrow: A lotta men didn’t, a lotta men died
Still takes me back to middle school. Beautiful song.