Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Today in Music History...March 28, 2017 (Now with links)

Music History: March 28




2014 Folk singer-turned-reverend Joe Frazier (Chad Mitchell Trio) dies in his sleep at age 77.

2013 Session rock guitarist Hugh McCracken (Billy Joel, Steely Dan) dies at age 70 of leukemia.

2012 Blues harmonica player Jerry "Boogie" McCain, known for the self-penned tunes "Ain't No Use for Drug Abuse" and "Burn the Crackhouse Down," dies at age 81.

2011 Rapper Rick Ross is arrested in Shreveport, Louisiana, after being caught with one gram of marijuana. Ross was smoking the drug at the Hilton Hotel when guests reported smelling a foul odor coming from his room. Ross is booked and released the same night.

2010 Laura Marling's second album, I Speak Because I Can, debuts at #4 on the UK albums chart.

2005 On Rev. Jesse Jackson's internet radio show, Michael Jackson claims that his recent child-molestation charges are a racist conspiracy.

2003 '50s country/pop singer Rusty Draper dies at age 80 from pneumonia.

2000 Jimmy Page wins a libel suit against the UK magazine Ministry, which printed that he tried to revive his dying bandmate John Bonham by using Satanic spells.

1999 Rapper Freaky Tah (Lost Boyz) is fatally shot by Kelvin Jones, a member of the fledgling New York-based rap group The Hellraisers. Freaky Tah, real name Raymond Rogers, is just 27 years old.

1996 Phil Collins leaves Genesis on good terms, stating he will concentrate on "Movies, some Jazz projects, and of course my solo career."

1995 Lyle Lovett and actress Julia Roberts announce they are separating after 21 months of marriage.

1995 Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard releases his first solo album, Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version. His food stamp ID card is on the cover.

1995 Wilco release their debut album, A.M. It is the first and last album to feature Brian Henneman on lead guitar.

1991 The funeral is held for Eric Clapton's son Conor, who was 4 years old when he fell to his death out an open window. Clapton's song "Tears In Heaven" is about Conor.

1987 After hearing that Arizona Governor Evan Mecham would not honor the new national holiday Martin Luther King Day, the racially integrated Doobie Brothers move their upcoming show from Phoenix to Las Vegas.

1986 Stefani Germanotta is born in New York City. She rises to fame under the name Lady Gaga.

1985 Four-year-old Alicia Cook makes her acting debut on the "Slumber Party" episode of The Cosby Show. She'll become famous as Alicia Keys.

1984 Mick Fleetwood, whose band, Fleetwood Mac, had the biggest-selling album of all time just seven years earlier, files for bankruptcy.

1982 On his way to a "no-nukes" rally, David Crosby crashes his car into a divider on the San Diego Freeway. Police find quaaludes, cocaine paraphernalia, and a concealed pistol in the vehicle, but charges against him are plea bargained down to reckless driving and he is sentenced to probation and a $751 fine. A few weeks later he is arrested again, this time for freebasing cocaine.

1979 The day after they are married, Eric Clapton sings "Wonderful Tonight" to his new wife Pattie at his concert in Tucson, Arizona. He wrote the song about her while waiting for her to get ready to go out.

1978 Alice Cooper appears on The Muppet Show, where he performs "Welcome to My Nightmare" and "School's Out." He also offers to give the Muppets fame and riches if they'll sign their souls over to him. Kermit is horrified. Gonzo spends the entire episode looking for a pen.

1975 At an Elvis Presley concert at the Hilton in Las Vegas, Barbra Streisand goes backstage and offers Elvis the lead role in her upcoming film A Star Is Born. Elvis is interested, but on the advice of his manager Colonel Parker, he demands too much money and top billing, so Kris Kristofferson is chosen for the role instead.

1974 Blue Swede's "Hooked On A Feeling" is certified Gold.

1974 Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup

1973 Led Zeppelin, Houses Of The Holy

1972 Elvis Presley, Burning Love, "Fool"

1970 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young release "Woodstock."

1969 Joe Cocker plays his first live gig in the US.

1967 Van Morrison, Brown Eyed Girl

1967 The Beatles, Good Morning Good Morning, Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!

1967 James Atkins (EMF)

1964 Radio Caroline, the UK's first all-day English-language "pirate" radio station, begins broadcasting from the Fredericia, a former Danish ferry, in the North Sea.

1964 The Beatles become the first Rock Stars displayed in Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in London. They would later use their wax versions on the cover of the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

1964 The Beatles' Can't Buy Me Love enters the charts.

1964 Jan and Dean's Dead Man's Curve enters the charts.

1964 Heavyweight boxing champ Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) hits #102 in the US with his cover of "Stand By Me."

1962 Elvis Presley: "Mama," "Earth Boy," "Dainty Little Moonbeams," "I Don't Want To Be Tied," "Plantation Rock," "We'll Be Together"

1961 Elvis Presley, "Moonlight Swim"

1960 Brenda Lee records "I'm Sorry"

1960 Elvis Presley, "Stuck On You" b/w "Fame And Fortune"

1958 Eddie Cochran, Summertime Blues

1958 W.C. Handy

1957 Ral Donner, later to hit with the Elvis-soundalike "The Girl Of My Friend," sees Elvis for the first time, performing at the International Amphitheater in Chicago.

1955 Reba McEntire

1952 Jazz and blues singer Billie Holiday marries mafia strongman Louis McKay.

1951 No. 1 Billboard Pop Hit: Perry Como's If

1949 Sally Carr (Middle Of The Road)

1948 John Evans (Jethro Tull)

1948 Milan Williams (The Commodores)

1945 Chuck Portz (The Turtles)

1943 Sergei Rachmaninoff

1941 Charlie McCoy (Area Code 615)

1939 Hal Kemp, "Three Little Fishies"

1923 Thad Jones

1915 Jay Livingston

1890 Bandleader Paul Whiteman is born in Denver, Colorado.

Blondie Scores The First #1 With A Rap

 
1981Blondie's "Rapture" hits #1 on the Hot 100, becoming the first chart-topper with a rap.
Rap hit some milestones in 1980, with Kurtis Blow earning the first Gold record in the genre for "The Breaks" and The Sugarhill Gang bringing a rap song to the Top 40 for the first time with "Rapper's Delight." The first #1 with a rap is not by a rapper, but by the disco sensations Blondie, whose frontwoman, Debbie Harry, busts a rhyme about a man from Mars who comes to Earth with an insatiable appetite. Here's what happens after he shoots you dead and eats your head:

And then you're in the man from Mars
You go out at night eatin' cars
You eat Cadillacs, Lincolns too
Mercurys and Subarus


It's all good fun; the levity is in line with other rap songs of the day that tell goofy stories. For instance in "Rapper's Delight":

While the stinky foods steamin'
Your mind starts to dreamin'
Of the moment that it's time to leave
And then you look at your plate
And your chickens slowly rottin'
Into something that looks like cheese


Many in the music industry think of rap as a fad, which they are happy to ignore until it passes. But Blondie cannot be ignored - they're one of the biggest acts in the world, with trans-Atlantic #1 hits in "Heart Of Glass," "Call Me" and "The Tide Is High." "Rapture" is guaranteed airplay despite the rap, introducing many listeners to the genre.

Blondie are not exploiting hip-hop but celebrating it. As part of the New York City scene that produced punk and disco, they are on the ground as hip-hop is bubbling up in the Boogie Down. One of their allies is Fab 5 Freddy, a grafitti artist who is a huge part of the scene. Blondie writes him into the rap:

Fab 5 Freddy told me everybody's fly
DJs spinning, I said "my, my"


Freddy also appears in the video (along with Jean-Michel Basquiat, who is the guy in the sweet suit and top hat), which becomes the first rap video to air on MTV.

The next line is a shout to the enterprising DJ Grandmaster Flash, who later samples it on "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel":

Flash is fast, Flash is cool

The kind of hip-hop that pioneers like Flash are making is based on existing beats, often lifted from disco ("Rapper's Delight" is built on "Good Times" by Chic). "Rapture" is an original - there are no samples. For many listeners, it's an introduction to rap music, a gateway to Run-D.M.C.

That a white act is the first to top the chart in a distinctly black genre could be troublesome, but by paying homage to the forebears of hip-hop, Blondie pulls it off. "We didn't mean it as any sort of rip-off," the group's guitarist/songwriter Chris Stein says. "We meant it to support this movement and be positive about the form."

It take a while for rap to return to the top spot. In the late '80s, chart-toppers like "Red Red Wine" by UB40 and "The Look" by Roxette are peppered with rap interludes, but it's not until 1990 that a song rapped from start to finish reaches the top: "Ice Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice. The first black act to reach the top with a complete rap song is the teen duo Kris Kross, who do it with "Jump" in 1992.

 

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