Tag Archives: music history

This Day In Music History: November 7

elton1967   Pianist and singer Reginald Dwight (Elton John) and his future songwriting partner, lyricist Bernie Taupin, sign on to DJM publishing. Their parents have to witness the boys’ signatures, because they’re both under 21. It’s the start of a legendary partnership. Taupin  and John go on to collaborate on more than 30 albums.

Both John and Taupin had answered an ad for musicians and lyricists placed in the magazine “New Musical Express.” Although neither one of them passed the audition for Liberty Records, the label’s Artists and Repertoire agent recognized their potential, and introduced the boys.

For years, the two have an unusual songwriting style. Rather than creating songs together, Taupin would write the lyric and then pass it on to John, who would set it to music. Their — Read more

This Day In Music History: November 6

|#0|#1968  The Monkees‘ psychedelic movie “Head” opens in New York City. Marketed as the “most extraordinary adventure, western, comedy, love story, mystery, drama, musical, documentary satire ever made (And that’s putting it mildly),” the movie isn’t aimed at the band’s teen girl fans. It’s a dark, surreal, and absurdist contemplation of the nature of free will.

Some of the film’s imagery is disturbing, and the stream of consciousness storytelling style leaves most people cold. The band’s depiction of themselves as being helplessly trapped as their public personas strikes many as an affront to their fans, as does the shocking ending. The movie succeeds in destroying the band’s innocent public image, which is exactly what they want.

They probably didn’t want the awful reviews the film receives, or the sharp drop in the popularity of their music.

In later years, the movie would gain a cult following. Some fans view it as a fine — Read more

This Day In Music History: November 5

|#0|#1933   Mary Louise Cecila “Texas” Guinan, American singer, actress, emcee, and speakeasy owner, dies, and it’s the end of an era. She set the iconic look and style of the tough-girl saloon owner for generations to come.

Born in Waco, Texas in 1884, Miss Guinan would move to New York in 1904. Her fine voice and witty Wild West patter make her a hit in Vaudeville. In 1917, she stars in a silent movie called “The Wildcat,” where she becomes American film’s first movie cowgirl. She’s known to the public as the “Queen of the West.”

Texas Guinan is also a smart businesswoman. Like many others, she sees prohibition as an opportunity, and opens a speakeasy called the 300 Club in 1920. The place quickly becomes a hangout for the rich and famous—Pola Negri, Al Jolson, Clara Bow, Irving Berlin, and Rudolph Valentino, to name a few. George Gershwin plays there regularly. Texas greets her guests with “Hello, suckers!” and ends the risque stage acts with “Give the little ladies a great big hand.” She’s credited — Read more

This Day In Music History: November 4

beatles1963   The Beatles play the Royal Command Performance, also called the Royal Variety Performance; the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret are in attendance. The Beatles are 7th on the 19-act bill, but they’re arguably the most anticipated.

The Fab Four plays “From Me To You,” “She Loves You,” and “Till There Was You.” Then John Lennon makes a cheeky announcement that would be in the headlines the next day:

“For our last number I’d like to ask your help. The people in the cheaper seats clap your hands. And the rest of you, if you’d just rattle your jewelry. We’d like to sing a song called “Twist And — Read more

This Day In Music History: November 1st.

ParentalAdvisory1985   The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) agrees to demands made by the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), headed by Tipper Gore, Susan Baker, Pam Howar, and Sally Nevius (aka the Washington Wives).

As a result, the RIAA  agrees to slap offending albums with the now-famous “Parental Advisory” labels. Some mainstream stores like Wal-Mart refuse to sell albums that carry the label, but overall, record sales remain the same.

Other PMRC actions include forcing record stores to stock albums with explicit covers under the counter, and pressuring TV stations not to broadcast explicit songs or videos.

The PMRC had brought their concerns before the senate in August, producing examples of explicit songs. Their — Read more

This Day In Music History: October 30th

2008   Harmonix Music Systems, makers of the game “Rock Band”, obtain the rights to produce “Beatles Rock Band”, the first-ever music game based on the band.

beatles.jpg“Beatles Rock Band” is the third major release in the Rock Band Series, but it’s a stand-alone game, not an expansion pack. The gameplay is a little different from other Rock Band titles, including the new element of 3-part vocal harmonies.

The game features 45 songs from — Read more

This Day in Music History: October 29th

1993 Tim Burton’s stop-animated musical fantasy film “The Nightmare Before Christmas” opens in the U.S. The film score and songs were written by Danny Elfman, who also provides Nightmare Before Christmas posterthe singing voice of protagonist Jack Skellington.

The idea for the movie came from a poem written by Burton in 1982, when he was an animator for Disney. Disney considered producing “Nightmare” in the early ’80′s, but ultimately decided it was “too weird.” Tim Burton left the studio in 1984 to pursue his weird dreams.

In 1990, after Burton had successfully produced “Beetlejuice” and — Read more

This Day In Music History, October 28

2011   Metallica postpones their first-ever concert in India after a security barrier in front of the stage collapses. Angry fans subsequently tear up the stage and equipment, doing $200,000 in damage, and causing the show to be permanently canceled.

metallica.jpgThe band releases a statement saying “It is most regrettable that we were forced to take such measures. We were looking forward to meeting our fans and sharing our music live for the first time in India.” Read the full statement here.

Four of the — Read more

This Day in Music History: October 25th

1977 Elton John appears on The Muppet Show to perform “Crocodile Rock,”"Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” and “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.” Elton performs with Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem. Elton was one of the inspirations behind Dr. Teeth’s character, along with Leon Russell Elton John and muppetsand Dr. John.

The Muppet Show, with its vaudeville-style variety show format, absurd sense of humor, and reputation for letting guests do whatever they wanted to, showcased many talented musicians over the years. Among the performers were Alice Cooper, Buddy Rich, Debbie Harry, Dizzie Gillespie, Harry Belafonte, Johnny Cash, Liza Minelli, — Read more

This Day in Music History: October 24th

1967 Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd melts down on the Pat Boone show. When the band mimes the song “Apples and Oranges” for the show, Barrett refuses to lip-sync. He just stares at the cameras – finally Roger Waters lip-syncs the song in his place. The tour is cut short after Barrett de-tunes his guitar and makes random sounds with it during a show at the Fillmore West. He is replaced for live Syd Barrett album covershows by David Gilmour soon after.

Throughout late 1967 and 1968, Barrett’s behavior gets progressively more erratic. His — Read more