On this day in music history: March 14, 1987 -…

On this day in music history: March 14, 1987 – “Jacob’s Ladder” by Huey Lewis And The News hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week. Written by Bruce Hornsby and John Hornsby, it is the second chart topping single for the pop/rock band from Corte Madera, CA. The Hornsby brothers write the song in the Summer of 1985 while working on material for Bruce Hornsby & The Range’s first album. With its title coming from the staircase to heaven envisioned by Jacob, the patriarch of the Israelites in The Bible (in the book of Genesis Chapter 28, verses 10-19), the song’s narrative is about people blindly following the word of evangelists, rather than finding the strength within themselves to take the right path in life. When Lewis is looking for material for the follow up to “Sports”, Hornsby offers Lewis two songs, “Every Little Kiss” or “Jacob’s Ladder”. Lewis chooses the latter, while Hornsby’s band record the other song for their debut album “The Way It Is”. Remixed for single release, “Jacob’s Ladder” is the third single from Huey Lewis And The News’ fourth album “Fore!” on January 5, 1987. Entering the Hot 100 at #40 on January 17, 1987, it climbs to the top of the chart eight weeks later. While The News’ studio version of the song is on the charts, their label Chrysalis Records issues a promotional only 12" single of the track recorded live in concert at the Portland Memorial Coliseum in Portland, OR on December 18, 1986. The live version quickly becomes a fan favorite, receiving widespread airplay on album rock stations. The music video for the song featuring a live performance from the same tour is also filmed. Bruce Hornsby And The Range record their own version of “Jacob’s Ladder” on their second album “Scenes From The Southside” in 1988.