Category: 70’s

Funk Brothers guitarist Eddie “Chank&r…

Funk Brothers guitarist Eddie “Chank” Willis (born in Grenada, MS) – June 3, 1936 – August 20, 2018, RIP

Born on this day: August 20, 1949 – Phil Lynot…

Born on this day: August 20, 1949 – Phil Lynott, lead singer and bassist of Thin Lizzy (born Philip Parris Lynott in West Bromwich, Staffordshire, UK). Happy Birthday to this rock legend on what would have been his 69th Birthday.

Born on this day: August 20, 1942 – R&B mu…

Born on this day: August 20, 1942 – R&B music icon Isaac Hayes (born Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr. in Covington, TN). Happy Birthday to this Academy Award and Grammy winning composer, vocalist, producer and on what would have been his 76th Birthday.

On this day in music history: August 19, 1972 …

On this day in music history: August 19, 1972 – “Chicago V”, the fifth album by Chicago hits #1 on the Billboard Top 200 for 9 weeks. Produced by James William Guercio, it is recorded at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City from September 20 – 29, 1971. Recorded in just nine days, it is the bands first single LP release. Physically and creatively exhausted after a three year long cycle of having recorded three double album sets (plus a four LP live album box set), and touring extensively to support them, the band decides to take a more direct approach with their fifth album. Stepping away from the lengthy and elaborate music suites that dominated their previous LP’s, they put an emphasis on songs that are shorter in length and more radio friendly. Eight of the albums ten tracks are written by keyboard player and vocalist Robert Lamm including the hit singles “Saturday In The Park” (#3 Pop) and “Dialogue Pts. 1 & 2” (#24 Pop). “Chicago V” is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: August 19, 1970 …

On this day in music history: August 19, 1970 – “Close To You”, the second album by The Carpenters is released. Produced by Richard Carpenter and Jack Daughtery, it is recorded at A&M Studios in Hollywood, CA from March – May 1970. Following the poor response and sales of their debut album “Offering” (re-released with new cover artwork as “Ticket To Ride” in late 1970) in 1969, the brother and sister duo of Richard and Karen Carpenter return to the studio in early 1970 to record their sophomore effort. Featuring Richard on keyboards and Karen on drums, they are also backed by a group of top L.A. studio musicians including Wrecking Crew members Hal Blaine (drums) and Joe Osborn (bass). Though the albums producer credit is given to The Carpenters A&R man Jack Daugherty, the production and arranging of the material is actually handled by Richard Carpenter, with Daughtery being responsible only for contracting the musicians and booking studio time. Released right on the heels the single “(They Long To Be) Close To You” topping the pop singles chart, The Carpenters second album quickly ascends the charts and establishes them and their trademark sound. The album spins off two hit singles including “We’ve Only Just Begun” (#2 Pop) and the title track (#1 Pop). The success of the two singles and the album earn The Carpenters six Grammy nominations in 1971, winning two including  Best Contemporary Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus and Best New Artist.The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 1999, featuring the the original stereo master tapes, using the original mixes, unlike numerous Carpenters compilations that use later remixes done by Richard Carpenter after Karen’s death in 1983. Out of print on vinyl for nearly thirty years, it is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP in 2017. It is available as an individual release, and part of the box set “The Carpenters – The Vinyl Collection”. “Close To You” peaks at number two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: August 18, 1979 …

On this day in music history: August 18, 1979 – “Good Times” by Chic hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also topping the R&B singles chart for 6 weeks on July 28, 1979. Written and produced by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, it is the second chart topping single the New York City based R&B band led by musicians Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers. One of the first songs completed for Chic’s third album “Risque”, the song was not originally Atlantic Records choice for the first single. The label actually preferred the song “My Feet Keep Dancing”. The label quickly presses singles and has them ready to ship, when Edwards and Rodgers have a disagreement over the labels choice, resulting in the two not speaking to each other for several days. When they both realize that they don’t want the song to be the first single, they quickly call a meeting with Atlantic label execs asking that “Feet” be withdrawn, and “Good Times” be released instead. The decision proves to be a wise one with “Good Times” rising to the top of the pop and R&B singles charts quickly. Entering the Hot 100 at #72 on June 16, 1979, it climbs to the top of the chart nine weeks later. “My Feet Keep Dancing” is eventually issued as the third and final single from “Risque” in late 1979, peaking at #42 on the R&B singles chart and Bubbling Under the Hot 100 at #101. “Good Times” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: August 18, 197…

On this day in music history: August 18, 1978 – “Who Are You”, the eighth studio album by The Who is released. Produced by The Who, Jon Astley and Glyn Johns, it is recorded at Rampart Studios in Battersea, London, Olympic Studios, RAK Studios in St. John’s Wood, London, and Pete Townshend’s Home Studio in Going-on-Thames, London from October 1977 – April 1978. Issued three years after their last studio album “The Who By Numbers”, it is the final album to feature original drummer Keith Moon. Hampered by his decade long abuse of drugs and alcohol, Moon’s once rock solid playing suffers as he continues to struggle with his addictions. As a result, Keith’s confidence in his ability to deliver consistently in the studio is shaken, feeling that he is letting his band mates down. Sadly, he dies of an accidental drug overdose just three weeks after its release. Moon’s death is made even more tragic and ironic, when he overdoses on the medication he is prescribed to combat his alcoholism. It spins off two singles including “Trick Of The Light” and the title track (#14 Pop). In 1996, the album is remixed and remastered (by Jon Astley), with the reissue containing five bonus tracks. The title song becomes the theme of long running crime drama television series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” in 2000. Out of print on vinyl since the late 80’s, it is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP in 2015. “Who Are You” peaks at number two on the Billboard Top 200, number six on the UK album chart, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: August 18, 1973 …

On this day in music history: August 18, 1973 – “Touch Me In The Morning” by Diana Ross hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also topping the Adult Contemporary chart for 1 week on July 28, 1973, and peaking at #5 on the R&B singles chart on August 4, 1973. Written by Ron Miller and Michael Masser, is the the second solo chart topper (fourteenth overall) for the singer and actress from Detroit, MI. Following her Academy Award nominated performance as Billie Holiday in the biopic “Lady Sings The Blues”, Diana Ross shifts her attention back to her music career in the Spring of 1973. Looking to give his biggest star artist a boost after her Oscar loss, Berry Gordy looks to put Ross back on the top of the charts. Gordy and Motown A&R chief Suzanne dePasse puts together a team to write a big hit for the Motown superstar. Songwriter and producer Ron Miller, best known for writing classics like “For Once In My Life” and “Heaven Help Us All” for Stevie Wonder, is given the assignment to work with Ross. At this time, Gordy and dePasse discovers a former stockbroker turned songwriter named Michael Masser to collaborate with Miller. The pair hit it off instantly and write the sultry “Touch Me In The Morning” for Ross. The recording session are rough going when Ross has a difficult time with the complexly structured song. Running through twelve takes of the song, the singer still feels unsatisfied with her performance after working on her vocals all night. Miller and Masser spend 300 hours in the recording studio editing Diana Ross’ final vocal performance together on “Touch Me In The Morning” from those takes. Released as a single on May 3, 1973, the single does not initially have an easy climb up the charts, actually losing its bullet as it climbs the pop singles chart. Entering the Hot 100 at #89 on June 2, 1973, it climbs to the top of the chart eleven weeks later. The huge success of “Touch Me In Morning” not only restores Diana Ross back on the top of the pop chart for the first time in nearly two years, it marks the beginning of Michael Masser’s hugely successful career as a songwriter and producer. Masser and Ross collaborate several more times over the years scoring another number one hit with “Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)” and the top ten film theme “It’s My Turn”.

On this day in music history: August 17, 1979 …

On this day in music history: August 17, 1979 – “Drums And Wires”, the third album by XTC is released. Produced by Steve Lillywhite, it is recorded at The Townhouse Studios in London from June – July 1979. Working with producer Lillywhite (U2) and engineer Hugh Padgham (Genesis, Phil Collins), it features the bands first big UK single “Making Plans For Nigel” (#17 UK) which also provides the band with their initial exposure in the US. The album is issued with differing track listings in various countries, with the first 20,000 copies coming with a two or three track 7" single featuring the songs “Chain Of Command”, “Limelight”, and/or “Life Begins At The Hop”. The initial US pressing of the LP (initially released on RSO Records and later reissued on Geffen Records) features the single version of “Ten Feet Tall”, while other pressing include the first recorded version. In 2014, the album is remastered and reissued in the UK on CD, DVD-A and Blu-Ray disc, with a newly remixed 5.1 surround mix. “Drums And Wires” peaks at number thirty four on the UK album chart, and number one hundred seventy four on the Billboard Top 200.

Remembering Elvis Presley (born Elvis Aaron Pr…

Remembering Elvis Presley (born Elvis Aaron Presley in Tupelo, MS) – January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977