28/07/2017

Rachel Sweet

July 28th 1962, Born on this day, Rachel Sweet, singer, (1978 UK No.35 single 'B-A-B-Y').

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The Boomtown Rats

July 28th 1979, 'I Don't Like Mondays' gave The Boomtown Rats their second UK No.1 single. Bob Geldof wrote the song after reading a report on the shooting spree of 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer, who fired at children playing in a school playground across the street from her home in San Diego, California. She killed two adults and injured eight children and one police officer. Spencer showed no remorse for her crime, and her full explanation for her actions was "I don't like Mondays, this livens up the day."

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Chris Farlowe

July 28th 1966, Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with the Mick Jagger and Keith Richards song 'Out Of Time'.

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Gene Vincent

July 28th 1956, Gene Vincent made his first appearance on national TV in the US on The Perry Como Show. Vincent had released ‘Woman Love’ the previous month, but it was the B-side, ‘Be-Bop-A-Lula,’ that eventually made the top 10. The song had been purchased from a fellow hospital patient when Vincent was recovering from leg injuries. A demo of the song made its way to Capitol Records as part of an Elvis sound-alike contest and a re-recorded version gave Vincent a hit.

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Roy Orbison

28th July 1960, Roy Orbison entered the UK chart with 'Only The Lonely', which went on to give Roy his first of 3 UK chart toppers. As an operatic rock ballad, it was a sound unheard of at the time, and is seen as a seminal event in the evolution of Rock and Roll. Released as a 45rpm single by Monument Records in May, 1960, 'Only The Lonely' went to No. 2 on the United States

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Mike Bloomfield

Mike Bloomfield, born on this day in 1943, remains one of the most powerful blues guitarists of his generation.

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Rick Wright

28th July 1945, Born on this day, Rick Wright, keyboards, vocals, Pink Floyd (1973 US No.1 & UK No.2 album 'Dark Side Of The Moon', spent a record breaking 741 weeks on the US chart. 1979 UK and US No.1 single 'Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)'. Pink Floyd have sold over 200 million albums worldwide). Wright died on 15th Sept 2008 aged 65 from cancer. Wright appeared on the group's first album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, in 1967 alongside Syd Barrett, Roger Waters and Nick Mason.

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27/07/2017

Bobbie Gentry

July 27th 1944, Born on this day, Bobbie Gentry, US singer, songwriter, notable as one of the first female country artists to compose and produce her own material. Gentry rose to international fame with her intriguing Southern Gothic narrative 'Ode to Billie Joe' in 1967. The track spent four weeks at No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and sold over three million copies all over the world. Her album Fancy brought her a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

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Queen

July 27th 1986, Queen became the first western act since Louis Armstrong in 1964 to perform in Easten Europe when they played at Budapest's Nepstadion, Hungary, the gig was filmed and released as 'Queen Magic in Budapest'.

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Wings

27th July 1974, Wings started a seven-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with 'Band On The Run', featuring the title-track, 'Jet' and the US hit 'Helen Wheels'. The album sold over 6 million copies world-wide. Band On The Run.

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26/07/2017

Top of the Pops

Top of the Pops

On 26th July 2006, the final edition of Top of the Pops was recorded at BBC Television Centre in London. Just under 200 members of the public were in the audience for the show, which was co-hosted by veteran disc jockey Sir Jimmy Savile - its very first presenter. Classic performances from the Spice Girls, Wham,Madonna Beyonce Knowles and Robbie Williams featured in the show alongside The Rolling Stones who were the very first band to appear on Top of the Pops on New Year's Day in 1964, televised from the BBC studios in Manchester in the North of England.

The end of Top Of The Pops! How could they?

Top Of The Pops crept onto our TV screens on New Year's Day 1964, presented by the cigar-chomping tracksuit-modelling disc jockey Jimmy Savile. Those early years brought all the rising stars into our living rooms: The Beatles The Stones, The Kinks, The Who, The Troggs, and any act from the other side of the pond would always end up on TOTP. The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops – they all were featured.

Initially acts performing on the show mimed to their latest record, but in July 1966, just after the show had been moved to London from Manchester, and after discussions with the Musicians' Union, miming was banned. After a few weeks during which some bands' attempts to play as well as on their records were somewhat lacking, a compromise was reached whereby a specially recorded backing track was permitted — as long as all the musicians on the track were present in the studio. The TOTP Orchestra, led by Johnny Pearson, augmented the tracks when necessary. This arrangement continued until 1980.

The show was originally intended for a short run, but ran for over 42 years; during its heyday in the 1970s, it attracted over 15 million viewers each week.

 

Sadly, due to the BBC's wiping old pop music programmes to save money on videotape, out of the first 500 episodes (1964–73) only about 20 complete recordings remain in the BBC archives.

The programme gave us some memorable moments:

When All About Eve performed a ‘live’ dubbed version of Martha's Harbour in 1988, owing to a studio technical error the taped vocals were broadcast without the band being able to hear them, resulting in the TV audience hearing the recorded version of the song, while the band members sat motionless on screen waiting for their cue to begin.

While performing their 1982 hit Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile), the band Dexys Midnight Runners were seen performing in front of a projection of the darts player Jocky Wilson instead of soul singer Jackie Wilson. Opinions differ as to whether this was deliberate or accidental.

One of my favourites was when Rod Stewart and The Faces appeared playing Maggie May. They were joined by their staunch supporter DJ John Peel - miming the mandolin part that was played by Lindisfarne’s Ray Jackson on the record. Near the end of the song, Rod and the Faces begin to kick around a football - despite the fact that the music can be still heard playing in the background.

But never mind the artists, here comes Pan’s People! The only reason the majority of the UK male population tuned into the show every Thursday night wasn’t to see the latest poptastic tune – it was to drool over the girl dancers in the skimpiest of outfits. In an era before pop videos, they danced to songs whose original artists were not available to perform them live. The girls were gorgeous, with nicknames like “Babs”, “Flick” and “Dee Dee”. Whoever ‘Pan’ was didn’t matter, (who was Pan?). All that mattered was seeing those six hippy chicks doing the craziest formation dances known to man. After Pan’s People TOTP gave us more dancing girls: Ruby Flipper, Legs & Co. and Zoo, and they were all good. But no-one could replace Pan’s People.

Some acts would send up the whole scenario - The Stranglers drummer played his kit facing the wrong way and when Oasis mimed to their hit Whatever in 1994, one of the cello players from the symphony orchestra was replaced by rhythm guitarist Bonehead, who clearly had no idea how the instrument should be played.

On Nirvana's only performance on the show, Kurt Cobain "played" his guitar with his fingers inches away from the frets while drummer Dave Grohl danced around for most of the performance.

The last show was broadcast on 30th July 2006, and it didn’t go out with a bang, more of a sad whimper. Nobody cared about TOTP anymore, nobody really cared about the charts anymore

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Mick Jagger

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Mick Jagger

July 26th 1943, Born on this day, Mick Jagger, vocals, The Rolling Stones, (1969 UK & US No.1 single 'Honky Tonk Women', and over 35 UK & US Top 40 singles and albums). Solo (1985 UK No.1 single with David Bowie 'Dancing In The Street'). 1985 UK No. 6 solo album 'She's The Boss.' In 2003 he was knighted for his services to popular music and in early 2009 he joined the electric supergroup SuperHeavy.

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Roger Taylor

July 26th 1949, Born on this day, Roger Taylor, drums, vocals, Queen, (1975 UK No.1 single 'Bohemian Rhapsody' also UK No.1 in 1991, plus over 40 other UK Top 40 singles, 1980 US No.1 single 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love'). Also a member of The Cross.

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JJ Cale

July 26th 2013, US singer-songwriter JJ Cale died of a heart attack at the age of 74. He became famous in 1970, when Eric Clapton covered his song 'After Midnight'. In 1977 Clapton also popularised Cale's 'Cocaine'. The two worked together on an album which won a Grammy award in 2008.

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25/07/2017

T Rex

July 25th 1971, T Rex were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Get It On', the group's second UK No.1 which spent four weeks at the top of the charts. In the US it was retitled Bang A Gong, (Get It On). Power Station had a UK & US hit with their version of the song in 1985.

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Neil Young

July 25th 1969, Neil Young appeared with Crosby, Stills and Nash for the first time when played at The Fillmore East in New York. Young was initially asked to help out with live material only, but ended up joining the group on and off for the next 30 years.

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Bob Dylan

July 25th 1965, Dressed in Carnaby Street threads, the ever changing Bob Dylan plugged in for his headlining set backed by the Butterfield Blues Band at The Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island. Folk music ‘purists’ tried to boo him off the stage, while the rest of the audience gave him an enthusiastic response. It is usually said that the reason for the crowd's hostile reception was Dylan's 'abandoning' of the folk orthodoxy, or poor sound quality on the night (or a combination of the two).

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Ac/Dc

25th July 1980, AC/DC released their sixth internationally released studio album Back In Black, the first AC/DC album recorded without former lead singer Bon Scott who died on 19 February 1980 at the age of 33. The album has sold an estimated 49 million copies worldwide to date, making it the second highest-selling album of all time, and the best-selling hard rock or heavy metal album

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24/07/2017

Paul Revere and the Raiders

July 24th 1971, Paul Revere and the Raiders went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Indian Reservation'. The song was first recorded in 1959 by Marvin Rainwater and released as 'The Pale Faced Indian' and then later by Don Fardon in 1968.

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