19/02/2018

Falco

February 19th 1957, Born on this day, Falco, (Hans Holzl), who had the1986 UK & US No.1 single 'Rock Me Amadeus'. Falco became the first-ever Austrian act to score a UK and US No.1 hit single. He was killed in a car accident on 6th February 1998.

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Andy Powell

February 19th 1950, Born on this day, Andy Powell, guitarist with English prog rock group Wishbone Ash who had the 1972 UK No.3 album 'Argus', and eight other Top 40 albums.

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Lou Christie

February 19th 1943, Born on this day, Lou Christie, US singer, who had the 1966 US No.1 single 'Lightnin Strikes', and the 1969 UK No.2 single 'I'm Gonna Make You Mine'.

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Harry Nilsson

19th Feb 1972, Harry Nilsson started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with his version of the Badfinger song 'Without You.' His vocal was recorded in a single take and his performance was rewarded with Nilsson's second Grammy Award.

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Manfred Mann's Earth Band

Feb 19th 1977, Manfred Mann's Earth Band scored a No.1 single in the US with their version of the Bruce Springsteen song 'Blinded By The Light.' The track was the first single from Bruce Springsteen's 1973 debut album Greetings from Asbury Park N.J. The Earth Band's version features several changed lyrics. The most prominent change is in the chorus, where Springsteen's "cut loose like a deuce" is replaced with "revved up like a deuce." Springsteen himself has said that it was not until Manfred Mann rewrote the song to be about a "feminine hygiene product" that it became popular.

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18/02/2018

Bon Scott

Ronald Belford "Bon" Scott (9 July 1946 – 19 February 1980)

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Dennis DeYoung

Happy birthday Dennis DeYoung (born February 18, 1947) an American singer, songwriter, musician and producer best known for being a founding member of the rock band Styx as lead vocalist and keyboardist, a tenure that lasted from 1970 until June 1999. DeYoung has been credited as the writer of more Styx songs than any other Styx member.
Growing up in the Roseland area of Chicago, DeYoung started his career as a vocalist in 1961 at the age of 14 when he teamed up with his 13-year-old neighbors Chuck and John Panozzo in a three-piece combo. The trio later added guitarist James Young and John Curulewski to form the band Tradewinds in the late 1960s. The band renamed itself TW4 in 1968 before becoming Styx in 1970.
Before the band met with success, DeYoung spent time as an elementary school teacher in the southern suburbs of Chicago, where he taught music at a variety of schools. During this period, the band played a number of small venues and school auditoriums, refining their craft before the song "Lady" propelled them to national, then international, stardom.

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The Kinks

18th February 1965, The Kinks were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Tired Of Waiting For You', the group's second UK No.1. According to Ray Davies, the music for 'Tired of Waiting for You' was written on the train to the recording studio and the words were written at a coffee shop during a break in the session

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John Travolta

February 18th 1954, Born on this day, John Travolta, actor, singer, who had the 1978 UK & US No.1 single with Olivia Newton John, 'You're The One That I Want'. The track topped the UK Singles Chart for nine weeks in the summer of 1978 and as of 2008, is still the sixth best-selling single ever in the UK where it has sold over 2,015,000 copies. His mother and his sister Ann appeared as extras in Saturday Night Fever and his sister Ellen appeared as a waitress in Grease.

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Robbie Bachman

February 18th 1953, Born on this day, Robbie Bachman from Bachman Turner Overdrive who had the 1974 US No.1 & UK No.2 single 'You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet'.

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Yoko Ono

February 18th 1933, Born on this day, Yoko Ono, Japanese artist, singer, poet, author and peace activist and wife of John Lennon. Ono moved to New York City from Tokyo aged 14 and first met John Lennon in London in 1966, the couple married in 1969.

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Ray Charles

February 18th 1959, Ray Charles recorded 'What'd I Say', in New York City. The song had evolved in concert as a call-and-response between Charles and his female back-up singers. It became Charles' biggest hit to date, reaching No.1 on the R&B and No.6 on the pop charts.  

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Beach Boys

18th Feb 1966, Beach Boy Brian Wilson recorded the future classic song 'Good Vibrations', which went on to become the band's third US number-one hit. As a child, his mother told him that dogs could pick up "vibrations" from people, so that the dog would bark at "bad vibrations" Wilson turned this into the general idea for the song.

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17/02/2018

Nancy Sinatra

17th February 1966, Nancy Sinatra was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'These Boots Are Made For Walking', Frank's eldest daughters first No.1. Written by Lee Hazlewood Sinatra's recording of the song was made with the help of Los Angeles session musicians known as the Wrecking Crew.

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Thelonious Sphere Monk

Today we remember the passing of the great Thelonious Sphere Monk (October 10, 1917 – February 17, 1982) was an American jazz pianist and composer.
Thelonious Sphere Monk was born two years after his sister Marion on October 10, 1917, in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, the son of Thelonious and Barbara Monk. His badly written birth certificate misspelled his first name as "Thelious" or "Thelius". It also did not list his middle name, taken from his maternal grandfather, Sphere Batts. A brother, Thomas, was born in January 1920. In 1922, the family moved to 243 West 63rd Street, in Manhattan, New York City. Monk started playing the piano at the age of six. Monk was largely self-taught, although he did attend Stuyvesant High School, but did not graduate.
He toured with an evangelist in his teens, playing the church organ, and in his late teens he began to find work playing jazz. In the early to mid-1940s, Monk was the house pianist at Minton's Playhouse, a Manhattan nightclub. Much of Monk's style was developed during his time at Minton's, when he participated in after-hours "cutting competitions" which featured many leading jazz soloists of the time. The Minton's scene was crucial in the formulation of bebop and it brought Monk into close contact with other leading exponents of the emerging idiom, including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Christian, Kenny Clarke, Charlie Parker and, later, Miles Davis. Monk is believed to be the pianist featured on recordings Jerry Newman made around 1941 at the club. Monk's style at this time was later described as "hard-swinging," with the addition of runs in the style of Art Tatum. Monk's stated influences included Duke Ellington, James P. Johnson, and other early stride pianists. In the documentary Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser, it is stated that Monk lived in the same neighborhood in New York City as Johnson and knew him as a teenager.
Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "'Round Midnight", "Blue Monk", "Straight, No Chaser" "Ruby, My Dear", "In Walked Bud", and "Well, You Needn't". Monk is the second-most recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington, which is particularly remarkable as Ellington composed more than 1,000 pieces, whereas Monk wrote about 70.
His compositions and improvisations feature dissonances and angular melodic twists, and are consistent with Monk's unorthodox approach to the piano, which combined a highly percussive attack with abrupt, dramatic use of silences and hesitations.
He was renowned for his distinctive style in suits, hats, and sunglasses. He was also noted for an idiosyncratic habit observed at times during performances: while the other musicians in the band continued playing, he would stop, stand up from the keyboard, and dance for a few moments before returning to the piano.
Monk is one of five jazz musicians to have been featured on the cover of Time, after Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, and Duke Ellington, and before Wynton Marsalis.
The documentary film Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser (1988) attributes Monk's quirky behaviour to mental illness. In the film, Monk's son says that his father sometimes did not recognize him, and he reports that Monk was hospitalized on several occasions due to an unspecified mental illness that worsened in the late 1960s. No reports or diagnoses were ever publicized, but Monk would often become excited for two or three days, pace for days after that, after which he would withdraw and stop speaking. Physicians recommended electroconvulsive therapy as a treatment option for Monk's illness, but his family would not allow it; antipsychotics and lithium were prescribed instead. Other theories abound: Leslie Gourse, author of the book Straight, No Chaser: The Life and Genius of Thelonious Monk (1997), reported that at least one of Monk's psychiatrists failed to find evidence of manic depression (bipolar disorder) or schizophrenia. Another physician maintains that Monk was misdiagnosed and prescribed drugs during his hospital stay that may have caused brain damage.
As his health declined, Monk's last six years were spent as a guest in the Weehawken, New Jersey home of his long-standing patron and friend, de Koenigswarter, who had also nursed Parker during his final illness. Monk did not play the piano during this time, even though one was present in his room, and he spoke to few visitors. He died of a stroke on February 17, 1982, and was buried in Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. In 1993, he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2006 he was awarded a special Pulitzer Prize for "a body of distinguished and innovative musical composition that has had a significant and enduring impact on the evolution of jazz." During his lifetime, his style was not universally appreciated. Poet and jazz critic Philip Larkin once dismissed Monk as "the elephant on the keyboard".

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Kate Bush

17th February 1978, Kate Bush released her debut studio album The Kick Inside which contained her UK number one hit, 'Wuthering Heights', (marking the first time a female singer-songwriter topped the charts with a self-penned song). Bush was just 19 years old and had written some of the songs when she was only 13.

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Billie Joe Armstrong

February 17th 1972, Born on this day, Billie Joe Armstrong, American singer, songwriter, musician, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, and actor with Green Day who had the 1995 UK No.7 single with 'Basket Case'. Their 1994 album Dookie has sold over 10 million copies and they were the Top Modern Rock Act in the US in 1995. Armstrong is also a member of the punk rock band Pinhead Gunpowder and provides lead vocals for Green Day's side projects Foxboro Hot Tubs and The Network.

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Blondie

February 17th 1979, Blondie scored their first UK No.1 album when 'Parallel Lines' started a four-week run at the top of the charts, featuring the singles 'Heart Of Glass', 'Hanging On The Telephone' and 'Sunday Girl.'

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The Beatles

17th Feb 1967, The Beatles started recording a new John Lennon song 'Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite'. at Abbey Road studios, London. John's lyrics for the song came almost entirely from an antique poster advertising a circus performance scheduled to take place in Rochdale, Lancashire, in February 1843. John had purchased the poster in Sevenoaks on January 31 while The Beatles were on location for the filming of the 'Strawberry Fields Forever' promotional film.

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AC/DC

February 17th 1975, AC/DC released their debut album 'High Voltage'. The album featured a cover of 'Baby, Please Don't Go' a blues song first recorded by Big Joe Williams and 'She's Got Balls' which was written about singer Bon Scott's ex-wife Irene - the first AC/DC song for which he wrote lyrics. 

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