03/02/2018

Dave Davies

February 3rd 1947, Born on this day, Dave Davies, guitarist with The Kinks who scored the 1964 UK No.1 & US No.7 'You Really Got Me', and the 1967 UK No.2 single 'Waterloo Sunset' plus 19 other UK Top 40 singles. Davies suffered a stroke in 2004 after being interviewed by the BBC in London where he had been promoting his then current album, 'Bug'.

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The Beatles

February 3rd 1968, The Beatles started work on their new single 'Lady Madonna' at Abbey Road studios in London. Recording three piano and drum takes with overdub bass, fuzz guitars, drums, and vocals.

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Blondie

February 3rd 1979, Blondie had their first of five UK No.1 singles, with 'Heart Of Glass', taken from the band's third studio album, Parallel Lines. 'Heart of Glass' was originally recorded in 1975 under the name 'Once I Had a Love.'

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Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens

February 3rd 1959, 22 year old Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens, aged 17, died in a crash shortly after take-off from Clear Lake, Iowa, the pilot of the single-engined Beechcraft Bonanza plane was also killed. Holly hired the plane after heating problems developed on his tour bus. All three were travelling to Fargo, North Dakota, for the next show on their Winter Dance Party Tour which Holly had set - covering 24 cities in three weeks, to make money after the break-up of his band, The Crickets, last year. 

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Johnny 'guitar' Watson

February 3rd 1935, Born on this day, Johnny 'guitar' Watson, American blues guitarist, singer, who had the 1976 UK No.35 single 'I Need It'. Watson died on 17th May 1996 while on tour in Yokohama, Japan. According to eyewitness reports, he collapsed mid-guitar solo. His last words were "ain't that a bitch". 

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Dire Straits

February 3rd 1986, Dire Straits were at No.1 on the UK album charts with their fifth studio album Brothers in Arms. With ten weeks at No.1, the album is the seventh best-selling album in UK chart history and won two Grammy Awards in 1986, and also won Best British Album at the 1987 Brit Awards. Brothers in Arms also spent nine weeks at No.1 on the Billboard 200 in the US, and thirty-four weeks at No.1 on the Australian Album Chart.

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02/02/2018

Howard Bellamy

February 2nd 1946, Born on this day, Howard Bellamy from the Bellamy Brothers who had the 1976 US No.1 single 'Let Your Love Flow', and the 1979 UK No.3 single 'If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me'.

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Graham Nash

February 2nd 1942, Born on this day, British-American singer-songwriter Graham Nash, known for his light tenor voice and for his songwriting contributions as a member of The Hollies and supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash. Nash initially met both David Crosby and Stephen Stills in 1966 during a Hollies US tour. CSN's scored the hit singles 'Marrakesh Express' (which had been rejected by the Hollies), 'Our House', 'Teach Your Children'.

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01/02/2018

Ray "Eye Patch" Sawyer

Happy birthday Ray "Eye Patch" Sawyer (born February 1, 1937, Chickasaw, Alabama, United States) a singer best known as a vocalist with the 1970s' rock band, Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show. Though primarily a backing vocalist & occasional percussionist on congas or maracas, he sang lead on the song "The Cover of Rolling Stone", the band's best-known song, and was a recognisable presence in the band due to the eyepatch & cowboy hat he wore.
Sawyer lost his right eye in a 1967 automobile accident. He said the following about his life around the time of his accident: "I must have played all the clubs from Houston to Charleston until I decided I was going insane from too much beans and music, and I gave it up. I saw a John Wayne movie and proceeded to Portland, Oregon, to be a logger complete with plaid shirt, caulk boots, and pike pole. On the way my car slipped on the road and the accident left me with the eye patch I now wear. When I recovered I ran straight back to the beans and music and vowed, Here I'll stay.

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Don Everly

1st February 1937, Born on this day, American singer, songwriter Don Everly, from The Everly Brothers who had the 1958 UK & US No.1 single 'All I Have To Do Is Dream'. Other hits include: 'Wake Up Little Susie,' 'Bird Dog,' 'Cathy's Clown,' 'Walk Right Back' and 'Crying in the Rain'. The music of the Everly Brothers influenced The Beatles who based the vocal arrangement of 'Please Please Me' on 'Cathy's Clown.

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James Brown

1st February 1965, At the Arthur Smith Studios in Charlotte, North Carolina, James Brown recorded 'Papa's Got A Brand New Bag', which will reach No.8 on the Billboard Pop chart and No.1 on the R&B chart the following August and later win a Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Recording.

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Simon & Garfunkel.

Bridge Over Troubled Water

In Feb 1970, Simon and Garfunkel went to No.1 on the UK chart with Bridge Over Troubled Water. The album went on to stay on the chart for over 300 weeks, returning to the top of the charts on eight separate occasions and spending a total of 41 weeks at No.1.

It’s one of those songs, isn’t it? A timeless classic which can still, to this day, send a shiver down the spine. The single won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Song of the Year in 1971.

Paul Simon wrote the song while his partner Art Garfunkel was filming in Europe for the black comedy Catch-22 that starred Alan Arkin. The duo were coming to the end of their relatively short career, tensions were high, and by the time their fifth and final studio album was in the charts, Simon and Garfunkel were no longer.

Paul Simon told Rolling Stone in 1972 that he now regrets his insistence that Art Garfunkel sing this song as a solo, as it focused attention on Garfunkel and relegated Simon to a secondary position. Art initially did not want to sing the lead vocal, feeling it was not right for him, stating that Simon should have sung the song. But after all these years, as a listener, you can’t imagine anyone else but Art singing this beautiful song.

When Simon first presented the song to Garfunkel it had just two verses and the singer suggested Simon pen another verse, which he did. The final verse was written about Simon's then-wife Peggy Harper, who had noticed her first gray hairs, inspiring the line, "Sail on, silver girl." The first two verses had been recorded in New York and the final new verse was laid down in a studio in Los Angles.

Simon has also said he took inspiration from the Swan Silvertones' 1958 song "Mary Don't You Weep," which includes the line "I'll be your bridge over deep water if you trust in me."

So many great artists have recorded the song. Aretha Franklin saw her version reach No.1 on the US R&B chart. The Supremes, Dionne Warwick, The Jackson 5, Roberta Flack, and Whitney Houston all delivered their own soulful versions. Arguably the most famous cover of the song was by Elvis Presley, who recorded it in Nashville in 1970 for his album That's The Way It Is. The song became a permanent fixture in his sets in Las Vegas. During one season in Vegas, Paul Simon attended one of the shows, and, after seeing Elvis perform the song, was reported to have said, "That's it, we might as well all give up now." Presley continued to use this song throughout all his live performances, including his final live appearance in Indianapolis on June 26, 1977.

Bridge Over Troubled Water has since sold over 25 million copies worldwide making it one of the best selling albums of all-time and I’m not surprised. Along with the title track, other classics on the album include “The Boxer,” “The Only Living Boy in New York,” ‘Cecilia,” and “El Condor Pasa (If I Could)”.

So the duo who had started life known as Tom & Jerry in 1957 bowed out on an almighty high, but like all great stars, they returned — their 1981 Concert in New York's Central Park attracted more than 500,000 people, making it the seventh most highly attended concert in the history of music.

And what of Tom and Jerry? Well, we all know the story: Art went off and did a bit of acting and made a few solo records and Mr Simon went on to make some of the finest albums of the '80s and is still making great records today.  

 

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Lisa Marie Presley

February 1st 1968, Born on this day, Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis. Also known as the "Princess of Rock and Roll." Married Michael Jackson in 1994, and separated on 10th December 1995. She was also married to actor Nicolas Cage. Lisa Marie had the UK No.16 single 'Lights Out'.

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Rick James

February 1st 1948, Born on this day, Rick James, US singer who scored the 1981 US No.3 album 'Street Songs', and the 1981 US No 16 single 'Super Freak part 1'. James was found dead at his Los Angeles home on 6th August 2004.

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Coldplay

February 1st 2013, Coldplay's 'Clocks' topped a list by BBC Radio 6 Music's top 100 tracks of the past 10 years. More than 100,000 votes were cast in the poll which looked back over the 10 years since the station began in 2002. Arctic Monkeys' 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor' was voted into second place, and Elbow's 'One Day Like This' in third.

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Blondie

February 1st 1980, Blondie released 'Call Me', the main theme song of the 1980 film American Gigolo. It peaked at No. 1 for six consecutive weeks, and became the top-selling single of the year in the United States in 1980.

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Chuck Berry

February 1st 1972, Chuck Berry had his first UK No.1 single with a live recording of a song he'd been playing live for over 20 years 'My Ding-a-Ling'. UK public morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse attempted to have the song banned due to its innuendo-laden lyrics. The Average White Band members guitarist Onnie McIntyre and drummer Robbie McIntosh played on the single.

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RCA

February 1st 1949, RCA Records issued the first ever 45rpm single, the invention of this size record made jukeboxes possible.

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Tommy James

February 1st 1969, Tommy James and the Shondells started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Crimson And Clover', the group's second and last No.1. Billy Idol had a 1987 US No.1 with 'Mony Mony' a No.3 hit for Tommy James in 1968.

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31/01/2018

ABBA

31st January 1976, ABBA knocked Queen from the UK No.1 position on the UK singles chart with 'Mamma Mia.' Queen's single 'Bohemian Rhapsody' had enjoyed a nine week run at the top of the charts, by coincidence, Queen's single contains the famous "mamma mia, mamma mia, mamma mia let me go" line.

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