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Showing posts from April, 2020

We're Number One! (almost)

We're Number one! almost, because we're number one 2!


Here are some great songs that just didn't make it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 or R&B charts.

In my post on Little Richard I commented on his breakthrough single, "Tutti Frutti" that got stalled at #2 because "Great Pretender" by 'The Platters' would not budge from the #1 spot from the beginning of January through to the week ending March 10. I've run across this before so I decided to research how many of the old classic hit songs had the same fate and just didn't get to the #1 spot. I've talked about many of these songs but when you look at the number that didn't make it is a bit surprising. And do we remember them any less for being #2? Let's show the song that kept them out of the top spot and see how it compares.

Here are the #2 songs I could find up to 1970 alone;

Jerry Lee Lewis released "Great Balls Of Fire" in 1957, recorded at Sun Studios an…

Little Richard

Little Richard
Richard Penniman was born in Macon Georgia, on December 5th, 1932, and since my blog was posted he passed May 9, 2020 at age 87. He grew up with 11 brothers and sisters and learned music from family, friends and at Church. By 1951 he had a contract with RCA Victor and cut some tracks in Atlanta. Here is his first song "Taxi Blues". He doesn't sound like the Little Richard we have come to know, but very few artists find their 'voice' on the first attempt. And so there was an evolution to his style, in 1952 he was starting to Rock it up with "Get Rich Quick". By 1953 he was still recording more traditional blues and some new material from other songwriters, such as "Ain't That Good News" credited as 'Duces Of Rhythm & Tempo Toppers' (with lead Little Richard)". But he still had not released his flashy and flamboyant style, even though his live performances were getting fairly raucous compared to the toned dow…

April 19th (2020)

April 19th (2020)
Its my wife's birthday today so I've given a couple updates to my post from last year. I'm going to write about some of the music through the years and add a few of her favorite songs that I hope others will enjoy as well. Before you decide to stop here, although I'm being self indulgent (and a bit personal), there's some great songs to follow! I mentioned in 'Classic Rock' the Led Zeppelin song "Fool in the Rain" being her favorite and the fact that she is not a huge music fan but supports my obsession. Having been dragged to more than one show that gets the "that was nice" response she has however seen live concerts of artists she likes such as; Elton John, Bon Jovi, David Bowie, Rod Stewart, and Jann Arden. She really enjoyed productions like, Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera.

Traveling back in time a bit (like I've never done that in my blog!), in high school most of us are exposed to a lot of music from…

One Hit Wonders (for real)

Real One Hit Wonders
A while back I sort of debunked "One Hit Wonders" lists in my "One Hit Wonders (Not!)" post as there were so many songs that just don't qualify. So I thought I'd share a list of songs that are truly "one and done" hit songs. Once again following the definition laid out by music journalist Wayne Jancik "an act that has won a position on a national, pop, Top 40 record chart just once." This from the 'The Billboard Book of One-Hit Wonders' (1998).

In my last post there is this one hit wonder by The Buggles, "Video Killed the Radio Star" (1979-80) this song is oddly often overlooked on most 'one hit' lists yet it is one of the biggest of them all, not many songs hit #1 in 16 different countries!

Conversely Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky" (1969-70) is rightfully very high on most every list, however with the exception of charting higher in the US at #3 on Billboard and #1 on…

Radio, Radio

Radio, Radio Where would popular music be without the Radio? "Radio Nowhere" that's where. Okay, anytime I can work a Bruce Springsteen song into a sentence it's a good day! Radio has always been a critical part of the world's infrastructure and was the foundation of international communication. During emergencies, wartime or bad weather Radio has been there for us all. With a worldwide pandemic Radio has once again proven a vital link to keep us informed and entertained. Be it talk radio, news radio or any other type of programming, local radio in particular has never been more important than it is now. We rely on it to know what's going on in our neighbourhoods, which stores are open, will it be sunny or cloudy or just to hear a friendly and familiar voice. I grew up listening to talk, sports (Go Knights!) and music radio quite a bit, I still do and it most definitely influenced my love of music a great deal. 
There are many songs with "Radio" in…

Classic R&B Songs

Classic R&B Songs

Well it's time to explore the genre of R&B. For me that means the older traditional stuff, so if you are looking for Drake or Bieber, Beyonce or Rihanna you've come to the wrong place. I've discussed Rhythm and Blues music in my past posts, particularly the ones on Rock and Roll History and the Delta Blues. So where did the the term come from? Jerry (Gerald) Wexler was a music Journalist working for Billboard Magazine in 1947 and the current terminology being used to describe the music coming from the African American community was racist and demeaning. "Race Music" was perhaps the biggest offender, aslo 'Harlem Hit Parade" and other terms such as "Sepia" although I found an Atlanta based African American publication still using that term. So Wexler was tasked with coming up with a new term and he landed on 'Rhythm and Blues'. Now just referred to as R&B, and as a genre is the most popular music in the worl…