Tuesday, January 1, 2008

This Day In Music History- January 1

In 1912, the first song with the term "blues" in the title was released, "Memphis Blues" by W.C.Handy.

In 1950, Sam Phillips opened the Memphis Recording Service. He begins recording several local blues artists, including B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf and James Cotton.

James Brown joins the Gospel Starlighters in 1953, a vocal quartet led by Bobby Byrd, after completing a four-year stint in prison for robbery. The group will change its focus from gospel to R&B and its name to the Famous Flames, as Brown becomes the focal point of the act and the “Godfather of Soul” was born.

Also in 1953, problems with drugs and alcohol led to Hank Williams' premature death by heart attack at age 29 while en route to a show.

George Martin was made the head of the Parlophone record label, in 1955.

The Payola hearings began in 1958.

In 1960, Aldon hires teenage newlyweds Carole King & Gerry Goffin.

In 1961, Motown signs the Primettes, a girl group just out of high school. They would change their name to the Supremes and make music history.

The Beatles made their debut at the Cavern Club in Liverpool in 1961.

In 1962, Bob Dylan's eponymous debut album released; as is Peter, Paul & Mary's self-titled debut.

'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan' was released in 1963, containing "Blowin' In the Wind,"A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" and "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright.”

In 1965, Petula Clark becomes the first British female artist to hit big in America in the 1960s as "Downtown" reaches #1.

In 1966, Aldon founder Don Kirshner conceives made-for-TV band the Monkees, who reach #1 with Neil Diamond's song "I'm A Believer."

Simon and Garfunkel's majestic "Bridge Over Troubled Water," tops the singles chart in 1970.

'Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.', Bruce Springsteen's debut album, was released in 1973.

In 1977, the film 'Saturday Night Fever' is released; 15 of the 28 #1 songs are disco. (ohhh the humanity!)

London Calling, by the Clash, was released in 1980. Critics hail it as the best album of the Eighties.

Appearing with Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters makes his final public performance in 1982.

In 1988, the Beatles inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (there were also a number of other artists that were also inducted to the Hall in various years, but space is limited!)

In 1997, George Martin produces and scores Elton John's best-selling single "Candle in the Wind '97," a tribute to the recently deceased Princess Diana.

San Francisco psychedelic rocker "Country" Joe McDonald (the infamous "Fish cheer" at Woodstock) turns 66.

In 1962, the Beatles performed their first audition for Decca Records in London. However, the company's A&R man was unimpressed by their 15-song set of standards and originals. He passed on them, and signed the Tremeloes instead. (OUCH!)

In 1995, street musician turned genuine blues hero Ted Hawkins died of a stroke in Los Angeles.

VH1 made its debut in 1985. It’s initially designed to appeal aging baby-boomers, leaving MTV to the teen audience.

On the first day of the new year in 1956, RCA released Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel.” In 1999, the single would be certified multi-platinum for the second time.

In 1993, Elton John breaks Elvis Presley's record for the most consecutive years having a US Top 40 hit when "The Last Song" peaks at number 24, giving him a string of 23 straight hit making years.