Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Xmas

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) - John Lennon
(warning, Yoko sings)

This Date In Music History-December 25

While I enjoy Christmas with my family, here is "This Date In Music History" (an expanded version) a bit early. In fact, I have decided not even to turn my computer on tomorrow. May all my faithful readers have a safe and Happy Holiday Season.


Robin Campbell (UB40-1954)

Jimmy Buffett ("Margaritaville”-1946)

Country singer Barbara Mandrell (1948). She was named Country Music Association entertainer of the year in 1979, 1980 and 1981.

Annie Lennox (Eurythmics-1954)

Shane MacGowan (The Pogues-1957)

Alannah Myles, (Canadian singer-1958) 1990 US #1 and UK #2 single “Black Velvet.”

Dido, singer, songwriter (1971)

Pete Brown, lyricist, poet, singer, producer, Cream (1940). Also worked with Jack Bruce, Graham Bond, Mick Jagger and Peter Green.

They Are Missed:

Swing icon Cabell "Cab" Calloway III (December 25, 1907 – November 18, 1994)

Born on this day in 1937, O'Kelly Isley, of The Isley Brothers. Died on March 31, 1986.

Born on this day Noel Redding, bass, Jimi Hendrix Experience, (1945-2003)

Born on this day in 1944, Henry Vestine, guitar, Canned Heat. Died on October 20, 1997.

Dean Martin, US actor and singer, died in 1995. Had the 1956 UK & US #1 single “Memories Are Made Of This,” plus over 15 other UK Top 40 singles.

In 1998, Bryan MacLean, guitarist with Love, died of a heart attack (age 62) while having Christmas dinner with a young fan who was researching a book about the band.

James Brown, the "Godfather of Soul", died in 2006 (age of 73), after being diagnosed with severe pneumonia. Brown went to his dentist in Atlanta the previous day who told him something was wrong, and he sent him to a doctor immediately.

Trumpeter Gene Miller, who played with Otis Redding and Etta James among others, died in Memphis in 1987.


"Silent Night" was performed for the first time in 1818, at the Church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorff, Austria.

In 1960, 17 year-old Mary Wells made her debut on the US charts with her first release, "Bye Bye Baby.” The record would make the R&B Top Ten and the Pop Top Fifty. Over the next five years, she would provide Motown with eleven Top Forty hits.

Bing Crosby's White Christmas” entered the Billboard Pop chart for the first time in 1954, seven years after it was recorded. Bing's rendition has sold over 100 million copies around the world, with at least 50 million sales as singles. It was the largest selling single in music history until it was surpassed by Elton John's Candle in the Wind 1997.”

Melanie started a three week run at #1 on the US singles chart in 1971 with “Brand New Key,” the first release on her new label Neighborhood Records (a song that she would later say took her only fifteen minutes to write).

The Eagles started a eight-week run at #1 on the US album chart in 1976 with “Hotel California.”

Dave Clark Five went to #1 on the US singles chart in 1965 with “Over And Over.” They became the 7th UK act of 1965 to score a US #1 single.

The Beatles 6th album “Rubber Soul” started a nine-week run at #1 on the UK chart in 1965. It spent a total of 42 week's on the UK chart and was also a #1 in the US.

Appearing at The Fox Theatre, Brooklyn, New York in 1964 were The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Miracles, Stevie Wonder and The Marvelettes. What a line-up!

In 1964, The Beatles, recorded six songs for the BBC radio program Saturday Club in London: “Rock and Roll Music,” “I'm a Loser,” “Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby,””I Feel Fine,” “Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey” and “She's a Woman.”

David Bowie had a #3 UK hit in 1982 with a duet with Bing Crosby, “Peace On Earth - Little Drummer Boy.”

In 1993, Mariah Carey started a four week run at #1 on the US singles chart with “Hero,” a #7 hit in the UK. Also on this day Mariah went to #1 on the US album chart with “Music Box.”

James Taylor received his first guitar for Christmas in 1960, at the age of 12.

In 1958, Alan Freed organized quite a Christmas Rock & Roll Spectacular at Manhattan's Loew's State Theatre. Among the 17 acts on the bill were: Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran, the Moonglows, Jackie Wilson, Frankie Avalon, the Everly Brothers and headliner Johnnie Ray.

On Christmas morning in 1959, a young Richard Starkey received his first drum set for Christmas. The 18-year-old apprentice/engineer later become world famous as Ringo Starr, drummer for the Beatles.

In 1964, female fans of George Harrison attacked his girlfriend, Patti Boyd at one of The Beatles' Christmas shows in London. It seems the girls were resentful of Patti's place in George's life.

In 1981, Michael Jackson called Paul McCartney and suggested they write and record together. Their first effort would result in a US #2 and UK #8 hit, "The Girl Is Mine" in late 1982.

Lou Christie's biggest song, "Lightning Strikes" enters Billboard's Hot 100 in 1965 for a 15-week stay. Although he would have many other hits, this would be Christie's only number one.

The Young Rascals entered the Hot 100 in 1965 for the first time with "I Ain't Gonna Eat My Heart Out Anymore", which peaked at #52.

On Christmas Day in 1967, Paul McCartney became engaged to Jane Asher, but they would never marry.

Happy Holidays!

Bing Crosby "White Christmas"

Bowie Meets Crosby

Elvis Presley

Music News & Notes

U2 planning five different versions of new album U2

Extras include an exclusive magazine, book and Anton Corbijn film

U2 are set to release five different versions of new album 'No Line On The Horizon', with a host of extras including a new film by Anton Corbijn available to fans.

As well as a standard CD and vinyl issue, 'No Line On The Horizon' will be released in three limited editions, reports Billboard.

The digi-pack version offers the full album along with a 36-page booklet, a fold-out poster and a downloadable film by Corbijn, featuring the music of U2.

A magazine version of the album comes with a 60-page soft cover magazine-style book, along with the Corbijn film as a download.

The most excessive of the five releases is the box set, which features a 60-page hardback book, a second poster and a DVD version of Corbijn's film.

As NME.COM previous reported, U2 are set to release 'No Line On The Horizon' in the UK on March 2.



New Kelly Clarkson Single Due Next Month

Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Kelly Clarkson's new single, "My Life Would Suck Without You," will hit U.S. radio outlets Jan. 19. The track will introduce her fourth, as-yet-untitled studio album, due March 17 from RCA.

Although a track list has yet to be announced, Clarkson has worked with producer/songwriter Dr. Luke and OneRepublic leader Ryan Tedder on new material.

The album will be the follow-up to 2007's "My December," which has sold 780,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Clarkson feuded with RCA exec Clive Davis over her desire to write her own material for the album, on the heels of her smash 2004 album "Breakaway," which featured a number of co-writes with experienced songwriters.

A planned arena tour was scrapped just before "My December" came out due to lower-than-expected ticket sales, and was reconfigured for smaller venues a few months later.

Last fall, Clarkson signed with manager Narvel Blackstock, who paired her with his wife, Reba McEntire, for a successful co-headlining tour in early 2008.



Wal-Mart Snags Exclusive Springsteen Hits Set

Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

Wal-Mart will be the exclusive U.S. retailer for Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band's "Greatest Hits," which will arrive Jan. 13, two weeks prior to the group's new Columbia studio album, "Working on a Dream."

The 12-track set omits material from Springsteen's albums without the E Street Band to round up classics such as "Born To Run," "Thunder Road," "Born in the U.S.A." and "Darkness on the Edge of Town."

Both "Greatest Hits" and "Working on a Dream" will be in stores when Springsteen and company perform at the Super Bowl XLIII halftime show on Feb. 1 in Tampa, Fla.

Like last year's "Magic," the new album was produced by Brendan O'Brien. Springsteen began writing material before "Magic" was even complete, and "agreed we'd somehow find time during the touring year to get this record made," the Boss writes on his Web site.

Indeed, O'Brien's ability to help Springsteen and the band multitask "has allowed us to get a steadier stream of our best music out to our fans," the artist says. "This is something I've always wanted to do. We found time to book sessions, get the band while it was hot off the road, write and record a new record, while giving our audience what I hope was some of the best E Street shows we've ever done."

Meanwhile, Springsteen made a surprise appearance last night (Dec. 22) at the fourth Hope Concert in Red Bank, N.J., which also featured Jon Bon Jovi and Southside Johnny. The Boss performed "Run Run Rudolph" with Bon Jovi and then played "Merry Christmas Baby," "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," "634-5789," "10th Avenune Freeze-Out" and "Having a Party" with the house band.

Here is the track list for "Greatest Hits":

"Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)"
"Born To Run"
"Thunder Road"
"Darkness on the Edge of Town"
"Hungry Heart"
"Glory Days"
"Dancing in the Dark"
"Born in the U.S.A."
"The Rising"
"Lonesome Day"
"Radio Nowhere"

Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Christmas Song