Saturday, July 4, 2020

Music History Today: July 4, 2020

July 4, 1938: Bill Withers is born in Slab Fork, West Virginia (July 4, 1938 – March 30, 2020). 
Bill Withers, who wrote and sang a string of soulful songs in the 1970s that have stood the test of time, including “ Lean on Me, ” “Lovely Day” and “Ain’t No Sunshine,” has died from heart complications, his family said in a statement to The Associated Press. 
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His death comes as the public has drawn inspiration from his music during the coronavirus pandemic, with health care workers, choirs, artists and more posting their own renditions on “Lean on Me” to help get through the difficult times.  
Read more: AP News
July 4, 1959: Bobby Darin's multi-million selling hit, "Dream Lover" tops the UK chart. 
It was in 1959 that Darin recorded his own composition, ‘Dream Lover’ that became a multi-million seller. 
Bobby Darin
Bobby Darin
It made No.2 on the Billboard charts in the late spring/early summer of 1959 but in Britain it went one better topping the charts for four weeks from Independence Day, the 4th of July. The song gave Darin financial independence and he took more creative control of his career as was proved by the album, That’s All. 
Read more: U Discover Music

 

July 4, 1964: "I Get Around" becomes the first US number one single for The Beach Boys
During the session where the Beach Boys were recording “I Get Around,” Murry Wilson was acting like an asshole. This was nothing new. Murry was the overbearing father of Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson, and he was also, in the early years, the band’s manager. 
During the session, Murry was ranting about how untalented his sons were and how shitty the song was, threatening to shut the session down. In the middle of the session, Brian fired him. Brian Wilson didn’t make too many power-plays like this, but there was too much at stake.  
Read more:  Stereogum


July 4, 1969: Opening day of the Atlanta Pop Festival in Byron, Georgia. Grand Funk Railroad did so well that they were signed to a recording contract by Capitol Records after the performance.


Are You Ready
(Live From Jacksonville/1970)



July 4, 1970: Casey Kasem debuts the radio show American Top 40, where he counts down the Billboard hits (the number 1 song: "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)" by Three Dog Night. 
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Family members of radio personality Casey Kasem have settled dueling lawsuits alleging that the longtime “American Top 40" host was badly mistreated before his death in 2014. 
Three Dog Night
The two sides filed a joint request Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit by three of Kasem's children and his brother against Kasem's widow that claimed her neglect and physical abuse led to his death, as well as a counter-suit making similar claims against the plaintiffs that was filed by his widow and another daughter. 
Read more: US News (Dec. 3, 2019)


July 4, 1972: Harry Nilsson's album Nilsson Schmilsson is certified Gold.
"Coconut" is a novelty song written and first recorded by American singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson, released as the third single from his 1971 album, Nilsson Schmilsson.
Nilsson Schmilsson album cover
 It was on the U.S. Billboard charts for 14 weeks, reaching #8, and was ranked by Billboard as the #66 song for 1972.  
Read more: Wikipedia


Ain't No Sunshine 
Bill Withers

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