Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Music History Today: July 8, 2020

June 8, 1978: After six months at Number 1, the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack is replaced by Gerry Rafferty's City To City.
Gerry Rafferty was an artist who really didn’t like fame all that much. In fact, he once walked out on his former band, Stealers Wheel,  shortly after they topped the charts with “Stuck in the Middle with You”  in 1973. 
City To City album cover

The success found Rafferty  retreating to his native Scotland before being coerced back into rejoining that band.mIronically, City to City brought Rafferty fame in droves after a long hiatus from the public eye.  

Read more: Classic Rock Review 
June 8, 1968:  Steppenwolf released the single "Born To Be Wild."
With 'Born To Be Wild,' Steppenwolf delivered not only a timeless rock anthem and open road biker soundtrack, but also one of the most iconic songs of an era. 
The song was written by Mars Bonfire who, though not a member of Steppenwolf, had previously been in the band The Sparrows with Steppenwolf leader John Kay. 

June 8, 1972: Bill Withers' "Lean On Me" hits Number 1 in America. 
It had been a long, hot day of protests in Washington, D.C. As dusk descended on the nation's capital on June 3, a man in the crowd held up a microphone. The man, Maryland-based singer Kenny Sway, asked the protesters to kneel and to turn on their cell phone flashlights. And with the lights on thousands of phones beaming bright as far as the eye could see, Kenny Sway lifted his voice with a familiar refrain: "Sometimes in our lives we all have pain, we all have sorrow." Pretty soon, a chorus of thousands joined him in singing the late Bill Withers' beloved hit "Lean on Me."   
Read more:  NPR  June 6, 2020

June 8, 1981: Tom Petty released the single "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" with Stevie Nicks.
Writing a great song is tricky enough, but writing a standout duet is an even more difficult bit of business than that. After all, you have to make room for two contrasting perspectives without pulling the song apart at the seams in the process. 
And, since the majority of duets are inter-gender, you have to be able to write believably for the opposite sex. Most people would agree that Tom Petty pulled off one of the great duets in rock history when he penned “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” and joined Stevie Nicks on the justly celebrated recording. 
Read more: American Songwriters

July 8, 2000: "The Real Slim Shady" debuts at Number 1 in the UK, giving Eminem his first chart-topper on the Singles chart. 
Hip-hop is not exactly renowned for its wallflowers, but there have been few stars as outrageously controversial as Eminem, aka Slim Shady.
 As prodigiously talented as he is confrontational, the Detroit rapper, born Marshall Mathers on 17 October 1972, worked his way up from the underground to become the most successful hip-hop artist in the world. 
Read more: U Discover Music

Right Down the Line
Gerry Rafferty

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