Friday, August 14, 2020

Music History Today: August 15, 2020

August 15, 1958: Twenty-one-year-old Buddy Holly was married to 25-year-old Maria Elena Santiago. The wedding a few days after his song "Think It Over" entered the US Top 40.

Buddy Holly & Maria Elena Santiago
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August 15, 1960: "It's Now Or Never" became Elvis Presley's 14th number 1 song in just four years.
When Elvis Presley was in the Army and stationed in Germany, he heard “There’s No Tomorrow,” a 1949 single from the pop belter Tony Martin that used the melody of “O Sole Mio,” the old Italian song. 
Elvis Presley
Presley liked the idea so much that he told his publisher he wanted a song like that of his own. So the songwriters Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold reportedly spent half an hour banging out some lyrics that would fit the “O Sole Mio” melody. The resulting song, “It’s Now Or Never,” was one of the biggest sellers of Presley’s career.    
Read more:  Stereogum


August 15, 1965: The Beatles play Shea Stadium in New York: the first time a rock band headlines a stadium.
The Beatles staged their second concert tour of the United States (with one date in Canada) in the late summer of 1965. 
The opening show, at Shea Stadium in the New York borough of Queens, on 15 August was record-breaking and one of the most famous concert events of its era. It set records for attendance and revenue generation. Promoter Sid Bernstein said, "Over 55,000 people saw the Beatles at Shea Stadium. We took $304,000, the greatest gross ever in the history of show business." It remained the highest concert attendance in the United States until 1973, when Led Zeppelin played to an audience of 56,000 in Tampa, Florida.    
Read more: Democratic Underground


August 15, 1969: The Woodstock Music and Art Festival began on Max Yasgur's 600 acre farm in Bethel, New York. Artists to appear this day include Richie Havens, Joan Baez, Tim Hardin, Arlo Guthrie and Melanie.
Twenty-two-year-old Melanie Safka was one of the more unlikely performers at Woodstock in 1969. By her own admission, she was a relative nobody without any big hits to her name and had never performed in front of more than 500 people, let alone the 100,000 who would gather in New York. Her escort to the festival was her mother and she had her first encounter with celebrity when Joan Baez sent her a pot of tea to combat a nervous cough she developed while waiting to perform.
Melanie Safka

Yet when she stepped out onto the stage on Friday night, August 15, 1969 just before 11 PM, she was greeted by the audience lighting candles (and lighters) in an effort to psychically beat back the rain that had been falling. Not only did Melanie perform a successful set (“I went on as an unknown and I came off that stage as a celebrity,” she recently told American Songwriter), but she also had the inspiration for her first Top 10 hit. 
Read more: American Songwriter


August 15, 1969: On the day Woodstock begins, Bob Dylan sails on the Queen Elizabeth 2 for the Isle of Wight in England. Fed up with the "druggies" who'd been showing up at his house at all hours, he wants nothing to do with Woodstock and opts instead to perform at the Isle of Wight Festival two weeks later.


Think It Over
Buddy Holly


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