Saturday, August 22, 2020

Music History Today: August 23, 2020

August 23, 1980: David Bowie's "Ashes To Ashes" tops the UK music chart, giving him his first Number 1 single since "Space Oddity" in 1975.
In 1980, David Bowie was in the middle of a new kind of transformation. After launching himself to stardom in 1969 with his first hit single, "Space Oddity," he spent a decade morphing from Major Tom to Ziggy Stardust to Aladdin Sane to Halloween Jack to The Thin White Duke. 
David Bowie
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By the end of the '70s, however, he dispensed with such alter egos. Instead, he absorbed them all into a single if mercurial persona, one known simply as David Bowie. And that persona hinged on "Ashes To Ashes."  
Read more: NPR
August 23, 1969: The Guess Who peaked on the US Hot 100 chart at 10 with "Laughing."
Canadian rock band The Guess Who were promising musicians. While they started out with a garage rock sound, The Guess Who soon turned to pop rock and psychedelic rock. 
The Guess Who
While they started out with a garage rock sound, The Guess Who soon turned to pop rock and psychedelic rock. “Laughing” was one of The Guess Who’s most prominent tracks, topping Canadian charts and hitting Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100,   
Read more:  I Love Classic Rock

August 23, 1972: Jim Croce released the single "Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels.)"
The song relates one side of a conversation with a telephone operator. The speaker is trying to find the phone number of his former lover, who has moved to Los Angeles with his former best friend.  

Jim Croce

The story was inspired during Jim Croce's military service, during which time he saw lines of soldiers waiting to use the outdoor phone on base, many of them calling their wives or girlfriends to see if their Dear John letter was true.  
Read more:  Wikipedia

August 23, 1975:  K.C. and the Sunshine Band landed a Number 1 song on the R&B chart with "Get Down Tonight."
Sometime in 1974, Harry Wayne Casey and Richard Finch had a crazy idea. They’d noticed that songs were suddenly blowing up in clubs.
H. W. Casey & R. Finch
 In discos, DJs were discovering joyous, fast-paced, semi-obscure R&B jams, and they were playing those songs often enough that the songs crossed over and became real hits. But what would happen if someone made a song for the clubs? Casey and Finch lived outside Miami, and they regularly snuck into local clubs, taking note of the sounds that packed floors there. And then they made those sounds themselves.  
Read more:  Stereogum

August 23, 1977:  Linda Ronstadt released her remake of the Roy Orbison song "Blue Bayou."
Linda Ronstadt is a once in a lifetime kind of lyrical interpreter. Her catalog is rich with covers of popular, or in other instances, quite obscure, songs from legends, outliers and contemporaries alike. Her rich soprano frequently unearthed fresh meanings that many others could not. Her signature hit song remains “Blue Bayou,” a somber ballad yearning after simpler times, which she recorded for her 1977 studio album, Simple Dreams.  
Read more: American Songwriter

Ashes To Ashes
David Bowie

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