Thursday, August 6, 2020

Music History Today: August 7, 2020

August 7, 1976: Elton John & Kiki Dee's "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" hit Number 1 in America for the first of four weeks.
Kiki Dee, Elton John’s duet partner on “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” was born Pauline Matthews. In 1970, Dee released a few of her own singles and became the first white British woman to sign to Motown. 

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Her Motown records, like all the records she’d released before signing to Motown, went nowhere. But John Reid, who managed Motown in the UK, was also Elton John’s manager. And after Dee’s tenure on Motown was up, Dee signed with Rocket Recordings, Elton’s label. 
Read more: Stereogum
August 7, 1967: The Box Tops released their single "The Letter." 
“The Letter” wasn’t the Box Tops’ only hit; “Cry Like A Baby” made it to #2 six months later. The Box Tops were busy for a while, cranking out five albums in two years.
The Box Tops
But the members of the band quickly lost interest. By the beginning of 1970, singer Alex Chilton and guitarist Gary Talley were the only original members left. They decided to call it a day.  
Read more:  Stereogum

August 7, 1971: Olivia Newton-John's first hit, her version of Bob Dylan's "If Not For You," reached Number 1 on the Easy Listening chart.
“If Not for You” was released in 1970.  The Dylan version comes from “New Morning”.  
Olivia Newton-John
Shortly after that George Harrison released a version.  It is a song that Dylan also recorded with George Harrison, and which he has often performed in concert. It was a number 1 song on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart, and got to number 7 in the UK.  
Read more: Bob Dylan UK

August 7, 1973: The film adaptation of Jesus Christ Superstar, based on the  1971 Broadway rock opera of the same name, was released.
"I Don't Know How to Love Him" is a song from the 1970 album and 1971 rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. It's a torch ballad sung by the character of Mary Magdalene. In the opera she is presented as bearing an unrequited love for the title character. 
The song has been much recorded, with "I Don't Know How to Love Him" being one of the rare songs to have had two concurrent recordings reach the Top 40 of the Hot 100 chart in Billboard magazine, specifically those by Helen Reddy and Yvonne Elliman 
Read more: Wikipedia

August 7, 1996: ZZ Top's album Eliminator was certified Diamond for sales of 10 million copies in America.
Very few classic rockers went through a transformation as jarring, or as triumphant, as ZZ Top did in March 1983 with the release of Eliminator. 
ZZ Top
Old-timers scoffed at the band’s decision to go digital on their eighth album, dismissing the synth drums and other electronic elements as incongruous with the Texas trio’s scuzzy boogie rock. But the kids who fed on a daily diet of MTV ate it up.
Read more:  Ultimate Classic Rock

Don't Go Breaking My Heart 
Elton John (with Kiki Dee)

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