Friday, September 18, 2020

Music History Today: September 19, 2020

September 19, 1943: Cass Elliot (of The Mamas & The Papas) is born Ellen Naomi Cohen in Baltimore, Maryland.

Cass Elliot, aka Mama Cass, was part of the group The Mamas and the Papas. Their song, Creeque Alley,tells about the events leading to the 1965 formation of The Mamas and the Papas.  

Cass Elliot
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The lyrics mention quite a lot of names and places that some unfamiliar. The song title itself is a real place, an alley located at the docks on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.  
Read more: Rock Pasta    
September 19, 1969:  Creedence Clearwater Revival released the double-sided smash "Fortunate Son"/"Down On The Corner" on Fantasy Records. 
“‘Fortunate Son’ was certainly one of the quickest songs I ever wrote,” Fogerty said.  “I had the title. I was in the process of showing the band, each day, the music, and we were working up the music. 
Creedence Clearwater Revival
 Creedence Clearwater Revival
“I went into my bedroom, sat on the edge of the bed with one of those yellow tablets, and it just sorta poured out in about 20 minutes. It came almost verbatim right out of my brain, in the sense that there was no editing or changing or going this way or that. ”  

September 19, 1970: Newcomer James Taylor's "Fire And Rain" moved from 83 to 50.

Taylor wrote "Fire and Rain" in 1968. The song has three verses. One is about a friend who committed suicide, another is about Taylor's addiction to heroin, the third refers to a mental hospital and a band Taylor started called The Flying Machine. Each verse is followed by the same chorus.  
Read more: NPR

September 19, 1973: Gram Parsons died at 26 years old after taking a shot of liquid morphine in his room at Joshua Tree Inn. 

Gram Parsons is the father of country-rock. With the International Submarine Band, the Byrds, and the Flying Burrito Brothers, the songwriter pioneered the concept of a rock band playing country music. 

Gram Parsons
While he was alive, Parsons was a cult figure that never sold many records but influenced countless fellow musicians, from the Rolling Stones to the Byrds. In the years since his death, his stature has only grown.  
Read more: All Music

September 19,  1983:  Billy Joel released the single "Uptown Girl." 

While everyone assumes this song was written about Joel's wife Christie Brinkley (especially since she appears in the video), another model lit the first spark. 

Joel was on vacation in the Caribbean when he came upon three models staying in the same hotel: Elle Macpherson, Christie Brinkley and a young, pre-fame Whitney Houston. Joel began to date McPherson, and his original name for the song was "Uptown Girls." After he switched to Brinkley, though, the sole focus turned to the woman he later married.  
Read more:  Daily News

Creeque Alley
The Mamas & The Papas

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