Sunday, December 13, 2020

Music History Today: December 14, 2020

December 14, 1977: The movie Saturday Night Fever premieres in New York City.

In a 2008 interview on BBC Radio 4, Robin Gibb confessed to making it through only the first 30 minutes of the world premiere, and to never having seen the rest of the picture in the decades that followed. 

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Millions of Americans did, however, make it through the film that made a movie star out of 23-year-old John Travolta and propelled the already famous Mr. Gibb, along with his brothers Maurice and Barry, to a level of superstardom rarely achieved before or since. The film, of course, was Saturday Night Fever, a pop-cultural juggernaut that had its world premiere at Mann’s Chinese Theater in Los Angeles on December 14, 1977. 
Read more: History

December 14, 1964: In spite, or because, of being banned by some radio stations, The Kingsmen's "Louie Louie" hits number 2 on the Hot 100; held off the top spot by The Singing Nun's "Dominique."

If Jack Ely had stood closer to the microphone on the morning of April 6, 1963, when he entered a Portland studio to record a version of the song “Louie Louie,” then the history of popular music would have been different.  

On that April day in 1963, the only microphone available to Ely was located several feet above him, hanging from the ceiling. Ely was wearing dental braces, and his bandmates, who were gathered around Ely in a circle, played their instruments loudly. The result was an incomprehensible vocal that, in time, would make Ely the most celebrated interpreter of a song which is close to being pop Esperanto.   

Read more: The New Yorker 

 

December 14, 1968: Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is certified Gold.

That wasn’t supposed to be the title, of course. In one of the most oft-told tales of happy mistakes in rock, Iron Butterfly member Doug Ingle was so drunk on cheap wine that when he played his new song, “In the Garden of Eden,” for a band mate it came out as “In-a-Gadda-Da Vida.” 

The band decided to keep it that way, and a classic hard-rock song was born. The track, more than 17 minutes on the album of the same name, slashed down for the single, is often considered one of the seminal tunes of heavy metal. 
Read more: Best Classic Bands

December 14, 1970: John Lennon's "Instant Karma!" is certified Gold.

There are a plethora of songs that John Lennon can hang his creative hat on. From his work with The Beatles to his enigmatic solo work, ‘Instant Karma!’ provides the perfect bridge between the icon’s career islands. 

The song was written and recorded in one day, January 27th, 1970, and released just 10 days later, with Lennon once boasting that he “wrote it for breakfast, recorded it for lunch and we’re putting it out for dinner.” 

Read more: Far Out Magazine

December 14, 1972: Seals and Crofts' "Summer Breeze" is certified Gold.

Summer Breeze offered an unusually ambitious array of music within a soft rock context. Most artists tried to avoid weighty subjects in such surroundings (except, of course, CSN or Simon & Garfunkel, who could pretty much get away with anything).

The title track is one of those relentlessly appealing 1970s harmony-rock anthems, in the same mode as the Doobie Brothers' "Listen to the Music" and appropriately ubiquitous on the radio and in the memory; the guitar (electric and acoustic) and vocal hooks are all well-nigh irresistible. The rest varies in sound and focus. 
Read more: All Music

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