Friday, December 25, 2020

Music History Today: December 26, 2020

December 26, 1963: The Beatles release their first hit single in the United States: "I Want To Hold Your Hand" backed with "I Saw Her Standing There." 

Released on 29 November 1963 in the UK, ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ sold more than a million copies on advanced orders alone. It became The Beatles’ first US number one on February 1, 1964, and kick-started the British Invasion of America. 

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At the behest of Brian Epstein, ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ was composed with the American market in mind. 

‘From Me To You’ was released – a flop in America. ‘She Loves You’ – a big hit in England, big number one in England – a flop in the USA. Nothing until ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand.’ (Paul McCartney - Anthology)

‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ is, along with ‘She Loves You’, the epitome of 1963 Beatles pop. 

Read more: Beatles Bible

December 26, 1968: D.A. Pennebaker's documentary Monterey Pop, which chronicles the 1967 Monterey International Pop Music Festival opens in theaters.

On a beautiful June weekend in 1967, at the beginning of the Summer of Love, the Monterey International Pop Festival roared forward, capturing a decade’s spirit and ushering in a new era of rock and roll. 

Monterey featured career-making performances by Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding, but they were just a few of the performers in a wildly diverse lineup that included Simon and Garfunkel, the Mamas and the Papas, the Who, the Byrds, Hugh Masekela, and the extraordinary Ravi Shankar. 
With his characteristic vérité style—and a camera crew that included the likes of Albert Maysles and Richard Leacock—D. A. Pennebaker captured it all, immortalizing moments that have become legend: Pete Townshend smashing his guitar, Jimi Hendrix burning his, Mama Cass watching Janis Joplin’s performance in awe. 
Read more: Criterion

December 26, 1967: The Osborne Brothers release "Rocky Top."

“Rocky Top” is a classic country song that’s been recorded by a lot of artists. Furthermore, it has been used by the University of Tennessee as their fight song during college football games. 

Osborne Brothers

“Rocky Top” was penned by husband and wife songwriters Felice and Boudleaux Bryant. In the song, the narrator reminisces his time when he was at Rocky Top. He dreams of the place where there is no distraction of telephone bills and smoky smogs. In Rocky Top, he also fell in love. 

Read More: Country Thang Daily

December 26, 1970: The 5th Dimension Peaked on the charts at number 2 with "One Less Bell To Answer."

"One Less Bell to Answer" is a song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. 
Originally written in 1967 for Keely Smith, the song was rediscovered in late 1969 by Bones Howe, the producer for the 5th Dimension, and the song was included on the group's 1970 debut album for Bell Records, Portrait. Lead vocals on the single were sung by Marilyn McCoo. 
The 5th Dimension version of the song was prominently featured at the same time in an episode of the Robert Wagner TV series It Takes a Thief. 
Read more: Wikipedia

December 26, 1973: The horror movie The Exorcist hits theaters, with a portion of the Mike Oldfield instrumental "Tubular Bells" as the theme music.

Featuring an eclectic array of instruments and an equally heterogeneous assortment of sounds and rhythms that, ingeniously blended together, created a sublime, mesmerizing, sometimes startling, symphonic trip through New Age prog rock, Tubular Bells was the landmark album that launched Virgin Records.

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Tubular Bells was issued in the UK on 25th May 1973, just 10 days after Oldfield's 20th birthday. Comprising two distinct, yet cohesive parts that each occupied an entire side of a long-playing record, it gained worldwide attention after its hypnotic opening piano theme became synonymous with the classic demonic-possession horror film The Exorcist, released at the end of that same year. 

Read more: Sound on Sound

 

I Want to Hold Your Hand
The Beatles


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