Sunday, December 27, 2020

Music History Today: December 28, 2020

December 28, 1968:  In essentially what was a precursor to Woodstock, Three Dog Night, Joni Mitchell, the Turtles, Fleetwood Mac, Marvin Gaye, the Grass Roots, Chuck Berry, Steppenwolf, the Box Tops, Canned Heat, Jr. Walker and the Allstars, Procol Harum, Iron Butterfly, the McCoys, the Grateful Dead, Blues Image, Procol Harum, Jose Feliciano, Richie Havens, Country Joe and the Fish, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and others performed at the Miami Pop Festival at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida.

There were two Miami Pop Festivals in 1968 located at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida and they were run by completely different people and were somehow unrelated to each other. This confusion has understandably lead to some modern accounts reporting that they were all one event instead of two. 


The first and slightly better known festival, which occurred from May 18th-19th of that year, was co-run by future Woodstock creator, Michael Lang. It featured Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention, Blue Cheer, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, John lee Hooker, Chuck Berry and John Lee Hooker as well as a spirited appearance by The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

The second festival, which took place on December 28th-30th that year, featured a much bigger line up and therefore drew much bigger crowds (estimated to be 100,00). Diverse acts such as bluesmen James Cotton and Junior Walker and acid rockers like Procol Harum and Iron Butterfly and even pop groups like The Turtles to the Box Tops took to the main stages over the two days.  

 Read more: Record Crates Untied

December 28, 1963: The Trashmen's first release, "Surfin' Bird," entered the Billboard Hot 100. 

The song, Surfin' Bird, is made up of the choruses of two songs by The Rivingtons: "The Bird Is the Word" and "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow."  From Minneapolis, The Trashmen had one more minor hit in 1964: #30 "Bird Dance Beat."

An entire 2008 episode of the TV show Family Guy revolves around the song. In the episode, Peter Griffin goes to a '50s diner. When the song plays on the jukebox, he says it his favorite of all time. The manager gives it to Peter. He plays it constantly at home, driving everyone around him nuts.

Read more: Living Between Notes


December 28, 1960:  The movie Where the Boys Are, starring Connie Francis, premiered in the Gateway Theatre in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Connie Francis might not conjure up an image to today’s young men and women, and it’s not often that I hear her name, yet when I was growing up in the sixties, the name Connie Francis was parcel to everyday conversation and, for many, produced awe. 

She was one of the stars of the MGM film Where the Boys Are, which depicted four high school coeds who journeyed from the Midwest to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in pursuit of fun, fancy and romance. Connie Francis, already a singing sensation, recorded the movie’s title song by the same name, which quickly earned a spot at the top of the Billboards and was #1 in fifteen countries.  
Read more: American Experiment

December 28, 1974:  Ringo Starr's cover of  "Only You" entered the Top Ten on the charts when it bounced up from 14  to Number 9.

John Lennon suggested that Ringo Starr record a cover version of The Platters’ song Only You (And You Alone) for the Goodnight Vienna album. 

Starr’s recording was issued as a single in 1974. Early in the following year became a number one hit on the US Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, and reached number six on the Hot 100. It was less successful in the UK, peaking at number 28. 

Read more: Beatles' Bible

December 28, 1974:  War Child from Jethro Tull peaked at Number 2 on the Hot 200 album chart.

Released on Oct. 14, 1974, War Child features its share of heavy lyrical themes, yet still finds Anderson and his seasoned bandmates – drummer Barrie Barlow, guitarist Martin Barre, bassist Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond, keyboardist John Evan and orchestral arranger David Palmer – in an overall quirkier and lighter mood. 

Jethro Tull

One of the album's most radio-tailored tracks, "Bungle in the Jungle," was thought by fans to be a reference to the iconic "Rumble in the Jungle" heavyweight boxing bout between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali. But Anderson set the record straight in a backward-glancing interview with SongFacts. 

Read more: Ultimate Classic Rock


Miami Pop 
May 18th-19th
Jimi Hendrix

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