Thursday, December 3, 2020

Music History Today: December 4, 2020

December 4, 1982: The Built for Speed album by the Stray Cats peaked at Number 2.

The Stray Cats formed in 1979, and, under the influence of the Sun Records sound, would go on to release 10 albums and enjoy a handful of hits. But the Massapequa, Long Island, trio would never again see the success of their American debut, Built for Speed.

The Stray Cats

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Guitarist and vocalist Brian Setzer, upright bassist Lee Rocker and drummer Slim Jim Phantom moved to the U.K. to get in on the British subculture. There, in 1981, they released two albums, their eponymous debut produced by Dave Edmunds, and Gonna Ball, the first of which struck a chord in Britain, turning “Rock This Town” and “Stray Cat Strut” — the latter synonymous with rockabilly music even today — into hits. 

Read more: Diffuser

December 4, 1967: The Lettermen released the single "Goin' Out Of My Head/Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You."

"Goin' Out of My Head" was initially recorded by Little Anthony and the Imperials in 1964. "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" is a 1967 song recorded as a single by Frankie Valli. The Lettermen combined the tomes in 1967. The medley rose to number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968.


December 4, 1971: Cat Stevens' album Teaser and the Firecat peaked at Number 2 on the album chart.  

As 1972 dawned, Cat Stevens was still in the early stages of reshaping his musical persona from the singles artist of the ‘Matthew and Son’ era to sensitive album-maker. But now he was proving that he was both comfortable and popular in both settings. 

Cat Stevens

In the autumn of ’71 the London-born singer-songwriter delivered Teaser and the Firecat, which gave him his first US top ten single in ‘Peace Train.’ That wasn’t a UK chart item, but another track from the LP, ‘Moonshadow,’ became a top 30 entry, as the album started what would become an aggregate of 93 weeks on the bestsellers, by far his longest run. 

Read more: U Discover Music

December 4, 1972: Billy Paul received a Gold record for "Me and Mrs. Jones," which was still climbing the US charts on its way to Number 1 in mid-December. 

Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff wrote “Me And Mrs. Jones” about a couple they kept seeing in a bar. They’d go drinking everyday at the bar that was downstairs in their label’s office building, and every single day, the same man would meet a woman in this bar. 

Billy Paul

They’d sit together for a few minutes, talking quietly together and playing a few songs on the jukebox, and then they’d go their separate ways. Gamble and Huff came up with a story about the love affair that they imagined this couple was having, and they turned that into a song. 

Read more: Stereogum


December 4, 1976: Boz Scaggs had another hit from Silk Degrees as "What Can I Say" moved from 72 to 60.

Silk Degrees is the seventh album by Boz Scaggs, released on Columbia Records in 1976. The album peaked at No. 2 and spent 115 weeks on the Billboard 200. 

Boz Scaggs

It has been certified five times platinum by the RIAA and remains Scaggs's best selling album. Silk Degrees spawned four singles. "It's Over", "Lowdown" and "Lido Shuffle" made the Top 40, while "What Can I Say" peaked at No. 42. 
Read more: Wikipedia

Stray Cat Strut
Stray Cats

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