Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Music History Today: February 3, 2021

February 3, 2001: "It Wasn't Me" by Shaggy hit the number 1 spot on the Billboard charts.

It’s fair to say that Shaggy‘s “It Wasn’t Me” is one of the biggest hits in the entire world. 

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Not only has it gone platinum ten times over, but it’s cemented its place in history as one of the best throwbacks of all time. Tossing it on at a house party is a fail-safe.

The fine folks over at VICE recently started a new documentary series called The Story Of, and episode four dives into how “It Wasn’t Me” by Shaggy became such a massive hit. 

Read more: This Song is Sick

February 3, 1958: The Royal Teens' biggest hit, "Short Shorts" enters the US record charts on its way to number 3. 

This song was inspired by the girls who wore short and tight cutoff jeans. The novelty song “Short Shorts” went to #3 on the U.S. singles chart in 1958. 
The Royal Teens consisted of the talented songwriter Bob Gaudio on piano, Tom Austin on drums (and he also provided the whistle on the song), Billy Dalton on guitar, and Billy Crandall on saxophone. The recording of “Short Shorts” also features the voice of Diana Lee. 
Read more: The Daily Doowop

 

February 3, 1959: Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and  J. P. (the Big BopperRichardson died in a plane crash.  Don McLean called it "The Day the Music Died" in his hit "American Pie."

On February 2, 1959, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper played their last show as part of the "Winter Dance Party" tour, stopping this night at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, IA. 

Wreckage of the plane carrying Buddy Holly
Wreckage of the plane carrying Buddy Holly

The admission for the show was $1.25, but the concert did not sell out. The Big Bopper's "Chantilly Lace" closed out the night. After, the band began discussion of their next stop on the tour, Fargo, ND. Holly pitched the idea to charter a four-person plane to their next stop.

Within minutes of takeoff from the Mason City Airport in Iowa at around 1:00 AM CST, February 3, 1959, the chartered Beech-Craft Bonanza airplane No. N3794N containing Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson crashed into the Iowa countryside, killing all three in addition to pilot Roger Peterson. 

Read more: Live About

February 3, 1968: "Green Tambourine" by the The Lemon Pipers hit number 1 for one week.

We might be able to pinpoint the one week that the Lemon Pipers’ “Green Tambourine” spent at #1 as a historical inflection point: The moment that bubblegum pop started to take over for psychedelia.

"Green Tambourine" by the The Lemon Pipers

In the mid-’60s, the shaggy-haired young pop-music kids were making popular culture over in their own image, challenging norms and finding their own sense of aesthetics. But before long, record execs took those sounds, turned them into upbeat prefabricated assembly-line music targeted at teenagers and children, and literally called them bubblegum pop.  
Read more: Stereogum

 

February 3, 1976: David Bowie opens his US tour with a new persona, The Thin White Duke. 

In 1976, David Bowie was very thin and very, very white. He wore two pieces of a three-piece black suit and thickly gelled his hair. He called himself the Thin White Duke. 

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He looked like the bastard son of European nobility. That was Bowie’s point. He was 29 years old and trying to move on from a previous incarnation, the technicolor alien Ziggy Stardust. 

But from the vantage point of today, the Duke would be an almost inconceivable character for a successful performer: The morose nobleman had fascist leanings and an appetite for cocaine so dangerous that it almost killed him. 
Read more: Timeline

 It Wasn't Me
Shaggy

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