Monday, January 18, 2021

Music History Today: January 19, 2021

January 19, 1943: Janis Joplin is born in Port Arthur, Texas.

Janis Joplin was born in Texas, but she got her start singing with the San Francisco-based Big Brother & the Holding Company. 
Janis Joplin

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After the success of their 1968 album 'Cheap Thrills,' Joplin launched a solo career that produced only two albums before her death at the age of 27 in 1970 of a heroin overdose.  
But the records she left behind (including the posthumous No. 1, 'Pearl') have influenced scores of younger artists. With her solo work, she explored R&B and country paths, with horns and a backing band as big as her voice. 
See More: Ultimate Classic Rock

January 19, 1961: The night before John F. Kennedy's inauguration, Frank Sinatra throws a star-studded gala to eradicate the Democratic Party's $2 million campaign debt. 

The star-studded musical celebration was videotaped for national broadcast with performances by Sinatra, Ethel Merman, Harry Belafonte, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Gene Kelly and more, but nature intervened. A colossal blizzard knocked out power in DC, and those show-stopping performances were not broadcast on NBC as planned,  


But now on PBS, those magical performances can be seen in JFK: The Lost Inaugural Gala: Nat King Cole on “The Surrey With the Fringe on Top” and a poignant “Stardust,” Ella Fitzgerald on “Give Me the Simple Life,” Harry Belafonte’s “When the Saints Go Marching In,” and Sinatra on both “You Make Me Feel So Young” and a heartfelt “The House I Live In.” 
Read more: NPR Thirteen

 

January 19, 1974: "Show and Tell" by Al Wilson is at the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100. 

In the early ’70s, the sound of soul music changed. Production got thicker, lusher, more luxurious. Philadelphia International Records had found great success by slathering their R&B records with orchestral crushed-velvet splendor, and a lot of other people tried to rip off that sound. 

Al Wilson

I have this theory that the sound required older voices. Those songs would’ve just evaporated if they’d been sung by teenagers. Instead, they needed craggy, weathered voices — grown-up voices. And so that’s what all those doo-wop veterans offered. 
They’d all been singing for long enough that their voices had rasp and grit, and that rasp and grit translated into churchy authority. Al Wilson’s “Show And Tell” isn’t a great song, but if it works, it works because his voice has that authority.  
Read more: Stereogum

 

January 19,  1977:  Aretha Franklin sang "God Bless America" at the inaugural concert for President-elect Carter.

The 1977 “New Spirit” Inaugural Concert at the Kennedy Center tonight had a whole galaxy of famous flashing stars. Entertainment included such singers as Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt and Aretha. Franklin, who ended the program by leading the whole audience and company in “God Bless America.” 

Read more: NY Times

January 19, 1993: Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks return to Fleetwood Mac to perform Bill Clinton's campaign song, "Don't Stop," at his inauguration ceremonies.

On January 19, 1993, the band Fleetwood Mac reunites to perform at the recently elected U.S. President Bill Clinton’s first inaugural gala.

Bill Clinton's 1993 Inauguration

Fleetwood Mac had faced much intra-band squabbling since their 1970s heyday, why they released one of the biggest albums of all time—Rumours—and a string of decade-defining hits like “Landslide,” “Rhiannon,” “Say You Love Me” and “Go Your Own Way.” 

And then, of course, there was “Don’t Stop” (as in “thinking about tomorrow”), which was candidate Bill Clinton’s unofficial theme song during the 1992 presidential campaign. 

Read more: History

 

Down on Me
Janis Joplin

 

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