Friday, January 22, 2021

Music History Today: January 23, 2021

January 23, 1988: "The Way You Make Me Feel" by Michael Jackson takes the top spot on the charts for one week.

“The Way You Make Me Feel” is the third single from ‘Bad’, Michael Jackson’s third solo album on Epic Records.

Michael Jackson in a black leather jacket against a black background in concert
Michael Jackson
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The song, written and composed by Michael Jackson, became the third of five consecutive singles to peak at #1 on the Billboard charts. Rolling Stone describes the song as “four and a half minutes of unadulterated bliss”. 
Read more: Michael Jackson

January 23, 1965: Petula Clark's "Downtown" climbs to Number 1 on the Hot 100.

Petula Clark color publicty head shot photo
Petula Clark
“Downtown,” which reached number one on the American charts in 1965, was probably Petula Clark’s most famous hit in the United States, and was written by a young British composer named Tony Hatch who was on his way up as a songwriter, producer, and major contributor to both television and musical theatre in England. 
Read more: American Songwriter


January 23, 1965:  Herman's Hermits released the single "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat" in the UK.

“Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” is a perfect example of the early-era Hermits hit: somewhat slight but relentless catchy, romantic but not sexual, and polished without being too sophisticated. 

Herman's Hermits publicity photoin front of a brick wall with a globe of the world
Herman's Hermits

In different hands, its repetitiveness and mushy lyrics could be insufferable, but the Hermits give it a light, slightly goofy touch that comes off as sweetly charming instead. Like “I’m Into Something Good” before it, “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” borrows more from girl-group pop than rock ‘n’ roll — think of it as the Dixie Cups’ “Chapel of Love” from a male point of view. 
Read more: Rebeat Magazine

January 23, 1967:  Johnny Rivers released the single "Baby I Need Your Lovin'."

"Baby I Need Your Loving" is a 1964 hit single recorded by the Four Tops for the Motown label. Written and produced by Motown's main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland. Covered in 1967 by Johnny Rivers, who performed it at a somewhat slower tempo, it reached #3 on Billboard Hot 100, topping the original version in chart performance. The song reached #1 in Canada. 

Read more: Wikipedia

January 23, 1971: "Knock Three Times" by  Dawn took the Number 1 spot on the charts and held it for the next three weeks.

"Knock Three Times" became a #1 hit in 1971 for Dawn, an act later known as Tony Orlando and Dawn -- even though the group didn't really exist and Tony Orlando was a freshly-minted alter ego. 

Tony Orlando wearing a white suit & Dawn in a field of yellow
Tony Orlando & Dawn

Nonetheless, the lyrics in this simple and somewhat corny plea to a lover to "knock three times on the ceiling if you want me" tugged at listeners' heart strings and kept them swaying to the mid-tempo beat.  

Read more: Groovy History

The Way You Make Me Feel
Michael Jackson

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