Monday, February 1, 2021

Music History Today: February 2, 2021

February 2, 1979: Sid Vicious of The Sex Pistols, out on bail after being accused of killing his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, died of a heroin overdose at age 21.

In 1975, a 17-year-old Philly girl named Nancy Spungen dropped out of the University of Colorado and moved to New York City. 

Nancy Spurgeon & Sid Vicious

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She pushed her way in with the emerging punk crowd – meeting seminal rockers like Johnny Thunders and Cheetah Chrome. Though most found Spungen abrasive, one person didn’t seem to mind her crass exterior: Sid Vicious, the bassist for the Sex Pistols. 

And then, on October 12th, 1978, 20-year-old Spungen bled to death on the bathroom floor of a room in the Chelsea Hotel in New York. Months later, while awaiting trial for her murder, Vicious died from an overdose. For many, it was the end of an era. 

Read more: Rolling Stone

February 2, 1957: Dale Hawkins recorded "Susie Q."

Born in Louisiana in 1936, Dale Hawkins grew up immersed in the rich music scene of the Shreveport area. His music -  informed by gospel, Delta blues, country and western, R&B, and pop - is known as swamp boogie.  

Dale Hawkins

After a brief stint in the Navy, Hawkins worked the club scene and started drawing attention to himself. A local DJ and producer spotted Hawkins’ band performing “Susie Q” and rushed them into the studio to cut it. 
Read more: Pop Dose


February 2, 1973: The Midnight Special premieres on NBC-TV with Helen Reddy as host. Wolfman Jack would later take over for an eight-and-a-half-year run.

Producer Burt Sugarman pitched NBC on a Friday night musical variety show that would follow the high-rated The Tonight Show at 1 a.m. and retain some of its audience. The network didn’t bite. 

So he bought the airtime, found a sponsor (Chevrolet) and on August 19, 1972, premiered the 90-minute program, on which the acts played live, as a special. The Midnight Special drew enough viewers for NBC to pick it up. The series ran 450 episodes from February 2, 1973, until May 1, 1981. 
Read more: Best Classic Band

February 2, 1974: Barbra Streisand scores her first Number 1 when "The Way We Were" hits the top spot.

The song “The Way We Were”—with music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman—is almost as famous as the movie itself.

Marilyn Bergman said, “Well, first of all it's a wonderful title. The main title of the movie had to function as a passage way back in time. We were underscoring the flashback, in a way.” “You are tailor-making a song for an artist,” Hamlisch explained. “And if it's Barbra Streisand it has to fit her until she's comfortable.” 

Read more: Barbra Archives

February 2, 1985: "I Want to Know What Love Is" by Foreigner hits Number 1 for a two-week run.

The semi-anonymous studio-rockers of the late ’70s did not disappear in a puff of smoke the first time Michael Jackson hit the moonwalk. 


The invention of MTV made things a bit more complicated for arena-rock institutions like Journey and Boston, but those bands kept moving units in the ’80s. And once that first burst of MTV dazzle started to wear off, plenty of those one-word bands came surging back onto the charts. The public still wanted power ballads, and those bands were still around to supply them. 
Read more: Stereogum


Somethin' Else
Sid Vicious

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