Friday, February 19, 2021

Music History Today: February 20, 2021

February 20, 1967: Nirvana front-man Kurt Cobain is born in Aberdeen, Washington. 

Kurt Cobain started the grunge band Nirvana in 1988 and made the leap to a major label in 1991, signing with Geffen Records.
Kurt Cobain with guitar black and white desktop wallpaper

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Cobain also began using heroin around this time. After releasing the highly successful album Nevermind, Nirvana's highly acclaimed album In Utero was released in 1993 and catapulted to the top of the music charts. On April 5, 1994, in the guest house behind his Seattle home, Cobain committed suicide. 
Read more: Biography

February 20, 1971:  The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with "Mr. Bojangles."

"Mr. Bojangles" was written by Grammy-nominated country music artist and American icon Jerry Jeff Walker for his 1968 album of the same name.

Nitty Gritty Dirt band Single "Mr Bojangles" cover

It's been covered by multiple artists, including Bob Dylan, John Denver, Nina Simone, Whitney Houston, Neil Diamond, Sammy Davis Jr. and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, whose 1970 cover rose to number nine in the 1971 Billboard top 100 charts. 
Read more: Wide Open Country

 

February 20, 1979:  "Good Times Roll," a single by The Cars, was released

Written and sung by Cars lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Ric Ocasek, "Good Times Roll" was released as the third single from the band's debut album.

The Cars 1980 rock group
The Cars

Ocasek wrote the song as a sarcastic commentary on the good times in rock music, saying, "That was my song about what the good times in rock 'n' roll really mean, instead of what they're supposed to be. It was kind of a parody of good times, really. It was kinda like not about good times at all." 
Read more: Wikipedia

 

February 20, 2003:  A pyrotechnic display used by the group Great White ignited a blaze that killed guitarist Ty Longley and 99 other people, injured another 200, and destroyed the nightclub The Station in West Warwick, Rhode Island.
In the May issue of Guitar World, Great white guitarist Mark Kendall discussed the February 20 nightclub blaze that killed 99 people in West Warwick. The fire was sparked after Great White fired off pyrotechnics that ignited soundproofing foam around the stage.

pyrotechnic display by Great White ignited a blaze
Pyrotechnic display by Great White ignites a blaze

"Less than a minute after we launched into 'Desert Moon,' the first song of our set, I felt this strange heat on my back," Kendall told the magazine. "When I turned around, the back wall of the venue was on fire. I didn't see any fire extinguishers around, so I stopped playing."  
Read more: MTV

February 20, 2014: Sales of Blue Swede's "Hooked On a Feeling" went through the roof following its use in the new trailer for the film Guardians of the Galaxy

“Guardians,” directed and co-written by indie wit James Gunn, and starring buffed-up former schlub Chris Pratt and Really Big Sci-Fi Blockbuster vet Zoe Saldana, is a fun and relatively fresh space Western. Think “Firefly” pitched at 15-year-olds, with a lot of overt "Star Wars" nods. 

Guardians of the Galaxy movie publicity photo

And super-“irreverent” dialogue that is, more often than not, genuinely funny. The wisecracking by the characters played by Pratt (a kind of junior Han Solo) and voiced by Bradley Cooper (whose Rocket Raccoon, who is, yes, a genetically altered raccoon) is so incessant viewers of a certain age might wonder whether this movie has been put through the "What’s Up Tiger Lily" dialogue-replacement treatment before release.  

Read more: Roger Ebert

Heart Shaped Box
Nirvana


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