Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Music History Today: March 4, 2021

March 4, 1974: Marvin Hamlisch released the single from the movie The Sting, "The Entertainer."

The Sting is a great caper movie. It wasn’t the first, of course, but it’s got to be the most complicated brainteaser ever to reach blockbuster and major awards status. In fact, it disproves the idea that popular movies have to be dumb. 

The Sting movie poster

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Its two-part narrative structure – first the card game on the train in which Henry Gondorff (Paul Newman) outmaneuvers nasty Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw); and then the betting-office scam that ends with Hooker (Robert Redford) and Gondorff getting plugged – pleasingly follows the pattern of the old bait-and-switch itself. 

Read more: The Guardian 

March 4, 1959: The winners of the first Grammy Awards were announced. 

Domenico Modugno's "Volare" was named Record of the Year; Henry Mancini's "Peter Gunn" was Album of the Year and  won best R&B performance. Variety magazine seemed to take great delight when it later reported - "The record academy has snubbed the Rock. Not one Rock 'n' Roll record was nominated."

 

March 4, 1967: The Rolling Stones chart their fourth number 1 hit in America with the ballad "Ruby Tuesday."

“Ruby Tuesday” is the most humane kind of breakup song. It’s a fond reminisce, a lament for a thing that just wasn’t meant to be.

The Rolling Stones color publicity photo 1967
The Rolling Stones

It also puts Mick Jagger in a strange place. He’s pining for a girl wilder than him. Jagger spent so much of his career singing about being a rambling man, someone who couldn’t be pinned down by just one woman. But on “Ruby Tuesday,” he’s the one being rambled past — the lady in town watching the cowboy ride off into the sunset. 
Read more: Stereogum

 

March 4, 1972: Climax was stuck at number 3, highest position it would attain, with "Precious And Few."

Most artists are lucky to have a top 5 hit with one band. Sonny Geraci reached that plateau with two different groups: first, in 1966 with the Outsiders (the #5 “Time Won’t Let Me”) and then again in 1972 with Climax (“Precious and Few,” which reached #3). 

Read more: Best Classic Bands

 

March 4, 1978: The song at  number three on the Hot 100 charts,  "Sometimes When We Touch," by Dan Hill, is the only song in the Top 5 not written by a member of the Bee Gees.

Andy Gibb's "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water" is number 1, with "Stayin' Alive" at number 2, "Night Fever" at number 5 and Samantha Sang's "Emotion," written by Robin and Barry Gibb, at number 4.

The Entertainer
Marvin Hamlisch  

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