Thursday, April 15, 2021

Music History Today: April 16, 2021

April 16, 1939: Dusty Springfield is born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien in West Hampstead, North London, England.

Britain's greatest pop diva, Dusty Springfield was also the finest white soul singer of her era, a performer of remarkable emotional resonance. 

Dusty Springfield
Dusty Springfield

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Though a camp icon of glamorous excess in her towering beehive hairdo and panda-eye black mascara, the sultry intimacy and heartbreaking urgency of Springfield's voice transcended image and fashion, embracing everything from lushly orchestrated pop to gritty R&B to disco with unparalleled sophistication and depth.   

Read more: Allmusic 

April 16, 1944: On shore leave from the Merchant Marines, Woody Guthrie arrives at Folkway Records' studios in New York City, where he starts taping the "Asch recordings."

A major force in the urban folk song revival, Woody Guthrie created an intimate portrait of America—its land and people.

Woody Guthrie Asch recordings

He has influenced many contemporary artists, among them Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Billy Bragg, and Bruce Springsteen. During the 1930s and 40s, Woody Guthrie wrote more than a thousand songs, recording hundreds of them for Folkways founder Moses Asch. The surviving masters now reside in the Folkways archive at the Smithsonian Institution. 
Read more: Folkways

April 16, 1947: Rock singer-songwriter Gerry Rafferty (of Stealers Wheel) is born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland.

Gerry Rafferty was born into a working class family in Paisley, Scotland. His father was a laborer and his mother worked in the Paisley weaving mills. 

Stealers Wheel
Stealers Wheel

His first introduction to music was the traditional Scots and Irish folk music his mother would sing to him, later on the hymns sang at Catholic mass. As a teenager he remembers vividly the first time he heard Elvis being played on the radio in a local shop. Rock and roll would shape his life from then on. Early influences were The Beatles, The Everly Brothers, Bob Dylan and The Band. 

Read more: Gerry Rafferty

April 16, 1964: Dean Martin records "Everybody Loves Somebody," which knocks The Beatles off the top spot in August.

All four members of the Beatles had multiple solo #1 hits. That’s amazing. But it might be just as amazing that all three principal members of the Rat Pack also had #1 hits of their own — all with bad songs, all made long after their cultural peaks.

Dean Martin
Dean Martin

There’s a story about Dean Martin sending Elvis Presley a telegram the week that Martin’s “Everybody Loves Somebody” knocked the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night” out of the #1 spot. Here’s what Martin reportedly told Presley: “If you can’t handle the Beatles, I’ll do it for you, pally.” 

Read more: Stereogum


April 16, 1977: Jennifer Warnes had her first big hit with the Number 1 Adult Contemporary song "Right Time Of The Night."

Jennifer Warnes’ 1977 hit “Right Time of the Night” was also the magic moment for a fledgling songwriter. Peter McCann was one year into his publishing deal and still hadn’t had a hit. He finally got the seal of approval from his boss with “Night,” which was inspired by a beautiful day he spent on the beach in Malibu. McCann told the story behind the song to Bart Herbison of Nashville Songwriters Association International. 
Read more: Tennessean 


The Look of Love
Dusty Springfield

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