Friday, April 16, 2021

Music History Today: April 17, 2021

April 17, 1980: A New Jersey State assemblyman introduces a resolution to make Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" the official state song.

Bruce Springsteen has always worn his love of his home state on his sleeve, starting with the title of his debut album, Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. On April 17, 1980, the New Jersey State Assembly decided to repay him by introducing a resolution officially naming him the "New Jersey Pop Music Ambassador to America" with "Born to Run" as the "unofficial 'rock' theme of our state's youth."

Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen

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The project was the brainchild of Carol Miller, a DJ at 95.5 WPLJ-FM, which was New York's key rock station until its transition to Top 40 in 1983. The previous December, a newspaper article noted that New Jersey was looking for an official anthem. Miller then went to work.  

Read More: U Discover Music

April 17, 1964: Them (with Van Morrison) make their first concert appearance, at Belfast's Maritime Hotel.

In 1964, Van Morrison, then 18, needed a band to play a rhythm-and-blues club that he had opened up at Belfast's Maritime Hotel. 
He hired the Gamblers out of East Belfast, installed himself as the singer and harmonica and saxophone player, and the group changed their name to Them. On the strength of their energetic live performances, they were signed to Decca within a few months. Best known for the garage-rock standard "Gloria," Them also had Top 40 hits with "Mystic Eyes" and "Here Comes the Night." 
Read more: Ultimate Classic Rock

April 17, 1971:  "Another Day" by Paul McCartney hit number 5,  it's highest point on the charts.

It was perhaps Paul McCartney who took the Beatles' break-up the hardest. The songwriter had been the driving force behind the group and had acted, largely, as their leader in the latter part of their career. 

Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney

Now, there was a mutiny on the Good Ship Beatle and the stormy skies ahead seemed like they could wreck everyone’s career. However, you can never keep a good artist down for too long and McCartney soon threw off the shackles of being one-quarter of the biggest band in the world and worked hard to pursue his own singular voice. His first solo effort, ‘Another Day’, shows just how far he’d come. 

Read more: Farout Magazine

 

April 17, 1976:  Dr. Hook made it to number 6 with "Only Sixteen."

"Only Sixteen" is a song by American singer-songwriter Sam Cooke, released in May 1959. Dr. Hook released a version of "Only Sixteen" in the winter of 1975. Their version was the most successful chart release of the song. It reached number six on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number five on the Cash Box Top 100. Dr. Hook's version spent 22 weeks on the charts and became a Gold record. 
Read more: Wikipedia

April 17, 1982:  "Do You Believe in Love" by Huey Lewis & the News peaked at number 7 on the Hot 100.

Huey Lewis and the News found fame with their 1982 single “Do You Believe in Love” – but the experience of preparing it for release left the front-man “downtrodden.”

Huey Lewis & the News 1982
Huey Lewis & the News 1982

The song reached No. 7 in May 1982 (It peaked mid-April:  see Wikipedia and Top 40) and helped propel the band’s second album, Picture This, to gold sales. It was a new take on the 1979 song “We Both Believe in Love,” which was written by Robert John “Mutt” Lange, who sang it with the British band Supercharge and, coincidentally, worked with Lewis as a producer of his earlier band Clover. 

Read more: Ultimate Classic Rock

Born to Run
Bruce Springsteen

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