Thursday, April 29, 2021

Music History Today: April 30, 2021

April 30, 2015: R&B legend Ben E. King passed away at 76. 

King was born Benjamin Earl Nelson in Henderson, North Carolina, in 1938, and sang with his church choir before the family moved to Harlem in 1947. In junior high, he began performing with a street corner doo wop group called the Four B's, which won second place in an Apollo Theater talent contest.

Ben E. King
Ben E. King

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He became the baritone singer in a doo wop outfit called the Five Crowns in 1958. The Five Crowns performed several gigs at the Apollo Theater along with the Drifters. Drifters manager George Treadwell, dissatisfied with the group members' unreliability and lack of success, fired them all in the summer of 1958 and hired the Five Crowns to assume the name of the Drifters. 

Read more: Allmusic

April 30, 1943: Pop singer Bobby Vee is born Robert Thomas Velline in Fargo, North Dakota.

One of the longest lasting of the teen idols of the early Sixties, Bobby Vee got his lucky break when he and and his band the Shadows filled in for the late Buddy Holly at a 1959 Mason City, Iowa, concert days after Holly was killed in a plane crash.

Bobby Vee

The boys had three hours to come up with an act. They knew six songs maybe. After he quick rehearsal, on the way to the armory, they stopped at J.C. Penney's and bought black peg pants with tight cuffs and sleeveless sweaters accented with angora ties. They didn't even have a name, but when asked said they were the Shadows. 

Read more: History of Rock

April 30, 1977: Glen Campbell's "Southern Nights," written by Allen Toussaint, hits Number 1 in the US.

Written by Allen Toussaint, “Southern Nights” was inspired by his childhood memories of visiting relatives who lived in Louisiana’s backwoods. Toussaint remembered how they’d tell stories on the porch while looking into the deep, dark sky filled with stars. Toussaint originally recorded the song on his 1975 album of the same name. When Glen Campbell heard the song, it struck a personal chord with the singer. It reminded him of his growing-up years in Arkansas. 
Read more: Country Thang Daily

April 30,  1966:  "Get Ready" by The Temptations topped the R&B chart.

For a Gordy Records release which failed to match the crossover chart achievements of the Temptations’ four preceding singles, “Get Ready” has since developed an impressive story of its own. 

The Temptations
The Temptations

Hey, how many songs get recorded by a queen of jazz (Ella Fitzgerald), a hard-rockin’ combo from Detroit (Rare Earth), a girl group from Ireland (the Nolans) and the daughter of the chairman of the board (Nancy Sinatra)? What’s more, the writer of the song not only produced the Temptations’ original, but also later remade it with his own group, the Miracles, then ventured off the freeway to sing a disco version himself. 

Read more: Classic Motown

April 30, 1988: "Angel" by Aerosmith peaks at Number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart,

Angel” was written by Steven Tyler and Desmond Child. It was the third single released from Aerosmith’s ninth studio album “Permanent Vacation.” At that point, it became their biggest hit in the US as it peaked at number 3 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Aerosmith, 1988
Aerosmith, 1988

It may not be the usual song you hear from the band but it sure was a wonderful treat to their fans and it even led to several other slow songs which also became chart-toppers. Their music video also received heavy airplay on MTV which included some clips from their 1988 North American Tour. 

Read more: Society of Rock


This Magic Moment 
Ben E King & The Drifters

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