Monday, April 5, 2021

Music History Today: April 6, 2021

April 6, 1968: Pink Floyd announces that founder Syd Barrett has officially left the group, saying that he is suffering from psychiatric disorders compounded by drug use.

By the spring of 1967, Pink Floyd was at the forefront of the psychedelic rock movement that was pushing its way into mainstream popular culture.

Syd Barrett
Syd Barrett

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As described in Crazy Diamond: Syd Barrett and the Dawn of Pink Floyd, the band was fueled by the creativity of its front-man, known for his cryptic lyrics that mixed mysticism and wordplay, and an experimental guitar style that made use of echo machines and other distortions. Sadly, the same forces that drove Barrett to artistic breakthroughs also led him down the path of self-destruction. 

Read more: Biography

April 6, 1937: Country musician Merle Haggard is born in Oildale, California.

Merle Haggard is undoubtedly one of the greatest country musicians of all time. A true American legend, even his band, The Strangers, is iconic.

Merle Haggard
Merle Haggard

Haggard was an inmate of San Quentin Prison in California when he was 20 years old and saw Johnny Cash perform. He had been in and out of jail for a slew of crimes and was currently serving a 15-year sentence. He really did turn 21 in prison. 

Read more: Wide Open Country

April 6,  1965: The Beach Boys record "California Girls."

It was 56 years ago today that the Beach Boys began recording "California Girls." The song was the group's most ambitious recording up until then, featuring a soaring orchestral production by the group's leader and producer Brian Wilson.

Beach Boys
Beach Boys

Wilson wrote the music to the chorus during a dinner party in early 1965, and then enlisted the help of Los Angeles' top session players rather than use the band on the recording, as he was becoming accustomed to doing. 

Read more: Vermillion Country First

April 6, 1974:  "Hooked on a Feeling" by Blue Swede tops the charts.

On April 6 of 1974, the Swedish group ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest with their track “Waterloo,” and their performance at the dizzy spectacle helped launch them to international stardom. 

"Hooked on a Feeling" by Blue Swede

And through one of those beautiful cosmic coincidences, the day that ABBA won Eurovision was also the very same day that a Swedish group topped the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time ever. In this case, the song was an exceedingly goofy cover of a cover. The roots of “Hooked On A Feeling” went back five years, to Memphis. 

Read more: Stereogum 

 

April 6, 1992: Annie Lennox releases her first solo album, Diva, with the hits "Why" and "Walking On Broken Glass."

Annie Lennox performs in the music video "Walking on Broken Glass" from the album "Diva" recorded for BMG Records and Arista Records. 
Annie Lennox first solo album, Diva

The video opens with shots of people wearing powdered wigs and 18th century aristocratic clothing. Annie sings as she watches the events of a salon thrown by Prince George. 
Read more: Imdb

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Pink Floyd

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