Sunday, May 2, 2021

Music History Today: May 2, 2021

May 2, 2003: Dixie Chicks appear naked on the front cover of Entertainment Weekly, with slogans such "Traitors," "Hero," "Boycott," "Saddam's Angels" and "Proud Americans" printed across their bodies.

It was on March 10 in 2003 that lead singer Natalie Maines made a comment, quickly heard around the world, that brought their skyrocketing career to a screeching halt.
Dixie Chicks

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The Texas-based trio were performing at the Shepherd's Bush Empire theater in London, England, as the kickoff to their international Top of the World Tour, in support of 2002's multi-platinum selling album Home. As Maines was introducing the Chicks' then-latest single, "Travelin' Soldier," she said, "Just so you know, we're on the good side with y'all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas." 

Read more: The Boot

May 2, 1936: English pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck is born Arnold George Dorsey in Madras, British India (present-day Chennai, India).

A self-described dreamer and loner, Humperdinck dropped out of school at the age of 15. After a stint doing National Service in Germany, he began singing in men's clubs, but it was a hard way to make a living. Singing under the name Gerry Dorsey, Humperdinck scraped by financially. 

Engelbert Humperdinck
Engelbert Humperdinck

In attempt to reinvent himself, the performer followed the advice of his new manager, who also oversaw fellow singer Tom Jones. His manager changed his name to Engelbert Humperdinck, the same name as the late 19th century German composer and creator of the opera Hansel and Gretel. Without any protest, the singer bought into the idea. 

Read more: Biography

 

May 2, 1966:  Simon & Garfunkel released the single "I Am a Rock."

Simon & Garfunkel
Simon & Garfunkel

Although recorded a couple of years earlier for a Paul Simon solo album, “I Am A Rock” was included as the final track on Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sounds Of Silence” album. Given its provenance, “I Am A Rock” has Paul Simon on lead vocals instead of Art Garfunkel, although Art does his usual lovely job on the harmonies.  
Read more: Medium

 

May 2, 1970: Norman Greenbaum's Gospel/Rock hit "Spirit In The Sky" topped both the UK record chart and the Cash Box Best Sellers list.

“Spirit in the Sky” was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic and topped the charts in several countries. It also sold over two million copies just a year after its release. The song has plenty of references to Jesus even if Greenbaum himself is Jewish. From the get-go, some part of him knew it was gonna be a hit. In a new interview with the Rolling Stone magazine, Greenbaum discussed the track that catapulted him to greater stardom. 
Read more: Society of Rock

May 2, 1981:   "Morning Train (Nine to Five)" by Sheena Easton tops the US music chart.

In the first few months of 1981, two different women hit #1 in the US with big, brassy, cheery down-the-middle midtempo songs about the 40-hour workweek.

Sheena Easton
Sheena Easton

In fact, the Scottish singer Sheena Easton’s “Morning Train (Nine To Five)” originally came out in the UK as “9 To 5.” For its American release, it had to get a new title so that nobody would confuse it with the Dolly Parton banger that had the exact same name. That’s a pretty weird coincidence! I have no idea how things like that happen! 
Read more: Stereogum

Wide Open Spaces 
Dixie Chicks


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