Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Music History Today: May 19, 2021

May 19, 1948: Grace Jones is born in Spanish Town, Jamaica.

The great Grace Jones is a singer, actress and model with a string of classy albums to match her cinematic endeavors as Bond baddy girlfriend and all-round entertainment skills. Renowned for her charismatic stage performances and her stylish image these traits shouldn’t disguise the fact that Jones has released music of classic status.

Grace Jones
Grace Jones

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She is not a dabbler: she has thrown her talents and energy into explorations of nightclub chanteuse, pioneering disco, sure-footed funk and cabaret crossover. A woman of sundry abilities, the young Grace hit pay-dirt in the studio with single smashes like “Pull Up to the Bumper” and the epic “Slave to the Rhythm” as well as long-playing successes such as Warm Leatherette, Nightclubbing and the massively popular Island Life selection. 
Read more: U Discover Music

May 19, 1972: Elton John releases Honky Chateau.

No one would argue that it was the American audience he discovered – and that discovered him – that helped Elton John conquer the world.

Elton John
Elton John

But there were certain other locations in his early years of emergence that were vital in that victory. One of them was an 18th-century château in the French village of Hérouville where John set about making the follow-up to Madman Across The Water, Honky Château. 
Read more: U Discover Music

 

May 19, 1973: Stevie Wonder hits number 1 in America with "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life."

“You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” is the first song on Talking Book. Motown only released two songs from Talking Book as singles, and both of them went to #1. 

Stevie Wonder

The other one was “Superstition.” “Superstition” is a banger. It’s tricky and layered and strange, but it’s also direct and obvious. You know it’s a monster the first time you hear it. “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” works differently. It’s a majestic reverie, a spaced-out bliss-float that only barely qualifies as a pop song. 
Read more: Stereogum

 

May 19, 1979: "In the Navy" by The Village People peaked at number 3.

At some point in your life (especially if you’ve ever been in the Navy), you’ve heard Village People’s 1979 disco classic, “In The Navy.”

The Village People "In the Navy"
The Village People

Whatever you know about the group and this song, know these two things: First, their characters are supposed to be the ultimate, macho, American men. Second, the Navy asked the band to use this song as the Navy’s official recruiting song.

Read more: We Are the Mighty

May 19, 1992: Billy Ray Cyrus releases his debut album, Some Gave All, featuring his signature song "Achy Breaky Heart."

Before betting house money and winning big in 2019 with a version of Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road," Billy Ray Cyrus deserved credit as more than Miley Cyrus' dad or the singer of "Achy Breaky Heart." 

Billy Ray Cyrus
Billy Ray Cyrus

In fact, the title track of Some Gave All, the 1992 debut album that brought us what's now the second best-known pop cultural phenomenon involving Cyrus, proves the depth of his country music catalog. "Some Gave All" pays tribute to the brave men and women who've served in the United States military, making it one of several great Veterans Day anthems to come out of Nashville. 

Read more: Wide Open Country 

Do or Die
Grace Jones

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