Thursday, May 20, 2021

Music History Today: May 20, 2021

May 20, 2000: "I Try" by Macy Gray peaked at number 5.

"I Try" was co-written and recorded by American musician Macy Gray. It was released as the second single from her debut album, On How Life Is. It is Gray's biggest hit to date. 

Macy Gray
Macy Gray

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At the 2001 Grammy Awards, "I Try" won Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and was nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. It remains Gray's biggest hit single in the US to date, and her only one to reach the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. 

Read more: Wikipedia

May 20, 1944: Joe Cocker is born John Robert Cocker in Sheffield, England.

After starting out as an unsuccessful pop singer (working under the name Vance Arnold), Joe Cocker found his niche singing rock and soul in the pubs of England with his superb backing group, the Grease Band. 

Joe Cocker

He hit number one in the U.K. in November 1968 with his version of the Beatles' "A Little Help from My Friends." His career really took off after he sang that song at Woodstock in August 1969. A second British hit came with a version of Leon Russell's "Delta Lady" in the fall of 1969 and both of his albums, "With a Little Help from My Friends" and "Joe Cocker!," went gold in America. 
Read more: Allmusic

May 20, 1967: "Sweet Soul Music" by Arthur Conley peaked at number 2.

Arthur Conley sang and - with mentor Otis Redding - co-wrote the 1967 classic "Sweet Soul Music," arguably the finest record ever made about the genre it celebrates.  

Arthur Conley
Arthur Conley

Born January 4, 1946, in McIntosh, GA, and raised in Atlanta, Conley was just 12 years old when he joined the Evening Smiles, a gospel group that appeared regularly on local radio station WAOK. By 1963 he was leading his own R&B outfit, Arthur & the Corvets, which over the next two years issued three singles -- "Poor Girl," "I Believe," and "Flossie Mae" -- for the Atlanta label National Recording Company. 
Read more: Allmusic

May 20, 2000: Red Hot Chili Peppers released the single "Californication" from the album of the same name.
Released on 8 June 1999 in the United States, the Californication LP marked a turning point in the career of Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Red Hot Chili Peppers  Californication LP

 


Their previous album, One Hot Minute, had been considered a disappointment on its release in 1995; as the follow-up to the hugely successful Blood Sugar Sex Magik, it was a step back for the band in terms of sales and success. 
Read more: Radio X

May 20, 2000: Sisqó's "Thong Song" tops out at number 3 on the American music chart.
The “Thong Song” was never meant for Sisqó, but once he heard the track he couldn’t let it go.

Sisqó
Sisqó

Although the instrumental was originally intended for Michael Jackson, producers Tim & Bob were won over by Sisqo’s enthusiasm and fresh ideas. But Def Jam wasn’t sure that a song about thongs would sell and almost left it off the “Unleash The Dragon” album. 
Read more: Respect Magazine

 

I Try
Macy Gray

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