Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Music History Today: May 26, 2021

May 26, 1969: Janis Joplin landed on the cover of Newsweek with the headline, "Janis Joplin: Rebirth of Blues."

June 25, 1970: Wearing a purple suit, countless bracelets and a pink feather boa in her hair, Janis Joplin had a chat with TV show host Dick Cavett.

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He asked if she often returned to her hometown, Port Arthur, Texas. No, Joplin said, excitedly adding that she was planning on going back for her 10th annual high school reunion. Asked about her former schoolmates, she said: "They laughed me out of class, out of town and out of the state. Now I'm gonna laugh." It was a moment of triumph and of pain in the life of the megastar. She would die less than four months after that Cavett interview. 

Read more: DW

May 26, 1962: “PT 109” by Jimmy Dean peaked at Number 8 on the US music chart.

Can you imagine a creepy incident turned into a song? Yes, it is possible! Just take a look at this military-themed single that was a major hit in the ‘60s. Entitled “P.T. 109,” the tune was penned by songwriters Marijohn Wilkin and Fred Burch.

JFK on the P.T. 109
JFK on the PT 109

American country singer Jimmy Dean recorded the song on his album Portrait of Jimmy Dean. His biggest hit in 1962, “P.T. 109” tells about the combat service of former US president John F. Kennedy. In particular, this record aims to highlight JFK’s heroism during the World War II which later led him to the White House. 
Read more: Country Thang Daily


May 26, 1965: Man of La Mancha opened on Broadway.

Man of La Mancha is one of the world’s most popular musicals. Inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ seventeenth-century masterwork Don Quixote and set during the Spanish Inquisition, the original 1965 production won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. 

Cervantes is in prison awaiting trial during the Spanish Inquisition. He and his fellow prisoners perform a play-within-a-play, telling the story of the elderly Alonso Quijana, who renames himself "Don Quixote" and goes on a quest to right all wrongs in the world. The rousing, Spanish-inflected score includes the classic numbers “The Impossible Dream,” “I, Don Quixote,” “Dulcinea,” “I Really Like Him” and “Little Bird.” 
Read more: Concord Theatericals

May 26, 1967: The Hollies released the single "Carrie Anne."

"Carrie Anne" was written by Allan Clarke, Graham Nash, and Tony Hicks. According to Clarke, the song was written during a concert the group did with Tom Jones; mainly by Nash and Hicks.  Clarke supplied the lyrics for the middle eight. It's a shy tribute to Marianne Faithfull. 
Read more: Wikipedia

May 26, 1979:  Kenny Rogers' "She Believes In Me" took over at Number 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

It’s challenging to classify “She Believes in Me.” It’s easy to call it a love song, considering that the titular “she” is the singer’s significant other and all. But the lyrics being relayed are indicative of frustration.

Kenny Rogers
Kenny Rogers

Kenny Rogers was a master storyteller during his heyday. And even though this classic has a romantic premise, what is really going down is that the singer is largely lamenting the fact that he is putting the woman he loves through financial hell. 

Read more: Song Meanings & Facts


Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)
Janis Joplin

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