Sunday, May 2, 2021

Music History Today: May 3, 2021

 May 3,  1986:  Dollywood opened its gates in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Considered one of the world’s premier theme parks, Dolly Parton’s Dollywood features rip-roaring rides, delectable fare, and stellar entertainment—all surrounded by breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton

From live artists performing country, southern gospel, classic rock ‘n’ roll and Appalachian music, to master craftsmen showcasing glass blowing and blacksmithing, Dollywood is brimming with the rich heritage and artistry of the Smokies. 

Read more: My Pigeon Ford

May 3,  1933: James Brown was born in Barnwell, South Carolina, but was raised in Augusta, Georgia.

James Joe Brown Jr. on May 3, 1933, was born in a one-room shack in the woods of Barnwell, South Carolina, a few miles east of the Georgia border.

James Brown
James Brown

His parents split when he was very young, and at the age of 4, Brown was sent to Augusta, Georgia, to live with his Aunt Honey, the madam of a brothel. Growing up in abject poverty during the Great Depression, a young Brown worked whatever odd jobs he could find, for literal pennies. He danced for the soldiers at nearby Fort Gordon, picked cotton, washed cars and shined shoes. 
Read more: Biography


May 3, 1964: Gerry & the Pacemakers performed "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying" for their television debut in the United States on The Ed Sullivan Show. 

Written by the band themselves - Gerry Marsden, Freddie Marsden, Les Chadwick, and Les Maguire - “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying” was first given to singer Louise Cordet, who had previously toured with Gerry and the Pacemakers. 

Gerry & the Pacemakers
Gerry & the Pacemakers

Cordet’s version failed to set the charts on fire, so the boys in the band decided that they’d give it a go themselves and see what fate might have in store for their take on the track. As history reveals, fate was apparently quite fond of Gerry and the Pacemakers’ version: the song climbed to #6 in the UK Singles chart and made it even higher in the States, where it topped out at #4. 

Read more: Rhino

May 3, 1975:  "He Don't Love You (Like I Love You)" by Tony Orlando and Dawn topped the Billboard chart.

“He Don’t Love You” is a song of need and desperation. The narrator’s girl is leaving him for another man. He can’t stand to see her go, and he tells her than her new relationship will end badly. He frames it as a warning, but he’s falling apart. He knows he can’t compete, and he’s ready to burst with jealousy: 

Read more: Stereogum

May 3, 1988: Living Colour's debut album, Vivid, was released. It took almost a year to catch on, as the band slowly built a following through tours, radio play, and MTV.

Living Colour's debut album Vivid

At a time when rock was increasingly looking beyond its own frontiers for inspiration, Vivid was a genre-mashing stake in the ground, taking in hard rock, modern jazz, funk and soul and more and binding them together with an incisive political spirit.  A smash hit single, Cult Of Personality, plus sampled speeches by John F Kennedy, Malcolm X and Franklin D Roosevelt, helped to fuel two million sales of their debut album, Vivid. 

Read more: Louder Sound

History of Dollywood

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