Sunday, May 30, 2021

Music History Today: May 31, 2021

May 31, 1969: "Atlantis" by Donovan reached number 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

"Atlantis" is a song written and recorded by Scottish singer/songwriter Donovan. 

Donovan
Donovan

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It was released as a single in 1968, and became a worldwide success; becoming a No. 1 hit in Switzerland in 1969, No. 2 in Germany and South Africa, No. 12 in Canada, and No. 4 in Austria. In the United States, where it served as the B-side to "To Susan on the West Coast, Waiting", it reached No. 7. 

Read more: Wikipedia

May 31, 1969: The Edwin Hawkins Singers featuring Dorothy Combs Morrison peaked at number 4 with "Oh Happy Day."

In the late 1960s, still a college student, Edwin Hawkins put together the new arrangement for the Northern California State Youth Choir.  Hawkins and the choir’s intentions were to record an album to sell to local churchgoers to raise funds for a trip to a gospel competition. The record found its way into the hands of some Bay Area underground rock DJ’s. They played the song "Oh Happy Day and it spread like wildfire. It was the first gospel song to become a hit on the secular charts. 
Read more: Gospel Roots of Rock & Roll

 

May 31 1974: Gordon Lightfoot is awarded a Gold record for his LP "Sundown." The title song and "Carefree Highway" were top ten hits.

Canadian folk songwriter Gordon Lightfoot’s 1974 chart-topper Carefree Highway was a metaphor for a nostalgic state of mind. It is also an intentional reference to Arizona State Route 74. Lightfoot was traveling between Southwest concert tour stops in the early 1970s, and jotted the name of the Carefree Highway down on a piece of paper after reading it on a roadway sign. 

Read more: Arizona Report

 

May 31, 1975:  "How Long" by Ace made it to number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

How long does it take to get a No.1 hit? In the case of the ‘70s group Ace, fronted by singer Paul Carrack, the answer is 45 years.

Ace
Ace

The British band’s 1975 single “How Long” originally reached No.3 when it was released, but this week it made it to No.1 on Billboard's Rock Digital Song Sales chart, selling 4,000 downloads, reaching 831,000 streams and increasing sales by more than 2000 percent. The reason behind the song's sudden return to popularity is its use in a new ad for Amazon Prime titled “Binge Cheat,” which features the song’s opening line, “How long has this been going on?” 

Read more: Ultimate Classic Rock

 

May 31, 1980: Ten years after it was first recorded, "The Theme From M*A*S*H* (Suicide Is Painless)" topped the UK singles chart.

The theme song to the M*A*S*H television series is melancholy, sure, but it would have given the dramatic sitcom an even darker tone if they kept the lyrics. Yes, the song has lyrics. 

"Suicide Is Painless" appeared in the 1970 MASH motion picture, directed by Robert Altman. The tune was originally intended to only appear within the film. 

Read more: MeTV

 

Atlantis
Donovan

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