Saturday, May 8, 2021

Music History Today: May 9, 2021

May 9, 1998: Everybody (Backstreet's Back) by the Backstreet Boys peaks at number 4 on the American music chart.

Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) is – without a doubt – one of the most influential singles of the ‘90s. For the Backstreet Boys, it was an all-important comeback to launch their second album. But for pop music, it was a cultural reset that would help shape the remainder of the decade.

Backstreet Boys
Backstreet Boys

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It’s a common misconception, but Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) is not a Halloween song. It has – of course – become synonymous with Halloween, but it was released in the middle of the summer, even if it now feels utterly ill-fitting for this time of the year. The track emerged as the lead single for the Backstreet Boys’ second international album; after a few false starts, their debut had yielded four top ten hits and positioned the group as a credible chart force.  

Read more: Can't Stop the Pop

May 9, 1964: Louis Armstrong's "Hello, Dolly!" hits number 1 in the US. becoming the first artist to displace The Beatles from their 14 weeks reign atop the charts.

There’s something so beautifully singular about the moment. For a 14-week stretch, the just-arrived Beatles had an absolute stranglehold on the #1 spot of the US charts. 

Carol Channing
Carol Channing

And the man who finally knocked them off was a 62-year-old big-band jazz icon whose career was thought to be basically over. But he sang a Broadway showtune, and everything changed. “Hello, Dolly!” was the title track of a musical that was opening on Broadway in 1964, and Armstrong recorded his version as a demo, to help the song’s publisher promote the show. It wasn’t even intended for release. But it came out, and it exploded. 

Read more: Stereogum

May 9, 1970: The Guess Who topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart with their double-sided hit "American Woman" / "No Sugar Tonight."

"No Sugar Tonight"  was officially released as "American Woman/No Sugar Tonight" and peaked at #1 on the RPM magazine charts and #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, for three weeks on both charts. In Cash Box, which at the time ranked sides of singles independently, "No Sugar Tonight" reached #39.

Read more: Wikipedia

 

May 9, 1981: Juice Newton's version of "Angel of the Morning" tops out at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Juice Newton
Juice Newton

"Angel of the Morning" is one of those songs that has lived multiple lives in its 50+ years. Written by Chip Taylor, the song has been recorded by Merrilee Rush, country singer Melba Montgomery, Olivia Newton-John, Juice Newton and more. But the soaring power ballad, which centers on a forbidden love affair, sounds just as fresh with every recording.  
Read more: Wide Open Country

 

May 9, 2001: The film Moulin Rouge! is shown at the Cannes Film Festival.

Paris is returning to our screens in a big way. We have the wildly over-the-top fantasy Paris of Baz Luhrmann's "musical", Moulin Rouge.  

It is a gorgeously, intricately conceived city, but stately and monolithic, like a chandelier or a gigantic and very expensive Fabergé egg. This is to be the setting for the story of Satine, played by the statuesque Nicole Kidman in her new post-Tom existence; she is a courtesan-cum-chanteuse at the Moulin Rouge, who falls in love with Christian, a penniless would-be writer played by Ewan McGregor, and winds up playing Sally Bowles to his Christopher Isherwood. 

Read more: The Guardian

 

 Everybody (Backstreet's Back)
Backstreet Boys 

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