Monday, June 14, 2021

Music History Today: June 15, 2021

June 15, 1994: The Disney film The Lion King hits theaters. The soundtrack sells over 10 million copies: a record for the soundtrack to an animated film.

The Lion King became the most financially successful Disney movie of them all (though has since lost its crown, first to Toy Story 3 then to Frozen), and the music was a vital part of its success.

Disney film The Lion King poster

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It was Tim Rice apparently who suggested Elton John to be his songwriting partner.  His career was at a bit of a low-point, his battles with various demons at the time was very well-chronicled, so he was certainly not an orthodox choice – but it turned out to be an inspired move. 

Read more: Movie-Wave

June 15, 1937: Waylon Jennings is born in Littlefield, Texas. 

Waylon Jennings' big break came when he was tapped by Holly to play bass in Holly’s new band on a tour through the Midwest in late 1958 and early 1959.
Waylon Jennings
Waylon Jennings

In an oft-told tale, Jennings gave up his airplane seat to the Big Bopper, J. P. Richardson, for an ill-fated flight that would claim the lives of Holly, the Bopper, and singer Ritchie Valens. After the plane crashed, Jennings felt responsible, because his last words to Holly had been the joking refrain, “I hope your ole plane crashes” (in response to Holly’s “I hope your damned bus freezes up again”). 
Read more: Country Music Hall of Fame

 

June 15, 1963: Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakamoto captures the number 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100.

Ian Condry, who teaches Japanese culture at MIT, says "Sukiyaki" transcended language because it hit an emotional nerve. The song spent three weeks at the top of the Billboard charts in June 1963 and was already a huge hit in Japan before its American debut. But what most listeners in the U.S. probably didn't realize was how it symbolized Japan's return to the world stage. 
Read more: NPR

 

June 15, 1967: Five teenagers from  Ohio, called The Music Explosion, peaked at number 2 on the Hot 100 with "Little Bit O' Soul."

The Music Explosion’s “Little Bit O’ Soul” is a smile-inducing piece of garage rock-flavored pop, but they weren’t the first group to record and release it.

The Music Explosion "Little Bit O' Soul"

That honor goes to the Coventry-based band The Little Darlings, who recorded the tune by British songwriters Ken Lewis and John Carter in 1965. Their take on the song has a slightly rougher edge to it than the later version. But the Ohio based group The Music Explosion is the band that took the song all the way to number two on the US charts in 1967. 
Read more: Culture Sonar

 

June 15, 1968: Yummy, Yummy,  Yummy by The Ohio Express hits number 4 on the US music chart.

"Yummy Yummy Yummy" was first recorded by Ohio Express in 1968. It has since been covered by many artists. Ohio Express was a studio concoction and none of the "official" members appear on the record. Joey Levine sang lead vocals. Time Magazine included it in its 2011 list of songs with silly lyrics. It ranked No. 2 in Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs. 
Read more: Wikipedia

 

The Circle of Life
Lion King

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