Saturday, June 19, 2021

Music History Today: June 20, 2021

June 20, 1981: After topping record charts around the world, a medley of hits credited to Stars On 45 reaches Number 1 in America.

It was the summer of 1981, and after an 11-year hiatus, the sound of the Fab Four once again ruled the radio airwaves.  Only instead of John, Paul, George and Ringo, this time the world had to settle for Bas, Hans, Jaap and Okkie—the Dutch studio musicians behind the phenomenon called Stars on 45. 

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They climbed all the way to the top of the U.S. pop charts on June 20, 1981, with a single whose impossibly long title takes almost as long to read as the song itself takes to play: “Medley: Intro ‘Venus’/Sugar Sugar/No Reply/I’ll Be Back/Drive My Car/Do You Want To Know A Secret/We Can Work It Out/I Should Have Known Better/Nowhere Man/You’re Going To Lose That Girl/Stars On 45.” 

Read more: History

June 20, 1949: Lionel Richie was born in Tuskegee, Alabama

Singer-songwriter Lionel Richie grew up in Tuskegee, Alabama. He was a founding member of the Commodores, a top R&B act of the 1970s, before finding success as a solo artist with the No. 1 single "Truly," from his self-titled debut album. 

Lionel Richie
 Lionel Richie 

More hits soon followed, including "Hello" and "Dancing on the Ceiling." In 1985, he co-wrote the famine relief song "We Are the World" with Michael Jackson. Richie's later albums include Louder than Words (1996) and Coming Home (2006). 
Read more: Biography

June 20, 1978: Foreigner released their album Double Vision.

Foreigner immediately rose to the ranks of the biggest bands in rock with their 1977 self-titled debut, scoring a Top 20 LP that sold millions while spinning off multiple hit singles. 

Released on June 20, 1978, Double Vision increased Foreigner's early momentum, spawning three more hits ("Hot Blooded," "Blue Morning, Blue Day" and the title track) while going on to rack up sales in excess of seven million copies in the U.S. alone. 

Read more: Ultimate Classic Rock

June 20, 1981: Ray Parker, Jr. & Raydio end their run up the music chart at Number 4 with " A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do)."  

"A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do)"  was written as an antithetical answer to the earlier Raydio hit, "Jack And Jill," also written and performed by Ray Parker, Jr. "Jack And Jill" is written from "Jack's" perspective of being neglected, just as "A Woman Needs Love" is written from "Jill's" perspective, as indicated by the lyrics, "by the time poor Jack returned up the hill, somebody else had been loving Jill." 
Read more: Wikipedia

June 20, 1987: "Diamonds" by Herb Alpert featuring Janet Jackson peaks at Number 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Borrowing from “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” — the song famously performed by Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 film, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes — the Alpert/Jackson tune delivers the clear message that when a guy is serious about a girl, he needs to give her a tangible reminder of how much he cares. Specifically, Jackson wants something she can see — something on her finger that “shines so brightly.” 
Read more: Diamond Designs


Stars On 45

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