Saturday, July 10, 2021

Music History Today: July 11, 2021

July 11, 1969: David Bowie released "Space Oddity" in the U.K., timing the release with the Apollo moon landing.
When the 22-year-old David Bowie penned Space Oddity, a song that would ultimately become a recognized classic, he was a burgeoning pop artist without a record deal.  A folk singer without a gig, a sometime mime, and a purveyor of ice creams. His first serious relationship, with the actress Hermione Farthingale, was in free fall.

David Bowie
David Bowie

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It was December 1968, and Bowie’s manager Kenneth Pitt was collating a promotional film to pimp his client’s wares to London television and film producers. He requested Bowie pen a “special piece of new material” to contemporize the otherwise retrospective nature of the film. And then, on Christmas Eve, astronaut Bill Anders captured his iconic photograph of Earth from the Apollo 8 spacecraft while circumnavigating the Moon. 
Read more: The Conversation
July 11, 1960: The Hollywood Argyles' "Alley Oop" hits Number 1 in America.
Dallas Frazier was working in a cotton gin, thinking about a cartoon caveman. 

Alley Oop comic

That's not your average origin story for a song, but "Alley Oop" isn't your average hit. The doo-wop tune — inspired by the comic strip of the same name — was a hit for the makeshift session band The Hollywood Argyles, and it went on to be covered by The Beach Boys, Ray Stevens and Darlene Love. 
Read more: The Tennessean


July 11, 1964 "No Particular Place to  Go" by Chuck Berry peaks at number 10.
"No Particular Place to Go" by Chuck Berry was released as a single by Chess Records in May 1964 from the album St. Louis to Liverpool. The song is a comical four verse story. In the first verse the narrator is cruising in his car with his girlfriend, and they kiss.
Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry
 In the second they start to cuddle, and drive slow. In the third they decide to park and take a walk, but are unable to release the seat belt. In the last verse they drive home, defeated by said recalcitrant seat belt. 

Read more: Wikipedia

July 11, 1970: The soundtrack to the 1969 Woodstock concert becomes the first triple-disc album to top the Billboard chart.
When the team at Atlantic Records sat down to compile the soundtrack album from the filmed account of the 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Fair, they had their work cut out for them. How could they capture the essence of such a momentous event—one that went on for three days and nights—on a record album?  

Woodstock soundtrack album picture
Woodstock soundtrack album picture

The Woodstock concert film, released on March 26, 1970 had, after all, run for more than three hours. How could that possibly be condensed onto a record? The answer was that it could not, so Atlantic put it out as a three-LP set. Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More, released on May 11, 1970, on Atlantic’s Cotillion subsidiary, was embraced by record buyers much as the film had been. It rose to #1 on the Billboard LP chart during the week of July 11, 1970, and remained there for four weeks. 
Read more: Best Classic Bands

Rainbow All Over Your Blues
John Sebastian 


July 11, 1987: Heart begins a three week stay at number 1 in the US with "Alone." 
“Alone” had just been sitting there for years before Heart got to it. By 1987, songwriters Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg were proven hitmakers with a couple of #1 smashes, Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” and Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors,” to their names. 


Before they wrote those songs, though, Kelly and Steinberg made music together under the name i-Ten. As i-Ten, Kelly and Steinberg only released one album, 1983’s Taking A Cold Look. Toto’s Steve Lukather and Fleetwood Mac/Foreigner collaborator Keith Olsen produced the album, and it had members of Toto, Journey, and Mr. Mister playing on it. It didn’t matter. The i-Ten album bricked, and the original version of “Alone” went largely unheard. 
Read more: Stereogum 

 Space Oddity
David Bowie

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