Thursday, July 1, 2021

Music History Today: July 2, 2021

July 2, 1988: Michael Jackson's "Dirty Diana" hits number 1 on the Hot 100 and makes him the first artist to score five number 1 singles from the same album (Bad).

During his life, Michael Jackson had to explain his songs, especially Dirty Diana. In fact, Michael spent a great deal of time explaining who Dirty Diana was not about, rather than telling the true meaning of the song.

Michael Jackson 1988

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Names like Diana Ross and even Princess Diana were thrown into the mix as possible inspirations for the song. In the end, Michael had to come clean and explain the song was generally about groupies. 

Read more: Express

July 2, 1961: Gary U.S. Bonds achieved his only American number 1 hit when "Quarter to Three" topped the Billboard chart. 

“Quarter To Three” is both for dancing and about dancing. Gary U.S. Bonds, the Florida-born and Virginia-based singer behind the song, roars out, “Don’t you know I danced, I danced till a quarter to three / With the help that night of Daddy G.” Daddy G is Gene Barge, the saxophone player who co-wrote the song and who honked frantically all through it. 
Read more: Stereogum

 

July 2, 1966: "Strangers In The Night" became Frank Sinatra's first number 1 hit since “Learnin' the Blues” in 1955.

Frank Sinatra hated Strangers in the Night which he took to the top of the charts, shoving out the Beatles' Paperback Writer in the US. 

Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra

"He thought it was about two f*gs in a bar," said Warner-Reprise Records man Joe Smith  . . . and sometimes Sinatra would change the lyrics, as he did at a concert in Jerusalem in '75. When he introduced it he said, "Here's a song I cannot stand . . . but what the hell." 
Read more: Elsewhere

July 2, 1977: Billboard's top tune was "Gonna Fly Now," the theme from the Sylvester Stallone film Rocky.

There’s a moment in the 1976 movie Rocky where the film we’re watching stops being a product of the American new wave and where it transforms before our eyes into the future of cinema. That moment is the training montage. 

Rocky runs down the streets of his South Philadelphia hometown. He punches speedbags. He punches giant slabs of frozen beef. He sprints along foggy docks. He runs up the steps to the Philadelphia Museum Of Art, pausing for a moment of triumph and possibility, striking the iconic pose in the place where that fictional character’s statue now stands. And “Gonna Fly Now” plays. 

Read more: Stereogum

July 2, 1983: "She's a Beauty" by The Tubes peaks on the Billboards Hot 100 singles chart at number 10.

"She's a Beauty" was co-written by Fee Waybill, producer David Foster and Toto guitarist Steve Lukather. Drummer Prairie Prince attributed the song's lyrics to Waybill and the music to Foster. Waybill says the song was originally inspired when he passed a booth on a San Francisco street outside a peep show, the booth being marked with a sign reading "Pay A Dollar, Talk to a Naked Girl," and the frustrating conversation that ensued between him and the woman inside the booth. 
Read more: Wikipedia

Michael Jackson
Dirty Diana

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