Friday, August 20, 2021

Music History Today: August 21, 2021

August 21, 1960: Elvis Presley's "It's Now Or Never" tops the Billboard singles chart for the next month.
When Elvis Presley recorded "It's Now or Never" in 1960, he answered a challenge Frank Sinatra had issued three years earlier. 
Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
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In June 1957, a Hollywood reporter asked Sinatra his opinion of Elvis Presley’s singing ability. “Presley has no training at all,” Frank responded. “When he goes into something serious, a bigger kind of singing, we’ll find out if he is a singer.” Frank, along with the rest of the recording industry, found out with Presley's second single release after his discharge from the army in early 1960.  
Read more: Elvis History
August 21, 1981: Willie Nelson released his Greatest Hits (& Some That Will Be) Compilation album. It included "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground."
On March 21, 1981, Willie Nelson’s bittersweet “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground” hit the top of the country chart. The song is all about deep love, healing, and loss. 

Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson

“Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,” was the second single from the Honeysuckle Rose soundtrack. It is also one of two tracks from that film to become big hits for Willie Nelson. The first was “On the Road Again,” which many see as Willie’s signature tune. It was his sixth chart-topper. “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground,” was his seventh number one. 
Read more: Outsider

August 21, 1983: La Cage aux Folles opened on Broadway at the Palace Theatre.
Written by French comedian Jean Poiret, who also starred in it with stage partner Michel Serrault, La Cage aux Folles became the basis for this musical extravaganza with a book adapted by Harvey Fierstein and a score composed by Jerry Herman, which went on to win the Tony® for Best Musical in 1984. 

In the story about a couple, Renato and Zaza, owners of a highly successful gay night club in St. Tropez on the French Riviera (where Zaza is the headliner in a transvestite revue), the fragile relationship between the two men is threatened when Renato’s son (from a “mistake” made 20 years before) decides to bring the girl he wants to marry to meet his father, with the girl’s ultra conservative parents in tow. 

August 21, 1987: The movie Dirty Dancing opens in the United States. 
Multi-platinum blockbuster albums, a rarity in today’s music business, were regular occurrences in the Eighties: Thriller, Appetite for Destruction, Purple Rain, Faith, Born in the U.S.A. But none was quite like Dirty Dancing.

Jennifer Grey & Patrick Swayze

The soundtrack to a low-budget movie starring largely unknown leading actors (Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey), the album should have been the last thing any teenager would have wanted to buy in 1987: It was a hodgepodge of early-Sixties oldies, Latin instrumentals and new material by veteran acts (Medley, Eric Carmen, the Doobie Brothers’ Tom Johnson) who hadn’t had Top 40 hits in years. Yet Dirty Dancing, both the movie and the album, went on to become pop-culture juggernauts. 
Read more: Rolling Stone

 August 21,  1982:  "Vacation" by The Go-Go’s peaked at number 8 on the US single's chart.
The Go-Go’s “Vacation” soared to the Top 10 in 1982 as the title track and debut single off their sophomore album. But you might not know that Go-Go’s bassist Kathy Valentine wrote and performed an earlier, punkier version of the song with her band the Textones near the end of the previous decade. 
Read more: American Songwriter

 

It's Now Or Never
Elvis Presley

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