Saturday, August 28, 2021

Music History Today: August 29, 2021

August 29, 1958: Michael Jackson is born in Gary, Indiana. His debut solo single - "Got to Be There" released on October 7, 1971 - reaches number 4 on the US music chart.
Riding high on the wild success of the Jackson 5, Motown ringleader Berry Gordy assembled every single notable production team member and songwriter in his arsenal to contribute to the solo debut of the J5's boy wonder, Michael.

Michael Jackson
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By the time Got to Be There was released, much had changed in the Jackson dynamic, none the least Michael's voice. But this album launched three chart singles: a cover of the bubblegum classic "Rockin' Robin," Leon Ware's "I Wanna Be Where You Are," and the title track. 
Read more: Allmusic
August 29, 1964: "C’Mon and Swim" by Bobby Freeman make it to the Top 5 on the US music chart.
The Swim is a dance. Freeman claimed he invented the dance on January 27, 1962 when he was one of several performers at the "Twist Party" concert headlined by Chubby Checker at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. He got called back on stage after his set, but didn't have any more songs ready, so he made up some dances. He started shaking his butt and moving his arms in a swimming motion. "This is called 'The Swim,'" he said. 
Read more: Songfacts

 

August 29, 1966: The Youngbloods record "Get Together."
The song sometimes called the "hippie national anthem" has been used on The Simpsons and in Forrest Gump, recorded dozens of times by the likes of The Kingston Trio, The Dave Clark Five, Jefferson Airplane, The Staples Singers and the Carpenters. 

The Youngbloods
The Youngbloods

The song has gone by a few different names: "Let's Get Together," Everybody Get Together." But the best-known version is called, simply, "Get Together." It was recorded by The Youngbloods in 1967 — the same year as the Summer of Love, where it would become a constant presence. 
Read more: NPR

 

August 29, 1970: The James Gang's  "Funk #49" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 single's chart.
The James Gang were huge in their hometown of Cleveland, but in some circles still might be best known as being the first major band of future Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh. 

James Gang
James Gang

But ‘Funk #49’—the first song on the band’s second album, 1970’s ‘James Gang Rides Again’—cements their place in classic-rock circles. The song’s enduring popularity has everything to do with Walsh’s snaky riffs, which weld country-influenced boogie and bluesy slide guitar to more traditional rock signifiers—and, yes, an effortlessly funky groove. 
Read more: Ultimate Classic Rock

 

August 29,1998: A disco-fied version of Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind" by the Stars On 54: Ultra Nate, Amber, Jocelyn Enriquez debited on the Billboard Hot 100 single's chart.
Twenty-one years after John Travolta strutted across the silver screen in a white leisure suit, Hollywood decided once again that disco didn’t suck. Miramax revisited the glitterball era in 1998 with 54, a splashy, fictional tale about the exploits of a young Jersey gent (Ryan Phillippe) tending bar at Manhattan’s iconic Studio 54. If you don’t remember 54, you’re not alone. 

Movie poster for 54
Movie poster for 54

One saving grace, however, was the film’s soundtrack, where nestled amongst classic disco fodder like Odyssey’s “Native New Yorker” and Sylvester’s “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” was a thumping, fresh overhaul of Gordon Lightfoot’s tender 1970 breakup ballad “If You Could Read My Mind.” It was credited to the aptly titled collective Stars On 54 — a flip on the Dutch novelty act Stars On 45, who topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1981 with their Beatles-splicing “Stars On 45 Medley” -- and comprised of a supertrio of star ’90s house divas: Ultra Naté, Amber and Jocelyn Enriquez. 
Read more: Billboard

Got to Be There
Michael Jackson

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