Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Music History Today: September 22, 2021

September 22, 1964: The musical Fiddler on the Roof makes its Broadway debut at the Imperial Theatre.
Based on Sholom Aleichem’s stories about a poor milkman in late 19th century Russia, and the five daughters for whom he seeks significant weddings, this great musical benefited from the portrayal of Zero Mostel as Tevye, and Jerome Robbins’ splendid choreography in Boris Aronson’s sets inspired by the paintings of Marc Chagall. 

Fiddler on the Roof 1964 Broadway playbill
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In the profuse score created by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, “If I Were A Rich Man” stands out as the anthem of everyone looking for a better life. Before she became Mame’s bosom buddy and a television Golden Girl, Bea Arthur played Yente, the matchmaker; and Maria Karnilova traded her stripper’s outfit in Gypsy for the torn dress worn by Golde, 
September 22, 1994: Friends debuts on NBC, accompanied by a catchy theme song by The Rembrandts that becomes an unexpected hit.
Friends executive producer Kevin S. Bright was looking to do something a bit different with the Friends theme song. He was in the market for a melody similar to that of R.E.M.'s 1987 hit "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)." 

Friends TV show cast
Friends TV show cast

"I think they thought it felt, tempo-wise, that was where they wanted to go," Danny Wilde of The Rembrandts said. "Kevin had it in his head that he didn't want to have a jingle writer write the theme song for the show. He was a fan of The Rembrandts from other records that we had made, so he called our manager." 
Read more: Buzz Feed News

 

September 22, 1973: "We May Never Pass This Way" by Seals and Crofts entered the Billboard hot 100 charts.
"We May Never Pass This Way" calls on people to show courage and continue to stand with one another, partly because they may never see each other again. Written by the duo, it's an example of their strong convictions to Abdul Baha and the Baha'i faith. They made a pilgrimage to Haifa, Israel, where they studied the teachings of the faith, and often based their lyrics on themes of compassion and devotion. 
Read more: Songfacts

September 22, 1984: "Missing You" by John Waite topped the US music single's chart.

John Waite
John Waite
John Waite’s song “Missing You” didn’t stand out stylistically. It cribbed the tick-tock guitar sound from the Police’s “Every Breath You Take,” the previous year’s biggest hit, and put it in service of the kind of ultra-clean studio-rock that you might expect to hear from Journey, a group that featured one of Waite’s ex-bandmates. But it worked. And for seven days in one of pop’s golden eras, it worked well enough to land at #1. 
Read more: Stereogum

 

September 22, 1990: Warrant was flying, from number 78 to 47 in it's third week on Billboard's single's chart, with "Cherry Pie."
When Warrant released their second album, Cherry Pie, on Sept. 11, 1990, the full impact of the title track’s new video had yet to be felt.

Warrant album Cherry Pie cover

It wasn’t difficult to figure out what the song was about; the promo clip made it even more obvious, with real cherry pies being used to represent the parts of actress Bobbie Brown that singer Jani Lane wanted access to. One network banned it for being “offensively sexist,” and many critics went on to call it one of the worst videos ever made. 

 

If I Were A Rich Man
Zero Mostel

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