Monday, December 27, 2021

Music History Today: December 28, 2021

December 28, 2001: I Am Sam, with its soundtrack of Beatles' cover songs, opens in the United States.
The soundtrack for Sean Penn's 2002 film I Am Sam was not compiled without difficulties, but the finished product ended up being very enjoyable.

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The filmmaker's' original plan was to use the Beatles' original versions of songs in the film, but it was stonewalled by the band's strict self-imposed policy of not licensing their music for films. Instead, the producers decided to use new recordings of the songs by contemporary artists.  
Read more: Allmusic
December 28, 1959: "Why" by Frankie Avalon ends 1959 at number 1 on the charts.
On the Billboard Hot 100, the ’50s ended the way the ’50s had to end: with a witless, weightless trifle from a guy whose greatest contribution to culture wouldn’t come until he started making Beach Party movies.

Frankie Avalon
Frankie Avalon

Frankie Avalon had already topped the Hot 100 with the deeply empty “Venus,” and “Why” seemed like the result of a dare: Could he do it again, this time with an even shittier song? “Venus” at least had a memorable hook. “Why” didn’t even have that. 
Read more: Stereogum

December 28, 1968: Stevie Wonder peaked on Billboard's Hot 100 chart at number 2 with "For Once in My Life."
“For Once in My Life” won a Grammy Award for its treatment by Tony Bennett and Stevie Wonder. The song is one of the most enduring compositions associated with the mighty Motown combine, it has been recorded by no less than 100 artists, among them Frank Sinatra, reggae star Desmond Dekker, Brenda Lee and, more recently, Michael Bublé and Vonda Shepard.  And then of course there’s Wonder’s hit rendition. 
Read more: American Songwriter

December 28, 1974: Maria Muldaur debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with "I'm a Woman."
It would be easy for different sets of fans to remember Maria Muldaur from different places and times.

Maria Muldaur
Maria Muldaur

For folk fans, she started out as Maria D'Amato, a singer who belted out "I'm a Woman" and other saucy favorites for the Jim Kweskin Jug Band in the mid-'60s. For pop fans, Muldaur was the singer of the risqué "Midnight at the Oasis," a big hit in 1973. 
Read more: Allmusic

December 28, 1985: Simple Minds made to number 3 in the US with "Alive and Kicking."
Simple Minds were working in America when they came up with the music for Alive and Kicking." The jaunty tune inspired a similarly upbeat lyric from Jim Kerr, who told Songfacts: "We were in New York, it was summer, Manhattan. We could feel the band was really on the verge of something, and I think that positivity and that idea of hope formed the lyrics." 
Read more: Songfacts

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