Monday, January 23, 2023

Music History Today: January 24, 2023

January 24, 1972: Paul Simon released his self-titled album.
Reviewing for The Village Voice in 1972, Robert Christgau said of Paul Simon's self-titled LP, "this is the only thing in the universe to make me positively happy in the first two weeks of February 1972." .

Paul Simon self-titled album cover

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In Rolling Stone that year, Jon Landau called it Simon's "least detached, most personal and painful piece of work thus far — this from a lyricist who has never shied away from pain as subject or theme." 
Read more: Wikipedia
January 24, 1939: Ray Stevens was born in Clarkdale, Georgia.
Ray Stevens was one of the most popular novelty artists of all time. He also performed straight country and pop, scoring the occasional serious hit, like 1970's "Everything Is Beautiful." 

Ray Stevens

Stevens recorded his first top 10 US hit, "Ahab the Arab," in 1962. It reached the Top Five on the pop charts. In 1969, Stevens wrote the lyrics and voiced the characters for a song called "Gitarzan." The track became his first Top Ten pop hit in seven years. 
Read more: Allmusic

January 24, 1967: Aretha Franklin recorded her first Top 10 pop hit, "I Never Loved A Man (The Way That I Love You)," at the FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
Aretha Franklin recorded for Columbia Records from 1960-1966, never charting higher on the Hot 100 than #37.

Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin

In 1967, she signed with Atlantic and released "I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)" as her debut single with the label, and it became the first Top 10 hit for the Queen of Soul. 
Read more: Songfacts

January 24, 1976: Linda Ronstadt moved into the top 40 section of Billboard with a cover of Smokey Robinson's "Tracks of My Tears." She would peak at Number 25.

Linda Ronstadt
Linda Ronstadt

January 24, 1981: Don McLean entered the US music chart, at Number 37, with a cover of Roy Orbison's "Crying."

Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard
Paul Simon

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