Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Music History Today: March 16, 2023

March 16, 2019: The rapper Lil Nas X made the Country chart with "Old Town Road." Billboard removed the track the following week, declaring it ineligible for the tally. The attention leads to a remix with Billy Ray Cyrus that hit Number 1 on the Hot 100.

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March 16, 1945: The Number 1 song in America was "Rum and Coca-Cola" by The Andrews Sisters
During World War II, around 20,000 American GIs were stationed in Trinidad. A local calypso musician known by the stage name Lord Invader wrote some lyrics commenting on how the American servicemen drank rum and coke and used their Yankee dollars to lure the local women.

The Andrews Sisters
The Andrews Sisters

The Andrews Sisters recorded a similar song sung in a hammy Trinidadian accent, and it became the biggest-selling song of the year and the third biggest of the decade in the United States. 

Read more: Songfacts

March 16, 1963: Peter, Paul, and Mary entered Billboard's Hot 100 with "Puff the Magic Dragon."
"Puff the Magic Dragon" was rumored to be about drugs, particularly marijuana. This gossip was fueled by a 1964 Newsweek article about hidden drug messages in pop music that came up with the following interpretations:
Puff's friend Jackie Paper = rolling papers
"Puff" = to take a puff from a joint
"Dragon" = a variation of "dragin'," as in taking a drag from a joint to inhale the smoke.
The band claimed that the song was about losing childhood innocence and had nothing to do with drugs. At the song's end, Puff returns to his cave, which symbolizes this loss of childhood innocence. 
Read more: Songfacts

March 16, 1974: The Jackson 5's "Dancing Machine" debuted on the US music chart. They performed the song on the Carol Burnette Show, which aired that night.

The Jackson 5 Dancing Machine cover art

March 16, 2002: Jimmy Eat World debuted on the American charts with "The Middle."
"The Middle" was Jimmy Eat World's breakout track. The song climbed to Number 1 on the Modern Rock chart in 2001 and made Number 5 on the Hot 100 in the summer of 2002. The video features a fresh-faced, fully clothed teenage boy, played by Josh Keleher, who attends a cool house party at which Jimmy Eat World plays. The shindig is "clothing optional," and everyone, except the band, is in their underwear. 
Read more: Songfacts

Old Town Road
Lil Nas X

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