Friday, May 19, 2023

Music History Today: May 19, 2023

May 19, 1975: Elton John made history when his ninth album, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, entered Billboard's Hot 200 Albums at Number 1. It only had one huge hit; "Someone Saved My Life Tonight."

Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

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May 19, 1962: Ray Charles moved into the US Top 40, from Number 53 to 21, with "I Can't Stop Loving You."

"I Can't Stop Loving You" was written and initially recorded by a country singer named Don Gibson in 1958. His version was released as the B-side of his Number 7 hit "Oh Lonesome Me." Kitty Wells, a very popular country singer, recorded this in 1958. Her version was a country hit and was on the carts simultaneously with Gibson's version. Charles was known as a gospel and R&B singer, but he defied convention and decided to record an album of Country and Western songs. 
Read more: Songfacts

May 19, 1978: Dire Straits released "Sultans of Swing" in the UK.

Dire Straits leader Mark Knopfler got the idea for this song from watching a lousy club band perform. As the story goes, Knopfler was in Ipswich on a rainy night. He ducked into a bar where a mediocre band was closing out the night to an audience that was maybe four or five drunks unaware of their surroundings.  The hapless band ended their set with the lead singer announcing, with no apparent irony, "Goodnight and thank you. We are the sultans of swing." 
Read more: Songfacts

May 19, 1986: Bananarama released a cover of Shocking Blue's hit "Venus."

"Venus" was one of the first songs Bananarama started performing when they formed the band in 1979, but they wanted to record original songs first so they would be taken seriously.

Bananarama  Venus cover 

Their version was produced by the team of Stock, Aitken, and Waterman, who worked on hits by Rick Astley ("Never Gonna Give You Up"), Dead or Alive ("You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)") and Kylie Minogue ("I Should Be So Lucky"). The distinctive guitar riff was taken from The Who's "Pinball Wizard. 
Read more: Songfacts

May 19, 2003: Bette Midler began recording the album Bette Midler Sings the Rosemary Clooney Songbook. 

Someone Saved My Life Tonight
Elton John

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