Monday, July 3, 2023

Music History Today: July 4, 2023

July 4, 1986: More than 40,000 people showed up at a race track in Manor, Texas, for Farm Aid II. It was shown live on VH-1, and millions of viewers tuned in to watch performances by Alabama, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Beach Boys, Bon Jovi, and Joe Walsh. 

Farm Aid II poster
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July 4, 1938: Bill Withers was born in Slab Fork, West Virginia. 
Bill Withers had just turned 33 when "Ain't No Sunshine" made him a Grammy-winning artist. Through the next ten years, Withers continued to meld soul, gospel, folk, and funk. He collected more gold singles with "Lean on Me" and "Use Me" in 1972 and was handed a second Grammy for "Just the Two of Us," his 1981 collaboration with Grover Washington, Jr.  
Read more: Allmusic
Bill Withers
Bill Withers

July 4, 1964: The Beach Boys scored their first Number 1 hit when "I Get Around" topped Billboard's Hot 100.
"I Get Around" was released as a double A-side single with "Don't Worry Baby." Musically, it was incredibly innovative, with an opening fuzz guitar, stop-start rhythms, and a keyboard line working in and out of the song. It was the first Beach Boys recording after The Beatles took hold in America. 
Read more: Songfacts

July 4, 1969: The Atlanta Pop Festival opened in Byron, Georgia, a month before Woodstock. A newly formed band called Grand Funk Railroad played a rousing set that got them a record deal. Two years later, they sold out New York's Shea Stadium.

Atlanta Pop Festival 1969 poster
Among the acts on The Atlanta Pop Festival bill were rockers Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Led Zeppelin, the jazz group Dave Brubeck Trio, and the jazz-influenced bands Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago Transit Authority, blues-based groups like the Butterfield Blues Band, Canned Heat and Johnny Winter, pop acts Johnny Rivers and Tommy James and the Shondells, folkies Ian & Sylvia, soul instrumental combo Booker T. & the M.G.'s and gospel group the Staple Singers. 
Read more: Best Classic Bands

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