Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Friday, April 25, 2014

'Copycats' & Fun Facts

Today in Music History: April 25

It's not just about the music, the words and the melodies, but also the stories behind the music and the performances that set the stage for MTV and DVDs yet to come. Some of the most interesting trivia comes from songs of the past that were covered by other artists whose renditions are more remembered than the original. For some, the beginning we know may not be a song's beginning at all.

1954, Johnnie Ray was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Such A Night'. The singer's first of three UK No.1's. He became deaf in his right ear aged 13 after an accident and would later perform wearing a hearing aid. Dexys Midnight Runners' 1982 music video for 'Come On Eileen', used footage of Ray from 1954. The lyrics of the song say, "Poor old Johnnie Ray sounded sad upon the radio / he moved a million hearts in mono." 

Follow the recordings of 'Such a Night':

While Johnny Ray may have recorded this song today in 1954, this was not its first release. The Drifters' original version, featuring Clyde McPhatter, was recorded in November 1953 and released in January 1954. Despite being banned by some radio stations as too "racy", it reached number 2 on the American R&B chart in 1954.
Elvis Presley also recorded the song and released it on his 1960 album Elvis Is Back. Presley's version made number 13 in the UK and number 16 in the US, when released as a single in 1964.
The Four Lovers released their version of the song in 1956. The Four Lovers later became known as The Four Seasons.
Which night resonates best with you?

1960, Elvis Presley started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Stuck On You' (No.3 in the UK). "Stuck on You" is Elvis Presley's first hit single after his two-year stint in the US Army. It was his first No.1 single of the 60s and thirteenth overall. "Stuck on You" peaked at No.6 on the R&B chart. Forgotten is the significance of the record, that it was a million-seller, a Gold Record, before anyone even knew the song’s title, much less heard it. 

Other recordings of songs titled 'Stuck on You'...

This version of "Stuck on You" is a song written by and originally recorded by Lionel Richie, which peaked at No.3 in the US and No.12 in the UK. It was the fourth single released from his second studio album Can't Slow Down released on October 11, 1983, by Motown Records.

Meiko's full-length album, titled The Bright Side, was released through Fantasy Records on May 15, 2012, and a single from the album, 'Stuck on You', reached No.1 on the combined Japanese AirPlay Chart and No.1 on the International Chart in Japan.
Of these three, which one is stuck on you?

Here are some hit singles on this day...

1970, the Jackson 5 started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'ABC'. It was the group's second US No.1 and a No.8 hit in the UK. This became the Jackson 5's second #1 hit by knocking out the Beatles' 'Let It Be'. According to co-writer Freddie Perren, the music of this is the chorus of their previous hit, 'I Want You Back'. Michael Jackson sang lead. He was 11 years old, the youngest of the group.

1982, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Ebony And Ivory'. This was McCartney's 24th No.1 hit single as a songwriter. The title was inspired by McCartney hearing Spike Milligan say "black notes, white notes, and you need to play the two to make harmony folks!". It was later named as the tenth worst song of all time by Blender magazine and in 2007 was named the worst duet in history by BBC 6 Music listeners. 

 1987, Madonna went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'La Isla Bonita'. The fifth and final single from her third studio album, 'True Blue', made her the only female artist to score four UK No.1 singles. The song had been offered to Michael Jackson for his 'Bad' album. 

1987, U2 started a five-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with their fifth studio album 'The Joshua Tree'. Inspired by American tour experiences, literature, and politics, the album topped the charts in over 20 countries, and is one of the world's all-time best-selling albums, with over 25 million copies sold. The album which won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year produced the hit singles 'With or Without You', 'I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For', and 'Where the Streets Have No Name'. 

1992, Kris Kross started an eight week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Jump', a No.2 hit in the UK. The duo of Chris Smith and Chris Kelly were 12 and 13 when they recorded the song.
'Jump' has been recorded by four different artists under the same title but different lyrics.

   Van Halen 'Jump' - 1983

Madonna 'Jump' - 2006

Rihanna 'Jump' - 2012

And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...