History and music go hand-in-hand. Songs rise to the No.1 spot on the charts where they stay for a recorded number of weeks, then, rest among the pages of history for all time. Some musical renditions become part of the soundtrack for a classic movie, while others are performed live in front of audiences numbering in the thousands...even hundreds of thousands. There are also special events to which famed performers are invited as entertainment to bring 'life to the party' so to speak. Upon occasion, some lead to unexpected outcomes. Regardless of the time or place, each song presents itself in music filled with infinite emotions.
1961 Joe Dowell went to No.1 on the US singles chart with his half-English, half-German version of 'Wooden Heart'. This is an English version of the German Folk song "Muss I Denn." The song is best known for its use in the 1960 Elvis Presley film G.I. Blues, which gave Elvis a No.1 hit in the United Kingdom. Dowell had one more Top-40 hit when the novelty song "Little Red Rented Rowboat" made #23 in America, but he got his own G.I. Blues when he was drafted into the Army.
1961 Tamla Records released the Marvelettes first single, 'Please Mr. Postman'. The song went on to sell over a million copies and become the group's biggest hit, reaching the top of both the Billboard Pop and R&B charts. The song is notable as the first Motown song to reach the number-one position on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart.
1963 At the Civil Rights March on Washington event, musical performances included Marian Anderson, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mahalia Jackson, Josh White, and the most popular folk group of the 60s known as Peter, Paul, and Mary. Before Dr. Martin Luther King gave his famous "I Have A Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, Peter, Paul and Mary serenaded the crowd with their hit version of Bob Dylan's 'Blowin' In The Wind'.
1965 The Beach Boys 'California Girls' was at No.3 on the US singles chart, the single peaked at No.26 in the UK. Beach Boys Mike Love and Brian Wilson wrote this song celebrating the women of California. Along with surfing and cars, girls were a common topic in many of The Beach Boys songs and part of the California mythos that was so enticing to young people in other parts of America.
1968 Simon and Garfunkel started a five-week run at No.1 on the UK album chart with Bookends. The duo's fourth studio album featured 'America', 'Mrs. Robinson' and 'A Hazy Shade of Winter'.A bit of trivia you may not know: Simon and Garfunkel met in grade school when they both appeared in a production of Alice in Wonderland. Paul was the White Rabbit and Art was the Cheshire Cat. The duo began recording together in high school as Tom and Jerry, which was the name of a cartoon cat and mouse. They released a single in 1957 called "Hey Schoolgirl," which made it to #49 on the charts - not bad for 16-year-olds.
1968 The Beach Boys were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Do It Again', the group's second and final UK No.1. The song has been featured in the movies: 1986's One Crazy Summer, 1996's Flipper and 2006's Happy Feet.
An interesting tidbit of trivia is the trumpet-like sound during the wordless chorus is Brian Wilson using a falsetto voice.
1968 Tammy Wynette recorded 'Stand By Your Man' at Epic studios after an idea that came from producer, Billy Sherrill. Wynette and Sherril completed the song in 15 minutes. It proved to be the most successful record of Wynette's career and is one of the most covered songs in the history of country music. The song has appeared in various films, including: Five Easy Pieces, The Blues Brothers, The Crying Game, Sleepless in Seattle, Four Weddings and a Funeral and GoldenEye.
1972 Alice Cooper was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'School's Out'. Cooper has said he was inspired to write the song when answering the question, "What's the greatest three minutes of your life?". Cooper said: "There's two times during the year. One is Christmas morning, the next one is the last three minutes of the last day of school."
1993 Billy Joel started a three-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with 'River Of Dreams'. Joel claimed most of the music came to him in his sleep, hence the title. The singers second wife, one time model Christie Brinkley, painted the album cover which was later voted worst album cover of the year.
1993 German-based multi-national dance act Culture Beat started a four-week run at No.1 in the UK singles chart with 'Mr Vain'. It was the first UK No.1 single not to be available in a 7" vinyl version. This dance classic was the biggest hit in 1993 in Europe, topping the chart in 12 European countries including the UK.
2005 Oasis went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'The Importance Of Being Idle' their 8th No.1 single taken from their 6th album Don't Believe the Truth. This was Oasis' 19th straight Top 10 UK hit, beating a long standing record for a group that was previously held jointly by The Beatles and ABBA. The all-time record is held by Madonna, with a total of 34 in a row between 1984 and 1995.
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...