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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.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Smooth Balladeer

Today in Music History: December 19, 1958

A taste of country. Behind all the southern drawls, guitars and cowboys is an affluence of emotion. Country music reaches deep into real life, real emotion that you not only hear but you feel. It hits you right in the gut so to speak, close to home. Almost any situation in life, good and bad, has found a place in the lyrics of country music. It embraces people from all walks of life.

Welcome into the Spotlight...


Conway Twitty: iconic country singer who scored 55 No. 1 hits over the long expanse of his career

Originally a 50s rock 'n' roll singer, Conway Twitty racked up hit after hit after hit after hit over the course of two decades becoming the reigning superstar of the 70s and 80s. This was the country-pop era so Twitty's deep resonant, down-home voice led him to achieving success as one of the smoothest balladeers to work in Nashville.
More than any other singer, Conway Twitty was responsible for selling country as an "adult" music, slipping sexually suggestive lyrics into his lush productions, yet never singing misogynist lyrics -- by and large, his songs were sensitive and sensual, which is part of the reason why he achieved such a large success. Once Twitty reached the top of the country charts in the late '60s, he stayed there for years on end, releasing a consistent stream of Top Ten hits that both defined and expanded the limitations of country-pop by adding subtle R&B, pop, and rock & roll influences. Though he had some pop success, Twitty remained country to the core -- occasionally, his song titles were simply too corny -- which was why he retained his popularity until his death in 1993. [Source: Artist Biography]
1958 Conway Twitty was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'It's Only Make Believe'. The first song to reach the UK Top 10 in four different years: Billy Fury (1964), Glen Campbell (1970) and Child (1978).
How does Twitty's version compare to the covers?

No.1 singles on this day...

    1964 The Supremes scored their third US No.1 single of the year when 'Come See About Me', went to the top of the charts. It made No.27 on the UK chart.
  • 1970 Elton John's first US hit, ‘Your Song’ entered the Billboard Hot 100, where it went on to reach number eight. The Hollies had been offered the song and Three Dog Night had already recorded a version which was included on their ‘It Ain't Easy’ album.
  • 1987 The Pet Shop Boys had their third UK No.1 single with their version of 'Always On My Mind'. The duo had performed a version of 'Always on My Mind' on Love Me Tender, an TV special commemorating the tenth anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, their performance was so well-received that the group decided to record the song and release it as a single.
  • 1999 Irish boyband Westlife started a four week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with their versions of the Abba song 'I Have A Dream' and the Terry Jacks hit (written in French by Belgian, Jacques Brel and English lyrics by poet Rod McKuen), 'Seasons In The Sun'. It gave the group the Christmas No.1 and the last No.1 of the century.
No. 1 Albums on This Day... 

1964 The Beatles fourth album 'Beatles For Sale' started a seven-week run at No.1 on the UK album charts. Recorded when Beatlemania was just past its peak 'Beatles for Sale' was The Beatles' fourth album in just 21 months.
1981 Abba scored their seventh UK No.1 album with 'The Visitors', the Swedish pop group's eighth and final studio album. It was one of the first records to be recorded and mixed digitally, and was the first in history to be manufactured on the new CD format in 1982 on Atlantic.

1957 Elvis Presley had his draft notice served on him for the US Army. He went on to join the 32nd Tank Battalion third Armor Corps based in Germany. [NOTE: Most sources quote the date as December 20.]

2012 Nick Mason stepped in to help save Foote's, the historic London music shop where he bought his first ever drum kit. The Pink Floyd drummer, along with the store's sales director, Rob Wilson, were buying the business (which will now re-open in a new location at 41 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London) from the family who has owned it since the '30s.

"After 40 something years of playing, I still have great affection for a real drum shop. And Foote’s has a special significance for me. In 1958, I headed down to the West End of London to a basement in Denman Street where a kindly man called Sid, in a white coat (maybe that’s significant as well) sold me my original kit for £7.50." ~Nick Mason

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