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.

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Baritone with Muscles/The Voice of RCA

Today in Music History: January 20

There are musicians, there are actors, there are actors who think they are musicians and musicians who put up a pretty good act. Then there are those that fit both genres quite naturally, even radio. Such is the case for our 'muscle man' in this day's spotlight.

Welcome into the Spotlight...

Imagine a pop vocalist who looked and sounded like a movie star. Imagine a tour full of musicians and a bevy of teenage Texas beauties singing back up. Imagine hit records rocketing to the top of the charts...and the decade is the 40s! [Source: popularsong.org]
Vaughn Monroe: a desire to become an opera singer eventually landed this singer almost ten number one hits during the '40s as well as a host of nicknames

Vaughn Monroe was tall and handsome which helped him as a bandleader and singer, as well as in Hollywood. Because of his rich baritone he was sometimes called "the Baritone with Muscles", "the Voice with Hair on its Chest", "Ol' Leather Tonsils", or "Leather Lungs". While Monroe's first few years were successful (early '40s), it was during the middle and later in the decade when his biggest hits materialized. During 1945, "There! I've Said It Again" and "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" both spent more than a month at the top of the charts. "There I Said it Again" was also recorded by Bobby Vinton in 1963 but the first time it was recorded and released was in 1941 by the Benny Carter Orchestra. Vaughn's two biggest hits, "Ballerina" and "Riders in the Sky," came in 1947 and 1949, respectively.

Vaughn Monroe was one of the first major artists to enter the lucrative field of television commercials and for 15 years was known as "The Voice of RCA." He also worked as an executive and talent scout for RCA. He has not one, but two, stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; for recording and radio.

1946 Vaughn Monroe - Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! 
How appropriate for today's spotlight since the northern part of our nation and Canada are experiencing their share of Snow Cover. Of course, for many locations, a more appropriate title would possibly be "Let it go! Let it go! Let it go!" meaning 'snow be gone'! Although this song is associated with Christmas, there is no mention of the holiday in the lyrics. It's about making the most of a snowy day by spending it with a loved one by the fire. Dean Martin released the song in 1945. Martin's version is one of the best-known, and it fits his image as a swinging member of the Rat Pack without a care in the world.
No.1 hit singles on this day...
[Click on the year for the songs that hit number one on the charts in the US during that year.]

  • 1966 The Spencer Davis Group were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Keep On Running'.

     1968 One hit wonders John Fred and the Playboy Band started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Judy In Disguise, (With Glasses)', it made No.3 in the UK. The song was inspired by The Beatles 'Lucy In The Sky'.

  • 1975 The US Top 5 singles: No.5, Stevie Wonder, 'Boogie On Reggae Woman', No.4, Ohio Players, 'Fire', No.3, Barry Manilow, 'Mandy', No.2, Neil Sedaka, 'Laughter In The Rain', No.1, The Carpenters, 'Please Mr Postman'.
  • 1985 Foreigner had their only UK No.1 single with 'I Want To Know What Love Is'. London-born Mick Jones wrote the song and sang lead vocals with the British-American rock band.
  • 1990 Michael Bolton started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'How Am I Supposed To Live Without You', the singers first No.1 and the first No.1 single of the 90's in the US.

Yes, it actually happened...

1982  During an Ozzy Osbourne concert in Des Moines, Iowa, a member of the audience threw a bat onto the stage. Stunned by the light, the bat lay motionless, and thinking it was a rubber fake, the singer picked it up and attempted to bite its head off. As he did this, the bat started to flap its wings and Ozzy soon realized it wasn't fake but in fact a living thing. After the show Ozzy was immediately rushed to the nearest hospital for rabies shots.
1997 Ben and Jerry's introduced 'Phish food', a new flavor of ice cream named after the rock group Phish. The ingredients were chocolate ice cream, marshmallows, caramel and fish-shaped fudge.

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