Today in Music History: July 31
A Bit of Elvis Trivia to kick off this day...
Elvis Presley 'Tonsil' Photo
Fort Homer Hesterly Armory
Tampa, Florida July 31, 1955
Fort Homer Hesterly Armory
Tampa, Florida July 31, 1955
1955 Elvis Presley performed three shows at Fort Homer Hesterly Armory in Tampa, Florida, (2 matinee and 1 evening). A full scale riot broke out after the show when Elvis announced to the 14,000 strong crowd, "Girls, I'll see you backstage." Fans chased Elvis into the dressing room tearing off his clothes and shoes. Other acts who appeared here include Tom Jones, The Animals, James Brown, Buddy Holly, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash and the Doors. The iconic cropped version of the 'tonsil' photo would be used as not only the cover of the first Elvis Presley LP from RCA but it was used extensively in newspaper and print to promote future shows. It also became a famous show promotional print.
1959 Cliff Richard was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Living Doll', The singers first of 14 UK No.1's. The song was from the soundtrack to the film Serious Charge, which was Cliff Richard's movie debut. It was written by Lionel Bart who also wrote the West End and Broadway musical Oliver. It was originally intended for the singer Duffy Power before it was included in Serious Charge. Richard has never achieved the same impact in the United States despite eight US Top 40 singles, including the million-selling "Devil Woman" and "We Don't Talk Anymore".
1968 Tommy James and The Shondells were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Mony Mony'. When they were recording this, it was considered a throwaway B-side. They had no idea it would become a huge hit. It reached No.3 in the US. Also a hit for Billy Idol in 1987. For anyone lovin' the 60s music, Tommy James and The Shondells more than likely have their own special disk space housing hits such as "Hanky Panky" (1966) and "Crimson and Clover" (1969), including five in the top ten: "I Think We're Alone Now", "Mirage", "Mony Mony", "Sweet Cherry Wine", and "Crystal Blue Persuasion".A Bit of 'Mony Mony' Trivia...
"There was no drummer, so the recording engineer went out there, but he could only get through 2 bars. So before there were loops or anything else, we copied the 2 bars of drums 44 times and spliced them together, and that's the track of 'Mony Mony.' It was like an early loop before there was looping. If you listen carefully, you can hear just 2 bars of the drum track." He added: "When it came time to make it sound like it was a big party, it was lunch time. We went up to Broadway and talked all these strangers into coming down to the studio and going 'Mony, Mony!' There were all these serious guys out there having lunch, and we said, 'You want to sing on a Tommy James record?'" [Source: songfacts.com]
A Bit of 'You've Got A Friend' Trivia...1971 James Taylor went to No.1 on the US singles chart with the Carole King song 'You've Got A Friend', (included in her album Tapestry and James Taylor's album Mud Slide Slim). Originally written and recorded by Carole King in 1971, this song became the biggest, and most well-known hit for then 23-year-old James Taylor, and his only No.1 in the US. It was the first single off of his third album, which was actually the second album he released on Warner Brothers Records. The song would go on to win the 1971 Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Male Performance and Song Of The Year.
When Taylor recorded his own special version of King's song, both versions were released around the same time in 1971, so there was major competition at radio stations. It was a tossup between whether they should play the original piano version by Carole King, or the softer guitar version by James Taylor. When Carole heard James' version of the song, she finally put an end to the rumors about her being upset with the lyric changes by telling him, "James, I have no problem at all with your version of my song. Those lyric changes don't bother me one bit." [Source: songfacts.com]
1982 Survivor's 'Eye Of The Tiger' was at No.1 on the US album chart. The song, which was commissioned by actor Sylvester Stallone for the theme for the movie Rocky III, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song and go on to sell over five million copies. [See Awakenings Eye of the Tiger, Spotlight on Survivor.]
1985 The Eurythmics had the No.1 position on the UK singles chart with 'There Must Be An Angel, (Playing With My Heart)'. The song, which was the Eurythmics' first No.1 single, features a harmonica solo by Stevie Wonder. The Eurythmics are associated with the MTV-driven Second British Invasion of the US. Another hit, "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" is arguably Eurythmics' signature song. Its striking music video helped to propel the song to No.2 on the UK singles chart and No.1 on the US Billboard Hot 100.
1991 Bryan Adams was enjoying his third week at No.1 on the UK singles chart with '(Everything I Do) I Do It For You'. The single stayed a No.1 for a record-breaking sixteen weeks (the longest in British chart history), seven weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, and nine weeks atop the Canadian Singles Chart in Adams's native Canada. This is one of the most successful singles of all time.
1999 Christina Aguilera scored her first US No.1 single with 'Genie In A Bottle', also No.1 in the UK. The song spent 5 weeks at No.1 on the US chart and won Aguilera the Best New Artist Grammy for the year.A Bit of Genie Trivia...
The genie in a bottle legend has it that if you find a mysterious bottle and rub it, a genie will appear to grant you 3 wishes. This song uses the tale as a sexually-charged metaphor, implying that the girl will respond to the proper touch. This song caused some controversy when it was released, as the 18-year-old Aguilera was quite young to be singing such a racy song, particularly as her music was marketed to young girls. Aguilera explains in 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, "It is a bit suggestive, but in a positive way. It's all about a girl who's a little sassy and likes to play hard to get, but equally wants sincerity in a relationship." The lyric, "My body's saying let's go, but my heart is saying no" emphasizes her point. [Source: songfacts.com]
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...