Today in Music History: August 25
1957 Canadian singer, songwriter Paul Anka was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Diana'. His only UK No.1 as an artist, Anka was the first teenage solo act to reach No.1. Some sources report Diana was written about his brother's baby-sitter, another his sister's baby sitter. Two different accounts are reported on Wikipedia: one inspired by a high school friend of Anka's named Diana Ayoub and another in an interview with NPR's Terry Gross in 2005, that it was inspired by a girl at his church who he hardly knew. To get their stories straight, perhaps someone should simply ask Paul Anka!
1958 Staten Island, New York doo-wop group The Elegants went to No.1 on the US singles chart with their re-worked version of the Mozart lullaby, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" re-titled "Little Star". The Elegants would be around in one form or another until the 1980s, but never had another hit record.
1960 The Shadows were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Apache'. The first of five UK No.1's for Cliff Richard's backing group. English songwriter and composer Jerry Lordan came up with the tune. The title "Apache" reflects the source of Lordan's inspiration: the 1954 American western film Apache. The original recording was by British guitarist Bert Weedon in early 1960. It remained unreleased for several months. In mid-1960 the Shadows were on tour with Lordan as a supporting act. The band discovered "Apache" when Lordan played it on a ukulele. Lordan figured the tune would fit the Shadows; the band agreed.
1962 Little Eva went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'The Loco-motion'. The song was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, husband and wife songwriting team. The song was offered to Dee Dee Sharp (Mashed Potatoes), who turned it down. The writers had their babysitter record it who took it to No.1. The song idea had actually been in the back of Goffin's mind for a couple of years. The right moment finally came along to bring it out. When he sat down to finally write it, he defended it to Carole: "This is going to sound stupid, but what the hell." Don't all the biggest fads start out that way?
1967 Bobbie Gentry started a four week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Ode To Billy Joe', a No.13 hit in the UK. The song generated eight Grammy nominations, resulting in three wins for Gentry and one win for arranger Jimmie Haskell. This song tells the story of the fictional Billie Joe McAllister, who kills himself by jumping off the Tallahatchie Bridge. There really is a Tallahatchie Bridge in Money, Mississippi, but Gentry made up the story. When this became a hit, Rolling Stone magazine reported that it was only a 20-foot drop off the bridge and the water was deep enough so you would not get hurt. Of course, lots of people went to the bridge and jumped, which drove the local police nuts.
1973 Donny Osmond was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Young Love' his third and last No.1. Tab Hunter also had a hit with the song in 1957. The success of Hunter's record led Warner Bros., where Hunter was a contract player, to form Warner Bros. Records. An earlier cover version by Sonny James was a No.1 hit on Billboard's country music charts.
1973 One hit wonders, Stories started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Brother Louie'. Hot Chocolate who had a No.7 hit with the song in the UK wrote the song. More One Hit Wonders...
1979 25 years after his first UK No.1 single, Cliff Richard had his 10th chart topper with 'We Don't Talk Anymore', his first No.1 for eleven years. This was Cliff Richard's biggest selling hit worldwide. In the mid-1960s, Richard became a Christian and since then he has recorded a number of inspirational albums. He is arguably the most well known Christian in the British music business and every December he releases a Christmas-themed single, which rarely fails to reach the UK Top 20. He was a sensation in Great Britain, but never made a major impact in the United States. This was released when his career in America was at its peak.
1979 The Knack started a five week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'My Sharona', the group's only US chart topper, a No.6 hit in the UK. The song struck the heartstrings being the biggest single of the summer of 1979 and was awarded a gold record for selling one million copies. Lead singer Doug Fieger said he was inspired to write the tune by Sharrona Alperin, a 17 year old senior at Los Angeles' Fairfax High.
1990 'Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini' by Bombalurina was the UK No.1 single. Bombalurina was children's TV presenter Timmy Mallett with a remake of Brian Hyland's 1960 hit.End the day with a bit of Dylan humor...
2009 Bob Dylan revealed during his weekly radio show broadcast on 6 Music, that he was speaking to a number of car companies about becoming the voice of their satellite navigation systems. The 68 year-old said he thought it be would be good for drivers to hear him saying things such as: "Take a left at the next street. No, a right. You know what, just go straight."Bob Dylan 60s Quotes
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...