Today in Music History: August 28
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'.A note of history trivia for your memory bank: ♫Queen of Gospel♫ Impacts MLK. More than one person made history on this day but none any more famous than the speech given by Martin Luther King, Jr. While you may be familiar with the speech that became a turning point for our nation, you may not be as familiar with the direct role one person played in turning that speech into one of the most memorable and meaningful in American history. There are moments (history and everyday life) when someone was at the right place at the right time.
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'.
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: 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 Sherrill 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.
A touch of 'lib' trivia: The women's liberation movement ("women's lib"), however, thought the sentiment in the song was contrary to their cause, and Wynette became their example of a compliant wife. Quote Wynette, “A woman should be equal to a man for anything she's capable of doing, but I still feel there's a lot of things she isn't capable of doing. Physically. Personally, I'm not particularly fond of the thought of digging ditches or climbing telephone poles. I'd rather stick with something a little more feminine. I wouldn't want to lose the little courtesies that we've always been extended, like lighting cigarettes and opening doors, and pulling out chairs and things like that. I enjoy that. I guess I just enjoy being a woman."
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."
Not your ordinary artist trivia: Cooper's legendary stage show involves live snakes, straightjackets, corpses, and other horror movie-styled props--not to mention fog machines and dramatic lighting, of course. Stage shows concluded with Cooper's "public execution" by various means, including electric chair, gallows, and guillotine.
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...