Today in Music History: August 31
1956 The top 10 songs in the UK singles chart were all by American artists including Elvis Presley, The Platters, Doris Day, Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers, and Gogi Grant. What a diverse group of recording artists and their songs! Each of these had No.1 hits in the US.
1963 The girl trio, The Angels, started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘My Boyfriend’s Back’. The writers of the song Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer were a trio of Brooklyn songwriter/producers who went on to write the hits ‘Sorrow’ and have the 1965 US No.11 single as The Strangeloves with ‘I Want Candy’.
1963 The Ronettes first entered the US singles chart with 'Be My Baby' the girl group's only top 10 hit. Lead singer, Veronica Bennett who became Ronnie Spector, took producer and ex-husband Phil Spector to court in the late 1990s for unpaid royalties.
1969 Decca Records released what has been called The Rolling Stones most political song, 'Street Fighting Man', written after Mick Jagger attended a March 1968 anti-war rally at London's US embassy, during which mounted police attempted to control a crowd of 25,000. The single was kept out of the US Top 40 (reaching No.48) because many radio stations refused to play it based on what were perceived as subversive lyrics.
1985 'Brothers In Arms' by Dire Straits started a nine-week run at No.1 on the US album charts. The album also topped the charts in 25 other countries and went on to sell over 20 million worldwide.
1985 UB40 with guest vocals from Chrissie Hynde had the UK No.1 single with their version of the Sonny Bono song 'I Got You Babe' a hit for Sonny & Cher in 1965.
1987 The largest pre-order of albums in the history of CBS Records occurred as 2.25 million copies of Michael Jackson's ‘Bad’ album were shipped to record stores in the US. The LP followed the Jackson album, ‘Thriller’, the biggest Jackson-seller of all time (over 35 million copies sold). ‘Bad’ went on to sell over 13 million copies.
1991 Metallica started a four-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with, Metallica. The album featured ‘Enter Sandman’, ‘Sad But True’, ‘The Unforgiven’ and ‘Nothing Else Matters’ went on to sell over 10 million copies in the US alone.
1997 Oasis went to No.1 on the UK album chart with their third album 'Be Here Now.' The album had sold over a million copies on the first day of release. At that point, Oasis were at the height of their fame, and 'Be Here Now' became the United Kingdom's fastest selling album to date.
2003 Elton John went to No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Are You Ready For Love'. The song was recorded in 1977 and released in 1979, when it reached No.42. It was used by Sky TV for their Premiership football ads.
2002 NASA announced that Lance Bass, singer with NSYNC, was to become the first celebrity astronaut. His $23.8 million (£14 million) place on a Russian Soyuz module would make him the youngest person at 23 years of age to go into orbit. Bass ended up not taking part in the flight after failing to pay for his $20+ million ticket on the craft.
2004 UK medical magazine Thorax issued a warning to music fans saying that listening to loud music in the car can give you a collapsed lung. One 19 year-old had been treated in Bristol after his left lung collapsed as his 1,000-watt bass box boomed out in his Fiat Panda.
2006 The Times ran a story on the demands of rock stars when on tour. Check these out...
Ozzy Osbourne insists on an eye, ear, nose and throat doctor at each venue.The Beach Boys require a licensed masseur.
Meat Loaf requires a mask and one small tank of oxygen.David Bowie requests that the dressing room temperature is between 14c and 18c.Paul McCartney must have a large arrangement of white Casablanca lilies in his dressing room.Mick Jagger must have an onstage autocue with the lyrics to all the songs, it would also tell him the name of the city in which they were performing.
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...