Tunes to celebrate, music trivia, sorrowful news and more are shared today in music history, along with birthday wishes. Perhaps a chord will strike your heartstrings as you reflect on times past. It is memories such as these that keep us smiling even behind the tears.
Today in Music History: August 16
1962 Little Stevie Wonder, (aged 12), released his first single, 'I Call It Pretty Music, (But The Old People Call It The Blues)', the single featured Marvin Gaye on drums.
Awakenings Spotlight: On August 10th, the spotlight at Awakenings is on Stevie Wonder, who on that date in 1963 started a three week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Fingertips part II', making him the youngest singer to top the charts.
1968 The Jackson Five made their formal debut with Diana Ross and The Supremes at the Great Western Forum, California. Situated on a former golf course, The "Fabulous" Forum, as it would become colloquially known to locals, was constructed in 1967 by Jack Kent Cooke, then-owner of the Lakers and founding owner of the Kings.
1968 Bruce Springsteen’s new band Earth made their live debut at the Off Broad Street Coffee House in Red Bank, New Jersey, admission was 75¢. The lineup of the group consisted of Springsteen (guitars & vocals), John Graham (bass), Michael Burke (drums) and ‘Flash Craig’ (organ). The group only had a 6-month existence. Springsteen acquired the nickname "The Boss" during this period as when he played club gigs with a band he took on the task of collecting the band's nightly pay and distributing it amongst his bandmates. Springsteen is not fond of this nickname, due to his dislike of bosses, but seems to have since given it a tacit acceptance. Previously he had the nickname "Doctor".
In the news...Awakenings Spotlight: Back on June 4, the spotlight at Awakenings shines on Bruce Springsteen's album release, 'Born in the USA', which became the best-selling album of 1985 in the United States (ans also Springsteen's most successful album ever). The album produced a record-tying string of seven Top 10 singles (tied with Michael Jackson's Thriller and Janet Jackson's Rhyth, Nation 1814.)
1977 Elvis Presley was found dead lying on the floor in his bathroom by his girlfriend Ginger Alden, he had been seated on the toilet reading “The Scientific Search For Jesus”. He died of heart failure at the age of 42. His first record for RCA, ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, was also his first No.1. He starred in 31 films. Elvis holds the record for the most entries on the US Hot 100 chart with 154. Elvis became the first rock “n” roll artist to be honored by the US Postal Service with a stamp.
Back on the music scene...
1979 The biggest single of the summer in the US, The Knack's 'My Sharona' was awarded a Gold record for selling one million copies. The Knack's Doug Fieger wrote the song for his girlfriend, Sharona Alperin, whose picture appeared on the single's cover. Quentin Tarantino wanted to use this in Pulp Fiction during the scene where Bruce Willis and Ving Rhames are being set upon by Zed and his brother (and the chained submissive). Fieger ended up nixing the request and the song appeared in the 1994 movie Reality Bites instead.
1986 Madonna started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Papa Don't Preach'. The singers fourth US No.1, & No.1 in the UK. Also on this day Madonna went to No.1 on the US album chart with 'True Blue'.
Happy Birthday, Madonna! How does the Queen of Pop celebrate turning 58? Dancing in a Congo line in the streets of Havana! (Click HERE...)
The legendary singer, whose daughter Lourdes is of Cuban decent, is celebrating her 58th birthday in Havana. So far this epic trip had included conga lines, dancing on tables, and partying with locals. In the videos, the "Living for Love Singer" makes her way through the island with her children and entourage.
Awakenings Spotlight: Back in January, the spotlight shines on Madonna who went to No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Justify My Love', a song co-written with Lenny Kravitz. The song was a No.2 hit in the UK. Madonna broke the cookie-cutter boundaries of pop stardom, integrating sexuality and controversy into her music with tracks like 'Like a Virgin,' 'Papa Don't Preach,' and of course, 'Justify My Love.'
1997 Will Smith started a four-week run at No.1 on the UK singles chart with 'Men In Black' taken from the film of the same name. The song won Smith a Grammy in 1997 for Best Rap Solo Performance.
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...