Thursday, May 11, 2017

May 11th

ABC-Television presents "Stage 67", a salute to "Rodgers and Hart Today", featuring performances by The Mamas and the Papas, Petula Clark, Bobby Darin and The Supremes.  The Mamas and the Papas go on to score a Top 20 Hit with the Rodgers and Hart tune "Glad To Be Unhappy" later that year.  


Meanwhile, over in England, The Bee Gees make their UK television debut on the popular British Television Music Series "Top Of The Pops", where they perform their new single, "New York Mining Disaster, 1941".  It will ultimately peak at #12 on the chart in Great Britain … and become their first US Hit as well, peaking at #14.  Many listeners at first thought this was The Beatles recording under a pseudonym.  (For the record, there wasn't a real New York Mining Disaster in 1941 … although there was one in McIntire, Pennsylvania, that year that killed six people.)  

After a string of hit singles, the group disbands in late 1969 / early 1970.  However, this was hardy the last we'd hear of the group. 

The Bee Gees would stage several major comebacks … by the end of 1970, "Lonely Days" would top the charts, only to be followed by another #1 Hit, "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart".  (Both songs were recorded during the same recording session ... not bad for this Band Of Brothers who were ready to throw in the towel just a few months earlier due to fighting amongst themselves!)

A series of lush ballads followed … and then in 1975, they completely reinvented themselves by adopting an R&B Sound that soon segued into disco, the hot new craze.  In fact The Bee Gees virtually became the poster children for The Disco Era, writing the soundtrack to the popular film "Saturday Night Fever".  They would score EIGHT more #1 Records between 1975 and 1979 with hits like "Stayin' Alive", "Night Fever", "How Deep Is Your Love", "You Should Be Dancing", "Jive Talkin'", "Tragedy" and "Too Much Heaven."  Big brother Barry (Bee Gees = The Brothers Gibb) would write and produce many more #1 Hits for several other artists, including baby brother Andy Gibb, who chose to pursue a solo career rather than join his brothers as part of The Bee Gees.  

By 2012, only Barry survived … baby brother Andy died in 1988, as did twins Maurice in 2003 and Robin in 2012.  

Paul Petersen (formerly of "The Donna Reed Show") signs with Motown Records.  (WHAT?!?!?  Isn't Motown supposed to be SOUL label?!?!?  Is there ANY guy whiter than Paul Petersen?!?!?)  Paul hit the charts twice in 1962 with The Top 20 Hits "She Can't Find Her Keys" (#19) and "My Dad" (#6).  His on-screen sister, Shelley Fabares, went all the way to #1 with her first chart hit, "Johnny Angel" that same year.  

The Jimi Hendrix Experience perform at the Theatre d'Issy Les Moulineaux in Paris, France.  

The Beatles record "Baby You're A Rich Man".  The song was first targeted for use in the new animated film "Yellow Submarine."  (The Beatles committed to recording at least three new tracks for the movie.)  Although "Baby You're A Rich Man" was ultimately used in the film, it was first released as the B-Side of their #1 Summer Single "All You Need Is Love".