Saturday, September 9, 2017

September 9th

"Rowan And Martin's Laugh-In" aired for the very first time as a television special.  It proved to be so popular that NBC launched it as a television series the following January.

A riot breaks out amongst those unable to get a ticket to a Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich concert in Bergen, England. 

The Doors performed at The Village Theater in New York City.  (The theater was built in the mid-1920's on Second Avenue, an area referred to as "The Yiddish Theater District" at the time.)  Originally named The Commodore Theater, it was later taken over by Loews, who turned it into a movie theater known as The Loews Commodore.  In 1967, concert promoter Bill Graham  took over the theater, now in a state of serious disrepair, and rebuilt it into a rock and roll palace.  On March 8th of 1968, he renamed it The Fillmore East, a counterpart to The Fillmore West in California.  

Doing two shows a night on Fridays and Saturdays, it soon became home to some of the biggest names in rock, many of whom recorded live albums at the 2700 seat theater, including  The Allman Brothers (who appeared at The Fillmore East so many times they were often referred to as "Bill Graham's House Band"), The Grateful Dead (who did 43 shows there), Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Miles Davis, Joe Cocker, Jimi Hendrix, Derek and the Dominoes, Jefferson Airplane, Iron Butterfly and many others.  (In fact, in 1969 Led Zeppelin played The Fillmore East as the opening act for Iron Butterfly!)  

The theater closed on June 27th, 1971, with an "by invitation only" performance featuring The Allman Brothers Band, The J. Geils Band, Albert King and "special surprise guests" Edgar Winter, Mountain, Country Joe McDonald and The Beach Boys.

Ray Graffia, Jr. of The New Colony Six married the love of his life, Miss Bonita Kosi on this date in 1967 - they're celebrating their 50th Anniversary today with a Mediterranean Cruise!  (Photo courtesy of Ray Graffia, Jr.)  Congratulations, you two!  (kk)

Friday, September 8, 2017

September 8th

Other big movers this week include "Love Bug, Leave My Heart Alone" by Martha and the Vandellas (#55 to #42), "The Cat In The Window" by Petula Clark (up 26 places from #75 to #49), "The Ballad of You And Me And Pooneil" by Jefferson Airplane, which climbs 30 spots from #81 to #51, "You've Got To Pay The Price" by Al Kent (#69 to #52), "Anything Goes" by Harpers Bizarre (#67 to #53), "Get On Up" by The Esquires (#72 to #56), "Little Ole Man" by Bill Cosby (#82 to #60) and "It Must Be Him" by Vikki Carr (#97 to #75).  

The Beatles first commence working on "Flying" (then called "Aerial Tour Instrumental"), some incidental music for their "Magical Mystery Tour" film.  According to Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn, the six takes recorded this evening bear little resemblance to the final released version. (One included a "jazzy saxophone recording at the end of the song" … another featured three separate organs, recorded and then played backwards, onto which John Lennon added a mellotron and all four Beatles overdubbed a scat chant.)

"Flying" was the first instrumental released by The Beatles for EMI.  (A John Lennon - George Harrison instrumental, "Cry For A Shadow", a tribute to the great British instrumental band that also backed Cliff Richard back in the day, was recorded during their first Hamburg recording sessions back in 1961)  "Flying" was also the ONLY released recording ever credited to all four members of the group, listed alphabetically in the writing credit as Harrison - Lennon - McCartney - Starkey.  

In New York City, The Young Rascals record "It's Wonderful," quite a departure from their "blue-eyed soul" sound of the past.  This one had a more contemporary psychedelic feel to it (which honestly didn't feel natural for the group.)  It would go on to peak at #12 for the group nationally (#20 in Billboard), breaking a string of three straight Top Five Smashes:  "Groovin'" (#1), "A Girl Like You" (#5) and "How Can I Be Sure" (#2).  It would also mark their last release as the YOUNG Rascals … future records would be issued under "The Rascals" name, including two more Top Five Hits in 1968, "A Beautiful Morning" (#2) and "People Got To Be Free" (#1), the biggest hit of their career (making "It's Wonderful" look even more like a bit of a misstep in the process.)  

The Doors perform at the Lagoon Park Patio Gardens in Salt Lake City, Utah.  

Tropical Storm Beulah is upgraded to Hurricane status, ultimately becoming the second most powerful hurricane in history at the time.  Its devastating spree begins in full force today,  killing over 700 people (54 domestically) as it ripped through The Caribbean, Mexico and Texas.  Damages were estimated at in excess of over one billion 1967 dollars.  When it hit land in Texas, it spawned another 126 tornadoes, also one of the most devastating results of a hurricane on record.

(In light of the current wave of hurricanes ripping our country apart with a force far greater than Beulah today, this is an anniversary worthy of reflection.)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

September 7th

New on the charts this week are "Dandelion" by The Rolling Stones (#65), "Expressway To Your Heart" by The Soul Survivors (#67), "A Banda" by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass (#70), "What Now My Love" by Mitch Ryder (#74), "How Can I Be Sure" by The Young Rascals (#76), "Soul Man" by Sam and Dave (#78), "To Sir With Love" by Lulu (#79), "Hey Baby, They're Playing Our Song" by The Buckinghams (#84), "Let It Out" by The Hombres (#95) and, making its first chart go-round, "Get Together" by The Youngbloods, debuting at #83.  (This record won't do much during its first run up the chart … but it'll be a major smash when it is re-released in 1969.)  

The Beatles spend 8 1/2 hours in the recording studio  this evening working on George Harrison's track "Blue Jay Way", to be included in their upcoming television film "Magical Mystery Tour".  (To this day it is one of about a dozen Beatles tracks that I simply can't listen to!)  

Micky Dolenz attempts to record new counterpoint vocals to "Riu Chiu" but is admittedly too stoned to do so.  According to Andrew Sandoval's book "The Monkees, Day-By-Day", Dolenz is all giggles and freely admits that he is stoned.  Producer Chip Douglas jokes that a copy of the tape will cost him "ten thousand".  After several more takes, Douglas calls an end to the session, saying that it is very difficult to sing on pitch when you're stoned.  The group will cut a new version on October 3rd.  

"The Flying Nun" starring Sally Field premiers on ABC Television tonight.  It will run for three years.  (Go figure!)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

September 6th

Engelbert Humperdinck tops the British Charts with his new single, "The Last Waltz."  Despite all the hype early on, this will remain his only other single to reach #1 on the British Charts.  (He never officially hit #1 here in America)  

The Beatles begin recording a new George Harrison composition called "Blue Jay Way", a song I will most likely never listen to again (intentionally) in this lifetime!  (Hated it from Day One … and still do!)  

The title refers to the name of the street where Harrison rented a house the month before up in the Hollywood Hills overlooking The Sunset Strip.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

September 5th

The Hollywood Palace kicks off the new television season (their fifth) with The Association, who perform their latest hit "Never My Love".  

The Beatles hold their first recording session for "I Am The Walrus".  It is their first studio session since the passing of their manager Brian Epstein on August 27th.  It is said that the vivid images and lyrical wordplay in both "I Am The Walrus" and "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" were both inspired by Lennon's love of Lewis Carroll's writing as a child, most notably "The Walrus And The Carpenter" and "Alice In Wonderland" … but Lennon also admitted that after learning that a teacher at his old primary school was having their students analyze Beatles lyrics, he threw in a bunch of nonsense words just for fun.

Monday, September 4, 2017

September 4th

Bobbie Gentry notches her third week at #1 with "Ode To Billie Joe" as Diana Ross and the Supremes move into the #2 spot with "Reflections", up from #4 the previous week.  "Come Back When You Grow Up" by Bobby Vee continues its climb up the chart, moving from #8 to #4 this week … and "The Letter" by The Box Tops jumps another ten places from #15 to #5.  "Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie" by Jay and the Techniques is the only other bulleted Top Ten Record this week, climbing from #13 to #7.  

Outside The Top Ten, Eric Burdon and the Animals climb eight places from #21 to #13 with their latest, "San Franciscan Nights".  Donovan is up seven spots  (from #23 to #16) with "There Is A Mountain", Wilson Pickett climbs five spots (from #22 to #17) with "Funky Broadway), The Turtles are up eight (from#26 to #18) with "You Know What I Mean" and Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" climbs from #25 to #20.  

Jackie Wilson's latest hit keeps climbing "Higher And Higher" … it's at #22 this week, up from #29.  Right behind it is Paul Revere and the Raiders and "I Had A Dream" (#31 to #23).  The Mamas and the Papas continue to climb up the chart as "Twelve Thirty" moves from #38 to #25 … and The Association make a HUGE leap this week from #61 to #27 with their latest, "Never My Love".  

Tommy James and the Shondells climb fifteen places (from #44 to #29) with "Getting' Together", "I Dig Rock And Roll Music" by Peter, Paul and Mary climbs up seven spots, (from #46 to #33), "Things I Should Have Said" by The Grass Roots finally cracks The Top 40 at #34, "Gimme Little Sign" by Brenton Wood jumps from #51 to #38 and Frankie Valli looks to have another solo hit on his hands as "I Make A Fool Of Myself" climbs from #57 to #39.  

Check out The Top Ten Albums in America this week …  

#10 - Aretha Arrives by Aretha Franklin

# 9 - Insight Out by The Association

# 8 - With a Lot O'Soul - The Temptations

# 7 - Release Me by Engelbert Humperdinck

# 6 - Groovin' by The Young Rascals

# 5 - Surrealistic Pillow by Jeferson Airplane

# 4 - The Doors by The Doors

# 3 - Flowers by The Rolling Stones

# 2 - Headquarters by The Monkees

and #1 - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles  

Suffice to say that the times, they have a-changed!!!  Save for the out of place Engelbert Humperdinck disc, that's some pretty heavy music up there at the top of the charts … and there's still room for the pop sounds of The Monkees and The Association, the soul of Aretha Franklin and The Temptations (and, to a lesser degree, The Young Rascals), plus the new heavy sounds of Jefferson Airplane, The Doors and The Rolling Stones.  

Michigan Governor Romney told a television interviewer that he had been brainwashed by US officials during a trip to Viet Nam in 1965, thus forever damaging any chance of an intended presidential run for the Republican Party.