Saturday, November 11, 2017

November 11th

Van Morrison performs his hit "Brown Eyed Girl" on American Bandstand.  Although this record will go on to become one of the most over-played songs in America, it will NOT be a hit in England.  This will also be Van’s only appearance ever on this program. 

As the year draws to a close, Billboard Magazine is reporting that The Monkees have now sold nearly ten million albums and almost seven million singles.  This week their new single, "Daydream Believer", "bubbles under on The Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart at #101.  By the end of the month it will be #1.  (Once again, you'll see the record is already a Top Ten Hit here in Chicago, back in the days when WLS and WCFL were on the cutting edge of programming!) 

Michael Nesmith is the only Monkee in the studio today as he records his latest, "Tapioca Tundra".  It will see the light of day early next year as the B-Side of their "Valleri" single.

Friday, November 10, 2017

November 10th

Other big movers on the chart this week (climbing ten places or more) include "Wild Honey" by The Beach Boys (#68 to #46), "Skinny Legs And All" by Joe Tex (#65 to #47), "This Town" by Frank Sinatra (#60 to #49), "You Better Sit Down Kids" by Cher (#69 to #52), "I Second That Emotion" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles (#74 to #56), "She's My Girl" by The Turtles (#89 to #58), "Yesterday" by Ray Charles (#91 to #62, a jump of nearly 30 places), "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" by Glen Campbell (#81 to #63), "Paper Cup" by The Fifth Dimension (#80 to #64), "Next Plane To London" by The Rose Garden (#84 to #72), "Suzanne" by Noel Harrison (#86 to #73), "Pony With The Golden Mane" by Every Mother's Son (#93 to #76), "Sweet Sweet Lovin'" by The Platters (#92 to #79), "Whole Lotta Woman" by Arthur Conley (#97 to #80), "Georgia Pines" by The Candymen (#96 to #84) and "You've Got Me Hummin'" by The Hassles (#99 to #87). 

The Beatles film their promotional videos for their new single "Hello Goodbye" at The Saville Theatre in London.  In all, three versions were filmed with edited bits from each making the final cut.  It is a very entertaining video, showing The Beatles dressed in their full Sgt. Pepper garb ...  as well as their original gray collarless suits!

Because of a recent BBC-Television Union ruling banning any miming for television appearances by singers and musicians, the clip was never shown in Great Britain … but on November 17th Neil Aspinall flew copies of these brand new "music videos" to The USA.  On November 26th, version one would be shown on The Ed Sullivan Show. (Incredibly on the November 21st edition of "Top Of The Pops", the new single "Hello Goodbye" was played over muted footage from "A Hard Day's Night" in observance of the miming ban.  The Beatles were reportedly furious!)

A new Moody Blues single is released today.  “Nights In White Satin” (inspired when 19 year old Justin Hayward was given satin sheets!) is a remarkable advancement in rock and roll music, merging rock and classical music as one.  (And yet these guys STILL aren’t in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame!!!)  
UPDATE:  The Moody Blues FINALLY got nominated for the Class of 2018.
The record will reach #19 on The British Chart but only peak at #93 here in America (and even then, not for another four months!)  

After a string of hits between 1968 and 1972, Deram Records will re-release “Nights In White Satin” in 1972, FIVE YEARS after it was first recorded.  This time it goes all the way to #1 (everywhere except Billboard, where it peaks at #2).  Today it is considered a pop standard and a musical masterpiece.

From Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March ... 

British Decca Records subsidiary label Deram released the Moody Blues' masterwork album "Days of Future Passed" on November 10, 1967. Among the first "concept" recordings, it was a brilliantly innovative fusion of rock and symphonic music. All but two of the tracks were more than five minutes long. "Nights In White Satin" was 7:41. Initially, Decca executives opposed releasing the album, as Ray Thomas explained. "Every Tuesday, record producers took all their wares and went before the record company executives to play what they had done that week, to determine what they thought was worth backing. They were very strict, but we were lucky because a guy called Walt McGuire, who was head of London Records, which was American Decca, was at the meeting. [Producer] Tony Clarke went in and he put 'Days of Future Passed' on and the Decca executives sat through it and they said, 'What the hell is that? You spent a whole week -- a whole week, mind you -- in the studio.' Walt McGuire said, 'I think it's fantastic! If you're not going to release it over here, give it to me, because I am.' The Decca people said, 'Well, we spent all that studio time, we might as well release it," Ray told authors Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March for their book "Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? Volume 2." American AM "top 40" radio stations, accustomed to playing records under three minutes long, weren't sure what to do with it. But it was perfect for newly emerging "progressive rock" FM radio stations, many of which let the entire album play without interruption. "Days of Future Passed" became a must-have album for the hip listeners of FM rock stations. "Nights In White Satin" gave the band a long-awaited singles hit, reaching No. 19 on the British charts in January 1968. 

In fact, The Moody Blues may have put together the first true rock concept album ... almost a symphony of sorts ... yet it was The Beatles took home all the glory for their "Sgt. Pepper," which (in terms of concept anyway) really only extended to a total of four songs (the first and last two) ... everything else were just unrelated tracks ... but because they SAID it was a concept album (the idea of portraying somebody else in order to step outside the comfort zone of being The Beatles), the public ... and the critics ... bought the whole idea.  In hindsight it may be safest to say that The Moody Blues created a concept album with "Days Of Future Passed" ... while "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" was more of a cultural and media event.  (kk)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

November 9th

The very first issue of "Rolling Stone Magazine" is published … John Lennon (dressed in his "How I Won The War" garb) graces the cover.  Ironically it was also on this date, in 1961, that Brian Epstein saw The Beatles perform for the very first time.   

The original press run for the very first issue?  40,000 copies … and it was designed in more of a "newspaper" format at the time.

NASA launched Apollo 4 today from Cape Kennedy. (It was the first test flight for the Saturn 5 rocket, which would eventually take three men to the moon two years later.)  All three major networks broadcast the event live.

Depending on whose version of the story you choose to believe, David Crosby either quits or is fired by The Byrds.  (In both tellings of the story, Crosby and Byrds leader Roger McGuinn describe the end result as "conflicting egos.")  He is replaced by Gene Clark, who had left the band a couple of years earlier.  

Crosby won't be missing from the music scene for very long, however … within the next two years he will team with Stephen Stills of The Buffalo Springfield and Graham Nash of The Hollies to form one of the very first "super groups," Crosby, Stills and Nash.  Fellow ex-Springfield guitarist Neil Young will also participate with the trio from time to time (when the mood suits him).  

Actor Charles Bickford dies.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

November 8th

Harry Nilsson begins recording "Everybody's Talkin'" … it won't become known until it is used in the movie "Midnight Cowboy" nearly two years later, at which point it will become a Top Ten Single. 

He first released the track on his 1968 LP "Aerial Ballet" with very little fanfare.  (RCA released it as a single in August of 1968 where it "bubbled under" in Billboard … but reached #51 and #54 respectively in Record World and Cash Box.)  A year later, Beatles' Publicist Derek Taylor suggested the song might make a good theme to the upcoming Dustin Hoffman / Jon Voight flick but Harry wanted them to use one of his OWN compositions, the very similar sounding and crafted "I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City", which he felt was better suited to the film.  Taylor and producers won out … and "Everybody's Talkin'" became the very first major hit for Nilsson, peaking at #6 in the Fall of 1969.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

November 7th

Diana Ross and the Supremes have the top chart debut this week as "In And Out Of Love" premiers at #60.  There are several other "future hits" making their first appearance on the chart this week as well … "Neon Rainbow" by The Box Tops (the follow-up to their chart-topping record "The Letter") debuts at #67 … and right behind it at #68 is the brand new single by The Monkees, "Daydream Believer.  You'll also find "Massachusetts" by The Bee Gees, "An Open Letter To My Teenage Son" by Victor Lundberg, "Different Drum" by The Stone Poneys (a tune written by Monkee Michael Nesmith) and two versions of "Beautiful People" (one by songwriter Kenny O'Dell and the other by Bobby Vee) all making their first chart appearances this week. 

Carl Stokes is elected as the first black mayor of a major American city when he became the Mayor of Cleveland.  He will serve two terms in office.  Afterwards he will become a television commentator and then a judge. 

Reginald Dwight and Bernie Taupin signed their first major publishing deal in the UK.  Both sets of their parents had to be there at witnesses as both songwriters were still under age.  Dwight would change his name a short time later to Elton John … and together Elton John and Bernie Tauplin would go on to become one of the most successful songwriting duos in pop music history. 

US President Lyndon Johnson signed a bill establishing The Corporation for Public Broadcasting today.

Monday, November 6, 2017

November 6th

Sam and Dave move into the #1 position on the Pop Chart this week as "Soul Man" overtakes Lulu's hit "To Sir, With Love," dropping it to #2.  "Incense And Peppermints" by The Strawberry Alarm Clock and "The Rain, The Park And Other Things" by The Cowsills continue their climb up the chart moving from #7 to #3 and #10 to #4 respectively.  Vikki Carr's "It Must Be Him" rounds out The Top Five.  The only other Top Ten hits showing upward movement this week are by Bobby Vinton ("Please Love Me Forever", up from #12 to #8) and "A Natural Woman" by Aretha Franklin, which climbs from #11 to #9.  

Three other tracks earned bullets in The Top 20 this week … "Let It Out" by The Hombres, which climbs from #16 to #12, "Love Is Strange" by Peaches And Herb (up from #17 to #13) and "I Can See For Miles" by The Who, which moves up from #24 to #17.  

Big Top 40 movers include "Lazy Day" by Spanky and Our Gang (#27 to #22), "I Say A Little Prayer" by Dionne Warwick (#32 to #24), "Pata Pata" by Miriam Makeba (#30 to #25), "Glad To Be Unhappy" by The Mamas and the Papas (#42 to #26), "Keep The Ball Rollin'" by Jay and the Techniques (#41 to #27), "Like An Old Time Movie" by Scott McKenzie (#45 to #28), "She Is Still A Mystery" by The Lovin' Spoonful (up twenty places from #49 to #29), "Lady Bird" by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood (#38 to #30), "Get Together" by James Brown (#44 to #31), "Boogaloo Down Broadway" by The Fantastic Johnny C (#50 to #32), "Stag-O-Lee" by Wilson Pickett (#55 to #36), "Watch The Flowers Grow" by The Four Seasons (#52 to #37) and "Homburg" by Procol Harum (#47 to #40).  

The Number One Album in the Country still belongs to Diana Ross and the Supremes, thanks to their "Greatest Hits" LP.  "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by The Beatles and "The Doors" by The Doors stand right behind it at positions #2 and #3 respectively.  But a brand new release crashes into The Top Ten this week as The Doors' follow-up album, "Strange Days", leaps from #100 to #4!  

The Monkees' fourth album, "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, Ltd." is released.  It will become their fourth album to occupy the #1 Spot on the National Album Chart this year … an INCREDIBLE feat for ANY band.  In all, The Monkees will spend 37 weeks (out of a possible 60 consecutive weeks) on top of the national album chart.  During this same time period, they will also have the #1 Single in America for 16 weeks.  

With Elvis' movie contract now expired (and apparently no interest in renewal on the studio's part), Colonel Tom Parker makes a deal with National General Pictures to do one film (which will become "Charro!") for which Elvis will be paid (or, perhaps more accurately, he and Elvis will split) $850,000 plus 50% of the profits.  Negotiations also begin for an Elvis Christmas Television Special with NBC that would air in 1968.  (That special would go on to turn Elvis' career around overnight.)

Sunday, November 5, 2017

November 5th

Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees is on a train that derails near London, killing 49 people.  Robin escaped with a few cuts and bruises … and helped other passengers out of the train.

(You can read a full eye-witness account here:

The First Edition (featuring Kenny Rogers) make their first national television appearance on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour".  (They perform their psychedelic hit "Just Dropped In," a far cry from the country music Kenny would later become best known for.)  The Smothers Brothers and Kenny Rogers shared the same agent (Ken Kragen) who helped arrange the gig to help launch Kenny's new band.  (Several members had recently left The New Christy Minstrels to start the new group The First Edition, a venture that would soon see Kenny's name out front.)

Guests on The Ed Sullivan Show this evening include Tony Bennett and Shirley Bassey.  

Another '60's classic tops the box office this week as Paul Newman's "Cool Hand Luke" becomes the biggest money-maker of the week. 

(Almost makes you want to boil some eggs, doesn't it?!?!?)