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Monday, February 15, 2010

Doug Fieger 1952 - 2010

Sad news to report. Detroit native Doug Fieger, 57, lead singer of 70's band, The Knack, died on Sunday in Los Angeles of cancer.

The Knack's biggest hit was "My Sharona" which charted in 1979 and stayed at Billboard's #1 spot for six weeks. The song became a pop culture phenomenon and helped to usher the punk and "New Wave" music genres into the mainstream of American popular music. Up until the day that "My Sharona" powered its way onto radio, 1970's pop music was dominated by a very mainstream, sometimes very boring mix of watered-down rock bands and syrupy balladeers. By 1979, disco music has peaked in popularity, and American youth was desperate for something new. And then "My Sharona" hit, it seem to literally explode out of the radio, and
suddenly, everyone quickly discarded their bellbottom jeans for straight legs and skinny ties. In no time, The Knack was followed onto mainstream radio by Blondie, The Cars, the Go-Go's, Gary Numan, the Pretenders, Human League and others, which then paved the way for a new, tiny, little t.v. channel called MTV which showcased the whole spectrum of New Wave acts.

The Knack only had one major hit, but the importance of "My Sharona" as a groundbreaker in the history of American pop music can't be underestimated. And now, over 30 years later, it's still just a damn fun song.

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