Welcome to East Village Afternoon... enjoy your pop.

Monday, April 25, 2011

April 25th in Music History

On April 25, 1970, The Jackson 5 began a two-week run at #1 with one of their most famous hits, "ABC". It was the young pop group's second #1 hit, following "I Want You Back", released in 1969. The five brothers, led by youngest brother, Michael, would have two more #1 hits in 1970, "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There".

On April 25, 1974, Pamela Courson, the long-time girlfriend of Jim Morrison, died of a drug overdose. It was Courson who found Morrison, lead singer of "The Doors", dead in the bathtub of their apartment in Paris, France in 1971.

On this day in 1979, The Police made their television debut on the British long-running BBC show, "Top of the Pops", where they performed their hit "Roxanne". "Roxanne" would only hit #12 in the U.K. and #32 in the U.S., but the song's success led to a gig at the famous CBGB club in New York and a tour of the U.S. in which the band drove themselves and all their equipment around the country in a Ford Econoline van. The Police wouldn't have their first #1 U.S. hit until 1982 with the MTV-heavily promoted "Every Breath You Take".

As if to prove that even musical geniuses are capable of turning out horrific musical dreck, on April 25, 1982, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder were at #1 on the U.K. pop charts with "Ebony and Ivory". The song, which would also hit #1 in the U.S., Canada and Germany, is widely regarded today by most music critics and music magazines as one of the worst songs in pop music history. We remember when it debuted on MTV when we were in college, and in our fraternity house the song was so disliked that people would actually throw empty beer cans at the t.v. We dare you to listen to the song three times in a row, and see if you don't become physically ill.

On this day in 1990, the Fender Stratocaster guitar which Jimi Hendrix played at Woodstock sold at an auction for a staggering $290,000. Wow. Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft (with Bill Gates), bought the famous guitar and put it on display at the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle. More recently, on Nov. 10, 2010, blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd played the famous guitar, on loan from the Seattle museum, during an appearance on "The Jimmy Fallon Show".

On April 25, 1994, Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys was sentenced to two years probation, 200 hours of community service and a $200 fine for attacking a tabloid TV cameraman who was attempting to film the funeral service of actor River Phoenix. Phoenix had died the previous year of a drug overdose at Johnny Depp's 'Viper Club' in Hollywood.

While on vacation in Honduras on April 25, 2002, 30 year-old Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, of the four-time Grammy Award-winning pop group, TLC, died in a car accident. TLC had four #1 hits, including their 1995 monster hit, "Waterfalls", which spent seven weeks at #1, and whose background singers included current hit-maker, Cee Lo Green.

(tlc: t-boz, left eye and chilli)

American singer, Bobby "Boris" Pickett, died of leukemia at the age of 69 on April 25, 2007. Pickett's biggest hit was the novelty song, "The Monster Mash", which hit #1 on the pop charts just before Halloween in 1962. The song, which was a horror-themed spoof on popular dances at the time, including the Twist and the Mashed Potato, stayed at #1 for two weeks, then hit the charts again three more times, in December 1962, August 1970 and May 1973, when it hit #10. The song was initially banned in the U.K., deemed as "too morbid", but it eventually became a hit in that country as well, hitting #3 when it was finally released there in 1973.

(mike stoller, elvis presley and jerry leiber)

April 25, 1933 is the birthday of legendary songwriter, Jerry Leiber, of the songwriting team of Leiber and Stoller, who wrote songs for Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, The Monkees and Cliff Richard, among many others. Their hit songs include "Hound Dog", "Jailhouse Rock", "King Creole", "Don't", "There Goes My Baby", "Searchin'", "Yakety Yak" and "Kansas City". Leiber and Stoller are considered two of the most important and influential songwriters in all of pop music, their status being solidified by their induction in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the second class of inductees in 1987.

No comments: