Gladys Maria Knight (born May 28, 1944), known as the “Empress of Soul”, is an American singer, songwriter and actress. A seven-time Grammy Award-winner, Knight is best known for the hits she recorded during the 1960s and 1970s, for both the Motown and Buddah Records labels, with her group Gladys Knight & the Pips, which included her brother Merald “Bubba” Knight and her cousins Edward Patten and William Guest. – Wikipedia
January 15 – Motown Records signs The Supremes.
January 20 – Francis Poulenc’s Gloria receives its premiėre in Boston, USA.
February 12 – The Miracles’ “Shop Around” becomes Motown’s first million-selling single.
February 13 – Frank Sinatra forms his own record label, Reprise Records, which will later release recordings by The Beach Boys, Ella Fitzgerald, The Kinks and Jimi Hendrix.
February 14 – The Platters file a lawsuit against Mercury Records for breach of contract after the record company refuses to accept recordings on which Tony Williams does not sing lead. The group’s lawsuit contends that their contract does not require Williams to sing lead.
March 21 – The Beatles perform at the Cavern Club in Liverpool for the first time.
March 25 – Elvis Presley performs a benefit show at the Block Arena in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The show raises $62,000 for the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial fund.
April 17 – Dalida and Charles Aznavour receive Radio Monte Carlo Oscar Awards for Best Song.
April 23 – Judy Garland’s concert at Carnegie Hall.
April 29 – Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti makes his operatic debut as Rodolfo in La Bohème at the Teatro Municipale (Reggio Emilia).
May 1 – The Pulitzer Prize for Music is awarded to Walter Piston for his Symphony No. 7.
June 14 – Patsy Cline is hospitalized as a result of a head-on car collision. While she is in hospital, the song “I Fall to Pieces” becomes a big Country/Pop crossover hit for her.
June 25 – The Bill Evans Trio completes a two-week stay at The Village Vanguard in New York. It is the last time this trio will play before virtuoso bassist Scott LaFaro’s death 10 days later. The five sets they play on the 25th are recorded, resulting in two albums, Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby.
July 1 – French composer Olivier Messiaen marries pianist Yvonne Loriod privately in Paris.
July 17 – Billboard magazine first publishes an “Easy Listening” chart, listing songs that the magazine determines are not rock & roll records. The first #1 song on this chart is “The Boll Weevil Song” by Brook Benton. This chart will be renamed a number of times, becoming the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart.
October – John Cage’s book Silence: Lectures and Writings is published in the United States.
October 17 – Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, later of The Rolling Stones, first meet at Dartford railway station in Kent, England.
December 8 – The Beach Boys release their debut 45rpm single: Surfin’/Luau on the small California label Candix Records.
December 9 – The Beatles play their first gig in the south of England, at Aldershot. Due to an advertising failure, only 18 people turn up. In the early hours of the following morning they play an impromptu set at a London club.
William Alwyn sets up home with fellow-composer Doreen Carwithen, his former pupil, at Blythburgh in England.
The Leeds International Pianoforte Competition is founded in the north of England by Marion, Countess of Harewood and Fanny Waterman.
Bob Seger’s musical career begins.
Indian tabla player Keshav Sathe and sitar player Bhaskar Chandavarkar perform with Larry Adler.
The Country Music Association (CMA) creates the Country Music Hall of Fame and inducts, Jimmie Rodgers, Fred Rose and Hank Williams as the first three members.
The score of Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 is discovered by musicologist Oldřich Pulkert in the Prague National Museum.
The Four Tops are a vocal quartet from Detroit, Michigan, USA, who helped to define the city’s Motown sound of the 1960s. The group’s repertoire has included soul music, R&B, disco, adult contemporary, doo-wop, jazz, and show tunes.
Founded as the Four Aims, lead singer Levi Stubbs, Abdul “Duke” Fakir, Renaldo “Obie” Benson and Lawrence Payton remained together for over four decades, performing from 1953 until 1997 without a change in personnel.
The Four Tops were among a number of groups, including the Miracles, the Marvelettes, Martha and the Vandellas, the Temptations, and the Supremes, who established the Motown Sound heard around the world during the 1960s. They were notable for having Stubbs, a baritone, as their lead singer, whereas most male and mixed vocal groups of the time were fronted by a tenor.
The group was the main male vocal group for the highly successful songwriting and production team of Holland–Dozier–Holland, who crafted a stream of hit singles for Motown. These included two Billboard Hot 100 number-one hits for the Tops: “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)” in 1965 and “Reach Out I’ll Be There” in 1966. After Holland-Dozier-Holland left Motown in 1967, the Four Tops were assigned to a number of producers, primarily Frank Wilson, but generally with less success.
When Motown left Detroit in 1972 to move to Los Angeles, California, the Tops stayed in Detroit but signed a new recording deal with ABC Records’ Dunhill imprint. Recording mainly in Los Angeles, they continued to have chart singles into the late 1970s, including the million-seller “Ain’t No Woman”, their second release on Dunhill, produced by Steve Barri and the composers Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter.
In the 1980s, the Four Tops recorded for Casablanca Records, Arista Records and Motown, returning to that label on two occasions for brief stays. Apart from their album Indestructible (owned by Sony Music Entertainment), Universal Music Group controls the rights to their entire post-1963 catalog (through various mergers and acquisitions) and also their 1956 single, “Could It Be You”.
A change of lineup was forced on the group when Lawrence Payton died on June 20, 1997. The group initially continued as a three-piece under the name the Tops, before Theo Peoples (formerly of the Temptations) was recruited as the new fourth member. Peoples eventually took over the role of lead singer when Stubbs suffered a stroke in 2000, with Ronnie McNeir then joining the group. On July 1, 2005, Benson died of lung cancer. Payton’s son Roquel Payton replaced him. Levi Stubbs died on October 17, 2008.
Fakir, McNeir, Roquel Payton, and Harold “Spike” Bonhart, who replaced Peoples in 2011, are still performing together as the Four Tops. Fakir is the only surviving founding member of the group. – Wikipedia
We’ve been having fabulous, unseasonably warm weather here on the east coast this week, so this evening on “Great Soul Performances,” I feel like dancing. Back to the Disco! We’ll be dancing to music from: Tavares, A Taste of Honey, Van McCoy, Vicki Sue Robinson, KC & the Sunshine Band, Thelma Houston, Frankie Smith, Diana Ross, Kool & the Gang and more. I want to see you in your best polyester and platform shoes at 7PM ET, 6PM CT, 5PM MT and 4PM PT. Then stick around because at 9PM ET, 8PM CT, 7PM MT & 6PM PT it’s “Great Soul Performances 2: The 80s” where we’ll boogie to songs from: Earth, Wind & Fire, Quincy Jones, the Jones Girls, Rick James & Teena Marie, Eddie Murphy, Chaka Khan, the O’Jays, Al B. Sure!, Anita Baker and several others. I’ll be looking for your face, in the place this evening for “Great Soul Performances” and “Great Soul Performances 2: The 80s” on RadioMaxMusic.Com. DISCO!
Wilson Pickett (March 18, 1941 – January 19, 2006) was an American singer and songwriter.
A major figure in the development of American soul music, Pickett recorded over 50 songs which made the US R&B charts, many of which crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100. Among his best-known hits are “In the Midnight Hour” (which he co-wrote), “Land of 1,000 Dances”, “Mustang Sally”, and “Funky Broadway”.
Pickett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, in recognition of his impact on songwriting and recording.
Pickett died of a heart attack on January 19, 2006, in Reston, Virginia. He was 64. He was laid to rest in a mausoleum at Evergreen Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky. Pickett spent many years in Louisville. The eulogy was delivered by Pastor Steve Owens of Decatur, Georgia. Little Richard, a long-time friend of Pickett’s, spoke about him and preached a message at the funeral. Pickett was remembered on March 20, 2006, at New York’s B.B. King Blues Club with performances by the Commitments, Ben E. King, his long-term backing band the Midnight Movers, soul singer Bruce “Big Daddy” Wayne, and Southside Johnny in front of an audience that included members of his family, including two brothers. – Wikipedia
Part II of the Top 700 Disco Tunes.
Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock; November 26, 1939) is an American-born Swiss singer, songwriter, dancer, actress, and author. Born and raised in the Southeastern United States, Turner relinquished her American citizenship after obtaining Swiss citizenship in 2013.
She began her career in 1958 as a featured singer with Ike Turner’s Kings of Rhythm, first recording under the name “Little Ann”. Her introduction to the public as Tina Turner began in 1960 as a member of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Success followed with a string of notable hits credited to the duo, including “A Fool in Love”, “River Deep – Mountain High” (1966), “Proud Mary” (1971), and “Nutbush City Limits” (1973), a song that she wrote. In her autobiography, I, Tina (1986), she revealed several instances of severe domestic abuse against her by Ike Turner prior to their 1976 split and subsequent 1978 divorce. Raised a Baptist, she encountered faith with Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism in 1971, crediting the spiritual chant of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, which Turner says helped her to endure during difficult times.
After her divorce from Ike Turner, she rebuilt her career through live performances. In the 1980s, Turner launched a major comeback with another string of hits, starting in late 1983 with the single “Let’s Stay Together” followed by the 1984 release of her fifth solo album Private Dancer which became a worldwide success. The album contained the song “What’s Love Got to Do with It”, which became Turner’s biggest hit and won four Grammy Awards including Record of the Year. Her solo success continued throughout the 1980s and 90s with multi-platinum albums including Break Every Rule and Foreign Affair, and with singles such as “We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)”, “Typical Male”, “The Best”, “I Don’t Wanna Fight”, and “GoldenEye”, for the 1995 James Bond film of the same name.
In 1993, What’s Love Got to Do with It, a biographical film adapted from her autobiography, was released along with an accompanying soundtrack album. In addition to her musical career, Turner has also garnered success acting in films, including the role of the Acid Queen in the 1975 rock musical Tommy, a starring role alongside Mel Gibson in the 1985 action film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, and a cameo role in the 1993 film Last Action Hero.
One of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, she has also been referred to as The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Her combined album and single sales total approximately 100 million copies worldwide. Turner has also sold more concert tickets than any other solo performer in history. In 2008, Turner returned from semi-retirement to embark on her Tina!: 50th Anniversary Tour. Turner’s tour became one of the highest selling ticketed shows of 2008–09. She is noted for her energetic stage presence, powerful vocals, and career longevity.
Throughout her career, she has won eleven Grammy Awards, including eight competitive awards and three Grammy Hall of Fame awards. Rolling Stone ranked Turner 63rd on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time. and 17th on their list of the 100 greatest singers of all time. In 1991, Turner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In January 2018, it was announced that Turner will be one of the recipients of the Grammy Lifetime