We’ll get into the Christmas songs next week, but until then, I present the “greatest playlist ever assembled”. (Patent pending)
As we continue to revisit Rhino collections from Christmas past, we must tip our Santa hat to Barry Hansen, aka Dr. Demento, for curating some of the craziest holiday discs ever. His aptly titled THE GREATEST CHRISTMAS NOVELTY CD OF ALL TIME leads off with The Chipmunks, and we'll give Alvin, Simon and Theodore the pole position here, too. The brainchild of Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., who'd had a previous speeded-up-vocal hit with “Witch Doctor,” “The Christmas Song” hit the chart in late 1958, spending weeks at No.1. The three lovable rodents have since become a media empire, with a TV series and several feature films to their credit. A funny voice also paid off for Spike Jones & His City Slickers, whose “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” topped the pop chart in 1948. The band's 28-year-old trumpeter George Rock supplied the voice of the lisping little kid.
Led Zeppelin is now on Spotify. Starting today, the catalogue is being released in chronological order over the course of the week. Play now: http://spoti.fi/LedZep #StreamZeppelin
Listen to Led Zeppelin I: http://open.spotify.com/album/70lQYZtypdCALtFVlQAcvx
Listen to Led Zeppelin II: http://open.spotify.com/album/3ycjBixZf7S3WpC5WZhhUK
Every Tuesday and Thursday, former Warner Bros. Records executive and industry insider Stan Cornyn ruminates on the past, present, and future of the music business.
Before the 1980s, your ears heard music mellow. Brass bands? Yep, mellow. Rock, mellow too.
What changed? The instruments. They no longer needed to be made of brass, or string, or fine wood. Actually, they no longer needed to be made of anything but electronics. Electronics that their players could make sound like anything.
Back to England, 1981, a wee group named itself Depeche Mode, because that, translated from French, means “Fashion Update.”
And this group (usually a quartet) from the town of Basildon, Essex, England, was, unlike its hometown, into updating pop. New ways for pop to sound.
On this day in 1988, Chicago started a two week run at #1 on the US singles chart with "Look Away." The song became the group's third US #1.
Today we remember American singer, songwriter, and record producer Otis Redding. He will forever be known as one of the greatest singers in soul and rhythm and blues. Here he is with his iconic song, "I've Been Loving You Too Long."