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Category Archives: 1970s

“The Beatles Penny Lane”

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“Penny Lane” is a song by The Beatles.[5] It was written by Paul McCartney but credited to the Lennon–McCartney songwriting partnership. The song was created in response to John Lennon’s “Strawberry Fields Forever”, and its lyrics refer to a real street in Liverpool, England.

Recorded during the Sgt. Pepper sessions, “Penny Lane” was released in February 1967 as one side of a double A-sided single, along with “Strawberry Fields Forever”. The single was the result of the record company wanting a new release after several months of no new Beatles releases. Although the song did not top the charts in Britain, it was still a top ten hit across Europe. The song was later included on the band’s US album, Magical Mystery Tour, despite not appearing on the British double EP of the same name.

In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked “Penny Lane” at number 456 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[6]

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“BLUE MAGIC – SPELL”

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Blue Magic is an American R&B/soul music group, and one of the most popular Philadelphia soul groups of the 1970s. Founded in 1972, the group’s original members included lead singer Ted Mills with Vernon Sawyer, Wendell Sawyer, Keith Beaton, and Richard Pratt. Their most notable songs included smooth soul ballads such as “Sideshow”, “Spell”, “What’s Come Over Me”, “Three Ring Circus” and “Stop to Start.”

Origins

Blue Magic was formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1972 when former member of The Delfonics Randy Cain brought in singer-songwriter Ted Mills to do some writing with the Philly-based WMOT production company to create a new band. A short time later the group Shades of Love, featuring Keith Beaton, Richard Pratt, Vernon Sawyer and his brother Wendell, came in to audition. (According to Marc Taylor in his book ‘A Touch of Classic Soul of the Early 1970s’,[1] “although the group performed admirably, they lacked a standout lead singer”.) The execs decided to replace the Toppicks, the act Mills recorded with. They inserted Shades of Love (which they owned contractually) with Ted Mills and retitled the group Blue Magic. They were signed with Atco Records through WMOT in the same year.

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BILLY JOEL – SHE’S ALWAYS A WOMAN TO ME

“She’s Always a Woman”
is a song from Billy Joel’s
1977 album The Stranger. It is a love song about a modern woman, with whom he falls in love for her quirks as well as her flaws. The single peaked at #17 in the U.S. in 1977, and at #53 in the UK in 1986, when it was released as a double A-side with “Just the Way You Are”. It re-entered the UK chart in 2010, reaching #29. A Muzak version of the track is known to be one of the last songs played over the former World Trade Center complex before its collapse. The song is played in the compound time signature of 6/8.

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“Willie Nelson – Always On My Mind”

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Always on My Mind is a 1982 album by country singer Willie Nelson. It was the Billboard number one country album of the year for 1982, and stayed 253 weeks on the Billboard Top Country Albums charts, peaking at number one for a total of 22 weeks, as well as spending 99 weeks on the Billboard 200 for all albums, peaking at number two for 3 weeks.

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“Brook Benton – Rainy Night in Georgia” 

“Brook Benton – Rainy Night in Georgia” 

“Rainy Night in Georgia” is a song written by Tony Joe White in 1962 and popularized by R&B vocalist Brook Benton  in 1970.

In a January 17, 2014 interview with music journalist Ray Shasho, Tony Joe White explained the thought process behind the making of ”

Rainy Night in Georgia ” and “Polk Salad Annie”.

When I got out of high school I went to Marietta, Georgia, I had a sister living there. I went down there to get a job and I was playing guitar too at the house and stuff. I drove a dump truck for the highway department and when it would rain you didn’t have to go to work. You could stay home and play your guitar and hangout all night. So those thoughts came back to me when I moved on to Texas about three months later. I heard “Ode to Billie Joe” on the radio and I thought, man, how real, because I am Billie Joe, I know that life. I’ve been in the cotton fields. So I thought if I ever tried to write, I’m going to write about something I know about. At that time I was doing a lot of Elvis and John Lee Hooker onstage with my drummer. No original songs and I hadn’t really thought about it. But after I heard Bobbie Gentry I sat down and thought … well I know about Polk because I had ate a bunch of it and I knew about rainy nights because I spent a lot of rainy nights in Marietta, Georgia. So I was real lucky with my first tries to write something that was not only real and hit pretty close to the bone, but lasted that long. So it was kind of a guide for me then on through life to always try to write what I know about.

In 1969, after several years without a major hit, Benton had signed to a new record label, Cotillion Records (a subsidiary of Atlantic Records). Brought to the attention of producer Jerry Wexler, Benton recorded the song in November 1969 with producer Arif Mardin session personnel present on the hit record included Billy Carter on Organ, Dave Crawford on piano, Cornell Dupree and Jimmy O’Rourke on guitar, Harold Cowart on bass, Tubby Ziegler on drums, and Toots Thielmans on harmonica.

Taken from his “come-back” album

Brook Benton

Today, the melancholy song became an instant hit. In the spring of 1970, the song had topped the Billboard Best Selling Soul Singles chart. It also reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100,[1] and number two on the Adult Contemporary chart. In Canada, the song made #2 on the RPM Magazine Hot Singles chart.

The RIAA certified the single gold for sales of one million copies. In 2004, it was ranked #498 on the List of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

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“Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (Official Video)”

“Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (Official Video)”

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“Bohemian Rhapsody” is a song by the British rock band Queen. It was written by Freddie Mercury for the band’s 1975 studio album A Night at the Opera. It is a six-minute suite,[6] consisting of several sections without a chorus: an intro, a ballad segment, an operatic passage, a hard rock part and a reflective coda.[7] The song is a more accessible take on the 1970s progressive rock genre.[1] It was the most expensive single ever made at the time of its release.[8]
When it was released as a single, “Bohemian Rhapsody” became a commercial success, staying at the top of the UK Singles Chart for nine weeks and selling more than a million copies by the end of January 1976.[9] It reached number one again in 1991 for another five weeks when the same version was re-released,[10] eventually becoming the UK’s third best-selling single of all time.[11] It topped the charts in several other markets as well, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and The Netherlands, later becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time. In the United States the song originally peaked at number nine in 1976. It returned to the chart at number two in 1992 following its appearance in the film Wayne’s World, which revived its American popularity.

Although critical reaction was initially mixed, “Bohemian Rhapsody” remains one of Queen’s most popular songs and is frequently placed on modern lists of the greatest songs of all time. The single was accompanied by a promotional video, which many scholars consider ground-breaking.[12] In 2004, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[13] In 2012, the song topped the list on an ITV nationwide poll in the UK to find “The Nation’s Favourite Number One” over 60 years of music.[14]

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“Peaches & Herb – Reunited” 

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Peaches & Herb are an American vocalist duo, once comprising Herb Fame (born October 1, 1942) and Francine “Peaches” Hurd Barker (April 28, 1947 – August 13, 2005). Herb has remained a constant in “Peaches & Herb” since its creation in 1966, while seven different women have filled the role of “Peaches.”

History

Herb Fame (born Herbert Feemster, October 1, 1942, in Anacostia, Washington, D.C.), sang in church and neighborhood groups as a child. After graduation from high school, he worked in a local record store where he met record producer Van McCoy and was signed to Columbia subsidiary Date Records by McCoy and A&R executive Dave Kapralik.[1] Francine “Peaches” Barker (born Francine Edna Hurd, April 28, 1947, in Washington, D.C.), using the stage name Francine Day,[2] started a singing trio initially dubbed The Darlettes and later renamed The Sweet Things after a change of record label to Date Records.[3] Having produced two releases for the trio, McCoy decided to record Feemster/Fame and Hurd/Day together at Kapralik’s suggestion.[4][5][6] The resulting single, “We’re in This Thing Together,” was distributed to radio stations but went nowhere for months until December 1966, when a St. Louis disc jockey broadcast the single’s B-side, a revival of the 1934 hit “Let’s Fall in Love.”[5][7]

The new duo, christened “Peaches & Herb,” had a string of successful singles and albums over the next two years such as “Let’s Fall in Love,” “Close Your Eyes,” “For Your Love,” and “Love Is Strange.” Despite burgeoning success and a media image as the “Sweethearts of Soul,” Barker chose to semi-retire from the duo after two years because of the rigors of touring. Marlene Mack (aka Marlene Jenkins), who had sung on the Jaynetts’ hit “Sally Go ‘Round the Roses” and had recorded as Marlina Mars,[8] replaced Barker on stage, but Barker remained on all of the duo’s recordings for Date Records. During this period, the semi-retired “Peaches” also worked as a solo artist using her married name, Francine Barker. She released three singles in total on the Columbia Records label,[3] including “Angels in the Sky” and “Mister DJ.”

Fame retired the act in 1970 when, for personal reasons, he enrolled in the police academy of Washington, D.C. and thereafter joined the city’s police department.[9] Peaches & Herb lay dormant until Fame decided to re-enter the music business in 1976. In his search for a new “Peaches,” Herb again enlisted the assistance of Van McCoy, who suggested that Linda Greene would be suitable for the position. Fame met Greene and concurred, thereby leading to formation of the most successful of the “Peaches & Herb” incarnations to date. Linda’s early musical training (while growing up in Washington, DC) was at The Sewell Music Conservatory.

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