Hello dear readers and welcome to the 11th March, coming up there’ll be one birthday and four ‘onthisdays’. But just before those here is yet another blatant plug for my son’s band ‘Steal The Smile‘ check them out and tell me what you think of them, add them as a friend on MySpace too if you haven’t done so already, click their name for the link.
So in yet another attempt to post a short one (oooooerr missus!) here comes that birthday.
Today is the 59th birthday of Bobby McFerrin who had a massive hit in 1988 with the rather excellent “Don’t Worry Be Happy” (UK 2, US 1 that is it’s respective chart positions and not an international soccer score in case you were wondering). It was the first a capella song to reach the top of the Billboard charts in the US. The phrase “Don’t Worry Be Happy” comes originally from the teachings of Meher Baba. His teachings were followed at times by Pete Townshend of the Who
On this day in 1967 the music publisher Dick James announced that the Beatles song (well it’s Macca’s really) “Yesterday” had been recorded by 446 acts at that point. Considering the song was only released in 1965 that’s pretty good going It is now believed that there are more than 3,000 recorded versions. The song is believed to have been performed more than 3 million times in the last century according to the BMI. Paul McCartney gave the tune the working title of “Scrambled Eggs” before he wrote the lyrics. Here are two cover versions of the song, firstly from Dogpatch Debbie, it’s certainly different and then a great version from the late great (oh yes they’re back!) Ray Charles
On this day in 1978 there was some shocking news (geddit?). French singer Claude Francois was electrocuted while changing a light bulb when he was standing in his bathtub, presumably with water in. he had a UK hit in 1976 with “Tears On The Telephone” Claude is perhaps most famous for writing the song “Comme D’Habitude” which became a standard after English lyrics were written by Paul Anka and the song with those new lyrics was recorded by ole’ blue eyes himself Mr Frank Sinatra (or as I like to call him Frank Sinister). That song ladies and gentlemen is “My Way” Incidentally David Bowie (yet another DB reference) was the first person to write an English lyric for the tune but nobody took his words up! Here is Claude with “Comme D’Habitude” and here Mr Bowie explains his encounter with the song, it’s impact on “Life On Mars” and how he met Marc Bolan.
Also on this day in 1978 Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out Of Hell” album began a 416 week run in the UK album charts and selling 2 million copies in the process. Mr Loaf is actually called Marvin Lee Aday, his Meat Loaf name allegedy came from an incident when he stood on the foot of his high school football coach. Jim Steinman wrote the ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ album and many claim that it shows his love of Bruce Springsteen, Phil Spector and Wagner. The album was produced by Todd Rundgren. The album supposedly still sells around 200,000 copies per year even now. Is there anyone reading this that doesn’t own the album? Here is Mr Loaf himself with the classic “Paradise By The Dashboard Light” ably assisted by Ellen Foley.
And yet again in 1978 the debut single from the wonderful Kate Bush, “Wuthering Heights” Kate was only 15 when EMI’s interest was sparked by a demo tape of hers was passed to their A & R man Bob Mercer by David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. Gilmour actually plays guitar on the song too in particular that wonderful solo on the fade out. The company spent nearly 3 years on developing Kate as an artist. Sadly with the awful rise of X Factor and Idol shows that kind of thing is almost unheard of these days. She undertook, dance, vocal and mime classes. Her mime teacher was none other than Lindsay Kemp, who also taught David Bowie his mime skills (there you go, yet another Bowie reference). “Wuthering Heights” was originally scheduled for release in November 1977 but the company deemed it to be not radio friendly, it was eventually issued in January 1978. The song was inspired by Emily Bronte’s book of the same name, Kate is a big Bronte fan and even shares her birthday, July 30th. (Kate in 1958 and Emily 140 years earlier in 1818) Here is Ms Bush with that wonderful song and yes “Wuthering Heights” is certainly one of the 50 songs in my top 10
And finally here’s another picture of Kate, simply because I’ve always had a thing for the delectable Ms Bush 🙂