Bob Hope’s film in 1938 “The Big Broadcast of 1938” debuts in New York. The film introduces Hope’s signature song “Thanks For The Memory”. The music was composed by Ralph Rainger and lyrics are by Leo Robin. The song won an Academy Award for Best Original Song
In 1956, The Platters “The Great Pretender”, started a two week run at No.1 on the U.S. singles music chart. The song featured Tony Williams on lead vocals. The words and music were created by Buck Ram who was the manager and producer of The Platters. The song also peaked at No.5 in the U.K.
Ray Charles recorded “What I’d Say” in New York City in 1959. The song had evolved in concert as a call-and-response between Charles and his female backup singers. It became Charles’ biggest hit to date, reaching No.1 on the R&B and No.6 on the pop music charts.
The English band The Kinks, were at No.1 on the U.K. singles music chart in 1965 with “Tired Of Waiting For You”, the group’s second U.K. No.1. The song appeared on their second studio album “Kinda Kinks”. According to Ray Davis, the music was written while on a train on the way to the recording studio and the words were written at a coffee shop while on a break in the recording session.
While working at Abbey Road Studios in London in 1965, The Beatles recorded two new songs: John Lennon’s “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away”, and a new Paul McCartney song “Tell Me What You See”.
In 1966, Beach Boy Brian Wilson recorded the future classic song “Good Vibrations” which went to become the band’s third U.S. number one hit. As a child, Brian’s mother told him that dogs could pick up “vibrations” from people, so that the dog would bark at “bad vibrations”. Wilson turned this into the general idea for the song.
The Buckinghams started at two-week run at No.1 on the U.S. singles music chart with “Kind Of A Drag” in 1967. This would be the group’s only U.S. No.1 and it did not score at all on the U.K. charts. The song was written by Jim Holvay and became the band’s first of three Top 10 hits in 1967.
In 1972, 12 year-old Scottish child singing star Neil Reid, started a three-week run at No.1 on the U.K. album music chart with his debut album. It made Reid the youngest person ever to score a U.K. No.1. Reid was known as “Wee Neil Reid” and at the age of 8, Neil was discovered singing at a pensioners’ party in 1968. His song “Mother of Mine” went on to sell over 250,000 copies in the U.K. and 2.5 million worldwide.
On their first Australian tour in 1972, Led Zeppelin rescheduled their concert to the following night at Memorial Drive, Adelaide, after heavy rain left the stage and equipment unsafe. Zeppelin had brought to Adelaide the largest PA system seen in Australia to produce what was expected to be the loudest rock show ever heard.
During a concert in Las Vegas in 1973, four men climb on stage to shake Elvis Presley’s hand while he was performing. Fearing a threat to his life, Elvis and bassist Jerry Scheff immobilize the men using karate moves. No charges were ever filed, but Elvis did tell the audience, “I’m sorry ladies and gentlemen. I’m sorry I did not break his goddamned neck, is what I’m sorry about”
In 1987, Bon Jovi was at No.1 on the U.S. singles music chart with “Livin’ On A Prayer”. This is the second chart-topping single from the 12x platinum album “Slippery When Wet”. The song was written by Jon Bon Jovi, Richie Sambora and Desmond Child and was well received on both pop radio and rock radio stations. “Livin On A Prayer” rose to No.4 in the U.K.
In 1990, the British singer, songwriter and record producer who was widely known as the lead singer and songwriter of the rock band Queen, Freddy Mercury, made his final public appearance on stage when he joined the rest of Queen to collect the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, held at the Dominion Theatre, London, England. Mercury wrote, composed and performed numerous hits for Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Killer Queen”, “Somebody to Love”, “Don’t Stop Me Now”, “Crazy Thing Called Love”, “We Are The Champions” and many more.
In 2000, an American court ordered the release of FBI files relating to John Lennon’s interests and activities including his support for the Irish Republican cause and the Workers Revolutionary Party. The British Government told the U.S. that it wanted the files to remain secret. MI5 also had files on Lennon, which they had passed on to the FBI during the 70’s.
A court case accusing Marilyn Manson of sexual assault was dismissed in 2004, after the two sides reached a settlement. Security guard Joshua Keasler had sued Manson after the star allegedly put his legs around Keasler’s neck and gyrated against him on stage at a gig in Detroit, Michigan in 2001. Manson was ordered to pay $4,000 in fines and court costs in the criminal proceedings.
Britney Spears attacked a US magazine in 2005 after it published photographs of her honeymoon without permission. Weekly publication US printed five pages of pictures of Spears and husband Kevin Federline on holiday in Fiji. A statement from US magazine said: “Britney should start her own magazine if she’d like to dictate her own coverage”.
And now it is time to say Happy Birthday to those people who brought us great music or had a hand in creating the music we all know and love. Those born today, February 18th are:
Yoko Ono – born in 1933, Yoko is a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, poet, author and peace activist. She is the widow and second wife of singer-songwriter John Lennon.
Skip Battin – born in 1934, Skip was an American singer-songwriter, bassist performer and recording artist. He is best known as a member of The Byrds, the New Riders of the Purple Sage and the Flying Burrito Brothers.
Herman Santigo – born in 1941, Herman is a rock and roll pioneer and songwriter who was a member of the band Frankie Lymon And The Teenagers. They had the No.1 music single “Why Do Fools Fall In Love”.
Dennis Deyoung – born in 1947, Dennis is an American singer, songwriter, musician and producer best known for being a founding member of the rock band STYX. Dennis was a lead vocalist and keyboardist and credited as the writer of more songs than any other STYX members.
Judy Kay Newton – born in 1952 is better known by her stage name Juice Newton. Juice is an American pop and country singer, songwriter and guitarist. She is a five time Grammy Award nomination in the Pop and Country Best Female Vocalist categories in which she won once in 1983. Juice is also an ACM Award for Top New Female Artist and two Billboard Female Album Artist of the Year awards
Randy Crawford – born in 1952, Randy is an American jazz and R&B singer. She is more popular in Europe than in the United States. She has had multiple top five hits in the U.K., including her 1980 No.2 hit “One Day I’ll Fly Away”.
Robbie Bachman – born in 1953, Robbie is a Canadian drummer and the youngest brother of Canadian guitarist, singer and songwriter Randy Bachman. Robbie is the original drummer for the rock band Bachman Turner Overdrive.
John Travolta – born in 1954, John is an American Academy Award winning actor, dancer and singer. Travolta became well known in the 1970s television series Welcome Back Kotter. He later starred in the successful box office hit Saturday Night Fever and the following year with Olivia Newton John in Grease.
Brian James – born in 1955, Brian is an English puck rock guitarist who is best known as a founding member of the British punk group The Damned. The Damned was the first punk rock band from the U.K. to release a single “New Rose” in 1976, release an album “Damned Damned Damned” in 1977 and to tour the United States.
Andre Romelle Young – born in 1965, Andre is better known by his stage name Dr. Dre. Dre is an American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur. He is the founder and current CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and Beats Electronics.