In 1961, Elvis Presley was at No.1 on the U.K. singles chart with “Are You Lonesome Tonight”. The song was written by Roy Turk and Lou Handman in 1926. It has been recorded several times. The song was Colonel Tom Parker (Presley’s manager) wife’s favorite song. When the music single was released with Elvis singing it, the song rose to No.1 on the U.S. Billboard’s Pop Music Single chart.
“Downtown” by Petula Clark was at No.1 on the U.S. music singles chart in 1965. A young Jimmy Page had played as a session guitarist on the track, giving him his first U.S. No.11 hit, (and a No.2 hit in the U.K.).
Pink Floyd played their first gig without Syd Barrett at Southampton University in 1968. The opening band was Tyrannosaurus Rex, (later they renamed the band to T Rex) featuring Marc Boland and percussionist Steve Peregrine Took.
The glam rock band Sweet was at No.1 on the U.K. music singles chart with “Blockbuster” in 1973. Written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman and produced by Phil Wainman, “Block Buster” was the band’s sole U.K. No.1 hit. The glam rockers could only make it to No.73 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.
Ringo Starr went to No.1 on the U.S. singles chart with his version of the Johnny Burnette 1960 hit “Your Sixteen” in 1974. The song was first performed by singer Johnny Burnette whose version peaked at No.8 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 music chart in 1960.
Cher made a video in 1991 and dedicated it to the troops involved in Desert Storm during the Gulf War. Cher’s video “Canteen” featured Janet Jackson, Paul Simon, Van Halen and Bonnie Raitt.
In 1991, Queen had their second U.K. No.1 with “Innuendo”. At 6 minutes, 30 seconds, it exceeded their epic “Bohemian Rhapsody” by 35 seconds and became the third longest U.K. No.1 song of all time, behind The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” and Simple Minds “Belfast Child”.
In 2003, Justin Timberlake went to No.1 on the U.K. album chart with his debut solo album “Justified”, which spent over a year on the U.K. chart. The album was released by Jive Records and was written and recorded in only 6 weeks. At the time of the recording, Justin was on hiatus from the band NSYNC.
Alicia Keys in 2008, was at No.1 on the U.S. album chart with her third album “As I Am”. The album sold over 742,000 copies in its first week. This was the largest ever first week sales for any female R&B artist.
And now it is time to wish a Happy Birthday to the people that have brought us great music or had a hand in creating the music. Those born on January 26th are:
Ashley Hutchings – born in 1945, Ashley is an English bassist, vocalist, songwriter, arranger, band leader, writer and record producer. He was a founding member of three English rock bands: Fairpoint Convention, Steeleye Span and The Albion Band.
Corky Laing – born in 1948, Corky is a Canadian rock drummer who is best known as a longtime member for the rock band Mountain. He got his big break in the 60’s playing drummers for the vocal group The Ink Spots. He joined Mountain in 1969 replacing former drummer N.D. Smart.
Derek Holt – born in 1949, Derek is an English guitarist who is a member of the group Climax Blues Band. Derek joined Climax Blues Band in 1967 as a founding member and wrote and sang their second biggest music single “I Love You”.
David Briggs – born in 1951, David is an American record producer who is best known for his work with Neil Young and his band Crazy Horse. He is noted for contributing a large amount of imagination and style on the album After The Gold Rush.
Eddie Van Halen – born in 1957, Eddie is a Dutch-born American musician, songwriter and producer. He is best known for being the lead guitarist, occasional keyboardist and co-founder of the hard rock band Van Halen. Rolling Stone magazine list Eddie as No.8 on the list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists.
Norman Hassan – born in 1957, Norman is an English musician and percussionist who is best known as one of the original members of the band UB40. He started as a percussionist and later learned the trombone and the band decided to add a brass section. He also sang lead on some of the songs by UB40.
Anita Baker – born in 1958, Anita is an American singer-songwriter. Anita started her career in the late 70s with the funk band Chapter 8. In 1983, Anita launched her first solo album “The Songstress”. She is a Grammy winner with her music single “Sweet Love”.
Susannah Melvoin – born in 1964, Susannah is an American vocalist and songwriter. Susannah is best known for her association with Prince in the mid-19080s. She has also worked with Roger Waters, Eric Clapton, Mike Oldfield and Madonna.