Wednesday, May 09, 2012
Ten Great Songs From One Great Week
The songs the radio played this week in history
May 8-May 14, 1960
Capture of Adolf Eichmann (May 11th) - Adolf Otto Eichmann was a German Nazi and SS-Obersturmbannführer (Lieutenant Colonel) and one of the major organizers of the Holocaust. Because of his organizational talents and ideological reliability, Eichmann was charged by Obergruppenführer (General) Reinhard Heydrich with the task of facilitating and managing the logistics of mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and extermination camps in German-occupied Eastern Europe. After the war, he fled to Argentina using a fraudulently obtained laissez-passer issued by the International Red Cross. He lived in Argentina under a false identity, working for Mercedes-Benz until 1960. He was captured by Mossad operatives in Argentina and taken to Israel to face trial in an Israeli court on 15 criminal charges, including crimes against humanity and war crimes.
In 1948, the State of Israel was established. In 1949, its official intelligence agency, Mossad, was formed. One of Mossad's principal assigned tasks was to hunt down accused Nazi war criminals. Throughout the 1950s, many Jews and other victims of the Holocaust also dedicated themselves to finding Eichmann and other notorious Nazis. Among them was the Jewish Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal.
In 1959, the Mossad was informed that Eichmann was in Buenos Aires under the name Ricardo Klement (Clement) and then began an effort to locate his exact whereabouts. When surveillance affirmed that Ricardo Klement was Eichmann, the Israeli government approved a covert operation to bring him to Jerusalem for trial as a war criminal. It was to be a joint operation, carried out by the Mossad and Shin Bet, the Israel Security Agency. The Israelis continued their surveillance of Eichmann in 1960 until it was judged safe to take him.
Eichmann was captured by a team of Mossad and Shin Bet agents in San Fernando, Buenos Aires, an industrial community 20 km north of the center of Buenos Aires. After observing the suspect's routine for many days, they determined that he usually arrived home by bus from his work as foreman at a Mercedes Benz factory around the same time every evening and planned to seize him when he was walking beside an open field from the bus stop to his house at 14 Garibaldi St (now 4261 Garibaldi Street). The plan was almost abandoned when Eichmann, on the designated day, was not present on the bus he usually took home. Tension rose when a passerby offered to assist the agents who pretended to be fixing the broken-down Mossad vehicle. Finally, almost a half hour later, Eichmann got off a bus. A Mossad agent engaged him, asking him in Spanish ("un momentito, senor") if he had a moment. Eichmann was frightened and attempted to leave while blinded by Mossad headlights. Two Mossad men wrestled him to the ground and after a struggle, he was brought to the car and hidden down on the floor. Eichmann told his captors later that as soon as they told him to keep quiet or they would shoot him, he knew he had been captured by Israelis. The Mossad agents ran into a police checkpoint, but managed to pass a license-plate check.
Eichmann was brought to a Mossad safe house, Tira, where he was kept for nine days, during which time his identity was double checked and confirmed. Eichmann was drugged to appear drunk by an Israeli doctor included in the Mossad team and dressed as a flight attendant. He was smuggled out of Argentina on board an El Al Bristol Britannia plane and after some tense delay at the airport over getting its flight plan approved, the plane took off from Buenos Aires to Dakar, Senegal and then to Israel on May 21, 1960. He arrived heavily sedated, and like the agents, disguised in the uniform of the El Al crew.
Negotiations followed between Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion and Argentine president Arturo Frondizi, while the abduction was met from radical right sectors in Argentina with a violent wave of antisemitism, carried on the streets by the Tacuara Nationalist Movement—including assaults, torture and bombings. Ben-Gurion announced Eichmann's capture to the Knesset—Israel's parliament—on May 23, receiving a standing ovation in return.
After 14 weeks of testimony with more than 1,500 documents, 100 prosecution witnesses (90 of whom were Nazi concentration camp survivors) and dozens of defense depositions delivered by diplomatic couriers from 16 different countries, the Eichmann trial ended on August 14 and he was found guilty and executed by hanging in 1962. He is the only person to have been executed in Israel on conviction by a civilian court.
#1 Single -- "Stuck on You" by Elvis Presley
#1 Album -- "The Sound of Music" by the Original Cast
1471 – Wars of the Roses: The Battle of Tewkesbury: Edward IV defeats a Lancastrian Army and kills Edward, Prince of Wales.
1776 – Rhode Island becomes the first American colony to renounce allegiance to King George III.
1863 – American Civil War: The Battle of Chancellorsville ends with a Union retreat.
1871 – The National Association, the first professional baseball league, opens its first season in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
1932 – In Atlanta, Georgia, mobster Al Capone begins serving an eleven-year prison sentence for tax evasion.
1959 – The 1st Grammy Awards are held.
1979 – Margaret Thatcher becomes the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
1989 – Iran-Contra Affair: Former White House aide Oliver North is convicted of three crimes and acquitted of nine other charges. The convictions, however, are later overturned on appeal.
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat sign a peace accord regarding Palestinian autonomy granting self-rule in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.
1998 – A federal judge in Sacramento, California, gives "Unabomber" Theodore Kaczynski four life sentences plus 30 years after Kaczynski accepts a plea agreement sparing him from the death penalty.
Cathy's Clown -- Everly Brothers
This is about a guy who Cathy dumped. He tries to be strong, but everyone knows him as "Cathy's Clown" because she treated him so bad. "Cathy's Clown" was the first single ever released on the Warner Brothers label. The Everly Brothers signed with them after 3 successful years with Cadence Records. This song was also the first single to simultaneously top the UK and US charts, and was the last number one hit for the them.
Cradle of Love -- Johnny Preston
Born as John Preston Courville in Port Arthur, Texas, of Cajun ancestry, Preston sang in high school choral contests throughout the state of Texas. He formed a rock and roll band called "The Shades", who were seen performing at a local club by J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson. Richardson offered Preston the chance to record a teenage tragedy song he had written, "Running Bear", which they did in Houston in 1958. The record was released after the Big Bopper's death in the same plane crash that killed Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, and it reached #1. The sales of the record exceeded one million copies, earning Preston his first gold disc. Preston quickly followed up with another hit called "Cradle of Love," (Billboard #7, UK # 2) and made several other records during the early 1960s that met with modest success.
Step By Step -- The Crests
The band was founded by J. T. Carter and included Talmoudge Gough, Harold Torres, and Patricia Van Dross (older sister of R/B great Luther Vandross). Carter selected vocalist Johnny Mastrangelo (later just Johnny Maestro) to perform as lead vocalist for the group. Maestro's vocal style on the group's recordings became instantly recognizable and a juke box favorite of the national teen audiences. Maestro's quality vocals, great song selections, and recordings with dance-easy beats made the winning combination for charted hits. The group had several Top 40 hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s on Coed Records, including "16 Candles", "Six Nights a Week", "The Angels Listened In", "A Year Ago Tonight", "Step By Step" and "Trouble In Paradise". They also charted with "Sweetest One" (Joyce label) in 1957. Van Dross left The Crests in 1958 after recording two singles for Joyce Records. Maestro left for a solo career in 1961. He would later join The Del Satins, which would merge with The Rhythm Method to become Johnny Maestro and The Brooklyn Bridge. They had a Top 5 hit with "The Worst That Could Happen" in 1969.
The Theme From A Summer Place -- Percy Faith and Orchestra
This instrumental song that indicates summer romance was part of the score for the 1959 movie A Summer Place, which stared Troy Donahue and Sandra Dee and was set on an island in Maine. It was written by Austrian film composer Max Steiner, who also wrote the score for Casablanca. In the US, this was the top selling single of 1960 and it won the 1960 Grammy for Record Of The Year, becoming the first movie theme to win the award. Faith was a composer who arranged songs for a variety of artists, including Tony Bennett and Johnny Mathis. Faith's version was not used in the movie. That version was performed by Hugo Winterbalter's orchestra. But this one stayed at #1 in the US for 9 weeks, the longest run of any instrumental song.
When You Wish Upon A Star -- Dion and the Belmonts
This song was written by Ned Washington and Leigh Harline for the 1940 Disney movie Pinocchio, where the character Jiminy Cricket sings it at the beginning and end of the movie. Washington was a prolific lyricist on songs for film, and Harline was a staff composer for Disney. Dion's version was released one year after he hit it big, with his smash "Teenager In Love." Dion (Dion Francis DiMucci) remained popular for the res of the decade, although most of his later hits were done without the Belmonts. in 1989, Dion was elected to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Puppy Love -- Paul Anka
This was written for Annette Funicello, with whom Anka was having an affair during a package tour. Anka's manager insisted that the affair be low-key and kept out of the press, if possible. After the tour, Funicello cut an LP, Annette Sings Anka -- then married Anka's manager. Funicello is an actress who, like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake, was a very popular member of Disney's Mickey Mouse Club. In 1992, she announced that she had Multiple Sclerosis.
Wonderful World -- Sam Cooke
"Wonderful World" was originally written by music legends Lou Alder and Herb Alpert, but Cooke added the finishing lyrical touches, and the trio used the songwriting pseudonym "Barbara Campbell," the name of Cooke's high school sweetheart. Adler went on from this success to found Dunhill Records and manage big name artists such as Jan and Dean, The Mamas and the The Papas, and Carole King. Not to be outdone, his writing partner, Herb Alpert, put the "A" in A/M Records after performing for several years with his band Herb Alpert and the The Tijuana Brass. According to Rolling Stone magazine, before the song came out, Cooke liked to sing it for women he met, telling them he'd made it up on the spot just for them.
Ebb Tide -- The Platters
The lyrics to this song were written by Carl Sigman, who was an accomplished songwriter who's hits included "It's All In The Game" and "Pennsylvania 6-5000." In The Carl Sigman Songbook, Sigman's son Michael tells the story: Early in 1953, British orchestra leader Frank Chacksfield topped the charts with an instrumental arrangement of "Ebb Tide," a gorgeous, dramatic melody by the composer/classical harpist Robert Maxwell. The Platters had been one of the great successes of early rock and roll. However, by 1960, their chart successes had begun to wind down. After hitting the top 40 sixteen times over the past 5 years, the band only hit that plateau just 5 more times over the next 10 years.
Stuck On You -- Elvis Presley
"Stuck on You" is Elvis Presley's first hit single after his two-year stint in the US Army. He recorded the song during March 1960, and the single was released within weeks and went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in late-April 1960, becoming his first number-one single of the 1960s and thirteenth overall. The song peaked at #6 on the R/B chart and knocked Percy Faith's "Theme from A Summer Place" from the top spot, ending its nine-week run at #1. It was a worldwide hit, and in New Zealand (and perhaps other countries), the single had a special paper sleeve with the usual RCA logo top left and 45 R.P.M. bottom left and included, in large letters, "ELVIS" top right and bottom left: "Elvis' 1st new recording for his 50,000,000 fans all over the world."
Greenfields -- The Brothers Four
Bob Flick, John Paine, Mike Kirkland, and Dick Foley met at the University of Washington, where they were members of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity in 1956 (hence the "Brothers" appellation). Their first professional performances were the result of a prank played on them in 1958 by a rival fraternity, who had arranged for someone to call them, pretend to be from Seattle's Colony Club, and invite them to come down to audition for a gig. Even though they were not expected at the club, they were allowed to sing a few songs anyway, and were subsequently hired. Flick recalls them being paid "mostly in beer." Their second single, "Greenfields," released in January 1960, hit #2 on the pop charts, and their first album, Brothers Four, released toward the end of the year, made the top 20. Other highlights of their early career included singing their fourth single, "The Green Leaves of Summer," from the John Wayne movie The Alamo, at the 1961 Academy Awards, and having their second album go top 10. They also recorded the theme song for the ABC television series Hootenanny, "Hootenanny Saturday Night," in 1963.