Thursday, May 23, 2013
Ten Great Songs From One Great Week
The songs the radio played this week in history
May 18-24, 1980
Namco releases Pac-Man - Pac-Man is an arcade game developed by Namco and licensed for distribution in the United States by Midway, in October 1980 and first released in Japan on May 22, 1980. Immensely popular from its original release to the present day, Pac-Man is considered one of the classics of the medium, virtually synonymous with video games, and an icon of 1980s popular culture.
Upon its release, the game—and, subsequently, Pac-Man derivatives—became a social phenomenon that sold a large amount of merchandise and also inspired, among other things, an animated television series and a top-ten hit single. When Pac-Man was released, the most popular arcade video games were space shooters, in particular Space Invaders and Asteroids. The most visible minority were sports games that were mostly derivatives of Pong. Pac-Man succeeded by creating a new genre and appealing to both genders.
Pac-Man is often credited with being a landmark in video game history, and is among the most famous arcade games of all time. It is also one of the highest-grossing video games of all time, having generated more than $2.5 billion in quarters by the 1990s. The character has appeared in more than 30 officially licensed game spin-offs, as well as in numerous unauthorized clones and bootlegs. According to the Davie-Brown Index, Pac-Man has the highest brand awareness of any video game character among American consumers, recognized by 94 percent of them. Pac-Man is one of the longest running video game franchises from the golden age of video arcade games. It is part of the collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and of New York's Museum of Modern Art.
#1 Single -- "Call Me" by Blondie
#1 Album -- "Against The Wind" by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band
1455 – Wars of the Roses: at the First Battle of St Albans, Richard, Duke of York, defeats and captures King Henry VI of England.
1807 – A grand jury indicts former Vice President of the USA Aaron Burr on a charge of treason.
1872 – Reconstruction: U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signs the Amnesty Act into law restoring full civil and political rights to all but about 500 Confederate sympathizers.
1964 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces the goals of his Great Society social reforms to bring an "end to poverty and racial injustice" in America.
1990 – Microsoft releases the Windows 3.0 operating system.
1992 – After 30 years, 66-year-old Johnny Carson hosts The Tonight Show for the last time.
2002 – In Washington, D.C., the remains of the missing Chandra Levy are found in Rock Creek Park.
2008 – The Late-May 2008 tornado outbreak sequence unleashes 235 tornadoes, including an EF4 and an EF5 tornado, between May 22 and May 31, 2008. The tornadoes struck 19 states and one Canadian province.
2011 – An EF5 tornado strikes Joplin, Missouri, killing 162 people and wreaking $2.8 billion worth in damage—the costliest and seventh-deadliest single tornado in U.S. history.
Biggest Part of Me -- Ambrosia
The album title tells the story: Ambrosia decided to head towards mainstream Pop music, creating some of the most memorable "yacht rock" songs ever made. David Pack, Joe Puerta, Burleigh Drummond and Christopher North had success prior to the release of One Eighty, but this was their breakout album that cemented them as '70s icons. In the late '70s and early '80s, there was a strong market for syrupy ballads. What better way is there then with a song where the singer is practically telling his love that he is incomplete without her and doing whatever he can to make her happy while losing his spine in the process? One Eighty produced another smash-hit, "You're the Only Woman," which surpasses the high-cheesiness standard that "Biggest Part of Me" set for the band.
Steal Away -- Robbie Dupree
Robert Dupuis, better known by his stage name Robbie Dupree, is best known for this 1980 top ten pop hit, "Steal Away". Dupree originally became popular with this breakout hit, which hit #6 on Billboard. Thereafter, he scored another hit with "Hot Rod Hearts", which rose to #15 in October 1980. Dupree's final single to make the Billboard charts, "Brooklyn Girls", peaked at #54 in June 1981. In 1987, Dupree contributed the song "Girls in Cars" to Piledriver - The Wrestling Album 2, a collection of theme songs for World Wrestling Entertainment (then known as the World Wrestling Federation). The tag team Strike Force (Tito Santana and Rick Martel) used "Girls in Cars" as their entrance music. In 2010, Dupree signed with Spectra Records and released the album Time and Tide featuring former E Street Band keyboards player David Sancious. On May 21, 2010 Dupree performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as part of Jimmy's ongoing tribute to Yacht Rock: the smooth West Coast sound of the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 2011, Robbie Dupree toured as part of the All Star Rock concert series. The tour featured John Cafferty, Orleans, David Pack (Ambrosia), John Ford Coley, Jimmy Hall of Wet Willie, Joe Lynn Turner and Joe Bouchard. In 2012, Dupree released a new album, this time an EP entitled Arc of a Romance. A collection of timeless classics spanning over the last 5 decades.
The Rose -- Bette Midler
This was written by Los Angeles singer/songwriter Amanda McBroom. Midler recorded it for the 1980 movie of the same name, which she starred in. McBroom explained: "A song came on the radio. It was 'Magdalena' by Danny OKeefe, sung by Leo Sayer. I liked it immediately. My favorite line was, 'You're love is like a razor. My heart is just a scar.' I thought, 'Ooh, I love that lyric, but don't agree with the sentiment that love is a razor.' As I continued to drive down the road the thought came, "What, then, do I think love is." Suddenly, it was as if someone had opened a window in the top of my head. Words came pouring in. I had to keep reciting them to myself as I drove faster and faster towards home, so I wouldnt forget them. I screeched into my driveway, ran into the house, past various bewildered dogs and cats and husbands, and sat down at the piano. Ten minutes later, The Rose was there. A year or so later, a professional songwriter friend of mine said, 'Listen, there is this movie coming out called The Rose, based on the life of Janis Joplin. They are looking for a title tune. Do you want me to submit this to them? I had never really tried to submit a song to anyone. I didn't consider myself a songwriter at the time. So I said, 'Sure.' The producers hated it. They thought it was dull and not Rock And Roll and totally wrong. They put it in the reject box. But Paul Rothchild, who had been Janis Joplin's producer, and now the music supervisor on the film, hauled it out and asked them to reconsider. They again said no. So he mailed it to Bette Midler, the star of the movie. She liked it, lobbied in favor of it; and that's how it got into the film and changed my life forever."
She's Out Of My Life -- Michael Jackson
"She's Out of My Life" is a song written by musical artist Tom Bahler. Although it has been claimed that Bahler wrote the song about Karen Carpenter, Bahler stated, "The fact is, I had already written that song by the time Karen and I became romantic. That song was written more about Rhonda Rivera . . . Rhonda and I had been together for two years, and it was after we broke up that I started dating Karen." The song has been recorded by a variety of artists, including: Michael Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Ginuwine, 98°, S Club 7, Barbara Mandrell, Nina, Willie Nelson and Josh Groban. The song became famous as the fourth single to be released by singer Michael Jackson from his fifth album, Off The Wall, in 1979. It was the first time a solo artist had achieved four top ten hits from one album.
We Live For Love -- Pat Benatar
This was another hit for Pat Benatar during the early '80s, but it was something of a departure from her typical sound. She sang in a high key, and some radio listeners mistook her for Deborah Harry from Blondie. Benatar and Harry both appeared in the 1980 movie Union City, although neither sang a note. Neil Giraldo, who is Pat Benatar's guitarist, wrote this song by himself. Over the next few years, Giraldo would become Benatar's producer and bandleader, and also her husband: they were married in 1982 and have been together since.
Breakdown Dead Ahead -- Boz Scaggs
Scaggs was born in Canton, Ohio, the son of a traveling salesman. The family moved to McAlester, Oklahoma, then to Plano, Texas (at that time a farm town), just north of Dallas. He attended a Dallas private school, St. Mark's School of Texas, where a schoolmate gave him the nickname "Bosley"; this was later shortened to "Boz". After learning guitar at the age of 12, he met Steve Miller at St. Mark's School (Texas). In 1959, he became the vocalist for Miller's band, the Marksmen. The pair later attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison together, playing in blues bands like the Ardells and the Fabulous Knight Trains.
Two Places At The Same Time -- Ray Parker, Jr. and Raydio
The group scored their first big hit in 1978 with "Jack and Jill", which was taken from their self-titled debut album. The song peaked at #8 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, earning a gold record in the process. Their next successful follow-up hit, "You Can't Change That" was released in 1979, and lifted from their Rock On album. The single made it up to #9 on the Billboard chart that year. In September 1979 they participated in an anti-nuclear concert at Madison Square Garden. Their performance of "You Can't Change That" at this show appears on the No Nukes album. By 1980, the group had become known as Ray Parker Jr. and Raydio, and they released two more albums: Two Places at the Same Time (1980), and A Woman Needs Love (1981). These spawned another two Top 40 single hits ("Two Places at the Same Time" - #40 in 1980; and "That Old Song" - #21 in 1981). Their last, and biggest hit, "A Woman Needs Love," was also released in 1981, and went to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. Raydio finally broke up in 1981.
Magic -- Olivia Newton-John
Written by Olivia Newton-John's longtime producer John Farrar, this song appeared on the soundtrack to the movie Xanadu, which she starred in along with Gene Kelly. The song deals with destiny and faith, and it's easy-going melody and clear vocals proved much more accessible than the movie: while the film floundered, this song was a huge hit, staying at #1 on the Pop charts for 4 weeks and on the Adult Contemporary charts for 5 during the summer of 1980. The next year, Newton-John had an even bigger hit with "Physical."
I'm Alive -- ELO
Also appearing in the soundtrack and film "Xanadu," which featured music by ELO and Olivia Newton-John. While the movie was a major flop, the soundtrack was a major success, spawning numerous top 40 hits and one #1 track (Newton-John's "Magic"). "I'm Alive" continued a trend for Jeff Lynne and ELO, garnering a top 15 chart ranking, but just missing out on the top #10.
Misunderstanding -- Genesis
One of the first songs written by Phil Collins, The lyrics deal with the problems he was having with his marriage. After taking over as the group's lead singer, he spent less and less time with his wife. They eventually divorced. This was the second Genesis hit in the US. Their first was "Follow You, Follow Me." Of course, over the next 5 years, no singer was more popular than Collins. His work with Genesis, as well as his solo projects, consistently cracked the top 10, or top the charts entirely.
Hard To Be Humble -- Mac Davis
This comedy track reached #10 on the Billboard Country Charts and #43 on the Hot 100. Davis, known as a singer and an actor, first reached the charts in 1972, with his chart-topping song, "Baby, Don't Get Hooked On Me." This song was his only comedy tune to reach the charts.