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Welcome to another #1 Songs On This Date! – another four-pack of the best of the best from the Top 40 Rock ‘n’ Roll music era.
Since it began in early January, 150 distinct number one singles from the years 1956 through 1995 have been featured – with hundreds more to follow.
They’re all part of a permanent archive that’s being built at HouseoftheHits.com which will ultimately feature ALL 837 different number one singles as listed in 2,080 weekly national music charts published by Billboard® within that 40-year timeframe.
Fortunately, HouseoftheHits has every one of those charts – plus secondary data – as published in the essential Joel Whitburn’s Record Research series (CD-ROM and eBook edition formats).
Everything is stored digitally on a HouseoftheHits computer – as are all 837 number one singles (in high-quality audio) from the music vault.
With the availability of precise data and the HOTH song files – together with some amazing technology – approximately 600 – 700 of those Billboard® chart-toppers will be presented this year – with the remainder to follow in early 2017.
As the archive grows you will have continual free access to the accumulating repository, indexed by Decade, Month and Year. Plus, EVERY Title and Artist will be (blue) hyper-linked for smooth, easy navigation from song to song – with more great features to be added along the way.
Again, it will contain every #1 single in America, plus interesting commentary about each song (written by yours truly) and presented with a crystal clear High-Definition audio version of the complete original hit to instantly play as often as you wish.
The ever-expanding library is found HERE and you can bookmark this link for future instant access.
Due to copyright issues, some audio song files may not play on smartphones, tablets and connected devices. A PC, Mac or laptop may be required.
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#1 / April 14th, 1987
NOTHING’S GONNA STOP US NOW
Number One: 2 weeks
Replaced: LEAN ON ME / Club Nouveau
Succeeded by: I KNEW YOU WERE WAITING (For Me) / Aretha Franklin and George Michael
It was a long and winding 23-year flight for the group whose initial formation took place in San Francisco just months prior to 1967’s ‘Summer of Love.’
For the next seven years they were known as Jefferson Airplane, a six person band which included noted members Grace Slick, Marty Balin and Paul Kantner with their 1967 classic psychedelic hits Somebody To Love (#5) and White Rabbit (#8).
By 1974, several new personnel and a name change saw only original members Slick and Kantner still on board as part of Jefferson Starship. The 1975 hit Miracles (#3), Count On Me (1978 • #8) and 1979’s Jane (#14), with new lead vocalist Mickey Thomas, were their biggest chart successes.
In 1985, legalities forced yet another moniker – shortened to Starship – and it became their most prolific period.
With original singer Slick and Thomas now sharing lead vocals, this permutation turned out three #1 singles: We Built This City and Sara, both in 1985, followed by this date’s top tune in ’87, Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now.
The blend of Slick’s and Thomas’ voices is outstanding throughout this record, with Mickey’s solo work particularly poignant during the song’s final minute.
[Trivia Bits] An outstanding high-tenor, Mickey Thomas was the lead singer on the #3 hit in 1976 by the Elvis Bishop Band titled Fooled Around And Fell In Love.
Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now was co-written by Albert Hammond, who scored his own #5 million-selling single in 1972 with It Never Rains In Southern California.
Hammond also co-wrote (with Carole Bayer Sager) Leo Sayer‘s #1 gold record When I Need You in 1977 and the 1974 classic by the Hollies called The Air That I Breathe – a song first recorded by the Everly Brothers.
The co-author of Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now, Diane Warren, had penned a #3 hit in 1985 by DeBarge called Rhythm Of The Night.
Other #1 Singles by STARSHIP (3)
• 1985 / WE BUILT THIS CITY
• 1986 / SARA
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#1 / April 14th, 1977
Number One: 1 week
Replaced: RICH GIRL / Daryl Hall and John Oates
Succeeded by: DON’T GIVE UP ON US / David Soul
There are a number of artists from the Top 40/Rock ‘n Roll era whose catalogs contained many outstanding single releases during their careers. Yet, amazingly, the performer(s) reached the summit of Billboard’s Hot 100 on just one occasion.
A few who come to mind are Portland, Oregon’s Paul Revere & The Raiders (1971’s Indian Reservation, as The Raiders), the London-based British Invaders The Dave Clark Five (Over And Over in 1965) and the Swedish quartet who hit the top spot on this date, ABBA, with Dancing Queen. And, unbelievably, I know there are others.
Other artists, like the Electric Light Orchestra and the great Dionne Warwick, had none!
[Note] Ms. Warwick did have two #1 singles, but only with others: 1974’s Then Came You (Dionne Warwicke and Spinners) and That’s What Friends Are For (Dionne and Friends) – with Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder – in 1986.
I digress. But the point is, despite ABBA’s solo chart-topper, which even more incredibly sat at #1 for just a solo week, plus their three Top 10 smashes and seven other Top 20 singles, that output is seen by many – including group members Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Faltskog – as an underachievement, considering the strength of the records.
I don’t know about you, but I love the music of ABBA!
[Trivia Bits] ABBA’s inspiration for Dancing Queen – penned by Benny, Bjorn and the group’s manager Stig Anderson – came from the 1974 disco hit Rock Your Baby by George McCrae.
The closest near-misses at the brass ring for the perennial hit-makers were Take A Chance On Me (1978 • #3), followed by 1974’s Waterloo (#6) and The Winner Takes It All (1980 • #8).
Their outstanding Top 20 offerings consisted of Honey, Honey (1974 • #27), SOS (1975 • #15), I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do (1976 • #15), Fernando (1976 • #13), Knowing Me, Knowing You (1977 • #14), The Name Of The Game (1977 • #12) and Does Your Mama Know (1977 • #19).
The quartet was two sets of married couples; Benny to Anni-Frid and Bjorn to Agnetha.
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#1 / April 14th, 1967
Number One: 3 weeks
Replaced: PENNY LANE / The Beatles
Succeeded by: SOMETHIN’ STUPID / Nancy Sinatra & Frank Sinatra
This Southern California band began as an instrumental surf music group – a la Orange County’s Dick Dale & The Deltones – calling themselves The Crossfires. They also had dabbled in traditional folk music as the Crosswind Singers with lead vocalist Howard Kaylan.
During the rise of the mid-1960’s electric folk-rock movement, they changed their name to The Turtles and adapted their style to the new sound. In their gigs around SoCal, they sang covers of Bob Dylan songs and also did the Byrds‘ electrified version of his Mr. Tambourine Man.
That caught the ear of an entrepreneur who recruited them to record for a small record label called White Whale. Wisely, they chose to record Dylan’s folk classic It Ain’t Me Babe as their debut single, admittedly arranging the song in the mold of The Zombies 1964 British Invasion hit She’s Not There. The record reached #8 in the late summer of 1965.
That was followed by Let Me Be, a moderate-charting record of the same genre written by P.F. Sloan.
By 1966, the Turtles had abandoned folk-rock and moved to more mainstream pop, hitting the Top 20 with You Baby, another Sloan co-composition with Steve Barri.
Electing to stick with their new pop-oriented sound, they tapped into a song by a young duo of writers named Garry Bonner and Alan Gordon to cop the most successful single of their recording careers, the cheerily upbeat tune called Happy Together.
With the soaring vocals of the aforementioned Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, the record remained at #1 on the Hot 100 for three weeks and became the group’s only gold single.
[Trivia Bits] Bonner and Gordon also wrote the Turtles’ follow-up She’d Rather Be With Me, which climbed to #3 in the summer of ’67. They also penned Three Dog Night‘s 1970 single Celebrate.
The Turtles dented Billboard’s Top 10 twice more with 1968’s Elenore (#6) (to my knowledge the only hit single to contain the word “etcetera” in its lyrics) and a cover version of the Byrds‘ original You Showed Me (1969 • #6)
Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman went on to arguably even greater musical fame as the cult duo Flo and Eddie.
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#1 / April 14th, 1957
ALL SHOOK UP
Elvis Presley with The Jordanaires
Number One: 8 weeks
Replaced: ROUND AND ROUND / Perry Como
Succeeded by: LOVE LETTERS IN THE SAND / Pat Boone
Elvis Aaron Presley entered 1957 after a previous year in which he dominated with four #1 singles; 12 months during which all of them became platinum-sellers (a combined 10 million copies sold). That would easily be considered as not one, but two outstanding Hall of Fame-worthy careers.
And when the same four records accumulated nearly a half year’s stay in the top spot of Billboard (25 weeks), it might even be seen as three blue chippers!
Yet, in 1956, with Heartbreak Hotel, I Want You I Need You I Love You, Don’t Be Cruel b/w Hound Dog and Love Me Tender, Elvis Presley was just getting warmed up.
In 1957 he virtually duplicated the previous year’s performance – another four #1 hits that combined for 7 million records sold: Too Much, (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear, Jailhouse Rock and his first Billboard pole-sitter from ’57, All Shook Up.
The latter, plus the former three, sat on Billboard’s top rung for exactly half of 1957 – i.e. 26 weeks!
In addition, All Shook Up became the magazine’s #1 single for all of 1957, and the second year in a row in which “The King of Roll ‘n Roll” had won that slot – duplicating the honor for 1956’s Heartbreak Hotel.
It also spent 7 weeks atop the UK pop music charts.
[Trivia Bits] Elvis spent several days in the first two months of 1957 recording new material, beginning with All Shook Up and its B-side, That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.
During those recording sessions, he also turned out four songs for his EP Just For You, an equal number of tracks for the Peace In The Valley EP and another two for the soundtrack from his forthcoming debut film, Loving You.
All Shook Up was written by African-American songwriter-singer-pianist Otis Blackwell, who also penned Elvis’ 1956 record-setting Don’t Be Cruel and co-composed his 1962 platinum seller, Return To Sender.
[Note] Beginning with Heartbreak Hotel in 1956, Elvis (or, more likely his manager, Col. Tom Parker) initiated a shrewd business practice of demanding a composing co-credit in exchange for recording the writer’s song. That was the case with the author of ‘Hotel’ (Mae Boren Axton) and why Presley’s name is listed along side Blackwell’s on All Shook Up‘s label as the song’s co-writer.
Otis Blackwell also wrote the early rock ‘n roll classics Fever by Little Willie John (which later became Peggy Lee‘s signature number), Jerry Lee Lewis‘ Great Balls Of Fire and Breathless, as well as Handy Man from Jimmy Jones (subsequently covered by Del Shannon and James Taylor).
Other #1 Singles by ELVIS PRESLEY (18)
• 1956 / HEARTBREAK HOTEL
• 1956 / I WANT YOU, I NEED YOU, I LOVE YOU
• 1956 / DON’T BE CRUEL
• 1956 / HOUND DOG
• 1956 / LOVE ME TENDER
• 1957 / TOO MUCH
• 1957 / (Let Me Be Your) TEDDY BEAR
• 1957 / JAILHOUSE ROCK
• 1958 / DON’T
• 1958 / HARD HEADED WOMAN
• 1959 / A BIG HUNK O’ LOVE
• 1960 / STUCK ON YOU
• 1960 / IT’S NOW OR NEVER
• 1960 / ARE YOU LONESOME TO-NIGHT?
• 1961 / SURRENDER
• 1962 / GOOD LUCK CHARM
• 1969 / SUSPICIOUS MINDS
Produced & Written By: Rick Murray Hunter / HouseoftheHits.com
Songs Source: The Music Vault of HouseoftheHits Inc.
Billboard® Chart Data: Joel Whitburn’s Record Research (eBook Editions)
References: The Archives of RollingStone.com
The Billboard Book Of Number One Hits (5th Edition) by Fred Bronson
1000 UK Chart Hits (Kindle Edition) by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh
Elvis Presley: A Life In Music (Kindle Edition) by Ernst Jorgensen
Record Sleeve & Label Graphics: Courtesy of 45cat
Other #1 Songs on This Date Posts are HERE