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• 1986 – KISS / Prince and The Revolution
• 1976 – DISCO LADY / Johnnie Taylor
• 1966 – (You’re My) SOUL AND INSPIRATION / The Righteous Brothers
• 1956 – HEARTBREAK HOTEL / Elvis Presley
• EXTRAS on PRINCE
Welcome to yet another installment of #1 Songs On This Date – another four-pack of the very best from the Top 40 Rock’n Roll music era as part of presenting every chart-topper in America (more below).
166 distinct number one singles between the years 1956 and 1995 have already been presented since January 6th of this year – with literally hundreds more to come.
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 22nd, 1986
Prince and The Revolution
Number One: 2 weeks
Replaced: ROCK ME AMADEUS / Falco
Succeeded by: ADDICTED TO LOVE / Robert Palmer
This is a first for me – having to write my regular commentary about a record by an artist who passed away just the day before.
Co-incidentally, Kiss by Prince was Billboard’s #1 single during this week in 1986 – exactly 30 years before his sudden death on April 21st, 2016.
And only by the luck of the rotation from the sequence of years covered here does it so happen that it’s being presented in such close proximity.
Since many of the details of the loss of one of the true musical geniuses of our time are still unknown, I will avoid speculation and rumor and just comment on Prince‘s smash hit Kiss.
[Note] An expanded section of material pertaining to Prince’s career, posthumous tributes from others and his amazing compound outside of Minneapolis is found below.
When Kiss hit #1 on April 19th of ’86, music by Prince actually held down the top two chart positions on the Hot 100, with his Manic Monday by Bangles being #2.
Although the song’s writer on the latter is listed a ‘Christopher,’ it was actually Prince using one of his many noms de plume. The pseudonym refers to ‘Christopher Tracy,’ a character played by him in the film ‘Under The Cherry Moon.’
He officially recorded as the band Prince and The Revolution for 24 months (1984-1986) with Kiss being the second of two to hit the top under that moniker – Let’s Go Crazy being the other – as well as a handful of other big Top 10 hits.
Despite Prince’s mere five other Billboard chart-toppers (listed below) his long litany of memorable pop hits included: 1999 (1982 • #12), Little Red Corvette (1983 • #6), Delirious (1983 • #8), the classic Purple Rain (1984 • #2), I Would Die 4 U (1984 • #8), Raspberry Beret (1985 • #2), Pop Life (1985 • #7), Sign ‘O’ The Times (1987 • #3), U Got The Look (1987 • #2), I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man (1987 • #10), Alphabet St. (1988 • #8), Thieves In The Temple (1990 • #6), Diamonds And Pearls (1991 • #3), 7 (1992 • #7), The Most Beautiful Girl In The World (1994 • #3) and I Hate U (1995 • #12).
[Trivia Bits]Kiss won the 1986 Grammy Award for Prince for ‘Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Male.’
Another excellent version of Kiss was recorded in 1988 by Welch singing legend Tom Jones with the group Art Of Noise. They took the song to #5 in the UK and #31 in America.
Co-incidentally, Prince and Jones were born on the same date – June 7th.
Other #1 Singles by PRINCE (6)
• 1980 / I WANNA BE YOUR LOVER
• 1984 / WHEN DOVES CRY
• 1984 / LET’S GO CRAZY (Prince and The Revolution)
• 1989 / BATDANCE
• 1991 / CREAM
PRINCE ROGER NELSON
• ARTICLE: Posthumous Music Sales: 1 Million Songs, 231,000 Albums / Source: USAToday.com
• ARTICLE: 15 Great Prince Songs That Were Hits by Others / Source: RollingStone.com
• ARTICLE: 50 Lesser-Known-Facts about Prince / Source: NME.com
• PHOTOS: Prince’s $10 Million Paisley Park Complex / Source: DailyMail.co.uk
• VIDEO: Stevie Wonder’s Tribute to Prince / Source: NME.com
• VIDEO: An Interview with Prince’s first manager Owen Husney – “He was that Beethoven kind of talent” / Source: DailyMail.co.uk
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#1 / April 22nd, 1976
(Commercial Single Version)
Number One: 4 weeks
Replaced: DECEMBER, 1963 (Oh, What A Night) / The Four Seasons
Succeeded by: LET YOUR LOVE FLOW / Bellamy Brothers
Crawfordsville, AK soul singer Johnnie Taylor began his career in the early 1950’s as a gospel singer and then made a record as the vocalist for a group called The Echoes in 1954.
JT toiled for another 14 years before finally getting his first taste of success – this time as a solo artist – when his million-selling Stax Records single Who’s Making Love hit #5 on the Hot 100 in late 1968.
Another five years passed before he returned with another solo hit for the same venerable Memphis, TN-based label, I Believe In You (You Believe In Me). But despite racking up another one million in sales, it failed to climb into the Top 10 (#11) in the summer of 1973.
But Taylor was saving his best for last, signing a record deal with the major label Columbia, for whom he scored his biggest hit during the apex of the disco/dance music era with Disco Lady.
Despite the record’s title – and even though you can dance to it – Johnnie Taylor has long-insisted that Disco Lady is not a disco single; rather a song that talks about disco. Huh?
[Trivia Bits] All three of Johnnie Taylor’s big hits included Detroit session player/record producer/guitarist Don Davis as part of the songwriting teams.
After his final chart success with Taylor, Davis founded his own record label and also produced 1977’s number one hit You Don’t Have To Be A Star (To Be In My Show) by the ex-5th Dimension duo Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. (no relation).
Disco Lady was the first single to be certified ‘platinum’ by the R.I.A.A (Recording Industry Association of America) who established the standard for that official recognition just weeks prior to Johnnie Taylor’s single sold two million copies.
[Note] The ‘gold’ record standard of one million singles sold was created by the R.I.A.A in 1958, with Perry Como‘s Billboard #1 from that year, Catch A Falling Star, being the first recipient of that certification.
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#1 / April 22nd, 1966
(You’re My) SOUL AND INSPIRATION
The Righteous Brothers
(Extended Version w/Intro)
Number One: 3 weeks
Replaced: THE BALLAD OF THE GREEN BERETS / SSgt. Barry Sadler
Succeeded by: GOOD LOVIN’ / The Young Rascals
Of all the writing tandems working out of The Brill Building in New York City – essentially a song composing ‘factory’ – IMHO, none were more versatile and diverse in their writing than the husband-wife combo of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.
Along with the usual up-tempo rock ‘n roll, mid-tempo and ballad fare churned out by their contemporaries also toiling inside the same office structure at 1619 Broadway at 49th St. in Manhattan – Bacharach & David, Goffin & King, Leiber & Stoller, Sedaka & Greenfield, Barry & Greenwich, Boyce & Hart, Neil Diamond and many others – Mann-Weil penned some great songs considered to be, for its time, hard-edged rock.
They co-composed such classics as Hungry and Kicks for Paul Revere & The Raiders (the latter being one of the first anti-drug songs), the Animals‘ We Gotta Get Out Of This Place and a lesser-known gem by Max Frost and The Troopers called The Shapes Of Things To Come (from the 1968 film ‘Wild In The Streets’).
But Mann-Weil also were no slouches with wonderful love ballads – too numerous to list here.
However, two of their very best were You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ and (You’re My) Soul And Inspiration – both Billboard chart-toppers by the Orange County, CA duo of Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley, better known as The Righteous Brothers.
This is a rare and special extended version of ‘Soul And Inspiration’ that contains an instrumental introduction, rather than the ‘cold-singing’ intro on the hit single.
I’m not sure if it was recorded this way, or ‘created’ by splicing part of the mid-song instrumental bridge onto the beginning, but I really like this version!
Other #1 Singles by THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS (2)
• 1965 / YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELIN’
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#1 / April 22nd, 1956
Mae Boren Axton, the mother of singer/songwriter Hoyt Axton, was a 30 year-old songwriter who had read a newspaper article about a man who had killed himself and wrote in his suicide note – “I walk a lonely street.”
Based on the story, Mae Axton, along with songwriting partner Tommy Durden, co-wrote Heartbreak Hotel.
Through Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker, she presented the song to Presley at the annual Country Music Disc Jockey Convention in Nashville, Tennessee in November of 1955, after Parker’s prized client had just signed a contract with his new record label RCA Victor.
Axton then offered Elvis a third of the royalties if he made ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ his first single on RCA – which he accepted (which is why “Presley” is listed on the record’s label as the song’s third writer).
EP would record Axton’s song on January 10th, 1956 and it was released by RCA 17 days later.
On this date in ’56, the third biggest-selling single by “The King’ – Heartbreak Hotel – was beginning its first of eight weeks atop the Hot 100.
[Trivia Bits] Heartbreak Hotel was the record that began the above-mentioned shrewd business practice by Elvis and/or Parker of agreeing to record a song by a fledgling songwriter if EP was given a co-writing credit on the tune.
The deal was difficult for a composer(s) to not accept, where an even split of the royalties from of a big Presley hit – or better yet, a million-seller – was better than none on their unrecorded song.
In 1972, Elvis recorded another song penned by an Axton – Hoyt’s Never Been To Spain, a track from The King’s live album ‘As Recorded at Madison Square Garden.’
The hit version of NBTS reached #5 on the Hot 100 for Three Dog Night in 1972.
Other #1 Singles by ELVIS PRESLEY (18)
• 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 / ALL SHOOK UP
• 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