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Welcome to the first June 2016 installment of #1 Songs On This Date and 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).
Already, 227 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. Whenever possible, an alternate working audio source will be provided, but a PC, Mac or laptop may ultimately be required in some cases.
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#1 / June 1st, 1986
GREATEST LOVE OF ALL
Number One: 3 weeks
Replaced: WEST END GIRLS / Pet Shop Boys
Succeeded by: LIVE TO TELL / Madonna
Greatest Love Of All was the chart-topping offering from Whitney Houston 30 years ago on this date, but it wasn’t the first time the number experienced mass audience exposure.
That distinction belongs to jazz guitarist-vocalist George Benson, who reached a respectable #24 on the Hot 100 in 1977 with the song and its slightly altered title, “The Greatest Love Of All.”
Benson’s original emerged as the de facto theme song from that year’s big-screen biopic on the life and career of boxing icon Muhammad Ali. The film, in which Ali played himself, traced the legend’s journey from the sport’s gold medal winner at the 1960 Olympics (when known as Cassius Clay) to recapturing the heavyweight title from George Foreman during 1974’s famous “Rumble In The Jungle” re-match.
Whitney’s cover version was initially relegated to B-side status, piggybacking the 1985 single You Give Good Love, which reached #3 and sold one million units.
After reconsidering the song’s strength, Arista Records re-issued GLOA as an A-sider, with the single soaring to the top on its own merit this time to become Ms. Houston’s third consecutive #1.
During 16-plus years as a hitmaker, Houston achieved 10 other number one songs besides this week’s winner (as listed below) and scored 21 gold singles – 8 of which eventually gained platinum status.
[Trivia Bits] Within days of Houston’s untimely death on February 11, 2012, four of her biggest singles were re-released by Arista, with each attaining varying degrees of posthumous chart success – I Will Always Love You (#3), I Wanna Dance With Somebody (#25), Greatest Love Of All (#36) and How Will I Know (#49).
Other #1 Singles by WHITNEY HOUSTON (11)
• 1985 / SAVING ALL MY LOVE FOR YOU
• 1986 / HOW WILL I KNOW
• 1987 / I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY (Who Loves Me)
• 1987 / DIDN’T WE ALMOST HAVE IT ALL
• 1988 / SO EMOTIONAL
• 1988 / WHERE DO BROKEN HEARTS GO
• 1990 / I’M YOUR BABY TONIGHT
• 1991 / ALL THE MAN THAT I NEED
• 1991 / I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU
• 1995 / EXHALE (Shoop Shoop)
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#1 / June 1st, 1976
Forty years ago on this date, Love Hangover by Diana Ross sat at Billboard’s highest chart position – her fourth of six singles to claim that spot, and also the fourth biggest hit of her solo career.
She’d previously scored an even dozen others as lead vocalist with The Supremes.
And when viewed as a single body of work, those 12, coupled with her half-dozen solo chart-toppers, place Diana in a three-way tie with Elvis Presley and Mariah Carey for most career #1 singles with 18. That’s just two shy of the Beatles who lead with 20.
Love Hangover is really two different songs in one. The first 1 minute and 9 seconds features a sultry sounding Ms. Ross; the familiar voice heard on her prior solo number ones: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Touch Me In The Morning and Theme From Mahogany.
After that, the song morphs into a much faster tempo-ed dance number (dare I say, a “disco tune?”) with a style previously unheard from “The Boss Miss Ross” – as monikered via radio DJ parlance.
[Trivia Bits] In another instance of a Hot 100 anomaly, Love Hangover both replaced and was succeeded at #1 by Silly Love Song from Wings. That song – featured in a future installment – spent a total of five weeks at the top; its stay was interrupted between weeks one and two by Ms. Ross’ 14-day takeover.
Another recording of Love Hangover debuted on the Hot 100 the same date (04-03-76) as Diana Ross‘ hit version – by the Fifth Dimension on ABC Records. After the departure of Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. the band had re-organized for this single-only (non-album) release, which dropped off the chart four weeks later after stalling at #80.
Other #1 Singles for Diana Ross (18)
• 1964 / WHERE DID OUR LOVE GO (The Supremes)
• 1964 / BABY LOVE (The Supremes)
• 1964 / COME SEE ABOUT ME (The Supremes)
• 1965 / STOP! IN THE NAME OF LOVE (The Supremes)
• 1965 / BACK IN MY ARMS AGAIN (The Supremes)
• 1965 / I HEAR A SYMPHONY (The Supremes)
• 1966 / YOU CAN’T HURRY LOVE (The Supremes)
• 1966 / YOU KEEP ME HANGIN’ ON (The Supremes)
• 1967 / LOVE IS HERE AND NOW YOU’RE GONE (The Supremes)
• 1967 / THE HAPPENING (The Supremes)
• 1968 / LOVE CHILD (Diana Ross and The Supremes)
• 1969 / SOMEDAY WE’LL BE TOGETHER (Diana Ross and The Supremes)
• 1970 / AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH
• 1973 / TOUCH ME IN THE MORNING
• 1976 / THEME FROM MAHOGANY (Do You Know Where You’re Going To)
• 1980 / UPSIDE DOWN
• 1981 / ENDLESS LOVE (Diana Ross & Lionel Richie)
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#1 / June 1st, 1966
WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN
[Note] While researching the #1 song on this date 50 years ago, I discovered several conflicting stories as to its origin. However, there was enough commonality concerning the most pertinent aspects of When A Man Loves A Woman to piece together a credible chronology on it and of soul singer Percy Sledge.
Sledge was born and raised in Alabama, where he sang in his Baptist church choir and also performed club gigs with a group known as the Esquires Combo, whose members included bass player Calvin Lewis and organist Andrew Wright.
It was that latter duo who penned WAMLAW, with the song’s genesis being those mournful organ chords played by Wright during one of the band’s pre-performance warmups. Then during the tune’s development, lyrics were eventually added by Lewis, as well as the song’s initial title – Why Did You Leave Me.
Next came the involvement of a local DJ and aspiring record producer named Quin Ivy, who auditioned the group at his newly-built studio – a session during which their soulful song was played.
With the eager-to-please combo’s willing approval, Ivy liberally re-constructed the song’s lyrics – thus significantly altering its storyline – and re-titled the number When A Man Loves A Woman.
The well-connected Ivy brought the song to the attention of heavyweight record producer Rick Hall at his renowned FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL. in late 1965. There, a formal recording took place in which only vocalist Sledge was retained from the Esquires’ demo; all new session players had been added by Ivy and Hall.
With the latter’s help, Ivy shopped the finished master of WAMLAW to perhaps the most major of all the players in the music business at that time, Atlantic Records record producer Jerry Wexler, who signed Percy and his record to the legendary label.
[Note] Unfortunately, no ‘true stereo’ recording of this great song exists, but this mono master version is exactly how the hit single sounded on this date in ’66 (minus any “clicks” or “pops” of course!)
[Trivia Bits] When A Man Loves A Woman was the only song ever written by Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright.
Jerry Wexler is the gentleman who coined the musical genre term “rhythm and blues” and he signed and/or produced some of the biggest names in pop music history: Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, Wilson Pickett and Dusty Springfield, to name just a few.
The trademark organ playing on the finished version of WAMLAW was by Spooner Oldham, who became part of the much-heralded ‘Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section’ and played on many sessions at Rick Hall‘s FAME Studios.
With writing partner Dan Penn, Oldham co-wrote big hits such as James and Bobby Purify‘s I’m Your Puppet (1966 • #6) and the million-selling Cry Like A Baby with The Box Tops (1968 • #2). Penn also produced the latter’s #1 gold record The Letter in 1967.
When A Man Loves A Woman enjoyed at second sojourn at #1 when Michael Bolton‘s cover version climbed to the chart ladder’s top rung for seven days in 1991.
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#1 / June 1st, 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 enjoying its seventh 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)
• The Billboard Book Of Number One Hits (5th Edition) by Fred Bronson
• The Billboard Book Of Number One Rhythm & Blues Hits by Adam White and Fred Bronson
• The Billboard Book Of Number One Adult Contemporary Hits by Wesley Hyatt
• The Billboard Book Of Number One Albums by Craig Rosen
• The Billboard’s Hottest Hot 100 Hits (4th 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
• The Archives of RollingStone.com
Record Sleeve & Label Graphics: Courtesy of 45cat.com
Special thanks to the patio of Starbucks, Little Road in New Port Richey, FL 😎
Other #1 Songs on This Date Posts are HERE