Monday, February 21, 1972

Led Zeppelin released “Rock and Roll”

Rock and Roll

Led Zeppelin

Writer(s): John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant (see lyrics here)

Released: February 21, 1972

First Charted: March 11, 1972

Peak: 47 US, 38 HR, 1 CL, 38 CN, 51 AU, 3 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 52.33 video, 131.8 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

In a review of a 1972 Led Zeppelin concert, rock critic Robert Christgau called the band “the personification of heavy rock,” RC specifically referring to “Rock and Roll” as “simply the most dynamic hard-rock song in…music.” RC Rolling Stone said “the music recasts rock & roll as something fierce and modern.” RS In 2002, Q magazine selected the song as one of the 50 most exciting tunes ever. From 1972 to 1975, Led Zeppelin used “Rock and Roll” as the opener for their concerts. WK

The song “is based on one of the most popular structures in rock and roll; namely the 12-bar blues progression in A.” SF Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page said the song grew out of a spontaneous jam session. Drummer John Bonham started playing Little Richard’s “Keep A-Knockin,’” which became “the now-famous snare and open-high-hat drum intro to ‘Rock and Roll.’” RS Page followed with a Chuck Berry-style guitar riff. WK Page says the song was “written in minutes and recorded within an hour.” SF

Singer Robert Plant wrote the lyrics in response to critics who said their previous album, the more acoustic-folk-sounding Led Zeppelin III, wasn’t really rock and roll. SF He told Creem in 1988, “We just thought rock and roll needed to be take on again…It was time for actually kicking ass.” SF He made references to the Monotones’ 1958 doo-wop classic “The Book of Love” as well as an old dance called The Stroll. RS

The song features Ian Stewart, who’d played piano with the Rolling Stones since their 1962 beginning. Led Zeppelin were using the Rolling Stones’ mobile recording unit to record the Led Zeppelin IV album. Stewart came as a technician to assist in recording, but came in handy when the band “needed some serious boogie-woogie piano.” SF


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First posted 11/5/2021; last updated 8/4/2022.

Tuesday, February 15, 1972

50 years ago: Ray Miller “The Sheik of Araby” hit #1

The Sheik of Araby

Ray Miller

Writer(s): Ted Snyder, Harry B. Smith, Francis Wheeler (see lyrics here)

Released: November 18, 1921

First Charted: February 15, 1922

Peak: 3 US, 11 GA, 14 SM (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, -- video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The New York City music publishers and songwriters known as Tin Pan Alley were “ever vigilant to cash in on popular trends” JS and the 1921 movie The Sheik, starring Rudolph Valentino, “was perfect fodder.” JS Valentino was a screen icon who made women swoon. The movie was based on a 1919 Edith Maude Hall romance novel about an English girl kidnapped and seduced by an Arab sheik.

“On the heels of its release music publishers Waterson, Berlin and Snyder published ‘The Sheik of Araby.’” JS Composer Ted Snyder said he wrote the song as a romantic number called “The Rose of Araby” but was persuaded to change the title because of the success of the Valentino film. SM The song was introduced late in 1921 with a Victor record by the Club Royal Orchestra (#3). JS The group was led by saxophonist Clyde Doerr, who rose to fame via his work with Art Hickman’s Orchestra. JS

Harry B. Smith and Francis Wheeler added lyrics to the song. It is sung from the perspective of the sheik with him “introducing himself and proclaiming ‘your love belongs to me.’” TY2 The first vocal version was sung by Eddie Cantor in his Broadway revue show Make It Snappy in April 1922. WK The Huntington Press wrote that the song was “being sung and played by music lovers throughout the country. The melody has the whole town by the ears.” WK

The version done by Ray Miller’s Orchestra ranks as the most successful, reaching #1 according to chart historians Howard Foote Gardner and Sharon Mawer. Little is known about him, but it is believed he came from Reading, Pennsylvania in 1896 and formed his band, the Black & White Melody Boys, after World War I. SM

Trombonist Jack Teagarden also charted with the song (#14, 1939). He was “undoubtedly a big reason for the song’s jazz standard status.” JS He first recorded the song in 1930 with cornetist Red Nichols and then in 1939 with his own big band version. JS Others to chart with the song included Spike Jones (#19, 1943) and the Super-Sonics (#22, 1953). It was also featured in the 1940 film Tin Pan Alley as performed by Betty Grable and others. DJ It also appeared in 1943’s Heaven Can Wait and 1977’s Valentino. WK The Beatles, the Everly Brothers, and Louis Prima, have covered the song. WK F. Scott Fitzgerald quotes a verse from the song in his classic novel The Great Gatsby.


First posted 1/28/2023.

Saturday, February 12, 1972

The Allman Brothers Band released Eat a Peach

First posted 4/2/2008; updated 10/17/2020.

Eat a Peach

The Allman Brothers Band

Released: February 12, 1972

Charted: March 18, 1972

Peak: 4 US, -- UK, 12 CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 1.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: blues rock

Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More (4/29/72, #77 US)
  2. Les Brers in A Minor
  3. Melissa (8/12/72, #86 US)
  4. Mountain Jam (live)
  5. One Way Out (live) (12/2/72, #86 US)
  6. Trouble No More (live)
  7. Stand Back
  8. Blue Sky
  9. Little Martha

Total Running Time: 69:24

The Players:

  • Duane Allman (guitar)
  • Gregg Allman (vocals, keyboards)
  • Dickey Betts (guitar, lead vocals on “Blue Sky”)
  • Berry Oakley (bass)
  • Jai Johannny Johanson (drums, congas)
  • Butch Trucks (drums, percussion)


4.292 out of 5.00 (average of 12 ratings)


About the Album:

“A tribute to the dearly departed Duane, Eat a Peach rambles…through a side of new songs, recorded post-Duane, spending a full album on live cuts from the Fillmore East sessions, then offering a round of studio tracks Duane completed before his death.” STE

“On the first side, they do suggest the mellowness of the Dickey Betts-led Brothers and Sisters, particularly on the lovely Melissa, and this stands in direct contrast with the monumental live cuts that dominate the album. They’re at the best on the punchier covers of One Way Out and Trouble No More, both proof of the group's exceptional talents as a roadhouse blues-rock band, but Duane does get his needed showcase on Mountain Jam, a sprawling 33-minute jam that may feature a lot of great playing, but is certainly a little hard for anyone outside of diehards to sit through.” STE

“Apart from that cut, the record showcases the Allmans at their peak, and it’s hard not to feel sad as the acoustic guitars of Little Martha conclude the record, since this tribute isn't just heartfelt, it offers proof of Duane Allman’s immense talents and contribution to the band.” STE

On the deluxe edition, “disc two stands as a virtually unreleased concert of the ABB’s final performance at the Fillmore on June 27, 1971 – with Duane, who was killed in October of that year. Two of the disc’s tracks had been previously released – Midnight Rider (on Duane Allman Anthology, Vol. 2) and ‘One Way Out’ (on the original Eat a Peach, which means the track shows up on both discs here).” TJ These two tracks also show up on the deluxe version of At Fillmore East. However, with the exception of those two tracks, this collection serves as At Fillmore East, Vol. 2, capturing the June 27, 1971 performances while the original At Fillmore East gathered recordings from the March 12-13, 1971 shows.

Notes: A 2006 deluxe edition added a second disc of live material – “Statesboro Blues,” “Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’,” “Done Somebody Wrong,” “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” “Midnight Rider,” “Hot ‘Lanta,” “Whipping Post,” “You Don’t Love Me,” and another version of “One Way Out.”

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Al Green hit #1 with “Let’s Stay Together”

Let’s Stay Together

Al Green

Writer(s): Al Green, Willie Mitchell, Al Jackson (see lyrics here)

First Charted: November 27, 1971

Peak: 11 US, 12 CB, 2 HR, 36 AC, 19 RB, 7 UK, 43 CN, 19 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.25 UK, 1.25 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 128.6 video, 291.76 streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

Al Green was booked at a Midland, Texas club on the same night as Willie Mitchell, who had just been named Hi Record’s vice president. BR Mitchell, enamored with “Green’s seductive voice,” NPR asked him to come to Memphis to record. Green responded that he didn’t care for Memphis, but Mitchell persisted. BR

As for how “Let’s Stay Together” came about, Mitchell said, “All My life I have tampered in jazz chords. One Saturday afternoon I was tampering around on the piano and came up with this melody…I played it for Al on the piano…About fifteen minutes later he came back with some words and we started messing with the song.” TC Still, it took Mitchell two more days to convince Green to record it. RS500 Recording finished late on a Friday night RS500 after over one hundred takes.” NPR The single was pressed the next Monday and by Thursday, Green learned that the song would enter the charts at number eight. RS500

Green and Mitchell would continue to make many more great records together, “but none quite so perfect as this.” AMG The song “radiates compassion and understanding… [and] tolerance and love with no strings attached.” AMG It is, understandably, a popular wedding song, SF but also holds a strong spiritual appeal, serving as “a Memphis soul sermon for a nation ripped apart by assassinations, riots, and betrayals.” AMG It doesn’t address any specific issues, it just offers “the heartfelt plea not to give up.” AMG

This song was Green’s only #1 on the pop charts and established Hi Records as “the new benchmark in soul.” TB It also bears the distinction of revitalizing Tina Turner’s career. When she covered it in 1983, it took her back to the charts in the UK and US for the first time in more than a decade.

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Last updated 4/28/2021.

Friday, February 11, 1972

50 years ago: Al Jolson hit #1 with “April Showers” for 1st of 11 weeks

April Showers

Al Jolson

Writer(s): Buddy DeSylva (lyrics), Louis Silvers (music) (see lyrics here)

First Charted: January 28, 1922

Peak: 111 US, 1 GA (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 (sheet music)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.75 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“April Showers” ranks as “one of America’s greatest ballads.” PS Louis Silvers composed the music and B.G. “Buddy” DeSylva wrote the lyrics. DeSylva worked with Jolson throughout his career. Silvers had worked as a composer, conductor, and vaudeville pianist. He later became the musical director for Gus Edwards’ vaudeville shows. He also wrote the score for 1927’s The Jazz Singer. PS

Al Jolson introduced “April Showers” in the 1921 Broadway musical, Bombo. His “velvety voice and performance style were perfect for such a great work.” PS “A dreamy opening verse…sets the stage for the loving and delicate melody that follows in the chorus.” PS

It was his 13th #1 song and biggest hit to date PM and became “a well-known Jolson trademark.” WK Only “Sonny Boy,” from 1928, would spend more weeks on top of the chart (twelve). PM The song also became the biggest hit of 1922. CPM

It charted five times in 1922, including the #2 version by Paul Whiteman. Other artists who’ve recorded the song include Carol Burnett, Cab Calloway, Bing Crosby, Eddie Fisher, Judy Garland, Eydie Gorme, Guy Lombardo, Frank Sinatra, Tiny Tim, Mel Tormé, Paul Whiteman, and Jackie Wilson. WK Jolson re-recorded the song in 1946 for the soundtrack of his biopic, The Jolson Story and it charted again. DJ-12 In 1948, Jack Carson sang it in the film of the same name. DJ-12


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First posted 1/28/2013; last updated 3/17/2023.