Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Jimi Hendrix: Top 25 Songs

Posted 5/20/2019.

Legendary psychedelic-blues/rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix (click link for DMDB encyclopedia entry) was born Johnny Allen Hendrix on 11/27/1942 in Seattle, Washington. He was only 27 when he died of a drug overdose in London on 9/18/1970.

He first worked as a sideman with Rosa Lee Brooks (1964), Isley Brothers (1964), Buddy & Stacey and the Upsetters (1965); Little Richard, Curtis Knight, and Ronnie Youngblood. He formed Jimmy James and the Blue Flames in 1965. The next year he was discovered by the Animals’ Chas Chandler at New York City’s CafĂ© Wha? He went to London and formed the Jimi Hendrix Experience (1966-1969) with bassist Noel Redding and drummer Mitch Mitchell. He also helmed the Band of Gypsys with drummer Buddy Miles and bassist Buddy Cox from 1969 to 1970.

His albums Are You Experienced (1967) and Electric Ladyland (1968) are featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Albums of All Time. His cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” (1968) is featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era 1954-1999.

To celebrate his birthday, the DMDB compiled a list of his top 25 songs.

1. All Along the Watchtower (1968)
2. Purple Haze (1967)
3. Hey Joe (1966)
4. Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) (1968)
5. Little Wing (1967)

6. Crosstown Traffic (1968)
7. Foxey Lady (1967)
8. Fire (1967)
9. The Wind Cries Mary (1967)
10. Red House (1967)

11. The Star Spanged Banner (live, 1969)
12. Are You Experienced? (1967)
13. Freedom (1970)
14. Burning of the Midnight Lamp (1967)
15. Dolly Dagger (1970)

16. Stone Free (1966)
17. Manic Depression (1967)
18. Angel (1970)
19. Up from the Skies (1967)
20. Castles Made of Sand (1967)

21. Like a Rolling Stone (live, 1967)
22. If 6 Was 9 (1967)
23. Gloria (live, 1968)
24. I Don’t Live Today (1967)
25. Wild Thing (live, 1967)


Friday, November 23, 2018

50 years ago: Tammy Wynette’s “Stand by Your Man” topped the country chart

Stand by Your Man

Tammy Wynette

Writer(s): Billy Sherrill, Tammy Wynette (see lyrics here)


Released: September 20, 1968


First Charted: October 19, 1968


Peak: 19 US, 23 CB, 19 HR, 11 AC, 13 CW, 13 UK, 15 CN, 9 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.4 UK


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 45.86 video, 45.88 streaming

Awards:

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Producer Billy Sherrill had the idea for the song “Stand by Your Man.” He had the title scribbled on a scrap of paper which he carried in his pocket for a year. During a recording session for Tammy Wynette on August 26, 1968, he suggested the title to her. She “had an instant affinity for the concept.” TR The wrote the song in under a half hour. AC Wynette said that Sherrill told her the melody came from a work by Richard Strauss that was in the public domain. TR

The song stirred controversy amongst the women’s liberation movement as an “example of a compliant wife willing to defer to her husband,” SF but “would play well in the Bible Belt.” AC Wynette defended the song “as not a call for women to place themselves second to men, but rather a suggestion that women attempt to overlook their husbands’ shortcomings and faults if they truly love them.” WK Ironically, she was married five times.

Sherrill admitted that he intended the song for women who wanted no part of feminism. TR “Even though to some skeptics it may hint of chauvinism, as far as I’m concerned they can like it or lump it. ‘Stand by Your Man’ is just another way of saying ‘I love you – without reservations.’” TR

The song was her fifth #1 out of 20 country chart toppers. It took five releases in the UK for it to become a hit, but then it went all the way to #1 in 1975. SF It was “the most successful record of Wynette’s career, and is one of the most familiar songs in the history of country music.” WK In 2003, Country Music Television rated the song the greatest in country in music. WK “With the almost cult status of ‘Stand by Your Man,’ Tammy would never again be just another girl singer, and her stature would demand that country charts make room for…powerful women.” AC


Resources:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Tammy Wynette
  • AC Ace Collins (1996). The Stories Behind Country Music’s All-Time Greatest 100 Songs. New York, NY; The Berkley Publishing Group. Pages 201-3.
  • TR Tom Roland (1991). The Billboard Book of Number One Country Hits. Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 16.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia


First posted 10/27/2021; last updated 8/27/2022.

50 years ago: “Hey Jude” spent 9th week at #1, giving Beatles their biggest hit

Hey Jude

The Beatles

Writer(s): John Lennon, Paul McCartney (see lyrics here)


Released: August 26, 1968


First Charted: September 4, 1968


Peak: 19 US, 17 CB, 14 HR, 41 AR (1990 live version by Paul McCartney), 12 UK, 13 CN, 113 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, 1.06 UK, 10.0 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 3.0 radio, 329.03 video, 394.38 streaming

Awards:

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The birth of “Hey Jude” is a story familiar to anyone versed in Rock and Roll History 101: Cynthia Lennon was soon to be the ex-wife of the famous Beatle. To soothe the couple’s young son, Julian, John’s band mate Paul McCartney offered words of encouragement in the best way he knew how – through song. He changed “Jules” to “Jude” because it was “more mellifluous.” JA Julian said Paul hung out with him more than his own dad. TC

However, there are alternative versions of the inspiration for the rock-and-roll era’s greatest single. In his autobiography, Many Years from Now, McCartney confirms that he thought of the song on the way to visit Cynthia and Julian, TC but that the song was really about himself. KL Meanwhile, Lennon concluded the song was Paul’s commentary on the strain that John and Yoko’s relationship put on the bond between John and Paul. RS500

Regardless of its origin, “‘Hey Jude’ kicks ass on a par with Van Gogh or Beethoven in their prime.” PW As the first single from the Beatles’ new Apple Records label, it was history’s highest debut (at #10) on the U.S. charts at that time. FB It became the best-selling single of the sixties JA and the Beatles’ biggest U.S. hit.

At over seven minutes, “Hey Jude” was the longest single ever released at the time. SF More than half the song’s length is borne out of the “na na na“ fade-out coda that repeats 19 times. RS500 Those four-plus minutes alone were more than most radio stations allowed for a single, but “there’s such spirit in the tune and the performance that it’s hard to cut.” TC Interestingly, the featured orchestra was paid double their usual fee just to clap and sing along. RS500 Producer George Martin was wary that radio wouldn’t play “Hey Jude,” to which John cheekily retorted, “They will if it’s us.” RS500 When Lennon’s assumption proved correct, the real winners were DJ’s who could take longer bathroom breaks as the listening public absorbed similarly lengthy hits like “American Pie” and “Layla.”


Resources:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for The Beatles
  • FB Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 247.
  • TC Toby Creswell (2005). 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time. Thunder’s Mouth Press: New York, NY. Pages 239-40.
  • JA David A. Jasen (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Pages 74-5.
  • KL Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh (2005). 1000 UK Number One Hits: The Stories Behind Every Number One Single Since 1952. London, Great Britain: Omnibus Press. Page 143.
  • RS500 Rolling Stone (12/2004). The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
  • SF Songfacts
  • PW Paul Williams (1993). Rock and Roll: The Best 100 Singles. New York, NY: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc. Page 137.


Related Links:


Last updated 8/24/2022.