Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Today in Music (1969): The Beatles performed their rooftop concert.

January 30, 1969

Beatles perform rooftop concert

When the Beatles hit the studio in January 1969, Paul McCartney conceived them “returning to their roots” and hoped for them to make a comeback as live performers. George Harrison was against the idea and, in an effort to juice the band with outside talent, brought keyboardist Billy Preston to the recording sessions.

On January 30, 1969, the Beatles and Preston hauled their equipment to the roof of the Apple headquarters in central London and performed an impromptu concert. While it is unclear who initiated the idea, the signs point to discussions happening a few days before the event and Paul McCartney being the first on board and having to convince Harrison, John Lennon, and Ringo Starr to participate.

They started playing at about 12:30pm while many Brits were on their lunch breaks. They tackled new songs in a 42-minute set before the Police, out of concerns about noise and traffic, asked them to turn it down. After their last song, the third take of “Get Back,” John Lennon famously quipped, “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we’ve passed the audition.”

It was all recorded and footage was used in the 1970 documentary and the 2021 documentary series The Beatles: Get Back. In January 2022, the full performance was released to streaming services.

Full Setlist:

  1. Get Back (take 1) [4:43]
  2. Get Back (take 2) [3:24]
  3. Don’t Let Me Down (take 1) [3:22]
  4. I’ve Got a Feeling (take 1) [4:44]
  5. One After 909 [3:09]
  6. Dig a Pony [5:52]
  7. God Save the Queen [0:26]
  8. I’ve Got a Feeling (take 2) [5:35]
  9. Don’t Let Me Down (take 2) [3:30]
  10. Get Back (take 3) [3:47]


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First posted 1/26/2024.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Dave’s Music Database Hall of Fame: Song Inductees (January 2019)

Originally posted 1/22/2019.

January 22, 2019 marks the 10-year anniversary of the DMDB blog! To honor that, Dave’s Music Database announces its own Hall of Fame! The first dozen inductees are the top songs of each decade from 1900-2010.

Billy Murray “You’re a Grand Old Flag (aka ‘The Grand Old Rag’)” (1906)

Inducted January 2019 as a “Song of the Decade.”

“Perhaps no other American popular song composer did more to popularize the patriotic song than George M. Cohan.” PS “Grand Old Flag” became the first song from a musical (George Washington, Jr.) to sell more than a million copies. SB The Songwriters Hall of Fame gave the song its Towering Song Award and the version by Billy Murray, who has been called “the definitive interpreter of Cohan on record,” SS has been inducted into the National Recording Registry. Read more.

Arthur Collins and Bryon G. Harlan “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” (1911)

Inducted January 2019 as a “Song of the Decade.”

This has been called the first ragtime song DS and “the song that most changed the direction of American popular music.” RCG It was the first big hit for Irving Berlin, LW who was “one of the great architects of popular music in the 20th century.” LW Eleven versions charted from 1911 to 1947, with the most successful being the duet by the comedy singing team of Collins & Harlan. Their version spent 10 weeks at #1 and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Read more.

Gene Austin “My Blue Heaven” (1927)

Inducted January 2019 as a “Song of the Decade.”

The song was introduced in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1927 by Eddie Cantor. JA It charted multiple times, including a #5 R&B hit from Fats Domino in 1956. However, Austin, whose tenor voice has been credited as the onset of the crooner revolution, DS had the biggest version with a five-million seller that was one of the ten best sellers of the first half of the century PM-631 and the second biggest non-holiday record seller of the pre-1955 era. PM His version was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Read more.

Judy Garland “Over the Rainbow” (1939)

Inducted January 2019 as a “Song of the Decade.”

There are few songs more associated with a movie than “Over the Rainbow” is with The Wizard of Oz and then-sixteen-year-old Judy Garland’s performance of it. Surprisingly, Garland’s version was neither the first nor most successful to chart, but hers “became the most famous and beloved.” JA The Oscar-winning tune topped the American Film Institute’s list of movie songs and was named the top song of the 20th century by the RIAA. Read more.

Bing Crosby with the Ken Darby Singers “White Christmas” (1942)

Inducted January 2019 as a “Song of the Decade.”

“White Christmas” doesn’t just top the DMDB’s list of Christmas songs, but the list of top songs all time, thanks largely to its 56 million in sales, making it the biggest seller of all time. Irving Berlin wrote the Oscar-winning song for the film Holiday Inn. He was often insecure about his work, but referred to “White Christmas” not just as the best one he’d ever written, but the best anyone had ever written. LW Read more.

Bill Haley & His Comets “We’re Gonna Rock Around the Clock” (1954)

Inducted January 2019 as a “Song of the Decade.”

The blues number “My Daddy Rocks Me with a Steady Roll” was reworked in 1953 as “Rock Around the Clock” by Sonny Dae & His Knights and then Haley covered it in 1954. SJ When Haley’s version was featured in the movie The Blackboard Jungle, its rioting teen audience trumpeted it as their theme for alienation and hostility. SJ As the first rock song to top the Billboard charts and the best-selling rock record of all time, KL “Clock” is generally regarded as the place keeper that separates the pre-rock era from the rock era. Read more.

The Beatles “Hey Jude” (1968)

Inducted January 2019 as a “Song of the Decade.”

As the first single from the Beatles’ new Apple Records label, “Hey Jude” was history’s highest debut (at #10) on the U.S. charts at that time. BR1 It became the best-selling single of the sixties and the Beatles’ biggest U.S. hit. At over seven minutes, “Hey Jude” was the longest single ever released. SF This made producer George Martin wary that radio wouldn’t play it, to which John Lennon cheekily retorted, “They will if it’s us.” RS500 Read more.

John Lennon “Imagine” (1971)

Inducted January 2019 as a “Song of the Decade.”

John Lennon considered “Imagine” to rate as high as anything he wrote with the Beatles. RS500 His “musical gift to the world” RS500 was a statement of what, as his wife Yoko Ono said, “John believed – that we are all one country, one world, one people.” RS500 The song peaked at #3 in the U.S. in 1971, but took four more years to hit in Lennon’s native England, reaching #6. It topped the UK charts after Lennon’s murder in 1980. Read more.

The Police “Every Breath You Take” (1983)

Inducted January 2019 as a “Song of the Decade.”

If there was an award for misunderstood songs, “Every Breath You Take” would strongly contend for the prize. Police drummer Stewart Copeland explains, “People often choose their wedding song. They think it’s a cheerful song. In’s a very dark song.’” KL Sting, the band’s primary singer and songwriter, told Rolling Stone that it is “a fairly nasty song…about surveillance and ownership and jealousy.” BR1 It was memorably sampled in “I’ll Be Missing You,” the chart-topping 1997 tribute to slain rapper the Notorious B.I.G. helmed by Puff Daddy. Read more.

Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You” (1992)

Inducted January 2019 as a “Song of the Decade.”

Dolly Parton’s original version was a #1 country song in 1974 and 1982. In 1992, Whitney Houston re-recorded the song for the soundtrack for The Bodyguard and it arguably became the biggest pop song of all time. Its 14 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 made it the biggest song in that chart’s history (although three songs have since passed it). Whitney also hit #1 with the song hit on the UK charts, Cashbox, and Billboard’s pop, R&B, and adult contemporary charts. Read more.

OutKast “Hey Ya!” (2003)

Inducted January 2019 as a “Song of the Decade.”

The song’s rallying call for every demographic to flood the dance floor makes it, as Consequence of Sound said, “the decade’s ‘Teen Spirit,’ man.” CS said, “you could see yourself partying to in college just as easily as you could watch your parents sweat to it in spin class.” PE “‘Hey Ya’ exemplified something very few tunes of the time had; a sense of fun.” PE Its merge of genres suggested “the walls between rock and R&B and hip-hop were about to topple.” PE Read more.

Adele “Rolling in the Deep” (2010)

Inducted January 2019 as a “Song of the Decade.”

Barry Walters of Rolling Stone commends “Rolling in the Deep” for its “British knack for rejiggering the sound of American roots music” WK while All Music Guide’s Matt Collar calls it a “propulsive gospel fever-blues anthem” AMG and “one of the best singles of any decade.” AMG Billboard said it was the biggest crossover tune from the last quarter century, with appearances on a dozen different charts. SF The song hit #1 in eleven countries and won Grammys for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Read more.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Post Malone “Sunflower” hit #1


Post Malone with Swae Lee

Writer(s): Austin Post, Khalif Brown, Carter Lang, Carl Rosen, Billy Walsh, Louis Bell (see lyrics here)

Released: October 18, 2018

First Charted: November 3, 2018

Peak: 11 US, 13 DG, 13 ST, 29 A40, 19 RB, 3 UK, 12 CN, 13 AU (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 17.0 US, 2.4 UK, 22.69 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 2433.16 video, 3233.72 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Post Malone was born Austin Richard Post in 1995 in Syracuse, New York. The rap singer/songwriter released his first album, Stoney, in 2016. It was certified five times platinum and reached #4 on the Billboard album chart. The 2018 follow-up, Beerbongs & Bentleys, would also achieve platinum status five times over and hit #1 on the album chart. The latter album gave Post Malone two #1 songs with “Rockstar” and “Psycho.”

His third album, Hollywood’s Bleeding, wasn’t released until September 2019. In the interim, Post contributed the song “Sunflower” to the animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse. It is set in a universe populated by multiple Spider-Men, but the main hero would be the teenager Miles Morales. He duets with rapper Swae Lee, half of the rap duo Rae Sremmurd, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 with 2016’s “Black Beatles.” The two sing about competing for a girl called “Sunflower.” SF

Sony Pictures’ head of music and creative affairs Spring Aspers said they “have delivered a song that’s both heroic and emotional…It’s anthemic but also heartfelt – the perfect soundtrack for Miles to discover the Spider-Man inside himself.” WK Billboard’s Gil Kaufman called it “a funky, dreamy ballad” while Spin’s Israel Daramola said “it’s a short and sweet, hazy little pop song.” WK Rolling Stone’s Patrick Doyle called it “hyper-catchy.” WK

“Sunflower” not only gave Post his third chart-topper, but spent an astonishing 33 weeks in the top 10, tying the record held at the time by Maroon 5 and Cardi B with “Girls Like You” and Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You.” The song also was certified 17-times platinum in the United States, tying it with Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” as the most certified song of all time. It received a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year.


First posted 4/24/2023; last updated 3/31/2024.

Friday, January 18, 2019

50 years ago: Dusty Springfield released Dusty in Memphis

First posted 4/8/2008; updated 12/1/2020.

Dusty in Memphis

Dusty Springfield

Released: January 18, 1969

Charted: March 15, 1969

Peak: 99 US

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: blue-eyed soul


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Just a Little Lovin’ (Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil) [2:19]
  2. So Much Love (Gerry Goffin, Carole King) [3:33]
  3. Son of a Preacher Man (John Hurley, Ronnie Wilkins) [2:28] (11/30/68, 10 US, 9 UK)
  4. I Don’t Want to Hear It Anymore (Randy Newman) [3:12]
  5. Don’t Forget about Me (Goffin, King) [2:54] (3/1/69, 64 US)
  6. Breakfast in Bed (Eddie Hinton, Donnie Fritts) [2:59] (4/12/69, 91 US)
  7. Just One Smile (Newman) [2:44]
  8. The Windmills of Your Mind (Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, Michel Legrand) [3:54] (5/3/69, 31 US, 3 AC)
  9. In the Land of Make Believe (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) [2:34] (10/4/69, 27 AC)
  10. No Easy Way Down (Goffin, King) [3:11]
  11. I Can’t Make It Alone (Goffin, King) [4:01]

Total Running Time: 33:31


3.807 out of 5.00 (average of 14 ratings)

Quotable: “The All-time rock-era torch record” – Robert Christgau

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“The idea of taking England’s reigning female soul queen to the home of the music she had mastered was an inspired one.” RW That “home” was specifically the American Sound Studio in Memphis where Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, and others had recorded. Although she’d self-produced her earlier albums, she went with outside producers this time around using Atlantic Records’ Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd, and Arif Mardin to create what critic Robert Christgau called “the perfect instance of how a production team should work.” WK

Springfield had “very real anxiety about being compared with the soul greatest who had recorded in the same studios.” WK She had recorded R&B songs before, but this was the first time she committed to an entire album’s worth. WK The “production and engineering team picked mostly perfect songs, and those that weren’t so great were salvaged by Springfield’s marvelous delivery and technique.” RW

She was backed by the house band, the Memphis Cats, who had worked with Elvis Presley, Wilson Pickett, and King Curtis. She covered songs written by the famed writing teams of Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, and Burt Bacharach and Hal David. “This set has definitive numbers in So Much Love, Son of a Preacher Man, Breakfast in Bed, Just One Smile, I Don't Want to Hear About It Anymore, and Just a Little Lovin'.” RW

The album didn’t perform well initially, peaking at #99 in the US and failing to reach the UK top 40. Music journalist Peter Robinson said the album stalled Springfield’s career, but eventually became “a popcultural milestone [and] timeless emotional reference point.” WK Entertainment Weekly’s Tony Scherman called it “one of the greatest pop records ever recorded.” WK Christgau called it “the all-time rock-era torch record.” WK “It’s truly a disc deserving of its classic status.” RW

Notes: A reissue added three bonus tracks including a cover of Willie and Laura Mae Jones’ That Old Sweet Roll (Hi-De-Ho) and an unreleased version of What Do You Do When Love Dies from the original Memphis sessions.

A 25-song Rhino reissue included those three songs as well as “songs left over from sessions for the unfairly underrated Gamble- and Huff-produced Brand New Me album, and the unissued 1971 Jeff Barry-produced sides for a never-released third Atlantic album.” BE Also featured are “covers of David Gates' Make It with You and Carole King’s You’ve Got a Friend, the gospel-flavored Love Shine Down, and the hard-rocking Natchez Trace.” BE

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Today in Music (1969): “Proud Mary” set sail on the charts

Proud Mary

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Writer(s): John Fogerty (see lyrics here)

First Charted: January 18, 1969

Peak: 2 US, 2 CB, 11 GR, 11 HR, 8 UK, 2 CN, 5 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 5.0 radio, 31.1 video, 140.04 streaming

Proud Mary

Ike & Tina Turner

First Charted: January 30, 1971

Peak: 4 US, 5 CB, 6 HR, 5 RB, 3 CL, 62 UK, 11 CN, 4 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 5.0 radio, 117.46 video, 47.50 streaming

Awards (CCR):

Click on award for more details.

Awards (Ike & Tina Turner):

About the Song:

“Proud Mary” established Creedence Clearwater Revival as the best act out of New Orleans since Fats Domino, an impressive feat since they’d never been there! SJ In fact, singer/songwriter John Fogerty had never been to the South period, but said “I was drawn to that my typical world of Mark Twain…Stephn Foster, Howlin’ Wolf…The South seemed to exist in another time – a slower, more leisurely time. It seemed exotic as if it were someplace far away, and yet very American at the same time.” SS

The band’s signature swampy sound understandably gave them a Louisiana vibe, but a guitar solo which Fogerty said was influenced by Booker T & the MG’s Steve Cropper helps tie the song to the musical South as well. The fact that it also sounds “like an ancient gospel song in its rousing rallying cry” AMG doesn’t hurt either. Music critic Dave Marsh called it “a riff and a rhythm that roll along as mighty as the Mississippi itself.” DM Add in steamboat-themed lyrics and the connection is complete.

Fogerty called “Proud Mary” “the first really good song I ever wrote.” RS500 Bob Dylan called it his favorite song of the year. SS Fogerty had the title first, thinking it might be a song about a maid in a rich household. SS When he started singing about the river, he decided to make the song about a boat, RS500 a “story of a Mississippi paddle steamer as she plies the waters from Memphis to New Orleans, a reminder of the days when the river was alive with traffic.” DT

This blossomed into a tale of a man abandoning the city for work on a steamboat, a theme which fit well with the 1969 back-to-the-country counterculture movement, even if Fogerty’s message was really about “a working man finding release, not a middle-class hippie yearning for a pastoral ideal.” AMG Some people interpreted the line “keep on rolling” as a drug reference. DT

As the band’s first U.S. top ten, “Proud Mary” has also become the definitive CCR song, blending Americana, swamp rock, blues, country, rockabilly, gospel, and soul. AMG The song gave the band a dubious record – as the first of five CCR singles to peak at #2, the band gained the distinction of hitting the runner-up slot the most times without ever going to #1. WK

While it didn’t go to the top, it pulled off a rare feat in becoming the signature song for not one, but two major recording acts. Ike and Tina Turner enhanced the song’s gospel and soul vibe to create “a raveup with the feel of a church revival.” AMG It landed the duo at #4 on the pop charts and #5 on the R&B charts in 1971.


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Last updated 9/15/2023.