Tag Archives: Glenn Miller

Dates and Jams

3 Sep

My friend over at Serendipity created a great post, and I, like any good blogger, am going to copy it. She found a site called Birthday Jams that will tell you what was at the top of the charts on the day that you were born.

On my day of birth, The Supremes had “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” hanging out in the Number One spot. However, it gets better. In the United Kingdom, Hugo Montenegro and His Orchestra hit big with the theme from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. I knew I liked that movie for some reason.

As I fiddled with the site, I started to wonder about what people were jamming to when big events happened. For example, Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon on July 20, 1969. Do you know what song was tops in the land on that day? “In the Year 2525” by Zager and Evans

On August 9, 1974, Richard Nixon became the first president to resign from office. As he flew off in his helicopter, somebody was listening to “Feel Like Makin’ Love” by Roberta Flack. Nixon also posed in one of the greatest photographs of all time with Elvis Presley.Elvis Nixon

A few years later, the nation was saddened by the death of Elvis, who had a ton of Number One hits. On August 16, 1977, the day he passed away, “Best of My Love” by The Emotions was playing on radios everywhere.

Elvis’ career began when he walked into Sun Studios. He struggled for a while but finally got into a groove on July 5, 1954 when he recorded “That’s All Right.” The nation did not know what was about to hit them. All they knew was that Kitty Kallen had a huge hit with “Little Things Mean a Lot.”

Obviously, December 7, 1941 is a huge date in American history. The Japanese attacked the island of Oahu and our base at Pearl Harbor. The nation was about to enter a war that had been raging for a couple of years. It was also the day that people were listening to “Chattanooga Choo Choo” by Glenn Miller.

On December 15, 1944, Miller’s plane disappeared somewhere over the English Channel. On that day, Ella Fitzgerald and the Ink Spots hit with “I’m Making Believe.”

On September 10 1993, a television show debuted that asked us to believe. As The X-Files started its rise to popularity, “Dreamlover” by Mariah Carey hit the peak of the charts.

Of course, that was a few years after Larry Hagman first dreamed of Jeannie. That show went on the air on September 18, 1965, which was the same time that The Beatles did not need any “Help!”

Of course, The Beatles would break up and go on to solo careers. Tragically, John Lennon’s life was cut short on December 8, 1980. On that day, “Lady” by Kenny Rogers was sitting at Number One.

Rogers used his popularity to transition into movies. None of them were very good, but Six Pack was one of the worst. It hit the screens on July 16, 1982. Listening to “Don’t You Want Me” by The Human League had to be better than watching that film.

I reckon this exercise needs to eventually come to an end, and that will happen with one more date.

I am not going to release the date of my wife’s birth, but that event turned out to be important in my life. In other words, it needs to be recognized. One way to do that is to tell you that Neil Diamond’s “Cracklin’ Rosie” was the big hit of the day. By the way, her name is not Rosie.

The State of Music – Part 4

23 Apr

The analysis of states and their musical equivalents continues, but I must throw out some thank you’s before moving ahead. The Snob and Trask have offered some great alternatives to my choices, and I appreciate their input. You can find their favorites at One, Two, Three – Turn it Up.

New Mexico – This is one of my favorite states, and I will be heading into “The Land of Enchantment” in a few weeks. There is a different feeling that comes over me when I cross its state line and wanted to find a song that embraced that feeling. I am not sure that I found it with Michael Hearne’s “New Mexico Rain” because I’ve never really seen it rain there.

New York – Countless songs have been written about New York, but most of them are about the city and not the state. However, that really isn’t the point of this project. Songs do not have to be ABOUT the state. They only need to be named for the state. With that in mind, I choose a song from my iPod called “New York’s Not My Home”. Jim Croce’s song does not provide a positive view of New York, but that really isn’t the point, either.

North Carolina – Do you realize how many songs have been written about Carolina? They are everywhere. After a long search, I finally found “North Carolina Line” by Gene Vincent. Weirdly, it’s more about Norfolk, Virginia.

North Dakota – Another state that provided a difficult search, North Dakota does not lend itself to easily penned songs. It’s a good state and provides a lot more enjoyment that most may realize, but the only decent song I could find is Lyle Lovett’s “North Dakota”. Please allow me to apologize for creating a list with Lyle Lovett on it.

Ohio – With the first state in the alphabet, Alabama, I used a song that replied to a song by Neil Young. With Ohio, I use a Neil Young song…well, a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song. “Ohio”, one of the most famous protest songs, was inspired by the tragic shooting of protesters at Kent State University.

Oklahoma – There’s a musical. There are cowboy songs. Then, there is a native son, Leon Russell, singing about “Home Sweet Oklahoma”.

Oregon“Portland, Oregon” is the result of one of the coolest collaborations I know of. Jack White, who owns a record store in Nashville, teamed up with Loretta Lynn, “the Queen of Country Music”, to create an award-winning body of work. I know it seems weird, but it sounds great.

Pennsylvania – Remember when I said that a song does not have to be ABOUT the state. This pick is a great example of that. “Pennsylvania 6-5000” is named for the phone number of a New York hotel. It is a classic by the Glenn Miller Orchestra. For those who may not know, Glenn Miller’s plane was shot down during World War II and was never found.

Rhode Island – I was hoping to go with the theme song from Family Guy, but my efforts were thwarted. If it hadn’t been for those meddling kids I would have gotten away with it. Instead, I went with “Exeter, Rhode Island” by Jennifer O’Conner.

South Carolina – South Carolina provides the same complications as North Carolina. Everybody wants to sing about Carolina and not specify which one they are talking about. Perhaps, it would have been easier if the colonies/states had never developed separately in the first place. With that in mind, the Outlaws recorded “South Carolina”.

That’s it for forty states. I’ll be back next time with the last ten. Until then, remember what they say down at the fire hall. Always shake off your hose before you roll it back up.