Today in music history, August 31st we see the US taking over charts in the UK, a bid to be the youngest astronaut in space gets approved and the largest pre-order in the history for CBS Records was recorded.
The top 10 songs in the UK singles chart in 1956 were all by American artists including Elvis Presley, the Platters, Doris Day, Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers and Gogi Grant.
Elvis Presley appeared at the Empire Stadium in Vancouver, Canada in 1957. This was only the third time that Presley had appeared outside the United States and for Elvis it would be the last. 26,000 fans attended the show with tickets costing $1.50, $2.50 and $3.50.
Ricky Nelson takes the stage for the first time as a solo rock star in 1958, performing at Atlantic City’s famous Steel Pier in 1958. Ricky played two dates and sold a record 44,000 tickets for the entire two days.
The girl trio Angels started a three-week run at No.1 on the US music singles chart in 1963 with “My Boyfriends Back. The writers of the song Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer were a trio of Brooklyn songwriter/producers who went on to write the hits “Sorrow” and have the 1965 US No.11 music single as The Strangeloves with “I Want Candy”.
The Ronettes first entered the US singles music charts in 1963 with “Be My Baby” the girl group’s only top 10 hit. Lead singer, Veronica Bennett, who became Ronnie Spector, took producer and ex-husband Phil Spector to court in the late 1990s for unpaid royalties.
Jeannie C. Riley who is an American country music and gospel singer makes her Grand Ole Opry debut in 1974. She was best known for the 1968 country music single “Harper Valley PTA” which missed becoming the Billboard Country and Pop music No.1 hit at the same time.
George Harrison, in 1976, was found guilty of “subconscious plagiarism” of the Ronnie Mack song He’s So Fine” when writing “My Sweet Lord”. Earnings from the song were awarded to Mack’s estate. The Chiffons then recorded their own version of “My Sweet Lord”.
Dire Straits started a nine-week run at No.1 on the US music album charts in 1985 with “Brothers In Arms”. The album also topped the charts in 25 other countries and went on to sell over 20 million worldwide.
UB40 with guest vocals from Chrissie Hynde had the UK No.1 music single with their version of the Sonny Bono song “I Got You Babe” which was a hit for Sonny & Cher in 1965.
In 1987, the largest pre-order of music albums in the history of CBS Records occurred as 2.25 million copies of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” Album were shipped to record stores in the US. The LP followed the Jackson album, “Thriller”, the biggest Jackson-seller of all time (over 35 million copies sold). “Bad” went on to sell over 13 million copies.
Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt and Steve Wonder sang “Amazing Grace” in 1990 at a memorial service held for guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn who had been killed in a helicopter crash 4 days earlier.
Metallica started a four-week run at No.1 on the US album chart in 1991 with “Metallica”. The album featured “Enter Sandman” “Sad But True”, “The Unforgiven” and “Nothing Else Matters” went on to sell over 10 million copies in the US alone.
Monument releases The Dixie Chicks “Fly” album in 1999. The album is the fifth studio album released by the American country band. The album was a huge success as it debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200. It received diamond status by the RIAA on June 25, 2002.
NASA announced in 2002, singer Lance Bass with *NSYNC, was to become the first celebrity astronaut. His $23.8 million place on a Russian Soyuz module would make him the youngest person at 23-years-old to go into orbit. Bass ended up no taking part in the flight after failing to pay for his $20 million ticket on the craft.
Trisha Yearwood and R&B singer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds shoot an episode of “CMT Crossroads” at Belmont University’s Curb Entertainment Center in Nashville in 2007. The music set includes “How Do I Live”, “Change The World” and “Walkaway Joe”.
George Strait’s “Living For The Night” video has its TV debut on CMT in 2009. The song was written by George, his son Bubba and Dean Dillon. It is the 88th music single released by Strait. It is the first single that Strait co-wrote.
Miranda Lambert receives five nominations in 2010 for the 44th annual Country Music Association awards on the first two days of nominee announcements. Three are for “White Liar”, and two are for “The House That Built Me”.
Randy Houser’s “How Country Feels” video debuts on CMT in 2012. This is the third studio album by the American country music artist. House wrote seven of the fifteen tracks on the album.
And now it is time to say Happy Birthday to the people that brought us great music or had a hand in creating the music we all love. Those born today, August 31st are:
Jerry Allison – drummer for The Crickets who had the 1957 US No.1 music single “That’ll Be The Day”. They went on to produce more than 15 other Top 40 music singles.
Roger Dean – English artist who designed album covers for Yes, Atomic Rooster, Uriah Heep, Gentle Giant, Greenslade, Steve Howe and Asia.
Van Morrison – singer/songwriter who was with the band Them and had the 1965 No.2 music single “Here Comes The Night”. Van also had a successful solo career and had the 1970 album “Moondance” plus 15 other Top 40 albums.
Bob Welsh – American musician. A former member of Fleetwood Mac, Welch had a briefly successful solo career in the late 1970s. His music singles included “Hot Love”, “Cold World”, “Ebony Eyes”, “Precious Love” and his signature song “Sentimental Lady”.
Rudolf Schenker – founding member of Scorpions in 1965 when he was just 17-years-old. Their 1990 power ballad “Wind Of Change” topped the European charts and was a No.4 hit in the US.
Gina Schock – drummer for the all-girl band “The Go-Go’s”. They had the 1982 US No.2 music single, “We Got The Beat” and the 1982 No. 47 single “Our Lips Are Sealed”.
Debbie Gibson – US singer who had the 1988 US No.1 and UK No.9 music single “Foolish Beat”. Debbie is also well known for her acting career. The song “Foolish Beat” skyrocketed Debbie as the youngest female artist to write, produce and perform a No.1 music single on the Billboard Hot 100.