The first of nine US number one singles for The Bee Gees was “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart,” written for Andy Williams by the group’s three brothers (credited to Barry and Robin Gibb on its initial release but later amended to include brother Maurice). The song is from their album Trafalgar, named after where in London they stayed during the recording sessions; however, the single failed to chart in the UK.
The Bee Gees’ twins Maurice and Robin Gibb were born on this date in 1949. Lots of Bee Gees on today’s playlist.
I saw the movie Muriel’s Wedding with my friend Kathy in the theater when it was released. You know what’s better than watching Muriel’s Wedding? Not watching Muriel’s Wedding. As I recall, ugly duckling Muriel marries a smoking hot South African swimmer who looks like he stepped out of a Calvin Klein ad and then dumps him for no good reason. Oh, I probably should have written SPOILER ALERT before I told you that. Oh well. Here’s another SPOILER ALERT: Muriel’s an idiot. When she tells the delicious hunk of meat that they’re over, Kathy screamed out “WHAT?” I felt the same, as did most of the people in the theater, as we were in a gay neighborhood. Why would she leave that gorgeous piece of manflesh? To “discover herself?” To “follow her dream?” Give me a break. The only thing she found was a one-way ticket to Loserville. The best thing about Muriel’s Wedding…well, the best thing about Muriel’s Wedding not counting that yummy man candy who Muriel threw away like yesterday’s trash is that it brought AꓭBA back to the spotlight. Since their breakup in 198something they remained prominent throughout much of the world, but in the US, they were a campy artifact of a bygone era. Stateside the group had one number one single, “Dancing Queen,” whereas in England they hit number one 1,876 times. England. People in England are – I say this with love and as a die-hard AꓭBA fan – nuts. Anyhoo, after Muriel’s Wedding we got AꓭBA featured in the delightful motion picture The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, which I also saw in the movie theater, where I was seated behind former New York City mayor Ed Koch, who I used to call Ed Crotch. Then we got the jukebox musical Mamma Mia, which was super successful on stage and screen. I never saw it on stage but I saw the movie – not in the theater but on television – and it made me miss my friends in New York – Kathy, Laura, Daisy, Debbie – because we used to have bad movie days every few weeks where we’d watch Showgirls or Battlefield Earth or that movie in which Anna Nicole Smith played a hostage negotiator and we’d laugh and talk through the movies and it was always a blast. They would love Mamma Mia. It’s like the musical equivalent of Showgirls. I know many disagree. Many disagree with me (and Kathy) about Muriel’s Wedding, too. To each their own. You’re allowed to have your wrong opinions.
AꓭBA’s Frida was born Anni-Frid Lyngstadon this date in 1945. Lots of AꓭBA on today’s playlist.
Released as a single in 1971, Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman” tanked. She rerecorded the song. The new version was released as a single the following year, debuting on the Hot 100 at number 99. Two weeks later it was number 97. Then it fell off the chart. Lots of television appearances and many phone calls from Reddy’s husband to radio stations across the US led to the song re-entering the Hot 100, eventually becoming the first of three US number one singles for Reddy and winning her the very first American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Vocalist.
The late Helen Reddy was born on this date in 1941. Several of her recordings are included on today’s playlist.
If you’ve never heard the song “Bohemian Rhapsody,” I suggest you hit play on today’s playlist. It’s by a band called Queen from England. Their usual lead singer, Freddie Mercury, was born on this date in 1946.
The Bee Gees wrote “How Deep Is Your Love” at the Château d’Hérouville in France, where Chopin had stayed and played piano, though Chopin wasn’t involved in the recording of the song, as he was busy being dead. The song was intended for Yvonne Elliman, but Robert Stigwood, the producer of Saturday Night Fever, said “No, no way. Uh uh. Forget it.” The Gibb brothers took their song to number one, the first of 7034 number one hits (give or take) from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. HDIYL spent 17 weeks in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100, a record at that time.
Bee Gee Barry Gibb was born on this date in 1946. A half dozen of his group’s hits are included on today’s playlist.
The Captain & Tennille’s “Love Will Keep Us Together” was a huge hit in 1975, but not everyone agreed with its message. Ian Curtis, the leader of Joy Division and a newlywed in 1975, was one of them. His composition “Love Will Tear Us Apart” could be seen as a response to the cheerful song, expressing his disillusionment with love and life. He took his own life in 1980, a month before his song was released as a single, on its way to becoming a classic.
Daryl Dragon, better known as The Captain, a nickname given to him by The Beach Boys’ Mike Love, was born on this date in 1942. A few of his duo’s hits are included on today’s playlist.