I love me some Curtis Mayfield. “Superfly,” “Freddie’s Dead, “ “People Get Ready,” “This Is My Country,” “Choice of Colors,” “Amen,” “It’s All Right,” “Gypsy Woman,” “Keep On Pushing.” Then there are his songs popularized by other artists: “Let’s Do It Again,” “On and On,” “He Will Break Your Heart,” “Something He Can Feel.” What a great catalogue! I guess you could say he made an IMPRESSION on me. Get it? Boy, I’m good.
The late Curtis Mayfield was born on this date in 1942. Some of his work is included on today’s playlist.
Today’s playlist celebrates the December 11 birthdays of Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), Big Mama Thornton, Pérez Prado, Brenda Lee, Bread’s David Gates, Jermaine Jackson, J. Frank Wilson, Jon Brion, and Sister Double Happiness’s Gary Floyd; and the December 12 birthdays of Dionne Warwick, Frank Sinatra, MC5’s Rob Tyner, The Association’s Terry Kirkman, Manu Dibango, Sheila E., The Ruts’ Malcolm Owen, Grover Washington Jr., Georgia Satellites’ Dan Baird, Connie Francis, The Fixx’s Cy Curnin, and Bob Dorough.
I recently read a book about the music of 1971. It was pretty bad. I should have been clued off seeing that the book derived its title from the name of a Rod Stewart album that came out in…1972. The author and I agree that 1971 was a great year for music, though he focused mainly on white acts. Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, recently named the number one album of all-time in Rolling Stone, was dismissed as being overrated due to white guilt, something the author clearly doesn’t feel. I humbly suggest that the playlist below shows more of the greatness (and diversity) of 1971’s music than this book.
This Throwback Thursday we revisit 1972. What happened in music in 1972?:
Michael Jackson had the first of 13 solo US #1 Hot 100 singles with a song about a rat.
Chuck Berry had his first US #1 single with a song about his penis.
Roberta Flack spent six weeks at #1 on the US Hot 100 with a song she released in 1969.
Helen Reddy rerecorded a song from her 1971 album I Don’t Know How To Love Him. It became the first of her three US #1 Hot 100 singles and became an anthem for women’s equality.
The Staple Singers scored their first of two US #1 Hot 100 hits with a classic song that had only one verse.
Neil Young scored his only US #1 Hot 100 single.
Some of the other classic singles to peak in 1972 are “American Pie,” “Let’s Stay Together,” “Me & Mrs. Jones,” “Without You,” “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” “Alone Again (Naturally),” “Lean On Me,” “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” “School’s Out” and “The Harder They Come.”
David Bowie released The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.
The Rolling Stones released Exile on Main St.
Elton John released Honky Château.
As far as music goes, I’d say 1972 was pretty pretty pretty pretty good. Even the bad songs were good! Here are thirty highlights.
Inspired by the season and the December 12 birthdays of Dionne Warwick, Frank Sinatra, Sheila E., The Association’s Terry Kirkman, Connie Francis, MC5’s Rob Tyner, Bob Dorough, Manu Dibango, Grover Washington Jr. and Georgia Satellites’ Dan Baird.