Inspired by National Coming Out Day and the October 11 birthdays of Daryl Hall, Cardi B, MC Lyte, Jane Krakowski, Art Blakey, Todd Snider, Dottie West, and Wheatus’ Brendan Brown.
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Inspired by the September 27 birthdays of Lil Wayne, Shaun Cassidy, Randy Bachman, Avril Lavigne, Trick Daddy and Soul Train’s Don Cornelius.
Inspired by the August 11 birthdays of A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Death Cab For Cutie/The Postal Service’s Ben Gibbard, Joe Jackson, Eric Carmen, Joe Rogan, Kris Kross’ Chris Kelly, Mike Douglas, and producer/composer Kenny Gamble.
Inspired by Black Music Month, LGBTQ Pride Month, and the June 24 birthdays of Mick Fleetwood, Solange, Tears For Fears’ Curt Smith, The Zombies’ Colin Blunstone, Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark’s Andy McClusky, Ariel Pink, Michele Lee, Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval, Siedah Garrett, Arthur Brown, Phil Harris, and The Notwist’s Markus Acher.
Inspired by Black Music Month, LGBTQ Pride Month, the June 3 birthdays of Curtis Mayfield, Deniece Williams, Mott the Hoople’s Ian Hunter, C + C Music Factory’s David Cole, Suzi Quatro, Allen Ginsberg, Dan Hill, Boots Rudolph, Republica’s Saffron, Stereophonics’ Kelly Jones, and Beabadoobee, and the June 2 birthdays of The Rolling Stones‘ Charlie Watts, Chubby Tavares, Cypress Hill’s B-Real, Spandau Ballet’s Tony Hadley, Bangles’ Michael Steele, Jimmy Jones, Skillz, Otis Williams, David Dundas, Marvin Hamlisch, Sammy Turner, and Robin Lamont.
Inspired by the April 20 birthdays of Luther Vandross, Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, Ecstasy Passion & Pain’s Barbara Roy, Johnny Tillotson and 420; the April 19 birthdays of Dickie Goodman, The Turtles’ Mark Volman, Tim Curry and New Seekers’ Eve Graham; and the April 18 birthdays of Onyx’s Fredro Starr and Aminé.
Inspired by the April 16 birthdays of Dusty Springfield, Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner, Chance the Rapper, Henry Mancini, Bobby Vinton, Gerry Rafferty, Akon, Midnight Oil’s Peter Garrett, Roy Hamilton, Herbie Mann, Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, Gabrielle and Gerardo.
Inspired by the March 26 birthdays of Diana Ross, Teddy Pendergrass, Steven Tyler, Rufus Thomas, Leonard Nimoy, Vicki Lawrence and 808 State’s Martin Price.
Inspired by the March 8 birthdays of The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz, Eagles’ Randy Meisner, Supergrass’ Gaz Coombes, frente!’s Angie Hart, Gary Numan, Peggy March, Keane’s Tom Chaplin, and songwriter Carole Bayer Sager.
In 1984, Madonna peaked at #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 with her first charting single, “Holiday.” By the following year, she had established herself as the Queen of the Pop Charts. She followed “Holiday” with three singles that hit the top ten in 1984: “Borderline,” “Lucky Star” and “Like a Virgin,” the latter hitting #1 and remaining there for six weeks. She opened 1985 with the #2 hit “Material Girl,” followed closely by the #1 “Crazy for You.” “Crazy” is from the film Vision Quest, in which Madonna had a small part as a nightclub singer.
Madonna had a much larger role in the film Desperately Seeking Susan. Released in April 1985, the smash film featured a new track from Madonna, “Into the Groove.” As one might expect when a new superstar has a new song, and a great song at that, the track received lots of radio airplay. “Groove” hit #1 on the Dance Club chart, and the only record on which it appeared, a 12-inch single where it was the b-side of “Angel,” went gold, selling over a million units in the US.
Though it was a big seller with a ton of airplay and club play, “Into the Groove” never hit Billboard’s Hot 100. Though that chart is supposed to accurately reflect a song’s popularity in the US, Billboard imposes rules that hang around longer than they should, throwing off historians looking into a song’s popularity. One of the arcane rules in 1985 was that a song had to be available on a commercial 7-inch vinyl single to be eligible to chart. Commercial availability solely on a 12-inch vinyl single, even one that sold over a million copies, is not enough. Widespread radio play on a variety of formats (the song hit the top twenty on the r&b chart, which for reasons that made sense to Billboard’s chart editors, allowed 12-inch singles to chart) is not enough.
Eventually, Billboard got around to revising these rules. The advent of cassingles (cassette tape singles) and CD singles expanded the formats eligible. The music industry’s decision to hold back the release of singles in any format to force consumers to shell out big bucks for a full-length album to get the one song they liked forced Billboard to make radio airplay without a commercial single good enough for a Hot 100 chart placement, but that change didn’t come into being until December of 1998, thirteen years too late for Madonna and historians.
This week’s Throwback Thursday kicks off with one of the best-known songs to have never charted on Billboard’s Hot 100, Madonna’s “Into the Groove.” It is followed by other music highlights of 1985.