Inspired by the season and the November 28 birthdays of Randy Newman, En Vogue/Lucy Pearl’s Dawn Robinson, The 5 Royales’ Johnny Tanner, The Fleetwoods’ Gary Troxel, Chamillionaire, R.B. Greaves, William DeVaughn, Bruce Channel, The Foundations’ Clem Curtis and Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr.
Inspired by the November 11 birthdays of XTC’s Andy Partridge, LaVern Baker, Wu-Tang Clan’s U-God, Marshall Crenshaw, Stubby Kaye, Peaches, Mose Allison, Raveonettes’ Sharin Foo, Dennis Coffey, Chris Smither, Static Major, The Ides of March’s Jim Peterik, and The Blasters’ Dave Alvin.
Inspired by the October 2 birthdays of The Police’s Sting, Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard, Genesis/Mike + the Mechanics’ Mike Rutherford, The Human League’s Philip Oakey, Mousse T., Badly Drawn Boy, Foxy/OXO’s Ish Ledesma, The Diamonds’ Dave Somerville, Don McLean, Richard Hell, Redbone’s Lolly Vegas, Aqua’s Lene Nystrom, and Bud Abbott.
Inspired by Black Music Month, LGBTQ Pride Month, and the June 15 birthdays of Harry Nilsson, Ice Cube, Slade’s Noddy Holder, Waylon Jennings, Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, Erroll Garner, Neil Patrick Harris, Kansas’ Steve Walsh, Meri Wilson, Ruby and the Romantics’ Ruby Nash, Alien Art Farm’s Dryden Mitchell and Girls Aloud’s Nadine Coyle.
Inspired by the January 23 birthdays of Anita Pointer, Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander, Jimmy Castor and Chita Rivera; the January 22 birthdays of Sam Cooke, INXS’s Michael Hutchence, DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Journey’s Steve Perry; and remembering Monty Python’s Terry Jones.
Willie Mitchell, the producer of Al Green’s string of hits in the first half of the 1970s, recalled the one time he and the singer had a fight. It was over a song the two men had written with Al Jackson, Jr. While producing that track, Mitchell told Green to sing it much more softly than he had sung his other material. Green thought that direction was wrong and the song would never become a hit.
That recording was “Let’s Stay Together,” and it became Green’s first #1 on the pop chart. It also spent nine weeks at #1 on the r&b chart.
Following the success of “Let’s Stay Together,” Mitchell said Green never again argued with him.
This week’s Throwback Thursday playlist focuses on the year 1972, kicking off with the song that Rolling Stone magazine named the 60th greatest of all time, Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.”
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Hoy es Cinco de Mayo, y yo was thinking about Spanish-language songs that crossed over onto the US pop charts. That got me thinking about hit songs that were re-recorded in Spanish by their original hitmakers in an attempt to cross over the other direction. It’s a savvy business move, no? Why limit your audience, especially once the music business became more global?
Here is your Cinco de Mayo playlist: