Today’s playlist celebrates the November 14 birthdays of Run-D.M.C.’s Run, Veruca Salt’s Nina Gordon, Stephen Bishop, and The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams; and the November 15 birthdays of Petula Clark, ABBA’s Anni-Frid Lyngstad, The Drifters’ Clyde McPhatter, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Little Willie John, The Trammps’ Jimmy Ellis, The Soul Survivors’ Richie Ingui, Alexander O’Neal, Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger, E-40, C.W. McCall, B.o.B, Beverly D’Angelo, and Jack Ingram.
Today’s playlist celebrates the October 10 birthdays of Thelonious Monk, Van Halen’s David Lee Roth, John Prine, Ultravox’s Midge Ure, Kirsty MacColl, Dave and Ansell Collins’s Dave Barker, Ivory Joe Hunter, Truth Hurts, Tanya Tucker, The Honeycombs’ Dennis D’Ell, Mr. Big’s Eric Martin, Marina and the Diamonds’ Marina Diamandis, Mya, and Oscar Brown Jr.; the October 11 birthdays of Daryl Hall, Art Blakey, Cardi B, Wheatus’s Brendan Brown, Jay-Jay Johanson, MC Lyte, Dottie West, Jane Krakowski, and Todd Snider; and National Coming Out Day.
The music of 1999 shows the century coming to a close in grand style, as if to say the next year the party will be over, oops, out of time, so this year we better party. Latinx artists were crossing over to the mainstream pop chart. Cher and Santana, who first charted in the 1960s, scored the biggest hits of their careers. Artists who made their chart debuts include Eminem and Britney Spears. Pure pop exploded, though the charts made room for country, hip hop, electronica, and big beat. As one who values diversity, I loved hearing all these different genres and styles bump up against each other on the radio. Here are 30 prime examples of the music that hit in 1999.
In 2001 HBO aired a Britney Spears concert around the time Jive Records released the singer’s album Britney. A few days before the first promo for the concert was to run on HBO, Jive’s head of publicity had the idea that Britney’s then-brand new single “I’m a Slave 4 U” should be used in the promo spots. The song was written (and produced) by the team of Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo. I was running the licensing department at Jive at that time. I went to Pharrell and Chad’s publishers, EMI, to secure the necessary permissions. It was on a Wednesday. The spot was scheduled to premier the coming Saturday. The person at EMI with whom I spoke told me the song is so new that it is not yet in their system, and therefore she couldn’t license it. “Can’t you just add it to your system? You know they’re signed to your company.” “No. You won’t be able to use the song.”
Oh, really? A song cannot be licensed simply because someone at that company can’t think outside the box and figure out a way to effect the deal before the usual ingestion process is complete? That explanation doesn’t work for me. EMI will forego a license fee if the song isn’t used, which is fine, as their employee is the one not allowing it. Also, standing to forego revenue? Pharrell and Chad, who rely on EMI to make the deals for their music so they can get paid.
I called the Jive executive who paired Pharrell and Chad with Britney and told him EMI’s stance. He called Pharrell and/or Chad. Pharrell and/or Chad called EMI. On Thursday I got EMI’s approval to proceed. Don’t tell me something can’t be done.
Producer/Songwriter/NERD Pharrell Williams turns 47 today. In his honor I present to you this playlist of thirty songs Pharrell, often with Chad Hugo, had a hand in writing and/or producing and/or performing. You may be surprised at how many of these you know.
Inspired by November 15 birthdays of ABBA‘s Anni-Frid Lyngstad, The Drifters’ Clyde McPhatter, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, The Trammps’ Jimmy Ellis, Little Willie John, C.W. McCall, and Soul Survivors’ Richie Ingui.
Inspired by the November 14 birthdays of Run, Veruca Salt’s Nina Gordon, and Stephen Bishop; and the November 13 birthdays of Cass McCombs, Timmy Thomas, Onyx’s Sonny Seeza and The Teddy Bears’ Carol Connors.
Inspired by the October 19 birthdays of Fugees’ Pras, Divine, Peter Tosh, Jennifer Holiday, World Party’s Karl Wallinger, Jeannie C. Riley, George McCrae, The Doobie Brothers’ Patrick Simmons, Gloria Jones, and Patrick Cowley.
Inspired by the October 10 birthdays of David Lee Roth, John Prine, Crystal Waters, Kirsty MacColl, Tanya Tucker, Mya, Ultravox’s Midge Ure, Ivory Joe Hunter, Oscar Brown Jr. and The Honeycombs’ Dennis D’Ell.
Inspired by the July 11 birthdays of Suzanne Vega, Lil’ Kim, The Paragons’ John Holt, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s Jeff Hanna, Peter Brown, Red Peters, Bonnie Pointer, Thurston Harris, Peter Murphy, Andrew Bird, the Murmurs’ Leisha Hailey, and Mel & Kim’s Mel Appleby; and the July 10 birthdays of Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant, Mavis Staples, Arlo Guthrie, John Whitehead and Eileen Rodgers.