22 August

Pick a Day


In Music History

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2020 "WAP" by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion hits #1 in America, becoming the most sexually explicit song ever to top the tally. It's bumped off two weeks later by a wholesome slice of K-pop: "Dynamite" by BTS.

2018 Vampire Weekend lead singer Ezra Koenig and his girlfriend, Rashida Jones, have a son, Isaiah. His grandfather is Quincy Jones, Rashida's dad.

2016 Legendary jazz harmonicist Toots Thielemans dies in Brussels, Belgium, at age 94.

2012 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney becomes yet another Republican candidate admonished for misappropriating music at his events, after Dee Snider of Twisted Sister protests his use of the band's songs. There is a long history of bands squaring off against Republican campaigns appropriating their music.

2011 Lindsay Lohan sues Pitbull, along with Ne-Yo and DJ Afrojack, for referencing her in the song "Give Me Everything (Tonight)" ("Hustlers move aside, so I'm tiptoeing, keep flowin', I got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan"). The judge rules in Pitbull's favor, citing the First Amendment's protection of freedom of speech and creative expression.

2011 Nick Ashford, half of the husband-and-wife songwriting/production team Ashford & Simpson, dies of complications from throat cancer at age 70.

2011 Jerry Leiber, half of the Leiber & Stoller songwriting team, dies of cardio-pulmonary failure in Los Angeles, California, at age 78. The pair wrote hits for Elvis Presley, The Coasters and The Drifters.

2006 Bruce Gary (drummer for The Knack) dies of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in Tarzana, California, at age 55.

2004 Bandleader Al Dvorin, who coined the phrase "Elvis has left he building," dies in a car accident near Ivanpah, California, at age 82. He organized the King's concerts for 22 years, starting in 1955.

2003 An Elvis impersonator in Norway named Kjell Bjornestad sets a new world record by doing 26 hours of Elvis songs.

2002 Jimmy Buffett's first Cheeseburger In Paradise restaurant, named for his 1978 song, opens in Indianapolis, Indiana.

1997 Twelve-year-old Georgia Lee Moses is found dead in South Petaluma, California. Tom Waits hears her story and is inspired to write "Georgia Lee," the thirteenth track on Mule Variations.

1992 Madonna begins filming her "Erotica" video at The Kitchen in New York City.

1985 Rick Nelson and Fats Domino begin filming the PBS special Rockin' With Rick And Fats, which will turn out to be Nelson's last television appearance before his untimely death in a plane crash.

1981 "Girls On Film" hits #5 in the UK, giving Duran Duran their breakthrough hit in Britain. It does not chart on its US release, but surges in popularity after its music video goes into heavy rotation on MTV. The clip, directed by Godley and Creme, has to be heavily edited for TV as it was only intended to be played in nightclubs and features adult themes and nudity.

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Tori Amos Is Born


Myra Ellen Amos is born to a religious family in Newton, North Carolina. She changes her name to Tori and becomes an alt-rock icon of the '90s with empowering tunes about women, right-wing politics, and religious oppression.

A piano prodigy, 5-year-old Amos earns a full scholarship to the prestigious Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, where she's groomed to be a concert pianist. But her passion for rock and aversion to reading sheet music get her expelled at age 11. Her sight-reading deficiency inspires the name of her Los Angeles-based band Y Kant Tori Read (featuring a pre-Guns 'N Roses Matt Sorum on drums). But record-company machinations to mold her into a hair-sprayed rock chick backfire on the band's 1988 debut album, which crashes and burns. Amos, devastated by the rejection, heals her wounds at her trusty piano, where her life story comes out in her lyrics and inspires her solo debut, Little Earthquakes. "Me And A Gun" recounts her harrowing rape at 21; "Silent All These Years" reclaims her long-silenced voice; "Winter" explores her loving-yet-complicated relationship with her minister father; and "Crucify" refuses to let her suffer at the altar of men any longer. Atlantic Records moves her to England, where the eccentric, piano-playing vocalist is likely to find a more appreciative audience than in the grunge-preoccupied States. The ploy works: The album peaks at #14 in the UK. For her follow-up, Under The Pink, Amos ignores her label's insistence on an esteemed producer and a flashy studio in favor of her boyfriend/musical partner Eric Rosse and a hacienda in New Mexico. The piano-driven album is more abstract than its predecessor - less like a diary and more like an impressionistic painting. A standout track is "Cornflake Girl" - inspired by a book about female genital mutilation, it's about the betrayal of women by women. An even bigger success than her debut, it hits #1 in the UK and #12 in the US. With her third release, Boys For Pele, she veers into experimental territory with an album full of varied instrumentation - from Baroque instruments to brass bands to full orchestras - and largely devoid of radio-friendly hooks and choruses. Written in the wake of her breakup with Rosse, the self-produced album, featuring the single "Caught A Lite Sneeze," explores her fractured relationships with men and the need to reclaim her own power. The album debuts at #2 in the US and UK. Now a bonafide alt-rock icon of the '90s, Amos moves into the new millennium with a suitcase full of sounds to supplement her minimalist piano. From The Choirgirl Hotel and To Venus And Back welcome a full rock band and incorporate elements of electronica. A host of concept albums follow that examine the role of women in post 9/11 America - most notably Scarlet's Walk and American Doll Posse, while 2009's Abnormally Attracted To Sin is a return to form with autobiographical tunes like "Welcome To England" (a recollection of her move to England after marrying sound engineer Mark Hawley more than a decade earlier). The 2010s bring a foray into classical music with Night Of Hunters, Unrepentant Geraldines, a celebration of unapologetic women bolstered by the single "Trouble's Lament," and Native Invader, an album inspired by her intense feelings after her mother's sudden stroke and the wake of the 2016 Presidential Election. But Amos, who fearlessly laid herself bare in her decades-long body of work, does not consider the impact that her work has had on the world. "It's not my job to understand the impact it has had," she tells Vanity Fair in 2020. "That's for those who track that and document that. I have to stay present with this work. Because that work is done. And it will either live on, and it's either been part of the conversation or inspired somebody or it hasn't. I focus on the next piece." photo: Amarpaul_Kalirai/Mercury Classics



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