6 September

Pick a Day

6 SEPTEMBER

In Music History

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2013 Soul musician/arranger Bobby Martin dies after a sudden illness in San Diego, California, at age 83. Worked with Philadelphia soul songwriters/producers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff.

2011 PJ Harvey becomes the first artist to win the Mercury Prize twice when her album Let England Shake earns the prestigious award. Her first win was in 2001 for Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea.

2011 Bandleader/arranger Wardell Quezergue, known as the "Creole Beethoven," dies of congestive heart failure in Metairie, Louisiana, at age 81.

2007 Operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti (of The Three Tenors) dies of pancreatic cancer in Modena, Italy, at age 71.

2005 The Rolling Stones release their album A Bigger Bang. It sells just a million copies in America (modest by Stones standards), but the accompanying tour breaks the record for highest-grossing tour, earning $558 million.

2002 With Ian Astbury on lead vocals and Stewart Copeland on drums, Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger of The Doors perform their first concert as "The Doors of the 21st Century." The show is part of the Harley-Davidson Open Road Tour at the California Speedway in Fontana.

1994 Bad Religion release their eighth full-length studio album, Stranger Than Fiction, their only gold record in the United States and last recording with founding guitarist Brett Gurewitz until his return seven years later.

1990 Tom Fogerty (rhythm guitarist for Creedence Clearwater Revival) dies from an AIDS-related tuberculosis infection in Scottsdale, Arizona, at age 48. He contracted HIV from blood transfusions.

1989 After initially refusing to play it, MTV gives Neil Young's "This Note's For You" the Video of the Year award at the MTV Video Music Awards.

1988 Elton John cleans house in what amounts to the greatest garage sale ever. A hoard of his belongings - over 2,000 pieces - are auctioned off at Sotheby's in London, bringing in $6.2 million. The giant boots he wore in the film Tommy go for $20,000.

1988 New Kids On The Block release their breakout album, Hangin' Tough. The LP goes to #1 in America and spawns five hit singles, including the chart-topping title track and the #3 entry "You've Got It (The Right Stuff)."

1978 Rapper Foxy Brown is born Inga DeCarlo Fung Marchand in New York City, New York.

1974 George Harrison launches his Dark Horse record label.

1974 Nina Persson (lead singer for The Cardigans) is born in Jönköping, Sweden.

1971 Dolores O'Riordan (lead singer for The Cranberries) is born in County Limerick, Ireland.

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Lenny Kravitz Debuts With Let Love Rule

1989

Just as mainstream pop is about to welcome grunge music with its murky guitars and bleak outlook on society, newcomer Lenny Kravitz challenges the negativity with a simple, funk-styled message: Let Love Rule.

Let Love Rule is the hard-earned debut album from Kravitz, the Manhattan-born son of The Jeffersons star Roxie Roker and NBC executive Sy Kravitz. Under the moniker Romeo Blue, he has trouble landing a record deal with vintage soul-funk tracks about peace and love when pessimism is all the rage. The companies also take note of his mixed heritage – part African American from his mother, part white from his Jewish father – and claim he isn't black enough to market as a black artist. "I got so sick of bein' told, Get a drum machine or put a curl in your hair - cos it was short and spiked back then - and then we'll sign you," he said. Meanwhile, the media is only interested in him as the husband of Lisa Bonet, star of the wildly popular sitcom The Cosby Show and its spinoff A Different World. The music supervisor on the latter program helps generate a buzz about Kravitz among the big labels and he finally signs with Virgin Records. Kravitz has most of his self-produced debut already recorded, including the title track, which sets the standard for his feelgood retro style. He tells Rolling Stone: "It embodied everything about where I was musically. It had shades of gospel, R&B and psychedelic rock & roll. To me, that was the signature of the album. It was the beginning of my musical life. It was mine. It belonged to me." Critics aren't sure what to make of the singer, with Melody Maker questioning if he's anything more than "a hippie throwback" with a "naïve belief in the power of love as an answer to the world's problems." But his optimism finds an audience in Europe, where Let Love Rule flourishes. He follows up with Mama Said and wins over the US with the ballad of his broken marriage, "It Ain't Over Til It's Over."

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