The new featured song in our Top Unknown/Underrated Songs feature is from 1981. The Outlaws and "Ghost Riders in the Sky".
"Ghost Riders in the Sky"
Words and Music by Stan Jones
An old cowpoke went ridin' out one dark and windy day, Upon a ridge he rested as he went along his way When all at once a mighty herd of red eyed cows he saw A plowin' through the ragged skies and up a cloudy draw.
Yipie i ay Yipie i oh Ghost herd in the sky
Their brands were still on fire and their hooves were made of steel Their horns were black and shiny and their hot breath he could feel A bolt of fear went through him as they thundered through the sky He saw the riders coming hard... and he heard their mournful cry
Yipie i ay Yipie i oh Ghost riders in the sky.
Their face is gaunt their eyes were blurred their shirts all soaked with sweat They're ridin' hard to catch that herd but they 'aint caught 'em yet 'cause they've got to ride forever in the range up in the sky On horses snorting fire as they ride hard hear them cry
Yipie i ay Yipie i oh Ghost riders in the sky.
The riders leaned on by him he heard one call his name If you want to save your soul from hell a riding on our range Then cow-boy change your ways today or with us you will ride Tryin' to catch this devil herd.... a-cross these endless skies.
Yipie i ay Yipie i oh Ghost riders in the sky. Ghost riders in the sky. Ghost riders in the sky.
These are the Top 10 albums of 1975, which is not the same as the top-selling albums. If you followed Inside the Rock Era'sTop 100 Albums of the Rock Era*, this list is consistent with that one. These are the ones that are the most consistent and have stood the test of time:
1955: The movie Blackboard Jungle, which introduced us to the song "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley & the Comets, opened in theaters on March 25, 1955, according to many sources, including IMDB and CNN. 1956: Alan Freed’s three-day Rock ‘n’ Roll Show in Hartford, Connecticut ended badly, as police arrested 11 teenagers and closed the theater. 1958: After being sworn in as Private 53310761 the previous day, Elvis Presley received the regulation short back and sides haircut from army barber James Peterson.
1958: Buddy Holly performed at the Gaumont Theatre in Hammersmith, London, the final date of what turned out to be his only tour of the U.K.
1959: Bobby Darin released the single "Dream Lover".
1960: Roy Orbison recorded “Only The Lonely” at RCA Victor Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.
1960: Ray Charles recorded “Georgia On My Mind”.
1961: Elvis Presley made his last stage appearance for nearly eight years at the Bloch Arena in Honolulu, Hawai'i. The show was a benefit for the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial on Pearl Harbor.
1964: The Beatles debuted on the Top of the Pops show on BBC-TV, performing "Can't Buy Me Love" and "You Can't Do That". The show had been recorded March 19. 1964: Frankie Avalon starred in the movie Muscle Beach Party, which opened in theaters.
1967: The Who and Cream began their first American tour at RKO 58th Street Theatre in New York City, a show put together by disc jockey Murray the "K".
1967: Aretha Franklin took over at #1 on the R&B chart with "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)".
1967: The fastest-climbing song of the week (#99 to #64) belonged to the Hollies--"On A Carousel". 1967: The Monkees were in the midst of one of the most phenomenal Album chart achievements--their second album, More of the Monkees was #1 for the seventh week, on the heels of a 13-week run at #1 for their self-titled debut.
1967: The Turtles moved to #1 with one of The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era*--"Happy Together". The Mamas & the Papas were at 2 with "Dedicated To The One I Love", the Beatles' previous #1 "Penny Lane" was now third and Herman's Hermits had another big hit with "There's A Kind Of Hush". The rest of the Top 10: Johnny Rivers with "Baby, I Need Your Lovin'", Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels with "Sock It To Me-Baby!", Buffalo Springfield moved from 12-7 with "For What It's Worth", Ed Ames and "My Cup Runneth Over", the Supremes were down with "Love Is Here and Now You're Gone" and the Rolling Stones tumbled with "Ruby Tuesday".
1968: Spanky & Our Gang released the single "Like to Get to Know You".
1968: The 58th and final episode of The Monkees aired on television. 1969: John Lennon and Yoko Ono began a "bed-in" for peace in Amsterdam. 1972: The Dramatics had the #1 R&B song with the great "In The Rain".
1972: B.J. Thomas topped the Adult chart with "Rock And Roll Lullabye".
"Mother Freedom", one of the top tracks on Bread's new album...
1972: The self-titled America album took over at #1 from Harvest by Neil Young. Bread's Baby I'm-A Want You was next with Nilsson Schmilsson from Nilsson and Paul Simon's self-titled release trailing. The rest of the Top 10: Fragile from Yes, Don McLean's American Pie at #7, Stanley, Idaho's Carole King with Music, the Rolling Stones edged up with their compilation Hot Rocks 1964-1971 and Al Green edged in with Let's Stay Together.
1972: In the span of six weeks, America rose to #1 with their first single--"A Horse With No Name".
1974: The Carpenters released the single "I Won't Last A Day Without You".
1975: Linda Ronstadt released her remake of the Everly Brothers hit "When Will I Be Loved".
1976: Jackson Browne’s wife Phyllis committed suicide. 1978: 20 Golden Greats by Buddy Holly & the Crickets was the #1 album in the U.K.
1978: England Dan & John Ford Coley's song "We'll Never Have To Say Goodbye Again" was the new #1 on the Adult chart.
1978: "Night Fever" by the Bee Gees was #1 for a second week, the eighth straight week that a song written by the group had been #1. "Stayin' Alive" from the Bee Gees was #2 with "Emotion", another song they wrote and sang on, third. Eric Clapton ("Lay Down Sally") and Barry Manilow ("Can't Smile Without You") were the only ones that broke up the monopoly as yet another song in which the Bee Gees played a crucial role on, brother Andy Gibb's "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water", was #6. The rest of the Top 10: "I Go Crazy" by Paul Davis, in the Top 10 after 31 weeks, Dan Hill with "Sometimes When We Touch", Yvonne Elliman moved up from 14-9 with another Bee Gees composition, "If I Can't Have You" and Jay Ferguson edged in with "Thunder Island".
The title track from 'Point of Know Return'...
1978: The album that took over from Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, the Soundtrack to "Saturday Night Fever", was #1 for a 10th week. Billy Joel'sThe Stranger was second for the fifth week but quite a distance behind. Slowhand from Eric Clapton took third followed by the excellent albums from Jackson Browne (Running On Empty) and Steely Dan (Aja). The rest of the Top 10: Even Now from Barry Manilow, George Benson remained in the #7 position with Weekend In L.A., Queen with News of the World, Styx was stuck at 9 with The Grand Illusion and Kansas joined in with Point of Know Return.
1979: Van Halen began their first world tour as a headline group at the Selland Arena in Reno, Nevada. (Note: some websites say that the group began its first world tour on April 8. First, it was the group's first tour as a headline group, not their first tour (they had supported Black Sabbath on tour the year before. Second, the tour was well underway on April 8, having started in Reno on March 25, according to the magazine 'Guitar World'.)
1983: Motown Records had a big bash to celebrate their 25th anniversary (Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever). Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, the Jackson 5, the Commodores, Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves and Jr. Walker performed at the Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California, televised by NBC.
1985: 'Til Tuesday released the single "Voices Carry".
1985: Kenny Rogers performed for the first time since having surgery to remove nodules in his throat.
1985: Prince won the Oscar for Best Original Score for the "Purple Rain" Soundtrack.
1986: Guns N' Roses signed a worldwide recording contract with Geffen Records. 1989: Gloria Estefan had the #1 album in the U.K. with Anything for You. 1989: Madonna's "Like A Prayer" was the #1 song in the U.K. 1989: Roy Orbison landed one last #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart with "You Got It".
Roxette enjoyed a healthy move...
1989: Mike + the Mechanics had the new #1 song with "The Living Years", but the Bangles were a factor with "Eternal Flame". Other noteworthy songs: "The Look" from Roxette moved from 8 to 4, Rod Stewart had #5 with "My Heart Can't Tell You No", Debbie Gibson's former #1 "Lost In Your Eyes" fell to #6, the Fine Young Cannibals jumped from 14 to 7 with "She Drives Me Crazy" and Chicago had their 20th career Top 10 and 45th hit with "You're Not Alone".
1995: Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam was rescued after a riptide carried him 250 feet offshore in New Zealand. 1995: "Love Can Build A Bridge", the Comic Relief charity record from Cher, Eric Clapton, Chrissie Hynde and Neneh Cherry, was the #1 song in the U.K. 1995: Soul for Real held on to #1 for a third week on the R&B chart with "Candy Rain".
1995: For the fifth straight week, Madonna wouldn't let go of #1 with "Take A Bow". "Candy Rain" from Soul for Real was second, followed by two TLC songs, "Creep" and "Red Light Special". "Run Away" by Real McCoy was the only new Top 10 song, taking just three weeks to get there. 2000: *N Sync set a Rock Era record after selling one million tickets in a day for the group's upcoming tour.
2001: Shaggy had the #1 song with "Angel".
2002: Bono testified on behalf of Peter Buck (R.E.M. guitarist) at Buck’s air rage trial in London. Bono said “I had to twist his arm to get him to a boxing match once because he thought it too aggressive.”
2002: Chris Cornell of Soundgarden walked out of rehearsals with members of Rage Against the Machine. Cornell later returned and the musicians formed the new group Audioslave.
2003: R.E.M. and Lenny Kravitz both posted anti-war songs online available for download. Michael Stipe wrote “The Final Straw” while Kravitz’s “We Want Peace” featured Iraqi vocalist Kadim Al Sahir.
2005: Ozzy Osbourne’s Buckinghamshire mansion caught fire. The family was treated for smoke inhalation. 2007: Take That rose to #1 in the U.K. with "Beautiful World".
Born This Day: 1934: Johnny Burnette, brother of Dorsey and father of Rocky ("Tired Of Toein' The Line" from 1980), was born in Memphis, Tennessee; drowned August 14, 1964 when his unlit fishing boat was struck by a cabin cruiser on Clear Lake, California, throwing Johnny overboard.
1947: Sir Elton John (Reginald Dwight) was born in Pinner, Middlesex, England.
1947: Jack Hall, bassist of the Charlie Daniels Band and Wet Willie 1949: Neil Jones, guitarist of Amen Corner, was born in Llanbradach, South Wales. 1951: Maisie Williams, singer with Boney M ("Rivers Of Babylon"), was born in Montserrat, West Indies.
1960: Steve Norman, saxophonist of Spandau Ballet, was born in London. (Note: some websites report that Norman was born in Stepney, London. Stepney is a district, not a city.)
1966: Jeff Healey ("Angel Eyes") was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; died of cancer in Toronto on March 2, 2008.
1969: Cathy Dennis ("Touch Me All Night Long" from 1991), who also wrote songs for Celine Dion, Kelly Clarkson, Janet Jackson and Britney Spears, was born in Norwich, Norfolk, England.
1975: Melanie Blatt, vocalist and a founding member of All Saints, was born in Camden, London.
1975: Juvenile (real name Terius Gray) was born in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Up next in this special feature, one of the pioneers of rock & roll:
#48: Chuck Berry
58 years as an active guitarist
(Berry singing and playing "Nadine")
Charles Edward Anderson Berry was born October 18, 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri. He was one of the pioneers of the rock and roll sound, helping incorporate elements of rhythm and blues into the unique rock & roll sound. His guitar solos and showmanship would have a major influence on artists for decades and in fact to this day.
Berry developed an interest in music at an early age and gave his first public performance at Sumner High School in St. Louis in 1941. Berry began working at an automobile assembly plant in 1947. By 1953, Berry was influenced by the guitar solos and showmanship of T-Bone Walker, and took lessons from friend Ira Harris. Chuck began performing in the evenings with the Johnnie Johnson Trio.
From the beginning, Chuck was a showman. In 1955, Berry traveled to Chicago and met Muddy Waters, who suggested he get in touch with Leonard Chess of Chess Records. Berry made a favorable impression, for he was signed to a recording contract and recorded "Maybellene", Berry's adaptation of the song "Ida Red". The song was certified Gold and reached #1 on the R&B chart. The following year, Berry released "Roll Over Beethoven", which was only a modest hit at the time but is now recognized for the great song it is.
In 1957, Berry went on tour with the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly and others on Alan Freed's "Biggest Show of Stars". He also performed "Rock 'n' Roll Music" on The Guy Mitchell Show on ABC. Berry had over a dozen hits in the next three years, including "School Days", "Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Johnny B. Goode".
By the end of the decade, Berry was an established star well in demand for live shows. But his career took a downturn after it was alleged that he had sex with a 14-year-old girl that he had transported across state lines to work as a hat check girl at his St. Louis nightclub, Berry's Club Bandstand. After two trials and an appeal, Berry was convinced and sentenced to three years in prison.
When Berry was released in 1963, he was able to continue recording because groups such as the Beatles and Rolling Stones had released cover versions of his songs. Berry released "No Particular Place to Go", essentially a remake of "School Day", and "Nadine". He continued to record in the 60's but by the 1970's, Chuck was more in demand as a nostalgic live performer.
Steve Miller and Bruce Springsteen were among the musicians who backed up Berry in the 1970's. Berry performed for President Jimmy Carter at the White House on June 1, 1979. Berry toured the oldies circuit and was often paid in cash by local promoters. This led to an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and later that year, Berry pleaded guilty to tax evasion and served four months in prison.
When he was released from prison, Berry continued to play 70 to 100 shows per year, traveling solo and requiring a local band to back him at each show. In 1986, Taylor Hackford's documentary film Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll, a celebration concert for Berry's 60th birthday, in which Berry showed his bitterness at the fame and financial success that Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones achieved on the back of Berry's songs. Linda Ronstadt, Eric Clapton, Etta James, Robert Cray and Julian Lennon appeared on stage and in the film.
Berry again became notorious when women who went to his restaurant filed a law suit over a video camera that was installed in the women's bathroom. Though Berry claimed that it wasn't installed to spy on women, a raid of his house found videotapes from the recordings (that also showed young girls) as well as marijuana. Not wanting to face child abuse charges, Berry plead guilty to the marijuana charge.
Berry still performs one Wednesday per month at Blueberry Hill, a restaurant and bar in St. Louis.
Berry played a Gibson ES-355 guitar on his tours in the 1970's.
Berry received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984 and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2000. Chuck was in the initial class of inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. In the area honoring Berry is the inscription: "While no individual can be said to have invented rock and roll, Chuck Berry comes the closest of any single figure to being the one who put all the essential pieces together. It was his particular genius to graft country & western guitar licks onto a rhythm & blues chassis in his very first single, Maybellene." An eight-foot statue of Berry was erected along the St. Louis Walk of Fame.
Though Berry has had his share of missteps and mistakes, no one can deny that he was one of the pioneers of rock and roll, helping mold rhythm and blues elements into the style that made rock and roll so appealing. His use of guitar solos and showmanship greatly influenced future performers. His "duck walk" of course, became famous. Chuck Berry is #48...
There are so many songs in this duo's repertoire that the masses never heard. Thanks to the lyrical and musical genius of Paul Simon and the breathtaking high notes of Art Garfunkel, their music is in many ways the soundtrack to our lives. Never were they better than September 19, 1981, when they reunited for a one-time free show in New York City's Central Park. Over 700,000 fans fortunate to be there on that evening and the millions of us who are lucky enough to be alive to hear their music are most grateful.
1956: Les Baxter had the #1 song with "Poor People Of Paris".
1958: Elvis Presley was sworn in as a private in the U.S. Army. 1962: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards made their professional live debut, performing onstage as Little Boy Blue & the Blue Boys. 1962: Sam Cooke's "Twistin' The Night Away" wrestled the #1 spot on the R&B chart away from Gene Chandler's "Duke Of Earl". 1962: Connie Francis reached #1 on the Easy Listening chart with "Don't Break The Heart That Loves You".
1962: Bruce Channel's "Hey! Baby" was #1 for the third week.
1965: Bill Wyman was knocked unconscious by an electrical shock from a microphone stand. It was the first date of the Rolling Stones anniversary tour in Odense, Denmark. 1965: The Beatles shot the interior temple scenes for the movie Help! at Twickenham Studios in England.
1966: The New York State Assembly passed a bill making it a misdemeanor to sell bootlegs.
1973: Lou Reed was bitten on his rear end by a fan during a concert in Buffalo, New York. The male fan was ejected from the show. 1973: Alice Cooper owned the top U.K. album with Billion Dollar Babies.
1975: Grand Funk released the single "Bad Time". 1978: The British courts granted British record companies the rights to seize bootleg and pirate recordings.
1979: Poco controlled the Adult Contemporary chart for a third week with "Crazy Love".
1979: Spirits Having Flown by the Bee Gees remained as the top album for a fourth week. Minute By Minute from the Doobie Brothers was right behind and the excellent debut from Dire Straits moved to challenge. Rod Stewart's Blondes Have More Fun fell while Love Tracks from Gloria Gaynor was #5.
1979: The Bee Gees were as hot as nearly anyone has been at any one time in the Rock Era. The group scored their fifth consecutive #1 song and ninth in the last five years with "Tragedy". Gloria Gaynor slipped to second with "I Will Survive" while the Doobie Brothers were up from 6 to 3 with "What A Fool Believes". Donna Summer with Brooklyn Dreams remained fourth with "Heaven Knows" and Peaches & Herb had a second straight big hit with "Shake Your Groove Thing". The rest of the Top 10: Rod Stewart's former #1 "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy", Dire Straits enjoyed their first hit with "Sultans Of Swing", the Pointer Sisters were on their way down with "Fire", Bobby Caldwell and "What You Won't Do For Love" while Olivia Newton-John stopped off at #10 with "A Little More Love".
1980: Kenny Rogers & Kim Carnes released the single "Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer". 1982: Iron Maiden released the album The Number of the Beast. (Note: some websites claim the album was released on March 24, 1980, but according to Garry Bushell and Ross Halfin's book 'Running Free, The Official Story of Iron Maiden', the correct date is March 24, 1982.)
1984: Lionel Richie began a six-week stay at #1 in the U.K. with his great song "Hello". 1984: Christine McVie's solo hit "Got A Hold On Me" was #1 for the third straight week on the Adult Contemporary chart. 1984: "Jump" by Van Halen held on to #1 for the fifth week in the United States. 1984: Thriller had already broken the Rock Era record set by Fleetwood Mac'sRumours, and this week Michael Jackson added to his total with a 34th week at #1 on the Album chart. 1990: Sinead O'Connor was on top of the U.K. Album chart with I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got. 1990: Taylor Dayne reached #1 on the AC chart with "Love Will Lead You Back".
1990: Canadian Allanah Myles had the top song with "Black Velvet". 1990: Forever Your Girl by Paula Abdul was the #1 album for the eighth week. Janet Jackson came in second with Rhythm Nation 1814 while Phil Collins was stuck at 3 with ...But Seriously. Michael Bolton's excellent Soul Provider moved up and Cosmic Thing from the B-52's was fifth. The rest of the Top 10: The great Nick of Time from Bonnie Raitt, storming into the list after 50 weeks of release, Girl You Know It's True from Milli Vanilli, Alannah Myles with her self-titled album, Cry Like a Rainstorm - Howl Like the Wind from Linda Ronstadt and Storm Front by Billy Joel slipped to #10.
1991: The Black Crowes were dropped as the opening act on ZZ Top's tour for repeatedly criticizing Miller Beer. Miller Beer happened to be sponsoring the tour. Some people don't have all their marbles.
1992: A Chicago judge ruled in the Milli Vanilli class-action suit that $3.00 cash rebates would be given to anyone that could prove that they bought the group's music before November 27, 1990 (the date the lip syncing scandal broke).
1998: Amway Corp. announced that it had agreed to pay $9 million to settle a lawsuit over the company's use of songs by top artists in videotaped sales pitches.
2001: The stretch of Highway 19 in Macon, Georgia where Duane Allman died in a motorcycle crash (October 29, 1971) was renamed Duane Allman Boulevard.
2002: Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach became the father of son Makaile Cielo Shaddix.
2003: David Lee Roth began a week as a substitute morning disc jockey on Arrow 93.1 in Los Angeles. 2003: Madonna had to re-edit her "American Life" clip when war broke out in Iraq. The video featured her lobbing grenades at a fashion show.
"Sunrise" from Norah Jones' new album
2004: Norah Jones' second album Feels Like Home topped the Album charts for a fifth consecutive week. 2005: Anthrax announced the lineup that was in place for the album Among the Living would reform for a national tour. 2007: Henson Cargill ("Skip A Rope" from 1967) died at the age of 66 following complications from surgery in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
2009: Uriel Jones, drummer for Motown on songs like "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye, "For Once In My Life" by Stevie Wonder, "Cloud Nine" by the Temptations and "I Second That Emotion" by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, died at age 74 from complications after suffering a heart attack in Dearborn, Michigan. 2010: Johnny Maestro of the Crests ("16 Candles") and Brooklyn Bridge ("The Worst That Could Happen") died of cancer in Cape Coral, Florida at the age of 70. 2013: Deke Richards (real name Dennis Lussier), songwriter and producer, who co-wrote "Love Child" for the Supremes and "ABC" for the Jackson 5, and produced the Supremes, the Jackson 5, Bobby Darin and Martha and the Vandellas, among others, died in Bellingham, Washington at the age of 68 from esophageal cancer.
Born This Day: 1937: Billy Stewart ("Summertime" from 1966) was born in Washington, D.C.; died January 17, 1970 along the Neuse River near Smithfield, North Carolina. 1938: Don Covay, who wrote "Chain Of Fools" for Aretha Franklin, and songs for the Rolling Stones, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Wilson Pickett, Steppenwolf, Chubby Checker, Bobby Womack, Solomon Burke, and others, and worked with Jimi Hendrix and Little Richard, was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina; died in his sleep after suffering a second stroke on January 31, 2015 in Valley Stream, New York. (Note: some websites report that Covay died on January 30, but the correct date is January 31, according to the newspaper 'The New York Times'.) 1941: Michael Masser, songwriter who wrote "Greatest Love Of All", "Saving All My Love For You", "Didn't We Almost Have It All" and "All At Once" for Whitney Houston, "THeme From 'Mahogany'", "Touch Me In the Morning" and "Last Time I Saw Him" by Diana Ross, "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love" for Roberta Flack & Peabo Bryson, "If Ever You're In My Arms Again" for Bryson, "Nothing's Gonna' Change My Love For You" for Glenn Medeiros, "Miss You Like Crazy" for Natalie Cole, and many others, was born in Chicago, Illinois; died July 9, 2015 in Rancho Mirage, California, the result of deteriorating health after suffering a stroke three years before. 1947: Mike Kellie, drummer of Spooky Tooth, was born in Birmingham, England.
1948: Lee Oskar, famed harmonica player of War, was born in Copenhagen, Denmark.
1949: Nick Lowe, member of Brinsley Schwatz, solo star ("Cruel To Be Kind" from 1979) and producer, was born in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England. (Note: some websites claim Lowe was born in Woodchurch, Suffolk, England, but according to both 'Billboard' and the newspaper 'The Examiner', he was born in Walton-on-Thames.)
1951: Dougie Thomson, bassist for Supertramp, was born in Glasgow, Scotland. 1960: Nena (real name Gabriele Susanne Kerner), lead singer of the group which bears her name ("99 Luftballons" from 1982), was born in Hagen, Germany. 1970: Sharon Corr of the Corrs ("Breathless") was born in Dundalk, Ireland. 1974: Chad Butler, drummer for Switchfoot, was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. 1982: Nivea was born in Savannah, Georgia.