Thursday, June 9, 2011

Today's Trivia – Music & Musicians

Everyone can relate to music; it’s the universal language. Below is some useless but interesting information about it, and the artists that make it happen...

- Michael Jackson was just five years old when the Jackson Five played their first professional gig. Their fee for the night was only eight dollars, but they collected over one hundred dollars in money tossed on the stage.

- Leo Sayer had a Brighton (UK) Bus named after him. It ran on Metro Line 7 from September 1999 until April 2004 when the bus was sold.

- In 2000 George Michael paid £1.45m for the Steinway piano on which John Lennon wrote 'Imagine.'

- Each KISS member represents a character. Simmons is The Demon, Frehley is The Spaceman, Stanley is The Star Child, Criss is The Cat, and Carr was The Fox.

- In 1955 an unsuccessful bid to change copyright laws that would prohibit white artists from singing R&B cover tunes was proposed to U.S. Congress by singer, LaVern Baker.

- You can sing the chorus of the Beach Boys "Surfing USA" along with Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen".

- Themes from Unforgiven, A Perfect World, The Bridges of Madison County, and Absolute Power were all written by Clint Eastwood.

- In 1979, Judy Garland's false eye lashes were sold at auction for $125.

- Tony Blackburn was the first D.J. on BBC Radio One. The first song played was "Flowers In The Rain" by The Move.

- John Lennon sang into a condom-covered microphone to protect himself from electric shocks while trying to achieve an underwater sound for The Beatles hit
Yellow Submarine," but they never used the zany recording.

- Elvis's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, covered all bases by selling both "I Love Elvis" buttons as well as "I Hate Elvis" buttons.

- Louis Armstrong's nickname Satchmo was an abbreviation of "satchel mouth", a joke about the size of his mouth. He was also nicknamed Gatemouth, Dippermouth, Dip & Pops.

- Cockney Rebel bass player Paul Jeffreys was one of the 270 passengers on Pan-Am flight 103 killed by a terrorist bomb when the plane crashed over Lockerbie, Scotland. Sex Pistol John Lydon and his wife, Nora, missed the flight because his wife hadn't packed in time. The Four Tops also had been booked onto the flight returning to the States for Christmas but missed it after a recording session over ran.

- About 2.4 billion CDs are sold annually and the number of recorded CDs and blank CDs sold has been equal. Around one-third of recorded CDs are pirated.

- Ex Spice Girl Emma Bunton played one of the bridesmaids who were catapulted onto a giant wedding cake in a Halifax Building Society TV commercial. Former S Club 7's Tina Barret appeared in the same advert.

- Elton John's original name was Reginald Kenneth Dwight. The name Elton comes from Elton Dean, a Bluesology sax player. John comes from Long John Baldry, British R&B singer and founder of Blues Inc. Eventually he made Elton Hercules John his legal name. Hercules was the name of the horse in the British comedy series Steptoe and Son.

- 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen which contains the famous "mamma mia, mamma mia, mamma mia let me go" line, was knocked off the No.1 position on the UK chart by Abba's 'Mamma Mia' (January 1976).

- In a 1997 TV interview, Mick Jagger attributed the original classic design of the Stones' tongue logo to John Pasch, not Andy Warhol as often misquoted.

- According to producer George Martin, the 60's Batman TV theme tune inspired George Harrison of the Beatles, to write the hit song "Taxman".

- Previous to April 1966, David Bowie had recorded under the name of David Jones and The Lower Third.

- Iggy Pop, Mick Fleetwood and David Soul have each been guests on "Star Trek".

- The first video to premier on MTV was "Video Killed The Radio Star" by Buggles on August 1st 1981. The most aired video in MTV's history is Peter Gabriel's “Sledgehammer".

- When Billy Crystal was a child, his babysitter was the legendary singer Billie Holiday.

- The first Gibson double neck/twin neck guitar to be imported to the UK was a white solid mahogany Gibson 1275 Twin Neck, ordered in 1963 by guitar virtuoso Frank White. It took a year to arrive from the states. Frank played successfully with it for 20 years. It is now owned and played by guitar virtuoso Phil Brodie of Bitter Suite.

- The band AC/DC was featured on the front cover of the first issue of Kerrang Magazine, launched in 1981.

- John Lennon met Yoko Ono the first time the night before one of her performing-art exhibitions at the Indica Gallery, London, as she was setting up. (Nov 8th 1966) John and the rest of the band were friends with the owners of the Indica.

- Madonna has MP (standing for Madonna's Property) and Marilyn Monroe's face tattooed on her bottom.

- The LP (long-playing) record was invented by Paul Goldmark in 1948. The LP is not dead yet: more than 10 million LPs are sold every year.
- It was at a concert in Minneapolis in 1956 that Al Dvorin (Elvis's tour manager and announcer for 22 years till Elvis's death in 1977) first closed an Elvis concert with: "Ladies and Gentleman, Elvis has left the building. Thank you and good night." This was after a similar announcement a few nights before by Horace Logan. Horace Logan coined the phrase; Al Dvorin popularized it.

- Axl Rose [Guns 'n' Roses] used to earn $8 an hour for smoking cigarettes; for a science experiment at UCLA.

- Elvis Presley once entered an Elvis look-a-like contest in a US burger bar and only came in 3rd.

- The band Wild Cherry, who had a number one disco hit with "Play That Funky Music" in 1976, took their name from a box of cough drops.

- Hendrix claimed 'Purple Haze' was inspired by a dream where he was walking under the sea. In the dream, he said a purple haze surrounded him, engulfed him and got him lost. It was a traumatic experience, but in his dream his faith in Jesus saved him. At one point, Hendrix wrote the chorus as "Purple Haze, Jesus Saves," but decided against it.

- In 1958, fans of rock and roll music were warned that tuning into music on the car radio could cost you more money. Researchers from the Esso gas company said the rhythm of rock and roll can cause the driver to be foot heavy on the pedal, making them waste fuel.

- In 1961 Britain’s' BBC Radio banned the song "100 Pounds of Clay" by Gene McDaniels because it has a reference to women being created from building materials, which the network considered to be blasphemous!

- At the same time that Ringo Starr received an offer from Brian Epstein to join the Beatles, he was also asked to join another Liverpool group called Kingsize Taylor and The Dominoes. Ringo chose the one offering the best wage - 25 pounds a week!

- '62 hit Stranger On The Shore's, Mr. Aker Bilk, learned to play the clarinet while he was in prison. He had been sentenced to three months in jail after falling asleep while on guard duty for the British Army in Egypt.

- Frank Sinatra once called Rock and Roll "The most brutal, ugly, degenerate, vicious form of expression it has been my displeasure to hear."

- When she was just four years old, Gladys Knight won first prize on TV's Ted Mack's Amateur Hour.

- Led Zeppelin played ‘Stairway To Heaven’ for the first time in Belfast on March 5, 1971. John Paul Jones said the audience was not impressed. They wanted to hear something they liked - like "Whole Lotta Love."

- Alanis Morissette appeared on the talent show Star Search in 1989 (where she performed a version of the Osmond’s' "One Bad Apple") but lost to a singing cowboy named Chad.

- The Animals 1964 single 'House Of The Rising Sun' was the first Number 1 to have a playing time of more than four minutes.

- On his debut album 'For You' Prince played 27 different instruments.

- The title of Phil Spector's song by The Teddy Bears, 'To Know Him Is To Love Him' was taken from the inscription on Spector's father's tombstone.

- Keith Richards’s favourite drink is called 'Nuclear Waste'. Vodka with orange, Fanta and cranberry juice.

- I ‘Fought The Law’, a hit for The Clash was written by Sonny Curtis of Buddy Holly's Crickets.

- Elvis Presley made only one television commercial, an ad for "Southern Maid Doughnuts" that ran in 1954.

- In September 1974, Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones entered a Swiss Clinic to have his blood cleaned [in a form of dialysis] to get him off heroine quickly, to complete a European tour.

- The group Spandau Ballet got their name from a piece of graffiti seen by Robert Elms on a Berlin Loo wall.

- A concert promoter in Hawaii sold a thousand tickets to a Spice Girls concert. Unfortunately the concert was never scheduled. The man was arrested and told police he needed the money for a nose job and a sex change.

- Bryan Adams took a picture of The Queen of England at a 2002 Golden Jubilee function in England that was used on a Canadian stamp.

- Country singer Waylon Jennings was a guitar player in Buddy Holly's backup band. He gave up his plane seat to J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper) just moments before it took off. The plane crashed, killing all on board, including Buddy Holly.

- Barry Manilow was once a page boy at CBS and was later Bette Midler's musical director. Before having his first hit record, Barry earned a living writing commercials, including the jingles for State Farm Insurance, Band Aids, Stridex, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, and McDonalds.

- While playing in front of a large lake at the Crystal Palace Bowl in London in 1970, Pink Floyd played so loud, a number of fish were killed.

- In 1996, Ringo Starr appeared in a Japanese advertisement for apple sauce, which coincidentally is what "Ringo" means in Japanese.

- James Brown's wife tried to get her traffic tickets dismissed because of "diplomatic immunity" in June of 1988. She claimed her husband is the official ambassador of soul". She lost the case.

- The first record to receive a gold disc was "Chattanooga Cho-Cho" by The Glen Miller Orchestra in 1942. It sold 1.2 million copies.

- When Steve Winwood left the Spencer Davis Group in the summer of 1967, one of the rejected applicants to be auditioned was a young piano player named Reginald Dwight, who would later launch a solo career, re-naming himself, Elton John.

- Throughout their career, Ringo received far more fan mail than any of the other Beatles.

- Despite all of the hits the band has had, The Who has never had a number one record in the UK or the US.

- The Everly Brothers world hit "Bye Bye Love" was rejected by 30 labels before Cadence Records picked it up.


  1. The history behind how artists/bands and songs became famous is interesting. Ringo has always been my favorite Beatle.

  2. It sure is interesting. Music is a big part of our lives; can't imagine what life would be like without it.