Thursday, August 18, 2011

Today's Trivia - Music & Musicians

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


- Martha Reeves later of The Vandellas 1st worked at Motown Records as a secretary. Her duties included supervising a very young Stevie Wonder.

- David Lee Roth's 1985 #12 hit "Just A Gigolo / I Ain't Got Nobody", originally charted at the #1 spot in 1931 by jazz artist Ted Lewis.

- Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson once had a giant sandbox built around his piano, so he could feel the sand beneath his feet for song writing inspiration.

- Gene Simmons of Kiss has a tongue that is seven inches long, two inches longer than most men.

- Steppenwolf's lead singer, John Kay, made a perilous midnight escape from post-war East Germany when he was a child.

- The first CD pressed in the United States for commercial release was Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA."

- Chuck Berry holds a degree in cosmetology.

- Petula Clark's hit, "This Is My Song" was written by movie actor Charlie Chaplin.

- Roy Orbison's trademark look came about when he misplaced his regular glasses and had to rely on a pair of prescription sun-glasses. His management liked the mysterious look it gave him and soon, they were the only ones he wore.

- Jimi Hendrix was thrown out of high school for holding the hand of a white girl in class.

- Even though he has recorded some of the most memorable rock and roll classics, the only gold record that Chuck Berry ever received was for "My Ding-a-ling".

- 'Billie Jean' by Michael Jackson was the first video to air on MTV by a black artist.

- When Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" finally fell off of Billboard's Hot 200 Album list in October 1988, it had set a record of 741 weeks on the chart.

- "Are You Lonesome Tonight?", the 1960 hit for Elvis Presley, was written by Roy Turk and Lou Handman in 1926 as a vaudeville recitation and first recorded by Al Jolson.

- The first group to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame was The Coasters.

- More than 2,500 cover versions of The Beatles' "Yesterday" exist, making it the most recorded song in history.

- Barry Manilow's hit "I Write The Songs" was actually written by Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys.

- Glen Frey of the Eagles played rhythm guitar on Bob Seger's "Ramblin', Gamblin' Man.

- EMI stands for Electrical & Musical Instruments.

- Puff Daddy/P Diddy throws away his trainers after wearing them for just one day.

- When John Lennon divorced Julian Lennon's mother Cynthia, Paul McCartney composed the song "Hey Jude," to cheer Julian up.

- Before finding fame as a musician, Neil Young recorded television laugh tracks. Most of the laughter heard on the third season of The Dick Van Dyke Show is Young’s. He overdubbed his laughter, sometimes as many as two hundred times, to create the effect of an audience laughing.

- At the end of the Beatles' song "A Day in the Life," an ultrasonic whistle, audible only to dogs, was recorded by Paul McCartney for his Shetland sheepdog.

- Harry Belafonte's 1956, Calypso, was the first album to sell one million copies.

- LeAnn Rimes's "How Do I Live" lasted 69 weeks on Billboard's Hot 100 (1996-1997).

- Michael Jackson's Bad Album had 5 number one songs, more than any other album. (1987-1988)

- In April of 1964, The Beatles held the top 5 positions on the Billboard Charts. #1 - Can't Buy Me Love, #2 - Twist and Shout, #3 - She Loves You, #4 - I Want to Hold Your Hand, #5 - Please Please Me.

- Michael Jackson's Thriller (1982-1984), Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA (1984-1985) and Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989-1991) were the only albums to produce seven top-ten singles.

- James Brown had 99 Hot 100 Billboard entries, yet never had a number one Hot 100 hit.


- Sonny and Cher were initially known as Caesar and Cleo.

- Before he became the reigning male artist in country music, Garth Brooks worked as a sporting goods employee and as a manager of a cowboy-boot store.

- To become a gold-selling album, an album needs to sell 100,000 copies in Britain and 500,000 in the United States.

- Dame Nellie Melba, an Australian opera singer, is where Melba Toast got its name.

- In 1876, the year the telephone was invented, music was sent over a telephone wire for the first time.

- Philips and Sony developed the creation of the compact disc in 1980.

- On an annual average, there are approximately 2.4 billion CDs sold every year. This is a combination of recorded CDs and blank CDs and the total number sold of each is about equal.

- Paul Goldmark invented the LP (long-playing) record in 1948. Although it has had a decline in popularity, there are still 10 million LPs sold every year.

- The United States took “The Star-Spangled Banner” as their national anthem in 1931. Before that the national anthem had been “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” which has the same tune as Britain’s national anthem, “God Save the Queen.” John Bull wrote the melody in 1619 and that melody has been used more than any other song in national anthems.

- The British national anthem has been played more times in a single performance than any other anthem. It was played seventeen times by a German band in 1909 while they were waiting for King Edward VII to finish dressing.

- 'Wake Me Up Before You Go Go' by Wham! was inspired by a sign Andrew Ridgeley used to put on his bedroom door for his mum to wake him before she went to work; it was also Wham's first US hit.

- In 1957, Disc Jockey Al Priddy of KEX, Portland, Oregon, was fired for violating the radio station's ban against playing Elvis Presley's rendition of "White Christmas”. After hearing reports that many U.S. radio stations had banned Elvis's Christmas album because of their shock over "the Pelvis" singing religious songs, DJ Allen Brooks of CKWS in Kingston, Ontario, played the entire album and invited listeners to call in their opinion. Of 800 callers, only 56 disapprove of Presley's sacred music.

- On the 1977 Emerson, Lake and Palmer tour, there were 63 roadies , including a karate instructor for Palmer and their own doctor. It was also rumored they had a "carpet roadie," whose job was to transport and sweep the Persian rug Lake stood on during the concerts. They also used a 70 piece orchestra.

- Rock band Van Halen had a provision in their contract demanding M&Ms backstage with the brown ones removed. This was a way of seeing if the promoters read the contract. If they saw brown M&Ms, they knew there would be problems with the show.

- Before becoming Elvis Presley's agent, Colonel Tom Parker ran a troupe of dancing chickens.

- In January 2002, George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" replaced Aaliyah's "More Than A Woman" at #1 - the only time that a deceased artist has taken over from another deceased artist at #1.

- Rod Stewart was in a group called 'Shotgun Express' with Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood (the latter two went on to form Fleetwood Mac).

- When Elvis Presley was inducted into the US Army on March 24th, 1958, Uncle Sam started losing an estimated $500,000 in lost taxes for each year that Private Presley served.

- Pink Floyd was the first band to use a quadraphonic sound system at concerts. Using 4 different channels of audio, it was an early version of surround sound.

- The dinosaur, Cryolophosaurus, was at one point informally known as the Elvisaurus, due to the resemblance to Elvis Presley's pompadour haircut in the 1950s.

- Elvis was a collector of official badges. He had a police badge from just about every city that he ever performed in.

- Elvis also collected guns. His collection held over forty pieces and included M-16s and a Thompson submachine gun.

- Before he catapulted to fame, Bob Dylan was paid $50 in 1960 for playing the harmonica on a Harry Belafonte album.

- Duran Duran got their name from a movie called “Barbarella.” A mad scientist in the movie went by the same name.

- Bob Dylan’s first performance as a professional musician was for John Lee Hooker at Gerde’s Folk City in New York in 1961. Dylan was the opening act.

- Before calling themselves “Journey”, Steve Perry’s band was called Golden Gate Rhythm Section.

- The Buffalo Convention Centre held the world’s largest disco in 1969. There were 13,000 dancers and they were entered into The Guinness Book of World Records.

- Peter Stewart of Birmingham, UK also set a world disco record. His was the longest time anyone ever disco danced. He set the record in August of 1983 by disco dancing for 408 hours.

- Annie Lennox has won the most British music awards. She has won eight of them.

- The Beatles are the band to have sold the most copies of records in the United States with 106 million. Garth Brooks comes in second with 92 million, Led Zeppelin is in third with 83 million, Elvis Presley has sold 77 million, and the Eagles rank fifth with 65 million. Throughout the entire world, The Beatles have sold over one billion records.

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