Their Hits, Their Stories, Where Are They Now?

Rock 'n' Roll's Fascinating Facts
Here is some obscure trivia about your favorite classic rock acts.
New trivia is added weekly.

While still known as Reg Dwight, Elton John was paid 12 Pounds to play piano on The Hollies' 1969 hit, "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother".

In January, 1978, guitarist Ted Nugent autographed a man's arm with a Bowie knife after the fan had requested it.

There is no one named Marshall Tucker in The Marshall Tucker Band. The group named themselves after the previous tenant of their rehearsal hall, after finding a key tag with his name on it.

Glen Frey of The Eagles played rhythm guitar and sang backup vocals on Bob Seger's first Billboard Top 40 hit, "Ramblin', Gamblin' Man". The song reached #17 in 1969.

As a teenager, Bobby Hatfield of The Righteous Brothers was a pretty good baseball player and was scouted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the late 1950s.

Although he rose to the top of his musical genre, James Brown endured a troubled childhood. Abandoned by his parents at the age of five, he was sent to Augusta, Georgia to live at an aunt's brothel. At 16, he was convicted of stealing and landed in reform school for three years. It was there that he started singing Gospel music, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Hoyt Axton wrote Three Dog Night's 1971 hit, "Joy To The World". His mother, Mae Axton co-wrote "Heartbreak Hotel" for Elvis Presley. Both songs topped the Billboard chart, making them the only Mother/Son duo to accomplish that feat.

Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert co-wrote and sang background vocals on John Denver's #2 hit, "Take Me Home, Country Roads" in 1971. In 1976 the pair would top the Billboard Hot 100 with "Afternoon Delight" as members of The Starland Vocal Band. In 2010, Billboard ranked "Afternoon Delight" at #20 on their list of The Sexiest Songs Of All Time.

B.J. Thomas' 1972, #15 hit "Rock and Roll Lullaby" included vocals by David Somerville of The Diamonds, Darlene Love, Fanita James and Jean King of The Blossoms, and Duane Eddy on guitar. Although it is often rumored, The Beach Boys do not appear on the recording.

One of the tunes that Brian Wilson recorded for his "Live at the Roxy Theatre" album in 2000 is the Barenaked Ladies' 1992 song "Brian Wilson", which poked fun at the time that he spent in bed in the 1970s.

In early August, 1966, about two weeks after Datebook magazine published John Lennon's infamous "We're more popular than Jesus now" statement, The Beatles played at Dodger Stadium and were actually trapped inside the building by overzealous fans for about two hours. The two security guards assigned to protect them that day were named Jack Moses and Jim Christ (pronounced krist.)

Singer Jessi Colter, best remembered for her 1975, Billboard #4 hit, "I'm Not Lisa", married guitarist Duane Eddy in 1961 and Country star Waylon Jennings in 1969.

Glen Campbell played lead guitar on the recordings of The Beach Boys "Dance, Dance, Dance" and "Help Me Rhonda". He was also a full time member of The Beach Boys' touring group for four months in 1964 into 1965.

An instrumental called "No Matter What Shape", that was used in Alka Seltzer commercials in 1965, went to #3 for The T-Bones. The touring group contained Dan Hamilton, Joe Frank Carollo and Tom Reynolds who would top the Billboard chart in 1975 with "Fallin' In Love" as Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds.

The piano player on Simon And Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is Larry Knechtel, who later joined the Soft Rock group Bread.

British singer Cilla Black, best remembered for her number one U.K hit "Anyone Who Had a Heart", had her stage name changed by accident. A Mersey Beat reporter who wrote a favorable review remembered the wrong color as her surname. Rather than lose the good publicity, she decided to use Black instead of her real name, Cilla White.

Tiny Tim declared himself a New York City mayoral candidate in March, 1989. After just five weeks, he withdrew, telling a news reporter, "My campaign fizzled as flat as this beer."

Archie Bell co-wrote his million selling hit "Tighten Up" after learning that he had been drafted. By the time the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 in May, 1968, he was a member of the U.S. military and could not tour to support the record.

Len Barry, who scored a 1963, #2 hit with "1-2-3", was the lead singer of The Dovells on their 1961 smash "Bristol Stomp" when he was known as Len Borisoff.

The lead vocal of The Beach Boys' 1965, #1 hit, "Barbara Ann" was actually sung by Dean Torrence of Jan And Dean. Torrence was just hanging around the studio when everyone started to play the former Regents' hit, without knowing that the tape machine was still running.

After the British Invasion duo of Peter And Gordon had run their course, Peter Asher went on to become the manager of Linda Rondstadt and James Taylor.

B.J. Thomas set a record for the Billboard number one song with the longest title with "Hey Won't You Play Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" in 1975.

In 1972, Led Zeppelin was forced to cancel a concert in Singapore when officials wouldn't let them off the plane because of their long hair.

In 1978, ABBA was Sweden's most profitable export. Car maker Volvo was number two.

In 1969 Rita Coolidge's sister, Priscilla Coolidge married Booker T. Jones of Booker T. And The MGs. During their ten year union the pair collaborated as a duo on three albums. After their divorce Priscilla married 60 Minutes broadcaster Ed Bradley and later wed Michael Seibert. Coolidge and Seibert were found dead in their home in Thousand Oaks, CA. on October 2, 2014, from what police ruled a murder-suicide.

Barry Manilow's 1974, #1 hit, "Mandy" was written and recorded by Scott English as "Brandy", but was changed by Manilow to avoid confusion with a 1972 record by a band named Looking Glass.

Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top sport two of the longest beards in all of show business, while drummer Frank Beard is clean shaven.

When Elvis Presley was discharged from the Army on March 5th, 1960, RCA Records wasted no time in getting him back into the recording studio. Anticipation for the new Elvis single was so great, the record company had taken 1,275,077 orders for the un-released song, making "Stuck On You" a million seller before it was even recorded.

The name, Three Dog Night was inspired by a magazine article about Australian aborigines, who on cold nights, would sleep beside their dogs for warmth. The very coldest weather was called a "three dog night". Other names that the group considered were "Redwood" and "Tricycle".

Boz Scaggs' real name is William Royce Scaggs. His handle is shortened from a high school nickname, "Bosley".

Actor Tab Hunter, who topped the Billboard chart in March of 1957 with "Young Love", was so popular with the ladies that he once received over 62,000 Valentines.

"Walk Away Renee" by The Left Banke was rejected by ten major labels before Smash Records took a chance on it. Soon after its release in February 1966, it shot up the Billboard chart and peaked at #5.

Tommy James' hit "Crimson And Clover" was accidently leaked to a Chicago radio station who played a rough mix over the air before the record was actually released. Roulette Records then felt obligated to quickly issue the single in its rough edit, which amazingly went to number one in America on February 1st, 1969.

Although Tony Burrows never had a hit record using his own name, he holds the unusual distinction of having sung five Billboard Top 20 hits for five different groups. He sang lead vocals on Edison Lighthouse's "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes" (#5, Feb. 1970), White Plains' "My Baby Loves Lovin'" (#13, March 1970), The Pipkins' "Gimme Dat Ding" (#9, April 1970), The Brotherhood Of Man's "United We Stand" (#13, July 1970) and First Class' "Beach Baby" (#4, July 1974).

While the song was still under development, the first working title of what would become The Eagles "Hotel California" was "Mexican Reggae".

Kyu Sakamoto's "Sukiyaki" has the distinction of being the only song in the history of the Billboard Hot 100 to be sung entirely in Japanese. The actual title of the song is "Ue O Muite Aruko" or "I Look Up When I Walk". Fearful that Americans would be unable to pronounce the title, Capitol Records released it as "Sukiyaki" and watched it soar to #1 in June of 1963.

The song "Bye Bye Love" had been rejected by 30 other artists before The Everly Brothers recorded it in February, 1957. The record went on to sell over a million copies, reaching #2 on the U.S. Pop chart and #1 on the Country & Western chart.

The Christmas song "Silver Bells" was first titled "Tinkle Bells" until co-composer Jay Livingston's wife told him "tinkle" had another meaning.

Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide since it was released in December, 1942 and was recognized as the best-selling single in any music category for more than 50 years until 1998 when Elton John's tribute to Princess Diana, "Candle in the Wind", overtook it in a matter of months.

During a six year period between 1967 and 1972 The Grass Roots set a record for being on the Billboard charts an unbelievable 307 straight weeks.

Although he was named Johnny Allen Hendrix at birth, his tombstone reads James M. "Jimi" Hendrix.

It was Paul McCartney, not Ringo Starr who played drums on the Beatles "Back In The U.S.S.R." and "The Ballad of John and Yoko".

James Brown's wife, Adrienne Brown tried to get her traffic tickets dismissed because of "diplomatic immunity" in June of 1988. She claimed her husband was the official "ambassador of soul". The request was later withdrawn.

Paul McCartney's 1977 hit, "Mull Of Kintyre" is his all-time largest selling record in the UK, either with or without The Beatles. In America it was virtually ignored.

Kenny Rogers was once a member of the New Christy Minstrels, and can be heard singing the chorus of their hit record, "Green, Green" behind the lead vocal of Barry McGuire, who would later have a solo smash himself with "Eve Of Destruction".

Although she sang "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue", Crystal Gayle's eyes are actually blue.

When Tina Turner left her husband and former band mate Ike Turner in 1975, she was carrying nothing more than thirty-six cents in change and a gas station credit card. In August, 1984, she was awarded a Gold Record for "What's Love Got To Do With It".

Elvis Presley's October, 1976 recording of "Way Down" also featured J.D. Sumner singing the words "way on down" at the end of each chorus, down to the note low C. At the end of the song he got down to double low C, which according to the Guinness Book Of World Records was the lowest note ever produced by the human voice up to that time.

Woodstock Ventures, the sponsors of the original Woodstock Festival, lost more than $1.2 million on the concert.

Little Richard's father, Charles "Bud" Penniman was both a church deacon and a nightclub owner who sold bootlegged moonshine on the side.

The Beatles recorded "Strawberry Fields Forever" during the sessions for "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" in the Fall of 1966. The song was left off the album, but appeared on 1968's "Magical Mystery Tour".

Sherman Kelly wrote what would become King Harvest's 1973, #13 hit, "Dancing In The Moonlight" while he was recovering from a severe beating he received in the Virgin Islands that nearly took his life. "I envisioned an alternate reality," said Kelly. "The dream of a peaceful and joyful celebration of life."

In 1956 Bette Nesmith Graham, the mother of Monkees guitarist Michael Nesmith, invented a correction fluid she called Mistake Out and founded the company that would become Liquid Paper. In 1979 the Liquid Paper Corporation was sold to the Gillette Corporation for $47.5 million.

Hank Ballard And The Midnighters made music history in September, 1960 when they became the first group to have three songs in the U.S. Hot 100 at the same time, "Finger Poppin' Time", "Let's Go, Let's Go, Let's Go" and "The Twist".

Both of Bobby Hebb's parents were blind musicians.

The first time Billy Joel played 'Just The Way You Are' for his then wife Elizabeth, she asked "Do I get the publishing too?" Billy would later say, "In retrospect, I probably should have known right then and there that the relationship was doomed. I had written 'Just The Way You Are' for someone who had changed."

Brian Wilson's divorce from his wife Marilyn was presided over by Judge Joseph Wapner, before he rose to fame on TV.

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.

Michael Jackson's 1988 autobiography, Moon Walk, was edited by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Two members of Beach Boys, Carl Wilson and David Marks, took guitar lessons from John Maus, who would go on to fame as John Walker of The Walker Brothers.

The first draft of Jan And Dean's 1963 hit, "Surf City", was written by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys with the working title "Goody Connie Won't You Come Back Home".

Dolly Parton once entered a Dolly Parton look-a-like contest. She lost to a drag queen.

Wolfman Jack, who was an ordained minister, officiated at the wedding of Beach Boys' vocalist Mike Love to Cathy Martinez in 1981.

Michael Jackson paid $47 million for the publishing rights to the Beatles' back catalogue in 1985 and sold a share of to Sony in 1995 for $95 million.

The group of studio musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew" were so named by drummer Hal Blaine because older, more conservative players said that these young session guys were going to "wreck the business."

David Lee Roth's 1985 hit "Just A Gigolo", was originally recorded by jazz artist Ted Lewis in 1931.

In 1990, Andrew Gold, who wrote "Lonely Boy" and "Thank You For Being A Friend", appeared with four of his family members on the game show Family Feud.

Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs' 1965 #2 hit "Wooly Bully" was the first Billboard Record of the Year not to have topped a weekly Hot 100.

Country singer Tanya Tucker was such a big Elvis fan, she named one of her daughters "Presley."

The Kingsmen's Jack Ely once said that when the band entered the studio, their intention was to record "Louie Louie" as an instrumental, but they changed their mind at the last minute and he decided to add a vocal track.

Johnnie Taylor's "Disco Lady" became the first single to ever sell over 2 million copies in April, 1976.

Glen Campbell's "Witchita Lineman" was the most played song on Country radio in the last century.

At one point, The Beach Boys' Mike Love, keyboard player Billy Preston, Marilyn McCoo and Ron Townsend of The Fifth Dimension and guitarist Johnny Echols of the L.A. band Love, all attended Dorsey High School in Los Angeles.

Elvis Presley offered the press a chance to interview him in June of 1972 for a fee of $120,000. There were no takers.

The Zombies 1964 #2 smash, "She's Not There", was only the third song that Rod Argent ever wrote. He was just eighteen at the time.

Members of The Beach Boys sang background vocals for Chicago's "Wishing You Were Here" and Elton John's "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me".

On June 7th, 1979, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service charged Chuck Berry with three counts of tax evasion. Just hours later, he performed at a concert for President Jimmy Carter on the front lawn of the White House.

George Young, who co-founded AC/DC along with his brothers Angus and Malcolm, was the lead guitarist for a band called The Easybeats, who scored a Billboard Top 20 hit in 1967 with "Friday On My Mind".

Tom Jones lost a paternity suit in July of 1989 and was ordered to pay $200 a week in child support to 27 year old Katherine Berkery of New York. The judge in the case was Judith B. Sheindlin, who was still serving in her fifteen year tenure as a New York Family Court judge before appearing in her TV show, Judge Judy.

"To Sir With Love", the 1967 hit by Lulu, went all the way to number one in the United States, where it would stay for five weeks. In her homeland of Great Britain, the record didn't chart at all.

Sky Saxon wrote The Seeds' 1967 garage band classic "Pushin' Too Hard" while sitting in the front seat of a car waiting for his girlfriend to finish grocery shopping.

Jimmy Webb wrote "MacAruther Park" for a woman named Susan who worked for Aetna Life Insurance, which had an office across the street from the park in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles. The two would meet there occasionally for lunch, but the romance fizzled and she married someone else, just like the song says.

Three members of the Young Rascals, Felix Cavaliere, Gene Cornish and Eddie Brigati were once members of Joey Dee And The Starlighters, who scored a number one hit in 1961 with "The Peppermint Twist".

Several of the major forces in the world of Rock 'n' Roll, including Jimi Hendrix and The Carpenters, started out as opening acts for Engelbert Humperdinck in the late '60s, '70's and '80s.

In 2009, Buddy Holly's widow, Maria Elena Holly Santiago, told that she liked Don McLean's song "American Pie", but disagreed with its central premise. "Buddy may not be here, but the music has not died," she said. "It is still alive and well."

Dick Clark's wife suggested that Ernest Evans change his name to "Chubby Checker" as a parody of "Fats Domino".

Before he was convicted of murder, Charles Manson befriended Beach Boys' drummer Dennis Wilson, who convinced the rest of the band to record a Manson composition called "Cease To Exist". The title was changed to "Never Learn Not To Love" and was released as the "B" side of the single "Bluebirds Over The Mountain", which eventually climbed to number 61 in early 1969, giving Manson a hit record on Billboard's Hot 100.

Despite the name, only two members of The Statler Brothers (Don and Harold Reid) are actual brothers and none has the surname of Statler. The band actually named themselves after a brand of facial tissue they saw in a hotel room. At the time they were using the name The Kingsmen.

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.

"The Chipmunks", Alvin, Simon and Theodore, were named after executives at Liberty Records by their creator, Ross Bagdasarian, who used the stage name David Seville.

Despite selling hundreds of thousands of copies of the 1970, Billboard #22 hit, "God, Love And Rock And Roll", Teegarden And Van Winkle's drummer David Teegarden said the biggest royalty check he ever received was for 4 dollars, with some as low as 5 cents.

The very first CD available for commercial release was Billy Joel's "52nd Street", issued in Japan in 1982. The first CD pressed in the United States for commercial release was Bruce Springsteen's "Born In The USA".

A friend once asked John Lennon what was the best lyric he ever wrote. "That's easy," replied Lennon, "All you need is love."

Willie Nelson has often stated that the original working lyric to his 1961 composition "Crazy", was "Stupid."

Milton Gabler, the producer of Bill Haley's "Rock Around The Clock", was an uncle by marriage to actor Billy Crystal. Billy inducted Gabler into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1993.

Alfred Wertheimer, the photographer assigned to document Elvis Presley's early career, recalled that he shot in black and white because Elvis' label, RCA, refused to pay for high-priced color film and processing, uncertain if Elvis was going to be worth it. His two week assignment lasted over 60 years.

The Who's 1976 hit "Squeeze Box" was originally intended to be introduced on a television special planned in 1974. In the performance of the song, the members of the band were to have been surrounded by 100 topless women playing accordions as they played the song. Fortunately for all concerned, the performance never happened.

The Carpenters' break-though hit, "(They Long To Be) Close To You", was first recorded by actor Richard Chamberlain and issued as the B-side to his single "Blue Guitar" in 1963.

Bobby Goldsboro is an accomplished artist. His painting, "The Gathering" was selected for the cover of the book Ocala, a Portrait of Life. He also has over two dozen of his works gracing the walls of the Gateway Bank of Central Florida.

The husband and wife team of Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert, who co-wrote John Denver's 1971 hit "Take Me Home, Country Roads", were close friends of Denver and appeared as singers and songwriters on many of his albums. They formed the Starland Vocal Band in 1976 and scored a chart topping single with "Afternoon Delight", which stayed in the Top 40 for sixteen weeks.

The Lemon Pipers, who reached #1 in the US in 1968 with "Green Tambourine", first gained notoriety by reaching the finals in the Ohio Battle Of The Bands in 1967, losing out to The James Gang.

John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival had never been to Mississippi when he wrote "Proud Mary" or Louisiana when he penned "Born On The Bayou".

Maxim magazine ranked former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman at number 10 on its Living Sex Legends list, as he is reputed to have had sex with over 1,000 women.

The Animals first organized as a Jazz quintet with Eric Burdon on trombone. Partly because Burdon was not a good player, he took up singing and the band switched to Rock 'n' Roll.

Peter, Paul And Mary's 1969 hit, "Leaving On A Jet Plane", was written by John Denver and originally recorded by him as an album cut with the title "Babe, I Hate To Go".

In August, 1984, Ray Parker Jr. asked "Who you gonna call?" on his #1 hit "Ghostbusters". Huey Lewis heard the song and answered, "A lawyer." Lewis sued Parker for plagiarism for copying his song "I Want a New Drug". The two eventually settled out of court.

Although announcer Al Dvorin became famous in the 1970s for uttering the phrase, "Elvis has left the building," he was not the first to make that announcement at an Elvis show. On December 15th, 1956, promoter Horace Lee Logan used those same words after Elvis' appearance in Shreveport, Louisiana. They were also heard at the end of Elvis' March 25th, 1961 concert at Pearl Harbor. (on Nov 5 1971)

Seven of the nine songs on Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album were issued as singles and all of them reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.

As of early 2016, Rock 'n' Roll legend Chuck Berry had released 19 studio albums, but only 4 of them ever cracked the Billboard 200 album chart. The only one to enter the Top 100 was 1975's "The London Chuck Berry Sessions", which went to #8.

Most of us know that Barry Manilow's 1976 hit "I Write The Songs" was actually written by Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys. Before Manilow's version became his second number one hit, it had already been recorded by Captain And Tennille as an album cut and released as a single by David Cassidy, who took it to #11 in the UK.

In 1955, Sun Records founder Sam Phillips opened America's first all-female radio station, WHER in Memphis. When the station presented the foreign news, the ladies would amuse their listeners by announcing, "And now, the news from abroad."

Although "Someday We'll Be Together" may have been the perfect choice for The Supremes final single before their break-up, the song wasn't written for them. It had actually been written by Johnny Bristol, Jackie Beavers and Harvey Fuqua and released by Bristol and Beavers on the tiny Tri-Phi label nine years earlier.

Joe Walsh and Ringo Starr are brothers-in-law. Starr is married to Barbara Bach, who is the sister of Walsh's wife, Marjorie.

In 2014 it was reported that "Rock and Roll Part 2", co-written by Gary Glitter and Mike Leander, was earning an estimated $250,000 a year in royalties due to its use in the National Hockey League.

Buddy Rich, the legendary Jazz drummer, died after surgery in 1987. As he was being prepped for the surgery, a nurse asked him, "Is there anything you can't take?" He replied, "Yeah, Country music."

Creedence Clearwater Revival's John Fogerty has said that he is in on the joke where people have mis-heard his lyrics to "Bad Moon Rising" and sing There's a bathroom on the right instead of There's A Bad Moon On The Rise. He has even admitted that he intentionally sings the wrong words in concert about half the time.

The 1969 LP "Abby Road" features the only original UK Beatles album sleeve to show neither the artist name nor the album title on its front cover.

The 1999 movie, Girl Interrupted, for which Angelina Jolie won an Academy Award, featured Merrilee Rush's version of "Angel Of The Morning", which was written by Jolie's uncle, Chip Taylor.

The theme song for the US TV program Jeopardy was written by the show's creator, Merv Griffin in an attempt to get his infant son to fall asleep. He claims it took him only about 30 seconds to write.

The Murmaids #3 1963 hit, "Popsicles and Icicles" was written by David Gates, the future founder of the Soft Rock group, Bread.

Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar, who taught George Harrison to play the instrument, is the father of nine time Grammy winner Norah Jones. Shankar was 59 years old when she was born.

Although the 1970 hit "Spirit in the Sky" has a clear Christian theme, its writer, Norman Greenbaum, was actually Jewish.

Sonny Bono is the only member of U.S. Congress to have scored a number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 ("I Got You Babe" in 1965).

The lyrics to Bill Haley's recording of "Shake, Rattle And Roll" that said I'm like one-eyed cat, peepin' in a seafood store, were ironic because Haley himself was blind in one eye since the age of four.

The name we see on a Gibson Les Paul Signature guitar was not actually written by the famous guitarist. The image was produced by the company's Art Department and Les Paul had to learn to copy it for autographs.

The Bob Dylan composition "All I Really Want to Do" was inspired by his breakup with Suze Rotolo, the woman walking with him on the cover of his album, "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan". Cher took the song to #15 in America while a rendition by The Byrds reached #4 in the UK in 1965.

Movie producer Don Simpson hated the Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes tune "Up Where We Belong" and wanted it cut from the film An Officer And A Gentleman, saying "The song is no good. It isn't a hit." When it was released as a single, the record rose to number one in America and was certified Platinum by the RIAA for sales of over two million copies. After it won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1983, Simpson still refused to acknowledge that he was wrong about it.

Only two artists have ever been awarded a Grammy for Album Of The Year in two consecutive years. Frank Sinatra won back-to-back in 1966 ("September Of My Years") and 1967 ("A Man And His Music") while Stevie Wonder did it in 1974 ("Innervisions") and 1975 ("Fulfillingness' First Finale").

Brooklyn Bridge's 1969 hit, "Worst That Could Happen" was written by Jimmy Webb. Like "MacArthur Park" and "By The Time I Get To Phoenix", Webb wrote the song about an unrequited love for Susan Horton, who married someone else. That union however was short lived and she and Webb reconnected, but the tables were turned when Jimmy wed Rosemarie Frankland, a model and actress who once held the title of Miss World. Horton later married Linda Ronstadt's cousin, Bobby Ronstadt.

The Black Sabbath song "Fairies Wear Boots" was inspired by an encounter with combat boot-wearing skinheads who disrupted one of the bands' early concerts.

Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" started out as "Mrs. Roosevelt", and was changed to the final title after it was pitched to producer Mike Nicols, who was then filming The Graduate. The opening lines, dee de dee dee de dee dee dee, were used because because the duo had not come up with suitable lyrics yet, but Nicols liked it that way and the scat remained in place for the final recording.

Both of the female singers in The Fifth Dimension, Marilyn McCoo and Florence La Rue, won the title of Miss Bronze California in back-to-back years just before the group was formed.

The chord progression of George McRae's 1974 chart topper, "Rock Your Baby" was cited by John Lennon as the inspiration for "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night". Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus of ABBA also admitted they were influenced by McRae's hit when they wrote "Dancing Queen".

When Ringo Starr's 1963 Ludwig drum kit was sold at an auction in December, 2015, it was the first time they had been seen in public in over fifty years.

Karen Carpenter's doorbell at her condominium in the Los Angeles suburb of Downey, California, chimed the first six notes of "We've Only Just Begun".

When Helen Reddy was hosting Midnight Special, she appeared on camera, introducing the featured act. In reality, the intros were taped ahead of time and Reddy later admitted that she rarely, if ever, actually met the artists she was introducing.

In January, 1966, The Four Seasons had three hit records on the Billboard Pop chart under three different names. "Working My Way Back To You" was issued using their regular name, "Don't Think Twice" had been credited to The Wonder Who and "(You're Gonna) Hurt Yourself" was released as a Frankie Valli solo record with the rest of The Seasons singing back-up on the track.

Chubby Checker believes his 1960 #1 hit, "The Twist", written by Hank Ballard, was never about dancing, but about sex, saying "It was probably the dirtiest song that was recorded."

Leo Fender, who founded the Fender Electric Instrument Manufacturing Company, whose products included the iconic Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars, never learned to play the instruments which he made a career of building.

Hyrum Osmond, one of the supervising animators for Walt Disney's Frozen, is a nephew of singer Donny Osmond. He was responsible for having the Frozen character Hans striking a pose with his head tilted, eyes squinted and arm raised when he belted out a sustained note in "Love Is An Open Door", poking a little fun at his famous uncle's singing style.

According to journalist Ivor Davis, who accompanied The Beatles on their first North American tour, most of the autographed pictures handed out were actually signed by the band's Press Agent Derek Taylor, Road Manager Mal Evans and Brian Epstein's assistant Neil Aspinall and seldom by The Beatles themselves.

Syd Nathan of King Records was hesitant to record James Brown's "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag". When he asked what the song was about, Brown replied, "I have no idea."

Helen Reddy's 1972 Billboard #1 smash, "I Am Woman", was a song about women gaining power and independence in an otherwise "man's world." It was quickly adopted by the women's liberation movement as an anthem to their cause. Helen wrote the words, but at the time, few realized that the music was written by a man, an Australian guitarist named Ray Burton who even rewrote some of Reddy's original lyrics.

Both sides of the single "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" by The Temptations won Grammy awards. The A-side won for Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus, and the B-side took the award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance.

In 1958, the Esso Research Center reported that "tuning in rock & roll music on a car radio can cost a motorist money, because the rhythm can cause a driver to unconsciously jiggle the gas pedal, thus wasting fuel."

Glen Campbell started his musical career as a studio musician, playing on hit records like "The Reverend Mr. Black" by The Kingston Trio, "Strangers In The Night" by Frank Sinatra, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and "Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers, "Dance, Dance, Dance" by The Beach Boys, "Honolulu Lulu" by Jan And Dean and many, many others.

John Lennon admitted to physically abusing both of his wives, Cynthia and Yoko. In an interview with Playboy magazine he said, "I was a hitter. I couldn't express myself and I hit."

The guitar intro to Roy Orbison's 1964 hit, "Oh! Pretty Woman", was played by Billy Sanford, a young man who had just arrived in Nashville and heard that Orbison was short a guitar player. With a borrowed guitar, he auditioned, got the gig and recorded one of Rock 'n' Roll's most recognizable guitar riffs.

Les Paul is the only person to be included in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Three songs on The Beach Boys' 1969 album "20/20" have connections to murder. "Never Learn Not To Love", although credited to Dennis Wilson, was actually a re-worked version of a song written by Charles Manson called "Cease To Exist". Manson was found guilty of conspiracy to commit the murders of seven people, including actress Sharon Tate, in August, 1969. "Cotton Fields" was written by Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly, who was convicted of murdering a family member in 1918. "I Can Hear Music" was co-written by Phil Spector, who was handed a life sentence for killing actress Lana Clarkson on February 3rd, 2003.

Looking for a follow-up to the 1958, #9 hit "Don't You Just Know It" by Huey 'Piano' Smith And The Clowns, Ace Records erased Smith's vocal track from a song he had recorded called "Sea Cruise" and replaced it with one by a young singer named Frankie Ford. The record rose to number 14 in America and sold over a million copies. Neither Smith or Ford ever had another U.S. Top 40 record.

In 1965, Ted Nugent heard of a Detroit group who had just broken up called "Amboy Dukes" and started using the name for his new band. "The Amboy Dukes" was actually the name of a novel about gang members and their lifestyle. In later interviews, Nugent said that although many people have given him a copy of the book, he has never actually read it.

Fortune doesn't always accompany fame. During the thirteen years The Lennon Sisters appeared on The Lawrence Welk Show, they were paid only union scale wages for each performance.

When The Beach Boys album "That's Why God Made the Radio" peaked at #3 in the Summer of 2012, it became the band's first Top Ten LP of original material in 49 years.

The lyrics of The Duprees 1962 hit, "You Belong To Me", tell us that we can See the Pyramids Along The Nile. The Great Pyramids of Giza are in fact about five miles (eight Km) from the modern location of the Nile River.

When James Brown was in a recording studio, he insisted that his band, The Famous Flames, wear their stage uniforms so that they looked professional at all times.

Although Beechnut Gum was one of Dick Clark's main sponsors, gum chewing on the set of American Bandstand was strictly forbidden.

In 1987, Aretha Franklin became the first artist to achieve a number one record after they were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame when "I Knew You Were Waiting For Me" with George Michael topped the Hot 100.

Some proponents of the "Elvis Is Alive" theory maintain that when a document examiner analyzed the handwriting on Elvis Presley's death certificate, he found that it matches the handwriting of Elvis himself.

After Sam Phillips built a new recording studio in 1959, the original Sun Records building at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee, became a warehouse for auto parts. In 1987, the original building was reopened as Sun Studio, a recording label and tourist attraction.

The Fifth Dimension were so popular in 1969, they had at least one song on Billboard's Hot 100 chart for all but four weeks of that year.

In the 1990s, Gerry Polci, the drummer for The Four Seasons who sang lead on "Oh, What A Night", was married to Frankie Valli's daughter Toni. They have since divorced.

In 1987, The Coasters became the first group to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

When Sam Philips' brother, Jud Philips, tried to get an audition for Jerry Lee Lewis on The Ed Sullivan Show in July, 1957, Sullivan told him, "Get out of here. I don't want any more of this Elvis junk."

The Swedish rock group ABBA is generally thought of as being made up of two married couples, but this was only true for a short time. Three months after Benny Anderson married his long time live-in girl friend, Anni-Frid Lyngstad in 1978, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Faltskog separated, and divorced soon after. Benny and Anni-Frid also divorced in 1981.

The Doors were the first American band to accumulate eight consecutive Gold and Platinum LPs.

Elvis Presley's father, Vernon Presley, died on June 26th, 1979, exactly two years after Elvis gave his final performance.

The 1973 instrumental hit "Dueling Banjos" was adapted from a 1955 tune by Arthur Smith called "Feudin' Banjos". The song was used in the film Deliverance without permission and Smith was forced to sue Warner Brothers to get writing credit and collect his royalties.

In 2004 the UK performing rights group Phonographic Performance Limited named "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" as the most-played record by British broadcasting of the past 70 years.

Gene Vincent's 1956 hit "Be-Bop-A-Lula" was first sent in to Capitol Records as part of an Elvis sound-alike contest. A re-recorded version gave Vincent his first chart maker.

The Hollies' 1967 Top Ten hit "Carrie Anne" was written by Graham Nash about singer Marianne Faithful. He later said he was too shy to use her real name.

Janis Joplin's album "Cheap Thrills" was originally supposed to be titled "Sex, Dope And Cheap Thrills" but Columbia Records wouldn't allow it. Since advocating cheap thrills didn't threaten them as much as the other two, that became the LP's title instead.

Cher auditioned for the part of Bonnie in the Bonnie And Clyde film, but lost out to Faye Dunaway.

The term "colitas" in the first verse of The Eagles' Hotel California means "little tails" in Spanish; in Mexican slang it refers to buds of the cannabis (marijuana) plant.

Because of its teen suicide theme, Dickey Lee's "Patches" was banned by a number of US radio stations. It still managed to sell over one million copies and rose to #6 on the Billboard Pop chart in 1962.

Brazilian musician Jorge Ben Jorge alleged that Rod Stewart's 1979 number 1 hit "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" plagiarized portions of his song "Taj Mahal." The two settled out of court and in his 2012 autobiography, Stewart admitted to "unconscious plagiarism."

In 1955, Billboard Magazine published its annual disc jockey poll that named Elvis Presley as "the most promising Country And Western artist."

Cynthia Lennon said John never wrote a song for her because it was "too sloppy when you were young to dedicate anything to anybody."

Just 3 percent of all of the songs that have topped the Billboard Hot 100 have led for 10 weeks or more.

When Elvis Presley finished recording "If I Can Dream", his three female back-up singers had tears in their eyes.

Arthur Alexander wrote The Beatles' early album track "Anna". He would later reveal that he was dating a girl by that name when he penned the song and he eventually married her.

Songwriter Mike Stoller, the co-writer of Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog", survived the sinking of the ship Andrea Doria in the Atlantic Ocean on July 25th 1956. Fifty-one others died.

Paul McCartney's younger brother, Michael, formed a group of his own known as The Scaffold and went by the name Mike McGear. He is mentioned in the lyric of "Let 'Em In" as Brother Michael.

The last song Janis Joplin recorded before her death was "Happy Trails", the theme song to The Roy Rogers Show, as a birthday greeting for John Lennon.

Ringo Starr's first wife, Maureen Cox, later married Isaac Tigrett, one of the founders of the Hard Rock Cafe chain. Tigrett, known for collecting memorabilia, once said that Maureen was his "ultimate collectible."

When The Beatles played the Las Vegas Convention Center in 1964, some 8,500 fans paid just $4 each for tickets.

Ray Sawyer, vocalist for Dr. Hook, wears an eye patch because he lost an eye in an auto accident.

When "December 1963" topped the Billboard chart in 1976, it made The Four Seasons the only act in history to have number one songs in America before, during and after the Beatles.

James Brown earned his nick-name, "The Hardest Working Man In Show Business". In 1967 alone, he played to over three million fans during 350 shows and was still booked for a full tour when he died on Christmas Day, 2006 at the age of 73.

Paul McCartney owns the record for the longest span of any artist appearing in the Billboard Top 40, including both group and solo work. He first entered the Billboard chart with The Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand" on January 25, 1964 and most recently teamed with Kanye West on "Only One", which cracked the Top 40 on January 8th, 2015, a span of an astounding 50 years, 11 months and three weeks.

Some of the strangest song titles to ever appear on the Billboard Top 40 include "Dogface Soldier" by Russ Morgan (#30 - 1955), "Don't Go Near The Indians" by Rex Allen (#17 - 1962), "Booty Butt" by Ray Charles (#36 - 1971), "If There's A Hell Below We're All Going To Go" by Curtis Mayfield (#29 - 1971) and "Dunkie Butt (Please Please Please)" by 12 Gauge (#28 - 1994).

Ray Stevens was offered the first opportunity to record "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" for the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but turned it down. B.J. Thomas' version of the song spent seven weeks atop the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and was ranked as the #4 song of 1970, selling over a million copies.

In November, 2013, Bob Dylan was given France's highest award, The Legion Of Honor, for his cultural importance despite the fact that he has never recorded a single track in French.

Elvis Presley actually had sandy brown hair, but dyed it black to achieve the desired look.

Kris Kristofferson is a Rhodes Scholar and graduated from Oxford with a BPhil in English Literature.

In 1968, Jimmy Page and future Led Zeppelin tour manager Richard Cole visited a palm reader in Los Angeles who predicted, "You're going to make a decision in a very short period of time that is going to change your life." Within 48 hours, The Yardbirds broke up.

After Slade's "Coz I Luv You" topped the UK chart in November, 1971, band members revealed that they thought it was just "a throwaway for an album" and described it as "a pile of shit." British fans felt differently, snapping up half a million copies in the first two weeks after its release. American audiences apparently agreed with the group's opinion as the record couldn't crack the Top 40.

Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman wrote a song for Bobby Rydell called "Go Bobby Go". Although he recorded it, Rydell's version was not released and Pomus and Shuman then changed the words to "Go Jimmy Go" and pitched the song to Jimmy Clanton, saying they had written the song for him. It went on to become a #5 hit for Clanton in early 1960.

British singer Harry Webb changed his stage name to Cliff Richard in the early 1950s. "Cliff" sounded like the face of a cliff, which suggested Rock. "Richard" was chosen to honor his musical hero, Little Richard.

When MCA Records offered the English, New Wave band The Fix a contract in 1980, they were worried about the potential drug-user implication of the band's name. As a compromise, the band added a second "x" and they became The Fixx, who would go on to have six Billboard Top 20 hits and two number one albums over the next eight years.

James Cobb and Dean Daughtry, members of The Classics IV, who had five Top 30 hits in the late 1960s, including "Spooky" and "Traces Of Love", went on to form The Atlanta Rhythm Section. They would have two Top 10 hits of their own with "So In To You" and "Imaginary Lover" in the mid '70s.

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.

The Nelson's are the only family in history to have three generations that had a number one hit on a Billboard chart. Ozzie Nelson lead his orchestra to the top in 1932 with "And Then Some", Rick Nelson led all others in 1961 with "Poor Little Fool" and "Travelin' Man" and Rick's sons, Gunnar and Matthew had a chart topper in 1990 with "Love & Affection".

Dionne Warwick's 1986 number one hit, "That's What Friends Are For" was first recorded by Rod Stewart for the 1982 movie Night Shift. After adding Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and Elton John to Dionne's track, the song raised over $3 million for the American Foundation for AIDS Research.

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

Marvin Gaye's father shot and killed the famous singer with the same gun his son had given him the previous Christmas.

The father of Paul McCartney's first wife, Linda, changed the family name to Eastman before she was born. Their original name was Epstein.

Billboard magazine columnist Maurie Orodenker started to use the term "rock-and-roll" to describe upbeat recordings in 1942.

Tommy Roe's hit "Sheila" topped the charts in America and Australia in 1962, but the record did not achieve Gold status for $1,000,000 worth of world wide sales until 1969.

The phrase "Teenage Idol" was first used by Time magazine to describe 16 year old Ricky Nelson in the cover story of their December 1958 issue. Nelson would release a song called "Teenage Idol" in July of 1962 that would reach number 5 in the U.S.

"Stranger On The Shore", the 1962 hit by Mr. Acker Bilk, was the first UK single to reach Number 1 in America. This was nearly two years before The Beatles hit the top in the USA with "I Want to Hold Your Hand" on February 1, 1964.

The original title of The Beatles' album "Abbey Road" was "Everest". When it was suggested that the band travel to Mount Everest to have their picture taken, the idea was quickly dismissed and they simply walked outside in front of Abbey Road Studios to be photographed walking across the street.

The cover art for the album "America's Greatest Hits" was created by a graphics designer by the name of Phil Hartman, the same funny-man who later appeared on Saturday Night Live, and then News Radio, before he was murdered by his wife in 1998.

Harry Nilsson's song "Coconut" (She put the lime in the coconut...) has only one chord in the entire song. It is the only record without any chord changes to reach the Billboard Hot 100.

When Elvis first played Las Vegas at the New Frontier Hotel in 1956, Colonel Tom Parker instructed his friends from Memphis to shout "There goes Elvis Presley!" when Elvis walked through the casino.

Freddie Mercury claimed that he wrote "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" in just 10 minutes, while relaxing in a hotel bath.

More than 2,200 cover versions of The Beatles' 1965 song "Yesterday" exist, making it the most recorded song in history. It has been performed over seven million times in the 20th century alone.

On December 9th, 1967, Jim Morrison became the first Rock artist ever to be arrested on stage during a performance when he was led away on charges of inciting a riot, indecency and public obscenity.

In 2008, the iconic bass drum skin used on the front cover of The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" sold at auction for over $900,000.

The twin guitar solo on The Eagles' "Hotel California", played by Joe Walsh and Don Felder, was named as the best guitar solo of all time by Guitarist magazine in 1998.

Barry and Robin Gibb got the inspiration to write "New York Mining Disaster 1941" while sitting on a darkened staircase at Polydor Records following a power outage. The echo of the passing elevator caused them to imagine that they were trapped in a mine.

According to Peter Noone, the quick guitar riff on Herman's Hermits' 1965 hit, "Silhouettes", was played by future Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin guitarist, Jimmy Page.

Despite the fact that "We Didn't Start The Fire" topped the Billboard chart and received a Grammy nomination for Record Of The Year, Billy Joel has said that the song was "one of the worst melodies" he ever wrote.

Elvis Presley came by his nick-name, The King Of Rock 'n' Roll, for good reason. He had 108 Billboard Hot 100 hits, 80 of which made the Top 40. He also had 129 albums on the Hot 200 Albums chart and his LPs spent a total of 67 weeks at #1.

In 1983, Paul Simon married actress Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia in the Star Wars trilogy. The marriage lasted less than a year.

Herb Alpert is the only recording artist to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart as both a vocalist ("This Guy's in Love with You", 1968) and an instrumentalist ("Rise", 1979).

Despite all of the hits that they've had, The Who have never had a number one record in the UK or the US.

Bobby Goldsboro's rendition of the Bobby Russell penned "Honey" was the largest selling single record in the world in 1968.

The highest selling singles with a one word title are: "Smooth" by Santana (#1), "Macarena" by Los Del Rio (#2) and "Physical" by Olivia Newton-John (#3).

Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead often introduced the Marty Robbins penned "El Paso" as the band's "most requested number." Over a twenty-five year period, The Dead performed the tune 389 times.

Keith Moon, drummer for The Who, died in the same apartment that had previously belonged to Harry Nilsson and earlier, Mama Cass Elliot.

Even though it had been banned from some U.S. radio stations for promoting drug culture, Brewer And Shipley's "One Toke Over The Line" was performed by Lawrence Welk as a Gospel song on his weekly TV show.

Producer George Martin considered calling The Beatles' first album "Off The Beatle Track" before "Please Please Me" became a hit single in the UK.

In 1963, Johnny Cymbal scored a number sixteen hit with a song called "Mr. Bass Man". After several unsuccessful follow ups, he changed his stage name to Derek and re-appeared on the record charts in 1969 with the number eleven hit, "Cinnamon".

The Electric Light Orchestra has had twenty US Top 40 Hits, but have never had a number one record.

Buddy Holly's real surname is "Holley". After being mis-spelled on his first recording contract, the name stuck, but it is spelled correctly on his tombstone.

Gene Chandler's 1962 number one hit, "The Duke Of Earl", originated from warm-up exercises that he used with his group, The Dukays. The record would be inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2002 and was named one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll by the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.

Paul McCartney performed at the 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony for the grand fee of 1 pound ($1.57).

Michael Jackson's entire lead vocal for his 1983 hit "Billie Jean" was performed in one take, but the song was mixed 91 times by audio engineer Bruce Swedien before it was finalized.

The Four Seasons' "December 1963 (Oh, What A Night") was originally written about the repeal of Prohibition with the title of "December 5th, 1933", but new lyrics changed it to a nostalgic remembrance of a young man's first affair with a woman.

Georgie Fame's "Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde" topped the UK chart on January 24th, 1968 and according to the lyrics, "Bonnie and Clyde got to be Public Enemy Number One". This is not actually true. Although the pair made the F.B.I.'s Public Enemy list, only John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson and Alvin Karpis were actually named "Public Enemy Number One."

The Dave Clark Five's "Glad All Over" was billed by their U.S. label as "the Mersey Sound with a Liverpool beat." In fact, the group came from London.

"The First Cut Is The Deepest", written by Cat Stevens in 1967, has been a hit record for P. P. Arnold (UK #18 in 1967), Keith Hampshire (Canadian #1 in 1973), Rod Stewart (US #21 in 1977) and Sheryl Crow (US #14 in 2003).

The first group to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame were The Coasters in 1987. Before them, only solo artists and one duo, The Everly Brothers, were enshrined.

Melanie (Safka) became the first female performer to have three Top 40 hits concurrently when "Brand New Key" (#1), "Ring the Living Bell" (#31) and "The Nickel Song" (#35) made the list in early 1972.

Bobby Helms' Christmas classic "Jingle Bell Rock" made the Billboard Pop or Country chart on six separate occasions between 1957 and 1996.

Carole King's 1971 LP "Tapestry" is the first female solo album to reach Diamond status, surpassing 10 million copies sold, as certified by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The 1967 Grammy winner for Best Contemporary Recording, "Winchester Cathedral", was recorded by studio musicians. When it became an international hit, an actual group had to be assembled, who then toured as The New Vaudeville Band.

Strawberry Alarm Clock's "Incense and Peppermints" spent 16 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was certified Gold for selling one million copies in December, 1967. In the UK, it failed to chart at all.

"Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree" was first offered to Ringo Starr. His representatives rejected it, telling song writers Irwin Levine and L. Russell Brown that they should be ashamed of themselves for writing a song about a ribbon in a tree. Tony Orlando's rendition went on to top the charts in America, Australia and England, selling over six million copies world-wide.

Tommy Roe's hit "Sheila" started as a poem he wrote for a high school crush named Frieda. The name was changed when he first recorded it and when it was re-recorded in 1962, it went to the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

Todd Duncan's rendition of "Unchained Melody" was nominated for an Oscar in 1955, but lost to "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing".

Elvis Presley's 1957 musical drama Jailhouse Rock was banned in many towns throughout England after being slammed as "sex crazed and disgusting" by British film critics. London critics described the film as "An unsavoury, nauseating and muddy brew of deliquency, bad taste and violence". In Australia, church leaders and psychiatrists tried to have the film banned.

The only group to have their one and only album go to #1 on the Billboard charts is Blind Faith.

Billy J. Kramer's "Little Children" b/w "Bad To Me" is the only debut single whose sides separately reached the Top 10 of the Billboard Pop chart. (#7 and #9 respectively)

The Beatles' "Hey Jude" is the longest #1 hit in US Rock history at 7 minutes and seven seconds. Don Mclean's "American Pie" is 8 minutes and 32 seconds long, but it was the edited version of the song that got the most airplay on US radio, clocking in at 4:08. The same holds true for Donna Summer's version of "MacArther Park". The album version was 8:40 long, but it was the shortened cut that became her first Billboard #1 hit.

Paul McCartney once said that he bought his first violin shaped Hofner bass guitar in 1961 because "I couldn't afford a Fender." In 1963 he aquired a second 500/1 and the following year was presented a third from Hofner, this one with gold-plated hardware.

Most of the guitar solo on the final take of "Vehicle" by The Ides Of March was accidently erased in the studio and had to be replaced with a discarded version from an earlier take.

When Jimi Hendrix played at 1969's Woodstock Festival, he was paid $18,000 for his performance plus $12,000 for the rights to film him.

The only time that a record topped the Cashbox Best Sellers chart but did not even register on the Billboard Hot 100 was on December 12, 1992 when Cashbox said Wayne Newton's "The Letter" was the best selling single in America. The song never even appeared on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart or the Bubbling Under chart.

In his autobiography, Donovan revealed that the phrase "electrical banana" in his song "Mellow Yellow", was a reference to a yellow-coloured vibrator.

The first Heavy Metal song to crack the Billboard Top 40 was Blue Cheer's version of "Summertime Blues" which reached #14 in 1968.

Among the background singers on Freda Payne's 1970 hit, "Band Of Gold", were Joyce Vincent Wilson and Telma Hopkins, who would go on to find sucess as Dawn with Tony Orlando.

The worldwide merchandising and licensing of Elvis Presley memorabilia generates $32 million a year.

Zager and Evans' 1969 hit, "In the Year 2525", was written in just 30 minutes, but spent 6 weeks as Billboard's #1 record during a 12 week stay and sold over 5 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.

Alan Freed is often credited with popularizing the term "Rock and Roll", although the phrase had been used as early as 1942 by Billboard magazine columnist Maurie Orodenker to describe upbeat recordings.

The lyrics to Harry Chapin's 1974 hit, "Cat's In The Cradle", began as a poem written by Harry's wife, Sandy, which was inspired by the awkward relationship between her first husband and his father.

The words "Everybody Loves Somebody" appear on Dean Martin's grave marker in Los Angeles.

The Doors were the first American band to accumulate eight consecutive gold albums.

It is often rumored that actor Mike Myers patterned his Austin Powers character after Peter Asher of Peter and Gordon.

The Beatles were so impressed with Joe Cocker's version of "With A Little Help From My Friends" that they sent him a telegram of congratulations and placed an ad in the music papers praising it.

Lesley Gore recorded "It's My Party" on March 31st, 1963. She was shocked to hear the song on the radio exactly one week later.

Paul Rodgers did not name his group after the Jeff Bridges film Bad Company as is often quoted. Rodgers himself has said that he took the moniker from a book of Victorian morals that showed a picture of an innocent child looking up at an unsavory character leaning against a lamp post. The caption read "beware of bad company."

Jonathan Edwards' 1972 hit "Sunshine" was not originally planned for release, but when an engineer accidentally erased another track near the end of a recording session, "Sunshine" was used to fill the remaining album space.

The first time the original members of the Eagles played together was as a backing band for Linda Ronstadt at Disneyland.

"Happy Birthday" was the first song to be performed in outer space, sung by the Apollo IX astronauts on March 8, 1969.

In the late 1950s, Elvis Presley's backing band, Bill Black, Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana were paid a weekly salary of $200 when they were working and a $100 a week retainer when they weren't.

Paul McCartney wrote The Beatle's 1966 hit "Paperback Writer" in response to a request from an aunt who asked if he could "write a single that wasn't about love."

AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young once worked as a sewing-machine mechanic in a bra factory.

More Americans watched Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii than watched the first Lunar landing.

The highest climbing Billboard single in which both the song and the artist's name are palindromes is "SOS" by ABBA.

Although it held the number one spot in the US for only a week, Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" remained on the Billboard album chart for 741 weeks and has sold an estimated 50 million copies world wide.

Bobby' Vinton's oldest son, Robbie, portrayed Bobby in the 1990 movie Goodfellas. The film ranks twelfth in the list of films that most frequently used "the F-word."

Keith Richards has often said that he came up with the guitar riff and some of the lyrics for the song "Satisfaction" in his sleep.

James Brown, Bill Haley, Ike Turner and B.B. King all started their music careers as disc jockeys.

Because so many special effects and studio musicans had been used record "This Diamond Ring", Gary Lewis And The Playboys could not re-create their sound when they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. In compromise, Lewis sang along with pre-recorded tracks as the Playboys pretended to play their instruments.

Shorty Long, who reached #8 on the Billboard Pop chart in 1968 with "Here Comes The Judge", also co-wrote "Devil With The Blue Dress", a #4 hit for Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels in 1966.

Jeff Beck, Peter Frampton, and Rory Gallagher all have something in common. They are three of the candidates who didn't get past the jamming phase in their unsuccessful bid to replace The Rolling Stone's Mick Taylor. Ronnie Wood, of course, won the gig.

The Beatles song "Dear Prudence" was written about Mia Farrow's sister, Prudence, when she wouldn't come out and play with Mia and the Beatles at a religious retreat in India.

Although Andy Williams was closely indentified with the song "Moon River", it was never released as a 45 and therefor never charted as a hit single.

Judy Collins' 1971 hit, "Amazing Grace", was first published in 1779 as a Christian Hymn.

Peter Frampton was the lead guitar player on Frankie Valli's 1978 hit, "Grease".

Joe South wrote Deep Purple's US #4 hit "Hush", which he adapted from an old American spiritual that included the line: "Hush, I thought I heard Jesus calling my name."

Only Lawrence Welk has had more musical appearances on U.S. network television than Paul Revere And The Raiders!

Willie Nelson told talk show host David Letterman that the hit he wrote for Patsy Cline, "Crazy", was originally titled "Stupid".

Dr. Elmo Shropshire invested $40,000 of his own money to produce the original album and music video for "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer". In return, he became a millionaire five times over.

The recording of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" that appears on the album was meant to be a soundcheck while the band waited for the arrival of their producer. When the rehearsal was completed, it was agreed that another take was not needed.

Although Paul McCartney's 1977 hit "Mull Of Kintyre" is about his love of his Scottish home, most of the lyrics were written by the song's co-writer, Denny Laine.

When Elvis started filming Loving You in early 1957, he dyed his hair jet-black for the part. He liked the change from his natural dark blonde so much, he continued to dye it for the rest of his life.

David Gates of Bread was inspired to write the hit songs "Lost Without Your Love" and "Everything I Own" by the death of his father.

On the Beach Boys' 1988 Billboard #1 smash, "Kokomo", they sang, but the instrumental background was provided by studio musicans.

Louden Wainwright III, who reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Dead Skunk In The Middle Of The Road" in 1973, was also an actor who appeared in three different episodes of M*A*S*H.

For years it was reported that Paul Anka wrote "Diana" about one of his younger sibling's babysitters that he had a crush on. In a 2005 interview with NPR's Terry Gross, Anka stated that the song was actually about a girl at his church who he hardly knew.

While The Rascals' "People Got to Be Free" was perceived by some as being related to the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy, it was actually recorded before the latter's death. The song was written partly as a reaction to an ugly encounter when the band was threatened by a group of rednecks after their tour vehicle broke down in Fort Pierce, Florida.

In contrast to The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", which took 129 days to record, Paul McCartney's first album with Wings, "Wild Life", was recorded in just over a week, with five of the eight tracks being first takes.

The original demo for "Our Day Will Come" was recorded by Dionne Warwick before it was given to Ruby And The Romantics, who took it to the top of the Billboard Pop chart in 1963. Warwick included her version on her 1982 album "Heartbreaker", which sold over three million copies worldwide.

Barry Manilow's 1981 hit, "The Old Songs" was written by Buddy Kaye, who also wrote Perry Como's #1 smash, "You're Adorable" as well as "Speedy Gonzales" for Pat Boone and the theme for I Dream of Jeannie.

On the strength of digital re-issues, The Beatles were the second best selling act in the decade from 2000 to 2009. Only Eminem sold more.

In 1963, The Isley Brothers hired a new kid to play lead guitar for them at a rate of $30 per night. This young man's name was Jimi Hendrix.

Many of the sets and props used by Screen Gems for The Monkees' TV show were left over from The Three Stooges short films.

Carole King wrote or co-wrote 118 Pop hits on the Billboard Hot 100.

The week before Tommy James was to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show in January, 1969, Ed closed his program by announcing "and next week, for all the youngsters... Tony Jones and the Spondells."

On the day Elvis was buried, over 3,000 orders of flowers covered the front lawn of Graceland. It took over four hours to move them all to Forest Hill cemetary for the funeral.

The Turtles' rhythm guitarist Jim Tucker quit the band in 1967 after his musical hero John Lennon publicly berated him in a drunkenly tirade for trying to be just like The Beatles. In March of that year, The Turtles "Happy Together" had knocked The Beatles "Penny Lane" out of Billboard's top spot.

Although Johnny Tillotson's 1962 hit "It Keeps Right On a-Hurtin'" was sung as a love song, it was actually inspired by his father's terminal illness.

In 1964, Capitol Records released four Beatles albums in America, "Meet The Beatles", "The Beatles Second Album", "Beatles '65" and "Something New", all without consulting the band or Brian Epstein about cover art, song selection or album title.

Paul McCartney wrote his 1976 hit "Silly Love Songs" in response to a comment by John Lennon, who claimed that the only songs that Paul wrote for the Beatles were silly love songs. The single topped the US chart and went to #2 in the UK.

Albert Hammond's 1972, Billboard #5 hit "It Never Rains In Southern California" was actually written in London, England, which receives about 29 inches of rainfall every year. According to the National Climatic Data Center, Southern California can receive as little as 1.6 inches of precipitation annually.

Elvis' 1968 "comeback special" helped restore his popularity. Yet to get Presley to agree to it, producer Steve Binder had to first convince him that he wasn't The King anymore by taking him down to Sunset Boulevard to see if he'd get mobbed. He didn't.

Daily broadcasts of Dick Clark's American Bandstand were actually taped five at a time on Saturdays to allow Clark and the artists appearing on the show time to pursue other interests.

Elvis Presley's 1965 hit "Crying In The Chapel" was written by Artie Glenn for his son Darrell, who first recorded it in 1953. His version went to #1 on Cashbox and #6 on Billboard and was one of the most covered songs of the year, with five other renditions reaching the Billboard Pop, Country and R&B charts.

The Rolling Stone's 1966 hit "Nineteenth Nervouse Breakdown" was written after the band had finished a long tour of the U.S. Mick Jagger announced to his band mates, "I don't know about you blokes, but I feel about ready for my 19th nervous breakdown."

Guitarist and vocalist Rob Rob Parissi of the band Wild Cherry said he got the inspiration to write the band's million selling hit "Play That Funky Music" from Black audience members who would tease the group about their song selection. "When the Disco machine would go off, they'd say 'You White boys gonna play any Funky music?'"

In 1969, Kenny Rogers took the Mel Tillis composition "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town" into the Top Ten in the US and the UK. Tillis based the song on a couple who lived near his family in Florida, who were having marital troubles. He left out the real-life ending to their tale, where the man killed his wife in a murder-suicide.

Annette Kleinbard was the female vocalist in The Teddy Bears, who, along with Phil Spector and Marshall Leib, had a 1958 hit called "To Know Him Is To Love Him". She later changed her name to Carol Connors and went on to co-write The Ripchords' 1964 hit "Hey Little Cobra", "Gonna Fly Now" (The Theme From Rocky), as well as the 1980 Billy Preston / Syreeta Wright duet "With You I'm Born Again".

While The Byrds were debating possible titles for their ninth album, producer Terry Melcher filled out the record company's official label sheet, writing the placeholder (Untitled) in a box specifying the album's name. Without anyone associated with the band realizing, Columbia Records went ahead and pressed the LP, calling it "Untitled".

It was during his time with The Yardbirds, 1963-65, that Eric Clapton acquired his nickname, Slowhand. Whenever Clapton broke a guitar string, he would immediately stop playing and start restringing his guitar. The crowds would often start a slow handclap until he had his guitar restrung and could resume playing.

Smokey Robinson wrote "Being With You" with Kim Carnes in mind, but when he played it for producer George Tobin, he found out they were no longer working together. When Smokey recorded it himself, it rose to #2 in the US, kept out of the top spot by "Bette Davis Eyes", by none other than Kim Carnes.

In 2011, a team of scientists at Goldsmiths University in London, England concluded that "We Are The Champions" by Queen was the catchiest song in the history of Pop music, with "Y.M.C.A." coming in at number two.

According to Guinness World Records 2009, Led Zeppelin hold the record for the "Highest Demand for Tickets for One Music Concert" as 20 million on-line requests were made for their December 10th, 2007 reunion show at The O2 Arena in London.

Artie Kornfeld, one of the main concert promoters of the 1969 Woodstock Festival, co-wrote Jan And Dean's "Dead Man's Curve" and The Cowsills' "The Rain, The Park And Other Things". At age 21, he became the youngest vice-president at Capitol Records and as a writer, producer, manager and promoter, he earned over 100 Gold and Platinum discs while writing over 75 Billboard charted songs.

Both of The Left Banke's big hits, "Walk Away Renee" and "Pretty Ballerina", were written about the same girl, Renee Fladen, the girlfriend of the band's bass player.

"Ebony And Ivory", by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, topped both the US and UK charts in 1982, but over the years the song has seemed to fall out of favor with listeners and gets little air-play today. In 2004, Blender magazine ranked it as #10 on their list of the worst songs of all time and in October 2007, BBC 6 Music listeners named it their worst duet ever.

Despite the references to Boston and the Charles River in The Standells 1966 hit "Dirty Water," the band was actually from Los Angeles. Producer Ed Cobb wrote the song after a visit to Boston, during which he was robbed on a bridge over the Charles River. None of the Standells had ever been to Boston before the song was released. In 1997, "Dirty Water" was adopted the "official victory anthem" of the Boston Red Sox.

Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart wrote "Blue Moon" for the 1934 movie Manhattan Melodrama. Richard Rodgers hated the Marcels' 1961, doo-wop arrangement of this song so much that he took out advertisements in UK trade papers, urging people not to buy it. The public ignored his pleas and the song topped the charts in both the UK and the US.

In 2006, to deter gangs of youths from congregating in a residential area late at night, Australian officials blasted Barry Manilow songs every weekend.

When Paul McCartney got his iconic Höfner violin bass guitar out of storage to record "My Brave Face" in 1989, a set list was still taped to the back of it from the Beatles' roofop concert, twenty years earlier.

The original title of The Bee Gees' hit "Stayin' Alive" was to be "Saturday Night", but the group decided that there were already too many songs with that name.

As a follow-up to The Paris Sisters' 1961 US #5 hit, "I Love How You Love Me", Philles Records released "He Knows I Love Him Too Much", which would reach #34. Unfortunately for the trio, the master tapes for an intended album release were accidently discarded by a record company employee and lost forever. Anger over the incident caused an argument which led to the record company dropping the group from the label and although they were signed by MGM in 1963, The Paris Sisters never had another Top 40 hit.

The Beach Boys' version of "Barbara Ann" was recorded live during an in-studio break, with Dean Torrence of Jan And Dean singing lead vocals. Brian Wilson would later recall that "half the people in the room were singing while the other half were munching on potato chips." Capitol Records later released the track without the band's knowledge. At first they were upset because they wanted to get away from surf and hot rod tunes and be taken more seriously, but when the single reached Billboard's #2 spot and topped the Cashbox Best Sellers chart, they changed their mind.

"Gonna Fly Now", the theme from the motion picture Rocky, topped the Billboard Hot 100 in July, 1977. Bill Conti and orchestra recorded it along with the entire score for the film in just three hours at a total budget of $25,000. The picture itself went on to earn over 117 million dollars in the U.S. alone.

Before they had a string of ten Billboard Top 40 hits between 1961 and 1968, The Marvelettes called themselves "The Casinyets", which was short for "can't sing yet."

Hal David and Burt Bacharach wrote Love's 1966 hit, "My Little Red Book", but didn't like the band's take on their composition. Bacharach said "it would have been better with the right chords... but I liked their energy on the song and I liked that it was a hit."

Hall and Oates "Rich Girl" was actually based on a real person, the wealthy heir to a fast food chain who had dated Sara Allen, Daryl Hall's longtime girlfriend. The original lyrics included the line You're a rich boy, but Hall changed the gender so it could be sung from a male perspective.

The Jordanaires, Elvis Presley's back up vocalists, also worked for Ricky Nelson, but at Presley's behest were not permitted credit on Nelson's albums.

Irving Berlin, the man who wrote "White Christmas", hated the holiday for good reason. In the early hours of Dec. 25, 1928, his first son, Irving Jr., was discovered dead in his crib.

Harry Chapin, who reached #24 in the US with a song called "Taxi" in 1972, actually did have his taxi driver's license in New York City and drove a cab for six months in Long Beach, New York.

Before finding success with the Soft Rock group Bread, David Gates was a songwriter who had written The Murmaids' "Popsicles and Icicles" and The Monkees' "Saturday's Child", and had worked with Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, Merle Haggard, Duane Eddy and Brian Wilson.

In 1934, songwriter John F. Coots offered a song called "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" to Eddie Cantor who used it on his radio show in November. The morning after the broadcast, there were orders for 100,000 copies of sheet music, and by Christmas, sales had passed 400,000.

"Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus has sold millions of copies around the world, yet contains only two chords, A and E.

Roger Daltrey's stuttering delivery on The Who's recording of "My Generation" is said to have come about because he had not rehearsed the song prior to the recording and was unable to hear his own voice through the monitors. Daltrey tried to fit the lyrics to the music as best he could, and the band decided the stammering worked well enough to keep. The BBC initially refused to play "My Generation" because it did not want to offend people who stutter, but reversed its decision after the song soared to #2 on the UK charts.

Sonny Bono is the only member of US Congress to have scored a #1 Pop single on the Billboard Hot 100. (It was 1965's "I Got You Babe".)

Little Richard's opening line to his hit "Tutti Frutti", A-wop bop-a loo-mop, a-lop bam-boom! was a scat that was supposed to imitate a drum solo opening.

Followning the break up of Kenny Rogers And The First Edition in 1975, drummer Micky Jones went on to carve out a successful career as a character actor. He has appeared in over two dozen films, including Sling Blade with Billy Bob Thornton and several TV shows, including The Dukes of Hazzard, Baywatch and Tim Allen's Home Improvement.

The inspiration for the song "Hang On Sloopy" is said to be Jazz pianist Dorothy Sloop, who went by the nickname Sloopy. She is best known as a pianist with a number of mostly female Jazz bands in the New Orleans area, primarily from the 1930s through the 1950s.

Pianist Mort Shuman and lyricist Doc Pomus wrote a song called "Save The Last Dance For Me", which went to #1 in the US and #2 in the UK for The Drifters in 1960. The lyrics describe how a man tells his date that she is free to mingle during the evening, but to make sure to save the last dance of the night for him. It is believed that this actually happened in real life, as Doc Pomus had polio and needed crutches to get around, while his wife was a Broadway actress and dancer.

"Stay" recorded by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, was written by Williams in 1953 when he was just 15 years old. He had been trying to convince his date not to go home at 10 o'clock as she was supposed to. He lost the argument, but gained the inspiration to write a number one hit that has sold over 8 million copies.

The Everly Brothers turned down the chance to be the first to record "Lay Lady Lay" because when they heard Bob Dylan sing it for them, they mis-heard the lyrics as "Lay lady lay, lay across my big breasts, babe." Thinking it was a song about lesbians, they politely declined.

Although they are fondly remembered as a pioneering Rock 'n' Roll band, Bill Haley And His Comets were a Country act called The Saddlemen just a few months before recording "Crazy Man, Crazy", the first Rock 'n' Roll song to hit the American charts.

The biggest selling album in the US that didn't make it to number one is "Led Zeppelin IV", which sold over 23 million copies, but stalled at #2 on Billboard's Hot 200 chart.

The four members of The Monkees were each paid $450 per episode in the first season of their TV show. Although their salary was raised to $750 for the second season, they received virtually nothing for their merchandising.

Songwriters Isaac Hayes and David Porter found the inspiration to write Sam And Dave's 1967 hit "Soul Man" while watching TV news coverage of riots in Detroit. African-Americans had written the word "Soul" on buildings owned by black Detroit business people, so they would not be destroyed, giving Hayes the idea of someone being "a Soul man."

Brian Wilson was inspired to name The Beach Boys' album "Pet Sounds" after band mate Mike Love expressed his dis-like for the material by commenting: "Who's gonna hear this shit? The ears of a dog?"

When Phil Spector was looking to sign new acts to replace the declining Ronettes and Crystals, he had a chance to sign both The Rascals and The Lovin' Spoonful, but passed on both. Between them, those two groups would have 24 US Top 40 hits after they signed with other labels.

In the first seven years following Elvis Presley's death, his estate earned ten times more than Elvis had earned in his twenty-three years of performing.

Iron Butterfly was booked to play at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, but got delayed at the airport and missed the gig. It was a wasted opportunity that cost them a fortune in royalties.

Bob Seger has said that in his song "Night Moves", the line about "humming a song from 1962" was written with The Ronnettes "Be My Baby" in mind. Oddly enough, that song wasn't a hit until the Autumn of 1963.

Twenty-two different labels rejected Janis Ian's "Society's Child" before Verve / Folkways Records took a chance on it. The song rose to #14 and was eventually certified Platinum for sales of over one million copies sold in the US.

The words "Da Doo Ron Ron" started out as being gibberish filler while Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry worked out the lyrics to a new number they were writing. When nothing else came to them, they not only kept the phrase in the song, it ended up being used as the title to the now classic Rock tune by The Crystals.

When Gary Paxton put a group of musicians together to record the novelty song "Alley-Oop", he thought it was to fulfill his contract obligation to his former label, Brent Records. According to drummer Sandy Nelson, "all the participants were hopelessly drunk on cider by the time they recorded the song." Despite the loose performance, the song went all the way to Billboard's number one spot in July, 1960.

Annette Kleinbard, who sang lead vocals on The Teddy Bears' 1958 hit, "To Know Him Is To Love Him", suffered a near fatal car crash in 1959 which required four operations. After she recovered, she changed her name to Carol Connors and returned to the music scene as a songwriter. Her credits include the Rip Chords' 1964 hit "Hey Little Cobra", the 1977 smash "Gonna Fly Now" from the movie Rocky, and the 1980 Billy Preston / Syreeta Wright duet "With You I'm Born Again", along with several motion picture sound tracks.

When Rupert Holmes wrote "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)", he originally wrote it as "If you like Humphrey Bogart and getting caught in the rain", before coming up with the final lyrics. He would later admit that at the time, he had never tasted a Pina Colada.

America reached #8 in the US with "Ventura Highway" in 1973. Although no such highway exists, there is a Ventura County in California and Highway 101 runs through it.

Brian Wilson and Mike Love got the inspiration for The Beach Boys' hit "Fun, Fun" Fun" after drummer Dennis Wilson said about his girlfriend, "We'll have fun 'til her daddy takes the T'bird away".

According to Neil Sedaka, Michael Jackson told him on many occasions that "Laughter In The Rain" was one of his all-time favorite songs.

The Beatles hit "Ticket To Ride" was written after John Lennon and Paul McCartney had visited Paul's cousin's, Mike and Bett Robbins, who operated a pub in the seaside town of Ryde. The journey took place after the pair had purchased a ferry ticket to Ryde.

Bubble Puppy's 1969, #14 hit "Hot Smoke and Sasafrass" was inspired by an episode of the TV show The Beverly Hillbillies where Granny said "Hot smoke and sassafras, Jethro, can't you do anything right?"

Song writer Jim Steinman first offered "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All" to Meatloaf, but the two couldn't reach a financial agreement. Australian group Air Supply later had a Billboard #2 hit with it. Steinman also gave Meatloaf the first chance at "Total Eclipse Of The Heart", but it was Bonnie Tyler who took it to the top of the UK and US charts.

The Band's Robbie Robertson said that when he wrote "The Weight", the line about pulled into Nazareth, was feelin' 'bout half past dead, the town was actually Nazareth, Pennsylvania because they make legendary Martin Guitars there.

Only two Lennon / McCartney songs have ever topped the Billboard Hot 100 by an artist other than The Beatles. They were "A World Without Love" by Peter and Gordon in 1964 and "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" by Elton John in 1975.

After recording "Make It Easy on Yourself" in August, 1962, Dionne Warwick was disappointed to find out that Jerry Butler's version of the song would be the one released by Scepter Records. She was assured that Hal David and Burt Bacharach would write an equally good song for her, to which she replied "Don't make me over, man." That phrase, meaning "Don't con me", was used by the songwriting duo to pen what would be her debut hit, "Don't Make Me Over", which rose to #21 on the Billboard chart in early 1963 and started a string of 31 Billboard Top 40 hits.

Dino, Desi and Billy's only Billboard Top 20 hit, "I'm A Fool", was written by Elvis Presley's longtime bodyguard, Red West, who based the song on one that rhymes with it, "Don't Be Cruel".

The opening line to Jan and Dean's 1963 chart topper "Surf City", Two Girls For Every Boy was originally written as Goody Connie Won't You Come Back Home by the song's writer, Brian Wilson.

When Elvis Presley's mother first heard Gene Vincents's "Be-Bop-A-Lula", she mistakenly thought it was her son's latest single.

When "The Cover Of The Rolling Stone" was released by Dr. Hook, the magazine sold more copies in the next two weeks than any other time in their history.

The Rays' 1957 recording of "Silhouettes" was actually intended to be a demo record to introduce the song to The Diamonds. When both versions ended up being released, The Rays took the song to number 3 and The Diamonds reached number 10 simultaneously.

At a party in Los Angeles, comedian Groucho Marx jokingly pointed his index fingers at Elton John, as if holding a pair of six-shooters. Elton threw up his hands and said, "Don't shoot me, I'm only the piano player," which inspired the title of his 1973, US number one album. As a sly tribute to Groucho, the LP's cover included a movie poster for The Marx Brothers' movie Go West.

The flute solo in The Mamas and Papas' "California Dreamin'" was performed by a Jazz player named Bud Shank, who just happened to be in the building when the tune was being recorded. He was recruited on the spot by Papa John Phillips, who played the bed track of the song so Shank could get the feel of it. He then recorded the solo in one take.

British singer Kenny Lynch was the first artist to cover a Beatles' song when he recorded "Misery" in early 1963, which failed to chart. Kenny also fancied himself as a songwriter and during a tour with Helen Shapiro, offered to help John and Paul with the writing of "From Me To You". When the song didn't seem to be going anywhere, Kenny walked away, declaring "Well, that's it. I am not going to write any more of that bloody rubbish with those idiots. They don't know music from their backsides."

In 1965, with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Mamas And Papas all turning out big hits, the Grammy Award for Best Performance By a Vocal Group was won by The Anita Kerr Singers for "We Dig Mancini".

New York newspaper and radio commentator Walter Winchell first coined the term "disc jockey" in 1934 for radio announcer Martin Block.

Although many of Little Richard's songs contain obscure sexual references, like "Long Tall Sally, she's built for speed", a television censor once said: "How can I reject it when I can't even understand it?"

Elvis Presley's version of "One Night" was originally a 1956 R&B hit for Smiley Lewis, who recorded it as "One Night Of Sin". Knowing that the original lyrics would never get past the strict radio censorship of the day, Elvis himself changed the words from "One night of sin is what I'm now paying for." to "One night with you is what I'm now praying for." His instincts proved correct and the song reached number one in the UK and number four in the US in 1959.

In 1963, Chubby Checker reached #12 on the Hot 100 with "Loddy Lo", a song he had written about Catharina Lodders, who won the Miss World title a year earlier. The two were married in 1964.

Songwriter Richard Lee got the inspiration to write Crystal Gayle's 1977 number one hit "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" from his dog, who had one brown eye and one blue eye.

With only 15 minutes of a 3 hour session left, The Diamonds recorded a song that they had just learned a few hours earlier called "Little Darlin'". The first and only take would turn out to be million seller that reached number 2 on the Billboard chart during a 21 week stay and become the third highest selling single of 1957.

When John Lennon's Aunt Mimi met George Harrison for the first time, she took an instant dis-like to him because of his deep Liverpool accent. She later told John "You always seem to like the low-class types, don't you John?"

After Deep Purple recorded "Smoke On The Water", they didn't particularly care for it and rarely performed the song in concert. When it was released as a single over a year after the album came out, it rose to #4 in the US and #21 in the UK.

In 1957, The Ohio Penitentiary News blasted Elvis Presley's version of "White Christmas" as "a song beloved until this creature recorded his barnyard version of it." Radio station CKXL in Calgary also banned "Elvis’s Christmas Album", saying “Presley sings the Christmas songs exactly as we expected he would. It is one of the most degrading things we have heard in some time.” Despite heavy criticism, the L.P. topped the Billboard album chart and by 1963 had reached Gold Record status.

While waiting for producer Jim Hilton to arrive, Iron Butterfly ran through "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" as a soundcheck for engineer Don Casale, who had started the tape rolling. When it was played back, everyone agreed that the band couldn't improve on it. It's that seventeen minute "soundcheck" that appears on the multi-platinum album.

In 1963, after The Beatles had moved to London, John Lennon had a conversation with fashion model Sonny Freeman, who told John that her father had been shot by a German soldier for his anti-Nazi views. John told her that he didn't think he was going to live very long either. He had a premonition that he would be shot too.

Billy Swan recorded his 1974, number one hit "I Can Help" with an organ that Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge had bought for him as a wedding gift.

Originally the title of The Beatles' ninth album was supposed to be "A Doll's House", but that was scrapped when it was discovered that a British band called Family had already issued an LP called "Music in a Doll's House". After some design problems, the double disc effort was simply issued in a plain white jacket, embossed with the words "The Beatles". Fans would call it "The White Album".

Bernie Taupin wrote the lyrics to Elton John's 1973 hit, "Daniel" in the morning, Elton put them to music in the afternoon and before the day was done, their band recorded it. The song rose to #2 in the US and #4 in the UK.

Roseanne Cash won a Grammy Award in 1985 for a song called "I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me" that she had written about not winning a Grammy for her 1981 breakthrough hit "Seven Year Ache".

When John Lennon first started to comb his hair like Elvis Presley in the mid-'50s, his Aunt Mimi commented that he looked "like an overgrown lavatory brush." When he got his hair cut for the filming of How I Won The War, she declared that it was too short and called it a "horrible skinhead style."

The Bee Gees' first UK number one hit was "Massachusetts", in October, 1967. Although the opening lines are "Feel I'm going back to Massachusetts, Something's telling me I must go home", the song was written before Robin, Maurice and Barry Gibb had ever been to Massachusetts. They wrote it on a boat near the Statue of Liberty. They later said that they just liked the sound of word. The record topped the charts in twelve countries world-wide, but only reached number eleven in the United States.

Wayne Wadhams, the keyboard player and lead vocalist for The Fifth Estate on their 1967 hit "Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead", went on to write TV jingles and ad campaigns. Later still, he arranged and sang the main theme for the Candid Camera TV series, NBC sports specials and the Massachusetts State Lottery. Wadhams has credits as producer, arranger, and/or engineer of over two dozen singles and albums.

Although a tombstone inscribed with the name "Eleanor Rigby" stands in the graveyard of St. Peter's Parish Church in Woolton, Liverpool, just yards away from where Paul McCartney met John Lennon in 1957, Paul said he came up with the name Eleanor from actress Eleanor Bron, who had starred with the Beatles in the film Help!. Rigby came from Rigby & Evens Ltd, Wine & Spirit Shippers, the name of a store in Bristol. In 1984, Paul was quoted as saying "I just liked the name. I was looking for a name that sounded natural. Eleanor Rigby sounded natural."

When Elvis bought Graceland for he and his parents to live in, he said he wanted to create "the most beautiful bedroom in Memphis" for his mother. Gladys, however had other priorities. She wanted to add a chicken coop and a hog pen.

The hit version of Neil Diamond's "Cherry, Cherry" has no drum track because it was recorded as a demo and was never intended to be released as a single. In later sessions, drums and horns were included, but none of those tracks turned out as well as the demo.

The Righteous Brothers' 1965 hit "Unchained Melody" started out as the theme to an obscure 1955 prison film called Unchained, based on the non-fiction book Prisoners are People by Kenyon J. Scudder. The movie's plot centers around a man who contemplates either escaping from prison to live life on the run, or completing his sentence and returning to his wife and family. Vocalist Todd Duncan sang the original movie theme which was nominated for a Best Song Oscar but lost to "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing".

Bruce Springsteen wrote "Dancing In The Dark" after a heated argument with his manager, Jon Landau, who wanted a hit single for the "Born In The USA" album. Springsteen later said about the song: "It went as far in the direction of Pop music as I wanted to go, and probably a little farther."

When Paul McCartney and John Lennon first played "She Loves You" for Paul's dad, he said "That's very nice son, but there's enough of these Americanisms around. Couldn't you sing "She loves you, yes, yes, yes!". The duo collapsed in a fit of laughter.

The Four Preps placed seven songs on Billboard's Top 40 between 1958 and 1961, including "26 Miles", "Big Man" and "Down By The Station". After their recording career came to an end in 1967, three of the original members went on to excel in other show biz ventures. Ed Cobb focused on work as a record producer and sound engineer, producing The Standells' "Dirty Water" and working with Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan and Pink Floyd. He also wrote "Tainted Love" in 1966, which became a hit for Soft Cell in 1982. Glen Larson became the well-known TV producer of McCloud, Quincy, Battlestar Gallactica, Magnum P.I., The Fall Guy and others. Bruce Belland became a script writer for Manix, McCloud and To Catch A Thief and later still a producer, an actor and eventually Vice-President of NBC.

Bobby Hebb wrote his 1966 hit "Sunny" about an unknown woman's smile that had lifted his spirits after his brother had been killed in a knife fight outside a Nashville nightclub.

Elvis Presley had a juke box in a pavilion near his Graceland swimming pool that contained records by Jerry Lee Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr., Tom Jones and many others. None of his own songs were ever included in the collection.

The off-duty policeman whose car struck and killed John Lennon's mother, Julia, later became a postman. One of his assigned routes took him to the Forthlin Road home of Paul McCartney, where he dropped the mail while Paul and an unsuspecting John practiced their guitars.

The title of the Hollies 1969 hit "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" was first used as the title of a column in Kiwanis Magazine, published by Roe Fulkerson in 1924. The phrase later became associated with Father Edward J. Flanagan, the founder of Boys Town, who came across a drawing, created by Van B. Hooper, of a young boy carrying his brother in the Christmas 1941 edition of the Louis Allis Messenger. The caption read "He ain't heavy Mister — he's m' brother!" With permission from the magazine, the phrase became the motto of Boys Town.

After being formed as "The Noble Five" and later "My Backyard", Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd took their name as a jab at a physical-education teacher at Robert E. Lee High School, Leonard Skinner, who was notorious for strictly enforcing the school's policy against boys having long hair. Over the years the band eventually developed a friendly relationship with Skinner and actually invited him to introduce them at a concert in Jacksonville.

Bobby Fuller, who enjoyed a #7 hit with "I Fought The Law" in 1965, died in his car, which was parked in front of the apartment building where Sonny Curtis, the writer of "I Fought The Law", used to live.

In early 1967, Elvis Presley bought a 163 acre Mississippi ranch he dubbed The Circle G for $300,000. One of the horses he bought for the ranch was a mare that he named after William B. Ingram, who was the mayor of Memphis at the time. He called her Mare Ingram.

Frank Sinatra topped both the US and UK charts in 1966 with "Strangers In The Night", later winning a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and Record of the Year. Despite these successes, Sinatra despised the song and called it "a piece of shit," and "the worst fucking song I ever heard."

Madonna's 1984 hit "Like a Virgin" was written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Steinberg said that the song was not only not written for Madonna, it was not even written for a female singer. The lyrics were actually inspired by his own personal romantic experiences.

Charlene D'Angelo, who recorded under the name Charlene, recorded "I've Never Been to Me" in 1976 and saw it rise to #97 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1977. In 1982, a Florida disc-jockey started giving the song regular play on his radio show and it was soon re-issued by Motown Records, this time climbing to #3 in the United States and #1 in the United Kingdom. By this time, Charlene had lost her recording contract, moved to England and was working in a sweetshop in Ilford, London.

The Ed Sullivan Show was a TV institution on Sunday nights in America for 23 years and was a springboard for nearly every major music act in the 60s. The show was canceled in 1971 and Sullivan passed away of esophageal cancer at age 73 just over three years later, coincidentally on a Sunday night.

Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" has been recorded by over 900 other artists. Co-writer Keith Reid told the website that he came up with the title after overhearing someone at a party saying to a woman, "You've turned a whiter shade of pale."

Before Bette Midler took "Wind Beneath My Wings" to the top of the Billboard Pop chart on June 10th, 1989, the song had already been recorded by Roger Whittaker, Sheena Easton, Lou Rawls, Lee Greenwood, B.J. Thomas, Gary Morris and Gladys Knight. Only Morris' version had significant success, reaching #5 on the Billboard Country chart.

Actors Walter Matthau, Rock Hudson, Slyvester Stallone, Joe Pesci, Burt Reynolds and Jerry Mathers have all recorded albums. Every one was a flop.

In 1963, when "You're The Devil In Disguise" was debuted to a British audience on the BBC television show Juke Box Jury, celebrity guest John Lennon voted the song “a miss”, saying that Elvis Presley was "like Bing Crosby now." It turned out that John's prediction was wrong and the song would rise to the top of the UK chart.

After reading an article about a college student who took off his clothes and ran through a crowd, Ray Stevens thought it was a great idea for a song. By the time "The Streak" cracked the Billboard chart in April, 1974, there were already fifteen other songs about streaking, with another forty to follow. Some stores even set up sections for Streaks Of The Week. Stevens song topped the Pop chart just five weeks after its debut and stayed in the top four for a month.

To help launch the new Beatles' recording company, Apple Records, the firm encouraged new acts to send in their audition tapes. They signed Bad Finger, Mary Hopkin and a host of others, but turned down the up-and-coming David Bowie.

After being injured at a Boy Scout blanket toss, 13 year old Johnnie Ray lost most of the hearing in his right ear. A later surgery left him almost completely deaf in both ears, yet with the help of hearing aids he would go on to record over 65 singles, including "Cry" (#1), "Just Walking In The Rain" (#1) and "You Don't Owe Me A Thing" (#10). He was even referred to in Dexys Midnight Runners' 1982 hit "Come On Eileen" as "Poor old Johnnie Ray, sounded sad upon the radio, he moved a million hearts in mono".

Paul McCartney got the inspiration to write his 1982 hit "Ebony And Ivory" after hearing Irish comedian and musician Spike Milligan say "black notes, white notes, and you need to play the two to make harmony folks!".

On April 18th, 2004, a 20 year old American R&B singer calling himself Eamon (Eamon Jonathan Doyle) released a song called "Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)". It would go on to become the first song with an expletive in its title to reach the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #16. It reached #1 in the UK and Australia. The song was also listed in the Guinness Book Of World Records for "the most expletives in a #1 song", with 33.

In 1964, The Beatles topped the Cashbox Magazine record chart for sixteen straight weeks with four different songs. From January 25th until May 16th the Fab Four lead the best sellers list with "I Want To Hold Your Hand" (8 weeks), "She Loves You" (2 weeks), "Twist And Shout" (1 week) and "Can't Buy Me Love" (5 weeks). Their streak was interrupted by Louie Armstrong's "Hello Dolly" for one week before "Love Me Do" put them back on top for another week.

In 1967, a song called "Yellow Balloon" by a group of studio musicians billed under the same name, reached #25 on the Billboard Hot 100. The problem was that there was no actual band that could go on tour in support of the single or to record an album. Producer Ken Handler of Canterbury Records enlisted the help of Don Grady, a former Mouseketeer and better known as Robbie Douglas of the TV series My Three Sons, who put a band together and recorded a self-titled LP that is now considered a cult classic.

Shel Silverstein, the writer of Dr. Hook's hit "Sylvia's Mother" revealed that he really did call a girl named Sylvia (her last name wasn't Avery like the song says) and her mother resisted letting him talk to her, telling him that Sylvia was packing to go away and get married. Although she finally relented, she cautioned Silverstein "Shel, don't spoil it."

The Four Tops recorded "Reach Out, I'll Be There" in just two takes, assuming it would never be anything but an album filler. When Motown boss Berry Gordy released it as a single in 1966, it topped both the UK and US charts.

Elvis Presley once said that he had never tasted alcohol.

After the amazing success of "Dark Side Of The Moon", Pink Floyd planned an album that featured the sounds of household objects, which fortunately was never recorded.

Sherrell Paris of The Paris Sisters, who reached #5 on the Billboard Pop chart in 1961 with "I Love How You Love Me", went on to serve as Bob Barker's personal assistant on the US TV show The Price Is Right.

As a child, Brian Wilson's mother told him that dogs could pick up vibrations from people, so that a dog would bark at "bad vibrations." In 1966, Wilson turned that idea into The Beach Boys' number one hit "Good Vibrations".

"This Diamond Ring" was turned down by The Drifters and Bobby Vee before Gary Lewis and The Playboys took it to #1 in the US in 1965. Songwriters Al Kooper, Bob Brass and Irwin Levine later said they were "revolted" by the Playboy's version because it was intended to be a soulful R&B song and Lewis, they noted, "made a teenage milkshake out of it."

From 1968 to 1970, Jim Morrison lived at the humble Alta Cienega Motel in Los Angeles, in a room with no telephone.

'80s rocker Billy Squier allegedly had a rider in his contract that said if the venue he was performing at misspelled his name as "Squire" on the marquee, he was entitled to 100 percent of the door receipts.

Roland Kent LaVoie, who records as Lobo, nearly gave away his biggest hit. He offered a song called "I'd Love You To Want Me" to The Hollies, but they didn't like the line about "When you moved your mouth to speak, I felt the blood go to my feet" and wanted half of the writing credit to change it. When LaVoie opted to record the tune himself, it went to #1 on the Billboard Contemporary chart and sold over a million copies.

Jean Terrell, the singer who took Diana Ross' place in The Supremes in 1970, is the sister of the former WBA heavyweight boxing champion, Ernie Terrell, who lost twice to Muhammad Ali.

After leaving Danny And The Juniors in 1960, vocalist Dave White went on to write "You Don't Own Me" for Leslie Gore, as well as "1-2-3" and "Like A Baby" for Len Barry.

When it was first introduced in late 1958, "The Chipmunk Song" by David Seville and The Chipmunks received the lowest rating in the history of American Bandstand. Record buyers felt differently and by Christmas the song had risen to #1 on the Billboard Pop chart, where it stayed for four weeks.

In the 1940s, the Wurlitzer Jukebox company slogan was "The Magic That Changes Moods."

Brenda Lee's Christmas classic "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree" was recorded in July, with an air conditioner chilling the studio and a Christmas tree set up to get the musicians in the holiday spirit.

"The First Noel" is a traditional English Christmas carol that is said to date back to the 18th century and was first published in a collection of songs called Some Ancient Christmas Carols in 1823.

Dean Martin's 1959 rendition of the holiday tune "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow", was written in 1945 by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne on what Cahn would later remember as "the hottest day of the year."

Songwriter Johnny Marks wrote many memorable Christmas songs, including "Holly Jolly Christmas", "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer", "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day". It's interesting to note that he was Jewish.

When asked if he thought Ringo was the best drummer in the world, John Lennon replied "Ringo's not even the best drummer in The Beatles."

When an interviewer asked Paul Simon "What's the smartest thing you ever heard anybody in Rock 'n' Roll say?", Simon answered "Be bop-a-lula, she's my baby."

The Four Seasons' hit, "December 1963 (Oh What A Night)", was originally written by Bob Gaudio as "December 5th, 1933". After some prodding by Frankie Valli, Gaudio reworked the lyrics and the melody into the song that topped both the US and UK charts in 1976.

During his Presidential campaign in 2000, George W. Bush was asked by Oprah Winfrey what his favorite song was. He replied "Wake Up Little Susie by Buddy Holly."

Angela Lansbury, famous for her starring role in the TV series Murder She Wrote, played Elvis' mother in the film Blue Hawaii. She was only 35 years old when the movie was filmed, just 10 years older than Elvis. In later years, Lansbury would say that she regards Blue Hawaii as the low point in her acting career.

Ian Thomas, who reached #34 in the US with "Painted Ladies" in 1973, is the brother of Dave Thomas, who played Doug McKenzie of The McKenzie Brothers as well as appearing in the TV show Grace Under Fire with Brett Butler.

Although most us remember The Temptations as being the R&B vocal group from Detroit who placed 38 songs on the Hot 100 between 1964 and 1991, there was actually another recording group who used that name first. They were a white doo-wop quartet from Flushing, New York, who reached #29 on the Billboard Top 40 with a song called "Barbara" in 1960.

Jim Sundquist and Phil Humphrey, who had a #5 Billboard hit in 1960 with a novelty tune called "Mule Skinner Blues", called themselves The Fendermen because they both played Fender guitars and connected them to the same amplifier.

The largest group to ever have a hit record on the Billboard Top 40 was The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The 375 voice ensemble reached #13 with "Battle Hymn Of The Republic" in 1959.

Just before the release of what would become their US #1 hit, "Chapel Of Love", a New Orleans vocal group had their name changed to The Dixie Cups. They were originally called Little Miss and The Muffets.

The first song known to have used a multi-track recording technique was "How High the Moon" by Les Paul in 1951.

Lynyrd Skynyrd is most often associated with the song "Sweet Home Alabama", but the band was actually formed in Jacksonville, Florida.

Although Bobby "Boris" Pickett was imitating the voice of actor Boris Karloff when he recorded "Monster Mash", Karloff's daughter later told him that she didn't think he sounded like her father at all.

The musical Grease ran as a New York play for over three thousand performances and the film version was the number one box office draw of 1978.

The largest industry in Nashville is health care, which generates three times as much revenue as the number two industry, music.

Michael Jackson's "Thriller" holds the record as the best selling album world wide, with sales of over 100 million.

The original back album cover of Wings' "Red Rose Speedway" contained a Braille message to Stevie Wonder that said "We love you, baby."

When he was a boy living in Englewood, NJ in the early 1960s, Vincent Curatola, who went on to play Johnny "Sack" Sacramoni on the hit TV show The Sopranos, delivered newspapers. Some of his customers were Tony Bennett, Jerry Vale, Dizzy Gillespie, Leslie Gore, Sarah Vaughn and Tammy Tyrrel.

Led Zeppelin is the only band to have every one of their albums reach the Billboard Top Ten.

While over 500 million songs were legally downloaded in 2006, over 5 billion were downloaded illegally.

Early in his career, Bill Haley was billed as "the Ramblin' Yodeler."

Hall and Oates often receive requests to play "Baby Come Back" at their live shows. Embarrassed fans are then informed that the tune was recorded by the group Player, not by Hall and Oates.

The Four Seasons' 1966 smash, "I've Got You Under My Skin" was written by Cole Porter and was originally a hit for Ray Nobel in 1936.

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