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Rock 'n' Roll's Fascinating Facts

Page Two

Here is some more trivia about your favourite classic rock acts.

Misheard lyrics, such as "There's a bathroom on the right" instead of the correct "There's a bad moon on the rise" - is called a mondegreen.

The Eagles first learned the J.D. Souther written "How Long" in 1974, and although it was frequently included in their live shows, they refrained from recording it so Souther could use it on his own solo album. It finally appeared on their 2007 album, "Long Road Out Of Eden" and was released as a single in January, 2008. A month later, the song brought the band their fifth Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" was written as an answer to two Neil Young songs, "Southern Man" and "Alabama", which dealt with themes of racism and slavery in the American South. Young was born in Toronto, Canada and Skynyrd's members were from Florida.

Dave Clark turned down his initial appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show because he'd never heard of it. It was only after the band got to America and performed on the program, did he learn how big the Sullivan show was in the US.

A luthier is a craftsman who makes or repairs stringed instruments, such as guitars or violins.

Although they are mostly remembered for accompanying Elvis Presley on over 360 songs, The Jordanaires also sang back-up on 30,000 other recordings.

The English rock band Duran Duran had three members whose last name is Taylor, but none of them are related.

The album simply titled "The Beatles", which most fans call The White Album, was originally slated to be named "A Doll's House". That title was scrapped after the British progressive band Family released an album earlier in 1968, bearing a similar title.

Pat Benatar, who placed 15 songs in the Billboard Top 40, including "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" (#9 in 1980) and "We Belong" (#5 in 1984) trained at Julliard as an opera singer.

The words to "Amazing Grace" were written in 1772 by Englishman, John Newton, a former slave trader turned abolitionist. The original poem was later added to a variant of the tune "New Britain", penned in 1844, to form the song we know today. Judy Collins version rose to #15 on the Billboard chart in 1971.

When they were both youngsters, future Eagles member Don Felder gave guitar lessons to Tom Petty.

The first few copies of "Hey Paula" were credited to "Jill and Ray", since the singer's real names were Jill Jackson and Ray Hildebrand. For continuity sake, the duo were quickly re-named Paul and Paula.

Although ABBA placed 16 songs on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, they did not speak English, and therefore pronounced their lyrics phonetically.

The first week of February could well be called "The week the music died" as all of these artists passed away.
1959 - Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash.
1960 - 20 year old Jesse Belvin, who scored a hit with "Goodnight, My Love", died in an auto accident.
1967 - Joe Meek, producer of the Tornadoes hit, "Telstar" committed suicide.
1976 - Rudy Pompilli, sax player for Bill Haley's Comets, passed away.
1981 - Rock and Roll pioneer Bill Haley died of a heart attack at the age of 55.
1981 - Hugo Montenegro, who is best remembered for "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly", died of emphysema.
1983 - Karen Carpenter died of heart irregularities caused by anorexia nervosa.
1990 - Del Shannon died of a self-inflicted gun shot wound. (Feb 8)
1998 - 51 year old Carl Wilson, lead guitarist of The Beach Boys, died of lung cancer.
1998 - Falco, who had a hit with "Rock Me Amadeus," was killed in a traffic accident.

The real life "Peggy Sue" that Buddy Holly sang about was Peggy Sue Gerron, the girlfriend of his drummer, Jerry Allison. The song was initially titled "Cindy Lou", but Allison convinced Buddy to change the title just before the recording session. Allison and Gerron were later married.

Steely Dan founders Donald Fagen and Walter Becker first got together in a band known as The Bad Rock Group and later as The Leather Canary. Future comedy star Chevy Chase was their drummer.

Although today's Billboard magazine is devoted to the music industry and maintains several internationally recognized music charts, when it was founded in Cincinnati in 1894, it was a trade paper for the bill posting industry.

"The Twist" was written by Hank Ballard, who originally recorded it in 1959 with his group The Midnighters. He got the idea for the song by watching his band move around on stage. He said they looked like they were "trying to put a cigarette out."

Johnny Rivers' 1964 'live' album "Johnny Rivers At The Whisky A Go Go" was rejected by nearly every major US label. After Imperial Records took a chance on it, the L.P. sold well over a million copies, reaching #12 on the Billboard chart. The single taken from it, "Memphis" would reach #2.

When George Harrison visited his sister Louise in Benton, Illinois in September, 1963, he brought home two significant items: a Rickenbacker 425 guitar and a copy of James Ray's "Got My Mind Set On You". George's re-worked version of that 1961 recording would become his third and final Billboard chart topper as well as reaching number two in the UK in 1988.

Bertie Higgins, who took the romantic ballad "Key Largo" into the Billboard Top Ten in 1982, was once the drummer for Tommy Roe's backing band.

The night before their recording session, The Kingsmen played a 90-minute version of "Louie Louie" during a gig at a local teen club. Once they got into the studio, the song was recorded in one take.

Courtney Love of the band Hole gained the distinction of being the first AOL subscriber to have her e-mail account shut down, mainly for the death threats she posted against people she thought deserved them.

Eagles' bassist Timothy B. Schmit sang backing vocals on Firefall's 1977 hit, "Just Remember I Love You".

Anne Murray's 1969 hit "Snowbird" was released as the "B" side of a 45 RPM single, with a song called "Bidin' My Time" as the "A" side. A radio station in the Eastern United States flipped it over and "Snowbird" caught on. Record sales soon topped one million copies, marking the first time in history that an American gold record was awarded to a solo Canadian female.

Although singer / songwriter Harry Nilsson placed eight songs on Billboard's Top 40 chart, including the Grammy Award winning, million seller "Everybody's Talkin'", he disliked performing in public so much that he seldom appeared in concert and rarely made televised appearances.

While Elvis only recorded twenty Christmas songs, his holiday albums have sold more than twenty-five million copies in the US alone.

Scotland's hard-rock group Nazareth recorded a tune called "Love Hurts" as a B-side filler, never intending it to be a hit. Record buyers felt differently and the single rose to number 8 in the US and number 15 in the UK. One count revealed that over 42 different artists have recorded the song, including The Everly Brothers and Roy Orbison.

Bobby Helms' "Jingle Bell Rock" entered the Billboard Pop chart only two days before Christmas in 1957, but still managed to climb to number 6 during a six week stay.

Elvis Presley's 1957 LP "Elvis' Christmas Album" is the top selling holiday release of all time, racking up over nine million in sales.

The chords and structure of Tommy James' 1967 Billboard #10 single, "Mirage", were actually the chords to his previous hit, "I Think We're Alone Now" in reverse, created when it was accidentally played backwards during a writing session.

Bruce Hornsby's demo tapes were rejected by over 70 record companies. A year after RCA signed him in 1985, his tune "The Way It Is" topped the Billboard chart, followed by five more Top 40 hits, including "Mandolin Rain" (#4) and "The Valley Road" (# 5).

For many years it was thought that the very first song ever recorded was "Mary Had A Little Lamb", as spoken by Thomas Edison while testing an early phonograph in 1877. In March, 2008, the Association for Recorded Sound Collections announced the discovery of a recording of "Au Clair de la Lune", found by audio historians in the archives of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris . The recording was made by Parisian inventor Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville and recorded on a "phonautograph", a device that engraved sound waves onto a sheet of paper blackened by the smoke of an oil lamp. The recording took place on April 9th, 1860...17 years before Thomas Edison invented his phonograph.

The Four Seasons' Frankie Valli was arrested by Columbus, Ohio Police in September 1965, after his manager forgot to pay his hotel bill.

Although he sang the lead vocal for "Sugar Sugar", a song that sold over 13 million copies and was named Billboard magazine's Record of The Year, Ron Dante did not earn any royalties for the hit. Just happy to be recording at all in 1969, he did the session for the musicians' union scale wage.

In November, 2007, Neil Diamond finally revealed a secret that he had held onto for decades. The inspiration for his 1969 hit "Sweet Caroline" was President Kennedy's daughter.

They say you don't have to be a rocket scientist to write a hit song, but Michael Kennedy was working for the McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company when he co-wrote The DeFranco Family's "Heartbeat - It's A Love Beat". He later gave up music and went on to work on the International Space Station.

Jay And The Americans first learned the song "Cara Mia" in 1962 because it contained the only four chords they knew. When they finally recorded it in 1965, the tune rose to #4 on the Billboard chart.

After seeing Marvin Gaye's large collection of pornography, writer David Ritz suggested that Gaye needed some "sexual healing". The two later collaborated on some lyrics which went into the hit song, but Ritz was not given any writing credit. After Gaye died, Ritz successfully sued.

The Allman Brothers' only Billboard Top 10 hit, "Ramblin' Man" was the last song recorded by bassist Berry Oakley before his death in 1972.

The soundtrack for the movie Saturday Night Fever was composed and performed primarily by The Bee Gees and has gone platinum fifteen times over. Despite this success, The Bee Gees' Robin Gibb says he has never seen the film all the way through.

Although Elvis Presley memorabilia sold more than 30 million dollars worth in 1965, Elvis only pocketed $60,000 in royalties.

When "Monster Mash" first started to get air-play in 1962, Bobby "Boris" Pickett was working part time as a cab driver. The song has since become an annual favorite, reaching the Billboard Top 10 in '62 and '73, earning three gold records and selling an estimated four million copies. Bobby has said that royalties from the record have "paid the rent for 43 years". Not bad for a song that took a half hour to write and another half hour to record and was intended to be a bit of fun to be shared only among family and friends.

The Who's album "Tommy" spent over two years on the US chart, but in their home country, the UK, it lasted only nine weeks.

Peter Cetera wrote "If You Leave Me Now" about a faltering relationship. Although the song proved to be Chicago's biggest selling record, it didn't help save the union, as the woman involved ended up leaving anyway.

CCR's John Fogerty had a notebook in which he jotted down words and names that he thought would make good song titles. At the top of his list was "Proud Mary", a phrase that brought images of a domestic washerwoman to John's mind. When he got around to putting it to music, the first few chords he used reminded him of a paddle-wheel going around. Instead of Proud Mary being a clean-up lady, she became a boat.

Lesley Gore's first album was called "I'll Cry If I Want To" which consisted of songs completely devoted to crying.

"Mack The Knife" was written for the 1928 German play The Threepenny Opera, in which "Mack" is Mackie Messer (Macheath), an amoral, anti-heroic criminal. Although it suffered an initially poor reception, the show went on to run 400 times in the next two years. It was translated into English in 1933 and since that time, at least seven productions have been mounted in New York, on and off Broadway.

It has often been rumored that Billy Joel played piano on The Shangri-Las' "Leader of the Pack", but this has been denied by one of the song's co-writers, Ellie Greenwich.

The original version of "Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen cost just $36 to record, but sold over 12 million copies.

In the 1950s, Paul McCartney's father lead a combo called Jim Mac's Jazz Band, where he played piano and trumpet. When he was a boy, Paul said that someday he hoped to be as good as his dad.

Set to Ronald White's tune, Smokey Robinson was inspired by his wife Claudette to write the lyrics to one of music history's greatest love songs, "My Girl". Smokey's personal problems lead to their divorce in 1986.

From clay tablets and other forms of pictures, historians have determined that stringed musical instruments were developed in ancient Egypt and Rome over 3,300 years ago. The first six string guitar, called a vihuela, was developed in Spain in the 17th century.

In February 1949, after RCA Victor introduced the first 45 rpm phonograph, they put together a promo package of seven 45s that were sent to US disc jockeys and retailers. The records were color coded for classification of music. Popular - Black; Classical - Red; Popular Classical - Midnight blue; Children's - Yellow; Country and Western - Green; Rhythm And Blues - Cerise; International - Sky blue.

John Fogarty's comeback album, 1985's "Centerfield", included a couple of songs titled "Zantz Can't Dance" and "Mr. Greed", which were believed to be attacks on Fogerty's former boss at Fantasy Records, Saul Zaentz. Zaentz responded with a lawsuit, which forced Fogerty to issue a revised version of "Zaentz Can't Dance", changing the lead character's name to Vanz.

The Knack's lead vocalist, Doug Fieger, is the older brother of famed attorney Jeffrey Fieger, who defended doctor-assisted suicide advocate, Dr. Jack Kervorkian.

Three Dog Night's 1972, #1 hit "Black And White" was written in the mid-1950s about the 1954 US Supreme Court's landmark decision banning segregation in public schools. Some of the verses were changed in the Three Dog Night version. The original second verse went "Their robes were black, Their heads were white, The schoolhouse doors were closed so tight. Nine judges all set down their names, To end the years and years of shame".

Diane Renay, who was born Renne Diane Kushner, initially wanted to be billed as Renay Diane. She chose the "Renay" spelling to keep it from being mis-pronounced as "Ree-nee". Unfortunately, Atco Records misunderstood and printed early copies of her first recordings that said "Diane Renay". Rather than make an issue out of it, she decided to leave it that way. The record, "Navy Blue", went on to reach #6 in the US in 1964.

Joey Scarbury, who reached #2 on the Billboard chart with "Believe It Or Not" in 1981, was discovered by singer-songwriter Jimmy Webb's father, who wandered into a furniture store and heard the 14 year old's mom praising her son's singing ability. His initial recordings were not successful and it took another 12 years for Joey to have his big hit. Although he never cracked the Top 40 again, he did record the soundtracks for ER, The 40 Year Old Virgin and Fahrenheit 9/11.

By 1968, around eighty-five different manufacturers had sold over 2.4 million cassette players world wide and in that year alone, the cassette business was worth about $150 million.

In August, 2008, ABBA's "Gold" compilation rose to #1 on the UK album chart for the fifth time since being released in 1992, making it the oldest ever UK #1 album to return to the top of the chart, 16 years after release.

"For What It's Worth" by Buffalo Springfield got its title when Stephen Stills first played the song for the group, saying "Here's a new song I wrote, for what it's worth." When he finished playing, he was asked what the title was. Stills said he didn't have one. Someone then replied, "Sure you do. You just said it."

David Rose, who had a Billboard #1 hit in 1962 with an instrumental called "The Stripper", also wrote the theme for the TV show Little House On The Prairie.

In January, 2005, on what would have been Elvis Presley's 70th birthday, "Jailhouse Rock" was re-released in the UK where it went straight to #1. At over 47 years after its original release, it became the oldest recording ever to top the UK charts.

The lightest Elvis ever weighed as a six foot tall adult was 170 lbs in 1960 following his discharge from the U.S. Army. The heaviest was at the time of his death, which was 260 lbs.

Helen Reddy's husband, Jeff Wald, was also her manager. He was also the manager for Sylvester Stallone, George Foreman, James Brolin, George Carlin, Elliot Gould, Deep Purple, Donna Summer, Flip Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Chicago and Crosby, Stills & Nash, to name only a few.

In 1959, Philadelpia's Overbrook Highschool boys basketball team won their league championship. Members of the team included future NBA stars, Walt Hazzard and Wally Jones, along with Len Borisoff, who would later change his name to Len Barry and become a member of The Dovells, who had a hit with "The Bristol Stomp" as well as having a solo hit with "1-2-3".

Chip Taylor is the stage name of American songwriter James Wesley Voight, brother of actor Jon Voight and uncle of actress Angelina Jolie. Besides writing The Troggs' hit "Wild Thing", he also penned "Angel of the Morning", by both Merrilee Rush and Juice Newton as well as "I Can Make It With You" by The Pozo Seco Singers and many other hit records.

Vee Jay Records was the most successful Black owned and operated record company before Motown. The firm was founded in 1953 by Vivian Carter (the "Vee") and her husband, James Bracken (the "Jay").

Brian Jones, the original lead guitarist of The Rolling Stones, is said to have fathered six illegitimate children before his untimely death on July 3rd, 1969.

Although Ernie K-Doe had a US number one smash with "Mother-in-law" in 1961, he failed to match that song's success with any other release. His career came to a halt in the 70s and 80s and he often wandered the streets singing for spare change. In the mid-90s he turned his fortunes around and opened a successful night club.

The husband and wife song-writing team of Felice and Boudleaux Byant have said that they wrote the Everly Brothers' 1958 number one hit "All I Have To Do Is Dream" in about 15 minutes.

According to legend, to add the authentic sound of a motorcycle engine to The Shangri-Las' "Leader Of The Pack", one was driven through the lobby of the hotel and up to the floor of the recording studio. However, in an interview four decades later, Shangri-Las lead singer Mary Weiss scoffed at this story and said that the motorcycle sound was simply taken from an effects record.

Bruce Springsteen was once the opening act for Canadian singer, Anne Murray, of "Snowbird" fame.

The Lovin' Spoonful's John Sebastian played harmonica on The Doors' recording of "Road House Blues". He is credited on the album as G. Puglese.

Although AM radio broadcasts were tested in 1906 and used for voice and music broadcasts up until WW1, it wasn't until 1916, when 8XK in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania began regularly scheduled broadcasts.

The first 'live' television satellite program to air worldwide was a two-hour show called Our World, in which The Beatles performed "All You Need is Love" on June 25, 1967.

The Lovin' Spoonful's "Daydream" was included in John Lennon's personal jukebox along with "Do You Believe In Magic?". Paul McCartney later said that "Daydream" was a major influence on his composition "Good Day Sunshine".

Sam and Dave were a Soul singing duo who scored a half dozen hits on the US pop and R&B charts in the mid 1960s, including "Hold On, I'm Comin'". The two didn't get along very well and seldom spoke to each other off stage. Sam Moore said he lost all respect for his partner Dave Prater after Prater shot his own wife during a 1968 domsestic dispute, an incident for which he was never prosecuted.

There have been over 30 different members of The Drifters and two entirley seperate sets of singers known by that name. The first group of Drifters had a couple of hits on the R&B chart in the mid-fifties, but after Clyde McPhatter left in 1956, the remaining members had a falling out with their manager and were all fired. A new version of the Drifters featured Ben E. King on "There Goes My Baby", "This Magic Moment" and "Save The Last Dance For Me" before he quit. Rudy Lewis replaced King as lead vocalist for "Some Kind Of Wonderful", "Up On The Roof" and "On Broadway", but he suffered a fatal heart attack in 1964. Johnny Moore, from the original set of Drifters then re-joined to sing "Under The Boardwalk", as well as a series of moderate British hits.

Even though the members of the three piece band called America are all from the US, they actually met and formed the group while they were living in the UK.

Diana Ross has recorded 18 US number one songs, but has never won a Grammy Award.

Lesley Gore was given the first chance to record "A Groovy Kind of Love", but her then-producer Shelby Singleton did not want her to record a song with the word "groovy" in it. The Mindbenders seized the opportunity and took the song to #2 on the Billboard charts.

Gladys Knight's "Pips" were named after her manager / cousin James "Pip" Patten. Later on, Gladys said it stood for "Perfection In Performance."

Several meanings for The Rolling Stones' hit "Brown Sugar" have been suggested over the years, including Mick Jagger's alleged affair with a black woman, African slaves being raped by their white masters and the perils of being addicted to Brown Heroin. It has even been rumored that Jagger wrote the song as "Black Pussy" before commercializing it to "Brown Sugar".

With less than ten minutes of studio time left, The Marcels recorded a doo-wop version of a song called "Blue Moon", written in 1934 by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. The result was a US number one hit in April, 1961.

The yardstick for every aspiring young drummer in the sixties was an instrumental called "Wipe Out" by The Surfaris. The record has sold millions and has become a classic rock standard, yet was put together as a b-side filler in about 15 minutes and recorded in just two takes.

Elvis Presley's former home, Graceland is the second most-visited house in America after the White House.

The original title of KISS' 1976 hit "Beth" was "Beck", a nickname given to songwriter Stan Penridge's girlfriend Becky. Penridge was the guitar player in a band that Peter Criss was in before he joined KISS. Additional lyrics were added by Criss and producer Bob Ezrin and resulted in a #7 Billboard hit.

William Ashton, who used the stage name Billy J. Kramer and scored hits with "Bad To Me" and "Little Children" during the British Invasion, took the last part of his name at random from a telephone directory. At the suggestion of John Lennon, Billy added a middle initial to give his name more appeal and used "J" in memory of John's mother, Julia and for his newly born son, Julian.

When The Guess Who performed at the White House in 1970, First Lady Pat Nixon, undoubtedly breifed as to the scathing anti-US sentiment of the band's hit "American Woman", asked that the band delete the song from their show.

Franki Valli's 1975 number one hit "My Eyes Adored You" was originally titled "Blue Eyes In Georgia", but was altered by Valli when he recorded it.

After "Good Lovin'" became Billboard's number one song in April, 1966, organist Felix Cavaliere admitted, "We weren't too pleased with our performance. It was a shock to us when it went to the top of the charts."

On the Mamas and Papas 1966 album "If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears", the group's name was spelled with an apostrophe before the "s" - The Mama's and Papa's. Subsequent albums opted for grammatical correctness and the apostrophes were dropped.

According to songwriter Burt Bacharach, his first choice of artist to record "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" was Ray Stevens. Fortunately for BJ Thomas, Stevens didn't like the song and passed on the opportunity.

Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde were a popular English duo during the British Invasion and scored two US Top Ten hits in 1964 with "Yesterday's Gone" and "A Summer Song". After the pair had gone their seperate ways, Stuart served as the musical director for the US television show The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

The Beach Boys concert contract states that any sell-outs must be reported to all industry related newspapers and magazines.

The break up of Simon and Garfunkle came about when Art refused to record Paul's song "Cuba Si, Nixon No" for their 1969 "Bridge Over Troubled Water" LP.

"Bye Bye Love" was turned down by Elvis Presley and thirty other artists before The Everly Brothers recorded it. Their version rose to #2 in the US and stayed on the charts for 22 weeks.

The Flamingos 1959 smash, "I Only Have Eyes For You" was first performed by actor Dick Powell in the 1934 movie, Dames.

Gramophone was a U.S. brand name that referred to a specific brand of sound reproducing machine in the late 1800s. The name fell out of use around 1901, though it has survived in its nickname form, Grammy, as the title of the Grammy Awards. The Grammy trophy itself is a small rendering of a gramophone.

The inclusion of "Louie Louie" in the John Belushi movie National Lampoon's Animal House, is in fact, historically incorrect. The film is set in 1962, one year prior to the Kingsmen's release.

When Little Richard (Penniman) was a teenager, he ran away from home and joined a medicine show. By the time he was 15, he was adopted by Ann and Johnny Johnson, a white family from Macon, Georgia.

On the recording session for Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone", future Blood, Sweat and Tears founder Al Kooper played organ and The Electric Flag's Mike Bloomfield played guitar.

The song title of the Beatles' "Penny Lane" is derived from the name of a street in the Beatle's hometown of Liverpool. Locally the term "Penny Lane" was the name given to Allerton Road and Smithdown Road and its busy shopping area and is named after James Penny, an 18th century slave trader.

After recording her first record, Oasis records made a spelling mistake on the label and Donna Sommer became Donna Summer for the rest of her career.

Songwriter Jimmy Webb got the inspiration to write The Fifth Dimension's hit "Up, Up and Away" from a hot air balloon that a friend flew on promotions for radio station KMEN.

The Dovells, who scored a number two hit in the U.S. in 1961 with "Bristol Stomp", also appeared as Chubby Checker's backing band on "Let's Twist Again" and accompanied Jean Hillery on the 1968 novelty tune, "Here Comes The Judge".

The Sir Douglas Quintet were playing in a club one night and noticed a couple dancing. Lead singer Doug Sahm said "She's a body mover!", which gave him an idea for a song. Back in those days you couldn't say "body mover" on a record, so he changed the lyrics to "She's About A Mover" and achieved a US Top 20 hit.

The blistering guitar lead in George Harrison's song, "Taxman" is the exact same guitar part heard at the ending fade of the song. It was copied and re-recorded onto the end.

The song "Summertime Blues" was a US Top 40 hit in three different decades - in the fifties by Eddie Cochran (#8), the sixties by Blue Cheer (#14) and the seventies by The Who (#27).

The Mothers Of Invention are believed to have released the first double album with "Freak Out!" in early 1967.

In 1962, Gene Pitney recorded "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" for the movie of the same name, starring John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart. Although the song reached #4 on the Billboard singles chart, it was never included in the film.

When the Beatles made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9th, 1964, producers received over 50,000 applications for the 728 seats in the TV studio.

Alan Gordon, the co-writer of The Turtles' hit "Happy Together" said that he wrote the melody to the song based on an open string pattern used by a bandmate to tune his guitar.

Jerry Lee Lewis' parents mortgaged their house in order to buy him a piano.

Johnny Preston's 1960 number one hit, "Running Bear" was written by J.P. Richardson, The Big Bopper.

The double entendre title of the Bellamy Brother's hit "If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me" was derived from a quote by Groucho Marx.

With some left over studio time on their hands, a group of musicians recorded an instrumental intended to be a throw-a-way album track. The song ended up on the flip side of a single release called "Train To Nowhere", which was virtually ignored by US radio stations. Finally, someone flipped the disc over and discovered "Tequila", which went to number one on both the Pop and R&B charts for The Champs.

Kenny Loggins joined The Electric Prunes during their final tour in 1969, two years after the band had scored a hit with "I Had Too Much Too Dream". When the tour was over, the band split up for good and Loggins went on to team up with Jim Messina in 1971 and later had several solo hits.

The distinct horse logo that appeared on most of Poco's albums was designed by Saturday Night Live star, Phil Hartman.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote "I Want To Hold Your Hand" in the basement of Jane Asher's house. She was Paul's girlfriend, to whom he would later become engaged to, but never married.

One day while out riding with her dad, Stella McCartney stopped to stare at him. It had just come to her at that moment. She said, "You're Paul McCartney."

While the title of the song is often shown with a comma ("Louie, Louie"), writer Richard Berry told Esquire magazine in 1988 that the correct title of the song was "Louie Louie", with no comma.

When The Supremes' Mary Wilson was contacted for an interview by the television show Romance of The Rich and Famous, she moved some of her personal belongings into a freinds' mansion and let on it was hers, instead of revealing her true residence, a tiny, two bedroom bungalow in Studio City, California.

Little Richard's recording career had just gotten off the ground when his father was murdered in the winter of 1952. To support his family, Richard took a job washing dishes at a Greyhound bus station in Macon, Georgia.

Reginald Kenneth Dwight changed his stage name to Elton John, taking his first name from Bluesology saxophonist Elton Dean and his last from bluesman, Long John Baldry.

When Decca Records first released "Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley And His Comets in the Spring of 1954, most people had never heard of Rock And Roll and the company had a hard time describing the song. The label on the single called it a "Novelty Foxtrot."

On December 17th, 1977, David Ackroyd became the first record buyer to receive a Gold Disc when he purchased the one-millionth copy of "Mull Of Kintyre" by Wings.

In December of 1969, Mick Jagger was quoted saying "I don't really like singing very much, I enjoy playing the guitar more than I enjoy singing and I can't play the guitar either."

Ross Bagdasarian (Davis Seville) named The Chipmunks after executives at Liberty records. Alvin was named for Al Bennett, president of the company, Simon was named after Bennett's partner, Si Waronker and Theodore was named for Ted Keep, a recording engineer.

"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" was written by Johnny Marks and recorded by Brenda Lee in 1958. Although Decca released it in both that year and again in 1959, it did not catch on until Lee rose to stardom in 1960. That Christmas season, it reached #16 on the Billboard Pop chart and has since become a perennial holiday favourite. The song continues to sell well during the holiday season and rose to #5 on the Christmas chart in 1984.

One of the strangest moments in Pop music history took place on September 11, 1977, when two stars from different generations, David Bowie and Bing Crosby, got together to tape "The Little Drummer Boy" and "Peace On Earth" for Bing's upcoming Christmas TV special. The pair rehearsed for an hour and finished their duet in only three takes, but Bing died a month later having never seen the video.

In October, 2000, George Michael paid over $2 million for the piano that John Lennon used to write "Imagine". It is a simple upright model and not the white piano that appeared on the album cover.

John Lennon often expressed his dislike for Winston Churchill, the former British Prime Minister that he was named after. He felt so strongly that he had his middle name changed from Winston to Ono after he married Yoko.

Andy White, who played drums on The Beatles' track "Love Me Do", which was included on the Beatles Greatest Hits album, did not earn any money in royalties from it. He only received his original session fee of £7 ($14 US), which is not even enough for him to buy his own copy of the album.

Gloucestershire airport in England used to blast Tina Turner songs on its runways to scare birds away.

The much publicized Jerry Lee Lewis pistol-waving episode outside Graceland in 1976 is said to be a misunderstanding. Jerry and Elvis were long time friends and he had been invited to visit. A pistol on the dashboard of Jerry’s car had been given to him earlier that evening as a present and when security guards at the Gracelands gates saw the pistol and asked Jerry if he’d come to shoot Elvis, Jerry just joked: "Sure I have." This led to the arrest and the subsequent press stories.

After Sam Cooke turned down "Travelin' Man", Ricky Nelson recorded the song and had a Billboard chart topping single with it in 1961.

In 1963, the brother and sister team of Nino Tempo and April Stevens took "Deep Purple" to Billboard's number one position. The same song had topped the charts for Larry McClinton in 1939 and would become a #14 hit for Donny and Marie Osmond in 1976.

1950s crooner Perry Como, who scored many hits including "Round and Round", "Don't Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes" and "Hot Diggity", was the seventh son of a seventh son.

The Rigteous Brothers' hit "Unchained Melody" was never intended to be a single. It was recorded as an album cut and later pressed on the "B" side of the 45 "Hung On You". When it was released, DJs flipped the disc over and "Unchained Melody" quickly rose to #4 in the US and #1 in the UK.

Barry Manilow recorded his vocal and piano parts for "Mandy" in just one take.

Bobby "Boris" Pickett, who topped the Billboard Pop chart in 1962 with "The Monster Mash", once had his tour bus break down outside of a town called Frankenstein, Missouri.

When asked about their controversial hit song "One Toke Over The Line" during an interview with Brewer and Shipley, they said that "toke" had nothing to do with marijuana, but meant token or ticket. Hence the line about "sittin' downtown in a railway station."

When The Beatles' single "Ticket To Ride" was first issued, the fine print under the title said "From the United Artists Release Eight Arms To Hold You", which was the original name for the film Help!.

Cher was a background vocalist on the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling".

When Stu Cook and Doug Clifford reformed CCR as Creedence Clearwater Revisited in 1995, former band mate John Fogerty won a court injunction to prevent the use of the name and the live performance of CCR's hits. The pair toured as Cosmo's Factory until the injunction was overturned on appeal.

Pat Boone spent a total of 21 weeks at the top of the Billboard Pop chart with six different number one hits spread out between 1955 and 1961. His daughter Debby had only one hit, "You Light Up My Life" in 1977, but it stayed number one for 10 straight weeks.

"Beyond The Sea" by Bobby Darin was based on a song called "Le Mer", written by Louis Charles Augustin Georges Trenet in 1945. Bobby used the same melody, but the English words are not a translation of the original French lyrics.

When United Artists was preparing to release Electric Light Orchestra's debut album, a company representative tried to place a call to someone connected with the band to find out what the LP should be titled. The caller, having failed to reach the desired party, jotted down the notation "no answer," a phrase which was mistaken for an album title and assigned to the U.S. version of the LP.

Al Kooper, founder of Blood, Sweat and Tears was a co-writer of the Gary Lewis and The Playboys' hit "This Diamond Ring". Although the song was a US number one smash, Kooper has said he was very disappointed at how the Playboys version sounded, and sheepish that it became such a hit. None of the Playboys actually played their instruments on the recording and Lewis' vocals were heavily supported by Ron Hicklin's overdubs.

The Academy Award winning score for the movie Fame was written by Leslie Gore's brother, Michael.

From 1969 to 1970, Jimmy Buffett was a staff writer for Billboard magazine in Nashville.

The Temptations 1964 classic hit "My Girl" was written by Smokey Robinson and Ronald White of The Miracles. Robinson wrote the lyrics, which he later said were inspired by his wife, Claudette. They divorced in 1986.

Two of Jim Croce's biggest hit songs were inspired by real people. Leroy Brown was a fellow member of the Air National Guard who had gone AWOL and Big Jim Walker ("You Don't Mess Around With Jim") was a pool shootin son-of-a-gun from south Philadelphia.

Brenda Lee's 1960, US number one hit, "I'm Sorry", was recorded at the tail end of a recording session with just five minutes of studio time left. It was intended to be the "B" side of a 45 that featured "That's All You Gotta Do", but disc jockeys flipped the platter over and "I'm Sorry" soon shot to the top of Billboard's Hot 100.

Jim McGuinn of The Byrds changed his middle name to Roger and began using it as a stage name after becoming interested in Eastern religion. A guru had told him that names starting with the letter "R" would vibrate better with the universe.

Roy Orbison's highest charting album did not come about until after his untimely death in 1989. "Mystery Girl" reached #5 and was eventually certified platinum.

"House Of The Rising Sun" is a traditional Folk song that was first recorded in 1920 and tells a story about a brothel in New Orleans named after Madame Marianne Le Soleil Levant (which means "Rising Sun" in French). It was open for business from 1862, when Union Troops occupied the town, until 1874, when it was closed due to complaints by neighbors.

After the death of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham in 1980, guitarist Jimmy Page refuesed to even pick up a guitar for nearly nine months.

Monkees guitarist Mike Nesmith wrote Linda Ronstadt's 1968 hit, "Different Drum".

Gene Chandler, who reached number one in the US in 1962 with "The Duke Of Earl", was the producer of "Backfield In Motion", a 1969 Top Ten hit by Mel And Tim.

Tommy Roe wrote and recorded a song called "Sheila" when he was just 14 years old. The effort went nowhere, but six years later, he recorded it again for ABC-Paramount and this time it went to number one in the US.

Peter Noone, better known as Herman of Herman's Hermits, once interviewed Elvis Presley for the UK music paper New Musical Express.

Elvis' girlfriend, Ginger Alden, found him dead, lying on the floor of his bathroom. He had been seated on the toilet reading The Scientific Search For Jesus.

Twenty years after his death, a report showed that Elvis Presley was the world's best selling posthumous entertainer, with world-wide sales of over 1 billion dollars and 480 active fanclubs. He died owing $3 million.

Darlene Love, who sang lead vocals on The Crystals hits "He's A Rebel" and "He's Sure The Boy I Love", played Danny Glover’s wife in all four Lethal Weapon movies.

Harry Elston, co-founder of The Friends Of Distinction, used to work as a limousine driver for The Temptations.

Mercury Records released The Platters' "Twilight Time" on both 78 RPM and 45 RPM discs. The song went to number one in the U.S. in April, 1958 and sold one and a half million copies, of which 98.2 percent were 45s. By that June, Mercury became the first major record label to announce that it would stop producing 78s, effective immediately.

After The Tokens achieved a number one record with "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" in 1961, follow up recordings failed to sell. The group however continued to perform and sang back up vocals for Connie Francis, Del Shannon and Bob Dylan, as well as recording commercials for Pan Am, Ban Deodorant, Wendys and Sunkist.

In the 1960s, during the height of Beatlemania, there were about 90 records released every week in the UK. Only 2 or 3 ever made the charts.

The Shirelles 1962, US Top 10 hit, "Baby, It's You" was actually recorded with only Shirley Alston Reeves' voice over the instumental demo. The other members of the group don't appear on the record at all, as the original backup vocals, provided by male singers, were left in place.

It took Elvis Presley 31 takes of "Hound Dog" to get the final version that we hear today. In 1988, the song was named the most played record of all time on American juke boxes.

'Wake Me Up Before You Go Go' by Wham! was inspired by a note that group member Andrew Ridgeley left lying in his bedroom.

Paul Evans, who sang the US Top Ten hits "Seven Little Girls" and "Happy-Go-Lucky Me", wrote the music for Bobby Vinton's hit, "Roses Are Red" in 3 minutes, just after seeing Al Byron's lyrics for the first time. After Vinton recorded it, the song went to #1 in the US and sold over 4 million copies.

Tommy James and the Shondells' "It's Only Love" album cover was the first professional photo shoot by Paul McCartney's wife, Linda Eastman.

Robert Todd Storz is credited with being the father of the Top 40 radio format. In the early 1950s, he noticed that people would play the same juke box selections over and over, and gradually converted his stable of radio stations from playing dramas and variety shows to an all-hits format. He dubbed the result "Top 40". Storz also pioneered the practice of surveying record stores to determine which singles were the most popular each week. Ironically, he died of a stroke in 1964, in his 40th year.

John Hall, co-founder of the Rock band Orleans, was elected to US Congress in November, 2006, representing New York's 19th congressional district. That's him you hear doing the slick guitar work on "Still The One" and "Dance With Me".

Before they formed The Lovin' Spoonful, John Sebastian and Zal Yanovsky were in a group called The Mugwumps, whose other members included Cass Elliot and Denny Doherty, who would rise to fame in The Mamas and The Papas.

The Barry Manilow hit "I Write The Songs", written by The Beach Boys' Bruce Johnson, has been recorded by over two hundred artists and has a cumulative, worldwide sales figure of twenty-five million copies.

At the same time as "Love Will Keep Us Together" was starting to fade from the Billboard Hot 100, The Captain and Tennille had a Spanish version of the same song ("Por Amor Viviremos") enter the chart. It was the only time in Rock history that an act had two versions of the same song in different languages and on different singles, appear simultaneously on the Hot 100.

While Ernie K-Doe's hit "Mother-In-Law" was at the top of the US charts in 1961, Dick Clark decided he would not have K-Doe on American Bandstand because he felt the song was disrespectful towards his Mother-in-Law.

The line from Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode, "That little country boy could play" was originally written as, "That little colored boy can play." Berry knew that in order to get the song played on the radio, he would have to change that lyric.

Janis Ian got the inspiration for her hit "At Seventeen" while sitting at the kitchen table reading a New York Times article about a debutante. The opening line of the story was "I learned the truth at 18." Janis wrote the lyrics as "at seventeen" because it flowed better.

Five different record companies, including Decca, Roulette, Columbia, RCA and Atlantic turned down "That'll Be The Day" by Buddy Holly. Finally, Bob Thiele at Coral / Brunswick Records heard the demo and signed Holly to a contract.

In order to give fans a "gold record", the first 100,000 copies of "We're An American Band" by Grand Funk Railroad were stamped out of gold colored vinyl.

Lesley Gore appeared in two episodes of the TV show Batman in 1966. She played the role of "Pussycat", one of Catwoman's henchwomen. She may have had a little help landing the role, as Howie Horwitz, one of the show's producers, is her uncle.

Even though they have such strange names as Moon Unit, Diva, Dweezil and Ahmet Rodan, Frank Zappa once said that he believed that his kids would always have more trouble because of their last name.

Years before scoring 1972's number one smash "I Can See Clearly Now", Johnny Nash entered a talent show in Houston Texas. He lost to a young Soul singer named Joe Tex, who would have a chart topping hit of his own in 1968 with "Skinny Legs and All".

Jimi Hendrix was hired as the Monkees opening act for their 1967 Summer tour. Unfortunately, US audiences had never seen anything like Hendrix before and booed him off of the stage. He quit the tour after two weeks.

While talking on the phone with his mother, Disc Jockey Murray The K mentioned that he and Bobby Darin were soaking their feet after playing a game of softball in Central Park. A few minutes later, she called back to say that she had an idea for a song - "Splish, Splash, take a bath..." Murray and Bobby began sorting out some lyrics while Murray's mother, Jean, who had been a vaudeville piano player, finished the melody. It became the first of Bobby's 22 US Top 40 hits when it reached #3 in the Summer of 1958.

The Beatles recorded two different versions of the song "Strawberry Fields Forever". One was a half-tone higher and slightly faster than the other. The group couldn't decide which rendition they liked better and finally asked producer George Martin if he could put them together somehow. When one was slowed down, it fit perfectly with the other, resulting in the song we know today.

The Guess Who performed at The White House during the Nixon administration, but were asked not to perform their #1 hit "American Woman" because of its' anti-U.S. establishment lyrics.

Fats Domino's 1956, US #2 hit, "Blueberry Hill" was originally a number one hit for big band leader Glen Miller in 1940.

According to Rolling Stone magazine, The Young Rascals were surprised by the success of "Good Lovin". Felix Cavaliere admitted, "We weren't too pleased with our performance. It was a shock to us when it went to the top of the charts."

Although Jerry Lee Lewis received a lot of bad press for marrying his 13 year old second cousin, Jerry's sister Linda Gail first married at 14 and another sister, Frankie Jean, first married at age 12.

When song writer Burt Bacharach asked B.J. Thomas to sing "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" for the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, he neglected to tell Thomas that the song had already been turned down by Bob Dylan and Ray Stevens.

Buddy Holly's drummer, Jerry Allison played drums on The Everly Brothers 1959 hit "Til I Kissed You".

Songwriter Hoyt Axton once revealed that the first line of "Joy To The World", Jeremiah was a bullfrog, was never intended to be in the song. It was just a fill-in line he used until he could come up with better lyrics. He pitched the tune to Three Dog Night when they toured together and they ended up recording it "as is."

George Harrison expressed his feelings about the break-up of The Beatles by saying: "The saddest thing was actually getting fed up with one another."

A race running the route described in the song "Dead Man's Curve", from Hollywood and Vine to Sunset and Doheny, would have covered 4.5 miles. If it were extended to the real "dead man's curve" near UCLA, it would have been a drag race of 8.7 miles.

Producer Terry Melcher called upon song writers Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil to come up with something for Paul Revere And The Raiders. They sent him a song called "Kicks", which they had originally written hoping it would help get a friend of theirs off drugs.

In 1962, Mersyside Newspaper held a contest to see who was the most popular band in Liverpool. The Beatles were the winners, partly because they called in posing as different people, voting for themselves.

The Four Tops recorded their first Motown hit, 1964's "Baby I Need Your Lovin'" in the wee hours of the morning, shortly after songwriter Eddie Holland had sang it for them for the first time.

Connie Francis was on the comeback trail in 1981 when her brother, George, was brutally murdered, allegedly by members of organized crime.

Pat Boone, who is a very religious man, once claimed to use his own surname in lieu of curse words when he is upset.

When Janis Joplin was in college in 1963, a local fraternity voted her "The Ugliest Man on Campus."

Mark Dinning scored a number one hit in the U.S. in 1960 with "Teen Angel". While he was growing up in Olkahoma, one of his babysitters was a girl named Clara Ann Fowler, who would go on to have a recording career of her own as Patti Page.

Bert Kaempfert, who lead his orchestra on the January, 1961, number one US hit, "Wonderland By Night", would go on to produce the first recording session that The Beatles ever had. At the time, the boys were backing Tony Sheridan on "My Bonnie" and "When The Saints Go Marching In".

Although many fans assumed that the Shirelles were named for their lead singer Shirley Owens, the members of the group say that this is not true. The girls came up with the name while they were still in high school and Doris Kenner was singing most of the lead vocals.

The next time you see the movie Back To The Future III, be sure to look for ZZ Top in a cameo roll. They play in the band that is performing in the Hill Valley party scene where Doc asks Clara to dance. That's drummer Frank Beard who twirls his snare drum around as the band breaks into song.

Due to his horrible singing voice, drummer Keith Moon was banned from the studio while the rest of The Who were recording vocals.

When Diane Renay's mother was pregnant with her, a gypsy fortune teller told her, "you're gonna have a daughter and your daughter one day is going to be a star." That prediction came true in 1964 when 17 year old Diane reached #6 on the Billboard chart with "Navy Blue".

James Brown placed 99 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop chart. 44 of them made the Top 40, but none ever reached number one.

In 1959, Tommy Dee reached #11 on the Billboard chart with a record called "Three Stars", a tune dedicated to the memory or Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper. The song was meant for Eddie Cochran, but he was unable to complete the recording because of the overwhelming sadness caused by the death of his friends.

After enjoying a hit with "Red Rubber Ball", Tom Dawes of The Cyrkle wrote the famous "plop plop fizz fizz" jingle for Alka-Seltzer.

On September 7, 1976, Eric Clapton wrote his hit song "Wonderful Tonight" for his wife, the former Pattie Boyd Harrison, while waiting for her to get ready to go out to Paul and Linda McCartney's annual Buddy Holly party.

In April 1909 Charles David Herrold, an electronics instructor in San Jose, California, constructed an early radio station. He coined the terms "narrowcasting" and "broadcasting" respectively to identify transmissions destined for a single receiver such as that on board a ship, and those transmissions destined for a general audience.

Although there is some debate among collectors about what was the last commercially released 8-track tape by a major label, many agree it was "Fleetwood Mac's Greatest Hits" in November 1988. There are reports of bootleg 8-track tapes being produced in Mexico as late as 1995 and some independent artists have released 8-track tapes as late as 2006.

Paul McCartney wrote the song "Lovely Rita, Meter Maid" for the album "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" after getting a parking ticket from a female warden in Abbey Road.

After seeing the 1978 movie, The Buddy Holly Story, Crickets drummer Jerry Allison said he thought it "was a horrible movie." He went on to say "the only thing I saw about it that was real was they spelled Buddy's name right."

The all-time most nominated Grammy artist is Quincy Jones with 77 nominations.

Iwao Takamoto, the animator who created the cartoon dog Scooby-Doo, said that he got the inspiration to name his character from the closing scat to Frank Sinatra's "Strangers In The Night". (Dooby-dooby-doo...)

The song "Bye, Bye Love" had been turned down by 30 other artists before The Everly Brothers recorded it. It became their first big hit, rising to number 2 in the US in 1957.

After recording a number of demo songs on January 1st, 1962, The Beatles received a rejection letter from the Decca Recording Company that said "We don't like their sound and guitar music is on the way out."

Although The Ed Sullivan Show was the first TV program in America to host the Beatles, it was not their first US TV appearance. On December 7, 1963, The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite featured footage of Beatles fans at a concert. The Beatles' first US television appearance was on The Jack Parr Show on January 4th, 1964 when Parr showed a film of the band playing "She Loves You". Before showing the performance, one of Parr's comments was "I understand science is working on a cure for this."

"The Twist" by Chubby Checker is the only song to climb to number one on Billboard's Hot 100 in two seperate chart runs. The first was in September, 1960 and the second in January, 1962. The hit version is take number three in a 35 minute recording session.

The only US number one single to be re-recorded by the same artist and become a Top Ten hit all over again is "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" by Neil Sedaka. The original, up-tempo version topped the Billboard chart in 1962, while a ballad rendition reached number 8 in 1975. Other songs have made a second appearence on Billboard's Hot 100, but it was the original version that came back.

Drummer John Peterson played for The Beau Brummels on their 1965 hits "Laugh Laugh" and "Just A Little" before leaving in 1966 to join Harpers Bizarre in time to record their 1967 hit "Feelin' Groovy".

Rocky Burnette's "Tired Of Toein' The Line" was written in half an hour and was originally released as the "B" side of a single called "Clowns From Outerspace". After EMI Records re-released it as an "A" side, the song became a #8 hit in the US.

Danny and The Juniors got their big break when they were called to fill in for a group that failed to show up for Dick Clark’s American Bandstand show in Philadelphia. They lip-synced "At The Hop", which then took off like a rocket to #1 in the US. A few years later, Chubby Checker was invited to make his first TV appearance on Bandstand when Danny and The Juniors didn't show.

Vocalist David Dee of the British rock group Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, was a former policeman who was at the scene of the automobile accident that took the life of American rocker Eddie Cochran and injured Gene Vincent in April 1960. Dee rescued Cochran's guitar from the wreck and held it until it could be returned, undamaged, to Cochran's family.

Early manufacturers of Jukeboxes never referred to them as "jukeboxes", they called them Automatic Coin-Operated Phonographs. The term "juke" is Southern US slang for dancing.

In December, 1962, The Four Season's version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" reached number 23 on the Billboard singles chart. The song was originally a hit for George Hall in 1934.

"I'm A Beliver", the Monkees follow-up to their number one hit, "Last Train To Clarksville" was a million seller before it was even released, due to over 1 million advance orders.

Although many fans thought that the Beatles "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" was about LSD, John Lennon would later say that he got the inspiration for the song from a picture that his son Julian had painted at school.

John Lennon deliberately wrote nonsense words to "I Am The Walrus" to throw off listeners who tried to find hidden meanings in his lyrics.

In 1956, Micky and Sylvia recorded the million selling "Love Is Strange". After the duo split in 1961, Micky Baker would write several guitar insturction books, including the best seller "Jazz Guitar". Sylvia Vanderpool co-founded All Platinum Records and co-worte The Moments 1970 gold record "Love On A Two Way Street".

Rocker John Mellencamp was born with spina bifida, a potentially crippling neural tube defect that required surgery and a lengthy hospitalization.

Despite having a long list of hit records to her credit, there were two more that Cher could have had. In 1973 she was offered "The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia", but turned it down. Vicki Lawrence took it to number one. She also had first crack at "Angie Baby" in 1974, but again felt it wasn't her kind of song. Helen Reddy's version would top the US chart.

The Strawberry Alarm Clock had a 1967, number one hit with "Incense and Peppermints". As a part of their live act, drummer Randy Seol played the bongos with his hands on fire.

After Nino Tempo and April Stevens hastily recorded a song called "Deep Purple", the master tape was sent to Atlantic Records producer Ahmet Ertegun, who said that the effort was not only embarrassing, but the worst thing Nino and April had ever done. After some pressure from Nino, Ertegun gave in and released the song as a single. It quickly soared to #1 on the Billboard Pop chart and enjoyed a twelve week run. The following year it won a Grammy Award for the Best Rock and Roll Recording of 1963.

Although she is mostly remembered for her hit "Stand By Your Man", country singer Tammy Wynette has been married five times.

Gerry Goffin and Carole King wrote "The Loco-Motion" with the hope that Dee Dee Sharp would record it. For the demo, they asked their infant daughter's baby sitter, Eva Boyd to sing the song. Sharp's producers turned it down, but their publishing firm liked the demo so much, they released it as a single, giving Little Eva a number one record.

In the Fall of 1958, Neil Diamond entered New York University on a fencing scholarship.

Bobby Vinton found his biggest hit, "Roses Are Red" in a pile of reject demo records while he was waiting to be told of his release from his recording contract. He talked Epic Records management into letting him record the song and soon after, he and the label had their first million selling, number one smash.

Gale Garnett, who sang the Top 40 song, "We'll Sing In The Sunshine", appeared in a number of episodes of the TV show Bonanza.

Before Neil Young joined Crosby, Stills and Nash, the original trio had already asked George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood to become the fourth member of their group.

Paul Simon took the title of his song "Mother and Child Reunion" from the name of a chicken-and-egg dish he saw on a Chinese restaurant's menu.

If you listen carefully to Marvin Gaye's 1971 smash "What's Going On", you can hear former Detroit Lions Mel Farr and Lem Barney talking and singing in the background.

During the recording of Ted Nugent's 1976 album "Free For All", singer / guitarist Derek St. Holmes left the band for personal reasons. A singer named Marvin Aday, who would one day be known as Meat Loaf, replaced him on five songs.

None of The Beatles played instruments on "Eleanor Rigby", though John Lennon and George Harrison did contribute harmony and backing vocals. Instead, Paul McCartney used a string octet of studio musicians, composed of four violins, two cellos, and two violas all working off a score written by producer George Martin.

The song "Happy Birthday" brings in about $2 million a year in licensing revenue to Warner Communications, who hold the copyright to the song.

The harmonica that John Lennon used to record The Beatles "Love Me Do" was one that he shoplifted from a store in Arnhem, Holland.

Even though Barry Manilow wrote many of his chart makers, he did not write three of his most popular hits. "Mandy" was written by Scott English and Richard Kerr, "Looks Like We Made It", was penned by Will Jennings and Richard Kerr, and "I Write The Songs" was composed by Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys.

For the recording of "A Whiter Shade Of Pale", Procol Harum's producer Denny Cordell chose to replace the band's regular drummer, Bobby Harrison, with session man Bill Eyden. Even though the song went to the top of the charts world wide, Eyden was paid the Musicians' Union rate of 15 pounds and 15 shillings. Harrison received, like all the other members of the band, 10,000 pounds, despite admitting he had taken no part in the recording. He later left the band and was replaced by B.J. Wilson.

The Bellemy Brothers hit "Let Your Love Flow" was written by Larry Williams, a roadie for Neil Diamond. It was the only song that he wrote that was ever recorded, but it sold over four million copies.

The Standells' drummer, Larry Tamblyn is the brother of Russ Tamblyn (star of West Side Story) and uncle of Amber Tamblyn (star of Joan of Arcadia and Grudge 2).

Michael Jackson owns the rights to the South Carolina State anthem.

The world's first cassette player was made available to the public at an electronics show in August 1965.

In 1980, former Amboy Dukes guitarist Ted Nugent, known as "the Motor City Madman", was made a deputy sheriff near his home in southern Michigan.

The Beatles' last concert tour appearance was a 33-minute performance at San Francisco's Candlestick Park on Monday August 29th, 1966. The Park's capacity was 42,500 but the Beatles only filled 25,000 seats, leaving entire sections unsold. The last song they played was not even one of their own tunes. It was Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally".

Gus Cannon had written and recorded a song called "Walk Right In" in 1930. Erik Darling heard the record over 30 years later and along with some friends, recorded it as The Rooftop Singers. Cannon was 79 years old at the time and had been living in a tiny trackside house, heated by coal. His financial situation improved dramatically when newly recorded song caught on across America and went to number one in January, 1963.

Barry McGuire, who recorded the number one smash "Eve Of Destruction" in 1965, never had another US Top 40 hit. He did however become a born again Christian in the 1970s and sold hundreds of thousands of Gospel records.

While still in the Doobie Brothers, Michael McDonald sang backup vocals on Christopher Cross' 1980, number two hit, "Ride Like The Wind".

The last time all four Beatles were ever together was in a recording studio during a mixing session for "Abbey Road" on August 20th, 1969.

Faced with the Beatles' breakup, Paul McCartney told the others he wanted the band to get back to its roots and tour little clubs. John Lennon said he was nuts.

During the last years that Elvis Presley performed live, he opened his shows with "The Theme From 2001". When asked about it, Presley said that he felt the number 2001 had a special significance in his life that he couldn't explain. Elvis died August, 16, 1977, which numerically is 8-16-1977. When these numbers are added up, they equal 2001.

The day after Elvis died, Florists Transworld Delivery (FTD) reported that in one day, the number of orders for flowers to be delivered to Graceland had surpassed the number for any other event in the company's history.

Paul McCartney wrote "Hey Jude" for Julian Lennon after John's divorce from his first wife, Cynthia. The song's original name was "Hey Julian", then changed to "Hey Jules" before settling on the final title.

The members of Exile, who scored a US number one hit in 1978 with "Kiss You All Over", toured with the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars in 1965 as back-up band for artists including Brian Hyland and Tommy Roe.

Billboard Magazine printed the first Hot 100 singles chart in August, 1958. Their first number 1 hit was "Poor Little Fool" by Ricky Nelson.

When he was a boy, David Bowie took art lessons from Peter Frampton's father, Owen.

In 1963, artists managed by Brian Epstein placed 85 songs in the Top Ten of the British record charts.

A popular fad of the 50's, the jukebox used to be known as 'the nickel in the slot machine'. The first of these were created when a coin operated slot was added to an Edison phonograph in San Francisco in 1889. In its first six months of service, the Nickel-in-the-Slot earned over $1000.

One night in 1968, while Gary U.S. Bonds was playing at a club in New Jersey, he thought he'd give a local kid a break and invite him up onstage to do a number. That kid turned out to be rock superstar Bruce Springsteen.

Elvis Presley's 1958, number one smash, "I Beg Of You" took 34 takes to get it right.

In 1970, Jeff Christie offered his composition "Yellow River" to the Tremeloes. They recorded it to release as a single, but when they changed their minds, they allowed Jeff's own band to use the backing track themselves. The result was a UK number one hit in May 1970 and subsequently #23 in the US.

Before joing the Monkees, Davy Jones was both a stage actor and a racehorse jockey.

Joey Dee, who had a US number one hit in January, 1962 with "Peppermint Twist" was surounded by future recording stars at various stages of his life. He attended Passaic Highschool in New Jersey at the same time as the Shirelles. A female trio that was part of his act at the Peppermint Lounge went on to become The Ronettes. When he opened his own club, his backup band included Felix Cavaliere, Gene Cornish and Eddie Brigati, who would form the Young Rascals. After Joey sold the club and went on the road, his guitar player was Jimi Hendrix.

When Vernon Presley re-married on July 3rd, 1960, Elvis did not attend the ceremony.

Elton John wrote his US number one hit, "Philadelphia Freedom" after watching Billie Jean King play a tennis match with her World Tennis League team, the Philadelphia Freedoms.

In 1951, when Brenda Lee was only 6 years old, she auditioned for a local Atlanta television show called TV Ranch. An hour and a half after singing "Hey, Good Lookin'" for the producer, she appeared on the program.

In the early fifties, Neil Sedaka teamed up with some high school friends to form a vocal group. They had a local hit in New York, but then parted ways. The group later went on to record as The Tokens and in 1962, scored a Billboard number one smash with "The Lion Sleeps Tonight".

In 1961 Ricky Nelson's father, Ozzie Nelson, filmed a video for the hit "Travelin Man", featuring pictures of places mentioned in the song. This film is often called the world's first rock video. This is disputed however by Jay Perry Richardson, the son of J.P. Richardson, better known as The Big Bopper, claiming that his father made a video in 1958 for "Chantilly Lace" and actually coined the term 'music video' in 1959.

The drummer who played on the Marvelettes 1961, number one hit, "Please Mr. Postman" was 22 year old Marvin Gaye.

In 1966, songwriter Tommy Boyce asked Del Shannon to record the theme for Dick Clark's upcoming TV show Where The Action Is. Shannon didn't like the song and turned it down. It was then offered to Freddy Cannon, who had a #3 US hit with it.

Mary McGregor recorded her 1977, number one hit, "Torn Between Two Lovers" while standing in a bathroom, to take advantage of the room's natural echo.

The world's most expensive record has an estimated value of $180,000 and is in the possession of Paul McCartney. The disc is the first pressing of "That'll Be The Day", recorded in 1958 by the Quarry Men, made up of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Colin Hanton and John Duff Lowe.

It was Paul Simon who actually wrote The Cyrkle's 1966 hit "Red Rubber Ball" under the assumed name of Jerry Landis.

The studio group who helped Boz Scaggs record the bulk of his hits in the 1970s, including "Lido Shuffle" and "Lowdown" would go on to form the nucleus of the band Toto. Jeff Porcaro, David Hungate and David Paich scored four Top Ten hits of their own with "I Won't Hold Back" (#10), "Hold The Line" (#5), "Rosanna" (#2) and "Africa" (#1).

In 1984, former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page founded a new band called The Firm with ex Bad Company and Free vocalist Paul Rodgers. Page said the group was to be a vehicle to show people that he was not a washed up drug user. In the fall of the same year, he was arrested for possession of cocaine.

When RCA released 55 albums in stereo in May of 1958, executives at other record companies decleared stereo a passing fad and predicted that mono would always be around.

After Prince converted to being a Jehovah's Witness in May of 2001, fans could count at least 50 songs the artist can no longer perform due to their explicit content, including hits such as "Little Red Corvette" and "Cream".

Ernie K-Doe found a tune called "Mother-In-Law" in songwriter Allen Toussaint's discarded song pile and immediatley wanted to record it, as he was having marital problems and blamed his wife's mother for much of them. The result was a surprising number one hit in May of 1961.

The first pressings of John Sebastian's May, 1976 solo hit, "Welcome Back", were entitled "Welcome Back Kotter" to make sure that the public identified the record as the theme song to the TV show of the same name.

When Elvis Presley married his longtime girlfriend, Priscilla Beaulieu on May 1, 1967, they danced to the Elvis song she heard when they met in 1959, "Love Me Tender".

Keyboard player Billy Preston is the only studio musician to ever get credit on a Beatles' record.

The only artist in rock and roll history to record Billboard's number one single of the year for two years in a row was Elvis Presley, with "Heartbreak Hotel" in 1956 and "All Shook Up" in 1957. Both records held the top spot for 25 weeks in those years.

The drum sound on Buddy Knox's 1957 hit, "Party Doll" was actually made by a cardboard box filled with cotton.

Lawrence Welk is the only US recording artist to have more appearances on network television than Paul Revere and The Raiders.

Gene Pitney started his mucic career in the early 1960s as a song writer, penning Rick Nelson's "Hello Mary Lou", Bobby Vee's "Rubber Ball" and the Crystals' "He's a Rebel".

The first known million selling recording was by Ben Selvin and his Orchestra. It was a two sided hit featuring "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" and "Darandella", recorded in 1919.

Guitarist Henry Gross, who hit the US charts in 1976 with "Shannon", was one of the founding members of the rock and roll revival group, Sha Na Na.

For the year 2005, the top earning dead celebrity in the US was Elvis Presley, who still generated $45 million worth of business. John Lennon was third with $22 million.

The Beatles 4th UK #1 single, "Can't Buy Me Love", had advanced sales of over 2.1 million, setting the record for the greatest advanced orders in the UK.

The most expensive guitar in the world is a Fender Stratocaster once owned by Eric Clapton. Nicknamed "Blackie", it sold at auction for $959,500. on June 25th, 2004.

In early 1957, RCA Records released two versions of a song called "Young Love", one by Tab Hunter, the other by Sonny James. Both records caught on and by the first week of March, Hunter's rendition was number one in the US, while James' version was number 4.

When Cher topped the Billboard Hot 100 with "Believe" in March, 1999, she became the first female over the age of 50 to have a chart topping record.

When Elvis was drafted into the US Army in March, 1958, his monthly pay went from $100,000 to $78.

The bass drum head with the Beatles logo that Ringo Starr used during the band's first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show was bought by a memorabilia collector in the mid-1990s for around $50,000. By 2006, it's estimated value had risen to half-a-million dollars.

Jethro Tull's 1968 debut single, "Sunshine Day" was erroneously credited to Jethro Toe.

When Roberta Flack was awarded a gold record for her 1973, number one hit, "Killing Me Softly With His Song", she wanted to listen to her song etched in gold. She removed the disc from its frame and placed it on a turntable, only to hear "Come Softly to Me" by The Fleetwoods.

The studio musicians who recorded the music for many "bubblegum" hits credited to The 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Ohio Express and many others, were actually former members of The Shadows of Knight, who had a hit of their own with "Gloria".

In February and March, 1964, The Beatles sold 60% of all the records sold in the U.S.

The first recording that Ray Charles made was called "Confession Blues", but at the time of the session, the American Federation Of Musicians was on strike. The violation cost Ray $600 and left him penniless.

For their first two appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Beatles were paid just $3500 per show. The expenses alone to bring them to America totalled over $50,000, which was paid for by their manager, Brian Epstein.

When record executives at RCA gave a song called "Rock and Roll Waltz" to Kay Starr, she thought they must have been kidding, as rock and roll was still frowned upon by serious musicians. After many arguments, RCA still insisted that she record the song. Their hunch proved to be a good one as the record went to number 1 in the US in February, 1956.

Carl Perkins, the rockabilly pioneer who wrote Elvis Presley's hit, "Blue Suede Shoes", was a sharecropper's son who learned to play music on a guitar fashioned from a cigar box and broomstick.

The Odeon label was created in Germany in 1904 by the International Talking Machine Company. Odeon pioneered something they called the "album" in 1909 when it released the "Nutcracker Suite" by Tchaikovsky on four double-sided discs in a specially designed package.

Dion DiMucci of Dion and The Belmonts was a part of 1959's Winter Dance Party with Buddy Holly. When Buddy suggested that Dion fly with him after their show at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, on February 2nd, Dion declined because he didn't want to spend the extra money. It was a decision that saved his life.

Buddy Holly and The Crickets recorded their hit "Maybe Baby" in the officer's club at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma.

The publishing rights to most of Buddy Holly's songs are owned by Paul McCartney.

The first time that Don McLean performed "American Pie" on stage, it didn't get a very good response from the audience. McLean would later remark that "People didn't know what the hell I was singing about."

Jimmy Hart, one of the original members of The Gentrys, who scored a US number 4 hit with "Keep On Dancin" in 1965, went on to become a popular wrestling character in the WWF, calling himself the "Mouth of the South".

The popular 1970s group, Super Tramp, turned down a five million dollar offer from the Greyhound corporation to use their song "Take The Long Way Home" in bus commercials.

Including Ringo, there have been at least five drummers for The Beatles. Norman Chapman (for the Silver Beatles), Tommy Moore, Pete Best and Jimmy Nichol.

While the Beatles were still struggling to establish themselves, they were turned down by five different British record companies.

The longest title of an album that actually made the Billboard chart is by Fiona Apple. Made up of 90 words, the album is called -
"When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks Like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight and He'll Win the Whole Thing 'Fore He Enters the Ring There's No Body to Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might So When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth Is the Greatest of Heights and If You Know Where You Stand, Then You Know Where to Land and If You Fall It Won't Matter, Cuz You'll Know That You're Right"

The motel that was the scene of Janis Joplin's death in 1970 was right across the street from where Bobby Fuller died in 1966.

1950s crooner, Pat Boone is the great, great, great, great grandson of American frontier hero Daniel Boone.

Led Zeppelin founder Jimmy Page played as a session guitarist on Tom Jones’ 1965 hit, "It’s Not Unusual".

The world's first jukebox was installed at the Palais Royal Hotel in San Francisco on November 23rd, 1899. At a nickel per play, the machine earned nearly $1000 during the first six months of operation.

While upset about a girl who had just left him, Joe Rock wrote most of the lyrics to The Skyliners 1959 number one hit, "Since I Don’t Have You", while sitting in his car between stoplights.

In 1931, George Beauchamp and Adolph Rickenbacker designed and built the world's first electric guitar. Because of its odd shape, it was nicknamed 'Rickenbacker's Frying Pan'. The pair were granted a patent for their invention in 1937.

Paul McCartney originally wrote the first two lines of "I Saw Her Standing There" as "She was just seventeen, Never been a beauty queen." When he sang it for John Lennon, both realized that it was a poor rhyme. Finally, it was John who came up with "She was just seventeen, you know what I mean", which they knew was a perfect sexual innuendo for the song.

"I Heard It Through The Grapevine" has reached the Billboard Hot 100 six times in versions by Marvin Gaye (#1), Gladys Knight (#2), Creedence Clearwater Revival (#43), Roger Troutman (#79), King Curtis (#83) and The California Raisins (#84). The song has also been recorded by dozens of other artists including The Temptations, Ike and Tina Turner, Paul Mauriat and Elton John.

In a 2005 interview, Billy Joel said that during the recording of "We Are The World", most of the artists didn't like the song, but nobody would say so. Cyndi Lauper thought it sounded like a Pepsi commercial and Billy agreed.

The contract that made Brian Epstein the Beatles' manager was never really valid. Both Paul and George were under 21 at the time and needed a legal guardian to sign. Epstein himself never signed the document at all.

51 year old Lindsay Crosby, son of Bing Crosby, took his own life on December 11th, 1989, reportedly right after watching his father sing "White Christmas" during the television-airing of the classic Christmas movie, Holiday Inn. Lindsay was said to have suffered years of physical and verbal abuse inflicted on him as a child by his father. In May, 1991, Lindsay's 57 year old brother Dennis would also commit suicide.

Elvis's middle name is spelled "Aaron" on his tombstone. According to his official web site, the name was spelled Aron at birth, but as an adult, Elvis planned to change the spelling to Aaron and the tombstone was designed to reflect that wish.

In 1967, under Britain's open-ended tax system, The Beatles were in the 96% tax bracket.

Before reaching the US Top Ten in 1980 with "Giving It Up For Your Love", Delbert McClinton played harmonica on Burce Chanel's chart topping 1962 hit, "Hey Baby". While on tour, he also taught some harp licks to John Lennon, who was playing in a then unknown opening act called The Beatles.

"Sunday Will Never Be The Same" was first offered to the Left Banke, but they rejected it. The song was then given to The Mamas and The Papas but they also passed on it. Finally, Spanky and Our Gang recorded it and took it to # 9 in the US in 1967.

Cat Stevens' song "Morning Has Broken" was an adaptation of a hymn of the same name by Eleanor Farjeon, who wrote many stories for children .

Although the concept of the "hit parade" goes back to the mid 1930s, the invention and naming of the Top 40 format is widely credited to Todd Storz, who was the director of radio station KWOH-AM in Omaha, Nebraska, in the early 1950s. Storz noted the great response certain songs got from the record-buying public and compared it to selections on jukeboxes. He expanded his stable of radio stations and gradually converted them to an all-hits format, pioneering the practice of surveying record stores to determine which singles were popular each week.

Steppenwolf's lead singer, John Kay is seldom seen without sun glasses due to the fact that he has been legally blind since childhood.

Before Bobby "Boris" Pickett released "The Monster Mash" in 1962, he was working as an actor, making appearences on the TV shows Bonanza, The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction.

Blood, Sweat and Tears concert contract stated that their shows are not to be advertised as a reunion concert, even though the band has split and re-united at least five times.

Buddy Holly asked his future wife for a date, 30 seconds after meeting her and proposed later the same week. Six months earlier, he had recorded a song called "Take Your Time".

In 1957, Frank Sinatra was quoted as saying "Rock 'n' Roll is phony and false, and sung, written and played for the most part by cretinous goons."

October 17th, 1990 marked the first time that the #1 album in the United States was only available on CD or cassette - and could not be found on vinyl. The album was Vanilla Ice's "To The Extreme".

Songwriter Tommy Durden showed his partner Mae Axton a newspaper story about a suicide victim who had left a one-line note that said "I Walk A Lonely Street". The pair added "Heartbreak Hotel" to the line and in 22 minutes had written Elvis Presley's first million seller.

Vaudevillian Jack Norworth wrote "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in 1908 after seeing a sign on a bus advertising BASEBALL TODAY - POLO GROUNDS. Norworth and his friend, Albert von Tilzer (who wrote the music) had never been to a baseball game before his song became a hit.

Pat Boone was a semi-finalist on the TV talent show Ted Mack's Amateur Hour, but before the finals, he appeared on a similar show called Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, for a fee of $600. Ted Mack's show then disqualified him, as he was no longer an amateur, costing Pat a chance at a $6000 scholarship.

When Paul McCartney wants to play some of his old Beatles' hits in concert, he must pay a royalty fee to Michael Jackson, who bought the publishing rights for $47.5 million in 1985.

In 1929, American Paul Galvin, the head of Galvin Manufacturing Corporation, invented the first car radio. Consumers had to purchase the radios separately as they were not available from carmakers. Galvin coined the name Motorola for the company's new products, combining the idea of motion and radio.

When Richard Penniman was asked how he came by his stage name, he said that in his childhood neighbourhood, there were only two nicknames used, 'lil and bro. That's when he became Little Richard.

When John Lennon's Aunt Mimi bought him his first guitar in the summer of 1956, he practiced constantly. As she watched him play hour after hour, day after day, she finally remarked "The guitar's all very well John, but you'll never make a living out of it."

During the early stages of their careers, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Hall and Oates and Steve Martin were all opening acts for the rock and roll nostalgia group, Sha Na Na.

The Crickets were given awards as the Best Vocal Group in the US and Great Britain in 1957, despite the fact that the only member of the group that actually sang was Buddy Holly. The background vocals for their number one hit "That 'll Be The Day" were sung by Gary and Ramona Tollet.

The Association were turned down by every major label who heard their first album, which included the future number one smash, "Cherish".

Antoine "Fats" Domino and his wife Rosemary have eight children, all of whom have names that start with "A".

The same studio musicans who had just helped Bob Dylan record "Like A Rolling Stone" were asked by producer Tom Wilson to stay in the studio for one more song. He then recorded the electric guitar, bass and drums that were to be added to Paul Simon's voice and accoustic guitar. The result was the 1966 number one hit, "Sounds Of Silence".

In the first two years after the Beatles fired drummer Pete Best, they would gross over 24 million dollars. Best went to work as a baker, earning 8 pounds a week.

In the Spring of 1969, The Cowsills had the number two song on Billboard's Hot 100 with "Hair". The changing music scene soon left them hopelessly outdated and by 1970, guitarist Bob Cowsill had a job sweeping a parking garage.

When Jerry and the Pacemakers returned to England following their first tour of America in 1964, they were shocked to find that not only did the band not make any money, they actually owed over three thousand dollars in expenses, thanks to lavish dinners and limousine rides.

Question Mark and The Mysterians 1966, number one US hit "96 Tears" was recorded in the living room of their manager's house.

None of The Beatles were invited to attend the private funeral of their manager Brian Epstein. They did however hold a memorial service for their former leader a few weeks later.

Danny and the Juniors' 1958, Top 20 hit "Rock and Roll Is Here To Stay" was written in response to a rock record smashing party sponsored by St Louis radio station KWK.

The first time that Dick Clark heard a Beatles' record he said, "I don't know what the heck you're so excited about...it'll never fly."

According to vocalist Davy Jones, The Monkees were allowed to choose some of the songs they recorded. Two that they turned down were "Knock Three Times", which would become a Billboard chart topper for Tony Orlando and Dawn in 1970 and "Love Will Keep Us Together", which became a million selling number one for The Captain and Tennille in 1975.

The term "rock and roll", which was black slang for sexual intercourse, appeared on record for the first time in 1922 on Trixie Smith's "My Baby Rocks Me With One Steady Roll".

The term "rhythm & blues" was coined in 1948 by a young Billboard reporter and future Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler, to replace the negative term "Race Records".

After John Lennon made his unfortunate remarks about the Beatles being "more popular than Jesus", the Bishop of Montreal, the Rt. Rev. Kenneth Maguire said: "I wouldn't be surprised if The Beatles actually were more popular than Jesus. In the only popularity poll in Jesus' time, he came out second best to Barabbas."

In the summer of 2005, recording industry insiders estimated that there were still 28 billion songs being illegally downloaded yearly.

Mike Stoller, one half of the songwriting team of Leiber & Stoller, survived the 1956 sinking of the luxury ship Andrea Doria off Nantucket Island. When he returned to New York on a rescue freighter, he was greeted by his partner Jerry Leiber who told him that they had just scored their first hit record by "some white kid called Elvis Presley." Stoller replied "Elvis who?"

Ringo Starr's solo recording career began in 1970, just before the break-up of the Beatles, with "Sentimental Journey", an album of pop standards said to have been recorded to please his mother.

The song writing team of Holland - Dozier - Holland wrote "Where Did Our Love Go" for The Marvelettes, who hated the song and turned it down. It was then offered to The Supremes, who reluctantly recorded it. By mid-July, 1964, it became their breakthrough hit, climbing all the way to number one on Billboard's Hot 100.

Phil Collins was an extra during the filming of the first Beatles' movie, "A Hard Days Night".

Although the term "teeny-bopper" came to mean a young teenager in the 60s and 70s, the original term "bopper" was a street gang term for one who was always looking for a fight.

On The Beatles 1970, #1 hit, "The Long and Winding Road", Paul McCartney played the piano, and John Lennon played bass. George and Ringo do not appear on the track at all.

Bill Haley and His Comets recorded "Rock Around The Clock" as a "B" side for their first Decca Records recording session. The "A" side was a song called "Thirteen Women And Only One Man In Town".

Stevie Wonder wrote "Isn't She Lovely" for his daughter Aisha Zakia. The names mean "strength" and "intelligence" in an African language.

Brenda Lee graduated from high school in Hollywood, having already earned 12 top ten records.

Paul Revere and The Raiders' first chart entry, "Like Long Hair" was based on Sergei Rachmaninoff's "Prelude in C-Sharp Minor", written in 1897.

The longest title of a US number one record belongs to a Dutch studio group called Stars On 45. Although their medley was simply known as "Stars On 45" in most parts of the world, the US single had a 41 word title: "Intro Venus / Sugar Sugar / No Reply / I'll Be Back / Drive My Car / Do You Want To Know A Secret / We Can Work It Out / I Should Have Known Better / Nowhere Man / You're Going To Lose That Girl / Stars On 45".

Performance contracts for the band Van Halen stipulated that they be provided with a supply of M&Ms at every show, but all of the brown ones had to be removed.

In 1964, an acoustics expert from New South Wales University measured the noise level during a Beatles' concert at 112 decibels. That's between 10 and 20 decibels higher than a Boeing 707 jet flying at 2,000 feet.

Doors guitarist Robby Krieger once said about lead singer Jim Morrison: "I loved the guy when he was straight. I disliked him immensely when he was drunk."

In 1956, a Protestant minister in Greenwich Village, New York said about Elvis Presley's music; "I don't think youth wants this sort of thing. It is the result of the letdown that follows every war."

According to BMI, the performing rights organization that represents, songwriters, composers and music publishers, Mason Williams' 1968 hit, "Classical Gas" has received more radio airplay than any other instrumental.

Before starting his run at the legendary Whisky A Go Go, Johnny Rivers hired a fill-in bass player named Sylvester Stewart. Things didn't go well the first night and Stewart was promptly fired. A few years later, he would re-appear on the music scene as the leader of his own band...Sly and The Family Stone.

Before Glen Campbell had a successful solo career, he was a studio musician who played lead guitar on The Beach Boys' "Dance, Dance, Dance" and Frank Sinatra's "Strangers In The Night".

David Rose, who lead his orchestra to Billboard's number one position with "The Stripper" in July, 1962, was a prolific composer of television theme songs in the 1950s. At one point, there were 22 TV shows on the air using his music. He later went on to win Emmy Awards for the theme for "Bonanza", and "An Evening With Fred Astaire", as well as writing music for "Little House On The Prarie" and "Highway To Heaven".

Mr. Aker Bilk, who took "Stranger On The Shore" to Billboard's number one spot in May, 1962, learned to play the clarinet while he was in prison. He had been sentenced to three months in jail after falling asleep while on guard duty for the British Army in Egypt.

Elvis Presley was number 1 in record sales in the US in the 1950s. In the 1960s he was number 2 and in the 70s he was number 13.

John Lennon and Paul McCartney were always on the look-out for interesting titles to write a song around. They did just that when a tired Ringo uttered "God, it's been a hard days night" and again when a chauffer told Paul, "I'm very busy at the moment. I've been working eight days a week."

Ellas Bates was still in grammar school when classmates started calling him "Bo Diddley". He says he dosen't know why. A bo diddley is actually a one-string, African guitar.

Songwriters Felice and Boudleaux Bryant wrote "All I Have To Do Is Dream" in 15 minutes, but the tune would reach the US charts in four straight decades. The Everly Brothers took it to number one in 1958, Richard Chamberlain's version went to number 14 in 1963, Glen Campbell and Bobby Gentry reached number 27 with it in 1970, and Andy Gibb and Victoria Principal peaked at number 51 in 1981.

Dan Whitney, the comedian known as "Larry The Cable Guy" has been influenced by show business all his life. His father used to played guitar with the Everly Brothers.

Herman's Hermits recorded "Mrs. Brown, You've Got A Lovely Daughter" as an album filler, never intending it for release as a single. After an American DJ started giving it airplay, MGM issued it as a 45 and it became the group's third Billboard number one hit in a row.

The first time that Del Shannon and his keyboard player, Max Crook, ever played "Runaway" on stage, Crook improvised the organ solo as he went along. When it came time to record the song and in all future performances, he never changed a single note.

John Fred and his Playboy Band hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in January, 1968 with "Judy In Disguise". At one time, John's father, Fred Gourrier was a professional baseball player.

According to guitarist Robbie Robertson, Bob Dylan's backup band resisted all conformity, even naming their ensemble. After landing their own recording contract, record company executives pressed them for a group name, but had to settle for simply The Band.

In April, 1967, the Greyhound bus company began offering a guided tour of what they called "Hippyland" in San Francisco.

According to producer Mickie Most, The Animals went into a recording studio at 8 A.M. to cut "House Of The Rising Sun" and 15 minutes later, the track was complete. With studio time costing the equivalent of $20 an hour, the song cost $5 to record, but would go on to top both the US and UK charts.

The set on which Rick Nelson appeared in the TV show The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, was an exact copy of the Nelson's real Hollywood home.

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

The musicians who backed The Chiffons on their 1963 #1 hit "He's So Fine" were all members of The Tokens, who had scored their own chart topper with "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" in 1961.

In the Fall of 1965, while the Four Seasons' "Let's Hang On" was a Billboard #3 smash, they also scored a #12 hit with "Don't Think Twice" under the name of The Wonder Who. At the same time, lead singer Franki Valli reached #39 with a solo release called "You're Gonna Hurt Yourself", giving him three Top 40 hits at the same time, all under different names.

Antoine "Fats" Domino came by his nickname because he stood 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighed 225 lb.

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

Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead was brought in as a session musician to play steel guitar on Brewer and Shipley's March, 1971 hit, "One Toke Over The Line".

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

The music business is hard on a marriage. Paul Revere has been married six times. Jerry Lee Lewis, Kenny Rogers and Tammy Wynette have each been married five times. James Brown, Glen Campbell and Peggy Lee have been married four times.

Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson were not the first group in the rock and roll era to call themselves The Supremes. An all male quartet from Columbus, Ohio used the name on a 1957 single called "Just You And I" and Ruby and the Romantics, who had a number one US hit with "Our Day Will Come" in 1963, started out as The Supremes.

The Beach Boys' 1966 hit, "Caroline, No" was originally titled "Carol, I Know".

In 1956, entertainer Jackie Gleason said of Elvis Presley, "He can’t last, I tell you flatly, he can’t last."

The Recording Industry Association of American began certifying recordings as Gold on March 14th, 1958 to recognize records that sold over 500,000 copies. The first Gold plaque was presented to Perry Como for his hit single, "Catch A Falling Star". Four months later, the cast album to "Oklahoma" sung by Gordon Macrae became the first official Gold album. In 1976, because of booming record sales, the RIAA created a new platinum award, for singles that sell in excess of 2 million copies and an album that sells 1 million units. The first platinum single was Johnnie Taylor's "Disco Lady", and the first platinum album went to the Eagles for their "Greatest Hits 1971-1975". On March 16, 1999, the RIAA launched the Diamond Awards, honoring sales of 10 million copies or more of an album or single. Awards were presented to AC/DC, The Eagles, and Metallica.

On February 14th, 1977, singer / songwriter Janis Ian received 461 Valentine's day cards after indicating in the lyrics of her 1975, number 3 hit "At Seventeen", she had never received any. (The valentines I never knew, The Friday night charades of youth, Were spent on one more beautiful, At seventeen I learned the truth)

According to Paul Anka, who appeared with Buddy Holly on some of the Winter Dance Party tour before the plane crash that took Holly's life, Buddy had plans to take flying lessons when the tour was over.

On Sunday, February 10th, 1964, the night that the Beatles made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show, an estimated 73 million viewers watched on TV, with over 45 percent of all sets in the US tuned in. The crime rate among American teenagers dropped to nearly zero that night.

Friends of The Raiders leader, Paul Revere, say that in high school, his name was Revere Dick and he had a brother named Sly.

Although the statistics were probably made up by overselus salesmen, record charts first appeared in the US as early as 1890. The earliest recorded number one hit was "Semper fidelis" by The US Marine Band.

Little Richard's 1958 Top Ten hit "Good Golly Miss Molly" says that Miss Molly "sure likes to ball..." At the time it was on the charts, Richard was enrolled a bible college.

Shock rocker Sid Vicious died in February, 1979 from an overdose of heroin that was bought for him by his mother, who was present when he injected it.

George Martin, who produced The Beatles most successful recordings, first rose to prominence by recording comedy records.

In 1962, when Johnny Carson took over the NBC "Tonight Show" from Jack Parr, he commissioned Paul Anka for a new theme song. Paul suggested a song that he had already written called "Toot Sweet". After a lyric was added in 1959 it was re-named "It's Really Love" and under that title, was recorded by Annette Funicello on her LP, "Annette Sings". Under a deal with Anka, Johnny became the "author" for copyright purposes and got a piece of not only the publishing but the composer's share too. Both Anka and Carson's names were listed as writers and the two began collecting BMI performance royalties. The pair got $200 in royalties every time the show aired...and it ran for 32 years, 52 weeks a year, 5 nights a week -- which works out to $1,664,000.00 -- not bad for an old tune that had been re-cycled twice before.

According to the Amusement & Music Operators Association, Patsy Cline's 1962 hit, "Crazy" is the most played song on jukeboxes across the United States. It is followed by "Old Time Rock and Roll" by Bob Seger and "Hound Dog" / "Don't Be Cruel" by Elvis Presley.

There is a five way tie for the shortest title of a song to make it to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The songs are: The Jacksons' "ABC", Edwin Starr's "War", Frankie Avalon's "Why", and Michael Jackson's "Ben" and "Bad".

Roberta Flack recorded "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" as an album cut for her 1969 debut LP "First Take". Three years later, Clint Eastwood remembered hearing the song and included it in his film "Play Misty For Me", causing Atlantic Records to re-edit and rush release the song as a single. Six weeks later, it was the number one song in the US, where it stayed for six weeks.

During a December, 1974 interview, TV talk show host Dick Cavett asked David Bowie what his mother thought of his act. He replied "She pretends I'm not hers."

When the Righteous Brothers single "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" was reviewed on the British TV show Juke Box Jury in January, 1965, it was voted a "miss" by all four judges. Since that time, it has become US radio's most played rock and roll song of all time, being heard over eight million times.

Paul Anka's first 45 sold just 300 copies. The follow-up, "Diana", sold nine million.

When Frank Sinatra Jr was kidnapped in December, 1963, his abductors demanded $240,000 ransom. His father offered one million dollars for his safe return, but for some un-explained reason, his captors turned the offer down and settled for the original amount. Three men were later caught and sent to prison.

Walter Murphy's 1976 disco hit, "A Fifth Of Beethoven" was based on Ludwig van Beethoven's "Symphony No. 5 in C Minor", composed in 1807.

After Capitol records had rejected “Love Me Do”, “Please Please Me” and “From Me To You” for American release, label president Alan Livingston sent a memo to their parent company, EMI in Britain that said: “We don’t think The Beatles will do anything in this market.” A year later, in January, 1964, when “I Saw Her Standing There” was issued, it became the fastest selling single in the history of recorded music and Capitol’s pressing plant was forced to run 24 hours a day, trying to fill more than one million orders.

Although it says Diana Ross on her birth certificate, her parents and friends called her Diane until her early 20s

Robin and Barry Gibb wrote "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart" for crooner Andy Williams. When he declined, the Bee Gees recorded the song themselves and scored the first of their nine number one records with it.

Listen carefully to the begining of The Beatles' song "Come Together", from their Abby Road album. The bass guitar riff nearly obliterates John Lennon saying "Shoot me".

The flip side of Bobby Helms' Christmas favourite "Jingle Bell Rock" is called "Captain Santa Claus And His Reindeer Space Patrol".

The first song of the rock era to become a US #1 twice by different artists was "Go Away Little Girl", first by Steve Lawrence (Dec 1962), then by Donny Osmond (Aug 1971). The second to accomplish this feat was "The Loco-Motion" by Little Eva (July 1962), then Grand Funk (March 1974). Both songs were penned by the same songwriters, Gerry Goffin and Carole King.

The rock group Queen issued albums called "A Night at the Opera" and "A Day at the Races" which were named after movies by The Marx Brothers.

Three Dog Night's 1971 smash, "Joy To The World" was written by Hoyt Axton especially for an animated children's show called "The Happy Song" that never made it to production.

After Rick Nelson signed a one million dollar, twenty year recording contract with Decca Records in January, 1963, he had only two more hits, 1964's "For You" and 1972's "Garden Party".

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

Debbie Boone's 1977 hit "You Light Up My Life" became a multi-million selling smash that stayed at the top of Billboard's Hot 100 for ten weeks, becoming a far bigger hit than any of the 38 Top 40 songs her father, Pat Boone ever had.

The tapes for Don McLean's first album were rejected by 34 record companies before Mediarts agreed to release it in 1970. His next LP, "American Pie" would be considered a rock and roll classic and sell millions of copies.

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

The Miracles first number one hit, 1970's "Tears Of A Clown", was actually taken from an album that was released three years earlier. The song was issued as a single when record executives wanted another "tears" song to follow "Tracks Of My Tears" and found that the group had already recorded one.

The Osmond Brothers, Allan, Wayne, Merrill, Jay and Donny had their first number one hit in the US in February 1971 with "One Bad Apple". What most fans don't know is that there are two older brothers, Virl and Tommy, who have both suffered so much hearing loss that the entire family learned how to converse in sign language.

Disc Jockey Rick Dees, the morning man at WMPS in Memphis, recorded a novelty disco song called "Disco Duck" in 1976. After it became a US number one hit, he was forbidden to play the record on his radio show. He simply mentioned the record on the air one day and was promptly fired by the station's manager, who cited him for conflict of interest.

The only Mother and son to both have a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 are Shirley Jones, who sang on the Partridge Family's "I Think I Love You" in November, 1970 and her son Shaun Cassidy for "Da Do Ron Ron" in July 1977.

Glen Campbell, the country star who had a string of hits that crossed over to the pop charts in the late sixties and seventies, began his career as a highly regarded session musician, playing on hits by the Monkees, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, the Association, the Mamas & the Papas, Rick Nelson, the Beach Boys and many others. In 1969, he sold more records than the Beatles and began a three year run hosting his own TV variety series. Despite all of his musical success, he can neither read or write music.

While still a struggling young musician, Billy Joel recorded a pretzel commercial with Chubby Checker.

In October, 1963, when New York disc jockey Murray “the K” Kaufman played five records for his audience to vote on, The Beatles’ “She Loves You” came in third, behind a Four Seasons single and something called “Coney Island Baby” by The Excellents.

Upon meeting the band Pink Floyd for the first time, a record company executive asked them "Which one's Pink?"

Terry Jacks recorded his 1974 number one hit, "Seasons In The Sun" in 1973, but the master tape sat on a shelf in his basement for more than a year. One day, a newspaper delivery boy heard Terry playing it and asked if he could bring some friends by to listen to it. Their enthusiasm convinced Jacks to release it on his own label and it soon topped the record charts in the US, Canada and the UK and sold over six million copies worldwide.