Wednesday, January 1, 2020

50 Years Ago Today - 1970 in Music


1970 saw incredible albums, tours, single, performances, festivals, and so much more.

Big winners at the 1970 Grammy Awards included Crosby, Stills, & Nash (Best New Artist), "Games People Play" by Joe South (Song of the Year), the self-titled album from Blood, Sweat, & Tears (Album of the Year), and 5th Dimension's "Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In" (Record of the Year). Other winners included Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, Wendy Carlos, Peter, Paul, & Mary, Quincy Jones, Aretha Franklin, and more.

A sampling of album releases included "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel, Van Morrison's "Moondance", "American Woman" by the Guess Who, "Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits", "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash", and "That's the Way Love Is" by Marvin Gaye...and that was just January of 1970!

Also released were debut albums by Black Sabbath, Funkadelic, Mountain, Leon Russell, Paul McCartney, Hot Tuna, Carol King, Diana Ross, Supertramp, Hawkwind, Don McLean, J Geils Band, Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, Ry Cooder, and more.

Other landmark albums include "Bitches Brew" by Miles Davis, "Abbey Road" by the Beatles, Conway Twitty's "Hello, Darlin'", Merle Haggard's "The Fightin' Side of Me", "Soul on Top" by James Brown (his 28th album!), Pharaoh Sanders' "Deaf Dumb Blind", Led Zeppelin's 3rd album "Led Zeppelin 3", Bill Evans' "Montreux 2", "Paranoid" by Black Sabbath, "Tom Rush" by Tom Rush, the final Jimi Hendrix album "Band of Gypsies", and many more besides.

The top singles included "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (Diana Ross), "The Wonder of You" (Elvis Presley), "Venus" (Shocking Blue), :In the Summertime" (Jerry Mungo), and "Once Upon a Time in the West" (various artists), as well as songs like "ABC" by the Jackson 5 and "Let it Be" by the Beatles.

It was also the year the the films "Let it Be" and "Woodstock" were released.

1970 saw several legendary acts dissolve, including the Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel, but other bands were born, like Aerosmith, Doobie Brothers, Earth, Wind, & Fire, ELO, Queen, Weather Report, Wild Cherry, and many more.

And, of course, 1970 was the year we lost Jimi Hendrix. Also lost that year were Janis Joplin, Gypsy Rose Lee, Earl Hooker, and Tammi Terrell, among other....but also saw the births of future stars like DMX, Susan Tedeschi, Cowboy Troy, Q-Tip, Neko Case, Macy Gray, Queen Latifah, Ani DiFranco, John Fruscianti, and more!

That's a helluva sampling, right there. So, 2020, we better get to work!

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