Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Today in Music History (Feb 1st)

courtesy Behind The Grooves

On this day in music history: February 1, 1975 - “Laughter In The Rain” by Neil Sedaka hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also topping the Adult Contemporary chart for 2 weeks on November 23, 1974. Written by Neil Sedaka and Phil Cody, it is the second chart topping single for the veteran singer, songwriter and musician from Brooklyn, NY. Establishing himself as a solid hitmaker in 1959 with “Oh! Carol” written for his then girlfriend, fellow songwriter and musician Carole King, Neil Sedaka scores several major hits including “Calendar Girl” (#4 Pop), “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen” (#6 Pop), “Next Door To An Angel” (#5 Pop),  and “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” (#1 Pop) through 1963. Then with the coming of the British Invasion being led by The Beatles, Sedaka experiences a dramatic reversal of fortune with his own run of hits suddenly drying up. Going for several years without a hit, he even considers leaving the music business altogether when fate intervenes. Neil meets pop superstar Elton John and his manager at a party in London in 1973. A big fan of Sedaka, Elton offers to sign him to his newly established label Rocket Records. Neil agrees to the deal, and returns to Los Angeles to work his first album for Rocket. Collaborating with lyricist Phil Cody, the pair write “Laughter In The Rain” quickly. The track is recorded at Clover Studios in L.A. with a number of top musicians including David Foster (piano), Lee Sklar (bass), Danny Kortchmar (guitar), and Russ Kunkel (drums). “Laughter In The Rain” is rush released as a single in the Fall of 1974 when Sedaka discovers that a cover version by singer Lea Roberts is being released. Entering the Hot 100 at #95 on October 19, 1974, it will climb to the top of the chart fifteen weeks later. The success of “Rain” kicks off a major comeback for Neil Sedaka which sees him score more hits on his own including another chart topper, backing Elton John on “Bad Blood”. The Captain & Tennille cover his song “Love Will Keep Us Together” (also from “Sedaka’s Back”) in 1975, earning Sedaka and his longtime songwriting partner Howard Greenfield a Grammy nomination for Song Of The Year in 1976.

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