Tommy’s Coffee Break Calendar for May 4th
5/4/1974 (44 years ago today) - Grand Funk Railroad start two weeks at No. 1 on the singles chart with their version of "The Loco-Motion", originally recorded and performed by Little Eva back in 1962 -- The song was written by the legendary duo Carole King and Gerry Goffin, who were trying to capitalize on the trend of songs about dancing (at the time, Chubby Checker's "The Twist" was mega-huge!) -- When Dee Dee Sharp (of "Mashed Potato Time" fame) turned this one down, the composers simply had their babysitter record the demo, and it turned out just-fine-thank-you-very-much! Interesting side-note: this was only the second time in chart history that a cover version had been a No. 1 as well as the original, the other being "Go Away Little Girl", a chart-topper for Steve Lawrence in 1962 and again for Donny Osmond in 1971, and (somewhat weirdly) also written by Goffin and King!!! Quite a rich history for two minutes of sing-along nonsense. And to think, Grand Funk started out as psychedelic-outlaw-boogie-bad-boys...
5/4/1987 (31 years ago today) - Blues vocalist-harmonica-player-band-leader Paul Butterfield passed away at his home in North Hollywood, California, of drug related heart failure at age 44 -- Okay, pay attention now: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band gained international recognition during "The Summer(s) Of Love" with their over-the-top/electrifying performances at both the Woodstock and Monterey Pop Festivals, quite a noteworthy achievement at the time, actually -- Their self-titled debut LP from 1965(!) with the fantastic Mike Bloomfield on lead guitar is still capable of blowing you away; if you've never heard it, grab a copy a.s.a.p., you will NOT be disappointed!
5/4/1989 (29 years ago today) - Stevie Ray Vaughan begins what would turn out to be his last ever tour with a show at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver, British Columbia. In a little over three months from now, he will be instantly killed in a helicopter crash (on August 20, 1990), which also claimed the lives of three members of Eric Clapton's entourage after playing a show with Slowhand in East Troy, Wisconsin; Stevie was only 35 years old.
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"A little bit of rhythm and a lot of soul...", xoxo!