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Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 10:28am
Rhino Factoids

41 years ago today, Genesis performed the first date of their first American tour with Phil Collins as the band’s lead singer.

Anyone who’s followed the career of Genesis for any significant length of time is aware that the band has gone through a few different incarnations since first coming into existence in 1967. Given that today is a fairly important date in the Genesis timeline, we thought we’d honor the occasion by giving you a quick history lesson on the various different lineups of the band.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 10:18am
Brown Eyed Girl

50 years ago today, Van Morrison entered the studio to record a track which – even after more than 35 studio albums – remains one of the most popular songs in his catalog.

Produced by Bert Berns and written by Morrison himself, “Brown Eyed Girl” – which was recorded at A&R Studios in New York City – originally began life under the title “Brown-Skinned Girl,” a nod to the calypso sound which had inspired him whilst composing the track. The change from brown skin to brown eyes was one which apparently occurred on the fly: in Johnny Rogan’s book No Surrender, Morrison is quoted as saying, “After we recorded it, I looked at the tape box and didn’t even notice that I’d changed the title. I looked at the box where I’d lain it down with my guitar and it said ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ on the tape box. It’s just one of those things that happened.” There’s also a claim in an Independent article that the song “was about an interracial relationship” and that Morrison “changed it to make it more palatable to radio stations,” but with no direct quote from Morrison on the matter, we’re considering it dubious at best.

Monday, March 27, 2017 - 9:57am
This Day In

31 years ago today, Sammy Hagar took the stage for the first time as the frontman of Van Halen.

Picture it: Hirsch Memorial Coliseum in Shreveport, Louisiana. The date was March 27, 1986, and the occasion was the first public performance of Van Halen since the departure of longtime lead singer David Lee Roth and the installation of Sammy Hagar as his successor. The crowd of Van Halen fans in attendance that evening was – as one might reasonably suspect – very much in the pro-Hagar camp. After all, who spends money to see someone whose very presence they’re rebelling against?

Monday, March 27, 2017 - 9:47am
Single Stories: The Young Rascals record Groovin

50 years ago today, The Young Rascals recorded one of their signature singles, a track which would go on to provide the band with the second #1 hit of their career.

Written by two of The Young Rascals – Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati – and produced by the band themselves, “Groovin’” made good on its title with its sound, which was inspired by Cavaliere’s then-recent discovery and appreciation of Afro-Cuban music. With its mixture of conga and bass, along with a harmonica performance by Michael Weinstein (although Gene Cornish played the instrument on the album version of the song), the song went down as smooth as a well-aged bottle of whiskey…and yet Atlantic Records originally wasn’t even going to release it!

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 10:18am
Talking Heads

35 years ago today, Talking Heads released their first album and underlined that there is no “the” in front of their name, thank you very much.

When THE NAME OF THIS BAND IS TALKING HEADS originally hit stores, it was a four-sided LP featuring performances from the following venues and dates:

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 10:13am
Happy 25th: They Might Be Giants, APOLLO 18

25 years ago today, They Might Be Giants released their fourth studio album, one which took its name from a NASA mission that never actually took place.

No, there was no Apollo 18. Well, not one by NASA, anyway. But John Linnell and John Flansburgh took care of that omission with the results of the time they spent in The Magic Shop recording studio in New York in March 1991. Mind you, it’s not as impressive as seeing a whale and a squid battling in outer space, which – based on the album cover – we can only presume is what NASA’s plans for Apollo 18 had been, but it’s still got some great material contained within its grooves.

Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 2:41pm
Rhino Factoids

34 years ago today, The Smiths performed their first concert in London.

When Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Mike Joyce, and Andy Rourke took the stage of the Rockgarden, it’s hard to say what the assembled crowd was expecting, since the club’s flyer really hadn’t done much to help explain the band’s music, calling them “difficult to pigeon-hole” and only offering the vague suggestion that their sound “leans towards pop and the dance floor."

Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 2:30pm
Happy Birthday: Ric Ocasek
When he was born in Baltimore back in the day – and it was on this very day, in fact, in 1949 – he spelled his last name with a “T” between the “O” and the “C,” but somewhere along the line, Richard T. Otcasek became Ric Ocasek, and after that, he became a member of The Cars, and after that…well, you can listen to our official Cars playlist to find out what happened after that, but if you’ve turned on the radio at any point in the last 30+ years, then you already have a pretty good idea. What you may not know, however, is some of the work that Ocasek has done outside of the The Cars, so we’ve put together a six-pack of tracks featuring Ocasek in some capacity or other, for your listening enjoyment and, if you’re lucky, possibly even for your musical education.