Today in Music History: Ray Parker Jr. hits No. 1 with 'Ghostbusters'

Ghostbusters
Ghostbusters was no. 1 Today in Music History. (Album Cover Art)

History Highlight:

Today in 1984, Ray Parker Jr. started a three-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with the theme from the film Ghostbusters. Parker, who had been a session guitarist for Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, was accused of plagiarizing the melody from Huey Lewis and the News' song "I Want a New Drug," resulting in Lewis suing Parker. The pair settled out of court in 1985. The music video for the song featured clips from the film, as well as a dancing sequence with the cast, plus cameos by Jeffrey Tambor, Melissa Gilbert, George Wendt, Al Franken, Danny DeVito, Terri Garr, Carly Simon, Chevy Chase and others.

Also, Today In:

1956 - Elvis Presley's double-sided hit "Don't Be Cruel" b/w "Hound Dog" was released. The single went to No. 1 on the U.S. chart, where it stayed for 11 weeks — a record that would not be broken until 1992's Boyz II Men hit "End of the Road."

1962 - Neil Sedaka started a two-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do," his first U.S. No. 1 as an artist.

1979 - The Knack started a five-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with Get The Knack, which included the hit single, "My Sharona."

1979 - Led Zeppelin played their last-ever U.K. show when they appeared at Knebworth House, England.

1992 - The Mall of America opens in Bloomington, Minnesota, with Ray Charles performing "America The Beautiful."

1995 - Dangerous Minds, starring Michelle Pfeiffer as an inner-city schoolteacher, debuts in US theaters. The movie's soundtrack tops the Billboard 200 albums chart thanks to its lead single, Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise."

1999 - Kiss arrived on Hollywood Boulevard to unveil their star on The Walk Of Fame. The band had released more than 30 albums and sold more than 80 million records worldwide.

2002 - Bruce Springsteen started a two week run at No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with The Rising, the singers fifth U.S. No. 1. Also No. 1 in the U.K.

2016 - For the second year, President Obama releases two summer playlists on Spotify. It's his last year in office, which might be why "So Very Hard To Go" is on the list.

Birthdays:

Singer Eric Carmen (whose hits include "All By Myself," "Hungry Eyes," "Make Me Lose Control") is 68.

Joe Jackson, English musician and singer-songwriter, is 64.

Charlie Sexton is 49.

Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie is 41.

Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.


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