Born on this day: May 27, 1957 - Punk rock and alternative music icon Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie & The Banshees and The Creatures (born Susan Janet Ballion in London, UK). Happy 60th birthday, Siouxsie!
On this day in music history: May 27, 1985 - “Into The Groove” by Madonna is released. Written and produced by Madonna and Stephen Bray, it is the ninth single release for the pop music superstar. By early 1984, Madonna’s career finally begins to take flight as her self titled debut album gains momentum off of the strength of the singles “Holiday” and “Borderline”. While living in the Alphabet City area of the East Village in Manhattan, she sees a handsome young Puerto Rican man on the fire escape of the apartment building across from hers. That encounter inspires one of her best known and loved songs. Madonna finishes writing what becomes “Into The Groove” with her former Breakfast Club band mate, drummer Steve Bray. Club DJ Mark Kamins, producer of her debut single “Everybody”, asks Madonna if she can write a song for a female teenage vocalist he’s discovered named Cheyne (“Call Me Mr. Telephone”, “Private Joy”). She offers him “Into The Groove” which Kamins feels is a hit upon hearing it. A short time later, Madonna lands the title role in director Susan Seidelman’s “Desperately Seeking Susan” (co-starring Rosanna Arquette and Aidan Quinn). Seidelman asks Madonna if she will contribute a song to the films soundtrack for a night club scene filmed at Danceteria in New York. She plays the director the rough demo for “Groove”, which the director loves immediately. Madonna and Steve Bray re-record the song at Sigma Sound Studios in New York for inclusion in the film. Kamins is upset when he finds out that the singer has taken the song back without telling him, causing a rift between the two. By the time “Susan” hits theaters in late March of 1985, Madonna’s music career is on fire with three singles on the chart simultaneously. Fearing overexposure, there are no plans to issue “Into The Groove” as single, and it is not included on the soundtrack album. However, a music video featuring the song is released to help promote the film. Radio stations take the audio from the video and begin playing it on the air. The public’s reaction to the song is immediately positive and forces Madonna’s label Sire Records to release it. Not wanting it to be in direct chart competition with “Angel”, “Groove” is placed on the B-side of the 12" single for “Angel”. Since it is not initially released as a 7" single in the US, it isn’t eligible to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, though that does not stop it from becoming a huge radio smash. The 12" sells over a million copies domestically, becoming one of only a small handful to sell in numbers that large. “Groove” is released as an A-side overseas, and added to some foreign pressings of the “Like A Virgin” album. “Into The Groove” tops the charts in nine countries including four weeks at the top of the UK singles chart, and one week at the top of the Billboard Club Play on June 29, 1985. “Into The Groove” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: May 27, 1978 - “Use Ta Be My Girl” by The O'Jays hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 5 weeks, and will peak at #4 on the Hot 100 on July 8, 1978. Written and produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, it is the eighth R&B chart topper for the R&B vocal trio from Canton, OH. With former Little Anthony & The Imperials member Sammy Strain replacing the late William Powell earlier in 1977, his first album as a full time member is “Travelin’ At The Speed Of Thought”, released in May of that year. In spite of spinning off the R&B top ten hit “Work On Me” (#7 R&B), it fails to chart on the Hot 100 with the album itself barely reaching Gold status. Gamble and Huff recommit themselves to coming up with stronger material for the next O'Jays album. Among the three songs the production duo write for them is “Use Ta Be My Girl”. The track is recorded at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia in Late 1977, featuring members of the labels in house studio band including Bobby Eli, Roland Chambers (guitars), Quinton Joseph (drums), Larry Washington (percussion) and Jimmy Williams (bass). Both the producers and the group are somewhat doubtful of the retro sounding songs hit potential until after its release. Issued as the first single from the groups twelfth studio album “So Full Of Love” on March 21, 1978, “Girl” is an immediate smash right out of the gate. The single spends a total of twenty one weeks on the R&B chart and nineteen weeks on the Hot 100, longer than any of their previous hits. The success of the single drives the accompanying album to Platinum status in the US. “Use Ta Be My Girl” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.