That is not all I know about music, but that is all I’m saying...for now.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Uncle Dusty's Guide to Music Trivia
Anyone who knows me knows I love trivia. My mind is filled with useless information. I like to think it makes me devastatingly interesting. I could be wrong, but I’m not. Wrong, that is, on most things. My trivia team out here in the wilds of California is pretty successful in the various pubs and other locales that host trivia on week nights. Our team name (Unicorn Sanchez and the fill-in-the-blank) strikes fear into the hearts of all the tech nerd pretenders to the throne. The fill-in-the-blank is as esoteric as the knowledge packed into three government manager’s minds; everything from fanny pack full of rainbows to Doris Day and the Time.
One of the things that people always want to know when they find out I play trivia is what is the most interesting piece of trivia I know. And that, dear readers, is a difficult thing to decide. I know lots of things about lots of things that no one truly cares about, so to ask me to pinpoint one particular piece of minutiae is very difficult.
Some things are easy, like real chili doesn’t have beans. That one is for my friend Neal (Hey, Neal. How’s Syracuse?) Some things are far more arcane like a group of unicorns is called a blessing. So I decided to compile a list of things I find interesting and maybe you will too. As I have much to share I will start with my favorite category, music. Herewith I give you Uncle Dusty’s Guide to Music Trivia:
1. Charles Gates Dawes was Calvin Coolidge’s Vice President during his second term. He is also the only US VP to co-write a #1 pop song, when he penned the music to “It’s All in the Game” a hit for Tommy Edwards in 1958. On another interesting note, Mr. Dawes also won Nobel Peace Prize in Economics. This bit of trivia allowed my inclusion in the Trivial Pursuit All American Edition when I was in college.
2. Liquid Paper was invented by Bette Nesmith Graham, mother of Mike Nesmith, of the 1960s rock group, the Monkees.
3. Musicians who have surprisingly never had a #1 song on Billboard’s Hot 100: Led Zeppelin, James Brown and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Artists who have actually had a #1 song on the Hot 100: Rick Dees, Lorne Green and Clay Aiken.
4. Bette Midler beat Barry White and Marie Osmond for Best New Artist at the 1974 Grammys.
5. Anderson Cooper’s mother was socialite and designer, Gloria Vanderbilt. Admittedly not musical, but still awesome.
6. Daryl Hannah (she of "Splash" fame) sang backing vocals on Jackson Browne’s hit “You’re a Friend of Mine”. They were dating at the time.
7. Bob Newhart won the Best New Artist and Album of the Year at the Grammys in 1961. Back then, comedy albums were so popular that they competed in all major categories.
8. Politicians/Civic Leaders who have won Grammys include Jimmy Carter, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesse Jackson, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Al Franken. All won in the "Spoken Word Album" category.
9. Lenny Kravitz’s mother is Roxie Roker who played Helen Willis on “The Jeffersons”.
10. Janet Jackson starred in “Good Times” as Penny, “Diff’rent Strokes” as Charlene and “Fame”.
11. Robin Thicke is the son of Gloria Loring and Alan Thicke, who were not only actors, but songwriters, having penned and performed the theme songs to “The Facts of Life” and “Diff’rent Strokes” as well as the late 80s hit “Friends and Lovers”, also known as “Both to Each Other” to country music fans.
12. More examples of the oddity of the Hot 100. No #1 song: Bruce Springsteen. Actual #1 song: Rick Springfield. Rick Astley has had TWO #1 songs in the US.
13. In an interesting bit of karma, Madonna’s hit “Material Girl” was kept from the #1 slot by USA for Africa’s “We Are the World”. Dan Ackroyd performed backing vocals on that record. Why? You'll have to ask Quincy Jones, father of Rashida Jones of "The Office" and "Parks and Recreation".
14. The most popular song since the rock era began in 1955 (based solely on the number of weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100)? One Sweet Day, by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men. Included in the top 10 songs of all time is “Macarena” by Los Del Rio, having spent 14 weeks at #1. Yes, you read that correctly.
15. The first #1 song of the rock era was fittingly “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and his Comets.