Today is the 37th anniversary of Rick James' "Super Freak"

Harry Nilsson, Prince and The Bar-Kays all remembered on this day in rock history.

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Today in rock history: On this date in 1967, legendary Memphis, Tennessee R&B band The Bar-Kays released a stunning debut album, Soul Finger. The instrumental band was closely associated with another groundbreaking band from the era, Booker T. and The M.G.’s, and found great success with this record. Preceded by the title track, which was released as a single three months before the album, Soul Finger helped establish the band which, a few months after the release of this classic soul album, was asked to be the backing band for R&B legend Otis Redding. Sadly, only five months after Soul Finger was released, a fatal plane crash would claim the lives of Redding along with four members of the band. The band would recruit other members and would continue to make records into the 1980s but this fine record is where the Bar-Kays story began.

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Today in rock history: On this date in 1985, Prince released the second singe from his underappreciated album, Around the World In A Day, “Pop Life.” The socially relevant song was another huge hit for the Minneapolis genius, reaching the Top 10 on Billboard’s pop singles chart, even without an accompanying music video. Despite being featured on the album that served as the follow-up to Prince’s record-breaking soundtrack album, 1984’s Purple Rain, “Pop Life” was actually recorded before the Purple Rain album came to be and features percussionist Sheila E. Sheila E. will play the Clearwater Jazz Holiday this fall, and there is a symphonic tribute to Prince happening at Tampa's Yuengling Center.

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Today in rock history: On this date in 1972, singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson released his eighth album, Son of Schmilsson. The album served as the follow-up for Harry’s enormously successful album, 1971’s Nilsson Schmilsson, which produced several hit singles. For this outing, Nilsson enlisted the help of several guest artists, including two former Beatles who went under pseudonyms on the record: George Harrison used the name George Harrysong and Ringo Starr is listed as Richie Snare. Other guests on the record include guitarists Peter Frampton and Chris Spedding, among many others. While not as successful as its predecessor, the album included the hit singles “Spaceman” and “Remember (Christmas).” Also found on this fine record is the Nilsson classic “You’re Breakin’ My Heart,” which includes a memorable and profane chorus. Son of Schimlsson would achieve gold sales status, selling in excess of 500,000 copies, and peaked at No. 12 on Billboard’s pop albums chart.

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Today in rock history: On this date in 1981, funk-music pioneer, the late Rick James, released what’s arguably his best-known and most popular single, “Super Freak.” The song was the second single released from Rick’s multiplatinum 1981 album Street Songs and followed the successful lead single from the record, “Give it To Me Baby.” "Super Freak" is notorious for opening with the unforgettable couplet “She’s a very kinky girl/The kind you don’t take home to mother” and received heavy airplay on both pop and R&B radio playlists. The Grammy-nominated single was a No. 1 hit on Billboard’s dance chart, and also reached No. 3 on the R&B chart and No. 16 on the pop chart. The song enjoyed a second wave of success in 1990 when MC Hammer sampled it for his biggest hit, “U Can’t Touch This.”

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About The Author

Gabe Echazabal

I was born on a Sunday Morning.I soon received The Gift of loving music.Through music, I Found A Reason for living.It was when I discovered rock and roll that I Was Beginning To See The Light.Because through music, I'm Set Free.It's always helped me keep my Head Held High.When I started dancing to that fine, fine...
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