This Week in Music History | July 6 – 12

Rock & roll strikes gold for the first time, Bill Withers & The Police hit #1, and new music from Fleetwood Mac & Barenaked Ladies. Here’s everything that went down this week in music history!

1958 – July 8th, Oklahoma! became the first album to be certified “gold” by the RIAA.

  • It was the soundtrack album of the 1955 film Oklahoma!, an adaptation of the Broadway musical.
  • The “gold” certification was presented by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
  • The honor signified that the album had reached one million dollars in sales.

1972 – July 8th, Bill Withers started a three week run at #1 on the US singles chart with ‘Lean On Me’.

  • It was Wither’s only #1 hit.
  • Withers’ childhood in the coal mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia, was the inspiration for “Lean on Me”
  • The song endures as a message of compassion and goodwill.
  • In 1989 it was used as the theme to the movie Lean On Me.

1975 – July 11th, Fleetwood Mac released their tenth studio album often referred to as The White Album.

  • It was the first Fleetwood Mac album to feature Lindsey Buckingham as guitarist and Stevie Nicks as vocalist.
  • The White Album featured hits like “Landslide” and “Rhiannon”.
  • The album reached #1 on the Billboard chart over a year after entering the chart.
  • It was the second biggest album of 1976 (behind Frampton Comes Alive!)

1983 – July 9th, The Police started an eight week run at #1 on the US singles chart with “Every Breath You Take”.

  • Sting says it’s about the obsession with a lost lover, and the jealousy and surveillance that follow.
  • The single was the biggest US and UK hit of 1983.
  • Sting won Song of the Year and The Police won Best Pop Performance for the song at the 1984 Grammy Awards.
  • In May 2019, it was recognised by BMI as being the most played song in radio history.

1998 – July 7th, Barenaked Ladies release their fourth studio album, Stunt.

  • The album landed at #3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
  • Fittingly, “One Week” spent one week at #1 in the US…
  • “I maybe should have called it ‘Fifty-Eight Weeks,'” BNL frontman Ed Robertson joked.

2008 – July 10th, the music app Shazam was released.

  • The app gave music fans the answer to the question, “What’s that song?”
  • It was the first music recognition service of its kind – using a phone’s microphone to listen to any song being played.

2019 – July 6th, “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X breaks the record for longest-running hip-hop song on the Hot 100.

  • With 13 weeks at #1, it beat out “Lose Yourself,” “Boom Boom Pow” and “See You Again”.
  • The song is labeled as “country rap”, a genre that had rarely reached the mainstream prior to its release.
  • It initially gained popularity on the app TikTok and eventually entered the Billboard charts in March 2019.
  • The song was awarded diamond certification by the RIAA for moving ten million units in the US.
  • It was the fastest song to be awarded diamond certification.

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