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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

August 13, 1966

I don't know what it is about August 13 as a whole, but it's certainly not the most exciting day to perform a Tuesday Timeline special feature. I'm sure that for some of you, today is a very important day, but I can't really say that I had an easy time choosing a decent topic that would garner much interest.

In fact, my quest for the perfect Tuesday Timeline topic was so intense that the subject I ended up picking was quite literally from the depths of the Internet. It may seem like the most random date ever, but ultimately, I think I can come up with a topic that not only talks about a group that sang a song that became a huge hit, but also allows me to tell a personal tale linked to the entry.

(Which may seem like an interesting feat given that the Tuesday Timeline date for today predates me by a decade and a half.)

But, I've said too much already. Let's take a look at what happened on the thirteenth day of August, beginning with...

1792 – King Louis XVI of France is arrested by the National Tribunal, and is declared an enemy of the people

1831 – Nat Turner sees a solar eclipse, which he sees as a sign from God – hard to believe that just a few days later, he and a group of slaves would overpower fifty-five whites in the state of Virginia

1868 – A massive earthquake in Peru kills twenty-five thousand people, and the following tsunami devastates sections of Hawaii and New Zealand

1898 – Carl Gustav Witt discovers 433 Eros, the first near-Earth asteroid to be found

1910 – British born nurse Florence Nightingale dies at the age of 90

1913 – The first production in the United Kingdom of stainless steel is launched by Harry Brearley

1918 – Opha Mae Johnson becomes the first woman to enlist in the United States Marine Corps

1930 – Hawaiian singing legend Don Ho is born in Honolulu

1937 – The Battle of Shanghai begins

1942 – Major General Eugene Reybold of the United States Army Corps of Engineers authorizes the construction of the “Manhattan Project”

1951 – Singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg is born in Peoria, Illinois

1960 – The Central African Republic declares independence from France

1961 – East Germany closes the border between the eastern and western sections of Berlin

1964 – Peter Allen and Gwynne Evans are hung for the murder of John Allan West, making them the final people to be executed in the United Kingdom

1969 – The Apollo 11 astronauts are released from a three-week quarantine to enjoy a ticker tape parade, following by the awarding of the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Richard Nixon in the wake of their walk on the surface of the moon

1995 – Baseball legend Mickey Mantle dies just months after receiving a liver transplant at the age of 63

2004 – World renowned chef Julia Child passes away, just two days before her ninety-second birthday

2006 – English actor and voice artist Tony Jay passes away in Los Angeles, California at age 73

A nice mix of events, but none of them were such that I felt as though I could do any of the subjects justice.

So, I opted to try celebrity birthdays – which didn't get me anywhere either. However, a very happy birthday to the following famous faces – Pat Harrington Jr., Joycelyn Elders, Gary Gregor, John Stocker, Scott Powell, Bobby Clarke, Feargal Sharkey, Danny Bonaduce, Sam Champion, Dawnn Lewis, Tom Perrotta, John Slattery, Hank Cheyne, Debi Mazar, Shayne Corson, Quinn Cummings, David Monahan, Molly Henneberg, Jonathon Dutton, and Stephen James King.

(Not to be confused with novelist Stephen King.)

Again, a nice list of names there, but none that really stand out.

So, I decided to go onto a site which had a lot of music trivia posted on it, hoping that I would find something to talk about...and fortunately for me, I hit pay dirt.

Today's special date that we will be looking at is August 13, 1966.

So, what was happening in the world around that time? Well, “As The World Turns” was the #1 daytime drama on television, the Baltimore Orioles didn't know it yet, but they were well on their way to winning the World Series for 1966, and my parents were just fifteen days away from celebrating their first wedding anniversary.

And on August 13, 1966, a particular song debuted on the Billboard Charts at #66. 

Now, when I was doing the research for this particular blog, the actual date that the single was released is debatable.  The majority of sources say August 1966, but a couple reveal the date to be closer to July.  But since I have seen a couple of references that state the date as August 13, 1966 (one of which was the book "The Billboard Book of Number One Hits"), I'm going with that one.

It was recorded by an all girl group that was signed to Motown Records in 1959, and although their early years were filled with some personnel changes, by 1962, the band began to chart hits under the trio of Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, and Diana Ross.  

They were the band that would come to be known as "The Supremes".  Or, "Diana Ross and the Supremes".  Or, Diana Ross and Two Other Women", depending on what was happening within the group.  

Anyway, while the band began recording and releasing singles as the 1960s began, it really wasn't until 1964 that the band really began to pick up steam with the single "Where Did Our Love Go".  That single would become the first of five consecutive number one hits for the band between 1964 and 1965.  "Baby Love", "Come See About Me", "Stop! In The Name Of Love", "Back In My Arms Again"...all huge hits!

All in all, the Supremes scored a total of a dozen chart toppers between 1964 and 1969...therefore, it seems only fitting that today's song just happens to be one of the band's #1 singles.  And, it also happens to be a song that reached #1 twice by two different artists!  For now though, let's have a look at the song which as many sources reveal was released forty-seven years ago today!

ARTIST:  The Supremes
SONG:  You Can't Hurry Love
ALBUM:  The Supremes A' Go-Go
DATE RELEASED:  August 13, 1966

Now, one thing you should know is that this song basically rocketed its way to the top of the charts in no time flat.  When it debuted at #66 in August 1966, I think many people were shocked to see the song peak at the top of the charts one month later!  The song became September 1966's biggest hit, peaking for two weeks before being unseated by The Association's "Cherish".  

And, you know something?  I actually think that this might be one of my favourite Supremes songs.  In all honesty, I kind of have a soft spot for 1960s Motown music, and the Supremes were definitely a huge part of why this is the case.

The song is actually one that has a really positive message behind it, though it's only positive if you happen to have the virtue known as patience.

Obviously the song is a love song, but with a twist.  It's actually an advice song that the Supremes sing as if they were listening to the advice of their older, but wiser mother, who simply states that you can't hurry love.  You just have to wait.  Because love don't come easy as it's just a game of give or take.

You know, I know from personal experience just how frustrating finding love is.  In my thirty-two years of living, I'm still trying to find the person who makes me absolutely melt into a puddle and who makes my heart do cartwheels.

(Well, okay, maybe not the cartwheeling heart.  That would kill me.)

The point is that this particular song could very well be considered as a permanent part of my life soundtrack located right in between Foreigner's "I Wanna Know What Love Is" and Kylie Minogue's "I Should Be So Lucky".  

I can't begin to tell you how many times I have observed that all of my friends have settled down with someone they absolutely love while I'm still out there looking to cancel my subscription to Bachelor Dinner Theatre forever.

(Yeah, okay...I need to keep telling myself that analogies like that are probably not helping my cause in the love department.  Sigh...where are the sheepish grin emoticons when you need them?)

But you know what?  I'll make a confession that some of the best life lessons that I have ever learned came from pop music.  It's true!  And, I've never even been to New York, London, Paris, or Munich!  Everybody learns from Pop Music!  Pop, pop, pop music...

(Ahem...sorry about that.  Wrong song.  "M" isn't scheduled at all this week.)

Anyway, back to the Supremes.  I've learned from listening to this song in preparation for this blog entry not to force love.  As much as I might be considered quite impatient to the point where some may accuse me of reeking of desperation, I am actually quite the opposite as I type these words.  

I mean, sure.  Maybe my love life is kind of on a dry spell right now...and, well, over the last ten years or so.  But there's a reason for that.  

I don't think that back then I was ready to enter a relationship.  I was an emotional mess a decade ago.  Back in that time, I didn't even like myself very much, so how could I expect anyone to fall in love with me when I couldn't even master the art of appreciating who I really was?  It makes sense, doesn't it?

Flash forward to 2013, and things have gotten better.  I'm still not quite where I want to be in life, but I mean, let's be realistic.  Who really is?  There's always going to be something that we want that we can't always have at the moment.  For me, it just happens to be building up my self-confidence so that I can show someone that I can be the kind of man that they want in their lives.  I'm ALMOST there, as far as I'm concerned, but I'm not quite there yet.  And, that's okay.  I'm not going to rush things, or attempt to take on too much at one time.  And, that includes the subject of love.

Look, I could very well be fifty before I find the one who I am supposed to be with for the rest of my life.  If it happens that this is the case, so be it.  I'm hopeful that it will happen before 2031, but if it doesn't, I'm prepared to wait for it.  After all, just like the Supremes sang in their song from all those years ago, my own mother told me that if something is meant to happen it will.  And, you know something, I have no choice but to believe it to be true.

Besides, rushing love along can cause a lot more problems if anything.  I've known quite a few couples who have busted up because they took relationships way too fast.  They moved in together far too soon, they have gotten engaged within two months or less, and in one case, they hastily planned a wedding just a few months after they met, only for the whole thing to crash and burn because one of them got cold feet about the speed that the relationship was going.  Believe me, The Supremes were not wrong in this case.

(Though given that at the time the single was recorded, Diana Ross was embarking on an affair with Berry Gordy, I'm kind of wondering if Diana followed the words of wisdom that she sang about on "You Can't Hurry Love".  But that seems to be water under the bridge now, I suppose.)

But that's enough about me.  

The song was widely praised in the music industry, and it certainly helped "The Supremes" move onto the next stage in their career, moving away from the teen pop genre that established them as music darlings and into more adult sophisticated singles that held deeper meaning.

TRIVIA:  This song was actually recorded right around the same time that they were recording the single "You Keep Me Hanging On".  It was originally planned that "You Keep Me Hanging On" would be the first single from the "The Supremes A' Go-Go", but Motown's Quality Control Department chose to go with "You Can't Hurry Love".  In the end, it didn't really matter too much, as both songs hit the top of the charts in late 1966.

And, believe it or not, the song "You Can't Hurry Love" didn't only top the charts in the 1960s.  It also was a #1 hit in the 1980s - albeit by a different artist.  In November 1982, Genesis drummer Phil Collins was enjoying his solo career (which he kicked off nearly two years earlier), and one of his biggest hits was a cover version of "You Can't Hurry Love".  Have a listen to Phil's version below, which became a #1 hit in the United Kingdom on January 9, 1983.

Hard to believe that topped the charts thirty years ago!  Insane.

Of course, Phil had The Supremes to thank for this chart-topper...a song which first hit the Billboard Charts on August 13, 1966.

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