It’s day five of the #AtoZChallenge, and that brings us to the letter E. Are you enjoying the theme so far?
1970 - Everything Is Beautiful - Ray Stevens
“Everything Is Beautiful” is a song written, composed, and performed by Ray Stevens. It has appeared on many of Stevens' albums, including one named after the song, and has become a pop standard and common in religious performances. The children heard singing the chorus of the song, using the hymn, "Jesus Loves the Little Children", are from the Oak Hill Elementary School in Nashville, Tennessee. This group includes Stevens' two daughters. The song was responsible for two wins at the Grammy Awards of 1971: Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for Ray Stevens and Grammy Award for Best Inspirational Performance for Jake Hess. Stevens' recording was the Number 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in the summer of 1970. The song also spent three weeks atop the adult contemporary chart. Many country stations played the song, peaking it at #39 on Billboard's chart. Billboard ranked the record as the No. 12 song of 1970. The song includes anti-racist and pro-tolerance lyrics such as "We shouldn't care 'bout the length of his hair/Or the color of his skin."
1977 - Evergreen - Barbra Streisand
"Evergreen" is the theme song from the 1976 film A Star Is Born. It was composed and performed by Barbra Streisand with lyrics by Paul Williams, and arranged by Ian Freebairn-Smith. The song was released on the soundtrack album to A Star Is Born.
As composers, Streisand and Williams earned an Academy Award for Best Original Song. the first woman to be honored as a composer. Streisand also earned a Grammy Award for Song of the Year. She and Williams also won Golden Globes for Best Original Song.
The song's opening couplet, "Love, soft as an easy chair, love fresh as the morning air," almost did not appear that way. Williams wrote the morning air line first, but told Streisand to "flip those two first lines, because it sings better."
In the US, the single became Streisand's second number 1 single and spent three weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and six weeks atop the easy listening chart. This was Streisand's second number-one song on the Hot 100 (following "The Way We Were" in 1974), and her third on the adult contemporary chart ("The Way We Were" and 1964's "People"). In its year-end chart for 1977, Billboard ranked the platinum-certified single, which sold more than 2 million copies, the fourth-biggest single of the year. In the UK Singles Chart, the song peaked at #3 in 1977.
1978 - Emotion - Samantha Sang
"Emotion" is a song written by Barry and Robin Gibb. It was first recorded by Australian singer Samantha Sang, whose version reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1978. On this track, Sang sticks to a breathy, Barry-like sound. Gibb himself provided harmony and background vocals, using his falsetto on this track. The Bee Gees recorded their own version of the song in 1994 as part of an album called Love Songs which was never released but it was eventually included on their 2001 collection titled Their Greatest Hits: The Record. In 2001, "Emotion" was covered by the American R&B girl group Destiny's Child. Their version of the song was an international hit, reaching the top ten on the US Hot 100 chart and peaking in the top five on the UK Singles Chart.
Be sure to follow the 2017 AtoZ Challenge playlist for all of the songs featured in this years challenge.
Did you listen to any of these tunes in the 70's? Would you like to know more about these artists in future posts? Let me know in the comments.
What does tomorrow bring?Friday brings us the letter 'F'.
Any guesses as to which 1970 Billboard Hits will be showcased?
Battle of the Bands results will also be posted.