I cannot believe it’s been 10 weeks since the last installment in my irregularly recurring feature where I take a look at events in music on a specific date throughout the decades. Today, it’s April 6. As always, the content reflects my music taste and isn’t meant to provide a full accounting of things that happened on this date.
1965: The Beatles were busy with filming their second motion picture Help! From The Beatles Bible: The Beatles completed the interior kitchen and dining scenes for the Rajahama Indian restaurant sequence in Help! on this day. The scenes were filmed on a set at Twickenham Film Studios in England. During a break while filming, the group saw traditional Indian musical instruments for the first time. George Harrison, in particular, was fascinated by them, and the music had a significant effect on The Beatles’ musical development. “The first time that we were aware of anything Indian was when we were making Help!. There was an odd thing about an Indian and that Eastern sect that had the ring and the sacrifice; and on the set in one place they had sitars and things – they were the Indian band playing in the background, and George was looking at them.” (John Lennon quote, 1972 – from The Beatles Anthology, paperback, Sep 1, 2002)
1968: The soundtrack of the romantic comedy-drama picture The Graduate starring Dustin Hoffman, Anne Brancroft and Katherine Ross hit no. 1 in the U.S. on the Billboard 200, fueled by the popularity of Simon & Garfunkel tune Mrs. Robinson. Written by Paul Simon and initially titled Mrs. Roosevelt, the song was also included on the duo’s fourth studio album Bookends and appeared separately on April 5, 1968 as the record’s fourth single. Like the soundtrack, it climbed to the top of the U.S. charts, in this case the Billboard Hot 100. The Graduate soundtrack also included four other songs by Simon & Garfunkel, most notably The Sound of Silence.
1974: Swedish pop group ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo, which turned them into European stars overnight. Co-written by the group’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, together with ABBA manager Stig Anderson, Waterloo was the lead single and title track of the group’s sophomore album. It also became ABBA’s first major international hit though in their homeland of Sweden it “only” reached no. 2, just behind Ring Ring, the title song of their debut album, which topped the charts there. Waterloo hit no. 1 in the UK, Norway, The Netherlands, Ireland and Germany. Elsewhere, it climbed to no. 2 in Austria, no. 3 in New Zealand and no. 6 in the U.S. It marked the beginning of a remarkable 8-year international career that lasted until their first breakup in 1982. In 2016, ABBA reunited which culminated in a new album and ABBA Voyage, a virtual concert residency at a purpose-built venue in London. It started in May 2022 and is currently slated to last until January 2024.
1992: Annie Lennox, formerly a member of British synth-pop duo Eurythmics with Dave Stewart, released her debut solo album Diva. It became the most successful album of her solo career to date, topping the charts in the UK and Italy, and placing in the top 10 in Austria (no. 3); The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland (no. 5 in each); Germany (no. 6); Australia (no. 7) and Canada (no. 8). In the U.S. , it reached no. 23. Diva has sold more than 7 million copies worldwide, and won the 1993 Brit Awards for British Album of the Year, as well as the 1993 Grammy for Best Long Form Music Video. Here’s the beautiful debut single Why, released in March 1992. Written by Lennox, it also enjoyed significant international chart success:
Sources: Wikipedia; The Beatles Bible; Songfacts Music History Calendar; YouTube