Today In Music History: Cash, Dylan, and DMC
    • MONDAY, JULY 15, 2013

    • Posted by: Stephanie Orentas

    As important as it is to keep you all up to date on the music of the fast-paced 21st century world, knowing and understanding the stories of music past is a quintessential part of the experience of being an avid fan of anything with a little melody and rhythm. Here are a few things that happened on this day in years past and some interesting facts that you might not know about these musicians:

    1. Run DMC's Raising Hell was certified platinum marking the first rap/hip-hop album to achieve this honor (1986). When put into perspective, this event is incredibly important in the shaping of the music world as we know it today. Including mainstream successes such as their cover of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way" and "My Addidas", Run DMC's Raising Hell was indicative of a greater trend among popular music. For the first time, hip-hop began to garner the national attention its advocates believed it deserved. What resulted was the beginning of the transformation of what was once a mechanism for the relation of the African-American experience into an art form that was capable of helping anyone tell his/her story. Raising Hell's platinum certification was a major success for the hip-hop world proving that the genre was more than just a fad. Twenty-seven years later, we can still see the cultural significance.

    2. Columbia Records dropped Johnny Cash after 25+ years (1986). A man famous for a number of incredibly popular songs (a personal favorite being 1969's "A Boy Named Sue") and the inspiration for 2005's Walk the Line, Cash is certainly a household name. However, the country legend hadn't been making Columbia any money in the years leading up to his dismissal, so the label finally ended their profitless relationship in 1986. Cash wasn't finished though, again finding his creative spark in the late 1990s with producer Rick Rubin (who also produced Run DMC's Raising Hell, certified platinum on the very day Cash was dropped from Columbia). Cash's second record with Rubin, Unchained, won a Grammy in 1998 for best country album, marking a defining comeback in his career.

    3. Bob Dylan performs for over 200,000 people at "The Picnic at Blackbushe," held at Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire, England (1978). The concert was the largest ever open air concert for a solo artist featuring support from none other than Eric Clapton. Fresh off the recording of Street Legal, this was one of the last major performances for Dylan before entering the Evangelical Christian phase of his career (which was eventually considered one of the most controversial points in a relatively controversial career).

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