Did You Know ?

Some Interesting Facts About Music

Before betting everything on a roll of the dice, Sky Masterson sings "Luck Be a Lady" in Guys and Dolls.

Which country artist recorded two of his best-selling albums in prison?

Johnny Cash's most popular and best-selling albums were the live albums he recorded in prisons: namely, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison in 1968 and Johnny Cash at San Quentin in 1969. Throughout his career, he performed in prisons, sympathetic to the plight of inmates who ran afoul of society. Although he himself was arrested seven times on a variety of charges, he only spent a few nights in jail.

U2's "Angel of Harlem" was written about Billie Holiday, a Jazz singer who moved to Harlem as a teenager in 1928. She had a difficult childhood which affected her life and career, but she went on to play a variety of nightclubs and became famous for her spectacular voice and ability to move her audience to tears. Her final years, however, were tragic. She became addicted to heroine, was swindled out of her earnings, and died of cirrhosis of the liver at age 44 with only $0.70 in the bank. She was arrested on her deathbed, in 1959, as narcotic addiction at that time was considered a crime, not an illness.

What singer is known as the "Empress of the Blues"?

Bessie Smith, the greatest of all blues singers, is known as the "Empress of the Blues". A protégé of an earlier blues singer named Ma Rainey, Bessie recorded during the 1920s. Her flair and dramatic style would set the stage for many artists to come, including other transitional favorites from the 1950's, such as Etta James and Dinah Washington. Bessie Smith died at the young age of forty-three in a tragic automobile accident.

On January 6, 1953, Dizzie Gillespie threw a party for his wife Lorraine at Snookie's, a club in Manhattan, where his trumpet's bell got bent upward in an accident. He liked the sound so much he had a special trumpet made with a 45 degree raised bell, which became his trademark.

What is the oldest surviving musical instrument?

An ancient bone flute, estimated to be about 43,000-82,000 years old, was found by Dr Ivan Turk, a palaeontologist at the Slovenian Academy of Science at a Neanderthal campsite in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 1998. The oldest known musical instrument, it is made of an old cavebear femur segment with four holes (two complete and two partial).

Eminem, the Detroit rapper, achieved a world record with "Rap God". The six-minute track contains 1,560 words which means that Eminem is rapping a tongue-twisting 4.28 words per second.

Who was awarded the very first gold record?

Although there were earlier publicity stunts involving records sprayed with gold lacquer, the actual award recognized today as a Gold Record was first awarded to Perry Como in 1958 for his recording of "Catch a Falling Star".

The world’s longest concert by multiple artists took place from March 17 to April 5, 2017. The concert was part of Canada’s celebration of their country’s 150th anniversary. Participants included the Epidemic Music Group, and lasted for 453 hours, 54 minutes, and 40 seconds.

Elvis Presley is still the best-selling solo artist in the world.

A surprise among music facts for you. With over 1 billion sales worldwide, the King is still the best-selling solo artist in the world.

Despacito by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee have 6.6 billion views on YouTube as of February 2020.

"Wanna Be" by The Spice Girls is the Catchiest Song of All Time 

A group of researchers from The Museum of Science and Industry in England released an online test called "Hooked on Music." It contained one thousand quips from pop hits, going all the way back to the 1940s, and it asked 12,000 participants to identify songs as fast as possible. They found that "Wannabe" by The Spice Girls was the catchiest song: people were able to recognize it in about 2.3 seconds, which was way below the 5-second average of identifying other popular songs.

Did You Know Barry Manilow Didn't Write "I Write the Songs" ?

"I Write the Songs" was made famous by Barry Manilow, but he didn't write it. The song was written by Bruce Johnston in 1975.

Did You Know The British Navy Uses Britney Spears Songs to Scare Off Pirates ?

According to reports, British naval officers play Britney Spears songs to scare away Somali pirates off of Africa's eastern coast. Her songs "Oops I Did It Again" and "Baby One More Time" are the songs which are used. The rationale of playing these songs is because, supposedly, Somali pirates have a strong dislike for western culture and music, which make Britney Spears' songs a perfect fit to make the bandits move on as quickly as possible.

Did You Know An Astronaut Released an Album with All Songs Recorded in Space ?

In 2015, a Canadian astronaut named Chris Hadfield released his first album, which was entirely recorded while he was in orbit. Not only was he the first Canadian to walk in space, he's also a talented musician whose went viral with a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity." Hadfield spent 144 days at the International Space Station recording his 11 original songs for his appropriately-titled album, Space Sessions: Songs for a Tin Can.

Did You Know Muddy Waters' Real Name Was McKinley Morganfield ?

Muddy Waters grew up on Stovall Plantation near Clarksdale, Mississippi, and by age 17 was playing the guitar and the harmonica, emulating the local blues artists Son House and Robert Johnson.


He was recorded in Mississippi by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress in 1941. In 1943, he moved to Chicago to become a full-time professional musician. In 1946, he recorded his first records for Columbia Records and then for Aristocrat Records, a newly formed label run by the brothers Leonard and Phil Chess.

In the early 1950s, Muddy Waters and his band—Little Walter Jacobs on harmonica, Jimmy Rogers on guitar, Elga Edmonds (also known as Elgin Evans) on drums and Otis Spann on piano—recorded several blues classics, some with the bassist and songwriter Willie Dixon. These songs included "Hoochie Coochie Man", "I Just Want to Make Love to You" and "I'm Ready". In 1958, he traveled to England, laying the foundations of the resurgence of interest in the blues there. His performance at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1960 was recorded and released as his first live album, At Newport 1960.

Did You Know Rod Stewart hosted the largest ever free concert ?

According to Guinness World Records, Rod Stewart's 1993 New Year's Eve concert on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, remains the most-attended free concert that ever took place. An estimated 4.2 million people were in attendance at this performance.

Did You Know Prince Played 27 Instruments on His Debut Album ?

On his debut album For You, released when he was 20, Prince is said to have played every single instrument: 27 in all.


In the album's notes he's listed as the musician behind "all vocals" as well as electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, bass synth, singing bass, Fuzz bass, electric piano, acoustic piano, mini-Moog, poly-Moog, Arp string ensemble, Arp Pro Soloist, Oberheim four-voice, clavinet, drums, syndrums, water drums, slapsticks, bongos, congas, finger cymbals, wind chimes, orchestral bells, woodblocks, brush trap, tree bell, hand claps and finger snaps.

Did You Know One in five country music songs refer to alcohol, one in three to tears and one in seven to “mama” ?

Did You Know The Most Expensive Musical Instrument Sold for $15.9 Million ?

In 2011, the "Lady Blunt" Stradivarius violin sold for a world record $15.9 million, which was four times the previous auction record for a Stradivarius. 

Did You Know In 2016, Mozart Sold More CDs than Beyoncé ? 


In fact, Mozart sold the most CDs in 2016, beating out Adele, Drake, and Beyoncé, even though all of those artists had Grammy-winning hits that year.

Did You Know Billie Holiday Was Billy Crystal's Babysitter ?

Commodore Records produced several of Billie Holiday's songs, and one of the label's owners was Jack Crystal, Billy Crystal's father. Billie Holiday often visited Crystal's home and would babysit Billy Crystal. In his HBO Special 700 Sundays, Crystal recalled that the first time he went to the movies in 1953, it was Billie Holiday who took him. The two of them saw Shane, starring a young Jack Palance, who would later become Crystal's friend and City Slickers co-star.

Did You Know The didgeridoo is a wind instrument. The didgeridoo was developed by Aboriginal peoples of northern Australia, likely within the last 1,000 years, and is now in use around the world. The name for the Yolngu instrument is the yiḏaki, or more recently by some, mandapul; in west Arnhem Land it is known as a mago ?

Did You Know Who Coined The Phrase 'Elvis Has Left The Building' ?

It was at a concert in Minneapolis in 1954 that Al Dvorin first closed Elvis’s concerts with: “Ladies and Gentleman, Elvis has left the building. Thank you and good night.”

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