40 years ago today, Pink Floyd’s single, Another Brick in the Wall, hit No.1 on Billboard, beginning an 11-week domination at the top of the charts. From their rock opera album The Wall, written by bassist Roger Waters, it is a protest song against rigid schooling—and features a local elementary school choir. Called (Pt. 2), it became their only No.1 single in the U.S. and U.K., and many other countries—and it sold over four million copies worldwide.
The British band recorded the children singing at Islington Green School, close to Pink Floyd’s studio. Alun Renshaw, head of music at the school, was enthusiastic, and said later: “I wanted to make music relevant to the kids – not just sitting around listening to Tchaikovsky. I thought the lyrics were great – ‘We don’t need no education, we don’t need no thought control’ … I just thought it would be a wonderful experience for the kids.” Renshaw hid the lyrics from the headteacher, fearing she might stop the recording. At the suggestion of producer Bob Ezrin, they also added elements of disco—and the song even reached number 57 on the disco chart. WATCH the band’s official animated music video… (1980)
The full LP, The Wall, also hit No.1 on the US album chart for a 15-week run. The group’s third US No.1, it went on to sell over 23 million copies in the US alone. The Wall is still the third largest grossing album in the US, behind Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Eagles’ Greatest Hits.
MORE Good News on this Date:
- Johann Sebastian Bach, the German composer was born (1685)
- Holy day for the Bahá’í Faith annually (calendar began in 1844)
- Journalist Henry Stanley began his trek to find missing missionary/explorer David Livingstone (1871)
- The zipper was first patented by Swedish engineer Gideon Sundback who emigrated to the US at age 25 and perfected the “Separable Fastener” while working at the Universal Fastener Company in New Jersey (1917)
- British troops liberated Mandalay, Burma from WW II occupation (1945)
- In Cleveland, Ohio, Alan Freed presented the first rock and roll concert — a mix of black and white musical performers and audience members billed as Moondog Coronation Ball, in an era when almost all performances, radio stations and record labels were segregated by race (1952)
- With President Johnson providing 4,000 troops to ensure their safety, civil rights protesters began their 54-mile, 5-day march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to demand voting rights, which later that year they won–with the Voting Rights Act (1965)
- San Francisco proclaimed the first Earth Day (1970)
- The memorial to John Lennon in New York City was unveiled on a Central Park knoll across from the apartment where he was killed, a tract of land purchased by Yoko Ono in memory of her late husband that became known as Strawberry Field (1984)
- After 12 years, Randall Adams was released from prison when his murder conviction was overturned thanks to the film The Thin Blue Line, which challenged evidence (1989)
- Namibia gained independence after 75 years of South African rule (1990)
- Twitter was launched as a micro-blogging service by Jack Dorsey, who planned it for eight days until the first tweet was sent: “I am trying to install my twitter” (2006)
- The US Congress passed a Health Care Reform bill to reform insurance practices that deny coverage to sick Americans and dependent children up to the age of 26 (2010)
Happy 61st Birthday to the ‘actor’s actor’ Gary Oldman, who finally won an Academy Award for his 2018 lead role as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. Regarded as one of the greatest screen actors of his generation, he has portrayed Lee Harvey Oswald, Beethoven, and Sid Vicious; and played Commissioner Gordon in the The Dark Knight Batman trilogy, as well as Sirius Black in the Harry Potter series. WATCH a YouTube video to see what great actors say about him… (1958) – Photo by Sam Hughes, CC license
And, on this day in 1985, Canadian paraplegic athlete Rick Hansen began his circumnavigation of the globe in a wheelchair to raise money for spinal cord injury medical research.
After a 26-month trek through 34 countries, four continents, and along 40,000 km (25,000 miles), Hansen arrived back in Vancouver to cheering crowds at the BC Place Stadium on May 22, 1987. His Man In Motion World Tour raised $26 million.