February 13 – ASCAP, Black Sabbath, Fugees

1914


An 1890s tear-jerker

ASCAP (for American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) is established by composer Victor Herbert.


Herbert

It protects member copyrights by charging fees for the performance of their music. Early members include Irving Berlin and John Philip Sousa.

BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.)(*) is a similar organization founded October 14, 1939 by radio executives who have balked at ASCAP’s proposed fee-doubling. It is more open to upcoming artists.

In 1953 a group of 33 ASCAP members — calling themselves ‘The Songwriters of America’ (not to be confused with Songwriters Guild of America, formed in 1931) — bring a $150 million anti-trust lawsuit against BMI (*) complaining that a conspiracy of broadcasters and manufacturers is keeping ‘good’ music from being heard. (R&B is starting to crossover into mainstream radio.) After 15 years, the case is dismissed in 1968. ▷The economics of Elvis ▹

 ( ASCAP site  ( BMI site  ( SGA site

1970

English heavy metal band Black Sabbath (first called ‘Earth’) releases its eponymous first album in the UK.

Reportedly recorded in one day, it’s credited for pioneering heavy metal, stoner rock, doom metal, and goth. It reaches UK#8 and, despite being widely panned, reaches US#23 and sells a million. Title track 

Second album Paranoid, released in September, will score their only UK#1 and sell 4 million in the US despite no airplay. Its first single Paranoid is an international top-10 hit (US#61), now ranked as a top heavy metal song. The second single is the infamous Iron Man, US#52 and a Grammy-award winner in 2000. Paris, 1970 

To date the band has released 18 studio albums and 44 singles. Their latest, 19th album 13 will be released in June 2013.

 ( Website

1996

US hip-hop group Fugees release second and final, international top-5 album The Score(US#1).

The album will win two Grammies. The biggest single from the album (an international #1 hit) is Killing Me Softly with His Song, a cover of a 1973 Roberta Flack hit sung by Lauryn Hill. Another single is a Wyclef Jean cover of Bob Marley & The Wailers 1975 single No Woman, No Cry (UK#22).