May 16 – Annie Get Your Gun, Pet Sounds, Blonde on Blonde, Popol Vuh

1946

Irving Berlin and Herbert Fields musical Annie Get Your Gun premieres on Broadway at the Imperial Theater.

The story of real-life Wild West show sharpshooter Annie Oakley stars Ethel Merman as Annie; multiple hit songs propel it to 1147 performances, a London version (1304 performances), even a 1999 revival. Naturally 

Of course it’s made intoa film, released May 17, 1950, which will garner a Best Music Oscar. It stars Betty Hutton, Howard Keel. (Judy Garland was MGM’s first choice, but she only lasted a few weeks. ) Keel grew up in poverty. From 1981-91 he appears in TV show Dallas. The film is withdrawn from distribution from 1973 to 2000. Anything You Can Do  No Business Like Show Business 

1966

US pop-rockers The Beach Boys release their 11th studio album Pet Sounds.

Very influential, it has repeatedly been chosen as one of the top pop albums (e.g. Rolling Stone’s #2 of the top 500 albums). Brian Wilson, who co-wrote the songs with lyricist Tony Asher, has cited Beatles album Rubber soul as his inspiration.

The album which Capitol considered not releasing — and several singles, including Sloop John B (US#3) and Wouldn’t It Be Nice (US#8)  — climbs into the US top 10 and is a UK#2. Paul McCartney, like many well-known artists, pays the album high compliments. (*)

 ( Wilson site ‘Sloop’ promo  God Only Knows  ▷R&G’s Beach Boys▹

1966

Release of US songer-songwriter Bob Dylan‘s seventh studio, rock double-album, Blonde on Blonde (US#9,UK#3).

It’s highly ranked on many best-albums lists. ▷RS:#9 of 500 ▹ After some recording in NYC, Dylan took Al Cooper and Robbie Robertson to Nashville to gain the advantage of its session musicians. Hit singles include Rainy Day Women ♯12 & 35 and I Want You.

Despite several hit albums in the 60s, Dylan doesn’t get an album to US#1 (UK#7) until 1974’s over-rated Planet Waves, but 1976 US#1 studio album Desire lives up to its rating (RS#174). ▷Rolling Stone 500, 2012 ▹

1973
Debut of Werner Herzog film Aguirre, the Wrath of God at the Cannes Film Festival.The soundtrack includes ethereal music created by Munich, Germany’s ambient krautrock band Popol Vuh  — the first of many filmic collaborations — later released in the group’s 7th album Aguirre.


Fricke

Popol Vuh (the name comes from an ancient Mayan text) (*) is a 1969 creation of composer Florian Fricke, who owns one of the first two Moog synths (a System 3) in Germany.

We have an old expression in Germany: to have one’s feet in the sky. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

In 1970 the group released its debut space music album Affenstunde (‘Monkey house’) (Liberty Lbs83460); two videos were released along with the album. (*)

It’s followed by one more electronic album, In den Garten Pharaos before Fricke — the band’s one constant member — tires of fighting the Moog and ditches it. ▷Interview▹ He’s soon swept into the 1972 Aguirre project, for which he plays a mellotron-like ‘choir-organ‘. The album can be regarded as one of the earliest ambient music, space music or New Age music works; it’s the first album to use a Moog for completely original music.

By the early 1990s the group has created nearly 20 albums.


Fricke

The musical themes explored by PV cover most of the world’s major religions. ▷Memorial by John Diliberto▹ Diliberto recommends ‘the one to get’, if you can only get one, is the US-released collection TANTRIC SONGS (1981).

▷PV Discog▹ ▷Transcendent Music Of▹
Improv (71)  Kyrie (73) 
BBC: Krautrock-the Rebirth of Germany