July 27 – Chuck Berry, Spirited Away & Joe Hisaishi

1955

An unknown blues musician and songwriter from St. Louis, MO breaks onto the US charts, headed for US#5, R&B#1.
 
Chuck Berry‘s (*) first hit song Maybellene was recorded at Chess Records after Muddy Waters heard him play and brought him there. An adaption of fiddle tune Ida Red (first recorded in 1924), its first album appearance is on 1959 third studio album Chuck Berry Is on Top, in the company of Johnny B. Goode (1957, US#8) and Roll Over Beethoven (1955, US#29).
 
Berry was to chart in the US top-40 thirteen more times (and lands 12 in the USR&B top-10) … all hits on Chess. His crossover music was instrumental in gaining acceptance for rock’n’roll on mainstream American radio. He’s included in the first group inducted into the Rock Hof in 1986. 1987 documentary Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll celebrates his life.
 
 ( Website

See also: Rock Hall inductees

2001


Chihiro and No-Face

Hayao Miyazaki releases his anime fantasy-adventure Spirited Away. #41 (*).
 
It’s the story of a young girl who has to find a way out of the amazing spirit world she’s trapped in. (Somewhat like the plot of The Wizard of Oz, no?)

It’s not a story in which the characters grow up, but a story in which they draw on something already inside them, brought out by the particular circumstances. I want my young friends to live like that, and I think they, too, have such a wish. — Miyazaki

Made for US$19M, it beats Titanic in Japan; worldwide, it remains the all-time highest-grossing Japanese-made film at US$274M. It wins the 2002 Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
 
Its music is by Joe Hisaishi (an alias inspired by Quincy Jones), composer of over 100 film scores; his piece Ani Hi no Kawa (Day of the River) wins the Tokyo International Anime Fair 2001 Best Music Award.
 
All this follows Miyazaki’s 1997 triumph with Princess Mononoke#91. In 2004 he releases Howl’s Moving Castle#185; in 2008 Ponyo … all scored by Hishaishi, who’s won 6 Japanese Academy Awards.  ( Studio Ghibli site  ( Hishaishi site