November 21 – Drifters, Zodiacs, Sidewalk surfing, Sonique and more


Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph, a device for recording sound onto tinfoil and replaying it.
Gramophone recording on wax-coated cylinders, based on Tainter’s work on Alexander Graham Bell‘s idea, is patented in 1886.
(Long, good: Charles Sumner Tainter and the Graphophone)


Premiere of Symphony #5 by Dmitri Shostakovich ,’said to have received an ovation of at least 40 minutes’.
It was the composer’s response to his denunciation as a degenerate artist in the Soviet press, as well as to a period when many friends and relatives were imprisoned or killed by the Stalinist regime.


Newly-formed doo wop/R&B vocal group The Drifters (lead singer Clyde McPhatter) have their first USR&B#1 hit with Money Honey.
In August 1954 they are part of a five-week Alan Freed Biggest R&B Show midwest-to-Brooklyn tour.(*) They would break into the mainstream in 1957 with Ben E. King singing There Goes My Baby (US#2, R&B#1).
The Drifters group was owned by George Treadwell, and there were many personnel changes in the franchise over the years. In 1988 the original Drifters enter the Rock Hall of Fame.
 ( Original Drifters site ▷Vocal Hall of Fame ▹



Doo-woppers Maurice Williams and The Zodiacs top the charts with the shortest #1 song, Stay (1:39).
Maurice was 15 when he wrote ‘Stay’. It emerges again 27 years later as part of the huge-selling Dirty Dancing soundtrack. Maurice also wrote the song Little Darlin, which was a hot, finger-poppin’ #2 for Canadian group The Diamonds in 1957.

See also: List of doo-wop musicians

Liverpool‘s five-piece black vocal group The Chants make their debut at the Cavern, with instrumental backing by The Beatles.
They’re next backed by The Harlems. In 1976, Eddie and Chris Amoo, as part of British soul group The Real Thing, have a UK#1 (USR&B#28) with You to Me Are Everything.

US surf music duo Jan and Dean‘s song Sidewalk Surfin’ (a rework of The Beach BoysCatch a Wave) makes the charts on the way to US#25.

Roller Derby skateboard

Along with the Sep. 1964 Challengers album Go Sidewalk Surfing!, it marks the emergence of the new SoCal sport of skateboarding. (Early skateboard brand-names: Nash, Makaha, Hobie, Jack’s, Banzai, Roller Derby.) ▷A History ▹
By then (for a year) the sport has Skateboarder, a magazine (*), destined to re-appear in 1975.  ( Website But the fad dies — and those clay & metal wheels gotta go! Short history 
In 1972, Frank Nasworthy invents polyurethane wheels, and starts the Cadillac Wheels Company — oh look out! By 1975 Frank’s selling 300,000 sets a year.

See also: Dogtown and Z-Boys (*), Skate Rider (started 1976), Thrasher (1981), Transworld Skateboarding (1983), Big Brother (1992) (*) The Devil’s Toy 


First release of the amazing, yearning dance song It Feels So Good by UK DJ, singer Sonique (Sonia Clarke).
The single sells 32K copies, rising to UK#24 in December. (*) A 2000 re-recording of the song (lead track on album Hear My Cry released February 14) rises in May,2000 to UK#1, US#8 and top 5 in many nations.

In 2008 it’s declared the biggest selling dance song of the 21st century. (The album makes UK#6).
 ( Website  ( Fansite