Saturday, January 13, 2007

This Day in Music History: The Steve Miller Band and The Joker

Actually I should have showcased this song yesterday as January 12, 1974 was its first day as the #1 song in the country on the Billboard charts. However, it was #1 for one week so this was its second day at #1 on this day in music history. Steve Miller was born on October 5, 1943 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin but was raised in Dallas, Texas. It was there that his love for music grew and he formed a band that included Boz Scaggs. Steve eventually left Dallas and traveled to other cities and formed new bands where ever he went. It was in San Francisco that he formed a band that became a local favorite. Boz Scaggs joined his new band and in a short while they were offered a contract with Capitol Records. The Steve Miller Band’s first two albums were Children of the Future and Sailor. Both are considered his best work but no hits were released off of the albums. The band was great and developed a loyal following but no one knew who Steve Miller was. He was dubbed the man without a face. As he said “People tended to be fans of the albums. Not Steve Miller.” In 1969 Scaggs left the group for a successful solo career. It was with the bands eighth album The Joker, that mainstream audiences found the group. Steve always wanted to have single hits and took up the challenge to have a hit. He said he always thought a hit song had to be two and a half minutes and have a soul-disco symphony. While the album went gold Miller said that he was uncertain of its commercial potential. He said that he asked a roomful of record executives what they thought as making and marketing hit records was their business. He said after listening to it one of them stood up and pointed to the record and said “That’s a hit.”

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