1968: The Naughty Apple
It was on this day that The Beatles’ record label, Apple Records, released its first single, “Hey Jude.” The label was founded by the band intended to be used as a creative outlet for the band and used as a way to reduce their tax burden. They choose the name and image of a Granny Smith apple because in Paul McCartney’s mind, a green apple signified creative freedom and independence from commercial interests. The record was unique because it featured the image of a Granny Smith apple on side-A and the same apple sliced in half on side-B. But according to The Independent, the song was almost never released because some record executives thought that the image looked pornagraphic. In a letter sent to Apple boss Ron Kass, it said, “Here’s a wild and unanticipated problem to brighten up your day. I just received a call from a very large and influential jack jobber in the western United States. He opened the conversation by saying, ‘Are you guys serious? Do you know what you’re doing? Do you really intend to sell products bearing the new Apple label?’” He said that the Apple label was completely pornagraphic and the graphic nature of the art was noticed by all of his employees. He doubted that record store chains would want to stock such a record. Not only was he wrong, but there is no evidence that the band had intended using a controversial image.
1980: Christopher Cross Goes ‘Sailing’
On this day in 1980, singer-songwriter Christopher Cross rose to the top of the music charts with his first hit, “Sailing.” Up to this point, Cross was a relatively unknown singer. His self-titled album is considered to be one of the biggest soft-rock hits of all time and included “Ride Like the Wind,” (which was actually released before “Sailing”) and featured a backup vocal for Michael McDonald. This fame lead to a sweep of wins at the 1981 Grammy Awards where “Sailing” and Cross won for Best Record, Best Song, Best Album and Best New Artist. Cross’s next hit also came out that year, “Arthur’s Theme” from the movie, Arthur with Dudley Moore. Cross’s next Top 10 hit was “Think of Laura” which came out in 1983 and it was his last.
- 1797: Mary Shelley (author)
- 1908: Fred MacMurray (actor)
- 1927: Bill Daily (actor)
- 1972: Cameron Diaz (actress)
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.