Today In Pop Music History (11-10-2015)

THE LAST #1 INSTRUMENTAL
30 YEARS AGO MONDAY


Image result for miami vice theme jan hammer photosVery few people from Czechoslovakia have managed to crack the top 40 of the United States singles chart. 

 
Drummer Ernest Berger did it for Heatwave, whose hits included “Boogie Nights,” “Groove Line” and “Always And Forever.” Ian Crow of the Patti Smith group of “Because The Night” fame did it, too, although his instrument is unknown.
 
And then there’s Jan Hammer….
 
 
 He had the last instrumental ever to hit #1 when the theme from Don Johnson’s TV show, “Miami Vice Theme” became the new #1 thirty years ago Monday. “Miami Vice” stayed on top for a week. I rank Jan Hammer the #8 Disappearing Act of all time.
 
Born April 17, 1948, Jan began playing piano at age four and studied classical music throughout his teens. In 1962, he formed a group with Miroslav Vitous, who would become a founding member of the group Weather Report. Together, Jan and Miroslav won scholarships to Boston’s Berklee School Of Music in 1966. When Russia invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968, Jan made his move to the United States permanent.
 
Jan has worked with everyone from Sarah Vaughn to Carlos Santana to Stanley Clarke. When the “Miami Vice” TV soundtrack album went to #1, Jan got a call from Henry Mancini, who’d had the previous #1 TV soundtrack LP with “The Music From Peter Gunn” in 1959. And speaking of 1959…
 
TOMORROW: HE HAD THE MOST DIFFERENT VOCAL VERSIONS OF A TOP 40 HIT

 

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