Back In The Day: Brooklyn Music Milestones – February 2016
February 10, 2004: Collectors’ Choice Music reissues American Flyer’s two late-1970s albums in one CD. The folk-rock “super group” features Brooklynites Steve Katz (Blue Project, Blood, Sweat & Tears) and Eric Kaz (Blues Magoos), Long Islander Doug Yule (Velvet Underground) and Ohioan Craig Fuller (Pure Prairie League). Highlights include the Kaz-Libby Titus classic “Love Has No Pride,” and the Billboard Top 100 Kaz-Fuller single “Lay Me Down Easy.”
Feb.16, 1978: Although neither his then-current album, Mirage, nor latest single, “We All Wanna Boogie,” cracked the Billboard Top 200, Richie Havens fills The Bottom Line without benefit of an opening act. The Bedford-Stuyvesant native’s two-hour-plus show includes his iconic Woodstock opener, “Freedom,” other originals such as “Nobody Left to Crown,” and several covers, most notably “Just Like a Woman,” “Fire and Rain,” “I’m Not in Love,” “Easy (Like Sunday Morning)” and “Long Train Running.”
February 18, 1974: Casablanca Records, a new label launched by Flatlands-born music mogul Neil Bogart, releases its first album, Kiss, by the band of the same name. Kiss features Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Williamsburg native Peter Criss.
Feb. 20, 1996: After a four-year hiatus from recording, the longest of his career, Lou Reed releases his 17th solo album, Set the Twilight Reeling. It charts reasonably well, peaking at 110 in the U.S. and 26 in the UK, and gets four (out of five) stars from Rolling Stone. The opening track, which taps Reed’s Brooklyn roots, is devoted to his favorite childhood concoction, “Egg Cream.”
February 21, 1968: The brainchild of former Blues Project band mates (and Brooklyn natives) Al Kooper and Steve Katz, Blood, Sweat & Tears issues their first album, Child Is Father to the Man. Among the 12 tracks are seven Kooper originals and one each by Katz and fellow Brooklyn songwriters Harry Nilsson and the team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King.
Feb. 25, 1981: Janis Siegel’s vocal arrangement of “Birdland” wins two Grammy Award for her group, Manhattan Transfer: one for Best Arrangement for Voices and another for Best Jazz Fusion Performance.