Today in Madonna History: February 2, 1985

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On February 2 1985, Sidewalk Talk peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot Dance/Club Play chart. The song was written by Madonna, who also contributed vocals on the chorus and bridge while the verses were performed by Catherine Buchanan. Madonna gifted the song to producer/remixer/DJ/boyfriend Jellybean Benitez for use on his debut EP, Wotupskii!!?! and it was promoted to clubs by EMI Records in October, 1984. It was eventually issued as a commercial single, climbing to #18 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Sidewalk Talk was arranged by Stephen Bray & Benitez with vocal arrangement by Madonna, according to the album’s liner notes. Madonna’s lyrics to the song recall her early years in New York and some of the challenges she encountered adjusting to big city life.

Today in Madonna History: February 1, 1997

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On February 1 1997, Evita – The Complete Motion Picture Soundtrack peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 album chart in the U.S. Meanwhile across the pond, the soundtrack simultaneously shot to the #1 position on the UK album chart. It had initially peaked at #6 in the U.S. and at #7 in the U.K. upon release in November, 1996.

The surge in sales was largely attributed to the film’s wide release in January and the heavy promotional push that accompanied it, along with the interest generated by the soundtrack’s second single, Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.

Today in Madonna History: January 27, 1984

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On January 27 1984, Madonna performed Burning Up and Holiday on the UK television program, The Tube.  The show was broadcast live from The Hacienda club in Manchester.

Malcolm Gerrie, executive producer of The Tube, has been quoted as saying that the show paid for Madonna to travel to Manchester because Warner Bros. didn’t yet consider her as “a priority artist” and weren’t willing to foot the bill.

Today in Madonna History: January 16, 2001

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On January 16 2001, Don’t Tell Me was released commercially in North America as the second single from Music.

Written by Madonna, Mirwais & Joe Henry, the song was Madonna’s first collaboration with her brother-in-law, whom she had known since high school. Henry sent a demo (then titled Stop) to Madonna after his wife, Melanie, insisted that her sister would love the song. Madonna & Mirwais drastically altered the music and melody and renamed the song Don’t Tell Me. Henry released his version on his eighth studio album, Scar, in May 2001.

The maxi-single featured remixes by Thunderpuss, Timo Mass, Victor Calderone, Richard “Humpty” Vission and Tracy Young. Don’t Tell Me was the last Madonna release to be issued on cassette single in the U.S. and was also available on 2-track CD single, CD Maxi-Single (enhanced with the music video) and as a double 12″ vinyl set. In Canada, it was released only on CD maxi-single.

Today in Madonna History: January 14, 1993

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On January 14 1993, Madonna was featured in a 2-part interview with Bryant Gumbel on NBC-TV’s Today to promote the film Body of Evidence.

Madonna seemed quite fond of Gumbel. If they were to get any closer she’d be sitting on his knee. And note the conspicuously missing gap between her teeth. Hmmm. On second thought, it may have had something to do with the filming of her next movie, Dangerous Game…what do you think?

Today in Madonna History: January 13, 2015

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On January 13 2015, Billboard revealed that Michael Keaton’ son, Sean Douglas, worked on Ghosttown, one of the songs to be featured on Madonna’s Rebel Heart album. The songwriter said that the track was written in three days, after Madonna had personally requested some studio time.

“Madonna liked ‘Talk Dirty,’ actually, and so they put me and [co-writers] Jason Evigan and Evan Bogart in with her and we had this great session. I was incredibly nervous for obvious reasons, but she showed up, was super personable and was ready to work. I basically checked it off my life bucket list.”

Douglas is a successful pop songwriter whose credits include Top 40 hits for Jason Derulo, Demi Lovato and Fifth Harmony, among many others.