Good News in History, January 22

55 years ago today, Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys began recording Wouldn’t It Be Nice. The opening track for their forthcoming album, Pet Sounds, it would reach No.8 on the Billboard Hot 100.


The LP, which garnered enormous acclaim worldwide, was the band’s 11th studio album, and was produced, arranged—and mostly written—by Wilson. The song is distinguished for its symphonic ‘Wall of Sound’, arranged using 16 session musicians and a variety of instruments not normally associated popular music—including accordions and a detuned twelve-string guitar. Wilson also employed classical music devices, such as bitonality and ritardando.

WATCH a video below on the making of the song, with voice recordings from the studio… (1966)


MORE Good News on this Date:

  • Leaders of the 6 self-governing colonies of Australia—New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania—met to discuss unifying under a a federal government (1899)
  • Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula (1957)
  • The World’s largest block of cheese, a cheddar, was created for the New York World’s Fair by Steve’s Cheese in Denmark, Wisconsin, using 170,000 quarts of milk, weighing in at 34,591 pounds—more than 15 tons (1964)
  • The world’s first ‘jumbo jet’, a Boeing 747, launched its maiden voyage as a PanAm flight from Kennedy Airport to London’s Heathrow, arriving in six and a half hours (1970)
  • The US Supreme Court decided in Roe v. Wade to strike down state laws restricting the right to an abortion (1973)
  • Apple introduced its Macintosh computer during the Super Bowl, with its now-famous “1984” television commercial (1984)
  • The US Senate confirmed Madeleine Albright as the nation’s first female secretary of state (1997)
  • Evo Morales became the first indigenous president of Bolivia (2006)

And, on this day in 1967, The Monkees performed live for the very first time at The Cow Palace in San Francisco to a sell-out crowd.

Initially formed for the TV show about an imaginary band, the actor-musicians, soon became a real band with five #1 hit songs. Defying instructions to stay out of the recording studio, The Monkees eventually fought for and earned the right to supervise all musical output under the band’s name. WATCH a powerful LIVE concert clip…


53 years ago today, the TV comedy variety show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In debuted on NBC. Characterized by psychedelic colors and a rapid-fire series of gags and sketches, many of which were politically charged or conveyed sexual innuendo, it ran for five years with 140 episodes.

Hosted by comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, it featured, at various times, Goldie Hawn, Arte Johnson, Richard Pryor, Ruth Buzzi, Judy Carne, Jo Anne Worley, Henry Gibson, Lily Tomlin, Richard Dawson, and announcer Gary Owens. WATCH a ‘Best Of’ video… (1968)

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