January
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22 - 28    29 - Feb 4

February
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26 - Mar 3

March
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25 - 31

April
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22 - 28    29 - May 5

May
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27 - Jun 2

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The Week in Rock 'n' Roll
January 8 - 14
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 E v e n t s Birthdays     Farewells 

 1940s Loretta Webb became Loretta Lynn when she married Oliver Lynn in 1948, three years before sister Crystal Gayle was born. The bride, a coal miner’s daughter, was only 13 years old at the time, and would have to wait twelve years before her first hit, I’m a Honky Tonk Girl, reached the country charts. Lynn spent a decade raising four children, before getting into the music business with help from her brother Jay Webb, and her husband. Her biggest hit was One’s On the Way, which stayed at the top for 2 weeks in February of 1972.
 1950s Elvis Presley recorded his first bunch of tracks in 1956 for RCA, his new record company. Included with Money Honey and I Got a Woman was a song written especially for The King, Heartbreak Hotel. He was backed with a drummer, D.J. Fontana, for the first time, in addition to seasoned pro Chet Atkins and piano player Floyd Cramer. Even though the recording session lasted 8 hours, there was a sense of disappointment, as the studio didn’t seem to capture the sound heard on Presley’s previous songs for Sun Records.
 1960s In 1960, Eddie Cochran attended his last recording session. One of the tracks put onto tape was Three Steps to Heaven, at Goldstar Studios in Hollywood. It was included on a self-titled album released later in the year, along with songs like Summertime Blues, C’mon Everybody, I’m Ready and Teenage Heaven.
 1960s The Beatles released the Please Please Me single this week back in 1963. It went to number 1 in the U.K. on February 22nd, three weeks after entering the chart. The Fab Four’s first number 1 single eventually sold over 1.5 million copies world-wide. Please Please Me was written mostly by John Lennon, who modelled the song after recordings by Bing Crosby and Roy Orbison. Ask Me Why was the B-side. David Cassidy took his version of Please Please Me into the U.K. top 30 in 1974.
 1960s The Whiskey A-Go-Go night club opened in Los Angeles in 1963. Johnny Rivers, Alice Cooper and Kansas all recorded live albums there. Rivers also had two top 10 singles, Memphis and Seventh Son receive help from audiences at the Whiskey.
 1960s The Beatles had three albums in the top 10 of the U.S. albums chart in 1965, with Beatles ’65 (number 1), A Hard Day’s Night (number 6) and The Beatles’ Story (peaking at number 7). The latter album was a double LP with each of the four sides featuring a different Beatle interview. The Beatles’ Story also included interviews with George Martin and Brian Epstein, as well as a medley of Things We Said Today, I’m Happy Just to Dance With You, Little Child, Long Tall Sally and She Loves You. A segment of Twist and Shout live from The Hollywood Bowl also made its debut.
 1960s The general public began to take the album format seriously when The Beatles released Rubber Soul, the number 1 album this week in 1966. Previously, 33 1/3 rpm records were a collection of past hits and songs recorded as filler. The singles market was what had always been popular to music fans everywhere, but when Rubber Soul arrived with songs like Drive My Car, Norwegian Wood, Michelle, Girl, In My Life and Wait, listeners knew they were getting more than their money’s worth. Even the album’s cover art had something more imaginative; it was a legitimate piece of art.
 1960s Elvis Presley began new recording sessions in Memphis in 1969. Over the next week and a half he recorded songs like In the Ghetto, Gentle On My Mind, Hey Jude, and the classic, Suspicious Minds. Elvis hadn’t recorded in Memphis since his last days with Sun Records, in the fall of 1955.
 1970s In 1970, Diana Ross played her final Supremes concert before going solo. The hit-makers played the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas, and would continue with Jean Terrell replacing Ross. Someday We’ll Be Together was just falling down the charts, having been at the top a couple weeks before. The song was their last number 1 hit, and was also the final song to hit the peak position in the 1960s.
 1970s It was around this time in 1973 when Frankie Miller’s debut album, Once in a Blue Moon, was released. In the early ’70s, Miller had been in The Stoics when he was asked to join Jude, a blues rock band with Robin Trower (formerly of Procol Harum). The project fell apart before an album could be recorded, so Miller decided to try the solo route. He signed with Chrysalis Records in 1972 and worked on material for his first album. Once in a Blue Moon was written mostly by Miller himself, while he was backed musically by a hot local pub rock band, Brinsley Schwarz. Miller followed up with several more gems in the ’70s, namely High Life and The Rock, which all earned him the admiration of people like Rod Stewart, Glenn Frey, Don Henley and anyone else who ever tried to sing the blues.
 1970s Pete Townshend of The Who dragged Eric Clapton out of a personal low by organizing the Rainbow Concert in 1973. Clapton had fallen into alcohol abuse and drug dependency before Townshend recruited chums, Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi and others to play a sold out show that was later released as the album, Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert.
 1970s Kiss was signed to a recording contract in 1974. Casablanca Records nabbed the unique rock band soon after a New York gig with Blue Oyster Cult and Iggy Pop. Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss were making a name for themselves with their on-stage theatrics. Their self-titled debut album would be released several weeks later, and climb as high as number 87 on the U.S. albums chart.
 1970s Steve Miller had his first U.S. number 1 single when The Joker hit the top in 1974. He consciously tried to write a smash single, and began with the idea of a 2½ minute “soul-disco symphony.” After The Joker album sessions were finished, Miller still didn’t think he had a hit on his hands, but fans determined otherwise.
 1970s Bluesman, Howlin’ Wolf, died at the age of 65 in 1976, following brain surgery. His recordings of Spoonful, How Many More Times, Back Door Man and Little Red Rooster were brought to mainstream rock by Cream, Led Zeppelin, The Doors and The Rolling Stones, respectively. Wolf was discovered by Ike Turner.
 1970s A UNICEF world hunger fund-raising concert was held in New York at the United Nations General Assembly in 1979. Performers included Rod Stewart, ABBA, The Bee Gees, Andy Gibb, Rita Coolidge, Olivia Newton-John, Earth, Wind and Fire, Kris Kristofferson, John Denver and others. Earth, Wind and Fire had their Greatest Hits Volume 1 in the U.S. top 10 at the time. They played a medley of a couple of their best songs, September / That’s the Way of the World. Unfortunately, an album of the concert was a flop.
 1980s The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) donated 800 albums to the White House library in 1981. It’s highly unlikely that they were appreciated by Ronald Reagan, but I’m sure Bill Clinton already had most of them when he entered office. Among other things, the RIAA grants gold, platinum and diamond awards for sales of singles, albums and videos in the U.S.
 1980s Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie peaked at number 29 on the American singles chart in 1982, but made it all the way to the top in the U.K. It was only their second number 1 at home, following Bohemian Rhapsody. Under Pressure was remixed and re-released as a single in Britain in 1999.
 1990s Steve Clark, guitarist with Def Leppard, died of alcohol related problems in 1991. A local pathologist stated that his death was due to a compression of the brain stem caused by excessive drinking combined with use of anti-depressants and painkillers. Clark was replaced by Viv Campbell, formerly of DIO and Whitesnake. Def Leppard regrouped and released Adrenalize the next year, a successful follow-up to Hysteria on which Clark made his last contribution.
 1990s Nirvana had quite a week in the U.S. in 1992. They appeared on Saturday Night Live, their album Nevermind just hit number 1 and Smells Like Teen Spirit peaked at number 6 on the Billboard singles chart. Nirvana had taken Neil Young’s grunge rock sound into the 1990s and opened the flood gates for other bands like Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.
 1990s On what would have been Elvis Presley’s 50th birthday, the U.S. Postal Service issued a 29 cent stamp of The King in Memphis in 1993. The public got to vote on which picture would be used, and a 1950s Elvis won by a 3 to 1 margin. And yes, many letters were sent to fictional addresses so that fans could see Return to Sender stamped next to Elvis.
 1990s REM began their first world tour in over 5 years when they played The Entertainment Centre in Australia in 1995. The group was supporting their Monster album, which debuted at number 1 in both America and the U.K. What’s the Frequency Kenneth? and Bang and Blame were the strongest tracks on the album that found the band playing much heavier material than they had in the past.
 1990s Billy Joel continued his successful string of live dates in 1998 when two more shows sold out. The eighth and ninth consecutive sellouts set a record when all tickets disappeared within hours for concerts in Uniondale, New York, at the Nassau Coliseum. His tour continued into 2000, and even though he said it would be his last for quite some time, more dates with Elton John were scheduled into 2001. A live album of his millennium New Year’s concert was released in the form of the two CD package, The Millennium Concert.
 1990s Billy Joel received a special award in 1999 at the American Music Awards. Engraved on the hardware he took home that night was a statement about ‘his inspired songwriting skills, musical arrangements, vocals, keyboard prowess and exciting showmanship.’ Joel hadn’t released an album of new material since 1993 with River of Dreams.
 
 B i r t h d a y s Events     Farewells 

January 8:
Elvis Presley became his mother’s Good Luck Charm in 1935. His stillborn twin didn’t make it. On the same day as Elvis, Little Anthony (1940), Robbie Krieger (The Doors, 1946) and David Bowie (1947) also began looking for Fame.
January 9:
Joan Baez (1941) and Jimmy Page (1944) first felt a Whole Lotta Love.
January 10:
Jim Croce (1943), Rod Stewart (1945), Donald Fagen (Steely Dan, 1948), and Pat Benatar (1953) could each say “I Got a Name.”
January 11:
Don Cherry (1924) and Clarence Clemons (1942) were born in a Ghost Town.
January 12:
The announcement to Let the Heartaches Begin was made upon the arrival of Ray Price (1926) and Long John Baldry (1941).
January 13:
Trevor Rabin (of Yes) first felt the Rhythm of Love in 1954.
January 14:
Jack Jones began The Impossible Dream in 1938.
   
 F a r e w e l l s Events     Birthdays 

January 8:
Steve Clark (Def Leppard) died in 1991 from a combination of alcohol and prescription drugs.
January 10:
Howlin’ Wolf died following brain surgery in 1976.
January 11: Spencer Dryden (drummer for Jefferson Airplane), and Bread's James Griffin both died in 2005 from cancer.
January 12:
Maurice Gibb of The Bee Gees died in 2003 after suffering a heart attack during surgery to remove an intestinal blockage. He was 53, and was the twin brother of Robin. Randy VanWarmer died of leukemia in 2004 at the age of 48.
January 13:
Donny Hathaway committed suicide by jumping from a 15th floor hotel room in 1979.

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26 - Sep 1

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28 - Nov 3

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