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26 - Mar 3

March
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25 - 31

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May
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The Week in Rock 'n' Roll
January 15 - 21
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 E v e n t s Birthdays     Farewells 

 1950s The Cavern Club opened as a jazz club in Liverpool in 1957. The Quarry Men first played there seven months later. They would return as The Beatles at a lunch hour gig in another four years and Paul McCartney visited again near the end of 1999 for a short set of old rock and roll tunes.
 1960s The Beatles finally made in onto the U.S. singles chart in 1964 with I Want to Hold Your Hand. Their U.S. record company, Capitol Records, had earlier turned down Love Me Do, Please Please Me, From Me to You and She Loves You. This allowed VeeJay Records to release Please Please Me (February 1963), From Me to You (March 1963) and the Introducing The Beatles album (July 1963). Following this unnoticed U.S. Beatle availability, Swan Records put out She Loves You (September, 1963). Several other singles and albums were issued by both Swan and VeeJay (and its subsidiary, Tollie) even after Capitol Records opened the flood gates. They are now collectors’ items.
 1960s Alan Freed, the man who gave rock ‘n’ roll its name, died in 1965 at the early age of 43. He began as a DJ in Cleveland, incorporating R&B artists into his radio shows which turned white audiences onto the sounds of black music. Freed expanded into organizing “Rock ‘n’ Roll Parties” at local arenas. Here, teenagers gathered by the tens of thousands to see their favourite artists like Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis live on stage. His popularity followed him to New York and into the movies, but Freed was fired in 1959 because of the payola scandal. He was eventually found guilty of accepting money for promoting certain records on his radio show. Freed was fighting charges of tax evasion when he died in Palm Springs, Florida.
 1960s The Who’s first single, I Can’t Explain / Bald Headed Woman was released in 1965. While it made number 8 in the U.K., the best it could do in America was crawl into the top 100 and stall at position 93. I Can See for Miles, from 1967, was the band’s only U.S. top 10 single, coming in at number 9. They never did have a number 1 single, but did reach the second highest spot a couple of times in their homeland.
 1960s Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones had to sing Let’s Spend Some Time Together at a 1967 Ed Sullivan Show appearance. The performance helped put to rest rumours in the U.S. that Jagger was dead. Let’s Spend the Night Together hit number 3 in the U.K. a month later, but didn’t even crack the top 50 in America.
 1960s Led Zeppelin played their first U.S. tour in January, 1969, three months before the release of their debut album. The name of the band came from a remark made by a member of The Who. (John Entwistle and Keith Moon each claim it was his idea.)
 1970s The Doors played the Felt Forum in Los Angeles in 1970, recording the results for an album. It would be released as Absolutely Live later that year. Capturing live performances on tape was a pretty brave idea to consider, since Jim Morrison was known to be very unpredictable on stage during their shows. The album was not received as one of their best, but it did contain several songs never released on any of their studio albums.
 1970s As Elvis arrived in Las Vegas in 1972 for rehearsals in preparation for a series of shows at the Las Vegas Hilton, a section of Bellevue Boulevard in Memphis was renamed Elvis Presley Boulevard. The remaining length of road kept its original name due to protests from the Bellevue Baptist Church. In 1976 he released an album named after the event, From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee, recorded at his home studio at Graceland.
 1970s Don McLean’s epic song, American Pie, hit number 1 in 1972. The track is rarely discussed by its author, but it’s reasonable to assume that it is inspired by the death of Buddy Holly. Others referred to in the song’s lyrics probably include Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, The Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, The Doors ,The Byrds, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.
 1970s Jerry Lee Lewis played the Grand Ole Opry in 1973 on the condition that there would be no rock ‘n’ roll and no swearing from the performer. Needless to say, his good behaviour didn’t last long. By the end of the set, The Killer was playing all his rollicking hits, including Great Balls of Fire, Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On and Good Golly Miss Molly, and was his usual cussing, out of control self.
 1970s In 1976 The Beatles turned down an offer of $30 million by promoter Bill Sargent to re-unite. This was slightly more than the $3000 offered later that year by Lorne Michaels of Saturday Night Live. George Harrison mistakenly thought that it was $3000 per Beatle, so he turned it down. ;-) And interestingly enough, Paul happened to be just around the corner at John’s New York apartment watching the live broadcast. The two almost got up the nerve to make a surprise visit to the show, but it was getting pretty late for Johnny the househusband to be going out.
 1970s Jimmy Carter’s 1977 inauguration was supported by Linda Ronstadt, John Lennon, Paul Simon, Gregg Allman and the southern rock of The Marshall Tucker Band and The Charlie Daniels Band. Back in 1957, it was Pat Boone doing the singing for President Eisenhower, and in 1981 Ronald Reagan was entertained by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Charlie Pride and Donny and Marie Osmond.
 1970s David Bowie released the album, Low, in 1977. While it didn’t contain any hit singles, the new set of material from the chameleon did please fans and critics alike.
 1980s Disco was officially pronounced dead in 1980 when the owners of Studio 54 were sent to jail for 3½ years and fined $20000 for tax evasion. The night club never recovered from the loss of leadership, but the “music” itself still clings to life in the form of hip hop and other varieties of drum machine driven sounds. Artists like Donna Summer and The Bee Gees ruled the last half of the ’70s when disco dominated the charts.
 1980s In 1980, Paul McCartney served ten days behind bars in Japan, after half a pound of marijuana was found in his suitcase at Tokyo Airport. He was promoting his Back to the Egg album. This was the only time that he and wife Linda were separated through almost 30 years.
 1980s Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off of a bat thrown at him during one of his 1982 concerts in Des Moines. Ozzy thought it was plastic, and later received injections against rabies. Not a great start to a tour that would also see his ace guitarist, Randy Rhoads, killed when their tour plane crashed during a mock dive at the tour bus. The 1982 concerts were promoting the Diary of a Madman album, which included songs like Flying High Again and You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll.
 1980s B.B. King donated his record collection to Mississippi University’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture in 1982. Seven thousand of the 20000 discs were rare blues 78s. The records would become an integral part of the center’s blues archive, established two years later.
 1980s Men At Work owned the top spot of the U.S. albums and singles charts in 1983. Down Under was the second number 1 single from the Business As Usual album, which made it to the top of the albums charts in the U.S. and the U.K. simultaneously. This feat put them into an exclusive club with members like Rod Stewart, Simon and Garfunkel and The Beatles.
 1980s Jackie Wilson died in 1984. He had suffered a heart attack in 1975 while singing Lonely Teardrops at the Latin Casino in New Jersey during a performance on one of Dick Clark’s famous rock ‘n’ roll bus tours. After hitting his head in the fall, Wilson suffered brain damage and required permanent care the rest of his life.
 1980s Yes had a number 1 hit in 1984. Owner of a Lonely Heart became the most popular song ever by the band. They had just reformed, with new members Trevor Rabin and Trevor Horn. Rabin introduced the song to the rest of the band, and later included his own version of it on the 90124 album in 2003.
 1980s Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Gladys Knight had their recording of That’s What Friends Are For hit number 1 in the U.S. in 1986. The song was originally on the soundtrack to the movie, Night Shift, as performed by Rod Stewart. Warwick suggested doing it as a duet with Stevie Wonder, and then Gladys Knight was added to the mix. To finish off the song, Elton John was asked to sing the final chorus. It became the biggest song of the year, and all proceeds raised were donated to AIDS research.
 1980s Tina Turner set a world record when 182000 people attended one of her concerts at Maracana Arena in Rio de Janeiro in 1988. She was on her Break Every Rule world tour and would soon release her Tina Live in Europe double album. Paul McCartney broke Turner’s record two years later on his Flowers in the Dirt tour.
 1990s John Lee Hooker was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Bonnie Raitt in 1991. Together they performed In the Mood with Robert Cray at an after dinner jam session. The track was from Hooker’s 1989 album, The Healer, on which Cray helped with the song, Baby Lee. Other guests on this popular CD included Carlos Santana, Canned Heat, Los Lobos, Charlie Musselwhite and George Thorogood.
 1990s Carl Perkins died in Jackson-Madison County General Hospital in 1998 of stroke related causes. He first picked up a guitar at the age of 7, that was made by his father from a cigar box, baling wire and a broomstick. His trademark song, Blue Suede Shoes, was written in the middle of the night on a brown potato sack, and went on to sell several million vinyl copies. A 1956 car accident and alcoholism kept him from maintaining his fame and fortune, but Perkins was always held in high esteem by other artists, including Elvis Presley and The Beatles.
 1970s Bob Welch began legal action against Capitol Records in 2000. The former singer-guitarist with Fleetwood Mac claimed that the record company at Hollywood and Vine hadn’t been paying him enough royalties. Welch’s recordings for Capitol spanned two albums with the band Paris, as well as four solo LPs, including the very successful French Kiss from 1977.
 2000s REO Speedwagon got their own way, literally, in 2001. A sign designating part of Main Street in Champaign, Illinois, as REO Speedwagon Way was posted in time for their concert that evening. Neal Doughty and Alan Gratzer started the band as students at the University of Illinois back in the early ’70s. REO was on tour with Survivor and Styx when the honour took place, and would release REO Speedwagon Live Plus later in the year.
 
 B i r t h d a y s Events     Farewells 

January 15:
Ronnie Van Zant (Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1949), had a normal delivery just like Every Mother’s Son.
January 16:
There were no Spiders and Snakes around when Jim Stafford (1944) and Ronnie Milsap (1946) were born.
January 17:
Chris Montez (1943), Mick Taylor (The Rolling Stones, 1948) and Paul Young (1956) were all told “There Will Never Be Another You” on this day.
January 18:
Bobby Goldsboro and David Ruffin (The Temptations) were not born in the Summer, but it was in 1941 for both of them.
January 19:
Phil Everly (1939), Janis Joplin (1943), Shelley Fabares (1944), Dolly Parton (1946), Robert Palmer (1949) and Dewey Bunnell (America, 1952) all became Addicted to Love.
January 20:
Eric Stewart (10cc, 1945) and Paul Stanley (Kiss, 1950) first witnessed The Things We Do for Love.
January 21:
Richie Havens (1941), Mac Davis (1942), Edwin Starr (1942) and Billy Ocean (1950) arrived Suddenly.
   
 F a r e w e l l s Events     Birthdays 

January 15:
Junior Wells never recovered from a coma, brought on by a heart attack, and died in 1998.
January 16:
David Seville died in 1972, just days short of his 53rd birthday. John Siomos, drummer on Frampton Comes Alive!, died at the age of 56 in 2004.
January 18:
Disco officially died in 1980 after a lengthy illness, offering convincing evidence in favour of the legalization of euthanasia.
January 19:
Carl Perkins died in 1998 from complications caused by several strokes. Wilson Pickett died from a heart attack in 2006.
January 20:
Alan Freed died in 1965 from uremia.
January 21:
Jackie Wilson died from the long term effects of a heart attack in 1984. Colonel Tom Parker (Elvis Presley’s manager) passed away at the age of 88, in 1997. Charles Brown died in 1999 of congestive heart failure. Peggy Lee died of a heart attack in 2002. She was 61.

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