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26 - Mar 3

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May
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The Week in Rock 'n' Roll
January 22 - 28
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 E v e n t s Birthdays     Farewells 

 1950s Buddy Holly had his first official recording session in 1956. It was held in Nashville at producer Owen Bradley’s, Barn Studio. Holly was backed by Grady Martin and Doug Kirkham as he performed Blue Days Black Nights, Don’t Come Back Knockin’, Love Me and Midnight Shift.
 1950s Heartbreak Hotel was released this week in 1956. RCA Records had purchased Elvis Presley from Sun Records for $35000. Most of the money went to Sam Phillips, owner of Sun Records and Presley’s contract, while $5000 went to The King for song royalties. Manager, Colonel Tom Parker, advanced $5000 to seal the deal, but was reimbursed a short time later by RCA Records.
 1950s Sir George Martin had 3 of the top 20 produced singles on the U.K. charts. It was 1956. One of the songs, the theme to Robin Hood, was by a dance band with Dick James on vocals. James would later become a powerful music publisher, with Elton John and The Beatles as clients. The other two songs were Pickin’ a Chicken by Eve Boswell and The Shifting Whispering Sands, spoken by Irish sports commentator Eamonn Andrews.
 1950s Buddy Holly recorded his last demos this week in 1959, less than a month before he was killed in a plane crash. Songs included covers of Slippin’ and Slidin’ (2 versions), Wait ’Til the Sun Shines Nellie, Love is Strange, Dearest and Smokey Joe’s Café.
 1960s Sam Cooke signed with RCA Records in 1960, bringing his hits on Keen Records with him. Songs like You Send Me, Only Sixteen, Everybody Likes to Cha Cha Cha and Wonderful World had been big sellers, but were only the beginning for the ultimate soul singer. Cooke kept them coming until his death in 1964. He had begun in the early 1950s as the lead singer with gospel group, The Soul Stirrers.
 1960s The Beatles signed a contract in 1962 to have Brian Epstein manage the group. He would receive 25% of what they earned. Epstein never added his signature to the document.
 1960s Chubby Checker had four of his albums in the top 10 of the U.S. albums chart in 1962. They were For Twisters Only, Your Twist Party, Bobby Rydell / Chubby Checker and Let’s Twist Again. The renewed interest in The Twist came a year and a half after the song originally went to number 1. It hit the top again after adult crowds discovered the dance craze for themselves.
 1960s Sam Cooke released his infectious Twistin’ the Night Away single in 1962. The song soon made number 9, and became Cooke’s third top 10 hit. Rod Stewart would cover the track years later on his Never a Dull Moment album. A new recording by Stewart also appeared on the Innerspace soundtrack in 1987.
 1960s Phil Spector guested on the Juke Box Jury show in the U.K. in 1964. New songs played to a panel of judges, including Spector, were voted on to predict whether or not they were expected to be hits. Computer software was designed almost 40 years later with the same purpose in mind.
 1960s Petula Clark became the first female British Invasion artist to hit number 1 in the U.S. when Downtown spent the first of 2 weeks at the top in 1965. The song was soon followed by other gems, including I Know a Place, My Love, I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love, This is My Song, Don’t Sleep in the Subway and others. Clark had already been very successful in the U.K., chalking up hits since 1954.
 1960s Brian Poole left The Tremeloes in 1966. They were signed by Decca Records instead of The Beatles. After Poole left, the band had their only U.S. hits, with Here Comes My Baby, Silence is Golden and Even the Bad Times Are Good. Poole had several solo releases but none of them were successful.
 1960s In 1967, Mick Jagger referred to a show by Jimi Hendrix as, “The most sexual thing I’ve seen in a long time!”
 1970s An anti-war benefit concert was held in New York in 1970. Performers included Jimi Hendrix, The Rascals, Blood, Sweat and Tears and Judy Collins, who had recently released a best-of album, Recollections. They were protesting America’s involvement in the Vietnam war.
 1970s In 1970, one year after being on a rooftop, and with the help of Phil Spector, John Lennon wrote and recorded his first solo top 10 (number 3) hit, Instant Karma! (We All Shine On). It featured George Harrison on guitar and Billy Preston on keyboards, as well as Allen Klein and a number of fans from London’s Hatchett Club on background vocals. The song was released as a single only, and was not included on the John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band album issued later in the year.
 1970s The mini-moog synthesizer keyboard-based instrument was introduced by Dr. Robert Moog in 1970. Its price had dropped to the $2000 level, and was now smaller and rugged enough to be used on stage, just like any other instrument. George Harrison used a version of it on the two tracks that made up his Electronic Sound album. One comment in the liner notes to the LP states, “There are a lot of people around, making a lot of noise, here’s some more.”
 1970s Feature film, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, debuted in 1971 in London. It showed footage of Joe Cocker’s U.S. tour from 1970. The double album version had been released the previous September and made it to number 2 in the U.S. It contained the hit single, The Letter, a cover of The Box Tops song.
 1970s Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist, Peter Green, was institutionalized in 1977 after attacking his accountant when a $30000 royalty cheque was delivered. Green didn’t want the money. He retired from music in 1970 and later worked as a hospital porter and gravedigger. But Green came back in 1979 when he released In the Skies, a decent album with five of the nine songs recorded as instrumentals.
 1970s Guitarist, Terry Kath of Chicago, accidentally shot himself when he was cleaning one of his guns in 1978. He was replaced by Donny Dacus, who previously played guitar with Stephen Stills. It’s hard to imagine 25 Or 6 to 4 without Kath, although a newly recorded version appeared on 1986’s, Chicago 18, with Bill Champlin on guitar. It was also released as a single, making it to number 48 on the U.S. charts.
 1970s Ted Nugent was in the news again in 1978 after he autographed a fan’s arm. The admirer requested that the signature be carved into his arm with a Bowie knife.
 1980s Capricorn Records went bankrupt in January, 1981. They were home to many southern rock acts such as The Allman Brothers Band, The Marshall Tucker Band and Elvin Bishop. PolyGram Records looks after most of the distribution today. Have a listen to the full length version of Bishop’s, Fooled Around and Fell in Love, with Mickey Thomas (later with Jefferson Starship) on vocals. The song can be found on 1992’s, Sure Feels Good - The Best of Elvin Bishop. If you don’t have 4 minutes and 34 seconds worth of the song, then you are listening to the edited AM radio release. Shame, shame.
 1980s In 1982, Private Eyes became the first platinum album for Hall and Oates. After a comeback of sorts in 1980, the album was released in the fall of 1981 and rode the charts to number 5, bolstered by the success of its singles. The title track, as well as I Can’t Go for That and Did It in a Minute all went top 10, while Your Imagination peaked at position 33. The success of the album bolstered sales of their previous release, Voices, enough so that platinum status was also granted to the album that brought hits like Kiss On My List, You Make My Dreams and You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.
 1980s The gloved one almost had his face melted while he was shooting a Pepsi commercial in 1984. On the sixth take, a flare exploded and ignited his hair spray. The soft drink company compensated him with $1.5 million, which was donated to the hospital where he was treated for second degree burns.
 1990s In 1994 this week, the number 1 song was All for Love by Bryan Adams, Sting and Rod Stewart. The track was written for the movie, The Three Musketeers by Adams, Mutt Lange (Mr. Shania Twain) and Michael Kamen. In the video for the song, Stewart refers to the ex-Police member as “String.” It was only the second number 1 hit of which “String” was a significant part. The other was Every Breath You Take with The Police in 1983. Stewart had been waiting even longer. His last chart topping hit was Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? from 1978. For Adams, it was just another in a long string of hits in the 1990s. A year later he would see Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman? sit at the top for five weeks.
 1990s Joni Mitchell was out promoting her recent album, Turbulent Indigo, in 1995, while she was in Los Angeles. She had already performed in London a couple of months before, and a week after appearing at an AIDS benefit, Mitchell took the stage at the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum in front of an intimate crowd of only 240 fans.
 1990s The soundtrack from the biggest movie of all time, Titanic, hit number 1 this week in 1998. Within three months it had sold over 10 million copies, giving it diamond status in the U.S. The album contained the huge hit, My Heart Will Go On, from Celine Dion, and held the top position for 16 weeks.
 2000s Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young began their CSNY2K tour in 2000 at The Palace of Auburn Hills, in Detroit, Michigan. The show consisted of three parts, with an acoustic segment sandwiched between two rock sets. Classic songs like Almost Cut My Hair, Long May You Run, Carry On, Southern Man and many others were heard by over 31000 fans. The group also played several tracks from their new release, Looking Forward.
 2000s The circle was completed in 2001 when George Harrison re-released All Things Must Pass. His son, Dhani, played acoustic guitar on My Sweet Lord 2000, a reworking of the original hit from 1970. Dhani now shared the pleasure with James McCartney, Zak Starkey and Julian Lennon of playing on an album by a Beatle father. Julian played drums on Ya Ya, a song from Walls and Bridges in 1974, Zak drummed on Ringo and His All-Starr’s, 1993 Live from Montreux album and James had played the guitar solo on Heaven On a Sunday from Paul’s Flaming Pie LP in 1997.
 
 B i r t h d a y s Events     Farewells 

January 22:
A Wonderful World greeted Sam Cooke in 1931 and Steve Perry in 1949.
January 23:
Pat Simmons (Doobie Brothers, 1950) and Robin Zander (Cheap Trick, 1953) first heard human Voices.
January 24:
Ray Stevens (1939), Neil Diamond (1941), Aaron Neville (1941), Warren Zevon (1947) and John Belushi (1949) were each born a Solitary Man.
January 25:
Etta James didn’t have to Tell Mama that she arrived in 1938.
January 26:
Don’t You Just Know It, that Huey “Piano” Smith (1934), Eddie Van Halen (1957) and Anita Baker (1958) were born on this day.
January 27:
David Seville (The Chipmunks creator, 1919), Bobby Bland (1930), Rudi Maugeri (The Crew Cuts, 1931) and Pink Floyd’s, Nick Mason (1945), were delivered without the help of a Witch Doctor.
January 28:
Acker Bilk was not the son of a Stranger On the Shore, but he was born in 1929.
   
 F a r e w e l l s Events     Birthdays 

January 23:
Chicago guitarist, Terry Kath, died from a gunshot wound in 1978. Allen Collins (Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist) died in 1990 from pneumonia. Richard Berry (writer of Louie Louie) died from an aneurysm in 1997.
January 25:
Chris Kenner died of a heart attack in 1976. Allman Brothers bassist, Lamar Williams, of cancer in 1983, at the age of 34. Ray Peterson died in 2005 of cancer.
January 28:
Jim Capaldi died from stomach cancer in 2005.

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