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
6 - 12    13 - 19    20 - 26
27 - Jun 2

June
3 - 9    10 - 16    17 - 23
24 - 30

 
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The Week in Rock 'n' Roll
January 29 - February 4
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 E v e n t s Birthdays     Farewells 

 1950s Young Love was hot on the U.S. singles chart in two different versions in 1957. Both Sonny James and Tab Hunter had recorded the hit and both sold over a million copies. But it was Tab Hunter who stayed at number 1 for six weeks, to James’ one.
 1950s Little Richard packed in rock and roll in 1958 to attend Bible college. He was there for four years, but in the meantime, the rocker had hits with previously recorded material like Good Golly Miss Molly and Ooh! My Soul. Richard returned to rock and roll in 1962 when he had a minor U.K. hit with He Got What He Wanted. Jimi Hendrix backed him in 1965 on I Don’t Know What You’ve Got But It’s Got Me, but the song only reached number 92 in the U.S.
 1950s Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash in 1959. Holly was a rock and roll pioneer while Valens had hits with, Come On Let’s Go, Donna and La Bamba. The Big Bopper was actually a DJ whose only major hit was Chantilly Lace. All three stars had just played the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, and were heading to Moorhead, Minnesota, through a snow storm, when their plane crashed shortly after take-off from nearby Mason City. Waylon Jennings had given up his seat to The Big Bopper, and the future country star has only recently begun to talk about the tragic event. Bobby Vee filled in at the missed concert, while Jimmy Clanton and Frankie Avalon helped out on other dates still remaining on the tour.
 1960s Peter, Paul and Mary signed on with Warner Brothers Records in 1962. They hit the top 10 with, If I Had a Hammer, nine months later. Their only single to make it all the way to number 1 was 1969’s, Leaving On a Jet Plane, written by John Denver. Denver does a decent version of it himself, on the 1997 box set, The Country Roads Collection. More recently, Chantal Kreviazuk contributed her cover of it to the Armageddon soundtrack.
 1960s I Want to Hold Your Hand hit number 1 in the U.S. on February 1st, 1964. Except maybe for Louie Louie, the rest of the top 10 contenders just weren’t in the same league. In order, from numbers 2 to 10 they were: You Don’t Own Me, Out of Limits, Surfin’ Bird, Hey Little Cobra, Louie Louie, There! I’ve Said It Again, Um Um Um Um Um Um, Anyone Who Had a Heart and For You. The bad news was that the U.S. flipside, I Saw Her Standing There, was wasted. It should have been issued as a single on its own, and was probably even better than the A-side. I Saw Her Standing There was one of The Beatles’ best rockers. This Boy was the B-side in the U.K., where I Want to Hold Your Hand, their fifth single, had already been at the top for 6 weeks, beginning on December 4th, 1963. Rock and roll would never be the same.
 1960s Pete Seeger played a 1967 concert to high school students in New York, despite an attempt by the school’s officials to have it halted. It was felt that Seeger might cause the students to riot because of his reputation for protests against Vietnam and anti-Communist witch hunts in the U.S. Maybe school authorities were also intimidated by the title of Seeger’s last album, Dangerous Songs? The concert went without incident.
 1960s The Doors were offered a lucrative movie deal in 1968. Universal Pictures were willing to give the band $500000 for appearing in a feature film. Unfortunately, the movie was never made. The closest The Doors got to the silver screen was in 1991 when Oliver Stone directed Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison in a trashy movie about the group.
 1960s Allen Klein was appointed as The Beatles’ new manager by John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, in 1969. Paul McCartney refused to sign the agreement because of Klein’s bad reputation. McCartney proved to be right as Klein has since been in and out of jail on tax evasion and other charges. (The Beatles had to sue him to get their own money. It was the always impressionable Lennon who “masterminded” Klein’s arrival.) Klein’s far-reaching influence in the music industry is also the reason that we don’t see any CD music from artists like Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, The Tymes and many others. McCartney chose Eastman and Eastman to represent him.
 1960s The Beatles performed live for the last time in 1969. The 42 minute rooftop concert took place above Apple Corps headquarters on January 30th. It had been 2½ years since they played Candlestick Park, San Francisco, on August 29th, 1966. Get Back was the final track The Beatles recorded live. It can be heard on Anthology 3, as John and George’s amplifiers have their power cut in the middle of the song. The guitarists quickly remedy the situation and Get Back to finishing the performance. About half of the high altitude gig was included at the end of the Let It Be film, with I’ve Got a Feeling, One After 909 and Dig a Pony also making it onto the LP.
 1970s The Nashville Songwriters Association recognized the abilities of Kris Kristofferson with an award in 1971. Kristofferson has written such hits as Me and Bobby McGee, Help Me Make It Through the Night and For the Good Times. He began an acting career the same year, appearing as a “Minstrel Wrangler” alongside of Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda.
 1970s Gladys Knight and The Pips left Motown for Buddah Records in 1973. Their Motown hits had included I Heard It Through the Grapevine, If I Were Your Woman and Neither One of Us, but better times would follow when Midnight Train to Georgia, I’ve Got to Use My Imagination, Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me, On and On and Try to Remember / The Way We Were became hits at Buddah.
 1970s Keith Emerson’s hands were moving faster than expected at a 1973 concert in San Francisco. The keyboard player was trying to avoid flying debris after his piano exploded. It was rigged for some fireworks, but something went wrong and the planned explosion occurred too soon. Emerson’s injuries were minor, and ELP were able to release Brain Salad Surgery later in the year.
 1970s Mamma Mia by ABBA took over the top spot on the U.K. singles chart in 1976 from Bohemian Rhapsody. Queen’s operatic anthem had just spent 9 weeks there, and would return to number 1 in 1991, when the song was featured in the Wayne’s World movie. ABBA’s track was their second one to dominate the charts, after Waterloo did it in 1974. They would have 7 more U.K. top singles by the time 1980 ended.
 1970s In 1977, Elton John won awards in the Pop / Rock category for Favourite Male Artist and Favourite Single (Don’t Go Breaking My Heart with Kiki Dee), at the fourth American Music Awards held in California. He had also released the singles, Grow Some Funk of Your Own / I Feel Like a Bullet and Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word in 1976.
 1970s Fleetwood Mac’s, Rumours, was released this week in 1977. It spent 31 weeks at the top of the U.S. albums chart. Singles, Go Your Own Way, Dreams, Don’t Stop and You Make Loving Fun all hit the top 10 that year. It is one of the all-time best selling albums, with over 18 million sold. A superb live version of Go Your Own Way can be found on the 1997 release, The Dance. Courtney Love’s group, Hole, did an excellent version of Gold Dust Woman in 1996.
 1970s American teenager, Brenda Spencer made her famous statement in 1979: “I don’t like Mondays,” after she shot to death eleven of her classmates. Bob Geldof and The Boomtown Rats turned the situation into a hit later in the year.
 1980s Sam “Lightnin’” Hopkins died of cancer in 1982. He played a wide variety of styles and at one time had the pleasure of headlining over Jefferson Airplane, as well as performing with The Grateful Dead during his career. A 1967 documentary covered his lifestyle and music, the best of which can be heard on Mojo Hand: The Anthology, a double CD collection highly rated by the All-Music Guide.
 1980s The Doobie Brothers split up in 1982 but would still keep their commitment for a Farewell Tour later that year. They would occasionally play together after that, and re-united in the late 1980s for Cycles (1989), Brotherhood (1991) and Rockin’ Down the Highway: The Wildlife Concert, a double live effort from 1996. A new studio album in their earlier style was released late in 2000.
 1980s Karen Carpenter died in 1983 of heart irregularities caused by anorexia nervosa. Brother, Richard, played piano while Karen was on drums for most of their hits throughout the 1970s. Karen didn’t quite reach her 33rd birthday, and was actually making progress in fighting her condition when she collapsed at her parents’ home in Downey, California. A made-for-TV Carpenters biography aired in 1989, and Karen’s only solo album was released in 1996. It consisted of songs she had recorded without Richard in 1979 and 1980.
 1980s In between album releases in 1985, Glenn Frey appeared on an episode of Miami Vice. He also contributed several songs to the series, including Smuggler’s Blues, The Heat is On, New Love and You Belong to the City. Eight years later, Frey would star in his own detective show, South of Sunset. It was short-lived however, as only five episodes were made.
 1980s Forty-six major American artists recorded We Are the World in 1985. It was their turn, after the Brits had a huge success with Do They Know It’s Christmas. The U.S. song credited to U.S.A. for Africa went to the top for 4 weeks, and featured well-knowns like Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Kenny Rogers, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Willie Nelson, Daryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, Kim Carnes and others.
 1980s Defunct band, Sheriff, hit number 1 in 1989 with a re-release of their 1983 ballad, When I’m With You. The band had split up in 1985, but the music director at a Las Vegas radio station began pushing the song in late 1988. Response was immediate, and When I’m With You shot to number 1, far surpassing position 61 where it originally peaked in the U.S. A couple of members of the group combined with three ex-Heart players and formed Alias. The other Sheriff boys had minor success in Canada as the group, Frozen Ghost.
 1980s The year, 1989, saw Guns N’ Roses with two top 5 albums in the U.S. Appetite for Destruction and G N’ R Lies were their first two album releases, containing the top 10 singles, Sweet Child O’ Mine, Welcome to the Jungle, Paradise City and Patience.
 1990s The top 3 of the 1990 U.K. singles chart had no American or British artists. Sinead O’Connor (from Ireland), Kylie Minogue (of Australia) and Belgium’s, Technotronic charted with Nothing Compares 2 U, Tears On My Pillow and Get Up, respectively.
 1990s Willie Dixon died of heart failure in 1992. He was THE blues man, and much of the reason behind the success of Chess Records’ artists like Bo Diddley, Howlin’ Wolf, Otis Rush and especially Muddy Waters.
 1990s Nancy Wilson, guitarist for Heart, released her first solo album in 1999. Live at McCabe’s Guitar Shop had actually been recorded 2 years earlier, as Heart was winding down for the 1990s. Nancy’s debut included renditions of Even It Up, These Dreams (both had been hits with Heart), Paul Simon’s, Kathy’s Song and the Peter Gabriel tune, In Your Eyes. Live at McCabe’s Guitar Shop was not her first work outside of Heart, as the Jerry Maguire soundtrack had included a couple of Nancy’s tracks. She also joined sister Ann on some releases under the name of The Lovemongers.
 
 B i r t h d a y s Events     Farewells 

January 29:
Blues youngster Jonny Lang Hit the Ground Running in 1981.
January 30:
Marty Balin (Jefferson Airplane / Starship, 1943), Steve Marriott (The Small Faces, 1947) and Phil Collins (1951) were each the product of Two Hearts.
January 31:
Warm and protected, Terry Kath (Chicago, 1946), K.C. (The Sunshine Band, 1951) and Phil Manzanera (Roxy Music, 1951) finally had to Give It Up.
February 1:
Don Everly (1937), Ray Sawyer (Dr. Hook, 1937), Rick James (1952) and Lisa Marie Presley (1968) were delivered without any Problems on this day.
February 2:
Stan Getz (1927) and Graham Nash (Hollies / CSNY, 1942) arrived via the Marrakesh Express.
February 3:
The families of Dennis Edwards (The Temptations, 1943), Dave Davies (The Kinks, 1947), Melanie (1947) and Blake Barrett (Copperpenny, 1951) were all on Cloud Nine.
February 4:
Alice Cooper (1948) and Natalie Imbruglia (1975) weren’t exactly Clones when they were born.
   
 F a r e w e l l s Events     Birthdays 

January 29:
Willie Dixon passed away in 1992.
January 30:
Lightnin’ Hopkins died in 1982 at the age of 69.
January 31:
Barbara Cowsill died in 1985 at the age of 56.
February 1:
Music publisher Dick James died of a heart attack in 1986.
February 2:
Sid Vicious died in 1979 of a drug overdose.
February 3:
Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper died in a plane crash in 1959.
February 4:
Karen Carpenter died in 1983 of heart failure caused by anorexia nervosa. Wladziu Valentino Liberace died in 1987 at the age of 67.

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