| Glenn Miller received a gold record for
Chattanooga Choo Choo, in 1942. The song was from the movie, It Happened in Sun
Valley, and was most likely presented to him by his own record company,
Bluebird Records. The R.I.A.A. would begin awarding official American gold
records in 1958, followed by platinum and multi-platinum records in 1976, and
diamond records in 1999. Chattanooga Choo Choo had spent 9 weeks at
number 1 in 1941.
| A 1955
radio poll by WNEW showed that the most popular artists at the time were
Perry Como, The Crew Cuts, Patti Page and Ray
Anthony. Five months later, Bill Haley and His Comets would usher in
the rock and roll era, leaving many easy listening artists in the dust. In
1957, he landed on British soil
this week for a series of concerts, becoming the first American star to tour
the U.K. By this time, however, The Crew Cuts were just seeing their
last hit make the charts.
| Heartbreak Hotel was performed by Elvis
Presley on U.S. television for the first time, in 1956. He also sang Blue Suede Shoes, backed by
hosts, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey. This was The Kings third
consecutive Saturday night appearance on Stage Show, broadcast from New York.
On the previous shows he rocked his way through Shake Rattle and Roll / Flip
Flop and Fly, I Got a Woman, Tutti Frutti and Baby
Lets Play House. The following week he repeated Tutti Frutti
and added I Was the One. Heartbreak Hotel had just been
released, but the single would take another two months to hit number
| Mark Dinning had his one-hit wonder,
Teen Angel, make it to number 1 in the U.S. for the first of 2 weeks in
1960. The song had been written
for him by his sister Jean, who was one of The Dinning Sisters.
Some stations banned the song, and in the U.K. where it barely made the top 40,
they dismissed it, stating that blood runs in the grooves. Teen
Angel was one of many songs that were chosen for the American Graffiti
soundtrack in 1973.
| made their famous, first
appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. February 9th, 1964 was probably the most important date
in rock and roll history. Over 73 million people (60% of the viewing audience)
watched The Fab Four perform All My Loving, Till There Was
You, She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There and I Want to
Hold Your Hand. It has been said that there were no crimes committed in the
U.S. while the broadcast was taking place.
were paid $10000 for three shows (this one and a couple others). Two days later
they played a U.S. concert in Washington, on a bill with Tommy Roe,
The Chiffons and The Caravelles. A taped appearance from
Liverpool aired on The Jack Paar Show on January 3rd, and was
actually their first U.S. television showing. A year later, George Harrison
was getting a tonsillectomy in Londons, University College Hospital.
And in 1982, he handed over $9
million in proceeds from the Bangla Desh concert held on August 1st,
1971, after all the red tape had finally been cut.
| The Monkees had their second album, More
of The Monkees, jump from position 122 to number 1 this week in 1967. They were a group put together to
star in a TV series in 1965, to capitalize on the recent emergence of
. The hit album contained a couple of great pop songs in Im
a Believer and (Im Not Your) Steppin Stone. Expert
backing was contributed by Glen Campbell and Neil Sedaka, while
Carole King, Carole Bayer Sager, Tommy Boyce and others
helped produce. Apparently the famous boys were still just providing vocals to
their hits at this point in time.
| Blind Faith formed in 1969, after the break-up of Cream
and Traffic. Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker got
together with Steve Winwood and Rick Grech. They recorded a
self-titled album, using the 11 year old daughter of a friend of the
cameramans for the cover photo, but went their separate ways before the
end of the year. The trio named the band as a reaction to media expectations of
the new supergroup. The album contained the popular tracks, Cant Find
My Way Home and Presence of the Lord, as well as the 15 minute,
Do What You Like.
| Tom Jones began a two year run in 1969 with his new variety show, This is
Tom Jones. The television programme featured Jones duetting with guests
each week, which brought in the high ratings. An album named after the TV show
was released later in the year. It made the top 10 on the strength of cover
songs like Fly Me to the Moon, Hey Jude, Little Green Apples
and Let It Be Me.
| Badfinger had their biggest hit when Day
After Day made it to number 4 in the U.S. in 1972. Right behind it was a cover of their own song,
Without You, performed by Harry Nilsson. Nilssons
version would be the number 1 song in the U.S. 2 weeks later. Day After
Day was their third and last top 10 song, as Baby Blue made number
14 later in the year. Both Badfinger songs were from their Straight
| The OJays were awarded a gold record
for Love Train in 1973.
Released in 1972 on the Back Stabbers album, Love Train was a
likely candidate for the first disco song. It followed the albums title
track into the top 10 in the U.S., eventually becoming the bands only
number 1 hit. Other standout tracks on the LP were Mr. Lucky and 992
Arguments, making Back Stabbers one of the best albums of Philly
soul from the 1970s.
| Paul Simon earned his only solo number 1
U.S. hit when 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover made it to the top for the
first of 3 weeks in 1976. The
song was from his landmark album, Still Crazy After All These Years. A
return to work with Art Garfunkel was evident on the album in the form
of My Little Town, a song that also appeared on Garfunkels
| Van Halen released their impressive debut
album in 1978. Gene Simmons
of Kiss met the band in 1976, but a demo tape he helped produce at
the time went nowhere. A year later, Warner Brothers producer Ted Templeman got
the group signed and took them into the studio to record the eleven track LP,
including a cover of You Really Got Me. The album has since sold over 10
| Pink Floyd began the U.S. portion of The
Wall tour in 1980 when they
gave their first live performance of the new double album at the Sports
Coliseum in Los Angeles. A 30 foot high wall was constructed across the 160
foot stage in the first half of the show, and then following the intermission,
it was thoroughly destroyed. However, by this time in the life and times of
Pink Floyd, Richard Wright was no longer an official member of
the band. Instead he was paid a straight fee for his back-up on the
| Bill Haley died of a heart attack in
1981, at the age of 55. He was
still a big star in Europe and south of the U.S. border, where his Twist
album was the best selling album of all time in Mexico. It was reported
that Haley was getting ready to release a new record of country and
western music when he died in Harlingen, Texas. His last concert was in South
Africa, in April of 1980, at which time he had been suffering from a brain
tumour. Haley has sold over 60 million records.
| Huey Lewis and The News were named the Best
International Group at the fifth annual BRIT Awards in London, in 1986. They were in the middle of a run of
hits that would continue into the early 1990s. The Power of Love from
the Back to the Future soundtrack had given them their first number 1 in
1985, and was followed to the top a year later by Stuck With You, their
| Billy Idol broke an arm and a leg in
1990 when he crashed his
motorcycle. He apparently ran a stop sign and hit a car while in Los Angeles.
The man with the Whiplash Smile was returning from the recording studio
after session work on his next album, Charmed Life.
| Del Shannon committed suicide in 1990, several days after appearing at the
annual Buddy Holly memorial concert in Fargo, North Dakota. A
self-inflicted gunshot wound ended his depression, which he had been fighting
for years. Shannon had just finished recording a new album with the help
of Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne. Rock On! was finally released
a year later, and included the single, Walk Away.
| Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers had their
Greatest Hits album hit number 5 on the U.S. albums chart in 1994, where it peaked for 2 weeks. It
included the newly recorded tracks, Something in the Air (originally a
hit for Thunderclap Newman), and Mary Janes Last Dance. MCA
Records would release Playback, a boxed set, after Petty left the
label and signed with Warner Brothers, now part of AOL.
| Carl Wilson and Falco both died this
week in 1998. Falco had
his best year in 1986 with Rock Me Amadeus at number 1 and Vienna
Calling making it into the top 20. Wilson died of lung cancer, but
also had brain cancer for over a year. He formed The Beach Boys with
brothers Dennis and Brian, and cousin Mike Love, in 1961.
Carl had the lead vocals on God Only Knows, as well as other hits
including Good Vibrations.
| The Isley Brothers had their
Valentines Super Love Jam concert cut an hour short in 2000. While the group was entertaining the
audience at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, police officers returned fire on a
spectator seen shooting into the crowd, killing the suspect. Three other people
were injured, and the concert was finally called to a halt. The Isley
Brothers would see the release of another compilation of their early hits,
Shake It Up, Baby, released by archive specialists Varèse
Sarabande, a month later.
|Barrett Strong (1941) and Al Kooper (Blood, Sweat &
Tears, 1944) were born into
|Fabian (1943), Bob Marley (1945), Natalie Cole (1950) and Axl Rose (1962) had their first Unforgettable
|Sammy Johns wasnt born in the back of a
Chevy Van but it was on this day in 1946.
|The doctor realized that Some Things Dont Come
Easy when Larry Verne (1936), Dan Seals (England Dan & John Ford
Coley, 1948) and Joshua
Kadison (1965) were
|It was One Fine Day when Carole King
(1942) and Barbara Lewis
|Roberta Flack (1939) and Nigel Olsson (Eltons
drummer, 1949) were measured
for their first Dancin Shoes.
|There was a Lotta Lovin when Gene
Vincent (1935), songwriter
Gerry Goffin (1939),
Bobby Boris Pickett (1940) and Sergio Mendes (1941) were born.
|Jesse Belvin died in 1960 in a car accident. Vince Guaraldi died of a
heart attack in 1976. Hugo
Montenegro died at the age of 55 in 1981. Falco died in a car accident in 1998. Carl Wilson died in 1998 of complications from lung and brain
|Dave Peverett (Foghat, Savoy Brown)
died of pneumonia in 2000, at the
age of 56.
|Del Shannon shot himself in 1990. Keith Knudsen, drummer for
The Doobie Brothers, died of pneumonia in 2005. He was 56.
|Bill Haley died from what was assumed to be a
heart attack in 1981. Brian
Connolly (The Sweet) died of a heart attack in 1997. Tyrone Davis died after a
stroke in 2005. He was
|Oliver (William Oliver Swofford) died of cancer
in 2000. He was 54.