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25 - 31

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The Week in Rock 'n' Roll
February 12 - 18
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 E v e n t s Birthdays     Farewells 

 1950s In 1954, Big Joe Turner recorded the original version of the 1950s hit, Shake, Rattle and Roll. Bill Haley and His Comets would have the most success with the song, but Turner had a much bluesier feel on his single, which was also more influential at the time. Big Joe’s powerful voice couldn’t be ignored once he was backed by Atlantic Records around 1951.
 1950s Screamin’ Jay Hawkins recorded I Put a Spell On You in 1956. It was also covered by such bands as CCR, Manfred Mann and The Animals. Hawkins originally tried opera, but didn’t have any luck. Later on, his solo stage shows became quite theatrical, with Screamin’ Jay arising from a coffin, thanks to Alan Freed and the $300 that went along with the suggestion during one of Freed’s Rock and Roll Shows. Hawkins would return to the coffin permanently exactly 44 years later when he died from complications following surgery. Shortly after his death, a web site at www.jayskids.com went up in hopes of tracking down his 57 offspring, only one of whom was in regular contact with Hawkins.
 1950s The Dick Clark Show was launched on U.S. television this week in 1958. Jerry Lee Lewis, Connie Francis, The Royal Teens, Pat Boone and Johnnie Ray made guest appearances on the weekly Saturday night show. It debuted 6 months after the huge success of American Bandstand, and stayed on the air for a little over 2½ years. Clark was a very busy man in the late 1950s and early 1960s, with Bandstand and his weekend show, as well as financial interests in record companies, record manufacturing and artist management. “The world’s oldest teenager” had to slow down though, when the payola scandal hit.
 1960s It wasn’t until 1960 that Elvis Presley earned his first gold award for an album. The self-titled release included songs like Rip It Up and Ready Teddy and was released several years previously.
 1960s The Everly Brothers recorded their last top 10 hit for the Cadence label in 1960, when they finished off When Will I Be Loved. Warner Brothers Records lured them away with a $1 million contract, and soon had a huge hit with Cathy’s Clown. Cadence took advantage of the duo’s momentum and released When Will I Be Loved shortly after, making it another top 10 smash. All the biggest Cadence and Warner hits became available on the same disc for the first time in 1999, when Rhino released their All-Time Original Hits. Many of the tracks on The Very Best of The Everly Brothers from 1964 contained re-recordings.
 1960s Reprise Records, future home to Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, Chicago, Gordon Lightfoot, Fleetwood Mac, Chris Isaak, The Kinks and other rock artists, was created by Frank Sinatra in 1961. At the time it was formed, Ol’ Blue Eyes said that he would never sign any “rock and roll bands” to HIS label, but the almighty dollar proved to be very persuasive. Later on, an attempt was made by the company to transfer all rock acts to the mother ship, Warner Brothers Records, but Neil Young refused. Other, more recent artists releasing material on Reprise Records include Alanis Morissette and The Barenaked Ladies. Three and a half years after the formation of the label, it had its very first U.S. number 1 hit in Dean Martin’s, Everybody Loves Somebody, for a single week in 1964.
 1960s Nat King Cole died in 1965 of lung cancer. He was only 47 years old. Daughter Natalie had just turned 15 the previous week. Nat originally played in jazz bands, on the strength of his piano skills, but when Mona Lisa became a huge hit, he found himself drawn into the world of popular music. Cole kept the hits coming, with songs like A Blossom Fell, Send for Me, Looking Back, Ramblin’ Rose and Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer. The Christmas Song (“chestnuts roasting on an open fire...”), from 1946, is probably his best known song. Cole’s last hit was the 1991 engineered duet with Natalie, Unforgettable.
 1960s The Rolling Stones made another appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, in 1966.
 1960s Jimi Hendrix was presented with a key to the city of Seattle in 1968. He also played a free show for students at Garfield High School. Later in the year Hendrix would release his only top 40 U.S. single, a remake of Bob Dylan’s, All Along the Watchtower. Jimi left Seattle when he was 14, to become a musician, but wasn’t accepted on American soil until he toured the U.K. in 1966 and 1967.
 1960s Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd was fired from the band in 1968, and permanently replaced with David Gilmour. Roger Waters later wrote and dedicated the song, Shine On You Crazy Diamond, to the increasingly unstable, Barrett. It was included on the Wish You Were Here album in nine parts.
 1970s While on tour in the U.K., Joni Mitchell announced in 1970 that she would no longer make any live appearances. She was back on stage by the end of the year. The Who turned the same about face into a routine in the 1980s. In the spring of 1970, she released Ladies of the Canyon, one of her best albums. It included a couple of classic Mitchell tracks, Woodstock and Big Yellow Taxi.
 1970s The Who recorded their Live at Leeds album in 1970, at Leeds University in Yorkshire. It was released a few months later and made the top 5 in both the U.K. and America. A single from the LP, Summertime Blues, also did reasonably well, crawling into the top 40. In 1995, the album was reissued on CD with eight other songs recorded at the concert, but not included on the original album.
 1970s Led Zeppelin was in their prime in 1972 when a concert in Singapore was cancelled. After officials noticed the long hair that group members were sporting, the band wasn’t allowed to leave their plane, and so the concert got canned. Led Zeppelin IV had been released a couple months earlier, and Black Dog was burning up the singles chart.
 1970s Al Green ruled the pop charts in the U.S. this week in 1972 when Let’s Stay Together was at number 1. It began a string of top 10 hits, and soon included Look What You Done for Me, I’m Still in Love With You, You Ought to Be With Me, Call Me, Here I Am and Sha-La-La. All were produced by Willie Mitchell, bandleader and vice president of Hi Records, who signed Green in 1969. But when the soul singer broke with Mitchell, the hits dried up pretty fast. By 1979, Green dedicated his time to being minister of the church he bought a few years before. In 1989, he squeaked back into the top 10 one more time, with a duet with Annie Lennox, Put a Little Love in Your Heart (off the Scrooged soundtrack).
 1970s John and Yoko hosted The Mike Douglas Show this week in 1972 while Douglas had a week’s holiday. Chuck Berry was one of their guests. John Lennon’s, Rock ‘N’ Roll album was released exactly three years later, in 1975. It contained a couple of Chuck Berry songs so that Berry would receive royalties from sales of the album. As a Beatle, Lennon had ripped off several lines of Berry’s, You Can’t Catch Me, and included them in Come Together. As a settlement, Lennon agreed to record and release the songs. An unauthorized version of the album, titled, Roots – John Lennon Sings the Great Rock and Roll Hits, was released in early February, which Lennon had stopped. A single from the album, Stand By Me, hit number 20 in the U.S.
 1970s Pink Floyd tried out some Dark Side of the Moon material, including the song Eclipse, at three performances at the Rainbow Theatre in London, in 1972. This practice of playing live versions of songs yet to be released would soon be stopped by the band, as bootleg copies of their material often appeared before the studio releases.
 1970s Rick Nelson began his first U.K. tour in 1972, long after the hits had dried up. He took his music very seriously, and refused to play the oldies circuit. With his Stone Canyon Band, Nelson preferred the sounds of country-rock, even though it wasn’t what his long-time fans wanted to hear. However, later in the year Nelson returned to the top 10 with Garden Party, his last major hit and the first in over eight years.
 1970s Stevie Wonder jammed with Johnny Winter and Dr. John in 1974. The trio was opening the Bottom Line club in New York. Also appearing were James Taylor, Carly Simon and Mick Jagger.
 1970s Yes played the first of two nights at New York’s Madison Square Garden in 1974. The concert that night had sold out within days of tickets going on sale, and the gig hadn’t even been advertised! Yes had just released the overblown Tales from Topographic Oceans double album.
 1970s Dreamboat Annie peaked at number 36 on the U.K. albums chart in 1977. The previous year, Heart’s debut album made it to number 7 in the U.S., on the strength of the excellent singles, Crazy On You, Magic Man and the title track. The group was originally based in Seattle, but moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, so that manager / sound engineer / boyfriend Mike Fisher wouldn’t be drafted. Heart soon signed with CBS Records, thereby entering into a legal dispute over their follow-up album, Magazine. In the meantime, they issued Little Queen and the hit single, Barracuda.
 1980s Led Zeppelin had their last U.S. ‘hit’ when Fool in the Rain peaked at number 21 in 1980. The song was from their final studio album of new material, In Through the Out Door. It was definitely a change in direction for the group, emphasizing a keyboard sound instead of the guitar-riff rock that made them famous. The album had already hit number 1 all over the world, and was their first studio record since 1976’s, Presence.
 1980s Billy Idol left punk band, Generation X, in 1981 to begin a solo career. He took with him the track, Dancing With Myself, and turned it into a minor hit. A year later, songs like Hot in the City and White Wedding were getting enormous airplay. Several more hits followed throughout the 1980s, including Eyes Without a Face, To Be a Lover and Mony Mony (live). His last album was 1993’s, Cyberpunk, after which he contributed the title track to the 1994 movie, Speed.
 1980s In 1984, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford saw Aerosmith backstage in Boston and agreed to re-join the group. Three years later they would mount one of the biggest comebacks in rock and roll with the release of the Permanent Vacation album, and its singles, Dude (Looks Like a Lady), Angel and Rag Doll. In 1990 this same week, Janie’s Got a Gun hit number 4 on the U.S. singles chart.
 1980s Bon Jovi had their biggest hit when Livin’ On a Prayer made it to number 1 in the U.S. for the first of 4 weeks in 1987. It followed You Give Love a Bad Name straight to the top of the charts, and paved the way for Wanted Dead or Alive (all from the Slippery When Wet album), to crack the top 10 a few months later. The group first squeaked into the top 40 in 1984 with Runaway. Bon Jovi’s string of hits continued into the mid-1990s.
 1990s INXS played a sold out crowd at Madison Square Garden in 1991, as their current single, Disappear, peaked at number 8. It was their last top 10 single in the U.S., and after Not Enough Time barely made it into the top 30, the band disappeared from the singles chart. Disappear was slightly more successful than the lead-off track from their X album, Suicide Blonde.
 1990s The 1993 BRIT Awards named Simply Red best group of the year, and it’s lead singer, Mick Hucknall, Best Male Artist. At the awards show, Hucknall and the boys performed Wonderland, a track from their huge European CD, Stars. Sales of the album had recently topped the 8 million mark.
 1990s In 1994, Celine Dion had her first number 1 hit with, The Power of Love. It was a cover of the Jennifer Rush song from 1984. Many hits have followed, songs like My Heart Will Go On, Because You Loved Me and All By Myself. It has been reported that Dion has sold over 100 million records world-wide, with Falling Into You and Let’s Talk About Love at the 10 million mark in the U.S. and The Colour of My Love at 6 million.
 1990s Songwriter Diane Warren was honoured by the American Society of Composers and Performers in 1995. She was given the Voice of Music Award, which seems rather odd since she hasn’t had any hits singing her own material. It has taken artists like Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Cher, Starship and Aerosmith to have success with Warren’s songs. A few years after her award, Johnny Mathis recorded an entire album of Warren tracks, aptly titled, Because You Loved Me: Songs of Diane Warren.
 1990s Mike + The Mechanics had their re-recorded version of an earlier hit, All I Need is a Miracle ’96, stop at number 27 on the U.K. singles chart in 1996. A greatest Hits package was released shortly after, and climbed to number 3. It was not available in North America, except as an import. The original version of All I Need is a Miracle only made it to number 53 in the U.K., but went top 10 in America, as did their first single, Silent Running.
 
 B i r t h d a y s Events     Farewells 

February 12:
Doors keyboard player, Ray Manzarek, Gene McDaniels (both in 1935) and Steve Hackett (Genesis, 1950), were made from A Hundred Pounds of Clay.
February 13:
Peter Tork (The Monkees, 1944) and Peter Gabriel (1950) began their rise to the Big Time.
February 14:
Rob McConnell (1935) and Tim Buckley (1947) arrived on a Blue Afternoon.
February 15:
John Helliwell (Supertramp, 1945) and Melissa Manchester (1951) exploded into the world like a Cannonball.
February 16:
Bill Doggett (1916) and Sonny Bono (1935) were pretty Soft when they were born.
February 17:
Tommy Edwards (1922), Bobby Lewis (1933) and Gene Pitney (1941) were Tossin’ and Turnin’ during delivery.
February 18:
Yoko Ono (1933), Dennis DeYoung (lead singer of Styx, 1947), Juice Newton (1952) and John Travolta (1954) weren’t born on Summer Nights because it was February.
   
 F a r e w e l l s Events     Birthdays 

February 12:
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins died in 2000 at the age of 70, after complications from surgery.
February 13:
Waylon Jennings died in his sleep in 2002, at the age of 64.
February 14:
Buddy Knox died of cancer in 1999. Mick Tucker, extraordinary drummer for The Sweet, died in 2002 of leukaemia.
February 15:
Nat King Cole died in 1965 of lung cancer. Mike Bloomfield died in 1981 of a drug overdose.
February 16:
Billy Ward died in 2002 at the age of 80. Doris Troy died at the age of 67 in 2004.
February 17:
Billy Cowsill died at the age of 58 in 2006, after suffering from several ailments.

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