| LaVern Baker wrote a letter in 1955 to the U.S. Congress with her
concerns about the state of popular music. The current copyright act allowed
(and still does allow), other acts to cover a previously recorded song using
the same arrangement. Baker wasnt pleased that white acts like
Pat Boone and The Crew Cuts were having huge hits with their
versions of R&B songs. She had a number of minor hits, but none were
re-recorded by white artists. Five years later, Baker tried to reclaim
Wheel of Fortune, a huge hit for Kay Starr that was borrowed from
The Cardinals, and songwriters Claude Benjamin and David
| In 1955, sales of 45 rpm records finally outsold 78s. (Ask
your parents if youre confused by this.) The newer, smaller stereo
singles invented by RCA Records would sell for over 35 years. They were 7
inches in diameter, but beginning in the 1980s, some 12 inch singles containing
extended and rare versions of songs as B-sides would also play at 45
| Slim Whitman, U.K. record holder for the
single staying at number 1 for the most consecutive weeks (until Bryan
Adams, (Everything I Do) I Do it For You), began his first
British tour in 1956. Whitman
was a country and western singer known for his yodelling, and never had a
number 1 hit in the U.S., where he was born and raised. He was invited to
Wembley stadium by Adams in 1991 after the longevity record was
| Chess Records released two important singles in
1957, with I Got My Mojo
Working by Muddy Waters and School Day by Chuck Berry.
Berrys song would become his second top 10 hit, after
Maybellene from 1955. (In between, Roll Over Beethoven
wasnt as successful, barely making the top 30 the previous year.)
Waters recording didnt even reach the top 100, but it did
become a classic blues track, and was even the subject of a Mike Myers movie
from 1999, based around the James Bond-like character, Austin
| In 1958, Buddy Holly and The Crickets began their only
U.K. tour. They played 25 dates, with two performances per night. The first
show was at the Trocadero in London, and they finished up a little over 3 weeks
later at the Gaumont Theatre. A couple of TV appearances were also made, one on
the Sunday Night at the London Palladium variety show and the other on the Off
the Record show with Jack Payne.
| Notable number 1 hits on February 29th
include Theme From A Summer Place (Percy Faith, 1960), I Want to Hold Your Hand
Love is Blue (Paul Mauriat, 1968), Without You (Nilsson, 1972), Crazy Little Thing Called Love
(Queen, 1980), Jump
(Van Halen, 1984) and
To Be With You (Mr. Big, 1992).
| Pony Time became Chubby Checkers
second number 1 hit. It was also his biggest, unless of course you consider
that The Twist returned to number 1 a second time in 1962. Pony Time
stayed at the top for 3 weeks in 1961 and is similar to Hank Ballard and The
Midnighters, Sexy Ways.
| Betty Everett jumped onto the singles chart
with The Shoop Shoop Song in 1964. It would eventually hit number 6, much higher
than the version by Cher in 1990 for the movie, Mermaids. Everett
would do a little better later in the year with Let It Be Me, a duet
with Jerry Butler.
| Jimmy Page released his only solo single
days, in 1965. It was titled, She Just Satisfies, and may be
found on the Session Man Volume 1 CD from 1989. Page was also
busy back then doing session work for many other artists (including Brenda
Lee), before joining The Yardbirds.
| Buffalo Springfield was formed in 1966 by Stephen Stills, Neil
Young, Richie Furay, Bruce Palmer and Dewey Martin.
They split up in 1968, after releasing such greats as, For What Its
Worth, Burned, Mr. Soul, Broken Arrow and Kind Woman.
Stills soon joined forces with David Crosby of The Byrds
and Graham Nash of The Hollies. Neil Young recorded
and toured with Crosby, Stills & Nash on several occasions, and also
released many solo albums. Richie Furay met up with Jim Messina
and Randy Meisner to create Poco in 1968. Martin later
toured as Buffalo Springfield with several sidemen. Palmer
dropped out of sight and played the sitar for ten years. He must have had
| Engelbert Humperdincks, Release
Me, was number 1 in the U.K. in 1967, preventing the double A-sided, Penny Lane /
Strawberry Fields Forever from becoming
12th top hit. It seems just as odd that in Q
Magazine, U.K. fans voted the Penny Lane / Strawberry Fields Forever
single number 2 of all time, behind Nirvanas, Smells Like
Teen Spirit. So if the single never made it to number 1, how could it beat
| Frankie Lymon died in 1968. He overdosed at the age of 25 in his
grandmothers New York home, the day before a scheduled recording session
for Roulette Records. Lymon was on leave from a Georgia army post at the
time. Along with The Teenagers, he broke through in 1956 with Why Do
Fools Fall in Love, while he was just 13.
| The Association earned their last top 10
hit in the U.S. when Everything That Touches You made it in 1968. Another track from the Birthday
album was the underrated, Time for Livin, which would barely
make the top 40 later in the year, and ended the groups chart success in
both the U.K. and America. Everything That Touches You was written by
band member, Terry Kirkman, as was their first number 1,
| It was Slades, Cum On Feel the
Noize in 1973, that was the
first single to debut at number 1 in the U.K. after the split of
. Slade was a glam rock band that formed in the 1960s and
went on to become a British phenomenon in the early seventies. They finally had
success in the U.S. when Run Runaway made the top 20 in 1984, shortly
after Quiet Riot took Cum On Feel the Noize into the American top
| Neil Diamond won the award for the Best
Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or TV Special with
Jonathan Livingston Seagull at the 1974 Grammys. This honour is even more amazing considering
that he was up against Bob Dylan for Pat Garrett and Billy the
Kid, and George Martin and Paul and Linda McCartney with the Live
and Let Die soundtrack. Diamonds album also won a Golden Globe
award. In 1980, he released another motion picture soundtrack, The Jazz
Singer, and although it didnt win any awards, the album did go on to
be his biggest seller with over 5 million copies in the U.S.
| Terry Jacks had the top song in the U.S.
when his one-hit wonder earned him a pile of money in 1974, eventually selling over 11½ million copies
world-wide. Jacks had left The Poppy Family in 1970, wanting to
leave the pressures of recording and touring far behind. A couple years later,
The Beach Boys asked for his help in a recording session and Jacks
recommended that the group record a song by composer, Jacques Brel, titled
Le Moribund (The Dying Man). It was a song that The Kingston Trio
had issued as their last single for Capitol Records in 1964, from the
Time to Think album. But even though The Beach Boys agreed to
record the track, they decided not to release it. The English translation of
the song was titled, Seasons in the Sun, and stayed at number 1 for
three weeks, beginning on March 2nd, 1974. Jacks hit
version is currently available on countless collections from the 1970s,
including 1974 Seasons in the Sun.
| The Eagles had their first number 1 hit in
the U.S. (and first million seller) when Best of My Love went to the top
in 1975. Previous hits had
included Take It Easy (number 12), Witchy Woman (number 9),
Peaceful Easy Feeling (number 22) and Already Gone (number 32).
Many hits would soon follow, as The Eagles virtually owned the airwaves
during the second half of the 1970s. Their earlier albums had more of a country
feel to them because their record producer thought they would have more success
with a mellower sound. But really, Glenn Frey, Don Henley and
company just wanted to rock, and they won out by the time Hotel California
was released in 1976.
| In 1980
this week, police at Mason City headquarters discovered a file containing
Buddy Hollys glasses and a watch owned by The Big Bopper,
that were found in the wreckage of their plane crash in 1959. Hollys
cuff links worn during the crash had already been presented to Paul
McCartney back in 1976, when the first Buddy Holly Week was held.
McCartney began organizing the annual celebration five years after he
purchased the rights to Hollys song publishing.
| In 1981, The Tourists split up, resulting in members,
Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox, creating The Eurythmics.
Two and a half years later they hit number 1 with the single, Sweet
Dreams, their only chart topper. 1989s, We Too Are One, was
arguably their best. It contained the song, Angel, which Lennox
re-recorded for the Diana, Princess of Wales: Tribute
| In 1986, a full ten years after the incredible success of
Frampton Comes Alive!, Peter Framptons latest single,
Lying, peaked at a disappointing number 74 in the U.S. It was an
excellent track from a strong album that unfairly earned very little attention.
Other strong songs from Premonition include Stop, All Eyes On
You and Call of the Wild. The good news was that Framptons
best studio album was still to come. His self-titled effort in 1994 was
| In 1987,
finally made it onto CD.
| In 1988, Linda Ronstadt won her third Grammy. It was
for Best Country Vocal by a Duo or Group for her contribution to the Trio
album, with Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris. The follow-up
album by the three country divas was released in February 1999 and is titled,
Trio II. It features a cover of Neil Youngs classic,
After the Gold Rush, which both Ronstadt and Parton had
previously recorded on solo albums.
| James Brown was released on parole in
1991 after spending more than 2
years of a six year jail sentence. He had been found guilty of carrying a gun,
persistent drug abuse and had led police on a car chase through two U.S. states
before his imminent arrest. The Godfather of Soul announced a new album
and tour upon his discharge, and stated, I feel
| Neil Young and Steve Martin (!)
backed Simon and Garfunkel at a 1993 benefit for the Los Angeles Childrens Health
Project. Young sang background vocals and played electric guitar on
The Sounds of Silence. He also performed a solo set. Martin had just
appeared in the Leap of Faith movie, also starring Meat Loaf, while
Young had just released his Harvest sequel, Harvest
| Hootie & The Blowfish took home some
hardware at the Grammys in 1996.
The group from South Carolina won for Best New Artist and Best Pop Group Vocal
Performance for Let Her Cry.
| Dusty Springfield died in 1999 of breast cancer, after a five year
battle that finally took its toll. Originally singing with The
Springfields, Dusty was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
less than 2 weeks after she passed away at the age of 59. Hits like I Only
Want to Be With You, Stay Awhile, Wishin and
Hopin, You Dont Have to Say You Love Me and Son of a
Preacher Man brought Springfield international attention in the
1960s. Her final album of original recordings was A Very Fine Love from
1995, on which she duets with Daryl Hall of Hall and
|The Fat Man, Fats (Antoine) Domino
(1928) was given a Whole
Lotta Loving. On the same day, there was Time, Love and Tenderness
for Johnny Cash (1932), Paul Cotton (Poco, 1943), Bob The Bear Hite
(Canned Heat, 1945),
Mitch Ryder (1945),
Sandie Shaw (1947), Jim
Crichton (Saga, 1953)
and heavy metal artist, Michael Bolton (1954). (Just wanted to see if you were paying
|Guy Mitchell (1927) and Journeyman, Neal Schon (1954), were subjected to a lot of
Lovin, Touchin, Squeezin.
|Joe South (1940), Rolling Stone Brian Jones (1942) and Philip Gould (Level
42, 1957) began their
Lessons in Love on this day.
|Everybody was saying, Gimme Jimmy, when Jimmy
Dorsey arrived in 1904.
|Glenn Miller (1904) and Roger Daltrey (The Who, 1944) arrived on the Magic
|It seemed like Only Yesterday that Lou Reed
(1942), Rory Gallagher
(1948), Eddie Money
(1949), Karen Carpenter
(1950) and Jon Bon Jovi
(1962) were born.
|Jennifer Warnes (1947) and Robyn Hitchcock (1953) were born at the Right Time of the
|Frankie Lymon died of a drug overdose in 1968. Bobby Bloom died in an
accidental shooting in 1974.
|Dusty Springfield died of breast cancer in
1999. Hank Ballard died in
2003 of throat cancer.