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The Week in Rock 'n' Roll
March 18 - 24
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 E v e n t s Birthdays     Farewells 

 1950s Alan Freed, the American D.J. who coined the term “rock and roll”, had his 1952 Rock ‘n’ Roll Stage Show at a local arena cancelled when 30000 fans overcrowded the venue. Fire regulations allowed only 10000. Freed had a regular radio programme he called Moondog’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Party. It was unique in that he was one of the first radio personalities playing black music to white audiences. It was around the time when black artists like Fats Domino and doo wop groups such as The Chords had their songs recorded by white artists, who ended up having the bigger hits. Pat Boone and The Crew Cuts were guilty of making syrupy versions of Ain’t That a Shame, Long Tall Sally, Sh-boom, Earth Angel and many others. Freed had to drop the name, Moondog, after its originator, Louis Hardin, sued. Hardin had been using the name in New York since 1947. More recently, in 1997, Moondog released Sax Pax for a Sax, his first album in 26 years. He died in 1999.
 1950s Carl Perkins was injured in a 1956 car accident on the way to New York to appear on the Perry Como Show. Perkins’ brother, Jay, was killed when their car hit a pick-up truck. Blue Suede Shoes was climbing the charts at the time. Carl Perkins’ last CD released before his death was 1996’s, Go Cat Go. It features duets with the best in the business, including John Fogerty, Tom Petty, Paul Simon, George Harrison, Bono / Johnny Cash / Willie Nelson, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. Other “tribute” tracks include separate versions of Blue Suede Shoes by both Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon.
 1950s Elvis Presley enlisted for the compulsory 2 years service in the U.S. army in 1958. He had accumulated enough recordings so that a steady stream of new releases was still possible while The King was serving.
 1950s Rock and roll pioneer, Eddie Cochran, entered the U.K. charts in 1959 with C’mon Everybody, his last top 40 hit. He first gained attention with 1957’s, Sittin’ in the Balcony, and then followed it up in 1958 with his classic, Summertime Blues. Cochran also appeared in several movies, including The Girl Can’t Help It. His much covered song, Twenty Flight Rock is from that movie.
 1960s Bob Dylan released his debut album in 1962. His self-titled effort contained his rendition of House of the Rising Sun, which The Animals soon turned into a huge hit. Another track In My Time of Dying, would be picked up by Led Zeppelin. In addition, several other songs from the album also relate to the subject of death, with Fixin’ to Die, See That My Grave is Kept Clean and Man of Constant Sorrow. Hardly uplifting for anyone’s first album. Dylan would legally change his name from Robert Zimmerman later in the year.
 1960s In His Own Write, John Lennon’s first book, was published in 1964. If you haven’t read it, you’re not missing anything. Its 79 pages mostly make fun of invalids and other less fortunate people. Crude drawings made by the cynical Beatle help fill out the pages.
 1960s The Motown review tour played the first of 21 U.K. performances in 1965. Stevie Wonder, Martha and The Vandellas, The Supremes, The Miracles and The Temptations all took part in the twice-daily shows that were scheduled over a span of four weeks. Just days before the live gigs began, these very popular R&B acts were videotaped for The Sound of Tamla-Motown television special.
 1960s In 1969, “Peter Brown called to say, you can make it O.K., you can get married in Gibraltar near Spain. You know it ain’t easy...” So that’s what John and Yoko did.
 1970s David Bowie married Mary Angela Barnett in 1970. They were both 30 minutes late. Angie became the subject of The Rolling Stones’ hit in 1973, from the Goat’s Head Soup album that also contained Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) and the controversial song, Star Star. Bowie had just released the single, The Prettiest Star, written especially for Barnett, at the time of their nuptials. It would also show up a few years later on his Aladdin Sane album.
 1970s The Guess Who released their biggest hit, American Woman, this week in 1970. Randy Bachman left the band four months later because of religious conflicts with the rock and roll lifestyle. Burton Cummings carried the band until 1975.
 1970s Janis Joplin hit number 1 in 1971 with Me and Bobby McGee, a song written by Kris Kristofferson. She had died the previous October, but her Pearl album was released shortly after. It contained her only top 40 hit, as well as a couple other Janis classics, Cry Baby and Mercedes Benz.
 1970s A fan at a 1973 concert rushed the stage and bit Lou Reed on the butt. The Buffalo resident screamed, “Leather!” as he charged past security to get to his victim.
 1970s Bob Dylan’s song, Hurricane, caused enough publicity to get Rubin “Hurricane” Carter released from jail in 1976. The song promoted Carter’s innocence and is from the 1975 album, Desire. A movie about Carter’s life, starring Denzel Washington, was released in 2000.
 1970s Free guitarist, Paul Kossoff, died of heart failure (likely caused by his heroin dependency), in 1976. He was on a flight across the U.S. at the time, and just months before had returned to playing on stage with his Back Street Crawler band. Lead singer, Paul Rodgers, went on to form Bad Company with Free drummer Simon Kirke, Boz Burrell (from King Crimson) and Mick Ralphs (Mott the Hoople). Free’s claim to fame was the rocker, All Right Now.
 1970s Heart joined Ted Nugent, Bob Welch, Dave Mason, Aerosmith, Santana and others at the California Jam 2 concert in 1978. The Love Alive and Little Queen tracks from Heart’s live performance would later appear on a two LP set. They also played the hits, Heartless, Magic Man, Crazy On You and Barracuda.
 1970s The Police signed with A&M Records for the release of Roxanne in 1978. The group came out of the new wave / punk / reggae movements in the U.K., but it would take more than a year for them to break through with Roxanne and its parent album, Outlandos D’Amour. In fact, Roxanne had to be re-released before it eventually charted. Shortly after, Can’t Stand Losing You was issued as a follow-up single.
 1980s Ozzy Osbourne’s rhythm guitarist, Randy Rhoads, was killed in a plane crash in 1982, in Florida. It happened during a tour that had begun in January, and later continued when Bernie Torme filled in. Rhoads left Quiet Riot to work with Osbourne’s band when it was formed in 1980. Ozzy split from Black Sabbath in the late ’70s.
 1980s Teddy Pendergrass was involved in a car accident in 1982 that left him paralyzed from the neck down. He had been in the bands, The Cadillacs and Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes before going solo in 1977.
 1980s Billy Joel married Christie Brinkley in 1985. They met in 1982 in a piano bar while Joel was on vacation. She appeared in the video for the number 3 hit, Uptown Girl, from his An Innocent Man album. The couple was divorced in 1994.
 1980s Heart earned their first number 1 hit in the U.S. when These Dreams toppled Starship’s Sara for a week in 1986. These Dreams was co-written by Bernie Taupin (Elton John’s lyricist), and had Nancy Wilson on lead vocals, instead of sister Ann. The song was the third single off their 1985 self-titled comeback album. What About Love and Never had already been in the top 10, and Nothin’ at All would soon follow.
 1980s Mark Dinning died of a heart attack in 1986. He had a huge 1960 hit with Teen Angel, written by his sister, Jeannie. Mark continued performing throughout the 1960s, but felt his lack of success was because, “groups were in and singles were out,” once the British Invasion took over. He died just after returning home from a club appearance in Jefferson City, Missouri.
 1990s Black Velvet was at the top of the U.S. singles chart in 1990. The song was from Canadian, Alannah Myles, and written by VJ, Christopher Ward. He was in Memphis, Tennessee, covering the 10th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley and embedded some of the local atmosphere and history into the song. Black Velvet hung on at number 1 for 2 weeks, and was followed into the top 40 by an even stronger track, Love Is.
 1990s Eric Clapton lost his son, Conor, in 1991. The 4 year old climbed out an open window and fell to his death. Clapton vented some of his grief in the number 2 hit from 1992, Tears in Heaven, included on the Rush soundtrack. The song won three Grammys.
 1990s The Black Crowes were turfed from a tour with ZZ Top in 1991. Lead singer, Chris Robinson, had repeatedly criticized ZZ Top’s tour sponsor during concerts, and after several warnings, refused to back down.
 2000s The Kiss of Death took its toll when a fan died at a concert in 2000. During a performance of God of Thunder, a thirty-six year old man moved into an off-limits area at a Kiss concert, and fell backwards onto a cement floor. Kiss had just begun their farewell tour.
 2000s Papa John Phillips died in 2001. It’s amazing he lived as long as he did. There are very few rock artists that have survived the amount of drug abuse Phillips managed to withstand. His heart finally gave out at a California medical centre, but his music would live on. Less than a month later, Phillips’ long lost album from the late seventies, Pay Pack and Follow, would be released. And later in the year, new recordings on Phillips 66, including a new version of California Dreamin’, were issued.
 
 B i r t h d a y s Events     Farewells 

March 18:
Wilson Pickett (1941), Barrie Wilson (Procol Harum, 1947) and John Hartman (The Doobies, 1950) were delivered in the Midnight Hour.
March 19:
Ruth Pointer (1946) and Bruce Willis (1955) were guided into the world by a Slow Hand.
March 20:
Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer drummer, 1947) and Stevie Ray’s brother, Jimmy Vaughan (1951), were born under a Black Moon.
March 21:
Otis Spann (1930), Ray Dorset (a.k.a. Mungo Jerry, 1946) and Roger Hodgson (formerly of Supertramp, 1950) arrived In the Eye of the Storm.
March 22:
George Benson (1943), Keith Relf (The Yardbirds, 1943) and Jeremy Clyde (Chad & Jeremy, 1944) were products of The Greatest Love of All.
March 23:
It was Touch and Go when Ric Ocasek (The Cars, 1949) and Chaka Khan (1953) were delivered.
March 24:
Lee Oskar (War, 1948) and Nick Lowe (1949) came into this Galaxy.
   
 F a r e w e l l s Events     Birthdays 

March 18:
John Phillips (The Mamas and The Papas) died of heart failure in 2001 at the age of 65.
March 19:
Paul Kossoff (Free guitarist) died of a drug induced heart attack in 1976. Randy Rhoads (Ozzy Osbourne band) died in a plane accident in 1982.
March 20:
Conor Clapton, four year old son of Eric, died from a fall in 1991.
March 21:
Dean Martin Jr. (Dino, Desi, & Billy) died in 1987 in a jet crash. Johnny Bristol died at the age of 65 in 2004.
March 22:
Mark Dinning died of a heart attack in 1986. Foghat guitarist, Rod Price, died after a fall in 2005.
March 24:
Harold Melvin died in 1997 of a stroke.

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