| 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 Moondogs 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 Aint 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
| 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 1996s, 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.
| 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
| Rock and roll pioneer, Eddie Cochran,
entered the U.K. charts in 1959
with Cmon Everybody, his last top 40 hit. He first gained
attention with 1957s, 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 Cant Help
It. His much covered song, Twenty Flight Rock is from that
| 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
. 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
anyones first album. Dylan would legally change his name from
Robert Zimmerman later in the year.
| In His Own Write, John Lennons first
book, was published in 1964. If
you havent read it, youre 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.
| 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.
| In 1969, Peter Brown called to say, you can make it
O.K., you can get married in Gibraltar near Spain. You know it aint
easy... So thats what John and Yoko did.
| 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 Goats 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.
| 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.
| 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
| 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.
| Bob Dylans song, Hurricane,
caused enough publicity to get Rubin Hurricane Carter released from
jail in 1976. The song promoted
Carters innocence and is from the 1975 album, Desire. A movie
about Carters life, starring Denzel Washington, was released in
| 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). Frees claim to fame was the rocker, All Right
| 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 Hearts live performance would later appear on a
two LP set. They also played the hits, Heartless, Magic Man,
Crazy On You and Barracuda.
| 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
DAmour. In fact, Roxanne had to be re-released before it
eventually charted. Shortly after, Cant Stand Losing You was
issued as a follow-up single.
| Ozzy Osbournes 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 Osbournes band when it was
formed in 1980. Ozzy split from Black Sabbath in the late
| 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
| 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.
| Heart earned their first number 1 hit in
the U.S. when These Dreams toppled Starships Sara for a
week in 1986. These Dreams
was co-written by Bernie Taupin (Elton Johns 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.
| 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
| 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,
| 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.
| The Black Crowes were turfed from a tour
with ZZ Top in 1991. Lead
singer, Chris Robinson, had repeatedly criticized ZZ Tops
tour sponsor during concerts, and after several warnings, refused to back
| 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.
| Papa John Phillips died in 2001. Its 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.
|Wilson Pickett (1941), Barrie Wilson (Procol Harum, 1947) and John Hartman (The
Doobies, 1950) were delivered
in the Midnight Hour.
|Ruth Pointer (1946) and Bruce Willis (1955) were guided into the world by a Slow
|Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer
drummer, 1947) and Stevie
Rays brother, Jimmy Vaughan (1951), were born under a Black Moon.
|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.
|George Benson (1943), Keith Relf (The Yardbirds, 1943) and Jeremy Clyde (Chad
& Jeremy, 1944) were
products of The Greatest Love of All.
|It was Touch and Go when Ric Ocasek
(The Cars, 1949) and
Chaka Khan (1953) were
|Lee Oskar (War, 1948) and Nick Lowe (1949) came into this Galaxy.
|John Phillips (The Mamas and The Papas)
died of heart failure in 2001 at
the age of 65.
|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.
|Conor Clapton, four year old son of Eric,
died from a fall in 1991.
|Dean Martin Jr. (Dino, Desi, & Billy)
died in 1987 in a jet crash.
Johnny Bristol died at the age of 65 in 2004.
|Mark Dinning died of a heart attack in 1986. Foghat guitarist, Rod
Price, died after a fall in 2005.
|Harold Melvin died in 1997 of a stroke.