| The Louisiana Hayride show was first broadcast in
1948. It came out of radios tuned
to KWKH in Shreveport, Louisiana, and would be a very popular venue to play for
acts like Elvis Presley, Jim Reeves, Hank Williams,
George Jones and others.
| Producer George Martin was promoted to the
Head of A&R (Artists and Repertoire) in 1955 for the Parlophone label, owned by EMI in the U.K. He
recorded many soundtracks and comedy albums before offering
a contract in 1962.
| Frankie Avalons, Venus, had
its last week at number 1 in 1959. Avalon was a child prodigy trumpet player but
got a recording contract with Chancellor Records as a singer. After he had a
few hits under his belt, he was played Venus, an album track offered to
Al Martino. Avalon knew it would be perfect for his next single.
He recorded nine takes, and several weeks later it hit the charts and zoomed to
| The Everly Brothers began their first U.K.
tour in 1960, shortly after
recording Cathys Clown. The Crickets opened for Phil
and Don at Londons New Victoria Theatre.
| The nucleus of The Rolling Stones was
formed when Mick Jagger and Keith Richards met up with Brian
Jones at the Ealing Jazz Club in 1962. The Stones line-up was finalized in January
of 1963, and they would record 5 tracks at the end of the
| On April 4th, 1964,
accomplished something that will never be equalled. They held the top 5
positions on the
singles chart. Cant Buy Me Love was number 1 for its first of 5
weeks, Twist and Shout was at number 2, She Loves You dropped to
number 3, I Want to Hold Your Hand held at number 4 and Please Please
Me stayed at number 5. In Canada they had nine of the top 10 singles.
Another record was established the following week.
| The Trashmen got some bad news in 1964, two months after they had a top 10
hit. Ears perked up when Surfin Bird hit number 4 back in
February, as the song had an air of familiarity about it. A court ruled that
Surfin Bird was just a remake of The Rivingtons,
Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow from 1962.
| Cindy Birdsong, one of Patti
LaBelles Bluebelles, was chosen as a stand-in for Florence Ballard
of The Supremes, after Ballard missed a number of live shows
in New Orleans, Los Angeles and Montreal, Canada, in 1967. Birdsong would become a permanent member
several months later.
| Steve Winwood left The Spencer Davis
Group in 1967, to start
playing in Traffic. Winwood was a veteran of rock and roll at the
age of 18 when he formed the new group with Dave Mason, Jim Capaldi
and Chris Wood. The Spencer Davis Group had welcomed a 15
year old Winwood into its collective back in 1963.
| Frank Sinatra released his signature tune,
My Way (a song converted into English by Paul Anka), in 1969. Sinatra was 53 years old at
the time of its release. My Way went to number 5 in the U.K. and after
dropping down the charts, it just kept coming back for more. The hit re-entered
the British charts another 8 times before the end of 1972, and a ninth time in
1994. Ole Blue Eyes would return to the upper portions of the singles
chart again in 1980 with the Theme from New York, New
| In 1971, Chicago became the first American rock group
to perform at Carnegie Hall. They played six sold out shows and recorded the
concerts for the four-record album, Chicago at Carnegie Hall. It was
their third album to make the top 5 in the U.S.
| Minnie Riperton had her one-hit wonder,
Lovin You, at the top of the U.S. singles chart in 1975. She began recording as part of
The Gems, and then later with Rotary Connection. When it fizzled
in 1970, she retired to Florida to raise a family. Enter Stevie Wonder.
He persuaded her to join his back-up group, Wonderlove, and then
produced a solo album, Perfect Angel. Lovin You was a huge
hit from the album, and she followed it up with another four albums before she
died of cancer in 1979.
| The Clash released their first album in
1977. The single, White
Riot, had already been issued in the U.K., where it reached number 38 on
the singles chart. Their 1991 box set, Clash On Broadway, is highly
recommended, even though their later material became mainstream rock.
Highlights include, Rock the Casbah, London Calling and Train
in Vain (Stand By Me).
| B.B. King was in Norfolk Prison in 1978. He was joined by lawyer F. Lee
Bailey and a camera crew from television's, Good Morning America. King
and Bailey were co-chairmen of Foundation for the Advancement of Inmate
Rehabilitation and Recreation (FAIRR), and dropped by to speak with the
inmates. B.B. had recently released his Midnight Believer album
and also performed a concert for the captive audience.
| Bob The Bear Hite, harmonica
player and vocalist for Canned Heat, died of a heart attack in 1981. His weight hovered around the 300
lb. mark. Hite was only 36 years old. The band had success in the late
1960s and early 1970s with, On the Road Again, Going Up the Country
and Lets Work Together. They performed at the 1967 Monterey
Pop Festival, as well as with John Lee Hooker on the Hooker
N Heat album in 1971. Canned Heat also recorded The
Chipmunk Song with The Chipmunks for the holiday season in
| Danny Rapp, of Danny and The
Juniors, committed suicide in 1983. He led his band onto the charts with At the
Hop, Rock and Roll is Here to Stay and a couple more top 40 hits in
the late 1950s.
| In 1984, 40% of the U.S. top 100 singles were by artists from
the U.K. Phil Collins was the top Brit with his still-climbing
soundtrack hit, Against All Odds, at number 3. Right behind were The
Eurythmics with Here Comes the Rain Again and Miss Me Blind
by Culture Club was at number 7. It seems that even after 20 years,
the British Invasion would still not go away.
| Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by his
father in 1984. Gaye had
just received a Grammy for his hit, Sexual Healing. It was his first top
40 single in 5½ years. Earlier top 10 singles with Motown included
Pride and Joy, How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You, I Heard It
Through the Grapevine, Whats Going On, Mercy Mercy Me,
Lets Get It On and Aint Nothing Like the Real Thing
with Tammi Terrell.
| David Lee Roth quit Van Halen in
1985. Roth had just
released his recording of The Beach Boys, California Girls,
with Carl Wilson on background vocals. The song would do slightly better
than the original, and was a pretty good start to a solo career. Within a year,
Roth was replaced on vocals when Sammy Hagar joined Van
| Gilbert OSullivan won $2 million in a
lawsuit against his manager, in 1985, for unpaid royalties. OSullivan hit the
charts in the early 1970s with the top 10 singles, Alone Again
(Naturally), Clair and Get Down.
| Alice Cooper almost accidentally hanged
himself in 1988, but was rescued
by a roadie. Cooper was rehearsing his act when a safety rope broke and
left him testing the strength of his neck. The title to any one of a number of
his albums seems appropriate in these circumstances: Welcome to My
Nightmare, Alice Cooper Goes to Hell, Constrictor,
Killer, Last Temptation or The Life and Crimes of Alice
Cooper. But its probably Hey Stoopid that says it best. Sorry
| Tina Turner released her double live album,
Tina Live in Europe, in 1988. Two singles were take from the album, Addicted to
Love and A Change is Gonna Come, but neither had much success. The
album also included duets with David Bowie (Tonight and
Lets Dance), Eric Clapton (Tearing Us Apart),
Bryan Adams (Its Only Love) and Robert Cray
| Bonnie Raitts recent collection of
awards at the Grammys boosted sales of her Album of the Year, Nick of
Time, to the number 1 spot in 1990. Raitt would continue into the 1990s with
several more critically acclaimed albums, with Luck of the Draw,
Longing in Their Hearts and Fundamental.
| The soundtrack to Waynes World was
the number 1 album in the U.S. for the first of a couple of weeks in 1992. It promoted the return to the charts
of Queens, Bohemian Rhapsody, making the song a bigger hit
the second time around. Tracks by Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix,
Alice Cooper, as well as a new version of Dream Weaver from
Gary Wright, were also included on the album.
| In 1995, The Eagles had their
Hell Freezes Over, certified with sales of 5 million in the U.S.
Its now up to over 7 million.
| Cozy Powell died in 1998. He had worked with Black
Sabbath, Whitesnake, Rainbow, Peter Green, Jeff
Beck and Emerson, Lake and Powell. Bad weather forced him to lose
control of his car on a highway, and he died a few hours after hitting the
| Tammy Wynette died in 1998. She was best known for the country
standard, Stand By Your Man, as well as her duets with George
Jones. Wynette passed away in her sleep, but there seems to be some
controversy surrounding the exact cause of her death.
|Ronnie Lane (Small Faces, 1946) and Jeff Porcaro
(Toto, 1954) felt like
they were in Itchycoo Park for the first time.
|Marvin Gaye (1939), Leon Russell (1941) and Emmylou Harris (1947) wondered Whats Going On when they came
into the world.
|Jan Berry (Jan & Dean, 1941), Richard Manuel (The
Band, 1943), Tony Orlando
(1944) and Dee Murray
(Elton John Band, 1946) tried their first Baby Talk.
|Muddy Waters (1915), Berry Oakley (The Allman Brothers
Band, 1948) and Gary Moore
(Thin Lizzy, 1952)
came Rollin and Tumblin into the world.
|Well Mamma Mia, Billy Bland (1932) and Agnetha Faltskog
(ABBA, 1950) arrived
on this day.
|Julie Rogers (1943) and Michelle Phillips (The Mamas and
Papas, 1944) heard their
first Words of Love.
|Percy Faith (1908), Billie Holiday (1915), Carol Douglas (1948), John Oates (Hall &
Oates, 1949) and Janis Ian
(1951) each became
|Marvin Gaye was shot to death by his father in
1984. Paul Atkinson
(The Zombies), died of liver and kidney disease in 2004 at the age of 58.
|Drummer extraordinaire, Buddy Rich, died in
1987 at the age of 69. Edwin
Starr died of a heart attack in 2003.
|Sarah Vaughan died of lung cancer in 1990.
|Bob Hite (Canned Heat) died in 1981 of a heart attack. Danny Rapp
(Danny & The Juniors) committed suicide in 1983. Beat poet Allen Ginsberg died
of a heart attack in 1997.
Cozy Powell (Emerson, Lake & Powell) died in a car accident
|Ral Donner died in 1984 of cancer. Tammy Wynette died from a blood
clot in 1998. Niki Sullivan
passed away at the age of 66 in 2004.
|Heinz Burt of The Tornadoes died at the
age of 57 in 2000, after a long
battle with motor neuron disease.