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The Week in Rock 'n' Roll
April 1 - 7
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 E v e n t s Birthdays     Farewells 

 1940s 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.
 1950s 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 The Beatles a contract in 1962.
 1950s Frankie Avalon’s, 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 number 1.
 1960s The Everly Brothers began their first U.K. tour in 1960, shortly after recording Cathy’s Clown. The Crickets opened for Phil and Don at London’s New Victoria Theatre.
 1960s 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 month.
 1960s On April 4th, 1964, The Beatles accomplished something that will never be equalled. They held the top 5 positions on the Billboard singles chart. Can’t 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.
 1960s 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.
 1960s Cindy Birdsong, one of Patti LaBelle’s 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.
 1960s 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.
 1960s 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 York.
 1970s 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.
 1970s 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.
 1970s 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).
 1970s 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.
 1980s 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 Let’s 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 1968.
 1980s 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.
 1980s 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.
 1980s 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, What’s Going On, Mercy Mercy Me, Let’s Get It On and Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing with Tammi Terrell.
 1980s 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 Halen.
 1980s Gilbert O’Sullivan won $2 million in a lawsuit against his manager, in 1985, for unpaid royalties. O’Sullivan hit the charts in the early 1970s with the top 10 singles, Alone Again (Naturally), Clair and Get Down.
 1980s 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 it’s probably Hey Stoopid that says it best. Sorry Alice.
 1980s 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 Let’s Dance), Eric Clapton (Tearing Us Apart), Bryan Adams (It’s Only Love) and Robert Cray (634-5789).
 1990s Bonnie Raitt’s 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.
 1990s The soundtrack to Wayne’s 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 Queen’s, 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.
 1990s In 1995, The Eagles had their MTV live album, Hell Freezes Over, certified with sales of 5 million in the U.S. It’s now up to over 7 million.
 1990s 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 centre divider.
 1990s 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.
 
 B i r t h d a y s Events     Farewells 

April 1:
Ronnie Lane (Small Faces, 1946) and Jeff Porcaro (Toto, 1954) felt like they were in Itchycoo Park for the first time.
April 2:
Marvin Gaye (1939), Leon Russell (1941) and Emmylou Harris (1947) wondered What’s Going On when they came into the world.
April 3:
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.
April 4:
Muddy Waters (1915), Berry Oakley (The Allman Brothers Band, 1948) and Gary Moore (Thin Lizzy, 1952) came Rollin’ and Tumblin’ into the world.
April 5:
Well Mamma Mia, Billy Bland (1932) and Agnetha Faltskog (ABBA, 1950) arrived on this day.
April 6:
Julie Rogers (1943) and Michelle Phillips (The Mamas and Papas, 1944) heard their first Words of Love.
April 7:
Percy Faith (1908), Billie Holiday (1915), Carol Douglas (1948), John Oates (Hall & Oates, 1949) and Janis Ian (1951) each became Society’s Child.
   
 F a r e w e l l s Events     Birthdays 

April 1:
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.
April 2:
Drummer extraordinaire, Buddy Rich, died in 1987 at the age of 69. Edwin Starr died of a heart attack in 2003.
April 3:
Sarah Vaughan died of lung cancer in 1990.
April 5:
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 in 1998.
April 6:
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.
April 7:
Heinz Burt of The Tornadoes died at the age of 57 in 2000, after a long battle with motor neuron disease.

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