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The Week in Rock 'n' Roll
April 8 - 14
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 E v e n t s Birthdays     Farewells 

 1950s Elvis Presley used the back-up vocal group, The Jordanaires, for the first time, in 1956. They recorded I Want You I Need You I Love You in a three hour session that would normally complete four songs. Elvis had played in Texas the night before, and flew to Nashville especially for the one day recording engagement. Gordon Stoker led The Jordanaires trio that was heard supporting The King until 1970.
 1950s Buddy Knox was at the top of his game when he appeared at the first of ten shows collectively known as the 1957 Rock ’n’ Roll Easter Jubilee. The concert series was presented by Alan Freed at Brooklyn’s Paramount Theater, and also featured Bo Diddley, The Penguins and Charlie Gracie. In addition, Knox was dominating the singles chart this week with Party Doll, a song immediately covered by other artists. Steve Lawrence took his version to number 5, while Wingy Manone and Roy Brown never reached the top half of the 100 best singles with the song. The (Rhythm) Orchids featured Jimmy Bowen and Knox as the group’s leaders, playing bass and guitar, respectively, and writing most of the band’s material, including Party Doll. Hula Love gave Knox another top 10 hit later in the year.
 1950s Male folk/gospel singer, Laurie London, took over the number 1 spot in the U.S. with his song, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, in 1958. London recorded the track when he was only 13, in London, England, making him one of the earliest members of the British Invasion.
 1960s Bob Dylan made his solo performance debut when he opened for John Lee Hooker in 1961. It was held at Gerde’s Folk City in New York, where Dylan also met Joan Baez for the first time. He strummed songs that would appear almost a year later on his debut album, including House of the Rising Sun and Song to Woody. Dylan would record the album later in the year, after appearing on songs by Carolyn Hester and Harry Belafonté.
 1960s Stuart Sutcliffe died of a brain hemorrhage in 1962. He was The Beatles’ bass player before being replaced by Paul McCartney in 1961. Sutcliffe often played with his back to the stage so that people wouldn’t notice that he couldn’t play very well. His girlfriend, Astrid Kirchherr, created The Beatle haircut for Stu, and John and Paul followed soon after. Sutcliffe can be heard on very early Beatle tracks included on Anthology 1.
 1960s Jan Berry of Jan and Dean was left paralyzed in a car accident in 1966. The duo had hits from 1958 through 1966 with Jennie Lee, Baby Talk, Surf City, Drag City, Dead Man’s Curve, The Little Old Lady (from Pasadena) and Popsicle. They attempted a comeback in 1978 after the biographical movie, Dead Man’s Curve, was shown on TV. Dean Torrence was the older half of the surf duo.
 1960s Rock Around the Clock climbed back into the top 20 in the U.K. in 1968. Bill Haley and His Comets supported the return hit with a three week tour shortly after, stopping at the Royal Albert Hall in London along the way. Duane Eddy was also on the tour.
 1970s Whole Lotta Love, Led Zeppelin’s only top 10 hit was granted gold status by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the U.S. in 1970. Tina Turner did an interesting version of the song in 1975 for her Acid Queen album. Zep later charted with The Immigrant Song, Black Dog, D’Yer Maker, Trampled Under Foot and Fool in the Rain. Stairway to Heaven was never released as a single.
 1970s Josephine Baker died of a stroke in 1975 at the age of 68. She was a famous stage performer in France in the 1920s, and had also made several recordings. Baker came from St. Louis but became known in Paris for her vaudevillian theatrics, and eventually opened her own club, Chez Josephine. She returned to the U.S. in the 1930s, and did some film work, rubbing shoulders with Bob Hope and more of Hollywood’s best.
 1970s 1960s folk hero, Phil Ochs, committed suicide in 1976. He hanged himself at his sister’s house in New York.
 1970s Frampton Comes Alive! finally hit number 1 on the U.S. albums chart, in 1976. It would beat out the competition for 10 weeks, but nonconsecutively. The double, live album did battle with the biggest names in rock ‘n’ roll for the top spot over the following six months. Albums like The Eagles’ Greatest Hits, Wings at the Speed of Sound, Led Zeppelin’s Presence, Black and Blue from The Rolling Stones, George Benson’s Breezin’, Fleetwood Mac’s self titled album and Songs in the Key of Life would all share the spotlight with Peter Frampton’s classic effort recorded at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. Frampton Comes Alive! set the standard for live albums and is still the best selling live album of all time, moving over 25 million copies.
 1970s Stevie Wonder signed a $13 million deal with Motown in 1976. It was the largest music renewal contract to date. Wonder kept his part of the deal with his next release, Songs in the Key of Life. It yielded the hits, Sir Duke and I Wish. Another classic song from the album, Isn’t She Lovely, was never released as a single. Wonder has since had half a dozen, top 10 hits.
 1970s ABBA earned their only number 1 U.S. hit when Dancing Queen went to the top in 1977. It was their fourth in the U.K., and the first of several popular songs from the Arrival album, which also included Knowing Me, Knowing You and Money, Money, Money. They would make it into the top 10 in America a couple more times before they faded in the early ’80s. Dancing Queen stole the limelight for a week in between hits by Hall and Oates (Rich Girl) and David Soul (Don’t Give Up On Us).
 1980s In 1982, David Crosby was arrested again on drug and weapons charges. Crosby got hooked on cocaine after the death of his girlfriend. His luck soon changed however, when he joined up with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash for the CSN Daylight Again album later in the year. It would also return them to the top 10 of the U.S. singles chart for the first time in 5 years when Wasted On the Way hit number 9. It was followed into the top 20 by Southern Cross a couple of months later.
 1980s The man who gave us Rainy Night in Georgia, Brook Benton, died in 1988 of complications from spinal meningitis. He was 56. Benton wrote several of his own songs, including It’s Just a Matter of Time and Endlessly, as well as other late 1950s hits like Looking Back (Nat King Cole), A Lover’s Question (Clyde McPhatter) and The Stroll (The Diamonds).
 1980s REM left IRS Records for Warner Brothers in 1988. The group had hits with It’s the End of the World as We Know It and The One I Love in 1987, before the Green album took off in the fall of 1988. Green contained the singles, Stand, Orange Crush and Get Up. Drummer, Bill Berry, recently left the band and was impressed with Up, the band’s first album without him.
 1980s In 1989 B.B. King made it into the top 10 in the U.K. with U2 and the song, When Love Comes to Town. A very inferior version of the track can be found on King’s 1991, Live At the Apollo. Go for the original recording, which is on B.B.’s Greatest Hits from 1998. It also contains his breakthrough song from 1970, The Thrill is Gone.
 1990s Elton John acted as a pall bearer at the Indianapolis funeral of AIDS victim, Ryan White, in 1990. John also performed Skyline Pigeon, a song from his 1969 solo album, Empty Sky. Days before, he had dedicated his Farm Aid IV performance of Candle in the Wind to White.
 1990s Willie Nelson entered the U.S. albums chart at number 75 in 1993 with his excellent Across the Borderline album. Highlights of the more rock oriented release include Still is Still Moving to Me, American Tune, Don’t Give Up and I Love the Life I Live. He had help on the album from the always reliable Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Bonnie Raitt. Nelson switched record labels for his next album, Moonlight Becomes You.
 1990s The paparazzi were the good guys in 1998 when they rescued a floating Stone. After the 1997 death of Princess Diana, paparazzi in general were not very popular anywhere in the world. But when Ron Wood of The Rolling Stones was in trouble, journalists came to his aid. Wood was exploring islands near Rio de Janeiro in a small boat when one of the engines caught fire. There were ten other passengers saved as well, a couple of days before The Rolling Stones played two dates in Brazil on their current Bridges to Babylon tour.
 1990s Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers made an appearance on Saturday Night Live in New York, in 1999. They were promoting their new album, Echo, which contained classic Petty tracks like Room at the Top, Swingin’ and Counting On You.
 2000s Carlos Santana played the Fillmore in 2000 with his son and members of the school jazz band. The gig was arranged to raise funds for the San Francisco high school. Joining the Santanas was keyboard player, Chester Thompson. Carlos Santana was still enjoying the enormous success of his Supernatural album.
 
 B i r t h d a y s Events     Farewells 

April 8:
Both Steve Howe (Yes, 1947) and Julian Lennon (1963) first showed that Photograph Smile.
April 9:
Carl Perkins (1932) and Gene Parsons (The Byrds, 1944) made their families Glad All Over.
April 10:
No one had to Tell Mama that Kenny Hollis (Copperpenny, 1946), Dave Peverett (Savoy Brown, 1950) and Brian Setzer (Stray Cats, 1960) were born.
April 11:
It is known All Around the World that Lisa Stansfield was born in 1966.
April 12:
Billy Vaughn (1919), Tiny Tim (1930), Herbie Hancock (1940), Steppenwolf’s, John Kay (1944), David Cassidy (1950) and Pat Travers (1954) were Born to Be Wild.
April 13:
Jack Kasady (Jefferson Airplane, 1944), Al Green (1946) and Peabo Bryson (1951) were Tired of Being Alone, so they joined the rest of humanity.
April 14:
There was a Hush when Loretta Lynn (1935), Tony Burrows (The Pipkins / White Plains / Brotherhood of Man / First Class / Edison Lighthouse), and Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple (1945) were delivered.
   
 F a r e w e l l s Events     Birthdays 

April 8:
Phil Ochs hanged himself in 1976. Kurt Cobain shot himself in 1994.
April 9:
Brook Benton died of complications from spinal meningitis in 1988. Dave Prater (Sam & Dave) died in 1988 in a car accident.
April 10:
Stu Sutcliffe (original Beatles bass player) died of a brain hemorrhage in 1962. Little Eva died in 2003 of cervical cancer at the age of 59.
April 12:
Josephine Baker died of a stroke in 1975.
April 13:
Johnnie Johnson (Chuck Berry's piano player), died in 2005. He was 80.
April 14:
Thurston Harris died of a heart attack in 1990.

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