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The Week in Rock 'n' Roll
April 15 - 21
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 E v e n t s Birthdays     Farewells 

 1950s The Platters were at number 1 this week in 1958 with Twilight Time. It had been almost two years since they saw My Prayer at the top for 5 weeks. No big hits came in between Twilight Time and My Prayer, and to help cement the fact that they were back, a promotional video created by their record company was sent to the major television networks. It was one of the earliest of its kind, and helped to show that The Platters still had The Magic Touch.
 1950s In 1959, at the tender age of 13, Dolly Parton released her first single, Puppy Love. And in 1974 this week, she left The Porter Wagoner Show to start a solo career. Her next single was I Will Always Love You, which was destroyed by you-know-who in 1991.
 1960s Eddie Cochran was killed in a car accident in 1960. He previously had hits with Summertime Blues, C’mon Everybody and Sittin’ in the Balcony. Gene Vincent was also a passenger in the car, as was Cochran’s fiancée, but Cochran went through the windshield after the car hit a lamp post. A tire blow out caused the driver to lose control.
 1960s The first album by The Rolling Stones was released in 1964. It hit number 1 in the U.K. two weeks later, and was the first non-Beatles album at the top in exactly one year, following Please Please Me and With the Beatles. Meanwhile, The Beatles claimed fourteen of the top 100 hits on the U.S. singles chart this week.
 1960s In 1965, Otis Redding began recording his Otis Blue album at the Stax Studios in Memphis. The All-Music Guide rates it as his very best. It contains quite a variety of material, including Respect, A Change is Gonna Come, I’ve Been Loving You Too Long, Shake, My Girl, Wonderful World, Satisfaction and others.
 1970s Joy to the World climbed to the top of the U.S. singles chart in 1971. The Three Dog Night song would stay put for 6 weeks, making it the number 1 song of the year, beating out Rod Stewart’s, Maggie May. Hoyt Axton, son of Heartbreak Hotel’s author, Mae Axton, wrote the obnoxiously infectious song. In the 1980s, Joy to the World would be used in the movie, The Big Chill.
 1970s Lighthouse started getting serious attention in 1971 when Hats Off to the Stranger began moving up the singles charts. While the song didn’t exactly zoom to the top, it did pave the way for their biggest international hit, One Fine Morning, which followed several months later. That song would become the Canadian jazz/rock group’s signature tune with the help of new lead vocalist, Bob McBride. He had been singing with Ronnie Hawkins before joining Lighthouse and a new record label for their fourth album, also titled One Fine Morning. McBride would stick around for only three more albums, which included the hits Sunny Days and Pretty Lady. By 1976, the group called it a day, and except for some live performances in 1982, Lighthouse had been inactive. The light was switched back on in 1992, however, when Dan Clancy took over on lead vocals. An excellent album of new material, Song of the Ages, was recorded and released in 1996.
 1970s The Electric Light Orchestra played its first live gig back in 1972. They were in Surrey, England, promoting their debut album, No Answer, which got its name from an erroneous phone message left with their record company. The concert didn’t get very good reviews, and maybe that’s one reason founding member Roy Wood departed several months later to work exclusively with Wizzard. This left Jeff Lynne in charge to write and produce most of the band’s material, including all of their hits except for their definitive version of Roll Over Beethoven.
 1970s TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia) was at the top of the U.S. singles chart in 1974. The song was credited to MFSB with The Three Degrees, as Mothers, Fathers, Sisters, Brothers provided the instrumentation, while The Three Degrees added some vocals near the end of the track. The catchy tune was written by Philadelphia’s soul geniuses, Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, who were also responsible for hits by artists like Billy Paul, The Spinners and The O’Jays. TSOP spent 2 weeks at number 1 and was the group’s American top 40 one hit wonder.
 1970s Natalie Cole made a guest appearance in 1977 on Frank’s, Sinatra and Friends special. She performed what would become her biggest hit, I’ve Got Love On My Mind from her third album, Unpredictable. Both, the song and the album, were currently in the top 10 of the U.S. charts. Sinatra and Cole also duetted on I Get a Kick Out of You.
 1970s Dust in the Wind, the only U.S. top 10 hit from Kansas, spent the first of two weeks at its number 6 peak, this week in 1978. The music to the song was originally used by writer Kerry Livgren to practice fingerpicking on the acoustic guitar, while its title was taken from a line in a Native American poem.
 1970s Art Garfunkel earned his biggest hit in the U.K. when Bright Eyes hung onto number 1 for the second of a six week run, in 1979. The track didn’t even make the top 40 in the U.S. His Fate for Breakfast album also did well in Britain, eventually hitting number 2. In addition to Bright Eyes, it contained the strong tracks And I Know and Since I Fell for You, a remake of the Skyliners hit. Garfunkel’s last American hit came in 1978 when he teamed up with Paul Simon and James Taylor for the old Sam Cooke tune, (What A) Wonderful World.
 1980s AC/DC continued on in 1980 with vocalist, Brian Johnson. Bon Scott died after a drinking binge two months earlier. The new version of the band released Back in Black later that year. It was by far their biggest success. Key tracks include Hell’s Bells, You Shook Me All Night Long and the title track. A box set tribute to Scott, titled Bonfire, was released in 1997 and focused on the Bon Scott years. I wonder if they had considered the title, Bon Voyage?
 1980s Yes temporarily disbanded when bass player Chris Squire and drummer Alan White left the group in 1981. Soon after, they had rehearsals with Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin fame, but an intended supergroup never materialized. Yes would reform 2½ years later with their best effort, 90125. It contained the number 1 single, Owner of a Lonely Heart.
 1980s Billy Joel broke his wrist in 1982 when the motorcycle he was driving was hit by a car. Later that year, The Piano Man divorced his wife of nine years, released The Nylon Curtain album (containing Pressure, Allentown and Goodnight Saigon), and met future wife, Christie Brinkley.
 1980s For America, Jackson Browne’s last top 40 single in the U.S. peaked at number 30 in 1986. Lives in the Balance was the album that included the single. His next album, World in Motion just went too far, preaching politics and causes, of which his fans were tiring. But in 1993, Browne returned with I’m Alive, his best effort since The Pretender.
 1980s Roy Orbison returned to the top 10 of the U.S. singles chart in 1989 with You Got It. The song was written with Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty. Orbison (a.k.a. Lefty Wilbury of The Traveling Wilburys) had died the previous December. You Got It appeared on his Mystery Girl album that was released posthumously.
 1990s Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, Bonnie Raitt and others played Wembley Stadium in London to celebrate the 1990 release of Nelson Mandela.
 1990s Steve Marriott (The Small Faces, Humble Pie) died in a 1991 fire at his cottage. He and Peter Frampton were reforming (Frampton had also been with Humble Pie) and the pair had written and recorded several new songs. Two of these tracks, The Bigger They Come and I Won’t Let You Down, appear on Frampton’s, Shine On collection from 1992. The song, Shine On, was a Humble Pie contribution that Frampton included on his best seller, Frampton Comes Alive!, in 1976. While in Humble Pie, Marriott and Frampton had success with Natural Born Boogie, Stone Cold Fever and I Don’t Need No Doctor. After Frampton went solo in 1971, the memorable 30 Days in the Hole, written by Marriott, was released.
 1990s The three remaining members of Queen held a 1992 tribute concert in memory of the late Freddie Mercury, who died in late 1991. They were supported by (or vice-versa) David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Elton John, Guns N’ Roses, Roger Daltrey, Robert Plant, Paul Young, Seal and others. Over $15 million was raised.
 1990s Grand Funk reunited for the first of three nights of shows in 1997, to raise money for the Bosnian-American Relief Fund. The group was backed by the Sarajevo Symphony Orchestra and played in Auburn Hills, Michigan, the first night. Further tours developed over the following eighteen months, and a 3 CD collection was released in 1999.
 1990s Linda McCartney died of breast cancer in 1998. Wide Prairie, released later in the year, included her minor hit from 1979 under the name of Suzi and the Red Stripes. The flip-side of the Seaside Woman single was appropriately titled B-Side to Seaside. Linda also backed husband Paul on keyboards on tour and in the studio for many years.
 2000s Phil Collins won a court ruling in 2000, which would save him some money down the road. Two members of Earth, Wind and Fire’s horn section, Louis Satterfield and Rahmlee Michael Davis were overpaid $390000 in royalties when they supported Collins on his 1990 tour. Five songs on which the back-up players performed were later included on the Serious Hits... Live! album, but royalties were paid based on all fifteen tracks. Satterfield and Davis were allowed to keep the extra money, and even though Collins won the claim, the judge gave him a slap on the wrist for the abrupt manner in which Collins cut off payments to the EWF members. Collins couldn’t drum for weeks after receiving the minor wrist damage.;-)
 
 B i r t h d a y s Events     Farewells 

April 15:
Roy Clark (1933), Dave Edmunds (1944), songwriter Michael Chapman (1947) and Samantha Fox (1966) found themselves Slipping Away from one world and into the next.
April 16:
Henry Mancini (1924), Herbie Mann (1930), Bobby Vinton (1935), Dusty Springfield (1939) and Gerry Rafferty (1947) arrived Home and Dry.
April 17:
Bobby Curtola (1944) and Jan Hammer (1948), don’t need a Fortune Teller to predict that today is their birthday.
April 18:
Hayley Mills (1946) and Rick Moranis (Bob & Doug McKenzie, 1953) saw their lives Take Off.
April 19:
Dickie Goodman (1934), Alan Price (1941) and Mark Volman (The Turtles, 1947) were soon Fast Asleep after being delivered on this day.
April 20:
It was Poetry in Motion when Johnny Tillotson (1939) and Luther Vandross (1951) were born.
April 21:
Iggy Pop (1947) and Paul Davis (1948) began the Sweet Life.
   
 F a r e w e l l s Events     Birthdays 

April 15:
Joey Ramone died of lymphatic cancer in 2001. He was only 49. John Fred died after a lengthy illness in 2005, at the age of 63.
April 16:
Morris Stoloff passed away in 1980 at the age of 81. Skip Spence (Jefferson Airplane) died of lung cancer in 1999, two days before his 54th birthday.
April 17:
Eddie Cochran was killed in a car accident in 1960. Felix Pappalardi (Mountain, Cream producer) was shot and killed by his wife in 1983. Linda McCartney died of breast cancer in 1998. Earl King died in 2003 from diabetes related complications at the age of 69.
April 19:
Rick Lewis of The Silhouettes died in 2005 at the age of 71.
April 20:
Steve Marriott died in a fire in 1991.
April 21:
Sandy Denny died in 1978 from injuries after falling down some stairs. Nina Simone died at the age of 70 in 2003.

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