| Harry Belafonté sealed a $1 million
record deal in 1957 with RCA
Records. He had a number of hits in 1956 and 57, including his classic
rendition of Marys Boy Child, as well as five top 3 albums in
those same years. Belafonté picked up his calypso-style music
from a five year stay in Jamaica. Banana Boat (Day-O) was his biggest
hit. Unfortunately for RCA, he only hit the top 40 twice after signing the huge
deal, but a number of best-selling albums did continue until 1964. Harold
George Belafonté Jr. was born in Harlem in 1927, and is the father
of actress Shari Belafonté. He did some acting of his own, between 1953
and 1974. Belafonté was also a major figure behind the USA for
Africa effort in 1985, We Are the World.
| Dion and The Belmonts and Laurie Records
both had their first hit when the bands, I Wonder Why, made the
top 40 in 1958. They would
revisit the singles chart over the next 2 years, before Dion left for a
solo career. A Teenager in Love and Where or When were the doo
wop groups only top 10 hits.
| Harry Belafonté had a special guest
playing harmonica on his Calypso King album in 1961. A $50 fee was paid out to Bob
| Less than a month after the release of his
1965 debut album, John Mayall
and his blues band performed on Ready Steady Goes Live! in the U.K. In
those few weeks, Mayall fired guitarist Roger Dean and hired
Eric Clapton in his place. Many other members would come and go,
including John McVie, Peter Green, Jack Bruce and Mick
Fleetwood. Clapton stuck around for several months before going off
to Greece, but returned that fall, just in time to record the famous Blues
Breakers album with Mayall and company.
| Herb Alpert, known for his trumpeting
abilities, gave the audience something unexpected when he sang a Burt
Bacharach / Hal David song on a 1968 TV special. This Guys in Love With You
was dedicated to his wife, as Alpert made his appearance to plug his
latest album. Public reaction was so strong that Alpert recorded the
song and released it as a single. It was by far his biggest hit, hanging in at
number 1 for four weeks later in the year.
| Dusty Springfield appeared on The Joey
Bishop Show on American television in 1969. She had just released her landmark Dusty in
Memphis album for Atlantic Records and was promoting the Dont
Forget About Me single, a follow-up to the top 10 smash, Son of a
Preacher Man. Rhino Records recently released a much expanded version of
the album, that adds 14 bonus tracks, including Dustys readings of
songs like Youve Got a Friend and Breads, Make It
| John Winston Lennon became John Ono
Lennon in 1969. Word has it
though, that in the U.K., a person cant get rid of a given name, so he
was actually John Winston Ono Lennon.
| Bob Welch joined Fleetwood Mac in
1971 after Jeremy Spencer
left to join The Children of God religious cult. Fleetwood Mac then
recorded the Future Games, Bare Trees, Penguin and
Mystery to Me albums before Welchs idea of moving the
British band to California was agreed upon in 1974. Later that year, they
recorded and toured to support the Heroes Are Hard to Find album.
Welch left in December and was replaced by Lindsey Buckingham and
Stevie Nicks. Welch returned to the spotlight in 1977 with a new,
shorter version of Sentimental Lady, originally included on the Bare
Trees album. Christine McVie and Buckingham helped out with
background vocals, while Mick Fleetwood sat in on drums. Welchs
track, Hypnotized, from the Mystery to Me album is one of
Fleetwood Macs best.
| The members of Grand Funk Railroad sued
manager Terry Knight in 1972 for
$8 million in unpaid song royalties. John Eastman, brother-in-law of Paul
McCartney, was chosen to take over the bands business affairs. Later
that year, Knight showed up at rehearsals for the bands, In Concert
album, and legally confiscated their equipment in the ongoing legal battle.
It wasnt until the summer of 1973 that Grand Funk would hit it big
on the singles chart with Were An American Band. The
Locomotion, Some Kind of Wonderful and Bad Time were other
top 10 hits for the band. At the time of the suit, the band was doing well with
their E. Pluribus Funk album.
| The Sweet earned a gold record in the U.S.
when their current hit, Little Willy, went gold in 1973. The glamour rock (soon-to-be hard
rock) band had already hit the top 10 in the U.K. with Co-Co.
Blockbuster would follow next in Britain, while Hell Raiser,
Ballroom Blitz and Teenage Rampage would make number 2. The
Sweet would also receive gold status in America for Fox On the Run
and Desolation Boulevard.
| Singer/guitarist for Badfinger, Pete
Ham, committed suicide in 1975. The band had changed their name from The Iveys
and hit it big with the Paul McCartney original, Come and Get
It, in late 1969. They followed up with No Matter What, Day After
Day and Baby Blue. Ham and fellow member Tom Evans
also wrote Without You, which was taken to number 1 in 1972 by
Harry Nilsson. Gary Wright played keyboards on the track.
Nilsson was one of
favourite artists. After the death of Ham,
Badfinger guitarist Joey Molland formed the band Natural Gas
and opened for Peter Frampton, who was flying high with his
Frampton Comes Alive! success.
| David Bowie was detained at the border
between Poland and Russia in 1976
while customs officials confiscated Nazi memorabilia. The Thin White
Duke had been in Moscow, when his train was delayed. Bowie claimed
that the material was being used for research on a movie project about Nazi
propaganda leader, Joseph Paul Goebbels. Bowie was currently promoting
his Station to Station album and Golden Years
| The Blues Brothers made their first
appearance as a musical act on Saturday Night Live, in 1978. Paul Schaffer introduced the
band, dressed as Don Kirshner, before they tore into Hey Bartender, one
of the better tracks from their debut album.
| Denny Laine officially left Wings in
1981 after putting up with
Paul McCartney for ten years. Laine had originally been with
The Moody Blues when their first hit, Go Now, was released in
1965. Laine sang a live version that was included on the Wings Over
America album in 1976. In 1999, Laine released A Tribute to Paul
McCartney and Wings. It included his recordings of hits like Mull of
Kintyre, Listen to What the Man Said, Silly Love Songs and
Band On the Run. McCartney backs him on a number of
| Ringo Starr married former James Bond girl,
Barbara Bach, in 1981.
Bach and Starr met while filming the movie, Caveman, in which they were
Starring alongside Dennis Quaid and Shelley Long. George Harrison
and Paul McCartney attended the wedding.
| Rod Stewart was robbed in 1982 in Los Angeles, while standing next
to his $50000 Porsche on Hollywood Boulevard. Stewart had recently
released the single, How Long, taken from his 1981 album, Tonight
Im Yours. The song was a cover of the hit by Ace, in 1975, and
failed to follow Young Turks and the title track into the top 40 of the
| Crowded House had their biggest U.S. hit
when Dont Dream Its Over peaked at number 2 in 1987. It would soon be followed into the
top 10 by Something So Strong. Both songs were from their self-titled
album of 1986. The band was formed by Neil Finn after leaving Split
Enz, best known for their song, I Got You.
| Roy Orbison celebrated his 51st
birthday by re-recording his greatest hits in 1987. The Big O got help from producer, T-Bone
Burnett, on songs like Oh Pretty Woman, Crying, Only the
Lonely, Dream Baby, Running Scared and many others. These
newer recordings are constantly being reissued but with different packaging by
his wife, Barbara, on Orbison Records. His older, original hits are available
from Sony Music, and specialty labels like Rhino.
| Axl Rose of Guns N Roses
married Erin Everly, daughter of Don Everly in 1990. Rose filed for divorce three
weeks later. Who said it wouldnt last? It seems rather fitting that
Axl and the groups latest release was G NR Lies, and
contained the songs, Patience, I Used to Love Her and
| Pink Floyd had the number 1 album in the
U.S. in 1994 with The Division
Bell. It was their only studio album from the 1990s, and held the top spot
for 4 weeks. The appearance of Is Anybody Out There? in 2000 represented
the bands third live album, out of the last four releases. The
Division Bell was a mellow effort, and was a bit of a disappointment after
1987s, Momentary Lapse of Reason.
| The Eagles played the first of two
1994, recording their Hell
Freezes Over album in the process. Don Henley, Glenn Frey,
Joe Walsh, Don Felder and Timothy B. Schmit first got back
together the previous December for the making of a Travis Tritt video of
their song, Take It Easy, that was included on an Eagles tribute
CD. Hell Freezes Over was later released in CD and video form, and
includes a reworked version of Hotel California, as well as live
versions of most of their best songs. The video is not to be
| Rod Stewart performed at the VH1 Honours
concert in 1996. It was held to
benefit Witness, the human rights organization, and was televised live in the
U.S. Later in the year he would release his album of ballads, If We Fall in
| U2 had a bit of a slap in the face while on
the road in 1997. The group began
the PopMart tour in Nevada, to promote the brand new Pop album and its
single, Staring at the Sun. Unfortunately, the companion TV special,
U2: A Year in Pop, which was aired in the U.S. just days into the tour,
became the lowest rated show in primetime television history, that was not
related to politics. It appears that Pop wasnt so
| Derek Clapton got back together
with one of The Dominos in 2000, for the first time in 29 years. Keyboard player
Bobby Whitlock and Clapton performed three songs, including
Bell Bottom Blues, on the Later With Jools Holland BBC2
television show. Drummer for the original Derek and The Dominos was
Jim Gordon, while the late Carl Radle played bass. Duane
Allman was an honorary member, having contributed some classic
|Glen Campbell (1936), Mel Carter (1943), Peter Frampton (1950), Paul Carrack (Squeeze / Ace / Mike + The
Mechanics, 1951) and Ace
Frehley (Kiss, 1951)
were Signed, Sealed, Delivered.
|Roy Orbison (1936), Ray Peterson (1939) and Steve Clark (Def Leppard, 1960) each became a Dream
|Barbra Streisand (1942) and Doug Clifford (drummer with CCR,
1945) were now officially
|Ella Fitzgerald (1918), songwriter Jerry Leiber (1933) and Fish (Marillion,
1958) became one of the Young
|Duane Eddy and Maurice Williams (both
1938), Bobby Rydell
(1942), Gary Wright
(1943) and Roger Taylor
(Duran Duran, 1960)
were each born a Good Time Baby.
|Pete Ham (vocalist and guitar player for
Badfinger, 1947) and
Sheena Easton (1959)
arrived on the Morning Train.
|I Just Dont Understand it, but it seems
that Ann-Margret (1941)
celebrates a birthday today.
|Pete Ham (Badfinger) hanged himself in
|Otis Spann died of cancer in 1970 at the age of 40. Al Hibbler
passed away at the age of 85 in 2001.
|Al Hirt died of liver failure in 1999. Vicki Sue Robinson died at
the age of 46 in 2000 of
complications from cancer.
|B.W. Stevenson died after heart surgery in