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The Week in Rock 'n' Roll
April 22 - 28
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 E v e n t s Birthdays     Farewells 

 1950s 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 Mary’s 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.
 1950s Dion and The Belmonts and Laurie Records both had their first hit when the band’s, 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 group’s only top 10 hits.
 1960s Harry Belafonté had a special guest playing harmonica on his Calypso King album in 1961. A $50 fee was paid out to Bob Dylan.
 1960s 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.
 1960s 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 Guy’s 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.
 1960s 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 Don’t 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 Dusty’s readings of songs like You’ve Got a Friend and Bread’s, Make It With You.
 1960s John Winston Lennon became John Ono Lennon in 1969. Word has it though, that in the U.K., a person can’t get rid of a given name, so he was actually John Winston Ono Lennon.
 1970s 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 Welch’s 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. Welch’s track, Hypnotized, from the Mystery to Me album is one of Fleetwood Mac’s best.
 1970s 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 band’s business affairs. Later that year, Knight showed up at rehearsals for the band’s, In Concert album, and legally confiscated their equipment in the ongoing legal battle. It wasn’t until the summer of 1973 that Grand Funk would hit it big on the singles chart with We’re 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.
 1970s 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.
 1970s 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 The Beatles’ 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.
 1970s 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 single.
 1970s 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.
 1980s 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 tracks.
 1980s 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.
 1980s 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 I’m 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 singles chart.
 1980s Crowded House had their biggest U.S. hit when Don’t Dream It’s 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.
 1980s 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.
 1990s 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 wouldn’t last? It seems rather fitting that Axl and the group’s latest release was G N’R Lies, and contained the songs, Patience, I Used to Love Her and You’re Crazy.
 1990s 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 band’s third live album, out of the last four releases. The Division Bell was a mellow effort, and was a bit of a disappointment after 1987’s, Momentary Lapse of Reason.
 1990s The Eagles played the first of two MTV shows in 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 missed.
 1990s 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 Love Tonight.
 1990s 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 wasn’t so popular.
 2000s “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 guitaring.
 
 B i r t h d a y s Events     Farewells 

April 22:
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.
April 23:
Roy Orbison (1936), Ray Peterson (1939) and Steve Clark (Def Leppard, 1960) each became a Dream Baby.
April 24:
Barbra Streisand (1942) and Doug Clifford (drummer with CCR, 1945) were now officially People.
April 25:
Ella Fitzgerald (1918), songwriter Jerry Leiber (1933) and Fish (Marillion, 1958) became one of the Young Blood.
April 26:
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.
April 27:
Pete Ham (vocalist and guitar player for Badfinger, 1947) and Sheena Easton (1959) arrived on the Morning Train.
April 28:
I Just Don’t Understand it, but it seems that Ann-Margret (1941) celebrates a birthday today.
   
 F a r e w e l l s Events     Birthdays 

April 23:
Pete Ham (Badfinger) hanged himself in 1975.
April 24:
Otis Spann died of cancer in 1970 at the age of 40. Al Hibbler passed away at the age of 85 in 2001.
April 27:
Al Hirt died of liver failure in 1999. Vicki Sue Robinson died at the age of 46 in 2000 of complications from cancer.
April 28:
B.W. Stevenson died after heart surgery in 1988.

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