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The Week in Rock 'n' Roll
May 6 - 12
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 E v e n t s Birthdays     Farewells 

 1950s In 1954, the BBC banned Johnnie Ray’s single, Such a Night, because the radio audience complained about its suggestive lyrics. Ray had been doing well in the early 1950s with songs like The Little White Cloud That Could, Please Mr. Sun, Walking My Baby Back Home and Cry. Although Such a Night was banned, it went on to become his first number 1 hit in the U.K.
 1950s Bill Haley and His Comets recorded (We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock this week in 1954. But it didn’t become a hit until 1955 when it was featured in the movie, The Blackboard Jungle, with Glenn Ford and Sidney Poitier.
 1960s Del Shannon played the Royal Albert Hall in London in 1963, on the same bill as The Beatles. Shannon suggested to John Lennon that he record one of their songs to give them exposure in the U.S. Lennon thought it was a good idea at first, but then realized that it might hurt The Beatles’ chances of making it in America. Shannon went ahead with From Me to You anyway, which became the first Beatle song to make the U.S. charts. Del had his hit, Little Town Flirt, riding high in the charts at the time.
 1960s Jim Morrison once again incited a riot at one of The Doors’ concerts. This time it was in 1968 in Chicago. They were promoting The Unknown Soldier single from the upcoming, Waiting for the Sun LP. It would just scrape into the top 40 at number 39, but Hello I Love You, also from Waiting for the Sun, would become their second number 1 hit a few months later.
 1960s Roger Miller released his recording of Me and Bobby McGee in 1969. It was the first major cover of a Kris Kristofferson song. The track was recommended to Miller by Johnny Cash, and was named after the secretary to former Everlys songwriter, Boudleaux Bryant. A couple years later, Kristofferson’s ex-girlfriend, Janis Joplin, took Me and Bobby McGee to number 1, five months after her death. Miller, though, had already seen his last top country hit a year before, with Little Green Apples.
 1960s Tricia Nixon, daughter of President Richard, invited The Turtles to perform at the White House in 1969. Elenore and You Showed Me had been recent hits for the group, and both were included on their latest LP, The Turtles Present The Battle of the Bands. The title describes the wide range of material on the album as well as the sense of humour displayed by band members Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan. Apparently, Volman’s state of mind at the White House was in question after he fell off the stage five times.
 1970s The Let It Be album was released in 1970. Paul McCartney had also just put his first solo album out on Apple Records. Let It Be was the last album of original studio material released by The Fab Four, although it was recorded before Abbey Road. Unfortunately, Phil Spector re-produced the tracks, adding background music and butchering songs such as The Long and Winding Road, which had a sub-standard bass track played by John Lennon.
 1970s The Chairmen of the Board received a gold record in 1970 for their hit single, Give Me Just a Little More Time. The song and its parent album were both released by Invictus Records, a new label created by the Holland-Dozier-Holland songwriting team, after they left Motown. The Chairmen would hit the top 20 only one more time with Pay to the Piper.
 1970s The soundtrack to the first Woodstock festival was released in 1970. The three records featured many of the top rock artists of the time, including Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Joe Cocker, The Who and many others. A four CD box set was issued in 1994 on the concert’s 25th anniversary.
 1970s The Guess Who officially paved the way for other Canadian artists when American Woman hit number 1 in the U.S. in 1970. It followed These Eyes, Laughing and No Time into the top 10. The song was born when guitarist Randy Bachman was playing a heavy riff on stage after he had broken a string and the band had taken a break. The other members joined in on the jam, and Burton Cummings, in the middle of trying to negotiate the purchase of some rare Gene Vincent records, jumped to the microphone, singing the first thing that came into his head. A fan in the Bingeman Park audience in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, had it all on tape and presented it to the group after the show. It was quickly developed into a full song in the studio and ended up spending 3 weeks at the top of the singles chart.
 1970s The Rolling Stones released their first double album with Exile On Main Street in 1972. Happy, Rip This Joint and Tumbling Dice were the highlights from one of their best records, although it initially received mixed reviews.
The First Cut  1970s Keith Hampshire hit number 1 in Canada in 1973, with his definitive version of The First Cut is the Deepest. Hampshire had been losing interest as a disc jockey when his cover of Manfred Mann’s, Each and Every Day (renamed to Daytime Night-Time), took off in early 1973. It was soon followed up by the Cat Stevens song, and then later in the year, Big Time Operator was also successful. Hampshire moved to television in 1974, but after he was forced to record substandard material, he left the scene to write and record radio and TV jingles. A final album came in 1981, Variations, but it’s his incredible vocals on the earlier hits, like The First Cut is the Deepest (Rod Stewart – eat your heart out), that fans will remember.
Variations
 1970s Paul Simon’s first solo tour began in 1973 with a performance at the Music Hall in Boston. Recordings from the tour were later released on the 1974 album, Live Rhymin’. Estranged partner, Art Garfunkel, would release his first solo album (Angel Clare) and single (All I Know) later that same year.
 1970s John Sebastian hit the top of the U.S. charts in 1976 with Welcome Back, the theme song he wrote in 15 minutes for the U.S. television show, Welcome Back Kotter. Sebastian had left The Lovin’ Spoonful for a solo career in 1968 after having a string of hits in one of America’s best bands of the 1960s. His Best of John Sebastian from 1989 is an excellent collection of his solo material.
 1970s Led Zeppelin broke their own concert attendance record at a show in Michigan in 1977. More than 76000 fans enjoyed the performance. Previously, 57000 had attended one of their concerts in Florida, which was a record at the time for the largest audience at a single-artist event. It had surpassed The Beatles mark from 1965 at Shea Stadium. We’re still waiting for the definitive live Led Zeppelin album, but in the meantime we’ll have to make due with The Song Remains the Same and BBC Sessions, the latter of which is outstanding.
 1970s The Eagles’ masterpiece, Hotel California, was at number 1 on the singles chart in the U.S. for its only week in 1977. It followed 10 weeks after New Kid in Town went to the top and soon Life in the Fast Lane would hit number 11. The Hotel California album saw the introduction into the band of guitarist and crazy man, Joe Walsh. He trades licks with Don Felder throughout Hotel California’s six and a half minutes.
 1980s Bob Marley died of lung cancer and a brain tumour in 1981. He was 36. Johnny Nash and Eric Clapton had hits with Marley’s, Stir It Up and I Shot the Sheriff, respectively, before Marley himself broke through with No Woman No Cry. He was the uncontested King of Reggae.
 1980s Vangelis saw his instrumental theme song for the Chariots of Fire movie make number 1 in the U.S. this week in 1982. The track captured the mood of the runners in the film, and followed his work from 1981 with Yes vocalist Jon Anderson, on The Friends of Mr. Cairo.
 1980s Meat Loaf filed for bankruptcy in 1983. His Bat Out of Hell release sold millions of copies in the late 1970s, and many years later, Back Into Hell, brought him back to the charts with the hit single, I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That). At the time of his bankruptcy, he was doing well in the U.K. with his latest album, Midnight at the Lost and Found sitting at number 7. The album’s single, If You Really Want To stalled at number 59.
 1980s Mock group, Spinal Tap, played a real concert in 1984 at CBGBs club in New York. They “reformed” in 1991 and released 1992’s, Break Like the Wind.
 1990s In 1991, The Simple Truth concert for Kurdish refugees was held at Wembley Arena. Several artists appeared via satellite, including Peter Gabriel with Sting’s band, from Holland, and Hall and Oates from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Hall and Oates had recently returned with their strongest album, Change of Season, from 1990.
 1990s Aerosmith began the European portion of their Nine Lives tour in 1997. While the album sold 2 million American copies, it wasn’t one of their best. The Falling in Love single from the album made the top 40 on both sides of the Atlantic.
 1990s Eddie Rabbitt died in 1998 of lung cancer at the age of 56. In the early 1990s, Rabbitt had spoken out against lyrics by rap artists, and was very critical towards music videos aimed at today’s youth. He said that they glorified sex and violence, and called Madonna the “Pied Piper from hell.”
 
 B i r t h d a y s Events     Farewells 

May 6:
Bob Seger (1945) and Mary MacGregor (1946) were products of The Real Love.
May 7:
It was far from the Worst That Could Happen when Jim Lowe (1927), Teresa Brewer (1931), Johnny Maestro (Crests / Brooklyn Bridge, 1939), Jimmy Ruffin (1939), Pete Wingfield (1948) and Keith (1949) were born.
May 8:
Robert Johnson (1911), Gary Glitter (1940), Rick Nelson (1940), John Fred (1941), Paul Samwell-Smith (The Yardbirds, 1943), Toni Tennille (1943), Philip Bailey (1951) and Billy Burnette (Fleetwood Mac, 1953) arrived in Lonesome Town.
May 9:
Sonny Curtis (The Crickets, 1937), Dave Prater (Sam & Dave, 1937), Tommy Roe (1942), Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield / Poco, 1944) and Billy Joel (1949) were born in the Heart of the Night.
May 10:
A Hurdy Gurdy Man delivered Danny Rapp (Danny & The Juniors, 1941), Donovan (1946), Graham Gouldman (10cc, 1946) Dave Mason (Traffic / Delaney & Bonnie & Friends / Fleetwood Mac, 1946), Jay Ferguson (1947) and Bono (U2, 1960).
May 11:
A new Animal arrived in 1941, Eric Burdon.
May 12:
Burt Bacharach (1928), Ian Dury (1942), Billy Swan (1942) and Steve Winwood (1948) became products of a Higher Love.
   
 F a r e w e l l s Events     Birthdays 

May 6:
Otis Blackwell died in 2002 from a heart attack.
May 7:
Eddie Rabbitt died of lung cancer in 1998. Rudi Maugeri of The Crew Cuts died in 2004 of pancreatic cancer.
May 9:
Bobbi Martin died from lung cancer in 2000 at the age of 61.
May 10:
James Leroy (Major Hoople’s Boarding House) committed suicide in 1979 at the age of 32. George Cates died in 2002 of heart failure.
May 11:
Bob Marley died in 1981 from lung cancer and a brain tumour. Noel Redding died at the age of 57 in 2003. John Whitehead was only 55 when he was shot dead in 2004.
May 12:
Perry Como passed away at the age of 88 in 2001.

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