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March
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25 - 31

April
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May
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The Week in Rock 'n' Roll
May 27 - June 2
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 E v e n t s Birthdays     Farewells 

 1950s Doris Day signed a huge recording contract with Columbia Records in 1956. A month later, Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera) entered the charts and soon climbed to number 2 where it stayed for three weeks. The lucrative, five-year contract was worth $1 million.
 1950s Thousands of people attended an outdoor concert in 1959, at the Herndon Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Ray Charles, B.B. King, Ruth Brown, The Drifters, Jimmy Reed and other artists performed in front of almost ten thousand fans. Atlantic Records recorded Charles’ songs with a single microphone for a possible live album. Some of the material ended up on a limited edition CD released by Rhino Records, titled In Concert.
 1960s The Rolling Stones first hit U.S. soil in 1964. And in 1975, they played their first U.S. concert with newest member, Ron Wood. He turned 28 that day. Also in 1975, the band became the first rock group to receive royalties from record sales in Russia.
 1960s Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass had four of the top 10 albums in the U.S. in 1966. What Now My Love, South of the Border, Going Places and Whipped Cream and Other Delights set the American record. They would continue with hit albums for the next couple of years. Alpert would return with a solo hit in 1979, Rise, and again in 1987 with Diamonds.
 1960s Percy Sledge was at the top of the U.S. charts in 1966 with When a Man Loves a Woman, arguably the best soul recording of all time. Also worth a listen are his albums I’ll Be Your Everything (1974) and Blue Nights from 1994, if you can find them.
 1960s In 1967 this week, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released. It was the first album by The Beatles that was released in identical forms in the U.K. and the U.S. Previously, the group’s American record company had held back several songs from each album to create “artificial” albums. The Beatles responded to this practice by posing for “The Butcher Cover,” for their U.S. Yesterday... and Today album. Only record collectors own copies of this rare release. The LP was quickly pulled and replaced by one with a different cover. But it was Sgt. Pepper that changed rock and roll forever. It also officially started the Summer of Love.
 1960s David Bowie released his first album in 1967. It was issued on the Deram label and contained the single, Love You ’Til Tuesday. The track didn’t do very well on the charts, and neither did the album, but at least the LP earned several positive reviews.
 1960s John Lennon’s, Plastic Ono Band recorded Give Peace a Chance in 1969 in a room at Hotel La Reine Elizabeth, in Montreal, Canada. Tommy Smothers and Petula Clark appear on the recording, whose writing credits were assigned to Lennon / McCartney. Even though Beatle Paul had nothing to do with the record, Lennon was showing his appreciation for McCartney’s help on The Ballad of John and Yoko single, which the two of them recorded without George and Ringo.
 1970s Dion and The Belmonts reunited for a concert in 1972 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The performance was recorded and released the following year. They had split in 1960, after which Dion had a very successful solo career, while The Belmonts charted only a couple of times.
 1970s Paul McCartney released a nursery rhyme as his new single in 1972. Mary Had a Little Lamb was the polar opposite of his last release, Give Ireland Back to the Irish, a protest song that was banned by the BBC. Neither song made the top 20 in the U.S.
 1970s ELO began their first U.S. tour in 1973. They were promoting their second album, which included the definitive version of Chuck Berry’s, Roll Over Beethoven, as well as the popular tracks Kuiama and In Old England Town.
 1970s The Allman Brothers Band temporarily disbanded in 1976. A solid album of previously unreleased live material was issued later in the year, under the title Wipe the Windows, Check the Oil, Dollar Gas. In the two years that the band stayed apart, Gregg Allman married and worked with Cher, while Dickey Betts formed his Great Southern band.
 1970s Steve Miller played the Oakland-Alameda County Stadium in California in 1977. He was in his prime with Book of Dreams near the top of the U.S. albums chart. The album was recorded at the same time as Fly Like an Eagle, which was released the previous year. Book of Dreams produced the hits Jet Airliner, Jungle Love and Swingtown. Also appearing with Miller in front of the crowd of 100000 fans in Oakland were Heart, The Eagles and Foreigner.
 1970s Elvis Presley walked off stage again in 1977. In the middle of a show at the Civic Center in Baltimore, Maryland, Elvis left for 30 minutes. A week earlier, he had thrown a couple of microphones to the ground and exited the stage because nature was calling. After the recent Welcome to My World album, Elvis would release only one more LP before his death.
 1970s The Sex Pistols released God Save the Queen, in 1977. They had originally signed with A&M Records, but were released from the label when people from within the company, including other artists, complained. The punk group moved to Virgin Records and finally got God Save the Queen issued as a single, selling over 100000 copies in the first week. Although the BBC banned the song, it reached number 2 on the U.K. charts. Their debut album, Never Mind the Bullocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, was released later in the year.
 1980s Bass player for Derek and The Dominos, Carl Radle, died in 1980 of kidney failure, partially caused by drug abuse in the seventies. After the band broke up, he continued work with other artists such as George Harrison, Joe Cocker and J.J. Cale.
 1980s Peter Gabriel’s first album with a unique title entered the U.K. albums chart at number 1 in 1986. His other four solo albums carried no title, or rather, were all simply titled, Peter Gabriel (much like subsequent issues of the same magazine). The album, So, hit it big with the singles, Sledgehammer, Don’t Give Up (with Kate Bush), In Your Eyes, Red Rain and Big Time. His creative videos for Sledgehammer and Big Time were effective commercials for selling the album. Since then, only Steam from 1993 has cracked the U.S. top 40. He rejoined his old Genesis bandmates in the studio for a new version of Carpet Crawlers, included on a Greatest Hits package from the fall of 1999.
 1980s Cliff Richard (U.K.’s answer to Elvis Presley), released The Best of Me in 1989, his 100th single. Living Doll made the top 40 in 1959, but Richard had to wait until 1976 to hit the U.S. top 10, when Devil Woman made it to number 6. It was followed over the next six years with We Don’t Talk Any More, Carrie, Dreaming, Suddenly (with Olivia Newton-John), A Little in Love and Daddy’s Home.
 1990s Midnight Oil performed in front of Manhattan’s Exxon Building on 6th Avenue in 1990. They were on the North American leg of the Blue Sky Mining tour in support of their new album of the same name, and were in town to play Radio City Music Hall. The group took advantage of the situation to add a lunch hour concert to protest the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska from the previous year, and Exxon’s polluting activities in general. Ten thousand appreciative fans attended, and clearly got the message. A decade after the spill, traces of the 11 million gallons of dumped oil could still be found, and a number of species in the area had not recovered. Midnight Oil finished their tour at the end of June in Vancouver, Canada.
 1990s David Ruffin, formerly with The Temptations, died of a drug overdose in 1991. He also had hits as a solo artist with My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me) and Walk Away From Love, as well as with Hall and Oates on the Night At the Apollo Live!: The Way You Do the Things You Do / My Girl medley.
 1990s Carly Simon was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1994. The ceremony was held in New York at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers. Later in the year Simon would release Letters Never Sent, her fifth album for Arista Records.
 1990s The number 1 album in 1995 in the U.S. was by Hootie and The Blowfish. It took ten months for Cracked Rear View to finally hit the top. Three top 10 singles, and another top 20 song, were included on the album that got its biggest boost from several appearances on the Late Night With David Letterman television show. The album has sold over 16 million copies in America alone and spent a total of 8 weeks at the peak position.
 1990s Rod the Mod was working hard at being one of The New Boys in 1998 when he was out promoting a new album. Stewart began by launching his new record and accompanying web site with a free concert in the parking lot of Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard. Following the outdoor gig, he played The Roxy and then The Whisky, all in the same day. The album, When We Were the New Boys, contained a remake of The Faces track, Ooh La La, which became a minor hit for Stewart.
 1990s Kenny Rogers didn’t get to play the final stop of a month-long tour in 1999. Three thousand people had to be evacuated from Royal Albert Hall in London after a bomb threat was made. Lisa Turner, a fan of Rogers, was at the concert when her estranged boyfriend, Marvin Taylor, called the venue and said that a bomb would go off in two hours. He made a second call to Scotland yard and stated that an explosion was about to occur in fifteen minutes. Taylor had been stalking Turner since she left him, and would later be charged and sentenced to a 4½ year term for the harassment. Rogers had just released his impressive She Rides Wild Horses album, containing covers of Sarah McLachlan’s I Will Remember You, The Everlys’ hit, Let It Be Me, and I Can’t Make You Love Me, made popular by Bonnie Raitt. Also on the album were the hit title track and The Greatest, a baseball themed song from the same pen that brought us The Gambler.
 2000s Johnnie Taylor died of a heart attack in a Texas hospital in 2000, shortly after his 62nd birthday. He got his start in the early ’50s with gospel group, The Highway QCs, and was subsequently recruited to fill a gap in The Five Echoes, when one of its members was drafted. They disbanded in 1954, and by 1957, Taylor found himself replacing Sam Cooke in The Soul Stirrers, when Cooke left the group to concentrate on a solo career. Taylor soon moved on when Cooke asked him to join SAR Records, Cooke’s own record label. After Cooke died, Taylor signed with Stax Records, where as the newly christened Soul Philosopher, he earned a top 10 hit in the U.S. with Who’s Making Love. Taylor stayed in the lower half of the top 40 until 1976, when he hit number 1 with Disco Lady, the first single to be certified platinum. A comprehensive 3 CD box set titled, Lifetime, was released several months after Taylor’s death.
 
 B i r t h d a y s Events     Farewells 

May 27:
Ramsey Lewis (1935), Cilla Black (1943), Bruce Cockburn (1945), Pete Sears (Jefferson Starship, 1948) and Neil Finn (Split Enz and Crowded House, 1958) felt Something So Strong.
May 28:
There was Rockin’ All Over the World when Papa John Creach (Jefferson Airplane, 1917), Gladys Knight (1944), Billy Vera (1944) and John Fogerty (1945) checked in.
May 29:
Gary Brooker (Procol Harum, 1945) and Melissa Etheridge (1961) , looked A Whiter Shade of Pale when they arrived.
May 30:
You could hear the birds Sing, Sing, Sing when Benny Goodman, The King of Swing, was born in 1909.
May 31:
Doctors thought that Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul & Mary, 1938), Led Zeppelin drummer, John Bonham (1948) and Corey Hart (1962) would Never Surrender when they were born.
June 1:
Nelson Riddle (1921), Pat Boone (1934) and Ron Wood (The Rolling Stones, 1947) were delivered with some Friendly Persuasion.
June 2:
Charlie Watts (The Rolling Stones, 1941) and Marvin Hamlisch (1944) were dragged into the world by Wild Horses.
   
 F a r e w e l l s Events     Birthdays 

May 29:
Jeff Buckley drowned in 1997.
May 30:
Carl Radle (Derek and The Dominos), died in 1980 of kidney failure. Mickie Most, famed producer, died of cancer in 2003 at the age of 64.
May 31:
Johnnie Taylor died of a heart attack in 2000. Tito Puente passed away in 2000 at the age of 77, after complications during heart surgery.
June 1:
David Ruffin (The Temptations), died in 1991 of a drug overdose.

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