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The Week in Rock 'n' Roll
August 12 - 18
Last Week   Next Week

 E v e n t s Birthdays     Farewells 

 A long time ago... Thomas Edison made the first sound recording, Mary Had a Little Lamb, in 1877. Paul McCartney had a top 40 hit with it in 1972, and Stevie Ray Vaughan recorded a Buddy Guy song also titled, Mary Had a Little Lamb, for the Texas Flood album.
 1950s Elvis Presley released his first number 1 hit, I Forgot to Remember to Forget / Mystery Train in 1955. It hit the top of the country charts several months later and stayed there for 5 weeks. His first top 10 song was Baby Let’s Play House from the summer of ’55. It was a number 5 country hit.
 1950s Buddy Holly married Maria Elena Santiago at his parents’ home in 1958. Holly met her 2 months before while in New York. Along with The Crickets, he had just played a small Summer Dance Party tour and was getting ready to go back into the studio to record Reminiscing and Come Back Baby.
 1960s After Paul McCartney sat in on drums to fill a void left by Tommy Moore, Pete Best joined The Beetles (as they were called) in 1960. McCartney went back to rhythm guitar, as Stu Sutcliffe “played” bass at this point. The group toured Germany five days later.
 1960s Little Stevie Wonder released his first single in 1962. I Call It Pretty Music (But the Old Folks Call It the Blues) (featuring Marvin Gaye on drums), went unnoticed, while an album, A Tribute to Uncle Ray, went ahead anyway later in the fall. Wonder would get his first taste of success a year later with Fingertips – Pt. 2.
 1960s Pete Best was told in 1962 by Brian Epstein to hand in his Beatles credentials. George Martin had seen The Beatles play live with Best and wasn’t impressed with the drummer. Martin hired session man, Andy White to play on the band’s first song, Love Me Do, while Ringo Starr (an unknown to Martin), shook the tambourine. The Love Me Do version with Ringo on drums was the original U.K. single, while the White version is found on the Please Please Me album. Both versions were included on the 1992 CD single of Love Me Do.
 1960s Mike Smith, lead singer of The Dave Clark Five, suffered two broken ribs in 1965, when he was pulled off the stage by fans. The group was in Chicago at the beginning of another short U.S. tour, while I Like it Like That was tearing up the singles chart. Many more hits would follow over the next two years.
 1960s Paul Jones left Manfred Mann in 1966, just as Pretty Flamingo was climbing the charts. He was replaced by Mike D’Abo, who would take over lead vocals on the next hit, The Mighty Quinn, a song written by Bob Dylan. Mann played keyboards and would have several more lead singers come and go over the next 30 years.
 1960s Fleetwood Mac played their first gig in 1967 at the Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival. Members at the time included Mick Fleetwood, Jeremy Spencer, Peter Green and Bob Brunning. John McVie replaced Brunning a month later. This is rather odd, since the Mac part of the group’s name was taken from McVie and he wasn’t even in the band yet!
 1960s In 1968, The Rascals took a chance with a political statement in the song, People Got to Be Free. They were rewarded with their biggest hit ever this week. Previously, The (Young) Rascals had hits with well crafted pop songs including Good Lovin’, Groovin’, A Girl Like You, How Can I Be Sure and A Beautiful Morning. But with the recent assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy, the group felt it had to respond. People Got to Be Free entered the top 100 only six weeks after the shooting of Kennedy. The follow up single, A Ray of Hope, was written for Ted Kennedy who sent the band a thank-you note for their message. People Got to Be Free was number 1 for 5 weeks and was the fifth biggest song of 1968.
 1960s Woodstock – the real one – ended for half a million people on August 17th, 1969. Performers included Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Ten Years After, John Sebastian, Sha Na Na and others. It was less violent than the one held in 1999.
 1970s Paul Anka was trying to enjoy a comeback in 1974, but feminists everywhere were attacking him in the press. Anka’s latest hit was titled, (You’re) Having My Baby, and objections were raised about the use of the word, “My,” when they felt it should have been, “Our.” It didn’t seem to matter though, as the song hit number 1 soon after it went gold on this date. It was Anka’s first song to hit the top in 15 years.
 1970s Keyboardist Patrick Moraz replaced Rick Wakeman in Yes in 1974. The change would last 3 years, with the band releasing only one album, Relayer, in that time. Other group members issued solo albums in the following years, until Wakeman returned for the next Yes album, Going for the One.
 1970s Peter Gabriel announced in 1975 that he was leaving Genesis. The first Genesis box set focuses on the Gabriel years. A second box will cover the Phil Collins years. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway was the last Genesis album that featured Gabriel.
 1970s Elvis Presley was found dead at Graceland in 1977, on August 16th. He was 42. It had been five years since Presley had had a top 10 hit with the number 2 song, Burning Love. His last U.S. number 1 was the excellent track, Suspicious Minds, with its false ending.
 1980s Lionel Richie and Diana Ross teamed up to bring us Endless Love, the song that began a 9 week hold on the number 1 position this week in 1981. It was written for the film starring Brooke Shields, but Richie and Ross had difficulty arranging time to record their vocals. Endless Love was completed at 5:00 a.m. at a Reno studio, after one of Diana’s concerts. Richie was dividing his time between the next Commodores album and work with Kenny Rogers.
 1980s The new Moody Blues album, Long Distance Voyager, hit the platinum level in sales in 1981. The bad news was that it relied on the disco-flavoured, sell-out track, Gemini Dream. It was their first major hit since 1973 when I’m Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band) peaked at number 12 in the U.S. Another single from Long Distance Voyager, The Voice, also did well for the group from Birmingham, England.
 1980s Lionel Richie closed the Olympic Games in Los Angeles with the help of 200 dancers in 1984. He sang All Night Long, and added an extra verse, as 2.6 billion people watched on their TV sets. The song had been a number 1 hit the previous fall, and Richie followed it onto the charts with four more top 10 songs from his Can’t Slow Down album.
 1980s Canadian pouter, Corey Hart, had his biggest hit when Never Surrender peaked at number 3 in the U.S. in 1985. He had followed up his 1984 hit, Sunglasses at Night, with It Ain’t Enough, before returning with Never Surrender, Boy in the Box, and a few years later, Can’t Help Falling in Love.
 1980s Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono were both outbid in 1985 for ownership of the ATV music publishing catalogue. Part of the catalogue consisted of the rights to more than 250 songs written by McCartney and John Lennon. So much for the Pipes of Peace that McCartney and the new owner had shared only two years before.
 1990s Legend Curtis Mayfield had an on-stage accident at a 1990 New York concert he was participating in. When a lighting structure fell on him it left him paralyzed from the neck down. Mayfield had hits in the early 1970s with Freddie’s Dead and Superfly.
 1990s Paul Simon gave a concert in Central Park, New York in 1991. Three quarters of a million people showed up for the free performance, which was released later in the year as Paul Simon’s Concert in the Park. The concert was also shown live on TV.
 1990s Lead singer of The Platters, Tony Williams, died in 1992 of emphysema at the age of 64. He sang most of the group’s hits up until 1961 when he was replaced by Sonny Turner. The group was first successful when they re-recorded Only You for Mercury Records in 1955. After that, hits like The Great Pretender, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Twilight Time, My Prayer and The Magic Touch just kept on coming.
 1990s Neil Diamond played the first of six nights at Madison Square Garden in New York in 1992. All shows were sold out, as Diamond was touring to promote the recently released, Greatest Hits 1966-1992. The double CD package unfortunately contained many live recordings. Songs like Sweet Caroline, Holly Holy, Cracklin’ Rosie, I Am I Said and Song Sung Blue were not the original hits. Diamond would bring in over $40 million from touring that year, second highest in the music industry.
 1990s .38 Special remembers August 12th very well – for a couple of reasons. In 1999, the group recorded their Live at Sturgis album at a biker festival, and released it later the same year. Unfortunately, in 2000, the band was performing outdoors in Mancos, California, on the same date when the wind got hold of an overhead canopy and brought down ten tons of equipment onto the stage. The drum kit was completely crushed, but no one was seriously injured. And just in case, the Live at Sturgis album was released in 2002 on DVD-Audio on August 13th.
 
 B i r t h d a y s Events     Farewells 

August 12:
Buck Owens (1929), Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits, 1949), Kid Creole (1950) and Pat Metheny (1954) began the Walk of Life.
August 13:
It’s Hard to Say exactly what time Dave “Baby” Cortez (1938) and Dan Fogelberg (1951) were born, but it was on this day.
August 14:
Dash Crofts (Seals & Crofts, 1940) and David Crosby (1941) felt their first Summer Breeze on this day.
August 15:
Oscar Peterson (1925), Bobby Helms (1933) and songwriter extraordinaire, Jimmy Webb (1946), were not born in Galveston, but it was on this day.
August 16:
There was much Celebration when Al Hibbler (1915), Ketty Lester (1934), Barbara George (1942), Barry Hay (Golden Earring, 1948), J.T. Taylor (Kool & The Gang, 1953) and Madonna (1958) were born.
August 17:
Mark Dinning (1933), Belinda Carlisle (1958) and Colin James (1964) got to realize that Heaven is a Place On Earth when they arrived.
August 18:
Johnny Preston (1939) and Patrick Swayze (1952) were first lowered into the Cradle of Love on this day.
   
 F a r e w e l l s Events     Birthdays 

August 12:
Kyu Sakamoto was killed in a plane crash in 1985.
August 13:
Joe Tex died of a heart attack in 1982, five days after his 49th birthday.
August 14:
William Lee Conley “Big Bill” Broonzy died of cancer in 1958. Tony Williams (The Platters) died in 1992, having suffered from diabetes and emphysema.
August 15:
Norman Petty died in 1984. He recorded Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison in his own New Mexico recording studio in the late ’50s.
August 16:
Blues legend, Robert Johnson, was poisoned in 1938, and on the same day Elvis Presley died in 1977 of heart failure.
August 17:
Paul Williams (The Temptations) shot himself in 1973.
August 18:
Former guitarist for Rory Storm and The Hurricanes, Johnny Byrne, died in 1999 at the age of 59.

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