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The Week in Rock 'n' Roll
August 19 - 25
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 E v e n t s Birthdays     Farewells 

 1950s Elvis Presley began working on his first movie, Love Me Tender, in 1956. It was a drama that took place during and just after the Civil War, with Elvis getting killed in the end, but not before he performs the title track at a county fair. The original title for the movie was The Reno Brothers, but was changed to take advantage of the Love Me Tender song recorded for the film. Elvis played Clint Reno, the youngest of four brothers who didn’t perform service because of his age.
 1950s The Elegants took their doo wop rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to number 1 in the U.S. in 1958. The title of the song was shortened to Little Star and was rush-released by ABC-Paramount Records so that a competing version by The Secrets would be squashed. Little Star became a one hit wonder, as the group didn’t release a follow-up for a year and a half.
 1960s Patsy Cline recorded the classic Willie Nelson song, Crazy, in 1961. She was still on crutches after going through a car windshield in a June head-on collision. Crazy never made it to number 1, but it was her biggest pop hit. She’s Got You from the following year was her longest running country number 1 song, at 5 weeks.
 1960s Dolby Noise Reduction received some press in 1967 in the New York Times. The article explains that the new system can drastically improve the sound quality of cassette recordings. Elektra Records tries out the hiss-annihilator first with music on its Checkmate label. Pre-recorded cassettes would eventually take over the market dominated by 8-track tapes.
 1960s Brian Wilson returned to performing live with The Beach Boys in Honolulu in 1967, after a 2 year hiatus. He had had a nervous breakdown and insisted on limiting his work with the band to the studio. The group was having a successful year, with Heroes and Villains climbing the charts. The song was included on the upcoming Smiley Smile album.
 1960s Bobby Darin sold his music publishing company in 1968 for $1 million. Soon after, Darin started his own record label, Direction. The first release would be one of his own, which consisted of poetry and protest tracks. Darin’s final top 40 single was Lovin’ You from the previous year.
 1970s Lead by Eric Burdon, War made number 3 in 1970 with Spill the Wine, their first hit in the U.S. Oddly enough, right behind it was the Edwin Starr single, War, which would leap frog to number 1 the following week. Burdon left the group early the next year, but War raged on and would earn many more hits before the end of the decade, including The World is a Ghetto, The Cisco Kid, Gypsy Man, Why Can’t We Be Friends?, Low Rider and Summer. Many of their singles would be extracted from very long studio jams, such as The World is a Ghetto, which was originally over 10 minutes long.
 1970s Elton John made his live U.S. debut in 1970, opening for David Ackles at The Troubadour club in Los Angeles. It was the 20th anniversary of the night spot owned by Doug Weston. In the audience that night were Don Henley, Quincy Jones and Leon Russell. Elton’s lead-off single, Border Song, had just debuted at number 92 in the U.S., while Your Song would hit the top 100 later in the year on its way to number 8 the following January.
 1970s Lou Reed left The Velvet Underground back in 1970, just after a gig in New York. He worked as a typist for his father for the next two years, at $40 per week. Reed had formed the group with John Cale in 1964. The two teamed up again for 1990’s, Songs for Drella.
 1970s Rita Coolidge and Kris Kristofferson were married in Malibu, California, in 1973. Kristofferson had just enjoyed a number 1 country hit with Why Me, which included Coolidge on backing vocals. Coolidge wouldn’t have hits of her own until 1977, when cover versions of (Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher and We’re All Alone both made the top 10 in the U.S. The singing pair divorced near the end of 1979.
 1970s Brother Louie sat at number 1 this week in the U.S. in 1973. The song was recorded by Stories (a New York group formed by former Left Banke member, Michael Brown), shortly after Hot Chocolate had a hit with the song in the U.K. Lead vocals were handled by Ian Lloyd, who would later be heard on songs by Billy Joel, Foreigner and Peter Frampton. Lloyd would also release a solo version of a cover of the Bryan Adams song, Straight From the Heart.
 1970s The Doobie Brothers achieved gold status for the first time in 1973. Their second album, Toulouse Street, did the trick with the help of the tracks Listen to the Music, Rockin’ Down the Highway and Jesus is Just Alright. Their self-titled first album from 1971 didn’t really turn any heads. However, a CD of earlier material was released by BAM Records in 1995, called The Early Years. It is a must for Doobie fans and contains many excellent performances, such as the 8 minute closer, Tilted Park Crud Munchery.
 1970s Led Zeppelin released their last album of original material, In Through the Out Door, on August 22nd, 1979. Fool in the Rain was released as a single and cracked the top 40, but In the Evening and All My Love were probably the strongest tracks on the album. John Bonham died accidentally a year later and the group disbanded. They released Coda in 1982.
 1980s Foreigner had the top album in the U.S. in 1981, with 4. Urgent and Waiting for a Girl Like You were both top 10 hits from the LP, while Juke Box Hero and Break It Up both made U.S. number 26. A greatest hits package, titled Records, followed the album before their next set of new material, Agent Provocateur, arrived near the end of 1984.
 1980s John Lennon’s killer got sentenced to 20 years in prison on August 24th, 1981. Odd how the psycho missed Yoko Ono at such a short distance.
 1980s Shawn Stevens, the fifth wife of Jerry Lee Lewis, died in 1983 of a methadone overdose. They had been married less than three months. Jerry Lee would marry again in 1984 to 22 year-old Kerrie McCaver. The first four to carry the Mrs. Lewis name were Dorothy Barton (1952), Jane Mitcham (1953), Myra Brown (1957) and Jaren Pate (1971).
 1980s Tina Turner struck it rich in 1984 when What’s Love Got to Do With It became a gold record while making its climb to the top. Her Private Dancer album would sell over 5 million copies in the U.S. alone, over the next 3 years.
 1980s There was more than musical excitement at a Grateful Dead concert in 1987. Police killed an escaped drug addict who had shot one of the officers. The event was celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Love. The band’s In the Dark album had just peaked at number 6 in the U.S. while it’s single, Touch of Grey, was a month away from cracking the top 10.
 1980s In 1988 this week, Crazy by Patsy Cline, and Elvis Presley’s, Hound Dog were announced as the most played jukebox songs of the first hundred years. The jukebox that plays records has been around since 1906, but earlier models had been first seen in 1889.
 1990s Judas Priest successfully defended itself against a lawsuit in 1990, after two fans attempted suicide while listening to the Stained Class album back in 1985. Both fans eventually died, one immediately from a shotgun blast, and the other on a second attempt three years later by a methadone overdose. The prosecution claimed that there were subliminal messages in the group’s music that caused the two seventeen year olds to carry out the suicide pact.
 1990s The Bigger They Come, by Peter Frampton and Steve Marriott was first heard in the movie, Harley Davidson and The Marlboro Man, when it debuted in 1991. The song saw the reunion of the two guitarists, who hadn’t recorded together in 20 years, since their days in Humble Pie. The version of the song on Frampton’s, Shine On collection is a little bit different.
 1990s Tom Cochrane was at the pinnacle of his career when his song, Life is a Highway, reached number 6 in the U.S. in 1992. He had recently broken off his association with Red Rider, a band he joined many years earlier, and with which Cochrane achieved great success in Canada.
 1990s James Brown performed in 1996 in Montauk, New York, as part of the Back at the Ranch concert. He offered money that was raised at the event to an anti-violence organization called The Retreat, but was turned down. Brown had a history of beating his wife.
 1990s Journey played its first live show with new lead singer, Steve Augeri, in Kentucky, in 1998. They had also just recently released the single, Remember Me, which can be found on the Armageddon soundtrack. The group now fronted by Augeri, Steve Perry’s replacement, intends on releasing a new album.
 1990s Lawsuits were flying in 1999, when Don Henley, Brian Wilson and Alannah Myles all initiated legal action. The solo Eagle was suing Paramount Pictures for backing out of a deal that would include Henley’s new track, Taking You Home, in the upcoming Double Jeopardy movie. The estranged Beach Boy had different problems. He was claiming that business partner, Joe Thomas, was taking advantage of their recent agreement stemming from Wilson’s Imagination album deal from 1998. Meanwhile, Alannah Myles had just launched a suit against a Canadian newspaper over comments that were printed in December 1998. The article made assertions of an ongoing drug problem that Myles had denied.
 2000s U.K. fans got to hear more of The Beatles when the Liverpool Sound Collage CD was released in 2000. Super Furry Animals and Paul McCartney got together to create several tracks with sounds recorded around Liverpool and from the Rubber Soul recording sessions by The Beatles. Snippets like George Harrison saying, “It’s okay. We know. I think we know,” can be heard throughout the five tracks.
 2000s Ron Wood was questioned by police in 2000 when he was seen stuffing a rigid body into his Bentley. Passenger Vinnie Jones was not alive when crammed into the car, but considering he was made of cardboard, that wasn’t a bad thing. The promotional cut-out of actor Jones had been created to advertise Gone in 60 Seconds, the new movie starring Nicholas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Robert Duvall and Vinnie Jones.
 2000s Survivor filed a lawsuit in 2000 against TVT Records because of plans for a soundtrack to the TV show, Survivor. Guitarist Frankie Sullivan spoke for the rock group when he said, “It’s unfortunate that after 23 years of building, promoting, and protecting the name of our band, someone can suddenly come along and release a recording that uses our name and takes away everything we have worked for.” Survivor’s biggest success came in the ’80s with hits like Eye of the Tiger and Burning Heart.
 
 B i r t h d a y s Events     Farewells 

August 19:
George Baker (1939), Johnny Nash (1940), Billy J. Kramer (1943), Ian Gillan (Deep Purple, 1945) and John Deacon (Queen, 1951) became Little Children.
August 20:
Jim Reeves (1924), James Pankow (Chicago, 1947), Robert Plant (1948) and Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy, 1951) were born with a Whole Lotta Love.
August 21:
Count Basie (1904), Kenny Rogers (1938), Jackie DeShannon (1944) and Joe Strummer (The Clash, 1952) Just Dropped In.
August 22:
Ron Dante (The Archies, 1945), Frank Marino (Mahogany Rush, 1954), Roland Orzabal (Tears for Fears, 1961) and Tori Amos (1963) heard their first Shout.
August 23:
Keith Moon (1947), Rick Springfield (1949) and Mark Hudson (The Hudson Brothers, 1951) first felt The Human Touch.
August 24:
Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup (1905), Wynonie Harris (1915), Louis Teicher (Ferrante & Teicher, 1924), Jim Capaldi (Traffic, 1944) and Jean-Michel Jarre (1948) were Feeling Alright after breathing their first Oxygene on this day.
August 25:
Gene Simmons (Kiss, 1949) and Elvis Costello (1954) became part of the Flaming Youth.
   
 F a r e w e l l s Events     Birthdays 

August 19:
Blind Willie McTell died in 1959 of a brain hemorrhage. Betty Everett died from a heart attack in 2001.
August 20:
Bobby Sheehan of Blues Traveler died in 1999 at the age of 31.
August 23:
David Rose died of heart disease in 1990.
August 24:
Louis Prima never recovered from an operation to have a brain tumour removed, and died in 1978.
August 25:
Jack Nitzsche died of a heart attack in 2000 at the age of 63.

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